Archive for the ‘Music’ Category

New Year Reboot

Posted: January 22, 2016 in Music

Seeing my old stomping grounds of Portland State University continuing to bring music to the students, makes me feel honored to be the wall fly with a view. Tobin has worked endlessly alongside his crew and Portland State TV to bring campus the Live @ Lunch series. I have captured shows in the Parkway North venue since 2012 and have many more shows to see there.

January will bring 5 live bands and one comedy act. Music has always been the focus, and with the wary venture into “comedy” it was easy to say the musicians have more to offer than immature sexual innuendo and badly recycled “jokes” that are best left on the seedy sidewalks of Burnside. The realms of psych pop/folk, indie rock , and the exploration of PDX hip hop have made this stage is one of my favorites to see performances.

IMG_5422 Harm of Alaska stopped in last week to grace us with the powerful sounds of a folk ensemble. Made up of six individuals there is much this band as to offer. The interpretation of Heather Warren‘s poetry gives material for the music to come alive. The harmonies mixed with floating on the notes of the clarinet allowed the bass of the beatboxing to guide you around the stage until you are swarmed up in the musical bliss. Humble, enthusiastic, and caring a vibrant stage presence Harm hopefully will be back in the PNW soon. Head over to RumblesOfRevolution to see the full set and follow the link to see a live video of their performance at PSU.


Children Come Listen

Posted: January 29, 2014 in Music

Is music really education or is it just a means for youth to slap on some headphones and drown out the much NEEDED prerequisite we learn in the classroom? Can lyrics, beats, and different genres guide the next generation to discovery and adventure? The continually decline of music programs in the school is raising a generation of young people who won’t every be exposed to musical instruction except on a touch screen device. We can argue that high school band and certain choice art electives might equal a music classroom but nothing is equal to being exposed the the raw power of music collaboration.

All The Apparatus: Voyage of the S.S Stardust from Rowan Spiers-Floyd on Vimeo.

All the Apparatus is a band who’s music is a life lesson in it self. Self confidence, appreciation for stage performance, and much encouraged crowd participation is whats left after a evening with these fine musicians. Continually gratitude for their fans and community make this band stand out from many in Portland. Recently they teamed up with the kids from Portland’s Da Vinci Arts Middle School to help cast a new visual for their song ‘Great Whale’. With the help of Trifecta Films PDX this video shows the direct link to music and community. How often do young people get to be apart of such a great project, let alone have the backing of so many great Portland groups.

After Music Fest NW and the release of Typhoon’s ‘White Lighter‘ album a national tour seemed in order. Lead singer Kyle Morton and I meet several years back before I was 21 at a Music in the Schools fundraiser. He introduced me to his group and have been a fan ever since. Looks like the crew had some time to visit Cove, OR before heading out on the road. In school performances are a hard thing to organize but it doesn’t stop Typhoon from letting the kids try the instruments and meet the musicians behind the music.

Summer is starting

Posted: June 20, 2013 in Music

A message on Mississippi.

A message on Mississippi.

Wow what a CRAZY few months 2013 has been. Government’s kicking into high gear with empathetic bandwagon campaigns as well as personal loss and growth. The ambitions of a few are affecting the lives of many and we turn to our individual aesthetics to get us trudging through the rut of things. Headphones, sweaty garages of strangers, or a night with the wax takes us back to better times. As spring comes about the weather clears up and the festivals,street fairs, and outdoor performances come alive.

ToadBeat performing his set during Live @ Lunch. He relocated from Alaska to PDX.

ToadBeat performing his set during Live @ Lunch. He relocated from Alaska to PDX.

Live @ Lunch is a concert series on the campus of Portland State University hosted by Portland State Professional Sound. Tobin and his crew work very hard to bring the student body great musicians from the Portland area. Deli Magazine’s February artist of the month Just Lions as well as nationally know Y La Bamba’s female vocalist Luz Mendoza are just a few that show up to play. Interested in hearing math rock, jazz arrangements, or some EMD the park blocks is the place to eat your lunch.

Splintered In Her Head at the Bing Lounge.

Splintered In Her Head at the Bing Lounge.

If you like cozy, intimate, and friendly I would highly recommend checking out the Bing Lounge. They host KPSU 2013 Radio Revival as well as many mid-day events. Les Raquet from Brooklyn, New York to Portland’s very own Tiger Houϟe, the Bing’s stage has seen many musicians from across America. Being able to take part of these shows involves ‘liking’ their facebook page and emailing their coordinator when you are updated on a free show. The 21+ crowd is always treated to free brew from Lagunitas and the kiddos get pizza

New Year, New Sounds

Posted: December 19, 2012 in Music

As another year comes to an end we look to the horizon for bigger and better things. The cars need to be more efficient, gadgets socially connected, and the music will challenge the listener to see if this is the defining sound of 2013.

IMG_5243For those who read posts earlier this year about the annual showcase The Next Big Thing Tour you would have been introduced to Atmos. As the year went on Kyle, Josh, and Jackson went on to explore more sounds, play more shows, and created YoungSun. Joining our three friends was their comrade Johnny who plays synth, rhythm guitar, and is lead vocals. Their EP ‘Moxie‘ is avaliable for purchase and streaming over on their bandcamp. ‘Accidents‘ and ‘Light Me Up‘ have that groove to dial you in to the sound of these four musicians from Lake Oswego, Oregon. These tunes are filled with reggae, groove, and a great alternative sound to the daily mundane tunes of the radio.

IMG_5352 E.A.R.T.H stands for emphasizing, articulation, rhythm, tone, and harmony. MC’s Spliff and Doug have the lyrical game on lock with multi-syllable verses that blast competitors who want to stick to the basics. Their band is what brings the group a lot of recognition because they’re just as talented. Noah and Benjamin hang with trumpets at the ready, while hitting a few notes on the keys to keep the sound groovy. Cary lays down guitar licks that have bass player Louie and drummer James keeping the tempo to a tea. ‘Lost Generation‘ pretty much sums it up with the facts of societies downfall and the lack of responsibility we all have been guilt of. The Fruits of Labor EP dropped this last week and its a gem if you are a true hip hop fan. Jamming to ‘Feel The Groove‘ is the band once again showing the elements that make them a great addition. Check out the video for their single and realize this is a group that will open up Portland to true passion and music appreciation.

No Sleeping In My Daughters Bed

Posted: December 7, 2012 in Music
Building a family out of strangers.

Building a family out of strangers.

Tommy and Astrid are truly an inspiration to anyone who wants to honestly better themselves. A couple, who just a year ago introduced the Los Angeles music scene to the sounds of the Moon Bandits. Hearing them for the first time at my new friend Ryan’s house in California was an amazing experience. The crowd was a mix of anarchists, punks, high school misfits, and weary travelers. The rowdy bunch nor banjo malfunctions could damper Tommy’s explanation of why his music meant so much to him. Those who listened got a message of hope and challenge to be the change you truly want to see.

The following night in Riverside I learned a few things that I will never forget. We pulled into town and went to see the venue the bands would be playing at. The Blood-Orange Info Center is a great place for artists, musicians and other community out-reach groups to have an outlet. Grabbing a bit to eat at a local cafe I got the worst phone call of my life. My grandma had passed away about the same time we had arrived. I explained the situation to my companions and excused myself to be alone and proceeded to mourn in my own manner. Having the obligation to be taking pictures of the show I headed back to the space and let the night start up. When the words “I don’t have time for depression” came from Tommy I snapped out of my state of mind I had been in all night. Following them back to their house to crash for the night talks about self importance, understand true potential, and even the Black Panthers concluded my stay. It was an unforgettable time with two people who truly understand what it means to be a human being. Check out the video for ‘Pedestrian’ produced by Dan Ramirez right here and remember never give up on yourself.

Mickeys and Music

Posted: November 27, 2012 in Music

Anus Kings are two friends having fun with life.

A cricket’s calming chipper makes new surroundings a lot more easy to adapt to. The sounds of blues folk drifting into the warm California night is defiantly a sign the evening is going great. Sydney and Brian are setting things off in Azusa as they introduce us to the sound of Anus Kings. This duo has been together for about 5 years, they have 2 albums out, and continue to make it on the bill for shows in the greater California area. Both Brian and Sydney sing vocals and the music coming from the guitar and bass are tales to be told. Their first album Predictable Teenage Rebels is 9 tracks of political awareness, family living, rebellious angst and even a few cover tunes. It was mid 2011 the second album with the Anus Kings name attached to it was made available for download. Seems You Haven’t Learned comes at you once again with a message of are you going to get it before its to late? Sydney lays it down with the finger picking of a bluesy nature on the intro of ‘Downtown‘. Watching her preform live it was amazing to see the dedication flowing through the tips of her fingers. The blending of the acoustic and bass is very soothing and almost lulls you into a calming bliss that will have you longing to get to know more about these two individuals we have come to know as Anus Kings.

Tonight We Paint

Posted: November 20, 2012 in Music

Makenzie Mizell offers music, body painting, and a great atmosphere to be yourself.

Blue sushi in the kitchen and a kitten, the home of Makenzie Mizell is the definition of hospitality. Eugene is a college town but the arts and music are alive here. Makenzie brought her guitar, drums, and ukulele to become her own band. With her debut album Barn Fun available to download it was great to see the people singing her lyrics and dancing to the beat of the drum. A delicate beautiful voice that packs a hard punch Makenzie has some vivid scenes and scenarios painted that can be familiar to us all. The track ‘That One Friend’ tackles the subject of dodging that one person you really just didn’t want to talk to and ‘Find You’ lets you take out your aggression built up by their annoyance. The album contains a longing for surfing on the Oregon coast, finding a new flame wishing it was your first time, and just plain reminiscing of events in the past. I hope to be back to hear her preform again and possible get to do some more painting.