Posts Tagged ‘The High Strung’

August 14 in GO! Magazine

Friday, August 14th, 2009

Hello team! It’s Aug. 14, and you know what Aug. 14 means, don’t you? It means it’s a Friday (if you’re reading this in 2009)! Which means there’s a new GO! Magazine out today for you to leaf through while you’re listening to those two new Radiohead songs. Here are the music-related things it holds:

-No interview with Joan Baez, sadly, but the woman’s got enough history to fill an entire newspaper. I take the wide-angle view here.

-The third annual High & Dry Bluegrass Festival sounds like a darn fun time — and cheap, too! $10 for three days of sweet string music. Can’t beat it.

-The new local band Warm Gadget is one of the more interesting things to happen around here in a while. I’m going to wait till they get their EP out to give you the full story, but here’s a little introduction to the crew to tide you over.

-The sixth Living Legend (of eight) to play in Bend over the past few years, Sunspot Jonz, is at Bendistillery Martini Bar on Saturday night. Someone get Aesop and Bicasso on the horn!

-I keep doing these Silver Moon overviews, because the place just keeps hosting great music. This week, it’s Nershi-Law Duo and Ten Feet Tall and 80 Proof and Teddy Presberg and Leif James and Sol Jibe.

-Pop-rock kingpins The High Strung, just back from some surreal gigs in Cuba, are back at the Bend Public Library on Wednesday. The show is designed to get teens to the library, but all ages are welcome.

Subscribers can access all those stories. Non-subscribers can’t. But folks who pick up a print version of the paper can see everything in all its full-color glory. And — bonus! — you can play a game of “Where’s Bob Dylan?” with your kids!

Oh, by the way: I’d love to hear your opinion of the live music options we have here in Central Oregon this summer. Do me a favor; click on over here and join the discussion, won’t you?

YOU CAN’T HANDLE THE ROCK! (The High Strung plays Guantanamo Bay)

Wednesday, August 12th, 2009

Detroit-based garage-pop band The High Strung are faves around Frequency HQ. They’ve played in Bend at Player’s Bar and Grill (read my review here) and the Bend Public Library (where they’ll be again Aug. 19), and they’re always a good time.

They’re also just back from some gigs on the U.S. military base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Sounds like the punchline to a joke, right? Well, it’s true, and Vanity Fair has a report written by the brother of drummer Derek Berk right here. My favorite part:

Some of their turnout may have been siphoned off by the presence of another group that had flown in with them. Made up of about eight active-duty armed forces members who earned a slot by submitting … a video of themselves strutting their musical chops, this group travels around in matching outfits, entertaining the troops in exotic locales like Guam, Puerto Rico, Hawaii, and Belgium. “They’re called USA Express,” Derek said. “Which is probably the worst band name in the world. That’s the best we can do, the all-powerful minds of the U.S. military? Anything would be better than that. The Rangers. The Fighters. Really, anything.”

Again, you should read the whole thing here. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go start a band called The Fighters. We’re going to cover only Belle & Sebastian and G.G. Allin songs.

Some highlights from the Frequency Flickr pool

Wednesday, July 29th, 2009

Say, have you checked out Frequency’s Flickr pool? If not, I’d love it if you would. Or better yet, join the group and add your own photos of music being made in Central Oregon! Here are some highlights from what’s there now; be sure to click through to see the ones after the jump. (Photos were taken by me unless otherwise noted.)

Tuck And Roll at Deschutes Brewery!

tuck and roll


Review: The High Strung at Players

Saturday, May 23rd, 2009

The High Strung at Players

(Check out the photo above and 10 others from the show at Frequency’s Flickr photo pool. You can also get to it through that little widget on the right side of the blog. Got photos of music being made in Central Oregon? Add them to the pool!)

If a band rocks a dive bar and no one’s around to hear it, does it make a sound?

That’s the question about the set The High Strung played at Players Bar & Grill on Friday night.

It’d be inaccurate to say that no one was there, of course. Throughout the Detroit trio’s set, the crowd dwindled from about three dozen to 15 or so folks, and that included me, the bar’s staff, and members of opening act No Cash Value. (I showed up just in time to catch No Cash do a couple catchy punk numbers, ending their set with a cover of the Misfits’ “Skulls.” They sounded great, and I made a mental note to make sure I see more of them soon.)

And truth be told, it’d probably be inaccurate to say The High Strung rocked the bar. It was more like a jostling. That said, the band performed about as well as you could expect, considering they were playing for so few people.

When The High Strung took the stage, frontman Josh Malerman proposed to his band mates a half-hour set. They ran over that by half, and this band can fit a lot of music into 45 minutes. Malerman and company delivered three-minute pop gems fast and furious, breaking only to decide what to play next.

The High Strung’s sound is pure pop filtered through a prism of garage grit, like The Who playing Beatles songs. Malerman is the ringleader and drummer Derek Berk is a beast behind the kit, but it’s bassist Chad Stocker who’s most fun to watch; his flailing and headbanging didn’t seem dampened by the small audience.

Those who stuck it out seemed appreciative. Scattered hoots and hollers and claps followed each song, and The High Strung stayed relentlessly positive, complimenting No Cash Value and saying how stoked they were to play a new town. (The band played for kids at the Bend Public Library in 2006, but this was their first club show here.)

Near the end of their set, Stocker stopped to pimp the stuff for sale at the band’s merch table, and an onlooker yelled (I’m paraphrasing here) “Less banter with the crowd!” (even though there really hadn’t been that much). Without missing a beat, Stocker replied: “We’re doing our usual amount of banter, there’s just fewer people.”

Tonight: The High Strung at Players

Friday, May 22nd, 2009

The High Strung

The High Strung will play anywhere.

An elementary school gym in Fernwood, Idaho. Burt’s Tiki Lounge in Albuquerque, N.M.

Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. (Seriously. They head there for a show in late July.)

The Bend Public Library. (The High Strung performed to a packed house there in 2006, and will return Aug. 19.)

In a world with hundreds of bands driving vans all over the country, the three fellows in The High Strung have carved out quite a niche for themselves.