TCC Offline After 11/20/11…

Posted: November 17, 2011 in Editor's Notes

As TCC’s contribution to the 99% boycott of big business/corporate banking/politics protest, we will be going offline after 11/20/11 and will no longer be financially supporting the current Comcast/Qwest/satellite corporate monopolies.  What this means is we will continue to track local bands – attending shows, snapping pics and writing up reviews, and will see if library computers/Internet access will work until we acquire a laptop to access WiFi there at the downtown library.

In addition, TCC will be donating $25/month to the library as our way of saying ‘thank you’ for giving all of us this gorgeous facility where we can borrow books/music/vids, have access to local and national news sources, as well as providing free WiFi to anyone.

For you computer geeks out there, we would be interested in discussing purchasing a used laptop (putting the money into the hands of our local folks) so let me know if you have info on that please.

See ya at the shows!

As TCC’s contribution to the 99% boycott of big business/corporate banking/politics protest, we will be going offline after 11/20/11 and will no longer be financially supporting the current Comcast/Qwest/satellite corporate monopolies.  What this means is we will continue to track local bands – attending shows, snapping pics and writing up reviews, and will see if library computers/Internet access will work until we acquire a laptop to access WiFi there at the downtown library. 

In addition, TCC will be donating $25/month to the library as our way of saying ‘thank you’ for giving all of us this gorgeous facility where we can borrow books/music/vids, have access to local and national news sources, as well as providing free WiFi to anyone.
For you computer geeks out there, we would be interested in discussing purchasing a used laptop (putting the money into the hands of our local folks) so let me know if you have info on that please.
See ya at the shows!

We knew this would be a day we would never forget, but we had NO idea it would mean this – a band outta Nevada completely captivating us, PLUS our own Eugene homies in one of our fave venues???  But it was just a typical Friday night in Eugene, I should know by now that the unexpected and amazing and ROCK YOUR F&&CKING SOX OFF is standard fare, right? so, let’s hit it as hard as we were hit, right?!

Moondog Matinee (Pete Barnato – lead vox, guitar; Adam Carpenter – bass; Ben Ingle – drums; Steve Widmer – rhythm guitar, Travis Axe – lead guitar) – if I have any credits wrong you guys will let me know, k???)

           If you could have heard it, there would have been FOUR JAWS DROPPING when this band opened their set – photographers Jeanice Marvel and Rachel Gargus with our good friend Daniel G. (who prefers to remain relatively anonymous making the sole male component of our table) and yours truly taken aback as four guitars started wailing – should make for a much more seriously HEAVY sound and could easily get overdone, but not these guys… and the vocals from Peter? He matches them lick for lick, very nice!  Ben does awesome drum work, strong and steady, absolutely perfect!  Their energy was incredible and we absolutely got it – the audience nearly gave a standing ovation after every song, we were completely undone.  It was lust at first listen!  Call them primal grassroots rock, heavily laced with serious, almost gospel, R&B.

Travis Axe (gotta be a trade name!!) on mouth harp…

Photographer Rachel says Peter reminds her of Steven Tyler and I can hear that, with maybe just a tad less flamboyance (just a tad, Peter will RIP you with his stage presence, trust me) but I could definitely see that raw edge on the vocals, definitely.  It was also nice that the sound is new and fresh and not just a rehash of what has been done better before.  We also loved the Roland keyboards, with Adams’s bass snapping and the guitars screaming – it was perfect! We loved their cover of Talking Heads’ “Psycho Killer” and bought two CDs before I had a chance to chat up front man/lead vox Peter.  I asked him brutally, “What do you want to say to Eugene?” His answer was simple and beautiful, they were completely surprised by how friendly everyone was in Eugene and wanted to tell us that and how much they appreciated that.

to which we say, “Thank you for coming to see us and gracing us with your presence”… and thank you, Eugene, for being so awesome!

                               

Eugene’s Own – STRANGE DICHOTOMY (yes, I’m gonna promo them of course!) 

(Greg Gillispie: vox, guitar;  Luke Martyn: bass, vox; Jason Rowe: drums; Kyle Brewster: guitar)

              

I have always loved these guys from the first time I saw them doing one of their acoustic events at Cosmic Pizza (never discount any man with a serious vision!) – it was absolutely awesome to see them at this first “club” event in Eugene, thank you for inviting us to be a part (not apart) of this Greg!   Seeing Luke stomping around with his bass is always worth taking the trouble to get out of the house (if you were couch sitting watching the tube I will label you “LOSERS” without qualification, take it up with me personally if you wanna) this band has some serious sound.   They capture what is “Eugene” in its essence – they don’t WOW you but instead woo you with their subtle rhythms and beautiful melodies…

But we had to run out (and miss S.F.’s Giggle Party, our loss I am absolutely sure) to catch Johns Eastman’s b-day party with Eastman Band at Goodfellas… and me without my trusty notepad??? I guess the photos will have to tell the story for me…
       

You guys are awesome as always (I think you have to be really bad to be unusual at this point, ok?!) – and we will continue to follow you and be looking for you on something besides the local circuit, right?!!

find all of these bands on their homepages, FBs and ReverbNation pages… and always GO SEE LOCAL LIVE BANDS!!

 

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We were coming off a seriously long and nasty first week of November.  The skies were gray, the weather damp and cold.  Things definitely needed to get heated up – and then we hit the Black Forest!  It is always such a pleasure to see the club from across the street, we skipped across 11th and gratefully forced our way through the already full club just after 10pm.  It was a night full of loud music and great company, a perfect end to this nasty week!

And before I forget, let’s everyone give a HOT welcome to TCC’s newest team member, photographer Rachel Gargus.  Just coming back stateside after an extended residency in Japan, Rachel is cute and funny (but not single guys so PLEASE STOP HITTING ON HER ON YOUR WAY TO THE RESTROOM, RIGHT?!!)  ::grins::  anyways, Rae is multi-talented and a delight to work with – thanks for joining our team!!  (now we just have to get Rae a decent camera…)

First up – 2 Grams Heavy (Alex Koleber – drums, Travis Sanchez – guitar, Jesse Sanchez -bass, Paul Sanchez – guitar, ‘Steve-o’ Tuesday – vox)

     I’m not sure that we caught their actual opening song, we walked in as they were covering a Sublime number and I thought for a short time they were actually a cover band but no – they have a LOT of original material, especially for a very young band just started in 2011.  Self-styled as a “light metal/reggae” band, photographer Rae says, “they do it all!” and I think that pretty much sums it up.  We loved their energy and alternative style clothing of the lead singer especially (!!).  We were dancing in our seats (hard to write/take pictures while bouncing, ok?)  

I also really liked their cover of Rage’s “Killing In The Name” (and wondered if JTP was going to do it in their set as they usually do too) – and also noted that both Just The Tip and Sol Riot were there for the entire set – which favor was returned when they finished their set and stayed for the rest of the night to see both following bands.  I’ve heard it said that Eugene’s band scene can be a bit brutal and cut-throat, but honestly?  I’ve lived in a lot of cities and been involved in music for decades, and as far as I have seen Eugene has one of the most supportive industries around.  Anyone have anything to say against that???

  

Find 2 Grams Heavy on Facebook, ReverbNation, and the other normal places – we’ll be looking forward to seeing more from these guys!

Just The Tip (Jason “J” Schroeder – lead vocals / front, Ira Mazie – rhythm guitar / lead guitar, Justin Grado – lead guitar / rhythm guitar, Eric Lee – bass guitar, Malcolm Orr – drums / percussion)

Always fun to see these guys perform, we’d seen them most recently here at the Black Forest (reviewed 6/24/11) and at Dexter ( not reviewed July 4, 2011).  The Fourth show was definitely crazy, but tonight was a different kind of insanity!  I just like these guys, I have their debut album “Hero’s Journey” (and actually listen to it while I’m messing around my house).  I like their energy, and their vibe just makes everything copacetic.   Evidently they’ve dropped “Just” from their name and are now known as “The Tip” (ask me no questions and I’ll tell you no lies) so from this point forward we will refer to them as the latter. 

Jason was awesome as always on lead vox (with and without shirt).  Ira’s guitar work is flawless with Justin, and Eric’s base running smooth as silk with Malcolm’s drums give you a lovely sound.  If you haven’t seen these guys perform live you want to catch them next time you can, definitely.

It was also nice to not have the house sound blasting so loud that everyone was literally blown into the street – thank you!  And their cover close of Red Hot Chili Peppers’ “Give It Away” was addictive!

     

You know where to find these guys (Facebook, ReverbNation, etc.) – just know it’s a pale shadow of them live!!

Sol Riot (Jarryd Bishop / Brent Long / Isaac Stout / Cameron Carter) – please let me know if this is correct and who plays what???

Another very young and new Eugene band, just formed in 2011 as well, we saw them very briefly last month with This Patch Of Sky in a tiny Springfield venue and promised we would catch them the next time they played around here in a larger venue.  While The Black Forest may not be the world’s largest venue, it definitely qualified as bigger than the last place we saw them play (!!) so we were really looking forward to seeing these guys tonight. 

The club was still packed, with (as I mentioned earlier) 2 Grams and The Tip sticking around to hear and support these guys (duly noted, thank you!!) and these guys absolutely rocked the house!

     We absolutely loved the bass and drums – they run a killer R & B backdrop to the lead vocals.    I especially noticed the antiphonal melodies on the guitars with the different time signatures.  Some very advanced work from this band – we’ll continue to look forward to seeing them grow and develop their unique sound – a cross between The Killers and Black Keys, punk rock with a cause maybe?  What do you guys think???

Catch them on the usual channels, natch!

     

First of all, my most sincere and abject apologies.  We have indeed been remiss in our coverage of local bands and venues by studiously and intentionally leaving out a serious group of local musicians (and establishments where they play) who play live music on a regular basis and don’t get ANY kind of decent credit for their amazing talent and conscientious dedication to their craft.

I’m talking about cover/house bands (sometimes “tribute bands” when they dedicate all their material to one band).

I’m sorry.  Honestly.  It just hit me today just how badly I/we have dissed you.  And as it is impossible to go backwards, we can only go forwards.

SO…  Beginning in the month of November 2011, TCC will dedicate a mid-week review (which will include pics and video interview if the band is agreeable) to those of you who LOVE TO FREAKING ROCK and have dedicated your heart and passion to keeping the music of other bands alive.

In order to give you all the credit you deserve tho, we need your help!!  Send us any press kits you have, links to your FB or other pages, contact info, dates/locations you are playing, etc. AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.  This begins Tuesday, November 1, so we need this from you as soon as you can possibly get it to us!

Thanks – looking forward to hearing you!!

Laurel – Editor/columnist

I know everything came to an absolute standstill with us out of the scene for the past two months (give or take), but TCC is back and badder than ever, with this exclusive review of three of the four bands that played downtown Eugene’s historic WoW Hall last Friday night.  It’s a triple-triple shot, featuring three band reviews, plus pictures, PLUS an exclusive pre-show video interview with up-and-coming Jultopia!!

(note – the bands are not reviewed here in the order of their appearance – you’ll understand why at the end)

First:  Jultopia (Julian Master – front vox, samples; David Baker – guitar, back-up vox; Mason Kline – drums; Alex Dee – bass)

The night was gorgeous to begin with, and it felt so good to be back listening to live local music.  Opening was Jultopia (Julian Master, David Baker, Mason Kline, Alby Dee) – a quirky electronica band built around master Julian (who in a previous lifetime was a hip hop/rap sensation).  They were so comfortable on stage you almost forgot these guys are YOUNG but very strong.  Julian really is a master showman (can’t help playing with his name, it is way too much fun!),drawing folks up to the stage with seductive hand gestures – he has a definite stage presence.

    Taking the band as a whole, you have three musicians working to mesh their instruments with Julian’s samples which they accomplish into a seamless work of art – not easily done, trust me.  Totally danceable but I don’t know that description does them justice.  Someone could have a lot of fun running a serious psychedelic light/strobe show with some artistically enhanced fog on their beats and it would be indescribable.

Mason’s drums are steady and solid (completely necessary with this amalgamation of sound), laying the foundation with Alex’s bass for David’s guitar work and Julian’s vocals.  It was honestly fun to see David’s “two instances of back up vocals” – and he was perfect.  The band  has impeccable timing, and they obviously enjoy playing together (onstage or off I suspect).

One reader asked, “What’s so special about your live show that would make me want to come out and see you?”  In answer, you would just have to see them to understand – if you missed this show you definitely missed out!  But here’s a short video of their exclusive interview with EDN’s Laurel of The Club Circuit (with cameo appearance from Adventure Galley’s drummer) to give you a taste of what you missed!

And despite the willful destruction of stuffed animals at the end of the set (with the gleeful assistance of the participating audience), I can promise you that no one (human or animal) was seriously harmed during this performance. I think. We especially loved their closing song, “Touch You” – nice touch (pun intended)!

 

 

 

Third In Line:  White Arrows (Mickey Schiff [aka Mickey Church] – front; vox; Juice, Henry Schiff [aka Brother Henry Church – drums], Steven Vernet – guitars, Andrew Naeve)

A good solid alternative rock band, although their FB page calls them “Psychedelic, Electronic, Lo-fi,” we didn’t see that.  What we did see was five guys from L.A. taking a detour from their current tour with The Naked and Famous to drop in to our college town and lay down some seriously lovely sounds.  While there wasn’t anything all that original that I saw from this set, the band put on a good show.

It did take them awhile to warm up to the audience, but the last half of their set seriously rocked.  I’m not sure that the audience caught that tho, they seemed to drift on and off the floor throughout their performance which was rather distracting.  Perhaps that’s just a Friday fall night Eugene thing maybe?  We’re all ADD and have a 5 minute attention span maybe…

Still, it was an enjoyable end to our evening.  We didn’t stay to see And And And (which was our loss I’m sure) – but it had already been a long night after a long day and TCC is still trying to find their way through all the boxes after their relocation!

Second Up (and last on this review because they were SOOOOOOOOOO freeeeking amazing that they rate this spot):  Adventure Galley (who seem to want to remain relatively nameless as I can only find their first names posted anywhere!!  David, Aaron, George, Jesse, Forrest, and Brock).

First, I have to tell you a short story about this short story.  I had gone down to the basement at the WoW Hall between sets to sample some vin, ran back to hear this set, dashed to the merch table to see if I could pry one single solitary unsold copy of Adventure Galley’s CD, grabbed that, and somehow in the process of all that left my pad of paper with notes on the band (the page was open to AG’s review) at the merch table… realized what I had done about 5 minutes later and yelled (quietly) – “Where’s my notes?!!!!” … So I dashed back and grabbed it from the very cute lady at the table who was rather reluctant to hand it back to me… “I was having so much fun READING this!” she exclaimed (glancing at AG’s review).  Seriously.  This is a true story – just ask her!

     I could easily fill a page for each of the individual band members and their on-stage antics and artistry… but I don’t have that much room here.  So you MUST go see these guys at the next live show available.  They’re a Eugene band who (despite several previous misprints in other publications that they were winners of the 2011 Eugene’s Next Big Thing – they were one of the 4 finalist winners, but not THE winner) had actually won the 2010 MySpace’s “Rock the Space 2” contest (see http://www.myspace.com/toyotamusic).  With over 17,000 bands participating, the fact that it was a EUGENE local band that won should not be any surprise.  Their musicianship, showmanship, and overall joie-de-vivre that they put out at the show on Friday night blew us away.

So, Adventure Galley is tight and hot and they know what electronica is supposed to sound like.  What was also nice was seeing them transition from electronica to straight alt/punk rock with heavy guitars without losing energy. Yes, the energy changes, but it is a matter of definition, not level.  It wouldn’t surprise me in the least to see them break like Foster The People and Chain Gang of 1974 have recently done.

Find all these bands on Facebook, ReverbNation, and their personal websites – but definitely catch them live if you have the chance to do so!!

we’re BACK!!!

Posted: October 12, 2011 in Editor's Notes

…having finally finished our relocation of TCC’s headquarters without committing suicide or homicide, we are happy to report that we are indeed BACK and ready to hit the circuit, touring Lane County in pursuit of the most amazing live music to be found!!

While it could have gone more smoothly or more in line with the original plan, we have to give credit where credit is due, to the folks who made the whole process the success that it was:

Nathan and Daniel, two awesome dudes who are also really hot – you know we literally could not have done this without you being willing to drop everything to be there for us to get the truck, get it loaded, deliver goods to various and sundry locations, hiking up and down multiple flights of stairs with various amounts of furnishings and equipment that probably weren’t absolutely necessary except to us… we love you without reservation.  Words cannot convey what we owe you (maybe multiple giftings of chocolate might make a dent in it tho?)…

Mitch Chamberlain and Gladhander – your thank you gift gave us the reason to drag ourselves out of our holes for three mornings in a row after 20 hour days of packing/scrubbing/lifting/carrying/moving boxes and boxes and more boxes and everything else – you guys are AWESOME and we can’t wait to see you at your next gig!

Kelly Asay, Nancy Glass, and the rest of the EDN crew – your wholehearted support and encouragement (and humor in spite of everything repeatedly going wrong) gave us light and hope that somewhere at the end of this tunnel was indeed a light shining (that wasn’t an oncoming train, right?!) – thank you!

To all the fans and followers of TCC – you all have been such a blessing, we have missed you soooooo much and cannot wait to see you all again, to trade hugs and punches and insults (always hopefully more of the former and less of the latter tho!)…

And, last but absolutely not least, to Jeanice and Victoria, TCC’s current photographer and future editor/columnist – you guys put up with so much and were still so there – how do I say thank you for what would not even exist without your presence?  You were in the front lines taking the damage with me and I never heard a word of complaint (but maybe I was just too numb to hear it at that point).  This column would be nothing more than a crazed critic’s mumbling  if it weren’t for you… I love you.

See you all SOON – start sending your dates because we have a lot of catching up to do!!!

from the eyrie, this is Laurel signing off… for now   =)

We really didn’t know what to expect with either of these bands – but seeing as how we’d never been to Luckey’s for a show either, we figured all bets were on!  So without further ado, we give you…

Leaves Russell (Matthew Russell – vox/keys; Isaac Medina – bass; Thacher Schmid – strings/vox; Jackson Conrad – drums)

                       

Wow – where do I even start?!! This four-piece band from Portland blew us away… First, I have never heard or seen a band that plays progressive/alt rock that didn’t have a lead or rhythm guitarist, but Thacher’s strings are far and away some of the best lead riffs I’ve heard.  If you could put Transcending Maya with This Patch of Sky, and then add a little Forever Growing into the mix, you might see a shadow of what this band gave us.

Matt’s vocals are pure honey, with a range that goes from sultry to raw power, and his proficiency on the keyboards was simply beautiful.  Jackson’s drums alternated between pounding and a sweet, simple foundation, and Isaac’s bass (both electric and standing) was a different kind of perfection, running a steady stream of dark melodies like the undercurrent of a river that you just wanted to drown in.  And seriously?  He makes love to and with his standing bass, swaying and weaving with it – it was… hot!

Thacher’s backup vocals were perfect, blending so seamlessly with Matt’s lead vocals that you could hardly tell where one started and the other came in.  And his work on the strings (violin and what they called a “mini-guitar” – it wasn’t a dulcimer or mandolin, I’m not sure what the actual definition of that instrument is!)… I don’t know where to begin.  If I say that they were hot and bright and hard and completely amazing, that wouldn’t even come close to adequately describing it.

The combination of the vocals with the keyboards and violin was haunting, evocative of your darkest fantasy – just lovely.  Their songs run from funk to eclectic to light-hearted stomps.  I bought a CD – it’s become my new obsession!  Find them on Facebook and ReverbNation.  Truthfully – I think their live work completely outshines their studio album – check out this recent video from Portland’s Hawthorne Theatre:

Scott Austin and The Everyone’s Band (Scott Austin: acoustic guitar, lead vocals; Ben Klenz: drums; Joe Intile: bass, backing vocals; David Michael Frank: electric guitar, backing vocals; Erik Berg-Johansen: violin)

     

What a great group of guys outta Eugene!  They were lively and tight, with Scott on acoustic guitar and lead vocals.  Erik’s violin was an interesting addition to this grassroots jam band.  Folks were immediately out on the floor, struttin’ and cuttin’ moves – even the folks playing pool were bobbing and weaving.  Scott reminds me a bit of Bruce Springstein and Bob Seger – not so much in sound but just his energy, as his music comes shooting straight from the heart.  He has this magnetism that pulls you in to the party!

And it was fun to see Robert Meade (who recently opened for Floater at the WoW Hall), snapping pics and cuttin’ it up on the floor as well – got to say hi and get a hug, always a treat!  Also note – Scott’s guitar is NOT pink as it looks in the photos – not sure why the stage lights were pretty much off for their set, but his guitar is a natural blond wood, not pink!!  And me without my fedora too – man, I really shoulda worn it…

The backup vocals by David were nice, and his riffs were well done too.  I really liked Erik’s violin work with the guitars, it made for a great combination.  Scott’s lyrics are easy to understand, speaking of things that everyone can relate to, and the composition of his music is just pure fun.  I think most of his previous work has been solo, with a band backing him being a fairly recent addition.  With the addition of the Everyone’s Band, it just brought up the exponential element of his work.  We especially liked the title track from his recent EP, “Into The Light.”

And damn – he looks good in jeans and a black tee!  Find Scott here:  http://www.facebook.com/#!/profile.php?id=100000696684928&sk=info; http://scottaustin.bandcamp.com/

Spotlight – Luckey’s Club Cigar (933 Olive Street, Eugene, Oregon)

This was our first visit to this venue, one of Eugene’s oldest establishments.  Walking in, it felt warm and inviting – we could still almost smell and see the blue cigar smoke haze from times past.  I think they must have the longest bar of any club I’ve ever been in!  The club is big and dark and feels very much like a place where you wanna just put your feet up and have a cold (or hot – depending on the weather) beverage.  With a full bar, you could easily spend most of an afternoon or evening perfectly content.  They have three pool tables, with tables and seating scattered throughout the club, as well as several black leather couches close to the stage and a huge dance floor area.  The house sound was excellent, and the stage, while deceptively small, has enough depth to allow folks room to move while performing onstage.  We definitely liked this club and are looking forward to coming back soon!