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A Tale of Two Reactions: Manatee Commune Really Wants to Know What Southern Oregon Thinks

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manatee2“I’ve played everywhere I could possibly play in Washington so far,” says Bellingham electronic musician, Grant Eadie, better known as Manatee Commune “So I’m really excited to get out and explore the world.”

Eadie’s explorations will bring him to the Historic Ashland Armory on Tuesday, November 17 as the opening act for Emancipator. And he has some high hopes for the show.

“I’m mostly excited to get around lower Oregon,” he says. “Portland has been so kind to me. I’m excited to see new faces and how people react.”

The forecast calls for dancing. Eadie started playing violin when he was nine years old, and continued his classical training on into college. But the rigidity of classical, the “get it right or you’re fired,” attitude, didn’t jive with Eadie’s newfound sensibilities. He’d also started playing guitar in high school, and using it to compose his own music for the first time. And when he got into college and started hearing the odd collections of sounds and instruments being employed by electronic producers, he knew that was where he wanted to take the fundamentals he’d learned playing in an orchestra. Manatee Commune, a combination of chillwave-style beats and samples with Eadie performing live viola and drums is the stellar result.

But how people react can go either way.

For example, there was his recent string of dates in California with a band called Jakubi.

“Because they’re a four-piece band I was being compared to them, everyone assumed I was their DJ,” says Eadie. “I’m not sure people yet understand what is happening when a solo [electronic] artists gets up on stage.”

But then there was his submission to NPR’s Tiny Desk concert video contest, which has been viewed more than 35,000 times.

“It was pretty wild,” says Eadie. “Really unexpected. Me and a bunch of friends put together this little video. It got a lot of attention.”

The video depicts Eadie triggering samples on a digital audio interface, and playing the drums and viola for his song “Wake,” in a simple office set up, as a work crew disassembles the office around him, eventually tearing away its walls to reveal the location as a cliff high above the ocean. NPR selected the video as one of the top ten submissions and interviewed Eadie for All Things Considered.

“I thought everyone would think I was so dumb,” says Eadie. ”It was kind of a cheesy. I actually think I sound like an idiot. I sound like I’m a 20-year-old kid that’s just making beats.”

But the world felt otherwise.

“When it aired, everything I had on social media jumped up to the top for three days. I had the number one electronic album for awhile. So many people friending me on Facebook. It was crazy, amazing. I was really blown away.”

So rain or shine, polite confusion or dancepocalypse, Manatee Commune is coming to you Southern Oregon. Now you get to decide how to react.


Manatee Commune, with Emancipator and Blockhead
9 pm, Tue., November, 17
Historic Ashland Armory, 208 Oak St., Ashland

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