I’m a big fan of the Street View feature on Google Maps, which allows you to virtually plop down into the middle of a place and, through the magic of street-level imagery, see what’s happening there, or at least what was happening when Google’s funky little camera car rolled through.
I use Street View all the time for all kinds of reasons, from simply trying to get a better idea of something’s exact location to touring cities I’ve never visited. It’s fun. So for the past several years, Bend’s lack of Street View was frustrating. At first, there were no roads highlighted in blue when you dragged that little yellow dude across the map. Then, it was just our town’s traffic arteries.
But last night, I noticed that Google has finally blanketed Bend in Street View! And the second thing I thought to do — after look at my house, of course — was to check out some of our town’s busiest music venues. (Weird, I know.)
Anyway, I ended up grabbing screenshots of several, and when you line ’em all up, it’s kind of an interesting view of a group of buildings that many folks may know and love and/or tolerate, but because of the blurry, nighttime nature of their business, have never really looked at before. (The Tower Theatre and Les Schwab Amphitheater being obvious exceptions here.)
Domino Room and Midtown Ballroom. In case you can't read the marquee, it says "ROACH GIG CANCELED" ... which is funny, because the rapper's name is Roach Gigz, but it still works. The Roach gig was canceled, after all.
Elizabeth Cook‘s show Wednesday night at McMenamins could probably be summed up in one word: charming. But they don’t pay me to write one word, so I’ll have a full review in next week’s GO! Magazine.
For now, enjoy three videos of Cook and her band showcasing their versatility with a Velvet Underground cover, a Louvin Brothers song (in tribute to Charlie Louvin, who died earlier that day), and one of Cook’s originals … in that order.
(NOTE: If you’re looking for our article on Atmosphere, we’ve run into a slight technical difficulty and will post it tonight or tomorrow, so please check back!)
Country music legend Willie Nelson returns to Bend’s Les Schwab Amphitheater tonight. Hippies, cowboys, stoners, punks, grandmas and teens alike love Willie, one of the most accomplished singers and songwriters of the past half-century, regardless of genre. Here he is talking about the songs on his new record “Country Music,” an album of country standards.
“You hear all kinds of ideas about country music: This is country, or this is, or that was and this ain’t. And it’s all a matter of opinion. But in my opinion, this is the original country music. So I’m really excited for people to hear it. There are so many great songs in every category — pop, country, bluegrass, whatever. There are a lot of great standards to choose from. Fortunately I’ve lived long enough to know them all, I think. I just love singing those songs.”
Michael O'Connor leads the audience in a chant as Slaid Cleaves performs 'Breakfast in Hell' Sunday at Sisters Folk Festival. Photo courtesy Lynn Woodward / LynnWoodwardPhotography.com
I spent my Sunday afternoon taking in the final day of the Sisters Folk Festival, where I saw Po’ Girl, Chris Kokesh & Brokentop, The Makepeace Brothers and the wonderful Slaid Cleaves. As is always the case at one of Central Oregon’s best events, I had a great time.
(Cleaves) wore a purple button-down shirt and dark slacks that I thought looked like church clothes, so I smiled when he knowingly began his Sunday set with a couple of gospel tunes, one by Woody Guthrie (“This Morning I Am Born Again”) and one original that covered the world of religions and sounded quite Hank Sr.-ish, a fact Cleaves acknowledged up front.
That one is so new, Cleaves flubbed several lines at the end, a mistake he blew off with characteristic wit. From there, though, it was smooth sailing as he played a set of frequently requested “workplace disaster songs,” including the devastatingly gorgeous “Lydia” (about coalminers’ deaths) and “Breakfast in Hell,” an epic, true story with a brawny audience-participation part.
I hope you’ll click here and read the whole thing.
Elsewhere in this week’s music section: Guitar virtuoso Phil Keaggy plays two shows, one in Redmond and one in La Pine, crossover thrash pioneers D.R.I. visit the Domino Room, rockabilly artist Ruby Dee brings her Snakehandlers to Bend, McMenamins Old St. Francis School plans a busy week of live music, and the Bend Roots Revival kicks off Thursday night with shows at five different venues around town. (Look for lots more on Bend Roots in next week’s GO!)