I was hoping to find room for this in tomorrow’s GO! Magazine, but we ran out of space. So to the blog it goes!
Helluva show Saturday night at The Horned Hand in Bend, featuring one of the best local punk bills I can remember in my five years here. Tuck and Roll kicked things off with some top-notch pop-punk, followed by a furious set from local old-school shredders The Confederats. Both bands have been scarce around town in recent years, so it was great to see them rip it up.
The Flask was awesome, as always, nailing all their originals and covering Thin Lizzy, Marvin Gaye and someone else I can’t remember (I think?). You can tell that playing scores of sets in all sorts of circumstances this summer on the Warped Tour really honed the band’s skills and tightened up their show. It’s still a wild time, but not quite the unnerving chaos it was, say, 18 months ago. It’s more of a controlled chaos these days.
Of course, on Saturday, a little bit of that control may have been because of the distance between the band and most of the crowd. Apparently — and this is based on one side of the story, but seems to be basically accurate — The Horned Hand received notice before the show that their legal capacity would be dropped from 200 to 49 thanks to some sort of structural issue cited by the city of Bend’s fire marshal. (More on that soon, I hope.) As a result, Hand owner Wesley Ladd, fearful of a fine for being over capacity, allowed 49 people inside the building and kept the other 100+ outside, where they crowded around an open bay door to watch the show. (The Flask played inside, in front of the stage, but walked out into the throng several times, which made me wonder if that meant others could come in under the one-in, one-out policy.)
It was a little awkward — the Hand can clearly hold a lot more than 49 people — but I thought overall it was a decent solution, and the best Ladd could do in a tough spot. But then, I was inside. I don’t know how the people outside felt; I did see mostly smiles and friendly interactions with the big dudes whose job it was to keep them out all night.
Photos and moving pictures! (Thanks to Adam Sears for the videos.)
Citing “capacity issues” (which, frankly, have existed since the second this show was booked; it’s not like venue got smaller in recent weeks) (OK, I’m retracting that statement because I was reminded that while venues generally don’t physically shrink, their legal capacity certainly can. More on this as soon as I can get it.), local punkgrass powerhouse Larry and His Flask announced last night via Facebook that their show tonight has been moved outdoors into the parking lot of The Horned Hand (507 N.W. Colorado Ave., Bend), and earlier in the evening. Here’s the message from LAHF:
Hey everybody, Slight change in the schedule for (the) 9/17/11 show at the Horned Hand in Bend, Oregon. Due to capacity issues the show is being moved to the parking lot where capacity will not be an problem. Doors will be at 6 p.m. Music starts at 6:30 p.m. Larry And His Flask will be going on at 9 p.m. sharp. $6, 21+ There will be skate ramps so bring your deck! See ya’ll there!
Also on the bill: local punk legends The Confederats and one of my favorite bands in town, Tuck and Roll. So I’d encourage you to get there on time. It’s gonna be wild.
Hip-hop/pop-rock hybrid Hurtbird is based in Portland, but it has deep roots in Bend and is heading this way to play two shows this weekend, including tonight’s Homegrown Music Review at the Tower Theatre. I talked to local native Ryan Hayes about the band’s origins and its fine new album “Nature Vs. City.”
From the beginning, Hurtbird was a vehicle for the gritty, abstract poetry of Hayes, who minored in the subject in college. But also from the beginning, the group wanted to explore sounds that didn’t fit into neat genre categories.
“We kind of wanted to do something different,” Hayes said. “A lot of the hip-hop shows we were going to were just a guy who would bring a CD and put it in and do his vocals over the top. We’d all played music long enough that we wanted to expand on the sound and make it a more important aspect of the music.”
Through the years, Hurtbird accomplished at least part of that goal via the strong and distinctive vocals of two Young brothers: former member Ritchie, and current member Michael, both of whom grew up in Bend.
“We always wanted somebody with a unique voice to be able to sing choruses,” Hayes said. “We wanted to bridge the gap between the genres of indie rock and hip-hop. Well … really, we just made music that we wanted to listen to.”
Besides the Homegrown gig, Hurtbird will perform at MadHappy Lounge Saturday night. Click here to get all the details and read the whole story.
Doug Martsch of Built to Spill. Let's pretend it's fuzzy for art's sake, and not because I took it with my phone.
Boise, Idaho indie kings Built to Spill visited Bend’s Domino Room on Wednesday night, and they were outstanding. I wrote a review in the middle of the night after the show, and here’s one of the parts that makes sense.
Wednesday’s show was heavy with old-school favorites and only a few songs (the mellow “Life’s A Dream,” the punky thrash of “Pat,” the rubber soul of “Hindsight”) from Built to Spill’s most recent record, 2009’s “There Is No Enemy.”
Instead of flogging the record you’d expect him to flog, (frontman Doug) Martsch showcased several crunchy golden oldies like “In The Morning” and “Stab” (early in the night), and “Car” and “Distopian Dream Girl” (later). He stacked the middle of the set with sweeping, soaring songs like “Untrustable,” “The Plan” and “I Would Hurt A Fly.” In particular, the roiling ending of “Untrustable” was a scorcher that stirred the up-front fans — a funny mix of hippies, frat-looking dudes, hipsters and mountain men — into a mild mosh pit.
Elsewhere in this week’s music section, we’ve got the return of Floater, a couple of good bluegrassy bands (Head for the Hills and Dead Winter Carpenters), and a slew of heavy local bands playing gigs this weekend, including Shades of Society, Violent Intention, Exfixia, StillFear, The Confederats and Alley Brewed. Get out there and see some music, folks!
New York City ska pioneers The Toasters will play twice at Mountain’s Edge this weekend, once on Friday and once Saturday. Here’s a clip of my conversation with founding member and frontman Robert “Bucket” Hingley:
GO!: I read somewhere about your efforts to run The Toasters according to a set of core principles. Can you tell me about those principles?
Bucket: What we’ve tried to do is always keep in touch with the fans and (not decline to) play shows because the venue wasn’t big enough or we didn’t have a nice hotel, or that kind of stuff. We still run it like a punk-rock band in that sense.
Otherwise, it’s about sticking to your own music and not trying to follow trends, and not writing tunes to sound like something because the record label wants you to do that. I think just sticking to playing 2 Tone ska music, which hasn’t always been popular, I think that’s what’s helped us stick around for a long time, because people appreciate that.
I saw The Gourds for the first time in 12 years last weekend and loved it. Here’s part of my review:
Russell introduced “Hallelujah Shine” with a stark verse of “Amazing Grace,” only to giggle halfway through while watching snowriders racing down the giant rail-jam structure standing tall behind the audience. Smith tore through one of his best songs, “LGO,” singing past his ever-present toothpick as Bernard played the song’s serpentine accordion riff.
Then Russell shifted from “Country Gal” into Queen’s “Fat Bottomed Girls,” tossing in a Joe Cocker impression just for fun. Or maybe to stay warm, because the band looked cold, especially Johnston. Even a few reminders of home — a colorful zarape in the kick drum, cases of Tecate beer just offstage — couldn’t make Central Oregon feel like Central Texas.
You can read the whole thing here. The video above was shot by stephsmomfr. Frequency has video of the show here and a bunch of great photos here.
Elsewhere in the music section: Greg Botsford’s CD-release show, Moonalice returns to Bend and Jukebot plays Silver Moon, plus The Confederats, Blowin’ Smoke, Eric Tollefson and Shireen Amini, Tentareign and The Sofa Kings, The Sweet Harlots, Hot Tea Cold and Empty Wotta. And, as always, complete music listings are here.