Thursday, September 27, 2007
"This ground-breaking production weaves a bittersweet love story within a mystery and features a haunting score of Native American music and traditional musical theater songs. Presented at the Newmark Theatre in the Portland Center for the Performing Arts, The Ghosts of Celilo will run Thursdays through Sundays from September 28th through October 14th. "
The play was put together by a team led by Marv and Rindy Ross (Quarterflash & The Trail Band) and grew out of ten years of research and work by Marv and a group of Native American artists and musicians. Check it out.
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Deva Premal & Miten at the First Congregational Church (1126 SW Park Avenue). This is a show being produced by my friend Jess Byers. This is something a bit different from what I usually recommend, but check out the link and come on out if it intrigues you. 7:30pm, $30/$45
If you like your music Djangofied . . . . Swing Papillon and, from France, Norig with the Sebastian Giniaux Trio will be at Mississippi Studios. Sounds like some great gypsy jazz happening tonight in north Portland. 8 PM / $10
At the Doug Fir Lounge is Earlimart - an LA band that gets a big recommendation from James Low. Sounds good to me . . . and they have Portland's (now LA's) Derek Brown on drums (for you fans of DB - I know you're out there). 9 PM / $12
And if you look up quirky in the dictionary, you're apt to find a reference to They Might Be Giants . . . . but quirky in an oh-so-good way . . . . they've managed to make it work for over 20 years of producing whatever they want . . . but better than just quirky, it's really good. Istanbul or Constantinople? Roseland Theater, 8 PM / $22
The always excellent Tony Furtado is at the Doug Fir . . . and opening will be the always engaging Jim Brunberg . . . I'm going to try to stop by this one for a while - love both of these guys. Tony is one of the best slide and banjo players anywhere (and he lives here in Portland). Always nice to have him back from touring to play at home. 9 PM / $15
For you shred happy string benders, the legendary Dick Dale, king of the surf guitar, is in town for an appearance at Music Millennium at 6 PM (free) and a show at Dante's. 9:30 PM / $20
For you jam band fans and Deadheads (we know you're still out there), the Dark Star Orchestra is at the Crystal Ballroom. 9 PM / $25
At the moment, nothing else is jumping out at me for the weekend . . . . makes it a good time to check out some of your more local music haunts, like the Laurelthirst on Sunday for the Freak Mountain Ramblers (6 PM and always fun with a great crowd at the 'thirst) or the Alberta Street Pub - with Reina Collins and Paula Sinclair on Sunday night (8 PM), or the Muddy Rudder in Sellwood. BTW, though it says it on the site and in the paper, the James Low Band will not be doing happy hour this Saturday at the Laurelthirst - but they'll be back for all Saturdays in October.
A band getting a lot of national attention is Brooklyn-based The National, and they'll be at the Crystal Ballroom on Monday night. My son recently turned me on to their music and it's kinda hard to describe, but strangely compelling. I'd recommend checking them out. 9 PM / $15
The Subdudes at the Aladdin . . . one of my favorites back in town to support their new CD, Street Symphony. Always swampy, funky and fun . . . . 8 PM / $20 advance - $22 door
Let me know if you've got something to recommend and I'll add it . . .
All until next week . . .
See you at a show!
Thursday, September 20, 2007
New Orleans guitar player, singer and songwriter Anders Osborne will be at the Doug Fir Lounge - 9 PM / $16 . . . Anders was last here in July at the Waterfront Blues Festival as part of the Tab Benoit led Voices of the Wetlands, who did one of the highlight sets of the festival. Anders has a new CD being released nest week.
The first of two nights at the Crystal Ballroom with Built to Spill and Camper van Beethoven . . . 9 PM / $20 . . . should be a rockin' couple of nights at the Crystal.
. . . and every Thursday night at a relatively new local spot in Sellwood, The Muddy Rudder (at SE 7th and Tacoma), the fine rootsy sounds of Lauren Sheehan - 8-10 PM, no cover . . . . Lauren is another of Portland's musical treasures and an excellent interpreter of traditional American music. All at a very comfortable neighborhood place (with an excellent beer selection, I might add) . . . The MR also has music on Fridays and Saturdays (various acts) and the excellent slide/national steel playing of Bob Shoemaker every Wednesday.
One of the all-time jazz greats, Sonny Rollins at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall. This will be the first show after Tuesday's 50th Anniversary performance at Carnegie Hall in NY. At 77, this "saxophone colossus" is still performing, still winning awards, still producing vital, outstanding work . . . This is the music event of the weekend. 8 PM / $45 - 76.50 and available at the PCPA box office.
Katty Mattea at Aladdin Theater - 8 PM / $ 33
Commander Cody at the Cascade Bar & Grill in Vancouver
Pete Krebs Gypsy Jazz Trio at the Press Club (SE Clinton & 26th), a cool little eatery on Clinton with a nice music vibe. And music is always free and starts around 9 PM.
East coast folkie Cheryl Wheeler at the Aladdin . . . Cheryl has a reputation of being one of the most entertaining live performers out there - a funny storyteller and excellent songwriter . . . one of those must-see troubadours . . . she's garnered great press and rabid audiences over the years . . . another fine choice for a show this weekend. 8 PM / $22
On the local scene and a considerably less expensive ticket (though no less entertaining!) . . .
The James Low Band continues happy hours at the Laurelthirst 6 PM / no cover
Kaitlyn ni Donovan and Rachael Taylor Brown at the Press Club 9 PM
Joe Bonamassa at the Aladdin for all you blues hounds . . . a young gun in the house! 8 PM / $22
Oakley Hall at Doug Fir . . . cosmic Americana from the critically acclaimed band from Brooklyn (NY) . . . . 9 PM / $10
Radar alert . . . .
They Might Be Giants on Thursday at the Roseland
Tony Furtado Friday at the Doug Fir
all for now . . . . see ya at a show!
and remember to tune into Mississippi West from 3-6 pm Saturday on 89.1 KMHD . . .
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
The always entertaining Little Charlie & the Nightcats at the Aladdin Theater. For 30 years this band from Sacramento has been dishing out a stew of blues, swing, jump, rockabilly with style, humor and chops. 8 PM, $14
Kevin Burke and Cal Scott at Mississippi Studios - 7 PM, $17
Michael Jodell, Annalisa Tornfelt, & Jim Keaveny at the Laurelthirst - 9 PM
Live Wire radio show taping at the Aladdin - 8 PM
Mary Flower at Artichoke Music - 8 PM, $15 . . . Great fingerpicking and slide work from one of our local treasures . . . Mary's playing and song choices are a musical education from one of the best teachers in town.
The Insomniacs at Duff's Garage - swingin' blues band if you're in the mood to jump around . . . 9:30 PM
Meet the legendary Kool & the Gang at Music Millennium. They will be signing copies of their new CD, Still Kool, at 4 PM (32nd & East Burnside)
James Low will be joined by Michael Dean Damron at Laurelthirst for a little different happy hour show then usual . . . back to James and his band next week. - 6 PM, no cover.
Over the Rhine and Griffin House at the Doug Fir Lounge - 9 PM, $20 . The critically acclaimed Ohio duo Over the Rhine are touring to support their latest recording, The Trumpet Child. Hard to classify, try maybe "folk-pop-rock-alt-country-Americana", but what I've heard from the new CD is impressing me . . . . find sound, alluring voice . . . could be the show to check out this weekend.
Medeski, Scofield Martin and Wood at the Roseland . . . for all you groovemeisters . . . 9 PM, $28
And a quick reminder to tune into 89.1 KMHD (on the radio or streamed online) for Mississippi West, the new American Roots/Americana radio show hosted by Mike Myer, Dave Johnson and occasionally yours truly . . . . it's fun to have somewhere to play music that doesn't get a lot of airplay in Portland . . . . and let KMHD know if you like it!
The New Pornographers at the Crystal Ballroom - 8 PM, $22 . . . touring to support their new CD, Challengers, it should be a packed house for this fine and admired Canadian indie band that's a sometimes home to Neko Case (who is touring with the band). Another excellent choice for the weekend.
Loudon Wainwright III at the Aladdin - 8 PM, $24 . . . a forty year career and he still hasn't sunk into obscurity - that's good enough for me . . . LWIII has been making trenchant social and personal commentary for a long time . . . and the pen's still sharp. And he's even doing a bit of acting - see 40-Year Old Virgin and Knocked Up - and his latest release, Strange Weirdos, is music from or inspired by the latter.
Steve Poltz at Mississippi Studios - 8 PM, $10/$12 . . . Speaking of amusing acts, Steve is one of the funniest, most unique singer-songwriters I know . . . you never know what to expect from a guy voted San Diego's Most Influential Artist of the Decade - except for a deeply satisfying evening of song and banter. See him and know what I mean.
On the horizon (pay attention - get tickets or get 'em on your busy schedule!) . . .
Oct 3 - The Subdudes at the Aladdin
October 7 - M Ward at the Crystal Ballroom
October 8 - Nick Lowe with Bill Kirchen at the Aladdin
October 10 - George Jones at the Schnitz
and . . .
October 22 - Neil Young at Keller Auditorium - tickets go on sale on Saturday . . . . and will probably go fast (though they are pretty pricey)
all for now . . . get out to some live music!
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
For those of you who missed it, here's Richard at Amoeba Music in LA from earlier this summer . . .
And here's a link to a NPR podcast concert (also from June) . . .
again . . . WOW . . .
Sunday, September 9, 2007
First, thanks to all who came out to Mississippi Studios last night to see Stephen Bruton. With all of the music and arts events going on in Portland this weekend, I wasn't sure what the turnout would be. And a big thanks to Terry Currier of Music Millennium, Jon Koonce (who did a stellar opening set), Barbara Mitchell at the Trib, and to the Oregonian for getting the word out and giving some press attention to show. Over 75 folks were treated to two and a half hours of Stephen's music . . . . he's definitely got some new NW fans and an appreciation for the sophistication and enthusiasm of a Portland audience. Think we'll be seeing more of him up this way in the future.
Your listening to Mississippi West on 89.1 KMHD . . . . one day that might smoothly slip off my lips . . . but it was both nerve-wracking and fun to spend three hours in the studio co-hosting the show yesterday. It wasn't without it's bumps, but we (Dave Johnson and I) certainly didn't give ourselves the easiest afternoon with two live interviews virtually back to back. Susanne Vega's music director/bass player Mike Visceglia and I spoke about his new project with Ollabelle's Fiona McBain called Then There Were Two - an eclectic set of covers arranged for just bass and vocal. Really beautiful stuff and it was great to have the wonderfully articulate Mike to chat with (as I didn't exactly feel all that articulate - thanks Mike, for running with it and being my guinea pig!). On the heels of that interview, Stephen Bruton arrived to chat and promote his show . . . . Having two of my favorite musician friends in town on the same day and willing to cut me some interviewing slack helped a lot. It felt really comfortable talking to Stephen - probably because I was finally settling into my chair and had a solid idea of where I wanted things to go. Stephen was relaxed and gracious and it was great to catch up with him.
Next week Mike Meyer will be back to host the show and I'll settle into whatever my role will be as one of the show's producer . . . . we'll see how all of this evolves.
Okay . . . I'm doing what I was worried about . . . rambling on about completely uninteresting stuff for most of you . . . it's feeling indulgent and self-congratulatory (though I guess I do feel good about getting through yesterday without disaster).
'nuf for now . . . .
Wednesday, September 5, 2007
Jimmy LaFave - Mississippi Studios, 8 PM, $20/door . . . . respected and recognized as a musical descendant of fellow Oklahoman Woodie Guthrie, this will be great show! Tickets are going fast. He'll also be appearing at the Sisters Folk Festival over the weekend.
MusicFestNW - Thursday through Sunday at venues all over Portland. Wristbands will get you into any show, or there's admission for each venue each night. Check out the schedule for details. Between out-of-town and local acts there is so much to choose from, so I'm not going to begin to try to make recommendations . . . . There are even some free shows from a couple of the headliners - today you can pick up tickets at Jackpot Records to see Bobby Bare Jr and Cat Power who are doing afternoon sets at AudioCinema.
Sisters Folk Festival - Friday evening through Sunday afternoon . . . prices vary depending on ticket package. Great lineup, including Jimmy LaFave, Ollabelle, Karen Savoca, The Greencards, Willy Porter, Harry Manx, Dan Hicks . . . . wish I could get there for some of the weekend.
Stephen Bruton/Jon Koonce at Mississippi Studios at 8 PM - $10 advance / $12 door. Bargain show of the weekend . . . . I am calling on all of you who will be around to come out to this show. It would be a huge favor to me, but also to yourselves . . . . don't miss it.
KINK FM will release KINK Live Ten, a benefit CD for SMART (Start Making A Reader Today), at a free live concert at 6:30 p.m. at Pioneer Courthouse Square that will feature performances by Suzanne Vega (at 8:30), deSoL (at 7:30) and Matt Nathanson (at 6:30). The latest installment in the KINK Live series features 19 recording sessions from the KINK Live Performance Lounge. Suzanne's new CD is getting solid press and airplay, and her band is great. Another excellent choice for music this weekend!
The Muddy Boot Organic Festival, a celebration of sustainable living, features workshops and exhibits on sustainable living and climate change, local and healthy organic foods and beverages, organic beer and wine. Musical entertainment will be provided by March Fourth Marching Band, Freak Mountain Ramblers, Jackstraw, Stolen Sweets, Dirty Martini Trio and more. This family-friendly festival runs Saturday, Sept. 8 from noon to 9 pm, and Sunday, Sept. 9 from noon to 7 pm. The festival will be held at St. Philip Neri Church at 2408 SE 16th Avenue (near 18th & Division) and a suggested donation of $5 per person is requested.
And, of course, James Low will be resuming Saturday happy hour shows (6-8 PM) at the Laurelthirst after a couple of weeks off. This should be pretty steady through the end of October. It's a great way to spend a couple of hours on an early Saturday evening.
Suzy Bogguss at the Aladdin Theater - 8 PM - $25/advance, $28/door. Suzy is supporting her new CD, Sweet Danger, that continues a move to a more jazzy direction for this versatile, award-winning vocalist. Don't overlook this one, as it could be a very rewarding show.
From Sweet Danger to Sweet Warrior, the Aladdin will be rocking to the sounds of Richard Thompson and band on Monday night who are touring to support Thompson's fine new recording. I know I'll see a number of you at this one. And, as I will always say, if you've never seen Richard, you 've been missing one of the finest musical artists of our generation. 8 PM . . . $35
Think I'll be exhausted when Tuesday rolls around, but there's always more . . . . (but I'll wait until next week) . . .