A few people who have performed here write about their experience. Here’s what they’ve said.
“There was Paris and the cabarets in the 1920’s. London’s 100 Club was the spot in the 1960’s. San Francisco took over during the late ’60’s and carried on through the early 1970’s with Bill Graham’s Fillmore. Then NYC took the torch with CBGB’s as the center of the new musical universe. Seattle’s grunge revolution had the Off Ramp in the 1990’s. And now it appears that Portland may be getting it’s own turn in a new musical world where the Internet reigns supreme, flash mobs happen at the drop of a tweet, and house parties have become the preferred means of seeing live music for die hard fans. Portland’s best kept secret, and possible ground zero of the latest wave of bands set to take over the world, must be The Banana Stand. A bit presumptuous, you might say. But give it a few years and when we all look back at the great moment that came and went, The Banana Stand will be the firm record of what we all experienced in that moment. And The ‘Stand’s recordings will be the hard document of what the Portland music scene really was like.”
Blue Skies for Black Hearts, PermaPress Studios
“I discovered several great local bands via Banana Stand’s live album series, like Sons of Huns, Animal Eyes and Woolen Men. When they later approached Gaytheist about doing a live album, I was stoked. It was a great experience, from the live recording party then working with Larry Crane, to working with Bim Ditson on the album release. Louie and Aaron and everyone at Banana Stand have that special something going on – they love lots of unknown bands and have the will and tenacity it takes to make sure these bands are not only heard but recorded well. Pretty cool shit.”
“Hopefully the future of venues in Portland are headed in a direction that is similar to Tango Alpha Tango’s experience at the Banana Stand; the kind of rare experience where musicians are treated with respect in a carefree and professional environment where everyone cares a lot.”
Tango Alpha Tango
“When we first started as a band, we got some awesome band/life advice from the bass player of Portland band O Bruxo O Bruxo. He said: “Just make music you like to play, and be nice people”. Since then, I’ve learned that much of the Portland creative world is built on that philosophy of support in pursuit of the muse. The Banana Stand-ers are no exception. They moved here and saw music they loved, sensed a magic that they wanted to capture, and decided to find a way to capture it. In the fireball that is the Portland music community, bands are constantly forming and falling apart, re-forming in new configurations. Many times now, I’ve heard a band for the first time, loved their songs, their sound, learned their lyrics, sweated it out at their shows, watched them shine, and then seen them move on, break up, sometimes with out even bandcamp recordings for me to nostalgically listen to. O Bruxo O Bruxo is one of those bands for me, a band I only know about through word of mouth, who’s members play in other bands, but don’t play shows any more, who’s energy I can only imagine through the description of others. With that in mind, what Banana Stand does is incredibly important. They see something they love, sense it’s energy and it’s vitality, and they invite it to be documented. Thanks to Banana Stand, when someone asks me ‘What’s the Portland music scene like, anyway?’ I can send them to the Banana Stand site, and they can listen to the music, watch the videos, and get a good sense for what it is: A bunch of awesome people in basements, playing music, recording music, and rocking out to music, all for the love of it.” Photo credit: Todd Walberg.
Colin Lloyd McArthur
“The guys at the Banana Stand have really got it going on in the ‘having-their-shit-together’ department. They’re some of the most professional folks we’ve ever worked with and to top it off, they’re really nice, friendly dudes.”
“For me, the Banana Stand combines two of my favorite things about making music: epic house shows and recording. The ‘Stand gang manages to approach all aspects of those two things with extraordinary attention to detail and creativity without sacrificing an ounce of the in-the-moment energy that separates a good house show from a great one. I also love how much of an online presence they have. Any band in town could learn something about internet self-promotion from observing how the Banana Stand maintains an online presence. The Banana Stand’s contribution to Portland music is immense, both online and off.”
Alex Arrowsmith and his Pugs, Arrowsmith Studios
“Banana stand was, and remains one of the best experiences we’ve had as a band. The sense of support and community are off the charts, and we were truly humbled to be a part of it. From the booking, promotion, execution, post production, and release of our tracks, everything was handled with the utmost professionalism. I really don’t have one negative thing to say. Before we came in to do our show, we had been struggling with a lot of issues within and outside of the band as a group. Our experience with Banana stand is really a big part of what helped us as a band get over a few hurdles we were facing. My only regret is I wish every city had an opportunity like this for its bands. Banana stand is one of the things that makes Portland such an awesome place to be a musician in. This is the kind of thing, the kind of “something special” that is going to be documented and looked back on with awe 20 years from now. Its the CBGB of Portland.”
“The Banana Stand was one of the first places we ever played in Portland and the recordings from our two sessions there are a huge part of the band’s history. The ‘Stand is here to document the musical history of Portland and all the good people, bands and beer cans involved.”
The We Shared Milk