Saturday, May 5th, 2012
Saturday, May 5th, 2012
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, April 22nd, 2011
Canadian bass music producer ill.Gates will headline tonight’s “For the Music” party to celebrate Slipmat Science’s ninth anniversary. I spoke with the man about how and why he immersed himself in the world of electronic composition.
Two decades ago, Lane was that upstart kid. He played guitar and piano, but got his first sampler at age 7, went to his first rave at 13, and liked the wide-open horizons of electronic music.
“It just sounded so new and different and fresh,” he said. “At that point, I had learned guitar, but I just felt like guitar music didn’t really need me. I felt like what I was doing was just kind of a commentary on the history of guitar music.
“I got a sampler and thought, ‘These instruments are new. These … have a lot of history left to unfold. This is something I can be a part of,’” Lane said. “I felt (guitars) had been so explored that I was going to have to really struggle to find something new, and I just didn’t want to sound like anyone else. I wanted to do something entirely different. I wanted to have my own thing.”
I also talked to one of the guys behind Slipmat to get the skinny on that crew’s origins. Click here to read them both. (The Slipmat story is on the right, in smaller print.)
Feedback this week is on last Saturday’s wonderful Gregory Alan Isakov concert at the PoetHouse in downtown Bend. What a night. Here’s an excerpt.
Isakov’s set was a blend of old (the downcast “The Stable Song,” the throwback jazz of “Salt and the Sea”) and brand new (he said he’s working on his next album now), plus a stark cover of John Hartford’s “In Tall Buildings.”
Then there was plenty from Isakov’s wonderful 2009 album “This Empty Northern Hemisphere.” The Ryan Adams-esque sway of “That Moon Song” got the biggest response of the night, “Virginia May” rode a likable shuffle, and “Evelyn” gave Isakov’s crack band — drums, keys, cello and violin — a chance to rock out in their own gentle, orchestral style.
The highlight of the night, though, came mid-set when Isakov did a warm, resonant and drop-dead gorgeous song about the universe’s beauty and bruised feet, and then followed it with the title track from “This Empty Northern Hemisphere,” which crescendoed into a swarm of strings and falsetto oohs and ahhs. Isakov’s band has a firm grip on the power of dynamics, and those two songs showcased every inch of their range.
I hope you’ll read the whole thing by clicking here.
Elsewhere in this week’s music section: David Jacobs-Strain’s rootsy blues, Noise-A-Tron’s dark, heavy rock, McMenamins’ ’80s-themed “prom” and the Blues, Amuse & Brews benefit for Westside Village school. Plus there are a bunch of local acts with good gigs this week, including The Prairie Rockets, OpenFate, Jones Road, Kylan Johnson, Clair Clarke, JazzBros, Concave Perception Chamber and the Brian Hanson Band.
Wednesday, April 20th, 2011
So, Gregory Alan Isakov and openers Fairchildren and Lo, and Behold put on a terrific night of music Saturday at PoetHouse Art in downtown Bend. Just terrific. I’ll have a full review in Friday’s GO! Magazine, but here’s video of Isakov’s final number of the evening, “Salt and the Sea.”
It’s not super representative of his set as a whole and I thought it was a slightly odd choice for an encore, but it certainly showcases his highly skilled band and will give you a feel for the atmosphere in the room. Enjoy!
Friday, April 15th, 2011
One of Bend’s favorite dudes, G. Love aka Garrett Dutton, is bringing the Special Sauce back to town on Thursday. This time, he’s supporting a more rustic, acoustic album called “Fixin’ to Die” that he made with Seth and Scott Avett of The Avett Brothers. I chatted with the man about his new musical direction.
“We thought of those last three records as a triumvirate,” he said. “With the economy and the state of the record business and everything like that — it being harder and harder to sell records — it was just like, you know what, we gotta do something really different. So we decided we were gonna go back to my roots as a coffee-shop singer and a Delta bluesman and really … go all the way with that.”
Enter the Avetts, a couple of North Carolina boys whose new-school old-time string band is at the forefront of the current roots-music revival. Once the G. Love camp decided on the direction of the new record, they set their sights on the ideal producers.
“They do things in such an honest way,” Dutton said. “We felt like (we should) go back to making records how I used to make ’em: real stripped down, live performances, no frills. Just good, old-fashioned, honest music.”
Sounds like Dutton was super-inspired by working with the Avetts. Click here to read the whole story.
In Feedback this week, I tell you how you can support your local music scene by supporting Bend’s local, independent radio station, KPOV and it’s local, independent record store, Ranch Records. And then I tell you why you should.
You see, places like KPOV and Ranch are vital to the uniqueness of a town like Bend. With them in place, interesting, different and/or obscure music can infiltrate our town and our ears, thanks to DJs and record store clerks who are as passionate about good music as you are.
Each is as important a piece of the local music scene as a punk club, a jam session or an exciting new rock band. And without them, our funky little town would be a lot less funky, and a lot more boring.
Funky is good. Boring is bad. The existence of KPOV and Ranch are good things, and their existence depends on your support.
I hope you’ll go read the whole thing by clicking here.
Elsewhere in this week’s music section: the wonderful Gregory Alan Isakov plays the PoetHouse, The Swingle Singers visit the Tower Theatre, Andre Nickatina returns to the Domino Room, Sapient’s back at MadHappy Lounge, Paleface comes to McMenamins and Silver Moon hosts Tone Red tonight and Boxcar Stringband Saturday. Solid!
Wednesday, March 30th, 2011
A few concerts coming to Central Oregon that were recently announced:
–Orchestral folk-pop singer-songwriter Gregory Alan Isakov — last seen in Bend opening for Brandi Carlile — will play what should be a beautifully intimate show on April 16 at PoetHouse Art downtown. Showtime is 9 p.m. and tickets are available in advance for $10 at Bendticket.com. Props to Cassie Moore at LOUDgirl Productions for this one.
–On May 10, L.A. hip-hop nice guy Pigeon John and Portland duo The Chicharones will play the Domino Room. Pigeon John, in my mind, is one of the most interesting and entertaining rappers in the underground, and The Chicharones (aka Sleep of Oldominion and Josh Martinez) are a blast, so this show should be good times. No details yet, but watch the MadHappy Musik Facebook for updates.
–Area reggae-heads will get a taste of some good, old-school stuff on July 3 when Toots & the Maytals play the Deschutes County Fairgrounds in Redmond. Again, I have no details yet — all I know is the show is a benefit for the Oregon Cannabis Tax Act of 2012 — but mark your calendar, because Toots is just about the coolest reggae dude going.
–Frequent Bend visitor Tech N9ne, one of the most successful independent rappers ever, will return to the Midtown Ballroom on June 23. And you can bet a whole bunch of young folks will show up and sweat along to Tech’s insanely energetic show. Time, tickets and all that stuff can be found at the Random Presents site.
As always, stick close to Frequency and GO! Magazine to find out about upcoming dates as soon as we do.