"Who knew Fairbanks was so fabulous! " Michelle
Lorien Nettleton was recently sold for $400. (As part of the 31st annual Talkeetna Bachelor’s Auction. Hear that story here). He also recently interviewed mountain climber Masatoshi Kuriaki “just before he left for his sixth(!) winter solo attempt of Mount Hunter. Arguably the most difficult climb in the Alaska Range, Masatoshi spent 83 days in 2010 trying for the peak, before turning back due to low supplies.”
Both ops came to him as a result of his being “offered the shot of a lifetime to man the news desk at KTNA public radio in Talkeetna,” a job he happily accepted in September.
Looks like Masatoshi is not the only one “Livin’ the dream!”
I met Lorien via email in May when he was rounding up visual artists to exhibit during Clucking Blossom, a free music and art fest held at Birch Hill. Although he moved from Fairbanks to Talkeetna in October, I still consider him a musically inclined local tastemaker and a great first guest to answer the question:
“Who do you think the Top 3 bands in Fairbanks are and why?”
Lorien’s Top Picks (mostly unedited, in his words, via FB mail):
1) Steve Brown and the Bailers – Folkabilly dance music with a 6-piece band, solid original songwriting in a western/Alaskana style that always brings in enough ladies. You only have to dance with the same girl twice if she’s good (or good lookin’). Definitely worth a listen.
2) The Good Daze. This is one hard-working band, with 5 to 9 members, depending. They describe themselves thus: The Good Daze are “Freak-Folk to Funk By” on Groovin’ Dance Rhythms with-
And they are substantially awesome. You can hear everything from Klezmer-inspired gypsy music to Euro-trance club hits. They have a large electronic section, with turntables, mixing board, multiple drummers, violinist, heavy, chunky, out-of-this-world bass, and good hearts. A band from the north with true awareness of the world around them, social and environmental issues, and finding the human balance between making the world a better place and playing in it. Good Daze, they have music, and tour relentlessly. That’s my number two band. Absolutely.
3) My favorite Fairbanks Band, Gangly Moose, hasn’t played a show since 2009, which is too bad, because they play some serious northern funk, dance jams. Their best set-up is frontman and bassist laying steady pulse, a drummer and a congo player, and screaming guitars. Oh, Gangly Moose! How my soul aches for one more dance party!
4) Because Gangly Moose is essentially defunct, I’m giving you a 4th option. Seeing as how we spend half the year in Darkness, a person can find themselves feeling curiously frustrated. Few musical expressions do the same thing for a frustrated mind as heavy, crunchy speed metal. Barabas is a fantastic crunchy speed metal band with surgical precision, loud guitars, and graveling vocals you would expect from a black metal band. Frontman Rev. Mikey is a tattoo artist and all-around good sorta guy, and Barabas always draw a crowd when they play. Mmm, more metal, please!