Two days before a trio of pretty, porcelain indie-pop bands descend on that shed next to the big green lawn along the Deschutes River, Seattle’s Hey Marseilles will sneak into town and do a very similar thing – for free! – on Wednesday night.
Really, if you wish you could see Blind Pilot, The Head and the Heart and The Shins but don’t have the funds to make it happen, you should definitely check this band out. They’re probably right up your alley.
So anyway, Hey Marseilles will play McMenamins Old St. Francis School Wednesday. My colleague David Jasper chatted up the band’s Matt Bishop about being an orchestral pop band that brings an unexpected heft, perhaps, to its live show.
“It tends to be pretty lively, relatively speaking, at least in the acoustic music genre. There’s not any thumping bass, by any means. We try to keep it light and fun,” (Bishop) said.
“I think our strength, in terms of the live presentation, is we’re actually able to pull off live a lot of what is on the record,” he added. “We have accordion, cello, viola and trumpets and clarinet and bass clarinet and bass and a couple of guitars — not necessarily all at the same time, but in terms of the live show, it’s pretty unique in its ability to bring all of those things and essentially play all the new pretty things that (are) on the record.”
(We got lots of awesome photos of Wednesday’s Social Distortion show in Bend, but no video. Fortunately, YouTube user cjules1st captured “Story of My Life” and “I Was Wrong,” and the sound is quite good. Thanks, cjules1st!)
For my Feedback column, I went to see Social Distortion at Midtown Ballroom Wednesday night and came away with a new appreciation for Mike Ness’ songwriting skills. Here’s an excerpt:
On Wednesday, as the Beastie Boys’ “No Sleep Till Brooklyn” blared over the loudspeakers, (Ness) swaggered out onto the stage, pounded his heart twice, pointed to the throng, and launched into “Bad Luck” surrounded by carefully placed tchotchkes — boxing gloves, vintage signs, a streetlight, a ceramic dog. (It looked like a punk-rock Applebee’s up there.)
From there, the band raced through a handful of tunes that showcased the power of an electric guitar and a good melody: the hard-charging “So Far Away,” the mobster tale “Machine Gun Blues” and the midtempo hit “I Was Wrong.”
Ness introduced one of his biggest hits by saying he almost left it off the setlist. Yeah, right. The forever-bouncy “Story of My Life” went over quite well, eliciting not only hundreds of horned hands in the air, but also the loudest singalong of the night.
Elsewhere in this week’s music section: Underground lifers Aceyalone and Sunspot Jonz headline a solid hip-hop bill Sunday night, plus Pure Prairie League at the Tower Theatre, Naive Melodies doing Talking Heads at The Astro Lounge, Chuck Pyle at the HarmonyHouse, death metal at Third Street Pub, a Last Band Standing update and more.