Every once in a while I look at the music section in GO! and am both proud and amazed at the amount of stuff we get to. We don’t get to it all, but we get to a lot.
This is one of those weeks:
-After years of opening for bigger names and selling out the Tower Theatre, Brandi Carlile is back in Bend Saturday to headline the Les Schwab Amphitheater. Opening act Blitzen Trapper is awesome, too. We talked to both of them.
Elsewhere in this week’s music section: Lauren Mann and the Fairly Odd Folk, DJ Wicked’s all-vinyl weekend, Estocar and The The The Thunder at Silver Moon, nelo at Black Butte Ranch, Back From The Dead at Maragas Winery, Moon Mountain Ramblers at Elk Lake Resort, Dixieland Party Band and Friends in La Pine, The JZ Band, a very busy weekend at The Horned Hand and more!
Les Schwab Amphitheater’s website has three new shows listed this morning. Tickets go on sale Friday (via the site and The Ticket Mill in the Old Mill District), though there is usually some kind of presale the day before, so watch the amphitheater’s Facebook and Twitter for a password, if there is one.
Click the band names for more on the bands, and the prices for more on the shows:
–Jazz fusioneers Spyro Gyra at On a Lite Christmas Nite
–Throwback harp-guitarist John Doan does his Victorian Christmas show
–Broadway star Gary Morris plays A Starry Nights Christmas in Sisters
—Blind Boys of Alabama have already sold out the Tower Theatre
–Smooth jazz pianist Tom Grant is at The Oxford Hotel
—Bill Keale and friends do the holiday Hawaiian-style at The Old Stone
Elsewhere: PoetHouse Art hosts a benefit for paralyzed snowboarder Tyler Eklund tonight, Brandi Carlile’s back but tickets are long gone, a group of Sisters songwriters play at The Barn, and Bobby Lindstrom’s back in town, plus the Josh Hart Project, Little Black Dress, DSkiles Band, Bloodlust and Embrace the Fear. Again, it’s all right here.
Literally hours after ending her set at Les Schwab Amphitheater last night, Brandi Carlile announced today that she’ll return to Bend’s Tower Theatre on Dec. 19.
Tickets are already on sale to Tower members and will go on sale to the general public at 10 a.m. Friday. Visit the Tower’s website or Random Presents for more info, and then don’t sleep in on Friday. Carlile has sold the Tower out several times over the past few years.
In the meantime, here’s a new song she played last night in Bend, thanks to YouTuber elainesnowden.
–While the party swirls outside, Seattle-based singer-songwriter Brandi Carlile will be wowing a packed house inside the Tower Theatre. Carlile is a terrific performer, which is why this show (like her previous three appearances in Bend) is sold out. If you’ve already got your ticket, enjoy!
–Just down the breezeway and a little later into the night, MadHappy Lounge will celebrate Cinco de Mayo electronically with NorCal techno kingpin DJ G.A.M.M.A., plus DJs Rada and Huff. That one will get going around 9 p.m. and is free.
–Meanwhile, up on Greenwood Avenue, the astoundingly authentic Johnny Cash tribute band Cash’d Out will transform the Domino Room into a big ol’ time machine to the 1950s and ’60s. The San Diego quartet has the look and sound of early Cash (and his band, the Tennessee Three) down pat. More info is here, and for this one, you need visuals.
–Finally, if you’d prefer your Cinco de Mayo tunes to have a little more local flavor, considering hitting The Summit Saloon & Stage around 9 p.m. for one of Bend’s most popular party bands, the Moon Mountain Ramblers. Or shimmy up to McMenamins Old St. Francis School at 7 p.m. for Brothers in Achord, a new bluesy/folksy collaboration between local singer-songwriters Josh Hart and Leif James.
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.”
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.
The team of blogmonkeys stationed inside the Frequency Command Bunker has been a little slow with the “publish” button recently, so chances are good you already know that the fantastic Latin rock/hip-hop band Ozomatli is playing a free, outdoor show on May 5 in downtown Bend.
Today, even more exciting news about that show: Rubblebucket, the globally inspired, funky pop band that by all accounts completely slayed The Bite of Bend last summer, has been added to the lineup of what the C3 Events Facebook page calls a free “Cinco de Mayo Street Fair” (presented by Amalia’s restaurant). Local flamenco band Todd Haaby and Sola Via will also play.
Combine all that with Bend fave Brandi Carlile’s soon-to-be sold out show at the Tower Theatre that night (tickets are available today and are going fast), Cinco de Mayo is shaping up to be a very fun night on Wall Street. Start thinking warm thoughts now.
As you may have heard, singer-songwriter Brandi Carlile will perform one night only at the Tower Theatre on May 5. Carlile sold out two nights last summer and one the year before that.
Tickets to the show go on sale to the public today, but if you want one, you’d better hurry, because Tower Theatre members have been able to buy them for two days, and they’ve already snapped up a bunch. In the picture at right, grabbed from the Tower site at 8 a.m., the seats that look black are already taken. The seats that are white are still available.
I’ve gone on and on about my favorite recordings of 2010, but live music is the backbone of any good scene. Here is a look back my 13 favorite shows of the past 12 months in chronological order, with excerpts from reviews already published in The Bulletin or on Frequency.
(Jake) Smith’s talents are many, but his voice is obviously his most distinctive quality. It’s a show-stopper. A jaw-dropper. It’s canyon deep and sequoia strong, with a natural resonance that 99 percent of singers would kill to have.
The closest comparison I can come up with is Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder, though when he’s at his best, Smith makes Vedder sound like Bobby Brady going through puberty.
He’s just that great of a singer.
Smith showcased that voice on barnburners like “The Madman” and “Carnage,” with their ultra-low notes, as well as meandering, pretty numbers such as “Sleepy Little Town” and “Where Dirt and Water Collide.” And he let it soar during two of his best songs, “Love Song #1” and “Damned.” The ascendant pre-chorus of the former and the roller-coaster verses of the latter were perfect examples of Smith’s skill for writing melodies that are both unconventional and memorable.
Local guitarist and singer-songwriter Gary Fulkerson has a CD-release show planned for Saturday at Silver Moon Brewing. The guy was also one of my favorite interviews in a long time. For an hour, we talked about music, fear, doubt, triumph … and doughnuts. Here’s a taste:
“Emotionally and creatively, I felt as though I wasn’t really being true to myself somehow, and I wasn’t really expressing what I needed to express,” he said. “The combination of picking up the guitar (came together with) feeling completely stuck and reaching this pit, and at the confluence of those things, I started to write songs. So I sat down and I wrote this first song.”
That was more than two years ago. Since then , the songs have poured forth, and Fulkerson has compiled some of them on his new album, “Float and Scatter,” which he’ll celebrate with a show Saturday in Bend.
“It became a need more than something I wanted to try. It became a necessity,” Fulkerson said. “It was like, ‘I’ve got to just get something out. Something has to get out of me.’ And when I wrote that first song, it was as if I had released a breath that I’d been holding in for a century. And it was like, ‘I want another one of those.’ So I wrote another and another, and all of a sudden that doubt and question in my mind began to just melt away.”
I attended the Brandi Carlile concert on March 17 at Bend’s Tower Theatre and was pretty much blown away. Here’s an excerpt of my review:
Carlile focused on material from her 2009 album “Give Up the Ghost,” but also dug into her breakout record, 2007’s “The Story,” flanked (as usual) by longtime collaborators and identical twins Tim and Phil Hanseroth. On stage, the three are a soulful study in symmetry, constantly approaching and backing away from their microphones like pistons in a car engine.
They’re also pretty darn tight musically, as proven on a gathered-round-the-mic version of “Oh Dear,” the perfect Hanseroth harmonies on “Looking Out,” and the easygoing, ’70s-inspired chorus of “Late Morning Lullaby.”
But most of all, they proved it with an unamplified take on “Ghost” standout “Dying Day,” played on beat-up guitars at the edge of the stage to take advantage of the Tower’s top-notch acoustics. It was a jaw-dropping performance, a highly skilled jam session transported from some far-away front porch, and unquestionably the highlight of a night full of highlights.
You can see a bunch of photos of the show here, and you can read my whole review here.
Bendites Guy J Jackson and David Finch have a new album called “Odd Frost,” which features Jackson’s surreal poetry set to Finch’s improvised jazz. They’re doing a CD-release show Saturday at Greenwood Playhouse.
“My stories are generally pretty wacky-doo. There’s always some kind of hyper-real aspect in there,” Jackson said. “Bob Dylan’s kind of my big ol’ hero. He kind of walks the universe in his songs … and that’s what I try to do. I think, like, ‘OK, now I need a story about corporate life, and now I need a story about a chicken and his human friend.’”
Jackson said he has long been interested in working with musicians who can score his stories. In Finch, he found a willing and able partner. The two recorded the songs late at night, with no rehearsal. In fact, Finch often hadn’t heard the story before tape began to roll.
“We just started throwing out stuff. I’d say, ‘Give me the feel. Give me the tone,’ and we’d just record it,” Finch said. “It just kind of was magic.”
Elsewhere in this week’s music section: Portland hip-hop kingpin Cool Nutz, a CD-release show for Redmond’s Ross Rogers, Bill Nershi and Scott Law return to town, Old Stone Church hosts the “Portland Indie Infusion” with The Dimes, Norman and Tortune, and The Dirty Words play McMenamins Old St. Francis School. And, as always, you can find more in our complete music listings.