Archive for December, 2009

Local music news: DJ Barisone mix / The Dirty Words video / The Supervillains coming to town / introducing Jukebot / Chris Chabot streams new album

Thursday, December 31st, 2009

Little nuggets of news from Central Oregon’s music scene, coming your way … now.

lion

DJ Barisone lived in Bend for a decade and moved to Portland a few months back. No matter where he lives, though, you want to hear his latest mix, right? Yup, you do. Especially if some sunny, funky, dubby party music sounds good to you on these cold, gray, winter days. It’s called “Lion in the Dancehall,” and you can get it by clicking here. If you’re gun-shy, check the tracklist here.

I’m late on this, but there’s still plenty of time — a month — to submit a “YouTube-style webcam video” to local indie-rock band The Dirty Words for their song “Damn Jacket.” They’re going to take all the videos they get and smash them together to create their very first music video. Fun, right? Right. There are some rules and other guidelines, including how to submit your masterpiece, here.

Local, faith-focused folk singer Chris Chabot has released a new album called “Outer Space,” and he’s made it available for streaming here. They’re pretty songs, so give ‘em a listen.

Fresh off their successful luring of the Mad Caddies to Mountain’s Edge back in November, Redmond’s Necktie Killer will open two local shows for another nationally touring reggae/ska outfit, The Supervillains, in late January. The Florida four-piece have played in Bend three times in the past three years, including an opening slot for the Caddies at the Domino Room in early 2007. But on Jan. 23, they’ll squeeze into Bend’s Mountain’s Edge bar, and on Jan. 24, they’ll play at Timbers in Redmond. There’s more info — times, cost, ticket outlets — at Necktie Killer’s spiffy Web site.

(Reminder: Necktie Killer and Larry and His Flask are gonna rock New Year’s Eve tonight at Mountain’s Edge. 9 p.m. $5. Cheap, good times.)

Jukebot

Check out the McMenamins Old St. Francis School calendar. Look there, on Jan. 20: Jukebot.

Who’s Jukebot, you ask?

Jukebot, apparently, is what you get when you take the ashes of the recently defunct/defunked local band El Dante — or at least the ashes named Gabe Johnson (guitar) and Tyler Mason (bass) — and you mix them with Jared Forqueran (drums) and Aaron Andre Miller (keys) of Person People and Anastacia’s band, and then you add the dynamic vocals of Stephanie Slade, also of The Sofa Kings. (Forqueran, Miller and Mason also played together in the David Bowers Colony before it blew apart.)

That’s a lot of cross-band-pollination there.

So yeah, Jukebot is a new band on the scene that has no music on its MySpace yet, but promises to play “21st century funk ‘n’ roll” influenced by Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Pearl Jam, The Meters and so on. The band came together to play the recent, annual, semi-secret “Church of Neil” show (to celebrate Mr. Young’s birthday) and clicked. Since, according to the MySpace, Jukebot has been “focusing largely on cover material and has recently begun to branch out into original material that reflects the members wide variety of influences, spanning from Rock n Roll to Funk, from Modern Rock to Hip Hop and Soul.”

That Jan. 20 show at McMenamins will be their first ever. Assuming they stick together for a while, you can bet we’ll be telling you more about Jukebot in GO! Magazine and Frequency at some point in the future.

MP3 Download: new Empty Space Orchestra track, “Jovian Barnacle”

Wednesday, December 30th, 2009

Speaking of New Year’s Eve options, one of the best appears to be the Blue Moon Bash going down at Silver Moon Brewing & Taproom in Bend. Three excellent local acts — Eric Tollefson, Mosley Wotta and Empty Space Orchestra — will perform starting around 9 p.m., and there’s no cover. Get there early, though … the place is going to be packed, I’d guess.

Empty Space guitarist Shane Thomas was nice enough to send along a brand new ESO track for free downloading by all you fine Frequency aficionados. It was recorded live recently in the band’s practice space, and it’s vintage ESO — noisy, with some serpentine synth work and big, crunchy guitars that’ll stomp all over you till your soul crawls out and begs for mercy. Recent word out of the band’s camp is that they’re getting heavier and heavier, and “Jovian Barnacle” is proof of that. Snap it up:

Download Empty Space Orchestra, “Jovian Barnacle”

If that’s not your thing, we have a huge list of New Year’s Eve goings-on right here. You’re sure to find something your speed.

A looong list of New Year’s Eve options

Wednesday, December 30th, 2009

Oh, hi there. I’m Ben. Welcome to my blog. I almost forgot about it.

Let me tell you something, folks: Work + Everyday Life + Blogging = A Very Busy Dude. But Work + Everyday Life + Holidays = No Time For Blogging. I apologize for the quiet around here over the past week or so.

Now, two things:

1. Tomorrow is New Year’s Eve, which means you’re probably looking for a party to attend. And guess what? People are throwing parties all over town! The Bulletin’s calendar lists more than two dozen events tomorrow night, and while we probably missed one or two out there, I’d venture to say you won’t find a more complete list anywhere.

Click here to check out the whole list of New Year’s Eve options. I also wrote about some of the best events that feature live music here.

2. Before the holidays, I posted an overview of music in 2009 (including 36 songs for free download), and several posts about the best music of the past decade. I wanted to wrap up the decade stuff before I posted the 2009 stuff. And then I wanted to wrap it up before Christmas. And then New Year’s. None of those happened. Now, I just want to wrap it up. And I will. So stay tuned for more reflections on how the 2000s sounded.

Classic new Kobe/LeBron Nike commercials with KRS-One, Lupe Fiasco

Thursday, December 24th, 2009

These Kobe/LeBron puppet commercials are generally pretty good, but there’s a new set out in which the guys accompany Santa Claus to a game of 3-on-3 against some reindeer. And they are AMAZING.

Chicago rapper Lupe Fiasco voices Blitzen and hip-hop legend KRS-One handles Santa. The attention to detail in these productions (clearly inspired by this video) is pretty astounding, and the beats and rhymes aren’t too bad, either. Here are all three, in order. You should watch them all.

Music 00-09, by David Clemmer

Wednesday, December 23rd, 2009

(This post is part of Frequency’s coverage of the best music of the past decade. You can see all of that coverage in one place by clicking here. And be sure to check out “Near/Far,” our free, legal, downloadable MP3 compilation of the best music of 2009, by clicking here.)

mestuff

As part of Frequency’s ongoing coverage of music in the first 10 years of the 21st century, I’ve asked a few folks close to the local scene to reflect on the past decade in whatever way they see fit. Today, we have something from the mighty mind and pen of David Clemmer, lead singer and songwriter of local indie-rock band The Dirty Words and a former employee of the now defunct Boomtown Records in downtown Bend.

I know that David is an avid music fan, and he makes some interesting points here, so make sure to click below to read the whole thing. Whether you agree or disagree with him, I hope you’ll leave your own thoughts in the comments.

A Game of Stars

To describe this past decade in music, one would have to appropriate the first run-on sentence in “A Tale of Two Cities.” Best, worst, wisdom, foolishness, belief, incredulity, Light, Darkness, hope, despair, et cetera, ad infinitum. Then you have to factor in mathematics: When you take two equal extremes on either side of the positive-negative spectrum and add them together, you get zero.

In this case: ennui.

There are many possible reasons for this, I think.

What we saw in this quote-unquote “dawn” of a digital age could be seen as an amazing innovation, or could be seen as an incomparable rate of music being distributed for cheap or free directly to our homes without having us leave our chairs. The havoc wreaked on our attention spans is insurmountable. Quantity overpowering quality in the field of subjective and diverse creativity is a dangerous numbing agent.

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Free music. Dig in!

Thursday, December 17th, 2009

nearfarplate

Welcome, music aficionado! You’ve found your way to the Frequency blog and Near/Far, The Bulletin’s online hub for coverage of 2009′s best sounds.

For the third year in a row, we’ve collected dozens of the best songs of the past 12 months from both local and national acts and created a two-disc compilation of free, legal MP3s for your downloading pleasure. You even get cool CD sleeves with artwork and tracklists! Let’s get to the good stuff:

Download “Far” by clicking here
Includes 18 songs by some of the coolest national acts of the year, including Animal Collective, The Avett Brothers, Brendan Benson, Japandroids, The Very Best, Felt (with Aesop Rock), Atlas Sound, Portugal. The Man, Box Elders, Alela Diane, J. Tillman, Telekinesis, Shabazz Palaces and more. See the entire “Far” tracklist here.

Download “Near” by clicking here
Includes 18 songs by some of Central Oregon’s best artists, including Empty Space Orchestra, Person People, Moon Mountain Ramblers, Eric Tollefson, Erin Cole-Baker, Mosley Wotta, Anastacia Beth Scott, The Mostest, Tuck And Roll, The Snag, Dan Shanahan and more. See the entire “Near” tracklist here.

(Please be aware that a few of these tracks might contain some coarse language.)

In today’s issue of Frequency’s big print brother, GO! Magazine, we’ve got several pages dedicated to reviewing music in 2009. For example:

-My favorite albums of the year.
-My 10 favorite local albums of the year and a round-up of some other notable local releases.
-The best musical moments of the year through the eyes of those closest to the scene, presented in handy Top 5 list format.
-My short overview of the Central Oregon music scene in 2009. (Hint: Local musicians stepped up big time.)

Here are some bonus things that are only on the blog:
-My favorite concerts of the year in Central Oregon.
-More Top 5 lists from locals close to the music scene. (We got a ton of these, and ran out of room in print.)

Last, but not least, you’re currently looking at The Bulletin’s music blog, Frequency, where for the past couple of weeks I’ve been reviewing the best music of the past decade. Click here to see those posts, and check back, because I’m not done yet.

And finally, we still have the 2007 and 2008 Near/Far compilations available for free download. Just click here to grab them.

As always, if you have any questions or comments, feel free to send me e-mail. I love feedback, and am always looking to improve Frequency.

The 10 best concerts of the year in Central Oregon

Thursday, December 17th, 2009

I’ve gone on and on about my favorite recordings of 2009 here and here, but live music is the backbone of any good scene. Here is a look back my 10 favorite shows of the past 12 months in chronological order, with excerpts from reviews already published in The Bulletin or on Frequency.

Moon Mountain Ramblers, Jan. 24, Tower Theatre

MMR

(The Ramblers) were terrific. Their arsenal of stringed instruments rang out crisp and clean. The mix was perfect, with percussionist Dale Largent complementing the pickers nicely. Vocally, the harmonies were shipshape, and I was surprised by guitarist Matthew Hyman’s strong voice. I didn’t realize he’s that good of a singer.

As for the set list, the band flitted back and forth between its favorite styles, from Hyman’s twangy ballads to bassist Dan McClung’s jazzgrass instrumentals to mandolinist Joe Schulte’s more rock-influenced numbers.

One highlight was my co-worker Jenny Harada’s song for her brother, Jason, who died last summer, called “Chasing The Sun.” I’m sure there were dry eyes in the house, but they weren’t mine. Another highlight was a new Schulte song built on a weird, ominous groove and featuring a wicked Largent drum solo, like old-time music meets heavy metal. A genre was born just then, I think: doomgrass.

We also got a raucous cover of the old Stealers Wheel hit “Stuck In The Middle,” a perfectly plaintive version of “Restless,” and what may be the Ramblers’ new signature tune, “Let It All Be Good.” In the latter, when Schulte sang “You’re dancing to our music till your toes start to bleed,” I scanned the wiggly bunch up front to get a glimpse of life imitating art.

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What others thought of the year in music (addendum)

Thursday, December 17th, 2009

Tomorrow morning in GO! Magazine, the music section will be dedicated to the best music of 2009, with a couple pages set aside for Top 5 lists from those closest to the scene — the musicians (plus the Tower Theatre’s production manager and a radio DJ.)

A few weeks ago, I sent out a call to everyone I know asking them for their fave five musical moments of the year, and I got back a lot more lists than I could fit in the paper. So click below The Dirtball’s list to read all those that didn’t make it in print, which range from funny to serious to insightful to self-promotional. And thanks to all the good folks to responded! I appreciate it.

The Dirtball
Bend-based rapper
1. Tech N9ne receiving an MTV Woodie Award
2. Brad Jones’ newly released CD “No Strings”
3. The new release from local bluegrass band Quincy Street, “Small Country Towns”
4. The formation of local metal group Kleverkill.
5. Big B’s new record on Suburban Noize Records, “American Underdog”

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Superb songs of the decade: Brad Paisley and Alison Krauss

Thursday, December 17th, 2009

(This post is part of Frequency’s coverage of the best music of the past decade. You can see all of that coverage in one place by clicking here. And be sure to tune in Dec. 18, when I’ll post “Near/Far,” our annual, downloadable MP3 compilation of the best music of 2009, to go along with our year-in-review package in that day’s GO! Magazine.)

If you’re one of the “any kind of music but country” types, you may have never heard this song, which for my money is one of the best and saddest of the decade. Not only is it well-written and devastatingly sad, it’s also performed by two folks I’d call the two most accomplished country artists of the past 10 years, if you consider both commercial success and artistic achievement.

Local music news: The Dirty Words cancel / video of The Erins in France / Living Legends tickets / Ventis celebrates Christmas

Thursday, December 17th, 2009

A few notes from the local music scene:

-The Dirty Words have canceled their performance Friday night as part of Parrilla Grill’s Winter Music Series because frontman David Clemmer is sick.

-Tickets are now on sale at Ranch Records for the big Living Legends show happening Jan. 28 at Midtown Ballroom. It’s not all the Legends, but several of them — Grouch & Eligh, Sunspot Jonz, Luckyiam and Scarub. Tickets are $22 in advance, plus I think Ranch charges an extra buck or two if you pay with plastic.

-It’s mid-December, and you know what that means: Time to get sick of Christmas music! If you’re tired of the same ol’ songs you hear every year, click over to the MySpace of local band Ventis, where they’ve posted several original Christmas tunes.

-As I mentioned briefly in my article on local songstress Erin Cole-Baker last week, she and her musical buddy, Erin Zurflu, just returned from a seven-gig tour in France. On the Internet, they say “post video or it didn’t happen.” So here you go … the video is mislabeled — they play “Berries,” not “Daniel” — but it’s moving pictures of The Erins in Reding, France: