Arcata's Naïve Melodies is the closest thing to seeing the Talking Heads
In the '70s and '80s, New York art pop group Talking Heads, led by iconic mastermind David Byrne, established themselves not only as one of the most innovative bands of their time, but one that would inspire the work of others for decades to come. Some more directly than others.
Portland folk artist Hanz Araki bridges his heritage with a flute
One tradition calls it a buinne, the other calls it a shakuhachi, but both regard the instrument more commonly known as the flute with extremely high esteem. Irish Japanese artist Hanz Araki honors that dual heritage by complimenting Gaelic folk music with the spiritual allure of masterful flute playing.
Stevie Ray Vaughan lives... in the dreams (and music) of Hobbs Magaret
A rocket ship shredding space on its way to the blazing sun; a charging bull free from confinement; or, the final scene in Fight Club where towering buildings all come tumbling down in fiery plumes—all good ways to visualize the massive rock sound of local blues group Hobbs the Band. It also doesn't hurt to imagine Stevie Ray Vaughan sitting in a corner riffing off the chaos with taut guitar solos.
Kyle Gass of Tenacious D fame launches
new '80s-style metal band
Once upon a time there was a mugger in New York City who spent his time learning guitar at Julliard, rocking out on stage in front of a giant penis-shaped bird and making television show cameos on par with Clint Howard appearances in film. OK, that's a slight exaggeration, but not a story without some tidbits of truth.
Lisa Mann plays the blues
In the second installment of this year's Jazz at the Oxford, the King Louie Portland Blues Review is presenting a sampling of some of the region's most talented blues musicians. At the forefront is Lisa Mann.
Switchfoot isn't into the rock band image
While secular music—tunes without a religious undercurrent—has its fair share of artists who exude beauty and sex appeal (Britney Spears, Beyonce, etc.) in its totality, pop stardom does not demand a chiseled jaw line and flawless skin. There's room for imperfection.
Central Oregon soldiers fight PTSD with music
Rod Napier is a Vietnam vet. He stands at the front of a small group, his white beard shaking with the rhythm as he strums a 12-bar blues song on his guitar with novice, but full hearted, accuracy.
Iconic '70s band Little Feat is still groovin'
With only one founding member remaining, L.A. boogie band Little Feat has somehow survived—and actually thrived—for nearly 45 years. Today, the band's music sounds almost nothing like the classic rock initiated by legendary songwriter and guitarist Lowell George when he and his buddy Bill Payne—who is still with the band—formed Little Feat in 1969, after George left Frank Zappa's group Mothers of Invention.
Canuck Kytami is a 21st century kind of violinist
Canadian Kyla LeBlanc—who goes by the stage name Kytami—is one of those rare innovative spirits who doubles down on experimentation. Rather than merely adding her instrument—a violin—to a particular genre, Kytami is inventing a new category of music by merging multiple sounds into a potpourri of creativity.
Singer Christopher Worth added value to his life by choosing music
Stephen Sondheim's musical Company—about a man's pre-emptive midlife crisis—landed Christopher Worth right in the middle of where he never thought he'd be: a career as a singer/songwriter rather than an actor. But in this case life did not imitate art: Unlike the production's central character Bobby, who questions some decisions he's made, Worth—who was cast as Bobby himself—will never have to rely on hindsight; he made the correct choice early by picking up a guitar.
The sounds of BendFilm cinema
It takes the right music accompanying a scene to transform a movie from stirring to absolutely riveting, or to deepen the sentimentality or humor or serenity. Imagine the difference between Iron Man swooping into the scene with a full-stringed orchestra or a thumping heavy metal anthem.