Archive for the ‘video’ Category

[Review / photos / video] Macklemore & Ryan Lewis at Midtown Ballroom

Friday, October 26th, 2012

(All photos by The Bulletin’s Joe Kline. More of his excellent shots ran in today’s edition of GO! Magazine in The Bulletin. See them here.)

Note to self: Don’t wait almost a full week before writing a review of one of the biggest indoor shows in Bend this year.

Reason 1: Readers don’t want to wait that long. It’s 2012, bro. Internet.

Reason 2: I can’t really remember the more nuanced thoughts I had in the moment about Friday night’s Macklemore & Ryan Lewis show at Midtown Ballroom in Bend.

Here’s what I do remember: Passion. Effort. Sweat. The skyrocketing popularity of the Seattle-based rapper Macklemore — aka Ben Haggerty — has been, as I wrote in my story on him, “fueled by passion: the passion that permeates his songs, and the passion of the people who adore his music.”

Add to that Haggerty’s passionate live performance and you have a pretty clear idea of what’s pushing this guy beyond his grass roots into major mainstream success. He seems to put everything he has into his shows, which is a striking thing in the frequently ho-hum world of live hip-hop. I’ve seen lots of rap shows over the past several years, and too often, they end with a phoned-in 45-minute set by a headliner acting like they can’t wait to get back on the bus.

Friday’s show couldn’t have been any further from that. For 90 minutes, Haggerty bounded around the stage, throwing his whole body into his verses and working the sold-out crowd — 1,200 people, the vast majority under the legal drinking age — into a lather. With Lewis stuck mostly behind the decks and offering the occasional shout, Macklemore was, in essence, his own hype man.

That’s not to say he was alone under the lights. Besides Lewis, there was a female cello player and male violin and trumpet players on stage all night, plus four guest vocalists who joined the party throughout the set. It was a pretty interesting thing to see: The presence of the instrumentalists was an immediate indication that this was not your typical hip-hop show, while the parade of singers (not to mention the sweet Macklemore-branded tour bus parked on Hill Street) made me wonder just who’s paying all these folks to cruise around the country. (Dude is famously doing this without record-label money.)

Macklemore's trumpet player, Owuor Arunga.

Anyway, on to the music: After a dramatic entrance and the loudest crowd-scream I can remember in the Midtown, the set started off a little slow, I thought. The soundman seemed to still be dialing things in during “Ten Thousand Hours,” while “Crew Cuts” and “Life is Cinema” were both a bit muddy and lacking in oomph. (Haggerty did compliment our town’s collective facial hair at this point, however. As a bearded Bendite, this scored points with me.)

Then, the whole tenor of the night changed when Haggerty borrowed what looked like a vintage fur coat (may not have been vintage, may not have been fur) from a fan and the beat and bass for “Thrift Shop” buzzed through the Midtown, laying the foundation for one of the night’s highlights. People went nuts. Just nuts. Here, through the magic of video, you can watch for yourself. Sorry about the sound quality, but … yeah, the bass was loud:

From there, Haggerty and his crew ran through a bunch of faves: “My Oh My,” a sentimental tribute to the late Seattle Mariners broadcaster Dave Niehaus; “Otherside,” a cautionary tale about drug use; “Same Love,” the touching pro-marriage equality anthem that elicited a huge, approving roar and sing-along from the audience. The manic house-music beat of “Can’t Hold Us” was another high point; the song’s bass hit me in the chest like a medicine ball, traveled down through my toes to the floor, and, I assume, on to the center of the earth. It was devastatingly thunderous.

Along the way, two video screens flanked the stage and showed footage of bears, martial arts, Mariners highlights and lyrics. About halfway through his main set, Haggerty soaked his own Macklemore-branded tank top with sweat, before switching into a Seattle Supersonics jersey for “The Town,” an ode to Seattle and its hip-hop scene. He ended the main set with “Wings,” a commentary on consumerism built around adolescent obsession with fancy sneakers, and “Gold,” a poppy, celebratory tune about being on top of the world.

After a very short break, the group returned for a three-song encore — “Castle,” “And We Danced” and “Irish Celebration” — that didn’t live up to the energy of the main set, in my opinion. But the show came to a serendipitously appropriate ending when the light show shorted out during the encore’s second song and Haggerty performed most of “Irish Celebration” with the house lights on, hazily illuminating both the crowd and the stage.

That was not planned. I know, because I watched the guy controlling the lights completely lose his mind when he realized he’d lost his show during the night’s climax. But in a way, it was perfect: Right now, the music career of Macklemore & Ryan Lewis is reaching new heights every day, thanks in large part to the devotion and support they receive from their fiercely loyal fans. The makeshift light situation during “Irish Celebration” gave the final song of the night a sort of communal feeling, as if these fans had been purposely drawn into the show as a way of acknowledging their role in this story, and/or to reflect the humble, man-of-the-people persona of their pale leader.

“I f–king love you guys,” Haggerty said, before raising his hands to the sky and slinking off stage, on to the next sold-out show in the next town.

Deschutes Brewery unveils Deschutes River Recordings

Wednesday, September 12th, 2012

Eric D. Johnson along the Deschutes River

Eric D. Johnson along the Deschutes River

File this under: “Cool all around.”

Today, Deschutes Brewery premiered a video of The Fruit Bats‘ Eric D. Johnson (who, by the way, is opening for M. Ward at the Domino Room on Sept. 21) performing a song by The Byrds along the banks of the Deschutes River near La Pine State Park. It’s the first installment of the company’s new Deschutes River Recordings series, which it hopes will promote and support the efforts of the Deschutes River Conservancy.

Here’s the gist of the project, taken from an email from a Deschutes spokesperson:

• The brewery issued a call to its fans – otherwise called “advisory board members” – to choose songs with a river theme through an online voting process.
• Next, the brewery teamed up with indie artists to record the selected songs. The musicians traveled here and recorded the music “streamside high-wire: live, unadorned, far from a studio safety net”, resulting in a completely unique sound blending acoustic tunes with the sounds of nature.
• A partnership with popular music site, pitchfork.com, was formed and implemented to help promote the new recordings.
• Fans can download the songs for free, but are able to make a donation if they desire. Proceeds from downloads of this new music benefit the Deschutes River Conservancy, which is working to preserve streamflows and health of the river.

Check out the Pitchfork ad! If you know anything about the site or music journalism in 2012, you know this is quite the placement:

And here’s the video, featuring Johnson performing The Byrds’ “Ballad of Easy Rider.” Be sure to download the track and donate here. Coming in the next few weeks: Songs by Johnson’s fellow Portland-based indie luminaries Eric Earley (of Blitzen Trapper) and Laura Gibson.

Third Seven’s new video for “Destination Now”

Thursday, September 6th, 2012

Here’s a new video from local experimental cellist Billy Mickelson, aka Third Seven. It’s for a song called “Destination Now” from his new album, which he’ll celebrate with a show at The Horned Hand on Oct. 6.

That show will also double as a 10th birthday party for Third Seven, as well as a farewell before Billy heads off on his second European tour.

But more on all that later. For now, check it out. Enchanting!

Miguel, “Adorn”

Thursday, August 2nd, 2012

Speaking of Miguel, here’s the new video for his song “Adorn,” one of my favorite tunes of 2012 so far.

The grimy bassline that kicks in at :34 is just awesome.

(Sorry if you run into an ad.)

[Video] Dark Time Sunshine at Liquid Lounge

Thursday, July 19th, 2012

I went and saw underground hip-hop duo Dark Time Sunshine Tuesday night at Liquid Lounge in Bend, and I’ll have a review of the show in Friday’s GO! Magazine.

In the meantime, check out a couple videos I shot of the show, both featuring performances of songs from the new DTS album “Anx,” which comes out Tuesday. The sound is a bit muffled — it’s a hip-hop show, after all — and the lighting is almost nonexistent, but you should get a taste of these guys’ excellent, psychedelic space-rap jams.

New video from Bend’s All You All

Wednesday, June 27th, 2012

Fresh off their second-place finish in the 2012 Last Band Standing contest, the fidgety (in a good way) local electro-rock trio All You All today unveiled a video for the song “Oregon Burner” from their fine “Fluorescence” EP that came out earlier this year.

It’s a trippy, lo-fi clip, packed wall to wall with strobe lights, shaky-cam action and nighttime cruising. The whole thing vibes nicely with the song’s heavy-lidded, wee-hours dance party kind of feel. Enjoy…

(Photo by Sam Warner, taken from All You All’s Facebook page)

[Video / Review] Outer Minds at The Horned Hand

Friday, March 30th, 2012

So, this is a week old, but cut me some slack, buddy.

The Chicago-based band Outer Minds (Facebook / Bandcamp) slipped into The Horned Hand last Thursday and played a really terrific set of psychedelic garage-pop that, it turns out, was timed just right for someone to catch it all and then hurry across downtown in plenty of time to see most of Galactic’s set at the Domino Room. If they wanted to, of course. (I know at least one person who did it, is what I’m saying.)

Anyway, Outer Minds has a real knack for super-catchy songs that sound shipped in straight from the 1960s, fueled by flower power and bubbling over with fuzzy, lo-fi charm. My personal favorite part of their sound, though, were the oooohs and aaaahs and backing vocals in general provided by Mary McKane and Gina Lira, two indispensable ladies who flanked frontman Zach Medearis.

Also worth noting: The sounds McKane made with her green and white 1967 Farfisa organ, a beautiful little instrument that did much of the heavy lifting when it came to giving Outer Minds their throwback sound. (Check out this old Farfisa ad. They knew what was up.) McKane’s warm, melodic work on the keys turned what was a perfectly solid garage-rock band into a very convincing, spirited slice of the original psychedelic era.

The whole package was glorious. People danced. I bought a record. The band posted kind things about The Horned Hand on their Tumblr.

I’d love to see more acts like Outer Minds come through town. Here are four reasons why:

(more…)

[Video] Galactic at the Domino Room

Friday, March 23rd, 2012

I don’t think I absolutely adored New Orleans’ foremost multifarious funk band, Galactic, as much as the rest of a very full Domino Room last night, but I will say this: What a powerhouse pack of musicians. These five dudes — joined on this tour by trombonist Corey Henry of Rebirth Brass Band and vocalist Corey Glover of Living Colour — filled the Domino with slabs of low end as big and fat as any I’ve ever heard in that space.

What I’m saying is Galactic’s jams were thunderous. They also went on a little too long for me to capture entire songs on video, but here are some clips to give you the flavor. Look for more on the show in next Friday’s GO! Magazine.

(more…)

Get to know Filastine (“Colony Collapse” video / in Bend April 6)

Tuesday, March 20th, 2012

If you went to see Beats Antique at Midtown Ballroom in February, and you got inside early enough and were paying attention, then you may have caught a dynamic opening set by transglobal bass-music maker Filastine. The radical DJ/producer ignores electronic music’s current obsession with “the drop” and instead pieces together melodic patchworks of reliable low-end wobble, cosmopolitan samples, junkyard percussion and revolutionary ethos that’s far more interesting (and listenable) than many of his more well-known contemporaries’ work. Bottom line: Anyone can throw a party. Filastine throws a party with a point of view.

The guy’s outstanding new album — “£00T” — comes out April 3, and he’ll stop in Bend April 6 for a Slipmat Science show with Heyoka and others. (More details here.) In the meantime, dig into Filastine’s work, beginning with his new(ish) video for the song “Colony Collapse.”

[Video] Beats Antique at Midtown Ballroom

Monday, February 6th, 2012

I’ve written several times over the years about how I was shocked at the number of people who showed up to see Flogging Molly at the Midtown Ballroom in 2007. I knew they were a well-liked band, but had no idea they could pack a cavernous venue in little ol’ Bend, Oregon.

After Saturday night’s Beats Antique show in the same space, I now have a new standard to use when expressing my surprise at a band’s draw.

That’s not to say I didn’t realize the Bay Area-based global/electro/bellydance fusion band is popular. I just don’t think I realized they could fill Bend’s biggest indoor venue to the brim. But they did, with around 1,200 people, according to organizers. And it was a sight to see.

I’ll expand more on this — including some of the factors that contributed to Saturday’s explosive scene — in Friday’s GO! Magazine in The Bulletin. In the meantime, here are four videos of Beats Antique playing for a whole bunch of happy, smiling, dancing souls in Bend.