Archive for the ‘Music’ Category

Federale, Builders and the Butchers – Doug Fir tonight

Hey all, there a great show happening at the Doug Fir tonight for a meesly $10.  The Builders and the Butchers are back in Portland after their much anticipated trip to SXSW.  They seem to be the darlings of the indie rock scene at the moment, so you should definately head on out and see them.  You can hear some of their music over @ CDBABY.

Federale (Myspace) is opening for B&B and that is what is bringing me out on a school night.  I have seen Federale numerous times and just love their sound and music.  I have described them in the past as spagetti western style music, but I don’t think that does them justice.  They are a tight band who play a soundtrack to a movie from the 60’s that doesn’t exist and has just released their first studio album La Rayar.  So put on your cowboy boots and western shirt and come on out to a show tonight.

Invisible Rockets, Federale, Builders and the Butchers
Doug Fir Lounge, SE 9th/Burnside
9pm, $10

Get in the Gutter

Photo Credit: A.L. Venable

While some may have spent February 14 snuggling on the couch with their loved one, fretting over if they bought the right flowers, the right candy, the right jewelry, had the right amount of sex…or if it’s time to move on, I spent Valentine’s Day in New York City with the Gutter Twins as they began their first-ever tour.

Led by Greg Dulli (Afghan Whigs, Twilight Singers, often contributor to Lo-Fidelity Allstars’ sexy jams) and Mark Lanegan (Screaming Trees, Queens of the Stone Age, an album with Isobell Campbell in addition to his solo work), the duo’s music is perfect for a night of questioning life, who you love, and even your belief system.

When I first listened to their debut album, Saturnalia, I felt in the wrong for playing it in the afternoon with the sun shining through my living room windows. It’s perfect for a dark and rainy night, perhaps just before dawn so you’ll have the light to look forward to shortly after the album ends.

The Gutter Twins will visit Portland on Monday, March 3 for a performance at the Wonder Ballroom. Their debut album will be released the following day. Great Northern are the opening act. Tickets are $15 and this is a 21+ show.

Upcoming Shows

Here’s a few upcoming shows that you might wanna check out:

The Slants, The DTSS, Patterns – Slabtown, March 8. The Slants are a group of local guys (and one gal) who are doing PDX proud and quickly becoming a force to be reckoned with on a national level. After the show on March 8, they’re embarking on a long tour that will take them all over the U.S., as well as a couple of stops in Asia and the UK. Despite being snubbed in a bizarre (and in my opinion, unfair and uncomfortably-racially-tinged) piece in the Merc, the Slants keep on truckin’. They play some pretty rockin’ synth-pop, to boot. Check ’em out.

For women…for MEN

During my trip to New York City last weekend, I visited Seagull Salon, one of the first unisex salons in the country, to get a haircut. Johanna Fateman, one-third of Le Tigre, is one of the current co-owners.

While she isn’t cutting any hair Thursday night at Holocene, I think it will be a stylish happening as she joins JD Samson, also from Le Tigre, as the group MEN for a DJ set. Also on the bill are San Francisco’s Hey Willpower, who will perform live, and Portland’s own Gaycation DJs. The cover is $10.

Stories From the Road – Let’s Hear Yours

So, my band is planning a short weekend jaunt into Californialand. All of us are over 30, married or with significant others, and in various stages of employment. We’re old, settled, and don’t do anything more than drink a few beers at the show. Zeppelin we are not. So, for us, this is a “tour”. Two days out is fun. Five days out is fun, but more than that is not. Sharing the same car space and hotel rooms and restaurant booths with the same people for days at a time breeds a strange kind of contempt, no matter how close you are to them personally. At least, it does at my age.

That’s not to say that we don’t have our share of stories from the road. For instance, we played a show in San Francisco a couple of years back. The show went off without a hitch. The venue was full, we didn’t suck, and the crowd was great. As icing on the cake, punk-rock legend Jello Biafra was in attendance, and we all got to spend a goodly amount of time shooting the breeze with one of our idols (he’s nicer and much less caustic than you would imagine him to be). Cloud nine. At the club, we met a guy who talked us into playing his “underground club” in San Jose the next evening. Sounded like a good idea when you’re still running on adrenaline, but the next day, it didn’t sound too fun. After some serious soul-searching, we opted to play the show instead of just monkeying around SF.

We drove the hour to San Jose. The “venue” was a shed in this guy’s backyard that was filled to the brim with tweakers, addicts, and the most unfriendly kids in the Bay Area. During one of the opener’s sets, a kid fell down in the pit. Punk-rock decorum dictates that you help up people who have fallen down. Not this crowd. The kid got kicked in the head, a brawl ensued, and “security” (the guy who owned the house and his brother) threw the miscreants out. Our set was a nightmare. There was no stage, which meant that we were playing in the pit. “Security” tried to help us, but they were only two people. I got a gnarly cut underneath my fingernails when somebody was thrown into me, hitting my hand and causing the guitar strings to go up under my nails, bamboo-style. Our bass player was pinned against the wall for the entire set by a sweaty 250+ pound girl (that was actually pretty funny). Our drummer nearly got into a fight with a couple of people whom he suspected were planning on stealing some of our gear. Our pay for the night? Eight bucks and a disposable lighter.

I know that a lot of musicians both present and former read MetBlogs. So, what are your best road stories?

Steve Casmano – RIP


Sad news in the Portland music scene today. Steve Casmano, a long-time regular in various Portland bands, passed away yesterday. The entry we received in our “suggestion box” says it more simply and succinctly than I ever could, so I will take the liberty of quoting it here:

Steve Casmano passed away last night after a several month battle with cancer. Steve had been a fixture of the PDX music scene for quite some time. His career as bass player extraordinaire spanned 3 decades. He played in a number of punk/rockabilly bands like; The Jackals, Sado-Nation, Oily Bloodmen and The Flapjacks. Seeing Steve belly up to the bar at Satyricon ‘back in the day’ was a familiar sight. In a music scene where image and ego can often get in the way, Steve was one of those “salt of the earth” type musicians. He brought a blue collar intensity and sincerity to whatever he did. He built some pretty sweet bikes, too. He leaves behind a young daughter. Portland has been richer to have had him here.

I had the pleasure of sharing a bill with Sado-Nation a few years back (although I’m fairly certain that Steve wasn’t playing bass for them at the time) and was gob-smacked at their sincerity, dedication, and approachability. In a town full of scenesters, it’s refreshing when you encounter the real deal. While I didn’t know Steve personally, from what I ‘ve heard of him, he shared those exceedingly rare and refreshing qualities. Steve spent his lifetime making Portland a better place for music, and those of us who came after him give our thanks.

My condolences and best wishes go out to his family, his friends, his band-mates, and his fans.

Rest in peace, Steve.

Check out some free music tonight
Photo Credit: A.L. Venable

Looking for something to do tonight? Get thee to the Doug Fir Lounge for the monthly local music showcase curated by In Music We Trust. It’s free and you’ll get a chance to hear and support local acts. Performing this month are Macadam, Another Cynthia, and Justin Bennett.

Doors open at 8PM and the music begins at 9PM.

Looking to Volunteer?

In preparation for the 2008 PDX Pop Now! festivities, the organization will hold its first volunteer meeting of the year on Tuesday, January 29, at Backspace. Make a plan to attend and learn more about various opportunities and positions they need to fill in the area of booking, staging, sponsorship, hospitality, and promotions. Visit their Web site for contact information and to get on the list for future announcements.

Portland: How do I love thee? Let me count the ways!

I’m a big fan of Portland. Some readers (ahem) may mistake my frequent critiques of public policy in Portland as hatred. But if I didn’t love my city, I wouldn’t give a damn about bad policy, or devote all the countless hours I do to civic involvement.

Of course, there are two sides to every story, but today I’m giving you the rosier side (pun intended). This is adapted from a post I started last spring, when I was seriously considering leaving Portland because of the shameful inequity in our public schools. The original title was “Ugly Beauty.” I never published it, and today I give you the “Beauty” side of things, with all the ugliness stripped out.

Get your film and music fix

The 25th Reel Music Festival, brought to you by the NW Film Center, begins Friday at the Portland Art Museum’s Whitsell Auditorium. The festival lasts from January 11-February 3 and will feature documentaries highlighting a variety of music genres. Whether it’s a film on Bob Dylan, Tom Petty, Mozart, Les Paul, The Monks, or Nina Simone, there’s probably something for everyone.

Even better, the festival will include “Knowing All of You Like I Do,” a film on the final days of Music Millennium’s NW 23rd Avenue store.

Check out the NW Film Center’s site for the film schedule and ticket information. And we’ll see you…at the movies.

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