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REVIEW: Puscifer @ the Schnitzer (Portland, OR – 3/14/12)

15th Mar 12 (Thu) 16 comments

Fourth time seeing Maynard James Keenan’s Puscifer.  Always a treat!  I opted out of the hassle of doing the photo pass on this 2nd leg, as I wanted to catch Carina Round’s set and not miss the intro video or any of the Puscifer set like I had to back at the 1st leg kick-off in Seattle in Nov 2011.  Thus… ALL PHOTOS posted on this review are from the official Puscifer photographer and/or Meats Meier (see FB photo album).

I did the VIP soundcheck & wine tasting again (I’m a sucker for that)… Soundcheck performance was again stripped down acoustic on both songs – “The Chain” [Fleetwood Mac] and the personal favorite “The Humbling River” (with Carina Round on banjo).

For the wine, this time we tried the Arizona Stronghold’s Mandala (2010) & Mangus (2010) and the Caduceus Cellars’ Nagual de la Naga (2010).  The Mandala was nice, had a very sweet and somewhat tart nose, but definitely a dry/balanced finish.  It’s still young, but was an interesting viognier white wine blend.  The next two were reds, and I liked them more.  The Mangus was very drinkable.  It was a “super Tuscan” primarily sangiovese blend – sweet, fruity, a little buttery in the mouth-feel.  My favorite of the night was the Nagual de la Naga.  It would have been perfect with a rich meal… this cabernet savignon, merlot, and sangiovese blend was only bottled a week before the tour started; so it was definitely a young wine.  Despite its age, it was full bodied and beautiful to drink now.

Carina Round opened the show.  She’s a great rocker singer-songwriter who also backs Maynard on vocals during the Puscifer set… she seemed more comfortable than the last tour go around.  Her band was made up of a majority of the Puscifer live band.  She had a lot of energy, and a high kick near the end of the set gave those of us in the front rows a special treat.  She left the stage, and shortly thereafter the video intro started with Billy D (played by Maynard), Hildy, Cherry Piles, Peter Merkin, and other odd characters.

The show started out the same as Seattle… with Maynard wheeling out a small airstream camper.  He set up some tables and chairs and talked about sustainability and what they’re trying to do with Puscifer (listen to the Fall 2011 monologue from NC).

The show overall was very similar to last year’s leg, which is fine with me… it’s a great set of songs, a fantastic light show, and a paradox of high technology with a stripped down feel.  The song selection was also quite similar, except for the middle of the set we got “Potions” and “Mama Sed” instead of “Polar Bear” and “Indigo Children”…

Setlist: about 90 minutes

  • Maynard Monologue while setting up camper/stage
  • The Green Valley
  • Tiny Monsters
  • Vagina Mine
  • Dozo
  • Toma
  • The Rapture (Fear is a Mind Killa Mix)
  • The Weaver
  • Rev 22:20 [Carina Round on lead vocals]
  • Potions
  • Momma Sed
  • Oceans
  • Monsoons
  • Horizons
  • Conditions of My Parole
  • Man Overboard
  • Telling Ghosts
  • The Undertaker
  • Tumbleweed
    No Encore

This is a brilliant tour for a brilliant album.  The western feel also fits extremely well with the newer mellower songs… tumbleweeds blowing by, fake campfire, and a dazzling electrical storm…

Don’t have Conditions of My Parole yet?  I think you should go buy it if you haven’t yet.  It’s at the top of my pile for 2011 releases (by far).

The Appropriate Linkage:

Check out more tour dates below… the dates are winding down; so if you missed it, you’ll have to try next time!

Next shows for me… Seun Kuti @ WOW Hall (3/18) and Skerik’s Bandalabra @ Cozmic (3/20).

~Dan – np: John ZornIAO: Music in Sacred Light

Puscifer Winter Tour 2012

February
23  Austin, TX – Long Center for the Performing Arts
25 Baton Rouge, LARiver Center Theatre
26 Memphis, TNOrpheum Theatre
28 Nashville, TNAndrew Jackson Hall
29 Louisville, KYBrown Theatre

March
1 Pittsburgh, PA – Byham Theatre
3 Cincinnati, OHTaft Theatre

4 Indianapolis, INMurat Theatre
6 Kansas City, KSKansas City Music Hall
7 Omaha, NEOmaha Civic Auditorium
10 Edmonton, ABNorth Alberta Jubilee Auditorium
11 Calgary, ABSouthern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium
13 Vancouver, BCThe Centre in Vancouver for Performing Arts
14 Portland, ORArlene Schnitzer Concert Hall
16 San Francisco, CA Palace of Fine Arts
17 Riverside, CA Fox Performing Arts Center
18 Escondido, CACalifornia Center for the Arts

A Perfect Circle in Portland!

29th Jun 11 (Wed) Leave a comment

Maynard James Keenan and Billy Howerdel bring A Perfect Circle to Portland’s Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall tonight!  I’ll be there with camera in tow.

UPDATE 7/1: review & photos posted HERE.

Check back by the weekend (at the latest) for my photos, setlist and review… my goal for posting it is Friday/Saturday.  In the meantime groove on some music from their albums and a Q&A with Billy Howerdel from Chris Young at Oregon Music News

Also, check out the Maynard Cam™ YouTube of their rehearsal in Portland:

~Dan

REVIEW: Sufjan Stevens @ Schnitzer (Portland, OR – 10/29/10)

30th Oct 10 (Sat) 12 comments

FYI… PHOTOS of the SHOW at the BOTTOM

So, the last few months has been a flurry of unexpected, yet superbly exciting information coming from Sufjan Stevens and Asthmatic Kitty.  First was the tour announcement (on Aug 9th), then a week and a half later came the immediate release of the All Delighted People EP, and less than a week later came the news of the new full length album The Age of Adz (pronounced ‘odds’).  Outside of the orchestral The BQE piece, Sufjan had been silent for a couple years (which we recently found out was due to nervous system health issues).  Within the past two months, he came roaring back in 2010 with a North American-spanning tour and two new adventurous albums (the “EP” is 58+ minutes).

The new music from Delighted and Adz is a little less accessible compared to Seven Swans or his “State” albums, but a little more poppy/accessible compared to BQE or Rabbit.  I think the new music strikes a nice balance between the adventurousness and electronic-ness in his past music… possibly “A Sun Came! updated for the Sufjan listener in 2010.”  While I don’t think it’s a repeat of A Sun Came! (at all) – that’s the best Sufjan repertoire comparison I can muster.  It’s sweeping and glitchy, quiet and loud.  But how would it translate into a live show?

Before we could find out, labelmate DM Stith hit the stage.  He only played 20 minutes, but was a good warm-up.  Nice singer-songwriter fare, with Sufjans’ horn section on “Thanksgiving Moon.” I’d heard DM’s music via AK samplers and free downloads.  It never struck me as solidly as Sufjan has, but in the live setting, he seemed to carry himself well.  After he did his tunes, he left to go put on shiny pants for Sufjan’s band.  I was slightly disappointed that he left after only 20 minutes, but that disappointment soon went away as the anticipation for Sufjan mounted.

Sufjan and his 10 piece band hit the stage around 10 ’til 9pm in shiny outfits.  His band was comprised of DM Stith on keyboards, two drummers, a 3-member torn section, a guitarist, bassist, and two backup singers/dancers.  After a short hello, they went immediate into “All Delighted People” and didn’t stop with the new material until 10:30.  I’d been listening to the new material for the past week, and glad they played some personal favorites: Heirloom, Futile Devices, The Owl and the Tanager, and the 20+ minute Impossible Soul.

Sufjan’s “slow jam” dancing to “I Walked” was charming.  The projected graphics and dark, hallowed lighting during “Vesuvius” made my friend mention that it seemed like a weird, ancient worship service.  The auto tune hip-hop near the end of “Impossible Soul” is one of my favorite parts, and it really worked in the live setting. I wish cameras had been allowed near the end, as a large luminescent diamond descended*, and Sufjan busted out the jams in front of the back-lit, strobe-diamond facade.  While that was his most “rockstar moment,” most of the show, he was talkative, yet unassuming and grateful to the audience.

* Amanda McAuley got some photos of it (some shown below), plus I found an “Impossible Soul” part 2 video snippetsee alphaleonis’ youtube for more from the show.

Setlist: about 2 1/4 hours

  • All Delighted People
  • Too Much
  • Age of Adz
  • Heirloom
  • I Walked
  • Futile Devices
  • Vesuvius
  • The Owl and the Tanager [Sufjan solo with backing vocals]
  • Get Real Get Right [with story about Royal Robertson]
  • Enchanting Ghost
  • Impossible Soul
  • Chicago
  • Encore: Concerning the UFO Sighting Near Highland, Illinois [Sufjan solo piano]
  • Casimir Pulaski Day

It was a brilliant show.  He was quirky and subdued, gentle and cacophonous, amusing and bewildering, and all around charming.  He saved the old tunes for last, and only three Illinois tracks made the cut.  I got goosebumps as he hit the intro for “Concerning the UFO Sighting.”  While the older tunes were nice (and I wish there had been more sprinkled in), I can honestly say that the new tunes hold their own.  There’s a reason Sufjan has a piece of our hearts.  Seeing the new songs live definitely elevated those albums to being amongst my favoritesfor 2010.  After seeing them performed live, I think they fit better within his catalogue, too.  I hope it’s not another 3+ years until I get to see Sufjan and his band of musicians again.

Sidenote: Sufjan’s one of the only artists who could have pulled me away from a reported, equally awesome Nellie McKay show in Eugene (check back tomorrow for Nellie McKay photos from Margaret O’Brien – who went in my place).

many more photos below

The Appropriate Linkage:

Check out more tour dates below.

~Dan –Dave Douglas & KeystoneSpark of Being: Expand

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

(click for larger)

Sufjan’s 2010 Tour Dates

  • Tuesday, 12 October – Metropolis Theater, Montreal QC
  • Wednesday, 13 October – Massey Hall, Toronto ON
  • Thursday, 14 October – Royal Oak Music Theater, Royal Oak MI
  • Friday, 15 October – Chicago Theater, Chicago IL
  • Saturday, 16 October – Orpheum Theater, Minneapolis MN
  • Sunday, 17 October – Uptown Theater, Kansas City MO
  • Tuesday, 19 October – The Long Center for the Performing Arts, Austin TX
  • Wednesday, 20 October – McFarlin Memorial Auditorium, Dallas TX
  • Friday, 22 October – Mesa Arts Center – Ikeda Theater, Mesa AZ
  • Saturday, 23 October – The Wiltern, Los Angeles CA
  • Tuesday, 26 October – The Paramount Theater, Oakland CA
  • Thursday, 28 October – Orpheum Theater, Vancouver BC
  • Friday, 29 October – Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, Portland OR
  • Saturday, 30 October – The Paramount Theatre, Seattle WA
  • Monday, 1 November – Kingsbury Hall, Salt Lake City UT
  • Tuesday, 2 November – Paramount Theatre, Denver CO
  • Thursday, 4 November – Hilbert Circle Theatre, Indianapolis IN
  • Friday, 5 November – Bijou Theater, Knoxville TN
  • Saturday, 6 November – The Tabernacle, Atlanta GA
  • Sunday, 7 November – Thomas Wolfe Auditorium, Asheville NC
  • Wednesday, 10 November – Kimmel Center, Philadelphia PA
  • Thursday, 11 November – Orpheum Theatre, Boston MA
  • Sunday, 14 November – Beacon Theatre, New York NY
  • Monday, 15 November – Beacon Theatre, New York NY

 

REVIEW: Flight of the Conchords @ the Schnitzer (Portland, OR – 5/14/09)

15th May 09 (Fri) 5 comments

Well, let’s just say… this show was mutha’uckin’ AWESOME!!!

Before the show, there was a spot-on Murray look-a-like in the crowd.  A little bit younger looking, but definitely pretty damn close.  At around 7:45pm, the lights dimmed and what sounded like Jemaine (from FOTC) announced the opener.  Arj Barker, who plays Dave on HBO’s Flight of the Conchords show, came out and did a hilarious 30-minute stand-up routine.  Very witty humor.  He’s got a Comedy Central special coming soon, plus he’ll be doing his own solo tour later in the year.  Should be fun… I’d definitely recommend Arj, and if he comes near me again (Eugene, please?), I’ll be there.

Arj introduced Flight of the Conchords Jemaine Clement and Bret McKenzie immediately after his set, and they came out swinging right away in their robot costumes.  To which they immediately broke into a song from their 2nd season, “Too Many Dicks on the Dance Floor.”  They never got back into their robot costumes again, which was… well… unfortunate.  Great show though.  They also had a cellist, Nigel, who was “New Zealand’s symphony orchestra.”  Due to budget cuts, Nigel is the entire NZ symphony orchestra. :)  Here’s what they played…

Setlist: (YT: YouTube video from the HBO show)

  • Too Many Dicks on the Dance Floor (YT)
  • Hurt Feelings (YT) (*a fave of the night*)
  • The Ballad of Stana
  • The Most Beautiful Girl (in the Room) (YT) (*a fave of the night*)
  • Carol Brown (Stick Around)
  • Jenny
  • Hiphopopotamus vs. Rhymenoceros (YT) (*a fave of the night*)
  • I’m Not Crying (YT)
  • Freebird (upon request, but we think it was a planted request… Bret moved over to drums)
  • Mutha’uckas (YT) (Bret continuing on drums*a fave of the night*)
  • Business Time (YT) (*a fave of the night*)
  • Think About It (Think, Think About It) (YT)
  • Lazy Eye
  • Sugalumps (YT)
  • Encore: Albi the Racist Dragon (YT)
  • Bus Driver’s Song
  • Bowie (YT)

The only real disappointment was the obvious lack of “Robot Song (The Humans Are Dead)” (YT).  “Foux Da Fa Fa” (YT), “If You’re Into It” (YT), and “Ladies of the World” (YT) would have been fun, too.  They show was really great, though.  They played and talked and talked and played for an hour and 45 minutes.  Really funny, and I liked most of the new songs… I’m looking forward to the 2nd season when it comes out on DVD (as I don’t have HBO).  I wasn’t able to take any photos due to the venue’s rules.  Here is one from SPIN‘s Miami review (more further down in the links):

The Appropriate Linkage:

~Dan – np: Wynton MarsalisHe and She

((O)) planets have aligned ((O))

20th Jun 08 (Fri) 2 comments

I’ll be in Portland* on Monday, October 6th for work.
*-Portland, Oregon. Maine, quit asking!! It’s not gonna happen.

Icelandic ambient/post-rock/rock band (pick one) Sigur Rós will also be in Portland on Monday, October 6th… for work at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall (downtown).

I just got a ticket to their workplace to see what their daily grind is like. This’ll be my 5th time seeing them… and I’m stoked. Each time is surreal / magnanimous / phosphorescent / pah-nah-men-ah.

Sigur Rós can come see me at my work for free that day, because that’s how *I* roll. Jonsi, call me. ::gestures::

~Dan – np: HiromiBeyond Standard

REVIEW: Ornette Coleman and SFJazz Collective @ PDX Jazz fest (Portland – – 2/15/08)

16th Feb 08 (Sat) 3 comments

Gettin’ there… oy… bad “car on fire” accident just outside of Salem. Parking around the venue was wicked bad. It’s near Portland State University… which automatically means “minimal parking options” and there were tons of roads closed for construction… I ended up parking about a mile away. Grabbed a notdog from a hotdog shop en route. It was a yummy spicy Boca variety. Yay! I love living in Oregon — you can actually get a non-meat protein, horseradish-and-ketchup-into-your-system delivery device in a fauxtube-steak format from a fastfood-type outlet.

Anyway, post-dawg… I showed up at the venue at 7:23pm for the 7:30 show. I ran part of the way; so it was a close one…

Ornette Coleman @ the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall
The main dude (artistic director) for the PDX Jazz Fest 503(c)(3) looked sorta like James Randi — alas, he wasn’t (he’s Bill Royston). He announced the sponsors: Oregonian A&E, Qwest Communications, and the Portland Trailblazers. My a priori understanding of the Oregonian A&E is that they have TV shows of Criss Angel-types who make your pilate mat and hummus plate disappear while playing indie rock in the background at silly volumes. I might be wrong, though. Qwest Communications is most famously known for providing reasonably-priced, high-speed internets that aren’t available at my address. The Portland Trailblazers play what I understand to be a game called “basketball.” It’s like a big game of team-based ping-pong. Except the table is huge, you stand on it, and the net isn’t in the middle, it’s on the ends of the huge table. Oh, and you can hit the net, but you don’t use paddles. You use your hands!! Oh, and the ball is huge and not made out of plastic. So, the Trailblazers are basically a ping-pong team. Once Mr. Royston got the sponsors out of the way, he introduced SF Jazz’s Joe Lovano who introduced Ornette Coleman

Ornette started playing around 7:40pm… his band wasn’t the band from his last CD (the Pulitzer Prize winning Sound Grammar); and I didn’t get their names, as they weren’t listed in the program. He had a drummer (possibly his son), a guitarist, and two bassists (one upright, one electric). I’m more horrible with Ornette’s song names than just about anyone, though. I do know for a fact that he played “Lonely Woman” (from The Shape of Jazz to Come). I also think he played “Song X.” He only announced one song from the stage (the opener to the set), but he’s got a slight lisp and the mic wasn’t on all the way. It sounded like he said “Buttered Helen.” So, yeah, I don’t know. He and his band played a blistering hour+twentyfive improv set, only stopping briefly prior to the encore. Ornette primarily played his trend-bucking non-metallic white sax. He also played violin (lefty) and trumpet during some songs. It was a brilliant free jazz set all around. I’m thoroughly glad that I got to see this pioneer of the free jazz movement.

I left as the band left the stage the second time… to get to the Newmark Theatre for Round 2 of the PDX Jazz Fest. Luckily the Newmark Theatre is 50 yards away, if that. Which was good, because as I was planning online, Ask.com’s maps… well, they’re utter crap. It said the venues were 1.2 miles away by foot. Wrong!

SF Jazz Collective @ the Newmark Theatre
Mr. Royston announced a new sponsor for this SFJC show: American Airlines. I hear that they are a busline that provides “air vents” for every passenger’s seat. Seems “OK” for a bus trip. I’d rather fly, though. He then introduced The Bad Plus (who I wish I could have seen last week in Eugene, they rock) who introduced the 8-piece SF Jazz Collective

SF Jazz Collective is a group that is commissioned each year to arrange and play the works of a jazz great. Past years have been Ornette Coleman (2004), John Coltrane (2005), Herbie Hancock (2006), and Thelonious Monk (2007). This year’s group arranged Wayne Shorter tunes. I haven’t gotten into Wayne Shorter (yet), but I know he played with Art Blakey, Miles Davis, and he’s on Herbie Hancock’s V.S.O.P.. Oh, I guess I’ve also heard his band Weather Report. So, I lied, I have gotten into him at least through WR and Herbie… Anyway, the SF Jazz Collective build a new repertoire each year based on a jazz great and then they all each write a new tune for the group.

The band for 2008 (links and instruments below) is Joe Lovano, Dave Douglas (one of my fav jazzmen), Stefon Harris, Miguel Zenón, Robin Eubanks, Renee Rosnes, Matt Penman, and Eric Harland. This was Dave’s 2nd season with the group. This show was their first show of the 2008 season, but they were far from rusty. They played for about an hour and half before I left (I had to bail half way through the encore in order to get home by 1am… oy). They announced their songs from stage, and they had a handy-dandy program available, too. Here’s what they played: “Go” [Wayne Shorter: hereafter WS], “Armageddon” [WS], “The Angel’s Share” [Matt Penman], “The Year 2008” [Eric Harland], “Black Nile” [WS], “Infant Eyes” [WS], “Secrets of the Code” [Dave Douglas], and the encore was announced by the pianist as “another Wayne Shorter tune that I’m sure you know.” Alas, I didn’t know it. It started out with piano… so I’ll leave it at that.

8 songs, 90 minutes. You do the math (I’ll give you a hint: divide, don’t multiply. Show all work to receive partial credit).

Also in their 2008 repertoire (sets change nightly): Wayne Shorter tunes “Aung San Suu Kyi,” “Diana,” “Footprints,” “El Guacho,” and “Yes or No.” Band member tunes “Aurora Borealis” [Renee Rosnes], “Frontline” [Miguel Zenón], “Road to Dharma” [Stefon Harris], “This That and the Other” [Joe Lovano], and “Breakthrough” [Robin Eubanks].

Oh, I forgot to say… somehow my ticket for SFJC was in the “wheelchair section.” That ruckin’ focked!! I could spread out. Totally luck of the draw on the ticket… but I tain’t complainin’…

The Appropriate Linkage:

yay… Glen Phillips and Belà Fleck next week…

~Dan – np: Charlie Hunter TrioCopperopolis

EDIT (4/7/08): Allaboutjazz.com has a nice review of the Ornette show HERE

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