Also in the section: Portland’s Y La Bamba brings Mexican-influenced indie-folk to the backstage area at Les Schwab Amphitheater, guitar virtuoso Albert Lee visits the Tower Theatre, Juno What?! plans to synth-funk up The Annex, Marv and Rindy Ross play at Maragas Winery, Eugene acid-jazz outfit Eleven Eyes does two shows in town and more.
Dudes, we are officially in Central Oregon’s busy time of year, musically speaking. Here’s what’s up.
Bend’s beloved rock ‘n’ roll bar with the creepy hunting lodge aesthetic — The Horned Hand — is closing Saturday night after two years of business. They’ll end with an excellent lineup of bands including locals The Rural Demons and The Kronk Men, plus Chicago garage-pop band Outer Minds. I spoke with Brian Costello of Outer Minds about his band’s only other show at the Hand, among other things.
“That tour, our van had broken down like three or four times. In Los Angeles, we got to play for 10 minutes before they cut us off because they had booked … some kind of Korean rave party,” he said. “So much went wrong.
“So we get to Bend and we had no idea what to expect. We’d never been there. And everyone was so friendly and receptive, and we just had such a great time there,” he said. “After all those things that went wrong, we just felt very welcome and relaxed and ready to play. It was a wonderful time.”
It was a wonderful show, too. The band was in fine form, chugging through its upbeat brand of fuzzy garage-pop, highlighted by exuberant boy-girl vocals (courtesy Mary McKane, Gina Lira and frontman Zach Medearis), ultra-catchy melodies that sound imported straight from the psychedelic ’60s, and, maybe most of all, the buoyant charm of McKane’s 1967 Farfisa organ, which gives the whole sound an authentically vintage feel.
I hope you’ll click here and read the whole thing.
Also in this week’s music section: Steve Miller Band brings its bevy of hits back to Bend, Ziggy Marley returns to town, The Pitchfork Revolution kicks off the summer concert series at Angeline’s Bakery, Marcus Eaton plays Volcanic Theatre Pub, The Sound Garden ramps up its schedule beginning with a pop show Sunday and a metal show Monday, DJ P hits the decks at Liquid Lounge Saturday night, Krafty Kuts does the same on Thursday and more, more, more.
Newsy night on the local music scene last night. Since I have to get tomorrow’s GO! Magazine out the door, here’s a quick recap:
— The Bend City Council took the first step toward approving changes to its noise ordinance. Those changes are designed to clean up and clarify language that a judge deemed too vague late last year as he dismissed a noise-code violation citation against the Colorado Avenue music venue The Horned Hand, which was issued last August.
— Before approving those changes, though, the council made two additional changes to the law, both of which seem to favor event promoters and venue owners: Police are now required to use decibel meters before issuing a citation to a business that has received a noise complaint, and the fine for a first offense is now $250, down from a maximum of $750.
— Before the votes, The Horned Hand’s owner, Wesley Ladd, announced that he is closing the venue “within two months.” Initially, he mentioned the “strife” caused by the noise code and other issues as a reason, but after the meeting, he clarified to The Source Weekly, saying something I’ve been hearing him talk about for a while now:
At one point on Wednesday night, Ladd told the council he was closing The Horned Hand in part because of “strife” related to issues like the noise ordinance, but clarified later that the city, particularly the police department, has been very easy to work with and that the closure was more related to the difficulty of operating a music venue with a young family.
Over the past several months, Ladd (among others) has been working to open Nectar of the Gods Meadery. Coincidentally, the council also approved a liquor license for the company’s facility on Second Street in Bend Wednesday night, shortly before discussing the noise ordinance.
Here’s the article from today’s Bulletin by my colleague Hillary Borrud, with the judge’s reasoning and comments from Horned Hand owner Wesley Ladd as well as a couple neighbors who’ve called police to complain about the Colorado Avenue music venue in recent months.
Lots and lots of stuff in this week’s GO! Magazine in The Bulletin.
So let’s get right to it, shall we?
The inimitable Fred Eaglesmith will bring his Traveling Steam Show to Sisters’ HarmonyHouse Saturday night. My colleague David Jasper spoke with him about his famously sharp sense of humor.
“When I was younger, in the ’70s and ’80s, I wrote these really horrific songs about farm loss, which was happening all around me, you know, about my neighbors losing the farm,” he said.
“The songs were so sad, people loved them but they wouldn’t come back. It was too hard. I was young and didn’t really know what I was doing. Then I started telling these jokes about people on the farm. They weren’t that great of jokes, but I was always a pretty funny guy.
“And as I’ve gotten older, I’ve really learned my comedy well,” Eaglesmith said. “I’ve learned to just be a comedian. I could be a stand-up comedian if I wanted to.”
(Yeah, I’ve posted that before, but it’s worth watching again!)
On Saturday night, local experimental cello-looper Billy Mickelson — aka Third Seven — will celebrate the release of his new album “Cascadia” with a show at The Horned Hand. I called him up and talked to him about the theme of the record.
“It’s an album about what home is to me … and following your heart to share home with the world,” he said from his parents’ place in Lincoln City. “Oregon is my home, and as anybody who lives here knows, that feeling you get from the mountains and the trees here, you can’t replace that with city life or anywhere else that you’d want to move.
“It’s really special to me,” he continued, “and I wanted to capture that in this album in a sentimental way.”
I also used a page to highlight the busy and diverse schedule at The Horned Hand, where Jeff Crosby & The Refugees play tonight, The Horde & The Harem and Tom VandenAvond join Third Seven on Saturday, Swansea and Patrick Dethlefs perform Tuesday and The Generators play Wednesday. Whew!
Elsewhere in this week’s music section: Sean Hayes returns to Mandala Yoga, the Henhouse Prowlers bring traditional bluegrass to Silver Moon, the Hank Shreve Band gets bluesy at Liquid Lounge, Jerry Joseph and Walter Salas-Humara go acoustic at Astro Lounge, Night Under the Covers heads to the Northwest, Jones Road and Five Pint Mary play a benefit show for BAKESTARR, and more!
There has been much afoot recently in the local arts/music community with regard to the City of Bend’s new noise ordinance and the effect it has had on the town’s music scene and venues. I wish I’d been covering the situation more diligently, but a certain 13-day-old baby has been getting most of my attention in the past few weeks.
Anyway, the two groups are holding a meeting tonight at 6 at The Horned Hand, 507 N.W. Colorado Ave., in Bend. Here’s what the Facebook event page for the meeting says:
This will be a informational meeting for all interested in the new Noise Ordinance, how it is being interpreted/enforced and proposed changes. All are welcome to attend. Please share this with any musicians/artists/ or concerned patrons of the arts. We will also be discussing the newly formed Central Oregon Music and Arts Coalition.
Again, that’s 6 p.m. at The Horned Hand. Just two hours away. Sorry for the late notice; I’m catching up, too.
Every once in a while I look at the music section in GO! and am both proud and amazed at the amount of stuff we get to. We don’t get to it all, but we get to a lot.
This is one of those weeks:
-After years of opening for bigger names and selling out the Tower Theatre, Brandi Carlile is back in Bend Saturday to headline the Les Schwab Amphitheater. Opening act Blitzen Trapper is awesome, too. We talked to both of them.
Elsewhere in this week’s music section: Lauren Mann and the Fairly Odd Folk, DJ Wicked’s all-vinyl weekend, Estocar and The The The Thunder at Silver Moon, nelo at Black Butte Ranch, Back From The Dead at Maragas Winery, Moon Mountain Ramblers at Elk Lake Resort, Dixieland Party Band and Friends in La Pine, The JZ Band, a very busy weekend at The Horned Hand and more!
I’m a big fan of the Street View feature on Google Maps, which allows you to virtually plop down into the middle of a place and, through the magic of street-level imagery, see what’s happening there, or at least what was happening when Google’s funky little camera car rolled through.
I use Street View all the time for all kinds of reasons, from simply trying to get a better idea of something’s exact location to touring cities I’ve never visited. It’s fun. So for the past several years, Bend’s lack of Street View was frustrating. At first, there were no roads highlighted in blue when you dragged that little yellow dude across the map. Then, it was just our town’s traffic arteries.
But last night, I noticed that Google has finally blanketed Bend in Street View! And the second thing I thought to do — after look at my house, of course — was to check out some of our town’s busiest music venues. (Weird, I know.)
Anyway, I ended up grabbing screenshots of several, and when you line ’em all up, it’s kind of an interesting view of a group of buildings that many folks may know and love and/or tolerate, but because of the blurry, nighttime nature of their business, have never really looked at before. (The Tower Theatre and Les Schwab Amphitheater being obvious exceptions here.)
Domino Room and Midtown Ballroom. In case you can't read the marquee, it says "ROACH GIG CANCELED" ... which is funny, because the rapper's name is Roach Gigz, but it still works. The Roach gig was canceled, after all.
Minneapolis-based power duo the Birthday Suits will light up The Horned Hand Monday (8 p.m., $2-5 suggested donation) with their explosive live show, a wild and kinetic spectacle that has drawn comparisons to Mt. Punkmore acts like the Ramones and the Stooges. Birthday Suits aren’t quite punk, though; certainly the energy and tempo is there, but Japanese imports Hideo Takahashi (guitar) and Matthew Kazama (drums, like this) trade more in big, hooky garage-rock riffs that erupt like solar flares and rumble like thunder. These two dudes know how to make a racket.
Earlier this week, The Bulletin’s Rachael Rees emailed some questions to Takahashi, and he emailed back some answers. Here’s her report, followed by a video that showcases Birthday Suits’ strengths.
Matthew Kazama, left, and Hideo Takahashi are Birthday Suits
Guitarist and vocalist Hideo Takahashi said audiences might not like the sound of Birthday Suits’ music, but he guarantees they’ll feel it was worth paying to watch them play thanks to their physical energy on stage.
In an email interview, Takahashi described the band’s music as “loud music you won’t like,” but someone must like it; Takahashi and drummer Matthew Kazama have toured across the globe in 2011, from Los Angeles to Spain.
The duo is known and sometimes criticized for placing an emphasis on touring rather than spending time in the studio. Since 2005 the band has released two albums — “Cherry Blue” in 2005 and “The Minnesota: Mouth To Mouth” last year — totaling 37 minutes of music.
“You can write good songs and people will tell you they’re good songs,” Takahashi said. “But if you put out good shows, right away people would tell you to your face it was good with all kinds of expression.”
Takahashi said he’s personally inspired by Japanese pop music, old school punk like the Dead Kennedys and Japanese garage-punk such as Teengenerate.
He admitted it’s challenging to write songs without the second guitar and bass often found in rock bands, but said it has channeled the duo’s creativity, ultimately giving them more freedom when writing songs.
“We write songs together,” he said. “The songs I sing I write the lyrics for, the songs (Kazama) sings he does.”
Takahashi said he started Birthday Suits with Kazama when their previous band Sweet J.A.P. fell apart.
“Sweet J.A.P. ended because one of us had different opinions about the band, ” Takahashi said. “I think less chefs in the kitchen worked better.”
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.)