I totally forgot to mention this Monday and Tuesday (I blame the peppermint bark haze I was living in at the time) but Dori Donoho — host of the excellent Homegrown music show on Clear 101.7 FM and all-around awesome supporter of local music — was nice enough to have me as a guest for her daily Homegrown Hits segment this week to talk about the year in music in Central Oregon.
On Monday and Tuesday, we played songs by Laura Curtis and Mike Potter, respectively, and chatted a bit about each of those artists. Today, we’ll feature Cadence. Tomorrow it’s Tuck and Roll, and Friday is Larry and His Flask. All of these artists and songs are available for free and legal download on The Bulletin’s Near/Far compilation of 2011’s best tunes.
Anyway, the segment airs around 10:30 a.m. (that’s soon for you Cadence fans!) but you should go ahead and tune in earlier and listen to Dori’s whole show, because it’s cool and she’s cool and you’re cool, too … right?
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.)
Citing “capacity issues” (which, frankly, have existed since the second this show was booked; it’s not like venue got smaller in recent weeks) (OK, I’m retracting that statement because I was reminded that while venues generally don’t physically shrink, their legal capacity certainly can. More on this as soon as I can get it.), local punkgrass powerhouse Larry and His Flask announced last night via Facebook that their show tonight has been moved outdoors into the parking lot of The Horned Hand (507 N.W. Colorado Ave., Bend), and earlier in the evening. Here’s the message from LAHF:
Hey everybody, Slight change in the schedule for (the) 9/17/11 show at the Horned Hand in Bend, Oregon. Due to capacity issues the show is being moved to the parking lot where capacity will not be an problem. Doors will be at 6 p.m. Music starts at 6:30 p.m. Larry And His Flask will be going on at 9 p.m. sharp. $6, 21+ There will be skate ramps so bring your deck! See ya’ll there!
Also on the bill: local punk legends The Confederats and one of my favorite bands in town, Tuck and Roll. So I’d encourage you to get there on time. It’s gonna be wild.
Bend-based pop-punk kingpins Tuck and Roll have a new EP out called “Broken Radios,” and they’re celebrating it with a free show tonight at Madhappy Lounge (850 N.W. Brooks St., Bend). The music starts at 6 p.m. outside the bar with Harley Bourbon and Confederacy of Dunces, and then Necktie Killer and Tuck and Roll will wrap things up inside. There’s also going to be barbecue! Here’s the first track on the EP:
Clocking in at 15 minutes long, the EP is pop-punk done right, where Sean Garvin’s urgent drumming and Ben Jones’ sturdy bass lines provide the power and guitarists Sam Fisher and Chris Murra chip in buzzy power chords arranged to ensure maximum toe-tapping.
Atop it all, Fisher’s melodies shine. The chorus of “Bum Shot” is a bounce-along beauty, framed by classic “whoa-oh, whoa-oh” background vocals. “Joke’s On Us” puts the pedal on the floor, paying homage to old-school Bay Area punk. “Grey Skies,” in turn, hits the brakes a tad, showcasing Tuck and Roll’s sensitive, nostalgic side.
That’s only 60 percent of “Broken Radios,” and the final two songs are terrific too. But I’ll leave that for you to discover. It suffices to say they hold up Tuck and Roll’s tradition of packing their releases with taut, catchy songs that reflect an understanding of the importance of efficiency when making records.
Tonight’s details again (click to make it bigger and more readable):
This week in the music section, we bring you sort of a hodgepodge of stuff, ranging from benefit shows to CD-release events to concert series kick-offs to brand new venues opening. So here’s a list:
KPOV’s raising funds with its second Beatles Singalong, and …
Friends of Megan Cecil are raising funds for her battle against cancer, and …
The High & Dry Bluegrass Festival’s raising funds by blending barbershop and bluegrass.
Local pop-punkers Tuck and Roll celebrate their new EP at Madhappy Lounge on Saturday, and …
Electro-soul-hop duo Dinner at the Thompson’s will also visit Madhappy on Thursday, and …
Slow Trucks nods to ’90s indie rock at Madhappy on Monday.
The Moon Mountain Ramblers kick off the summer concert series at Angeline’s Bakery in Sisters, and …
The Sweet Harlots kick off the Pickin’ and Paddlin’ series along the Deschutes River in Bend, and …
Brent Alan and friends kick off a new venue, Sugar Mountain Amphitheater near Terrebonne.
And then there are the things that don’t fit neatly into one of the groups above!
Deschutes Brewery is celebrating 23 years in business with a party in their parking lot, and …
Oh Sugoi! and Third Seven will fill McMenamins with experimental sounds, and …
I saw Brett Dennen and Dawes at the Athletic Club of Bend and then wrote what I thought about it.
“Hair metal” survivors L.A. Guns are in Bend tonight for a show at the Domino Room. I spoke with drummer Steve Riley about the key to the band’s longevity.
“Bands die when they get on a big tour … and then they have to come back and go out and do clubs. There are a lot of bands that won’t do that,” Riley said. “We never really cared. We just wanted to play and we have no problem bouncing from a Whitesnake show to a club show on our own and then back to a Scorpions show and then back to a club on our own.
“You’ve got to dig in and you’ve got to want to play. You can’t believe your own bulls—,” he said. “Phil and myself, we always just wanted to be working musicians where we go out and play a full set of our own original material, and that’s what we do. If it’s in a club, who cares? And if it’s with Whitesnake or Cinderella in a big arena, that’s great too. As long as we’re playing, we’re cool.”
Riley was a super nice, totally humble guy, and I enjoyed chatting with him. I hope you’ll read the whole story, which you can find by clicking here.
Tim Bluhm of The Mother Hips performing in Bend. Photo by Ben.
On St. Patrick’s Day, I went and caught a couple of excellent pop-rock bands — The Mother HIps and The Parson Red Heads — at McMenamins in Bend. Here’s part of my review, from today’s Feedback column:
(The Hips) came to town to play a ton of songs, kicking things off with the jagged “Third Floor Story” and “Esmerelda,” an affable tune that would fit in nicely on classic-rock radio playlists.
The thing is, the same can be said of most of the songs in the Hips’ set. “Do It On the Strings.” “Toughie.” “Later Days.” “Smoke.” All are well-written, with sweet choruses and swaggering guitar riffs. But when you string ’em together one after another, it really highlights where the Hips’ range begins and ends. And it’s not exactly a wide swath, not that it matters much to the couple hundred devout fans who showed up for the show, pumped their fists and mouthed every word.
There were peaks, of course. I loved the ragged chug of “Time-Sick Son of a Grizzly Bear,” the astral reverb and ascendant chorus of “Magazine,” and the wonderful “White Falcon Fuzz,” an easygoing rocker than sounds imported straight from your dad’s record player, circa 1975.
Do me a favor and click here to read the rest of it.
Elsewhere in this week’s music section: Arturo Sandoval brings jazz to the Tower Theatre, and Tom Grant does the same at The Oxford hotel, folk singer Danny Schmidt plays two shows, local MC Mindscape and Floater frontman Robert Wynia make for a busy weekend at Silver Moon, The Ascetic Junkies return to town, The Dirty Words celebrate their new album, and Tuck and Roll headlines a punk show at MadHappy.
The middle three days of next week will be abnormally busy and diverse as reggae artist Ky-Mani Marley, Portland folk band Y La Bamba and country traditionalist Marty Stuart play in Bend. Click here to read about all three of them.
I also want to highlight an opportunity to hear some African music with the Dusu Mali Band visiting Silver Moon. Beyond that, we’ve got Tuck and Roll, No Cash Value and Antique Scream at Players, StillFear and Tentareign at Grover’s, a busy week at The Marilyn, the Two/Thirds Trio playing a couple of jazz shows, and Todd Haaby playing a benefit show for a Summit High School band. Click here to see the whole music section.
I’ve gone on and on about my favorite recordings of 2010, but live music is the backbone of any good scene. Here is a look back my 13 favorite shows of the past 12 months in chronological order, with excerpts from reviews already published in The Bulletin or on Frequency.
(Jake) Smith’s talents are many, but his voice is obviously his most distinctive quality. It’s a show-stopper. A jaw-dropper. It’s canyon deep and sequoia strong, with a natural resonance that 99 percent of singers would kill to have.
The closest comparison I can come up with is Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder, though when he’s at his best, Smith makes Vedder sound like Bobby Brady going through puberty.
He’s just that great of a singer.
Smith showcased that voice on barnburners like “The Madman” and “Carnage,” with their ultra-low notes, as well as meandering, pretty numbers such as “Sleepy Little Town” and “Where Dirt and Water Collide.” And he let it soar during two of his best songs, “Love Song #1” and “Damned.” The ascendant pre-chorus of the former and the roller-coaster verses of the latter were perfect examples of Smith’s skill for writing melodies that are both unconventional and memorable.
Lap steel guitar wizard Robert Randolph and his Family Band will bring their gospel-blues-rock to Bend on Sunday. My colleague David Jasper spoke with Randolph about the past and present of sacred steel music.
“There’s a history of our church … which goes all the way back 70 years,” Randolph explained. “In those days in the south, guys couldn’t afford organs and pianos in church. The thing was basically to buy a lap steel guitar because they couldn’t afford” organs. “And this basically turned into a historical thing. It reached me, and it’s reaching kids younger than me.”
“You see, long before me, there were some guys that played who would have been huge rock stars — just as big as Muddy Waters and those guys in the ’50s, ’60s and into the ’70s. And those guys just weren’t really allowed to leave” the auspices of the church.
“It was a much different time then. By me being younger, and things sort of changing within the organization, it was sort of my focus to really go out there” and share the music with the world at large, he said.
Elsewhere in this week’s music section: The Builders and The Butchers roll into McMenamins, Person People and Empty Space Orchestra play B.I.G.S.’ big fifth birthday bash, the Sagebrush Rock Festival goes down in Christmas Valley, and Intervision visits Sunriver, plus the latest on locals Franchot Tone, Tuck and Roll, The Dirty Words and The Autonomics.
And last but not least, the 4 Peaks Music Festival happens this weekend, but thanks to a last-minute change of plans, the article in the paper has the wrong venue. So click here to get up-to-date info.