As is usually the case, there’s plenty to do around Central Oregon this week if you’re into live music, so I’m going to keep it basic with the highlights:
–Tonight, the popular Last Band Standing competition returns for 2011, pitting 32 bands against each other for audience votes over the next 11 weeks. If you click here, you’ll find my story — which includes some changes for this year’s LBS — plus a schedule of who plays when and where you can pick up free tickets.
–Elsewhere in the music section, you’ll find everything you need to know on Beth Wood’s folk songs, Cornmeal’s lightning-fast bluegrass, Adler’s Appetite’s Guns N’ Roses connection, Blaine Larsen’s pure country and Audiophilia’s eclectic jams.
The Cowboy Junkies visit Bend’s Tower Theatre, and my colleague David Jasper spoke with bassist Alan Anton:
The band is promoting the new album “Renmin Park,” the first in a series of four albums they’re calling “The Nomad Series.”
“This is what we’re doing that’s special,” Anton said, referring to the band’s 25 years together and the four-album cycle, to be released over an 18-month period.
In a statement on their website, www.latentrecordings.com, Cowboy Junkies explain that “for the first time in 20 years we are completely free of any recording contracts and obligations, we find ourselves writing and recording more than we have in years, our studio (The Clubhouse) feels more and more like home, the band now has 25 years under the hood and is sounding so darn good.”
Mosley Wotta performs at Portland's MusicfestNW on Sept. 10.
Every year, I travel over to Portland for the big MusicfestNW extravaganza. This year, for the first time (that I know of), the festival’s lineup included two Bend acts: Mosley Wotta and Sara Jackson-Holman. In this week’s Feedback, I write about their performances and how the crowds seemed to like ’em.
Performing live is still a relatively new endeavor for the 21-year-old Jackson-Holman, and on stage, her nerves sometimes show.
But by the time she arrived at the cascading melody of “Into the Blue” and the bouncy “Cellophane” — backed by an effortlessly skilled three-piece band — she found a good groove that carried through the rest of her night, including a formidable cover of Death Cab for Cutie’s “Transatlanticism.”
Live, the songs were noticeably more sparse than their lush, slickly produced counterparts on “When You Dream,” with the exception of the album’s woozy, slow-burning title track, during which Jackson-Holman used unexpected percussion and a gadget that looped her voice to create the set’s true “wow” moment.
Again, if you’ve seen Mosley Wotta, you probably know most of the songs he/they did: “Birthday Suit” and “Smoke” and “Smile Hater Smile,” all the faves. There were some familiar faces in the crowd of 60ish — Graham’s former DJ Mike “Mud” Graham and former Person People bassist Jordan Muller among them — but there were also lots of people I didn’t recognize, and by the time MoWo finished his opener, “Licking Reason,” most of them were smiling and bobbing their head to the beat.
From there, Graham kept reeling them in. “Boom For Real” is an undeniably great song, no matter your age; halfway through it, I turned and saw two white women in their 60s or 70s, dressed for a night at the opera, shaking their fists and chanting “boom … boom, boom!” to the chorus. Behind them, a 20-something black dude was doing the same thing. (The older women actually howled during “Smoke,” too. It was hilarious.)
Elsewhere in this week’s music section: The Devil Makes Three, Greg Brown, The Redwood Plan, Tomorrows Bad Seeds, Mindscape, and live music returns to Sisters’ Three Creeks Brewing Co. And you can always find more options in The Bulletin’s complete music listings.