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REVIEW: Godspeed You! Black Emperor @ Crystal Ballroom (Portland, OR – 2/18/11)

19th Feb 11 (Sat) 13 comments

GYBE-evaphoto

Video flickers “hope” on loop. Slow build with piercing tones presumably of guitar mixed with cello & screams in the violin pickups. The vapors turn into steam, the bowing more frantic, random percussive shakes. Eight minutes, the first hits on a high hat. The steam now turning into an impending waterfall. “Hope” still flickers. The impending waterfall never comes. The sounds fall away into sweepy hallways.

Clean guitars, gentle malleted vibes, as the guitar soars upwards with the violins. The screen text and numbers jumble. The pace expands and explodes, then stabilizes. Guitars are the backbone, the drums brisk, the xylo/vibes, on the other hand, are furious. Gasping. Grasping. They’re trying to escape. The drums take over, the other players fall to the side. A stringed étude tucks it away.

Violin warming up, workshop hammering percussion until the sounds become like a train leaving the station. This one built quicker than the prior pieces. More Mogwaian versus Sigurrósient. Churning turns into hints of melodic keys. Maybe they were just car keys… it’s turned more into a tumultuous rock instrumental.  Rush.

That was the first forty minutes. The rest of Godspeed You! Black Emperor‘s two-plus hour set was full of highs and lows, and all the things that make post-rock so wondrous and confounding. Sweeping movements with The Anatomy of Melancholy text and images flashing above the band’s heads. I think sprinting away from convention is what makes this music so magical. Shying away from the press definitely adds to the mystery.

Setlist: (thanks Jason & others)

  • Hope Drone
  • Moya
  • Albanian
  • Monheim
  • Dead Metheny
  • (unknown)
  • 09-15-00 (outro)
  • Chart #3
  • World Police & Friendly Fire
  • Gathering Storm
  • Blaise Bailey Finnegan III (aka BBF3)

Sorry for no photos from the show… t’was too packed, dark and I decided to hang back and enjoy anyway.  My opinion of the opener in the comment section.

The Appropriate Linkage:

Check out more tour dates below.

Next show for me… Nik Barstch’s Ronin as part of Portland Jazz Fest next weekend.

~Dan – np: EarthAngels of Darkness, Demons of Light 1

Godspeed You! Black Emperor Tourdates

February 2011
16 – Vancouver, British Columbia @ Vogue Theatre
17 – Seattle, Wash. @ Showbox at the Market
18 – Portland, Ore. @ Crystal Ballroom
20 – San Francisco, Calif. @ Great American Music Hall
21 – San Francisco, Calif. @ Great American Music Hall
23 – Los Angeles, Calif @ Music Box at the Henry Fonda

March 2011
16 – Brooklyn, N.Y. @ Masonic Temple
17 – New York City, N.Y. @ Church of St. Paul the Apostle
19 – Philadelphia, Penn. @ Trocadero
20 Washington, D.C. @ 9:30 Club
22 – Athens, Ga. @ 40 Watt Club
24 – Nashville, Tenn. @ Cannery Ballroom
26 – Chicago, Ill. @ Metro
27 – Chicago, Ill. @ Metro
29 – Detroit, Mich. @ Majestic Theatre

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REVIEW: Toad the Wet Sprocket @ Crystal Ballroom (Portland, OR – 7/28/10)

29th Jul 10 (Thu) 4 comments

FYI… PHOTOS of the SHOW at the BOTTOM

Last night was my fourth opportunity to see one of my favorite bands, Toad the Wet Sprocket.  I have been able to see frontman Glen Phillips many times, and he does throw in some Toad tunes here and there – but it’s not quite the same as the full conglomerate Toad experience with guitarist Todd Nichols, bassist Dean Dinning and drummer Randy Guss.  While Toad’s alternative melodic rock isn’t in my usual jazz or metal wheelhouse, I could never pass up a chance to see them… even if it meant making a 4 hour round-trip up to Eugene’s big sister, Portland.

Opener Hey Marseilles went on around 8 and played a full and energetic set of what they call “folkestral” music.

The seven piece band is from Seattle, and the guys were hard to pin down on any instrument.  Several of the guys swaped out instruments for each song.  They definitely had the folky, singer-songwriter band elements, but mixed in some great violin, viola, cello, accordion, trumpet, amidst traditional rock guitar, bass & drums.

Check out their video for “Rio” from their new album To Travels and Trunks.

If you go to their MySpace page, you can download the “Rio” single for free.  See the download button in the left pane under their contact info.

Glen, Todd, Dean & Randy of Toad the Wet Sprocket hit the stage around 9pm with an extra player – Johnny Hawthorn on slide guitar, electric mandolin, and guitar.  The packed Crystal Ballroom got a taste of something from every album…

Setlist: ~90 mins

  • Something’s Always Wrong
  • Rings
  • Stupid
  • Woodburning
  • Crowing
  • Good Intentions
  • Is It For Me
  • Windmills
  • Torn
  • Before You Were Born
  • Spirit [The Waterboys cover] ->
  • Know Me
  • Nightingale Song
  • Come Back Down
  • Whatever I Fear
  • All I Want
  • Fall Down
  • Encore: Come Down
  • Brother
  • Walk on the Ocean

There were no new songs, Lapdog tunes, or Glen solo material as they have done in the past.  This was all Toad from all around their decade long catalogue.  My favorites of the night were “Windmills” and “Whatever I Fear” – and some of their classics like “Brother,” “All I Want,” and “Walk On the Ocean” were crowd favorites as well.

The fact that Toad keeps touring on occasion keeps me hopeful that they may record again.  In the meantime, check out Glen’s multitude of projects and Todd & Dean’s work as well (see links below).  Support indie music!

many more photos below

The Appropriate Linkage:

Check out more tour dates below.

~Dan – np: Wynton Marsalis – Tune in Tomorrow

TOAD THE WET SPROCKET &
HEY MARSEILLES PHOTOS
all pictures (cc) 2010 Daniel Temmesfeld,
you may use freely under a creative commons attribution

(click for larger)

Glen Phillips and/or Toad TWS Tour Dates

Fri, 07/23/10 The Fillmore San Francisco CA 9:00 PM 415-775-7722 thefillmore.com
Sat, 07/24/10 The Uptown Theater Napa CA 8:15 PM N/A uptowntheatrenapa.com
Sun, 07/25/10 Knitting Factory Concert House Reno NV 7:30 PM 208-367-1212 knittingfactory.com
Tue, 07/27/10 Knitting Factory Concert House Boise ID 8:00 PM 509-325-SEAT knittingfactory.com
Wed, 07/28/10 Crystal Ballroom Portland OR 8:00 PM 503-225-0047 mcmenamins.com
Thu, 07/29/10 Moore Theatre Seattle WA 7:30 PM 206-628-0888 stgpresents.org
Sat, 08/14/10 Blue Sky Music & Adventure Festival Mammoth Lakes CA 8:00 PM 888-285-5893 ext. 2 blueskymusicfest.com
Tue, 08/17/10 Gerald R Ford Amphitheatre East Vail CO 6:30 PM 970-476-2918 vvf.org – free show!
Thu, 08/19/10 The Belly Up – Aspen Aspen CO 10:00 PM 970-544-9800 etix.com
Sat, 08/21/10 Chautauqua Auditorium Boulder CO 8:00 PM 303-440-7666 chautauqua.com
Sat, 09/11/10 Red Rock Resort, Spa & Casino Las Vegas NV 10:00 PM N/A redrocklasvegas.com
Tue, 09/14/10 The Intersection Grand Rapids MI 7:30 PM 616-459-0931 intersectionlive.com
Wed, Thu 09/15-16/10 The Ark Ann Arbor MI 8:00 PM 734-761-1451 theark.org
Fri, 09/17/10 Midland Theatre Newark OH 8:00 PM 740-345-LIVE midlandtheatre.org
Sat, 09/18/10 The Southgate House Newport KY 8:00 PM 895-431-2201 southgatehouse.com
Sun, 09/19/10 The Vogue Theatre Indianapolis IN 8:00 PM 317-254-2028 thevogue.com

REVIEW: Dave Douglas @ PDX Jazz Fest (Portland, OR – 2/28/10)

1st Mar 10 (Mon) 5 comments

Right on the heels of Portland Jazz Fest‘s Dave Holland Quintet and Pharoah Sanders, was Dave Douglas and his Brass Ecstasy band – the capper to the festival.  I’d seen Dave Douglas four times before, twice with John Zorn‘s Masada quartet and twice with SF Jazz Collective (with Joe Lovano, Miguel Zenon and others).  I was looking forward to seeing my first show with Dave Douglas as primary bandleader.

This new band of his features Dave Douglas on trumpet, Vincent Chancey on french horn, Luis Bonilla on trombone, Marcus Rojas on tuba, and Nasheet Waits on drums.  Their debut album, Spirit Moves, came out last year, and it was in my Top 5 Instrumental Albums from 2009.  Go get it!

They hit the stage shortly after 7:30pm and went right into the title track from their record, “Spirit Moves.”  It’s a fun number and a great start to the set.  Right after that, they did a lengthy version of “Bowie,” which is dedicated to Lester Bowie.  It was fun to see that song breathe and take over the room.  I’m also impressed by Luis Bonilla’s soloing on it.  It has to be difficult to solo on a trombone…

The trombone, horn, and definitely tuba drive the sound of this band to a familiar New Orleans street band – which I’d imagine was what Dave Douglas was aiming his sights towards.  Marcus Rojas also did some “tuba beat boxing” to mix things up.

I knew all of the songs they played, but luckily Dave announced them from the stage (yay, I didn’t have to keep them all up in my head)…

Setlist: about 90 minutes

  • Spirit Moves
  • Bowie
  • I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry (Hank Williams)
  • Fats
  • Rava
  • Awake Nu (Don Cherry)
  • The Brass Ring (with drum solo)
  • Mr Pitiful (Otis Redding)
  • Encore: Twilight of the Dogs

All members got their fair share of solos.  The drum solo on “The Brass Ring” was fantastic, and Dave Douglas’s trumpet solos were colorful and vibrant, as usual.  Favorites of the night were the bebop of “Fats,” and the acrobatic trumpet on “Rava.”  Dave played a lot of that song off mic, yet his sound carried throughout the room.  Thank you Portland Jazz Fest!  It was a wonderful weekend of great music.  See you next year!

I took a few iPhone photos.  I wish I was able to bring in my regular camera, as I was right up front and the iPhone only takes marginal photos at best (::sigh::).  Anyway, check out my photos below, or check the link at the bottom for PDX Jazz’s Flickr photo stream.

DAVE DOUGLAS’ BRASS ECSTASY PHOTOS
these pictures are (cc) 2010 Daniel Temmesfeld,
you may use freely under a creative commons attribution

(click for larger)

For photos from this and other PDX Jazz shows, check out PDX Jazz’s flickr stream:



(photos by Fran Kaufman)

The Appropriate Linkage:

~Dan – np: Susie Ibarra & Roberto RodriguezElectric Kulintang

REVIEW: Sunny Day Real Estate @ Crystal Ballroom MFNW (Portland, OR – 9/18/09)

19th Sep 09 (Sat) 8 comments

(photo: Rebecca Blissett, from Vancouver show)

I saw Sunny Day Real Estate in Oct 2000 on the Rising Tide Tour (Bogart’s in Cincinnati), which would ultimately be their last.  I had a few chances to see Jeremy Enigk solo or The Fire Theft, but the shows never meshed with my schedule.  Seeing as I count the 2000 SDRE show as one of my favorite shows of all -time (Top 25 at least), I was soooooo stoked when it was announced that they were getting back together for a tour.

This was only my second time at McMennamin’s Crystal Ballroom.  The room was packed with tons of Music Fest Northwest (MFNW) people; so I’m hoping the hardcore SDRE fans got in.  The venue was set-up like most Portland venues with the odd barrier between the drinkers and the youngins’.  This was one of the rare shows of late where I don’t think I saw anyone younger than 25.

The opener, The Jealous Sound, were pretty good.  I listened to them on MySpace before the show and they seemed like a pretty good power pop/rock band.  At the show, the sound was a little muddled, but I could still get a good feel for their groove.  Maybe like a slightly less hooky Heatmiser?  I don’t know… they’re definitely worth checking out.

No cameras were supposed to be allowed in the venue last night (I asked).  Yet, when I get in (without my camera), I see a few people with cameras.  Damn me for asking. :(  Anyway, Rebecca Blissett’s photos from Vancouver will suffice as my pictorial show of the reunited SDRE…

SDRE’s set went by blisteringly fast.  They played a solid hour plus before leaving for a short break before their 3 song encore.  Jeremy’s voice was on top of its game, yet as indecipherable as usual.  I think he ranks up their with Karin Bergquist of Over the Rhine as misheard lyric contributor. :)  The rest of the band seemed really tight.  The “muddliness” of the opener’s set seemed to be cleared up.  And while Sunny Day haven’t been a cohesive unit for 8-9 years, they sure seemed like one tonight.  It seems like they didn’t miss a beat at all.

Setlist: 80+ mins

  • Friday
  • Seven *a fave of the night*
  • Red Elephant
  • Song About An Angel
  • Grendel
  • Shadows
  • Inscarabaid
  • 47
  • Theo B
  • 10 [new song]
  • 48
  • Sometimes
  • Encore: In Circles *a fave of the night*
  • Spade & Parade
  • J’Nuh *a fave of the night*

They only played material from their first two discs at this show (they have played at least “Guitar & Video Games” off of How It Feels to Be Something On on this tour), which was kind of odd.  And I know, this may be heresy, but I really love their last album the best (2000’s The Rising Tide).  It’s probably just a factor of when I got into them as a band.  So, as far as the only downside, that was it.  But the fact that they wrote a new song as recent as a week or so ago… well, that bodes well for future album(s) & tour(s).

Sunny Day Real Estate’s Diary & LP2 (aka Pink) have been remastered and re-released by Sub Pop in 2009 (click pictures for info).  No word on a remaster of How It Feels to Be Something On, though… hmm…

The Appropriate Linkage:

SDRE on Jimmy Fallon (9/29/09)

~Dan – np: Pearl JamBackspacer

no free download or torrent available here

 

SDRE Reunion Tourdates

09-17 Vancouver, British Columbia – Commodore Ballroom
09-18 Portland, OR – Crystal Ballroom (MusicFest NW)
09-20 Murray, UT – Murray Theater
09-21 Denver, CO – Ogden Theater
09-23 Minneapolis, MN – First Avenue
09-24 Chicago, IL – Metro
09-25 Detroit, MI – St. Andrew’s Hall
09-27 New York, NY – Terminal Five
09-28 Boston, MA – House of Blues
09-30 Washington, D.C. – 930 Club
10-01 Philadelphia, PA – Trocadero
10-03 Atlanta, GA – CW Center Stage
10-05 Dallas, TX – Granada Theater
10-06 Houston, TX – Warehouse Live – Ballroom
10-07 Austin, TX – La Zona Rosa
10-09 Tempe, AZ – Marquee
10-10 Anaheim, CA – House of Blues
10-11 Los Angeles, CA – Henry Fonda Theater
10-13 San Francisco, CA – The Fillmore
10-15 Spokane, WA – Knitting Factory
10-16 Seattle, WA – Paramount Theater

REVIEW: Iron & Wine @ The Crystal Ballroom (Portland, OR – – 12/2/07)

3rd Dec 07 (Mon) 1 comment

Well, the evening started with my wife finding a good parking space for us… not too far from dinner and the venue. Dinner was at the lovely Blossoming Lotus. I had the BBQ tempeh with black bean soup, ginger salad, and quinoa. My wife had the Indian bowl, which had loads of mango something-or-other on it. Pumpkin muffin and brownie parfait for dessert. Belt loosening for dessert as well. ;) Blossoming Lotus is right in downtown Portland (NW). They’re a yummy, reasonably priced, organic café, and they have a delightful cookbook as well (we bought one after our trip out here in Dec ’06).

Sam Beam is a hary man. <insert Chewbacca sound here>

While not having a good knowledge of I&W song names (outside of the obvious ones), this is gonna be a total “cheater review”… here’s a setlist from another show on this tour:

Lovesong of the Buzzard
Peace Beneath the City
Innocent Bones
On Your Wings
Pagan Angel And A Borrowed Car
White Tooth Man *FAV*
House by the Sea
The Devil Never Sleeps
Boy With A Coin *FAV*
Sodom, South Georgia
Carousel
Upward Over The Mountain
Jezebel *FAV*
Wolves (Song of the Shepherd’s Dog)
Resurrection Fern
The Sea And The Rhythm
Flightless Bird, American Mouth

History of Lovers

The PDX show was not too far off this one. Well, actually, we left at the song right before the encore (long drive ahead of us in the rain); so I can’t vouch at all for the encore selection. Cheater review, indeed.

Definitely a good show. The opener, Califone, was also enjoyable. I heard some of their selections on their MySpace page, and I wasn’t necessarily giddy. I’ll admit — I was busy that day; so I really didn’t give them a fair listen. Anyway, I really liked their more jammy, experimental elements.

Iron and Wine came on about 10:20 and played for a good hour and half… good mix of songs (as noted by the cheater setlist above). I loved Sam Beam’s whispy delivery, but oft-times the band got in the way of his vocals/guitar. I think it’d be good to see a more stripped down version of Iron & Wine, but this show was a treat as well.

Oh, if you want to hear a streaming concert… NPR has the Washington DC 9:30 Club show from earlier this year HERE. It’s also downloadable if you get their “NPR Live Concert” podcast.

Oh, the venue… weird set-up. Show was on the 3rd floor. The ballroom was split up with a big barrier segregating the drinkers from non-drinkers. There were odd paintings on the wall and pretty ugly plastic-looking chandeliers. Ugly… but they (Crystal Ballroom) definitely get some good artists coming through… heck, just this week: Iron & Wine, Cake, Tegan & Sara, Jon Butler Trio, The Shins.

~Dan – np: Doug Pinnick – Strum Sum Up

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