Posts Tagged ‘The Aggrolites’

This week in GO! Magazine’s music section

Friday, February 18th, 2011

Busy local singer-songwriter Tim Coffey and his partner in cello, Kat Hilst, will play with a whole bunch of folks Thursday to celebrate the release of Coffey’s album “Strings Unbound.” I spoke with the man about how he blossomed from a struggling lyricist and veteran of cover bands into a full-fledged singer-songwriter relatively late in life.

“I always wanted to play my own music, (but) I could never write any lyrics that I didn’t think were stupid,” he said.

Then, one day in the summer of 2009, it hit him while hiking on Broken Top. Words popped into his head. “I didn’t know if they were any good, but they didn’t sound stupid,” Coffey said. “For the first time, they didn’t sound stupid. So I wrote ’em down and that turned out to be the song ‘Already There.’ And it just started snowballing. All of a sudden I started writing songs.”

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

Also, it’s WinterFest weekend! Which means lots of great live music that you’d dance to if your feet weren’t solid blocks of ice. Click here to read up on tonight’s headliner, The Aggrolites, and Saturday’s headliner, Lyrics Born. The event’s entire music lineup is listed right here. (Note: Don’t miss Derby tonight, just before The Aggrolites. I saw them play in the parking lot of the east-side location of a very famous Portland doughnut shop a few years ago, and they are an excellent pop-rock band. Oh and Moon Mountain Ramblers on Saturday! Make Local Bands Habit!)

Elsewhere in the music section: Patrick Lamb plays The Oxford Hotel’s jazz series, folk singer Johnsmith returns to the HarmonyHouse in Sisters, local proto-blues band Blackflowers Blacksun is at the M&J, Mark Ransom and The Mostest will light up Silver Moon, Long Beach Rehab visits The Summit Saloon and Capture the Flag kicks off its tour with two free shows this weekend. Last but not least, portello winecafe in Northwest Crossing will host Tyler Fortier, a Eugene singer-songwriter who is from Bend originally, and who writes terrific songs. He’s got a new CD coming out — a lo-fi concept record about the old West — and Saturday is the official release show, so go show him some love.

The Aggrolites’ new album, “Complicated Girl” video

Thursday, February 17th, 2011

The upcoming album from L.A.-based “dirty reggae” band The Aggrolites is a departure from the mix of soul, rock and reggae that dominated their first four albums. “Rugged Road” — out on vinyl and bytes next week, CD in March — is packed with laid back, dub-influenced instrumentals that simmer and burble like a pot of funky, fragrant Jamaican stew.

Here’s a cut from “Rugged Road” called “Complicated Girl,” plus a reminder that The Aggrolites will headline the Bend WinterFest on Friday night in the Old Mill District. Be sure to pick up Friday’s edition of The Bulletin and find GO! Magzine; it’ll have all the details you need on this band, the album, and WinterFest in general.

I don’t love reggae, but I love this band.

This week in GO! Magazine’s music section

Friday, July 9th, 2010

Kelly Joe Phelps and Corinne West will bring their wonderful new duo to Angeline’s Bakery in Sisters next week. Both are well known solo artists on the folk circuit, but they’ve merged their talents. West told The Bulletin why:

We didn’t know quite what to expect other than that we were going to have a great time, which we did. However, we found a mutual bond on many musical levels that took the music places neither of us had been artistically. Very magical. It was an easy decision in the end to continue forward, as the music seemed to form its own life around us, and we both thought it was extremely beautiful. Heartfelt and strong. So many things.

and …

We’ve been amazed by the sound of our voices together — something neither one of us ever expected to find in terms of a true sympathetic companion vocally. Not emotionally, necessarily (even though that does apply as well) but tonally. We’re still amazed by that. And we’ve found a commonality in things like phrasing, vocal or guitar, where we’ll be in the middle of some flight of musical fancy and find ourselves phrasing vocally or guitaristically in the exact same way at the exact same moment. Out of seemingly nowhere. It’s really turning into quite a journey.

You can read the whole thing here.

Steve Earle performs at Bend's Tower Theatre on June 29. Photo by Rob Kerr / The Bulletin

Alt-country icon Steve Earle played to a sold-out Tower Theatre in Bend June 29. I was there and wrote a review, and here’s part of it:

I was surprised by how few songs Earle did from his new record “Townes,” a tribute to his mentor, the late songwriting genius Townes Van Zandt. He did the man’s best-known tune, “Pancho and Lefty,” and “Rex’s Blues,” as well as one of his own songs, “Ft. Worth Blues,” that’s about Van Zandt. But that was it, unless I missed one.

As he introduced “Rex’s Blues,” Earle described Van Zandt as a “migratory” fellow, and the lyrics of “Ft. Worth Blues” reflect that; besides the title town, Colorado, Tennessee, Texas (and Houston), Amsterdam, London and Paris all make an appearance in the song.

Five minutes later, Earle was plucking his guitar and talking about his sons, two of whom are grown and the other brand new. He dedicated “Little Rock ‘n’ Roller” — a tender lullaby released 25 years ago on Earle’s first album — to his boys, and turned in a genuinely moving performance that exuded a blend of love and regret that any workaholic parent can understand.

Somewhere in there, it occurred to me that “Ft. Worth Blues” and “Little Rock ‘n’ Roller” neatly sum up most of Earle’s oeuvre; almost all of his songs are about motion or emotion. Or both. If he’s not singing about being stuck in this town, getting out of this town, or wandering over to that other town, he’s playing a song he wrote “for what’s-her-name, wherever the hell she is,” as he said in Bend.

I hope you’ll click here and read the whole thing. And click here to see more of Bulletin photographer Rob Kerr’s photos of the show.

Elsewhere in this week’s music section: Former Men at Work frontman Colin Hay kicks off the Clear Summer Nights series, top-notch folkies Sid Selvidge and Amy Speace play a house show in Bend, The Aggrolites return to town, the Poison Control Center brings ’90s indie rock to Mountain’s Edge, and Silver Moon Brewing has a typically strong week planned, with the Raina Rose Trio tonight, Not An Airplane on Saturday, and a full band show by The White Buffalo on Thursday. As usual, you can find lots more fun stuff to see and hear in The Bulletin’s complete music listing.

Review/photos: Slightly Stoopid and The Aggrolites at Midtown Ballroom

Saturday, February 13th, 2010

(Sorry this is showing up three days after the concert. I like to be more timely than that, but sometimes other duties call.)

Over here, I encouraged folks attending the Slightly Stoopid concert Wednesday night at the Midtown Ballroom in Bend to show up early and catch the opening act, L.A.’s The Aggrolites, who play a compelling brand of music they describe as “dirty reggae.”

I almost didn’t follow my own advice. Old Towne Pizza took longer to make my calzone than I expected, and by the time I was done, I could hear the band playing as I crossed the street, where I was met by a line to get in that extended from the Midtown’s door to the corner of Greenwood Avenue and Hill Street.

So I cut in line. I confess, I cut in line.

I had to get in, and quickly, because The Aggrolites were the main reason I wanted to see this show. They didn’t disappoint. These dudes know how to bring it, and they make reggae — a style of music I’ve admitted to not “getting” — sound funky and fresh and awesome.

The indispensable element is the organ. The Aggrolites’ bubbly brand of reggae features narcotic doses of the genre’s classic, choppy organ sound, courtesy of Roger Rivas, who wore a bandana that covered not only his forehead, but most of his eyes. When Rivas took a solo, as he did in “Work To Do” and “Keep Moving On,” it was like being plucked out of Bend and dropped in the middle of some gritty punk-rock carnival. The man’s keys are, without question, The Aggrolites’ MVP.

The Aggrolites. All photos by Andy Tullis / The Bulletin

The Aggrolites. All photos by Andy Tullis / The Bulletin

But the whole band is solid. The four non-drummers stood side-by-side on stage, bouncing around, hitting perfect harmonies, dressed in all black and sweating like crazy. Their “ooooh”s and “na na na”s on “Keep Moving On” gave the song and distinctly doo-wop feel, like Motown meets Kingston. And they blasted out of a buoyant instrumental jam with a spirited performance of their best song, “Mr. Misery,” with its triumphant “ah-ah-ah-uh-ahhhh!” refrain.

The Aggrolites basically do one thing, and they do it very well. And at the Midtown, they did it in front of a giant Slightly Stoopid backdrop, a constant reminder that this was just the warm-up act.


This week in GO! Magazine’s music section

Friday, February 5th, 2010

Bearfoot will perform Saturday at Sisters High School for Sisters Folk Festival’s Winter Concert Series. Here’s an excerpt from my story on the band:

Bearfoot’s wings are fully spread on “Doors and Windows,” released last year on Compass Records. It’s the band’s first album with new fiddler/vocalist/songwriter Odessa Jorgensen (formerly of The Biscuit Burners), and it was Bearfoot’s first recording session powered by a record company. Compass exerted a little bit of welcomed influence, Hamre said.

“They kind of made us focus — which is good — more on radio play,” she said. “(They helped us) make the CD cohesive, where all the songs make sense together.”

Indeed, “Doors and Windows” is a wonderful and mature album, apropos of a modern-day string band that has grown up before the eyes of bluegrass nation. It’s jam-packed with toe-tapping melodies and gorgeous vocals, not to mention songs that keep one foot in old-time music and one in the pop-grass world that made superstars out of Alison Krauss and Nickel Creek.

Read the whole thing here.

Here’s an excerpt from my column on last weekend’s Grammy Awards:

(Pink) sauntered out clad head-to-toe in white, like some Star Wars princess. Snooze. But then she shed the robe (leaving her nearly nude), climbed into a long white sheet draped from the ceiling and performed a full-on acrobatics routine a few dozen feet in the air, half while dripping wet. And she never missed a note. This was no joke; I actually worried for her safety, but she nailed it. Maybe she was raised in the circus. I barely heard the song, but she deserves (credit) for her guts.

My recap of the rest of the show isn’t nearly as positive. Read it here.

Also in the music section this week: Cash’d Out pays tribute to The Man in Black, The Aggrolites open for Slightly Stoopid, singer-songwriter Emma Hill returns to town, Rise Up throws a Haiti benefit concert, Gary Fulkerson plays guitar at Velvet and local metal band Inimica leads a heavy bill at Players. And, as always, there’s more in our complete music calendar.

The Aggrolites added to Slightly Stoopid bill

Friday, January 15th, 2010

The subject line pretty much says it all: Los Angeles-based “dirty reggae” band The Aggrolites will open for Slightly Stoopid Feb. 10 at the Midtown Ballroom in Bend. And The Aggrolites are awesome. Here’s hoping they get more time on stage than a typical opening act.

I love the Internet

Thursday, August 6th, 2009


Dunno if you’ve noticed or not, but a torrent of great new music is coming out right now. On CD and vinyl. That you can purchase. In record stores. They will give you CDs and vinyl in exchange for your money. That’s how it works.

I know what you’re thinking: “But why on earth would I spend cash money on a CD or record?” It’s a fair question. Rather than answer it, let me assure you that you can test-drive some of this stuff on the Internet to make sure you like it. And if you like it, you should buy it, either direct from the band or its record label, or at your local, independently owned record store.

Here’s a quick list of some recent (and upcoming) releases with links to where you can hear them: