Saturday was the day Typhoon Pabuk, apparently, began to wreak havoc with the 2013 Bend Roots Revival.
First came the creeping wall of dark clouds. Then the howling winds. And finally, the rain. The miserable, miserable rain.
There were two stages that bore the brunt of Saturday evening’s winds: Casey’s Corner, on the southwest corner of Pakit Liquidators’ property, and the Junkyard Stage on the southeast corner. The former was simply the festival’s first line of defense against the elements. The latter was located at the eastern end of a channel between a building and a fence that turned out to be a pretty effective wind tunnel.
My first stop Saturday was at the Junkyard Stage, where the Travis Ehrenstrom Band was bundled up and playing some easygoing roots-pop jams. Ehrenstrom’s album “Remain A Mystery” is one of the better local releases of 2013, and he played a handful of tunes from it before doing a couple of covers. First up was “Give Us Light,” a song by local band The Mostest and, I would imagine, a tribute to Revival founder (and Mostest main man) Mark Ransom. Ehrenstrom’s band just happened to include not only Ransom on guitar, but Mostest members Pat Pearsall on bass and Kaleb Kelleher on drums. “I’ve never played this song before,” Ehrenstrom said, “but these three guys have played it a lot.”
The other cover was the Bob Dylan / The Band classic “I Shall Be Released,” which never gets old no matter how many times you hear it. Here … hear it again.
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 21 — Larry and His Flask (album release), with Slaughter Daughters and Grit & Grizzle
July 6 — Y 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.
Three interesting options tonight, all in downtown(ish) Bend:
— Portland roots-pop band (and Bend regulars) Ascetic Junkies are no more, having pared down to two members (married couple Matt Harmon and Kali Giaritta) and changed their name to There Is No Mountain. Now, they play unconventional psych-pop that draws influence from global sounds, particularly African music. I spoke with the couple about all of the above, and I hope you’ll read the whole thing here. (Be sure to click “More Photos” to read very short pieces about the two acts opening for There Is No Mountain tonight at the Tower Theatre.)
— Vihara was a progressive hard-rock band active in Bend in the early 2000s, and then it sort of vanished after the release of its first album, “Stand Fast.” Tonight at Liquid Lounge, the quartet reunites for some good ol’ throwback fun. I visited a practice session last week and talked to the band about its past, present and future (though the future part didn’t really make it into the article). Click here to read it!
— Here’s an interesting tidbit: No video of KPOV’s annual Beatles Singalong seems to exist on the internet. So does it really exist in real life? Yes it does, and it’s happening tonight at The Old Stone in Bend. In this short piece, I tell you what kind of festivities are planned, and why you really ought to go.
Elsewhere in this week’s music section: Music in the Canyon kicks off in Redmond with Countryfied and New Transit plays The Horned Hand, plus The Strangled Darlings, Left Coast Country, The Blackberry Bushes, TapWater, Tha Dogg Pound, King Ghidora and more!
Last winter, the Jazz at the Oxford series had a terrific inaugural season, bringing a handful of regional jazz veterans to Bend and selling out each of its 13 shows.
Tonight, the series kicks off its second season, which features an expanded schedule and headliners with higher profiles, including award-winning jazz-pop vocalist Diane Schuur, who’ll play three shows at The Oxford Hotel over the next two days.
Here’s Schuur doing “Today I Started Loving You Again” from her new album “The Gathering,” a collection of country covers.
Shuur’s show tonight is sold out, but there are still tickets available for both Saturday performances. Last week, I got her on the phone and spoke with her about her own artistic freedom and the session for “The Gathering.”
“I think the consensus is that people have confidence enough in me and in my direction to give me their blessing and say … ‘If this is what you want, girlfriend, go for it,’” Schuur said. “I’m glad I’ve got the versatility and the voice to be able to do that because a lot of people unfortunately get stuck in a rut where they’ve got one style and that’s basically what they’ve got. I consider myself very fortunate.”
Even with dozens of albums under her belt, the “Gathering” session was the quickest in Schuur’s career, she said. It took one day to record and another day to polish up with overdubs and other tweaks. That was it.
“Once I got going, I just kept going, like the Energizer Bunny,” she said with a laugh. “(These songs) just really got into my soul.”
I hope you’ll click here and read the whole thing. Be sure to read about Jazz at the Oxford’s origin, success and upcoming schedule on the right side of the page!
The L.A.-based funk/soul band Orgone brings their cool, retro vibe back to town Monday night. My colleague David Jasper spoke with a couple of the band’s members about Orgone’s upcoming plans.
“We had a break in September and October, and we finally grabbed some time to work on some new material,” he said. After playing on the annual Jam Cruise in January, Orgone plans to use the shore leave to record a new album. “We’ll have a record done for March. We’re real excited about that.”
The band played the Volcanic Funk Festival in Bend last summer, but the recording break may mean it’ll be a while before Orgone brings its energy back to Oregon. And though it may be cold outside, it’s likely to get hot in The Annex.
“It’s 110 percent adrenaline-fueled dance party,” Rios said. “The band’s definitely going to get sweaty; it usually carries over into the people. It’s basically high-energy, no holds barred. We just kinda come full force and come to take no prisoners.”
Elsewhere in this week’s music section: Jerry Joseph plays his gritty rock ‘n’ roll at gritty Players Bar, Calling Morocco blends pop, rock and twang at The Sound Garden, a bunch of DJs and MCs gather at the Domino Room for Orbital: A Journey Through Sound, and local experimental cellist Third Seven plays at The Horned Hand before taking off on tour till spring. Plus Allan Byer, Harley Bourbon and lots more in our “Going Out” listing.
All-event passes for the Sisters Folk Festival are available now through the event’s website, www.sistersfolkfestival.org. But you’ll have to wait until Friday to get single-day passes for the fest, taking place Sept. 9-11 at several venues in Sisters.
The fest will bring a slew of musicians to Sisters for performances, workshops, a song contest and more. It’s a signature music event for this little burg, and one that by all accounts is a quality folk experience. This year, musicians including Dave Alvin, Steve Forbert, Mary Gauthier, Willy Porter and Martyn Joseph will grace the stages, along with others.
All-event passes are $95.
Single-day passes will be available starting Friday, at Paulina Springs Books in Sisters and Redmond, FootZone in Bend and the Sisters Folk Festival office.
All online ticket sales include a $2 handling fee per ticket.
Tickets purchased online will be available at the will-call tent after 1 p.m. Friday, Sept. 9.
Bob Dylan, John Mellencamp, Clint Black … it’s a big week for big names in music in Central Oregon. See today’s GO! Magazine in The Bulletin for all the details on big shows at Les Schwab Amphitheater, plus more music than you can shake an electric guitar at.
Sorry no video this week – Dylan vids are sure hard to come by on the Internet! Plus, Ben’s moving, so for all the info you need to see some great shows this week, check out a paper copy of The Bulletin or hit up the Bulletin complete music listings.
Portland’s massive musical mob, the MarchFourth Marching Band, will inject the Domino Room with a healthy dose of fun Sunday night. David Jasper spoke to bandleader John Averill about how the group formed, and how he keeps it together:
Averill said that MarchFourth started in 2003 when he and a couple of friends decided to put together a New Orleans-style marching band, based on the brass ensembles that traditionally gathered to play dirges for funeral processions, then broke into uptempo tunes.
For Averill, the occasion was a Fat Tuesday Mardi Gras party in Portland. … The date was March 4, in case you’re wondering how MarchFourth chose a name. Back then, the group featured four horns, 10 drummers and eight dancers. Stilt walkers were also on hand. The group played seven covers by the likes of Fela Kuti, Fleetwood Mac and Rebirth Brass Band, among others.
“So it was pretty big right off the bat,” said Averill, adding that, “I was really looking at putting the band together for one night. I was kind of surprised that it kept going.”
Nice job, Frequency readers! You helped identify this kid and connect his parents with The Old Mill District. You rule!
Your next task: Find the music instruments and gear that belong to local musicians Scott Foxx and Mosley Wotta, but disappeared from the West Wind Ranch Americana Music Festival a couple of weekends ago. Here’s an e-mail from Scott:
KIDNAPPED! A 1912 Granger fiddle, cared for and played by Scott Foxx for 35 years, taken from the West Wind Ranch Americana festival stage near Sisters, OR on Sat., July 24. It has a worn spot on left upper “corner,” 2 bows and was stored in rectangular maroon canvas case with an obituary inside for Doc Renno, who re-haired Scott’s bows.
Also taken, MOsleyWOtta’s 2 Mackie speakers, mics, cords, Line 6 Spider Jam amp.
Please share this info so at least the fiddle can come home!
If you have any info on the possible whereabouts of any of that stuff, get in touch with Foxx at 541-480-0897 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Portland-based Sassparilla is a six-piece jug band that rose up in Chicago and Pittsburgh before migrating to the West coast, and man, are they a good time. The group rocks out on:
a cigar-box guitar made from an old jewelry box
a washtub bass beaten with a stick
a polka-dotted 5-gallon-bucket drum kit with rusty brake-drums and a hat-box bass
washboards and a fiddle/harmonica duo that “interjects like a muscular horn section”
I caught this band in Portland in the middle of winter, and it only took one song before the freezing cold bar was a virtual sauna, insulated by puffy jackets stuffed under the tables by the now-frantically dancing patrons. The twangy uptempo songs and the band’s enormous personality — just wait till they start scat singing — make their show a total hoe-down.
You’ll see a wide age range of hipsters, conservatively dressed folk and oddities in the audience. Don’t be put off by the guy in the cowboy hat and boots — he belongs here too.
The music is a mix of fast and slow blues with some punk rock thrown in. This song, “99 Year Blues,” (if it doesn’t start playing when you open that page, scroll down a bit) seemed to be the big hit with the crowd. Check out more songs on their MySpace page or on CDBaby.
Sassparilla is playing at Angeline’s Bakery in Sisters tonight and it’s really worth checking out. Come on, when was the last time you saw a band with a washboard?
SASSPARILLA: The Portland-based blues-punk band performs; $5-$10; 7 tonight; Angeline’s Bakery & Cafe, 121 W. Main St., Sisters; 541-549-9122 or www.angelinesbakery.com.
The freedom to shake your butt in the sunshine, that is. The Staxx Brothers are back in town today to play a free Summer Sunday concert at Les Schwab Amphitheater in Bend. The show will start around 2:30 p.m., and gates open at 1 p.m.
This has the makings of a pretty awesome way to plug some live music into your holiday. The Staxx Brothers have been through town several times over the past year or two, but — unless I’m forgetting something — this is probably their biggest gig yet. Here’s what I wrote about them when they played the Bite of Bend a couple weeks ago:
What’s up with all the bands these days that ignore the “roll” in rock ’n’ roll? Indeed, rhythm and soul is a lost art in 2010, but not for The Staxx Brothers, a family of funk-making freaks who crank up the volume to make the party sweat. This band doesn’t beat around the throwback bush; theirs is a powerful fusion of true funk — think The Meters and Funkadelic — and the heavily amplified hard-rock history of their home town.
I was amazed at the size of the crowd at the Schwab last week for Empty Space Orchestra. Folks were spread out across the lawn, all the way to the back of the venue. With lots of people off work tomorrow and lots of parties tonight, this Staxx show seems like an ideal place to pre-funk.