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April 3, 2013
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Get under Diego's Umbrella next week in North Tahoe

CRYSTAL BAY, Nev. — Diego’s Umbrella covers music’s mirthful idiosyncrasies: the indefatigable spirit of Gorgol Bordello and Joe Stummer, the cleverness of Les Claypool and Roger Clyne and the theatrics, dare we say, of Tortelvis.

This Camper Van Radiohead of a band brings all this to mind, but we might be too contemplative.

“The idea is to be over the top,” lead singer Ben Leon told Lake Tahoe in January, “but you don’t necessarily know what you’re doing ... There are some things in life you just don’t want to know.”

Maybe we should simply call it gypsy rock and, moreover, stop speaking in this perfunctory “editorial we” voice.

Last January, Diego’s Umbrella got the Crystal Bay Casino Crown Room stage all to itself 377 days after sharing it with the March Fourth Marching Band on a raucous night that seemed to shake the venerable club a couple of feet downhill toward the California border.

Not even two months later, the band returns for a free show in the famous North Lake Tahoe musical venue.

Back in January, on the way to the next gig driving south on Highway 28, someone aimed a camera toward Lake Tahoe at Thunderbird Point and the image is included in a music video for song “Mexican Budapest” on a futuristic spaghetti western-themed album released last summer, “Proper Cowboy.”

The San Francisco band has more local ties. It recently toured twice with Vokab Kompany, which was started by Lake Tahoe native Robbie Gallo. And last winter it played at Minden’s Carson Valley Arts Council, finishing its set and clearing out in time for a fretful staff to perhaps watch a “Seinfeld” rerun.

The band, as is its bent, has a couple of new videos in the works.

Be it a video or a concert, the attitude is the same: “a plethora of ridiculousness,” guitarist Tyson Maulhardt said. “It’s all about having fun and letting go and not taking ourselves too seriously.”

Learn more about the band at

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Sierra Sun Updated Apr 4, 2013 11:51AM Published Apr 3, 2013 10:34AM Copyright 2013 Sierra Sun. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.