Wednesday, October 10, 2007

My New Favorite Band of All Time - The Breaking Wind

I heard about this band here, with some more here and here.

Forget about Spinal Tap, I just want to talk about the band The Breaking Wind.

Let's start here:

A teenaged band from Six Nations wowed a Washington crowd on Saturday during a giant worldwide musical protest to fight climate change.

The Breaking Wind performed at Mother Earth, a Live Earth event held at the Smithsonian Institute's National Museum of the American Indian. Taking the stage after earlier appearances by Al Gore and country icons Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood, the young musicians delivered a 50-minute set of blues, funk, rock, Latin and jazz and a couple of originals. They stayed on for an encore - Lynyrd Skynyrd's Freebird - earning a standing ovation from several hundred spectators gathered outside the museum, near the Capitol Building.

All in all, it was pretty cool, says Wes Martin, the group's 14-year-old frontman and guitarist, whose comedy and charisma captivated the audience. "It went really well. It felt really, really good."

The soulful band is a tight unit, reflecting long friendships between members Wes, a Mohawk; bassist Ryan Johnson, a 14-year-old Oneida; and Mohawk Marty Isaacs, 15, who plays guitar and sings. They're joined by non-native Ryan Mickeloff from Caledonia, a 12-year-old drumming whiz.

So let's find out some more about the band The Breaking Wind.

The Breaking Wind

Canada’s most populous Native territory, the Six Nations of the Grand River, located in southern Ontario, has long been recognized as the home of some of the continent’s best-known Native performers, including musician/composer Robbie Robertson, dancer/choreographer Santee Smith, rockers Derek Miller and Jimmy Wolf, the Pappy Johns Band, Murray Porter, and the Six Nations Women Singers. Now a new band of young teenagers from the reserve has begun making their mark with a rich blend of rock, blues, funk, and jazz, presenting covers and original songs that bear influences from the Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, Queen, and other icons. The Breaking Wind—Wesley Martin (Mohawk, age 14), guitar and vocals; Ryan Johnson (Oneida, age 14), bass and vocals; Marty Isaacs (Mohawk, age 15) lead guitar; and Ryan “Little Ryan” Mickeloff (age 12), drums—has found its chemistry as fellow musicians and friends who are serious about music, but not so serious about life.

Now because The Breaking Wind is a band, they're not on Facebook. Here's some stuff from The Breaking Wind's MySpace page:

The Breaking Wind

"Watch Out World....We Are The Reservasion Invasion"


Profile Views: 1745

Last Login: 10/4/2007

But it turns out that the band's name (The Breaking Wind) is of historical origin, long-preceding Rob Reiner's celluloid creation. Take a look at this story from the American side of Lake Ontario.

The great hill at the head of Canandaigua lake, from whence [the Seneca Indians] sprung, is called Genundewah, and has for along time past been the place where the Indians of that nation have met...on account of its having been their birth place; and also in consequence of the destruction of a serpent at that place, in ancient time, in a most miraculous manner, which threatened the destruction of the whole of the Senecas, and barely spared enough to commence replenishing the earth.

The Indians say...that the fort on the big hill, or Genundewah, near the head of Canandaigua lake, was surrounded by a monstrous serpent, whose head and tail came together at the gate. A long time it lay there, confounding the people with its breath....Two orphan children...were informed by an oracle of the means by which they could get rid of their formidable enemy- which was, to take a small bow and a poisoned arrow, made of a kind of willow, and with that shoot the serpent under its scales. This they did, and the arrow proved effectual; for on its penetrating the skin, the serpent became sick, and extending itself rolled down the hill, destroying all the timber that was in its way, disgorging itself and breaking wind greatly as it went. At every motion, a human head was discharged, and rolled down the hill into the lake, where they lie at this day, having the hardness and appearance of stones.

So if you followed this story closely, you have a serpent with bad breath who is breaking wind (no, the serpent is not the band; the serpent is actually breaking wind) and disgorging human heads.

I'm sorry, this ain't Spinal Tap. It's the cute one.

And if you're not listening to music from Breaking Wind, you could be eating it.

And the problem is that our bodies don't seem to be designed for taking on that much highly refined or processed food on a constant basis. If you'll forgive a little scatological etymology (translation: word history best not discussed in polite company), consider pumpernickel bread. Pumper comes from a German word meaning 'breaking wind,' while nickel means 'demon' (translation: your body could extract nutrition from the bread, but by heck it had to work like the devil for it).

I'm definitely not one for glorifying the old days and I admit there was a really good reason why people switched from 'old world' pumpernickel to other kinds of bread, and that is: you can also build brick-type houses out of pumpernickel loaves.

Could be worse. Could be meat or dairy products.

Now I have to see if there's a German band called Pumper that performs at environmental events. I haven't been able to find one, but I did find a magazine called Pumper that is "dedicated to the liquid waste industry."

But I guess that the band The Breaking Wind wouldn't play at their events.

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Anonymous said...

Actually, the name The Breaking Wind, does not come from this legend, nor is it steeped in native history. Sorry, but keep trying. How do I know??? ...Well let's just say I'm a friend of the bands and I was with them when they came up with the name. XoXo. Aklove

Anonymous said...

Some videos of this band are on youtube if anyone wants to check it out! They're really good for their age.