Pleasant Revolution Sampler
In 2007, the Ginger Ninjas became the first band in the history of rock and roll to tour by bicycle unsupported by automobile. On a 5000 mile odyssey to the pyramids of southern Mexico -- called 'the Pleasant Revolution' -- they promoted transportation cycling while also exploring the frontiers of pedal-generated electricity, using their own bikes to power a hyper-efficient sound system. The audience took turns getting on stage to pedal the bikes to make the sound, taking crowd participation to a new level. Originally conceived as a one-time adventure/statement/experiment, the band became addicted, and now has it's sights set on a world tour. 'Before the Mexico tour, I honestly didn't know if what we were setting out to do was even physically possible,' says frontman Kipchoge Spencer. 'A couple of months in, we realized that it wasn't just possible, but there was something easy about the rhythm of it (despite the grueling uphills with 200 pound bikes), and the next logical thought was, 'let's tour the world this way.'' Bicycle Powered Electricity The Ginger Ninjas' mobile human-power stage is the first of it's kind in history. Coupling super efficient digital amplifiers, lightweight components, and generators attached to working bicycles (as opposed to purpose-built stationary bikes), the system allows a band to play off-grid anywhere, wall outlet or no, and to also carry the system to a gig on the same bicycles (Xtracycle sport utility bicycles, a company started by Spencer). This enables a new kind of completely self-sufficient bicycle touring, sans automobile support. On the band's most recent tour, the system and touring style enabled them to avoid generating close to 60,000 pounds of CO2, or 95% of what a similar sized band creates in a similar tour. About the Ginger Ninjas The band's lead vocalists, Eco Lopez and Spencer, met on a piano bench. They played a 30 minute song together, a transcendent gospel soul thing that made them both tremble. The Ginger Ninjas became their musical love story, as written on the back of a magic envelope. Listen to either alone and you hear a fully formed solo artist. But together, they blend as only those who've found their muse can, spacially, lyrically, and sonically, creating something bigger than it's parts. With their jazz-trained band, or as a duo, they skip through genres, from folk punk to folk funk to Latin ballads, simple ska, and fantasy American bluegrass, he with the grabby rhythms and brainy rhymes, she with the clean melodies (in Spanish, English, and French), a Russian hat, and heart melting voice. They call their style 'mind shaking love groove folk funk roots rock explosive international pedal powered mountain music for a pleasant revolution.' Tour Schedule The Ginger Ninjas and supporting act, Crystal Stafford (indie-electro-folk), will be launching their world tour in August 2008, hitting the Democratic and Republican Conventions before cycling around the East Coast and Florida through September and October, and then leaving the country for Mexico, Central America, South America, and Europe. Catch the Film A feature film of the first tour is expected in 2009 from the award-winning Argentine director Sergio Morkin, and his crew will film the current tour as well. About this Album This is the Ninjas' first studio release since 'where the rubber meets the road' (WTRMTR). It's a collection of songs recorded both before and after Eco brought her magic to the band. 'Dick Cheney' and 'Bird Fly, Bird Fall' (a rework of the song 'dreams' from WTRMTR) were recorded at Parasight Studios in Nevada City, CA in 2004. Kipchoge, Hayes Burris, and Isaac James (who plays drums on the whole EP and sings soul on Dick Cheney) were the original Ginger Ninjas, and they laid down these two tracks after a summer tour of Alaska with producer, singer, mad dancer, and multi-instrumentalist Borrina Mapaka. Mapaka sings (the crazy African parts are especially worth listening for), plays some guitar and produced these songs, along with 'Stuck on Earth' and 'Total Believer.' Bodhi Busick lent his axe skills to 'Bird Fly' (listen for the classical arpeggio after the bridge), and engineer Michael Logue plays the solos on 'Stuck on Earth.' The teaser of 'the Tide' is just that, a short segment of an enchanting song that frustrates the listener into wanting more, not by design but just because we have yet to record the entire song. That's Eco, solo. 'Liberate Your Mind' was recorded and produced in Uruguay by a DJ friend of Eco (gracias Ian! His site: ouzomusic.com). About Dick Cheney The newly reunited Ginger Ninjas were practicing late one night in April 2004. Our friend Amber Cone showed up, heard someone mention the vice-president, and related the story of an outrageous 4 and 7-year old sister and brother named Quinn and Jared who are great young friends and fans of the band. The two had been arguing. Quinn, the younger, smaller, and feistier of the two began chasing her big brother around the house. She called him some names; he taunted her, unfazed. Then she used her til-then-secret weapon. 'Dick Cheney, Dick Cheney, Dick Cheney, Dick Cheney,' she teased. Unable to cope, Jared broke down crying. 'I am not,' he protested. 'Dick Cheney, Dick Cheney,' Quinn continued, until forced by their mom to stop. Wow, we thought. Even the hearts of children fill with terror at the idea of personifying poor Mr. Cheney. That man needs some love. So we wrote a song. It became an anthem everywhere we went. Encouraged to make a single, we went to the studio with ace producer Borrina Mapaka, and made the hit (or what masquerades as a hit when you're a teensy little mostly unknown band). The song was engineered by Paul Kraushaar.