Archive for January, 2011

new Fleet Foxes song: “Helplessness Blues”

Monday, January 31st, 2011

Now this is the right way to start a Monday. Here’s a new song from Fleet Foxes called “Helplessness Blues,” from the band’s sophomore album of the same name, due out May 3 on Subpop Records. (They also announced a show at Portland’s Crystal Ballroom on May 1.)

Fleet Foxes’ 2008 debut is one of my favorite records of the past few years, and I’ve been waiting to hear their next step ever since. This is a very promising start.

Fleet Foxes – Helplessness Blues by subpop

Tonight: X-Ray Press

Friday, January 28th, 2011

Michael Pasuit, left, and Paurl Walsh are the core members of X-Ray Press.

Tonight marks the end of Empty Space Orchestra’s four-Friday residency at Silver Moon Brewing & Taproom, and one of the cool things about the run has been the opening acts: four different bands, all very different, all good.

This evening’s opener is my favorite of the four. X-Ray Press is an experimental rock band out of Seattle with a brand new album called “UVB-76″ that takes me right back to working in college radio in the middle of the country during math-rock‘s heyday. “UVB-76″ is a complex chunk of punk/rock/jazz/etc., where time signatures switchback more than the road over Mackenzie Pass. It’s not easily digestible music, but it’s built to challenge ears and kick down genre walls.

All that said, these dudes also have a knack for building up twisty, turning tension, and then breaking it with a sliver of totally accessible melody. Like, check out the song below; the first 1:50 or so sounds like weird, robotic worms writhing in a bed of guitar strings and effects pedals, devouring each other in unorthodox time. Right around that point, though, X-Ray Press shifts into Grizzly Bear mode, singing a capella harmonies for a spell before one of the guys takes over with soaring lead vocals. Play or download it:

Download X-Ray Press, “The Terms (In the Colors of Our DNA)”

To find out a little more about this band, I sent ‘em a few questions, and they were nice enough to send back a few answers via e-mail. Here’s that interview, slightly edited:

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This week in GO! Magazine’s music section

Friday, January 28th, 2011

Morning, folks. Short, simple roundup of what’s in GO! Magazine today. Find all this stuff at The Bulletin’s music page:

There are a bunch of solid shows in town this week, and it seemed to me that an inordinate number of them featured female artists, so I packaged those together. Click right here to read up on the contemporary folk of Beth Wood and Shireen Amini, the sultry Americana of Emma Hill, the soulful hip-hop of God-Des & She (who are headlining the That’s So Gay black and white party), and VJ Kittyrox, who runs the popular 80s Video Dance Attack party, which is exactly what it sounds like.

Elsewhere in this week’s music section: local band Roses at Gunpoint will play to raise money for paralyzed snowboarder Tyler Eklund, Empty Space Orchestra ends its four-week residency at Silver Moon, Elliot and Adventure Galley headline a Rise Up show at Century Center, The Quons are at Velvet, Willie Carmichael is at Three Creeks Brewing Co., and new music spot The Marilyn hosts Justin Lavik / Grace Laxson tonight and The Sweet Harlots Saturday. Plus, Mountain Country Idol has started in Redmond, pitting several local artists against each other over several weeks in an effort to find Central Oregon’s finest country act.

[Video] Elizabeth Cook at McMenamins

Friday, January 28th, 2011

Elizabeth Cook‘s show Wednesday night at McMenamins could probably be summed up in one word: charming. But they don’t pay me to write one word, so I’ll have a full review in next week’s GO! Magazine.

For now, enjoy three videos of Cook and her band showcasing their versatility with a Velvet Underground cover, a Louvin Brothers song (in tribute to Charlie Louvin, who died earlier that day), and one of Cook’s originals … in that order.

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[Video] Dawes at Silver Moon Brewing

Friday, January 28th, 2011

(Sorry I’m just now getting around to posting this. I’ll spare you the excuses.)

The L.A.-based country-rock band Dawes played a fine, fine show Tuesday night for a good-sized crowd at Bend’s Silver Moon Brewing & Taproom. I have to admit: I was really impressed with the turnout, especially considering it was a Tuesday in January and the show wasn’t announced until the last minute.

By the end of the night, though, it made sense; more people love this band than I realized. Or, at least, they definitely love one of this band’s songs. I have never been in the middle of as loud a singalong as I was on Tuesday.

I’ll have more details in next Friday’s GO! Magazine, but for now, enjoy video of “Time Spent in Los Angeles,” a warm, well-bred pop song that frontman Taylor Goldsmith said would be on Dawes’ new album, due out this year.

I was gonna remind you about the Dawes show tonight, but …

Tuesday, January 25th, 2011

… instead, I’m just going to introduce you to the opening act, Jonny Corndawg, after my whirlwind bromance with the guy this morning.

Listen to his music here, and check out his really cool leatherwork here. Then, do like I’m going to do and be at Silver Moon Brewing & Taproom on time tonight (that’s 9 p.m.) to catch Jonny and then Dawes. More details here.

Corndawg sez: Keep your body happy through exercise!

This week in GO! Magazine’s music section

Friday, January 21st, 2011

This is a video for a Mickey Avalon song. So the lyrics/themes might be objectionable to some listeners. Consider yourself warned.

Hollywood glam-rapper Mickey Avalon is set to light up Bend’s Domino Room tonight. I chatted with Mickey about his goals as a musician.

“The only reason I even tried to get so big in the first place instead of staying in the underground is because in the underground, there is a short shelf life,” he said. “Like look at the Rolling Stones. I knew if I get that big, then I can do this for the rest of my life. If I don’t, then it will die out.

“The Rolling Stones ain’t had a hit in forever, but they’re the Rolling Stones, so they’re gonna play until they’re 100 years old and it’s all good,” Avalon said. “If you don’t make it and you’re trying to play till you’re 100 years old, you just look like an old desperate weirdo.”

The gap between Avalon’s on-stage persona and how he comes off in interviews is massive. You should really get a well-rounded look at the guy by clicking here. (Note: Sorry, that link will only work for subscribers to The Bulletin. I’ll update it with a free version on Monday.)

This coming week is busy, busy, busy on the local music scene, and we’ve got stories on three fine acts coming to local bars. Click the names to read up on L.A. country-rockers Dawes, NYC AfroLatinfunkateers The Pimps of Joytime, and twangy Nashville sweetheart Elizabeth Cook.

Elsewhere in the music section: The Dela Project plays a show to raise funds for their upcoming album, MadHappy Lounge hosts hip-hoppers Tanya Morgan and Big Pooh on Sunday and The Melodramatics on Thursday, Ashland indie-folk trio Kites & Crows plays portello, LJ Booth gets his folk on at the HarmonyHouse and Cicada Omega returns to Silver Moon Brewing.

Tonight: Boy Eats Drum Machine

Friday, January 21st, 2011

Empty Space Orchestra’s four-week residency at Silver Moon Brewing & Taproom (24 N.W. Greenwood Ave., Bend) continues tonight, and this week’s opening act is a good one: Boy Eats Drum Machine, which is the alias of Jon Ragel, a one-man fun-times attack out of Portland who’s been making records on his own terms since 2001.

Ragel’s sound is a funky and chunky mix of indie rock, jazz, hip-hop and electronic pop that’s excellent and compelling but also … well … it’d also be a sweet soundtrack to your next all-night sweat-soaked basement dance party. Imagine a battle of the bands featuring DJ Shadow, Menomena, That 1 Guy, Morphine and The Smiths, except you let all of them play at the same time and it sounds totally organic and seamless. That’s Boy Eats Drum Machine.

And Ragel’s live show is renowned; he’s a multitasking blur on stage, jumping back and forth between samplers, turntable, drums and a saxophone to whip up a sonic cyclone. In other words, if you’re heading to Silver Moon tonight, don’t be a dummy and show up late. Get there by 9 p.m. to ensure you see Boy Eats Drum Machine. (Cover is $5 in advance or $7 at the door.)

In the meantime, here’s the title track of one of the two albums Ragel released in 2010:

And, of course, you can hear (and download) much more at BEDM’s website and bandcamp.

Amending my 2011 wish list: Music for Baby Boomers

Thursday, January 20th, 2011

Before we get too far away from this article, in which I listed my hopes and wishes for the Central Oregon music scene in 2010, I want to add one item to it.

This addition is actually prompted by not one, but two e-mails I received from readers who expressed disappointment in the number of local concerts geared toward an older generation. Let’s call them … Baby Boomers. (I just made that term up. OK, not really.) Take it away, bummed Boomers …

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New venue for live music: The Marilyn

Wednesday, January 19th, 2011

I’ve seen rumblings about this place on Facebook, but today, the official press release showed up: The Marilyn is a new bar, lounge and live-music venue at 415 N.E. Third Street, located a block south of Franklin Avenue behind Kayo’s Dinner House.

The Marilyn used to be Kayo’s Lounge and is connected to the dinner house; access is through the main restaurant’s lobby or the back entrance. Its name is derived from the Marilyn Monroe/1950s theme, and it’s owned by Kayo Oakley, though Ryan Huffman — a local marketing/branding/design guy who has been heavily involved in the local music scene in recent months — is handling event booking for both the bar and a banquet hall downstairs.

Here’s The Marilyn’s current lineup, which can be found at its Facebook page:

Friday — The JZ Band, Anastacia, stand-up comedian Mark Vaughn
Saturday — Franchot Tone
Feb. 4 — JoAnna Lee
Feb. 5 — Two/Thirds Trio
Feb. 12 — Brian Hinderberger
Feb. 14 — The Quons

All shows are from 7:30-9:30 p.m., and they’re free. Huffman said there are no current plans to charge a cover.

Huffman’s “immediate focus” is on Saturday nights and booking the “best artists in town,” plus mixing in stand-up comedy on occasion, he said. Live music will also happen on Friday nights and other nights throughout the week “but on a random basis for the time being,” Huffman said.

The Marilyn could also host out-of-town performers, depending on how things go, Huffman said. The Marilyn can comfortably accommodate bands of three or fewer, but the downstairs hall (which has yet to be named) holds a full bar, dance floor, fireplace and space for 200 to 250 people, and that’s where Huffman could book quartets, quintets and beyond, he said.

As for food and drinks, both are provided in-house by Kayo’s. The Facebook page touts happy hour drinks priced at $2 to $4 and food at $3 to $5. The Marilyn also has an ongoing deal that every 13th drink poured is on the house. Hours are Monday through Saturday, 4-11 p.m.

If you want to book a show or event at The Marilyn, get in touch with Huffman at ryan@thewhitebull.com or 770.354.9075.

Photo courtesy The Marilyn’s Facebook page.