The Svens are a local surf band from Corvallis, OR playing in the genre of The Ventures. And, in between songs, they read cowboy poetry. Seriously – I’m not clever enough to make this stuff up. OK – maybe it’s not exactly cowboy poetry – it’s more cowboy story telling – an ongoing saga that is told in one hour installments – the length of one show. On Saturday, 13 December – at Bombs Away Cafe – The Svens brought those heavy surf riffs and tales of Yukon gold to a pretty full house. And a few times, they broke out part time lead singer, Scott. If you missed this last show – pick up the CD – the price will be worth the surf influenced White Wedding with him anchoring those Idol-esque vocals (I’m making an assumption here that this track will make it into the final recording). Story teller and lead guitar, “Viking” – is quite good – and there’s a Sven on bass, saxophone, rhythm guitar, and drums to round out the band.
The story telling is vivid and entertaining and just campy enough to be a bit witty. After each live performance – the band jumps into the studio – gets the whole episode / play list recorded – and then moves on. If you miss an episode (performance) – just pick up the CD at the next show – and you’re caught up!
The Svens, to date, have been without a website, without a mailing list, and without a MySpace page to listen to their latest tracks. But, you can find out a bit more about them here – and listen to one song and some story telling here. This is musician Rob Birdwell’s blog – a.k.a. Sven on the saxophone.
As for Bombs Away – the lighting, arguably, was worse than the Valleri and Andrea show. But, as oddly as this sounds, it was easier to shoot with less options. And this time, I did pack that 50mm f/1.8. Pulled it out towards the end of the show – and I’m glad I had it to complement the 24mm f/2.8. And the 50D? Wonderful with the low light. I was shooting at ISO 1600 or ISO 2000 all night. As Will commented (a.k.a. Sven on bass) – “it’s like shooting from inside a dim rainbow…” For a few shots – I played to the noise a bit (and maybe even coaxed it out) – but the rest – I was able to clean up much of it with a little slider in Ligthtroom.
Bottom line – if you’re in Corvallis, check out the Bombs Away calendar for their next gig (31 January) – drop on in for some vintage tunes and hear tales of high drama and action with the Marshall, the Blacksmith, and Mary, all from Drake, Missouri.
Update (8 March 2009): The Svens now have their own home on the web. Go check ‘em out.