More Than a Name Change | Sound Stories & Interviews | Bend | The Source Weekly - Bend, Oregon
The Source Weekly’s reporting is made possible by the power of your support. Be a part of it!
Search
Settings
Pin It
Favorite

More Than a Name Change 

Once Ascetic Junkies, now There Is No Mountain

Sometimes the second act is sweeter.

That is what happened when Matt Harmon and Kali Giaritta—formerly of the Ascetic Junkies—struck out on their own to become There Is No Mountain.

As great as The Ascetic Junkies' bluegrass whiskey stomp was—making them a Bend favorite for five years—the music of There Is No Mountain is even better. Gone is the bluegrass. Gone is the loud, sometimes sonic punk sound. In their place is an ultra-creative breed of gypsy folk and punk pop that defies traditional genre monikers and has even more to say than past Ascetic Junkies music.

That new sound needed a new identifier.

"The new name comes from the Donovan song [lyric] 'First, there is a mountain, then there is no mountain, then there is,' says Harmon. "That lyric is, as we understand it, either a reference to a Zen koan or an adaptation of an old Eastern guide to meditation on a mantra."

The two nearly 30-year-olds have put together this new sound by spending a ton of time on the road. In fact, they've completed three U.S. tours via couch surfing. The people they've stayed with—including a very polite nudist—as well as the terrain they have traveled show distinct influences. But, they claim, not as much as playing together night after night; that familiarity has tightened their instrumentation and honed their talents. Even though Giaritta and Harmon now perfrom as a twosome, the resulting music is more robust and includes more danceable tracks. The first track on the duo's debut album, for example, is a merry gypsy pop punk song that features the beautifully strong voice of Giaritta and prickly quick guitar runs from Harmon. This mix of lively lyrics and frenetic tempo shifts create an adventurous experience.

Although they are returning home to Portland for a while, according to Giaritta, the open road is definitely calling them back already.

"It's something we love doing," says Giaritta. "And it seems to make people smile, so we figure it's a win-win." Harmon adds, "We also really love to travel, so the part of being in a band that most musicians find most grueling is the part that we find most exhilarating. We're always thinking up ideas for new projects and adventures."

For fans of the defunct Ascetic Junkies, There Is No Mountain offers some songs of the same likeability. But Harmon and Giaritta are very clear that the music is different. With more instrumental space in each song, the music is more pensive—a big indicator that the two have evolved into more mature musicians and songwriters. SW

There Is No Mountain

7:30 pm. Friday, June 14

The Tower Theatre

835 NW Wall St.

Tickets $14 at towertheatre.org

About The Author

Ethan Maffey

Both a writer and a fan of vinyl records since age 5, it wasn't until nearly three decades later that Oregon Native Ethan Maffey derived a plan to marry the two passions by writing about music. From blogging on MySpace in 2007 and then Blogspot, to launching his own website, 83Music, and eventually freelancing...
Pin It
Favorite

Speaking of On Stage

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Readers also liked…

  • Artist Fact Sheet: Keith Harkin

    Artist Fact Sheet: Keith Harkin

    The Irishman brings his well-rounded abilities to Bend
    • Sep 11, 2019
  • Triple Whammy

    Triple Whammy

    Eric Leadbetter helps bring joy to the music scene, food industry and hospital workers with the St. Charles Meal Mission
    • Jun 1, 2020
Today | Fri | Sat | Sun | Mon | Tue | Wed
INTO the WOODS Holiday Market

INTO the WOODS Holiday Market - White Aspen Creative

Fri., Nov. 27, 9 a.m. and Sat., Nov. 28, 4 p.m.
Submitting an event is free and easy.

Newsletter Signup

Get Central Oregon daily news
directly in your inbox

Get Social


Latest in Sound Stories & Interviews

  • Source Material

    • Nov 25, 2020
    Highlights from Oregon artists in November: featuring Chandler P, Masinformation and Adam Selzer More »
  • Pete Kartsounes Steps into New Age

    • Nov 18, 2020
    The Bend artist's second album of the year will help relax mind, body and soul More »
  • Modern-Day Payola?

    • Nov 11, 2020
    Local artists say Spotify's recent announcement to give artist and labels paid promotion isn't a cool feature; it's harmful to the industry and those listening More »
  • More »

More by Ethan Maffey

Want to advertise with us?

For info on print and digital advertising, >> Click Here

© 2020 LAY IT OUT INC | 704 NW GEORGIA AVE, BEND, OREGON 97703  |   Privacy Policy

Website powered by Foundation