Posts Tagged ‘Tribal Seeds’

This week in GO! Magazine’s music section

Friday, January 14th, 2011

The Oxford Hotel in downtown Bend will kick off its new jazz series this weekend with three performances by the Mel Brown Quartet. I spoke with the band’s namesake drummer about the MBQ, one of three bands he plays in at Jimmy Mak’s jazz club in Portland’s Pearl District.

The MBQ came together years ago to play tight, hard-swinging bop in a style somewhat similar to that of one of Brown’s heros, Art Blakey and his Jazz Messengers. The group has been described as a quartet of bandleaders, though Pacini is the official music director, leading the MBQ through its vast repertoire of originals and standards “with a different twist,” Brown said.

“(The band) is kind of like my background — the way I was raised, the music I grew up on,” Brown said. “We play straight ahead, and it feels really good. Everybody plays and we listen to each other a lot.

“Plus everybody likes each other,” he continued. “In most bands you get something good going and all of a sudden there’s an internal fight, and that’s because you’re around each other too much. I see some of these guys once a week, so we don’t have time to get mad. Hell, we’re just happy to be playing.”

Brown is a legend in the Northwest jazz scene, and you should click here to read the whole interview. While you’re there, read up on the other jazz happenings this weekend, including a Just Joe’s show at Greenwood Playhouse, and Cascade School of Music’s effort to revive the old Sunday shows at Be Bop Coffee House.

Champagne Champagne's Pearl Dragon performs in the rafters of the Old Mill Music Lounge. Photo by Ben.

This week’s Feedback column focuses on two Seattle hip-hop groups — Champagne Champagne and Mad Rad — that performed last weekend at the Old Mill Music Lounge. There’s weren’t many people there, so chances are decent you weren’t there, so read on …

As is frequently the case in this genre, Champagne Champagne’s DJ (Mark Gajadhar) is a secret, shadowy weapon. As is less frequently the case, he may be their MVP. (MCs Sir Thomas) Gray and Pearl Dragon were solid, engaging performers all night; Gray manned a mic stand like a rock singer, and his partner stalked off the stage more than once to rap from within the crowd. They slayed their best song (so far), “Soda & Pop Rocks,” with its wicked, dubstep-y bass line and shoutouts to the streets of Seattle: “My city’s not pretty it’s gritty,” Pearl Dragon raps. “Top notch when the block’s hot, blow up like soda and pop rocks.”

Elsewhere, the MCs showcased their influences: indie/alt-rock (one tune referenced Sonic Youth’s “Bull in the Heather”) and ’80s-child pop culture (“She looks like Molly Ringwald. She’s beautiful to me.”), while Gajadhar rocked like an octopus working overtime, bouncing from electric guitar to keyboard to tambourine to drum machine to melodica and back. His work was sometimes ominous and murky (“Something Strange”), sometimes bright and poppy (“Hollywood Shampoo” sounds like hip-hop built on a Shins song), and sometimes a sweet and sour collision of video-game bloops and punk-rock squall.

It was a great show. I hope you’ll read the whole thing by clicking here.

Elsewhere in this week’s music section: Larry and His Flask headline a show to benefit two of its members’ dad, Tribal Seeds and Anthony B (separately) bring reggae to the Domino Room, Rootdown rocks McMenamins, Empty Space Orchestra continues its January residency at Silver Moon, Seattle folkie Sarah Sample plays Sisters, MC Mystic spins Michael Jackson tunes at MadHappy Lounge and local bands Five Pint Mary and Boxcar Stringband play a benefit for BAKESTARR.

This week in GO! Magazine’s music section

Friday, May 21st, 2010

Portland indie-folk band Horse Feathers kicks off the new PDXchange Program concert series at the Tower Theatre. I spoke with head Feather Justin Ringle, and here’s an excerpt:

In the past couple of years, though, things have changed for Ringle.

He moved from one part of Portland to another. He changed band members; both (Peter and Heather Broderick) left the band, replaced by Nathan Crockett (violin), Catherine Odell (cello) and multi-instrumentalist Sam Cooper.

Then there’s the confidence Ringle has gained in the years since he moved from Idaho to Portland and ditched rock bands in favor of acoustic music.

“Any types of changes you have in your life … usually find their way into what you make. There’s no way around it; even if you try for it to not be there, it will be there,” Ringle said. “I just tried to be sensitive to that, because my life’s changed quite a bit … and I tried to embrace some of those things that were happening in my life … in the music. I think that’s where the little evolution comes in (and) this record sounds different.”

I don’t mean to sound like a broken record, but this is a terrific band, and I hope you’ll read the whole thing here and then catch them Tuesday in Bend.

Sierra Leone's Refugee All Stars. Photo by Dean Guernsey / The Bulletin

Feedback returns this week and heads to the Tower Theatre to see Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars. It was a nice change of pace from rock bands in bars!

The All Stars play reggae and African music, so repetition — of guitar riffs, percussion parts, lyrics — was an integral part of the stew. Time after time, the band built a polyrhythmic bed that would make a dead man shake it, and the twin guitarists and a rotating cast of vocalists would decorate that bed with glorious ribbons of melody.

The highlight of the night, for me, were the cascading guitars on “Kele Mani,” a wonderful example of the African highlife style that brought to mind a dancing fountain; when one melody began to fade, another took its place, gracefully and right in time.

Other standouts included the slow-simmering funk of “Jah Mercy,” a ultra-bouncy pop tune called “Soda Soap,” and the murky, psychedelic feel of a song that’s named “P. Malontone” on the set list. For the life of me, I can’t seem to figure out its real name.

Read the whole thing here.

Elsewhere in this week’s music section: local rapper Mindscape holds a CD-release show, Runner Runner brings pop-rock to Silver Moon, Tribal Seeds will headline a big reggae show tonight, Mountain’s Edge will host five local bands and raise money for local dogs, Back from the Dead plays The Annex, Blowin’ Smoke makes NightSounds at the new Bend Performing Arts Center, and Jade’s Jazz Lounge rolls on in La Pine.