Posts Tagged ‘Black Forest’

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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Dragging photographer Jeanice Marvel outta bed for Saturday night’s club circuit, we’re back in our element to stretch our respective experience envelopes, catching Eugene’s Saturday night eclectic mix of blues/folk rock, featuring all Eugene bands of Bryan Wood, B-Line, and Atomic Symphonic – and what an experience it was!

Bryan Wood – he is an amazing solo acoustic guitar/vocalist, with a nice range and a pure, sweet voice.  Offering a folks/blues style, with poignant lyrics, Bryan reminds me of Plain White T’s stylings – Bryan has an incredible voice (amazing lungs!), this was a beautiful set, a poetry of voice and guitar.  I was thinking he should be playing in a smoking club down in Soho (he even sports a nifty beret).

     

Bryan originally hails from Helena, Montana, but has been in Eugene for the past seven months – let’s hope he decides to make this his home!  The crowd absolutely loved him (even tho I think he brought a few fans with) – I would definitely nominate him as a candidate for a future Eugene RAW show (and yes, I’ll be sending respective mail to those who need to know)!  His upbeat laments show a strong blues root.  He also does some nice work with his acoustic guitar – and a definite thank you for singing on pitch with a well-tuned guitar (our ears are blessed)!  He also had some excellent patter with the audience between songs.  I especially enjoyed “Playing the Fool, with its nice tempo changes.  He has an excellent range in his vocals, and makes good use of varying styles of guitar chords with the vocals progressing throughout the set.  We picked up a copy of his demo and previously released album, “The Experience” with his former bandmates – check him out at http://www.myspace.com/bryanwoodmusic/music.

B-Line

   Our ear plugs were definitely IN for this set for sure (as Bowie of Transcending Maya says, “Safety First!”). This was a nice, tight young trio, featuring Joey Thomas on lead guitar, vocals; Tyson on bass, vocals; and Jacob Thomas on drums –  for your basic trash punk rock, these guys are your band!  Jacob’s drums were excellent, with Tyson’s bass pounding  and Joey’s lead guitar riffs hard driving and solid.  Not being huge fans of “punk rock” (the Ramone’s, notwithstanding), these guys were excellent.  I could simply not like these guys!  They are all amazing musicians and vocalists, catching and holding my attention (and that of the audience) for the entire set.  Joey made some nice transitions between rhythm and lead guitar riffs, and their cover of the Offspring’s “The Noose” was – well, unique to say the least – Tyson’s bass literally flew!  They also had good communication with the audience as well, but I would have liked to have better intros for the songs with titles.  Both Joey and Tyson handled the lead and back vocals equally well.  Jacob’s vocals weren’t bad either (I noted someone after the set outside making a point of that song being their fave of the night).  It’s hard to go wrong with this particular genre on vocals, but Jacob’s drum solo was much more memorable!  These guys work hard – check them out at http://www.facebook.com/pages/B-Line/137324119631850?sk=app_2405167945#!/pages/B-Line/137324119631850?sk=wall and http://www.reverbnation.com/bliner.

Atomic Symphonic       (Adam Chimeo – Guitar, Alex N – drums, Andrew Roll – bass, and Austin “ATITS” Thomas – front man/vocals).

First, thank you for intro-ing each song with its title so we could follow the set  =)  With a full house when they started their set close to midnight, this blues/surf/punk band defies definition (so I won’t try!).    They opened with “Saturday Morning Cautions” and the first thing I thought was, “Adam Sandler!” – if anyone wants to argue the point with me, they are welcome to, but I do have to say that Austin does a better job of Adam than Adam does!  This was one amazing show, with theatrics just as strong as the musical performance by each individual band member.  Even tho photographer Jeanice still didn’t feel well, you can tell she loved this group by the number of pics she snapped.  Adam runs the most awesome lead guitar riffs while doing an excellent job sharing lead/back vocals with Austin as well.  The beginning of the set could have been a bit tighter, but by the end of the night, these guys were one solid piece of work.    You have to catch these guys live (video from a previous performance below) – pictures and words simply do not capture them at all.

        Their cover of the Black Keys’ “I Got Mine” was rockin, and as I may have mentioned before, you can tell the bands Jeanice likes by the number of pictures she takes!  Besides the basic performance energy and enthusiasm, it was nice to note that these guys also know how to sing on key and have their guitars in turn to each other – a relief to our ears, trust me.  They have a solid rhythm & blues foundation to most of their original songs, and Austin’s jokes (as he pulled a battered and tattered, thin paperback copy of Frog’s jokes to read aloud) were hilarious.

     

They were all absolutely invested in this evening’s set, with Andrew on bass playing it very sedate and serious, then breaking into this shit-eating grin that would keep catching us off-guard, and Alex on drums all business – until he’d see Adam cutting it up and start laughing.  Adam really needs twice as much stage – we won’t mention how he biffed it and landed on his butt in the middle of the second song of the set (ooops – we just did!) – and the two “A”s (Austin and Adam) bounced and danced around the stage without sounding at all sloppy or loose – really impressive.  Their original “On The Prowl” has some great tempo changes, and was one of their two fun instrumental pieces.  “Records” had Austin and Adam changing it up, as Adam took the acoustic guitar (with Austin holding a mic for him to sing duet), and Adam’s voice is an absolute treasure.  Jimmy Cash’s “Cocaine Blues” cover had them switching it out yet again, as Austin took the acoustic guitar and Adam took the bass.

  If you could summarize these guys, it would be to say you can’t summarize them – they really do it all, and really well at that.  Their cover of the Beatle’s “Rocky Raccoon” was another moment entirely, wit Austin piping away on the kazoo between verses, and their close with Hendrix’ “Foxy Lady” found Adam on the floor (really) at one point, then with guitar behind his back, and then just setting it down on the table and pounding on it.

If you’ve never seen these guys you have to, or just give up calling yourself any kind of music fan!  Find them here:  http://www.facebook.com/AtomicSymphonic?sk=wall#!/AtomicSymphonic?sk=info.

Friday found TCC back downtown for some more local live music, this time at the Black Forest (see Spotlight review at the end of this column).  Three bands hit the stage:

Pickpocket Eloquence

This quartet from Salem opened the set, featuring Kale Walker on drums, Adam DeBates on bass, Jason Dandridge on guitar and vocals, and Tristina Furgison on lead vocals.  With a nice pop rock feel that refreshingly did not sound like every other band with a female lead vocalist, the musical performance was decent and Tristina’s stage presence was top-of-the-line.  They had some nice audience interaction as well, and of course I’m always happy to see bands with a female vocalist play – there are still too few of those around and about.  Jason (who reminds me of Jim Adkins in appearance) does a good job running guitar riffs, and Adam’s bass was smooth and solid.  The only glaringly obvious lack I saw was the drums were not as tightly meshed with the guitars and vocals as they could have been.  It was also difficult to hear Jason’s back-up vocals, and Tristina’s lead vocals, while pretty strong throughout the set, tended to slide below the guitars in the low range, and sounded not quite but nearly screechy in the upper range.  She’s so cute, tho, you really didn’t mind!  The club patrons talked loudly through most of the set which was rather annoying, so evidently the performance wasn’t all that captivating.  My favorite song of the set was “Peculiar Feeling” (I think that’s the name of the song – can’t find it online!!) – all the individual band members shone on that song!  Find them on Facebook, ReverbNation, and of course their pickpocketeloquence.com page!

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 Coldfire

Fitting five guys on one tiny stage (including a special non-performing guest – Sesame Street‘s “Animal“ stood proudly center stage), it was tight quarters!  Featuring twin brothers Dan Trent on drums and front man Adam Trent on lead vocals and rhythm guitar, Justin Hopkins on bass, Aaron Williams on guitar and synth, and Derrik Vuylsteke on lead guitar, this Eugene band put on an excellent performance, opening with “Tap Me Out – Put Me In” followed by “Mother Earth’s Pride” (a solid hard rock song with a serious punk edge).  During our live video interview (which you can catch here at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BJoxnBB7Xk4,) Adam mentioned that folks have often told him he sounds like David Byrne – I’m not sure I heard that, but mostly because their style of music is so unlike the Talking Heads.  His lead vocals are growly but nice and clear – tough to do but he nailed it.  A really tight band, Adam’s lead guitar wove very nice riffs, and Aaron’s keyboards on “Tap Me Out” were a nice accompaniment.  His switch to lead guitar for the rest of the set was smoothly balanced.  Justin’s bass was awesome, and Dan on drums absolutely pounded.  “Nails” (written by Danimal himself) was a really pretty number, with all three guitars blending sweet.  The club patrons paid a lot more attention to this set, with much less talking but many more heads bobbing and feet tapping!  All of their songs have difficult tempo changes throughout that swung back and forth without losing cohesion (this may be one of the signature features of this band), especially on “Our Life.” “Fire On Ice” went back to their punk rock roots – I really liked how Adam would intro every song with a brief exchange with the audience.  “Nature” used full storytelling in the lyrics, and he loves to add gestures to accent the story.  “Dawn To Dust” was followed by “Belly Drop” (based on a 19-second youtube video, but fortunately it runs a bit longer than that!) got them completely funky, with Justin’s bass popping and snapping lively – folks finally got up and danced!  “This World” also had some fun time signature changes in addition to the tempo shifts, which were all really well done.  “Pomaroy” closed the set, bringing it back to solid rocking guitars with steady drums and bass.  A really nice performance by these guys – be sure to catch them (if you run fast!!) – they have an EP forthcoming, as well as several local gigs lined up.  Find them between shows on their Facebook and ReverbNation pages.


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Just The Tip

While the crowd had definitely thinned as the closing band set up, more folks wandered in (and out, and in, and out) throughout the set.  This is another local five piece Eugene band, with a full-length CD out called “Hero’s Journey.”  Lead man Jay Schroeder told me their music is best described as “rock funk” and I can definitely see that.  All the guitarists share back-up vocals with Jay’s lead vocals, and all of the guys (except drummer Sammy Wayne of course!) literally bounced, jumped, head-banged, and gyrated on the tiny stage.  They definitely put their hearts into this performance – it’s a shame the audience was probably too tired (and several more than slightly inebriated) to give them the response they should have received.  Eric Lee’s bass kicks with Sammy’s drums.  I love Justin Grado’s judicious use of a wah wah pedal on his lead guitar runs.  The house sound could have bumped Jay’s lead vocals a bit (and brought down Justin’s back up vocals the same increment) – some of the lyrics got a bit lost in the guitars.  When Jay and Eric pulled off their shirts, it got everyone’s fast attention – there was some serious ink (and a few body piercings) in full view!  (I have to wonder – do those nipple piercings hurt when you jump up and down???)  The vocals were strong, but I would have liked to hear a bit more imaginative use of harmonizing rather than straight singular lines between the lead and backup vocals.  I really liked “Beautiful,” with an awesome drum solo opening and Eric’s bass coming in layered with sweet guitar riffs by Justin.  “One Way Road,” dedicated to the city of Eugene (go figure!), was pure funk fun – there really should have been folks dancing at the front of the stage (or back of the tables… somewhere).  The song included a nice showcase of solos by each musician that I thoroughly enjoyed.  On a less than positive note, you could call their music “stoner rock” and not be far off the mark – some of the songs got a bit sloppy as they got more enthusiastic in their performance (here’s a “tip” guys – you may want to wait to celebrate until after the set perhaps?).  Their cover of Pearl Jam’s “Alive” was well done – I so wanted to fall in love with this band, and could have with stronger (more complicated) vocal harmonies paired with tighter work between the guitars and drums.  But they definitely weren’t putting me to sleep (despite the fact it was 1:30 a.m.)!  As well, it was kinda hard to pay attention to the band, with one guy sporting a red dress walking past me every five seconds, and folks at the table next to us knocking over their beers into each other’s laps… ::sigh::  Call it a late night – right?  Their close with Rage Against The Machine’s “Killing In The Name (Of)” was excellent tho – I’d be interested in seeing these guys play live again for a second take.  =)  Find them on Facebook, ReverbNation, and Myspace.

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Spotlight on: the Black Forest (50 West 11th Street, Eugene, OR)

An intimate little club in the heart of downtown Eugene, this was the first visit for TCC at a show in this venue.  We were warmly greeted by Jason, BF’s booking manager, bartender, and bar back.  One of the first things I noticed was there were no girls there – at least not until we walked in.  Fortunately, several other ladies wandered in throughout the sets so we had a good representation!  As we had showed up (relatively) early, we had our pick of seating arrangements (I recommend the table just in front of the sound booth) – you want to get there early as the club fills up fast!  I also liked the HUGE aquarium behind the bar, and of course photographer Jeanice immediately noticed the yummy scents drifting from the kitchen (their menu is extensive, featuring breakfast and lunch specials, and dinner selections that all sounded so wonderful it was hard to choose).  The stage is tiny but all the bands seemed to make it work for them, and the house sound (sans monitors and subs) was surprisingly well balanced between vocals and musicians.  There were some slight technical difficulties at the opening of the first set but those were speedily addressed.  There is no dance floor in front of the stage, but that didn’t stop some adventurous folks from cutting it lively anyways!  We had a great time, and I highly recommend you make this club a must for your downtown Eugene live music experience!  Regular weekly events include karaoke Mondays and Wednesdays, Roosters Blues Jam Tuesdays, and live music every Thursday, Friday and Saturday, with upcoming  shows featuring Live Punk with  Sigaw and Cheaper than Speed this Thursday, June 30; Live Metal Friday July 1 with Pantheon, Transient Messiah, Crimson Guardian and Otiose Being, and Live Music Saturday July 2 with Three Guys That Paint, Dave and Confused, and Eastman Band – you know we’ll be there for sure Saturday!!