Posts Tagged ‘Silver Moon’

[Video / review] The Baseball Project at Silver Moon

Tuesday, April 12th, 2011

Power/pop/roots/rock supergroup The Baseball Project brought its traveling roadshow to Bend’s Silver Moon Brewing & Taproom Thursday night, and in the spirit of the night’s primary subject, let’s grade the participants in baseball terms.

The band itself wasn’t exactly at MVP level, though I thought they were considerably better live than on their new album, “Volume 2: High and Inside.” On record, The Baseball Project’s songs fall just a bit flat; their hooks — and they are there — seem obscured by the efforts of songwriters Steve Wynn and Scott McCaughey to squeeze every statistic, every name, every syllable into their story songs. Live, however, the band crackled with energy. Their guitars buzzed and their power chords crunched and their voices sounded strong and most importantly, their hooks shined through. What’s the difference? It was the power of a tight band of skilled, veteran players in action.

And then there are the songs, which are a lot of fun and mostly good, if not great. Songs about Satchel Paige, Jackie Robinson, Willie Mays, Big Ed Delahanty. Ichiro Suzuki and Tim Lincecum. Plus their epic tale of pitcher Harvey Haddix’s legendary outing that includes the names of all 20 men who’ve thrown a perfect game in baseball history. (Wynn’s also cramming in the name of Armando Galarraga, the Venezuelan righthander who lost a perfect game on a terrible call with two outs in the ninth inning of a game last year.)

If you’re a baseball geek — and especially if you’re a baseball geek in your 40s, 50s or 60s — The Baseball Project is heaven wrapped in Baby Boomer nostalgia. Fortunately, much of the Silver Moon crowd seemed to fit the description. There were several older dudes there: a couple in Yankees hats, one in a Mariners hat, and one in a Padres uniform. All wore smiles. It was the oldest average age I’ve ever seen at the Moon, a fact solidified by the contingent of R.E.M. fanboys there to see that band’s guitarist/co-founder, Peter Buck, play bass between Wynn and McCaughey. There might’ve been some photos taken of fans posing with a half-smiling Buck sitting next to a roadcase stenciled with “R.E.M. Athens, Ga.” (I’m an R.E.M. fan, but probably don’t qualify as a fanboy, and even I thought it was very cool to see Buck — one of the most influential guitar players of the past 30 years — perform in such a small space.)

All that said, the highlight of the band’s two sets was a scorching performance of “Amphetamine,” a tune from Wynn’s solo album “Here Come the Miracles.” It closed the first set, featured some spellbinding guitar work from Wynn and McCaughey, and was by far the most electric, energetic five minutes of the night. Frankly, it was awesome.

Add it all up, and I’d say The Baseball Project made the all-star team, not as a starter, but as a backup who gets into the game in the fourth or fifth inning and maybe comes up with an important hit or catch near the end of the game. A solid effort all around.

Now, the crowd. Or rather, Bend. Twenty-four hours after more than 1,000 people showed up to see Ice Cube across the street at the Midtown Ballroom, I’d guess fewer than 100 caught The Baseball Project, and that was throughout the night. I don’t know if there were ever more than 50 people in the room at one time. And that’s a real shame. It’s also a trend. I’ve been to too many good shows by good bands that drew too-small crowds in the past year. It’s lame. Shame on you, Bend.

The saving grace came in the second half of the show when Wynn asked if the audience was having a good time, and someone immediately returned the question to the band. The four folks on stage — even the stoic Buck — quickly responded in the affirmative, and they seemed to mean it. Assuming they were telling the truth, it’s nice to know the small crowd didn’t bum them out too much.

And so, everyone in Bend except for the folks who showed up Thursday night is a benchwarmer, stuck in the dugout while others are out there having a good time playing a kid’s game.

Peter Buck of R.E.M. is coming to Silver Moon

Friday, February 25th, 2011

That subject line is what we call “click bait” folks!

Per the Silver Moon Brewing website:

Besides the involvement of the guitarist for one of the world’s biggest rock bands, it should be noted that The Baseball Project, The Minus 5 and Steve Wynn are all terrific artists in their own right.

Kudos to Gabe Johnson, booking dude at Silver Moon (and his own company, Parallel 44 Presents), on a “home run!” (Gah. That was terrible. Sorry.)

Thursday at Silver Moon: Conspirator, Break Science

Wednesday, February 9th, 2011

Bright future: Marc Brownstein and Aron Magner of Conspirator.

You won’t find anything about this in last week’s GO! Magazine, because I learned about it right after that issue went to press. And you won’t find anything in this week’s GO! either, because by the time that hits the streets, the show will be over.

But rest assured, Thursday night’s Conspirator / Break Science show at Silver Moon Brewing & Taproom deserves some ink, even if it’s just of the cyber variety.

This is a powerhouse bill of live electronica. Conspirator includes two guys from electro-jam giants Disco Biscuits (plus Chris Michetti of RAQ and Lane Shaw of Pnuma Trio), while Break Science features Adam Deitch, a wizard of a drummer who has manned the sticks for the John Scofield Band and Lettuce and has produced, oh, you know, just Justin Timberlake, 50 Cent and Snoop Dogg.

Neither act is just some dudes crouched behind a laptop. Both are live-band electronica; Conspirator specializes in glassy, ultra-cool beat music that soars and stutters in a way that’s somehow both mellow and urgent at the same time. Break Science mines a similar vein, but in a more aggressive way. Deitch and his keyboarding partner Borahm Lee make music that’s more menacing, more bottom-heavy, more drum & bass- and dubstep-flavored. You know that Bassnectar / Pretty Lights / Glitch Mob sound that’s getting to be huge at festivals? That’s Break Science’s part of town.

Get all the info and audible treats you need at their sites. Click: Conspirator | Break Science. And here are the details on the show. Click the URLs if you want to go to there:

Conspirator, with Break Science; 9:30 p.m. Thursday, doors open 8:30 p.m.; $15, available in advance at; Silver Moon Brewing & Taproom, 24 N.W. Greenwood Ave., Bend; or 541-317-0700.

[Video] Dawes at Silver Moon Brewing

Friday, January 28th, 2011

(Sorry I’m just now getting around to posting this. I’ll spare you the excuses.)

The L.A.-based country-rock band Dawes played a fine, fine show Tuesday night for a good-sized crowd at Bend’s Silver Moon Brewing & Taproom. I have to admit: I was really impressed with the turnout, especially considering it was a Tuesday in January and the show wasn’t announced until the last minute.

By the end of the night, though, it made sense; more people love this band than I realized. Or, at least, they definitely love one of this band’s songs. I have never been in the middle of as loud a singalong as I was on Tuesday.

I’ll have more details in next Friday’s GO! Magazine, but for now, enjoy video of “Time Spent in Los Angeles,” a warm, well-bred pop song that frontman Taylor Goldsmith said would be on Dawes’ new album, due out this year.

Booking change at Silver Moon in Bend

Wednesday, September 8th, 2010

Bend’s busiest venue for live music, Silver Moon Brewing & Taproom on Greenwood Avenue, has a new talent buyer booking shows, and it’s a familiar face to anyone who pays attention to the local music scene.

Gabe Johnson — founder of Bend-based booking agency In the Pocket Artists and guitarist for Jukebot! — has taken over the job from Cassandra Moore, who booked shows for Silver Moon for the past couple of years and oversaw the expansion of the bar’s offerings from mostly acoustic and roots music to a variety of genres, from folk, rock and bluegrass to funk, jazz, reggae, hip-hop and even some electronica.

Moore said she’s going to “take it easy for a bit” and is looking forward to filling her days with something other than a constant stream of e-mails and phone calls from bands wanting to play the Moon. She said she’ll continue to promote shows in town through her independent company, LOUDGirl Productions, including a Sept. 22 Silver Moon date with Ruby Dee and the Snakehandlers, but that she’ll spend at least part of the fall taking some much-needed time off.

“Booking for the Moon has been a great experience,” she said, “but it’s simply time to move on.”

Johnson founded In the Pocket in 2006, and the national booking agency has 20 exclusive artists from across the country on its roster, including Rubblebucket, Head for the Hills, The Macpodz, The Staxx Brothers and Bend’s own Empty Space Orchestra. Johnson has also booked a significant number of the free shows at McMenamins Old St. Francis School and Les Schwab Amphitheater in recent months, plus several of the shows at Bend’s seasonal festivals.

Johnson said he’s taking on Silver Moon’s booking as a “labor of love” and a as fan of both seeing and playing music at the venue.

Here is Silver Moon’s September lineup, which is the final month booked by Moore, with the exception of Sept. 11. October is the first month Johnson is responsible for booking, and he says to expect a very active and hot slate of shows.

Sept. 7 — Open mic hosted by Paul Adams
Sept. 10 — Empty Space Orchestra album fundraising show
Sept. 11 — “Secret Surprise Show featuring the Who’s Who of Bend”
Sept. 22 — Ruby Dee and The Snakehandlers
Sept. 23 — Bend Roots Revival pre-party with Emma Hill, John Shipe

[Video / review] William Fitzimmons at Silver Moon Brewing

Wednesday, August 11th, 2010

(Note: There are three videos of this show at the end of the review.)

Therapist-turned-folk singer William Fitzsimmons was absolutely terrific Sunday night at Silver Moon Brewing & Taproom in Bend, thanks to a whole bunch of people.

Thanks to Fitzsimmons, certainly. And Jake Phillips and Rosi Golan, who played and sang with him. And Silver Moon’s booker, Cassie Moore, who did all she could to ensure a quiet place for Fitzsimmons to play his stark, sad-sack tunes.

Oh, and the several dozen people who showed up to the show. Kudos to them, too.

People forget sometimes that a great live-music experience isn’t just the responsibility of the performing artist. The venue plays a role, as does the crowd.


This week in GO! Magazine’s music section

Friday, May 28th, 2010

Fairly ginormous week of music in Central Oregon, isn’t it? This is awesome! Let’s jump in …

(I am currently obsessed with this song.)

Band-on-the-verge Band of Horses plays at Les Schwab Amphitheater in Bend on Sunday. I chatted with head Horse Ben Bridwell — one of the nicest musicians I’ve interviewed, I might add — about how he’s feeling as he stares down fame.

“But with me it’s never really been about some grand ambition to be the biggest band in the world. I guess, if anything, it makes me happy when we can make more people happy,” he said. “But people say, ‘You guys are going to be the next Kings of Leon’ or whatever, and that terrifies me more than anything.”

Terrifies? Bridwell elaborates: “I came into this game so late; I didn’t start playing guitar and singing until my late 20s. It’s never been that comfortable of a position for me. So I feel like I can barely keep up as it is (with) trying to curb the anxiety of performing and stuff like that. It scares me to think that we would be in the position of Pearl Jam, where you have an arena of people that you have to (impress). It seems like a lot of responsibility, right?”

I hope you’ll read the whole thing by clicking here. Also, Band of Horses is co-headlining Sunday’s show with retro-pop duo She & Him, aka Zooey Deschanel and M. Ward. My colleague David Holley interviewed Ward, and you can read that here.

’90s alt-rock holdover the Goo Goo Dolls will kick off the 2010 Bend Summer Concerts series tonight. Another colleague, Adrianne Jeffries, spoke with bassist Robby Takac about being in a band for nearly a quarter-century.

We have fans from 6 to 60 coming to the shows, which is pretty interesting to me to watch, seeing the sort of generation gaps being broken … People with kids come to the show and they’re like, “Hey man, we’ve been playing your band for our kids since they were infants!” Since they were infants? For God’s sake, the kid’s got a beard!

You should read the rest of the interview here.

Need more laughter in your life? Maybe you need to see Trainwreck — featuring Kyle Gass of Tenacious D — at Mountain’s Edge Bar in Bend tonight. Yet another colleague, David Jasper, shot the bull with Gass a couple of weeks ago.

Along with Gass, whose wigged alter-ego in the group is Klip Calhoun, Trainwreck also contains “biker-hayseed” Darryl Donald, also known as “Lee,” Jason Reed or JR.

“Klip is the gentle, maternal matriarch of the group; he nurtures the boys,” Gass explain ed while strumming his guitar in the background. “As contrasted to JR, who plays Darryl Donald, who’s kind of the fiery, quick-tempered, lead-singer type. So we’re kind of the mom and dad, and then the boys, as we call them, they all bow to our will.”

The “boys” are most of Tenacious D’s live and studio band: Shredman, Boy Johnny and Dallas St. Bernard.

“I’ve arranged it so I do little or no work out there,” Gass claim ed. “I don’t even pick up my own guitar. I assign everyone else, just because I pay, and whoever has the gold makes the rules.”

Check out the whole thing by clicking here.

In many other weeks, The Helio Sequence at the Tower Theatre or local bluegrass band Blackstrap’s CD-release party at McMenamins would be excellent candidates for big, fancy feature stories in GO! Magazine. This week, though, we had to squeeze ’em in as best we could. But you should read both, because they deserve your time.

Also in this week’s music section: Morwenna Lasko and Jay Pun kick off the summer concert series in the old ghost town of Richmond, three Oregon-based hot jazz bands play the Hep Cat’s Ball at the Tower Theatre, an update on Last Band Standing, and Silver Moon Brewing has a big week of shows, including The River Pigs, Dela Project, Baki and Clumsy Lovers.

So … that’s the rundown. Weather’s getting warm, music’s everywhere. Leave me a comment and tell me what show you’re most excited about!

Show of the year?

Friday, April 9th, 2010

This video, shot by Larry and His Flask superfan Nicole Mintiens (aka Tregesy), captures the chaos of last night’s show at Silver Moon much more vividly than my still photographs. This was a scene unlike any I’ve seen in four years of covering music in Bend. It was pure, unbridled insanity, and it was inspirational to watch. And yes, if you heard it was a record crowd for the Moon, you heard right. Imagine what you think a record Moon crowd looks like, and then, I don’t know, double it.

Watch, marvel, and look for my review and more crazy photos next week on Frequency and in GO! Magazine.

MP3 Download: new Empty Space Orchestra track, “Jovian Barnacle”

Wednesday, December 30th, 2009

Speaking of New Year’s Eve options, one of the best appears to be the Blue Moon Bash going down at Silver Moon Brewing & Taproom in Bend. Three excellent local acts — Eric Tollefson, Mosley Wotta and Empty Space Orchestra — will perform starting around 9 p.m., and there’s no cover. Get there early, though … the place is going to be packed, I’d guess.

Empty Space guitarist Shane Thomas was nice enough to send along a brand new ESO track for free downloading by all you fine Frequency aficionados. It was recorded live recently in the band’s practice space, and it’s vintage ESO — noisy, with some serpentine synth work and big, crunchy guitars that’ll stomp all over you till your soul crawls out and begs for mercy. Recent word out of the band’s camp is that they’re getting heavier and heavier, and “Jovian Barnacle” is proof of that. Snap it up:

Download Empty Space Orchestra, “Jovian Barnacle”

If that’s not your thing, we have a huge list of New Year’s Eve goings-on right here. You’re sure to find something your speed.

Tonight’s performance of “The Santaland Diaries” canceled (Update: Friday, too.)

Tuesday, November 24th, 2009

Tonight’s performance of David Sedaris’ “The Santaland Diaries” at Silver Moon Brewing & Taproom in Bend has been canceled because of a death in the family of Derek Sitter, the man behind the play.

You can read more about “Santaland” and Sitter here. But again, don’t go to Silver Moon tonight expecting to see it, because it’s canceled. Silver Moon booking guru Cassie Moore says she hopes to reschedule the play in the coming weeks.

No word yet on Sitter’s planned show Friday at The Wine Shop in Bend. I’ll update this post as soon as we hear something.

A planned show Friday at The Wine Shop is also postponed, Sitter says.