This week features a ridiculous number of opportunities to catch quality live music in Central Oregon, so I’m highlighting some of the best options for each night. But remember, you can always find lots more at The Bulletin’s online event calendar.
Your best bet for this fine Tuesday evening is to see indie rock giants The Shins at the Domino Room. Why? Because it’s a rare opportunity to see a band that can draw thousands of people to an amphitheater performing in a relatively tiny club. And because main man James Mercer has dozens of awesome, toe-tapping pop-rock songs in his quiver, and hopefully he’ll play a few of ’em. But the pre-show word is that the band will be using this mini-tour of small venues to work out songs from the upcoming, long-awaited fourth Shins album, so I guess we’ll see what happens.
Oh, and here’s some actual news we hadn’t reported before: The excellent, Portland-based indie pop band Hosannas will open tonight.
Oh, and if you don’t already have your ticket, you’re out of luck. The show has sold out. If you’d like, read my story on the band here.
Pokey LaFarge and The South City Three will bring their throwback take on Americana music to the Domino Room next week to help KPOV celebrate its fifth birthday. I chatted with Pokey about how he became such an anachronism.
LaFarge’s work tramples old-time genre boundaries, bouncing around from folk to blues to swing to jazz, but always rooted in American tradition, and always rooted in what he calls the “purity” and “honesty” of acoustic music.
It’s a style that attracted LaFarge in his teens, which is when he figured out just how much he prefers the sound of America’s past over the sound of its present.
“When I realized that rock and pop and all this other kind of stuff sucked, right around the same time, I started listening to the blues … and I started digging my way back from there,” he said. “I started getting into bluegrass, which got me into old-time fiddle music, which in turn got me back into old country-blues and jazz and ragtime and Western swing and all that kind of stuff.”
I hope you’ll read the whole thing here. And click here to study up on Frank Fairfield, who’s also on the bill.
With two genuine country rebels — Merle Haggard and Hank Williams III — in town, I rambled a bit about the genre’s long, proud history of outlaw behavior, and whether it’s been killed and buried for good by the modern music industry.
In the shadow of today’s airbrushed and Auto-Tuned Nashville, it can be easy to forget that country music has a long, proud tradition of outlaw behavior.
Modern country stars are as handled as politicians, every tooth polished and straight, every opinion run through focus groups, (almost) every song crafted by a team of professional tunesmiths.
Beyond that, we also have the Conjugal Visitors kicking off the summer season at Angeline’s Bakery in Sisters, Betty and the Boy at portello winecafe, Stephanie Schneiderman back at McMenamins Old St. Francis School and The Voodoo Fix at Silver Moon. As usual, there are lots of other options in The Bulletin’s complete music listing.
All three acts are very, very good, but I’ll have some extended praise for the opener, Hosannas, in Friday’s GO! Magazine. In the meantime, here’s a track from that band’s new album, “Then & Now & Then,” for free download: