Captain Squeegee Rocks Marquee Theater, Ready for More

Fans who packed The Marquee Theatre in Tempe caught a great double feature, cheering on the funk-master George Clinton as well as local openers Captain Squeegee from Mesa. The two groups had styles all their own, but each left the crowd cheering for more.

Danny Torgersen, lead vocalist and trumpet for Captain Squeegee, led the group through their phenomenal set, including tracks from their newest album, To The Bardos! The crowd was thrilled during their whole set, but once Torgersen put down the microphone to return to his trumpet to hit the band’s last note, the venue seemed to lose control altogether.

When he went out into the crowd after Captain Squeegee wrapped up their performance, Torgersen was instantly met by fans ready with hugs, high-fives, and congratulations.

Torgersen has played The Marquee Theatre many times before with Captain Squeegee, often booking an evening and recruiting other local groups to open for them. But not tonight – tonight the venue called him about opening for Clinton.

“This George Clinton show has got to be the biggest show in the last 4 years for me,” he said. “It went great; it’s always nice when people dig it as much as they did. Clinton personally reviewed our material and confirmed his slot. That’s huge! I mean, George Clinton invented funk. I kept fantasizing about him letting some of our horns onstage for the finale.”

Torgersen was thrilled to be lined up to open for Clinton. He said that like Clinton’s group, Captain Squeegee is very unique, and finding groups to play alongside can prove tricky.

“I don’t really try to describe Captain Squeegee as a certain kind of band,” Torgersen said. “I just let other people describe it. I don’t really care what genre we are – just making sure what’s in my head matches the band’s interests.”

Torgersen said Captain Squeegee has been evolving as a group the last several years, including their roster. Not one current member of Captain Squeegee is an original member of the band.

“It’s kind of like how the Olympic torch is carried,” he said. “You don’t know the first few people, but the fire is burning, so you may as well run with it. It’s been called a dynasty, a legacy of sorts.”
Torgersen is excited how everything has started to fall into place over the last few years. And the biggest part of their success is their fans.

“We’re trying to develop a cult following – one hundred true fans are worth more than a million likes on Facebook,” he said. “True fans are who really matter. As a band, we really try to hang out with our fans. A lot of people gripe – they just want fans to materialize. Maybe they’re not big fans yet, but when they hang out with me, and I drive all the way across town to drop off tickets for them, and then they see me onstage… It really clicks. It makes all the difference.”

Torgersen said Captain Squeegee’s new album is by far their best yet.

“We’re really happy with it,” he said. “The fans really helped us there – our fundraiser for the album raised over ten thousand dollars. Things are great – we’ve got to pump out a couple more records like that. We’ll never sound mainstream totally, but we’re starting to penetrate into mainstream music. It’s only going to get more accessible… but still maintain the weird.”

As a group, Torgersen said Captain Squeegee has an undeniable bond, especially after this tour.
“All I can say to the fans would have to be… I can’t wait to give you more. If you think Squeegee has taken it to another planet, there are other galaxies. We’re going to see some shit. We’re not stopping.”

by Matt Marn
Contributing Writer

Captain Squeegee: To The Bardos

I can state, without a shadow of a doubt, To The Bardos, the new album from Captain Squeegee, is one of the finest albums I have heard in, like, ever. Seriously.

More troupe than band, more cast of characters than group, Captain Squeegee led by the incomparable Danny Torgersen has created what has to be the most innovative and intricate collection of music Phoenix has ever heard.

Torgersen’s writing, broken melodies and unmatched showmanship is hard to resist. He is the archetypical bandleader, the master of ceremonies. From the very first track, “The Key”, he is in total control.

The musicianship on To The Bardos is brilliant. Garrett Ortego, Austen Mack, Chris Hoskins, Ryan Sims, Matt Maloy and Ben Jones are not merely back-up players to Torgersen’s ultra-hyper Ricky Ricardo. Each and every one has a part to play on the album and each take that opportunity to showcase their crazy talent.

The horns, seriously? The horns – provided by Torgersen, Hoskins and Sims – take on a life of their own. Deftly dodging in and out of even the smallest of musical phrases to punctuate, accent, and many times, take the lead. The drums and bass, masterfully played by Maloy and Sims, respectively, are so in synch you’d think they were joined at the hip. I checked the Facebook pics and they are not. And that beat? The timing seems to change every third bar – it keeps the ear on its toes to mix body parts and a metaphor.

As far as Ortego and Mack are concerned, they more than admirably man the guitars providing The Tubes-like hooks that set the table for the rest of the group. And, while Torgersen is blowing his horn, Mack seamlessly fills in with vocals.

A note on the recording – once again we see the brilliance of Bob Hoag of Flying Blanket Studios. Not only has he managed to capture the sound and the vision of the band, I can’t even imagine how he wrangled so much creativity and distilled it so flawlessly.

However, while I cannot say enough about how much I liked To The Bardos, it is a record that needs to have the listener’s full attention with one of the tracks topping out 5:36. Now, don’t get me wrong. I enjoyed every second of To The Bardos, but it doesn’t leave much to the imagination and maybe that extra minute and half would be better suited for the live show. A live show that I cannot wait to witness.

The album is available for purchase and download at the band’s website here. They are planning a CD release party on December 5th at the Crescent Ballroom. Don’t miss out.

by Frank Ippolito
Staff Writer

Show Your Support!!

We’re not just about good music here, we’re also about good causes. Although, sometimes good music is the good cause… whatever. Tossing in some financial support – even if it’s just a couple dollars – can have a big impact when you’re working with a community. Pick your cause and give what you can. Or, at the very least, learn about some interesting projects or worthy causes happening around you!
Hinges in Print
Artist, writer, and comic creator Meredith McClaren is ready to take Hinges from the blog-o-sphere to print! With less than a week to go, it looks like Meredith can make her goal with just a little more help and you can score some really awesome swag as an added bonus! Check out her Kickstarter Campaign here. Some rat bastards apparently created a fake Indiegogo page mimicking McClaren’s fundraising efforts – how terrible is that?! Don’t let this instance of abused internet powers prevent this talented AZ artist from reaching her goals! 

Help Fund Captain Squeegee’s Next Album

To the Bardos, the impending album from Captain Squeegee, needs a little help to get the recording underway. The modge-podged band that counts 10 years since its initial and not-entirely-known incarnation has signed up with Bob Hoag’s Flying Blanket Studios for this new undertaking. Not only do you get to be part of something potentially historic, Squeegee fans can also earn some cool rewards for their show of generosity like early copies of the album or a car wash from Captain Squeegee using, yes, squeegees… Learn more and contribute here.

Help send Black Bottom Lighters on Tour

For a band with seven members, touring can be an extremely costly venture. The Black Bottom Lighters are set to embark on their Oregon Trail Tour this summer but they could use a little help. Some rad bonuses are available for those who contribute including your name in a BBL song! Find out more and contribute here!

Support Dane Rossman!!

Okay, so Dane Rossman was arrested on February 21st by U.S. Marshals for his participation in the G20 Summit protests in Canada. Although Dane was initially arrested, along with more than 1,100 other protesters, and released without charges he now faces extradition orders back to Canada (really, Canada?) for charges related to destruction of property. To say this is appalling is an unfathomable understatement. Dane is about to celebrate his 26th birthday from the federal Corrections Corporation of America facility in Florence, AZ while awaiting extradition to Canada. Show him some love by sending him a birthday card or letter. Or, better yet, contribute a little something-something to his defense fund. Learn more about Dane Rossman and stay up to date on his case here