Posts Tagged ‘Frontier Ruckus’

[Video] Frontier Ruckus at McMenamins Old St. Francis School

Thursday, April 15th, 2010

Michigan-based indie-folk combo Frontier Ruckus played at Bend’s McMenamins venue last night, and I really don’t know what else to say. In last week’s paper, I said this show had a chance to be “special.” I was wrong. It wasn’t special. It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t special. It just was.

Head Frontiersman Matthew Milia writes terrific songs with melodies that will knock around your head for a good long while. And his band — the most misnamed band I’ve heard in a while, for there really is no ruckus — plays those songs very, very well. The banjo provided a nice thread of texture, as it often does, and the guy who switched between trumpet, singing saw and melodica was the MVP; each of his instruments boosted Milia’s tunes from engaging, pleasant folk to unique, engaging, pleasant folk. Bottom line: The songs are pretty, and they sounded great.

But there was no oomph whatsoever. There was no life in the room, unless you count the dozen or so sub-5-year-old girls running around and dancing for the first half of the set. (Seriously, kids everywhere. So much so I wondered if some Mommy & Me group decided to have a night out.) Milia and his crew played their songs, and occasionally stepped gently on the gas and jumped from 20 mph to, like, 35 mph. But that was about it.

Certainly, a band can top out at 35 mph and still be captivating. You don’t have to be Sammy Hagar to put on an amazing show. But Frontier Ruckus wasn’t captivating. They hardly even seemed fully there. They were almost like a specter, floating into town, quietly setting up to quietly play their quiet songs, and then floating away again.

Nonetheless, the songs are quite good, and you should check out the two videos I shot:

Tonight: Frontier Ruckus at McMenamins

Wednesday, April 14th, 2010

Frontier Ruckus is a band from Michigan that blends the beautiful indie-folk sensibilities of bands like Neutral Milk Hotel and Bright Eyes with the string-band aesthetic of The Avett Brothers. And these songs … well, let’s just say I hadn’t even heard of Frontier Ruckus until a couple weeks ago, but I feel like I’ve been listening to these songs for years and have never tired of them.

Frontier Ruckus is playing a free show tonight at 7 p.m. at McMenamins Old St. Francis School, which is at 700 N.W. Bond St., in Bend. You should be there. I will.

This week in GO! Magazine’s music section

Friday, April 9th, 2010

Oregon hard-rock legends Floater are back in town this weekend, this time for two shows — electric tonight and acoustic on Saturday — at Mountain’s Edge. Frontman Rob Wynia agreed to an e-mail interview and then answered all my questions in a way that surely set a record for correct grammar usage in a band interview. Here’s a piece of it:

GO!: Portland’s music scene has long had a strong reputation, perhaps never more so than right now. And yet Floater has always sort of existed outside the normal channels of press praise, scene backslapping, etc. Do you ever look at what’s happening there and sort of gloat at the fact that Floater has achieved what it’s achieved without necessarily playing by the traditional rules?

RW: At first (years ago) I felt hurt by the fact that no matter what we did the press seemed to either hate Floater or simply ignore us. But the shows are such a total blast, and the fans are so vocal and supportive that eventually you just say f–k it. The flip side is that on the rare occasions when you are praised in the press you have to sort of ignore that too. You can’t have it both ways. If everybody hated us then we’d play in our garage for each other. But since it seems in general to only be critics, then screw ‘em.

You can read the whole thing here.

Also in this week’s music section: indie-folk singer Sean Hayes plays a Bend yoga studio, one-man rock show Tony Smiley returns to town, can’t-miss Michiganders Frontier Ruckus play the Wednesday-night gig at McMenamins Old St. Francis School and local fave Eric Tollefson hits Silver Moon, plus The Luce Cruz tonight at Parrilla Grill, Allan Byer on Saturday at Cork Cellars in Sisters, and the Thumbprint Collective hosts an “Open Lab” Wednesday at Bendistillery Martini Bar. And if you’ve found nothing to suit you so far, you can always find more in our complete music listings.