Posts Tagged ‘Portland Cello Project’

This week in GO! Magazine’s music section

Friday, February 10th, 2012

Another lo-fi update this week, folks. Not enough hours in the day!

–Likable alt-folk band The Farewell Drifters will play twice at McMenamins next week. My colleague David Jasper spoke to ‘em and wrote about ‘em.

Click here for my review of last weekend’s sold-out Beats Antique show at Midtown Ballroom. Short version: Good show, epic scene. You can also watch four videos I shot of the band right here.

Elsewhere in this week’s music section: David Rovics, Bill Valenti and more play an Occupy the Music concert at the Tower Theatre, VTRN headlines a highly danceable bill tonight at The Astro Lounge, The Melodramatics and Necktie Killer are gonna fill Players with ska Saturday night, Portland Cello Project plays a benefit for Summit High School’s music program, Martyn Joseph returns to Sisters for a show at the high school, and tickets for The Shins and Beck at Les Schwab Amphitheater are on sale now. There’s more in there, too. Just poke around for a bit, we don’t mind.

Music this week in Central Oregon

Friday, December 9th, 2011

When you fill the first 13 page of GO! Magazine with a review of the year in music in Central Oregon, as we did today, you don’t leave much room to talk about all the music that’s happening in the area this week.

But that doesn’t mean it’s not worth talking about! Here’s a roundup of what’s happening … think of it as you regular music section in GO!, except you can’t start a fire with it after you’re done reading every word.

Floater, chillin' on a bench, pioneering a new genre: "bus-stop rock"

Floater returns for two nights

Oregon’s indestructible rock trio, Floater, has been through Bend so many times, there’s nothing else to say. I mean really. I have nothing to say.

Go read my April 2010 interview with frontman Rob Wynia here. Then click here and sample the band’s sound, a throwback blend of prog, grunge, metal and funk that’ll make you wonder where the past 15 years of your life went.

Floater (electric), with Jones Road; 8 tonight, doors open 7 p.m.; $15 advance, $18 at the door, ticket outlets here; Domino Room, 51 N.W. Greenwood Ave., Bend; www.randompresents.com.

Floater (acoustic); 9 p.m. Saturday, doors open 8 p.m.; $13 advance, $16 at the door, ticket outlets here; Domino Room, 51 N.W. Greenwood Ave., Bend; www.randompresents.com.

Briertone, Rural Demons at The Horned Hand

The solid, left-of-center roots music just keeps flowing through The Horned Hand in Bend. Saturday, the newish art space and music venue will host Briertone, a California band with DIY spirit and a gritty twang to their ominous “outlaw rock.”

Opening will be a likeminded Bend band, Rural Demons, whose Western gothic doom-country sound is making serious noise on the local music scene. You can hear the Demons’ excellent “Ghost Lights” album here.

Briertone, with Rural Demons; 9 p.m. Saturday; $5; The Horned Hand, 507 N.W. Colorado Ave., Bend; www.facebook.com/thehornedhand.

Larry and His Flask, Necktie Killer play benefit show

Uh … Larry and His Flask and Necktie Killer at Players Bar? Yes, please. It’s gonna feel like 2007 in there.

Bonus: The show is a benefit for Johanna Olson, a friend of the bands who has undergone four surgeries on a brain tumor. Go, party, rock out. The cover is $5, but give more for Johanna.

Larry and his Flask, Necktie Killer: 8 p.m. Saturday; $5; Players Bar & Grill, 25 S.W. Century Drive, Bend; 541-389-2558.

Empty Space Orchestra residency continues

Local post-rock prodigies Empty Space Orchestra are making this a December to remember that doesn’t involve a Lexus in the driveway with a giant bow on top. The band is playing four of five Saturday nights at Silver Moon Brewing & Taproom this month, with a different set and a different opening act each time.

This weekend’s opener is Water & Bodies, a fine Portland-based band that includes Beau Kuther, who grew up in Bend. In March, I described the quartet’s “Light Year” album as a “tight, glossy collection of songs that blend the hooks of 1980s New Wave with the heft of 1990s emo/alternative, plus a healthy portion of spectacle that flies in the face of so many shoegazing indie rockers.”

Empty Space Orchestra, with Water & Bodies: 9 p.m. Saturday; $5 plus fees advance here, $7 at the door; Silver Moon Brewing & Taproom, 24 N.W. Greenwood Ave., Bend; www.silvermoonbrewing.com.

Chicks With Picks benefits Saving Grace

I’m swiping this from the paper:

“These gals are playing for a good cause: Saving Grace, a Bend provider of services to survivors of domestic violence. Saturday’s “Chicks with Picks” show at the Astro Lounge will feature four female-fronted bands showcasing the skills of local musicians such as Stacie Johnson and Lilli Worona of Broken Down Guitars, Jamie Houghton of The Dream Symphony, Stephanie Slade of Death of a Hitman and Hannah Costa of Tentareign.”

Chicks With Picks: 7-11 p.m. Saturday; $5; The Astro Lounge, 939 N.W. Bond St., Bend; 541-388-0116.

Josh Gracin at Maverick’s

Swiping this too. Swipe-fest ’11!

“Josh Gracin finished fourth on the second season of “American Idol” and now he sings country music. On Thursday, he’ll play at Maverick’s Country Bar and Grill in Bend as he tours behind his new album ‘Redemption.’”

Josh Gracin: 9 p.m. Thursday; $25; Maverick’s Country Bar and Grill, 20565 Brinson Blvd., Bend; www.maverickscountrybar.com.

Portland Cello Project at McMenamins

All hail the Portland Cello Project, a collective of adventurous cellists who play not only beautiful classical music, but also super-fun, YouTube-friendly covers of indie rock and pop hits by folks like ABBA, Bon Jovi, Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears.

Helmed by Douglas Jenkins, PCP will return to Bend Wednesday to play a free show at McMenamins. Last time I saw the band there, the place was packed, so consider getting down there early and getting a seat. Maybe have some tater tots. You know … live a little.

Portland Cello Project: 7 p.m. Wednesday; free; McMenamins Old St. Francis School, 700 N.W. Bond St., Bend; www.mcmenamins.com.

Other highlights this week include Voodoo Highway at Silver Moon and Shade 13 at The Horned Hand tonight, the Holiday Brewgrass Jamboree Saturday in Sisters, reggae night with MC Mystic at The Astro Lounge on Wednesday, and Cadence at The Summit on Thursday. Find all the details and lots more in our online nightlife calendar.

This week in GO! Magazine’s music section

Friday, September 2nd, 2011

Roots-rock megastar Ray LaMontagne is playing in Bend next week, but the notoriously press shy singer-songwriter declined my request for an interview.

I won’t lie, it hurt a little bit.

UNTIL … (this is called a cliffhanger, please scroll down)

I SCORED AN INTERVIEW WITH RAY LAMONTAGNE’S BEARD!!! That made me feel way better. Here’s an excerpt:

GO!: Have there been any low points in Ray’s career so far, in your opinion?

RB: I don’t know about low points, but did you see Taylor Hicks sing “Trouble” on that “American Idol” show? What is up with that dude? How did he win? Better yet, how did he beat Daughtry, Kellie Pickler and Katharine McPhee?

GO!: I don’t know.

RB: Me neither. I just know I don’t trust him. No facial hair.

GO!: So what musicians do you like?

RB: Hmm … well, I dig Hairy Belafonte. Whiskertown. Tuft Merritt. Aesop Locks. And also actual artists like Bush, Grizzly Bear and Shaggy. ZZ Top, obvs.

And I can’t resist posting this part of it:

GO!: Why can’t I find any pictures of Ray smiling?

RB: I don’t really want to get into that. Let’s just say that his teeth and I have had some tussles in the past, so it’s good to have his lips as a buffer between us.

GO!: Whoa … are you saying that Ray LaMontagne’s teeth are a bunch of jerks?

RB: No comment. Next question.

Overall, I’d say it was a pretty good interview, considering I was talking to a beard. I hope you’ll go read the whole thing by clicking here.

Ben Harper at Les Schwab Amphitheater last Friday. Photo by Ben.

I went and saw Bend fave Ben Harper at Les Schwab Amphitheater last week and thought it started slow but ended strong. Also, my steak chilaquiles from Spork were awesome. Here’s an excerpt:

Now, I’m no classic rock connoisseur, but even I admired Harper’s epic cover of Led Zeppelin’s “No Quarter,” with its unmistakable, roiling guitars and dynamic extremes. Set against a subtly psychedelic light show, Harper ably handled Robert Plant’s vocals while his band jammed with significant crunch for a good 10 to 15 minutes.

Then, as if to declare himself unafraid of any classic guitar riff, Harper launched into Neil Young’s protest song “Ohio,” which predictably provided a perfect showcase for his deceptively strong voice and his not-so-deceptively prodigious skills on the slide guitar. The crowd around me — filled with 30- and 40-something rock ‘n’ roll lifers — went wild, fully satiated by the 20-minute nostalgia detour.

But with Ben Harper, the music always comes back to positive, forward-thinking messages. He closed the show with one of his best tunes, the globally flavored “Better Way” (complete with shrieked final verse) and an unreleased song called “Better Than I Deserve” that I’m still humming six days later.

Click here to read the whole thing, including more about the food (and also the show).

Elsewhere in this week’s music section: return visits by the Reverend Horton Heat, Portland Cello Project and Diego’s Umbrella, Jailbox plays The Sound Garden, and summer concert series are wrapping up at Parrilla Grill, Angeline’s Bakery and Black Butte Ranch.

This week in GO! Magazine’s music section

Friday, May 20th, 2011

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.”

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

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.

[Video] Portland Cello Project at McMenamins Old St. Francis School

Thursday, March 25th, 2010

It was quite the scene last night in Father Luke’s Room at Bend’s McMenamins Old St. Francis School, where the Portland Cello Project played for a crowd so big it spilled — no, flooded — out into the hallway.

When I arrived at 7:30 p.m., it was impossible to even get near the door of the room, much less see the stage. You could hear the six-piece classical/pop-hybrid cello band playing, but unless you were willing to fight through a sea of people and tables, and stand rudely in front of someone, there was no getting close to the action.

I wasn’t about to do that, so I went to have dinner at El Caporal West and returned around 9 p.m., just when PCP principal Douglas Jenkins was announcing the band’s second set break. I took advantage of that and found a nice seat up front, where I got to watch PCP play a Jenkins original, the famous aria “Habanera” from the opera “Carmen,” the theme song from the film “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon,” Rihanna’s hit song “Hard” and Dave Brubeck’s famous “Take Five.” They also accompanied Portland artist Catherine Feeny on three gorgeous songs.

It was a fun set, and certainly not your usual Wednesday-night show at McMenamins. Three things of note: 1) This had to be the oldest crowd I’ve ever seen there. 2) It also had to be the first crowd in McMenamins history to “ooh” and “aah” at the mention of an opera aria. And 3) Where else can you go and watch a cello performance and sit just feet away from a guy in a Blink-182 T-shirt? Only a Portland Cello Project show, I say.

Here’s some video I shot. First up is Rihanna’s “Hard.”

Second, we have the PCP collaborating with Feeny.

Finally, here’s the band’s take on the famous jazz tune “Take Five.”

This week in GO! Magazine’s music section

Friday, March 19th, 2010

First things first:

Tonight, there are a whole bunch of ways to help the people of Haiti in downtown Bend. The centerpiece is a concert at the Tower Theatre featuring David Jacobs-Strain, Rootdown, Reed Thomas Lawrence and Eric Tollefson. There’s also a pre-party before the show at the Astro Lounge, and an afterparty happening at the Liberty Theater. Get all the details by clicking here.

The Portland Cello Project will bring its blend of classical music and pop-culture know-how to McMenamins Old St. Francis School next week. I chatted with PCP founder Douglas Jenkins about the group’s repertoire, which features … well, just read on:

“If (audiences) leave with … a lot of confusion, I’m fine with (that),” Jenkins said. “Like, ‘Why did Arvo Pärt come after Britney?’”

Pärt is a contemporary, minimalist classical composer from Estonia. And, yes, “Britney” is Britney Spears, the pop tart-turned-tabloid star whose Grammy-winning 2004 hit “Toxic” is the most-requested song in PCP’s repertoire.

It’s that mishmash of a repertoire, combined with PCP’s classically-trained chops, that has made the group an unlikely breakout star on Portland’s overflowing music scene. According to www.portlandcelloproject.com, PCP’s material includes everything from Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake and Outkast to Bach, Beethoven and Argentine tango composer Astor Piazzolla.

In between, there’s Michael Jackson and Led Zeppelin, Pantera and Pink Floyd, ABBA and A-ha, plus Bon Jovi, Guns N’ Roses and Metallica, theme songs from films (“Star Wars”), television shows (“Star Trek”) and video games (“Super Mario Bros.”), Portland-based indie faves like The Builders and The Butchers, Weinland and Laura Gibson, and original tunes, too.

Intrigued? You should be. And you should read the whole thing here.

Elsewhere in this week’s music section: Mark Schultz and Point of Grace, The Irish Rovers, Little Fish, Audiolized, The Autonomics, and a busy week at Silver Moon Brewing & Taproom, including Nettle Honey, John Cruz and a “Herstory” open mic to benefit the Human Dignity Coalition. And you’ll always find lots more in our complete music listings.