Posts Tagged ‘The Ascetic Junkies’

This week in GO! Magazine’s music section

Friday, June 14th, 2013

Three interesting options tonight, all in downtown(ish) Bend:

Portland roots-pop band (and Bend regulars) Ascetic Junkies are no more, having pared down to two members (married couple Matt Harmon and Kali Giaritta) and changed their name to There Is No Mountain. Now, they play unconventional psych-pop that draws influence from global sounds, particularly African music. I spoke with the couple about all of the above, and I hope you’ll read the whole thing here. (Be sure to click “More Photos” to read very short pieces about the two acts opening for There Is No Mountain tonight at the Tower Theatre.)

Vihara was a progressive hard-rock band active in Bend in the early 2000s, and then it sort of vanished after the release of its first album, “Stand Fast.” Tonight at Liquid Lounge, the quartet reunites for some good ol’ throwback fun. I visited a practice session last week and talked to the band about its past, present and future (though the future part didn’t really make it into the article). Click here to read it!

– Here’s an interesting tidbit: No video of KPOV’s annual Beatles Singalong seems to exist on the internet. So does it really exist in real life? Yes it does, and it’s happening tonight at The Old Stone in Bend. In this short piece, I tell you what kind of festivities are planned, and why you really ought to go.

Elsewhere in this week’s music section: Music in the Canyon kicks off in Redmond with Countryfied and New Transit plays The Horned Hand, plus The Strangled Darlings, Left Coast Country, The Blackberry Bushes, TapWater, Tha Dogg Pound, King Ghidora and more!

This week in GO! Magazine’s music section

Friday, November 2nd, 2012

Bend’s venerable Domino Room will host two nights of quality music this weekend. On Saturday, it’ll be a dance party with Seattle Afro-funk band Polyrhythmics and Eugene acid-jazz group Eleven Eyes. But first up, tonight’ll be a string-band hoedown with frequent Bend visitors Polecat (from Washington state) and one of the country’s finest contemporary bluegrass acts, The Infamous Stringdusters from Charlottesville, Va.

My colleague David Jasper spoke with Stringduster bassist Travis Book about the band’s fans and why he doesn’t mind when people don’t pay attention to their shows. Here’s an excerpt of his story.

“We’re seeing a lot of people come to the shows, and some of them are refugees from country music,” he said. “And we’re also seeing a lot of people who were into the jam-band music scene. It’s interesting. We have one of the more diverse audiences I’ve seen. I think that’s a testament to the diversity of sound within our band. It runs the full range from country to rock to jazz and more improvisational art forms. So it’s an interesting time for us.”

And all those diverse audiences are welcome to enjoy themselves however they please at a Stringdusters show. Even if that means talking through the performance.

Wait. Isn’t this a notorious pet peeve of live performers? Surely it must bother him when people sit at the bar, virtually ignoring him while he’s working so hard keeping his upright bass up, right?

“Hell no,” Book said. “They can do whatever they want. As long as they pay (for) the ticket and they’re enjoying themselves and not taking away from anybody else’s experience, by all means. Sometimes I go to shows, and that’s all I want to do is socialize. Sometimes I want to throw down and dance and sometimes I just want to sit and listen.”

You should read the whole thing.

Elsewhere in this week’s music section: Travis Ehrenstrom hosts a night of music in Sisters, The Ascetic Junkies play one last time as a full band before paring down to a duo, dirty-rap icon Blowfly comes to Redmond, Violation headlines a punk show in Bend, Josh and Mer wrap up the Northwest Best concert series at Liquid Lounge and more.

This week in GO! Magazine’s music section

Saturday, March 24th, 2012

Whoops! I forgot to do this yesterday. Sorry, folks.

Here’s what’s in the music section of this week’s GO! Magazine:

–Atlanta-based orchestral pop band Little Tybee will play twice in town next week, once at Common Table and once at The Horned Hand.

–I went and saw jazz saxophonist Bobby Watson at The Oxford Hotel and it was great. Here’s my review.

The Ascetic Junkies headline a bill full of cool, Portland-based acts tonight at the Tower Theatre, including the first local performance in a while by Sara Jackson-Holman, who grew up here.

Also: Marv and Rindy Ross at The Sound Garden, Head for the Hills at Players Bar, Rita Hosking at the HarmonyHouse, Ray Lawrence Jr. at The Horned Hand, a death metal show (that happened last night) at The Annex, a busy weekend for Finn Miles, a do-over homecoming show for Third Seven and Last Band Standing is now accepting applications for its 2012 competition. Find it all here.

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, March 25th, 2011

“Hair metal” survivors L.A. Guns are in Bend tonight for a show at the Domino Room. I spoke with drummer Steve Riley about the key to the band’s longevity.

“Bands die when they get on a big tour … and then they have to come back and go out and do clubs. There are a lot of bands that won’t do that,” Riley said. “We never really cared. We just wanted to play and we have no problem bouncing from a Whitesnake show to a club show on our own and then back to a Scorpions show and then back to a club on our own.

“You’ve got to dig in and you’ve got to want to play. You can’t believe your own bulls—,” he said. “Phil and myself, we always just wanted to be working musicians where we go out and play a full set of our own original material, and that’s what we do. If it’s in a club, who cares? And if it’s with Whitesnake or Cinderella in a big arena, that’s great too. As long as we’re playing, we’re cool.”

Riley was a super nice, totally humble guy, and I enjoyed chatting with him. I hope you’ll read the whole story, which you can find by clicking here.

Tim Bluhm of The Mother Hips performing in Bend. Photo by Ben.

On St. Patrick’s Day, I went and caught a couple of excellent pop-rock bands — The Mother HIps and The Parson Red Heads — at McMenamins in Bend. Here’s part of my review, from today’s Feedback column:

(The Hips) came to town to play a ton of songs, kicking things off with the jagged “Third Floor Story” and “Esmerelda,” an affable tune that would fit in nicely on classic-rock radio playlists.

The thing is, the same can be said of most of the songs in the Hips’ set. “Do It On the Strings.” “Toughie.” “Later Days.” “Smoke.” All are well-written, with sweet choruses and swaggering guitar riffs. But when you string ’em together one after another, it really highlights where the Hips’ range begins and ends. And it’s not exactly a wide swath, not that it matters much to the couple hundred devout fans who showed up for the show, pumped their fists and mouthed every word.

There were peaks, of course. I loved the ragged chug of “Time-Sick Son of a Grizzly Bear,” the astral reverb and ascendant chorus of “Magazine,” and the wonderful “White Falcon Fuzz,” an easygoing rocker than sounds imported straight from your dad’s record player, circa 1975.

Do me a favor and click here to read the rest of it.

Elsewhere in this week’s music section: Arturo Sandoval brings jazz to the Tower Theatre, and Tom Grant does the same at The Oxford hotel, folk singer Danny Schmidt plays two shows, local MC Mindscape and Floater frontman Robert Wynia make for a busy weekend at Silver Moon, The Ascetic Junkies return to town, The Dirty Words celebrate their new album, and Tuck and Roll headlines a punk show at MadHappy.

This week in GO! Magazine’s music section

Friday, November 19th, 2010

Tonight, The Ascetic Junkies play Silver Moon Brewing & Taproom. My take on their excellent new album is here.

On Saturday, the legendary shock-rock band GWAR brings its blood-and-guts show back to town. Find my interview with frontmonster Oderus Urungus here.

Also on Saturday, hip-hop giant Talib Kweli plays the Century Center. Find my interview with one of the world’s greatest MCs here.

Everything else — Sean Hayes, Freak Mountain Ramblers, Texas Hippie Coalition, Diego’s Umbrella, Shireen Amini, and more — can be found by clicking here.

Big weekend! Go out and support your local music scene.

This week in GO! Magazine’s music section

Friday, May 7th, 2010

Portland indie-pop combo The Ascetic Junkies are back in town, Saturday at Silver Moon. I spoke with founding members Matt Harmon and Kali Giaritta about their band’s past, present and future, plus something called “Junkies Cologne.” Here’s an excerpt:

So the couple landed in Portland and found one band mate on Craigslist and another busking on Hawthorne Avenue. Over the past year, they’ve played in Bend several times, as well as Seattle, Eugene, and, of course, all over their home town. In anticipation of their second album, which they’re recording now, they also recently signed on with the Timber Carnival Records, home to like-minded, Northwest-based bands like The Dimes, Derby and Hello Morning.

In other words, things are going well for Harmon and Giaritta. Which is nice, because that move to Portland was motivated not just by hiking and other good bands.

“The reason we moved here was to see what we could do and to see how far we could take this,” Harmon said. “So as far as we can go, that’s what we’re in it for. We’ve learned not to set deadline expectations, because sometimes things really surprise you, and then other times it takes a lot longer to sort of get to a level that you’re looking for. But we’ve been really pleasantly surprised and excited about how quickly we’ve been able to progress here.”

This is a great band, and you should go see them. And you should read the whole article by clicking here. And you should check out this blog post for a free download and a chance at getting on the guest list! You’re going to be busy, so get going.

Elsewhere in this week’s music section: Jerry Joseph brings his Jackmormons back to town, the a cappella group Sonos plays a Mother’s Day show, Alasdair Fraser and Natalie Haas are at the Tower Theatre, Inimica and Thorns of Creation lead a bill of local metal, McMenamins Old St. Francis School hosts Casey Neill & the Norway Rats, and The Parental Advisory Tour brings Nashville Pussy, Green Jelly, Psychostick and more to Bend. Plus, an update on Last Band Standing, and there’s always more in our complete music listings.

[MP3] Free download, spot on the guest list from The Ascetic Junkies

Thursday, May 6th, 2010

Portland’s full of bands who’ve become pretty big names over the past several years. Think Blind Pilot, Blitzen Trapper, The Decemberists, etc.

Of course, at one time, those bands weren’t so widely known. Wouldn’t it have been cool to see them back then?

In my opinion, that’s about where The Ascetic Junkies are right now. The Portland-based pop band has a very appealing sound that should help them find success far beyond the Pacific Northwest. Who knows? In five years, they may be playing large theaters like … well … like all those bands I mentioned before.

For now, though, you can catch the Junkies at Silver Moon Brewing in Bend on Saturday night. It’s $7 to get in — and that’s a steal — but the band is also making five spots on the guest list available to folks who e-mail them their favorite Junkies song to AsceticJunkies@gmail.com. The first five folks to do that will get into the show for free.

If you’re unfamiliar with this band, you need to fix that. Here’s a taste of just how fun they can be:

Download The Ascetic Junkies, “French Girls”

Look for my full feature on the band in Friday’s GO! Magazine.

January 22 in GO! Magazine

Friday, January 22nd, 2010

Y’know, the local music scene gets a bad rap in winter, even from me. But considering that it’s late January, we’ve got a terrific selection of live-music options in town this week. There’s no enormous name, but lots of solid mid-sized acts coming through. Here’s a rundown:

-I stink at math, but even I know that five out of the eight Living Legends is a significant chunk of the venerable hip-hop crew. The bill for this show — Thursday at Midtown Ballroom — is crazy; not only are five Legends scheduled to perform, but so is about half the local hip-hop scene. Should be quite a spectacle.

-Portland folk-pop band The Ascetic Junkies have a new EP out, and you can get it here — name your price. The band is also at Silver Moon Brewing tonight.

-The new album from former “Last Call with Carson Daly” bandleader Joe Firstman comes out next week. It’s called “El Porto,” and it’s kind of a reboot for him after his considerable success in Hollywood. Read why here. (Note: He’s playing the Silver Moon with folk singer The White Buffalo, who’s worth an article himself. Maybe next time.)

-Central Oregon’s ska uprising continues this weekend with two shows by Florida’s The Supervillains.

-This article will give you a brief update on the Jazz at Joe’s concert series, plus some details about this month’s artist, The I-5 Express. However, if you don’t already have a ticket, you’re out of luck, because it’s sold out.

-Also in the section this week: Hawaiian singer-songwriter John Cruz at Silver Moon; local heavies Warm Gadget and Tentareign at Mountain’s Edge; Colorado bluegrassers Head for the Hills at McMenamins; Oregon acid-jazz-hop band Eleven Eyes at Silver Moon; local singer-songwriters Dan Shanahan at WineStyles in Bend and Anastacia Beth Scott at Three Creeks Brewing Co. in Sisters, and last, but not least, the Bend Jazz Trio Saturday night at The Decoy Bar.

Oh, and a review of The Redwood Plan’s show last weekend at Players Bar & Grill.

Whew. Now that’s covering Central Oregon’s music scene!

If you’re not a subscriber to The Bulletin’s Web site, you’ll probably be unable to get to some of those links. In that case, you’ll have to either subscribe to the site, or pick up a paper copy of The Bulletin.

November 20 in GO! Magazine

Friday, November 20th, 2009

Happy Friday-before-Thanksgiving, folks! Do you know what the Friday before Thanksgiving means? It means next week is Thanksgiving, which means good food, days off work, and sports on television. (This is as good a time as any, I suppose, to inform you good people that I’m a college basketball — specifically University of Kentucky basketball — fanatic, and that fanaticism may surface here on the blog from time to time over the next six months.)

Anyway, I love the holidays. I love the parties and the decorations and the merriment and the quality time with loved ones and all the other stuff that comes with the holidays. And I love Christmas music, too. And none of the music detailed below is Christmas music, but that’s coming soon enough.

In the meantime, here’s what’s happening this week on Central Oregon’s live-music scene:

-Veteran local musician and multi-instrumentalist Brad Jones is best-known ’round these parts for his roles in Defekt-N-Jones, The Mostest and, if you’re an old-timer, Floor-Ride. Now, he’s unleashing his solo album “No Strings” on the world with a CD-release show on Saturday night.

-Two opportunities to hit the Tower Theatre, take in some good music, and contribute to a good cause: Tonight is the Homegrown Music Showcase, benefiting the Ronald McDonald House, and Saturday night is 3 Leg Torso, with proceeds going to the Cascade Community School of Music.

-Looking for something to do the night before Thanksgiving? How about GWAR! Because nothing goes with turkey and stuffing like mock murders and fake blood. (I, for one, am thankful that this clip exists.)

-The Ascetic Junkies are a good band from Portland that mixes bluegrass and pop. They’ll be at Silver Moon Brewing on Saturday.

-Roots-rock round-up: Freak Mountain Ramblers, Too Slim & the Taildraggers, Moon Mountain Ramblers.

-Locals round-up: Andy Armer, Necktie Killer, Klever Kill, Problem Stick, Little White Lyins, Leif James & the Struggle, and Amsterdam’s birthday bash.

All those links should lead to stories for subscribers to The Bulletin’s Web site. If they don’t, you’ll either need to subscribe or grab a printed copy of today’s Bulletin.