TxE & And And And @ Rontoms
Sunday Sessions Continue With A Solid Double Bill
Rontoms hosted two of Portland’s most exciting acts last night, And And And, and TxE, 2000 (pronounced T&E). The show was out back in the beautiful all wood amphitheater; delicious Rontoms cocktails and fare fueling a night of thorough tunes from these two excellent live acts. I had a chance to sit down with members from both groups. First up, And And And.
Not originally all from Portland, And And And is a five piece rock band comprised of Nathan Baumgartner, Ryan Wiggans, Bim Ditson, Jon Sallas and Berg Radin. Nathan, Ryan and Jon grew up together in Reedsport Oregon, a hamlet on the Oregon coast. While in High School the three all played music, but didn’t have any projects at that time. It wasn’t until Nathan, Ryan and Jon moved to Eugene that they met Bim and Berg, an Oregon and Brooklyn native respectively, that things really got started. Speaking on their move to Portland Nathan said, “I think anybody that lives in Eugene that wants to do anything wants to move to Portland.” Bim added that Eugene is a drug vortex. Since their 2010 feature on OPB, And And And has done some west coast tours, and is planning on releasing a 7 inch this summer.
And And And played a great set, after which I had a chance to sit down with Tope from TxE.
TxE is a three-man group, producer Calvin Valentine aka G Force, and rappers Epp and Tope. The group got together for the first time in 2009. Epp and Tope are from Portland, and G force had just moved up form Eugene.
Although Epp and Tope, who had already been working together, knew of G Force and his work, it wasn’t until they ran into each other at the studio and had a session that the group really got together. Says Tope, “We kind of clicked as a unit, and it kind of all made sense. We were in the studio, and we made two songs the first night, and from there we continued to have studio sessions and build form there. Every time we go to the studio, we never have anything written, but we go in and make something crazy every time. The three of us together just have a weird energy. We all just fit perfectly. Our producer (G Force) is a beast, he is what separates us from other groups, he what makes us musical.”
Continuing, Tope said, “we made our first songs in November 2009 and then we dropped our first project in March 2010. We went on a west coast tour, Portland to LA basically the same month as the EP dropped. We put out our official album in January of this year.”
I can personally attest to G Force’s beast-status, and Tope and Epp compliment his beats perfectly. Look for another drop this summer from TxE.