Posts Tagged ‘Jazz at Joe’s’

This week in GO! Magazine’s music section

Saturday, May 25th, 2013

It’s Memorial Day weekend, folks, and ’round here that means it’s the unofficial kickoff of the summer concert season! (That said, it’s gonna be cold Saturday and Sunday night, especially once the sun goes down, so if you’re going to Les Schwab Amphitheater, take plenty of warm clothing.)

Speaking of which, ’90s alt-rock hit-makers Cake headline Les Schwab Amphitheater tonight, with the amazing Built to Spill opening. Rather than talk to BtS principal Doug Martsch about beards, I spoke with Cake frontman John McCrea about … well, lots of stuff.

He is cognizant, presumably, of how it sounds when a career rock star complains about his job, but he also paints a compellingly bleak picture of the lifestyle.

“It’s a privilege to be in this band. That said, I don’t enjoy sitting in a bus for 16 hours. I don’t know who does,” McCrea said. “You get to be a rock star for an hour and a half, and a lot of times you shake hands with a couple of jocks who are friends of the radio station that squeeze your hand too hard, and then you go back into the bus for another 16 hours and they dump you in the late afternoon in the next town and you’ve got two hours to either eat or take a nap.

“And then you go back on stage and repeat,” he continued, “so live it up, rock star.”

This was a wide-ranging interview about a variety of topics related not so much to music, but to the music business, and McCrea is a smart, thoughtful guy. You should read the whole thing by clicking here.

On Sunday, Bend will play host to two very different bands doing two very different shows about 1.5 miles apart. Icelandic ambient post-rockers Sigur Ros will play Les Schwab Amphitheater and Michigan horrorcore hip-hop duo Insane Clown Posse (and, no doubt, their Juggalo fans) will invade Midtown Ballroom.

Just for fun, I lined the two acts up and compared them: their origins, their sounds, their lyrics, critical reception and other silly stuff. I hope you’ll click here and check it out.

Elsewhere in this week’s music section: Portland punk band Absent Minds plays once each in Bend and Redmond, Nashville folk singer Mare Wakefield plays once each in Bend and Sisters, McDougall and Tom VandenAvond team up Saturday at The Horned Hand, a Beastie Boys tribute called Grand Royale hits Liquid Lounge Thursday, Laura Gibson visits House on Metolius Saturday, The Sugar Beets plays The Belfry, Jazz at Joe’s hosts four tenor saxophonists at Greenwood Playhouse, Emma Hill plays The Horned Hand and more!

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, September 16th, 2011

September is a big month on the local music scene, with the Sisters Folk Festival last weekend and the Bend Roots Revival next.

But the week in between isn’t exactly an opportunity to take a breather. We’ve got a CD-release show from a longtime local, a bunch of great roots-rock shows, some jazz and more.

Bend-based singer-songwriter Laurel Brauns will release her new album tonight at PoetHouse Art. I spoke with her about “House of Snow” (it’s great) and the list of guest artists who play on it (it’s eye-popping).

At 12 tracks and 42 minutes long, (“House of Snow” is) a compact slice of her life, merging Brauns’ Central Oregon experiences with her love of indie-folk-pop and the independent artistic sensibilities of her soon-to-be home, Portland.

The latter comes in the form of several Portland-based guest musicians, including cellists Skip vonKuske and Anna Fritz of Portland Cello Project, organist Jenny Conlee of The Decemberists, and multi-instrumentalist Sam Cooper of Horse Feathers.

Additionally, Nathan Clark lends his sturdy baritone to the proceedings, Franchot Tone plays guitar on a couple of songs, and a chorus of locals take the second track, “Doldrums,” to an ethereal place. A twisted Okkervil River cover and Bend artist Kaycee Anseth’s album art round out the impressive package.

She also revealed that she’s moving to Portland near the end of September.

“I need to be there to make it happen,” she said. “You’ve got to meet the people, shake their hands, see ‘em face to face. They’ve got to hear you play. I think we all delude ourselves (into thinking) the Internet’s this hugely powerful thing that can make all this stuff happen for us, but there’s nothing like actually talking to somebody.”

You should read the whole article by clicking here, and then go see her tonight at PoetHouse.

For Feedback this week, I bounced around the Sisters Folk Festival on Sunday afternoon. Chicago folk singer Joe Pug was the highlight of my day.

On stage, Pug is a soft-spoken but compelling performer who spills his guts into each verse and stares down his microphone as if it just insulted his mother. His eyes remain closed much of the time, but when he opens them, it’s like peering through a window at the downcast desperation that pervades his songs.

That feeling was particularly evident on “Disguised As Someone Else,” a request for forgiveness with a luscious arrangement for two acoustic guitars. And in set-closer “Hymn 101,” when Pug practically spit out the line “I’ve come to say exactly what I mean / and I mean so many things,” you got the sense that his poetry comes from somewhere deeper than most songwriters.

It was a terrific way to spend a Sunday afternoon, and I hope you’ll go read the rest right here.

Elsewhere in this week’s music section: Larry and His Flask play a homecoming show, Bobby Bare Jr. headlines McMenamins’ Halfway to St. Patty Day party, Murder By Death comes to The Horned Hand and Jazz at Joe’s hosts Seattle’s Jay Thomas Quartet. Plus, tonight at the Century Center, you can see Mosley Wotta, Marv Ellis, Tony Smiley and Cadence, and your admission fee ($5 if you wear a mask, $10 if you don’t) benefits the Red Cross. What a good deal and a good deed!

January 22 in GO! Magazine

Friday, January 22nd, 2010

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.

-Also in the section this week: Hawaiian singer-songwriter John Cruz at Silver Moon; local heavies Warm Gadget and Tentareign at Mountain’s Edge; Colorado bluegrassers Head for the Hills at McMenamins; Oregon acid-jazz-hop band Eleven Eyes at Silver Moon; local singer-songwriters Dan Shanahan at WineStyles in Bend and Anastacia Beth Scott at Three Creeks Brewing Co. in Sisters, and last, but not least, the Bend Jazz Trio Saturday night at The Decoy Bar.

Oh, and a review of The Redwood Plan’s show last weekend at Players Bar & Grill.

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.