Posts Tagged ‘Hurtbird’

This week in GO! Magazine’s music section

Friday, October 14th, 2011

We’re entering an incredibly busy few weeks on the Central Oregon music scene, especially considering it’s mid-October, a time when local stages used to go virtually quiet. No more.

So I recruited a little help to cover everything going on this week. Below, you’ll find links to our interviews with the rapper Afroman, the newgrass legend David Grisman and indie-folk upstarts The Builders and The Butchers, plus briefs on a ton of other artists. I hope you’ll click around and check it out, or better yet, grab a print copy of The Bulletin today and flip through GO! Magazine.

Afroman returns to the Domino Room Sunday. My colleague Rachael Rees chatted with him about who inspires him, how he gets ready for shows, and what it feels like when many people only want to hear one of your songs a decade after it was a hit.

GO!: Why do you keep coming back to Bend?

Afroman: I love my fans. I have some strongholds in America … because of people who heard “Because I Got High.” It’s been 10 years since “Because I Got High” and cities like Bend are keeping me in the game. Bend has kept with me past “Because I Got High” and is familiar with all my songs.

GO!: What is your ritual before you get on stage to perform?

A: I like to get to town early and get into the mood of hip-hop and what it means to me. I don’t want to shortchange my fans so I smoke blunts and play music while I pull out my best clothes. I go to the barber shop. I do my nails. (I) put on my cologne and buy jewelry cleaner to drop my big chains in. It’s about quality, looking good and rapping good.

This interview is full of pure gold. You really should click here and read it.

David Grisman was here only a year ago, but that was with his quintet in a seated venue. Tonight, he’s back with his bluegrass band at the Domino Room, where you can dance the night away to the Dawg. Grisman was kind enough to answer a few questions via email, and David Jasper wrote a story about him.

It’s quite clear that appreciating the roots of bluegrass is important to Grisman. He says that when he first heard the form, it was initially “the banjo, played in the style of Earl Scruggs, that blew my head off.

“I think bluegrass is a perfectly orchestrated style of instrumental and vocal music, with real roots in the stories and lives of the people,” he said. “It elevates folk music to a virtuosic status and runs the gamut of human expression. Plus, the history of bluegrass is something that occurred in my lifetime, and I had the opportunity to witness it happening and meet and even play with many of its great architects.”

Click here to read it all.

Portland folk-rock band The Builders and The Butchers return to Bend next week to play two shows at McMenamins Old St. Francis School. Rachael Rees asked them a few questions via email, too, and frontman Ryan Sollee responded.

Sollee and his band mates — who came together playing on the streets of Portland — look to the past for both lyrical and musical inspiration, striving for authenticity and sounds that ignore today’s emphasis on commercial viability.

“I have no problem with pop and major radio artists altering their sound digitally. They are playing to an audience that obviously doesn’t care,” Sollee said. “Where I get frustrated is in the indie world when vocals are obviously (Auto-Tuned). It just doesn’t sound very honest to me.”

I hope you’ll read the whole thing by clicking here.

Elsewhere in this week’s music section: Dave Matthews tells you why you should check out Danny Barnes Thursday night, the Water Tower Bucket Boys and Moon Mountain Ramblers team up at Silver Moon, Innovation Theatre throws a launch party to celebrate its new Madhappy vibe, Tony Pacini and Chuck Redd return to Jazz at Joe’s, and Franchot Tone is moving to California and playing a farewell show tonight, plus The Ben Rice Band, Ali Handal, Hurtbird and more. Oh, and this previous blog post about Birthday Suits. WHEW!

This week in GO! Magazine’s music section

Friday, August 26th, 2011

The popular and prolific singer-songwriter Ben Harper returns to Bend tonight for the first time in more than five years. And lucky us, he’s currently touring behind the best album of his long career, “Give Till It’s Gone,” which was released in May.

Here’s Harper doing one of the intensely raw and personal songs from the album.

Here’s part of what I wrote:

“Give” is the man’s best work yet, kicking off with the melancholy tone of “Don’t Give Up on Me,” the slow-burn defiance of “I Will Not Be Broken” and the playful, Wilco-esque chug of “Rock N’ Roll Is Free.” Later, Harper tries to find hope in a doomed relationship as “Pray That Our Love Sees the Dawn” lopes along an understated groove.

Occasionally, the somber fog lifts. “Clearly Severely” and “Do It For You, Do It For Us” are, quite simply, scorching rockers that sound like catharsis happening inside your headphones. And the album’s high point is also it’s centerpiece: two sprawling, psychedelic songs (co-written by Ringo Starr) called “Spilling Faith” and “Get There From Here” that flow together and stand out as an oasis of hope in a murky sea of anger and regret.

But it’s that “lens of anger and regret,” the L.A. Times pointed out in its review of “Give” back in May, that “provides Harper a musical focus he’s never had.” And it’s that focus that sets Harper’s newest work apart from his too-often unremarkable back catalog.

I hope you’ll click here and read the whole thing.

Next up: After years gigging around Bend, local musical couple The Quons have their first album ready for release and they’ll celebrate it with a big CD-release show Saturday at PoetHouse Art. Click here to read my feature story on these fine folks.

Elsewhere in this week’s music section: Brothers Young and Hurtbird play an early show at Parrilla Grill, Maverick’s Country Bar hosts the twangy Lee Brice, and eclectic singer-songwriter Nathan Leigh hits The Sound Garden. Plus The Mostest and the Shireen Amini Band at Parrilla, a heavy bill (Stillfear, Tentareign, Sons of Dirt) at Players, Eric Tollefson plays a free show in Redmond and Blackstrap takes their bluegrass to Elk Lake Resort.

This week in GO! Magazine’s music section

Monday, June 6th, 2011

Brian Hinderberger pays tribute to his sister!

Madhappy Lounge throws an all-day show to raise money for and awareness of its mission!

Bobby Bare Jr. brings his awesome songs and impressive lineage to McMenamins!

And my Feedback column focuses on last weekend’s Death Cab for Cutie and The Decemberists shows at Les Schwab Amphitheater. I thought both headliners were good, but one was more enjoyable than the other. Click here to find out which one and why.

Elsewhere in the music section, we detail the five shows this week at Silver Moon Brewing (including Moon Mountain Ramblers, Tyrone Wells and Gun Runner) and tell you what you need to know about tonight’s Brothers Young / Hurtbird show, Saturday’s songwriters’ circle at PoetHouse Art, and Monday’s jazz concert and auditions. Oh, and we’ll update you on Last Band Standing.

This week in GO! Magazine’s music section

Friday, November 12th, 2010

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.

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!