Posts Tagged ‘Vandaveer’

The 11 best concerts of 2011 in Central Oregon

Wednesday, December 21st, 2011

Four things:

1) I saw a lot of live music in 2011, and below you’ll find reviews, videos and photos of my 11 favorite concerts of the year, plus links to more on each.

2) You’ll note, perhaps, that these happened at 11 different venues in Central Oregon. I thought that was cool.

3) Why 11? Because I couldn’t bear to cut any of them to get it down to 10!

4) As long as you’re here, be sure to click over to our Near/Far page and check out the rest of our coverage of 2011′s best music, including free, legal downloads of the year’s best songs!

CHAMPAGNE CHAMPAGNE
JAN. 9, OLD MILL MUSIC LOUNGE

FULL REVIEW

Champagne Champagne. Photo by Ben.


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[Video / review] Vandaveer and Cheyenne Marie Mize at McMenamins

Tuesday, June 28th, 2011

(Note: I just realized I never posted this. D’oh!)

So here’s how this works, in reverse: It took me a while to publish this blog post. Why? Because it took forever for me to edit and upload all this video. Why? Because there’s a lot of it. Why? Because I was compelled to just keep rolling Wednesday night as up-and-coming folkies Vandaveer and Cheyenne Marie Mize lit up a dark Father Luke’s Room at McMenamins Old St. Francis School.

It was a night full of gorgeous songs. Mize opened with an hour-long solo set that featured a handful of moments so arresting, you could hear a pin drop in a room that rarely lacks for chatter. The sine-wave keyboard line of “Have You,” the minimalist violin plucking of “Rest,” and the jaw-droppingly beautiful love song “All I Am” not only commanded the attention of the audience, they seemed to stop time. (Video of all three is below.) Mize is an enormous talent, and I wouldn’t be surprised if in a couple years, the folks who saw her play an intimate (not to mention free) show Wednesday in Bend will be thanking their lucky stars they did.

If Mize’s set was a thing of understated beauty, Vandaveer’s was more like the confident swagger that comes when you know you’re looking good. The band’s principle, Mark Charles Heidinger, has it all: catchy and clever songs, cinema-star good looks, and charm pouring from every pore. He’s got an affable, self-effacing manner and a million-watt smile, and he pairs those two things with a seemingly endless well of memorable melodies. I really believe the guy has all he needs to become a huge star in the post-Avett/Mumford age. I know if I were a record label exec, I’d be swooping in on him as we speak.

Anyway, about the set: Heidinger plays his acoustic guitar in a propulsive, percussive style, and his voice is strong and clear. His cohort — harmony queen Rose Guerin — is a show-stopping alto that adds a bit of needed grit to the mix. Heidinger bounced around his catalog, from the title track from his new album “Dig Down Deep” to the Simon & Garfunkel-ish shuffle of “How Many Takes it Takes” to the apocalyptic chop of “Spite.” He played an impromptu cover of The Beatles’ “Rocky Raccoon” to honor a little girl’s purchase at the merch table (“Our cutest customer ever,” Heidinger said), and he had Mize join the band on drums for a run through Vandaveer’s “hit single” (he said with a laugh) “The Nature of Our Kind.”

Overall, the two sets were nice counterpoints. Mize’s was soft and supple and vulnerable, Vandaveer’s was sharp and solid and airtight. Both were brilliant in their own way. And they added up to one of the best shows I’ve seen in Bend so far this year.

Here’s lots of video evidence. I would strongly encourage you to take a listen. First up, five songs from Mize, including, I believe, three new ones.

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Don’t miss Cheyenne Marie Mize tonight before Vandaveer

Wednesday, June 22nd, 2011

McMenamins Old St. Francis School hosts a whammy of a double-bill tonight in Father Luke’s Room as two rising nu-folk artists — Vandaveer and Cheyenne Marie Mize — perform both separately and together.

I’m hearing some buzz around Vandaveer’s appearance in Bend, and with good reason; the band’s newest album, “Dig Down Deep,” is a wonderful listen, full of modern, melodic Americana from the pen of Mark Charles Heidinger, who calls Washington D.C. home, but grew up in the great state of Kentucky.

There is no question that Heidinger knows his way around a song, and “Dig Down Deep” is a strong effort that’s well worth your time. But I’d argue that an even brighter — if slightly less developed — talent will open tonight’s show. Mize’s 2010 album “Before Lately” is a stunning collection of beguiling folk songs that tend to take the path less traveled to your ear. Her songwriting is slyly unconventional; she often zigs when you expect a zag, and she’s not afraid to challenge listeners with the occasional aural curveball, not unlike her stylistic ancestor Chan Marshall (aka Cat Power) or one of her contemporaries, Sharon Van Etten. The result is an album that sounds like a warm summer night spent laying in the grass staring up at the celestial expanse above. Mize was born to be your tour guide through the constellations.

Here she is doing the “Before Lately” track “Waiting” last year in Portland for the Into The Woods folks:

All of that is the long way of saying that tonight, rather than saunter from dinner over to McMenamins at around 7:30 or 8, you should make a point to be there at 7 p.m. to catch Mize’s opening set. Then, as a special bonus treat, you’ll get to see her play with Vandaveer. (Mize is also from Kentucky, and has been touring and playing with Vandaveer for a while now.)

And, as usual, this show is free. Which … which is just crazy.

Hey, as long as you’re here, check out Vandaveer (with Mize) playing “The Nature of Our Kind” from “Dig Down Deep” in an abandoned pool, filmed by the La Blogotheque squad:

Vandaveer | The Nature of our Kind | A SxSw / IC Take Away Show from La Blogotheque on Vimeo.

This week in GO! Magazine’s music section

Friday, June 17th, 2011

(Note: I would strongly encourage you to seek out the print version of GO! Magazine (in today’s issue of The Bulletin) to see the nifty Twister-themed art and layout that my colleagues Greg and Althea did for the section this week. It looks great, and you should really see it in all its dead-tree glory!)

Central Oregon’s music scene offers a little bit of everything this week. There’s jazz (Jeff Lorber, Patrick Lamb, Renato Caranto Quartet), rock (Zepparella), hip-hop (Tech N9ne, Eddie Valiant, Sadistik, Kristoff Krane), punk (Emily’s Army), reggae (Jon Wayne and The Pain), country (Blaine Larsen), folk (Vandaveer, Cheyenne Marie Mize) and more. Plus, a benefit and celebration for PoetHouse Art, the Deschutes County Fair’s concert lineup and the last preliminary round of Last Band Standing.

Click the image below to read all about it!