Why yes, I am posting “blue” songs to celebrate the University of Kentucky’s trip to the Final Four this weekend! Thank you for noticing. Today, we’re gonna go full-on hillbilly with some mighty fine bluegrass — Kentucky is, after all, The Bluegrass State — from “The Mountain,” country-rock icon Steve Earle‘s 1999 collaboration with the Del McCoury Band. Here’s “Yours Forever Blue.” (Wanna check out all the “blue” songs? Click here.)
P.S. This video is weird. No idea what’s going on.
I mentioned this on Frequency’s Facebook the other day, but had no link to provide. Well, I’ve since found a link, but it’s a Soundcloud, so it could go away at any time, so you should just go ahead and listen right now.
Because I’ve listened to several great albums in the first quarter of 2011 (look for a roundup coming soon), but the best thing I’ve heard so far this year is a three-song EP of stray tracks that Fleet Foxes frontman Robin Pecknold released for free via his Twitter account several weeks back.
This stuff is gorgeous. The first — an aching duet with Grizzly Bear’s Ed Droste — is my favorite. The second is a beautiful Simon & Garfunkelian tune that features some of Pecknold’s trademark vocal soarin’. The third is a cover of an old song from the ’70s by New Zealand folkie Chris Thompson.
The overall sound of the three songs is very influenced by ’60s/’70s British folk, with a totally vintage vibe, like you’re listening to old, timeworn Bert Jansch records on a dusty thrift-store turntable.
Of course, streaming these songs on Soundcloud is like the exact opposite of that, but it’ll have to do:
(Psst: The upcoming Fleet Foxes album sorta might’ve shown up magically in my iTunes and it is terrific. Friends, Pecknold is well on his way to becoming one of our finest songwriters. Dude is for real.)
A few concerts coming to Central Oregon that were recently announced:
–Orchestral folk-pop singer-songwriter Gregory Alan Isakov — last seen in Bend opening for Brandi Carlile — will play what should be a beautifully intimate show on April 16 at PoetHouse Art downtown. Showtime is 9 p.m. and tickets are available in advance for $10 at Bendticket.com. Props to Cassie Moore at LOUDgirl Productions for this one.
–On May 10, L.A. hip-hop nice guy Pigeon John and Portland duo The Chicharones will play the Domino Room. Pigeon John, in my mind, is one of the most interesting and entertaining rappers in the underground, and The Chicharones (aka Sleep of Oldominion and Josh Martinez) are a blast, so this show should be good times. No details yet, but watch the MadHappy Musik Facebook for updates.
–Area reggae-heads will get a taste of some good, old-school stuff on July 3 when Toots & the Maytals play the Deschutes County Fairgrounds in Redmond. Again, I have no details yet — all I know is the show is a benefit for the Oregon Cannabis Tax Act of 2012 — but mark your calendar, because Toots is just about the coolest reggae dude going.
–Frequent Bend visitor Tech N9ne, one of the most successful independent rappers ever, will return to the Midtown Ballroom on June 23. And you can bet a whole bunch of young folks will show up and sweat along to Tech’s insanely energetic show. Time, tickets and all that stuff can be found at the Random Presents site.
As always, stick close to Frequency and GO! Magazine to find out about upcoming dates as soon as we do.
If you don’t already know, now you know: I am a lifelong, diehard fan of the University of Kentucky basketball team (Lexington native, class of ’99, etc.), and last night, my beloved Wildcats defeated North Carolina to advance to their first Final Four since 1998. And since this is their first Final Four since I’ve had a blog (I dunno, I might’ve celebrated the ’98 championship on a usenet newsgroup in UK’s computer lab or something) and since this is my blog, I’m going to use up some bandwidth telling you what an awesome weekend this was — UK beat the top-rated team in the country and the hottest team in the country in two pressure-cooker games over three days — and how excited I am for next weekend, when they’ll play for the National Championship. Well, first they will play Connecticut in the national semifinals, but hopefully they’ll win that one and play for the big trophy. Anyway …
TWO MORE GAMES. GO BIG BLUE.
Oh … music content? OK, here’s Jay-Z hangin’ with the team in the locker room after yesterday’s game. Boom!
“Hair metal” survivors L.A. Guns are in Bend tonight for a show at the Domino Room. I spoke with drummer Steve Riley about the key to the band’s longevity.
“Bands die when they get on a big tour … and then they have to come back and go out and do clubs. There are a lot of bands that won’t do that,” Riley said. “We never really cared. We just wanted to play and we have no problem bouncing from a Whitesnake show to a club show on our own and then back to a Scorpions show and then back to a club on our own.
“You’ve got to dig in and you’ve got to want to play. You can’t believe your own bulls—,” he said. “Phil and myself, we always just wanted to be working musicians where we go out and play a full set of our own original material, and that’s what we do. If it’s in a club, who cares? And if it’s with Whitesnake or Cinderella in a big arena, that’s great too. As long as we’re playing, we’re cool.”
Riley was a super nice, totally humble guy, and I enjoyed chatting with him. I hope you’ll read the whole story, which you can find by clicking here.
Tim Bluhm of The Mother Hips performing in Bend. Photo by Ben.
On St. Patrick’s Day, I went and caught a couple of excellent pop-rock bands — The Mother HIps and The Parson Red Heads — at McMenamins in Bend. Here’s part of my review, from today’s Feedback column:
(The Hips) came to town to play a ton of songs, kicking things off with the jagged “Third Floor Story” and “Esmerelda,” an affable tune that would fit in nicely on classic-rock radio playlists.
The thing is, the same can be said of most of the songs in the Hips’ set. “Do It On the Strings.” “Toughie.” “Later Days.” “Smoke.” All are well-written, with sweet choruses and swaggering guitar riffs. But when you string ’em together one after another, it really highlights where the Hips’ range begins and ends. And it’s not exactly a wide swath, not that it matters much to the couple hundred devout fans who showed up for the show, pumped their fists and mouthed every word.
There were peaks, of course. I loved the ragged chug of “Time-Sick Son of a Grizzly Bear,” the astral reverb and ascendant chorus of “Magazine,” and the wonderful “White Falcon Fuzz,” an easygoing rocker than sounds imported straight from your dad’s record player, circa 1975.
Do me a favor and click here to read the rest of it.
Elsewhere in this week’s music section: Arturo Sandoval brings jazz to the Tower Theatre, and Tom Grant does the same at The Oxford hotel, folk singer Danny Schmidt plays two shows, local MC Mindscape and Floater frontman Robert Wynia make for a busy weekend at Silver Moon, The Ascetic Junkies return to town, The Dirty Words celebrate their new album, and Tuck and Roll headlines a punk show at MadHappy.
More clearing of the vaults: Here are two videos I shot last Thursday night of The Mother Hips performing at McMenamins Old St. Francis School. (I also got a couple videos of opening act The Parson Red Heads — including their cover of the Traveling Wilburys hit “Handle With Care” — but the audio is a little rough. If you’d like to see them, visit Frequency’s YouTube channel.)
Look for my full review of this show in tomorrow’s GO! Magazine in The Bulletin!
OK, so this is a full week old, and on the Internet, that’s ancient. But it’s worth your attention. Below, find three videos of roots-rock band The David Mayfield Parade playing last Wednesday at McMenamins Old St. Francis School, shot by my colleague Adam Sears.
Adam texted me from the show — which I now regret skipping, ugh — to let me know that Mayfield is one crazy entertaining dude. That’s crazy, entertaining and crazy entertaining. Here’s proof. Not only can the guy write solid songs and lead of a heck of a band, but he’s hilariously hammy onstage. Great stuff.
If you don’t have time to watch them all (and let’s be honest, you do), I suggest at least watching the first one, in which Mayfield himself jumps off the stage and starts a raging dance party where there wasn’t one before. Or maybe the second one, where he leads the band through an a cappella gospel song (with a whistled solo!) like he’s Elvis Presley with ADD. Or the third one, where Mayfield shows off both his booty-shakin’ and his guitar-slingin’ skills.
Uh … oops! I forgot to post this on Friday, like I usually do. Sorry about that. Anyway, here’s a short but sweet roundup of what’s in the music section of this week’s GO! Magazine. As is often the case, the next seven days boast a pretty busy and diverse slate of shows. Click the artists’ names for more:
Also in the music section: Mood Area 52’s cinematic tango music, the Acorn Project’s tight take on jam-rock, the global folk of The Hollands!, a bunch of local bands play McMenamins, and the return of the 80s Video Dance Attack.
The team of blogmonkeys stationed inside the Frequency Command Bunker has been a little slow with the “publish” button recently, so chances are good you already know that the fantastic Latin rock/hip-hop band Ozomatli is playing a free, outdoor show on May 5 in downtown Bend.
Today, even more exciting news about that show: Rubblebucket, the globally inspired, funky pop band that by all accounts completely slayed The Bite of Bend last summer, has been added to the lineup of what the C3 Events Facebook page calls a free “Cinco de Mayo Street Fair” (presented by Amalia’s restaurant). Local flamenco band Todd Haaby and Sola Via will also play.
Combine all that with Bend fave Brandi Carlile’s soon-to-be sold out show at the Tower Theatre that night (tickets are available today and are going fast), Cinco de Mayo is shaping up to be a very fun night on Wall Street. Start thinking warm thoughts now.