Archive for December, 2011

More radio action: Reviewing the year in local music on KPOV’s Center Stage today at 2 p.m.

Saturday, December 31st, 2011

Continuing the Great Frequency Radio Blitz of Late 2011, I’ll join Rick Miller, TK and Dennis Plant on KPOV’s Center Stage program today from 2 to 4 p.m. to talk about the local music scene in 2011 and play some songs.

If you’re in Central Oregon, try tuning in at 88.9 FM on your radio dial. If that doesn’t work (or you live elsewhere), stream it live at KPOV’s website!

This week in GO! Magazine’s music section

Friday, December 30th, 2011

New Year’s Eve + a Saturday night = party time

That’s the situation this weekend as one of the year’s most festive holidays coincides with the most party-friendly night of the week, and I suspect the result will be a very crowded and crazy bunch of New Year’s Eve events around Central Oregon.

Fortunately, there are a ton to choose from, so that may help thin crowds a little bit. Click here for our main New Year’s story detailing many of the biggest options in the area, and click here for our comprehensive listing of everything happening on Saturday night.

Now for non-New Year’s stuff!

Local Celtic-rock band Five Pint Mary will celebrate its new album with a show tonight at M&J Tavern. I spoke with co-founder Michael Holmes about the group’s connection with its fans.

“A lot of these old songs were really meant to tell the history of a battle or something, so they’ve been repeated for centuries and they just kind of take on a life of their own,” Holmes said. “People have been singing along with them for hundreds of years, and a lot of people have heard these songs since they were little kids. So we have people who come to our shows and they’re singing the lyrics right back to us. Which is really the intent of a lot of the songs.”

He continued: “In the days before jukeboxes and recorded music, you went to the pub and you sang along with the band. It was just something that you did, and that’s really still happening today. And when you go to a show like that … it’s like you can’t sit still. It’s more like something you’re actually doing rather than something you’re sitting there listening to.”

As just about any musician will tell you, that’s what it’s all about: connection with the audience.

“Whenever people ask us for a request, it really makes us feel good because a lot of the songs … (are) near and dear to their hearts for whatever reason,” Holmes said. “It’s like this person’s favorite song since they were a kid, so it feels good.”

I hope you’ll click here and read the whole thing.

Elsewhere in this week’s music section: Washington-based dark-folk band Terrible Buttons stops at The Horned Hand on Sunday night. Click here to read my colleague David Jasper’s interview with head Button Kent Ueland. Also, Bay Area hip-hop/reggae dude RasCue returns to town, Hopeless Jack & The Handsome Devil brings dirty blues to Bend, and some news from the Sisters Folk Festival, including discounted passes for 2012 and the lineup for the upcoming winter concert series.

talking about local music on Clear 101.7 FM today, Thursday and Friday

Wednesday, December 28th, 2011

I totally forgot to mention this Monday and Tuesday (I blame the peppermint bark haze I was living in at the time) but Dori Donoho — host of the excellent Homegrown music show on Clear 101.7 FM and all-around awesome supporter of local music — was nice enough to have me as a guest for her daily Homegrown Hits segment this week to talk about the year in music in Central Oregon.

On Monday and Tuesday, we played songs by Laura Curtis and Mike Potter, respectively, and chatted a bit about each of those artists. Today, we’ll feature Cadence. Tomorrow it’s Tuck and Roll, and Friday is Larry and His Flask. All of these artists and songs are available for free and legal download on The Bulletin’s Near/Far compilation of 2011’s best tunes.

Anyway, the segment airs around 10:30 a.m. (that’s soon for you Cadence fans!) but you should go ahead and tune in earlier and listen to Dori’s whole show, because it’s cool and she’s cool and you’re cool, too … right?

The 11 best concerts of 2011 in Central Oregon

Wednesday, December 21st, 2011

Four things:

1) I saw a lot of live music in 2011, and below you’ll find reviews, videos and photos of my 11 favorite concerts of the year, plus links to more on each.

2) You’ll note, perhaps, that these happened at 11 different venues in Central Oregon. I thought that was cool.

3) Why 11? Because I couldn’t bear to cut any of them to get it down to 10!

4) As long as you’re here, be sure to click over to our Near/Far page and check out the rest of our coverage of 2011’s best music, including free, legal downloads of the year’s best songs!



Champagne Champagne. Photo by Ben.


ESO residency continues; White Orange out, Cadence in

Friday, December 16th, 2011

For some reason, Saturday’s show by local post-rock faves Empty Space Orchestra at Silver Moon Brewing & Taproom didn’t run in our live-music listings in today’s GO! Magazine. Not sure why.

But the show is definitely happening, although the previously announced opener — Portland’s White Orange — had to cancel to deal with a family situation. Instead, local pop-rock band Cadence will open the show, which will get underway around 9 p.m.

Tickets are $5 in advance here, or $7 at the door. Apologies to both bands for not getting the gig in the paper. As penance, here’s the poster for ESO’s ongoing December residency at Silver Moon!

This week in GO! Magazine’s music section

Friday, December 16th, 2011

This week’s music section is like a giant, gaudy neon sign flashing the word “CHRISTMAS!” two feet in front of your face!

There are a bunch of holiday concerts in town this week, and we feature six of them:

–Jazz fusioneers Spyro Gyra at On a Lite Christmas Nite
–Throwback harp-guitarist John Doan does his Victorian Christmas show
–Broadway star Gary Morris plays A Starry Nights Christmas in Sisters
Blind Boys of Alabama have already sold out the Tower Theatre
–Smooth jazz pianist Tom Grant is at The Oxford Hotel
Bill Keale and friends do the holiday Hawaiian-style at The Old Stone

Elsewhere: PoetHouse Art hosts a benefit for paralyzed snowboarder Tyler Eklund tonight, Brandi Carlile’s back but tickets are long gone, a group of Sisters songwriters play at The Barn, and Bobby Lindstrom’s back in town, plus the Josh Hart Project, Little Black Dress, DSkiles Band, Bloodlust and Embrace the Fear. Again, it’s all right here.

The 50 best albums of 2011

Friday, December 16th, 2011

It’s well-documented that I’m a huge, hopeless music geek, and I love lists. So even though I spent three pages in The Bulletin’s GO! Magazine pontificating about my favorite records of 2011, I still can’t resist the urge to (A) rank them, and (B) get them all in one place online. So here we are.

Below, find my best effort at a list of my 50 favorite records of the past year, with a few words about several of them. For some, you’ll see no words where it looks like there should be words, and maybe I’ll fill those in sometime, but for now, I’m all typed out.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy. Thanks for reading. And truly: I could talk about this kind of stuff all day, and would love to hear from you in the comments!

50. Holcombe Waller, “Into the Dark Unknown” (Napoleon)
49. White Fence, “Is Growing Faith” (Woodsist)
48. Wilco, “The Whole Love” (dBpm)
47. Telekinesis, “12 Desperate Straight Lines” (Merge)
46. Chris Thile & Michael Daves, “Sleep With One Eye Open” (Nonesuch)
45. The Very Best, “Super Mom” (self-released)
44. Mogwai, “Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will” (Subpop)
43. Jonny, “Jonny” (Merge)
42. Gui Boratto, “III” (Kompakt)
41. Ryan Adams, “Ashes & Fire” (Pax Am)

40. Grails, “Deep Politics” (Temporary Residence)
39. Beyonce, “4” (Columbia)
38. The Felice Brothers, “Celebration, Florida” (Fat Possum)
37. Das Racist, “Relax” (Greedhead)
36. Jovontaes, “Things Are Different Here” (Hello Sunshine)
35. Big K.R.I.T., “Return of 4Eva” (self-released)
34. Veronica Falls, “Veronica Falls” (Slumberland)
33. Real Estate, “Days” (Domino)
32. Wooden Shjips, “West” (Thrill Jockey)
31. Givers, “In Light” (Glassnote)

30. Clams Casino, “Instrumentals” (self-released)
As underground hip-hop’s current “it” producer, Mike Volpe is the man behind the syrupy sound of Lil B, A$AP Rocky and other rappers du jour. But on this free mixtape (and his “Rainforest” EP), those guys are nowhere to be found, giving Volpe’s ambling beats and blurry samples space to unfold in slow motion and mushroom into the staticky sky.

29. Com Truise, “Galactic Melt” (Ghostly International)

28. Tim Hecker, “Ravedeath 1972″ (Kranky)
Canadian ambient adventurer Tim Hecker’s 2011 album is a sonic monument to the quickening battle between warm, organic lifeblood — music — and the cold, digital sheen that envelops it more completely every day. At first listen, “Ravedeath” is a rippling wash of synthesized noise, sometimes sublime, sometimes harsh. But beneath the studio effects lives an Icelandic church organ that swells and sighs proudly and beautifully, as if trapped under ice and fighting to breathe.

27. Apex Manor, “The Year of Magical Drinking” (Merge)

26. Serengeti, “Family & Friends” (anticon.)
Buzzy and a bit bent, Serengeti’s introspective, observational rap style and warm, poppy beats fly in the face of hip-hop conventions: They feel like a welcoming hug and a long, deep conversation.


Buck 65, MarchFourth Marching Band, The Coup playing 2012 Bend WinterFest

Thursday, December 15th, 2011

More specifically, headlining WinterFest and playing the WinterFringe after-party at Century Center. Per the website:

I don’t know a ton about Buck 65, other than the fact that he’s got plenty of fans around here. MarchFourth and The Coup are both rad.

Great lineup this year. Er … next year.

Near/Far 2011: The “Bonus Disc”

Wednesday, December 14th, 2011

In case you missed it: Near/Far is The Bulletin’s free, legal, two-disc compilation of some of the best songs of the year. The 2011 version — all 36 tracks of it, including Fleet Foxes, Yuck, Washed Out, Other Lives, The War on Drugs, Shabazz Palaces, Larry and His Flask, Laurel Brauns, Empty Space Orchestra, Erin Cole-Baker, Anastacia and more — can be downloaded by clicking here.

We’ve been doing Near/Far annually for the past five years, and you can still grab 2007 and 2008 here and 2009 here and 2010 here. That’s 174 awesome songs … for free. Get ’em.

But that’s not enough! Each year, there are inevitably tracks I can’t use on the official Near/Far, either because I run out of space, or I can’t get permission to use them. So I’ve put together a “bonus disc” of great songs that didn’t make it onto the 2011 comp, and by “bonus disc” I mean YouTube playlist for super easy streaming.

Click here to listen. (Please note that some tracks — and one band name — may include coarse language.)

Here are the artists in this mix: The Decemberists, Frank Ocean, Wilco, Patrick Stump, The Vaccines, Big K.R.I.T., Robin Pecknold, F–ked Up, Givers, Kendrick Lamar, Pistol Annies, Clams Casino, Wavves, Purity Ring, Purling Hiss, Archers, Peaking Lights and Jovontaes. Again, you can hear all this right here.

Also, sorry if you run into an advertisement. I tried to avoid them. Ditched Foo Fighters, Beyonce, Lady Gaga and more because of ’em. But they’re sneaky little dudes.

Midtown Ballroom and Floater robbed over the weekend

Tuesday, December 13th, 2011

You may have seen this already, but it’s worth posting to make sure as many people see it as possible and are keeping an eye out. Copied directly from a post on Random Presents’ Facebook:

This is our first official MANHUNT brought to you by Random Presents and Midtown Music Hall!

Sometime between the end of Floater’s set on Friday (midnight) and sound check Saturday afternoon (5pm) the building was robbed. Whoever it was hit our sound company (Sonic Solutions) for roughly $4000 worth of Mics and DI’s and Floater for their two electric acoustic guitars. Come on party people of Bend let’s not leave one rock unturned and find the soulless bastard that did this.

Midtown management has put an $800 reward on the guitars and an $800 reward on the audio gear for its safe return. Here’s a list of equipment that was stolen from the venue /

AUDIO GEAR: AKG 451 Stereo Pair, Shure KSM137 Stereo Pair, Two Sennheiser 421’ DI Boxes: Two Radial JDI Radial JDI Duplex.

FLOATER’S Guitars: Takamine Electric Acoustic Guitar (Peter has had this guitar since he was 12 years old) and Michael Kelly acoustic bass, jumbo body with custom abalone inlays.

Now let’s go find them!!!

Seriously lame. If you see or hear anything at all, contact Random Presents immediately.