The Hague, a Portland based quintet, was formed in the spring of 09 by longtime friends, Shawn Steven and Jesse Tranfo as a side project from their metal and hardcore roots. After releasing a EP in the summer of 09 Charlie Fisher, Travis Chapman, and James Logan joined the group giving the band its current line up.
The Hague play a distinctly northwest brand of violin driven indie rock anthems mixing elements of pop, alt country, math rock, post rock, and 90's underground sounds.
Since their inception in 09 “The Hague” have toured over 20 states, released a 2 full length LP’s, and 3 EP’s, including their latest “The Stark House EP”. They have shared stages with international acts such as; The Smoking Popes, The Globes, Blunt Mechanic, The Lonely Forest, Murder By Death, God is an Astronaut, The Paper Chase, and The Appleseed Cast building a great buzz through their violin driven indie rock anthems.
The Hague have worked with producers like Brandon Eggleston (mountain goats, John Vanderslice) and Adam Pike (Red Fang, Black Elk) and have been well received, gathering press from national publications such as The Onion, and have been called “the future of the Portland music scene” by the local media.
Shawn Steven - Guitar
James Logan - Guitar & Vocals
Jesse Tranfo - Drums
Grand Delusions EP-June 2009
Insomnia Sessions-January 2010
We Have Nothing-December 2010
The Stark House EP-July 2011
Live at the Banana Stand-August 2011
Black Rabbit-August 2012
http://press.badabuzz.com/thehague/-official press page
http://vimeo.com/41597935-music video for "Everyone"
"Indie rock that's manic, poppy, and occasionally melancholy...a Frankenstein of Northwest rock"
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"It's the sound of four friends who grew up in the PacNW, crusing from the coast to the forest to t..."It's the sound of four friends who grew up in the PacNW, crusing from
the coast to the forest to the desert, with some hints of pop,
country, and indefinable Northwest flavor lining the rough-hewn songs.
It's a really good listen."
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A tribute to the trials of the young and the aimless...something so catchy and effective that it lea...A tribute to the trials of the young and the aimless...something so catchy and effective that it leaves everything else in the dust."
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"And I Was Like, What? is a confusing name for such a wholesome band. In fact, everything about this..."And I Was Like, What? is a confusing name for such a wholesome band. In fact, everything about this band seems to disorient your perceptions. For a band with a slightly tough-guy aesthetic, they are real sweethearts. Their lyrics are mostly heartfelt and honest reflections on relationships. They even have a violin underpinning most of their songs, to lighten their indie rock abruptness. It’s hard to dislike these guys. In the song “Birthday Suite” the lead singer and guitarist, Shawn employs some impressive finger-tapping on his guitar. It is reminiscent of many late 90's and early 2000's math-rock efforts, but juxtaposed with a violin and heavy handed drummer. Seriously awesome. And I Was Like, What? might be a listener’s initial reaction, but eventually understanding comes without asking anything. Just listen. Stop fretting."
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This all-bearded band really had their shit together and it's hard to believe they are still unsigne...This all-bearded band really had their shit together and it's hard to believe they are still unsigned. They sounded fantastic live, and I absolutely loved the band’s use of the electric violin.
Download of the day
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Yup, that’s the name of a band folks. A band out of Portland, Oregon who count The Appleseed Cast, P...Yup, that’s the name of a band folks. A band out of Portland, Oregon who count The Appleseed Cast, Piebald and Murder By Death among their influences. The 5-piece is set to release their new self titled album on October 13th, 2010. The LP was produced by Brandon Eggleston who has also worked with the likes of the Morning Benders, Pelican and the Mountain Goats. You want something different? The band includes a full time a violinist. Not every band can give you that, you know what I’m saying?
We have Nothing 1
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Portland, Oregon rockers And I Was Like, What? mix a tough-guy aesthetic with heartfelt and thoughtf...Portland, Oregon rockers And I Was Like, What? mix a tough-guy aesthetic with heartfelt and thoughtful lyrics on their debut EP We Have Nothing. Having found a way to stand out in a crowded and talented northwest music scene, And I Was Like, What? turn their eyes to the nation at large with more than a hope and a prayer.
We Have Nothing opens with "Secular Eyes", a song about losing your love to a religious conversion. The song is more lost than angry; catchy and very memorable in spite of its somewhat gloomy start. "Birthday Suite" blends classical construction with a catchy, Yes-inspired sound that you might call Prog Lite. Whatever you call it, And I Was Like, What? certainly seems to have found something. "Concerning Distance" comments with almost clinical precision on the things that went wrong in a relationship. Shawn Callahan has the ability to offer such an unemotional vocal style and yet imbue it was a sense of urgency that is more than it seems. "F#" bemoans the expenditure of emotion. The dark monologue is written in the wake of a relationship gone bad and has a sour grapes feel to it but is wrapped up in a highly ear-friendly arrangement that seems likely to garner And I Was Like, What? some real attention. We Have Nothing closes with "8:55 AM", a meandering and heavy baroque-rock exposition that seems to get a bit lost while clocking in at seven-and-a-half minutes. It's an intriguing closer, but seems to overstay its welcome.
And I Was Like, What? offers up an intriguing breakup EP in We Have Nothing, exploring the underside of the emotional effects of such a downfall. And I Was Like, What? makes full use of the both rock and orchestral instrumentation to layer sounds and build in appropriate levels of theatricality and texture into the songs, but does occasionally get a bit too impressed with their own musical ideas. We Have Nothing is a solid effort, worthy of consideration.
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It's a bit the A-Team having backbeat and more than sneaking admiration for The Beach Boys and The B...It's a bit the A-Team having backbeat and more than sneaking admiration for The Beach Boys and The Beatles. Come back, I'm trying to say that this is a band who sound like they function best while in motion, or touring. It's where they cut, come across and steal their slices of life from. The accents are American, but the sound is a genuine blend of Anglo-Yank indie played in a late sixties framework of hook laden, bitter-sweet rock pop. Obviously, the electric violin adds an edge and some degrees of difference, but AIWLW are clearly 'different' despite, not because of the instruments used. This is a subtle and agile rock band with sound that evokes, not apes, the likes of The Waterboys, World Party and maybe even Flaming Lips and I'm writing like a cunt because I'm distracted by their "Passing Cars", so we're going to slip down to the meat...
IS IT ANY GOOD? Yes. Yes it is, go listen.
"Might be the future of the Portland music scene.. mature, indie pop-tinged Americana"
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The cumbersome mouthful of the band moniker that is And I Was Like, What? is a bit of a distraction....The cumbersome mouthful of the band moniker that is And I Was Like, What? is a bit of a distraction. If anything, the name does the Portland quintet a disservice, labeling the band as a sort of musical punchline, or at least an outfit that might be less than serious about their intentions. Yet on the band's just-released EP We Have Nothing, AIWLW? deliver a dynamic rock recording, one that doesn't fit the typical jangle-and-mumble template of so many other local acts. "Birthday Suite" sways with a violin hook and the finest guitar complexity this side of Karate's masterful Bed Is in the Ocean, while opener "Secular Eyes" is a bit more direct, with its catchy chorus of "She left me for some Christian girl/And I don't know what to say." Don't get hung up on the band's name, since there is something truly great about We Have Nothing. EZRA ACE CARAEFF
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Some times as a reviewer, you get bands or records the names of which you can't but shake your head ...Some times as a reviewer, you get bands or records the names of which you can't but shake your head and acknowledge as awesome, even if they're also quite silly. One such band is And I Was Like, What?, a quintet from Portland, US, whose EP "We Have Nothing" I just had to sign up for when I saw the band's weird name.
A quote on the band's own Last.fm page suggests that the name could be the likely reaction from first time listeners, and I agree with that, because one of the chief things that they have going for them, is that they don't sound like very many other bands at all. The only semi-known one I can think of is Dear And The Headlights, and that's not all that accurate, and then all I have to resort to is a very small (but good!) band called Caravela, that I'm sure none of you have ever heard about (I've been wanting to review them, but haven't found the time yet).
So instead of namedropping, I guess I could say that these guys (and one girl) have crafted a sound that is one part mathy indie due to the notes from their singer/guitarist's electric guitar, and one part dramatic folk due to some moody contributions from an acoustic guitar and a violin. All together, things are kept delightfully laid back, regardless of the content, and it creates a nice dynamic, like in EP highlight "F#", where the singer Shawn sings "why do I waste my precious time with complicated feelings?" in a voice that sounds a bit like he has all the time in the world.
The bad news however, is that this chorus is the only strikingly memorable one on the EP, and the remaining tracks never ascend from the level of "enjoyable background music". It's not such a big deal however, because if I'm not mistaken, this is the band's first outing, and what everyone should take away from it, is a note on the cool sound it presents. Given time to develop their songwriting skills, I think AIWLW will make it worth our while to remember them in the future
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Download this album, it's ridiculously great. The Hague is awesome, and we feel super lucky to have ...Download this album, it's ridiculously great. The Hague is awesome, and we feel super lucky to have recorded them before they get signed/huge.
Listening to this live album gives an appreciation of several things, but two come immediately to mind: the talent of each individual band member and the skill with which their songs are constructed. Shawn Steven, Jesse Tranfo, Travis Chapman, Charlie Fischer and James Logan -- each is revealed through this live performance to be excellent at their craft. This is afforded by Steven's song arrangements (which must be supplemented by suggestions from other members), which provide each of The Hague an opportunity to display their abilities in different ways at different times. Consider Tranfo's complex, deftly-executed drum work. Consider Steven's and Logan's guitars and Fischer's bass, which combine into a wall of terrific sound that seems to carry you along with it. Consider Chapman's violin, at times seeming to be the primary "voice," at others providing a perfect complement to Steven's and Logan's excellent vocal work.
Consider as well the way that all of these things combine to create songs both immediately engaging and rewarding of further listening. Listen to the way Birthday Suite develops. A somber beginning transitions playfully to a soaring, orchestral feel. A second playful transition delivers you to the songs driving finish. The different pieces, despite wildly disparate feels, work together seamlessly. The result is a sound that moves me emotionally from movement to movement and song to song.
We connected to The Hague (then known as And I Was Like, What?) in several ways -- through the Pike brothers (they're clients of both Adam's Columbia Rehearsal Studios and Toadhouse Recording Studio) and through 'Stander Evan R. Thompson (fellow Idahoans). We are extremely glad that we did. They are an excellent band that we're expecting big things from in the very near future. Despite being ridiculously talented and together, The Hague remains unsigned. I have zero inside knowledge, but if I had to guess, this will change soon. They have a sound that seems unique in Portland and a work ethic and attitude that should serve as an example for others. We hope they are rewarded for their talent and effort.
This album is super-rad and you should download it. The Hague's great live performance and Alex Arrowsmith's excellent mixing and mastering work have created something we're really proud of. If you really like the album, please consider donating or purchasing the album and you can help us produce more things like it in the future.
When The Hague recorded at The Banana Stand they were called And I Was Like What?, which a lot of local alternative press publications berated. I thought it was a clever name. Not the best name. Happier than The Hague, though. That's fucking depressing. Lucky for you, the band is great and will put smiles on your face. Happy sometimes, but not always, The Hague is an important part of the Portland music scene because they work hard and play great music. Sure, a good deal of people from all over the United States have flocked to our riverside town in Oregon, myself included, but the bands that go out and hustle every week for their art are ones that should be respected.
You'll notice the minaute pumpkins in the album cover image. A good number of those were trashed due to dancing by the time the show was over - dancing at a folk-rock Portland basement concert recording on Halloween. This is an important album to us, and to the music scence in general in this town, if only because it captures a night that this place, above almost all others, respects a good night of boozing, live music, and fire.
The Hague - Live from the Banana Stand was recorded in front of a live audience on October 30th, 2010 at the Banana Stand in Portland, Oregon. The album was mixed and mastered by Alex Arrowsmith. Brian David Smith
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“Smells like Portland in here” C.D. Review of The Hague, formally known as And I Was Like What? ...“Smells like Portland in here”
C.D. Review of The Hague, formally known as And I Was Like What?
Photo courtesy The Hague.
I was a little baffled when drummer Jesse Tranfo handed me their latest e.p. neatly covered in a brown paper bag with a peek-a-boo hole revealing The Hague’s cover art. Despite the DIY crafts, the music is high quality.
Only disappointment was being bummed out when iTunes stopped after 12 minutes. The three-song e.p. doesn’t do justice to this band of bearded men from Portland, Oregon, especially after seeing them live.
The Stark House EP cover art of a welcoming front porch belongs to three of The Hague’s band members.
“Its super organic and we’re super excited about it,” said Shawn Steven, the guitar and vocals of the band.
A sad salute to beautiful “California Curse” pays homage to a canceled California tour last year. This time their van made it down south without any complications, and San Diego welcomed them with a small crowd at the Japan Benefit show July 30.
Still The Hague was excited to witness prospectors’ respond well to their music. It’s good to see a band be so gracious and appreciative for any crowd in attendance.
Their upbeat and catchy melodies, along with that witty electric violin, add a subtle sway to certain songs giving their honest lyrics an inviting taste to some sweet tunes.
“Our merch guy, Joe says we sound like if Minus the Bear was covering a Murder by Death song,” Steven said.
When seeing them live, all five members belted out in every song giving a sense of unity and amplification that sounded awesome. I was bummed that was absent from their recordings but Stark House is still worth a listen.
Song standouts: Secular Eyes, California Curse, F#, and I’m Sorry, I Thought This Was A City!
Shawn Steven - Guitar/Vocals
Jesse Tranfo - Drums
Charlie Fischer - Bass
By Leila Rodriguez
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Somewhat confusingly, the Hague also seem to go by And I Was Like, What?. Whatever the band wants to...Somewhat confusingly, the Hague also seem to go by And I Was Like, What?. Whatever the band wants to call itself is fine by me, as long as they stick to what they do best: performing Britpop-inflected indie rock that draws inspiration from epic mopesters like the Smiths while adding their own curious flavor. Much of the band's appeal lies in their liberal use of violin to offset the arena rock hooks and histrionic vocals of the lead singer. With occasional dips into math rock-ish interludes, the Hague complicate their sound and work to differentiate themselves from the never-ending sea of indie rock acts. Bands like the Hague, with such a huge sound, are a joy to catch live in an intimate setting, before they get signed and the stadiums ruin everything. - Rev. Adam McKinney
[The New Frontier Lounge, with Slowwave, Land of Pines, 8:30 p.m., cover TBA, 301 E. 25th St., Tacoma, 253.572.4020]
Stark House Mercury Review
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THE HAGUE, SYSTEM AND STATION, LAND OF PINES (Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) It is time t...THE HAGUE, SYSTEM AND STATION, LAND OF PINES
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) It is time to put And I Was Like, What? behind us. That unwieldy (but somehow loveable) moniker is no more, as the band has newly reinvented themselves with a slightly more comprehensible but slightly less Google-able name: the Hague. It's a rebirth of sorts after what sounds like a tough year; following a hardscrabble tour last summer, singer/guitarist Shawn Steven had to be hospitalized with a near-fatal illness, and violinist/keyboardist Travis Chapman suffered a very serious bike accident on New Years Eve. But the good news is that the quintet has bounced back fully intact, all members recovered and healthy, and have a great new EP to share with the world. The Hague's Stark House EP isn't a million miles from what they were doing as And I Was Like, What? before, but its good-natured, limber Northwest rock is imbued with heartfelt, uplifting emotions that may be the by-product of their coming out of the fire, damaged but not beaten. NL
|Jun 22, 2013 Saturday||8:00 PM||kellys olympian knife shop||Portland, OR, US|