Vive Latino here we come

We asked these guys to give us some money to finish our Mexico movie, and they said, no, we don’t want to give you any money for your film but we want to give you some to come play at our festival. Off we go, to Vive Latino, biggest festival in Latin America says our new drummer(!), Matute from Nicaragua. We’re going to drive down in Millie, our veggie-oil powered bus, and give it to our friend Jose Luis on extended loan for towing around his pedal powered stage in Mexico. The festival is April 8, 9, 10. We’ll be playing on the 9th and 10th on a pyramid stage they’re building for us… ¡Nos vemos alli!

Golden Bubble Touches Down

new album, new album, a whole new side of ninjas never before heard on record!

Click link above to listen, or just trust and…
Get it Now

Alive and Kickin’

If you took action on this web site as an indicator of what the ninjas are shenanigannin, you’d probably write us off as disbanded or dead. But we aint! We’re still pedaling the planet, just having a hard time keeping all the facebonks, pleasant revolutions, myspaces, gmails, twatters, and binkledonks duly attended. Believe it or not, we also recorded a new album 5 months ago that we haven’t even had time to make public (it’s called Golden Bubble and will be available here within the month, I promise on my last piece of candied ginger). Here’s our schedule for the summer and fall in europe. For now, if you want actual “news” as in “new,” go to Pleasant Revolution and git yer fill.

Basic Live On Bike Setup

Between bicycle music festival venues, the crowd and bands pedal around town on a big social ride. Two things that make these rides unusually cool beyond how cool it already is to pedal with hundreds of other revelers: recorded music and live music. In either case, it’s a bonus to have the music signal broadcast so that any rider with a receiver and a speaker can be part of creating the rolling soundscape. If the music is recorded, we call it Soul Cycling; if it’s a real-time musician or group, we call it Live On Bike.

StitchCraft LoB

Heather Normandale of StitchCraft sings to the rolling throngs at the first Vancouver, B.C. BMF, 2009. Aaron from Aaron’s Bicycle Repair pedals the long-haul style bike. Note: powered speaker with mixer, antenna for FM transmitter, me behind carrying a linked speaker. Inside the bucket with her is a car battery and an inverter for power.

Basic Components of a Live On Bike setup:

  • musician(s): a solo guitar player is an obvious choice because you don’t need to mount the instrument; we’ve seen keyboard players, percussionists, and rappers; think what kind of music a cycling crowd would groove to—singalongs, anthems, cool covers; make sure you choose the right style of music for the time of day, e.g., downtempo for the late-late ride home—so the right mood is created and maintained throughout; mellow music during the high points of the ride is usually a poor choice; be attentive to the length of the set, too—just because the ride is an hour doesn’t mean you need to have live music the whole time; instead consider supplementing the live set with some Soul Cycling.
  • bicycle to carry musician(s) and their instruments while a “driver” pedals and navigates: On the Northwest tour this summer, every bicycle music festival had a different kind of bike that we adapted for Live on Bike since we weren’t bringing our own with us. Most were 3-wheelers with different sizes of cargo platforms. But someone used a long haul, and a Mundo or other stiff longtail works. Anything that will carry a musician, instrument, mic, mixer and a speaker and/or transmitter. Rock the Bike has a Bikes at Work trailer attached to a motor-assisted Mundo. The trailer and extra juice enable a setup with up to three musicos

  • microphone: this can be hand held, in a stand mounted to the bike, or a headset type
  • mixer to mix vocals and/or instrument tracks: built into the speaker is a nice choice (see below); Rolls makes some compact, battery powered mixers that are also good for this application.
  • transmitter to broadcast signal to other riders: we’ve used an FM transmitter and wireless in-ear monitoring system. The advantage of the FM system is that anyone with a radio can pick up the signal.
  • receivers for other riders to participate in the system: these riders and their systems are called soundpods. They have everything they need to pick up the signal and blast it.
  • monitor: the performer(s) need to be able to hear themselves. Although you can try to make sure a soundpod is always nearby, it’s much easier for the musicians if they have a monitor on the bike that’s carrying them.
  • speakers and amplifiers: we like to use Class D self-powered speakers because then the amp and speaker are in one box and are efficient at converting the available electricity into sound. A speaker such as the JBL EON515 is a cool choice because it can be used as the speaker for your stage sound, live on bike, and soul cycling. It has a built-in 3-channel mixer meaning one less component to deal with for your LoB setup. It’s also possible to do this much cheaper and potentially more eco by using thriftstore speakers and a T-amp.
  • electricity: the speakers, the mixer, and the transmitter all need electricity. This can be provided with a battery or generated on the spot if you have bike generators.

Of course, you don’t have to get all techy and equipment intensive to play music while riding a bike. Europe is home to many zany cycling musicians.

Cool Eco Interview

Eco tells a coupla sweet stories from Mexico 1 tour, including the first time she got scared (which happened to be the first time I did, too. She also explains her exodus.

Tour Finale Saturday on the Yuba

Rolling home, back to the rio, the Ninjas and fellow pleasant revolutionaries wind our way down to bridgeport this saturday afternoon to celebrate the end of the banging northwest tour.

With Bear Dyken, Somer Moon, Stitchcraft, Obo Martin, and local river songster Jeffrey Wanzer Dupra. I think we’ve been underselling the quality of the acts on this tour. This is a world-class mini-music festival on two wheels. If you love original music from great songwriters, mosey down, yo.

2:30-6pm, Saturday September 19th. Bridgeport.

This is the afterparty for the South Yuba River Cleanup, a lovely yearly event that we hope you do! You have to sign up to clean up.

As ever, we invite you to ride, walk, crawl, hitch, or teleport in. Join us for a kicking dance party after in NSJ.

Shrimpfest 3

The 3rd somewhat almost I sure wish it was annual Shrimpfest* is right around the bend and this one promises to be the shrimpin’est yet.

Off road, off grid, off radar, and off the hizzuki, we venture down into the magical granite canyon for hours of soul love music and a big freaky campout.

This event, like the river itself, is free and open to the secretive public, but is not publicly advertised.

These acts will be shrimping:

Grace T • Bear Dyken • The Ginger Ninjas
Obo Martin
Bodhi Busick • Catherine Scholz • Moss
Ruby Turple
The Bata Drum crew
And more surprises…

Followed by a late night open mic. Signup at 6:15.
Followed by a late late open jam.

Meet: at Mother Truckers at 3pm with your bike for a soul cycle odyssey to the river, OR

Meet: at the Nevada Theater at 3pm to ride to the river from the south with the townstyle homies, or just show up at

Papa’s Beach, Purdon X’ing, South Yuba River at
5:30 pm
Saturday July 11th, 2009

: food, water, camping stuff
Arrive: preferably by foot or bicycle or wings. This is ‘sposed to be a true getaway from the crap festival and your experience of it will likely be as rich as your mode of transport is adventurous.

No thunder drumming please. Violators will be forcefed bacon and bonbons. Pack it in Pack it out, this means poop, too.

*hopefully, no actual shrimp will be consumed at shrimpfest, nor will any blowup shrimp appear. Shrimping, shrimp, to shrimp, shrimped, shrimpers, etc, are all bastardizations of the English language committed by the Afro-Parisian language manipulator Borrina Mapaka, and can be understood to generally mean super cool, except when used in the negative, which we aren’t here.

Dick Cheney

The band starts a nationwide grassroots campaign to give Dick Cheney all the love he needs. Witness the fallout. Get your button and join the strangest love-in ever.

Reckon I Do

Live show in Morelia, Michoacán, Mexico, March 2008 with photos from the tour. This is a song Kipchoge wrote for his dad on the occasion of dad’s wedding in 1997. This was a pirate show in the plaza the Ninjas did right after a huge mariachi concert on Sunday night. The show (but not the song) was interrupted by fireworks over the cathedral.

Get the Single (acoustic version)

plastico maloplastic bad

this is why we have a disposables tax on tour:

Sea Sickness
Capt. Charles Moore describes sailing the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.

this is why we have a disposables tax on tour:

Sea Sickness

Capt. Charles Moore describes sailing the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.