Reviews

Enchanted Islands

Author: Music Source
03/19/2009 | Austin360.com | www.austin360.com | Live Show Preview
The members of Beep Beep Eric Ray Bemberger, Ian Edward Francis, Darren Wayne Keen and James Michael Shannon Reilly answer our questions from Omaha, Neb.

Have you been to SXSW before?
Eric: Yes and no. Not Beep Beep, but I was present in '99 touching guitar for Bright Eyes, and Darren has shown his rainbow before. I got to stand in line with the Donnas for the CAN film; this was before they turned 21.

What do you hope to accomplish?
Eric: We strive to emulate the sun as much as possible. Something that actually produces energy, fosters life, etc.

What music can you not leave town without?
Eric: Kenny Chesney's Just Who I Am: Poets & Pirates. Jimmy Buffett passed the torch like an island-themed baton; Kenny continues to lead the way with its guiding light. "Enchanted Islands" (the band's 2009 release) is our humble tribute to the man and his vision.

Last song downloaded?
Eric: Don't download unless it's something I'm too lazy to transfer from LP to digital on my own. The last examples of that would be Ornette Coleman's "Virgin Beauty" and Bryan Ferry's "In Your Mind."
James: Last album was "Heaven on Earth" by Belinda Carlisle.

Do you have a favorite hangover cure?
Eric: Don't consume alcohol/never been drunk. So, I guess my cure would be to drink diet cola instead the night before, and presto, no hangover!
James: Practicing "Enchanted Islands" synth flute parts!

What's your favorite piece of clothing?
Eric: My red stone-washed Keith Urban tee from his Golden Road tour (tied with Be Here for my favorite KU LP). I accidentally left it in Head of Femur's bathroom; they still won't give it back to me. A form of intervention? I believe it's currently in Thailand.

If you've been to Austin before, what's your favorite memory? Least favorite memory of Austin?
Eric: Had the best ice-cream of my life @ Mother's Cafe. Mind you, I don't care for ice cream cuz it's always made with too much sugar, AND I don't usually care for soy or rice milk versions as they usually taste more odd than good. Their rice-cream has the best vanilla flavor I've ever experienced, not too sweet. Can't wait to go back! Spent hours hiding in Emo's dressing room trying not to vomit, trying not to talk to people so I wouldn't vomit, trying not to smell food while talking to people so I wouldn't vomit, etc. I missed out on quality time with a wonderful fan who overcame great obstacles to attend our show. I felt like such a jerk.

It's late, you're hungry and time is short: what's your go-to fast food franchise and what do you order?
James: D'leons Authentic Mexican sludge. Hands-down and cholesterol-up. I also like to take women (and Eric) to IHOP when I'm feeling especially frisky.

Are you more likely to go to day parties or SXSW panels?
Eric: I'll go wherever I'm more likely to learn something.
What's the best thing you learned in school?
James: I learned that "Man in the Mirror" by MJ is not good second grade make-out music. The content is simply too deep, too close to the truth to be conducive to smooching. Does your band have a pre-show ritual? Any superstitions?
James: Ever since "the incident" we've been shying away from "the ritual."

What's your favorite restaurant back home?
James: What don't you understand about D'leon's and IHOP?

What was the concert or album that made you want to play music yourself?
James: Watching my cousin in New Florence, Penn., mimicking "Flight Of the Butterfly" by Eddie Van Halen when I was 9 yearr old. That changed my life; I suspect it would have changed yours as well.

What TV shows are you recording back home while you're in Austin?
Eric: None. No time for TV. Busy busy busy! My wife is a Bravo fanatic, so I get "Top Chef" and "Flipped Out" highlights from her. Our best friends have uber cable, and so we occasionally get invited over to watch "Big Love," or "United States of Tara."

James: NONE. It's not 1985.

Do you have a favorite celebrity chef?
Eric: Alton Brown. Good Eats with it's Marc Ribot-era Tom Waitsish theme is the most entertainingly educational food show, period. I don't think he's technically a chef though. I stop whatever I'm doing if he comes on the tube.

A celebrity crush you're willing to reveal?
Eric: Whoopi Goldberg
James: I'm gonna have to go with Chloe Sevigny. She loves The Smiths and so do I. We'd be perfect for each other.

What should SXSW audiences know about your music?
Eric: For some reason, birds are enthralled by my singing voice. It can become problematic as they perch on anything outside a 5' radius to intently observe my cooing. They tend to attack any bystanders refusing to cooperate as roosts.
James: People should know that after we play our music, we need a place to sleep and something to eat.


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