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Little Barefoot brings down the house

Adventures in reporting

Published: Thursday, January 10, 2013

Updated: Thursday, January 17, 2013 15:01


When I arrived at Alex Van Oene’s apartment to interview the band Little Barefoot, he and the other band members were popping in and out of the door. Between hurried introductions, I learned the ceiling in Van Oene’s room was leaking. I went back to look and asked if there was anything I could do, but they had already pulled out most of his valuables and now they were putting tupperware bins under the slowly growing streams of water. A pipe had probably frozen and burst — I’d heard similar stories during the recent cold snap.

Then a chunk of the ceiling about the area of a bathtub buckled and fell, gallons of water cascading after it. Several profanities followed.

I thought we’d have to reschedule, but ten minutes later the band members surprised me by setting up for the photo shoot. As the band’s full volume rang from the living room walls, Van Oene and the others played as if part of their house hadn’t just collapsed. 

“When I play music, I really like to get into it and lose myself in the music, almost,” Van Oene said in an interview the next day.

The jam session helped everyone in the apartment calm down after the collapse, he said.

“I got really antsy and thought I should be doing something, but but at the same time, I felt like I couldn’t really do anything about the ceiling,” he said. “We just kind of had to sit there and wait. But music is music, right? It was good to forget about it for a second.”


– Steve Kent is the editor in chief of the Utah Statesman. Send comments to

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