All The Apparatus
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All The Apparatus

Portland, Oregon, United States

Portland, Oregon, United States
Alternative Indie




"All The Apparatus @White Eagle"

It's my first time at the White Eagle, and as I walk in I'm immediately charmed by the cozy ambiance of the dim, brick-walled bar, one of the oldest in Portland. With its eclectic wall hangings, intricately tiled mosaic floors, and warmly glowing art deco hanging lamps, I feel as if I've stumbled into a magical antique shop. A healthy crowd has formed in the front of the venue near the stage and I find a comfy spot to take in the first band, which, with ten members and an impressive range of musical instruments cluttering the stage, promises to be a wild ride.

I'm not disappointed. All The Apparatus, originally from Hawaii, bursts forth with infectious, tumbling, pirate rock that get the crowd clapping, stomping, and singing along with gusto. I'm reminded of one of my old favorites, The Aquabats, as the band dives into their version of a children's song about a forlorn elephant with the chorus: “Don't let those big ears get'cha down!” By the end of the song everyone in the bar is singing. They have a huge, rollicking sound and a rambunctious presence that must be the result of all the time they've spent busking on the streets of Waikiki. They perform to be seen and heard and they encourage all kind of involvement from the audience. Before one song someone in the band announces, “Now, anyone who has on a stitch of clothing must completely disrobe before this song is over!!” No one seems to take him seriously except for the man behind me dressed elaborately as a pirate who immediately begins to pull off his tattered vest and puffy white shirt. (Luckily this is as far as he goes.) Throughout their set they manage to blend all the varied sounds of drums, bass, xylophone, melodica, accordion, ukulele, wooden pipes, and a megaphone to conjure a patchwork quilt of sound. I love the way this band is wild for a good time and pulls everyone into the party with them. -


JULY 21, 2011 - Oregon's avant-garde/indie-folk 11-piece outfit, All the Apparatus are celebrating the release of their sophomore, self-titled, full-length (Faultvo Records). The new, self-titled album from ALL THE APPARATUS is like the best pirate radio station you've ever heard, skipping around the musical spectrum, offering original gems to lovers of all genres with each song sounding almost as if a different band is playing. Forged during countless hours of street corner performances, this eleven piece band's raucous energy was captured by producer DAVID EATON, who formerly worked with the likes of POLYPHONIC SPREE and DYNAMITE HACK. EATON followed his ears down the city streets and found ALL THE APPARATUSplaying their hearts out to Portland's pedestrians and the rest was history.Part circus sideshow, part bourbon-soaked blues, and part enchanting musical ruckus, All the Apparatus' new album delivers a banquet of intriguing eclectic music. -

"Band’s energy has ’em dancin’ in the streets"

Last spring, David Eaton was walking through downtown Portland when he heard “an enchanting musical ruckus” that “invited me to join an entranced crowd of tourists, mall rats and street people, equally feasting on the interactive musical banquet of All The Apparatus.”

A Los Angeles music producer, Eaton has worked with such acts as The Polyphonic Spree and Mojo Nixon. Now he’s gearing up to produce the second album by All The Apparatus, “the most intriguing band I have met since producing The Polyphonic Spree.”

Eaton says ATA’s wacky, manic members create “a world of perplexing caricatures wielding unlikely instruments — ukuleles, accordions and tuned PVC pipes struck by flip-flops — to create groovy, memorable songs of villainy, tragedy and sacrificed innocence.”

If you’ve been near Pioneer Courthouse Square on a Saturday night, you may have had a similar experience with All The Apparatus, an 11-member band whose members moved to Portland from Hawaii in December 2009.

To hear them is to see the football team uniting with the glee club in song, to witness the joy of souls about to be released from Purgatory into Heaven, to experience theater as life and life as theater.

While a lot of musicians busk now and then, few have made playing in the street their modus vivendi to the extent All The Apparatus has. After watching them, you wonder why more bands don’t do this — there’s no burly bouncers kicking out unruly patrons, no club owners arguing with the group over its fee, no division between folks who can and cannot drink booze, no restrictions other than the laws governing what happens on our streets.

“I don’t think we would do as well if we focused on clubs,” says Erika Marler, the band’s French horn, pipe drum and kalimba player. “One of the best things is we have teenagers that grab grandmothers that grab younger kids, and they’re all dancing around to the music. You just don’t see that in clubs.”

Indeed, it’s the band’s relentless focus on playing its “avant-garde dirty gypsy klezmer jazz indie anti-folk rock” outside that particularly attracts Eaton.

“Their stage is Planet Earth, and their audience is mankind,” he says.

The band includes members who are still couch surfing and others who are married with children, some who are veteran musicians and others who barely could play a couple of years ago. The band doesn’t even have a rehearsal space – it tries out new songs on the street.

Mike Hansen, 29, the group’s bassist, notes the band was formed in 2008 in Laie, Oahu, where some of the group’s members worked for a TV station. Originally called Haberdashery, they changed their name — “it’s like all the apparatus of music” — after learning a couple bands on the mainland had the same moniker.

“The first time we played we just made noise for four hours, and I’m sure it was horrendous, but it was fun,” Hansen says, crediting the late James Don Warren III, the band’s original guitarist, for inspiring the group of artsy Oahu residents to start jamming.

Although the band played indoors here and there, a street gig in Waikiki was a turning point, Hansen says.

“The sidewalk was always more fun because of the people who were out,” Hansen says. “A lot of our crowds were poorer people, so the energy was just amazing.”

Although the band played indoors here and there, a street gig in Waikiki was a turning point, Hansen says.

“The sidewalk was always more fun because of the people who were out,” Hansen says. “A lot of our crowds were poorer people, so the energy was just amazing.”

It’s an energy you can see here in Portland, which the band members chose to live in because of the town’s vibrant music scene. When was the last time you saw a homeless person drop a dollar bill in a band’s tip box? Yet it’s an experience All The Apparatus has had more than once.

“What I’ve heard time and time again is, ‘Thank you so much, we hardly ever get this,’ ” Hansen says. “The gratitude from (street people) is pretty humbling and pretty flattering.”

It’s not just the homeless who dig the sounds of All the Apparatus – white-collar professionals, trust-fund hipsters, crewcut police officers and black-clad anarchists have all been spotted tapping their feet, nodding their heads and generally cracking smiles when listening to songs like “Let’s Go Ride Bikes” and “Lobsterface McGee.”

Hansen notes it can get a little wild sometimes.

“We’ve had people strip completely naked at our shows,” he says. “One guy broke a bottle over his head and got glass everywhere.”

Most of the time, however, “we get a really good mix of both the higher class or the homeless people, and they don’t seem to notice.”

And the ever-changing audiences are usually friendly.

“We don’t come across too many ‘Boo! You suck! Get off the street!’ ” Marler says with a laugh.

Not to mention, the band has managed to move some serious amounts of merchandise through its performances. It’s already sold a few t - The Portland Tribune


Still working on that hot first release.



All The Apparatus is an 11 piece band from Portland, Oregon. They have garnered comparisons to Gogol Bordello, Devotchka, and Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros. But, one listen will have you calling their sound uniquely All The Apparatus. Although they began as a band in Oahu, Hawaii in January 2008, where they were referred to by the locals as "Honolulu's own Arcade Fire," the group landed in Portland, Oregon, to further their musical careers, and develop their sound in a part of the Pacific Northwest rich with purveyors of unique indie-folk.

Their sound was shaped from their roots as a busking street-act, honing their skills on the sidewalks, in front of anyone who would stop, listen and dance. Their busking adventures started catching the eyes of local music fans and journalists, resulting in ever-growing crowds - and prominent write-ups in local newspapers. The band has gone on to play numerus club dates, and a few large festivals, including the Hallowbaloo music festival at the end of 2009, where they co-headlined with Portland guests Blitzen Trapper. They returned again in 2011 to share the stage with Man Man and most recently were invited to headline at the Campbell Bay Music Festival in B.C. Canada. All The Apparatus has also notably shared the stage with Voltaire, and Franz Nicolay (form The Hold Steady and World/Inferno Friendship Society).

The band has two full-length albums; 'Lawless Seas' - released 2009 has sold over 10,000 copies to date. Their latest release 'All The Apparatus' charted at 180 on the CMJ and was produced by David Eaton (The Polyphonic Spree, Dynamite Hack, Warrant). They will be on tour this March to promote this record and bring their unique style to the stages and sidewalks of America, leaving a trail of dancing humans in their wake.