Hardcore troubadour Steve Earle put on a great (and long!) show last night for a sold-out Tower Theatre in Bend. Bulletin photographer Rob Kerr was there and came back with these excellent photos of the man doing what he does better than just about anyone else alive.
Archive for June, 2010
Wednesday, June 30th, 2010
Tuesday, June 29th, 2010
This post has a lot of details about the new 7-inch record from local boys Larry and His Flask, including several links to buy the songs digitally. Conspicuously absent, perhaps, is how to get one of the 1,000 copies of the actual, vinyl record.
If you live in Central Oregon, here’s one way to get it: Ranch Records on Wall Street has ‘em now, at $8 for the limited, hand-numbered edition on white vinyl, and $6 for the not-as-limited, non-numbered edition on red vinyl. As of about 1 p.m., they had around a dozen copies. Check ‘em out:
Monday, June 28th, 2010
Advance tickets go on sale July 10 through Ticketmaster, at a cost of $48.50 for general admission and $79.50 for reserved seating. Those numbers do not include Ticketmaster’s fees. (Helpful hint: Use cash to buy one of the first 300 tickets at The Ticket Mill in the Old Mill District, and you’ll pay less in fees.)
Friday, June 25th, 2010
If you’re friends with longtime Bendistillery Martini Bar manager Reggie Martinez (online or in the real world), you know he’s been talking about this for a while, but now, it’s official: Martinez has purchased the bar — located in the breezeway downtown — from Bendistillery and renamed it the Madhappy Lounge.
I talked to Martinez today and he said he officially took ownership of the bar on Monday. He spent this week scrambling to make a few cosmetic changes in preparation of reopening tonight for a weekend full of — what else? — electronic music and hip-hop. Tonight will see Sonicbloom roll through, and Notes from Underground will play the lounge on Saturday. Both shows will begin around 9 p.m.
Martinez, who’s originally from San Diego, moved to Bend in 2003 with dreams of opening a arts/party venue like those he’d seen in bigger cities. In mid-2007, he began DJing at the martini bar, and before long, he was bartending. Soon after, he became the spot’s manager and was given the OK to begin booking music. Since then, the bar has been one of Bend’s busier venues, with frequent performances by DJs and rappers, plus the occasional show by an acoustic, jazz or rock act.
All along, Bendistillery owner Jim Bendis was aware that his manager wanted to own the bar someday, and he wanted to move the company’s sampling room out to its property in Tumalo, Martinez said. Last fall, Martinez began making moves to buy the bar from Bendis, and about two months ago, the two started working in earnest to make the deal happen. After completing extensive paperwork from the OLCC and City of Bend on Monday, Martinez owned the bar free and clear, he said.
Besides giving Madhappy Lounge a good cleaning and “opening up the space,” Martinez will adjust the bar’s food and drink offerings a bit. First to go: the martini glasses. “They’re too costly and they take up too much room,” he said. “So it’s going to be more of a cocktail lounge.” He’s also going to expand the beer selection and provide more of a full bar, and he’ll and adjust the menu “a little.” (He will also continue to carry Bendistillery products and will maintain a close relationship with the company, he said.)
As far as the music offerings, Martinez will continue what he’s always done, though he wants to get back to booking more bands as opposed to just DJs and MCs. (For example, the Bend Jazz Collective will perform at the lounge on Wednesday night.) As of now, Martinez is aiming for an official grand reopening on July 23.
Friday, June 25th, 2010
Local Scratch is an occasional series that profiles interesting DJs in Bend and Central Oregon.
Lucius Wheeler, 27, learned to spin from the DJs at The Grove – Mike Graham, Brian Swett, DJ Smoke. He likes to play dance music and he certainly knows how to get people riled up using a lot of quick, trippy beats and world music and hip-hop samples.
I saw the scene at First Friday earlier this month, when DJ Lucius – or his alter ego, Sky Beast – played at the PoetHouse, nearly inciting a rave. You might have seen him do the same thing at Astro Lounge or Bo Restobar.
But despite learning from some of the original gangsters of Bend’s DJ scene, Wheeler is working on something pretty new. For about a year, he’s been DJing for yoga classes – that’s right, the kind of yoga you might think of as being set to chanting, rain forest sounds and spacey new-age CDs.
Wheeler is a yoga instructor as well as massage therapist and group counselor. He was drumming at yoga classes at Mandala Yoga Community, or MYC, when another instructor suggested he take it to the next level and try DJing while the students stretched (apparently popular in L.A.). He had so much fun, it stuck. Now he DJs one class a month.
Check out “Pay What You Can DJ Yoga” with DJ Lucius tonight at MYC (55 NW Minnesota St. in Bend, above The Wine Shop) from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Find a free download at soundcloud.com/luciuswheeler, listen to more mixes at myspace.com/luciuswheeler and read about all Wheeler’s projects at luciuswheeler.wordpress.com.
What’s your setup?
I use Ableton Live on a Macbook Pro, and I use an M-Audio midi controller and then a little audio interface to crisp up the sound. I don’t use records for live shows anymore, made the full switch over to computers.
Plus you wear like, a wolf hat, right?
I actually call it the Sky Beast. It’s actually a custom headdress made by my friend Sarah up at the PoetHouse.
What music are you into lately?
I really enjoy club root, the atmospheric dub step stuff which is really good. Let’s see — on the world music side of things there’s a Nepalese woman singer who is just incredible, she collaborated with Steve Tibbetts… that’s really on repeat. Choying Drolma. One of their albums is called Selwa. Just like, really gorgeous acoustic and electric production mixed with these Nepalese vocals that are just incredible.
What kind of music do you spin at parties?
Definitely it tends to be more uptempo — house music, tech house, some like, disco-inspired stuff, and modern electronica as well.
What do you usually play for yoga classes?
It tends to be downtempo stuff, there’d be like anywhere from like 80 bpm up to under 100 bpm, so it’s kinda downtempo midtempo stuff. There’s kind of a flow to the classes. We usually start out with a warm up of some sorts, so there can be a meditation section without any rhythms. It’s more like atmospheres and textures for the beginning. Then moving into more of the movement stuff.
Having a consistent pulse is really helpful for the students and the yoga instuctor as well. You could liken it to breathing, to have the in-breath and to have the out-breath; times where intensity sort of rises, and you have to have times where the intensity releases. Sometimes that means sound goes away.
How is it different DJing for yoga?
The focus for me has been how am I really crafting an atmosphere and crafting a space, like that sonic space, and DJing for yoga classes in particular really brings that to the forefront. Like a dance party, if something doesn’t jive with the people, it’s really going to show… (but it’s) more concentrated, more focused in a yoga class. It feels like there is less tolerance for messing up, less tolerance for a sound that is grating to the ears. You have to be smooth and good track selection is pretty essential.
Is there a DJ you’d like to know better? Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org with “local DJ” in the subject line.
Friday, June 25th, 2010
The Acorn Project, from Bellingham, Wash., is coming down to play three consecutive nights at Bend’s McMenamins Old St. Francis School. That seemed like a good-enough reason to chat with saxophonist Sam Lax about the band.
If Acorn Project is a jam band, they’re one with a sense of momentum. Where most jam bands might engage in endless, aimless guitar noodling, this one keeps moving forward, rocking out, ever mindful of keeping a beat.
In other words, Acorn Project’s music is jammy, sure, but also muscular and punchy, a result of its members’ varied interests.
“Everybody has a pretty different taste in what they like, and I think that … kind of led to our eclectic mix,” Lax said. “Our bass player and lead singer/guitarist are both big fans of blues-rock and more of an indie sound. Myself and the keyboard player are really into the jam scene and the live electronica scene. And then we have our drummer who’s big into hip-hop.”
And while the individual Acorns will improvise and take solos, the band tries to focus on strong songwriting rather than just setting sail and seeing where the wind blows.
“If we’re going to write a funk song, we want it to sound like funk,” Lax said. “We’ll open it up and let things flow, but we try to have, like, an end in sight, you know?”
You can check out the whole thing here.
Elsewhere in this week’s music section:
Bend-based booking agency In The Pocket Artists is having a family gathering of sorts this weekend, as four bands from its roster play in town over three days. Click here to read up on the company, as well as Rubblebucket, The Staxx Brothers, Jukebot! and Empty Space Orchestra.
It seems like every week, another local artist is releasing a new album. This week, we have two: Sisters singer-songwriter Dennis McGregor will celebrate “Behind The Beat, Below The Note” Saturday at the Harmony House, and Bend Americana combo Moon Mountain Ramblers will show off their new double-disc “Live at the Tower” album with a show tonight at Angeline’s Bakery in Sisters, and Saturday night at Silver Moon Brewing in Bend.
Still not satisfied? How about punk vets GBH at the Domino Room, jazzman Dan Balmer kicking off Black Butte Ranch’s summer concert series, and David Miller, Erin Cole-Baker and the Rough String Band, plus an update on Last Band Standing. As always, there’s much, much more in The Bulletin’s complete music listings.
And don’t forget: some of the best tunes in town this weekend will be at the Bite of Bend. We’re talking March Fourth Marching Band, Rubblebucket, Ascetic Junkies, The Staxx Brothers and more. Here’s our story on that!
Thursday, June 24th, 2010
McMenamins Old St. Francis School‘s weekly Wednesday-night concerts are among Bend’s most popular gathering spots, thanks to the cost (free) and the beer (drinkable). Now, the downtown venue is adding free shows on Thursday nights as part of a company-wide expansion of its live-music offerings.
There is no show tonight, and next week’s Thursday show by the Acorn Project is part of the new McMenamins Residency Series (more on that in a bit), but here are some upcoming Thursday dates. Shows start at 7 p.m. Note the local slant:
So what’s up with the sudden surge in live music happening at Old St. Francis School? McMenamins marketing man Mike Walker explains:
Wednesday, June 23rd, 2010
You can read more about Schneiderman here, and here’s a song for you, for free download. It’s cool, so don’t skip it:
Tuesday, June 22nd, 2010
Over the past couple years, the Clear Summer Nights concert series has slashed its ticket prices but continued to bring some pretty heavy hitters to Bend, making it one of the best bangs for your concert bucks in Central Oregon.
The 2010 season is no different. Here’s the lineup:
Tickets for the series — which is held at the Athletic Club of Bend — go on sale tomorrow. General admission tickets are $16, available at Newport Avenue Market in Bend. Dinner tickets are $57, available at the athletic club, and get you dinner at Scanlon’s, but not a reserved seat for the show. (There are no reserved seats for these shows any more.)
More info can be had at the C3 Events website.
Monday, June 21st, 2010
As you may have heard, local MC / poet / painter / etc. Mosley Wotta (aka Jason Graham) released a very limited run of his new album, “Wake,” at last Thursday’s Last Band Standing. I talked to Graham and got a sneak preview of the album on Wednesday, but decided not to post about it last week due to my concerns about showing any favoritism toward an artist before an LBS performance.
Not that he needs my help when it comes to promotional power. Make no mistake, Graham’s decision to put together hand-made, art-laden “Wake” CDs for LBS wasn’t a happy coincidence. The idea was to draw folks in and hope that those folks voted for Mosley Wotta. It worked; Graham and his new live band (Colten Tyler/guitar, Aaron Miller/keys, Jason Schmidt/drums, Thomas T./bass) packed Boondocks with the biggest crowd of the night and won enough votes to move on to the finals on July 1.
There were other motivations for doing this, though. For one, Graham is an artist, not only musically, but visually, too. He spent much of last week in the
mad scientists’ lair basement of his west-side home, carefully cutting out interesting images from a wide range of magazines and books (he drew special inspiration from books on underwater life and American Indians) and taping those images onto cardboard CD cases. To keep them together, he laminated each CD. He told me Friday that he made around 25 copies and sold them all.
From his Facebook invitation to Thursday’s show (emphasis added by me):
Each individual cover is a unique collage piece containing 16 tracks including songs: “BOOM FOR REAL”, “SMOKE” and “ROll On BYe” . FEAR NOT You will of course be able to buy the album in its homogenized form or online but, FIRST THINGS FIRST. GOTTA MAKE ART!
The other reason for the hand-made run, I think, is Graham’s own unique mix of patience and impatience. “Wake” has been a long time coming; when I wrote this long profile of him two and a half years ago, he was already working on these songs with an eye toward making an album. Over the past two years, he’s released them in fits and starts — such as the fantastic “Scrap Mettle” EP and a split CD with Cloaked Characters — but for the most part, he’s been patient, hunkered down in the lab and writing, rewriting, recording and rerecording to make sure everything is just right. Now, it is. If you’ve been paying attention to Graham’s releases / live show / MySpace for a while, you’ll recognize many of these songs: “Boom For Real,” “Roll On Bye,” “Smoke,” “Licking Reason,” “Smile Hater Smile” and “Po-Kno-Mo” all make appearances. But there are a few songs I didn’t know, most notably “Consolidate” and “Respite,” both of which are great. (Special shout-out to DJ A-Bomb for that crackling, jazzy “Respite” beat. DOPE CITY.)
All that said, Graham’s already excited about future releases. Last week, we talked a bit about “Wake,” which he described as a sort of clearing-the-vaults release, intended to collect all his work to this point in one place. But we talked more about “Kink Konk,” Graham’s next album that — if the songs he played for me are any indication — will have a higher production value than “Wake.” (Don’t take that to mean that it will be more pop-influenced, though; check out the twangy vibe of “Front Porch” here.) He even briefly mentioned a third album, but let’s not even go there. Right now, Graham doesn’t yet know when he’ll officially release “Wake,” much less “Kink Konk” and beyond.
Speaking of which, a handful of hand-made copies of “Wake” will not satiate the Mosley masses. Some time this summer, Graham will hold an official CD-release event for the fancy, “homogenized” version of the album. As of last week, when and where had yet to be determined. In the meantime, there are about 25 folks in Bend walking around with a custom-made, advance copy of what may very well be the best local album of 2010.