Archive for March, 2012

This week in GO! Magazine’s music section

Friday, March 30th, 2012

Unless I’m forgetting something, the Brooklyn, N.Y.-based prism-pop band Rubblebucket’s three shows in Bend so far have been on relatively big stages at relatively big events (i.e. not just a headlining bar gig).

First, they played for a sea of people at The Bite of Bend. Then they played an opening slot before Ozomatli at last year’s Cinco de Mayo celebration downtown. And then they played a big Halloween party at the Century Center.

So this Sunday’s Rubblebucket show at Players Bar & Grill will be the first chance Bendites have to catch the band in the cozy confines of a small bar. If you’re not looking forward to this, you should be. I am.

This week, the GO! Magazine cover story focuses on Rubblebucket and its new live album and DVD “Live in Chicago.” Frontwoman Kalmia Traver told me why the band is putting out a live album now.

“We’ve been crafting our live shows since the very beginning,” Traver said. “We’ve toured so much (and we’ve) played all over the country, and … we all had it in our minds that we would love to try to capture this and really get a good representation of it.”

So last fall, a small army of professional tapers attended a handful of Rubblebucket concerts, and (a film crew) showed up to the Double Door, and when it was all said and done, the band felt it had something that folks awed by the live show could take with them to approximate the experience at home.

“People are always sort of complaining, like, ‘Yeah, we like your albums, but it’s nothing like your live show,’” Traver said. “They told us we really needed to get this out there, so we did.”

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

Galactic at the Domino Room in Bend. Photo by Andy Tullis / The Bulletin

My Feedback column this week is a bit wishy-washy. Basically I say that Galactic was terrific but I didn’t totally love the show, then I tell you why they were terrific and don’t tell you why I didn’t love ‘em. Whatever. Here’s an excerpt:

Anchored by the devastatingly heavy rhythm section of Stanton Moore (drums) and Robert Mercurio (bass), Galactic pumped out slab after slab of furious funk-rock, laying down a firm foundation for guest vocals by Corey Glover (of Living Colour fame) and killer trombone work by Corey Henry of Rebirth Brass Band.

Each man fit snugly into Galactic’s galaxy. Henry was a multitasker, mostly putting on a hornblowing clinic, but also prowling the stage, looking cool, and occasionally taking the microphone to rap and sing.

Glover, on the other hand, felt like an integral part of this thick, moist cake, adding his powerhouse vocals to songs like the heavily Big Easy-flavored “Hey Na Na,” the deeply funky “You Don’t Know”, and a blistering cover of seminal ‘70s soul artist Swamp Dogg’s “Total Destruction To Your Mind.”

Besides his big voice, Glover also gave Galactic a little bit of grit. So when he left, the band turned into a finely tuned funk machine, with every piece working together smoothly, and nary a note out of place. Especially impressive were the spirited melodies of “Karate,” as well as “Keep Steppin’,” which opened the second set with an ominous groove before giving way to Henry and saxophonist Ben Ellman for some electrifying work on the horns.

Click here to read the whole thing.

Elsewhere in this week’s music section: Rachel Brooke, Viva Le Vox and Boom Chick, Stephanie Schneiderman, Culprit and Ticktockman, Trent Romens, Flannel Bandana, Matt Miller, If Bears Were Bees and more!

[Video / Review] Outer Minds at The Horned Hand

Friday, March 30th, 2012

So, this is a week old, but cut me some slack, buddy.

The Chicago-based band Outer Minds (Facebook / Bandcamp) slipped into The Horned Hand last Thursday and played a really terrific set of psychedelic garage-pop that, it turns out, was timed just right for someone to catch it all and then hurry across downtown in plenty of time to see most of Galactic’s set at the Domino Room. If they wanted to, of course. (I know at least one person who did it, is what I’m saying.)

Anyway, Outer Minds has a real knack for super-catchy songs that sound shipped in straight from the 1960s, fueled by flower power and bubbling over with fuzzy, lo-fi charm. My personal favorite part of their sound, though, were the oooohs and aaaahs and backing vocals in general provided by Mary McKane and Gina Lira, two indispensable ladies who flanked frontman Zach Medearis.

Also worth noting: The sounds McKane made with her green and white 1967 Farfisa organ, a beautiful little instrument that did much of the heavy lifting when it came to giving Outer Minds their throwback sound. (Check out this old Farfisa ad. They knew what was up.) McKane’s warm, melodic work on the keys turned what was a perfectly solid garage-rock band into a very convincing, spirited slice of the original psychedelic era.

The whole package was glorious. People danced. I bought a record. The band posted kind things about The Horned Hand on their Tumblr.

I’d love to see more acts like Outer Minds come through town. Here are four reasons why:

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High Desert Madness!

Monday, March 26th, 2012

For the past three weeks in The Bulletin’s Community Life section, we’ve been whittling down 64 very Central Oregon people, places, events and abstract concepts in a tongue-in-cheek tournament to determine our region’s quintessential “thing.”

If you haven’t been following along, or you have but you missed something, here’s all the links you need!

-See the full, completed bracket here.

-Read a region-by-region preview of the whole field here.

-Read a recap of the first two rounds and preview of the Sweet 16 here.

-Read a recap of the regionals, the Final Four and the championship, which was won by a crafty veteran that’s deeply rooted in Central Oregon.

-Click here to check out the online bracket challenge we ran in conjunction with High Desert Madness, and here (scroll down) to read about the family that won.

This week in GO! Magazine’s music section

Saturday, March 24th, 2012

Whoops! I forgot to do this yesterday. Sorry, folks.

Here’s what’s in the music section of this week’s GO! Magazine:

–Atlanta-based orchestral pop band Little Tybee will play twice in town next week, once at Common Table and once at The Horned Hand.

–I went and saw jazz saxophonist Bobby Watson at The Oxford Hotel and it was great. Here’s my review.

The Ascetic Junkies headline a bill full of cool, Portland-based acts tonight at the Tower Theatre, including the first local performance in a while by Sara Jackson-Holman, who grew up here.

Also: Marv and Rindy Ross at The Sound Garden, Head for the Hills at Players Bar, Rita Hosking at the HarmonyHouse, Ray Lawrence Jr. at The Horned Hand, a death metal show (that happened last night) at The Annex, a busy weekend for Finn Miles, a do-over homecoming show for Third Seven and Last Band Standing is now accepting applications for its 2012 competition. Find it all here.

[Video] Galactic at the Domino Room

Friday, March 23rd, 2012

I don’t think I absolutely adored New Orleans’ foremost multifarious funk band, Galactic, as much as the rest of a very full Domino Room last night, but I will say this: What a powerhouse pack of musicians. These five dudes — joined on this tour by trombonist Corey Henry of Rebirth Brass Band and vocalist Corey Glover of Living Colour — filled the Domino with slabs of low end as big and fat as any I’ve ever heard in that space.

What I’m saying is Galactic’s jams were thunderous. They also went on a little too long for me to capture entire songs on video, but here are some clips to give you the flavor. Look for more on the show in next Friday’s GO! Magazine.

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Tonight: Galactic, yes … but also Outer Minds

Thursday, March 22nd, 2012

The Galactic / Orgone show at the Domino Room should be the biggest thing happening in Bend tonight, but I also want to call your attention to a band called Outer Minds (Facebook / Tumblr / Bandcamp) that’s playing at The Horned Hand.

We didn’t have a word about this show in last week’s GO! Magazine because I didn’t know about it in time. I hate it when that happens, especially when it involves a band as good as this four-piece from Chicago, which runs with the current crop of fuzzy garage-rock bands in the HoZac / Goner / Trouble in Mind universe.

Thing is, Outer Minds is better than most of those bands. You see, this is psychedelic garage-pop done the right way, with guitars that jangle perfectly, the warm and steady hum of an organ, oohs and aahs as far as the eye can see and melodies that will leap from their spinning, vinyl grooves and follow you to our grave. Best of all, Outer Minds doesn’t write great songs and then douse them with lo-fi scuzz, burying the melodies beneath a blanket of manufactured cool. No, the production here is perfect: convincingly vintage and slightly wobbly, but clean enough to sparkle.

After a series of 7″ singles on white-hot labels, the band released its debut, self-titled full-length earlier this year on Southpaw Records. A couple of its cuts are streamable below, and there’s lots more at the Bandcamp. Click play and fall in love. (And if for some reason the players aren’t showing up for you below, click the links and go listen. This is important!)

But first: Outer Minds. Tonight. 8 p.m. The Horned Hand at 507 N.W. Colorado Ave., in Bend. Cover is $5, I believe. (Take $5 and then see what they say. If it’s less then you have more money for beer or Codfather grub.) Plus a limited release of Elysian Brewing‘s Fallout Green Cardamom Pale Ale, if you’re into that kind of thing.

Outer Minds – Gimmie A Reason by southpawrecs

Outer Minds – Conversation by southpawrecs

[Photos] Bobby Watson at The Oxford Hotel

Wednesday, March 21st, 2012

Last weekend, I saw jazz saxophonist Bobby Watson perform with a backing band of Portlanders (including drummer Mel Brown) at The Oxford Hotel in downtown Bend. Watson’s visit was the next-to-last installment of the hotel’s 2012 Jazz at the Oxford series. (The Michael Allen Harrison Superband will wrap the series in April. Details here.)

Anyway, the show was sublime and I’ll have a full review in Friday’s GO! Magazine in The Bulletin. In the meantime, check out some fine photos of the night taken by Bulletin photographer Ryan Brennecke.

Bobby Watson, left, and trumpet player Derek Sims

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More Les Schwab Amphitheater news: Norah Jones on Aug. 15

Tuesday, March 20th, 2012

Per Pollstar and the artist’s own website, jazz-pop star Norah Jones will play Bend’s Les Schwab Amphitheather on Aug. 15. More details to come when I know them.

Word on the street is that her new Danger Mouse-produced album “Little Broken Hearts,” which is due out May 1, is quite good. So I guess we’d all better start familiarizing ourselves so we can sing along in August. Oh hey! Here’s a tune from it!

Get to know Filastine (“Colony Collapse” video / in Bend April 6)

Tuesday, March 20th, 2012

If you went to see Beats Antique at Midtown Ballroom in February, and you got inside early enough and were paying attention, then you may have caught a dynamic opening set by transglobal bass-music maker Filastine. The radical DJ/producer ignores electronic music’s current obsession with “the drop” and instead pieces together melodic patchworks of reliable low-end wobble, cosmopolitan samples, junkyard percussion and revolutionary ethos that’s far more interesting (and listenable) than many of his more well-known contemporaries’ work. Bottom line: Anyone can throw a party. Filastine throws a party with a point of view.

The guy’s outstanding new album — “£00T” — comes out April 3, and he’ll stop in Bend April 6 for a Slipmat Science show with Heyoka and others. (More details here.) In the meantime, dig into Filastine’s work, beginning with his new(ish) video for the song “Colony Collapse.”

This week in GO! Magazine’s music section

Friday, March 16th, 2012

If you will indulge me for just one minute, I would simply like to say that regularly reading our music section in GO! Magazine (every Friday in The Bulletin) is by far your best bet for staying informed about what’s new and what’s happening on Central Oregon’s busy music scene. You have other options for that kind of info, of course, but nowhere will you find coverage as extensive and in-depth as you will in GO!

I say that only because I’m really proud of today’s section. Here’s what’s in there (click to read):

-An interview with acoustic guitar pioneer Leo Kottke on the debt he owes to his instrument
-An interview with jazz saxophonist Bobby Watson about what he learned from Art Blakey
-An interview with rocker Jerry Joseph on his recent Asian tour and new album “Happy Book”
-A Q&A with Seattle-based avant-saxophonist Skerik about his new group Bandalabra
-A review of “Carnivale Electricos,” the dynamic new album from Galactic
-A roundup of solid live-music options for your St. Patrick’s Day revelry

Elsewhere in this week’s music section, you’ll find briefs on The Autonomics’ two-night stand in Bend, James Hunnicutt, Rehab, the 4 Peaks festival lineup, Left Coast Country and more!