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Hooray for Surprises! David Clemmer, The Ascetic Junkies 

Sound Check likes surprises. Dang it, we actually love surprises.

click to enlarge sound_asceticjunkieslive2010.jpg

Sound Check likes surprises. Dang it, we actually love surprises. If you were to stand outside our office and soak us with a fire hose when we came out, we wouldn't even kick you in the nards. We'd actually be jazzed about the whole affair - as long as you yell "surprise" before you drenched us.

Thus, we were pleased as punch (punch is quite pleasing) with this surprise-filled week of live music that began at yet another Thursday night Last Band Standing gig at Boondocks Bar and Grill. It was there the emo/alt-rockers of Elliot - fronted by Corey and Casey Parnell and their self-described Justin Bieber haircuts - took home the audience vote and advanced to the next round. But after punking out like it was 1999, runner-ups Tuck and Roll earned a wild card and also advanced. The surprise here was yet another huge turnout for Last Band Standing- - did people think one of those guys was actually Justin Bieber or something? Either way, this is excellent for local music.

Friday night, as we sauntered down Wall Street in a free-merlot-hindered strut, we were drawn into Ranch Records where - surprise - badassical music could be heard from what just might be - ready for another surprise? - what might be Bend's best new band. It's called David Clemmer and the Stoics, and yes, that's indeed David Clemmer from The Dirty Words, but in this act, he plays what sounds like Colin Meloy-inspired poppy folk rock that's more awesome than getting blasted in the nards with two fire hoses.

By Saturday night, after making a stop at the Who's Jason Evers Party (he's somewhat surprising, but in a douchey way) at the Astro Lounge, we were at the Silver Moon Brewing Co. where Portland indie folkers The Ascetic Junkies (pictured above) were playing. Those snazzy guys and gal blew us away with their innovative and poppy stylings, making us feel bad that we'd missed some of their earlier shows. But surprise! The band is coming back to play Bite of Bend.


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