Hip-hop/pop-rock hybrid Hurtbird is based in Portland, but it has deep roots in Bend and is heading this way to play two shows this weekend, including tonight’s Homegrown Music Review at the Tower Theatre. I talked to local native Ryan Hayes about the band’s origins and its fine new album “Nature Vs. City.”
From the beginning, Hurtbird was a vehicle for the gritty, abstract poetry of Hayes, who minored in the subject in college. But also from the beginning, the group wanted to explore sounds that didn’t fit into neat genre categories.
“We kind of wanted to do something different,” Hayes said. “A lot of the hip-hop shows we were going to were just a guy who would bring a CD and put it in and do his vocals over the top. We’d all played music long enough that we wanted to expand on the sound and make it a more important aspect of the music.”
Through the years, Hurtbird accomplished at least part of that goal via the strong and distinctive vocals of two Young brothers: former member Ritchie, and current member Michael, both of whom grew up in Bend.
“We always wanted somebody with a unique voice to be able to sing choruses,” Hayes said. “We wanted to bridge the gap between the genres of indie rock and hip-hop. Well … really, we just made music that we wanted to listen to.”
Besides the Homegrown gig, Hurtbird will perform at MadHappy Lounge Saturday night. Click here to get all the details and read the whole story.
Boise, Idaho indie kings Built to Spill visited Bend’s Domino Room on Wednesday night, and they were outstanding. I wrote a review in the middle of the night after the show, and here’s one of the parts that makes sense.
Wednesday’s show was heavy with old-school favorites and only a few songs (the mellow “Life’s A Dream,” the punky thrash of “Pat,” the rubber soul of “Hindsight”) from Built to Spill’s most recent record, 2009’s “There Is No Enemy.”
Instead of flogging the record you’d expect him to flog, (frontman Doug) Martsch showcased several crunchy golden oldies like “In The Morning” and “Stab” (early in the night), and “Car” and “Distopian Dream Girl” (later). He stacked the middle of the set with sweeping, soaring songs like “Untrustable,” “The Plan” and “I Would Hurt A Fly.” In particular, the roiling ending of “Untrustable” was a scorcher that stirred the up-front fans — a funny mix of hippies, frat-looking dudes, hipsters and mountain men — into a mild mosh pit.
You can read the whole thing by clicking here.
Elsewhere in this week’s music section, we’ve got the return of Floater, a couple of good bluegrassy bands (Head for the Hills and Dead Winter Carpenters), and a slew of heavy local bands playing gigs this weekend, including Shades of Society, Violent Intention, Exfixia, StillFear, The Confederats and Alley Brewed. Get out there and see some music, folks!