Posts from — January 2009
Alvin Youngblood Hart (born Gregory Edward Hart), a self-taught guitarist, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist, helped lead a younger generation of creative blues artists during the 1990s. Similar to artists such as Keb’ Mo’ and Corey Harris, the free-spirited, Memphis-based musician with a solid foundation in the blues wrote and performed songs personalized with his own insights and experiences. Moreover, Hart’s musical influences extended beyond the confines of the blues, as did those of blues veteran Taj Mahal, who viewed the blues as a world music rather than an American genre. Borrowing techniques from an array of artists such as rock guitarist Jimi Hendrix to alternative bluesman Captain Beefheart, Hart developed an eclectic blues style that included elements of western swing, pop, reggae, and rock.
In 1996 he made a powerful and individual album debut, Big Mama’s Door, playing street, slide and standard guitars and banjo on a mixture of dug-up and new-grown blues. In 2003, Hart’s album Down in the Alley was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Traditional Blues Album. In 2005, Hart received a Grammy Award for his contribution to Beautiful Dreamer – The Songs of Stephen Foster. Hart was featured in the 2003 Wim Wenders film “The Soul of a Man,” which was featured in Martin Scorsese’s film series “The Blues.” Hart was also featured in the documentary “Last of the Mississippi Jukes.”
We are LUCKY to get Alvin to come up this way, go check him out!
January 30, 2009 No Comments
2. Blonde Redhead – 23
3. Eels – Jelly Dancers
4. Alela Diane – White As Diamonds
5. Drag The River – J.J.s Driving
6. The Black Angels – Manipulation
1. Theresa Andersson – Birds Fly Away
2. Elliott Smith – High Times
3. Morphine – In Spite Of Me
4. Slim Cessnas Auto Club – Magalina Hagalina Boom Boom
5. The Black Keys – Funk #49
6. The Heartless Bastards – The Mountain
7. Mark Olson & Gary Louris – Doves & Stones
January 29, 2009 No Comments
The 2nd annual Portland Music Awards will take place tomorrow, January 29th at the Crystal Ballroom.
This star studded televised Grammy-style event will feature performances from over a dozen musical acts and 22 awards presented by local celebrities. This year is hosted by none other than the lovely Chloe Houser of PDX TV and comedian Auggie Smith. Music will feature the likes of Floater, March Fourth Marching Band, Mel Brown with Ben Darwish, Tea For Julie, Debra Arlyn, Keegan Smith, Morgan Grace, Aaron Meyer, Idle Poet, Acoustic Minds, Echo Helstrom, Bobby Torres, and Buoy LaRue.
2008 winner Terry Currier
Buck Munger (Two Louies)
Bill McNally (Burnside Distribution)
Alex Steininger (In Music We Trust)
2008 winner The Kingsmen
Paul Revere & The Raiders
Album Of The Year:
‘Slanted Eyes, Slanted Hearts’ by The Slants
‘Sense In Tying Knots’ by Tea For Julie
‘Posters Fade’ by Derby
‘House With No Home’ by Horsefeathers
’78′ by China Forbes
Band of the Year:
Tea For Julie
Best Male Artist of the Year:
Best Female Artist of the Year:
Best New Artist:
Best Compilation Album of the Year:
‘Failing Records: Volume’ by Failing Records
‘PDX Pop Now! 2008′ by PDX Pop Now!
‘We Rock For Food’ by The Union Records
‘Lights Out 11′by KINK fm
‘Rose City’ by the Rose City Project
Outstanding Achievement in Jazz:
Outstanding Achievement in Blues:
Outstanding Achievement in Classical Music:
Portland Cello Project
James DePriest (Laureate music director of Oregon Symphony)
Ron Blessinger (Oregon Symphony, Third Angle Ensemble)
Ryan Heller (Director & Conductor; PSU, SW Wash. Symphony, etc)
Outstanding Achievement in Country Music:
Outstanding Achievement in World Music:
Brothers Of The Baladi
3 Leg Torso
Voodoo Mountain Zydeco
Fenbi International Superstars
Outstanding Achievement in Talent Buying:
Doug Fir Lounge
Best Music Store:
Portland Music Company
Best Record Store:
2nd Avenue Records
Best Radio Station:
Best Music Venue – Large (over 1,000 capacity):
Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall
Best Music Venue – Mid-size (over 300 capacity):
Doug Fir Lounge
Best Music Venue – Small (299 capacity and under):
Best Live Performance:
Storm and the Balls
Builder and the Butcher
Best Live Show by a National Touring Act:
Multiple award nominees:
Mel Brown – 3 (Pioneer, Legend, Jazz)
The Slants – 3 (Album, Band, New)
Curtis Salgado – 2 (Male, Blues)
Storm Large – 2 (Female, Live)
Tea For Julie – 2 (Album, Band)
Keegan Smith – 2 (Male, Live)
Horsefeathers – 2 (Album, Band)
Acoustic Minds – 2 (Band, New)
January 28, 2009 No Comments
From singing in the churches of Augusta, GA to working as a corrections officer at Riker’s Island, Sharon Jones has made a circuitous journey to the success she has built for herself today fronting the Dap-Kings. The 52 year old Jones finally got her career break in 1996 after she appeared on a session backing soul and deep funk legend Lee Fields which ultimately led her to Daptone Records who assembled the Dap-Kings.
Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings – “Let Them Knock” – Live
January 28, 2009 No Comments
This Friday is going to be quite an evening for music in Portland. First up in this week’s preview is a stacked lineup at Dante’s featuring The Minus 5, Lewi Longmire Band and concluding with an all star group assembled by the one and only Scott McCaughey that will pay tribute to Neil Young’s “Doom/Ditch Trilogy”.
Young’s three consecutive early 1970′s albums “Time Fades Away”, “On The Beach” and “Tonight’s The Night” are considered by many fans to be the key to understanding his entire body of work. Because of their dark, haunting brilliance, the albums are known as “The Ditch Trilogy”.
In the often quoted hand written liner notes of Decade, Neil writes: ” ‘Heart of Gold’ put me in the middle of the road. Traveling there soon became a bore so I headed for the ditch.” Hence, the origin of the “Ditch” term; which is sometimes also referred to as the “Doom” period or “The Wilderness Years”.
The impetus for the heart of darkness spiral can be traced back to Harvest’s “The Needle and The Damage Done”, Young’s legendary song based on the heroin use and ultimate deaths of Crazy Horse guitarist Danny Whitten and roadie Bruce Berry.
The Don Of Division Street
Neil Young Performs “Tonight’s The Night”
January 26, 2009 No Comments
At only 30 years old, Irvin Mayfield has quickly established himself as one of the most decorated and recorded Jazz musicians of his generation. Mayfield is a versatile trumpeter, bandleader, composer and arranger, recording artist, a passionate spokesman for the rich history and cultural significance of Jazz and the city that birthed it. Appointed the Cultural Ambassador of the City of New Orleans in 2003 by the United States Senate, Congress and other governmental agencies, his name has become synonymous with the still-unfolding legacy of America’s only indigenous music.
Even after Katrina—especially after Katrina, which took the life of his father, Irvin Mayfield, Sr.—this tireless Renaissance man considers Jazz nothing less than the manifestation of all that American democracy represents. Within the freedom so intrinsic to Jazz, Mayfield sees the story of America. In its myriad rhythms and personalities, he finds the oversized soul of New Orleans. He is the recipient of the Elysian Trumpet, hand-crafted for him by David Monette in honor of his father, who was found after the storm on Elysian Fields Avenue, and all those who lost their lives in the storm. Inlayed with jewels and images of New Orleans and of the Hurricane itself, the priceless instrument has been blessed by representatives of three of the world’ s religions, including the Archbishop of Canterbury during his historic visit to New Orleans last September.
Most recently, during the North American Summit in New Orleans President George W. Bush declared the trumpet a “Cultural Treasure”.
Mayfield is a highly successful recording artist. On April 1st, 2008, Mayfield released his 11th album Love Songs, Ballads and Standards, with Ellis Marsalis on Basin Street Records. The album was the first release on the label since Hurricane Katrina. It is a release of instrumental interpretations that distills the essence of the Great American Songbook with great passion, including time-tested classics like “Yesterday” (the Beatles) and contemporary gems like “Don’t Know Why” (Norah Jones).
January 20, 2009 No Comments
Los Lobos has been together for a whopping 35 years — since its members were high-school students in East Los Angeles. Even now, they still play about 100 live performances a year. “You know, it’s a family,” says Steve Berlin, saxophonist and keyboard player. “You know, it’s exactly like everything in everybody’s family; you love ‘em, you hate ‘em. Yeah, we’re still best friends and stories never change –- they just get older.” At this stage in their illustrious career, a new album by the East Los Angeles rock band Los Lobos is a highly anticipated event. Since they began as Los Lobos Del Este Los Angeles in 1973, they have evolved into a respected artistic entitysearching for themes and topics that are an interpretive pulse of our times.
Using musical molds built on the blues, rockabilly, jazz, Latin and their own Mexican-American heritage, Los Lobos have never beat their fans over the headwith politics or agendas. Instead, they subtly challenge them with conscience-raising songs and thought-provoking lyrics. Their latest Hollywood Records release- “The Town and The City” – certainly does that. “As artists, we take our experience and put it into painting, stories or songs,” says Louie Perez, a multi-instrumentalist with Los Lobos and the principal lyricist for this2006 album. “Right now, when the world is in this incredible state of flux, it’s impossible for this experience not to affect your work.”
“Somewhere halfway through the making of this record I found this linear sort of plot, a story of struggle” explains Perez, “So I thought, I’m not going to resist and followed my intuition. It was like a flashlight waving at the end of a tunnel that I had to go after.
January 19, 2009 No Comments
The Knitters are a Los Angeles-based band who play country, rockabilly and folk music. At the time of their formation they were pioneers of country punk, cowpunk or folk punk, the genre which gradually evolved into alternative country. The Knitters’ name is a play on the name of the folk group The Weavers.
The Knitters formed in 1982 as a side project to the band members’ primary commitments. Vocalist Exene Cervenka, singer/bassist John Doe and drummer DJ Bonebrake were three of the four members of the punk band X; guitarist Dave Alvin was a member of roots rock band The Blasters; and stand-up bassist Jonny Ray Bartel was a member of blues-rock band The Red Devils.
The Knitters’ debut album Poor Little Critter on the Road was released in 1985. It included mainly traditional and cover songs, together with some X songs performed in an acoustic style. The album drew on blues, folk, country and rockabilly influences. In 1999, the label Bloodshot Records released a track-by-track tribute to the album entitled Poor Little Knitter on the Road.
After the debut album’s release, all the group members continued to work with their primary bands. Dave Alvin also later pursued a solo career. Twenty years later, in 2005, the group released their second and ironically-titled album, The Modern Sounds of the Knitters. John Doe has been quoted as saying “The Knitters, like their music, don’t do anything hasty. Since our last record’s been out for a while and it did pretty good, we figured it was just about time to put out another.” The Modern Sounds of the Knitters has been well-received by critics.
January 21, 2009
Time: 9pm / Tix: $20/$25
January 18, 2009 No Comments
The whole thing, Josh Grier says, was the drummer’s fault. The members of Minneapolis- based Tapes ‘N Tapes were drinking beers, talking about the last time they saw a quarterback get fully pummeled in a football game—not just taken down, but full-on, kick-your-chin-through-the-back-of-your-head obliterated—when percussionist Jeremy Hanson said it: “When that happens, you just gotta walk it off.” Maybe it was the Pabst, but that line sounded like it meant something. “We all stopped because, in a way, that’s what our album’s about,” says Grier, “When you get beat down, you have to pick up and move on. You just have to walk it off.”
There are really only two kinds of walking. There’s the kind you do because you’re going somewhere, and there’s the kind you do because you just have to keep going. Because if you stop, you’ll never get started again. Tapes ‘N Tapes’ second record is about the second kind of walking, the one you do when what’s on your mind lately is credit card debt and lost jobs and wearing a shirt that’s two sizes too small and yelling at the best people you know for reasons you don’t understand and mostly feeling like giving up but still moving forward anyway. That kind of walking, it’s like fighting for something.
After over a year of cross continent touring that saw them playing both Lollapalooza and Coachella, the band hunkered down with producer Dave Fridmann, (Sleater-Kinney’s The Woods, Flaming Lips) in his isolated upstate New York studio and recorded and mixed the entire album in just three short weeks. On the opener, “Le Ruse,” the first thing you hear is one guitar, crackling like the amp might short-circuit. It’s a small sound, but it gets bigger and bigger until the drums kick in. Then that small sound erupts into a shock of fuzzed-out riffs, anchored by rolling bass lines, sputtering church-organ synths, and a hard, loud beat. . And somewhere in the middle of it all, Josh Grier is singing: “We’ve been trying to hold you up to keep you safe from the fall.” That line could be some form of encouragement, or it could be a warning. Either way, it makes you want to hold on.
January 17, 2009 No Comments
On March 24th The Decemberists will release The Hazards Of Love, their eagerly awaited follow up to The Crane Wife and their fifth full length album. Today, they released a track from the record: ”The Rake’s Song”. We dare not call this the first “single”, as The Hazards of Love is a 17 song concept record where each song will overlap with another. In a recent interview with Mix, producer Tucker Martine explains a bit more of what to expect from the Portland quintet:
The album began when Meloy – long fascinated by the British folk revival of the 1960s – found a copy of revered vocalist Anne Briggs’s 1966 EP, titled The Hazards of Love. Since there was actually no song with the album’s title, he set out to write one. Soon he was immersed in something much larger than just a new composition.
The Hazards Of Love tells the tale of a woman named Margaret who is ravaged by a shape-shifting animal; her lover, William; a forest queen; and a cold-blooded, lascivious rake, who recounts with spine-tingling ease how he came “to be living so easy and free” in the aforementioned “The Rake’s Song.” Lavender Diamond’s Becky Stark and My Brightest Diamond’s Shara Worden deliver the lead vocals for the female characters, while My Morning Jacket’s Jim James, Robyn Hitchcock and the Spinanes‘ Rebecca Gates appear in supporting roles. The range of sounds reflects the characters’ arcs, from the accordion’s singsong lilt in “Isn’t it a Lovely Night?” to the heavy metal thunder of “The Queen’s Rebuke/The Crossing.”
“There’s an odd bond between the music of the British folk revival and classic metal,” says Meloy. “A natural connection between, like, Fairport Convention and Black Sabbath – of course, Sandy Denny from Fairport even sang with Led Zeppelin on ‘The Battle of Evermore.’ I think there’s a shared sense of narrative and ambience, of moving beyond the first person in your writing. And I thought it would be interesting to mess around with that.”
2. The Hazards of Love 1 (The Prettiest Whistles Won’t Wrestle the Thistles Undone)
3. A Bower Scene
4. Won’t Want for Love (Margaret in the Taiga)
5. The Hazards of Love 2 (Wager All)
6. The Queen’s Approach
7. Isn’t it a Lovely Night?
8. The Wanting Comes in Waves / Repaid
9. An Interlude
10. The Rake’s Song
11. The Abduction of Margaret
12. The Queen’s Rebuke / The Crossing
13. Annan Water
14. Margaret in Captivity
15. The Hazards of Love 3 (Revenge!)
16. The Wanting Comes in Waves (Reprise)
17. The Hazards of Love 4 (The Drowned)
January 15, 2009 No Comments