Melodeego
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Melodeego

Boston, Massachusetts, United States | SELF

Boston, Massachusetts, United States | SELF
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"Melodeego: The Hippest Bike-Powered Band in Town"

The Civil Rights movement had “We Shall Overcome.” Protesters against the Vietnam War had “Blowin’ in the Wind.” But what about today’s movement to prevent climate change and stop the Keystone XL pipeline?

Fortunately, the coolest green band in Boston, Melodeego, is on the case.

If ever there was a movement that needed the energy that music can provide, it’s the climate justice movement, which is fighting pipelines on several fronts. Here in New England, we’re protesting the Keystone XL pipeline in the Midwest and plans to transport tar sands oil across our region to tankers in Portland, Maine. The pipelines would use underground pipes built in the 1950s and the project would be operated by Enbridge, the same company that’s trying to build a tar sands pipeline to British Columbia.

In March, protesters against the Keystone XL Pipeline marched on the Boston area office of TransCanada, the company hoping to construct the pipeline that would transport tar sands oil to refineries in the Southern U.S., Over 100 activists arrived for a “Funeral for the Future,” dressed in funereal black and hoisting a coffin. What made the action sizzle, however, was an original dirge by Melodeego. The band taught the music to demonstrators ahead of time, who sung it a cappella at the march. Three of the band’s members were among the 25 activists arrested in their first act of civil disobedience. They sang all the way to the police station.

They are digging us a hole

They are digging us a hole

Six feet underground

Where the pipeline will go



We will lay down our bodies

We will lay down our souls

We won’t stand by and watch

While they dig us a hole.

OK, a bit gloomy—but it is a funeral dirge! Plus if you really want upbeat tunes to save the planet, check out the rest of Melodeego’s music. They’ve been writing music about the climate crisis and energy for over six years. In 2008, they recorded the album, “Embrace Your Energy Revolution,” inspired by the climate justice movement. You may have seen them at Occupy encampments or at rallies in Washington, D.C.

In their 2010 the song, “The World is You,” which has an original video, Melodeego offers an upbeat message of humans connecting across differences to protect the environment.

I recently saw Melodeego perform in concert. Audience members took turns pedaling on three bicycle-powered generators to fuel the band’s sound system. The band was inspired to go bike power after the BP’s Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010.

Melodeego has also been doing workshops on campuses and in community settings, what they call “Soul WakeUps.” These programs are inspired by the work of writer Joanna Macy, and her insights on how to move people from passivity and despair to action and engagement on environmental issues. Melodeego’s workshops combine music, reflection, videos and discussion.

Next time you attend a rally around climate change, you may be singing a Melodeego song. Sing it loudly. And help out with the pedal power sound system if you are able! - YES! Magazine


"Melodeego: The Hippest Bike-Powered Band in Town"

The Civil Rights movement had “We Shall Overcome.” Protesters against the Vietnam War had “Blowin’ in the Wind.” But what about today’s movement to prevent climate change and stop the Keystone XL pipeline?

Fortunately, the coolest green band in Boston, Melodeego, is on the case.

If ever there was a movement that needed the energy that music can provide, it’s the climate justice movement, which is fighting pipelines on several fronts. Here in New England, we’re protesting the Keystone XL pipeline in the Midwest and plans to transport tar sands oil across our region to tankers in Portland, Maine. The pipelines would use underground pipes built in the 1950s and the project would be operated by Enbridge, the same company that’s trying to build a tar sands pipeline to British Columbia.

In March, protesters against the Keystone XL Pipeline marched on the Boston area office of TransCanada, the company hoping to construct the pipeline that would transport tar sands oil to refineries in the Southern U.S., Over 100 activists arrived for a “Funeral for the Future,” dressed in funereal black and hoisting a coffin. What made the action sizzle, however, was an original dirge by Melodeego. The band taught the music to demonstrators ahead of time, who sung it a cappella at the march. Three of the band’s members were among the 25 activists arrested in their first act of civil disobedience. They sang all the way to the police station.

They are digging us a hole

They are digging us a hole

Six feet underground

Where the pipeline will go



We will lay down our bodies

We will lay down our souls

We won’t stand by and watch

While they dig us a hole.

OK, a bit gloomy—but it is a funeral dirge! Plus if you really want upbeat tunes to save the planet, check out the rest of Melodeego’s music. They’ve been writing music about the climate crisis and energy for over six years. In 2008, they recorded the album, “Embrace Your Energy Revolution,” inspired by the climate justice movement. You may have seen them at Occupy encampments or at rallies in Washington, D.C.

In their 2010 the song, “The World is You,” which has an original video, Melodeego offers an upbeat message of humans connecting across differences to protect the environment.

I recently saw Melodeego perform in concert. Audience members took turns pedaling on three bicycle-powered generators to fuel the band’s sound system. The band was inspired to go bike power after the BP’s Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010.

Melodeego has also been doing workshops on campuses and in community settings, what they call “Soul WakeUps.” These programs are inspired by the work of writer Joanna Macy, and her insights on how to move people from passivity and despair to action and engagement on environmental issues. Melodeego’s workshops combine music, reflection, videos and discussion.

Next time you attend a rally around climate change, you may be singing a Melodeego song. Sing it loudly. And help out with the pedal power sound system if you are able! - YES! Magazine


"Human-powered rock show shuns dependency on fuel"

Boston-based band Melodeego played a small bike-powered concert in the Memorial Union on Friday, sponsored by various social and environmental clubs at the University of Maine.

The band performed using a sound system powered by bikes and encouraged audience members to take a seat and pedal throughout their performance.

“We like enthusiasts,” lead guitarist Peter Malagodi said. “We are music enthusiasts. We are also agricultural enthusiasts. It’s good to be enthusiastic.”

The system can seat up to three bikers, who sit on a long wooden bench and pedal, turning the wheels in front of them.

The decision for the band to create a people-powered sound system came after the BP oil spill in 2010. The bike-system design is an attempt to take a stand against oil, gas and coal corporations, as well as fossil fuel use.

At the beginning of the performance, Malagodi thanked the audience in advance for pedaling and providing power for their performance.

“Melodeego is not powered by oil! Melodeego is not powered by gasoline! Melodeego is powered by the people!” shouted the band from the stage. “A thousand years of peace and dignity starts here!”

Throughout their performance, various audience members sat on the bench and pedaled together to amplify the sound of the band’s music, which resonated throughout the Memorial Union.

“If everyone would just close their eyes, look inside, and imagine a tiny, tiny, tiny little spark inside,” bassist Greg Reinauer said. “You may have to dig a hole to get there. You may have to look through a pit. But inside that little spark — that’s the revolution.”

The band played various songs from their three albums and encouraged audience members to move the tables and chairs away from the stage to create a dance floor.

Several audience members danced along to their music; others stood and watched from behind the impromptu dance floor. The show lasted for over an hour and a half and focused on the themes of social justice and the environment.

Earlier that day, the band presented the Soul WakeUp Workshop in the Bangor Room of the Memorial Union. To provoke discussion about the many issues that face the current generation, the workshop combines music, video and group interaction.

Melodeego has presented this workshop at various venues, including Power Shift and Mass Climate Summer.

The band collaborated with Generation Waking Up and Awakening the Dreamer, groups that organize workshops to promote sustainability and social change, to develop the workshop.

Melodeego’s 2012 album, “Fear Them Not,” touches on issues pertaining to environmental, political and social justice. The band has performed at many political rallies, including various Occupy Wall St. events and the Tar Sands Action.

They are currently raising money for their “F@#!< Fossil Fuels Tour,” where they will tour in a van converted to run on waste vegetable oil. They also plan to build a larger bike-powered sound system.

The Sustainable Agriculture Enthusiast group, The Green Team, Yoga Club, Philosophy Club, the Office of International Programs and Campus Activities and Student Engagement sponsored the performance. - The Maine Campus


"Human-powered rock show shuns dependency on fuel"

Boston-based band Melodeego played a small bike-powered concert in the Memorial Union on Friday, sponsored by various social and environmental clubs at the University of Maine.

The band performed using a sound system powered by bikes and encouraged audience members to take a seat and pedal throughout their performance.

“We like enthusiasts,” lead guitarist Peter Malagodi said. “We are music enthusiasts. We are also agricultural enthusiasts. It’s good to be enthusiastic.”

The system can seat up to three bikers, who sit on a long wooden bench and pedal, turning the wheels in front of them.

The decision for the band to create a people-powered sound system came after the BP oil spill in 2010. The bike-system design is an attempt to take a stand against oil, gas and coal corporations, as well as fossil fuel use.

At the beginning of the performance, Malagodi thanked the audience in advance for pedaling and providing power for their performance.

“Melodeego is not powered by oil! Melodeego is not powered by gasoline! Melodeego is powered by the people!” shouted the band from the stage. “A thousand years of peace and dignity starts here!”

Throughout their performance, various audience members sat on the bench and pedaled together to amplify the sound of the band’s music, which resonated throughout the Memorial Union.

“If everyone would just close their eyes, look inside, and imagine a tiny, tiny, tiny little spark inside,” bassist Greg Reinauer said. “You may have to dig a hole to get there. You may have to look through a pit. But inside that little spark — that’s the revolution.”

The band played various songs from their three albums and encouraged audience members to move the tables and chairs away from the stage to create a dance floor.

Several audience members danced along to their music; others stood and watched from behind the impromptu dance floor. The show lasted for over an hour and a half and focused on the themes of social justice and the environment.

Earlier that day, the band presented the Soul WakeUp Workshop in the Bangor Room of the Memorial Union. To provoke discussion about the many issues that face the current generation, the workshop combines music, video and group interaction.

Melodeego has presented this workshop at various venues, including Power Shift and Mass Climate Summer.

The band collaborated with Generation Waking Up and Awakening the Dreamer, groups that organize workshops to promote sustainability and social change, to develop the workshop.

Melodeego’s 2012 album, “Fear Them Not,” touches on issues pertaining to environmental, political and social justice. The band has performed at many political rallies, including various Occupy Wall St. events and the Tar Sands Action.

They are currently raising money for their “F@#!< Fossil Fuels Tour,” where they will tour in a van converted to run on waste vegetable oil. They also plan to build a larger bike-powered sound system.

The Sustainable Agriculture Enthusiast group, The Green Team, Yoga Club, Philosophy Club, the Office of International Programs and Campus Activities and Student Engagement sponsored the performance. - The Maine Campus


"Revolutionary Music, Powered by Bikes"

It’s rare to leave a concert these days without sore legs and without having heard someone speak inspired words about peace and saving the world — not that there’s anything wrong with that. The last concert I went to was a group of Harlem rappers who mainly talked about smoking weed and shooting people in the jaw, and they even found time for monologues about how we were all there for one thing: love. It’s not that I disagree with their assessment, but it seems like on some level there’s something else about their music that they’re not addressing.

On Friday night in Cro’s Nest, I went to a different concert, featuring a band by the name of Melodeego. Their concept is unique: one band, a few bikes attached to generators and batteries, some fans willing to do some pedaling and an hour-and-a-half of revolution-inspired liberal music. The result adds up to something very different from any concert I’ve attended. Yes, you’ll still leave with sore legs, and you’ll hear some lofty peace talk, but it’s a concert that’s literally “powered by the people.”

Entering Cro’s Nest, I was struck by the feeling I picked up from the crowd. This was certainly no gangster rap show, not even a Saturday night Cro Dance. Maybe Melodeego’s music won’t ever be seen on the Billboard charts or in the Pitchfork review section, but it’s soulful and warm, and creates a fun atmosphere. I couldn’t help but notice that their clothing was a bit non-rock-and-roll compared to what you might see from other bands, but I think that was part of the point. People in front of the stage danced some of the cleanest dancing I’ve ever seen at Connecticut College, while others made their way off to the left, waiting in line to climb onto the biking contraption in groups of three. Between songs the band made sure to invite everyone in the room for a turn on the bikes, saying, “If you want to make some clean energy, step over here.” At another break, the lead singer spoke about their unconventional equipment, explaining, “We wanted to play a show for you guys, but we didn’t want to burn any fossil fuels doing it.”
Melodeego decided to start playing bike-powered concerts after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the summer of 2010. According to its website, “The band decided to take a stand against dirty, dangerous fossil fuels.” Since then, the band has played at a variety of different liberal-populist demonstrations across the East Coast, including Occupy protests in New York City; Boston; Washington, D.C. and Vermont, in venues like state house rallies and countless other public and community spaces.

Even if Melodeego’s music isn’t the kind you look for when you go out with your friends, at some level they’re saying something worth paying attention to — something a whole lot bigger than music. At your average concert, there’s a distinct divide between those on stage and everyone else in the room. People reach their hands into the air towards the stage when the person holding the microphone runs over their way, hoping with every particle of their being that the performer will reach out and grab their hand. It’s like you’re a real human, and they’re something a lot more than that. There’s value in that, but I also think there’s something in the uniqueness with which Melodeego performs.

For most of my time at the concert, I found myself looking at the people riding the bikes instead of at the musicians. Sometimes they were people I knew, and usually they were at least people whose faces I recognized from passing or from that class last semester. They were a part of the performance just as much as the band members. Being there, it was a little hard to believe that the power put out by pedaling three bikes was enough to produce noise at the sound level I was hearing. When I finally got a turn to pedal a bike myself, it was even harder to believe, but the sound never stopped and the show went on.

Since then, I’ve thought of how much money it would cost to power a concert, and about how much power you can save if you and two friends decide to bike to the store instead of drive there. And how many light bulbs you could conceivably light if you hooked up a generator to the bikes in the Athletic Center. And what the worth of a song is as a unit of electricity. What I’ve been most struck by is the way that seeing two different groups of musicians preach about peace and love can leave such different impacts. Sure, I’ll probably be listening to the rap group I saw last month more in the future than I’ll be listening to Melodeego, but I’ll also never look at a speaker or a bike the same way, and I think that’s what Melodeego wanted me to do. - The College Voice


"Revolutionary Music, Powered by Bikes"

It’s rare to leave a concert these days without sore legs and without having heard someone speak inspired words about peace and saving the world — not that there’s anything wrong with that. The last concert I went to was a group of Harlem rappers who mainly talked about smoking weed and shooting people in the jaw, and they even found time for monologues about how we were all there for one thing: love. It’s not that I disagree with their assessment, but it seems like on some level there’s something else about their music that they’re not addressing.

On Friday night in Cro’s Nest, I went to a different concert, featuring a band by the name of Melodeego. Their concept is unique: one band, a few bikes attached to generators and batteries, some fans willing to do some pedaling and an hour-and-a-half of revolution-inspired liberal music. The result adds up to something very different from any concert I’ve attended. Yes, you’ll still leave with sore legs, and you’ll hear some lofty peace talk, but it’s a concert that’s literally “powered by the people.”

Entering Cro’s Nest, I was struck by the feeling I picked up from the crowd. This was certainly no gangster rap show, not even a Saturday night Cro Dance. Maybe Melodeego’s music won’t ever be seen on the Billboard charts or in the Pitchfork review section, but it’s soulful and warm, and creates a fun atmosphere. I couldn’t help but notice that their clothing was a bit non-rock-and-roll compared to what you might see from other bands, but I think that was part of the point. People in front of the stage danced some of the cleanest dancing I’ve ever seen at Connecticut College, while others made their way off to the left, waiting in line to climb onto the biking contraption in groups of three. Between songs the band made sure to invite everyone in the room for a turn on the bikes, saying, “If you want to make some clean energy, step over here.” At another break, the lead singer spoke about their unconventional equipment, explaining, “We wanted to play a show for you guys, but we didn’t want to burn any fossil fuels doing it.”
Melodeego decided to start playing bike-powered concerts after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the summer of 2010. According to its website, “The band decided to take a stand against dirty, dangerous fossil fuels.” Since then, the band has played at a variety of different liberal-populist demonstrations across the East Coast, including Occupy protests in New York City; Boston; Washington, D.C. and Vermont, in venues like state house rallies and countless other public and community spaces.

Even if Melodeego’s music isn’t the kind you look for when you go out with your friends, at some level they’re saying something worth paying attention to — something a whole lot bigger than music. At your average concert, there’s a distinct divide between those on stage and everyone else in the room. People reach their hands into the air towards the stage when the person holding the microphone runs over their way, hoping with every particle of their being that the performer will reach out and grab their hand. It’s like you’re a real human, and they’re something a lot more than that. There’s value in that, but I also think there’s something in the uniqueness with which Melodeego performs.

For most of my time at the concert, I found myself looking at the people riding the bikes instead of at the musicians. Sometimes they were people I knew, and usually they were at least people whose faces I recognized from passing or from that class last semester. They were a part of the performance just as much as the band members. Being there, it was a little hard to believe that the power put out by pedaling three bikes was enough to produce noise at the sound level I was hearing. When I finally got a turn to pedal a bike myself, it was even harder to believe, but the sound never stopped and the show went on.

Since then, I’ve thought of how much money it would cost to power a concert, and about how much power you can save if you and two friends decide to bike to the store instead of drive there. And how many light bulbs you could conceivably light if you hooked up a generator to the bikes in the Athletic Center. And what the worth of a song is as a unit of electricity. What I’ve been most struck by is the way that seeing two different groups of musicians preach about peace and love can leave such different impacts. Sure, I’ll probably be listening to the rap group I saw last month more in the future than I’ll be listening to Melodeego, but I’ll also never look at a speaker or a bike the same way, and I think that’s what Melodeego wanted me to do. - The College Voice


"Pedaling for a Purpose: The Sustainable Sound System"

We have seen bikes that are made out of bamboo, bikes that transport kegs, even bikes that can shift gears using one’s mind – but these bikes are used to power a musical concert.

It is called the Sustainable Sound System and it is a clean audio and lighting system powered by humans pedaling away on bikes and used by the local Boston band Melodeego.

The set up is rather simple; benches with bikes mounted to them that are wired into a main box that manages and stores the power. The pedal power is harnessed by small generators attached to each bolted down bike frame.

While the band plays, people from the audience are invited on stage to pedal the bikes and keep the energy flowing that power the band’s instruments, sound system, and lights. For Melodeego, people are what make the music happen.

Inventor Sean Stevens says that one person can sustain about 100 watts of power on their own without breaking much of a sweat. Five people can amass enough wattage to power a small live show as demonstrated recently at Occupy Boston. An iPod can even be attached to the Sustainable Sound System and as a person pedals the music plays.

All of the parts needed to build the Sustainable Sound System were easy to procure and it is such a do it yourself project it would be easy to duplicate.

The bike powered sound system spoke to Melodeego because one goal for the band is to get off fossil fuels. Since the band formed, Melodeego has staged bike powered shows at colleges, environmental rallies, and the Massachusetts State House. The band has also raised funds as they develop a ten bike system that will be independently mobile.

By relying on people powered bikes and not needing to plug into a wall, Melodeego is free to set up a show wherever they please. This is not only convenient for the band, but it also makes a statement by showing what limitations can be broken by thinking outside the box and what can be done when people break their reliance on fossil fuels. - Gas 2.0


"Music in Action: Rocking the Paddy Wagon and More with Melodeego"

“They are digging us a hole/They are digging us a hole/Six feet underground this pipeline will go/We will lay down our bodies/We will lay down our souls/We won’t stand by and watch while they dig us a hole.”- Hymn for the “Funeral for Our Future,” written by Melodeego.

The hymn for the “Funeral for Our Future,” provided the soundtrack to one of many recent actions in protest against the proposed Keystone XL pipeline . On March 111h a group of over one hundred protesters filed into the Westborough, Massachusetts office of The TransCanada Corporation, in a mock procession of grief over the disaster that could be, if the pipeline is approved.

When the company seeking to build the pipeline called the police, twenty-five of the protesters were arrested after chaining themselves to a coffin in the lobby, refusing to leave. They continued to sing the hymn as they were led out in handcuffs, and in the van on the way to the police station. Among those “rocking the paddy wagon” were the song’s authors, Boston musicians-slash-activists Melodeego.

Often bringing their songs to “rallies, marches, and actions,” the members of Melodeego are strong believers in music’s ability to effect positive social change. On the occasion of their first act of civil disobedience, the presence of music certainly seems to have helped. When asked what contributed to the somewhat amicable mood between protesters and law enforcement, lead singer and guitarist Peter Malagodi says, “I think a factor [in their treatment] was that we were all singing together so much. I think music and song has a real calming effect on people in general, whether it be the cops or the protesters.”

Melodeego is aware, however, that their experience was not typical. Bassist Greg Reinauer adds, “ I think it’s really important to note that not everybody gets treated this way by the police. The color of our skin likely played a factor. I think who we were, in the town we were in, made it so it was a pretty bearable experience for us. But it’s important to note that’s not the case for everyone who gets arrested.”

The fight against the Keystone pipeline is just one of the many causes that Melodeego lends their support to. For the “soul’n’roll” band, whose name means “music in action” (melody+go), setting an ethical example is a primary part of their fulltime job.

Guitarist Mark Schwaller says, “We’re not doing this because we like to rabble rouse. We feel a sense of obligation to ourselves, to each other, and to our future, to really create the positive change we want to see in the world.”

The group’s immersion in progressive advocacy began in the late 2000s, after being invited to play a few social justice focused events. Reinauer specifically cites the March to Re-Energize New Hampshire in 2007 as a turning point for his involvement. He says, “I learned a lot more about the movement, how environmental issues were contingent with social justice issues, which were connected with economic inequality. I also saw there wasn’t as much music at the front of it as I thought there should be. And I thought music needed to be a big part of it if it was going to connect with a lot of people.”

Going forward with the philosophy that “a good beat is a language anyone can understand,” Melodeego decided to put “the movement” at the front of their music. Since then they have released three EPs, with lyrics reflecting the trials and potential triumphs of the 21st century, and a sound that will make you want to dance those problems away. From clubs, to BP gas stations, to Occupy Wall Street camps, Melodeego has brought their funk and soul infused rock anywhere they can engage an audience.

In vocalizing challenges like climate change and class inequality, the group seeks to raise solutions, as well as awareness. In addition to allying with similarly minded organizations like 350, the group also offers aid to college student campaigns for sustainability. Their support of these efforts, like campus-wide fossil fuel divestment, takes place in “Soul Wake Up” workshops, designed in collaboration with Generation Waking Up and the Awakening the Dreamer Initiative. Melodeego’s most intriguing demonstration of positive innovation may be their own concerts, though.

Since 2010, a Bicycle Powered Sound System, built by inventor Sean Stevens, has fueled all of their shows. Run on the energy of audience volunteers, the system provides clean power to Melodeego’s instruments as long as people are peddling. As Schwaller puts it, “there’s always a feedback loop between audience and performer. We’ve just taken it a step further.” Thus far, the feedback has been good.

Malagodi says of when it comes time to ask for volunteers, “We basically just stress that it’s fun, that it’s good for the environment, and it just sells itself really. I think people appreciate that we’re stage diving in a way. We’re trusting them to catch us, [and that] we’ll play well enough for them to - BLVD Central


"Music in Action: Rocking the Paddy Wagon and More with Melodeego"

“They are digging us a hole/They are digging us a hole/Six feet underground this pipeline will go/We will lay down our bodies/We will lay down our souls/We won’t stand by and watch while they dig us a hole.”- Hymn for the “Funeral for Our Future,” written by Melodeego.

The hymn for the “Funeral for Our Future,” provided the soundtrack to one of many recent actions in protest against the proposed Keystone XL pipeline . On March 111h a group of over one hundred protesters filed into the Westborough, Massachusetts office of The TransCanada Corporation, in a mock procession of grief over the disaster that could be, if the pipeline is approved.

When the company seeking to build the pipeline called the police, twenty-five of the protesters were arrested after chaining themselves to a coffin in the lobby, refusing to leave. They continued to sing the hymn as they were led out in handcuffs, and in the van on the way to the police station. Among those “rocking the paddy wagon” were the song’s authors, Boston musicians-slash-activists Melodeego.

Often bringing their songs to “rallies, marches, and actions,” the members of Melodeego are strong believers in music’s ability to effect positive social change. On the occasion of their first act of civil disobedience, the presence of music certainly seems to have helped. When asked what contributed to the somewhat amicable mood between protesters and law enforcement, lead singer and guitarist Peter Malagodi says, “I think a factor [in their treatment] was that we were all singing together so much. I think music and song has a real calming effect on people in general, whether it be the cops or the protesters.”

Melodeego is aware, however, that their experience was not typical. Bassist Greg Reinauer adds, “ I think it’s really important to note that not everybody gets treated this way by the police. The color of our skin likely played a factor. I think who we were, in the town we were in, made it so it was a pretty bearable experience for us. But it’s important to note that’s not the case for everyone who gets arrested.”

The fight against the Keystone pipeline is just one of the many causes that Melodeego lends their support to. For the “soul’n’roll” band, whose name means “music in action” (melody+go), setting an ethical example is a primary part of their fulltime job.

Guitarist Mark Schwaller says, “We’re not doing this because we like to rabble rouse. We feel a sense of obligation to ourselves, to each other, and to our future, to really create the positive change we want to see in the world.”

The group’s immersion in progressive advocacy began in the late 2000s, after being invited to play a few social justice focused events. Reinauer specifically cites the March to Re-Energize New Hampshire in 2007 as a turning point for his involvement. He says, “I learned a lot more about the movement, how environmental issues were contingent with social justice issues, which were connected with economic inequality. I also saw there wasn’t as much music at the front of it as I thought there should be. And I thought music needed to be a big part of it if it was going to connect with a lot of people.”

Going forward with the philosophy that “a good beat is a language anyone can understand,” Melodeego decided to put “the movement” at the front of their music. Since then they have released three EPs, with lyrics reflecting the trials and potential triumphs of the 21st century, and a sound that will make you want to dance those problems away. From clubs, to BP gas stations, to Occupy Wall Street camps, Melodeego has brought their funk and soul infused rock anywhere they can engage an audience.

In vocalizing challenges like climate change and class inequality, the group seeks to raise solutions, as well as awareness. In addition to allying with similarly minded organizations like 350, the group also offers aid to college student campaigns for sustainability. Their support of these efforts, like campus-wide fossil fuel divestment, takes place in “Soul Wake Up” workshops, designed in collaboration with Generation Waking Up and the Awakening the Dreamer Initiative. Melodeego’s most intriguing demonstration of positive innovation may be their own concerts, though.

Since 2010, a Bicycle Powered Sound System, built by inventor Sean Stevens, has fueled all of their shows. Run on the energy of audience volunteers, the system provides clean power to Melodeego’s instruments as long as people are peddling. As Schwaller puts it, “there’s always a feedback loop between audience and performer. We’ve just taken it a step further.” Thus far, the feedback has been good.

Malagodi says of when it comes time to ask for volunteers, “We basically just stress that it’s fun, that it’s good for the environment, and it just sells itself really. I think people appreciate that we’re stage diving in a way. We’re trusting them to catch us, [and that] we’ll play well enough for them to - BLVD Central


"Performer Magazine"

...Headliners Melodeego brought hard driving rhythm/environmental gospel to the dance floor. The band played a mixture of older material, along with tracks from their new album The World Is You. Songs like “If You’re Here Be Here” and the title track urged concert goers to make physical and conscious change while making it almost impossible not to boogie at the same time. T-Shirts were also sold with the slogan “BP-Boston’s Pissed!” a cam- paign started by the band that attacks British Petroleum for the catastrophic Gulf oil spill.
-Phil Mitchell, From the article "After the Dust Settles: The Relaunch of The Midway Cafe", in Performer Magazine, October 2010 - Performer Magazine


"NPR FEATURE: Powering Rock Concerts with a Bicycle"

BOSTON — A local band is making music “off-the-grid” — totally unplugged — with the help of something called Sustainable Sound. It’s a “clean” audio and lighting system powered by humans peddling away on bikes. I recently had the chance to speak with musicians and the young inventor who dreamed the thing up.

A demo concert, organized for a video shoot, took place at a thematically appropriate venue: Landry’s Bicycles in Boston. The whirring and clicking of bike cranks blended with the sounds of electric guitars and a keyboard warming up.

Inventor Sean Stevens leaned over to set up and tweak his people-powered system. He wore a lab coat covered in colorful flowers and gladly told me how his modular contraption works. This configuration is made up of three pieces. It helps to picture a recumbent bicycle.

“There’s one bench that has three bikes mounted to it,” he explained, “and three people sit on it and pedal. Then there’s two individual benches that each have one pedaling station on it, and that will be wired into a central box that manages and stores the power and things like that.”

“Instead of the back wheel you have one of these generators,” Stevens said, rotating a pedal with his hand, “and it’s like a hybrid car has electric motors and if you use them to slow down they generate electricity, which you can then use later.”

Stevens said one person can sustain about 100 watts without breaking too much of a sweat. Five people can amass enough wattage to power a small live show, like this demo.

Now I have to say Stevens’ rig is pretty scrappy-looking. Utterly DIY and somehow cruder than I expected, even after checking out his extensive blog covering the system’s evolution over time. He said he’s been cobbling together variations on this theme, chopping up old bikes, audio equipment and pieces of plywood.

“Most of this stuff came from Home Depot or Radio Shack or the Internet or something like that,” he said. “None of it is esoteric but it’s just about the combination of things becoming something new.”

Also something alternative, which is critical to Stevens. He’s been obsessed with energy sources since the days when he played with battery-powered Erector Sets and motorized Lego kits.

“And it would cost $8 or $10 to run this toy for half an hour,” he recalled quite vividly, “and then you have this like half-a-pound of gross toxic stuff that you have to throw out. You know, even as a kid I was like, ‘This is kind of lame.’ ”

Now the 32-year-old says he makes toys for adults that can run forever — like his Sustainable Sound system. He’s brought pedal-power to dance parties, arts festivals like Burning Man in California, even into the deep woods of Vermont.

“You can plug it into an iPod and leave it on loop and as soon as somebody starts pedaling there’s music,” he said almost wistfully.

Greg Reinauer, bassist for the Boston band Melodeego, remembers the first time he experienced Steven’s sound system — at a backyard benefit for the Northeast Climate Confluence.

“Just the feeling of pedaling and having that direct response of making the music that you’re listening to was just so powerful and I instantly knew we had to get together,” Reinauer said.

The bike-powered sound system spoke to Reinauer and his bandmates because they’re also on a mission to get off fossil fuels. Since they met the musicians and the inventor have staged bike-powered shows at colleges, environmental rallies, even the State House. They’ve raised funds, too — more than $14,000, they say — toward the development of a slick, 10-bike system that’s independently mobile.

lowRes Bus Going To Burning Man“Cause there’s a lot of people who believe or want to have you believe that clean energy is too hard or impractical or impossible,” Reinauer told me, “but you can’t look at all the lights flashing, you can’t hear Melodeego’s music blasting out of the speakers and be dancing or singing along and say that this isn’t possible, - "Here and Now" - NPR


"CNN VIDEO: Using Pedal Power to Make Music"

Boston band Melodeego uses audience members to power their shows with a pedal generator system called Sustainable Sound. - CNN.com


"Review of "The World Is You" (song)"

Sometimes we must rise above our prejudice. There are many indicators in today’s song that make it seem like it is going to be, well, less cool than it is. There’s a lot of tie-dye. And heck, the band even has a para-spelt version of “Mellow” in their name. So maybe you’re expecting some dull-eyed Rusted Root wannabes wearing what we in Wilmington High School referred to as “drug rugs” (not the band). While this song’s title - “The World Is You” - sounds like something you have written on the back of your t-shirt so the world can read it while you are hugging trees, the song is refreshingly intriguing, just around five minutes long and thankfully free of any free-form jamming, even if the occasional rapping voice-over sort of frees things from rhythmic orientation.

In fact, we find out that the “melo-” prefix in the band’s name doesn’t stand for “mellow,” it instead signifies “melody.” And this song is chock full of that. The major hook of “The World Is You” is the circling descent of its chorus. Arpeggiated guitar chords act as safety straps for the parachuting vocal, adding a little urgency and, yes, melancholy to the chorus and its iteration of the song’s title. “The World Is You” isn’t about hippies hugging trees or buying the world a Coke - it’s not trying to bring any sense of false assurance or motivation. It’s motivation alright, but it’s an imperative form of motivation.

“The World Is You” is clearly self aware of the superstar status of its chorus, and does the world a solid by providing a few different takes on the refrain. Without beating it to death, the band adds in vital pieces of texture - both instrumental and vocal - to the refrain, making each time around the bend a little different and a little more interesting.
-C.D. DiGuardia, from www.bostonbandcrush.com, Oct. 6th, 2010 - Boston Band Crush


"Umass Amherst (College)"

To any potential patrons of Melodeego, let me assure you that they are the most fantastic group of people I have ever worked with. Prompt - even in the pouring rain, incredibly talented, original, and just overall awesome people. Highly recommended. You'll love them. I can't wait to invite them back and hear them again. - Nikki Shulman - Student Government


"The Northeast Performer"

The Grog
Newburyport, MA
January 19, 2006

The dynamic performance of these three talented musicians created a buzz throughout the audience, effecting smiles even through the late-night blear. Melodeego's one of a kind sound comes through even in cover songs of such disparate artists as Otis Redding, Ween, and Jeff Buckley. Frontman Peter Malagodi's voice is robust, clean and infectious, and there are few who can resist the lure of it.

- Stacia Waraska


"Emergenza Battle of the Bands"

The effort and passion they put into their live performances is unrivaled in the Boston area and one would be hard pressed to find anything close elsewhere. - John Capello - Boston representative


"Smother.net"

Band - Melodeego
Album - Runnin' Outta Daylight

This release is an editor's pick on Smother.Net

Motown and its heirs apparent might appreciate [this] warm, sad, and clever album rooted in groovy soul. - J-Sin


"Smother.net"

Band - Melodeego
Album - Runnin' Outta Daylight

This release is an editor's pick on Smother.Net

Motown and its heirs apparent might appreciate [this] warm, sad, and clever album rooted in groovy soul. - J-Sin


"Metronome Magazine"

MELODEEGO
RUNNIN' OUTTA DAYLIGHT
11-SONG CD

Steeped in the tradition of gospel and faith healing emotional rescue, Melodeego's frontman Peter Malagodi takes those influences, shakes 'em up in a bag of new tricks, sprinkles some new millennium sarcasm and spirituality throughout and rolls out a qualified soul & roll album sure to touch more than a few listeners.



- Douglas Sloan


"Metronome Magazine"

MELODEEGO
RUNNIN' OUTTA DAYLIGHT
11-SONG CD

Steeped in the tradition of gospel and faith healing emotional rescue, Melodeego's frontman Peter Malagodi takes those influences, shakes 'em up in a bag of new tricks, sprinkles some new millennium sarcasm and spirituality throughout and rolls out a qualified soul & roll album sure to touch more than a few listeners.



- Douglas Sloan


"Heart of a Poet, spirit of an activist"

"Melodeego has the heart of a poet and the spirit of an activist. Their funky beats not only shake the body and soul, but stirs the environmental movement to take deeper committed actions."
-Lilah Glick, Global Warming Coordinator, Clean Water Action
- Clean Water Action


"Bioneers by the Bay"

I saw Melodeego at Bioneers By The Bay, and I couldn’t sit still, the dancing was contagious. I was singing their empowering songs for days after...
-Jay O'hara Founder, Mass Climate Summer
- Mass Climate Summer


"Heart of a Poet, spirit of an activist"

"Melodeego has the heart of a poet and the spirit of an activist. Their funky beats not only shake the body and soul, but stirs the environmental movement to take deeper committed actions."
-Lilah Glick, Global Warming Coordinator, Clean Water Action
- Clean Water Action


Discography

Embrace Your Energy Revolution!
© 2008 Tree Funk Music

The World Is You
© 2010 Tree Funk Music

Fear Them Not
© 2012 Tree Funk Music

Photos

Bio

OFFICIAL VIDEO RELEASE FOR "Fear Is the Weapon" - Dec 6th, 2012!!!

MELODEEGO IS POWERED BY THE PEOPLE!!

Revolutionary music for a new generation of world changers. The show is a blast of raw energy waking up crowds to the moment we're living in. Audiences dance their asses off, sing their hearts out, and then fight with passion for JUSTICE, the ENVIRONMENT, and human life.

BIKE POWERED MUSIC!

Melodeego is truly powered by the people, using a bike powered sound system to harness the energy of the audience at every show. This innovative approach has recently attracted the attention of major media organizations including CNN and NPR (see press section for details).

The band has brought bike powered concerts to countless venues like Occupy Wall St, Boston, DC, and VT; State House rallies, major clubs like Johnny D’s and the Middle East, colleges, churches, middle school assemblies, the back of a moving truck, and everywhere in between, proving each time that clean energy is not only possible, but limitless and ours to create.

PEOPLE ARE RAVING!

"Some of the best new music we've heard in quite a while"
-The Boston Globe

"Just great! Very important music."
-Bill McKibben, Best Selling Author and Founder of 350.org

"The Soul of a Movement."
-Craig Altemose, founder, director of Better Future Project

"A wake up call and soundtrack for a movement of movements."
-Zo Tobi, Generation Wake Up

Melodeego does bike powered performances at colleges, rallies, actions, clubs and festivals.

IMPORTANT RALLIES AND ACTIONS:

-Power Shift '09 official SSC celebration
-Occupy Wall Street
-Occupy DC
-Occupy Boston
-Tarsands Action (Washington, DC)
-Put Solar On It, Boston
-Boston climate sleepouts
-Climate Summer Rallies
-Power Vote rally at the presidential debate (Hofstra, NY)
-Occupy Vermont
-March to Re-energize NH
-Green Peace Global Work Party Rally at the State House (Boston, MA)
-Students For Just and Stable Future No Coal March
-Moving Planet Boston
-Libertad Urban Farm Block Party (South Bronx, NY)
-Mass Power Shift Soul Purpose Live Rally
-Step It Up Nashua
-UNH 350 day of action
-Rock 4 Peace
-The City Is Mine, the World Is YOURS (New Bedford, MA)
-Northeast Climate Conference
-Cambridge Rally for Green Jobs NOW

Colleges booking Melodeego:

Boston University
Boston College
Hofstra University
Clark University
Smith University
University of New Hampshire
Skidmore College
Stonehill College
University of Vermont
Keene State University
Northeastern University
Wellesley College
Hamilton College
UMass Amherst
Connecticut College
University of Maine
Newbury College
Babson College
Amherst College
MIT
Unity College

Featured Club Performances:

The Roxy (Boston, MA)
The Black Cat (Washington, DC)
Paradise Rock Club (Boston, MA)
The Middle East (Cambridge, MA)
Johnny D's Uptown (Somerville, MA)
Stone Church (New Market, NH)
The Bitter End (NYC)

Contact:
General Manager: Bonnie Milner, lvf1@aol.com
(508)867-7662
PR and Marketing: Ron Sperling, Ron@vgctv.com
(917)407-0368
Legal Representation: Richard Kent Berger, Esq.
RKBerger@Berkent.com