MEMBERS: Burt Schoenfeld (guitar, vocals), Julian Kasper (bass, vocals), Margaret McNamara (drums), Grant Feist (guitar)
GENRE: Punk rawk
BLASTING LOUD DISTORTION SINCE: 1989
Back in the time before time, when the world was more innocent, when music was safe and punks could walk the streets without fear of police arrests, a sound was born. The mother of the sound was known as Beefsteak Projector and she had three children. Each child established its own customs and traditions and following. The axis was known as Lupo, the Miscreants and Arcweld. The children fought and would not share anything except their record label, Tiger Epoxy. It was the only thing that kept them from destroying each other.
Despite the rhetoric, the essence of Arcweld has transcended from the original three-piece to a four-piece. In honor of the past, the added voice is that of a second rhythm guitar. In this single act of brilliance, the fullness is doubled and the artistic purity is maintained. Arcweld is playing next on July 2 at the Platinum and July 8 at the Corvallis Elks Lodge. — Rob Gándara
MEMBERS: Kyle Houston (drums), Rusty Powers (guitar), Nick Reguero (vocals), David Trainer (guitar), Daniel Westling (bass)
GENRE: Hardcore, post-hardcore, metal
SCREAMING SINCE: 2005
Avery, a local Corvallis band, is one of a handful of bands to realize the potential of hardcore music. To the unenthusiastic listener, hardcore can sound like unorganized shrieking. But if it's done right, the style is unparalleled in its ability to convey raw emotion. Avery's songs are both danceable and musically interesting, with earnest, gut-wrenching vocals — even if you can't always understand them. "Hardcore music to me is the most heartfelt and sincere music out there," guitarist David Trainer said. "It just gets into your blood."
Avery began as a screamo band named A Promise Falls Quiet, but after replacing their drummer with Kyle Houston, the members changed their name to Avery at the beginning of 2005. "As we progressed as musicians, we just started writing music that had a brash side to it," Trainer said. So far, the band doesn't have a full-length album, but does have a demo that is available at Avery shows. Recently, Avery also recorded a music video, "Procession of Equinoxes."
So far, Avery has stuck mainly to the hardcore style that they love, but pop punk and metal have also shaped Avery's sound. "Our individual influences are very diverse," bassist Daniel Westling said. "I wouldn't completely classify our group as strictly hardcore. We like to write songs with melody as well." But hardcore isn't all about clashing guitars and screeching vocals.
"Hardcore doesn't have to mean just screaming and crazy guitars all the time," Trainer said. "I think that hardcore is just honest music." — Sara Brickner
The Brody Lowe Band
|THE BRODY LOWE BAND|
MEMBERS: Brody Lowe (guitar, vocals), Joel Albrecht (drums), Matt Slaughter (bass), Kris Gillmore (lead guitar)
GENRE: Indie rock-ish
AROUND SINCE: 2004
Brody Lowe spent a good portion of his life in a ridiculously small town in Idaho, 100 miles from any other town, with a population just over 4,000. Perhaps that has something to do with his quirky musical sense. Lowe founded The Brody Lowe Band in the spring of 2004, picking up Joel after he sat in with Brody and Matt at a gig in a park. Together the three played in and around Corvallis as a trio until the recent addition of Kris on lead guitar.
Brody's influences range from Johnny Cash to Elliott Smith, and though most people might not think to blend the two, The Brody Lowe Band's sound makes it seem like they were meant to be combined. On the outside, Elliott Smith's influence is easy to see in the indie-rocker persona Brody exudes. But, during pauses between songs, the audience can see he's just a down-home guy with a guitar and a song. The rest of the band stays fairly quiet, preferring to let Brody's quirks fill the gaps in music.
Their recent, and first release, Everyday Afterwards is an exciting development for the group. Song previews and more information can be found at brodyloweband.com The Brody Lowe Band plays July 3 at Cozmic Pizza in Eugene. — Alana Yankus
|THE DAVID SAMUEL PROJECT|
The David Samuel Project
MEMBERS: David Samuel (guitar, vocals), Kevin Van Walk (drums), Scott Eastburn (bass), Tiffany Tyler (vocals)
GENRE: Pop-rock rock (more rock than pop)
ROCKIN' OUT SINCE: 2003
Fueled by a self-proclaimed desire to defy the predictability of the contemporary music scene, The David Samuel Project offers listeners something a little closer to the roots of rock. The jazz and funk influences are obvious, though the band pays homage not only to funksters like Herbie Hancock, but to great rockers like Jimi Hendrix and Eric Clapton.
Together they combine their diverse musical backgrounds (Eastburn started out on the viola) into a fusion of rock from all ages. As a result, The David Samuel Project's sound can only be described as somewhere between the rock of the late '70s, the power ballads of the '80s and the funkier pop bands of the early '90s. Samuel's guitar solos especially, along with his edgy voice, hint of the power ballad. Recently the band added vocalist Tiffany Tyler, filling out their sound with harmonies.
Definitely more rock than pop, The David Samuel Project is more likely to attract Jet fans than 'NSYNC groupies. Check out their sound at davidsamuelonline.com or garageband.com — Alana Yankus
CROONING SINCE: 1995
While certain young pop divas (you know who) are struggling with the transition from teen pop stardom to building a lasting career, Debra Arlyn, a singer songwriter from Corvallis, is in the enviable position of having skipped the teen pop phase altogether, leaving her poised to take her career in just about any direction she chooses.
Having just turned 20, and with the release of her second CD, Thinking Out Loud, Arlyn is beginning to gain the attention of some big record labels. While she thinks that would be great, Arlyn says that she could also be happy joining the caravan of I-5 troubadours, plying their songcraft up and down the west coast. "The artistic side of it, fulfilling my needs as an artist, is the most important part of it to me," she said.Young, blonde and attractive, with a confident grace, Arlyn certainly has the telegenic appearance that might draw the big labels, but trying to build her into yet another diva would be a shame.
A self-taught musician, her songs show a maturity in style and range, and her singing voice is strong and nuanced, capable of finding many levels of emotion within her songs, which revolve mostly around themes of love and relationships. "My mother calls me a hopeful romantic," Arlyn said. "I've had a lot of experience with love, so that's what I write about." Debra Arlyn is playing at Luna in Eugene on Friday, July 1. — John Ginn
Marty Baggen Project
|MARTY BAGGEN PROJECT|
MEMBERS: Marty Baggen (guitar, vocals, songwriting), Terri Takahashi (bass), Guy Brooksbank (keyboard), and Carolyn Krueger (backup vocals)
GENRE: Adult alternative rock
ALT ROCKERS SINCE: 2004
According to band's website, The Marty Baggen Project sound is intended for the "often neglected 25-45 year old demographic." A quick perusal of MBP's songs is enough to recognize the accuracy of their aim. The band's exclusively original material invokes elements of Peter Gabriel, REM and Tom Petty, though the lack of a physical drummer alone probably rules out the under 25 crowd. Instead, they rely on synthesized percussion programs to drive their quartet. This is not necessarily a bad thing. "We're really happy with the setup we have now," says Baggen. "I think I'm the only one without a master's degree, [the band members] are just amazing musicians, they learn the songs really quickly."
Baggen's home studio in Corvallis was the birthplace of the band's two albums, God Plays Dice (2003) and Born Fearless (2005). "The whole thing is like running a daycare," Baggen says with a laugh. "Trying to get four people together with all original material, it's not like a cover band." MBP has kept busy playing primarily Corvallis venues. Eugene gigs are on the horizon, though nothing is concrete yet. Albums and song downloads are available at www.martybaggen.com— Dave Constantin
MEMBERS: Tim Lower (bass), Matt Royston (guitar), Paul Yanello (guitar), Simon Ghionea (keyboards), Miles Thompson (brass, not pictured), Clenton Roman (percussion, not pictured), Chris Olds (drums)
GENRE: Groovadelic dance/trance
TRIPPING OUT SINCE: 2003
We sat down with bassist Tim Lower for a quick session.
Most of you seem to be pretty progressive people, beyond music. How many bike to practice?
There are three of us that ride on a regular basis. Matt was a bike messenger for 13 years, so he's tenured and amazing and just loves to be on his bicycle. Since we have this studio space it's really easy to just leave all your equipment there, hop on your bike and go play some music. It's a beautiful thing.
Favorite show so far?
May Day was a great crowd, I felt good and it was awesome. The Magnificent May Meltdown was a light crowd, bad weather, and I'd hurt my back that day, but the stage was beautiful and as soon as we started playing my back felt better.
How would you recommend preparing oneself for a Microcosm show?
Stretching. (Laughs) Keep your mind open. Be prepared to hear different kinds of music, not just four-on-the-floor rock'n'roll. We have a lot of world influences.
Microcosm's new CD Higher Unconsciousness is available at www.microcosmusic.com — Josh Gates