Posts Tagged ‘Anastacia’

This week in GO! Magazine’s music section

Friday, November 18th, 2011

I’m not going to sit here and pretend that I’m some High on Fire superfan or whatever. But I have to say: I’m as stoked for their show at the Domino Room Saturday night as I have been for any show ’round here in a long time.

Why? I’m not 100-percent sure. I think, mainly, I’m just looking forward to being sonically pummeled for more than an hour. It’s not something we get in Bend all that often, really.

Anyway, be jealous metal nerds … I interviewed Matt Pike!

On Monday, I spoke with Pike about High on Fire’s new material (they’re playing some), the current metal resurgence (he thinks it’s great, obvs) and the burden he feels when making an album. An excerpt:

“We get a little bit nitpicky because of what we’ve put out already,” he said. “It’s like … how do I top the last one? And I can’t put out a bunch of s–t that doesn’t sound quite as good, so … it’s a little more of a pain.”

For all High on Fire’s booming brawn, the trio has its sights set on a lofty long-term goal while also dealing with the same kind of indecision and self-doubt faced by mere mortals like you and me.

“You wanna achieve as much as you can in one lifetime, but at the same time, sometimes it’s harder than it seems, even if you’re a very intelligent person and you know what you’re doing,” Pike said.

“There’s still these moments where you’re like, ‘I don’t know if that’s good enough or not. I can’t tell,’” he said. “And you second-guess yourself.”

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

Also, be sure to check out the back of today’s GO! Magazine for our alternate High on Fire cover! (But only if you like awesome, evil demon-goats playing guitar with their foot perched on Pilot Butte as the Cascades erupt in the background.)

Elsewhere in this week’s music section: Sisters singer-songwriter Anastacia celebrates her new CD with a show at the HarmonyHouse, Christian Kane brings country to Maverick’s, Hellbound Glory brings a decidedly different kind of country to The Horned Hand, the Homegrown Reunion show gathers a bunch of local talent for a good cause, Tony Smiley returns to town, 2nd Hand Soldiers play Silver Moon, and much more.

Bend Roots Revival plays host to reunion of old friends after 50 years

Wednesday, October 5th, 2011

Local musician and all-around cool dude Joe Leonardi was reunited with some of his old buddies from his hometown of Valley Stream, New York a couple of weekends ago. The three men — who hadn’t talked to or seen their friend in nearly 50 years — found Leonardi on Facebook a few months ago and flew to Oregon to see him (and his daughter, Anastacia) play the Bend Roots Revival.

Here’s an excerpt of my story on the reunion, which ran in the Community Life section of The Bulletin on Sunday:

The guys arrived on Sept. 23, and — as close friends tend to do — slipped right into their old ways. Each man glows when he describes the evening.

Frank Ragone: “We sat down on Friday night and (had) a wonderful dinner. We sat at the kitchen table and told stories like it was yesterday.”

Albee Allstadt: “Forty-eight years had gone by and we picked up right where we left off.”

Pete Porri: “You pick it up like you are back in high school. It’s a pretty incredible thing.”

Joe Leonardi: “I was blown away. This floodgate opened of memories and just sparked all of these things that I totally forgot about. It’s been a trip. I’ve just loved seeing these guys.”

For the three friends who have been gathering for years, the feeling is mutual.

“It was a special bond back there (in New York) and that’s why we’re here. It was something that was unique,” Allstadt said. “Joe was very special to us, so when his name came up, there was no question we were coming.”

Left to right: Albee Alstadt, Frank Ragone, Joe Leonardi and Pete Porri.

This week in GO! Magazine’s music section

Friday, September 2nd, 2011

Roots-rock megastar Ray LaMontagne is playing in Bend next week, but the notoriously press shy singer-songwriter declined my request for an interview.

I won’t lie, it hurt a little bit.

UNTIL … (this is called a cliffhanger, please scroll down)

I SCORED AN INTERVIEW WITH RAY LAMONTAGNE’S BEARD!!! That made me feel way better. Here’s an excerpt:

GO!: Have there been any low points in Ray’s career so far, in your opinion?

RB: I don’t know about low points, but did you see Taylor Hicks sing “Trouble” on that “American Idol” show? What is up with that dude? How did he win? Better yet, how did he beat Daughtry, Kellie Pickler and Katharine McPhee?

GO!: I don’t know.

RB: Me neither. I just know I don’t trust him. No facial hair.

GO!: So what musicians do you like?

RB: Hmm … well, I dig Hairy Belafonte. Whiskertown. Tuft Merritt. Aesop Locks. And also actual artists like Bush, Grizzly Bear and Shaggy. ZZ Top, obvs.

And I can’t resist posting this part of it:

GO!: Why can’t I find any pictures of Ray smiling?

RB: I don’t really want to get into that. Let’s just say that his teeth and I have had some tussles in the past, so it’s good to have his lips as a buffer between us.

GO!: Whoa … are you saying that Ray LaMontagne’s teeth are a bunch of jerks?

RB: No comment. Next question.

Overall, I’d say it was a pretty good interview, considering I was talking to a beard. I hope you’ll go read the whole thing by clicking here.

Ben Harper at Les Schwab Amphitheater last Friday. Photo by Ben.

I went and saw Bend fave Ben Harper at Les Schwab Amphitheater last week and thought it started slow but ended strong. Also, my steak chilaquiles from Spork were awesome. Here’s an excerpt:

Now, I’m no classic rock connoisseur, but even I admired Harper’s epic cover of Led Zeppelin’s “No Quarter,” with its unmistakable, roiling guitars and dynamic extremes. Set against a subtly psychedelic light show, Harper ably handled Robert Plant’s vocals while his band jammed with significant crunch for a good 10 to 15 minutes.

Then, as if to declare himself unafraid of any classic guitar riff, Harper launched into Neil Young’s protest song “Ohio,” which predictably provided a perfect showcase for his deceptively strong voice and his not-so-deceptively prodigious skills on the slide guitar. The crowd around me — filled with 30- and 40-something rock ‘n’ roll lifers — went wild, fully satiated by the 20-minute nostalgia detour.

But with Ben Harper, the music always comes back to positive, forward-thinking messages. He closed the show with one of his best tunes, the globally flavored “Better Way” (complete with shrieked final verse) and an unreleased song called “Better Than I Deserve” that I’m still humming six days later.

Click here to read the whole thing, including more about the food (and also the show).

Elsewhere in this week’s music section: return visits by the Reverend Horton Heat, Portland Cello Project and Diego’s Umbrella, Jailbox plays The Sound Garden, and summer concert series are wrapping up at Parrilla Grill, Angeline’s Bakery and Black Butte Ranch.

This week in GO! Magazine’s music section

Friday, January 7th, 2011

Pretty packed and diverse, as usual. Here’s what’s in there:

Jim Heath and Jimbo Walls of the Reverend Horton Heat. Photo by Andy Tullis / The Bulletin

–One of the finest young bluegrass bands in the world, the Steep Canyon Rangers, play in Sisters Monday night. Unfortunately, they might be fighting the Oregon Ducks’ national championship bid for eyeballs. We compare the two, Rangers vs. Ducks.

–Sunday night’s Northwest hip-hop showcase will feature two of Seattle’s finest, Champagne Champagne and Mad Rad, plus locals Cloaked Characters and JoAnna Lee. Get the skinny here.

–I went and saw the venerable Reverend Horton Heat on Dec. 29 and wasn’t blown away, but came outta there with a lot of respect for what they do and what they’ve done. Read my whole review here.

–The young, faith-focused Prineville band ER has a new CD out and they’re celebrating with a show tonight. Here are the details.

–Elsewhere in the music section, we have Empty Space Orchestra’s January residency at Silver Moon, Anastacia and the JazzBros at McMenamins, and Jon Wayne and The Pain’s funk/reggae/rock at Silver Moon.

This week in GO! Magazine’s music section

Friday, July 2nd, 2010

Aphrodesia, an Afrobeat (and so much more) band based in the Bay Area, will kick off the 20th season of Munch & Music Thursday. I spoke with bassist and bandleader Ezra Gale about the rising profile of Afrobeat in America.

“I think (Afrobeat) is definitely more in the mainstream consciousness than it was when we started doing this,” Gale said via telephone Monday. “Where I live in Brooklyn, there’s now at least three or four young Afrobeat bands who are playing (in the style of genre godfather Fela Kuti), and I remember when Aphrodesia first started, as far as we knew, it was us and (New York’s) Antibalas. It really was this new thing. Nobody knew who Kuti was, and we were playing this music that felt obscure.

“It’s important to keep it in perspective, because there are things that are pushing it into the mainstream (such as the Kuti-focused “Fela!” Broadway musical), but at the same time, when you talk about most people in this country, most still have never heard of it, really,” he said. “So us Afrobeat musicians kind of live in a bubble. To us, it may seem sort of played out and passé, but in fact, it’s still new to probably 98 percent of people.”

Accompanying the Aphrodesia story are a few words from Munch & Music founder Cameron Clark on what two decades of the popular, free concert series means to him. I hope you’ll click here and read it all.

Also in the music section this week:

New recorded music just keeps on coming from Bend’s ridiculously productive scene. This week, I wax poetic about the new album from Sara Jackson-Holman (“it’s an aural tractor beam, drawing me in over and over again”), who’ll hold a CD-release show Monday, and The Autonomics (“bruising rock ’n’ roll that draws influence from both modern and classic sounds”), who’ll celebrate their new EP with a show tonight.

Elsewhere, we’ve got all the details on the Breedlove Festival, a concert and barbecue at Maragas Winery, Lisa C. Pollock’s Indie Freedom Tour at Silver Moon Brewing, Eric Tollefson and the Show Us Your Spokes lineup, Curtis Salgado and the Picnic in the Park lineup, folk singers Kasey Anderson and Anastacia, and a scaled-down Pinback returning to the Domino Room. And as always, you can find lots more in The Bulletin’s complete music listing.

This week in GO! Magazine’s music section

Friday, April 23rd, 2010

Hey there, folks. Shorter update this week than usual because I’ve got a brand new baby at home and am a tad busy. For that same reason, it may be a bit quiet around here for a little while. This is our first, so I expect a sharp learning curve and reduced time for blogging.

Anyway, the cover story in GO! Magazine this week is about the Procession of the Species parade happening in downtown Bend Saturday, but it’s worth noting that this week’s local live-music opportunities are a veritable procession of the species, too.

We’ve got sweaty punk-blues (Hillstomp, Cicada Omega), a gathering of sweeping, celestial rock bands (Empty Space Orchestra, Hypatia Lake, Water & Bodies), cosmopolitan folk-pop artists (Bruce Cockburn, Catherine Feeny, Anastacia), garage-y indie-rockers playing for charity (The Autonomics, We Are Brontosaurus), a collective of electro-thump DJs celebrating a birthday (Slipmat Science), a couple of big-name Christian pop-rock acts playing worship songs (Phil Wickham, Leeland) and local hard rock (Stillfear, Audiolized), plus hip-hop (Afroman) and a roots-rock guitar hero (Tony Furtado).

Whew! Think about it — that’s kind of an abundance of riches for little ol’ Bend in the middle of April, don’t you think?

So go poke around the music section until you find something that sounds interesting. And if that doesn’t work, you can always check out our complete music listings. (Also, if you search this blog for Cicada Omega, Empty Space Orchestra, Water & Bodies, Catherine Feeny, Anastacia or The Autonomics, you’ll find more about each. There’s a little search box in the upper left-hand corner. Try it!)

Just for fun, here’s a video of Hillstomp in action.

And here’s one of Hypatia Lake.