Michael Treatch
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Michael Treatch


Band Folk Acoustic


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"Transforming Chasers Into The Champa Lounge"

Sunday, June 12, 2005
Phoenix New Times

Michael Treatch (Champa member aka "the Treatch")
The Champa Lounge
Current mood: high

It was your typical Thursday night, so much like any other, or so I was lead to believe by my own false preconceived notions. I had wandered off the crossroads into Chasers Night Club in Scottsdale seeking a metaphorical refuge from my mental storm in hopes of finding some form of distraction or diversion to occupy my mind. I wasn’t really expecting too much. A few cold beers to whet my whistle, spin some tunes on the ole jukebox…Or if I was really in luck, and fate felt like showing me a good time, maybe I could catch a halfway decent local band that didn’t make my ears bleed.

And as fate would sometimes have it, she did indeed offer up a grin for her loyal minion. As I stepped through the door way I was struck with the feeling that there was something decidedly different about how chasers felt this particular night. There was this almost tangible vibration of some unknown, otherworldly configuration that I could feel pulsing and humming on the edges of my perception. A kind of electric anticipation that made the hairs on my neck stand on end. I felt the quiet excitement of a controlled frenzy, like the first rising tendrils of LSD.

It seemed that on this particular Thursday, the madd, probability engineering, mutants of ether bunny records had transformed the inner sanctum of Chasers into,”The Champa lounge”, and to my surprise, I found that I had inadvertently taken a head long tumble down some twisted back room rabbit hole right along with them. The tables in the club were more drawn together than usual and were adorned with a myriad of beautiful sconces each containing a candle that burned brightly in the dimness and cast the room with shadows of whispered ambiance. The air hung thick about me gripping me in a warm embrace permeated with a subtle scent of sage gently mingled with the lovely head shoppe scent of nag champa, which burned from incense holders atop many of the tables around the room. I shuffled up to the bar, and helped myself to an ice-cold two-dollar red stripe, which I learned is a staple drink special of the lounge, and nestled in on one of the couches that sat hither and thither about the dance floor.

I watched the first set performed by SLOWMOBILE, an all-acoustic four-piece ensemble that later I found to be the only resident band on ether bunny records Champa Lounge roster. Their set was one of acoustic indie rock built on solid driving jams and beautifully harmonized vocals. Good tunes, and a cool set. I’ve had the opportunity to see them before as an electric desert metal band, which shall remain nameless, and was stoked to catch them at their acoustic shenanigans. It was very cool, and was different from their usual amplified stage show.

By this time I was feeling a warm buzz, and having a really good time hanging in the lounge with all my newfound friends. By the finish of slowmobiles’ set the crowd had picked up considerably and it was beginning to look more like a Friday night than a Thursday. Everyone was sharing in the prevailing good mood that radiated from the ether, and it seemed like those who attended had all sub-consciously agreed to leave their attitudes at home for the evening.

After thoroughly enjoying the next act, an original acoustic set performed by an innovative local poet and champa lounge creator, who goes by the name ”Reverend Brother Franko Ditty Danko”, I had an opportunity to speak with him and learn a little more about the Champa Lounge and it’s resident loungers. The Good Reverend took me out back for some Q&A and got me stoned to the Bejesus on some killer bud, which through some form of divine conception, he’d apparently grown himself.

It was then I learned that Ditty Danko was indeed responsible for the creation of the Champa Lounge, and was the driving force behind it. According to him, The Champa lounge is more of a concept than an event; An Evolving modern sub-culture, which transcends the limitations of time and space. “The Champa Lounge is anywhere we make it. Tonight, Chasers front door just happens to be the gateway to the lounge…Way Out Here in the desert where the layers of spirit lay very close to the tangible.” A direct quote taken from my conversation with ditty Danko gleaned in between rips from the rather large joint being passed between us. Ditty Danko and his mutant cohorts have been hosting these Champa Lounge events once a month for the past year and so far, they have all been held at Chasers. But the Champa lounge is steadily growing in interest and is due to begin touring the many different venues of the valley in the very near future.

I personally found the Champa lounge to be a very enjoyable experience. The artists were very laid back approachable catts unconcerned in competing against each other and focused on making good music. It was a more intimate gathering than many of the local shows Id been to in recent weeks. Being that the lounge is an all-acoustic showcase, it seemed to me that much more attention was paid to song writing, structure and lyrical content. The vocals weren’t drowned out by overdriven guitars and the words were actually intelligible. Not screeching and scathing there way forever into obscurity, as is often the case. One catt in particular I’d had a chance to really listen too, named “Cliff” performed some righteous tunes that in my opinion held some of the best lyrics I have ever heard. And that really seemed to be a constant with all the performers. The lounge maintained a very high level of musicianship over all and the artists involved where all very talented and unique unto themselves and in their approach to their music. The lineup was comprised of a very eclectic assortment of players that represented many different styles. From the mildly sardonic humor of “FERDS” unique brand of rockabilly punk, or the symphonic sorcery of, “The Treatch”, to the humble drunken party rock of “a few random drunks” the lounge offers a very wide range of musical motif for any lover of good music. The artists are bound by the fact that they are acoustic performers rather, than adhering to any particular musical Genre, classification or label. A typical Lounge bill starts casually around 9pm and is usually made up of 2 or 3 resident loungers from the roster, rotated from month to month, a featured guest artist, and a featured guest band, unplugged. And in the coming months guest DJ’s from Liquid Media Music will also be featured on several upcoming dates as they spin intelligent, booty shaking grooves late night and on into the morning. The Champa Lounge has been cultivated by the musicians involved and from the love they all share for music, good friends, and great times. Very chill. Very, very Cool.... All candles and couches with champa burning on all the tables. So if you’re a fan of good music, spark up a stick of champa, and come out for an evening of acoustic jamms live in the Champa lounge. For a complete list of resident loungers and show dates check out there website @ www.champa.7h.com. And support your Local Music.
- Phoenix New Times


2007 - Hoodlum Pig - Michael Treatch
Unsigned, available at CD Baby, iTunes, Napster, Rhapsody and many other digital download sites.

2006 - Michael Treatch LIVE - Michael Treatch
Unsigned, available at CD Baby, iTunes, Napster, Rhapsody and many other digital download sites.

2003 - Emotionology - Michael Treatch
Indie, Available on Solarise Records



In the early days of jamming while still living at home, I was fortunate to have a cool and understanding mom that would let me have band rehearsals at the house. When the neighbors would complain about the noise, she would say “Why don’t you mind your own business, he’s a good boy, he’s on my property and he’s not causing any trouble”.
While in high school, I played with the rock band Mystic, filling the lead guitar and lead vocal spot. I had all kinds of gigs in the Phoenix Metro area. I did birthday parties, benefits, arcade grand openings and just about any other excuse you could think of to have a live band present.

I became notorious for playing no less than a 20 minute guitar solo when I had a live gig.
In addition to various rock bands, I was also a member of the Paradise Valley High School Jazz Band. My junior year in high school, Scotty Johnson of The Gin Blossoms was a member of the Jazz band playing a classic Gibson hollow body. The band director was an older gentleman that frowned upon rock music, and was less than pleased when the improv jazz guitar solos had rock overtones. In spite of this, the director presented me with an outstanding musical achievement award my senior year in high school.

After high school I hooked up with some local rock bands, Axis and D-Zyne in addition to others. They were more established and had paying gigs. During this period, I worked with these bands in a front man vocalist capacity exclusively. Also during this time I took vocal lessons for three years. The vocal lessons greatly improved my vocal control, range, sustain and exposed me to numerous styles of music.

Currently, I am writing, recording and performing original music.