[Poster] The Autonomics at Pakit Liquidators

Saturday, April 12th, 2014, 3:17 pm by Ben Salmon

Tonight. Read all about it here.

Rad poster by Megan McGuinness.


[Poster] DJ Anjali and The Incredible Kid at Dojo

Friday, April 11th, 2014, 3:28 pm by Ben Salmon

Tonight. Read all about it here.


The National will play Les Schwab Amphitheater in May

Tuesday, February 4th, 2014, 10:49 am by Ben Salmon

The National

The National

The massive, two-weekend Sasquatch! music festival in central Washington announced its lineups for 2014 last night.

Headliners for the May 23-25 edition include Outkast, The National, Queens of the Stone Age, M.I.A., Foster the People, Kid Cudi and Haim.

Headliners for the July 4-6 edition are Soundgarden, Kraftwerk, New Order, Frank Ocean, Royksopp + Robyn, Neutral Milk Hotel, Spoon and Broken Bells.

This is significant for local music lovers because Bend’s Les Schwab Amphitheater often snags a Sasquatch band or three for a concert on their way to or from the festival. In the past, Sasquatch-related routing has brought bands like Death Cab for Cutie, Modest Mouse, Tenacious D and The Flaming Lips to Central Oregon.

Sure enough, this morning, the amphitheater announced that brooding indie rock band The National will make a stop in Bend on May 23. Tune-Yards will open. Tickets will cost $39 in advance (plus fees) and will go on sale at 10 a.m. Friday at the Schwab’s website or at The Ticket Mill, located next to Anthony’s restaurant in the Old Mill District.

Unfamiliar with The National? Well, they’re a great band from New York City (originally Cincinnati) that put out two of the best albums of the past 10 years, in my opinion: 2005’s “Alligator” and 2007’s “Boxer.” They’ve released two since then, too, and found increasingly sizable success.

Here’s my favorite song by The National, at least for today:

Tonight: Bill Frisell, Blackwitch Pudding

Tuesday, January 28th, 2014, 4:04 pm by Ben Salmon

Ice or no ice, tonight brings two excellent concerts to our fair burg. I think you’ll be able to do both; I know I’m going to try to.

First up: Jazz-and-beyond guitar explorer Bill Frisell brings his “Guitar in the Space Age” show — exploring the instrumental guitar music of the mid-20th century — to the Tower Theatre. I interviewed Frisell last week, and even he wasn’t sure what exactly the brand-new program would be like. But he knew where it’s rooted.

“I’ve been thinking about doing this for so long. It’s been percolating in my mind,” Frisell said, citing a past performance … of Jimmy Bryant and Speedy West’s fast-paced country-jazz as the seed for the “Space Age” show. “I’ve just been thinking a lot about the music that I grew up with. I was born in 1951, pretty much the same time as the Telecaster.”

He continues: “The first guitar music that got me fired up was surf music, and then that led to the British Invasion and all that stuff,” he said. “I was so into the whole idea of surfing, which was so absurd being (from Denver). And there was this great band from there, The Astronauts, who were a surf band. They were from the mountains, they weren’t surfers at all. But this instrumental guitar music was all over the place.”

Here’s a clip of Frisell and his band performing Saturday night in San Francisco.

Frisell’s show is at 7 p.m., and last I heard, there were still tickets left at $30 each. Check the Tower site for more info.

Then, over at Volcanic Theatre Pub, it’s time for some stoner metal and psychedelic doom wizardry with Portland’s Blackwitch Pudding, who not only play heavy, heavy music, they also dress it up with smoke and lights and actual (awesome) wizard robes. They have a fine album called “Taste the Pudding” out now, and you can stream it … oh hey, right here!

Last week, I also interviewed drummer Wizard Wizard — who grew up in Bend — and you can read that story here. Local heavies The Kronk Men and The Beerslayers will open for Blackwitch Pudding, and the show will get started around 9 p.m. A $5 bill should get you in.


[Photos] Old Man Markley at Volcanic Theatre Pub

Monday, January 20th, 2014, 5:20 pm by Ben Salmon

I had every intention of attending last Thursday’s show at Volcanic Theatre Pub by pop-punk-grass band Old Man Markley. Alas, when 9 p.m. rolled around, I was too worn out from fighting a bad cold that had been hanging around my head for a week, and I couldn’t drag myself down there.

Fortunately, intrepid Bulletin photographer Andy Tullis was there and he shot a bunch of pictures of the show. Check ’em out!

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Read the rest of this entry »

Tonight: Old Man Markley at Volcanic Theatre Pub

Thursday, January 16th, 2014, 5:30 pm by Ben Salmon


Do you like pop-rock? Punk? Bluegrass? Do you like when a band smashes ’em all together, a la hometown heroes Larry and His Flask?

Then Volcanic Theatre Pub in Bend is where you want to be tonight, to see last week’s GO! Magazine cover stars Old Man Markley.

Covering music in Central Oregon, you can bet I’ve heard a lot of punky bluegrass bands and ‘grassy punk bands. But I’m not sure I’ve ever heard one that churns out music as catchy as this L.A. septet. That’s because the punk-rock they draw influence from is of the pure pop-punk variety; think NOFX, The Descendents, or, to cite a couple of massive bands, Green Day and Blink-182.

Point is, these folks write killer catchy tunes featuring pop-punk-rooted melodies and perfect three-part harmonies, and they play ’em with prominent fiddle and banjo. The result is great, see?

Anyway, tonight’s show starts at 9 p.m. with opener Avery James & The Hillandales, and it’s $10 to get in. If you’re unfamiliar, Volcanic Theatre Pub is here.

Fun fact: Looks like the band got to town a day early and warmed up last night during M&J Tavern’s open mic! (Unmute it if you want to hear the ambient sounds of the bar.)

Dave Matthews in Bend Internet Rumors, By the Numbers

Monday, January 13th, 2014, 10:37 am by Ben Salmon

As of 8 a.m. today …

Likes: 350
Shares: 76
Comments: 47
Official announcements of a confirmed Dave Matthews show in Bend: Zero

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Is Dave Matthews playing in Bend this summer?

Friday, January 10th, 2014, 2:44 pm by Ben Salmon

In early December, the Facebook profile for Bend’s Les Schwab Amphitheater posted this:

Screen Shot 2014-01-10 at 1.21.01 PM

Today, someone sent me a fan-made graphic that is apparently making the rounds on message boards and social media and is purported to show the Dave Matthews Band’s 2014 summer tour dates. (Visit the source, DMBnews.net, to read about where these dates were “culled,” as well as some tweets on the topic by DMB violinist Boyd Tinsley.)

Note August 26.


August 26 is not exactly “the 4th weekend of August,” but it’s pretty darn close, and — if these two things are connected — it’s possible Matthews’ camp was discussing a range of days with the Schwab. Also, I have to believe that the number of artists big enough to convince the Schwab to reschedule the Bend Brewfest is fairly small. However, Dave Matthews qualifies as “big enough,” in my opinion.

Anyway, I asked Marney Smith, the manager of Les Schwab Amphitheater, about this and she couldn’t confirm anything, but said the venue and the company that books it, Portland-based Monqui Presents, is “working hard on the 2014 concert season.”

The Year In Music: 2013

Friday, December 20th, 2013, 2:27 pm by Ben Salmon

yearinmusic-sp1 122013

In today’s GO! Magazine in The Bulletin, we have eight pages dedicated to looking back at the year in music in Central Oregon and beyond.

This is the seventh year in a row that we’ve done such a thing, but the first time in six years that the print stuff didn’t come with a free, downloadable, double-disc compilation of the year’s best songs. That project — which we’ve called “Near/Far” — was fun while it lasted, but it was a lot of work, and I just couldn’t do it this year. Plus, in the age of streaming music services, I’m not so sure people even want to download two massive .zip files full of MP3s. So we put “Near/Far” to rest, at least for now. Maybe I’ll put together some kind of playlist in the coming weeks. We’ll see.

ANYWAY … here are links to today’s coverage. Enjoy. And if you have questions, comments, want to compliment me on my choices, or argue with me, or call me an idiot, please do so in the comments! Just don’t use four-letter words … I can’t approve those.

— Ten of my favorite albums of the year, plus 34 more great ones.

— The ten best local albums of the year, plus a roundup of other notable local releases.

— My eight favorite concerts of the year in Central Oregon.

My Feedback column, in which I talk about what happened on the Central Oregon music scene in 2013, and explain why I feel a bit unsettled about where it’s at right now.

I’m hoping to post some more thoughts on music in 2013 to this blog between now and the end of the year, so check back in and see if I can make that happen!

Last call for local recordings …

Monday, December 9th, 2013, 9:56 am by Ben Salmon

Hey folks! I’m currently looking high and low to make sure I know about everything that happened, musically, in Central Oregon in 2013, including recordings by local artists.

I want to make sure I have ‘em all. So peruse the list below and see if your band or project (or a band or project you know of) is missing. This is what’s currently sitting on my desk and hard drive (though it is possible I overlooked something):

Amsterdam, “Aurora”
Amsterdam, “Avarice”
All You All, “Bait and Exchange”
Blackflowers Blacksun, “Bury Me Deep in Hell”
Blackflowers Blacksun, “Cursed”
Broken Down Guitars, “Passports”
Burnin’ Moonlight, “Good Wood”
Driftwood Insomnia, “Blushing Crows”
Travis Ehrenstrom, “Remain a Mystery”
Ergo Rex, “Breathe in the Roar”
Gary Fulkerson, “This Must Be Falling”
Grit & Grizzle, “Grit & Grizzle”
Harley Bourbon, “Old Empty Bottle”
Hobbs the Band, “Hobbs the Band”
Isles, “Viracocha”
Larry and His Flask, “By the Lamplight”
Lore Uprise, “Tortoise in Flight”
Necktie Killer, “Heavy & Horny”
The Prairie Rockets, “The Prairie Rockets”
Quiet Culture, “Basements”
Doc Ryan, “The Texas Blues Road Show”
Third Seven, “Surrender”
Jay Tablet, “Tablife”
Franchot Tone, “Thanks For This”
Carl Ventis, “Home For Christmas”
Wilderness, “Homeward From the Battle”

I also know there’s a Kylan Johnson album out there that I haven’t yet gotten hold of.

A few notes:

1. If you or your band released something in 2013 and you don’t see it on this list, write me ASAP at music@bendbulletin.com and let’s talk. But first, read #2.

2. Please note that what I’m looking for here isn’t really demos or unreleased stuff or a single song you posted online, though I would truly love to hear any or all of that stuff and I hope you’ll send it to me. But for this particular project, I’m really looking for full EPs or albums that have been recorded, packaged in some way and released for public consumption, either in a physical format or on the Internet.

3. This list isn’t as long as the ones I posted at this time the past two years, so either y’all aren’t releasing as much stuff or I’m missing some stuff. Again, if you know of something I’m missing, email me NOW at music@bendbulletin.com.