Confetti rains down on Diego’s Umbrella, so get the broom ready
January 24, 2013
CRYSTAL BAY, Nev. – Diego’s Umbrella covers music’s mirthful idiosyncrasies: the indefati-gable spirit of Gorgol Bordello and Joe Stummer, the cleverness of Les Claypool and Roger Clyne and the theatrics, dare we say, of Tortelvis.
This Camper Van Radiohead of a band brings all this to mind, but we might be too contemplative.
“The idea is to be over the top,” offered lead singer Ben Leon, “but you don’t necessarily know what you’re doing. … There are some things in life you just don’t want to know.”
Maybe we should simply call it gypsy rock and, moreover, stop speaking in this perfunctory “editorial we” voice.
Diego’s Umbrella gets the Crystal Bay Casino Crown Room stage all to itself 377 days after sharing it with the MarchFourth Marching Band on a raucous night that seemed to shake the venerable club a couple of feet downhill toward the California border. The last shred of confetti finally fluttered from a rafter a month later when Galactic came to town.
On the way to the next gig driving south on Highway 28, someone aimed a camera toward Lake Tahoe at Thurderbird Point and the image is included in a music video for song “Mexican Budapest” on a futuristic spaghetti western-themed album released last summer, “Proper Cowboy.”
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Leon also left town with a Lake Tahoe Action visor, which he donned at several shows.
“I am looking at it right now,” he said. “It’s all sweaty and nasty. It’s horrible, man. It’s actually at a point now where it should be sold off to a science lab. It might have the cure for cancer on it at this point.”
The San Francisco band has more local ties. It recently toured twice with Vokab Kompany, which was started by Lake Tahoe native Robbie Gallo. And last winter it played at Minden’s Carson Valley Arts Council, finishing its set and clearing out in time for a fretful staff to perhaps watch a “Seinfeld” rerun.
The band, as is its bent, has a couple of new videos in the works.
Be it a video or a concert, the attitude is the same: “a plethora of ridiculousness,” guitarist Tyson Maulhardt said. “It’s all about having fun and letting go and not taking ourselves too seriously.”