Archive for March, 2010

[Video] Eric Tollefson and the World’s Greatest Lovers go to L.A., Act III: It’s Like Changin’ A Drum Head

Wednesday, March 31st, 2010

OK, it’s been a couple weeks since our last video update from Bend-based blues-rock band Eric Tollefson and the World’s Greatest Lovers‘ trip to Los Angeles to play at the world-famous Whisky a Go Go club in Hollywood. (Here are parts one and two.) It took ’em a while to edit this, and by now, the band is back, the gig is ancient history, and so on. But, in the interest of completeness, I’m going to go ahead and post the third and final installment of their video diary, which includes some pre-show shenanigans, still photos from the show (no video cameras allowed inside), and footage of the group doing something every touring band must master: changing a tire. Thanks to Tollefson and the Lovers for putting this and the previous videos together and taking Frequency readers along for the ride:

The Slackers are not playing Tuesday in Bend

Sunday, March 28th, 2010

Give an unskilled man Microsoft Paint and this is what you get.

If you were planning on seeing the veteran NYC ska band The Slackers Tuesday at Mountain’s Edge in Bend, you’re out of luck. It’s not happening.

I know. I’m bummed, too.

The show appeared solidly booked for a long time, but in the past few days, I spoke to Ben Mann (who originally booked the gig) and Mountain’s Edge General Manager Buck Bales (who took over the deal when Mann stepped away a while back) and both said it’s officially, assuredly canceled.

The reason? A mishmash of miscommunication too murky to bother with here. Over the last several days, though, I’ve seen quite a bit of chatter about the show online, so I thought it was worth some Frequency ink to make sure everyone’s clear: No Slackers in Bend Tuesday night.

ALSO: Tonight’s show at Mountain’s Edge by California ska/punk band the Voodoo Glow Skulls is still on. There’s been some confusion on this one, too, but it is happening, and it’s happening tonight. Things will kick off around 8 p.m. with openers Tuck And Roll and Danger Death Ray, and cover is $10.

[MP3] A sampler platter of tonight’s CD-release shows

Saturday, March 27th, 2010

In a pretty amazing coincidence, there are no fewer than three CD-release shows by local artists tonight in Central Oregon. (Four if you count Mai from Moon Mountain Rambler’s shindig at Three Creeks Brewing Co., in Sisters, but he’s working up to a bigger event in a few weeks, so he can wait.)

I know what you’re thinking: “I really want to support Bend’s local musicians and their artistic endeavors, but with three CD-release shows in one evening, how do I choose which to attend?” Make Local Habit, right?

Frequency is here to help you figure out which one best suits your taste. Below are links to more information on each, including articles I wrote for yesterday’s GO! Magazine (where you can also find the when/where/cost, etc.), the artists’ Web sites and, courtesy of these guys, one song from each album available for free download. (You may need to right-click and choose “Save As” to grab the MP3s.) Away we go:

Gary Fulkerson, “Float and Scatter”
Bulletin article // Site
MP3: Download Gary Fulkerson, “But I’ll Try”

Guy J Jackson & David Finch, “Odd Frost”
Bulletin article // Site (Jackson) // Site (Finch)
MP3: Download Guy J Jackson & David Finch, “Odd Frost”

Ross Rogers, “The Good Life”
Bulletin article // Site
MP3: Download Ross Rogers, “Living the Good Life”

Clint Black, Goo Goo Dolls coming to Les Schwab Amphitheater this summer

Friday, March 26th, 2010

Now there’s a headline I never would’ve guessed I’d be writing.

But it’s true. Per the Old Mill District’s Twitter, today’s two additions to the Schwab’s Bend Summer Concerts series are ’90s alt-rock stars Goo Goo Dolls on May 28, and country music veteran Clint Black on Aug. 29.

Tickets will go on sale on April 3. Ticket prices and other details will be released on Monday.

If you’re like me, you’re probably wondering what these two acts have been up to. First, the Goo Goo Dolls. For one thing, they still exist. And they apparently have a new album coming out this spring. They’re from Buffalo, N.Y. and are best known for a string of hits in the mid- to late-’90s, most notably the touchy-feely acoustic strummers “Iris” and “Name.” They have a Twitter account, but it’s totally boring, all Ustream links and ticket pre-sale announcements. Gotta pick up the pace, Rzeznik!

Now, Clint Black. He was born in New Jersey but raised in Texas, and it’s the Texas that has stuck with him. Over the past 20 years, he’s had dozens of hit songs and sold millions of albums, plus he always wears a black hat, I think because his last name is Black. And, he’s one of the few country music superstars who records mostly his own songs. So props for that. Best of all, he has a Twitter account, too, which features classic one-liners like this one: “What’s with the protests against Capitalism?! Every country in the world has a capital!” And this one: “I was going to just lay around today but I decided to sit around instead. I might even stand around a little later! Can’t call me lazy!” Should I keep going?

Black and the Goos join Band of Horses and She & Him (May 30), Merle Haggard (June 20), Steve Miller Band (July 16) and Willie Nelson (Sept. 17) at the Schwab this summer. For more info, visit the Schwab’s Web site.

This week in GO! Magazine’s music section

Friday, March 26th, 2010

Local guitarist and singer-songwriter Gary Fulkerson has a CD-release show planned for Saturday at Silver Moon Brewing. The guy was also one of my favorite interviews in a long time. For an hour, we talked about music, fear, doubt, triumph … and doughnuts. Here’s a taste:

“Emotionally and creatively, I felt as though I wasn’t really being true to myself somehow, and I wasn’t really expressing what I needed to express,” he said. “The combination of picking up the guitar (came together with) feeling completely stuck and reaching this pit, and at the confluence of those things, I started to write songs. So I sat down and I wrote this first song.”

That was more than two years ago. Since then , the songs have poured forth, and Fulkerson has compiled some of them on his new album, “Float and Scatter,” which he’ll celebrate with a show Saturday in Bend.

“It became a need more than something I wanted to try. It became a necessity,” Fulkerson said. “It was like, ‘I’ve got to just get something out. Something has to get out of me.’ And when I wrote that first song, it was as if I had released a breath that I’d been holding in for a century. And it was like, ‘I want another one of those.’ So I wrote another and another, and all of a sudden that doubt and question in my mind began to just melt away.”

I hope you’ll read the whole thing here.

(Video of Brandi in Bend by snowshoe80.)

I attended the Brandi Carlile concert on March 17 at Bend’s Tower Theatre and was pretty much blown away. Here’s an excerpt of my review:

Carlile focused on material from her 2009 album “Give Up the Ghost,” but also dug into her breakout record, 2007’s “The Story,” flanked (as usual) by longtime collaborators and identical twins Tim and Phil Hanseroth. On stage, the three are a soulful study in symmetry, constantly approaching and backing away from their microphones like pistons in a car engine.

They’re also pretty darn tight musically, as proven on a gathered-round-the-mic version of “Oh Dear,” the perfect Hanseroth harmonies on “Looking Out,” and the easygoing, ’70s-inspired chorus of “Late Morning Lullaby.”

But most of all, they proved it with an unamplified take on “Ghost” standout “Dying Day,” played on beat-up guitars at the edge of the stage to take advantage of the Tower’s top-notch acoustics. It was a jaw-dropping performance, a highly skilled jam session transported from some far-away front porch, and unquestionably the highlight of a night full of highlights.

You can see a bunch of photos of the show here, and you can read my whole review here.

Bendites Guy J Jackson and David Finch have a new album called “Odd Frost,” which features Jackson’s surreal poetry set to Finch’s improvised jazz. They’re doing a CD-release show Saturday at Greenwood Playhouse.

“My stories are generally pretty wacky-doo. There’s always some kind of hyper-real aspect in there,” Jackson said. “Bob Dylan’s kind of my big ol’ hero. He kind of walks the universe in his songs … and that’s what I try to do. I think, like, ‘OK, now I need a story about corporate life, and now I need a story about a chicken and his human friend.’”

Jackson said he has long been interested in working with musicians who can score his stories. In Finch, he found a willing and able partner. The two recorded the songs late at night, with no rehearsal. In fact, Finch often hadn’t heard the story before tape began to roll.

“We just started throwing out stuff. I’d say, ‘Give me the feel. Give me the tone,’ and we’d just record it,” Finch said. “It just kind of was magic.”

Read the whole thing by clicking here.

Elsewhere in this week’s music section: Portland hip-hop kingpin Cool Nutz, a CD-release show for Redmond’s Ross Rogers, Bill Nershi and Scott Law return to town, Old Stone Church hosts the “Portland Indie Infusion” with The Dimes, Norman and Tortune, and The Dirty Words play McMenamins Old St. Francis School. And, as always, you can find more in our complete music listings.

[Video] Portland Cello Project at McMenamins Old St. Francis School

Thursday, March 25th, 2010

It was quite the scene last night in Father Luke’s Room at Bend’s McMenamins Old St. Francis School, where the Portland Cello Project played for a crowd so big it spilled — no, flooded — out into the hallway.

When I arrived at 7:30 p.m., it was impossible to even get near the door of the room, much less see the stage. You could hear the six-piece classical/pop-hybrid cello band playing, but unless you were willing to fight through a sea of people and tables, and stand rudely in front of someone, there was no getting close to the action.

I wasn’t about to do that, so I went to have dinner at El Caporal West and returned around 9 p.m., just when PCP principal Douglas Jenkins was announcing the band’s second set break. I took advantage of that and found a nice seat up front, where I got to watch PCP play a Jenkins original, the famous aria “Habanera” from the opera “Carmen,” the theme song from the film “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon,” Rihanna’s hit song “Hard” and Dave Brubeck’s famous “Take Five.” They also accompanied Portland artist Catherine Feeny on three gorgeous songs.

It was a fun set, and certainly not your usual Wednesday-night show at McMenamins. Three things of note: 1) This had to be the oldest crowd I’ve ever seen there. 2) It also had to be the first crowd in McMenamins history to “ooh” and “aah” at the mention of an opera aria. And 3) Where else can you go and watch a cello performance and sit just feet away from a guy in a Blink-182 T-shirt? Only a Portland Cello Project show, I say.

Here’s some video I shot. First up is Rihanna’s “Hard.”

Second, we have the PCP collaborating with Feeny.

Finally, here’s the band’s take on the famous jazz tune “Take Five.”

Review / photos: Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue at Sisters High School

Wednesday, March 24th, 2010

(Note: I hoped to get this review into Friday’s GO! Magazine, but we’ve run out of space, so I’m posting it here. It’s been a full week since the show, but better late than never. All photos by Ben.)

Words can’t convey the feeling that filled the Sisters High School auditorium March 16 when Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue came to town.

But I will try to put it into words for you, anyway. Or rather, a word: Joy.

Pure, unadulterated joy coursed through the auditorium for two solid hours on that Tuesday night, as Trombone Shorty, aka Troy Andrews, and his six-piece funksplosion of a band wrapped up the Sisters Folk Festival’s Winter Concert Series.


It was quite a sight watching the good people of Sisters and Central Oregon, ranging in age from 7 to 70, get down – deep, deep down – to the soulful urban sounds of Orleans Avenue. This was truly a melding of cultures, where a 24-year-old black man from a tough neighborhood in New Orleans can coax hundreds of white people from a rural New West town to wave their hands in the air like they just don’t care, and not one person in the room feels even a hint of self-consciousness.

This is what happens when a hyper-skilled and high-energy band throws down in front of an adoring audience – folks simply lose control of their body and mind. There was a sense of euphoria in Trombone Shorty’s crowd, and nowhere was it more obvious than on the faces of the young people who packed the open space between the stage and the first row of seats.


It was like watching inspiration – profound, core-reaching inspiration – happen in front of your eyes.


Indie rockers take heart: New PDXchange Program books The Helio Sequence, Horse Feathers in Bend

Wednesday, March 24th, 2010

Attention, fans of indie rock: If you’re still hoping for additional Sasquatch-related shows to come to Bend’s Les Schwab Amphitheater over Memorial Day weekend, don’t hold your breath. I have a feeling that the May 30 Band of Horses / She & Him show is going to be it. (Mind you, “it” is pretty great: One show, but two headlining-level acts, plus the up-and-coming Dawes as an opener.)

BUT! Have no fear, Hankystar is here! Hankystar Presents is the promotional company of Henry Abel, a local music nut who’s set to introduce the PDXchange Program, a concert series that will focus on bringing Portland-based bands over to Bend’s Tower Theatre and pairing them with a local opening act. He’s just confirmed his first set of shows, and they’re a couple of doozies: the wonderful hushed-folk act Horse Feathers on May 25, and veteran electro-rock duo The Helio Sequence on June 3. Awesome!

Below are the posters for the two shows, with all the details except ticket prices, which are $15 for each show. Tickets will be available soon through the Tower box office and The Ticket Mill in the Old Mill District. Also, stay tuned for more on Hankystar Presents and the PDXchange Program!

This week in GO! Magazine’s music section

Friday, March 19th, 2010

First things first:

Tonight, there are a whole bunch of ways to help the people of Haiti in downtown Bend. The centerpiece is a concert at the Tower Theatre featuring David Jacobs-Strain, Rootdown, Reed Thomas Lawrence and Eric Tollefson. There’s also a pre-party before the show at the Astro Lounge, and an afterparty happening at the Liberty Theater. Get all the details by clicking here.

The Portland Cello Project will bring its blend of classical music and pop-culture know-how to McMenamins Old St. Francis School next week. I chatted with PCP founder Douglas Jenkins about the group’s repertoire, which features … well, just read on:

“If (audiences) leave with … a lot of confusion, I’m fine with (that),” Jenkins said. “Like, ‘Why did Arvo Pärt come after Britney?’”

Pärt is a contemporary, minimalist classical composer from Estonia. And, yes, “Britney” is Britney Spears, the pop tart-turned-tabloid star whose Grammy-winning 2004 hit “Toxic” is the most-requested song in PCP’s repertoire.

It’s that mishmash of a repertoire, combined with PCP’s classically-trained chops, that has made the group an unlikely breakout star on Portland’s overflowing music scene. According to, PCP’s material includes everything from Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake and Outkast to Bach, Beethoven and Argentine tango composer Astor Piazzolla.

In between, there’s Michael Jackson and Led Zeppelin, Pantera and Pink Floyd, ABBA and A-ha, plus Bon Jovi, Guns N’ Roses and Metallica, theme songs from films (“Star Wars”), television shows (“Star Trek”) and video games (“Super Mario Bros.”), Portland-based indie faves like The Builders and The Butchers, Weinland and Laura Gibson, and original tunes, too.

Intrigued? You should be. And you should read the whole thing here.

Elsewhere in this week’s music section: Mark Schultz and Point of Grace, The Irish Rovers, Little Fish, Audiolized, The Autonomics, and a busy week at Silver Moon Brewing & Taproom, including Nettle Honey, John Cruz and a “Herstory” open mic to benefit the Human Dignity Coalition. And you’ll always find lots more in our complete music listings.

Steve Earle coming to Bend June 29

Friday, March 19th, 2010

Just announced by Random Presents: Roots-rock icon Steve Earle will play a solo acoustic show at the Tower Theatre in Bend on June 29. Tickets go on sale “soon,” according to Random’s Web site, and cost $35 and $45. More details here.

Whether you think of him as an alt-country godfather, left-leaning political activist or Walon from “The Wire,” Earle has, over the past 15 years, evolved into one of the most interesting and engaging musicians going.

Here at Frequency, we focus on the music, and Earle’s got a catalog of songs that stack up with anyone’s. From his 1986 breakthrough album “Guitar Town” to last year’s record of Townes Van Zandt — and including an untouchable five-album stretch from 1995 to 2000 — Earle has amassed a long, varied and highly respected body of work that has earned him three Grammys, countless critical accolades, and a great nickname: the “hard-core troubadour.” Personally, my interest in the man’s recorded material has waned a bit in recent years, but this is a great booking and I’m stoked to have such a top-notch performer in Bend.

Click below to listen to some of my favorite Steve Earle songs, and leave a comment and tell me your favorite! (more…)