Posts Tagged ‘aladdin theater’

REVIEW: Sufjan Stevens presents the Surfjohn Stevens Christmas Sing-A-Long: Seasonal Affective Disorder Yuletide Disaster Pageant On Ice @ Aladdin Theater (Portland, OR – 12/6/12)

7th Dec 12 (Fri) 5 comments


Sufjan's 2012 hristmas Sing-a-long Tour

I hate Christmas music.  There are a few rare instances where it doesn’t make me cringe.  Over the Rhine’s Darkest Night of the Year and Monk’s How Like A Winter are rare exceptions.  One of my favorite artists, Sufjan Stevens, has put out Christmas EPs each year for his closest group of friends, and then they eventually make their way out to the public via now two EP boxsets (Songs For Christmas & Silver and Gold).  While some of the more standard Christmasy songs from Sufjan make me cringe (it’s not his fault), he finds a way to have some experimentation and wild unique new songs that makes the boxsets fully enjoyable… even for a bah-humbug like me.  And the boxsets also include cool arts and crafts…

Sheila Saputo (aka Rosie Thomas)

Despite my dislike of Chrtistmas songs, when I found out that Sufjan was bringing his 2012 Christmas Sing-a-Long tour (the Surfjohn Stevens Christmas Sing-A-Long: Seasonal Affective Disorder Yuletide Disaster Pageant On Ice) through Portland’s Aladdin Theater, I knew I needed to go.

His opener / tour co-hort is Sheila Saputo… the quirky comedic alter ego of singer-songwriter Rosie Thomassee her trailer here.

Sheila put on a 20 minute set of fairly ridiculous, self-depricating humor.. partially eating a carrot throughout the set, making balloon “animals” (term used very loosely), and spelling out the important aspects of the acronym CAROLS: Carnal Treasures, Armageddon, etc (see photos at the bottom).

At 8:45pm, Sufjan and his band hit the stage (including the de-frocked Sheila Saputo/Rosie Thomas in a snowman suit).  They started things off in front of the stage curtain with a gentle acappella version of “Christmas Time Is Here,” then… curtains up and behold the majesty of the Wheel of Christmas!!!

The set was obviously going to be full of Christmas songs.  Some on their setlist and some chosen “randomly.”  For many of the Wheel of Christmas Sing-a-Long tunes, they brought up members of the audience to spin for the selection.  Near the end, some rigging of the wheel had to be done to fit in some we hadn’t done yet.  I think we hit everything on the Wheel except for “Silent Night.”

They also threw in a few non-Christmas tunes throughout the set and at the encore…

Setlist: 2 hrs 10 mins

  • Christmas Time Is Here (acappella) [Vince Guaraldi]
  • Christmas Woman
  • Come On! Let’s Boogey to the Elf Dance!
  • Do You Hear What I Hear?
  • Justice Delivers Its Death*
  • Joy to the World (Wheel of Christmas Sing-A-Long)
  • Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas (Wheel)
  • A Holly Jolly Christmas (Wheel)
  • Jingle Bells (Wheel)
  • We Wish You a Merry Christmas (Wheel)
  • Vito’s Ordination Song*
  • Put the Lights on the Tree
  • How Shall I Fitly Greet Thee?
  • I Am Santa’s Helper
  • “Frosty” (improv rock, chant, Rosie cutting santa up with plastic chainsaw)
  • Sister Winter*
  • Ah Holy Jesus
  • The Child with the Star on His Head*
  • Sleigh Ride (Wheel, noted as “Slay Ride”)
  • O Holy Night (Wheel)
  • We Need a Little Christmas (Wheel)
  • Auld Lang Syne* (Wheel)
  • Santa Claus Is Coming to Town (Wheel)
  • For the Widows in Paradise, For the Fatherless in Ypsilanti*
  • Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing
  • That Was the Worst Christmas Ever!*
  • Christmas Unicorn*
  • Encore: Concerning the UFO Sighting Near Highland, Illinois*
  • Futile Devices*
  • Chicago*
  • Come On! Feel the Illinoise!*
    personal favorites from the night

I truly hate most Christmas music, but this was a FUUUUUUUUUUUUUN show!  Sufjan and his band make the music fun, the original tunes (even if Christmasy) are spectacles of greatness or touching, gentler tunes, and the overall party factor of this tour is truly astounding.  I’d hate to have been on the clean-up crew… confetti, streamers, popped balloons, and random blow-up animals and santas…

many more photos below

The Appropriate Linkage:

Check out more tour dates below.

Next show for me… Charlie Hunter @ Mississippi Studios (12/7) and Antibalas @ Hawthorne (12/8).

~Dan – np: John ZornRimbaud
John Zorn - Rimbaud

all pictures (cc) 2012 Daniel Temmesfeld,
you may use freely under a creative commons attribution

(click for larger)

Sufjan Stevens Fall 2012 Tour Dates

  • Fri Nov 23, 2012 – Philadelphia PA Union Transfer
  • Sat Nov 24, 2012 – Washington DC 9:30 Club
  • Sun Nov 25, 2012 – Saxapahaw NC The Haw River Ballroom
  • Mon Nov 26, 2012 – Athens GA The Georgia Theatre
  • Tue Nov 27, 2012 – Chattanooga TN Track 29
  • Wed Nov 28, 2012 – Oxford MS The Lyric Oxford
  • Fri Nov 30, 2012 – Dallas TX Granada Theater
  • Sat Dec 01, 2012 – Austin TX Emo’s East
  • Mon Dec 03, 2012 – Tucson AZ Rialto Theatre
  • Tue Dec 04, 2012 – Los Angeles CA The Fonda Theatre (formerly The Music Box)
  • Wed Dec 05, 2012 – San Francisco CA Great American Music Hall
  • Thu Dec 06, 2012 – Portland OR Aladdin Theater
  • Sat Dec 08, 2012 – Seattle WA Neptune Theatre
  • Sun Dec 09, 2012 – Missoula MT Wilma Theatre
  • Wed Dec 12, 2012 – Minneapolis MN Mill City Nights (Formerly The Brick)
  • Thu Dec 13, 2012 – Milwaukee WI Turner Hall
  • Fri Dec 14, 2012 – Indianapolis IN Deluxe @ Old National Centre
  • Sat Dec 15, 2012 – Chicago IL Metro
  • Sun Dec 16, 2012 – Cleveland OH Beachland Ballroom
  • Tue Dec 18, 2012 – Buffalo NY Asbury Hall @ Babeville
  • Wed Dec 19, 2012 – Providence RI Fete
  • Thu Dec 20, 2012 – Boston MA Royale
  • Fri Dec 21, 2012 – New York NY Bowery Ballroom
  • Sat Dec 22, 2012 – New York NY Bowery Ballroom

REVIEW: Over the Rhine @ Aladdin Theater (Portland, OR – 11/17/11)

20th Nov 11 (Sun) 4 comments


Prior to the show, we fought against the horrid Portland traffic, dodged rain and ducked into a fine meal at Portobello Trattoria, a creative vegetarian establishment that is fast becoming my new favorite SE Portland dinner spot.  Their cocktail list is impressive (apple-infused vodka ginger hot toddy), their bottle list is impressive (Russian River… yum), and their menu is the kind that is frustrating due to having too many things you want and one that a meat-eater wouldn’t even notice or care.  Check it out sometime.

After dinner, we got to the venue a little bit before the opener… we had a little bit of time to catch up with Kentucky-based friend / Over the Rhine photographer Bill Ivester.  He’s helping them out on this tour with merch and social media, and photography.  After briefly catching up, we found some seats for the opener…

The Milk Carton Kids were a fantastic guitar duo.  Based on their name, I was going in hoping it wasn’t going to be a repeat of “The Children’s Hour” opener for Over the Rhine a score ago.  Well, I was greatly pleased.  They played about a half hour set of mellower folk songs.  Fitting for fans of Paul Simon.  Excellent guitar chops and quite humorous between songs, as well.  They also have all of their recorded music available for free mp3 download (go here for free music).

Over the Rhine hit the stage at 9pm.  Karin & Linford had Nick Radina with them again on drums/percussion/cuatro, as well as a slide guitar player Jason Goforth.

The set seemed somewhat similar to last year’s tour, a lot of The Long Surrender tunes.  But this time, the album was officially out.  It was nice to hear those tunes more in a live setting.  I get thrown off that it’s technically a 2011 release, I think I’ve had it too long.  Anyway, it’s a beautiful record, and it’ll wind up somewhere at the top of the pile for 2011, for sure.

Setlist: 1 hour 45 mins

  • The Laugh Of Recognition
  • Rave On
  • Undamned
  • The King Knows How
  • Suitcase
  • I’m on a Roll
  • Infamous Love Song
  • Only God Can Save Us Now
  • Latter Days
  • “On The Sacred Ground” (new song, currently untitled)
  • Jesus in New Orleans
  • Trouble (with drum solo)
  • All My Favorite People
  • Encore: Hallelujah [Leonard Cohen]
  • Born
  • Drunkard’s Prayer

My favorite tunes of the night were “Trouble” and “Latter Days,” and the lead-in of “Laugh…” through “Undamned” is a great start to the show as well.  The new currently untitled song is great… it seemed quite poetic and moving.  Karin was about to give out a tentative title, then stopped.  I’ll go with “On the Sacred Ground” for now, but I doubt that’s it.  I wish I had more listens to digest it.

They’re wrapping up a few more dates this year, culminating in the annual Taft Theatre show in Cincinnati.  Catch ’em if you can!  Oh, Karin also mentioned that they recorded a Portland Session when they were here.  Keep an eye out on the Portland Session Vimeo & Facebook pages for that to be posted in the future (HERE NOW).

many more photos below

The Appropriate Linkage:

Check out more tour dates below.

Next show for me… Dan Deacon at the Branx in Portland on 12/3.

~Dan – np: Sigur RósInní (live)

all pictures (cc) 2011 Daniel Temmesfeld,
you may use freely under a creative commons attribution

(click for larger)

Fall 2011 Tour Dates

  • Fri, 2011-11-18 Seattle, WA The Triple Door
  • Sat, 2011-11-19 Seattle, WA The Triple Door
  • Sun, 2011-11-20 Seattle, WA The Triple Door
  • Fri, 2011-12-02 Boston, MA Berklee Performance Center
  • Sat, 2011-12-03 New York, NY (le) poisson rouge
  • Sun, 2011-12-04 Alexandria, VA The Birchmere
  • Mon, 2011-12-05 Philadelphia, PA World Cafe Live!
  • Wed, 2011-12-07 Columbus, OH The Lincoln Theatre
  • Thu, 2011-12-08 Kent, OH The Kent Stage
  • Fri, 2011-12-09 Grand Rapids, MI Calvin College
  • Sat, 2011-12-10 Chicago, IL Old Town School Of Folk Music (7:00 PM)
  • Sat, 2011-12-10 Chicago, IL Old Town School Of Folk Music (10:00 PM)
  • Sat, 2011-12-17 Cincinnati, OH The Taft Theatre
  • Sun, 2011-12-18 Norwood, OH Sunday Soiree @ St. Elizabeth’s

Over the Rhine swing through Oregon

11th Nov 10 (Thu) Leave a comment

Over the years, Over the Rhine has achieved indie cred, gained notability and had the opportunity to open up for Bob Dylan, Adrian Belew, The Cowboy Junkies and many more. They have been featured in Paste Magazine’s Top 100 Living Songwriters and Indie Rock A-to-Z lists. They span genres from folksy singer-songwriter pop to jazzy, sultry gospel to rustic, storytelling Americana. Whichever “sound” Over the Rhine produces, husband-wife duo Linford Detweiler and Karin Bergquist live their lives in their songs. They are a treasure for those who know their work: the gentle tinkling of the keys, melodic strumming on an old acoustic guitar, pontifications and allegories of their daily life on the farm outside Cincinnati and the ambrosial poetic words from Bergquist’s microphone oozing through the cracks amongst the notes. Detweiler makes being a musical beat poet a realistic modern possibility. Bergquist’s provocative voice is offset by her down-to-earth charm and humor. That charm makes what they do seem more tangible, real and relatable. They could very well be in your living room, singing for you alone.

Fresh off their “Across the West” train tour, Over the Rhine’s stop in Eugene & Portland will be a special, intimate duo show — featuring an array of songs from Detweiler & Bergquist’s 20 year history and their forthcoming album, The Long Surrender (due out 1/11/11).

Eugene (Mon 11/15): doors at 7pm, show at 7:30 pm at WOW Hall
For more info:

Portland (Wed 11/17): doors at 7pm, show at 8pm at Aladdin Theater
For more info:

I’ll be at both.  If you see me shooting away near the stage, come and say “hi” during the break or afterwards.

~Dan – np: MephistaEntomological Reflections

Weepies Portland photos now up…

23rd Oct 10 (Sat) Leave a comment

REVIEW: The Weepies @ Aladdin (Portland, OR – 10/20/10)

20th Oct 10 (Wed) 2 comments


The Weepies have a new album out, Be My Thrill.  It’s fantastic!  And unlike their prior album, Hideaway, they’re touring behind it.  To be fair, they weren’t able to tour behind Hideaway due to a new baby at the time.  With Be My Thrill, they have a 3 year-old and a 6-month old… they’re on the road, and Oregon got a chance to see them twice on their “sponsored by 755 diapers” tour (Eugene and Portland).  I caught the Portland show tonight…

Opener Lucy Schwartz and her two lovely backing ladies hit the stage around 8pm and played a 30 minute set that flew by too fast.  All three women sang, with Lucy at the center but not the sole shining star.  Mona was also talented and fantastic on providing the energetic percussion for the set.  I didn’t catch the guitarist’s name – but again, a great part of the trio.  Favorite songs were “Rain City,” “Seven Hours” (with Aqualung on the recorded version), and “When We Were Young.”  She has a handful of albums, an EP, and songs on soundtracks.  Her latest CD is Life in Letters… and if it’s anything like her live show, it’s a delight.

The Weepies hit the stage around 9pm, surrounded by guitars, candles, and Weepies-cover art lamps.

The light was low due to trying to rely primarily on candles for effect – which was quite nice aesthetically.  Not great luck on the photos in low light (some below, though). The lighting person was also trying to be clever a bit too late or didn’t know the Weepies songs were generally short.  A swirling sun, swirling green light, and fade-in blue light all came on during lyric-instigated songs… right at the end of the song (10 seconds left and boom goes the dynamite).  Awkward at best for the lighting… it would have been best to stick to the candles. :)

Luckily the lighting didn’t impact the songs.  And, in fact, the Weepies via candlelight was sublime.  Deb and Steve played with a backing four-piece band that created some nice folksy, indie-rock, singer-songwriter splendor.  They packed in twenty songs in their 90 minute set – roughly a third from Be My Thrill, and the rest from their other three equally-excellent albums.

Setlist: about 90 minutes

  • Please Speak Well of Me
  • Stars
  • Can’t Go Back Now
  • I Was Made for Sunny Days
  • Orbiting
  • Riga Girls
  • Gotta Have You
  • Painting by Chagall
  • Hard to Please
  • They’re in Love, Where Am I?
  • Be My Thrill
  • Citywide Rodeo
  • Sing Me To Sleep
  • Antarctica
  • World Spins Madly On (with slight false start)
  • Just Blue
  • Not a Lullaby
  • Encore: Nobody Knows Me at All
  • Little Bird
  • Hope Tomorrow

A beautiful end to a beautiful evening.  If you’re on the fence about checking out the Weepies, either in concert or on record – get off the fence!  It’s great music.  If you’re a fan and are on the fence about going to a show, get your tickets soon.  They’re selling out many of the shows before the day of the show.

more photos below

The Appropriate Linkage:

Check out more tourdates below.

~Dan – np: Peter Mulvey – Letters from a Flying Machine 

all pictures (cc) 2010 Daniel Temmesfeld,
you may use freely under a creative commons attribution

The Weepies Fall 2010 Tour

10/10/2010 Los Angeles CA El Rey Theatre
Lucy Schwartz
10/12/2010 Santa Barbara CA SOhO
Les Shelleys
10/13/2010 San Diego CA Winston’s
Lucy Schwartz
10/14/2010 San Juan Capistrano CA Coach House
Parlor Hawk, Sarah Wallace
10/15/2010 Visalia CA Fox Theatre
The Gospel Whiskey Runners
10/16/2010 San Francisco CA Great American Music Hall
Lucy Schwartz
10/17/2010 Chico CA El Rey Theatre
10/19/2010 Eugene OR John G. Shedd Institute for the Arts
10/20/2010 Portland OR Aladdin Theater
Lucy Schwartz
10/21/2010 Seattle WA City Arts Music Festival – The Crocodile
The Head and The Heart, Lucy Schwartz
10/22/2010 Boise ID The Bouquet
Blaze & Kelly
10/23/2010 Salt Lake City UT The State Room
Joe Pug
10/24/2010 Englewood CO The Gothic Theatre
Matt The Electrician
10/26/2010 Iowa City IA The Englert Theater
Matt The Electrician
10/27/2010 Minneapolis MN Cedar Cultural Center
10/28/2010 Madison WI High Noon Saloon
Matt The Electrician
10/29/2010 Indianapolis IN Radio Radio
Matt The Electrician
10/30/2010 Evanston IL SPACE
11/1/2010 Grand Rapids MI The Fine Arts Center
11/2/2010 Ann Arbor MI The Ark
The Chapin Sisters
11/3/2010 Cleveland OH Beachland Ballroom
Carsie Blanton
11/5/2010 Philadelphia PA World Cafe Live
Greg Tannen
11/6/2010 Londonderry NH Tupelo Music Hall
Greg Tannen
11/7/2010 Boston MA Royale Nightclub
Greg Tannen
11/8/2010 Fairfield CT FTC Stage One
Greg Tannen
11/10/2010 New York NY Hiro Ballroom
Greg Tannen
11/11/2010 Falls Church VA The State Theatre
Greg Tannen
11/12/2010 Norfolk VA The Attucks Theater
Greg Tannen
11/14/2010 Charleston WV Mountain Stage
Punch Brothers, Infamous Stringdusters, Trampled By Turtles
11/15/2010 Annapolis MD Rams Head On Stage
11/16/2010 Raleigh NC The Lincoln Theatre
Carsie Blanton
11/17/2010 Atlanta GA Variety Playhouse
Beth Amsel
11/19/2010 Dallas TX Lakewood Theater
11/20/2010 Austin TX Momo’s
11/22/2010 Tucson AZ Plush
Leila Lopez
11/23/2010 Phoenix AZ The Rhythm Room
Rachael Sage

REVIEW: Derek Webb & Jennifer Knapp @ Aladdin (Portland, OR – 4/27/10)

28th Apr 10 (Wed) 11 comments


There’s something about songwriters that draw me in.  With Derek Webb, I’ve been a long time fan since 1996… ever since first seeing him with his folksy-poppy band Caedmon’s Call.  While I dug Caedmon’s a lot as a group, I really enjoyed Derek’s songwriting the most.  He seemed to have the more “real life” songs – ones I could relate to the most.  His initial departure from the band went OK with me, as he kept making solo music… starting out in the traditional acoustic and then morphing into more rock and even electronic-infused meets acoustic.  His last album, 2009’s Stockholm Syndrome, was one of my favorites from last year (#3 to be exact).

Stockholm Syndrome fuses some great keys & beats from fellow Caedmon’s Call member Joshua Moore with Derek’s solid songwriting.  Lyrically, Derek tackles many issues that I think are relevant and important to everyone (not just christians) – including, but not limited to, addressing Fred “God Hates F-gs” Phelps from the hate-mongering Westboro Baptist Church (“Freddie Please”) to one-side of a superficial relationship with a club beat (“Jena & Jimmy”) to the conflict of a walk of faith and easier route living in the world at large (at least, that’s my take on “The Spirit Vs. The Kick Drum”) to the seemingly-singling out of homosexuality in the church as a major sin (What Matters More).

“What Matters More” is a song that resonates with me, as it is a big part of why I eventually left the church.  The church’s singling out of one sin over another really hit me as hypocritical, legalistic, and not loving.  If this was the god that the bible talked about, I didn’t want to be part of this disease.  If this wasn’t god’s view, then I didn’t want to be part of this group of “believers.”  Regardless of my personal road that led to a lack of faith and becoming an atheist, I still hold Derek’s music closely, as I think of any christian artist, he seems to “get it.”

Derek going out on tour with Jennifer Knapp ended up being a perfect match (she just “came out” as being in a long-term, committed same-sex relationship).  This isn’t shocking to me, and I wish it didn’t even have to be mentioned.  Why is someone’s sexuality any of our business? I suppose that in this day and age, especially coming from a christian musician, this “coming out” has to occur to set the record straight that there is nothing wrong with this.  I’m happy that she was finally comfortable coming back into making music, touring and coming out to be true to herself.  I didn’t know much of her music prior to this show (though she was on my radar back when I was a music buyer at a christian bookstore in the Midwest), but I was equally excited to see her play alongside Derek.

Amy Courts opened the show right at 8pm.  She only played about 3 songs, but had a lot of banter (she was up there about 20 minutes).  Her banter was quite adorable, and her songs were in a similar acoustic singer-songwriter vein to both Webb & Knapp.  Amy had a gentler song in the middle, but her opener and closer showed off her powerful voice.  Definitely a good warm up…

Derek Webb went on immediately after Amy.  I guess with a bunch of acoustic guitars and no backing bands, it’s easy to stack the artists right after one another.

Prior to the show, I wasn’t sure how the Stockholm Syndrome songs would translate to solo acoustic, and according to Derek – he can only play about half of them on a solo tour.  With that being said, he played a good mix of older tunes, newer tunes, and even a brand new Caedmon’s Call song…

Derek’s Setlist: about 50 mins

  • Heaven
  • A Love That’s Stronger Than Our Fear
  • New Law
  • My Enemies Are Men Like Me
  • Freddie, Please
  • Nobody Loves Me
  • God’s Home Town (new Caedmon’s Call song)
  • Wedding Dress
  • What Matters More
  • American Flag Umbrella

My favorites from his set were the last three, but I enjoyed his set throughout.  Derek was fighting some form of sickness, which contributed a little bit to his normal raspiness (which I love).  Hopefully he’ll come by soon and be able to be more talkative, as that’s usually where things get interesting. :)

After a short 10-minute break, Jennifer Knapp hit the stage.  As mentioned previously, I was not too familiar with her music, but I did recognize one of the tunes early on from my old christian bookstore days – “Whole Again.”  I also recognized “Dive In” from her webpage.  She definitely had a powerful voice and stage presence.  I can totally see her draw… she’s a great performer and has some vocal and guitar chops.

Some of her songs were a bit too “christianeze” for my tastes.  Though, she is decidedly less CCM-y than most, and I can definitely appreciate that. :)  One funny moment (to me) was her describing how “such and such” song was written a while ago but never put on a record because it didn’t have the right mentioning of “Jesus” and wasn’t as religious, etc – but to me, it definitely seemed religious… I mean, why do christians many times think that songs aren’t religious if they don’t use “god” or Jesus’ name directly?  This song’s mentioning being “in need of mercy” (among other things) definitely had a religious bent, if you ask me.  Anyway, christians’ perceptions of christian songs gets a chuckle out of me.  That’s all.  She is enough of a cross-over lyricist where I think she’ll do fine on the Lilith Fair circuit… she’s a powerful woman musician warrior.

I enjoyed just under an hour of Jennifer’s set before heading out back home to Eugene.  I did catch a few songs with Amy Court joining her, and I’m sure Derek joined her later in the set (as he has done in the past).  All in all, I thought it was an A+ triple singer-songwriter bill.  If you have any thoughts on Jennifer’s set or if you have her setlist, please post in the comments.

This was one of the last shows featuring both Derek & Jennifer.  Derek Webb will likely be more involved in the Caedmon’s Call album wrap-up in the coming months (I’m hoping they tour with Derek).  Jennifer Knapp will be on the Lilith Fair tour in 2010 alongside many other great artists.  I’d highly (HIGHLY) recommend Derek’s latest album, Stockholm Syndrome.  Also, check out Jennifer’s album, Letting Go, when it drops on May 11th…

many more photos below

The Appropriate Linkage:

~Dan – np: Erin McKeownHundreds of Lions

all pictures (cc) 2010 Daniel Temmesfeld,
you may use freely under a creative commons attribution

(click for larger)

Derek Webb in Portland (4/27)

4th Mar 10 (Thu) Leave a comment

4/28 update… my review with photos is here:

Yay! Derek Webb is bringing his tour with Jennifer Knapp through my neck of the woods.  They’re playing the Aladdin Theater on April 27, 2010.  It’s not posted on the Aladdin site, but it is listed over on Derek’s tour page.  Tickets on sale later in March.

They’re also hitting San Diego and Seattle… maybe they can swing a Eugene date on the way up?  I’m crossing my fingers, but if no Eugene show, I’ll be at Portland for sure.

It’s been a while since I’ve seen him… I’m totally looking forward to it.

~Dan – np: Satoko Fujii Desert Ship 

REVIEW: Múm @ Aladdin Theater (Portland, OR – 11/4/09)

5th Nov 09 (Thu) 4 comments


There must be something about the Icelandic landscape
that yields such magnificent music.

I got into Múm (pronounced “moom”) via Sigur Rós.  In fact, it may have even been a direct email from Sigur Rós about Múm right around the time Finally We Are No One (aka Loksins Erum Við Engin) was coming out in 2003.  Both bands are from Iceland, both bands have quirky, sometimes ambient songs.  Where Múm differs from Sigur Rós is that they tend to be less ethereal and have more electronic, glitchiness going on with their music.  They came through Portland a couple of years ago on their last album, Go Go Smear the Poison Ivy, but I was not able to make it to the show.  Ever since hearing their albums, I have been curious how they’d pull it off in a live setting.

After a delicious vegan dinner at the new Irvington Blossoming Lotus restaurant (represent!), I got to the Aladdin right as doors were opening (a little after 8pm) and got a seat right up front.  Yay!

The first opener Hildur Guðnadóttir is one of Múm’s vocalists and did a 20-minute instrumental set.  She came out and played an initial song with just her on cello and laptop accompaniment.  The next song, she was joined by Sin Fang Bous’s drummer, and Múm’s bassist and trumpet player.  Her trumpeter played mostly what I’d call “empty notes” – a lot of wind and sputtering through the horn.   On Hildur’s second song, I thought, “there must be something about the Icelandic landscape that yields such magnificent music.”  The song was utterly gorgeous, flowing, almost glacial.  Her next two songs to wrap up her set were also gorgeous, but, wow, that second song really made me want to visit Iceland.  Her debut solo album is called Without Sinking and is available here.

Up next, Sin Fang Bous is a side project from Sindri Sigfússon of Seabear.  They played a 30 minute set that started off OK, but not all that that great.  BUT… by the end, I was really digging it.  The music was much louder than Múm & Hildur, and Sindri was also quite mumbly.  He was speaking in English, but when he announced song songs early on it was all a mash.  Near the middle of the set, his humor came out, which definitely helped me warm up to them.  “How come no one is sitting up there? (looking at the box seats)  Is that for the King of Portland?

Later on he also announced that he had CDs, t-shirts… and little vials of blood for sale at the merch table if we wanted something to drink on the way home.  Silly.  I think my favorite song was “Clangour and Flutes” (from the Clangour album available here).  Anyway, it had a nice hook and some nice instrumentation.

Mum in Portland 2009

Múm went on just before 10:30.  I had never seen them before; so I had no idea what to expect.  Several of the people up on stage had already been up there before (Hildur as the opener, the keyboardist/trumpter as Hildur’s back-up, their guitarist was also Sin Fang Bous’s guitarist).  It was like a little Icelandic traveling family.  When Múm came on, the front area without seats quickly filled up… so I got out of my seat and got a spot right at the stage.

Mum in Portland 2009

Mum in Portland 2009

Múm’s set was a lot of newer songs (of which I hadn’t heard) – happy, electronic with ambient / chamber music elements.  I had no idea they had multiple singers (Hildur, another woman, and a guy who also played keyboards, guitar, etc).  Don’t ask for names… it’s too difficult to remember or even research. :)  With two keyboardists, Múm’s electronic sounds came through in the live setting… definitely not as lush as the studio versions, but definitely commendable for a live setting.  I think, not as expected, the vocals were the primary flavor in the live show.  Hildur and the other woman singer were definitely passionate and singing their lungs out.  Here’s what the played (any help on missing / incorrect info is appreciated)…

Mum in Portland 2009

Setlist: about 85-90 minutes

  • Illuminated
  • Marmalade Fires
  • Húllabbalabbalúú
  • Blessed Brambles
  • If I Were A Fish
  • Nightly Cares
  • A Little Bit Sometimes
  • maybe The Last Shapes Of Never
  • Show Me
  • unknown… sweeping, operatic, lots of “la-las”
  • Dancing Behind My Eyelids
  • unknown… kazoos near the end
  • Prophecies And Reversed Memories
  • Sing Along
  • Encore: Green Grass Of Tunnel

Mum in Portland 2009

I picked up their new one, Sing Along to Songs You Don’t Know.  I look forward to spinning it later today.

I left about midway through the last song, as I had a 2 hour drive, a hard week already, and an early meeting in the morning.  All in all, it was a GREAT show.  It wasn’t as monumental / mind-blowing as the first time I saw Sigur Rós, or anything like that, but it was a really great band playing really great music.  I’m glad that they’ve been through twice these past two years… I look forward to another trip from them in the near future.

The Appropriate Linkage:

Check out their U.S. tour dates below.

~Dan – np: Frog PocketCome On Primates Show Your Teeth!

MÚM, Hildur Guðnadóttir & Sin Fang Bous PHOTOS
all pictures (cc) 2009 Daniel Temmesfeld,
you may use freely under a creative commons attribution

(click for larger)

Their 2009 U.S. Tour Dates

  • Oct 21 the Somerville Theatre Somerville, Massachusetts
  • Oct 22 First Unitarian Church Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Oct 23 Black Cat Washington DC, Washington DC
  • Oct 24 Le Poisson Rouge NY, New York
  • Oct 26 Le National Montreal, Quebec
  • Oct 27 Phoenix Concert Theatre Toronto, Ontario
  • Oct 28 Logan Square Auditorium Chicago, Illinois
  • Oct 29 McGuire Theater Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • Nov 01 Marquee Room Calgary, Alberta
  • Nov 02 The Venue Nightclub Vancouver, British Columbia
  • Nov 03 Showbox at the Market Seattle, Washington
  • Nov 04 Aladdin Theater Portland, Oregon
  • Nov 05 The Independent San Francisco, California
  • Nov 06 El Rey Theatre Los Angeles, California
  • Nov 07 Yost Theatre Santa Ana, California

REVIEW: Yael Naim @ Aladdin Theater (Portland, OR – – 10/15/08)

16th Oct 08 (Thu) Leave a comment


Well, I heard about Yael Naim a week ago thanks to the NPR World Cafe podcast… she’s a Paris-born, Israeli singer-songwriter.  She’s been described as “a touch of folk and a touch of jazz, with mysterious and evocative words sung with a delicate and intentionally husky voice.”  After just hearing of her, I found out that she was playing the Aladdin Theater in Portland the very next week.  I was just going to head up to the Aladdin if I was up for it, and buy a ticket if they had some available.  Well, thanks to the power of the internets, I got an email Tuesday morning from the Aladdin, and they were giving away 50 tickets to the first people who responded to their email.  And, woot, I got a free ticket.  Natch.

The opener, Peter Von Poehl, was… well… absent.  So the replacement opener was Grey Anne.  And she was… RAD!  Very quirky, indie rock girl with an electric guitar, drum, accordion, butterfly wings, echoplex, and a stuffed giraffe.  Fun songs, off the wall, nice textures, strong voice, confident, quirky… She’s from Portland; so I hope she makes her way down to Eugene sometime soon.


Yael Naim and her band were really good, too.  They played Britney Spears’ “Toxic” as well.  That’d make my friend Bruth happy. :)  I enjoyed her set a lot, but I think my favorites of hers were the ones in French.  There’s something about French music that’s just… FUN.  Yann Tiersen, Jeanne Cherhal, Paris Combo, and… well, Yael Naim.

Next Aladdin visit for me… Jonatha Brooke and GlenI sat on a glass table and might not be playing guitar for a whilePhillips.  Yikes. :)  I hope Glen’s arm is better to be at this show, because otherwise, I don’t think I’ll go.  At the end of the day, I hope he gets better more than me being able to see him.

The Appropriate Linkage:

~Dan – np: RadioheadIn Rainbows

Glen Phillips & Jonatha Brooke

21st Jul 08 (Mon) 2 comments

Glen Phillips (of Toad the Wet Sprocket) and Jonatha Brooke (of The Story) are going out on the road together this fall.

I’ve seen Glen a multitudinous amount of times, and it’s ALWAYS a treat. My latest outing of his was reviewed here (2/21/08 WOW Hall, Eugene-OR). I saw Jonatha Brooke back in April 2001 (I love Plumb and 10 Cent Wings). It was with a girl who I eventually married, and while Jonatha didn’t start anything with our relationship – – her show was a good excuse for a date with this cute girl I had recently met.

Anyway, as luck would have it, they’re playing the fabulous Aladdin Theater in SE Portland on Thursday, November 6th. I saw Jude there last month. I’m up in PDX for work that week (tentatively); so it’s shaping up to be a good concert week (Ozomatli & Chali 2Na are at Crystal Ballroom the next day, Friday the 7th).

Glen Phillips & Jonatha Brooke Tour Dates (so far per Pollstar)

10/16/08 Boston, MA – Wilbur Theatre
10/17/08 Philadelphia, PA – World Cafe Live
10/18/08 NYC – The Concert Hall
10/19/08 Fairfield, CT – FTC Stage One
11/02/08 Alexandria, VA – Birchmere
11/06/08 Portland, OR – Aladdin Theater
11/09/08 San Francisco, CA – Slim’s
11/12/08 Los Angeles, CA – Largo
11/13/08 Agoura Hills, CA – Canyon Club
11/14/08 San Diego, CA – Anthology
12/02/08 Milwaukee, WI – Turner Hall Ballroom
12/03/08 Madison, WI – Majestic Theatre

~Dan – np: R.E.M.Accelerate

REVIEW: JUDE Christodal @ Aladdin Theater (Portland, OR – – 6/6/08)

7th Jun 08 (Sat) 5 comments


Before I begin… any tapers at the PDX show? If so, email me.

OK, well, I try to see Jude Christodal every time he comes by. Trouble is… the last time I saw him was at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, TN, around Memorial Day in 1999. That was, in fact, the first time I saw him, too. He was opening up for Ben Folds Five… and he blew me away (just as BFF did), and I went to Best Buy and bought his Maverick debut, No One Is Really Beautiful, the very next day.

Anyway, he’s now pretty much 100% independent in the U.S. (and on Naïve Records in France). Being from L.A. and on a French record label, he seems to either only tour the West Coast or France. He also writes for TV shows and whatnot… you, all, and everybody may have heard his song on LOST (the… um… pretty bad “poppy rock song” by the hobbit’s band) and his song on the City of Angels soundtrack (“I Do”)…

You All Everybody” ain’t his normal fare, mind you. His normal fare is oft-dramatic, oft-comedic, oft-falsetto, oft-witty, oft-poetic singer-songwriter extraordinaire. He’s on the short list* of acoustic singer-songwriters who’ve broken through this metal heart… in short, Jude rocks. If you haven’t heard him, you’re doing yourself an injustice, IMO.

*-others on the singer-songwriter shortlist: Elliott Smith, Peter Mulvey, Glen Phillips, Sufjan Stevens,… and some Cincinnati locals like Ash, Ryan, Jason, Kim, Kelly

Living in the Midwest up until last fall, I didn’t get a chance to see him again… until last night. I made the ~2 hour drive up to Portland from Eugene last night to the lovely Aladdin Theater (SE side of PDX). It’s a quaint old movie or play house… old, but still cute… not in total disrepair like many of these types of venues I’ve witnessed. Great concessions, too… goat cheese, mushroom & sundried tomato pizza and Fat Tire Amber, Deschutes Mirror Pond & Pyramid heff on tap (score!).

The opener, Ryan Andrew (from Castella), was good. He didn’t get warmed up himself until about the third song. Good voice and interesting songs. He played about 30 minutes, which consisted of:

  • I Ain’t Comin’ Home Tonight
  • It Hurts Like Hell
  • The Only One (fav of set)
  • When She’s Gone (guessing on name)
  • Wonderwall (great version of Oasis tune… another fav of the set)
  • The First Time

JUDE came on just after 9pm, and played with basically no break until about 11:15 and then came back out for a 4 song encore, wrapping up around 11:30… two and a half hours of quality Jude…

One of the funniest things (and there were many) was a girl named Molly brought up a sequined duck to the stage as a gift for Jude. “The prettiest thing a stripper ever owned,” gasped Jude. Then he quickly back-peddled, as to not seem unappreciative. “I mean at some point the dresses don’t fit anymore… I’m gonna sequin ducks.” He even serenaded it with a song later in the night (see pics below).

The crowd was very lively / rowdy / talkative / chatty / request-y. Jude fulfilled most of the requests. Some, though, he just couldn’t remember (his own “Charlie” and the chords to Gnarls Barkley’s “Crazy“). He played over 30 songs, 2.5 hours, great concert all around. He also had many crowd interactive sing-a-longs. The best was the “drunk singing choir” for “Everything’s Alright.” It was hilarious… because it was true.

“The Minnesota people” were a bit too loud, but eh… it was all fun.

Oh, and Jude mentioned that the long-promised Cuba CD is on its way. Finally!! Apparently, it’s already done, in the can, what have you…

Here’s what he played:

  • Out of L.A.
  • I’m Sorry Now
  • Mayfair Market
  • Indian Lover (here’s where the duck was gifted)
  • Break Up Song
  • Run to My Room
  • Rick James
  • I Know (one of the best songs of the long night)
  • In Between
  • I Do
  • Distance contest: Eastern Washington was the winner after a few disqualifications… namely Detroit (Oregon) and Minnesota (moved here from, not travel for show)
  • Gay Cowboy (he wrote this before Brokeback Mountain… but check out this unofficial video)
  • Prophet
  • toying with “Crazy
  • Brad and Suzy
  • Everything’s Alright (I Think It’s Time)
  • Black Superman
  • The Asshole Song
  • Baby Ruth in Atlanta
  • You Mama You
  • Madonna (another one of the best songs of the long night)
  • Love Letters / Ain’t No Sunshine (or maybe Love, Love, Love / Ain’t No Sunshine… or maybe all 3 songs…)
  • Calling All Friends
  • End of My Rainbow
  • Cuba
  • Fallen Angel (aka Fly Again)
  • Money
  • Your Eyes
  • Encore: On the Dance Floor
  • I Want a Duck (improv)
  • Paper Towel
  • Taking More and Giving Less

Note: I’ve got some pics from the show at the bottom of this blog post. Some of them are “artistic” (meaning: fuzzy).

Go check out his music on iTunes, Amazon… or CDBaby (you can sample songs there, too). My fav albums of his (though all are good) are Sarah (4th album, blue cover) and No One Is Really Beautiful (2nd album, greenish cover).

The appropriate linkage:

Cuba CD coming soon

I’m going to the Bill Frisell & Eyvind Kang show tonight in Eugene (I’m stoked)… that’s all for now…

professional teller machine user,

np: Various ArtistsYou Gan’t Boar Like an Eabla When You Work With Turkrys

all pictures (cc) 2008 Daniel Temmesfeld,
you may use freely under a creative commons attribution

(click for larger on photos below)

OK, judefuzz04 isn’t my photo… ::blush::

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