Xenat-Ra

Live photos from Calapooia Brewing, 4/20/2012

We played 4/20 (dude!) at Calapooia Brewing in Albany, and our friend E. J. Harris was there, here are some of the photos he took that night. It was an intense show, and I think that comes through in the pics.

Making The Record, Part 1: Tracking

It’s taken us more than two years of work to get our new studio album done. This is the first of a series of posts on the making of the record.

By 2010, Xenat-Ra had been gigging and rehearsing for 3 years, and we decided it was really time to document what we do. We’d made several attempts to record live shows, and had mixed results, there was some very good material captured, but we weren’t totally satisfied.

We put the best of the live material together into a CD we called, in a fit extreme obviousness, Live. We made the CD very cheaply, just to get something out and hopefully sell enough copiesĀ  to fund producing the studio record. We did a few shows in the spring of 2010 billed as “FUNdraisers”, where we dedicated all of our income from the door and all CD sales to the benefit our recording fund. We were able to raise enough to track the CD, and have a solid foundation for manufacturing the record, thanks to the support of our fans!

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A Personal History of Xenat-Ra, by Dave Trenkel

On the surface, Xenat-Ra is like most bands, a bunch of friends getting together semi-regularly in a practice room to make some noise and have fun. What I think sets us apart is the range of material we draw upon for inspiration, and the collective musicianship of the band. We’ve never really set out to create a post-modern fusion of genres, we just play and see where the music takes us. We all share a love for hiphop, both the classic and the modern underground styles, jazz, from classic through soul jazz to the most avant free improv, rock, particularly prog and metal, funk, dub, afrobeat, and are open just about anything else. We hope to do this in a way that is not self-conscious, just trying to challenge our individual and collective musicianship to get to new places.

I’ve played in many bands over the years, some lasting a gig or two, some never even making it that far. Others have toured, recorded and had a regional impact. I feel incredibly lucky to have had some of these musical experiences in this crazy career. Still, Xenat-Ra has to be the most challenging and satisfying musical projects I’ve ever had the honor of sharing.

This post is based on my reflections and memories, and I hope the rest of the band will chime in to give their perspective.

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