The Whole Bolivian Army
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NEWS/BLOG 2014 ARCHIVES

CD Baby sale30 NOVEMBER, 2014

Just in time for Cyber Monday | We'd be remiss if we failed to mention that CD Baby, our long-time retail partner, is doing something unusual from December 1st through the 3rd: shipping CDs for one cent, regardless of number or destination. That's essentially free shipping.

All our titles, meanwhile, are going for ridiculously low prices (CD or mp3 format). Whether you're doing a little holiday shopping or need to stock up on your TWBA collection, drop by CD Baby to see what's available.

Happy Holidays!

- Matt

10 NOVEMBER, 2014

Marinating | As you've probably noticed by now, we sort of, well, disappeared. Sometimes we need to take a break from everything, including this web site. We've been up to lots of things, some of them even related to music. Songwriting. Experimenting with home recording. Playing with drum machines, keyboards, and various effects pedals. We've even been kicking around the idea of starting some kind of song-of-the-month club or something. For the moment, though, our only goal is to keep marinating a while longer.

Thanks for indulging us.

- Matt

2 JUNE, 2014

Revenge of the delivery boy | Years ago, I eked out a living as a delivery boy for a little floral shop in Seattle's U-District. It seemed like the perfect job for a graduate-school dropout and aspiring musician (it worked for the protagonist in Singles, after all). One of the downsides was that I had to drive extra slow whenever I had a van full of flowers. Some people behind me didn't appreciate my careful driving.

To vent my frustration, I wrote two songs on the subject: one about an impatient man in a zippy little sports car  ("Little Zipper Small Man"), and one about an unfriendly woman in a Volvo. The latter made the cut and was included on our first full-length album, the self-titled The Whole Bolivian Army (1997).

Well, about a year ago, nearly twenty years after first writing the song, I started thinking about a video concept. It didn't really have much to do with the lyrics, but it seemed like it might be worth a few laughs. MB and I sat on the idea until last weekend, when we finally got a chance to film it, with our son Gibson's help. We hope you enjoy it.



- Matt

19 MAY, 2014

Running Up That Hill | We covered Kate Bush's classic, "Running Up That Hill," way back in 2001. Mary Beth was seven months pregnant at the time, and we were recording the album Be below ground at Well Wrought Audio, Tommy Thew's basement studio in Seattle's Pioneer Square neighborhood. While Jay Perry (bass) and Roger Johnson (drums) rattled the foundations, Saundrah Humphrey came in as a guest musician to add a little viola to the mix. The result was one of the best songs on the album.

As a dedicated distance runner, I always figured we would make a video for the song, since it offers such an easy tie-in to one of my greatest passions. Alas, the song had to wait 13 years for the video:



Mary Beth, Gibson, and I went to Port Townsend yesterday and drove straight to our old neighborhood at the top of Hastings Hill. After finding a place to park the car, we walked a quarter mile or so to the perfect spot on the Rhody Run race course. If you've never run it, the Rhody Run is 12 kilometers of pain. It features several brutal hills, but none is worse than the long trek up Hastings, where we set up shop.

Anyway, we positioned a video camera on a tripod, pushed record when we saw the first runner (Uli Steidl) appear at the base of the hill, and let it run until everyone -- all 1,500-plus runners and walkers, plus support crew -- had passed. Every one of those participants is featured in our new video, although admittedly, because we squeezed forty-five minutes of video into a four-minute song, most of them go by at a blur.

- Matt

27 MARCH, 2014

Happy Birthday, Mary Beth!MB's birthday bash | We're throwing Mary Beth a birthday party, and you're invited. On Wednesday, April 2, at 7:00 p.m. PDT, we'll be playing a special cyber concert to celebrate MB's birthday. All you need is a computer and an Internet connection to partake in the frivolities.

As with all of our cyber concerts, there will be plenty of opportunities to interact with the birthday girl. Got a song request? Send us a note now. Just want to make comments in real time with the music, that's fine, too. MB, ever the multi-tasker, will be crooning your favorite TWBA songs and addressing your comments and questions as they appear on the screen. Tickets are available here (pay-what-you-can).

 Virtual cake, balloons, and party hats optional.


- Matt

19 MARCH, 2014

Photo by Marlina VelascoMusicians everywhere | We often joke that half the people who come out to see us are in bands. That was certainly true last Friday at the Sunset in Seattle's Ballard neighborhood. So many familiar faces. Such a great bill. So much whiskey (okay, I only had two beers, but the strong stuff was spilling out of shot glasses everywhere).

Along with several fans and friends who are musicians in their own right (such as Jason and Chris Cass, pictured in Marlina Velasco's photo to the right), there were enough ex-TWBA members in the audience to form a super group.
Much to our amazement, former TWBA bass player Jay Perry drove up from Portland for the show. Ex-TWBA drummers Chris Gorczyca and John Standley were also on hand, as was Dave Warburton, who put the whole show together and sat behind the drums for the headliner, JD Hobson. In short, it was a star-studded group.

It's easy to forget how many talented people we've made music with and for over the years, but on Friday we were reminded just how big TWBA's extended family is.

- Matt

1 MARCH, 2014

TWBA Lunch Club | Since playing our first cyber concert last September, Mary Beth and I have been gravitating toward the idea of scheduling a weekly show online. To begin with, it's a really fun format for us. Without even stepping out the front door, we get to meet and interact with people from far away locales. The concerts also give us an opportunity to play material that normally never sees the light of day in a live setting, whether we're talking a deep cut from an old album or a new song we're still in the process of writing.

So, with that in mind, we present to you the TWBA Lunch Club. Every Friday at noon, Pacific Standard Time, we'll be playing thirty minutes or so worth of music, all delivered in an acoustic format.

TWBA Lunch ClubWhy noon and on a Friday? We gave this a lot of thought. For starters, we wanted to do it at a time that worked for us, and this particular slot just happens to fit nicely with our busy schedules. But we also wanted to play when as many people as possible can tune in. We're hoping those in our time zone have a flexible work schedule on Fridays and can sneak online for a few minutes during the lunch hour. Likewise, those further east, say in Toronto or New York, might have a little more flexibility on Friday afternoon than, say, Monday morning. If you're in London, meanwhile, or Paris, this won't be a lunch club, so much as a late dinner or after-hours event. But since you don't have to work the next morning (hopefully), you won't mind going to a concert at nine o'clock in the evening. At least you can stay in your slippers.

This is all trial and error. Regardless of where you live, if you would prefer a different start time, let us know. Maybe we'll vary the start times each week. Or maybe we'll organize a special concert just for you. As always, these are pay-what-you-can events, which means you can pay as little as fifty cents (half of one U.S. dollar) to attend. We hope to see you there. Our first show is set for Friday, March 7. Tickets here.

- Matt