This week in GO! Magazine’s music section

Friday, March 2nd, 2012, 4:04 pm by Ben Salmon

We start this blog post by noting that today is March 2, which is in fact a day in March, which means we have entered the time of maximum excitement for fans of collegiate basketball.

For those of you who’ve been around for a while, you know that I am a devout, lifelong fan of the University of Kentucky Wildcats, owners of seven national championships and the consensus pick to win an eighth when the NCAA tournament wraps up on April 2. So I’m going to be a little bit hoops crazy for the next month, and that’ll probably be reflected on Frequency and its associated Facebook and Twitter. Consider yourself warned.

Portland’s Water Tower (fka Water Tower Bucket Boys) will visit Bend next week for a show at The Horned Hand. My colleague David Jasper spoke with founding member Kenny Feinstein about the band’s constantly evolving sound and its recent move from four members to three.

Now that they’re a trio and operating without a banjo player, “We’ve had a lot of freedom,” he said. “We have a little bit of electric guitar. I’m playing that as a sort of textural thing.”

From album to album, the only constant for Water Tower has been change.

“You know, our first album (‘The Squid and the Fiddle’) was a traditional old-time record,” Feinstein said. “Our second album (‘Catfish on the Line’) was a traditional bluegrass record. The third record (‘Eel-P’) was pretty bluegrassy but with our own songs in it. The fourth record (‘Sole Kitchen’) was all of our own songs.

“And now this fifth record, ‘Where the Crow Don’t Fly,’ is kind of going in this new, spacey direction,” he said.

“Spacey direction” means “reaching for bigger textures, darker areas,” Feinstein said. The group alights for new sonic territories on the five-song recording, including some keyboard, guitar and vibes. “We’re experimenting with all sorts of different sounds that we haven’t in the past, so that’s kind of exciting for us.”

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

Meanwhile, over in my Feedback column, I talk through a few of my own issues with the way we consume recorded music in 2012. My biggest problem: Stream Fatigue, or the feeling of being overwhelmed by the sheer amount of music you can stream free and legally on the Internet.

For all the talk of piracy and its death-grip on the music industry, the truth is you don’t even need to track and download leaks to hear just about anything you want to hear these days. In 2012, standard practice for musicians is to “leak” an album — or at the very least a song or two — to the web ahead of its release date in hopes that writers will write about it and folks will listen and decide to purchase an exorbitantly expensive vinyl pressing or attend a show and buy a T-shirt.

It’s these legal streams that have me overwhelmed. By my count, I have upward of four dozen album and song streams stashed in various digital hidey-holes, languishing as I forget about them and move on to making sure I’m not missing anything newer.

I’ve got what I call Stream Fatigue, and it’s becoming a problem.

I’m quite sure consuming music is not supposed to be like this. Consuming music is supposed to be dropping a needle into a groove, flipping an LP, browsing liner notes while listening to a CD from beginning to end. It’s supposed to be an experience, an opportunity to appreciate art. It’s not supposed to be like drinking from a firehose on shuffle.

Click here and read it, and then let me know in the comments if it rings true for you, or if I’m just dead wrong.

Also worth highlighting this week is this short piece on The Horde and the Harem, a Seattle-based indie-folk/pop band that’s coming to The Horned Hand on Monday. Member Ryan Barber grew up in Bend, too.

Elsewhere in this week’s music section: Red Molly in Sisters, Diego’s Umbrella at Players Bar and Twin Atlantic for under a buck tonight at The Sound Garden, plus the Hobo Nephews of Uncle Frank, Blackflowers Blacksun and Blackstrap at Silver Moon Brewing, tonight’s To The Moon party with Samples, David Starfire, Ale Fillman and more … uh, and more!

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One Response to “This week in GO! Magazine’s music section”

  1. scott halvorson says:

    Nice piece, and yeah, I can see what you’re saying, it happens to me as well; only not having deadlines and all that means I’m allowed whenever I please to go ahead and put on Crowded House’s Temple of Low Men for the umpteenth time or throw on some Bolt Thrower cds. (Long story short; Bolt Thrower is widely regarded, and correctly so, as the most pure fun death metal band to listen to.)

    While the internet has doubtlessly sped up this feeling, I think the overall effect you’re talking about has been around for as long as there’s been an idea of cultural literacy. I consider myself a fairly well-read guy; I’ve read War & Peace, Anna Karrenina, Moby Dick, David Copperfield, The Brothers Karamazov and so on. But there’s always that nagging voice going “oh no, I still haven’t even read The Sound And The Fury, To Kill A Mockingbird, A Brief History Of Time, The Sun Also Rises, or For Whom The Bell Tolls, how can I call myself well read?” Which is too bad as you don’t want to go around reading all this incredible literature that these people put their hearts in to and treat it like busy work.

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