Posts Tagged ‘Acorn Project’

This week in GO! Magazine’s music section

Friday, April 29th, 2011

Downtown Bend will celebrate Cinco de Mayo in style Thursday as L.A. fusionistas Ozomatli headline a free outdoor celebration on Wall Street. My conversation with band co-founder Ulises Bella focused more on Ozo’s world travels than its music.

But it’s the band’s role as U.S. Department of State-designated Cultural Ambassadors that sparks a fire in Bella. When he talks about Ozomatli’s music, he sounds excited. When he talks about its overseas work, he sounds inspired.

Since 2007, the band has traveled to Nepal, India, Myanmar, Madagascar, Jordan, Tunisia, South Africa, Egypt, Mongolia and China on official government business, playing free public concerts, conducting workshops and doing community outreach in, as Bella puts it, “places no bands go to.”

To wit: Last summer, Ozomatli performed for thousands of people in a public square in Mongolia’s capital, Ulaanbaatar. They were the first Western band to play there. Ever.

“We feel like some pioneers. Like, yo, we’re gonna go into this country and … maybe a handful of people might know who we are,” Bella said. “In a weird way, it’s a great litmus test for letting the music stand on its own.

“In a lot of ways, there’s something in our music, especially rhythmically, that you can latch onto and be like, ‘Hey, I kind of know this. This kind of seems familiar to me,’” he continued. “We start playing and immediately the reaction is for the most part overwhelmingly positive.”

Bellas was great interview. I hope you’ll click here to read the whole thing.

Elsewhere in this week’s jam-packed music section, we’ve got short stories on Cash’d Out and The Staxx Brothers, plus The Northstar Session, Mad Rad, The Anvil Blasters, Sara Jackson-Holman, Super Adventure Club, Brandi Carlile, Floater, Tony Smiley and Marv Ellis, the Acorn Project and more.

This week in GO! Magazine’s music section

Saturday, March 19th, 2011

Uh … oops! I forgot to post this on Friday, like I usually do. Sorry about that. Anyway, here’s a short but sweet roundup of what’s in the music section of this week’s GO! Magazine. As is often the case, the next seven days boast a pretty busy and diverse slate of shows. Click the artists’ names for more:

Galactic brings New Orleans fusion-funk to the Domino Room
Igor & Red Elvises return to Silver Moon with their campy Siberian surf “rokenrol”
Blackalicious MC Gift of Gab headlines a St. Paddy’s party at Century Center
Cooper McBean of The Devil Makes Three visits Silver Moon with his other band, the Vested Interests

Also in the music section: Mood Area 52′s cinematic tango music, the Acorn Project’s tight take on jam-rock, the global folk of The Hollands!, a bunch of local bands play McMenamins, and the return of the 80s Video Dance Attack.

Have fun, y’all!

This week in GO! Magazine’s music section

Saturday, October 23rd, 2010

Portland indie-folk artist Laura Veirs will arrive in Bend Wednesday to play her gorgeous songs at the Tower Theatre. (There are a couple places in the article where it says the show is Tuesday. Oops. Ignore that. It’s Wednesday.) I spoke with her about her new baby and her seventh album, “July Flame,” which was released early this year and is a return to the folksier sound of her early work.

Stripping away some of the fancy production of past albums was the goal from the beginning, Veirs said, for two main reasons.

One, she wanted to challenge herself.

“This last album was quite a challenge for me to write because I’d written seven albums,” she said. “I’d played these chords hundreds of times, so it was like, ‘OK, I need to change the tuning on my instrument. I need to write on a different instrument. I need to surprise myself.’ I think that’s where the good art comes, when you yourself feel surprised and engaged in something new, because that’s what resonates with other people.”

I hope you’ll click here and read the whole thing.

California folk singer Rita Hosking will visit Sisters Saturday night to kick off the new season of HarmonyHouse concerts. My colleague David Jasper spoke to Hosking about what HarmonyHouse denizens can expect.

“We do mostly my original songs, which range from uptempo to pretty slow,” she explained. “It’s all very country-folk, and so it’s all acoustic, and you’ll often hear a lot of harmonies; they sing along with me.

“We also do some covers and banjo-fiddle tune instrumentals thrown in here and there. It makes for a nice, diversified show for an acoustic group. We do lots of different things. We can rock out a little bit, or play old-time music or bluegrass. I like to do folk ballads. We do it all.”

Click here to read the whole thing and to check out HarmonyHouse’s lineup for the season.

Elsewhere in this week’s music section: Super Adventure Club, The Mostest and Matt Miller, The Capitol Steps, Acorn Project and Sassparilla. As always, there’s more in The Bulletin’s complete music listings.

This week in GO! Magazine’s music section

Friday, June 25th, 2010

The Acorn Project, from Bellingham, Wash., is coming down to play three consecutive nights at Bend’s McMenamins Old St. Francis School. That seemed like a good-enough reason to chat with saxophonist Sam Lax about the band.

If Acorn Project is a jam band, they’re one with a sense of momentum. Where most jam bands might engage in endless, aimless guitar noodling, this one keeps moving forward, rocking out, ever mindful of keeping a beat.

In other words, Acorn Project’s music is jammy, sure, but also muscular and punchy, a result of its members’ varied interests.

“Everybody has a pretty different taste in what they like, and I think that … kind of led to our eclectic mix,” Lax said. “Our bass player and lead singer/guitarist are both big fans of blues-rock and more of an indie sound. Myself and the keyboard player are really into the jam scene and the live electronica scene. And then we have our drummer who’s big into hip-hop.”

And while the individual Acorns will improvise and take solos, the band tries to focus on strong songwriting rather than just setting sail and seeing where the wind blows.

“If we’re going to write a funk song, we want it to sound like funk,” Lax said. “We’ll open it up and let things flow, but we try to have, like, an end in sight, you know?”

You can check out the whole thing here.

Elsewhere in this week’s music section:

Bend-based booking agency In The Pocket Artists is having a family gathering of sorts this weekend, as four bands from its roster play in town over three days. Click here to read up on the company, as well as Rubblebucket, The Staxx Brothers, Jukebot! and Empty Space Orchestra.

It seems like every week, another local artist is releasing a new album. This week, we have two: Sisters singer-songwriter Dennis McGregor will celebrate “Behind The Beat, Below The Note” Saturday at the Harmony House, and Bend Americana combo Moon Mountain Ramblers will show off their new double-disc “Live at the Tower” album with a show tonight at Angeline’s Bakery in Sisters, and Saturday night at Silver Moon Brewing in Bend.

Still not satisfied? How about punk vets GBH at the Domino Room, jazzman Dan Balmer kicking off Black Butte Ranch’s summer concert series, and David Miller, Erin Cole-Baker and the Rough String Band, plus an update on Last Band Standing. As always, there’s much, much more in The Bulletin’s complete music listings.

And don’t forget: some of the best tunes in town this weekend will be at the Bite of Bend. We’re talking March Fourth Marching Band, Rubblebucket, Ascetic Junkies, The Staxx Brothers and more. Here’s our story on that!