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REVIEW: Trevor Dunn & Travis Laplante @ Wandering Goat (Eugene, OR – 1/31/12)

2nd Feb 12 (Thu) 8 comments

PHOTOS FROM THE SHOW AT THE BOTTOM

I’ve been a fan of Mr Bungle/Fantômas/John Zorn collaborative bass player Trevor Dunn for a while.  When I get a chance to see him, especially within biking distance, I go.  From Trevor Dunn’s website, the “Double Solo” tour was noted as a “West Coast spit-roasting agenda. I’ll be playing a 30 min solo bass piece & Travis [Laplante] will play a set for solo tenor saxophone.”  Ah, a night of avant-garde jazz… yum!

Ryan A. Miller from Portland was up first… he played about 30-40 minutes on solo acoustic guitar.  A lot of loops, noises, and a little bit of what might seem like “futzing around,” but I dug it.  There were definitely some odd parts, but I definitely thought his set was more interesting than not.  You could tell he had skills, just couldn’t tell how they were going to evolve and manifest.  Update 2/8/12: Ryan’s band (U SCO) was the opener for the Secret Chiefs 3 show in Portland the very next week.  U SCO is a wicked, rad schizophrenic proggy, jazzy rock trio.  Excellent stuff!

Travis Laplante (Battle Trance) took his spot on the floor just off stage and gave us an initial onslaught of loud, raucous alto sax.  His first piece reminded me of Peter Evans solo trumpet show from 2008.  Ballistic, unfocused melodically, intense… what avant-garde jazz is meant to be.  His second piece was gentler and more melodic at first.  It was contained but not necessarily restrained before he finally let loose at the end.  His third and final piece was a dronier delight.

Trevor Dunn played last and gave us the 30-minute piece that he’s tentatively calling “The Pentagram.”  He dedicated it to Pisces.  It definitely had a “composed” feel to it (later confirmed with Trevor), but it was open and free enough to let him explore where it could go.  He plucked, he scraped, he bowed, he played below the bridge, he played with clothespins on the strings.  To sum it up in a word: fascinating.  You’ve gotta love it when he makes a few of his other bands (Mr Bungle/Fantômas) seem “too mainstream.”

Update 2/7/12: Check out this East Bay Express write-up of the Oakland show by Rachel Swan… waaaaaay better write-up (she’s a journalist and rightfully gets paid for it).  Gives you a better feel for the Dunn piece as a whole.

Trevor and Travis are wrapping up this tour this coming weekend… tonight in San Francisco, then Friday in Oakland, Saturday in Los Angeles and Sunday in Santa Cruz.  Check his Tour Page for more info.

The Appropriate Linkage:

Next show for me… Thee Silver Mt. Zion (splinter group from Godspeed You! Black Emperor) at Mississippi Studios on 2/4.

~Dan – np: Frank ZappaThem Or Us

TREVOR DUNN & TRAVIS LAPLANTE PHOTOS
all pictures (cc) 2012 Daniel Temmesfeld,
you may use freely under a creative commons attribution

(click for larger)

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REVIEW: Nels Cline Singers with Yuka Honda @ Doug Fir Lounge (Portland, OR – 1/30/11)

2nd Feb 11 (Wed) 3 comments

 FYI… PHOTOS of the SHOW at the BOTTOM

I had heard of Nels Cline like many people… via Wilco.  I had even seen Wilco at some point on the A Ghost is Born tour (Taft Theatre, Cincinnati, 2000-and-something).  While I dig Wilco enough, more adventurous music is where it’s at for me nowadays.  I had heard of Nels and knew of his free jazz group, but I had only actually heard a little bit of his music – which gets me to my interest even being piqued in this show… enter Yuka C. Honda.

I dig Yuka’s Japanese/American sugar-pop of Cibo Matto (with fellow Japanese ex-pat Miho Hatori), but I also dig her experimental acoustic-electronic albums on Tzadik.  My love of Yuka’s solo work led to her Portland tour date popping up on my radar…and I saw “oh, and with Nels Cline, I’ve heard some of his stuff.”

Boy, was I in for a surprise.

I found out about a week before the show that Yuka was actually playing with the Nels Cline Singers (the next generation of his NC Trio).  I found out later that they’re married ; so the joint tour totally made sense to me now.

Then I found out that one of my favorite bassists, Trevor Dunn, was playing in the group for this short West Coast tour.  Trevor played/plays with Mr. Bungle, Fantomas, Moonchild, Trio Convulsant, Electric Masada, et-fucking-cetera (tons upon tons of groups).

Then I found out that Scott Amendola was drumming with them… he’s the drummer for Mike Patton‘s fantastic Mondo Cane big-band.  Then, after seeing the Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger* on Friday 1/28 in Portland, I thought… “hey, GOASTT is wrapping up their tour in Seattle on the 29th, and Nels Cline is starting their tour on the 29th in Seattle.  Sean Lennon (of GOASTT) & Yuka used to be together as a couple and still work in bands together, Sean & Nels are on the same label, I bet something’s up.”  Well, yeah, something was up…

*GOASTT is Sean Lennon & Charlotte Kemp Muhl‘s band (to the R of Nels).

As evidenced above, Sean & Charlotte watched from side of the stage during the first set, until Sean disappeared only to come up on stage to tambourine with the group for the last song in the first set.

So, now that my mind was thoroughly blown with all of the players on stage – let’s get on with the music.

Despite the “Singers” namesake, it’s an instrumental band.  Actually, it’s an instrumental force with which to reckon.  The first set started off with just the trio of Nels’ guitars and the battery of Trevor & Scott.  The first song “Forge” swooned and swelled before crashing down on our ears.

The group seemed to me to be a great mix of what I love about both free jazz and post-rock.  You don’t know what to expect, and you don’t want to know what to expect.  The wave-like rise and fall is part of the enjoyment.  If the wave doesn’t take you to where you wanted to go, well, you have to give in… it’s not your wave to control.

After the first few songs, Yuka came on and joined them on keyboards and percussion.  I think she evened out the sound a bit… less chaotic, but still adventurous.

1st Set: 60-70 minutes

  • Forge
  • A Mug Like Mine
  • Dedication
  • Thurston County
  • B86 (Inkblot Nebula)
  • Thoughts on Caetano [with Sean Lennon]

Brilliant wall of sound and magic coming from the Singers.  Alas, I had to call it a night.  They took about a 30-40 minute break before I threw in the towel (around 11pm).  They were going to come back on and do a 2nd full set.  Sunday night, long drive ahead of me… I headed back to Eugene.  I sooo very much wanted to stick around for the second set.  The cards were stacked against me; so I scurried to my car and hit the road… if any readers caught the second set – how was it? what did they play?

many more photos below

The Appropriate Linkage:

Check out more tour dates below.

Next shows for me… Sir Elton John in Eugene on 2/17 and then Godspeed! You Black Emperor the next day in Portland.

~Dan – np: OpethOrchid

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

(click for larger)

Winter 2011 West Coast Tour Dates

  • Jan 29 – Seattle, WA – Is That Jazz? Festival
  • Jan 30 – Portland, OR – Doug Fir Lounge
  • Feb 2 – Arcata, CA – Arcata Playhouse
  • Feb 3 – San Francisco, CA – The Independent
  • Feb 4 – Santa Cruz, CA – Don Quixote’s
  • Feb 5 – Los Angeles, CA – Getty Center

Jónsi – Live at the Wiltern (live audio & video), plus more music news…

1st Feb 11 (Tue) Leave a comment

Sigur Rós front man Jónsi just announced his new concert film jónsi live at the wiltern is available to buy now via iTunes (usa and canada only).  Here’s the trailer…

Get the AUDIO // Get the VIDEO

jónsi live at the wiltern was directed by dean deblois, (the director of the oscar nominated film how to train your dragon and the sigur rós film heima). the footage – recorded at los angeles’ wiltern theater – was first aired on npr on sunday october 17, 2010 and it marked the first ever live video webcast of a concert for the public radio organisation. filmed towards the end of jónsi’s extensive world tour in support of his solo album ‘go’, the film captures the live show at the late stage when the set and visuals were at their finest. this digital release is available exclusively on itunes.

Other news…

  • Tres Mountains (side project from Jeff Ament of Pearl Jam & dUg Pinnick of King’s X) is now up for pre-order.  It comes out March 14th.  Go HERE for more info on pre-order.
  • Carla Kihlstedt & Mattias Bossi‘s new album, Still You Lay Dreaming: Tales for the Stage II, also came out today.  It is digital only… and knowing Carla’s chamber indie-rock magic, it’ll be great (it’s in my e-shopping cart now).  http://kihlstedtbossi.bandcamp.com

My Nels Cline Singers‘ Portland show (1/30) review & photo editing being worked on now… I’ll post it by morning (sorry for the delay).

~Dan – np: Ken AndrewsSecrets of the Lost Satellite

Nels Cline Singers – Portland (photos on Wednesday)

31st Jan 11 (Mon) 1 comment

Last night’s show at the Doug Fir Lounge in Portland with the Nels Cline Singers (Nels, Trevor Dunn & Scott Amendola) with Yuka Honda was rad.  Due to my schedule, I won’t be able to post the review until late Tuesday Wednesday (Go Here for the Review/Photos).  Here are some teaser shots… one with Sean Lennon







More to come… check back Tuesday night Wednesday morning!  Sorry, utterly swamped at work…

~Dan

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