Posts Tagged ‘Deer Tick’

Video: Deer Tick at McMenamins Old St. Francis School

Friday, September 25th, 2009

Technical difficulties kept me from getting this up on the blog yesterday, but here it is now, for posterity: Providence, R.I.’s Deer Tick performing “Song About A Man” Wednesday night at McMenamins Old St. Francis School. I have a couple of louder songs I could post, but they don’t sound great. If you want to see them, let me know in the comments. Also, see my thoughts on the show below the video.

Five observations about the show:

1) I’m so used to using silly little descriptors — psych, electro, global, soulful, whatever — that when presented with the opportunity to write about just a good, solid rock ‘n’ roll band, I’m stumped. That’s not good!

2) Deer Tick is a good, solid rock ‘n’ roll band. I watched frontman John McCauley before the show, and something was wrong; he was clearly annoyed about this or that. But once the lights went down and the amps buzzed, he delivered. He wasn’t particularly charismatic (“This is cool,” he said after the first song. “Half dinner crowd, half maniacs.”), but he led his band through lots of his own songs, plus covers of The Replacements, Chuck Berry, Hank Williams Sr., and Tom Petty, plus others, I’m sure, that I didn’t recognize.

3) Take Tom Petty out of that group and add in Kurt Cobain (I heard they did a Nirvana cover after I left), and you have a pretty distinct focus on musicians with a strong tendency toward self-destruction. When McCauley screams, he looks a sounds a lot like Cobain, right down to the crooked mouth.

4) Not all of Deer Tick’s songs grab me, but those that do are great. “Easy” rocks with an apocalyptic sense of urgency. “Smith Hill” is an elegy with an unforgettable chorus. And my favorite tune of the night was “These Old Shoes,” a playful song about plane crashes and explosions and hobos. (I wish I could’ve heard “City of Sin,” but after the band’s short foray into “Free Bird” and an interminable blues jam, I had to bail during the second intermission.)

5) For the second time in a month, I saw a Central Oregon venue as crowded as I’ve ever seen it. Father Luke’s Room was absolutely packed with people jammed against one another and, by the time I left, practically on top of one another. It was so thick with people, only the bravest tried to weave through it. It was crazy. Crazy. Could the show have been moved into the much larger movie theater next door? I have no idea, but I hope it was at least considered, and I hope the next time a band with this kind of buzz shows up to play, the McMenamins team is able to give them — and the people there to see them — a little more space.

Tonight: Deer Tick at McMenamins

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2009


Occasionally, a band gets booked for McMenamins’ monthly Great Northwest Music tour and then becomes a much bigger deal, and those of us who live near a McMenamins get a serious bargain. Tonight is one of those nights, when the Providence, R.I., country-rock band Deer Tick plays a free show at Old St. Francis School at 7 p.m.

You can download an MP3 from Deer Tick’s new album “Born on Flag Day” right here. And you can watch them do an awkward interview with NBC News anchor Brian Williams here. You can read my short story about them from last week’s GO! Magazine by clicking here. And if you’d like yet another Deer Tick tune, just click the link below.

Download Deer Tick, “Easy”

It’s a Deer Tick-a-palooza! Again: 7 p.m. at McMenamins Old St. Francis School, 700 N.W. Bond St., in downtown Bend.

(Photo courtesy Kendall Pavan)

September 18 in GO! Magazine

Friday, September 18th, 2009

The quiet week in between the Sisters Folk Festival and the Bend Roots Revival isn’t so quiet after all. You’ve got several options for hearing great music over the next seven days, and here are some of them:

Gimme Indie Rock, Part I: These United States roll into the Silver Moon with a punched-up sound and a new album that reflects the mood of post-election America.

Gimme Indie Rock, Part II: Memorable country-rock songs seem to pour naturally from the pen of John McCauley, the twentysomething driving force behind Deer Tick.

Gimme Indie Rock, Part III: The Northwest churns out more interesting, experimental pop bands than anywhere else, and two of them — Finn Riggins from Idaho, and Church from Portland — are heading this way.

Here is my review of Todd Snider, Peter Rowan and Kelly Joe Phelps at the Sisters Folk Festival.

Also, the Domino Room hosts gangster rappers Mr. Capone-E and Mr. Criminal, Bend’s Erin Cole-Baker and Elliot are playing a back to school concert, Blue Turtle Seduction returns to town, The Autonomics invade JC’s, and some of Bend’s best rappers (Top Shelf, Mosley Wotta, Cloaked Characters) will throw a free show Thursday at Boondock’s.

One thing that didn’t get much ink in the print version of GO! Magazine: The Bend Roots Revival will kick off Thursday night with a meet-and-greet and open mic at Parrilla Grill at 6 p.m., followed by some Grateful Dead cover action from Back From the Dead (5:30-7 p.m.) and Rising Tide (7-9 p.m.) over at the Victorian Cafe. You should check that out, and then pick up next Friday’s GO! Magazine for full coverage of the rest of the fest.

And pick up today’s GO! for access to all the articles linked above, or subscribe online, otherwise you may run into the paywall.

MP3 Download: Deer Tick, “Smith Hill”

Friday, August 14th, 2009

The much-buzzed-about band Deer Tick will play a free show on Sept. 23 at McMenamins Old St. Francis School in Bend.

Unfamiliar with ’em? Here’s a song called “Smith Hill” from their new album “Born On Flag Day” for your Friday afternoon downloading pleasure:

Download Deer Tick, “Smith Hill”

Cool bands coming to McMenamins

Thursday, July 16th, 2009

The McMenamins chain’s Great Northwest Music Tour has brought a bunch of great bands to Bend over the years, including Bombadil, Langhorne Slim, The Everybodyfields and the Avett Brothers. (Now that the Avetts are big stars playing big theaters, can I just say how much I regret skipping their free show inside Old St. Francis School’s tiny Father Luke’s Room only 18 months ago? Because I do.)

Add two more to the roster: Fast-rising alt-country(ish) acts Deer Tick and Samantha Crain & The Midnight Shivers are set to play our local McMenamins branch in September and October, respectively.

Deer Tick, in particular, seems to be a band on the verge of breaking out. Once a one-man band, the now-quartet is led by John Joseph McCauley III, a man who writes rustic folk tunes, cranks ’em up and turns ’em into rock songs, and sings through what Rolling Stone magazine calls a “warm Lucky Strike croak.” Also, one of the world’s most recognizable newsmen digs ’em. (If you can’t see the video below, watch it here.)

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BriTunes! I totally get it.

Samantha Crain’s making a name for herself, too. The Oklahoma singer-songwriter is the latest find for the terrific North Carolina label Ramseur Records, and her band plays well-executed roots music. But it’s Crain’s vocals that get the most notice; strong, deep, and perfectly quivering, her voice is the kind of voice that can, on its own, catapult an artist into stardom. (See Case, Neko.)

Both acts have new albums out, both are touring a bunch this summer, and both have a significant publicity push right now. Deer Tick’s here on Sept. 23, and Crain on Oct. 7. It’ll be interesting to see whether either (or both) are a considerably bigger deal when they play Bend then they are today.