Posts Tagged ‘Moonalice’

This week in GO! Magazine’s music section

Friday, May 11th, 2012

Between Beats Antique in February and next week’s Social Distortion show, the Midtown Ballroom has certainly hosted two big ol’ buzz-worthy shows in 2012. Viva la Midtown!

But seriously, people are stoked for this Social D concert. Like … really stoked. So I was pumped we were able to get Mike Ness to give us a call for a chat.

As Ness was making his way toward Bend for Wednesday’s show, my colleague David Jasper talked to him about fake punks, his new man cave and the late Beastie Boy Adam “MCA” Yauch:

“Punk rock was supposed to be about individuality,” (said) Ness, known for his abilities as a between-song storyteller with a biting wit. “So, you know, I think the Beastie Boys are just as punk as Social Distortion because of that (individuality). I’ve seen so many Dickies-wearing, tattooed, f—ing grease-haired generic punk guys I could just puke. There’s more to it, guys, than trying to look like everyone else, and sound (like everyone else).

“You know, that’s kind of why we chose to incorporate Americana into our style,” he said, “because by the mid-’80s, punk, like anything else, was starting to stereotype itself.”

Click here to read the whole story.

Speaking of Yauch, this week in Feedback, I tried to work out my thoughts about his death and why it hit me — and maybe you, too — a lot harder than I would’ve predicted if you’d asked me two weeks ago. Here’s an excerpt:

Listening to those four records (released over an eight-year span) now is like watching a bratty child grow into a wide-eyed and well-developed college kid. The awkward stages and annoying behavior fade away, replaced by tremendous, world-changing potential. The change is most striking in Yauch, who transformed from a scruffy, beercan-crushing lout into a political activist and spiritual leader who spit gravelly rhymes about respecting both mothers and Mother Earth.

If you’re the right age, and you look closely (the benefit of hindsight doesn’t hurt), you can see yourself growing up in Yauch’s example. I clearly remember giggling like a pre-teen at the bawdiest moments of “License to Ill.” Because, well, I was 10. I recall digging into the vintage funk/soul-sample paradise of “Paul’s Boutique” just as my own affinity for soaking up musical history was beginning to bloom.

And one of my most vivid adolescent memories is blasting “Ill Communication” in my friend Mark’s car, cruising our hometown for no good reason other than to celebrate our rapidly expanding freedom. Months later, the climax of the Beasties’ then-mega-hit “Sabotage” was the highlight of my first Lollapalooza experience.

There are a lot of kids … er, old folks like me who watched Adam Yauch mature from afar while experiencing a similar arc in their own lives.

I’ve already heard from a dozen folks who said this column rang true for them. I hope you’ll give it a read and see if it does for you.

Elsewhere in this week’s music section: Lindsey Buckingham comes to the Tower Theatre, Sweet Bonnie Gayle & The Rural Demons play country and gospel classics at The Horned Hand, David Nelson Band and Moonalice are gonna get Dead at the Domino Room, 4 Peaks Music Festival plans a weekend full of music and The Prairie Rockets perform tonight at Jackson’s Corner, plus Vagabond Opera, a Last Band Standing update, the lineup for the 2012 Deschutes County Fair and more.

Tonight’s Moonalice show is canceled

Wednesday, March 9th, 2011

I repeat: Tonight’s Moonalice show at Silver Moon Brewing & Taproom is canceled because of an illness in the band, per their Twitter/Facebook.

This week in GO! Magazine’s music section

Friday, March 4th, 2011

Portland-based indie rock duo Viva Voce come to Bend Monday to help kick off the 2011 PDXchange Program series, along with Damien Jurado and Loch Lomond. I talked to Anita Robinson about Viva Voce’s new album, “The Future Will Destroy You,” which is due out in June.

“We feel like these songs are really representative of Viva Voce as a band,” she said. “For the past couple of records, we’ve really experimented and our fans have been really patient and understanding and supportive … but the feedback we’ve heard from them is kind of what we feel inside, too, and that’s that when we just play the two of us, somehow it’s more special to our fans and we feel a stronger connection to them.”

As for the sound of the upcoming album, Anita is playing it close to the vest.

“No one’s heard them yet so I’m really curious to hear what kind of feedback we’re going to get,” she said. “I think that people are going to love the songs and that’s ultimately our hope. We’re really, really proud of them, and we pushed ourselves in a way that we haven’t before.”

Click here to read the whole thing. Also, stay tuned to Frequency for more about Damien Jurado, who your humble blogger just happens to consider one of the finest songwriters going.

The Truth & Salvage Co. rolls into the Silver Moon on Sunday evening, bringing with ‘em a likable, harmony-heavy country-rock sound. I spoke with drummer Bill Smith about the band’s origins.

(Truth & Salvage Co.) has roots in North Carolina, where Smith, guitarist Scott Kinnebrew and keyboardist Walker Young played in a hot jazz/ragtime band called Scrappy Hamilton.

Scrappy was “Django (Reinhardt) meets rockabilly meets Squirrel Nut Zippers,” Smith said, thanks in large part to Kinnebrew’s upbringing in New Orleans.

Over a few years, the three men made their way to Los Angeles to find their paths, and they continued to play together, eventually settling into Hollywood’s famed Hotel Cafe for jam sessions.

It was there they met Tim Jones, another singer-songwriter who had come to L.A. to make music his career.

Jones was welcomed into the fold “with open arms,” Smith said, and the group began holding beer-soaked jams and songwriting sessions at their house on Gower Street.

“(Truth & Salvage Co.) exploded out of that,” he said.

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

Elsewhere in this week’s music section, we’ve got a CD-release show from Portland-based, Bend-connected band Water & Bodies, a big benefit show with an all-star lineup for local violinist Erin Zurflu, the return of tech-savvy, Bay Area jam-band Moonalice, and a big dance party thrown by the Slipmat Science crew. A little farther west in Deschutes County, there’s a benefit show in Tumalo for the High & Dry Bluegrass Festival, bluesman David Jacobs-Strain visits Sisters’ HarmonyHouse, and Portland’s wonderful Weinland plays The Barn in Sisters.

This week in GO! Magazine’s music section

Friday, July 23rd, 2010

Each week, before I plan out the music section in GO! Magazine, I sit down at the computer, scour every potential source of concerts I can think of, and make a big list of what’s happening in a given week. Some weeks, there’s an obvious headliner worth writing about. Other weeks, it’s a bit more puzzling figuring out who to feature.

And some weeks, a pattern emerges. That’s what happened for today’s music section, where we have short features on a whole bunch of bands (and/or shows) that fall under the giant, ill-defined umbrella of “roots rock.”

We have bluesy bands (Los Lonely Boys, Hillstomp) and more straightforward rockers (Leon Russell, Dusty Rhodes and The River Band) and we have bands that love to jam (Great American Taxi, Moonalice). You can read about all of those by clicking here.

We also have some real twangy acts (Joe Diffie, Neal McCoy, The Pines and the West Wind Ranch Americana Music Festival), and we even branch into the funk and reggae worlds with Orgone and Mystic Roots. Read about those right here.

Elsewhere in the music section, there’s a concert by former “American Idol” Phil Stacey, a big local showcase featuring Eric Tollefson, Reed Thomas Lawrence and Erin Cole-Baker, and the grand re-opening of the MadHappy Lounge. And, as always, there are lots more options in The Bulletin’s complete music listings.

(Roots photo by Aaron Escobar.)

This week in GO! Magazine’s music section

Friday, February 19th, 2010

New York City ska pioneers The Toasters will play twice at Mountain’s Edge this weekend, once on Friday and once Saturday. Here’s a clip of my conversation with founding member and frontman Robert “Bucket” Hingley:

GO!: I read somewhere about your efforts to run The Toasters according to a set of core principles. Can you tell me about those principles?

Bucket: What we’ve tried to do is always keep in touch with the fans and (not decline to) play shows because the venue wasn’t big enough or we didn’t have a nice hotel, or that kind of stuff. We still run it like a punk-rock band in that sense.

Otherwise, it’s about sticking to your own music and not trying to follow trends, and not writing tunes to sound like something because the record label wants you to do that. I think just sticking to playing 2 Tone ska music, which hasn’t always been popular, I think that’s what’s helped us stick around for a long time, because people appreciate that.

Read the whole thing here.

I saw The Gourds for the first time in 12 years last weekend and loved it. Here’s part of my review:

Russell introduced “Hallelujah Shine” with a stark verse of “Amazing Grace,” only to giggle halfway through while watching snowriders racing down the giant rail-jam structure standing tall behind the audience. Smith tore through one of his best songs, “LGO,” singing past his ever-present toothpick as Bernard played the song’s serpentine accordion riff.

Then Russell shifted from “Country Gal” into Queen’s “Fat Bottomed Girls,” tossing in a Joe Cocker impression just for fun. Or maybe to stay warm, because the band looked cold, especially Johnston. Even a few reminders of home — a colorful zarape in the kick drum, cases of Tecate beer just offstage — couldn’t make Central Oregon feel like Central Texas.

You can read the whole thing here. The video above was shot by stephsmomfr. Frequency has video of the show here and a bunch of great photos here.

Elsewhere in the music section: Greg Botsford’s CD-release show, Moonalice returns to Bend and Jukebot plays Silver Moon, plus The Confederats, Blowin’ Smoke, Eric Tollefson and Shireen Amini, Tentareign and The Sofa Kings, The Sweet Harlots, Hot Tea Cold and Empty Wotta. And, as always, complete music listings are here.

Win 2 Moonalice tickets and a CD at Frequency’s Facebook

Wednesday, February 17th, 2010

That’s right, we’re giving away two tickets to this Friday night’s Moonalice concert at the Domino Room in Bend, plus a copy of the band’s self-titled CD, over at Frequency’s Facebook page. Click here to enter, and while you’re there, be a fan!

Hurry … I’m going to pick a winner tonight or tomorrow morning.

Marketing music: How Moonalice uses social media to build its audience

Friday, August 21st, 2009

Roger and Ann McNamee of Moonalice

Roger and Ann McNamee of Moonalice

I referenced this earlier, but wanted to highlight the article in today’s GO! Magazine about Moonalice, the Bay Area-based jam band led by super-successful venture capitalist Roger McNamee. Not because I think it’s a brilliant article or anything, but because of what McNamee — a guy with extensive business experience and a genuine passion for music — had to say.

Essentially, Moonalice began a couple years ago and went about distributing their music and marketing their band just as the vast majority of bands have done over the past several decades. They spent a bunch of money to record an album and promote it and tour behind it. And it wasn’t working to McNamee’s liking. As he says in the article:

“The necessity here is that the music industry just isn’t supporting much in the way of new bands, and it’s for sure not supporting established musicians who were not the (big) name in their band. People in my band have all been in Rock and Roll Hall of Fame bands … but the industry … is not making room for all the incredibly talented musicians out there.”

So the guy dove headfirst into a business model for Moonalice that takes advantage of social media (Twitter, Facebook) and the direct connection with fans that those services can provide. Again, from the article:

“We have this notion that we will not be undersold. The theory is to make the barrier to adopting Moonalice the lowest it’s ever been in the music industry. Anything that we can record for free, we’ll give away for free. That’s the basic algorithm. It’s all about building an audience, because in the long run, the thing that sustains you is your ability to play live.”

Something McNamee told me that didn’t make the article is that, since the band dropped its manager, publicist and other hired guns and McNamee began concentrating on pushing Moonalice through social media, they’ve seen a significant upswing in interest and support from fans. The band’s Twitter followers are energetic and enthusiastic about Moonalice; the Bend gig, in fact, came about in part because of the tireless work of local techie and Twitterholic Julie Anderson (who also hammered on me about Moonalice until I paid attention, too.)

The point is, there’s no way to know whether or not the Moonalice model is the wave of the future, or whether it would work for every band. Certainly, McNamee has a deep pool of money he can use to subsidize Moonalice, though he makes the point that nearly every band that has ever made it big was infused with capital at some point, either by a record label, or family member, or whatever. And remember, it’s not money, necessarily, that has put Moonalice on an upward trajectory over the past several months. The band has, in fact, cut costs (by eliminating the manager, publicist, etc.) and much of that work is now being done by McNamee, who says he spends about three hours each day on marketing Moonalice. I thought this was a particularly insightful quote:

“It’s like farming. You’ve got to prepare the soil, you’ve got to plant seed, and then you’ve got to work it. It’s taking the only things that most bands have — time and content — and leveraging it like crazy.”

If you’re a local (or even non-local) musician or band, only you know whether what Moonalice is doing would work for you. Perhaps it would, perhaps not. But I think McNamee’s right about one thing, for sure: Most bands may not have his kind of money, but they do have time, and they do (or can) have content. And for a band looking to build an audience and a brand, a well-oiled social media machine could be a fast track toward achieving those goals.

The whole Moonalice article is available to everyone (even non-subscribers) right here. I hope you’ll read it. And if you have thoughts on this topic, I’d love to hear them in the comments.

August 21 in GO! Magazine

Friday, August 21st, 2009

It was an insanely busy week at my desk, so I didn’t get to do as much blogging as I would’ve liked. And I’m wiped out. But here are (some of) the fruits of my labor:

-Moonalice guitarist Roger McNamee talked to me a lot more about the music industry than music, and it would seem he knows what he’s talking about. Anyone with an interest in the business of music in 2009 — I’m talking to you, local musicians — should read this article. Moonalice performs tonight at Silver Moon brewery.

Oh, and you can follow Moonalice’s Twitter here. And hey, while you’re there, follow Frequency, too!

-David Bowers has had a great run as a singer-songwriter living in Bend over the past decade, but it’s time for him to move on, south to California. I asked Bowers to reflect on his time here, the local music scene, and his future as a performer. Read what he had to say here.

-Clear Summer Nights has two solid singer-songwriters performing on Sunday. The headliner is Jackie Greene, but you want to make sure you get there in time to catch local dude Eric Tollefson, who’s also opening for G. Love early next month. Kinda makes you wonder if Tollefson is heading for big things, doesn’t it?

-The Staxx Brothers play heavy, booty-shakin’ soul music. There is no other way to say it.

-Get all the details on shows by Po’ Girl, The Honey Trees, Wesley Jensen and The Pack, as well as Moon Mountain Ramblers, The JZ Band and Shireen Amini. Also, there’s a benefit party for lost dogs in Chile tomorrow night.

Some of those links are available to everyone, and some only to subscribers. To get it all, pick up a copy of The Bulletin and look for GO! Magazine, where we also have coverage of local plays, visual arts, restaurants, movies, DVDs, video games, and just about anything else you can do to entertain yourself.