Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Ever Since He Was Young Boy, He Played The Silver Ball

From now on, when ever I hear "Pinball Wizard," I'll picture the "silver ball" being the ball at the end of the microphone. I recently previewed Roger Daltrey's performance of Tommy for The Oregonian, and focused on the return of his epic mic swinging, which took a break of a few years because of vision problems. The swinging was really over the top at the Rose Garden on Monday night, prompting a friend of mine to suggest, "He must have read your article."

Having never seen Daltrey live, the mic moves fully exceeded my expectations. He uses his butt to reverse the momentum and really gets that thing flying. He must have a special mic cable to withstand all that. Here's a bootleg video of "Pinball Wizard" from the show that I found:

The most surprising part of the performance was a Johnny Cash medley. Daltrey explained that his throat surgeon recommended he play a low song near the end of the set to get the blood back in his vocal chords. His American accent sounds like Roy Orbison, and sure enough, when he finished the more than 2 hour set, his voice sounded just as solid as when he started.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Rose City Rose

For most bands with a vintage style, hindsight is 20/20. Not the Tomorrow People. This exciting new trio from Portland made a debut record that is a veritable time machine to the 1970s, quixotically imitating the Beach Boys and T. Rex baggage with the glory. And it is awesome.

I wrote a preview of their CD release show last week for The Oregonian, and here is the extended ending that didn't make it in the final piece:

“It's been the most inspiring time of my life, really,” Geare says, and he's not just talking about making music. It sounds like some Portland-area women helped out with the sexually-charged tunes on the album. “Dating down in LA is not the same thing,” he says. “Girls are way more awesome here.”

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Fall Is For Metal

It's fall, and for the fourth year in a row, that means it's time for Fall Into Darkness, Portland's underground metal festival. I took the opportunity to do a bit of a Portland metal scene report in The Oregonian this week, and music scribe Bob Ham invited festival organizer Nathan Carson, metal booker Carly Henry and yours truly to be guests on the latest edition (episode 6) of his podcast, For The Ears.

Basically, everyone agreed that metal is on the rise in Portland. Here's a bit of the A&E story that got cut for space that supports this notional as well:
Jason Leivian co-curated a currently running Oregon Historical Society exhibit called “Oregon Rocks! A History of Popular Music in Oregon.” Carson helped out, and when he commented on the lack of metal, Leivian says he told him, “It's actually happening now. If there's another retrospective 10 or 15 years later, they're definitely going to look at bands like Red Rang, Agalloch and Witch Mountain.”

Grimace for the history books this weekend.