Laurie Anderson, Tomasz Stanko at The Shedd.
BY BRETT CAMPBELL
When NASA called Laurie Anderson a few years ago and offered to make her the space agency's artist in residence, she hung up the phone. "I was sure it was a fan who had figured out my secret dream," she said, "and was trying to torture me."
Even before her breakthrough 1980 album Big Science, Anderson, whose pioneering blend of electronic music, violin, storytelling, visual and performance art made her one of the 20th century's most admired and innovative artists, had been fascinated by technology and its attractions and dangers. Now, after her two-year study of NASA from the inside, we'll get to see Anderson's "final report," a 90-minute multimedia spectacle called "The End of the Moon" Saturday, March 12 at the Shedd.
Long before the New Frontier, Americans associated outer space with the future, and Anderson's musical monologues will touch on those dreams and aspirations as well as their dark side — the militarization of space. But in Anderson's allusive, fractured style, the storytelling also references Thomas Pynchon, a heavily armed audience in Turkey, gay penguins, robots, nanotechnology, quantum physics, and much more — all refracted through her trademark wry humor and sense of absurdity.
We recently saw Beowulf recounted by a master storyteller/musician, Ben Bagby; Laurie Anderson is a modern bard, with a contemporary interpretation on our myths. Anyone interested in the art, music and science of our time should be at this absolutely essential event.
Don't let Laurie's lunar luminosity eclipse a lesser-known yet still brilliant light. Jazz and contemporary classical fans need to be at the Shedd on Thursday, March 17, when Polish trumpeter Tomasz Stanko brings his young quartet to town. After starting off as a free jazzer in the 1960s, Stanko steadily refined his sound to arrive at a dark, spare aesthetic that, by the 1990s produced some of the most beautifully atmospheric yet intensely exploratory music to emerge on the innovative ECM label.
Dubbing anyone the next Miles Davis (as happened to Stanko years ago) is as unfair and inaccurate as calling this month's folkie the next Dylan. Yet anyone who cherishes Miles' moody, broody 1960s quintet will love Stanko's haunting jazz noir. And his recent CDs, as well as the new ECM disk by his backing trio, affirm this group's position at the pinnacle of European jazz. The 62-year-old Stanko is one of the most original and compelling composer/performers in music today. In the Shedd's sweet acoustic, it should be one of Eugene's most intimately powerful concerts of the year.
Master Jams With Protégé
Oregon Art Beat to tape Jones, Robertson gig.
BY VANESSA SALVIA
Last May, 15-year-old Brooks Robertson, a finger-picking guitarist from Eugene, made it to the finals on Prairie Home Companion's "Talent From Twelve to Twenty" contest. He wowed the judges and won the contest, a remarkable feat considering Robertson had only started playing guitar three years earlier.
His father played music and encouraged him to pursue it, but it wasn't until 2001 when father and son saw finger-picking guitarist Buster B. Jones in concert that something clicked. "It amazed me. I couldn't believe it," Robertson said. "His playing really inspired me to play. I just told my dad, 'That's what I want to play like.'"
Finger picking is a complicated style of playing where a pick is used on the thumb, freeing the other four fingers for more complex playing. "There's four strings you can be doing stuff with instead of just one. You can have a lot more going on," Robertson said. And Buster B. Jones had so much going on that Robertson became his protégé, learning Jones' unique style straight from the master.
As a teen in Iowa, Jones copied the guitar playing styles of Chet Atkins, Merle Travis and Jerry Reed. He never took formal lessons, so he learned his craft through trial and error, developing a technique all his own. "There's a lot of traditional players that Buster sprouted from but he changes it so much," Robertson said. "He's the only person I've ever heard who plays the way he does." Jones has a new CD due out this summer, and the pair will have more time to play together when Robertson isn't in school.
Jones and Robertson have played many shows together locally and nationally, including Bangor, Maine's National Folk Festival, the Montreal Jazz Festival and a Guitars for Life benefit gig in France. Robertson's goal is to win the annual national Fingerstyle Guitar Championship held in September in Winfield, Kan., which Jones himself won in 1990. This Friday's Luna show will be a special live Oregon Public Broadcasting videotaping for a segment of Oregon Art Beat.
Buster B. Jones with Brooks Robertson Luna, 8:30 pm. Friday, March 11 / $10. 434-5862.
Bjork's stoner rock sludgefest.
BY STEVEN SAWADA
For the first half of the '90s, Seattle grunge defined a generation's worth of rock. That's a given. The dreary skies, depressed economic conditions of old industry, and dense greenery were perfect fodder for this fresh face of rock with its new forms of guitar noise and youthful angst.
|Brant Bjork and The Bros, Vic Du Monte's Idiot Prayer. John Henry's, 9 pm. Monday, March 14 / $5, www.johnhenrysclub.com|
Simultaneously, yet culturally and geographically disconnected, a similar sounding music grew out of Southern California's palm desert area where cacti, Joshua trees and puffy clouds dominate the view. Stoner, or desert rock, as it was called, was as important to Southern California's music scene as Grunge was to Seattle's.
One man who helped pave the way for this sludgy, psychedelic down-tuned, riff-laden music was Brant Bjork. In 1987, Bjork, along with high school buddies Josh Homme, Nick Oliveri and John Garcia began KYUSS (pronounced Ka- Yuss), and the stoner's soundtrack was forever redefined.
Tad, Mudhoney and Nirvana were great bands, Bjork explains, but the guys from KYUSS were proud not to be from the Northwest. "After 10 years, people started to understand that KYUSS was the flipside to what was going on in Seattle," Bjork says.
That flipside involved thick, droney guitar riffs that enveloped entire songs; Guitars were tuned down to create Sabbath-like melodies. Stoner rock represented a new type of Americana, pulling from '60s psychedelia in the forms of The Jimi Hendrix Experience and Iron Butterfly, as well as the motorcycle freedom rock of the '70s ala bands like Steppenwolf. It infused the combined essence of rock with what was going on in Southern California at the time: Low-riders, punk music, surf and skate culture.
After leaving KYUSS in 1994, Bjork went on to work with surfer-stoner rock band Fu Manchu, Oliveri's band Mondo Generator, as well as former Hole bassist Melissa Auf der Maur's solo project. In '97 and '99, he collaborated with Homme on the Desert Sessions project, which essentially laid the groundwork for Homme's band Queens of the Stone Age. Creating his own music seemed to soothe his restlessness as a musician and in 1997 he released his first solo album, Jalamanta. In his solo work, Bjork, a drummer in the other bands he'd played in, was free to experiment and recorded all the instrument parts on his own.
He says he doesn't regret leaving KYUSS or not following Homme to found Queens of the Stone Age. There are no hard feelings between Bjork and the other band members. But, as he explains, his solo career allows him to tap into the music that inspires him. "My solo shit is definitely my priority," he said.
Bjork will perform with his live band, The Bros. Labelmates Vic Du Monte's Idiot Prayer will open the show.
Ear To The Underground
BY MELISSA BEARNS
Folk Meets Punk Meets Rock
If you're looking for something low-key, a little different and free, check out David Boone at the 5th Street Beanery on Friday, March 11. On tour all the way from Missoula, Mont., Boone's not quite your average singer-songwriter. Yes, he's got the wonderful, sweet voice typical of all those oh-so-trendy bigger names like Jack Johnson and Ben Harper.
But he doesn't always use his "instrument" the way they do. He does sing lovely, melting melodies. But he also howls and moans in terse angry bursts then brings it down to a riff or a gentle melody for a roller coaster ride.
Even "Tuesday Night" — the best tune off his release Ignore The Orange Hand — starts out soft and sultry with a catchy little melody, then explodes out with a stricken, emotion-laden chorus at the end.
An added bonus is that Boone doesn't stick to one sound either, incorporating rollicking country beats and occasionally, hard rock distortion and punk-influenced angst.
S.O.B's (Sounds of Brazil)
Few musicians have had the opportunity or the honor to study under the very players who defined a genre of music. David Burgess has. He studied guitar with Andrés Segovia, the man who defined classical guitar in the same way Miles Davis defined jazz.
But Burgess has other influences as well, namely the hot, steamy rhythms and grooves of Brazilian bossa novas, salsas and sambas and intertwines them with Spanish guitar and even contemporary pop into complex, rich songs. His technical brilliance is unparalleled except by the very best. Every track on Silver Nuggets and Fool's Gold breathes and pulses with emotion and depth. Cascades of flowing notes leave you breathless. Rhythmic nuances and startling percussion on songs like "Berimbau" are captivating. Fans are begging for another CD soon. And the few critics worth a grain of salt who've actually reviewed him are raving. Rightfully so.
The opportunity to see such a talented musician before he becomes really famous is rare, even for Eugene. So don't miss his show Sunday, March 13 at 7:30 pm at the Unitarian Fellowship on 2945 Circle Blvd. in Corvallis. $10.
AX BILLY GRILL & SPORTS BAR
999 WILLAMETTE ST. * 484-4011
SA: Mike Denny—8; Jazz
BEANERY All Ages
5TH ST. * 344-0221
FR: David Boone—7
50 E. 11TH ST. * 686-6619
TH: Tricky P & Reotch—9:30
FR: The Absentee, The Vampirates—9:30
SA: Gel, Lucidic—9:30
SU: Caught in the Act Karaoke—9
MO: $1000 Karaoke Contest—9
TU: The Nicolette Helm Band—9; Blues
|SINGER-SONGWRITER COSY SHERIDAN PLAYS THURSDAY AT CAFE PARADISO.|
115 W. BROADWAY * 484-9933
TH: Cosy Sheridan, Brian Joseph—8; Singer-songwriters
FR: The Celtic Lineup—8
MO: Band open mic night—7:30
TU: Acoustic open mic night—7:30
2222 CENTENIAL BLVD.
SA: DJ Tekneek—10:30; Hip hop, R & B
COFFEE GROVE COOPERATIVE
510 E. MAIN, COTTAGE GR. * 942-8847
FR: "Groovin' at the Grove"—8; Americana
SA: Rick & Lavinia Ross—7:30; Blues, folk
COUNTRY SIDE RESTAURANT
4740 MAIN ST. * 744-1594
TH & SA: Line dance lessons—7
645 RIVER ROAD
FR: Music Alliance Blues Jam w/ Peter Giri and mystery star jammers—8
COZMIC PIZZA@THE STRAND All Ages
8TH AVE. & CHARNELTON ST. * 338-9333
FR: Global Funk Council—9
SA: Norma Fraser, The Morning After Band—8; Reggae
SU: Hip hop/spoken word poetry night—8:30
MO: An Act of Conscience—7; Film
TU: Open mic night—7
915 OAK ST., DOWNSTAIRS * 345-7878
TH: Old School Karaoke, Kamikaze Hip Hop—8
FR: Rob and Carlos present Hip Hop Live—9
SA: DJ Mead—9
MO: Metal Trilogy Mondays—9
WE: Free Sushi Wednesdays—10
959 PEARL ST.* 343-2346
TH: Open turntables—10; Funk, hip hop
FR: Savitri, Disco Organica—10; Rock, funky disco
SA: Tre Hardson (of Pharcyde), I-Chele & the Circle of Light, Genus Pro, Phormula—10; Hip hop, reggae
SU: Kung Fu Karaoke—10
MO: DJ Diablo & Supa J—10; Buttrock, funk, hip hop
TU: Free pool—10
WE: The Hounds—10; Funk
1795 W. 6TH. *
TH & SA: Ben Coleman's Karaoke—9
EMBERS SUPPER CLUB
1811 HWY. 99 N. * 688-6564
TH: Billy McCoy—9; Country
FR: Michael Anderson Trio—9; Variety, country
SA: Michael Anderson Trio—9; Variety, country
WE: Billy McCoy—9; Country
EUGENE WINE CELLARS
255 MADISON ST. * 342-2600
WE: Nancy & John Jany—5; Jazz
GAME DAY SPORTS BAR
1156 HWY. 99 * 607-2485
SA: B-Side Studio presents Incyte & J-Philly—9; Hip hop
375 E. 7TH AVE. * 484-7181
TU: Rooster's Blues Jam—8
259 E. 5TH AVE. * 343-8488
TH: Jo Fed's All Star Jam Session—9
FR: J.C. Rico—9
SA: Kristen Chandler—9
SU: Mark Alan—9; Jazz
MO: Skip Jones Hammond Organ Trio—7:30
TU: Barbara Dzuro—7:30
WE: Olem Aves & Mike Hanns—8
JOE'S BAR & GRILLE
25 W. 6TH * 221-3360
TU: DJ Tekneek—10; Hip hop, R & B
JOGGER'S BAR & GRILL
710 WILLAMETTE ST. * 343-0224
TH & FR: Karaoke—5
SA: Dancing w/DJ Ty—19; Old school hip hop
MO: Working Man's Blues Jam—9
TU: Dancing w/DJ Ty—9; Old school hip hop
77 W. BROADWAY * 342-3358
TH: '80s Night w/Chris, Jenn and John—10
FR: High Priestess Body Modification Celebration—10
SA: Freaks in the House w/ DJ Steve Sawada & The Audio Schizophrenic—10
SU: John Henry's Broadway Revue—10; Burlesque, variety
MO: Brant Bjork & the Bros., Vic DuMonte, Satin Fury—9
WE: DJ Kal El vs. DJ Tekneek—10; Reggae vs. hip hop
LATITUDE 10 CAFE All Ages
2757 FRIENDLY * 343-3460
SA: Paul Prince—6; Slack key & African guitar
LAVELLE'S WINE BAR & BISTRO
5TH ST. PUBLIC MARKET * 338-9875
TH: Skip Jones—5; New Orleans piano
FR & SA: Gus Russell—5; Jazz piano
WE: John Crider—5; Jazz piano
LION'S DEN LOUNGE
205 COBURG RD. * 342-5201
SU: Blues jam w/ Jerry Zybach—7
|ARMY OF FRESHMEN ROLL INTO LUCKEY'S ON TUESDAY.|
LUCKEY'S CLUB CIGAR
933 OLIVE ST. * 687-4643
TH: The Sweater Club, Dan Jones & the Squids—10; Indie
FR: Armored Frog, The Angry Orts—10; Indie
SA: Stacked, The Ginger Hustlers—10; Rock
TU: The Empty Mouths Benefit Tour w/ The Sloppy Meateaters, Army of Freshmen, The Third Estate—10; Rock
WE: Savitri, The Quick & Easy Boys—10; Cowboy funk
30 E. BROADWAY * 434-5862
FR: Erik Muiderman—6; Singer-songwriter; Buster B. Jones w/ Brooks Robertson—8:30; Fingerstyle guitar
SA: Grasshoppah—9; Folk funk bluegrass fusion
MAC'S AT THE VET'S
1626 WILLAMETTE ST. * 344-8600
TH: Mo'Fessa Blues Jam—8
FR: Dr. Bundy's London Rock Revue
SA: The Vipers w/ Deb Cleveland
WE: Christie & McCallum
1010 WILLAMETTE ST.
SA: Jonny Lang—8
MONROE STREET CAFE
1193 MONROE ST. * 343-0863
TH: The Ginger Hustlers, J-Star—7
FR: Andrea Lee—8
SA: Halo Jones—7
SU: Poetry open mic—7
MO: Drum & Dance Circle
WE: Open mic—7
THE O BAR & GRILL
115 COMMONS * 349-0707
TU: Karaoke w/ Jared—9
OREGON ELECTRIC STATION
27 E. 5TH * 485-4444
FR & SA: Don Latarski—8
770 S. BERTELSEN * 342-5028
TH: Blues Jam—8
FR: Mickey & the Mojo Hitmen—8
444 E. 3RD AVE. * 484-2927
FR: Tim & Peter—8; Hot and tasty acoustic
SA: Music Alliance Blues Jam w/ Skip Jones, JC Rico, Peter Giri & others—8
TU: Patrick & Giri—8; Hot & tasty acoustic
WE: Gordon Kaswell—6; Piano bar
767 WILLAMETTE ST. 687-9102
WE: Irish Jam—7; Celtic
2105 W. 7TH * 485-5925
WE: Blues jam—8:30
|SCRAMBLED APE PLAY GERMAN CABARET MUSIC, JAZZ STANDARDS AND MORE MONDAY AT SAM BOND'S|
SAM BOND'S GARAGE
407 BLAIR * 431-6603
TH: The Happy Bastards, Station Wag, Fingers Cut Megamachine—9; Rock
FR: Etouffee—9:30; Cajun rock
SA: Laura Kemp, Steve Smith—9; Americana
SU: Irish Jam--5
Laura Cortese—9:30; Irish
MO: Scrambled Ape—9; Ottoman jazz
TU: Sam Bond's Bluegrass Jam--9
WE: The Brothers Past—9; Rock
825 WILSON ST. * 484-4455
SA: Paradox—9; Classic rock
980 OAK ST. * 345-6577
FR: Beneath the Torns, others—9:30
SA: The Future Funk Collective—9
SU: Buried Inside, Necryptic, Chainsaw Sex Vikings—9
MO: Industrial night w/ live fire dancing—9
TU: DJ Ephrin—9
WE: Retro night—9
STACY'S COVERED BRIDGE
401 E. MAIN ST., COTTAGE GROVE 767-0320
WE: Open Mic Night w/Ron O'Keefe—8:30
VALLEY RIVER INN * 687-0123
FR & SA: The Jim Basnight Band—8:30
TAYLOR'S BAR AND GRILL
894 E. 13TH AVE. * 344-6174
TH: DJ Smuv & DJ Tekneek—10; Hip hop, R & B
MO: DJ Tekneek
394 BLAIR BLVD. * 687-8383
SA: Nero, Simpleman—9; Modern indie
MO: 15 Minutes of Fame w/ Ol' What's His Name's Open Mic—9
WE: DJ Secret Hippie's Disco Inferno—9
922 GARFIELD ST. * 345-3606
SA: PB Army, No Cash Value, Richard Hedders, The Perverts—10; Punk rock
|THE SUGAR BEETS CELEBRATE THEIR 15TH ANNIVERSARY SATURDAY AT THE WOW HALL.|
WOW HALL All Ages
291 W. 8TH AVE. * 687-2746
TH: KRS-One, Boom Bap Project, Debaser, Soundproof, The Phormula—8; Hip hop
SA: The Sugar Beets 15th Anniversary Show—8:30; Psychedelic bluegrass
MO: Pepper, Authority Zero, Beautiful Girls—8:30
WE: The Decemberists, Okkervil River—8:30
137 SW 2ND * 752-7570
FR: Rhapsody in the Vineyard wine tasting—4
BOMBS AWAY CAFE
2527 NW MONROE * 757-7221
TH: John Bliss XTET—7:30; Jazz
FR: Laura Kemp—9:30
WE: Johnny Bluesky—6; Americana
126 SW 1ST ST. * 738-9015
SA: Sam Holmes—9; Singer-songwriter
WE: Thriving Theatre!—9; Wacky improv
2740 SE 3RD ST. * 738-7600
SA: Magpie reunion show—8:30
PLATINUM NIGHT CLUB
126 SW 4TH
FR: Rubberneck, The David Samuel Project—9
MO: Karaoke night w/ Patches—9
WE: Kyoko, others—9
100 SW. 2ND ST. * 753-8057
SA: Jive Kitchen, Flaming Inhalers—9:30
125 SW 2ND ST. * 754-8522
FR: Prime Rib—9; Blues, rock, jazz
SA: Fate 55—9; Classic rock
WE: Improv blues & jazz jam w/ Neal Grandstaff & Ray Brassfield—8:30
2945 CIRCLE BLVD.
SU: David Burgess—9; Brazilian/Spanish guitar