Posts Tagged ‘Blowin’ Smoke’

This week in GO! Magazine’s music section

Friday, May 21st, 2010

Portland indie-folk band Horse Feathers kicks off the new PDXchange Program concert series at the Tower Theatre. I spoke with head Feather Justin Ringle, and here’s an excerpt:

In the past couple of years, though, things have changed for Ringle.

He moved from one part of Portland to another. He changed band members; both (Peter and Heather Broderick) left the band, replaced by Nathan Crockett (violin), Catherine Odell (cello) and multi-instrumentalist Sam Cooper.

Then there’s the confidence Ringle has gained in the years since he moved from Idaho to Portland and ditched rock bands in favor of acoustic music.

“Any types of changes you have in your life … usually find their way into what you make. There’s no way around it; even if you try for it to not be there, it will be there,” Ringle said. “I just tried to be sensitive to that, because my life’s changed quite a bit … and I tried to embrace some of those things that were happening in my life … in the music. I think that’s where the little evolution comes in (and) this record sounds different.”

I don’t mean to sound like a broken record, but this is a terrific band, and I hope you’ll read the whole thing here and then catch them Tuesday in Bend.

Sierra Leone's Refugee All Stars. Photo by Dean Guernsey / The Bulletin

Feedback returns this week and heads to the Tower Theatre to see Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars. It was a nice change of pace from rock bands in bars!

The All Stars play reggae and African music, so repetition — of guitar riffs, percussion parts, lyrics — was an integral part of the stew. Time after time, the band built a polyrhythmic bed that would make a dead man shake it, and the twin guitarists and a rotating cast of vocalists would decorate that bed with glorious ribbons of melody.

The highlight of the night, for me, were the cascading guitars on “Kele Mani,” a wonderful example of the African highlife style that brought to mind a dancing fountain; when one melody began to fade, another took its place, gracefully and right in time.

Other standouts included the slow-simmering funk of “Jah Mercy,” a ultra-bouncy pop tune called “Soda Soap,” and the murky, psychedelic feel of a song that’s named “P. Malontone” on the set list. For the life of me, I can’t seem to figure out its real name.

Read the whole thing here.

Elsewhere in this week’s music section: local rapper Mindscape holds a CD-release show, Runner Runner brings pop-rock to Silver Moon, Tribal Seeds will headline a big reggae show tonight, Mountain’s Edge will host five local bands and raise money for local dogs, Back from the Dead plays The Annex, Blowin’ Smoke makes NightSounds at the new Bend Performing Arts Center, and Jade’s Jazz Lounge rolls on in La Pine.

This week in GO! Magazine’s music section

Friday, February 19th, 2010

New York City ska pioneers The Toasters will play twice at Mountain’s Edge this weekend, once on Friday and once Saturday. Here’s a clip of my conversation with founding member and frontman Robert “Bucket” Hingley:

GO!: I read somewhere about your efforts to run The Toasters according to a set of core principles. Can you tell me about those principles?

Bucket: What we’ve tried to do is always keep in touch with the fans and (not decline to) play shows because the venue wasn’t big enough or we didn’t have a nice hotel, or that kind of stuff. We still run it like a punk-rock band in that sense.

Otherwise, it’s about sticking to your own music and not trying to follow trends, and not writing tunes to sound like something because the record label wants you to do that. I think just sticking to playing 2 Tone ska music, which hasn’t always been popular, I think that’s what’s helped us stick around for a long time, because people appreciate that.

Read the whole thing here.

I saw The Gourds for the first time in 12 years last weekend and loved it. Here’s part of my review:

Russell introduced “Hallelujah Shine” with a stark verse of “Amazing Grace,” only to giggle halfway through while watching snowriders racing down the giant rail-jam structure standing tall behind the audience. Smith tore through one of his best songs, “LGO,” singing past his ever-present toothpick as Bernard played the song’s serpentine accordion riff.

Then Russell shifted from “Country Gal” into Queen’s “Fat Bottomed Girls,” tossing in a Joe Cocker impression just for fun. Or maybe to stay warm, because the band looked cold, especially Johnston. Even a few reminders of home — a colorful zarape in the kick drum, cases of Tecate beer just offstage — couldn’t make Central Oregon feel like Central Texas.

You can read the whole thing here. The video above was shot by stephsmomfr. Frequency has video of the show here and a bunch of great photos here.

Elsewhere in the music section: Greg Botsford’s CD-release show, Moonalice returns to Bend and Jukebot plays Silver Moon, plus The Confederats, Blowin’ Smoke, Eric Tollefson and Shireen Amini, Tentareign and The Sofa Kings, The Sweet Harlots, Hot Tea Cold and Empty Wotta. And, as always, complete music listings are here.