Posts Tagged ‘Slipmat Science’

Slipmat Science sunsets after Saturday’s Beats Antique show

Friday, April 19th, 2013


Saturday’s big Beats Antique show at the Midtown Ballroom will mark the 11th anniversary of Slipmat Science, a local DJ collective and concert-promotion company that has been Central Oregon’s primary purveyor of live electronic music for years.

It will also double as the final Slipmat Science event, as its founders plan to drop the name and evolve their operations to focus on bigger shows and expanding their territory beyond Bend.

“I think we have to have a fresh palette … to start on,” said Travis Owens, who started Slipmat in 2002 with his brother Nathan Owens and their friends Carl Warner, Troy Alfama and Steven Rock. “It’s all about choosing the right name and marketing ourselves the right way, and basically we want it to grow. Everything’s changing and we’re just trying to change with the times.”

Rock died in 2010 and Alfama has turned his focus away from Slipmat Science. That leaves Warner and the Owens brothers to guide the company’s shift from throwing all-night underground dance parties for primarily young people to putting on more visible and mainstream concerts designed to attract all ages.

“When everybody thinks of Slipmat Science, there’s this aura that it’s just like young kids, raves, party your ass off,” Owens said. “And realistically, it’s more of a culture now with how big electronic music is getting. It’s definitely opened up the possibilities.”

Said Warner: “We started it as something that was fun and we never really looked into a lot of the background of what we need to do to make it a legit business. We’re just kind of moving away from who we originally were. We’re opening doorways.”

For years, Slipmat parties were held in mysterious locations; you had to call a phone number the day of the event to find out where to go. They featured DJs who started spinning before midnight and didn’t stop till dawn.

But a few years ago, as electronic music surged in popularity, Slipmat’s shows moved out of the shadows and into Bend’s Domino Room at first, and then Liquid Lounge. The headliners got bigger: DJ Z-trip, Beats Antique, ill.Gates, Heyoka, Gladkill, Tipper, Papadosio, Filastine. And the shows followed a more traditional concert format, with an evening start time and everyone out the door in the wee hours of the morning.

Warner and the Owens want to build on that. They want to re-brand their efforts under a different name, pursue bigger shows and use their connections in other cities (Sacramento, Eugene, Portland) to become more of a player in the regional scene.

“Electronic music is getting bigger and more accepted in the community, (and) people are going to want to listen to it more,” Warner said. “Now it’s just like any other kind of music. You go out on a Friday night and you see electronic music or you see a band.

After the Beats Antique show, the group hopes to get together and try to nail down a new name for its venture. In the meantime, it has a handful of shows planned — including DJ Luke Mandala (May 2), the jam band ZuhG (May 8) and a double-bill of hip-hoppers Latyrx and the popular DJ MartyParty (May 11) — that it will present under the name Stilldream, which is also the name of a music festival Warner runs in Belden, Calif.

Bottom line: Electronic music is huge right now, Slipmat Science has had a couple very successful years bringing it to Bend, and now the guys behind it are ready to take their efforts to another level.

“Big companies see the interest in electronic music. They know it’s marketable. They know money’s being made. So they put more interest into it,” Owens said. “That’s where we’re at. We strive to bring bigger shows … and we’re just wondering if Bend’s ready for that. Right now’s the time. Either it’s going to happen or it’s not.”

This week in GO! Magazine’s music section

Friday, April 6th, 2012

Tonight at the Domino Room, local bass/beat collective Slipmat Science will throw another party as part of what has been a very busy winter for the crew. But this one, in my opinion, features the two best headliners of the bunch.

That is, of course, just a matter of taste. I’m sure many folks like Beats Antique or Tunnidge or Knight Riderz more than Filastine and Heyoka. But for me, these two dudes — one from Barcelona, one from the Bay Area — are the most enjoyable electro-wizards Slipmat has brought to town over the past few months. So click their names in the previous sentence and see if you agree. And read on …

My colleague Sigourney Nuñez’s interview with Filastine turned out great, I thought. He comes off as a really interesting, thoughtful guy who feels somewhat trapped between his techno-futuristic sound and his innate desire to get as far away from the grid as possible. An excerpt:

On stage, Filastine projects sights to accompany sounds from a laptop computer and an amplified shopping cart wired with what he calls electronic gadgets: drum pads and touch screens with different interfaces to control audio and video, just to name a couple.

Each song has a theme, so during performances he curates visuals from his library of videos grabbed from documentary footage.

“It’s about storytelling,” he said. “It’s a complex performance in less than an hour. I’d rather people hear and see what I do and come to their own analysis.”

As a multimedia performer, Filastine is surrounded by technology.

“My art involves computers. These tools that are so phenomenal will literally eat our lives and we just gotta take a break from that,” he said. “I find it really hard to find that time. What I do is try to spend time away from computers, roads and electricity so that usually involves going into the ocean, mountains and deserts, just to reconnect without technology.”

Click here to read all about Filastine.

Elsewhere in this week’s music section*: OK Sweetheart plays The Horned Hand, The Shook Twins visit McMenamins, Beth Wood and Shireen Amini collaborate at Higher Ground Common House, the Bobby Lindstrom Band celebrates its new album, The Horned Hand hosts separate shows by Filthy Still and The Calamity Cubes, and Les Schwab Amphitheater unveils its Summer Sunday Concerts lineup. Plus The Anvil Blasters, CinderBlue, RaiseTheVibe, and sold out concerts by Bruce Hornsby and Glen “Toad the Wet Sprocket” Phillips.

*Normally, I would provide you with a link to the music section, but we’re having technical difficulties right now, so if you want to read any of those stories, just search here.

This week in GO! Magazine’s music section

Saturday, January 7th, 2012

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.

You should read the whole thing right here.

Elsewhere this this week’s music section: Polyrhythmics kicks off a new series of Volcanic Punk Parties and San Francisco DJ Comma headlines another Slipmat Science show, plus Matt Hopper & The Roman Candles, The Selfless Riot’s new album, Feeding Frenzy, Boxcar Stringband, Harley Bourbon, Night Under the Covers’ Laurel Canyon night and more!

This week in GO! Magazine’s music section

Friday, December 2nd, 2011

Timothy B. Schmit has done a lot in his music career.

Most famously, he plays bass and sings in The Eagles. He also was a member of the ’70s country-rock band Poco. He replaced the same guy in both bands!

And get this: While playing in Jimmy Buffett’s Coral Reefer Band, Schmit coined the term “Parrotheads” for Buffett’s fans! For that alone, he’ll always have a place in pop-culture history.

With The Eagles on a break, Schmit will come to Bend Thursday for a show at the Tower Theatre. My colleague David Jasper called him up last week and spoke with him about his solo work, The Eagles as “The Mothership” and how he feels about his long, roller-coaster career.

… being a Coral Reefer, even temporarily, “was a big change for me,” Schmit added.

“(Buffett) is a friend of mine … and he just asked me to go out for a couple of weeks,” he said. “He wanted to know if I wanted to go out, play some music, have a little fun. I ended up doing it, I don’t know, on and off for a couple of years.

“The main difference is that I was used to being one of the main people,” Schmit said. With Buffett, “I was definitely just a bass player in that band, and a background singer. It was humbling, but it was fun. And honestly, I like to work, and I’m no different than anybody. I need to work.”

Then along came “Hell Freezes Over,” as The Eagles called their 1994 reunion, which Schmit said was a “godsend.”

Coincidentally, it occurred just as Schmit was making his personal peace with his career.

“Really, my whole lifestyle had really humbled me,” he said. “Just about the time I changed from being a little bit angry about my lifestyle change, and I started to accept it and look at all the great things in my life — because I have many great things in my life — about that same time is when we got back together.”

I thought Schmit was pretty honest and interesting in this story. I hope you’ll click here and read it.

Also worth highlighting are a couple of find Portland-based indie-pop bands that are headed this way. The Ascetic Junkies play Silver Moon Brewing tonight, and The Dimes are at McMenamins on Wednesday. Each will have you tapping your toe, bobbing your head and sloshing your beverage, so check ’em out.

Elsewhere in this week’s music section: Empty Space Orchestra begins its December residency at Silver Moon, Cloverdayle raises funds for its new recording, RoboLiquidPop honors Steven Rock and the Renato Caranto Quartet plays Jazz at Joe’s, plus Todd Haaby, Blackflowers Blacksun and One Way Station. And last but not least, friends and family of Richard Marshall — father of Larry and His Flask’s Jamin and Jesse Marshall — will gather Sunday for a memorial. Details are here. Marshall died Nov. 22 after a long battle against cancer. Sincere condolences to Jamin, Jesse and the rest of Marshall’s family.

This week in GO! Magazine’s music section

Friday, April 22nd, 2011

Canadian bass music producer ill.Gates will headline tonight’s “For the Music” party to celebrate Slipmat Science’s ninth anniversary. I spoke with the man about how and why he immersed himself in the world of electronic composition.

Two decades ago, Lane was that upstart kid. He played guitar and piano, but got his first sampler at age 7, went to his first rave at 13, and liked the wide-open horizons of electronic music.

“It just sounded so new and different and fresh,” he said. “At that point, I had learned guitar, but I just felt like guitar music didn’t really need me. I felt like what I was doing was just kind of a commentary on the history of guitar music.

“I got a sampler and thought, ‘These instruments are new. These … have a lot of history left to unfold. This is something I can be a part of,’” Lane said. “I felt (guitars) had been so explored that I was going to have to really struggle to find something new, and I just didn’t want to sound like anyone else. I wanted to do something entirely different. I wanted to have my own thing.”

I also talked to one of the guys behind Slipmat to get the skinny on that crew’s origins. Click here to read them both. (The Slipmat story is on the right, in smaller print.)

Gregory Alan Isakov. Photo by Ben.

Feedback this week is on last Saturday’s wonderful Gregory Alan Isakov concert at the PoetHouse in downtown Bend. What a night. Here’s an excerpt.

Isakov’s set was a blend of old (the downcast “The Stable Song,” the throwback jazz of “Salt and the Sea”) and brand new (he said he’s working on his next album now), plus a stark cover of John Hartford’s “In Tall Buildings.”

Then there was plenty from Isakov’s wonderful 2009 album “This Empty Northern Hemisphere.” The Ryan Adams-esque sway of “That Moon Song” got the biggest response of the night, “Virginia May” rode a likable shuffle, and “Evelyn” gave Isakov’s crack band — drums, keys, cello and violin — a chance to rock out in their own gentle, orchestral style.

The highlight of the night, though, came mid-set when Isakov did a warm, resonant and drop-dead gorgeous song about the universe’s beauty and bruised feet, and then followed it with the title track from “This Empty Northern Hemisphere,” which crescendoed into a swarm of strings and falsetto oohs and ahhs. Isakov’s band has a firm grip on the power of dynamics, and those two songs showcased every inch of their range.

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

Elsewhere in this week’s music section: David Jacobs-Strain’s rootsy blues, Noise-A-Tron’s dark, heavy rock, McMenamins’ ’80s-themed “prom” and the Blues, Amuse & Brews benefit for Westside Village school. Plus there are a bunch of local acts with good gigs this week, including The Prairie Rockets, OpenFate, Jones Road, Kylan Johnson, Clair Clarke, JazzBros, Concave Perception Chamber and the Brian Hanson Band.

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, April 23rd, 2010

Hey there, folks. Shorter update this week than usual because I’ve got a brand new baby at home and am a tad busy. For that same reason, it may be a bit quiet around here for a little while. This is our first, so I expect a sharp learning curve and reduced time for blogging.

Anyway, the cover story in GO! Magazine this week is about the Procession of the Species parade happening in downtown Bend Saturday, but it’s worth noting that this week’s local live-music opportunities are a veritable procession of the species, too.

We’ve got sweaty punk-blues (Hillstomp, Cicada Omega), a gathering of sweeping, celestial rock bands (Empty Space Orchestra, Hypatia Lake, Water & Bodies), cosmopolitan folk-pop artists (Bruce Cockburn, Catherine Feeny, Anastacia), garage-y indie-rockers playing for charity (The Autonomics, We Are Brontosaurus), a collective of electro-thump DJs celebrating a birthday (Slipmat Science), a couple of big-name Christian pop-rock acts playing worship songs (Phil Wickham, Leeland) and local hard rock (Stillfear, Audiolized), plus hip-hop (Afroman) and a roots-rock guitar hero (Tony Furtado).

Whew! Think about it — that’s kind of an abundance of riches for little ol’ Bend in the middle of April, don’t you think?

So go poke around the music section until you find something that sounds interesting. And if that doesn’t work, you can always check out our complete music listings. (Also, if you search this blog for Cicada Omega, Empty Space Orchestra, Water & Bodies, Catherine Feeny, Anastacia or The Autonomics, you’ll find more about each. There’s a little search box in the upper left-hand corner. Try it!)

Just for fun, here’s a video of Hillstomp in action.

And here’s one of Hypatia Lake.