Archive for April, 2012

This week in GO! Magazine’s music section

Friday, April 27th, 2012

For the past couple of days, I’ve been listening exclusively to local singer-songwriter Eric Tollefson’s new album, “The Polar Ends,” in my car. Adding up the short drives and long cross-town trips, I’ve probably made it all the way through the record four or five times.

Mind you, I finished writing this week’s cover story about Tollefson on Tuesday, so these most recent listens have been free and easy, unburdened by the need to listen with a critical and analytical ear. In other words, I’ve just been listening for fun, not as prep for the story.

My conclusion: This thing has a bunch of great songs on it. And boy does it sound good.

On Thursday, Tollefson will play his official album-release show at McMenamins Old St. Francis School. A couple weeks ago, he and I chatted about all kinds of stuff — writing songs, making the record, pressure, nerves, his upcoming relocation to Seattle to try to make it in a bigger pond. Here’s an excerpt:

How the big pond treats him remains to be seen. Not that it matters much.

“If the wheels fall off and people don’t respond to anything I do, I’m still going to write songs every day,” Tollefson said. “There’s just nothing in my life that makes me happier.”

What matters, truly, is Tollefson’s attitude, his approach to music, and how he feels about his work.

“Be a student of music and the industry. Represent yourself the right way and work hard,” he said. “If you’re going to approach something big, you’ve got to do something bigger than you.

“If this record was just me, I don’t think it would come off the same,” he continued. “I wanted it to sound bigger than something I was capable of. And I think, at least, I achieved that.”

Eric’s a solid dude who made a solid album, and I think you should read the whole article.

Elsewhere in this week’s music section: local singer-songwriter Jackie Barrett’s new album, plus The California Guitar Trio and Montreal Guitar Trio, Keola Beamer, Mann, Betty and the Boy, Polecat, A.M. Interstate, Sara Jackson-Holman, a Last Band Standing update and more.

Stream the new Tenacious D album, “Rize of the Fenix,” in full

Friday, April 27th, 2012

Reminder: Tenacious D will perform at Bend’s Les Schwab Amphitheater on May 26, the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend. Tickets cost $39 (plus fees) and are available at The Ticket Mill (541-318-5457) in the Old Mill District or online at the Schwab’s website. Stream their new album right here:

Summer at the Schwab Ticket Giveaway #4: The Shins

Wednesday, April 25th, 2012

Yes, there’s a contest to win two tickets to see Beck in Bend going on as we speak.

But why give away two tickets when you can give away four?

Today, I need to get rid of two tickets to see indie-pop-rock powerhouse The Shins on May 25 at Les Schwab Amphitheater, along with an outstanding pair of openers: Blind Pilot and The Head and the Heart.

Want ‘em? Simple: Just leave a comment on this blog post telling me how The Shins have changed your life. (Don’t get it? Watch this.)

Now, you can, of course, relay a true story of how The Shins have changed your life, if indeed they have. But if they haven’t, you should definitely make something up. Maybe the band’s music was playing when you decided to propose to your spouse. Or a particularly vigorous performance of “Know Your Onion!” inspired you to ditch your job as a bloodthirsty bounty hunter and instead become a chef.

Perhaps James Mercer dumped you in high school and you have hated beards ever since. Or what about that time you were stepping out into the street and former Shins drummer Jesse Sandoval snagged your belt loop with his drumstick and pulled you back onto the sidewalk just as a bus whizzed past?

Whatever. Anything goes, and the funnier and/or more outlandish, the better. Just keep it clean; I can’t publish comments that contain dirty words or other inappropriate stuff.

Tell me about your life-altering Shins experience in the comments by Saturday at 5 p.m., and be sure to leave your real email address so I can contact the winner!

Oh, and does that sound like too much work? Well you can always buy tickets through the Les Schwab Amphitheater’s website.

(Photo courtesy Annie Beedy)

Summer at the Schwab Ticket Giveaway #3: Beck

Tuesday, April 24th, 2012

Huey Lewis and Michael Franti tickets have been given away. The Shins, Norah Jones and Tenacious D are still to come.

But today, the task at hand is to unload a couple of tickets to see veteran odd-rock fusionista Beck at Les Schwab Amphitheater on May 27. The opening act, Metric, is no slouch either.

To enter, go to this post on Frequency’s Facebook and leave a comment telling me your favorite musician who is best known by one name. Y’know, like Madonna, Sting, Adele or Yanni. Rappers like Eminem count. Or maybe it’s Beck? (Here’s a list of singularly named celebrities if that’s helpful.)

Anyway, that’s it: Your favorite one-named musician. Leave it here. That’s it.

Entries are due by Friday at 2 p.m. I’ll pick a winner shortly thereafter and get in touch via Facebook.

Reminder: Tickets to see Beck and Metric are on sale now at the Les Schwab Amphitheater’s website.

(Photo courtesy Cassidy Turbin)

[Photos] The Dig at The Horned Hand

Monday, April 23rd, 2012

Rising New York City band The Dig stopped by The Horned Hand last Thursday night, along with a couple of Portland-based outfits, The We Shared Milk and My Autumn’s Done Come.

I was going to write a little review of the show, but the truth is, I don’t have much to say. I missed My Autumn’s Done Come, and the other two bands did what they do, and they were solid, if not mind-blowing. The We Shared Milk chugged through some fuzzy, jittery slack-rock, while The Dig engaged in sinewy, slow-burning astral jams that were nice enough, but only once or twice gained enough momentum to set my toes to tappin’. All in all: Both bands were fine, if a bit hindered by muddy sound.

Looking back, the best part of the whole night might be this photo of The Dig by The Bulletin’s Andy Tullis. It’s an amazing shot, I think. Be sure to click it to make it huge!

Now how ’bout a handful more …

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This week in GO! Magazine’s music section

Friday, April 20th, 2012

Tonight is a very busy night on the local music scene. There’s a ton of stuff going on, including two shows that’ll be pretty big (Yonder Mountain and Tipper/Papadosio), plus lots of stuff that’ll be great, just on a smaller scale. Here’s what we’ve got in this week’s music section in The Bulletin:

– North Carolina electro-jam band Papadosio is part of an enormous bill at tonight’s Slipmat Science party, which will also feature bass-music pioneer Tipper.

– The familiar faces of Yonder Mountain String Band will be back to acoustically rock a jam-packed Midtown Ballroom tonight.

– Local indie rock band All You All will celebrate its new EP with a show tonight at PoetHouse Art, where the bill will also include promising young bands Adventure Galley and Jaccuzi.

The Thoughts will bring a quieter sound to The Horned Hand tonight than that place is used to, but that sound is really beautiful.

Elsewhere in the music section: The Quons host a songwriters’ showcase at Silver Moon and the Blues Amuse & Brews benefit for Westside Village Magnet School brings in The Autonomics, plus Third Seven, Crown Point, Jonathan Byrd and Chris Kokesh, and much more.

Also! Saturday is national Record Store Day, which has happened each of the past five years and is designed to celebrate the unique culture of independent record stores. My Feedback column is about some of my favorite shops, what they mean to me, what Ranch Records in Bend is doing tomorrow, and why you should support them.

Exclusive stream: Eric Tollefson, “Leo”

Thursday, April 19th, 2012

Back in 2009, Eric Tollefson burst onto the local music scene with “The Sum of Parts,” an album that showcased the then-25-year-old’s impressively smooth synthesis of acoustic pop and bluesy rock delivered straight from his heart to your ears. (Here’s the article I wrote back then.)

Three years and a ton of gigs later — including slots opening for G. Love, Robert Randolph and Jackie Greene — Tollefson is back with a new album, “The Polar Ends,” a meticulously crafted collection of songs that boast beautiful production, indelible melodies and a bunch of big-time players.

Tollefson will play his local album-release show on May 3 at McMenamins Old St. Francis School, and “The Polar Ends” will be officially released on April 24. But thanks to the man himself, Frequency has an exclusive premiere of my favorite track on the album, a sturdy pop number called “Leo.” Give it a spin below, and then check back here (or in GO! Magazine) on April 27 for more on Tollefson and “The Polar Ends.”

(Photo courtesy Joseph Eastburn Photography)

[Photo] Todd Snider at the Tower Theatre

Wednesday, April 18th, 2012

Here’s a cool photo of folk singer Todd Snider playing the Tower Theatre in Bend last night, shot by Thomas Osborne, who was nice enough to allow me to post it here.

Looks like Thomas had pretty sweet seats!

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Summer at the Schwab Ticket Giveaway #2: Michael Franti & Spearhead

Wednesday, April 18th, 2012

Last week, we gave away a couple of tickets to see Huey Lewis and the News this summer at Les Schwab Amphitheater in Bend, and we’ve got a bunch more Schwab-show tickets to unload over the next few weeks.

But today, I’m going to alter the schedule I posted last week to squeeze in a pair of tickets to see Michael Franti & Spearhead at the amphitheater on Aug. 22!

Mr. Franti's future is soooo bright...

To win ‘em, all you have to do is leave a comment on this post and tell me your favorite “summer album.” Interpret that however you wish: The album that feels like summer to you. The album that makes you feel all warm inside. The album that takes you back to a particular summer. The album that’s a ray of sunshine in your life. An album that has a sunny title. Whatever. Just tell me the name of the artist and the album, and if you want to give me your reasoning, too, I’d be happy to read it!

Be sure to leave your real email address so I can contact you if you win. I’ll pick someone on Friday at 5 p.m. and post a comment with the winner.

And remember, if you’d rather just buy ‘em, Franti/Spearhead tickets will be available at the amphitheater’s website beginning at 10 a.m. Friday.

(Finally, if there’s anyone out there wondering: This week I had planned to give away Beck tickets. I think I’ll save him for next week and do Beck and The Shins at about the same time. FYI.)

Coachella 2012 recap

Monday, April 16th, 2012

Oh, I didn’t go to the big ol’ music festival down in the SoCal desert this weekend.

But I streamed several performances and figure that means I’m qualified to provide a recap.

So out of the 2,655,983,216 (give or take) bands that played Coachella over the past three days, here are the highlights:

This was mind-boggling. Eerie. Insane. Surreal. Impressive. It was good and weird and a little scary all wrapped into one.

Seriously, though, how great does that hologram look? It looks pretty great.

I fear festival headliners in the future will just be, like, Nirvana, The Beatles, Beethoven, etc., etc.

A great band playing most of a great album really well. Lovely!