Sunshine, sunshine, sunshine! And music, music, music! Woo-hoo!
Les Schwab Amphitheater’s free Summer Sunday concert series kicks off this weekend with the West Coast Americana of Portland’s Redwood Son. My colleague David Jasper talked to the band’s principal member, Josh Malm, about his massive 2011 album “The Lion’s Inside.”
A 20-song, two-disc set is, uh, rather long for a debut, isn’t it?
“It’s been pretty crazy,” he said. “Everybody says that: ‘Wow, nobody does that.’ I’m like, ‘I know!’ Either I’m a genius, or I’m stupid. I’m not really sure.”
Either way, recording it “was kind of a cleansing experience,” Malm said. He’d been set to do one album, and then his drummer, Kipp Crawford, a founding member of Redwood Son, was killed — in a hit-and-run, according to Willamette Week.
“And so then I was just confused about what I wanted to do musically in general, because it’s obviously pretty deflating for everybody,” Malm said.
“I made two albums that were very specific. It was two different bands, two producers, two studios. It was literally trading off where I would put energy. I would spend a few weeks on this album, then leave that alone for a little bit. I just did that for about eight months.”
You’ll find the whole thing — including the full Summer Sunday lineup — right here.
(Video via YouTube user thegus76.)
In this week’s Feedback, I reviewed last weekend’s shows at Les Schwab Amphitheater in Bend, featuring Cake and Built to Spill on Saturday night and Sigur Ros and Julianna Barwick on Sunday. Here’s an excerpt.
As always, Sigur Ros was a study in dynamics, stretching songs to five, seven, 10 minutes and beyond, and using that time to grow whispered ambient sounds into a massive wall of noise, including small horn and string sections, various keyboards, kitchen-sink percussion and Birgisson’s bowed guitar and helium-pitched voice.
Picking favorites from this near-endless buffet of beauty is difficult, but I loved the heavenly arpeggios of “Hoppipolla” and the triumphant march of “Olsen Olsen.” And “Svefn-g-Englar” at sunset ranks as one of my all-time favorite Schwab moments.
After dark, I dug how the set shifted from sweet to strident in the second half of “Festival,” and from strident to sinister for a new song called “Brennesteinn” that booms and buzzes like nothing else in the band’s catalog.
Elsewhere in this week’s music section: Four reggae/ska bands play the Domino Room tonight, The Honeycutters bring genuine Appalachian twang to McMenamins Wednesday, Moondog Matinee and Hopeless Jack & The Handsome Devil team up Saturday night at The Horned Hand, Eclectic Approach visits The Astro Lounge tonight, Silver Moon hosts hip-hop tonight and Laura Ivancie on Saturday, and more!