After you’re nice and warmed up, cross Greenwood Avenue and check out the Slipmat Science party at the Domino Room, featuring the melodic, New Wave-inspired bass music of San Francisco’s Comma in the headlining slot. Here, you can probably boogie till morning, or close to it, for $5. Read what we wrote here.
Slowly but surely, folks, we’re coming out of the holiday show slowdown.
There are several solid options over the next seven days, including a very busy Thursday night.
First up, a band that could very well blow up big in 2012:
Seattle indie-soul band Pickwick will play a free show at McMenamins on Thursday night. My colleague David Jasper spoke with guitarist Michael Parker about the band’s evolution.
From the start, Pickwick sounded fairly derivative of Wilco.
“We all loved ‘Yankee Hotel Foxtrot,’” Parker said, referring to Wilco’s acclaimed 2002 album. Taking a cue from Wilco, Pickwick infused their sound with elements of country and psychedelia, with a touch of “some electronic stuff,” said Parker.
They would stick to their sonic guns for two years before facing facts. Namely, that they were stuck in the middle of the alt-country pack.
The Wilco influence “didn’t really work for us. We have some friends who do music like that and are amazing at it, but for us, it just wasn’t really a good fit,” said Parker.
In 2010, he and (frontman Galen) Disston met and discussed breaking up the band, “just because the stuff we were doing, we weren’t very proud of,” Parker said. “One of the things we do well as a group is we’re just brutally honest. That’s part of our relationship that had already been established by that point. We can talk to each other about things that might be a little uncomfortable, but we’re still friends at the end of the day.”
Instead of disbanding, they scrapped the alt-country songs and started over.
“We threw it all away. We went from having close to 20 songs to having nothing,” Parker said. Inspired by Sam Cooke’s croon, Pickwick moved to Motown, so to speak, creating a soulful sound that showcased Disston’s singing ability.
Portland soul-pop band Dirty Mittens are making the trek over to Bend for the first time for a show at McMenamins on Wednesday. I spoke with frontwoman Chelsea Morrisey about her band’s fine new album “Heart of Town” and making music in the 21st century. Here’s an excerpt:
“It’s a world where, when you have a good single, people want to hear it now,” Morrisey said. “They want to hear it on YouTube and everywhere. There’s no time to waste, really, because that song’s not going to be relevant (in a year).
“I can write a song this afternoon and have it up on Soundcloud in an hour,” she continued, “and it’s like people’s ability to do that just changes the way music sounds all the time. Trends are moving so much more quickly.”
One thing that’s not trendy, but timeless: A great live show. Dirty Mittens prioritize theirs, putting in hours to ensure folks who show up to a gig don’t walk away disappointed, because you never get a second chance to make a first impression.
“We’re in an era where people just don’t really focus enough energy on their live show anymore,” Morrisey said. “It’s so easy to get popular from an MP3 on (influential music website) Pitchfork, it’s like they don’t even need to because people are going to pay to see their show just to be seen.”
A couple other things worth highlighting this week:
–Portland country band Cloverdayle features the vocals of Rachel Hamar, who grew up here and graduated from Bend High School in 1997. They’re playing Maverick’s Country Bar and Grill on Saturday. Read all about it right here.
–The second half of 2011 seems to have brought about a reggae resurgence in Central Oregon, including a show tonight by Richie Spice. Read about the reggae uprising and Spice by clicking here.
Elsewhere in this week’s music section: Polyrhythmics, Sonos, ukelele master Aldrine Guerrero, Riders in the Sky, Emma Hill, Strive Roots, and a couple of warm-up punk shows at Innovation Theatre before the big launch party next weekend.