Friday, July 17, 2009

Onward to New Spaine!

Relive the glory of last year's tour in anticipation, and follow the adventures this year on twitter!

7.17 Seattle, WA - Blue Moon
7.18 Portland, OR - Ash Street Saloon
7.23 Arcata, CA - The Alibi
7.24 San Francisco, CA - Kimo's
7.25 Berkeley, CA - 924 Gilman
7.26 Los Angeles, CA - Spaceland
7.27 Laguna Beach, CA - Sandpiper
7.28 Tucson, AZ - Hotel Congress
7.29 El Paso, TX - (just canceled...ideas?)
7.30 Las Cruces, NM - Bacon House
7.31 Albuquerque, NM - Atomic Cantina
8.01 Santa Fe, NM - Warehouse21
8.02 olorado Springs, CO - Black Sheep
8.04 Denver, CO - Old Curtis Street Bar
8.05 Boulder, CO - Colorado Shakespeare Festival
8.06 Fort Collins, CO - Surfside 7
8.07 Boise, ID - 1719 N Ada
8.08 Yakima, WA - Yakima Sports Center
10.03 Ashland, OR - Stillwater

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

My First Music Video!

Behold! The Metal Shakespeare Company made a video for Hamlet III.i. It's the first music video I've ever been in in 10 years of playing in bands. It was raining the day we shot it up at the place our band was formed, Lewis & Clark College, which made it kind of miserable, but more metal. The editing was done by Matt Miadich who edits all the videos for English, baby! and the camera work is by Ian Rasmussen.

Monday, July 6, 2009

O Come Look at the Burning

It's so nice when an out-of-the-blue assignment happens to connect with something you're randomly obsessed with at the time.

I had already agreed to write a story for The Oregonian on Louisiana blues man, Kevin Gordon, when I discovered that he's from the part of the state where "True Blood", the TV show I had been watching every night that week to catch up on the first season I missed, was filmed. And it wasn't until I had him on the phone that I learned he's even licensed a song to the show.

What luck! A legitimate chance to write about the thing I couldn't stop thinking about anyway. It made the article flow easily--I think the comparison of the show to Gordon's music really works too, if you'll allow me to pat myself on the back.

Anyway, before I interviewed him, I listened to almost all of Gordon's catalog. I just kept his ReverbNation account playing for thirty-some songs, and I recommend the experience. But Gordon's most exciting material may be to come. Here's Gordon talking about a new song he just recorded, with a working title of "Colfax", which will be on his next album. At seven minutes, it's his longest song, and the first to have a fully narrative structure.

My band director was African-American teaching at an all white school in late '70s. Even in '78 or '79, Louisiana was still a very provincial place and there were a number of old-guard elements still at work there, and being in the band at school meant during the fall you'd march in football games and go to parades in little towns. I don't want to give too much away, but the song is about a conflict that happened on one of those trips.

The older I get, the more those memories come back sharper. It's been great for me to write about that place in that time. In addition to that political stuff, it's also a song of coming of age.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Sound Judgment Day

Throughout my career as a freelance writer in Portland, the punk scene I initially covered for the Willamette Week has viewed me as an outsider (little do they know I have mad punk cred in New Mexico, but that's another story). And when it comes to the rest of the music scenes in Portland, with the exception of metal, I am an outsider.

But that's OK. That's often the roll of the journalist--outside looking in. But Arya Imig, whose show "Sound Judgment" wrapped up a 3 and a half year run on KPSU last month is the exception.

I wrote a story about Arya and Sound Judgment for today's Oregonian. It's pegged to a party to celebrate the end of the show in the Goldsmith building that starts in about an hour. It will be interesting to see who comes.

At least apparently, Arya is an insider to many different music scenes in Portland. He is not only respected by, but friends with punks, indie rockers, DJs and more. He is a gifted broadcaster and a remarkable, if unlikely, people person.

Check out the archives of Sound Judgment here.

Image: Arya at his second to last show. By me.