These dudes put on one of the best shows I saw in 2011 in front of like 30 people. Don’t miss them again.
Saturday, August 11th, 2012
Friday, August 10th, 2012
Here’s what’s in there!
— She didn’t have time for an interview, but I wrote about Norah Jones anyway. She’s just that big of a star.
— Speaking of big stars, my Feedback column this week split time between the Hot Chelle Rae show at the Deschutes County Fair and the Counting Crows at Les Schwab Amphitheater. Man, were they different.
— Two excellent rock bands are playing free shows in town this week: The Features and The Moondoggies.
Elsewhere in this week’s music section: Champagne Champagne and The Knux headline an indie-hip-hop show at Liquid Lounge and bluesman Tommy Castro wraps up Munch & Music, plus Molly’s Revenge at Angeline’s Bakery, McDougall at Parrilla Grill and Subliminal at Silver Moon.
Wednesday, December 21st, 2011
1) I saw a lot of live music in 2011, and below you’ll find reviews, videos and photos of my 11 favorite concerts of the year, plus links to more on each.
2) You’ll note, perhaps, that these happened at 11 different venues in Central Oregon. I thought that was cool.
3) Why 11? Because I couldn’t bear to cut any of them to get it down to 10!
4) As long as you’re here, be sure to click over to our Near/Far page and check out the rest of our coverage of 2011’s best music, including free, legal downloads of the year’s best songs!
JAN. 9, OLD MILL MUSIC LOUNGE
Friday, January 14th, 2011
The Oxford Hotel in downtown Bend will kick off its new jazz series this weekend with three performances by the Mel Brown Quartet. I spoke with the band’s namesake drummer about the MBQ, one of three bands he plays in at Jimmy Mak’s jazz club in Portland’s Pearl District.
The MBQ came together years ago to play tight, hard-swinging bop in a style somewhat similar to that of one of Brown’s heros, Art Blakey and his Jazz Messengers. The group has been described as a quartet of bandleaders, though Pacini is the official music director, leading the MBQ through its vast repertoire of originals and standards “with a different twist,” Brown said.
“(The band) is kind of like my background — the way I was raised, the music I grew up on,” Brown said. “We play straight ahead, and it feels really good. Everybody plays and we listen to each other a lot.
“Plus everybody likes each other,” he continued. “In most bands you get something good going and all of a sudden there’s an internal fight, and that’s because you’re around each other too much. I see some of these guys once a week, so we don’t have time to get mad. Hell, we’re just happy to be playing.”
Brown is a legend in the Northwest jazz scene, and you should click here to read the whole interview. While you’re there, read up on the other jazz happenings this weekend, including a Just Joe’s show at Greenwood Playhouse, and Cascade School of Music’s effort to revive the old Sunday shows at Be Bop Coffee House.
This week’s Feedback column focuses on two Seattle hip-hop groups — Champagne Champagne and Mad Rad — that performed last weekend at the Old Mill Music Lounge. There’s weren’t many people there, so chances are decent you weren’t there, so read on …
As is frequently the case in this genre, Champagne Champagne’s DJ (Mark Gajadhar) is a secret, shadowy weapon. As is less frequently the case, he may be their MVP. (MCs Sir Thomas) Gray and Pearl Dragon were solid, engaging performers all night; Gray manned a mic stand like a rock singer, and his partner stalked off the stage more than once to rap from within the crowd. They slayed their best song (so far), “Soda & Pop Rocks,” with its wicked, dubstep-y bass line and shoutouts to the streets of Seattle: “My city’s not pretty it’s gritty,” Pearl Dragon raps. “Top notch when the block’s hot, blow up like soda and pop rocks.”
Elsewhere, the MCs showcased their influences: indie/alt-rock (one tune referenced Sonic Youth’s “Bull in the Heather”) and ’80s-child pop culture (“She looks like Molly Ringwald. She’s beautiful to me.”), while Gajadhar rocked like an octopus working overtime, bouncing from electric guitar to keyboard to tambourine to drum machine to melodica and back. His work was sometimes ominous and murky (“Something Strange”), sometimes bright and poppy (“Hollywood Shampoo” sounds like hip-hop built on a Shins song), and sometimes a sweet and sour collision of video-game bloops and punk-rock squall.
It was a great show. I hope you’ll read the whole thing by clicking here.
Elsewhere in this week’s music section: Larry and His Flask headline a show to benefit two of its members’ dad, Tribal Seeds and Anthony B (separately) bring reggae to the Domino Room, Rootdown rocks McMenamins, Empty Space Orchestra continues its January residency at Silver Moon, Seattle folkie Sarah Sample plays Sisters, MC Mystic spins Michael Jackson tunes at MadHappy Lounge and local bands Five Pint Mary and Boxcar Stringband play a benefit for BAKESTARR.
Friday, January 7th, 2011
Pretty packed and diverse, as usual. Here’s what’s in there:
–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.
Thursday, January 6th, 2011
A couple of fast-rising Seattle hip-hop groups — Champagne Champagne and Mad Rad — will stop at the Old Mill Music Lounge (360 S.W. Powerhouse Drive, Bend) on Sunday night for what’s being billed as a showcase of Northwest hip-hop. Locals Cloaked Characters and JoAnna Lee will also perform. Time/ticket details are here.
I’ll have more on the Seattle half of the bill in Friday’s GO! Magazine, but I ran across the video below while writing that story and had to post it. I totally love this: the beat, the rhymes, the melodica, the concept. The Morrissey T-shirt. (That’s Morrissey, right?)
It’s terrific, so watch: