State of the Trapper May 2009

Band Member
marty 5/18/09

Hello dear people,

Sometimes I get this intense impulse to write something from the heart for BT fans. It's kinda weird because I'm not the artistic director of the group and tend to think way too much about the politics of representation, etc. But as we all know Eric tends to keep to himself, for better or worse, and life goes on.

So please understand from the outset how grateful we all are. This last tour especially raised the thankfulness quotient for all of us. It was so rad go out in Feb and March and see so many folks so into the music, good people all! and seemed like happier at the end of the night than they were at the beginning. This is an amazing blessing.

It would be cool if we were just out to make a living and do our thing. But the fact is that we are a family of sorts, we've always all believed in just being together and we were many years ahead of the curve in perceiving Eric's songwriting talents. It's beyond fantastic to feel like the faith-positions we adopted so long ago are now being justified en masse, by you people. On a pragmatic level, it's the difference between my wife humoring my "artistic" ambitions and her taking BT seriously enough to quit her job and concentrate on raising our child. On another level, it's given the band the confidence and self-awareness to accomplish things we might never have imagined otherwise.

And another thing, I believe that the more people who listen to the music the richer and more multidimensional the music becomes. Does anyone else feel this way? I was reading through a journal from the end of the fall 2008 tour, the day I got back to Portland I randomly ran into an old friend who invited me back to his place for herbal refreshment. He put Furr on the turntable and it struck me immediately how much the music had deepened. But it makes sense to me (intuitively) that the release of a record transforms it potentially into something greater than the artist is capable of crafting on her own. So thank you for participating in this project, I consider you all collaborators.

Okay, so what is the State of the Trapper?

Well, Eric has been busy recording the follow-up to Furr, he's doing it with our friend Mike Coykendall, who is M. Ward's go-to guy and who lives in the neighborhood. The songs are going to blow your minds, and because they're recorded to fat tape there is much more sonic information to enjoy. Mike is the one who recorded the basic tracks for Black River Killer and Lady On the Water; if you listen carefully to the album Furr you'll notice a much more compelling vocal sound on those two songs. So expect a richer aural experience along with the crazy tales, classic melodies, searing guitar work, etc. that you've come to expect from the Trapper. Pretty sure we'll play some of it on the road later this year.

And speaking of the road, we're hitting it pretty hard come July. Here's the schedule so far, with lots more coming:

May 25 The Gorge, WA, Sasquatch Music Festival w/ Fleet Foxes, Grizzly Bear, Deerhoof etc.
July 9 Sacramento, Harlow's
10 Visalia, CA, The Cellar Door
12 Los Angeles, Hollywood Bowl w/ Ray LaMontagne, Jenny Lewis
13 Solana Beach, CA, Belly Up Tavern
15 Aspen, CO, Belly Up Aspen
18 Iowa City, The Picador
19 Chicago, Pitchfork Music Festival
20 Milwaukee, Pabst Theater
21 Fargo, ND, The Aquarium
24 Boise, ID, Neurolux
25 Kennewick, WA, The Red Room
Aug 1 Happy Valley, OR, Pickathon w/ Vetiver, Dr Dog, Alela Diane, etc.
2 Happy Valley, OR, Pickathon
12 Oslo, Norway, Rockefeller w/ Andrew Bird
Sept 8 Glasgow, UK, Academy w/ Fleet Foxes
9 Newcastle, UK, Academy w/ Fleet Foxes
11 Manchester, UK, Apollo w/ Fleet Foxes
Oct 2 Austin, TX, ACL Music Festival

Like I said, there's a lot more in the works that I can't talk about yet. But it's gonna be rad. In July the most excellent Portland band Loch Lomond will be playing with us on most of the dates, I definitely encourage everyone to get on that train.

Okay, so now I must go, the family is hungry and agitating for action. I feel like I failed in my original purpose. But I hope this finds you all well and that we get a chance to meet this summer some time.

Peace to all,

echappell 5/18/09

This tour is missing some east coast dates!

echappell 5/18/09

as in, please come back to the east coast. pleeeease

Band Member
marty 5/18/09

We'll be out on the east coast in October, I promise, including some never-before-blitzened markets. It's gonna be tres jazzy!

steve mock 5/19/09

Dear Marty,

Thanks for the awesome, insightful posts. Great comments. You guys are making some of the best material I've ever heard. (I just turned 50.) It is we who are grateful.

Just wanted to echo the thanks. See you soon.

Steve, Detroit
(maker of the Lightning Jar posters)

Music Saves 5/19/09

Thanks so much for keeping us fans informed of what's going on. Too often bands pop in and out of our lives just when they have another album to promote. I always appreciate reading your posts and updates.

A question though. I see you wrote that Eric is recording the next album at the moment on his own. Seems it's been that way for Furr and maybe Wild Mountain Nation as well. Has it always been the way the band operated? Does it bother you or any of the other members not to be involved in that aspect? Just curious.

Keep up with the updates and music, always looking forward to both!


Beth 5/19/09

Thanks for the update! I too will anxiously await some east coast dates (Pennsylvania??). When I saw you all in Philly back in March I had a bad cold so I'm looking forward to enjoying the music Dayquil and tissue free!!
Take care,

GrangerLang 5/19/09

Kennewick! Jesus! :/ I guess that side of the mountains deserves some BTrappz too.
Thanks for the update, Marty, we appreciate it. It's always nice to hear from you guys, even (or maybe especially) idle ruminations.

Nate 5/21/09

What are the chances of a Salem show?

I know the Thermals just played there at the Grand Theater, that would be sweet. I'm married and have a 2 year old daughter, and the trips to PDX are becoming less and less frequent.

Even a Eugene show would be cool. I would think the Blitzen Trapper sound would go over very well in Eugene...

Joshua 5/21/09

Freaking Kennewick...we'll be there with bells on.

dvp 5/21/09

Nate, they played eugene about a month ago, opened for the fleet foxes.

Nate 5/26/09


That would've been a great show, Bltitzen Trapper and Fleet Foxes? That figures. Like the Opening to 'Story of my life' on the Live at the Roxy album, by Social Distortion...

Mike Ness...
"This song is about being a day late, and a dollar short, which has always been, the story of my life..."

I was hoping they might get out a little this summer? I am checking into this pick-athon thing in Happy Valley, Or. The Pick-athon, is it acoustic? Or will they be plugged in? Anyone know anything about it?

Fan of 9/19/09

Marty, your post is from the heart, honest, and real, and based on those whom I've encountered, pretty accurately represents the members and support staff of the BT. (so perhaps you did accomplish your true ambition above.)

I am impressed by your music and the intention and experience behind it, which is probably more important in terms of impact and reception by the audience, than the music itself. You know, if its real they'll feel it, you're seeing it manifest now. Muchas gracias for being a caring performer and patient greeter to several fans after the show, on your own. I'll be hearing you all soon down the road.

blitzface 10/22/09

The State of the TRAPPER is ROCKIN! Sounding great all round. Inspiring performance on 10/20/09. SEE EM'

jaysonsmith35 5/8/10
pauljordan 5/16/10
Fan of 5/16/10

there ya go, we gotta another true fan, welcome to the phamily mr. jordan.

greatwhitehyte 5/18/10

Please come to Houston, texas. You're sorely needed here.

KevClampet 5/19/10

Though posted a year ago, Marty, your comments are apposite. I witnessed your (sold-out) Borderline show here in the UK this week and there was great warmth towards the band and the music from the audience. People knew the songs and were singing along. I also caught a show 18 months previously in Birmingham where you played in front of 10/15 people. It bothered me that a band of your creativity and ability was being treated with general indifference. Since catching you guys on a tour with Two Gallants in 2007, I have been on a personal crusade to enlighten people and I am so pleased that you are getting some recognition. The new songs sound great, the old ones have never sounded better, the playing and the vocal harmonies are up there with the best. I can't wait for the next time you are over here.

Band Member
marty 5/19/10

on the Houston/Greater Texas Area tip, we're working on it. probably will do the 3rd North American leg in the fall. And then we'll be back to the eurozone. and maybe around the pacific rim too. Who knows?

I was gonna write another state of the trapper since it's May again, I thought maybe I'd make it a tradition. and then I saw Kev's post and thought maybe that one post was enough.

Played a really fun show tonight for about a hundred people in a gov't subsidized club (this = nice PA) and got to see some Flemish friends who we'd met playing with 2GS. If anyone's in need of a sweet vacation and has never been here, go to the low countries, highly recommended.

Fan of 5/20/10

Marty, and BT:
feel free to chime-in in bits and pieces about the State of the Trapper, over time, in baby steps and chance utterances.
If you don't thats cool too, (well, with me anyway) thankfully y'all aren't real secretive and I thought your first post (to repeat abit) was real cool to know how you all are feeling and what is "new and exciting" for you in your Trapper neck of the wood. Geeked for the new album to drop, wondering if anyone in the large legion of BT fans globally are having any 'listening parties' for this thing anywhere on June 8? an intriguing idea.

KevClampet 5/20/10

Marty - don't stop on my account. I only wanted to make the observation that your words of a year ago still resonate, only more so, maybe. Us folks out here welcome insights into the Trapper world either from you, Eric or the others. One of the most appealing aspects of BT is the collective, family persona. No one seems ego-driven and there's a sense that there's mutual respect for the parts that each of you plays. That appears true off-stage as well - in the albeit brief conversations I have had with various members of the band, yourself included, I have found you all approachable and open. It gives me a buzz to say to friends "check this lot out - not only are they a great band, but they are genuinely nice people too". I don't know if there's something in the water in Portland, but I can say exactly the same about the guys from Richmond Fontaine. Keep it coming.

jonas 5/24/10

Hey Marty,
I was real glad to see my tax money well spent in antwerp, the new songs sound promising!
BT has really changed my life musically, it's right up there with the beatles. see you soon!

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