Banda Macho!

Banda Macho!
L to R: Sam, Mike, Luke, Nato, Matt

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

New Year's Eve and... Earth Van RIP???

We're having a big New Year's Eve benefit show and party, and you should come! It's at the Hexagon Bar in Minneapolis. Many great bands are playing, and all the proceeds will be split between two great causes: Midwest Animal Rescue Society (aka M.A.R.S.), and Planned Parenthood. Take a look at this wonderful poster by CM Dugan:

It's just a great lineup, for two great causes. We're happy to be your entertainment on Amateur Night - as some call New Year's Eve, with some justification - but make no mistake, there will be only PROFESSIONAL AND CLASSY ROCK'N'ROLL AT THIS EVENT!!!

So, there's that. Let's see what else is going on in Blue Diamond Land worth reporting. Anything big? Newsworthy?

On the night of Saturday December 17th, en route to what would have been the Blue Diamond Band's first-ever show in Eau Claire, Wisconsin - a worthy goal! And with Arms Aloft! - our van hit a patch of black ice in Minneapolis, just as we were starting out. We began to swerve, and eventually crashed into a concrete barrier. Nobody was hurt. No gear was damaged. But it may be that our van is no more.

Let me tell you about it. It was named Earth Van (our first van was known as Space Van because that one had many strange electronic quirks and functions that we didn't really think were necessary and at times proved to be a little annoying. It was actually Sam Beer's van). Earth Van brought rock'n'roll happiness, excitement, and sound to somewhere around 35 states and 4 provinces, and was an excellent home away from home. Mike Cranberry built a cool loft structure in the back which was very good in terms of creating storage space. It never once required a major repair. It was a den of sin and vice, and a bastion of serenity and calm, depending on which aspects the situation required. It was a rolling party in all respects. If Earth Van has rolled its final mile, then our song "Econoline" is just a little more poignant today.

A reminder that you can now get our album Live At Grumpy's on iTunes, Spotify, Pandora, etc., and from ADD Records on LP, and Rum Bar Records on CD too! If you haven't yet, you've got time to sneak one in before Christmas! Or at least Boxing Day.



Tuesday, November 22, 2016

We Voted For Camacho

Good afternoon, Blue Diamond Land! It's been a slow news month for us, as the insanity of Gainesville Fest has now given way to a rather quiet few months ahead of us (that is, until our Grumpy's residency in February... sound familiar?). Still, I thought I should write an update here, just so that the dust on my keyboard doesn't get too comfortable.

Although available at our merch table now for some time, it's official: Live At Grumpy's will be available on LP and for digital download from ADD Records on Friday December 2nd. As you are maybe aware, Rum Bar Records has had the album available for mailorder on CD for a little while now. As of December 2nd, Live At Grumpy's will also be available on Spotify, iTunes, and other such places, and for download. Get ready, folks! Hey, pre-order it on LP from ADD if that's your thing. Rum Bar Records has it on CDs. Cheers!

And check out some new shows listed. If you're in the Twin Cities, let me tell ya: New Year's Eve at the Hexagon is going to be a BLAST!

Do you have this shirt yet?

That's the front. Here's the back...


They're available via primitive mail-order for $15 ppd in the USA, $25 overseas! Email with your requested size (all t-shirts are black and white), and if two different sizes both work for you, let us know that too. Supply is limited! We think these are particularly appropriate right now, considering world affairs.

And as always, keep checking out our upcoming shows. As I mentioned, we're playing a wonderful New Year's Eve party this year at the Hexagon Bar in Minneapolis - it's a benefit for Planned Parenthood, and also Midwest Animal Rescue Services (MARS). There won't be any longer road trips until late winter, but come Spring 2017, look out for the BDB on the road again!

...and now...

EDITORIAL TIME with Nato Coles (this is not music related, so I wouldn't call it 'required reading', but forge on if you like...):

And as for the Presidential Election... Don't blame us - we voted for Camacho.

Honestly, folks, things look really disturbing right now. The people that President-elect Trump is bringing in to work for him run the gamut from "George W. Bush administration drone-strikes-and-waterboarding-level scary" to "holy hell what is an actual white nationalist who has the vocal support of the American Nazi Party and KKK among others doing advising an American president???" And who will be appointed to the Supreme Court? I think you know the answer. So. Good people need to stand together, and look out for each other. That especially means looking out for people in more precarious positions than, say, a friendly white dude in his 30's who enjoys playing rock'n'roll music while wearing sleeveless button-down shirts (ahem). Perhaps especially at this moment, help keep your immigrant friends safe, and your friends who are under attack because of their faith, or that of their parents. Help defend women's health and reproductive rights. Help fight for criminal justice reform. Black lives matter, as do the lives of those in all communities most likely to suffer unjust violence at the hands of law enforcement. Help keep each other safe. We're all in this together.

I see water cannons used in sub-zero temperatures against protestors in North Dakota. Anybody who doesn't understand how inhuman that is should seek therapy immediately. Somewhere in hell (which doesn't exist, but makes for a good image), Bull Connor is smiling.

So we must fight back! Fight back against hate speech and acts. Push back against war. Against divisive identity politics. Get involved in local activism, of any progressive kind. For a higher minimum wage. Against that which would damage the environment. We need good people right now! Are you one? Then get involved! Despite the result, and whatever you thought of her, Hillary Clinton received a ton more votes than Donald Trump. What that says to me is that there are more of us than there are of them. And on the Trump side, while many people who voted for him are not racists, but misguided and fooled by a wealthy con artist, there is a malignancy within that constituency who must be faced down. They may call themselves the "alt-right" but don't be fooled - they are white nationalists, white supremacists, maybe even neo-nazis. I'm not going to be using the term "alt-right" - except to explain how it's a bullshit term that people shouldn't use, because using it normalizes hate and division.

Sam Beer and I like to talk about how we would hope for something we call "the Star Trek Future". That's a future where all humanity comes together and works toward the common good. There are different cultures, different races (within the larger human race - not talking about Klingons and Vulcans here), but all pull in the same direction and all prosper more as a result. In hindsight, when we were on tour and the so-called Brexit vote went in favor of the United Kingdom leaving the European Union, we all should have been much more worried than we were at the time - and we were worried then! Pulling back from the world, with Trump's plans for walls and trade wars - if those plans are anything like what came out of his mouth and from his twitterthumbs while he was campaigning - is the EXACT OPPOSITE of what would build the Star Trek Future that your favorite smokin' hot lead guitar player and yours truly are wishing for. 

There's a reason why I say "be excellent to each other" at the end of every Blue Diamond Band show. It's not just a good line from a classic movie. It's because we mean it, and we believe that people CAN be excellent to each other! So please: be excellent to each other. Stand together. We'll keep playing our rock'n'roll music, trying to make the world sound better and more glorious, three or four minutes at a time, and doing what we can to keep the soundtrack bumpin'. We hope to see you at our benefit show on New Year's Eve in Minneapolis at the Hexagon Bar. Thank you for being fans and friends. We love you all.


-Nato Coles

Thursday, September 29, 2016

How Ya Doin'?

Good afternoon, everyone! It's been wayyy too long since we posted BDB news here at the ol' blogspot, eh? Let's see, what's been going on in Blue Diamond Land...

We're home from our tour to Awesome Fest (thanks to everyone who came out - and man, Awesome Fest itself was GREAT as always, if you were at our show at Soda Bar, you know what I'm saying when I say that some shows will always be remembered, never be forgotten, and celebrated in band lore until we're all worm food! We love you all!), and after not much of a break, we're back to learning new songs, we have more shows coming up, and then at the end of October: Gainesville Fest!

Get your weekend passes now. Remember, the Mike Cranberry origin story come from Fest 9. Six Fests later, we've seen a lot of ACTION and we're ready to see some more, this time around! And in addition to our set at Rocky's on Saturday night (that lineup is KILLER - Whiskey & Co., Blacklist Royals, Arliss Nancy... yeah, you wanna be there), and our Pre-Fest shows in Tampa/Ybor (Wed. 10/26) and Nobby's in St. Augustine (Thu. 10/27), we're playing a special cover set at the Holiday Inn to close down Fest on Sunday night, to ring in Halloween! Oh, and don't miss Luke's other band, The Right Here, when they play Fest on Sunday at Tall Paul's! They play just before one of our absolute favorite bands, The Rivernecks (St Augustine), so make sure to mark that one in sharpie on your schedule. Even if you're using a smartphone app, USE SHARPIE, DAMMIT!

So... see you in Florida, most of you!

But some of you, we'll see in other places. For example: we're playing Indeed Brewing Co. right here in Minneapolis on Saturday October 8th as part of their annual Hullabaloo fall beer festival! It's always a great time - click here to get more info... HULLABALOO!

Also, we'll be playing Nato's old home town of Milwaukee on Friday October 21st, and Chicago on Saturday October 22nd. Both those shows are absolutely killer, so if you're lookin' to party down in that region, come on out!

And some album reviews...

Here's a really nice review of Live At Grumpy's, from Blurt Magazine!

Here's a really nice review of Live At Grumpy's, but this one's from New Noise!

The Missoula Independent also wrote a nice review Live At Grumpy's, right before we played Missoula!

Last thing. We do plan on recording our second studio album this winter. At this time, that is all I have to say about that!

Be excellent to each other, folks!

-Nato & the BDB

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Live At Grumpy's Now Streaming At New Noise Magazine!

Hello, friends and fans... we couldn't take the waiting anymore, so it is our pleasure along with ADD and Rum Bar Records and New Noise Magazine to announce that Live At Grumpy's is now STREAMING online for free, for your listening pleasure!

Click here if you want to live..rock'n'roll! 

The album will be available on LP and CD very soon, and for download, too. Keep an eye out for an official release date, and official release party in the Twin Cities - we'll do our best to let you know!

Nato Coles & the Blue Diamond Band like to thank everybody who was at any of the shows we recorded to put together to create this album. You guys made the party SO COOL! Andy Mathison at Immortal Audio, our engineer, we gotta thank you too. And last but not least, everybody who was working at Grumpy's and putting up with our antics for the entire month... THANK YOU! And I'll take five beers and five shots, please.

What a blast! Now it's time to make another studio album, eh?

Some new shows have been added to the "shows" section of this page, too. We've got some crazy stuff coming up in the Twin Cities in the next month, before we leave town for tour. Want to see us at a gas station? Want to see us at a food truck rally? YOU CAN!

SAD NEWS THOUGH: Nato Coles & the Blue Diamond Band apologize profusely but we are no longer able to play New Alternative Music Fest this September. But you should all go! The lineup is incredible. Click that link for more info!

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Happy Birthday, Spam! (Summer Update)

Hello all, it's been about a month since we shared some news with ya, so why not celebrate the 79th birthday of Spam (born July 5th, 1937) with a website update? Yeah!

First, hang tight for that Live At Grumpy's lp/cd release! It's juuuuust around the corner. What a relief it will be to finally have it out! The record release party/events will be announced soon as well. My magic 8-Ball tells me August is the month...

Second, hello The West! We're touring all over in those parts in August and September, and of course playing Awesome Fest 10 too, so San Diego will SHAKE! From Omaha to Denver to the Pacific Northwest to San Diego to Arizona to Montana to home again, that's our route. Some of the dates are now up on the right-hand side of this page, so check 'em out! A few more will be announced asap.

(P.S.I'm just throwing it out there: if you'd like to bring Nato Coles & the Blue Diamond Band to your town, and you live in the central northern Rockies... get at us. We have a couple spare dates we can work with!)

New Alternative Music Fest - go to NAMF this September in Asbury Park!

New Alternative Music Fest (NAMF) is an INCREDIBLE three-day music festival put on by Don Giovanni Records (but not limited to only DG bands, naturally) in Asbury Park, New Jersey. It's from Friday September 16th thru Sunday September 18th, and Nato Coles & the Blue Diamond Band is playing Saturday September 17th. You REALLY want to be at this. Screaming Females, P.S. Eliot, Tenement, Downtown Boys, Mikey Erg, Shellshag, and many many more bands and artists are going to make this arguably the most epic, far-reaching and visionary of fests. Get your three-day passes now!

That's all for now, folks, but when we have concrete Live At Grumpy's release party plans, you'll know as soon as I do!



Now enjoy this picture of us playing "Earth Angel" as Marvin Berry's backing band at our friends' Billy and Paige's wedding. I still can't believe it!

Thursday, May 26, 2016

A Quick One (While We's In May)

Aloha, everybody! It may technically still be spring but it sure feels like summer in the Twin Cities, so it makes sense to check in quick with an update for y'all to let you know how summer looks for the Blue Diamond Band!

1. Tour (check the dates on the right) starts REALLY SOON for Ottawa Explosion!  It's in Ottawa, Ontario, naturally. It takes place June 15th through the 18th. You really need to check it out! It's like my brain - or possibly Bill Rohla's - designed the perfect punk/garage/power pop/etc. music festival. Get your tickets now (for OX and/or your flight!), and we'll see ya there! Oh, and The Chinchees are also playing... bonus!

2. Live At Grumpy's is being pressed RIGHT NOW. The tests have been approved... we will let you know the official release date for CD/LP as soon as we can! Delay, delay, delay, I know, but trust me we are ALMOST THERE. It might even be out in time for...

3. PalmFest! Palmers Bar is one of the most classic, least classy bars in Minneapolis, and an absolute favorite of ours. PalmFest is Friday and Saturday July 22nd and 23rd, and we play at 5pm on that Friday. Shots? What shots? I didn't do any shots. Did you do any shots?

4. A few more local/regional shows to kick off August are just a warmup for another West Coast Tour! Those dates will be announced very soon! But if you live in the Colorado Front Range, Pacific Northwest, or California, you better be on alert! We're coming... and of course, we're playing Awesome Fest in San Diego! See ya there, burritos!

Be excellent to each other,

-Nato & the BDB

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

June Tour Dates

Friends, countrymen (and Canadians), we're roamin'! That's right, Nato Coles & the Blue Diamond Band will be ON TOUR this June, to Ottawa Explosion (check their website for more info) and back, with some killer dates in the Northeast, Midwest, and even eastern Canada! This is a big deal to us, as we've only ever played the New Brunswick that the Ergs! were from...

So check these dates! They're also posted on the right hand side of the page, under SHOWS, but here they are in a post for your immediate awareness:

Wed. 6/8 - Cincinnati, OH - North Side Yacht Club
Thu. 6/9 - Brooklyn, NY - The Acheron
Fri. 6/10 - Boston, MA - O'Brien's
Sat. 6/11 - Salem, MA - KOTO
Sun. 6/12 - Sackville, NB - Thunder and Lightning Bowling
Mon. 6/13 - Moncton, NB - The Esquire
Tue. 6/14 - Quebec City, QC - Knock Out Records
Wed. 6/15 - Montreal, QC - Turbohaus
Thu. 6/16 - !!!OTTAWA EXPLOSION!!!
Fri. 6/17 - off at OTTAWA EXPLOSION!!!...
Sat. 6/18 - Dunellen, NJ - Roxy & Duke's Roadhouse
Sun. 6/19 - Philadelphia, PA - The Pharmacy
Mon. 6/20 - Pittsburgh, PA - Howler's Coyote Cafe
Tue. 6/21 - Detroit, MI - Garden Bowl
Wed. 6/22 - Lansing, MI - Avenue Cafe
Thu. 6/23 - Grand Rapids, MI - Firehouse
Fri. 6/24 - Columbus OH - Carabar
Sat. 6/25 - Chicago, IL - Auxiliary Arts Center

The venues in Pittsburgh and Ft. Wayne will be announced asap - I wanted to have them up today, however we felt announcing the tour RIGHT NOW even with a couple things being finalized was more important than waiting for every little detail to be ironed out.

Let's party!


-Nato & the BDB

p.s. originally the plan was to play Ft. Wayne, Indiana on Thursday 6/23, and for a short time this post reflected that... but sad to say, we are not.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Spring Is Here/Ottawa Explosion This Summer!

Hi y'all! I know it's been kinda silent hereabouts since the end of February. Well, not silent where WE are - we've been playing a ton of that joyful noise we make - but silent on this website. Nothing to report, really... except for Ottawa Explosion! One of the coolest punk/indie/power pop/garage/rock'n'roll parties that anyone throws, everywhere... and we're playing! Ottawa Explosion is June 15th thru 18th in Ottawa. Check out their website! Get your Explosion-long passes now! Nato Coles & the Blue Diamond Band can't wait to reunite with so many of our Canadian pals, and international travellers too!

Our album, Live At Grumpy's, is still coming out "soon". Pressing plants are pressing slow these days. Viva la vinyl! Hallelujah, major labels clogging up the works with collectibles? Well, whatever, that's the reality. We haven't chosen a proper record release show yet but we promise that as soon as we can, we will! It just might be that there's a soft release as well... if you're in the Twin Cities, DO NOT MISS THE SIGNS.

Lots of shows are up on the right hand side of this page, including our Art-a-Whirl dates. Those are going to kick ass! We're not quite ready to announce the official schedules, but when we're allowed to, we will.

Summer isn't that far away, and that means our summer touring is almost ready for prime time. Check here soon for June tour dates to Ottawa Explosion and back (and beyond, I suppose?)! Full tour dates will be up within the week.

And for those true believers out there, a message from yours truly (Nato): Happy Baseball! May your team reign triumphant, except against the Brewers* and the Twins**! And let's get baseball back to Montreal by the time we play there this June, ok? Hey, anything can happen... PLAY BALL!

-Nato & the BDB

*it will be somewhat easy to reign triumphant over the Brewers this year, unfortunately for me

**Twins should be allright. We made a song for Byung-ho Park... it will be posted in the next update!

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Karaoke List, Etc.

Hey there, hope you're well. It's been about a month since I posted an update here, and I wouldn't want you to think we were just sitting around, twiddling our thumbs!

First off, the Grumpy's DT residency has been going just fine as usual! These are always so cool. We're coming right up on Live Band Karaoke night - here are the songs you can request to sing the night of karaoke without having to email a request (sorry, no more requests are being accepted - we're all booked up):

John Anderson - Seminole Wind
The Band - I Shall Be Released
The Band - The Weight
The Beatles - Oh Darling
Black Flag - Nervous Breakdown
Garth Brooks - Friends In Low Places
Creedence Clearwater Revival - Bad Moon Rising
Creedence Clearwater Revival - Who'll Stop The Rain?
Johnny Cash - Folsom Prison Blues

Cyndi Lauper - Money Changes Everything
Exploding Hearts - Modern Kicks
Exploding Hearts - I'm A Pretender
Stevie Nicks w/ Tom Petty - Stop Draggin' My Heart Around
Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers - Listen To Her Heart
Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers - Apartment Song
Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers - Rebels
Pogues - Streams Of Whiskey
Prince - When You Were Mine
Ramones - Cretin Hop
Real Kids - All Kindsa Girls
Replacements - Bastards Of Young
Replacements - Achin' To Be
Replacements - Can't Hardly Wait
Replacements - Left Of The Dial
Replacements - Treatment Bound
Reigning Sound - You Aren't As Pretty
Rolling Stones - Jumpin' Jack Flash
Bruce Springsteen - Atlantic City
Bruce Springsteen - I'm Goin' Down
Them - Here Comes The Night
Thin Lizzy - The Cowboy Song
Thin Lizzy - Runnin' Back To You
Undertones - Teenage Kicks

I make no promises that we will play these songs perfectly, but I do promise that we will be able to make it all the way through any of these! And that's 9/10ths of the battle.

(And of course, you could request any of our songs to sing. But would that be weird? That might be weird. "Rudes And Cheaps" wouldn't be TOO weird...!)

Our next full-length, Live At Grumpy's, has unfortunately run into delays at the pressing plant due to the increasing - rebounding? - popularity of vinyl. Look for an official announcement in early Spring 2016. ADD Records is handling the vinyl, Rum Bar is releasing it on CD. It may turn out that the CD version comes out a little earlier... or not!

We have many exciting things bubbling under the surface for April and May (a show with a power pop legend... a show with a legendary alt-country band...), so stay tuned, but in the meantime, see you at Grumpy's, eh? Make the Sunfly proud!

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Once more! February Residency At Grumpy's!

Hi everybody, it's the middle of January, it's cold outside even by Twin Cities standards, but it is with a warm heart and clear eyes and all that stuff that I am happy to announce yet another upcoming Saturday night residency at Grumpy's in downtown Minneapolis! We always have so much fun at these. Hell, last time around, we recorded a live album! It is our hope that we will have this available on LP for you at our residency finale on Saturday February 27th.

As usual, each night, the music will start at 10pm, with a short opening set by the Blue Diamond Band. Then, two of our friends' bands will play, and then finally at the end of the night the BDB comes back to close it down all raucous and radical... except for the night we do Live Band Karaoke! That night, it's just karaoke all night long. If you don't know how it works, here's the deal: you email two or three song requests to, the band picks the one that works best, and then on the night of Live Band Karaoke, when your name is called, YOU SING THE SONG! Backed by Nato Coles & the Blue Diamond Band! Oh, you can also specify whether you'd like to sing earlier or later in the night, as we will be doing two karaoke sets. Last, there is a "master list" of cover songs we know for whatever reason. If you've seen us play anytime in the past year or two, you probably can guess what some of them are, but others might surprise you! I'll post that list online a couple weeks before LBK night.

Here's the day-by-day breakdown...

Saturday February 6th will feature Lutheran Heat and The Boot!

Saturday February 13th will feature Diver Dress and Xerxes Palomino!

Saturday February 20th will feature Live Band Karaoke all night!

Saturday February 27th will likely be the release party for our live LP called Live At Grumpy's! And this last night of the residency features The Right Here and Mono In Stereo (IL - Rum Bar Records, ex-Mulligan Stu which is a band a couple of you probably remember...). We will also be performing a tribute set to Motorhead/Lemmy Kilmister!

Again, we're always so stoked to do these, and hope you can make it to one or two of them. They're always free, 21+, and they start at 10pm every Saturday night in February.

-Nato & the BDB