sweet jams and javelinas

Man, this summer has flown by! In Tucson it’s actually the slow season for music – the UofA students are gone and lots of music fans flock elsewhere to enjoy festivals in greener (usually cooler) lands. The Modeens have been working on some new songs (time to record again before you know it), doing a bit of travel and attending the Potluck Conference (see below). But September is just around the corner and we’ll be poking our heads back out soon!


Check out this great music resource out of Phoenix. They recognize some cool bands to the south, including us! Thanks go to Frank Ippolito:

The Modeens are simply. Just. Fun. 60’s inspired rock, loaded with catchy (in a good way) hooks, keys, and the pop pop pop of the drums are a throwback to the garage and remind me of The Byrds, and even early Cream.

Read the rest of a very cool article at http://www.yabyumaz.com/2013/08/tucson-has-bands-for-real.html

Upcoming Gigs

  • August 28: If you attend Pima Community College – West Campus, The Modeens will be playing a special lunchtime welcome gig at the Cafeteria at noon.
  • September 7: PLUSH is hosting a special bill of touring bands and we’re psyched to join them: Breakup Society (Phoenix), JoDee PurkeyPile (Austin), Silver Ships (Austin) – this is a must see show!
  • September 14: Sacred Machine Gallery – run by members of ambient/triphop band Blind Divine – have asked us to join their 4th annual Santa Muerte Festival during downtown’s Second Saturdays. Don’t know when our slot is yet – so check back on our website closer to the date.

Potluck Conference 2013

One of the highlights of the summer was the 2nd annual Potluck Conference at the El Conquistador Hilton in Oro Valley – otherwise known as the best party in pro audio. There were the usual interesting discussion panels and saliva-inducing vendors booths – but this year’s hot spots for us were the Casitas demos and Sunset Pointe.

The Casitas are a separate neighborhood of the Hilton complex made up of separate houses – and this year Potluck commandeered a whole section for the big vendors like Neve, Sweetwater, Shure, Royer and so many others. They could set up demos as they like and attendees meandered around and checked them out at their leisure while sipping on their Piña Coladas or Potluck-provided beers (guess which ones we chose).

Casitas beer

We were lucky enough to end up in the Mojave Audio casita where Matt Ross-Spang and Jeff Powell set up a PopUp studio. They made a live recording of a supergroup of sorts comprised of amazing singer and keyboardist Susan Marshall, Shawn King (Devotchka) on drums, Dusty Wakeman on bass and some awesome guitar player whose name I didn’t catch. They did a soulful recording of The Rolling Stones’ ‘Sway’, all playing at the same time (like the old days!), with minimal but effective use of Mojave and Royer microphones all going into a DAW (basically into a computer as opposed to a board – like the new days!)

They just did a brief sound check, recorded the song three times and then played back a rough mix and we were floored! As great as the song sounded live, the sound of the mix was even better. They ended up with a gorgeous recording using just some key pieces of gear and a lotta talent, high level musicianship and smarts. Pretty amazing demonstration of some behind-the-scenes aural magic.

Mojave-Royer demo

Then we ambled on over to the Rupert Neve casita – where we got to listen to music on a modern Neve board (not quite the one you may have seen in Sound City) through egg-shaped speakers.

Neve Board demo

Jamie got a special look at a rad little synthesizer, the Teenage Engineering OP1, a compact number that looked like a toy, with a tiny but dazzling digital interface and crazy cool sounds.

Teenage Engineering

Javelinas and Sunset Pointe

The other attraction for me is the wildlife that integrates well with the native landscaping of the hotel. Especially around Sunset Pointe, a grassy mini field off the hotel grounds surrounded by desert scrub and teeming with animals pretty much anytime it’s not boiling hot outside. Around sunset, I insisted we pass by before heading to the last panel of the conference and then we got completely sidetracked by a whole family of javelina. Most of them were hidden by the scrub but there were a few alpha members taking advantage of some chips thrown by hotel guests (which I do NOT advocate doing – not really good for them, but they did seem to enjoy the treats).

Javelina sighting

They soon disappeared into the wash, so Jamie and our friend Christopher made a break for it. Only to find themselves tailed by the mighty suspicious leader.

Javelina alpha following two suspicious characters

We were enchanted and ended up sticking around for a beautiful sunset.

Sunset tree at Sunset Pointe

Sunset couple at Sunset Pointe

After the sunset, we encountered the javelina family again as they crossed the pointe, at times cavorting on the grass while keeping a wary eye on us. There were two baby ones and I didn’t realize how cute those critters can be.

Later we hooked up with members of local soul rockers, The Tryst, and Phoenix dervishes, Dry River Yacht Club and on the suggestion of our friend Tom (whose birthday it was) we headed back to Sunset Pointe late at night with some acoustic instruments and had a jam session on the grass overlooking the lights of Oro Valley. Luckily we were far enough away from the hotel not to disturb anybody. Some Potluck attendees wandering in the night found us and became our impromptu audience. It was a sublime moment of musical camaraderie. Of course there are no pictures, but we’ll carry the moment in our hearts for a long long while.

Enjoy the last rays of summer, yall!

Photo notes: all pics by me (cristina) except for the last one surreptitiously snapped by our friend Tom Moore.