After nine weeks of competition that saw 27 other bands fall by the wayside, the Bend-based rock ‘n’ soul quintet fronted by two powerful female vocalists (Stacie Johnson and Lilli Worona, plus Kent Howes, Andrew Blum and Matt McConnell) won enough audience votes last night at Liquid Lounge to claim the title of Last Band Standing.
Broken Down Guitars beat out three other finalists — All You All, Greyside and Jaccuzi — to take home the top prize, which includes studio time, a band vehicle, practice space, a photo shoot, free tacos for a year and other stuff. All told, first place won $12,000 in prizes.
One of, in my opinion, the world’s finest singer-songwriters is coming to Bend’s Tower Theatre on Tuesday.
You should go. It’s going to be great.
Ladies and gentlemen, the wonderful and ever-so-slightly warped Todd Snider:
I chatted with Snider last week while he was driving south through California. He was kind, totally forthcoming, and highly quotable. But the most interesting part was when he told me he’s done making records! Wait, what? Yeah, that’s what he said. Believe him if you like, or don’t. (I don’t.) Who knows? But here’s an excerpt:
“I mean, I think I should stop making records, yeah. I may go out and try to tour for a while and really … work on my guitar playing and learning my old songs … but I think I’ve said the s–t I need to say. I don’t see any reason for me to say more s–t. People have given me plenty of attention.”
“You gotta ask yourself how many songs the world needs, you know? God. There’s already so many, and in my neighborhood, I promise you, there’s 10 since me and you started talking. There’s 10 more songs in this poor world,” Snider said. “Maybe there could be something else I could write … maybe a bunch of love songs, (but) that last bit felt like the last bit of throw-up, the bile part. I like it. I think it might be my favorite one. But I (also) think I might’ve said what I was supposed to say, if I was even supposed to say anything.”
Also next week: The return of Last Band Standing, Central Oregon’s multi-week, audience-determined battle of the bands. The schedule calls for 28 bands to duke it out over nine weeks, and the winner will pick up some studio time, a vehicle and other stuff. Plus, it’s all free to attend! This really is a pretty great way to sample lots of the local music scene, so go and get all the Last Band Standing info you need.
This week’s music section is packed, by the way. We’ve got something on The White Buffalo, Matt Hopper, Basin & Range and The River Pigs’ CD-release shows, plus The Dig, The We Shared Milk, Michael Allen Harrison Superband, Warm Gadget, the Central Oregon Songwriters Association’s annual showcase, an underground hip-hop show at JC’s and more.
Oh, and tonight’s Roach Gigz show at the Domino Room is canceled.
The roster of artists playing this year’s Last Band Standing in Bend just appeared in my inbox.
(Side note: If your band is on this list, there is a mandatory meeting for LBS competitors at Amalia’s Mexican Restaurant in downtown Bend at 5 p.m. Monday. Be there.)
Anyway, here they are, in alphabetical order:
All You All
Avery James and the Hillandales
Broken Down Guitars
Certain Other Persons
Death of a Hitman
Doc Brown’s Delorean
The Dream Symphony
The Great Hiatum
The Human Microphone
Sons of Dirt
Three Beers to Function
Truck Stop Gravy
Last Band Standing — a multi-week battle of the bands and showcase of local talent — will kick off April 19 and run Thursday nights (except May 31) through June 21 at the Century Center in Bend. Artists will compete for audience votes, and the big winner at the end will get three days recording time at Ninkasi Studios in Eugene, plus gear, goods and marketing tools to help with promotion. Last year’s LBS was won by Necktie Killer. Mosley Wotta won in 2010.
Grab a copy of GO! Magazine in The Bulletin next Friday for more info, including who’s playing when.
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.
Oh wait, there’s more: Silver Moon Brewing & Taproom has a big week planned, with guitarist Fareed Haque’s Math Games group tonight, locally rooted indie-folkers Loch Lomond on Wednesday and junkyard blues specialists Hillstomp on Thursday. Madhappy Lounge has a busy schedule, too, with underground rapper Open Mike Eagle on Monday, political punkers Prayers for Atheists on Wednesday, and electro-hip-pop group Vokab Kompany on Thursday. Then there’s the wonderful Nicki Bluhm at Alive After 5, The Greencards play the free Sunday show at the Schwab, Town Mountain brings three nights of bluegrass to McMenamins, and a Last Band Standing update.
Reggae legends Toots & the Maytals are coming to Redmond! It took a while, but I tracked down Frederick “Toots” Hibbert and talked to him about the key to his longevity.
“The good music makes me stay on the road,” he said. “People need me so they request me to come, so I have to be on the road. I love what I do, (and I) still like to tour to make sure my audience is happy. They love me very much and I love them very much.”
Their love is rooted, first and foremost, in a handful of hit Toots & the Maytals records from the late 1960s and early 1970s, including “54-46 Was My Number,” “Bam Bam,” “Pressure Drop,” “Monkey Man” and “Funky Kingston.”
The band’s early hits are durable classics of the genre, reflective of a time when reggae was a bit grittier and funkier than it tends to be these days.
The Maytals’ music remains popular because it’s “clean” and “positive,” Hibbert said.
“If you’re negative,” he said, “you won’t last long.”
I also want to highlight my story on Ashland-based indie-folk trio Kites & Crows, who are playing a free show at McMenamins on Wednesday. I really think this is talented up-and-coming band with great songs, so click here to read all about ’em.
Elsewhere in this week’s music section, we’ve got Ween’s return to Les Schwab Amphitheater, Tracorum kicking off Munch & Music, Sunriver’s Rhythm on the Range festival, Lauren Shera at Silver Moon, a trio of country songwriters at Maragas Winery and Third Seven’s last show before tour, plus Sagebrush Rock, Boxcar String Band, Chris Beland and Last Band Standing.
Enjoy the long weekend and gorgeous weather, folks! Have fun and be safe.
(Note: I would strongly encourage you to seek out the print version of GO! Magazine (in today’s issue of The Bulletin) to see the nifty Twister-themed art and layout that my colleagues Greg and Althea did for the section this week. It looks great, and you should really see it in all its dead-tree glory!)
Central Oregon’s music scene offers a little bit of everything this week. There’s jazz (Jeff Lorber, Patrick Lamb, Renato Caranto Quartet), rock (Zepparella), hip-hop (Tech N9ne, Eddie Valiant, Sadistik, Kristoff Krane), punk (Emily’s Army), reggae (Jon Wayne and The Pain), country (Blaine Larsen), folk (Vandaveer, Cheyenne Marie Mize) and more. Plus, a benefit and celebration for PoetHouse Art, the Deschutes County Fair’s concert lineup and the last preliminary round of Last Band Standing.
The Last Band Standing competition is nearing the end of its preliminary rounds, which have been held over the past six Friday nights at Century Center. So far, six bands have moved on to the semifinals, to be held June 24 and July 1:
On Friday night, one of the following bands will win the fan vote and move to the semifinals as well: Broken Down Guitars, Capture the Flag, Shannon Tower Band, Strive Roots, Tourniquet Etiquette.
That means seven spots in the semis are taken, and LBS organizers need to pick three “wild cards” from among the rest of the bands in the competition to move on as well. Those three bands will get a second chance to win over fans in the semifinal rounds.
Now, the LBS team wants your input on who should be the wild-card bands. It’s simple: Leave a comment on this post and tell me who should get a second chance and why. Keep it clean or I will not approve your comment. No slagging other bands, either.
Here’s who has competed but didn’t make the semis. Remember, four of Friday night’s bands will presumably be eligible for wild cards, too.
Blue Babies / Cadence / Cognitive Riot / Concave Perception Chamber / Dan Shanahan Band / AJ Engstrom / High Desert Hooligans / Hilst and Coffey / Brian Hinderberger / Matt Borden and the MFB / OpenFate / Past Fraction Zero / Pine Lane / ScarLitt Fever / Shades of Society / Shovelbelt / Tentareign / Tuck and Roll / The Vaulted
Tomorrow, I’ll make sure to send a link to this post to Last Band Standing so they can read your comments. They say they’re going to announce the wild cards tomorrow night, so get to it!
A group photo of all 2011 Last Band Standing participants!
Eugene’s sunny pop/rock/reggae band Rootdown returns to Bend this weekend to celebrate the release of its new album “Tidal Wave.” I spoke with frontman Paul Wright about Rootdown’s upbeat music and upbeat message.
“Our banner is one of hope and positive momentum,” Wright said. “We want to be about encouraging people and about bringing hope, and sometimes living in Oregon — at least on our side over here — it can be pretty depressing six or seven months out of the year.
“When it’s sunny here, man, we take notice,” he continued. “We kinda bring that same feeling that I get when it’s springtime and summer starts to hit here. I think we bring that with our show and our music.”
Feedback this week focuses on the sudden springtime surge of locally made albums we’re experiencing, and I look ahead at what other local recordings are underway and might be released by the end of the year. Wondering what’s up with Moon Mountain Ramblers, Eric Tollefson, Mosley Wotta, Erin Cole-Baker, Tuck and Roll and a bunch more? Click here to find out.
Elsewhere in this week’s music section, we’ve got the wildly eclectic Vagabond Opera, a showcase of local songwriters Tollefson, Sara Jackson-Holman and Kylan Johnson at McMenamins, the return of the Portland Cello Project, the shred-tastic guitar skills of Jennifer Batten, and some ’90s-influenced indie rock from Slow Trucks, plus a Last Band Standing update.
It’s been a long time coming, but Empty Space Orchestra’s new album is here, and that means the local instrumental rock band has a CD-release show on Thursday. I caught up with ESO last week and we talked about their popularity in Bend and taking their show to new towns.
“I don’t really feel like I want it to happen faster,” guitarist Shane Thomas said. “I mean, it would be nice if it would, but we know we’ll have to go to other cities and play for, like, 15 and 20 people. That’s nothing that’s old for us, but it’s definitely nice to be able to come back here and play for (big crowds).”
Saxophonist Graham Jacobs said the band is “pretty excited” to play new towns, a point drummer Lindsey Elias reiterated after acknowledging that well-attended Bend shows are always a boost.
“But it’s also nice to really get in front of the few people that are there in those different cities that have … virgin ears,” she said. “That’s what’s fun, to see people’s reactions to something they’ve never seen before.”
Like most of Bend — OK, not most, but a lot of people — Feedback got swept up in last week’s Cinco de Mayo celebration in downtown Bend. I loved Rubblebucket’s music, missed Todd Haaby, and was wowed by the crowd for the headliner, Ozomatli.
It was a sea of party-hungry humanity: beers aloft, kids on shoulders, smiling faces, sombreros flying through the air and folks finding whatever space they could to dance to the sounds of Ozomatli, the L.A.-based Latin fusion band that headlined the night and charged through a set of fiery songs that only fueled the celebration.
Ozomatli has become world famous for its versatility, and they showcased it in Bend, bouncing easily from hip-hop to cumbia to funk to reggae to straight-up punk rock, reflecting the cosmopolitan sprawl of their hometown. Highlights included the stomping rap-rock of “City of Angels,” an epic, brassy ranchera tune called “Caballito” and “La Temperatura,” a heavily Latin-flavored number that inspired chaos among the crowd.
Elsewhere in the music section: Tyler Fortier brings his excellent songs to the Silver Moon, Roger Clyne & The Peacemakers return to town, members of the Hieroglyphics crew headline a hip-hop show and The Bobby Lindstrom band and Sisters Americana Project celebrate new CDs, plus Cicada Omega, Will West and Mumbo Gumbo, and a Last Band Standing update.