Saturday, May 26, 2012

Stars and Satellites

Trampled by Turtles was first pitched to me a couple of years ago as "bluegrass shredders." It was intriguing enough of a concept to get me to a live show, and I was thoroughly impressed with the energy of the rowdy crowd, although the music wasn't really something I wanted to listen to at home.

The Minnesota band's slower new album though, "Stars and Satellites," has been on constant rotation at my place. It's perfect warm night music. Like any departure from an established sound, it's taken some heat, including this little write up by my friend Andy at Willamette Week with a hilarious burn of a genre tag. I however, gave the album some glowing praise in my preview for The Oregonian, and was really psyched to see it live last night. 

Unfortunately, I forgot about the bane of quiet music: talking. The fans who packed the Crystal came to rock. The springy ballroom floor was the bounciest I've ever felt it. But they weren't quite winded enough to chill out through the quieter songs. Luckily, I have some of the lyrics memorized now, so I could fill in the gaps.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Another Brick in The Wall

Getting the chance to write about Roger Daltrey last fall and falling in love with Tommy, whet my appetite for classic rock Rogers. I was thrilled to get to write both a preview and review of Roger Waters' performance of The Wall at the Rose Garden for The Oregonian.

The preview presented a challenge. Unlike most people in my generation, my parents did not listen to classic rock. So I never heard The Wall until I was a teenager, and by then I was too into punk and not enough into pot to care.

So when it came time to write this piece, I listened to The Wall over and over again and discovered, that unlike Tommy, I didn't love it. I watched the movie, but still felt like I didn't get it. Why was it so long? Why all the funny voices?

 Finally, after talking to a couple of writer friends who are big Pink Floyd buffs, I realized the history of the album was the most interesting thing to me. So I researched and wrote an essay that kind of felt like a college paper. It was fun! 

The day of the show, I was wondering which Roger would win out--Daltrey or Waters.

Poor Daltrey never stood a chance. Waters put on the best show I've ever seen.

I think The Wall wasn't meant to be a movie or an album. It was meant to be a massive live production. I felt it. I felt it so much that afterward, another journalist I ran into and our friends didn't want to leave the building. We dreaded going out into the world where people didn't see what we just saw. As I walked back downtown, I ran into someone I knew. I told her I'd just seen the best show ever.

"Oh cool. Did you get new glasses?" she asked.

Image: Waters performs "Mother" in front of footage of himself performing it 30 years ago.

Monday, May 7, 2012

That Metal Weekend

Last weekend, Eddie Trunk, Don Jamieson and Jim Florentine, the hosts of the longest-running and highest-rated show on VH1 Classic, "That Metal Show," came to Seattle and Portland and did their first ever live performances together. I was entrusted with handling the media coverage and the media was very kind to us.

Eddie and Jim appeared on KISW 99.9 Seattle twice. Once on their metal show, "The Metal Shop," and again on "The BJ Shea Morning Experience."

Portland freelance writer Bob Ham did a great Q&A with Eddie for Willamette Week in which they break down all the important metal issues of the day. The Portland Mercury ran a preview, humorous as always. This morning, The Mercury's music blog has a detailed review of the show by Mark Lore, who also took the picture above.

Next up, Don, Jim and Eddie head to Chicago and Detroit June 15 & 16.