This is dope: A new(ish) video for “Tail Lights,” one of the classic-rock-based tunes off former Bend MC Mindscape’s “Rap/98.3″ album. This track is built on a sample of The Eagles’ “One of These Nights.” Dig it.
Wednesday, February 27th, 2013
After listening to a bunch of his stuff this morning, I’m thinking maybe I sold him a bit short, artistically. My bad.
For those unfamiliar, here’s a little local historical hip-hop math: Mindscape = Mike Fish of Central Oregon’s biggest and — I think it’s fair to say — best-ever rap collective, the now-defunct Person People. And Doc & Wyatt = KP and Mez of Person People. That’s 3/7ths of what I would consider the group’s classic lineup.
Anyway, all these guys are still making music well after Person People’s demise. Last summer, Mindscape released his third solo album, called “Rap/98.3,” which features his trademark loquacious-yet-level-headed flow over beats created from nothing but samples of classic rock songs. It’s a terrific listen:
Doc & Wyatt is a little harder to get an ear on. KP and Mez have made a bunch of tracks, and there is an EP that (at least half of) the duo considers unfinished, so it either hasn’t yet been released or never will be. But the songs are great, and they live in a set at Mez’s Soundcloud. You can hear ‘em here:
Fish lives in California now, and Mez lives in Utah, but these three guys have made some of the best rap music Bend has to offer. Tonight, the Domino Room doors will open at 8 p.m. and the show starts at 9, so peel yourself off your couch/barstool and get there on time to support your local hip-hoppers.
Tuesday, June 7th, 2011
If not, you should.
It absolutely smokes.
Frequency and its big print sister, GO! Magazine, are longtime fans of The Autonomics, a powerful rock trio that formed a few years ago in Bend and moved to Portland last year. Click here to read about how they blew my mind at the 2009 Bend Roots Revival, or here to read my feature story on the band from January, 2010.
Anyway, the fellas are back with a new EP called “Hot Doom” and did I mention it smokes? Because it does. It’s a huge step forward for The Autonomics, and if you like catchy, buzzy, urgent rock ‘n’ roll, you need to hear this. It’s terrific. I’d say more, but I’m saving it for this Friday’s GO! (The band is playing an EP-release show Saturday at Century Center as part of the Rise Up Spring Jamboree.)
Friday, June 3rd, 2011
The chorally endowed, Portland-based folk-pop band Brothers Young is back in town tonight to play PoetHouse Art with their eclectic buddies Hurtbird. Both bands have members that grew up in Bend before moving on to the big city. Want to educate yerself via the magic of links? Read about tonight’s show here, Brothers Young here and Hurtbird here.
Now … enough reading, am I right? Time to exercise those ears. Brothers Young have a brand new EP out called “Friendly Guest” and they’ve made it available for free download. Of course, you should consider clicking the Paypal button on that site and sending them a few bucks to put toward their upcoming debut album.
Tuesday, April 5th, 2011
The buzz is loud around Silver Lake, Calif.-based rock band Vanaprasta. The L.A. media has identified them as one of that scene’s next big things, and the band has just returned from playing eight shows in four days at the SXSW music festival in Austin, Texas.
Now, Vanaprasta is putting the finishing touches on its anticipated debut full-length “Healthy Geometry” and touring the West Coast, with a stop at Portland’s Holocene tonight, where they’re playing a free show with Hosannas and Hello Electric. If you’re in Portland or heading that way, you should check it out. (Hosannas has played Bend a couple times, and they’re great.)
Thanks to the band’s Central Oregon connection — guitarist Cameron Dmytryk is a 2004 graduate of Madras High School — I’ve had “Healthy Geometry” percolating in my headphones for a while now, and it’s easy to see why Vanaprasta’s hype wave is cresting. This is driving, dynamic, guitar-hero indie rock, where six-string acrobatics and swaggering rhythms create a comfy sonic bed for frontman Steven Wilkin’s versatile vocals. Most importantly, the band’s kaleidoscopic sound is presented not with a sense of shoegaze-y ennui, but the kind of verve often reserved for punk bands.
An L.A. website called The Deli described Vanaprasta as “a more talented version of Kings of Leon” and the band’s MySpace cites psychedelic Pink Floyd, dance-punky Bloc Party, funk-rocky Red Hot Chili Peppers and experimental supernovas Radiohead as influences. Fair enough. But when I listen to the band, I hear a cross between Portland’s proggy Portgual. The Man and the woefully underappreciated Seattle pop band Aveo. And surely with all those names swimming around in your head, you have some idea of what Vanaprasta does. If not, they have some downloads and streams over at their website.
Here’s hoping Dmytryk is able to steer the band’s ship over to his homeland one of these days.
Tuesday, February 22nd, 2011
For years, Frequency has been following the careers of Portland-based bands Loch Lomond and Water & Bodies, thanks mostly to their Bend connections. Loch Lomond is fronted by Bend native Ritchie Young, and fellow Bendite Dave Depper plays alongside him. Similarly, Water & Bodies’ Beau Kuther comes from our humble burg. (His brother Kelsey recently left the band.) You can read our past coverage of both bands by clicking their names: Loch Lomond | Water & Bodies.
Today, both add a new album to their discography. Let’s take them in alphabetical order:
“Little Me Will Start A Storm” (Tender Loving Empire)
Loch Lomond’s “Little Me Will Start A Storm” begins with two of Ritchie Young’s finest songs yet: the plucky “Blue Lead Fences” and the first single “Elephants & Little Girls,” with its gentle melody and choral swells. (Download “Elephants” here.) The rest of the album features all of Loch Lomond’s trademark traits, most notably Young’s dramatic, porcelain voice, which floats above the band’s lissome blend of folk, pop and chamber music as if powered by pure helium. Loch Lomond stretches and swirls a bit on the gorgeous “Earth Has Moved Again,” experiments with kitchen-sink sounds in the clanky “Water in Astoria,” and takes a simple tack for “Egg Song” until about halfway through, when the tune opens up into a sweeping choral number fit for a concert hall. As with the band’s previous work, Young’s songs on “Storm” are oddly interesting and unpredictable things, and the band itself is a perfectly capable bunch of pickers. But the star of Loch Lomond’s show is, as always, a collection of stirring voices that sets this band apart from its peers.
Loch Lomond will play in Bend on March 7 at the Tower Theatre, with Damien Jurado and Viva Voce. More info is here.
Water & Bodies
“Light Year” (EYOS Records)
In a world/town/scene that increasingly values a wallflower quality in its music (think: shoegaze eyes, ironic awkwardness, affected restraint), Water & Bodies buck the trend, bashing out flashy alt-rock songs that demand attention. “Light Year” recalls the indie/emo landscape of the 1990s, when bands like Saves the Day and The Get Up Kids spiced their punk rock with the kind of massive hooks you expect from Weezer songs. The album’s first two tracks — “Celebration Song” and “Free World” — reveal a band unafraid of aural drama, where insistent drums, roiling rock riffs and soaring vocals collide with striking effect. And the roller-coaster synth hook and inspirational message of the third song, “Moments in a Life,” are tailor-made for the climactic scene of a big-budget film. “Light Year” sags a bit in its middle passage (“Echoes” is a little too post-Silverchair MTV Buzz Bin and the title track seems half-baked), but beginning with the chugging, catchy “1980,” Water & Bodies finishes strong, establishing itself as a band that not only demands attention, but also deserves it.
Water & Bodies will play in Bend on March 5 at Silver Moon Brewing & Taproom with Tango Alpha Tango and Ex-Cowboys. More info is here.
Monday, November 22nd, 2010
“Little Me Will Start A Storm” will come out Feb. 22 on Portland’s wonderful Tender Loving Empire record label, and the first MP3 from the album, “Elephants & Little Girls,” nicely captures what makes this band great: elegant arrangements, effortless melodies, Ritchie Young’s remarkable voice. This is gorgeous chamber-pop that somehow sounds both gloriously grand and intimately cozy at the same time.
Click to grab it:
And here is the album’s cover art:
Thursday, September 16th, 2010
Well, I’ll be darned. Adventure Galley — a synthy indie-rock band based in Eugene that counts three former Mountain View High School students among its five members — has emerged victorious in “Rock The Space 2,” a nationwide, online battle of the bands sponsored by Toyota and MySpace.
17,000 bands entered the contest, and this week, Adventure Galley was announced as the winner. Congrats guys! Their prize includes $10,000 in Fender gear and a deal with MySpace Records.
I was going to write about the band, its win, what it means, and so on, but Eugene Weekly pretty much covered all that already. You should click here to read that.
Thursday, August 26th, 2010
I really dig Brothers Young. The Portland-based band — made up of three brothers (Dustin, Dillon and Michael Young) who grew up on Ithaca Avenue in Bend, plus three of their closest friends — played one of the best sets at last year’s Bend Roots Revival, and you can read my thoughts on that show here.
Tonight, they return to Parrilla Grill (7 p.m., $5, Rural Demons open) to kick off a tour of the West in support of their fine new EP “Good People,” out next week on Emeritus Records. The title track is an excellent example of the Brothers Young sound: light, lilting, lovely indie-folk full of earworm melodies and mesmerizing unison vocals. I love unison vocals! Too few bands do that these days. Take a listen to “Good Deeds,” and download an MP3 of it if you want:
Given that Brothers Young has strong ties to Bend, I thought it’d be fun to ask ‘em a few questions. Dillon Young came through with answers:
Friday, January 8th, 2010
As you probably know by now, we here at Frequency keep an eye on what’s going on over in the camp of Portland-based chamber-folk group Loch Lomond, partly because they’re mighty good, but also because the band’s principal, Ritchie Young, is from Bend, and so is multi-instrumentalist Dave Depper.
So when Loch Lomond jumps, we listen. Or something like that.
Anyway, on Nov. 10, the band released its new EP, “Night Bats,” on Portland’s wonderful Hush Records label. It contains four new songs plus a cover of the Bee Gees. Of course.
You can pick up the EP by clicking here. Or if you’re one of those kinds of people who sample a little spoonful of each type of ice cream before you finally settle on a flavor, thus delaying ice-cream delivery to the rest of us and driving us to the brink of insanity, well, fine. As much as your dithering bugs me, I’ll still pass along this link, where you can download the song “Wax and Wire” with no strings attached.
Loch Lomond has a couple shows scheduled right now for Portland and Seattle, so if you’re heading that way, try to catch ‘em. If you’re not, you can watch them perform live for OPB or listen to a session they recorded for Daytrotter. And if anyone reading out there has a say in such matters, I’m sure I speak for many Bendites when I say we’d love to see a homecoming show booked for Ritchie, Dave and the rest of the band!