Constantina is a bit of a mystery. A young woman with a powerful voice, she backs her impressive vibrato with a ukulele and bells attached to her feet. Don't confuse Constantina will the host of overplayed YouTube girls who cover the latest pop songs in order to get more attention online. Constantina does not give a single fuck about being adorable on the Internet. It's a damn good thing too. Her music is born out of originality, raw emotions, and a forgotten time when wolves and crows spoke to humans.
The majority of Constantina - Live from the Banana Stand, recorded almost exactly one year ago, is comprised of dark love songs. So, it's only fitting that we release the album on February 14th to commiserate the flower crowned skull of St. Valentine.
Trying to remember how Constantina came onto our radar is a bit like answering which came first, the chicken or the egg. I know we had listened to Constantina's sound back when she was making music under a different name. But, for whatever reason, we didn't get a chance to have her in to record at that time.
One day sunny Portland day, Louie and I were strolling up Hawthorne Blvd for some reason or another (perhaps to visit Jackpot Records, or maybe for Ben & Jerry's, or to check out new glass or recording gear). Whatever it was, we both commented on trying to get The Warbling Gypsy, as she is known, to play a show.
As if by fate, just two blocks later there was Constantina on the corner of 37th, just across from the Bagdad Theater, playing her music with an open case and handful of self-produced albums for sale. Sometimes life has a way of directing you exactly where you need to be, and on that day, we needed to find Constantina.
As it turns out, the album I picked-up from Constantina was mixed by our good friend Chris Anderson. Chris has been a great member of the Banana Stand crew, and we were excited to have him work with us on the live recording.
The night of February 27th was fun. Constantina was joined by Dr. Something & the Pipin' Hot Love Engines, which made for a relaxing and wonderful performance -- all were terribly sweet folks, and the music, charming. Chris Anderson ended up mixing down Constantina's live album, since he was already familiar with her studio work, and the results were fantastic. (Be sure to also check out Jott Robertson's photos of her performance!)
Constantina - Live from the Banana Stand is available for the low, low price of pay-what-you-want, but please consider supporting this independent artist if you have the means. $5 is less than a regular priced beer. Think about that.
Constantina - Live from the Banana Stand was recorded in front of a live audience on February 27th, 2010 at the Banana Stand in Portland, Oregon. The album was mixed and mastered by the 'Stand's Chris Anderson. Tony Ong handled design and layout for album art, which features photography by Jott Robertson and the August 29th show poster, which was designed by Alison Dennis (Dr. Something & the Pipin' Hot Love Engines). The Banana Stand would like to thank Constantina and all who participated in this album's creation and anyone that has helped us out along the way.
Check out more of Constantina on MySpace.