Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The Local Artist Speaks: THE QUICK & EASY BOYS

The Quick and Easy Boys have created their own brand of rock n’ roll mixing together honky-tonk, funk and a DIY attitude. Their shows are an interactive party with electrifying stage antics and profound musical moments as the trio pours out every ounce of their energy, leaving nothing behind. The Quick & Easy Boys’ high-energy, thought-provoking original music provides a bounce to the step that only dancing can cure. So if you’re tired of the same old sounds and looking for the next big thing, The Quick & Easy are sure to give you a run for your money.

How long have you lived in the Portland area?

The band has existed in ptown since 2006, but Jimmy and myself grew up here. Mike is originally from Des Moines, but we all met at the university of Oregon.

Give us a brief history of your band/project:

We started as a four piece, but then in 2007 had to reconfigure as a power trio. We've recorded 2 full albums with a third on the way, and spend most of our time gigging on the road.

What’s the first song you ever learned to play?

As a band we probably learned one of our own songs, but something by Willie Nelson maybe.

What’s your favorite local venue to play? To see other bands?

Doug Fir is a great spot to play and see bands. The Goodfoot is also a great spot to jam and party til the end of the night. The Crystal Ballroom is always a blast.

Speaking of other bands, who do you like on the Portland music scene?

We are fans of the Excellent Gentlemen, Lewi Longmire, and the Freak Mountain Ramblers.

Tell us about a recent “Only in Portland” moment you might have had:

In ptown we were filming an episode of Band Van, and the guys hitchhiking turned out to be Jimmy's uncle Peter after a long weekend with his good friend Art.

Finish this sentence: “I cannot live without...air."

Tonight is the final night of Music on Main Street and The Quick & Easy Boys are sure to have folks dancing in the street. Details here!

Friday, August 19, 2011

three7: Northwest Hip Hop is kind of ridiculous

It's been a crazy few weeks. I've had the opportunity to connect with some really cool people in this NW hip hop scene and things don't seem to be slowing down anytime soon.

Since the last time I was here, I've had the opportunity to interview a west coast legend, LMNO of the Visionaries crew, local DJ and business owner DJ KEZ of 360 Vinyl, The Fix and Rockbox Dance Party attend the 1st Fire In The Canyon music festival, introduce local MC/producer/DJ Theory Hazit as a regular contributor to Welcome to the Neighborhood and so much more.

...and it don't stop, and it won't stop...

This coming week I get a chance to sit down with Libretto to talk about his new project, catch up with Ohmega Watts as he pays a quick visit to the NW and maybe even a surprise guest.

Then in September one of the best MC's in the northwest Luck-One stops by to talk about his upcoming mixtape King of the Northwest and a potential sequel in the works - the man never stops working.

Later in September The Kid Espi is coming through to talk about the new online magazine We Out Here a spot that is truly representing the northwest music scene, arts, sports and more.

Looking forward to new music from Lifesavas, Braille, Theory Hazit... I'm sayin' man, ridiculous.

And of course the station is continuing to build as we strive to represent this NW music scene. Check it:
I continue to feel so blessed to have this platform to support such good music and good people. Stay tuned, who knows what's next.

Until next time,


The Local Artisit Speaks: LISA MANN

Yes. Two posts this week! I'll be out on vacation next week so I didn't want to miss out and share this post with you about Lisa Mann.

Internationally recognized Blues singer/songwriter and award-winning bassist, Lisa Mann has taken the world by storm with Lisa Mann and Her Really Good Band. Her influences run the gamut, from low down blues sisters Etta James and Koko Taylor, to singer-songwriters like Bonnie Raitt and Sheryl Crow, to R&B belters like the late Little Milton. She writes the majority of her recorded material and her songs paint pictures of a gritty history of personal experience in life, love and the not-always-pretty music business.

Meet...Lisa Mann!!!

How long have you lived in the Portland area?
I grew up in West Virginia, but came to Portland for my teen years. I
moved to Seattle for some time, but have been here in Portland full-time
since 1998.

Give us a brief history of your band/project:
My "Really Good Band" (yes, that's the name of the band) was formed in 2006 after I cut my first CD. It featured original members Jeff Knudson, Dave Melyan and Alex Shakeri. Dave and Alex ran off after they joined the Blues Music Award nominated Insomniacs, and now soul-man Brian Harris and swing-cat Michael Ballash play keys and drums respectively. We've been blessed to play some great festivals like Waterfront, UnTapped and Sunbanks, as well as making it to the semi-finals in the International Blues Challenge in Memphis, TN.

What’s the first song you ever learned to play?
Smoke on the Water, of course! But actually, the first song I ever learned all the way through was "Space Truckin"- another Deep Purple hit.

What’s your favorite local venue to play? To see other bands?
Oddly enough, I enjoy festivals on the one hand and small, intimate venues on the other. I love blowing it out on one set at the Waterfront Blues Fest for instance, or singing to and chatting with a smaller audience at a place like Halibuts II, Trail's End or Tigardville Station. As for seeing other bands, that doesn't happen much, I'm working full time. But I love Duff's Garage!

Speaking of other bands, who do you like on the Portland music scene?
Kevin Selfe and the Tornadoes smoke, and not just because my husband is the bass player.

Tell us about a recent “Only in Portland” moment you might have had.
Abandoning the block-long line at Voodoo Doughnut downtown to cross the river to hit the east side location.

Finish this sentence: “I cannot live without_____”
Voodoo Doughnuts!

Lisa will be performing at the August 24 Music on Main Street event. Full deets here!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The Local Artist Speaks: MIDNIGHT SERENADERS

With a combination of hot jazz, Hawaiian instruments and belting out the blues, you can't go wrong. Doug Sammons is the band leader and shared some juicy tidbits about the band. Meet the Midnight Serenaders!!!!

How long have you lived in the Portland area? I moved to Portland from New York City twenty years ago this August, and I'm very happy that I did.

Give us a brief history of your band/project: Hawaiian Steel guitar player Henry Bogdan and I started playing music together in early 2005, when we discovered a mutual appreciation for the music of country music legend Jimmie Rodgers, who recorded in the 1920's and early 30's. We were especially drawn to his jazzier pop recordings that featured horns and steel guitar. Very soon we decided to add other instruments to the mix, and began to include in our repertoire more pop oriented songs from the early 20th century. The band was together about a year when the current lineup came together: Doug Sammons - guitar and vocals, Dee Settlemier - ukulele and vocals, Henry Bogdan - Hawaiian Steel guitar, Garner Pruitt - trumpet and vocals, David Evans - sax and clarinet, and Pete Lampe - bass. Far from a simple repertory band, the Midnight Serenaders infuse their repertoire with a genuine groove and energy truly appropriate to this revolutionary music that took the country by storm in its heyday. In its six years together the band has released three full-length CD's, which are chock full of well-preserved ditties written in the 1920's and 30's, as well as a growing number of vintage-sounding original songs penned by ukulele player/vocalist Dee Settlemier.

What’s the first song you ever learned to play? Personally, I believe it was House of the Rising Sun....a long time ago. The first song that the band worked up was a song originally written and recorded in1928 by Jimmie Rodgers entitled "My Carolina Sunshine Girl."

What’s your favorite local venue to play? To see other bands? We love to play in venues where people can dance, but also enjoy performing in front of a sit down, listening audience. One of our favorite venues to play that has both dancing and listening is the beautiful Victorian-era Secret Society Ballroom. As for going out to hear other bands, the Aladdin Theater is probably one of the best venues to see and hear live music. Every seat is a good seat, the sound is always superb, and the audience usually keep quiet and listen.

Speaking of other bands, who do you like on the Portland music scene? Bands that we like that are doing vintage swing are the Stolen Sweets, Bridgetown Sextet, Swing Papillon, Trashcan Joe, Kung Pao Chickens, Pete Krebs Trio, Shanghai Woolies, the Jenny Finn Orchestra. We also like Trolley Jane, Little Sue, Foghorn Stringband, Jackstraw, Saloon Ensemble, etc.

Tell us about a recent “Only in Portland” moment you might have had. When I learned that a musician friend had sold her car and now bikes to gigs.

Finish this sentence: “I cannot live without my Fats Waller box set.”

The band is playing TONIGHT at Music on Main Street presented by The Portland Center for Performance Arts and sponsored by KZME 107.1 fm. Click here for the details!

Check out this performance by the band on OPB's Artbeat:

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The Local Artist Speaks: Stereovision

I met Nancy Hess a lifetime ago when I was a co-host of a show on KBOO called A Voice of Her Own. The program showcased music created by women and we dedicated one show a month to a local talent. One of those programs included a little chit chat with Nancy.

I haven't talked to her in YEARS. I think I bumped into her on Facebook while we were both back on the east coast. She's back in Portland these days and is busy on this great project, Stereovision.

I caught up with the other half of that band, Dave Camp, to talk about the band. You might want to check out their MySpace page and listen to some of their stuff while you read this interview - just click here.



How long have you lived in the Portland area?
10 years

Give us a brief history of your band/project:
Nancy and I met playing a gig in New York in 1999 – she had flown out from Portland to do it
and I was living there at the time. We hit it off and she said if you ever want to do any recording
I have studio in Portland. About year later I literally showed up on her doorstep with a drum kit and a guitar. Nancy had just come out of a record deal with Warner Bros. with her band Seven Day Diary and I had dissolved my band in Austin recently and neither of us were anxious to
get back into trying to be rock stars. But after I went to Burning Man 2001 I got the idea
that there were lots of interesting freaky people doing cool things and started writing
with that in mind. We also wanted to approach what we were doing as more of an
integrated, sonic, visual experience rather than the traditional big rock bands we had been doing. Less focused on the singers and more on the total atmosphere.

What’s the first song you ever learned to play?
I think the first song I learned to play was "When the Saints Go Marching In" on my families
goofy Hammond organ. Now when I hear New Orleans bands play it I'm stoked that for whatever reason that's the one I picked out the book. I suppose it could've been Afternoon Delight!

What’s your favorite local venue to play? To see other bands?
There are lots of great places to play and I'd hate to overlook anyone but it would have to be
the Doug Fir. The sound on stage is always absolutely fantastic, it sounds great in the house,
it feels intimate without being too small, big without being too big.... I've just never had anything but an easy time and a good time playing the Doug Fir. That said, the Someday Lounge and the Alberta Rose Theatre have great onstage and house sound and we have a blast playing those venues as well. We will be playing every other Monday all summer 7 to 9 at Backspace so maybe that will be our favorite venue!

To see bands?:
As long as the band rocks– anyplace is good.

Speaking of other bands, who do you like on the Portland music scene?
Billygoat is awesome! I know they had to change their name- whenever their name their animation is unbelievable and the music is beautiful. Starfucker, Yacht, Climber, Solovox....
We are most often hidden away recording music (we have a business doing commercial and film music) so sometimes it's hard to keep up with everything else. We're going to get out and see everyone this year!

Tell us about a recent “Only in Portland” moment you might have had.
Last weekend I was at the Blue Monk watching some friends of mine The Saloon Ensemble
and it was somebody's birthday. In her honor, they started playing a song wherein
they encourage everyone to take off their clothes. In about 30 seconds the band is in their underwear, the birthday girl is topless, the audience is quickly disrobing, and I've managed to get my jacket and shirt off while banging away on the piano that's on the dance floor. As the song ends a friend of mine taps my shoulder and says, “Hey Dave, I want to introduce you to my brother-in-law he just got in from Missouri.” I stood up, politely looked him in the eye, and said nice to meet you. He cautiously took my hand, his eyes darting back and forth between me and a dance floor full of slightly more than half naked partygoers. In my instinctive rush to good manners it didn't occur to me that perhaps meeting a shirtless volunteer piano pounder in a crowd of stripping lunatics under the direction of a banjo-playing Nine Inch Nails cover band might not be the average Saturday night in Missouri. And I thought, “thank God I don't live in Missouri.”

Finish this sentence: “I cannot live without_____”
Blueberries and chips. Rice chips, potato chips, tortilla chips, whatever. I've got a pretty bad chip problem.

Stereovision is performing at Music on Main Street TONIGHT - wish I could be there but I need to be on television! Details here.....

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The Local Artist Speaks: Alameda

I discovered this band while checking out First Friday at MilePost 5. The band wasn't actually there but they had some kind of presence at the venue so I left my KZME business card.

As I recall, Jessie (she sings and plays the cello in the band) dropped me an email after finding my card to find out who the heck I was and what the heck a 'director of organizational advancement does'. So I wrote back, we chatted a bit about the band and I asked to get more of the 'skinny' on who they are.

Meet Alameda!


How long have you lived in the Portland area?
Stirling and I moved to Portland from Boulder, Colorado with our then current band, Strangers Die Every Day in 2006. I'm not sure how long Jenn has lived here, but certainly longer than Stirling and me.

Give us a brief history of your band/project:

After our previous band ended in 2008, Stirling switched from playing bass to guitar, and began composing folk tunes with lyrics. I stress the "with lyrics" part because our previous project was a post-rock instrumental group. Some time in 2009 we began playing as Alameda with a violist and a violinist. We started sculpting our sound into an orchestrated folk feel when Jenn (Jennifer Woodall) replied to an online ad looking for a violinist. The funny part is, she's a clarinetist. We decided to give her a try anyway. She is an incredible, classically trained musician and shortly thereafter became a core member of Alameda. Since then we have expanded our circle of guest musicians and occasional members to include a drummer, flutist, french hornist, oboist, another clarinet, varying numbers of violins, banjo and electric guitar; That doesn't include the numerous other instruments that we have on our album. Alameda's core consists of Stirling Myles (guitar/vocals), myself (cello/backup vocals), Jennifer Woodall (clarinet/bass clarinet), Kate O'Brien-Clarke (violin/backup vocals) and Tim Grimes (electric guitar/banjo).

What’s the first song you ever learned to play?

The first song I remember caring about learning to play on the cello was Bach's Minuet #2. It was the first song in Suzuki cello book 1 that seemed like actual music to me.

What’s your favorite local venue to play? To see other bands?

I love playing at The Doug Fir. They treat the bands that perform there really well. I also adore The Woods. Their sound engineers, and the room in general make acoustic bands sound excellent and warm. Both venues have very immersive atmospheres that make you feel like you're in another (cooler) world.

As far as seeing other bands goes, this town is thick with awesome venues:
Valentines (for something more intimate), The Someday Lounge, Holocene, Mississippi Studios.

Speaking of other bands, who do you like on the Portland music scene?

There are too many good bands in town to name. Galviston, Pancake Breakfast, Ghosting, Point Juncture, WA, Ezza Rose, Red Fang, Nick Jaina, Run On Sentence, and Vagabond Opera are some of my favorites.

Tell us about a recent “Only in Portland” moment you might have had.

Last night I attended a dance performance on the PSU campus. After watching a variety of pretty standard style dances, there was this one piece with about 10 people in it. They all had very curious stripey, burlesque-ie , off-kilter costumes. The music was really disjointed and clunky, and the piece went on for about 10 or 15 minutes... There wasn't much dancing. It was more like running around the stage thwacking things with sticks, pretending to be driving a car (for some reason) and a bunch of other extremely random movements that left me giggling uncontrollably thinking "what the f is this?" Portland, that's what it is.

Finish this sentence: “I cannot live without_____”


Alameda is performing at Music on Main Street TONIGHT with another great band, Autopilot is for Lovers. Starts at 5 pm! Click here for details.