Posts Tagged ‘Diego’s Umbrella’

This week in GO! Magazine’s music section

Friday, July 13th, 2012

Email interviews with musicians tend to not turn out as well as phone or in-person interviews. I figure there are a couple reasons for this: 1) They’re often busy on tour, moving from place to place, and don’t have time to sit down and compose proper answers. 2) Typing is harder than just talking. 3) The interviewer doesn’t get a chance to ask follow-up questions, and follow-up questions are the easiest way to turn an interview into a simple conversation. And it’s conversation where you often get the best quotes.

All that said, I thought our email interview with Robbie Grey of Modern English in today’s GO! Magazine was terrific. One of the best I’ve read.

Anyway, you might recognize this song:

The one-hit-is-better-than-no-hits wonder Modern English will play Munch & Music on Thursday in Bend’s Drake Park. My colleague David Jasper sent Grey some questions, and he sent back some answers. Here’s an excerpt:

GO!: Why do you think “I Melt With You” has had such staying power?

RG: My theories on “Melt” are that it glides. It has an uplifting feeling of a breath of fresh air. The words evoke a lot of imagery and love is involved. The act of lovemaking is implicated. All these things are part of the human condition. Hence the staying power.

GO!: People can see a lot of your videos on YouTube. Any specific songs you would recommend readers look up if they wanted to expand their Modern English vocabulary in advance of your show?

RG: There are so many YouTube videos. “Someone’s Calling” is a good one from the “After the Snow” album. Check out the hundreds of cover versions of “Melt.” I like the one with the harp. Some people have done their own collages of Modern English songs. They are interesting.

GO!: Has “I Melt With You” ever been implicated as a cause of global warming?

RG: “I Melt with You” has at times been implicated as a cause of global warming. The amount of people who have told us they have made love to the song, walked down the aisle to the song on their wedding day, made babies to the song — all that friction will cause heat to rise.

Grey seems like a cool dude. You should read the whole thing here.

Elsewhere in this week’s music section: Toots and the Maytals kicks off the Alive After Five series in the Old Mill District, Crawfest celebrates local and regional music out in Powell Butte, Diego’s Umbrella returns to town for an album-release show, Dark Time Sunshine headlines an underground hip-hop bill at Liquid Lounge, and The Horned Hand celebrates its first birthday with Whiskey Shivers, Boom Chick, Carrie Nation & The Speakeasy and more.

And last but not least, downtown Bend will be teeming with sound this weekend as Bend Summer Festival fills five stages with music, including Fishbone, Rickie Lee Jones, Gary Wright, Ruthie Foster, Polyrhythmics, Kelly Joe Phelps, Boom Chick, Pepe & The Bottle Blondes, Jeff Kashiwa, The Autonomics and a whole bunch of locals. This is probably the best Summer Fest lineup I can remember. Read about Fishbone and see the rest of the schedule here.

This week in GO! Magazine’s music section

Friday, March 2nd, 2012

We start this blog post by noting that today is March 2, which is in fact a day in March, which means we have entered the time of maximum excitement for fans of collegiate basketball.

For those of you who’ve been around for a while, you know that I am a devout, lifelong fan of the University of Kentucky Wildcats, owners of seven national championships and the consensus pick to win an eighth when the NCAA tournament wraps up on April 2. So I’m going to be a little bit hoops crazy for the next month, and that’ll probably be reflected on Frequency and its associated Facebook and Twitter. Consider yourself warned.

Portland’s Water Tower (fka Water Tower Bucket Boys) will visit Bend next week for a show at The Horned Hand. My colleague David Jasper spoke with founding member Kenny Feinstein about the band’s constantly evolving sound and its recent move from four members to three.

Now that they’re a trio and operating without a banjo player, “We’ve had a lot of freedom,” he said. “We have a little bit of electric guitar. I’m playing that as a sort of textural thing.”

From album to album, the only constant for Water Tower has been change.

“You know, our first album (‘The Squid and the Fiddle’) was a traditional old-time record,” Feinstein said. “Our second album (‘Catfish on the Line’) was a traditional bluegrass record. The third record (‘Eel-P’) was pretty bluegrassy but with our own songs in it. The fourth record (‘Sole Kitchen’) was all of our own songs.

“And now this fifth record, ‘Where the Crow Don’t Fly,’ is kind of going in this new, spacey direction,” he said.

“Spacey direction” means “reaching for bigger textures, darker areas,” Feinstein said. The group alights for new sonic territories on the five-song recording, including some keyboard, guitar and vibes. “We’re experimenting with all sorts of different sounds that we haven’t in the past, so that’s kind of exciting for us.”

I hope you’ll click here and read the whole thing.

Meanwhile, over in my Feedback column, I talk through a few of my own issues with the way we consume recorded music in 2012. My biggest problem: Stream Fatigue, or the feeling of being overwhelmed by the sheer amount of music you can stream free and legally on the Internet.

For all the talk of piracy and its death-grip on the music industry, the truth is you don’t even need to track and download leaks to hear just about anything you want to hear these days. In 2012, standard practice for musicians is to “leak” an album — or at the very least a song or two — to the web ahead of its release date in hopes that writers will write about it and folks will listen and decide to purchase an exorbitantly expensive vinyl pressing or attend a show and buy a T-shirt.

It’s these legal streams that have me overwhelmed. By my count, I have upward of four dozen album and song streams stashed in various digital hidey-holes, languishing as I forget about them and move on to making sure I’m not missing anything newer.

I’ve got what I call Stream Fatigue, and it’s becoming a problem.

I’m quite sure consuming music is not supposed to be like this. Consuming music is supposed to be dropping a needle into a groove, flipping an LP, browsing liner notes while listening to a CD from beginning to end. It’s supposed to be an experience, an opportunity to appreciate art. It’s not supposed to be like drinking from a firehose on shuffle.

Click here and read it, and then let me know in the comments if it rings true for you, or if I’m just dead wrong.

Also worth highlighting this week is this short piece on The Horde and the Harem, a Seattle-based indie-folk/pop band that’s coming to The Horned Hand on Monday. Member Ryan Barber grew up in Bend, too.

Elsewhere in this week’s music section: Red Molly in Sisters, Diego’s Umbrella at Players Bar and Twin Atlantic for under a buck tonight at The Sound Garden, plus the Hobo Nephews of Uncle Frank, Blackflowers Blacksun and Blackstrap at Silver Moon Brewing, tonight’s To The Moon party with Samples, David Starfire, Ale Fillman and more … uh, and more!

This week in GO! Magazine’s music section

Friday, September 2nd, 2011

Roots-rock megastar Ray LaMontagne is playing in Bend next week, but the notoriously press shy singer-songwriter declined my request for an interview.

I won’t lie, it hurt a little bit.

UNTIL … (this is called a cliffhanger, please scroll down)

I SCORED AN INTERVIEW WITH RAY LAMONTAGNE’S BEARD!!! That made me feel way better. Here’s an excerpt:

GO!: Have there been any low points in Ray’s career so far, in your opinion?

RB: I don’t know about low points, but did you see Taylor Hicks sing “Trouble” on that “American Idol” show? What is up with that dude? How did he win? Better yet, how did he beat Daughtry, Kellie Pickler and Katharine McPhee?

GO!: I don’t know.

RB: Me neither. I just know I don’t trust him. No facial hair.

GO!: So what musicians do you like?

RB: Hmm … well, I dig Hairy Belafonte. Whiskertown. Tuft Merritt. Aesop Locks. And also actual artists like Bush, Grizzly Bear and Shaggy. ZZ Top, obvs.

And I can’t resist posting this part of it:

GO!: Why can’t I find any pictures of Ray smiling?

RB: I don’t really want to get into that. Let’s just say that his teeth and I have had some tussles in the past, so it’s good to have his lips as a buffer between us.

GO!: Whoa … are you saying that Ray LaMontagne’s teeth are a bunch of jerks?

RB: No comment. Next question.

Overall, I’d say it was a pretty good interview, considering I was talking to a beard. I hope you’ll go read the whole thing by clicking here.

Ben Harper at Les Schwab Amphitheater last Friday. Photo by Ben.

I went and saw Bend fave Ben Harper at Les Schwab Amphitheater last week and thought it started slow but ended strong. Also, my steak chilaquiles from Spork were awesome. Here’s an excerpt:

Now, I’m no classic rock connoisseur, but even I admired Harper’s epic cover of Led Zeppelin’s “No Quarter,” with its unmistakable, roiling guitars and dynamic extremes. Set against a subtly psychedelic light show, Harper ably handled Robert Plant’s vocals while his band jammed with significant crunch for a good 10 to 15 minutes.

Then, as if to declare himself unafraid of any classic guitar riff, Harper launched into Neil Young’s protest song “Ohio,” which predictably provided a perfect showcase for his deceptively strong voice and his not-so-deceptively prodigious skills on the slide guitar. The crowd around me — filled with 30- and 40-something rock ‘n’ roll lifers — went wild, fully satiated by the 20-minute nostalgia detour.

But with Ben Harper, the music always comes back to positive, forward-thinking messages. He closed the show with one of his best tunes, the globally flavored “Better Way” (complete with shrieked final verse) and an unreleased song called “Better Than I Deserve” that I’m still humming six days later.

Click here to read the whole thing, including more about the food (and also the show).

Elsewhere in this week’s music section: return visits by the Reverend Horton Heat, Portland Cello Project and Diego’s Umbrella, Jailbox plays The Sound Garden, and summer concert series are wrapping up at Parrilla Grill, Angeline’s Bakery and Black Butte Ranch.

This week in GO! Magazine’s music section

Friday, November 19th, 2010

Tonight, The Ascetic Junkies play Silver Moon Brewing & Taproom. My take on their excellent new album is here.

On Saturday, the legendary shock-rock band GWAR brings its blood-and-guts show back to town. Find my interview with frontmonster Oderus Urungus here.

Also on Saturday, hip-hop giant Talib Kweli plays the Century Center. Find my interview with one of the world’s greatest MCs here.

Everything else — Sean Hayes, Freak Mountain Ramblers, Texas Hippie Coalition, Diego’s Umbrella, Shireen Amini, and more — can be found by clicking here.

Big weekend! Go out and support your local music scene.

May 8 in GO! Magazine

Friday, May 8th, 2009

As always, it’s a busy week on the Central Oregon music scene. Here’s what we’ve got in today’s GO! Magazine:

-A story on the shifting sound of the eclectic San Francisco band Diego’s Umbrella, who have added a member and a heavier aesthetic. Curious about their “Mexicali gypsy pirate polka” blend? You’re in luck! Here’s a song to download (you may need to right click or control click and choose “Save Link As”):

Diego’s Umbrella, “The Fiberoptic Elflord”

-A review of Great American Taxi’s fine Wednesday-night show at Silver Moon.

-A short story on Seattle’s Flowmotion, who’ll play The Summit on Thursday night.

-Blurbs on upcoming gigs by Chuck Pyle, Excellent Gentlemen, Gavin Wahl-Stephens and Chris Kokesh and Lincoln Crockett, plus tonight’s Alley Oop block party, Saturday’s Division Street Skatepark fundraiser with Hawgwash and Ruins of Ooah, a two-night stand by local band Hangar 52, and Silver Moon’s Epic Trail Ale release party (with music by Quincy Street and The Sweet Harlots).

Details on when and where you can buy tickets to see Ween and Lyle Lovett at Les Schwab Amphitheater this summer.

My recap of this week’s episode of “American Idol.”

As usual, not all of these will be available to non-subscribers, so if you want to read them, you’ll either need to subscribe or pick up a print version of the paper.