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MINI-REVIEW: Gonzalo Bergara Quartet @ house concert (Eugene, OR – 10/23/11)

24th Oct 11 (Mon) 1 comment

I love the Rolling & Tumbling house concerts.  If you’re in Eugene and love good music in an intimate setting, head over to HERE and sign up for the mailing list.  They host concerts about once a quarter, and it’s usually some interesting world music.  The next one is January 15th… the Michael Winograd klezmer trio from NYC.

Last night’s show was the Gonzalo Bergara Quartet from Los Angeles via Argentina.

They were a hot band, playing primarily Django Reinhardt-influenced gypsy jazz guitar pieces, with a few variations (like bossa nova) added in.  The frontman, Gonzalo Bergara, was phenomenal on guitar… truly worthy of following in Django’s shadow.  His band was made up of Rob Hardt primarily on clarinet (and sax on occasion), Jeffrey Radaich on rhythm guitar (and vocals for “L.O.V.E.“), and Brian Netzley on upright bass.

They played an hour-long set, then we broke for snacks/intermission and they came back for a show-capping 45 minute set.  They were humorous, graceful, and virtuosos.  They played many unidentifiable tunes, but I do know they played these: Simplicated, Gonzalogy, August (new/unrecorded), L.O.V.E., Coquette, Nightmare #1, Octubre/Noviembre, La Muerte De Un Lobo Bueno, some more Django tunes, a bossa nova tune (possibly Elena’s Bossa).

(click albums below for sound samples)

They play all over the world.  They played in Eugene a couple years ago; so they’re likely not back for a bit.  Check out their tour dates to see if they’re coming to your neck of the woods.

The Appropriate Linkage:

  • Gonzalo Bergara Quartet‘s Site
  • Gonzalo Bergara Quartet’s Social Media Links (see below)

Next show for me… John Scofield at the Shedd (Eugene) on 10/26, and then Pomplamoose at Doug Fir Lounge (Portland) on 10/27.

~Dan – np: Toad the Wet SprocketAll You Want

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Kaki King on the Les Paul Google doodle

23rd Jun 11 (Thu) Leave a comment

Did you miss the Les Paul 96th birthday celebration Google doodle from June 9th?  Well, check it out, play something, record it…

…and then compare what you did with the three that guitar phenom Kaki King did for Brazil’s MTV Hive:

Further proof that this is one of the best Google doodles conceived thus far.

~Dan – np: Saviour MachineSaviour Machine II

REVIEW: Kaki King @ WOW Hall (Eugene, OR – 3/9/11)

12th Mar 11 (Sat) 1 comment

FYI… PHOTOS of the SHOW at the BOTTOM

Kaki King burst into the music scene in 2003 with her exquisite fretwork and primarily instrumental pieces. “Playing With Pink Noise” (from 2004’s Legs to Make Us Longer) thrust her more in the indie rock spotlight, showcasing a guitar that she played as if it were trying to run away from her. The video for “Pink Noise” was simply a white backdrop with Kaki effortlessly plucking and slapping away among randomly timed pink rose petals and balloons. It helped land her hands on the silver screen — as the up-close guitar “stunt double” for Freddie Highmore, who played a guitar prodigy in 2007’s August Rush. Later that year, she was nominated for a Golden Globe for her score for Sean Penn’s Into the Wild (alongside Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder).

With her fifth album, Junior, a more mature songwriter has emerged. She still brings the famous fretwork to her songs, but Junior brings vocals more to the fore. Kaki woos us with the subtle and intricate pop of “Spit It Back In My Mouth,” the drive of “Falling Day,” the indie pop feel of “Communist Friends” and the hard rock of “Death Head.” The vulnerable and heartfelt “Sunnyside” brings the album to a close and shows off her more personal side. Kaki King is for fans of the indie rock of Sleater-Kinney and Tegan & Sara, or for those who like a bit more virtuoso musicianship mixed in with their lush pop melodies.

Kaki came through Eugene last May, and blew us away with her rockin’ band.  For this go-round, it was just going to be her and her guitar.  Or, shall I say… guitars… this is dubbed her “Guitar Traveling Freak Show” tour…

kaki king’s “band” on this tour

Before Kaki hit the stage, Washington went on.  (Megan) Washington is an Australian singer-songwriter, who I hear is quite popular down under.  She actually started her set with a joke about an odd fellow from Arcata, CA, who brandished a sword in front of her the day prior.  She told us that she normally plays guitar, but due to obvious reasons wouldn’t be tonight.  Her sound reminded me of a slightly grittier Regina Spektor (specifically from a vocal side of things).  She definitely had some songwriting chops.  She played about an hour… sometimes dreamy piano pop, sometimes more sullen indie rock.  She didn’t have anything to sell us (no shirt, CDs, etc)… probably too difficult to manage hauling it to this hemisphere.  I’d recommend checking out her records, especially How to Tame Lions and I Believe You Liar.

Kaki hit the stage at 8:30pm for this early show.  She played almost entirely an instrumental set… with vocals only on “Life Being” and “Communist” (if I remember correctly).  She switched between her trusty six string, a smaller than usual 12-string (Irish?), a banjo-guitar hybrid, an interestingly “koto”-style modified bridge guitar, a harp guitar, and probably a few I’m missing.

Setlist: about 90 minutes

  • Bone Chaos in the Castle
  • I Need A Girl Who Knows A Map
  • Doing the Wrong Thing
  • unidentified… possibly “Ingots”
  • Life Being What It Is
  • Playing With Pink Noise
  • unidentified… possibly “Carmine St”
  • My Girl the Horse [Fences]
  • Andecy [Andrew York]
  • Because It’s There [Michael Hedges]
  • Nails
  • unidentified… possibly “Magazine”
  • unidentified… new song for Megan Washington
  • unidentified… possibly “Bowen Island”
  • Encore: unidentified… with Dan Brantigan on trumpet
  • unidentified… “world premiere” drunk guitar song
  • Communist Friends

Kaki is the kind of guitar player that makes non-guitar players want to learn how to play.  She’s also the kind of guitar player who makes current guitar players want to throw away their axe.  And despite her focused brilliance with her instrument, she has quite a humorous and awkwardly delightful stage presence.  She’s charming, she’ll jokingly cuss the audience out, and then she’ll be self-deprecating.  She’ll act playful and humble, and then she’ll smoke the 6 to 12 strings in front of her without much trouble.  There’s no doubt that she belongs on stage and that you belong watching her.

more photos below

The Appropriate Linkage:

Check out more tour dates below.

Next show for me… Chris Thile‘s Punch Brothers at McDonald Theatre on 3/16.

~Dan – np: Nik Bärtsch’s RoninLlyrìa

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

(click for larger)

KAKI KING – 2011 TOUR DATES
Feb 23 Museum of Modern Art: Celeste Bartos Theatre New York, New York
Feb 26 Salon Vive Cuervo Mexico City, Mexico
Feb 28 The Loft – UC San Diego San Diego, California
Mar 2 Largo at the Coronet West Hollywood, California
Mar 3 College of the Sequoias Theatre Visalia, California
Mar 4 Yoshi’s San Francisco, CA
Mar 5 Ashkenaz Berkeley, California
Mar 6 Harlows Sacramento, California
Mar 8 Jambalaya Arcata, California
Mar 9 WOW Hall Eugene, Oregon
Mar 10 Mississippi Studios Portland, Oregon
Mar 11 The Triple Door Seattle, Washington
Mar 12 Biltmore Cabaret Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Mar 24 Cedar Cultural Center Minneapolis, Minnesota
Mar 25 Space Evanston, Illinois
Mar 26 The Old Rock House St. Louis, Missouri
Mar 28 Southgate House Newport, Kentucky
Mar 29 The Birchmere Alexandria , Virginia
Mar 30 World Cafe Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Apr 1 Center for the Arts Natick, Massachusetts
Apr 2 Iron Horse Northampton, Massachusetts
Apr 3 Infinity Hall Norfolk, Connecticut
Apr 7 City Winery New York, New York
Apr 8 City Winery New York, New York
Apr 9 Binghamton University Binghamton, New York

Kaki King @ WOW Hall in Eugene 2011

10th Mar 11 (Thu) 2 comments

Michael Kelsey – Submerged (2011)

3rd Jan 11 (Mon) Leave a comment

Michael Kelsey is quite possibly the most intensely amazing guitar player I have ever seen – and I’ve seen a lot of them.  He’s a phenom in the live setting.  He pops, he jumps, he loops, he bends… I’ve heard his style being described as “progressive aggressive acoustic.”  It fits!  Once, I even saw him change a guitar string while still playing.  He didn’t even miss a beat…

Last week I put out a post about anticipated albums in 2011.  Had I even known about the Michael Kelsey’s surprise attack, it would have made that list – easily!  Well, his 6th studio album Submerged was announced on Thursday, December 30th – and it’s officially out now!!!

If you happen to live near West Lafayette, Indiana – you should go to the CD release party on January 15th, 2011 (FB event link).  He’s also doing a little midwest tour (I miss being able to see him now that I live out in Oregon).  If you are a downloader, the album is out now on the Amazons

If you dig CDs (like I), it’s available via his website with a super-easy PayPal purchase option:
http://www.michaelkelsey.com/music.cfm

Mine is on the way as I type this.  For a taste of what the album’s like:

Do yourself a favor.  New years resolution: new music! :)

~Dan – np: nine inch nailsthe fragile

REVIEW: Charlie Hunter Trio @ Sam Bond’s Garage (Eugene, OR – 12/16/10)

17th Dec 10 (Fri) 1 comment

FYI… PHOTOS of the SHOW at the BOTTOM

Having just seen Charlie Hunter in May at WOW Hall, I was debating going to see him again so soon.  I mean, he did just release a new CD since the last outing (the solo work Public Domain), but amongst the busy bustle of December, I was hemming & hawing about going.  Boy was that dumb.

Eight words of advice:
Never debate going to see Charlie Hunter.  Ever.

We got there for soundcheck, and our thoughts of skepticism about Sam Bond’s Garage‘s acoustics was quickly put asunder.  Charlie, Eric Kalb (drums) and Mike Williams (bass trumpet) treated us with a few tasty bits of goodness – which included some Thelonious Monk (thanks, Aaron, for the identification).

The show proper was comprised of two hour-long sets… a lot from both of his recent albums, the aforementioned Public Domain and the most excellent Gentlemen, I Neglected To Inform You You Will Not Be Getting Paid.  Charlie’s guitar-work was mesmerizing.  My comments from the WOW Hall show stands…

“One of the most amazing things from the night was watching Charlie play.  His seeming ease at which he plays bass and guitar on one instrument is stunning (and curse-worthy for the guitar aficionado in the crowd).  If you weren’t watching the stage, you’d easily be fooled that it was a quartet and not a trio.  It’s quite an amazing thing to see and hear.  He’s so unassuming about it, too… a showman without the show-off attitude.”

Or as my guitar-playing friend Aaron likes to say… “f*ck that guy” (said lovingly in awe of Charlie’s chops).  He’s so good, yet so unassuming… and he surrounds himself with great musicians.  Eric & Mike filled in the groove where Charlie didn’t.  They all looked like they were having a great time doing it, too.

No setlist, per se.  Just two-plus hours of groove, jazz awesomeness.  They play Mississippi Studios in Portland tonight (Friday, December 17th).

more photos below

The Appropriate Linkage:

~Dan – np: S (Jenn Ghetto) – I’m Not As Good At It As You

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

(click for larger)

Charlie Hunter @ Sam Bond’s

17th Dec 10 (Fri) Leave a comment
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