Artist: Micheal Divita and Mikel Lomsky
Featured song: “Orange 2,000 Years”
Upcoming show: Alarm 58 at The Brown Owl, 550 SW Industrial Way, Suite 120, Bend; 7 p.m. Tuesday; free.
Childhood friends Michael Divita and Mikel Lomsky are the lead singer and lead guitarist, respectively, for local rock quartet Alarm 58. The band is working on its debut EP with producer Jim Goodwin, which will include this song, “Orange 2,000 Years.” According to an email from Lomsky, Goodwin has also invited the band to perform in New Orleans on April 22 alongside Goodwin’s reunited new wave band The Call (with Divita filling in on vocals with The Call) — so stay tuned for more. Divita answered the following questions:
Q: What’s the story behind this song — how was it written, recorded, etc.?
A: In this particular case, I heard the riff that (Lomsky) had worked on for a couple weeks at least when I first heard it. I think I tried something with this one that didn’t stick with, and then I drove through the Columbia Gorge, and it all hit me. And I have to drive up there a lot. We help take care of my in-laws who are up there in Washington. So driving through the gorge, all of a sudden it really — I was thinking of the song, had it in my head, and it all came to me driving through the Columbia Gorge.
Q: What’s the story inside this song — what’s it about?
A: The song is just the place, the eastern Columbia Gorge. I drove down from Shaniko through Biggs Junction and across, and then headed east on 14 … so drove along the river east on the Washington side, and then headed over to Prosser, which is kind of near Yakima, where I needed to go. Behind the Dalles Dam — the Dalles Dam backs up, on the Columbia River, what was Celilo Falls. … It’s the longest inhabited place in the Americas. People lived there for over 12,000 years straight, and that’s just what they could verify; a lot of people would say it was longer. But Celilo Falls backed up the salmon and made it possible for Native Americans to net salmon. Some of the most wealthy, if you will, and powerful tribes gathered at that area. Some, like the Wasco, lived there year-round, others came just for the fishing in the spring and fall. So it was this amazing metropolis almost of Native Americans that had this incredible almost year-round supply of protein. And then you drive through this area now and it’s railroad tracks and freeways, wind turbines, power lines and dams, so there’s a big contrast (between) what it might have once been and what it is today. I’d love it if we could all remember it for what it was as well as what it is now.
— Brian McElhiney, The Bulletin