Archive for the ‘releases’ Category

Tonight: Franchot Tone’s “Thanks For This” album release show

Wednesday, January 2nd, 2013

For years, Franchot Tone was an integral behind-the-scenes player in Central Oregon’s music scene, working as a producer with popular local acts like Eric Tollefson and Hilst & Coffey, and as a producer/sideman for Reed Thomas Lawrence.

Then a couple years ago, Tone got the bug to make his own music for the first time. He started writing songs and training to become a better singer. He stepped to the front of the stage and started playing gigs under his own name. And he started piecing together his debut album.

Last year, Tone and his family moved to Los Angeles, but tonight, he’s back in town to celebrate the release of his first full-length album, “Thanks For This,” with a show a McMenamins Old St. Francis School. He’ll get started around 7 p.m., and it’s free to get in.

By phone this morning, Tone said moving back to California — where he knows lots of well-connected musicians and studio types — was a “catalyst” for finally finishing his record.

“It became abundantly clear that I had to have an album, and I’d just never made it,” he said. “So now I’m in this spot with all the best players in the world. I see ‘em daily, and I can just go over at any time to their studio and have ‘em do this track or that track or whatever.

“It was time,” he said, “to make the album.”

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Harley Bourbon unveils “Old Empty Bottle” tonight

Monday, December 31st, 2012

Harley Bourbon is, from left, Casey Cathcart, Collin Rhoton, John Forrest and Maxine Roach.

Local roots-rockers Harley Bourbon stopped by the office last week and dropped off a copy of their new album, “Old Empty Bottle.” Not one of those fancy-pants official versions with cover art and a track list and all that stuff … we’re talking the whole thing on one 40:43 minute track on a blank CD that says “Harley Bourbon” and “mastered” in black-marker chicken scratches.

I popped it into the computer, and laughed when this came up:

Apparently, according to the database that iTunes uses to identify CDs, “Linnea Bradley” also released one 40:43-long track at some point called “Smoking Cessation.” New Age, no less.

I went ahead and imported the CD. I’ll fix the info … eventually … maybe.

Anyway, this little bit of metadata confusion is especially funny because of Harley Bourbon frontman John Forrest’s voice, an gnarly cocktail of sandpaper and glass shards. Please note that I have no idea if Forrest has ever smoked a cigarette in his life. But he sounds like he has smoked them all.

Regardless, he’s blessed with the pipes for this kind of music; think Paul Westerberg, Shane MacGowan, Bobby Bare Jr. But the most obvious point of reference is Ben Nichols of Lucero. Like that guy, Forrest delivers perfectly and consistently coarse vocals without mangling his memorable melodies. And like Nichols, he’s backed by a mighty fine band. The other three Harley Bourbon-ites — bassist Casey Cathcart, drummer Maxine Roach and guitarist Collin Rhoton — are a well-oiled unit, adept at bashing out a mix of punk-folk, outlaw country, rockabilly and hardcore twang that’s catchy and well-crafted, but also hefty and rough around the edges.

Short version: “Old Empty Bottle” is packed top to bottom with strong songs and strong performances. It’s a heck of a listen. And if you get out and about tonight and end up at McMenamins, you can buy a copy from the band. They’re playing Father Luke’s Room at 9 p.m., and it’s $5 to get in. (Next door in the movie theater, a tribute to The Band called Across The Great Divide — including Gabe Johnson, Tyler Mason and an all-star lineup of other locals — will play at the same time with the same cover charge. Find more info on McMenamins’ party plans here.)

Here’s a taste of “Old Empty Bottle,” a song called “Won’t Be Lonely” … enjoy.

handmade CD-packaging goodness

Thursday, October 4th, 2012

As a guy tasked with covering Central Oregon’s music scene for the newspaper, I love all releases by local musicians like they are my own children.

But as a serious packaging geek, I really love what Silvero just dropped off.

Larry and His Flask’s new EP is out today. Also, they have a big ol’ banner now.

Tuesday, September 25th, 2012

Local punkgrass heroes Larry and His Flask have a new six-song EP out today. It’s called “Hobo’s Lament” and it’s a mighty fine listen; the title track is one of the band’s best yet, I think, and there’s a version of their old setlist stalwart “My Name is Cancer” on there, too.

You can stream the whole thing at Alternative Press. And you can order the record through the Paper + Plastick label.

The Flask is currently on tour supporting the English folk-punk singer-songwriter Frank Turner, who plays to good-sized crowds here and is a big star back in his home country. Here’s a photo of the band playing in Boston earlier this month. Check out that sweet banner they’ve apparently acquired!

(Photo taken from the LAHF Facebook.)

free download: Amsterdam + Goodwill’s “Earth & Sky” album

Thursday, February 16th, 2012

Back around the turn of the year, I groused a bit about the lack of hip-hop in Central Oregon in 2011.

Today, I’m feeling better.

That’s thanks in large part to Saturday’s lineup at the Bend WinterFest (The Coup + Buck 65 + Busdriver + Mosley Wotta; read all about it in tomorrow’s GO! Magazine) and a new album from Bend-based MC Amsterdam and Vancouver, Wash. producer Goodwill. It’s called “Earth & Sky” and they put it up on Bandcamp Tuesday as a Valentine’s Day gift to you, simply because you’re so sweet and cute. Or something like that.

Oh yeah, and the whole thing is free. Grab it by clicking here.

You should. I’ve been spinning it for the past few days, and I think it’s another positive step forward in Amsterdam’s career, which has progressed through groups like The Cool Table and Top Shelf, a solo album and dozens of shows in Bend and over in the valley. On “Earth & Sky,” his clipped, grainy flow and honest rhymes are both in fine form. It helps, perhaps, to write to tracks as dope as these. Kudos to Goodwill, whose beats here are at once both subtle head-nodders and beautifully melodic. The whole thing has a very nice, easygoing, vintage feel. Guests include Luck One, Mila Gordana, Mica Parris and Amsterdam’s Top Shelf teammate Middle.

Again, listen or download it here.

Larry and His Flask: new video, album preorder

Thursday, June 30th, 2011

A couple of notes on local thrashgrass blur Larry and His Flask:

1) The guys’ new album, “All That We Know,” is now available for preorder right here. There’s an array of colored-vinyl options for collector nerds, plus one package that comes with a hip flask engraved with the LAHF logo. Awesome!

2) The band filmed its first official video at the Rise Up Warehouse in May, and today, it showed up on Altpress. Behold:

I’m starting to wonder if the Flask might return home from the Warped Tour an even bigger deal than I thought they would. Scroll through their Facebook, Google their name … you’ll find a lot of folks out there falling in love with this band.

Countdown to Shabazz Palaces Day / The Best Songs of 2011 So Far, Part 1

Monday, June 27th, 2011

As regular readers know, Frequency was fortunate enough to read about and fall in love, love, love with Shabazz Palaces a full two years ago, when it was still a mysterious, futuristic hip-hop project bubbling up from Seattle. So I’ve been anticipating for a while now the release of “Black Up,” the first full-length album from former Digable Planet Ishmael Butler’s amazing new project.

Anyway, release day is tomorrow, and y’all should all go cop the record from Subpop so you can get a sweet patch with your order. In the meantime, check out the final track on “Black Up,” below. It’s called “Swerve… The reeping of all that is worthwhile (Noir not withstanding)” and it is without question one of my favorite tracks of the first half of 2011. The whole album blazes, but the smeared, shimmering synth line here marks “Swerved” as a standout. I cannot get enough of this track right now.

You can stream “Black Up” in its entirety by clicking here. Oh, and Pitchfork just weighed in with an 8.8.

[MP3] Tonight: Tuck and Roll CD-release show

Saturday, June 25th, 2011

Bend-based pop-punk kingpins Tuck and Roll have a new EP out called “Broken Radios,” and they’re celebrating it with a free show tonight at Madhappy Lounge (850 N.W. Brooks St., Bend). The music starts at 6 p.m. outside the bar with Harley Bourbon and Confederacy of Dunces, and then Necktie Killer and Tuck and Roll will wrap things up inside. There’s also going to be barbecue! Here’s the first track on the EP:

Tuck and Roll, “Bum Shot”

And here’s (part of) what I had to say about “Broken Radios” in Friday’s GO! Magazine:

Clocking in at 15 minutes long, the EP is pop-punk done right, where Sean Garvin’s urgent drumming and Ben Jones’ sturdy bass lines provide the power and guitarists Sam Fisher and Chris Murra chip in buzzy power chords arranged to ensure maximum toe-tapping.

Atop it all, Fisher’s melodies shine. The chorus of “Bum Shot” is a bounce-along beauty, framed by classic “whoa-oh, whoa-oh” background vocals. “Joke’s On Us” puts the pedal on the floor, paying homage to old-school Bay Area punk. “Grey Skies,” in turn, hits the brakes a tad, showcasing Tuck and Roll’s sensitive, nostalgic side.

That’s only 60 percent of “Broken Radios,” and the final two songs are terrific too. But I’ll leave that for you to discover. It suffices to say they hold up Tuck and Roll’s tradition of packing their releases with taut, catchy songs that reflect an understanding of the importance of efficiency when making records.

Tonight’s details again (click to make it bigger and more readable):

Colin Meloy plays “The Crane Wife 1, 2 & 3″ for KEXP

Tuesday, January 18th, 2011

This is one of my favorite stretches of music of the past several years. Just beautiful.

Posting this is really just my roundabout way of reminding you that The Decemberists‘ new album “The King is Dead” comes out today, and it is excellent, especially if you love the “5 Songs” / “Castaways and Cutouts”-era of the band (or Tarkio) more than their most recent record, “The Hazards of Love.”

Stream all of “The King is Dead” here or here or here.

Tonight: A listening party for Don Hoxie’s new album

Tuesday, July 20th, 2010

I touched on this briefly in last week’s GO! Magazine, but one of the local bar-rock scene’s veterans, Don Hoxie, will celebrate the release of his new solo album with a listening party tonight at Ranch Records (831 N.W. Wall St., Bend) at 7 p.m.

Hoxie — a former Ranch man himself — will be on hand with some of the guys who played on “Can’t Get There From Here” while the record plays over the loudspeaker. There’ll probably be some snacks or something, too. Snacks!

“Can’t Get There From Here” is the first-ever solo album from Hoxie, who’s been playing around Central Oregon for more than a decade as one of the founding members (along with Dean Prescott) of The Substitutes. (Click here to read my 2006 story about them.)

The Subs have always tried to mix their original tunes into their set, but they’re primarily known for their chameleon-like ability to rock any bar with their encyclopedic knowledge of rock ‘n’ roll’s past, oh, three or four decades.

But the other members of The Subs — specifically Prescott and former member Paul Eddy, who now lives in Austin, Texas — always juggled their own solo ventures with the band, and never expressed much interest in making a Substitutes record, Hoxie said. So he took matters into his own hands. Or, rather, his own studio.

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