Home > Concert Photos, Jazz & Avant, Metal, Rock & Pop, World Music > REVIEW: Secret Chiefs 3 @ Doug Fir Lounge (Portland, OR – – 8/3/08)

REVIEW: Secret Chiefs 3 @ Doug Fir Lounge (Portland, OR – – 8/3/08)

4th Aug 08 (Mon) Leave a comment Go to comments


The Doug Fir Lounge is an excellent venue in Portland. Pretty good sound, big enough stage, and a weird/comforting log cabin motif… a tout les monde aime l’arbre

Primer: Secret Chiefs 3 was an offshoot from Mr. Bungle (but have now outlived MB). They play middle-eastern-influenced world/progressive metal musics. Secret Chefs 3 (no “i”) is a band that one might say is an homage to the Chiefs, and they play world music/avant-garde songs with instruments made from ordinary household items (see Ken Jacobson‘s creations in the Chefs’ MySpace photos).

1st opener… The Secret Chefs 3 (again, no “i”) is made up of Steve Parris (bass paddle), Julie Baldridge (crutch fiddle), Scott Adams (kettlevina / percussion), Rick Isotalo (drums), and Ken Jacobson (paddle / percussion). They were pretty damn good, but played far too short of a set (20-25 minutes). The drums were trash cans and water jugs. The bass and guitars were oars. There was a violin made from a crutch. Per Ken Jacobson, a string broke on it; so Julie had to switch to a regular violin for the rest of the set. The Chefs were more avant-garde than I was expecting… which was thoroughly entertaining. Trey and many of the other Chiefs came out to watch the Chefs’ set as well.

Secret Chefs 3 Setlist: (per their pre-show MySpace blog)

  • Ritual of the Bowls
  • Advieh (the Spice)
  • Kettlevina Sadaqa
  • Book of Tea: Lapsang Souchong
  • Discotheque at the Gates of Jahannam
  • Fruit of the Zaqqum

2nd opener… Diminished Men were quite good as well. They started out as a trio (guitar, bass, drums) and were joined by a saxophonist for about half of their set. I guess I’d describe their sound as rock instrumental with a heavy touch of exotica/surf guitars. Nice sound, but I couldn’t hear the sax too much in the mix. It may have been due to where I was standing, but I wandered out for a few minutes and didn’t notice much change. They played for about 45 minutes of smoke-machine filled fury… I was right by the guitarist, and got a face full of smoke/steam most of their set. At least it smelled pretty much like water. Great sound, despite the smoke. :)

The Closer… The Secret Chiefs 3 (led by a very bearded and cloaked Trey Spruance of Mr. Bungle “fame”) were fantastic. This was my second time seeing them, and my first time seeing them play a full “headliner” set. WOW… they played without much stopping for around 75-80 minutes. They started out with Jason (bass), Trey (sas) and Peijman (drums) playing “Medieval.” And they didn’t let up much until the ender “Renunciation”… the lineup for the SC3 this time around was Trey Spruance (sas, guitars), Timb Harris (violin, guitar, keys, trumpet), Jason Schimmel (bass, keys), Rich Doucette (sarangi, bass, guitar), Jai Young Kim (keys), and Peijman Kouretchian (drums). Timb and Jason are in a Web of Mimicry/SC3 brother band, Estradasphere. I picked up Jason’s new side-project (as well as the Chefs -EP-), Orange Tulip Conspiracy. Wow… it’s rad.

Secret Chiefs 3 Setlist:*

  • Medieval
  • The 15
  • Vajra
  • Personnae: Halloween
  • Zulfikar
  • The 4 (Great Ishraqi Sun)
  • Bereshith
  • Castle of Sand
  • Fast
  • Assassin’s Blade
  • Dolorous Stroke
  • Brazen Serpent
  • The 3 (Afghan Song)
  • Encore: Renunciation
    *– Outside of a few songs, I’m shit for remembering their song titles. Luckily, I was close enough to Timb’s setlist to take a picture and scrawl the info down.

The Appropriate Linkage:

Great show, all around… if you want to hear some Secret Chiefs 3, check them out on iTunes. I recommend all of their stuff, but I guess for newbies, I could limit it to: Ship of Fools (Stone of Exile), Renunciation, The 4 (Great Ishraqi Sun), Book T: Exodus, Assassin’s Blade, Zulkifar / Zulfikar / Zulfiqar III, Jabalqa / Jabarsa… or check out their Xaphan album on other music shops that may have samples (it’s not on iTunes, yet). Xaphan is my fav CD of 2008, so far.

~Dan – np: Greydon SquareThe CPT Theorem

SECRET CHEFS 3 (6 pics), DIMINISHED MEN (6 pics)
SECRET CHIEFS 3 (34 pics)

all pictures (cc) 2008 Daniel Temmesfeld,
you may use freely under a creative commons attribution

  1. 7th Aug 08 (Thu) at 6:47 am

    nice write up mate :)
    nice piccies too
    chuckn a post on stubb for ya

  2. 7th Aug 08 (Thu) at 10:31 am

    Thanks, Josh!

  3. 9th Aug 08 (Sat) at 8:30 am

    here’s some more photos and pics of the secret chefs:


  4. 9th Aug 08 (Sat) at 8:59 am

    Cool… thanks for the Chefs vids, too.

  5. A C
    20th Aug 08 (Wed) at 12:18 am

    It was a fun show. They’re some solid musicians! Nice review.

  1. 7th Aug 08 (Thu) at 6:55 am
  2. 26th Jan 11 (Wed) at 8:18 am
  3. 15th Dec 11 (Thu) at 8:16 am
  4. 9th Feb 12 (Thu) at 5:46 am
  5. 12th Jun 13 (Wed) at 6:25 am

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