Archive for the ‘music on the web’ Category

Download “November” and help local kids

Friday, November 29th, 2013

(I should’ve posted this weeks ago.)

“November” is an online compilation album featuring songs from Central Oregon artists that’s available for purchase here (for $5 or more) only during the month of November.

That means only through tomorrow, folks!

The key point here is that, according to organizer Brian Hinderberger (of local bands Victory Swig and The Rum and the Sea), 100 percent of profits from the album will go to Healthy Beginnings of Central Oregon, which “provides accessible physical, developmental and behavioral screenings to children from birth through age five to foster healthy, educated, nurtured children, families and communities,” according to its website.

Artists who’ve donated a song include: Voodoo Highway, Three Times Bad, Chris Evans, Jason D Schweitzer, Victory Swig, Stan Roach, Steam Engines, The Rum and The Sea, The Quons, Hilst & Coffey and Jason Chinchen.

Good local music and a good cause … what are you waiting for? (No seriously, don’t wait … again, it’s gone after tomorrow.)

Read my interview with E-40 and brush up on his catalog

Friday, October 25th, 2013

In March of 2012, the renowned Oakland-based DJ Matthew Africa — who died in a car accident a little over a year ago — put together a massive mix of Bay Area rap icon E-40’s greatest songs from across his 25-year career. He called it “Yay Game” and it is 40 tracks and nearly 80 minutes of awesome. Give it a spin right here:

While you’re listening, click here to read my interview with the man that ran in today’s GO! Magazine, in which he talks about mixtape culture, why he’s putting out three albums at once in December and what he hopes his legacy will be in the Bay.

Mindscape’s “Tail Lights” video

Tuesday, September 24th, 2013

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.

Tonight: Low Hums + Rural Demons at Volcanic Theatre Pub

Wednesday, September 11th, 2013


Last week’s GO! Magazine didn’t have nearly enough coverage of tonight’s Low Hums / Rural Demons show at Volcanic Theatre Pub. So I will endeavor to make up for that here.

Low Hums are a Seattle-based band (led by Jonas Haskins, formerly of the band Earth) that specializes in creating not only music, but moods, especially the kind of mood that happens when you’re flat on your back in the desert, baked by the sun (or whatever) and staring up at stars pinpricking a dusky sky. This is a twangy trance music for deteriorating dunes, expansive adobe-drones to soundtrack your cosmic wanderings; Central Oregonians, think of it as buzzy juniper jams designed to enhance a leisurely trip through the Badlands.

Low Hums is a band that vibes.

Tonight, they’ll bring those vibes to Bend, where the opening act — local slowcore doom-roots collective Rural Demons — could not be a more perfect pairing.

Here’s Low Hums’ self-titled full-length, which came out last year. Click ‘n’ bliss:

Low Hums and Rural Demons play at 9 tonight, with doors opening at 8 p.m., at Volcanic Theatre Pub (70 N.W. Century Drive, Bend). It’s free to attend.

Devastatingly awesome: Windhand’s “Woodbine”

Tuesday, August 20th, 2013


Windhand — who hail from the perhaps-surprising metal hotspot of Richmond, Va. — has a new album called “Soma” coming out on Sept. 17 and it is going to be a monster. Here’s the first track we’ve heard from it, a thunderous slab of buzzy, melodic doom called “Woodbine.”

From the second you hit play on this, you’ll hear … these folks have some of the best guitar tone going. Go ahead, soak it in. This is one of the best songs of 2013 so far.

If that whets your appetite, you can hear more of the band’s music at their Bandcamp site. Want to see ’em live? They’ll be at Ash Street Saloon in Portland on Sept. 18.

Addendum: A second track from the album just surfaced! Hear it here.

Hear new music from Amsterdam, Jay Tablet

Friday, July 19th, 2013



I just looked it up: I’ve been covering the hip-hop of Amsterdam — aka Bend’s Gabe van Eikeren — since the summer of 2006, both as a solo artist and as part of his groups The Cool Table and Top Shelf. (He even did a short-lived tour blog and NBA Finals previews for Frequency back in the day!)

So it was weird back in February when he put out a new solo album called “Avarice” and I didn’t write a thing about it. I have a good excuse — I was home full-time with a 5-month-old baby — but still … I like what this dude does (increasingly so in recent years), so ignoring it didn’t feel right.

Anyway, I didn’t have to wait long to follow up. Early in July, Amsterdam released “Aurora,” another album of heart-on-sleeve raps that veer back and forth between self-deprecating angst and tongue-in-cheek-ish arrogance. If you only have time for one song, click forward to track 3, “Here & Now,” which features a buzzy, jumbled beat by Khrysis. But I’d suggest listening all the way through.

And here’s “Avarice,” which ain’t old news, y’all. It’s only five months old! Give ‘er a spin.

Speaking of Bend-based rappers, Cloaked Characters’ Jay Tabletwho will perform at The Astro Lounge tomorrow night — just dropped a free seven-track EP ahead of the release of his new solo album “Tablife,” scheduled for August. As is usually the case with JT, the free EP sounds like soundtrack to an after-party where eclectic beats and a mellow vibe are favored. Check it. And then look for more on Tab when “Tablife” drops.

Download the new Run The Jewels album

Wednesday, June 26th, 2013


El-P and Killer Mike teamed up to make one of 2012’s best albums. Now they’re back as Run The Jewels, and they’re apparently making their new album available for free download. For how long? No idea. Grab it now.

Les Schwab Amphitheater’s Backstage series begins Friday with Larry and His Flask’s album-release show

Monday, June 17th, 2013


One of the bright spots in Les Schwab Amphitheater’s relatively light (though getting a bit beefier) schedule of big-ticket events so far this summer is the emergence of a new concert series called Backstage at LSA, put on by local arts promoter Rise Up Presents.

Backstage shows will happen — wait for it! — behind the amphitheater’s stage, near the white house and train cars used as hospitality facilities when big rock stars are in town. Tickets will be reasonably priced — $8.50 in advance, $10 at the gate — and the lineup looks pretty great so far:

June 21Larry and His Flask (album release), with Slaughter Daughters and Grit & Grizzle

July 6Y La Bamba, with Jessica Hernandez & the Deltas and Silvero

July 13 — Reggae on the River, with Indubious and Taimani & The Minor Islands

Please note the words “album release” on that June 21 date. Yes, Central Oregon-based thrashgrass heroes Larry and His Flask are ready to unveil their new album “By the Lamplight,” which was recorded in Michigan earlier this year, before the group’s recent two-month European tour (part of which was spent opening for the huge-in-England folk-punk artist Frank Turner).

I’ll have some more thoughts on “By the Lamplight” in Friday’s GO! Magazine. In the meantime, here’s a fun video of the guys performing the first song on the new album, called “Pandemonum.” Enjoy.

Anticipating Mikal Cronin’s new album (aka Brighten up your Monday with two of the best songs of 2013 so far.)

Monday, April 29th, 2013

Mikal Cronin. Photo courtesy Denee Petracek.

Mikal Cronin. Photo courtesy Denee Petracek.

Mikal Cronin‘s name has been floating around the underground for a few years now as a pop-rock genius, thanks to a handful of singles, his work with garage wunderkind Ty Segall and a fine, fine debut album on one of the planet’s best record labels, Trouble In Mind.

Now, Cronin is ready for his breakthrough. Next week, his second album “MCII” comes out on another one of the planet’s best labels — but one with considerably more promotional muscle — Merge Records.

And it is a stunner.

I remember reading a review of a Guided By Voices album many years ago that said something about how Bob Pollard seems to spit out amazing, beautiful melodies like the rest of us breathe. And after listening to “MCII” a dozen or so times now, I keep coming back to the same feeling about Cronin. If you love absolutely perfect pop-rock powered by the urgent strum of an acoustic guitar and packed with soaring melodies that’ll stick in your brain for a loooong time, you must give this guy a spin. (Seriously, ask my wife what I’ve been singing around the house nonstop for the past couple of weeks. “DO I SHOUT IT OUT? DO I LET IT GO?”)

Anyway, the entire album is now streaming via NPR, but I want to highlight not only the first two singles and the best two tracks, but two of the best songs released by anyone anywhere this year. These tunes are pretty much perfect. Click play, please:

Again, the whole thing is streaming here. You can (and should) order “MCII” via Merge. Also, Mr. Cronin will play Mississippi Studios in Portland on June 6.

Exclusive stream: Travis Ehrenstrom, “Remain A Mystery”

Friday, April 5th, 2013

The Travis Ehrenstrom Band. Its namesake is second from left.

The Travis Ehrenstrom Band. Its namesake is second from left.

When I saw Central Oregon singer-songwriter Travis Ehrenstrom perform in early 2009, my review focused on “Remember My Name,” a terrific song from his solo album “Somewhere In Between.” At the time, Ehrenstrom was 19, and I thought the tune’s high quality foreshadowed good things to come from the young artist.

Four years later, Ehrenstrom seems to be on the verge of delivering on that promise in a big way with his new record “Remain A Mystery.” Funded primarily through the fundraising website Kickstarter and recorded by Keith Banning at Lonely Grange Recorders in Sisters, the full-length album is expected to be released in June.

Until then, you can dig into the title track, which is exclusively available for streaming below thanks to Ehnrenstrom. It’s a big sonic step forward from the guy-and-guitar aesthetic of “Somewhere In Between,” with its lush sound, faint keyboard pulse and ethereal melody. At times, Ehrenstrom sounds like he’s channelling My Morning Jacket’s Jim James, and if you know me, you know that’s a massive compliment.

Ehrenstrom expects to have preorders for the new album up on his Bandcamp soon, and on Saturday, he’ll debut his new band at The Belfry in Sisters, where he’ll help warm up The Weather Machine‘s CD-release party. The show will start at 8 p.m. and it’s $10 to get in, or free with a student ID.