Playing in a Missoula Band Called “The Trees”


So I’m in a band now. We’re called The Trees. I know what you’re thinking: “The Trees? Really?”

Yes. We’re The Trees. And no, we’re not going to change our name to any of the numerous other suggestions we’ve received – among them: Virtual Weasel, The Cocky Spaniels, Minus Green, Each Both, or The Magic Pinball.

Trees are our friends. They make the oxygen we need to breathe. They are lovely for climbing, or for lounging in the shade of their leaves. Their branches make excellent toy swords, or, if you’re a tree-hugging liberal like me, their trunks are nice for hugging. Sometimes they grow delicious fruits and nuts.

We make our homes and buildings from them, we make our paper and books and furniture from them. We burn them for warmth. We burn them for s’mores. Let’s be honest, tree houses are hands-down the coolest forts around.

So, we’re going to make like the Lorax and sing for The Trees.

We played our first show at The Badlander in downtown Missoula recently. I’m still very excited about this, because one of my favorite bands, The White Stripes, also played on that stage a long time ago. I could feel their raw blues energy still buzzing on the tiny stage. They are rock stars and millionaires by now.

The Badlander pays bands like us in beer tokens. This works just fine for me, because Missoula brew is even better than money. In my humble opinion, we rocked the house.

But you don’t have to take my word for it: Check out the video that my good friend Asher Minden-Web filmed at our set. The sound quality isn’t fantastic, but you’ll get the idea.

We practice every other day in the basement of the UM Forum for Living with Appropriate Technology (UM FLAT), the sustainable demonstration project that I live and work at. On November 14we’ll be opening for a professional musician from Michigan named Chris Bathgate at the FLAT.  He plays some awesome alternative folk rock that all ages can enjoy. Stop by at 7 pm to check out all of our latest projects (we just built a cider press!) and to listen to some great music.

Thanks for reading. I hope to see you all at 7 pm on November 14 at 633 South Fifth St. East.

Rock out. Be good to each other.



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See the entire “A Day in a UM Life” archive.


A little about Clay: He escapes the city as often as possible to go on random outdoor excursions. He enjoys standing in the middle of bridges for extended periods of time. He loves reading. He loves dogs. He also loves making music, dancing, potlucks, pretending to be a zombie on Halloween, gardening, running on trails, cooking with garlic, copious amount of hot sauce, falling leaves in autumn, and drinking black coffee. He also loves writing, and feels fortunate to offer my perspective as a college student to the Make it Missoula collective.