Hey, alright. Here you go. (Sorry, I’m tired. That’s the best I’ve got.)
— The famous actress Molly Ringwald is singing jazz songs now, and she’ll do so Saturday night at the Tower Theatre in Bend. My colleague David Jasper talked to her about her newest artistic endeavor. Click here to read his story.
— Local acoustic Americana trio The Prairie Rockets will celebrate the release of their first CD with a show Saturday night at Broken Top Bottle Shop in Bend. I chatted with one of the Rockets, Aspen Clayton, about the band’s rough go of it over the past year and the tragedy that halted the album’s creation for months. You should read all about it by clicking here.
Elsewhere in this week’s music section: Andre Nickatina returns to the Domino Room, Pato Banton will fill The Annex with positive vibes, Kenny Loggins brings his new band Blue Sky Riders to the Tower Theatre, “Romancing the West” tells the history of our half of the country through music, and a busy week at Silver Moon features Brownchicken Browncow Friday night, Tentareign and Sons of Dirt Saturday, Callow and Third Seven Sunday and Cheyenne West on Thursday.
One of Bend’s favorite dudes, G. Love aka Garrett Dutton, is bringing the Special Sauce back to town on Thursday. This time, he’s supporting a more rustic, acoustic album called “Fixin’ to Die” that he made with Seth and Scott Avett of The Avett Brothers. I chatted with the man about his new musical direction.
“We thought of those last three records as a triumvirate,” he said. “With the economy and the state of the record business and everything like that — it being harder and harder to sell records — it was just like, you know what, we gotta do something really different. So we decided we were gonna go back to my roots as a coffee-shop singer and a Delta bluesman and really … go all the way with that.”
Enter the Avetts, a couple of North Carolina boys whose new-school old-time string band is at the forefront of the current roots-music revival. Once the G. Love camp decided on the direction of the new record, they set their sights on the ideal producers.
“They do things in such an honest way,” Dutton said. “We felt like (we should) go back to making records how I used to make ’em: real stripped down, live performances, no frills. Just good, old-fashioned, honest music.”
Sounds like Dutton was super-inspired by working with the Avetts. Click here to read the whole story.
In Feedback this week, I tell you how you can support your local music scene by supporting Bend’s local, independent radio station, KPOV and it’s local, independent record store, Ranch Records. And then I tell you why you should.
You see, places like KPOV and Ranch are vital to the uniqueness of a town like Bend. With them in place, interesting, different and/or obscure music can infiltrate our town and our ears, thanks to DJs and record store clerks who are as passionate about good music as you are.
Each is as important a piece of the local music scene as a punk club, a jam session or an exciting new rock band. And without them, our funky little town would be a lot less funky, and a lot more boring.
Funky is good. Boring is bad. The existence of KPOV and Ranch are good things, and their existence depends on your support.
Elsewhere in this week’s music section: the wonderful Gregory Alan Isakov plays the PoetHouse, The Swingle Singers visit the Tower Theatre, Andre Nickatina returns to the Domino Room, Sapient’s back at MadHappy Lounge, Paleface comes to McMenamins and Silver Moon hosts Tone Red tonight and Boxcar Stringband Saturday. Solid!
Portland’s Pink Snowflakes return to town Saturday night for a show at Silver Moon Brewing with The Quick & Easy Boys. I caught up with head Snowflake Andrew Rossi to talk about the origins of the band’s acid-streaked psych-rock and what their upcoming album is going to sound like. Here’s an excerpt:
The new album also dips into a variety of different styles, running the gamut from shoegaze to “countryish” stuff, according to Rossi, who’s a fan of everything from Pink Floyd founder Syd Barrett to the cosmic twang of Giant Sand to the old psych-jazz band Spirit. Rather than try to emulate one specific band from the past, Rossi wants to incorporate a little of everything into the Snowflakes.
“I’m alive now, so I can take all these influences. I can take anything from any of these people and I can mix it up and try to do something with it that might be somewhat appealing,” he said. “Maybe to some people it would be confusing, but that’s where my head’s at. I don’t want to just come across as a revisionist artist. I want to take things and mix them up and do something very playful and surreal.”
Rossi is a fun guy with a fertile mind. Read my whole article here. (You can also read my review of their February 2009 show at Players Bar here.)
Dallin Bulkley, left, and Andrew Carew, right, of Larry and His Flask, plus a random fan who jumped onstage. Photo by Ben.
Local punk-grass powerhouse Larry and His Flask played a homecoming show April 8 at Silver Moon Brewing, and it was an amazing scene. You can watch some video of their final song here, and here’s part of my review:
Long hair and long beards fly in every direction. Sweat soaks shirts from collar to belt buckle. Guitar necks jab into the crowd like bayonets. Unidentified non-band-members hop on stage to sing along.
And later …
Musically, older songs such as “Fire on Sixth Street” and “My Name Is Cancer” stood solidly beside newer ones like “Wolves” and “Ready Your Roommates,” but there were no boundaries between the two. All were played with a fervor that you simply do not see from any other band, and all were played with precision.
I once caught heck from a reader for writing about the punk-rock version of the Flask; he said they weren’t talented. No one could make that claim now, though. These guys no longer trade in skills for energy. In fact, the pickers are excellent, and their harmonies — when they peek through the pandemonium — are, if not perfect, darn close. And the Marshall brothers provide not only a fine rhythm section, but also barrels of personality.
This was one of the best shows of the year so far, and I hope my review does it justice. Read it here and let me know what you think.
Also in this week’s music section: Andre Nickatina returns to Bend, The Expendables invade the Domino Room, North Carolina folkie Jonathan Byrd does a couple house shows and Oregon blues icon Curtis Salgado plays two nights at Mountain’s Edge.
Elsewhere in GO! Magazine, Betty Buckley talks about her “Broadway by Request” show coming to the Tower Theatre, and we detail all the happenings at the Bend Spring Festival (including music by Rootdown, Catie Curtis and more). None of that strikes your fancy? Well then you’re hard to please! But I bet you can find something that interests you in our complete music listings.