Michael Carlos Band
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Michael Carlos Band

Wenatchee, Washington, United States | SELF

Wenatchee, Washington, United States | SELF
Band Rock


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This band has not uploaded any videos



"Tacoma Weekly"

"Wenatchee-based singer/songwriter Michael Carlos covers a wide range of musical territory and offers much humorous commentary on American pop culture on his latest album, Yesterday's Icons."

Read full review at www.michaelcarlos.net - Tacoma Weekly


A singer-songwriter in an age where singer-songwriters seem like woefully archaic relics, Michael Carlos's Yesterday's Icons succeeds against many odds. While the arrangement choices don't separate Carlos much from the pack, his lyrics are packed with prose-like details of life in contemporary culture. Songs like "Armani Suits and Handcuffs" -- with lyrics like "There must have been some kind of mistake / Guys who wear suits don't get taken away / In handcuffs and squad cars in the light of day" -- and the Spanish-influenced "Maria," Carlos might be sold as a reincarnation of the brutally observant Warren Zevon (minus, it would seem, the chemical self-destructiveness). When Carlos loosens up a little, he'll be fantastic. Oblique Strategies sez: "Always first steps."

- Jambands.com

"Illinois Entertainer"

"On Yesterday's Icons, former Chicagoan Michael Carlos provides critiques of everything from politics to entertainment. Though sincere, he retains a lightheartedness so he doesn't sound dogmatic or humorless. "Armani Suits And Handcuffs" is a perfect example with its reference to recent white collar criminals. "Reality" is his take on various insipid TV shows and rings with a nostalgic and melancholy tone. Throughout, his guitar playing is deft and capably complemented by a roster of Chicago musicians." - Patrick Conlan, - Illinois Entertainer

"Victory Review"

Michael’s new CD proves to be a wonderful success, just in time for the Holiday Season.

He opened the show with great energy and clarity in his music, words, and sentiments in his “Low Concept Living” tune, every performer/ success model dreams of this high-energy pop piece that begins his journey through this enjoyable performance.

His second tune of the evening “Second Rate Novelist” is any writers’ lament trying (maybe someone you know?) to make it out there as an artist. All of the songs on Michael Carlos’ first CD are well presented with beautiful melodies and harmonies. From Country Western (“Preacher With A Gun”), to jazz, Chicago Blues, rock and roll to Pacific Northwest folk. He’s got it all in his toe tappin’, thought provoking intelligent lyrical clarity.

Michael’s songs are performed as a social commentary in this, his first CD; “Yesterdays Icons”. You must listen carefully to his expose’ of our American Society and Pop Culture (“Reality TV”). Mr. Carlos does this lyrically and musically and really comes across. Always very well groomed and stylized in his appearance, and brutally honest in his lyrics. I admire his style and professional artistry, and of course, his content. Whether it is the hopes and dreams of an artist, in “Second Rate Novelist” or the insider trader, above the law mega rich Wall Street, white-collar criminal types, being walked off whether real, or in the hope for a just world, “Armani Suits in Handcuffs”. I enjoyed his performance at the P& G, for its live energy, but really enjoyed listening to his professionally performed, very well engineered, acoustic, and electric instrument performance. Michael brings a cacophony of musical voices; keyboards, harmonica, acoustic and electric guitar, accordion, organ, viola, violin, and cello.

In the live performance, Eric Frank plays a beautiful six string bass, along with Bradly Scott’s awesome percussion.

No holds barred, Michael and his band tell it like it is!

Whether church or state, the “American Dream”, lies of the media, societal amorality, war, love, reality TV, pop culture, hopefulness and despair. Goodness gracious, how did he fit it all on this generous 12-song disc? I have only one thing to say about this talented man’s music, BUY HIS CD.

He tells artistic prose in “A Really Bad Day” a graphic image of past and present of the 9/11 incident, his imagery is smart and music are consistently smart. I guess that’s, what happens, when a child musician grows up to become a scientist, and writes songs that stick in your craw.

What came to mind watching live, and listening to his CD was a scene from “Network," a 1976 Sydney Lumet film whose main theme focuses on the control of media in society. Beale, the main character during his nightly news broadcast requests his viewing audience to open their windows and scream at the top of their lungs; ”I’m Mad as Hell, and I’m not going to take it anymore!” This is the honesty that comes through in Michael’s songs. Maybe not so blatant, but certainly, a talent like Michael Carlos, sees logically, the ills of modern times, as he melodically charts his intelligent verses to tell his story.
And he leaves no stone unturned, especially in his “Eliot Ness” fantasy, Walter Mitty style. He even puts “J. Edgar Hoover in a dress” along with great electric guitar lead lines on his CD.
- Victory Music, Tacoma WA

"Wenatchee World"

Carlos Sets New Path On Second Album

by Abby Holmes

Michael Carlos is not one to rush. Many of the songs on his sophomore album, “Damage and Remainder,” were conceived years ago.

Carlos strives to accomplish a few things on this new record: make a connection to his Latin roots, address some recent personal tragedies, and establish a more hard rocking sound than what can be heard on his 2004 album, “Yesterday’s Icons.”

His influences are apparent in some of his songs — Carlos channels Los Lobos and Tom Waits, among others (he even throws in a riff from The Knack’s “My Sharona” near the end of opening track “Out of Control”), through a variety of musical styles. He experiments with many different sounds on the album (especially where percussion is concerned), leaving it fresh and surprising at every turn.

Carlos’ lyrics leave the songs feeling a bit esoteric; though songwriting affords him catharsis for his personal conflicts, the specific meaning is lost on the listener. The words remain broad and impersonal. In “Winning Streak,” a song about a successful person being humbled by a catastrophic experience, Carlos sings, “Payback showed up to collect/ slide uphill and watch the wreck/ feel the ground beneath you getting colder/ your little winning streak is over,” along with a superspy theme sound.

Portions of the album were recorded at Eric Frank’s studio in Wenatchee, while the rest was contributed by Ethan Sellers et al at a studio in Chicago. Sellers provides a lot of the string, horn and percussion orchestration that boosts the caliber on several of Carlos’ compositions.

One of the most successful tracks on the record is “Jenny’s Cumbia,” which holds its own without Sellers’ touch. In a tribute to the memory of Carlos’ late companion Jennifer Reese, he taps into his Latin blood with a danceable, Spanish-language tune. The most engaging and inventive track on the record — which incorporates the talents of players on both sides of the Rockies — is “More Than One Way Down.” With a swampy bayou beat and dark vocals, the tune seems tailored for radio play.

Former band member Darik Peet has a small role on the record, providing electric guitar for “Out of Control,” “She Doesn’t Like Me Much” and “Wear It Well” — songs that Carlos has had in the works since Peet was a major player in the band, and have been featured at several of the live performances since Carlos recovered from his late-2006 car accident. Peet still makes appearances at some Michael Carlos Band concerts, ripping up the stage with the lead singer. Other band members joining him on stage and on the album are (everyone’s favorite) percussionist Vern Smith, bassist Eric Frank, and drummer Darren Reynolds.

Carlos’ next live show with his band is at this weekend’s free Acoustic Music Festival in Leavenworth. The band plays the first set of the day on the Waterfront Park stage at 12:30 p.m. Saturday. Following shows include: 7 p.m. Aug. 22 at Centennial Park in Wenatchee, free; and 8 p.m. Aug. 29 at the Vogue Liquid Lounge in Chelan, free.
- Abby Holmes

"Leavenworth Echo"

Another successful Acoustic Music Festival
Sebastian Moraga
Leavenworth Echo/Cashmere Valley Record Staff Writer

It was fitting Wenatchee musician Michael Carlos opened the 15th Annual Leavenworth Coffeehouse's Acoustic Music Festival at Waterfront Park Saturday as each has survived troublesome times of late.

Since his 2004 debut album, "Yesterday's Icons," his father died (2005) and Carlos was involved in a car accident a year later on Blewett Pass that claimed the life of his girlfriend Jennifer Reese.

Recent turbulent times for the organizers of the Coffeehouse threatened the 2008 season because the venue had to vacate its former digs at the Chumstick Grange.

But brighter things are seemingly on the horizon for both as the Coffeehouse has found a new home at Barn Beach Reserve and Carlos has just released his second album.

The 37-year-old Carlos, known for his eclectic, mix-and-match tunes, endured the punishing midday heat, which wreaked havoc on his guitar strings, in a black t-shirt. But other than the color of his shirt and a cumbia dedicated to Reese, there was little to suggest he was a man in mourning.

There was however, plenty to suggest that this was a man who survived some hard times. His lyrics spoke time and again of being out of control, of having more than one way to fall, and of wearing adversity well.

True to Carlos' musical trademark, he mixed the chaotic lyrics with happy songs and goofy banter with the audience during his one-hour set.

"The next two performers are personal friends of mine," he said. "They should call this CarlosFest."

One of the songs in his set that enchanted the audience the most was an fast-paced tune in Spanish called "Playerita" (Little Beach Girl), which once again reflected the black-and-white nature of Carlos' music.

"I'm dealing with a lot of dark, personal things," said Carlos, "and "Playerita" was just conceived as a daydream, someone imagining an ideal dream girl on the beach, kind of as a distraction."

His new album, which he also pitched during the show, is called "Damage and Remainder"

The festival itself was a welcome distraction of sorts for the Leavenworth Coffeehouse, after a year of wondering what's next.

Cindy Rietveldt, bookings coordinator for the Coffeehouse, remembers last year's uncertainty.

"We had a festival...but we didn't know if it was going to be our last event," she said. "We wanted to continue the coffeehouse, but we knew we had to make some real changes to keep it working. Then we had the opportunity through Icicle Arts to move into their wonderful space at the Barn Beach Reserve, which for us was fantastic."

The new building is financially supported, Rietveldt said, freeing the Coffeehouse from having to pay rent.

"That makes something as small and grassroots as we are a lot easier to produce music, she said."

Rietveldt also had kind things to say about the Coffeehouse's former landlord.

"The Grange was wonderful to us, they offered us a fantastic deal on the rent for many years," she said. "Unfortunately, beyond their control, we had to come up with our own insurance. Their insurance would not cover us anymore...also beyond their control, it's an old building that didn't have easy access."

Performers and audience members struggled up and down the Grange's stairs, Rietveldt said, so it was time to move.

The 2008 concert series for the rejuvenated Coffeehouse starts in September.

"You just can't get people indoors in Leavenworth in the summer," she said, explaining the date.

Outdoors, it's a different story, and the acoustic festival proved that. People trickled in all day long, but in smaller numbers than Rietveldt expected, to watch Carlos and six other performers.

"We usually get a large local audience, and people are worried about where they're going to park with all the construction going on," she said. "But we have a nice audience."

- Leavenworth Echo


"Damage and Remainder" released July 29, 2008

LP: "Yesterday's Icons," released August 2004. Receives airplay on KOHO 101.1 FM, Leavenworth WA and KSER 90.7 FM, Seattle/Everett WA. Two tracks stream regularly at radioindy.com

Radio airplay tracks:

"Out of Control"
"Wear it Well"
"Jenny's Cumbia"

“Yesterday’s Icons” was produced by Ethan Sellers and recorded in Chicago with additional recording in Seattle. Several accomplished musicians appear on the album, including guitarist Grant Tye who is the touring and recording guitarist for the acclaimed Alt-Country artist Robbie Fulks. Also performing on the album is cellist Nick Photinos of the group Eighth Blackbird which recently showcased at Carnegie Hall. Seattle accordionist Nova Devonie, who has lent her talents to numerous northwest artists, also appears two tracks including “Armani Suits and Handcuffs,” which Carlos showcased in the finals of the songwriting contest at the Tumbleweed Music Festival in 2003. Also, “VH1 Divas” finalist Suzy Brack makes an appearance as part of the choir in “Preacher With A Gun.”




A Spanish-American/Latino adopted by descendants of eastern Europeans, Michael Carlos has had a diverse life experience that has led him to become a cross-over artist who is reaching back to connect with others trying to find their identity in 21st century America. Growing up in California’s San Joaquin Valley, having lived in Los Angeles, Chicago, and now living in the immigrant-rich area of North Central Washington, has repeatedly brought him back in touch with his Spanish roots. The two-first-name combination Michael Carlos represents his very American “melting-pot” experience, which is evident in his music. He draws on past experience ranging from being a solo acoustic folksinger to a member of a series of bar bands to create an eclectic mix of rock, jazz/blues, Spanish/Latin, alt-country, and modern indie-rock.

Michael Carlos and his Wenatchee-based band were voted North Central Washington's Favorite Musician/Band of 2005 in a Wenatchee World Readers Poll and placed in the top three the last two years. In addition to appearing at all of central Washington’s major festivals and venues, they have performed on some of Seattle’s big stages including the Northwest Folklife Festival, the University District Street Fair and a few of the small clubs around town.

The forthcoming album “Damage and Remainder,” a follow-up to his 2004 debut “Yesterday’s Icons” was released in the summer of 2008 and uses a much more personal voice in chronicling recent events such as the loss of his father and a tragic automobile accident that killed his girlfriend and nearly took his life as well.

Jambands.com called Michael Carlos a “reincarnation of Warren Zevon (minus the chemical self-destructiveness)” for the brutally observant perspective on life reflected in his songwriting. The Illinois Entertainer, one of Chicago's premier entertainment journals, praised the "sincere, light-hearted" approach to political subject matter. The Tacoma Weekly commended the "wide range of musical territory" covered by the album.