Posts Tagged ‘Water Tower Bucket Boys’

This week in GO! Magazine’s music section

Friday, March 2nd, 2012

We start this blog post by noting that today is March 2, which is in fact a day in March, which means we have entered the time of maximum excitement for fans of collegiate basketball.

For those of you who’ve been around for a while, you know that I am a devout, lifelong fan of the University of Kentucky Wildcats, owners of seven national championships and the consensus pick to win an eighth when the NCAA tournament wraps up on April 2. So I’m going to be a little bit hoops crazy for the next month, and that’ll probably be reflected on Frequency and its associated Facebook and Twitter. Consider yourself warned.

Portland’s Water Tower (fka Water Tower Bucket Boys) will visit Bend next week for a show at The Horned Hand. My colleague David Jasper spoke with founding member Kenny Feinstein about the band’s constantly evolving sound and its recent move from four members to three.

Now that they’re a trio and operating without a banjo player, “We’ve had a lot of freedom,” he said. “We have a little bit of electric guitar. I’m playing that as a sort of textural thing.”

From album to album, the only constant for Water Tower has been change.

“You know, our first album (‘The Squid and the Fiddle’) was a traditional old-time record,” Feinstein said. “Our second album (‘Catfish on the Line’) was a traditional bluegrass record. The third record (‘Eel-P’) was pretty bluegrassy but with our own songs in it. The fourth record (‘Sole Kitchen’) was all of our own songs.

“And now this fifth record, ‘Where the Crow Don’t Fly,’ is kind of going in this new, spacey direction,” he said.

“Spacey direction” means “reaching for bigger textures, darker areas,” Feinstein said. The group alights for new sonic territories on the five-song recording, including some keyboard, guitar and vibes. “We’re experimenting with all sorts of different sounds that we haven’t in the past, so that’s kind of exciting for us.”

I hope you’ll click here and read the whole thing.

Meanwhile, over in my Feedback column, I talk through a few of my own issues with the way we consume recorded music in 2012. My biggest problem: Stream Fatigue, or the feeling of being overwhelmed by the sheer amount of music you can stream free and legally on the Internet.

For all the talk of piracy and its death-grip on the music industry, the truth is you don’t even need to track and download leaks to hear just about anything you want to hear these days. In 2012, standard practice for musicians is to “leak” an album — or at the very least a song or two — to the web ahead of its release date in hopes that writers will write about it and folks will listen and decide to purchase an exorbitantly expensive vinyl pressing or attend a show and buy a T-shirt.

It’s these legal streams that have me overwhelmed. By my count, I have upward of four dozen album and song streams stashed in various digital hidey-holes, languishing as I forget about them and move on to making sure I’m not missing anything newer.

I’ve got what I call Stream Fatigue, and it’s becoming a problem.

I’m quite sure consuming music is not supposed to be like this. Consuming music is supposed to be dropping a needle into a groove, flipping an LP, browsing liner notes while listening to a CD from beginning to end. It’s supposed to be an experience, an opportunity to appreciate art. It’s not supposed to be like drinking from a firehose on shuffle.

Click here and read it, and then let me know in the comments if it rings true for you, or if I’m just dead wrong.

Also worth highlighting this week is this short piece on The Horde and the Harem, a Seattle-based indie-folk/pop band that’s coming to The Horned Hand on Monday. Member Ryan Barber grew up in Bend, too.

Elsewhere in this week’s music section: Red Molly in Sisters, Diego’s Umbrella at Players Bar and Twin Atlantic for under a buck tonight at The Sound Garden, plus the Hobo Nephews of Uncle Frank, Blackflowers Blacksun and Blackstrap at Silver Moon Brewing, tonight’s To The Moon party with Samples, David Starfire, Ale Fillman and more … uh, and more!

This week in GO! Magazine’s music section

Friday, October 14th, 2011

We’re entering an incredibly busy few weeks on the Central Oregon music scene, especially considering it’s mid-October, a time when local stages used to go virtually quiet. No more.

So I recruited a little help to cover everything going on this week. Below, you’ll find links to our interviews with the rapper Afroman, the newgrass legend David Grisman and indie-folk upstarts The Builders and The Butchers, plus briefs on a ton of other artists. I hope you’ll click around and check it out, or better yet, grab a print copy of The Bulletin today and flip through GO! Magazine.

Afroman returns to the Domino Room Sunday. My colleague Rachael Rees chatted with him about who inspires him, how he gets ready for shows, and what it feels like when many people only want to hear one of your songs a decade after it was a hit.

GO!: Why do you keep coming back to Bend?

Afroman: I love my fans. I have some strongholds in America … because of people who heard “Because I Got High.” It’s been 10 years since “Because I Got High” and cities like Bend are keeping me in the game. Bend has kept with me past “Because I Got High” and is familiar with all my songs.

GO!: What is your ritual before you get on stage to perform?

A: I like to get to town early and get into the mood of hip-hop and what it means to me. I don’t want to shortchange my fans so I smoke blunts and play music while I pull out my best clothes. I go to the barber shop. I do my nails. (I) put on my cologne and buy jewelry cleaner to drop my big chains in. It’s about quality, looking good and rapping good.

This interview is full of pure gold. You really should click here and read it.

David Grisman was here only a year ago, but that was with his quintet in a seated venue. Tonight, he’s back with his bluegrass band at the Domino Room, where you can dance the night away to the Dawg. Grisman was kind enough to answer a few questions via email, and David Jasper wrote a story about him.

It’s quite clear that appreciating the roots of bluegrass is important to Grisman. He says that when he first heard the form, it was initially “the banjo, played in the style of Earl Scruggs, that blew my head off.

“I think bluegrass is a perfectly orchestrated style of instrumental and vocal music, with real roots in the stories and lives of the people,” he said. “It elevates folk music to a virtuosic status and runs the gamut of human expression. Plus, the history of bluegrass is something that occurred in my lifetime, and I had the opportunity to witness it happening and meet and even play with many of its great architects.”

Click here to read it all.

Portland folk-rock band The Builders and The Butchers return to Bend next week to play two shows at McMenamins Old St. Francis School. Rachael Rees asked them a few questions via email, too, and frontman Ryan Sollee responded.

Sollee and his band mates — who came together playing on the streets of Portland — look to the past for both lyrical and musical inspiration, striving for authenticity and sounds that ignore today’s emphasis on commercial viability.

“I have no problem with pop and major radio artists altering their sound digitally. They are playing to an audience that obviously doesn’t care,” Sollee said. “Where I get frustrated is in the indie world when vocals are obviously (Auto-Tuned). It just doesn’t sound very honest to me.”

I hope you’ll read the whole thing by clicking here.

Elsewhere in this week’s music section: Dave Matthews tells you why you should check out Danny Barnes Thursday night, the Water Tower Bucket Boys and Moon Mountain Ramblers team up at Silver Moon, Innovation Theatre throws a launch party to celebrate its new Madhappy vibe, Tony Pacini and Chuck Redd return to Jazz at Joe’s, and Franchot Tone is moving to California and playing a farewell show tonight, plus The Ben Rice Band, Ali Handal, Hurtbird and more. Oh, and this previous blog post about Birthday Suits. WHEW!