As I musician myself, I think I bring a unique perspective and understanding to other’s work. I’m the music blogger for 1859: Oregon’s Magazine, but I also love working with bands and artists to write up biographies and press releases.
Mimicking Birds: Earthly and Supernatural
Mimicking Birds makes music that is at once earthly and supernatural. Concepts such as environmental destruction and biological infinity are channeled into songs that sound as if they are coming from distant atmospheres or other planets—with their own versions of sun, moon and stars.
At the center is Nate Lacy. His last release was in 2010 (too long ago!) with Glacial Pace Recordings. Tracks were “home recorded” at Isaac Brock’s house, with producers Brock and Clay Jones at the helm. Though a new album is yet to grace our ears, Lacy’s warblings are worth hearing live tomorrow whether you are a seasoned listener or new recruit.
Lacy’s virtuosic acoustic finger-picking wraps rhythm and rhymes around spiraling melodies; his voice as sweet, sad and complex as Ray LaMontange’s, (sans the bluesy undertones) with hints of Dave Matthew’s tremolo and Brock’s phrasing. The effect is a songwriterly version of Modest Mouse’s The Moon and Antarctica—with playful distortion, meaty electric nuance and enough gadgetry at arms-length to launch these acoustic songs into an ethereal realm.
But what carries the record through is the intimate nature of Lacy’s vocals. He glides easily between mumbles, colloquial asides and melodic whispers. Sometimes, like an elusive silver coin, we even hear his shimmering tenor.
It might come as a surprise that the nationally famous, Warped-touring band of acoustic punk rockers from Redmond, Larry & His Flask, used to have a hard time getting a gig in Bend. They were too loud, too crazy or just too electric for this laid-back, bluegrass-loving mountain town.
Shunned by most major venues in Central Oregon, they took to the streets—literally—and set up impromptu stages on street corners, often drawing droves of patrons out on the sidewalk in front of the very venues that wouldn’t give them the time of day. Sometimes they’d even march through pubs and bars, play on table tops for a song or two, and rally on to the next place to stir up the crowd.
There was just one problem: they were a punk band, and this whole busking thing required acoustic instruments and someone that could sing loud… real loud.
Laura Gibson: La Grand
Laura Gibson’s shows are entrancing. Maybe this is because they lack the explosives and theatrics that so many musicians turn to once they realize they’ll get more attention with antics such as taking their shirts off. Instead, Gibson’s quiet poise and confidence generally arrest her audiences into silence as she flawlessly picks her way through intricate patterns on her guitar and sings in a steely, crackling soprano.
Slow Grown Music from the Alialujah Choir
The Alialujah Choir was born in graveyard. The Lone Fir Cemetery in SE Portland, to be exact. In 2008, Kate Sokoloff had an idea to raise money for the endangered property, and commissioned a compilation of songs by some of Portland’s most well-known folk artists called (D)early Departed. She invited Weinland’s front man and singer-songwriter, Adam Shearer to contribute. Shearer, a long-time mental health professional, was drawn to the real-life story of Dr. J. C. Hawthorne, who is buried at Lone Pine along with many of his patients.
Portland, OR – Long-time core member of the Portland Cello Project, Anna Fritz, will be releasing her new solo album “The Gospel of Tree Bark,” on Thursday January 17 at 8 p.m. at The Secret Society in Portland. Closing out the evening will be the sing-a-long carnival antics of The Saloon Ensemble.
Fritz wrote most of her new album, “The Gospel of Tree Bark,” in a little cabin in Southern Oregon, nestled within the coastal mountain range of Coos County. Two small creeks ran through the camp, and it was the first time in years that Fritz felt like she was in a place that was truly quiet, with only the sounds of the water, birds and wind to lull her to sleep.
“I had a strong connection with a place that felt sacred; the land all around me was an inspiration, and central to the creative process,” Fritz explained.
And so emerged one of the primary themes of her album: exploring the natural world as a place of comfort and spirituality, longing for this connection within an urban landscape…