Hey, alright. Here you go. (Sorry, I’m tired. That’s the best I’ve got.)
— The famous actress Molly Ringwald is singing jazz songs now, and she’ll do so Saturday night at the Tower Theatre in Bend. My colleague David Jasper talked to her about her newest artistic endeavor. Click here to read his story.
— Local acoustic Americana trio The Prairie Rockets will celebrate the release of their first CD with a show Saturday night at Broken Top Bottle Shop in Bend. I chatted with one of the Rockets, Aspen Clayton, about the band’s rough go of it over the past year and the tragedy that halted the album’s creation for months. You should read all about it by clicking here.
Elsewhere in this week’s music section: Andre Nickatina returns to the Domino Room, Pato Banton will fill The Annex with positive vibes, Kenny Loggins brings his new band Blue Sky Riders to the Tower Theatre, “Romancing the West” tells the history of our half of the country through music, and a busy week at Silver Moon features Brownchicken Browncow Friday night, Tentareign and Sons of Dirt Saturday, Callow and Third Seven Sunday and Cheyenne West on Thursday.
Between Beats Antique in February and next week’s Social Distortion show, the Midtown Ballroom has certainly hosted two big ol’ buzz-worthy shows in 2012. Viva la Midtown!
But seriously, people are stoked for this Social D concert. Like … really stoked. So I was pumped we were able to get Mike Ness to give us a call for a chat.
As Ness was making his way toward Bend for Wednesday’s show, my colleague David Jasper talked to him about fake punks, his new man cave and the late Beastie Boy Adam “MCA” Yauch:
“Punk rock was supposed to be about individuality,” (said) Ness, known for his abilities as a between-song storyteller with a biting wit. “So, you know, I think the Beastie Boys are just as punk as Social Distortion because of that (individuality). I’ve seen so many Dickies-wearing, tattooed, f—ing grease-haired generic punk guys I could just puke. There’s more to it, guys, than trying to look like everyone else, and sound (like everyone else).
“You know, that’s kind of why we chose to incorporate Americana into our style,” he said, “because by the mid-’80s, punk, like anything else, was starting to stereotype itself.”
Speaking of Yauch, this week in Feedback, I tried to work out my thoughts about his death and why it hit me — and maybe you, too — a lot harder than I would’ve predicted if you’d asked me two weeks ago. Here’s an excerpt:
Listening to those four records (released over an eight-year span) now is like watching a bratty child grow into a wide-eyed and well-developed college kid. The awkward stages and annoying behavior fade away, replaced by tremendous, world-changing potential. The change is most striking in Yauch, who transformed from a scruffy, beercan-crushing lout into a political activist and spiritual leader who spit gravelly rhymes about respecting both mothers and Mother Earth.
If you’re the right age, and you look closely (the benefit of hindsight doesn’t hurt), you can see yourself growing up in Yauch’s example. I clearly remember giggling like a pre-teen at the bawdiest moments of “License to Ill.” Because, well, I was 10. I recall digging into the vintage funk/soul-sample paradise of “Paul’s Boutique” just as my own affinity for soaking up musical history was beginning to bloom.
And one of my most vivid adolescent memories is blasting “Ill Communication” in my friend Mark’s car, cruising our hometown for no good reason other than to celebrate our rapidly expanding freedom. Months later, the climax of the Beasties’ then-mega-hit “Sabotage” was the highlight of my first Lollapalooza experience.
There are a lot of kids … er, old folks like me who watched Adam Yauch mature from afar while experiencing a similar arc in their own lives.
Elsewhere in this week’s music section: Lindsey Buckingham comes to the Tower Theatre, Sweet Bonnie Gayle & The Rural Demons play country and gospel classics at The Horned Hand, David Nelson Band and Moonalice are gonna get Dead at the Domino Room, 4 Peaks Music Festival plans a weekend full of music and The Prairie Rockets perform tonight at Jackson’s Corner, plus Vagabond Opera, a Last Band Standing update, the lineup for the 2012 Deschutes County Fair and more.
(Find all our coverage of the 2011 Bend Roots Revival, including a preview of the event and recaps of all three days, by clicking here.)
Thanks to a previous commitment and then a last-minute decision to go see Subliminal play Nirvana’s “Nevermind” in its entirety (more on that later), I wasn’t able to make as much of the 2011 Bend Roots Revival‘s opening night as I would’ve liked.
I did scoot over to the Century Center in the late afternoon to catch a couple of bands. On the breezy Good Life Stage, local, all-female Americana trio The Prairie Rockets were playing a pleasant set that was perfect for the small Happy Hour crowd that had gathered. (By the way, how nice is that space? Wow. Kudos to Good Life Brewing for creating that little slice of paradise.)
I only had 30 minutes to split between the Rockets and Two/Thirds Trio, and during my 15 minutes with the Rockets, I heard them cover Creedence Clearwater Revival, Bob Dylan, and a folk standard called “Rock Salt and Nails” that was written by Utah Phillips and recorded by, well, just about everyone else. Here it is:
(Sorry for the shaky camera work and cut-off heads. I was wrangling an 18-month-old while shooting both of these.)
From there, I wandered over to the Casey’s Corner stage for a band with one of my favorite names in town, the Two/Thirds Trio. They played this gig as — get this — a quartet, pumping out rubbery, robust funk and jazz that gave the festival’s rootsy Friday-night lineup a little urbane diversity. Here’s one of their jams:
I had to be home most of the evening, so I missed the Moon Mountain Rambler Family Tree party, Billy Mickelson’s Third Seven / Dela Project run, guitar master Brooks Robertson and some other stuff. Before heading over to Grover’s for Subliminal, I checked in hoping to catch Oh Sugoi! (I was told their light show was amazing), but they seemed to be running late. And after Subliminal, I stopped in again and found 75 people or so dancing to the electronic tonic of Flying Kites well after midnight. It was still unseasonably warm.
Canadian bass music producer ill.Gates will headline tonight’s “For the Music” party to celebrate Slipmat Science’s ninth anniversary. I spoke with the man about how and why he immersed himself in the world of electronic composition.
Two decades ago, Lane was that upstart kid. He played guitar and piano, but got his first sampler at age 7, went to his first rave at 13, and liked the wide-open horizons of electronic music.
“It just sounded so new and different and fresh,” he said. “At that point, I had learned guitar, but I just felt like guitar music didn’t really need me. I felt like what I was doing was just kind of a commentary on the history of guitar music.
“I got a sampler and thought, ‘These instruments are new. These … have a lot of history left to unfold. This is something I can be a part of,’” Lane said. “I felt (guitars) had been so explored that I was going to have to really struggle to find something new, and I just didn’t want to sound like anyone else. I wanted to do something entirely different. I wanted to have my own thing.”
I also talked to one of the guys behind Slipmat to get the skinny on that crew’s origins. Click here to read them both. (The Slipmat story is on the right, in smaller print.)
Gregory Alan Isakov. Photo by Ben.
Feedback this week is on last Saturday’s wonderful Gregory Alan Isakov concert at the PoetHouse in downtown Bend. What a night. Here’s an excerpt.
Isakov’s set was a blend of old (the downcast “The Stable Song,” the throwback jazz of “Salt and the Sea”) and brand new (he said he’s working on his next album now), plus a stark cover of John Hartford’s “In Tall Buildings.”
Then there was plenty from Isakov’s wonderful 2009 album “This Empty Northern Hemisphere.” The Ryan Adams-esque sway of “That Moon Song” got the biggest response of the night, “Virginia May” rode a likable shuffle, and “Evelyn” gave Isakov’s crack band — drums, keys, cello and violin — a chance to rock out in their own gentle, orchestral style.
The highlight of the night, though, came mid-set when Isakov did a warm, resonant and drop-dead gorgeous song about the universe’s beauty and bruised feet, and then followed it with the title track from “This Empty Northern Hemisphere,” which crescendoed into a swarm of strings and falsetto oohs and ahhs. Isakov’s band has a firm grip on the power of dynamics, and those two songs showcased every inch of their range.
Elsewhere in this week’s music section: David Jacobs-Strain’s rootsy blues, Noise-A-Tron’s dark, heavy rock, McMenamins’ ’80s-themed “prom” and the Blues, Amuse & Brews benefit for Westside Village school. Plus there are a bunch of local acts with good gigs this week, including The Prairie Rockets, OpenFate, Jones Road, Kylan Johnson, Clair Clarke, JazzBros, Concave Perception Chamber and the Brian Hanson Band.