This is dope: A new(ish) video for “Tail Lights,” one of the classic-rock-based tunes off former Bend MC Mindscape’s “Rap/98.3″ album. This track is built on a sample of The Eagles’ “One of These Nights.” Dig it.
Tuesday, September 24th, 2013
Wednesday, February 27th, 2013
After listening to a bunch of his stuff this morning, I’m thinking maybe I sold him a bit short, artistically. My bad.
For those unfamiliar, here’s a little local historical hip-hop math: Mindscape = Mike Fish of Central Oregon’s biggest and — I think it’s fair to say — best-ever rap collective, the now-defunct Person People. And Doc & Wyatt = KP and Mez of Person People. That’s 3/7ths of what I would consider the group’s classic lineup.
Anyway, all these guys are still making music well after Person People’s demise. Last summer, Mindscape released his third solo album, called “Rap/98.3,” which features his trademark loquacious-yet-level-headed flow over beats created from nothing but samples of classic rock songs. It’s a terrific listen:
Doc & Wyatt is a little harder to get an ear on. KP and Mez have made a bunch of tracks, and there is an EP that (at least half of) the duo considers unfinished, so it either hasn’t yet been released or never will be. But the songs are great, and they live in a set at Mez’s Soundcloud. You can hear ’em here:
Fish lives in California now, and Mez lives in Utah, but these three guys have made some of the best rap music Bend has to offer. Tonight, the Domino Room doors will open at 8 p.m. and the show starts at 9, so peel yourself off your couch/barstool and get there on time to support your local hip-hoppers.
Saturday, April 9th, 2011
This just in: A good-lookin’ video for the title track from “Typical Nightlife,” the excellent 2010 album by Bend-based MC Mindscape. As Eric Metzger said on Facebook, this clip is pretty much an endless stream of familiar faces and places for anyone who has spent an evening or two roaming around Bend’s bar scene. They should put it in a time capsule so the people of the future can see what it was like to party in this town in the early 21st century.
Friday, March 25th, 2011
“Hair metal” survivors L.A. Guns are in Bend tonight for a show at the Domino Room. I spoke with drummer Steve Riley about the key to the band’s longevity.
“Bands die when they get on a big tour … and then they have to come back and go out and do clubs. There are a lot of bands that won’t do that,” Riley said. “We never really cared. We just wanted to play and we have no problem bouncing from a Whitesnake show to a club show on our own and then back to a Scorpions show and then back to a club on our own.
“You’ve got to dig in and you’ve got to want to play. You can’t believe your own bulls—,” he said. “Phil and myself, we always just wanted to be working musicians where we go out and play a full set of our own original material, and that’s what we do. If it’s in a club, who cares? And if it’s with Whitesnake or Cinderella in a big arena, that’s great too. As long as we’re playing, we’re cool.”
Riley was a super nice, totally humble guy, and I enjoyed chatting with him. I hope you’ll read the whole story, which you can find by clicking here.
On St. Patrick’s Day, I went and caught a couple of excellent pop-rock bands — The Mother HIps and The Parson Red Heads — at McMenamins in Bend. Here’s part of my review, from today’s Feedback column:
(The Hips) came to town to play a ton of songs, kicking things off with the jagged “Third Floor Story” and “Esmerelda,” an affable tune that would fit in nicely on classic-rock radio playlists.
The thing is, the same can be said of most of the songs in the Hips’ set. “Do It On the Strings.” “Toughie.” “Later Days.” “Smoke.” All are well-written, with sweet choruses and swaggering guitar riffs. But when you string ’em together one after another, it really highlights where the Hips’ range begins and ends. And it’s not exactly a wide swath, not that it matters much to the couple hundred devout fans who showed up for the show, pumped their fists and mouthed every word.
There were peaks, of course. I loved the ragged chug of “Time-Sick Son of a Grizzly Bear,” the astral reverb and ascendant chorus of “Magazine,” and the wonderful “White Falcon Fuzz,” an easygoing rocker than sounds imported straight from your dad’s record player, circa 1975.
Do me a favor and click here to read the rest of it.
Elsewhere in this week’s music section: Arturo Sandoval brings jazz to the Tower Theatre, and Tom Grant does the same at The Oxford hotel, folk singer Danny Schmidt plays two shows, local MC Mindscape and Floater frontman Robert Wynia make for a busy weekend at Silver Moon, The Ascetic Junkies return to town, The Dirty Words celebrate their new album, and Tuck and Roll headlines a punk show at MadHappy.
Friday, October 29th, 2010
Bend-based rapper Mindscape (aka Mike Fish of Person People) has posted a free download of his “Beat Jacks” album, which features the silver-tongued MC getting busy on the mic to other folks’ beats, including George Clinton, Geto Boys, and others likely easily identifiable to a more studied hip-hop historian than I. Guess what? It’s dope. Get it here.
Friday, October 1st, 2010
The Cowboy Junkies visit Bend’s Tower Theatre, and my colleague David Jasper spoke with bassist Alan Anton:
The band is promoting the new album “Renmin Park,” the first in a series of four albums they’re calling “The Nomad Series.”
“This is what we’re doing that’s special,” Anton said, referring to the band’s 25 years together and the four-album cycle, to be released over an 18-month period.
In a statement on their website, www.latentrecordings.com, Cowboy Junkies explain that “for the first time in 20 years we are completely free of any recording contracts and obligations, we find ourselves writing and recording more than we have in years, our studio (The Clubhouse) feels more and more like home, the band now has 25 years under the hood and is sounding so darn good.”
You can read the whole thing by clicking here.
Every year, I travel over to Portland for the big MusicfestNW extravaganza. This year, for the first time (that I know of), the festival’s lineup included two Bend acts: Mosley Wotta and Sara Jackson-Holman. In this week’s Feedback, I write about their performances and how the crowds seemed to like ’em.
Performing live is still a relatively new endeavor for the 21-year-old Jackson-Holman, and on stage, her nerves sometimes show.
But by the time she arrived at the cascading melody of “Into the Blue” and the bouncy “Cellophane” — backed by an effortlessly skilled three-piece band — she found a good groove that carried through the rest of her night, including a formidable cover of Death Cab for Cutie’s “Transatlanticism.”
Live, the songs were noticeably more sparse than their lush, slickly produced counterparts on “When You Dream,” with the exception of the album’s woozy, slow-burning title track, during which Jackson-Holman used unexpected percussion and a gadget that looped her voice to create the set’s true “wow” moment.
Again, if you’ve seen Mosley Wotta, you probably know most of the songs he/they did: “Birthday Suit” and “Smoke” and “Smile Hater Smile,” all the faves. There were some familiar faces in the crowd of 60ish — Graham’s former DJ Mike “Mud” Graham and former Person People bassist Jordan Muller among them — but there were also lots of people I didn’t recognize, and by the time MoWo finished his opener, “Licking Reason,” most of them were smiling and bobbing their head to the beat.
From there, Graham kept reeling them in. “Boom For Real” is an undeniably great song, no matter your age; halfway through it, I turned and saw two white women in their 60s or 70s, dressed for a night at the opera, shaking their fists and chanting “boom … boom, boom!” to the chorus. Behind them, a 20-something black dude was doing the same thing. (The older women actually howled during “Smoke,” too. It was hilarious.)
I hope you’ll click here and read the whole thing.
Elsewhere in this week’s music section: The Devil Makes Three, Greg Brown, The Redwood Plan, Tomorrows Bad Seeds, Mindscape, and live music returns to Sisters’ Three Creeks Brewing Co. And you can always find more options in The Bulletin’s complete music listings.
Friday, May 21st, 2010
Portland indie-folk band Horse Feathers kicks off the new PDXchange Program concert series at the Tower Theatre. I spoke with head Feather Justin Ringle, and here’s an excerpt:
In the past couple of years, though, things have changed for Ringle.
He moved from one part of Portland to another. He changed band members; both (Peter and Heather Broderick) left the band, replaced by Nathan Crockett (violin), Catherine Odell (cello) and multi-instrumentalist Sam Cooper.
Then there’s the confidence Ringle has gained in the years since he moved from Idaho to Portland and ditched rock bands in favor of acoustic music.
“Any types of changes you have in your life … usually find their way into what you make. There’s no way around it; even if you try for it to not be there, it will be there,” Ringle said. “I just tried to be sensitive to that, because my life’s changed quite a bit … and I tried to embrace some of those things that were happening in my life … in the music. I think that’s where the little evolution comes in (and) this record sounds different.”
I don’t mean to sound like a broken record, but this is a terrific band, and I hope you’ll read the whole thing here and then catch them Tuesday in Bend.
Feedback returns this week and heads to the Tower Theatre to see Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars. It was a nice change of pace from rock bands in bars!
The All Stars play reggae and African music, so repetition — of guitar riffs, percussion parts, lyrics — was an integral part of the stew. Time after time, the band built a polyrhythmic bed that would make a dead man shake it, and the twin guitarists and a rotating cast of vocalists would decorate that bed with glorious ribbons of melody.
The highlight of the night, for me, were the cascading guitars on “Kele Mani,” a wonderful example of the African highlife style that brought to mind a dancing fountain; when one melody began to fade, another took its place, gracefully and right in time.
Other standouts included the slow-simmering funk of “Jah Mercy,” a ultra-bouncy pop tune called “Soda Soap,” and the murky, psychedelic feel of a song that’s named “P. Malontone” on the set list. For the life of me, I can’t seem to figure out its real name.
Read the whole thing here.
Elsewhere in this week’s music section: local rapper Mindscape holds a CD-release show, Runner Runner brings pop-rock to Silver Moon, Tribal Seeds will headline a big reggae show tonight, Mountain’s Edge will host five local bands and raise money for local dogs, Back from the Dead plays The Annex, Blowin’ Smoke makes NightSounds at the new Bend Performing Arts Center, and Jade’s Jazz Lounge rolls on in La Pine.
Wednesday, April 7th, 2010
Bend’s live-music scene should be hoppin’ tonight with the big Supersuckers show at the Domino Room, Sisters singer-songwriter Brent Alan and His Funky Friends holding down the free show at McMenamins Old St. Francis School, the Pink Floyd tribute band House of Floyd at the Tower Theatre, and more.
As if that isn’t enough, Silver Moon Brewing added a show for tonight at the last minute, featuring the mellow NorCal pop of Baki, who sounds like a cross between Jack Johnson and Everlast. Opening the show is one of my favorite local hip-hop acts, Mindscape. This’ll be a nice option tonight if you’re looking for something a little less ear-splitting and a little more beat-oriented. It’s also one of the first shows for Silver Moon booking queen Cassie Moore’s new company LOUDgirl Productions (more info here), so you should go and show your support. The details:
Monday, July 6th, 2009
It’s been more than a week now since the unexpected death of Michael Jackson, and the man, his life and his legacy is still a hot topic of conversation. Whether you think he should be remembered as a pop-culture icon or that his latter-day legal troubles overshadowed his chart success (or both), there’s no question the guy had an enormous influence on music.
To get an idea of the influence he had on Central Oregon’s music scene, Frequency asked a bunch of local musicians to talk about Michael Jackson’s role in their development as artists, to reflect on his life, or just to share their memories of his music, and so many responded, I split them up into two posts. You can read the first one by clicking here, and the second batch begins just after the jump.