Posts Tagged ‘Casey Neill & the Norway Rats’

Today in GO! Magazine’s music section

Friday, September 7th, 2012

Let me be very clear: I mean no disrespect to anyone or anything else when I say that I think the Sisters Folk Festival is the all-around best music-related event in Central Oregon.

From the quality of artists booked and the seamless operations to the beautiful setting and the overall vibe, SFF is just awesome. There may be other places or events in the area that bring in music that you or I like more, but in terms of the experience, nothing tops the folk fest.

We’re seeing that reflected in the festival’s popularity, too. Last year, organizers expanded their staffing and venues, and this year, for the first time ever, tickets sold out in advance. And so, the team that puts on Sisters Folk Festival is hard at work not only, uh, putting on a festival, but also working to overcome the challenges that come with growth.

But this weekend, it’s all about the music.

Tonight, Jimmy LaFave and a bunch of his friends (Slaid Cleaves, Eliza Gilkyson, Sarah Lee Guthrie and Johnny Irions) will pay tribute to Woody Guthrie with a program called “Walking Woody’s Road.” I spoke with LaFave about the iconic folk singer, who would’ve turned 100 this year.

Guthrie’s music has experienced a rebirth in recent years, thanks in part to his daughter Nora’s efforts to turn his unused lyrics into new songs. LaFave — who is currently setting about 20 lyrics to music — said Guthrie wrote about 3,000 songs, but only 70 were really known in his day.

And beyond music, he painted and wrote poetry, wrote novels (including one about sustainable living in sod houses), and was fascinated by science and nature.

“He was a total sponge,” LaFave said. “The guy was not just talking about riding the rails. He was talking about quantum physics. He was so far beyond his time, they must’ve thought he was nuts.

“There’s no one,” he said, “that lived 20 different lifetimes like Woody Guthrie.”

I hope you’ll read the whole thing. Also, I wrote blurbs about seven artists I consider to be highlights of this year’s SFF lineup. You can click through those here (sorry about the tiny type).

’80s hit machine Huey Lewis and the News will play Bend’s Les Schwab Amphitheater on Tuesday. My colleague David Jasper spoke with Lewis about all kinds of things, including his love of our town.

“I love Bend, Oregon. It’s one of the great places on Earth, I think,” Lewis said by telephone last week. “I live in Montana, in the Bitterroot Valley, which is not dissimilar, but actually Bend is a little more upscale. Your bagels are better than ours.”

Wait. How does Lewis know so much about Bend and its bagels? Because the man who crooned on “Jacob’s Ladder” also knows his salmon ladders: He’s a fly-fisherman. In effect, Lewis knows the power of love and the power of the mighty Deschutes. In fact, he believes Bend is up there with Los Angeles and San Francisco in their primes.

“Imagine L.A. in the ’30s and ’40s. No traffic, no pollution, these winding streets,” he said. “It was the best place on the planet in the ’30s and ’40s. Best weather in the world in L.A.”

San Francisco was great in the ’50s and ’60s, Lewis said, but “the population keeps getting more and more crowded, and they keep moving — and now it’s Bend, Oregon.”

You really should read the whole article.

Elsewhere in this week’s music section: Guitar savant Buckethead returns to town, The White Buffalo is back as well, Casey Neill & the Norway Rats come to McMenamins, Black Beast Revival plays Liquid Lounge, Necktie Killer wraps up Redmond’s Music in the Canyon concert series, and both The Horned Hand and Silver Moon are super busy, each with four shows over the next seven nights.

This week in GO! Magazine’s music section

Friday, November 26th, 2010

The legendary Preservation Hall Jazz Band rolls into town next week, bringing its popular “Creole Christmas” show to the Tower Theatre. I conducted an interesting interview with band director Ben Jaffe last week. Here’s an excerpt:

Jaffe’s parents, Allan and Sandra, opened the hall in 1961 in an effort to help preserve and perpetuate New Orleans-style jazz, which was waning in popularity thanks to rock ‘n’ roll and more modern forms of jazz. The Jaffes were a young white couple who’d just moved to a segregated New Orleans from the north, but they jumped in with both feet, building their life’s work around music being made by older African-Americans.

“They never set out to create a music venue or to create a part of American history,” Ben Jaffe said. “They set out to be involved in a movement that they felt passionately about, and it led them down this path.”

Fifty years later, the hall is as strong as ever, though it hasn’t always been a smooth ride. Allan Jaffe died in 1987, and Preservation Hall experienced some “dark years,” Ben Jaffe said, due to lack of leadership. Jaffe took on that leadership role in 1993, and he’s been leading the venue’s renaissance in recent years.

“My biggest fear in the world is (the hall) becoming a museum piece,” he said. “That’s not what New Orleans music is to me. New Orleans music is vibrant and it’s alive and it’s a living, breathing tradition.”

You should go read the whole thing here. Be sure to check out the sidebar on Big Bad Voodoo Daddy (playing a holiday show Thursday at the Tower), as well as the schedule of upcoming holiday entertainment options!

I also want to draw your attention to Page 4 of GO! Magazine, where I’ve written little blurbs about a couple of fine bands that work a little twang into their rock ‘n’ roll. First up is Lucero, the Tennessee-based alt-country band that will play the Domino Room Tuesday night. Next is The Parson Red Heads, a buzzy indie-pop band that draws influence from 1970s SoCal country-rock. They’ll be at McMenamins on Wednesday.

Elsewhere in the music section: local faves Empty Space Orchestra are going to fill the MadHappy Lounge with ugly sweaters and post-rock tonight, bluesman David Jacobs-Strain returns to the Silver Moon, the Mystic Roots reggae band plays The Summit, folk singer Cosy Sheridan visits the HarmonyHouse, and Casey Neill & the Norway Rats play a free show at McMenamins Old St. Francis School.

This week in GO! Magazine’s music section

Friday, May 7th, 2010

Portland indie-pop combo The Ascetic Junkies are back in town, Saturday at Silver Moon. I spoke with founding members Matt Harmon and Kali Giaritta about their band’s past, present and future, plus something called “Junkies Cologne.” Here’s an excerpt:

So the couple landed in Portland and found one band mate on Craigslist and another busking on Hawthorne Avenue. Over the past year, they’ve played in Bend several times, as well as Seattle, Eugene, and, of course, all over their home town. In anticipation of their second album, which they’re recording now, they also recently signed on with the Timber Carnival Records, home to like-minded, Northwest-based bands like The Dimes, Derby and Hello Morning.

In other words, things are going well for Harmon and Giaritta. Which is nice, because that move to Portland was motivated not just by hiking and other good bands.

“The reason we moved here was to see what we could do and to see how far we could take this,” Harmon said. “So as far as we can go, that’s what we’re in it for. We’ve learned not to set deadline expectations, because sometimes things really surprise you, and then other times it takes a lot longer to sort of get to a level that you’re looking for. But we’ve been really pleasantly surprised and excited about how quickly we’ve been able to progress here.”

This is a great band, and you should go see them. And you should read the whole article by clicking here. And you should check out this blog post for a free download and a chance at getting on the guest list! You’re going to be busy, so get going.

Elsewhere in this week’s music section: Jerry Joseph brings his Jackmormons back to town, the a cappella group Sonos plays a Mother’s Day show, Alasdair Fraser and Natalie Haas are at the Tower Theatre, Inimica and Thorns of Creation lead a bill of local metal, McMenamins Old St. Francis School hosts Casey Neill & the Norway Rats, and The Parental Advisory Tour brings Nashville Pussy, Green Jelly, Psychostick and more to Bend. Plus, an update on Last Band Standing, and there’s always more in our complete music listings.