Also: Marv and Rindy Ross at The Sound Garden, Head for the Hills at Players Bar, Rita Hosking at the HarmonyHouse, Ray Lawrence Jr. at The Horned Hand, a death metal show (that happened last night) at The Annex, a busy weekend for Finn Miles, a do-over homecoming show for Third Seven and Last Band Standing is now accepting applications for its 2012 competition. Find it all here.
Because of the party hearty nature of Halloween weekend — and the sheer number of bands playing ‘ween-themed shows over the next few nights — we’re going to venture outside of the music section this week into GO! Magazine’s cover story, which features not 20 … not 30 … not 40 … but 50+ Halloween parties, concerts, trick or treats, costume contests, films, readings and more.
If you don’t find something spooky to do in these listings, you just aren’t looking hard enough. Happy Halloween! Y’all have fun out and be safe out there.
And the rest of the music section: Head for the Hills and Dead Winter Carpenters, a benefit for Gary Bowne, Moira Smiley & VOCO, Children of Nova and My Favorite Sacred Songs. Plus Blackstrap, Dela Project, Third Seven and Truckstop Gravy and a whole bunch of other stuff.
Yonder Mountain String Band returns to Bend next week to play progressive bluegrass for its horde of fans. I spoke with Adam Aijala and Dave Johnston about the band’s state of mind after two albums of stylistic exploration under the guidance of renowned rock producer Tom Rothrock.
“We feel that we have no — or not as many — boundaries now,” Aijala said last week, “and I think he helped us accomplish that.”
Still, the Yonder fellas aren’t content to rest on their accomplishments. In the same telephone interview, Johnston said the quartet’s compositional skills are strong and eclectic enough to allow the band to stretch whichever direction it chooses, whether bluegrassy or rockin’.
“We just have a lot of different parts about music that we love, and it just has so little to do with musical genres and more to do with what feels right for us,” he said.
And what feels right for one guy often feels right for the others, Aijala said.
“Because we’ve spent so much time together, whether we like it or not our songs tend to work with each other, even if we write them independently,” he said. “We’ll show each other songs and they might even be a totally different mood, but they go together.”
Feedback this week is about Wednesday night’s Ice Cube show at the Midtown Ballroom, which was, in my mind, a solid success. Cube put on a tight, sturdy, entertaining and thunderous show for a sold out crowd.
With some not-so-gentle coaxing from Cube (“throw ‘em up!”), “Check Yo Self” elicited a sea of iconic, W-shaped “west side” hand gestures bobbing across the Midtown’s floor, connected to folks of all ages, some older than the headliner and some so young they probably think of him as a movie star first.
The second half of the set was anchored by three older hits that highlighted the ever-present influence of slinky, synthy ‘70s funk on both Cube and West Coast rap in general.
“We Be Clubbin’” led to “Bop Gun” which led to the mega-hit “It Was a Good Day,” which predictably drew the loudest reaction of the night. (It seemed to be an especially loud, squealy crowd, too.) Cube closed with “I Rep that West,” a single from his newest album that again sent hundreds of “W” signs into the air.
It was a fun show. I hope you’ll go read my whole review by clicking here.
Elsewhere in this week’s music section: Dubby dude Kevin Kinsella is at The Annex, bluegrass faves Head for the Hills return to town, and OK Sweetheart does throwback pop at Bo Restobar, plus Bloodlust’s CD-release show, Misner & Smith at portello, The B Foundation at Silver Moon, Jonathan Byrd returns to Sisters and Mia Dyson plays a ranch way out in Kimberly.
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.
Doug Martsch of Built to Spill. Let's pretend it's fuzzy for art's sake, and not because I took it with my phone.
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.
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!
Bend faves Head for the Hills return to town to play their biggest gig yet, a headlining slot at the Domino Room. My colleague Alandra Johnson talked to bassist Matt Loewen to find out how working with a very famous producer affected the band’s new, self-titled album.
The album also marked the first time the band worked with producer Drew Emmitt of Boulder jam band Leftover Salmon.
“He’s an incredible musician and a really great singer,” said Loewen.
The band also found Emmitt was skilled at helping them get the live feeling they all wanted to achieve on the new album.
Loewen said Emmitt had the ability to “hone in on that energy and sound.”
You really should read the whole thing right here.
Also in this week’s music section: the heavy, industrial rock of Powerman 5000 returns to Bend, local metal combo Kleverkill plays a CD-release show, California pop band Lakes headlines the Blues Amuse and Brews fundraiser, the new Jade’s Jazz Lounge celebrates its grand opening in La Pine, the Central Oregon Songwriters Association holds its annual Song of the Year show, and an update on the big Last Band Standing battle happening each Thursday at Boondocks. And you can always find much more in our complete music listings.
Y’know, the local music scene gets a bad rap in winter, even from me. But considering that it’s late January, we’ve got a terrific selection of live-music options in town this week. There’s no enormous name, but lots of solid mid-sized acts coming through. Here’s a rundown:
-I stink at math, but even I know that five out of the eight Living Legends is a significant chunk of the venerable hip-hop crew. The bill for this show — Thursday at Midtown Ballroom — is crazy; not only are five Legends scheduled to perform, but so is about half the local hip-hop scene. Should be quite a spectacle.
-Portland folk-pop band The Ascetic Junkies have a new EP out, and you can get it here — name your price. The band is also at Silver Moon Brewing tonight.
-The new album from former “Last Call with Carson Daly” bandleader Joe Firstman comes out next week. It’s called “El Porto,” and it’s kind of a reboot for him after his considerable success in Hollywood. Read why here. (Note: He’s playing the Silver Moon with folk singer The White Buffalo, who’s worth an article himself. Maybe next time.)
-Central Oregon’s ska uprising continues this weekend with two shows by Florida’s The Supervillains.
-This article will give you a brief update on the Jazz at Joe’s concert series, plus some details about this month’s artist, The I-5 Express. However, if you don’t already have a ticket, you’re out of luck, because it’s sold out.
Whew. Now that’s covering Central Oregon’s music scene!
If you’re not a subscriber to The Bulletin’s Web site, you’ll probably be unable to get to some of those links. In that case, you’ll have to either subscribe to the site, or pick up a paper copy of The Bulletin.
Today, the regular Friday post about what’s in GO! Magazine’s music section doubles as a motherlode of free, downloadable music, thanks to some generous bands. Let’s get right to it, shall we?
–Elliot is a group of five local guys who play sweeping, positive rock music, and they’ve provided Frequency readers with a song for download that you can’t get anywhere else (except, of course, by buying their album “Rocketships”):
-My plan was to interview fast-rising African guitarist Vieux Farka Toure for a story this week, but conflicting schedules got in the way. Instead, you’ll have to settle for a track from “Fondo,” his acclaimed new album:
Download Vieux Farka Toure, “Fafa”
-Colorado bluegrass combo Head for the Hills will be busy Sunday, playing an outdoor show in the afternoon and an indoor show in the evening. Check out a couple of their songs right here:
Download Head for the Hills, “Hornet’s Nest” Download Head for the Hills, “Harvest Moon”
–The Summit Saloon & Stage is gettin’ funky tonight with The Pimps of Joytime, and gettin’ rootsy on Thursday with Taarka. I have a Joytime song for you, but I’m running into some technical issues, so you’ll just have to visit the band’s MySpace and listen to “Bonita” there.
Not happening this week: The Itals at the Domino Room. There is a blurb in GO! about this show, but the show was canceled after the section went to press.
All the MP3 downloads above are free to anyone. However, the articles linked can only be viewed by subscribers to The Bulletin’s Web site. If you can’t see them and you want to, you’ll either need to subscribe or pick up a copy of today’s paper.