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Friday, September 26, 2008

Paper Scissors Live at the Silver Moon - Saturday 9/27

We caught up with the men of Fairbanks, Alaska's Paper Scissors today as the band woke up in Portland as part of their current Northwest

Posted By on Fri, Sep 26, 2008 at 5:19 PM

We caught up with the men of Fairbanks, Alaska's Paper Scissors today as the band woke up in Portland as part of their current Northwest Tour. The guys talked to us about their eclectic taste and how they manage to sound nothing really like any other band around. We also chatted a bit about junkyard finds and the person they describe as"bat sh*t insane" who also happens to be their state's governor and a vice presidential candidate. And it's important to note that Paper Scissors were huddled around a cell phone for this interview, so we couldn't always discern who was who...thus we've combined the guys into one giant collective Paper Scissor.

Good morning guys. So how is life up in Fairbanks?

We've been there for a couple of years now. We were finishing school and working and hanging out. We started a new Northwest Tour and have been down here, and at the end, a couple of us are going back there and some of us are sticking around here so we'll see what happens. There are still plans to continue to play, we just don't know where.

So right after this tour it sounds like you guys will take a little hiatus?

Yeah probably...that's just one of many hiatuses.

I've listened to your album a couple times now and have checked out some of your videos up on MySpace and what drew me to give you guys some ink is the total mash-up of different styles and influences. Is that something that's conscious?

It's pretty natural. We all like different kinds of music and we don't like the idea of restricting ourselves to a particular sound really so we just kind of play whatever comes to mind. People do ask us to describe our music all the time and something that comes to mind often is blues rock or dance rock but that misses out on so much. But it gives people an idea, it's what I guess 60 percent of our music is but there's a bunch of other music in there too.

It's hard to classify you guys. Sometimes you sound like Clap Your Hands Say Yeah but then you also sound like Umprey's McGee or the Black Keys ...

We actually like all of those bands a lot. Those are three of my favorites. We can also say Medeski, (Martin & Wood) and Radiohead.

What do you guys listen to in the van when you're traveling?

We love music. And we have a lot of it. A wide variety. Ryan, our drummer is a big Phish Head ...

When you guys are playing...do each of you bring in a different elements? Sometimes there's almost a punk rock edge to it and other times, like you said, it's kind of like dance party music. Is it kind of a collaborative - each person bringing a different piece of the pie or how does it work?

I think we all bring a very different piece. We all come from really different musical backgrounds as far as what we listened to originally and sort of growing up and becoming musically conscious. I think we all were coming from a very different place at that point. I think those backgrounds, all coming from different places, it really meshed together really ...

Do you guys have a good following up in Alaska?

Yeah, Alaska's a really, really cool place to play music. At least Fairbanks is. There's a huge, vibrant art community there, you know visual arts and theater and dance and music - a lot of people play music, there's a lot of bands per capita, I guess you could say, and we come from a very supportive school community. There are a handful or pretty cool places to play but there's one in particular that's kind of our home base and it's this bar called The Marlin and it's right next to the university and they have live music almost every night of the week.

I guess I should ask because you're the first Alaskans I've talked to in the last month: What is your feelings about your ol' governor there?

(Laughing)

We're not supporters. She's bat shit insane.

She's a liar, she's a hypocrite and she doesn't share a single ideal that anybody I know has.

Where you guys a little shocked when you heard about it?

It still sounds like a joke.

We couldn't believe because she's totally un-noteworthy. She really hasn't done anything of note in Alaska or for Alaska so why would she be on the Republican ticket? Oh, pure spectacle, that's why. Have you seen the SNL skit? Did it mention that she's the major of the crystal meth capital of Alaska? Because it's true. Wasilla is a mall. It's one long strip mall. It's a suburb of Anchorage and of course it has a drug problem.

It must just be maddening to see some lady in Oklahoma with a big perm and a lot of eye makeup saying "I love her" "She's great."

It's crazy. It makes you want to bang your head against a wall.

What I've just realized though is that the Republican Party is playing the Alaska ticket just 'cause we're connected somehow to Alaska.

PAPER SCISSORS
8pm Saturday September 27. Silvermoon Brewing Co. 24 NW Greenwood Ave.

 


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Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The Domino Effect: Midtown packs 'em in for some underground hip-hop

Blender headed over to the Domino Room last night fully ready to get down to some good underground indie hip-hop, sample some Bud Light and

Posted By on Tue, Sep 23, 2008 at 12:14 PM


Blender headed over to the Domino Room last night fully ready to get down to some good underground indie hip-hop, sample some Bud Light and maybe even unleash some popping, locking and dropping. At least two of our three intentions came to fruition. Because we're devoted to bringing you complete concert coverage, we showed about a little after 8. So did about 50 other people. Musab was on stage and right in the middle of "See You Thru My Shades" (while wearing a very nice pair, we might add.) By the time Blue Scholars walked on, the crowd had gotten larger and was clearly enjoying the energetic show put on by Geologic (who Blender thought was wearing a tuxedo t-shirt that was actually just some unique tie-dying) and Sabzi.


When Aesop Rock took the stage around what we think was 10:30, the Domino Room was full, hot and smelling very faintly of pot and cologne. The energy level had increased significantly by the time Aesop Rock and Rob Sonic (who we thought looked very much like a cross between Seth Rogan and Jonah Hill from Superbad) started their set, which included some triiiiiiippy video accompaniment, believe us. Then the sound problems started. Despite frequently losing their microphones and background beats, the two performers proved that they were great showmen. Aesop Rock nearly created a frenzy when, frustrated by the loss of music stated, "F***k it" and just kept rapping the rest of the song freestyle. After finishing with the title track from Aesop Rock's latest release None Shall Pass, Aesop Rock, a very sweaty Rob Sonic and DJ Big Wiz left the stage to make room for Hieroglyphics.


Some attendees left, put most packed down to the floor around the stage and it was elbow room only by the time the Oakland group started. Almost immediately, the sound went down again (from Blender's viewpoint, it looked like the whole sound station near the back right lost power) but was back up in a minute or two and the crowd didn't seem too affected. After playing a couple newer songs, Hieroglyphics announced that they felt like celebrating the 10 years they'd been doing underground hip-hop and would mix in some of their earlier cuts. Out of all the acts that took the stage, Hieroglyphics managed to get the entire crowd dancing, including a young man wearing a trout t-shirt, which was something Blender had never seen at a hip-hop concert before.


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Friday, September 19, 2008

Problem Stick wows David Allan Coe's Crowd

Holy cowboy boots, tank tops and leather vests, Blender readers, what a show on Wednesday night at the Midtown. It was Mr. David Allan Coe,

Posted By on Fri, Sep 19, 2008 at 12:08 PM

Holy cowboy boots, tank tops and leather vests, Blender readers, what a show on Wednesday night at the Midtown. It was Mr. David Allan Coe, the legendary outlaw country/rock star headlining a night that brought in several hundred folks of varying ages, styles, and sizes of cowboy hats. There was a good delegation of bikers, some real Wrangler and belt-buckle cowboys, tatoos a plenty, and then some regular run-of-the-mill Bend sceneters -- and all of these people were drinking quite liberally. If you weren't entertained by the music (which was nearly impossible) you certainly had a good time people watching...double the entertainment.

While David Allan Coe was of course the main attraction, perhaps the most interesting element of this out-of-the-ordinary show (at least from a local music standpoint) was the reception received by locals Problem Stick. The band, known for it's self-described "wrecked rock" countried up some of its tunes, while also keeping things heavy and loud. And wouldn't you know, the people loved it. Take a look at the video below for a taste of Problem Stick's set. Sorry the sound is a little fuzzy...we were standing next to the speakers, which probably wasn't the best idea. But hey, we like it loud...because we're rapidly losing our hearing due to all this rock and roll music we've been taking in. It's hard to believe ol' grandpa's prediction came true: rock and roll music can make you go deaf...but enough about that, check out the video.


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Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Tower Goes Metal?: Tentareign throws rock party at the Tower Theatre

Power trio goes theatrical.The Tower Theatre is, of course, Bend's historic downtown locale for all things high art, theatrical, and relatively upscale musical acts. There

Posted By on Tue, Sep 16, 2008 at 4:40 PM

Power trio goes theatrical.
The Tower Theatre is, of course, Bend's historic downtown locale for all things high art, theatrical, and relatively upscale musical acts. There is a certain esteem that goes along with the Tower - let's put it this way...the Tower is a wine joint, and the beer goes elsewhere around town.

But you can take all your preconceived notions about this venue and toss them from the balcony on November 22. Why November 22? Well that's the day that Bend's own prog-metal band Tentareign headlines the Tower in head banging celebration of the release of their new album, The Power Between.

Give Tentareign a listen here.

For the Tower show, Tentareign drummer Andy Hoard says the band will be playing an acoustic set, followed by a full-blown rock and roll performance to showcase the band's intense yet melodic brand of metal. We'd use the old adage "heavy metal" but with Hannah Costa's femine touch, the band is, well, pretty listenable for those who don't subscribe to metal fandom.

Does anyone remember metal (of any kind, heavy, light, stainless) at the Tower? Hoard says he doesn't think so.

"I don't remember ever seeing a real rock band at the Tower before. If there was something to speak of there, I think I would have heard about it," Hoard said just minutes after telling the Blender about the show.

Well, there have been a few rock acts at the Tower, seeing as how Jackie Greene and Los Lobos are, by definition, rock bands. But this is certainly a divergence for a venue that's currently prepping for a staging of Driving Miss Daisy (nothing against that play - it's supposedly pretty good).

So, all you true blue rockers out there...your time at the Tower has come. So could Tentareign be paving the way for other metal acts at the Tower? Just think: The Tower Theatre presents Metallica - One night only. Don't hold your breath...but this is a start.

 


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Friday, September 12, 2008

John Butler at the Athletic Club of Bend: 9.9.08

Here's a rundown of JBT's show in Bend on Tuesday night. We're still trying to get some video and pics up here ... bear with

Posted By on Fri, Sep 12, 2008 at 1:40 PM

Here's a rundown of JBT's show in Bend on Tuesday night. We're still trying to get some video and pics up here ... bear with us, they'll be up soon.

We hadn't made it out to a show at the Athletic Club of Bend yet this summer, but we'd heard a thing or two about how shows go down at this venue. Rumors have graced our ears of draconian no standing/no dancing decrees, picket fences segregating VIPS from general admission peasants and a smattering of other no-fun policies.

So, one can understand why we had our guard up when we arrived at the ACB last night to see the John Butler Trio drop into Bend for the second time in a matter of nine months. But after JBT's fellow Australians Crash Symphony opened the show and Butler walked onto the stage much of the crowd (the one's who weren't sipping wine from Eddie Bauer coolers) STOOD UP, in direct violation of the rumored rules. By the time John Butler shouldered his banjo and blasted out "Better Than," these standing folks had charged the stage, flooding what we thought was the "reserved section" and for the next two hours, it was a real-live rock concert. And the best part...no security or venue management personnel did anything to stop it.


In front of what seemed to be a packed lawn full of a smattering of fans and middle-aged Bendites who had no idea who JBT was, the East Australia band got the night started by playing songs from their 2007 album Grand National. At first it seemed even devoted fans didn't recognize the dread-less Butler until he picked up his guitar. In truth, to say Butler is "dread-less" isn't wholly accurate - while his hair is relatively close cropped, a few thin dreads remain, one of which stands up on end like an antenna into which the ideas for Butler's quirky stage banter are beamed from the mothership circling above.

Then drummer Michael Barker and bassist Shannon Birchall (who has his own fan appreciation club) left the stage and Butler picked up his 12-string, made a brief political statement about the earth being round (groundbreaking! check out the video below for a good chunk of the rant), and got right into "Ocean." If you weren't impressed by Butler's guitar skill before this song, you had to have been blind and deaf to have not been impressed after he was finished. Using some loop effects, but mostly his own guitar mastery, Butler raced up and down the fret board creating a range of sounds as wide as the body of water for which the song is named.

During another one of Butler's Eddie Vedder-with-half-an-Australian-accent pieces of stage banter, he said something along the lines of "I was a little nervous to hear we were playing at a country club and then when we got here, there were seats, and I'm OK with that, but there were these fences, too. And I thought we were going to have a motherf***ing revolution here!"

Thus the absence of fences presumably made a bit more sense. We highly doubt folks would have kicked down the fence (as over-testosteroned Stone Temple Pilots fans did at the Schwab a week earlier) but sectioning off the entire front of the stage definitely wouldn't have added much to Butler's funky rock show. JBT got into some older songs from their "Sunrise Over Sea" album before heading offstage early, then Butler appeared back onstage for a solo performance of "Peaches and Cream," a song originally written for his daughter, that he dedicated to his family who tours with him, then the rest of the trio returned to the stage for "Zebra" and a racing version of "Funky Tonight" which always brings down the house. It was a solid set, even if he didn't dish out standards like "Daniella," "Take" and "Betterman."

As this season ACB virgins, we think we held it together pretty well at the JBT concert Tuesday night. We didn't (openly) mock the 50 year olds playing air guitar and doing some sort of hoedown dance to "Funky Tonight" and did not act on our urges to karate chop the hoard of drunken middle-aged men who kept blocking our view of the stage. Even with apprehension running thick in the air at the beginning of the show, JBT proved one of the best performances of the outdoor summer season - a certainly the most surprising show in a long while.

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Tuesday, September 9, 2008

PP Heads and PBRs: Person People at Parrilla 9.5.08

How many PBR tall boys does it take to satiate a few hundred Person People fans? We're afraid that his question falls straight into the

Posted By on Tue, Sep 9, 2008 at 4:42 PM

How many PBR tall boys does it take to satiate a few hundred Person People fans? We're afraid that his question falls straight into the owl with the Tootsie Pop arena of unsolved queries.

You see, when Person People launched into a loud-as-all-bejeezus set in the Parrilla Grill parking lot on Friday night to benefit the Divison Street Skatepark Project, the PBR was flowing like, well PBR. Not long after the band wrapped up a quick but radical set, there wasn't a tall boy (Parrilla's signature beverage) to be found at the venue's outside bar - a true testament to abilities of the boisterous band of PP Heads that come out of the woodwork to pack the venue.

But beer consumption issues aside, Person People, Bend's hip-hop crew of record, hit the stage with their local anthem "Oregonize" pumping a strain of palpable energy through what may have been about a square mile of the Westside. With only drummer Jarrod Forqueran (David Bowers Colony, etc.) and new bassist Shane Thomas (Empty Space Orchestra) fitting on the stage, Person People's MCs mingled right up with the constantly gyrating crowd (with Sorski sipping on a PBR, just like his fans) while rifling off lines from tracks that as far as we know, were relatively new - and hopefully a taste of what we can expect on PP's forthcoming album. Unnamed sources within the band said we can expect the album in either late October or early November, but a definite release date has yet to be nailed down.

After a few solid cuts, including "Warship" and "Sickworld," Moon Mountain Ramblers' fiddler Jenny Harada got up into the mix, plugging away with soaring violin licks that somehow never sounded out of place with the heavy PP beats. The jam grew and the tempo raced and soon what was once a hip-hop crew with sounds akin to Jurassic 5 or Blue Scholars, now had vibes of old Leftover Salmon newgrass. It was strange but oh so fitting for Bend to hear Jason Graham (aka The Rook, aka Mosley Wotta, aka I'm getting tired of writing aka when discussing this dude) say, "We need more violin in the monitor speakers." That may have been the first time such a request was uttered at a hip-hop show.

PP continued on with "Smoke" from the new Mosley Wotta EP, highlighting Graham's poetic prowess and with fellow PPs on the mics, the track took on a new life. When the show came to a close, the MCs hinted at a set to come by their DJ Barisone, but instead the night wound down, sending masses out onto the streets happy with their PP ration.


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Friday, September 5, 2008

John Butler: The WHOLE interview

Shelby Harwood chatted it up with Australian roots rocker John Butler and here's the full transcript of that interview which is MUCH longer than the

Posted By on Fri, Sep 5, 2008 at 2:57 PM

Shelby Harwood chatted it up with Australian roots rocker John Butler and here's the full transcript of that interview which is MUCH longer than the portion that appeared in the print edition. Enjoy all you faithful JBT fans...

It seems like you've been on tour almost non-stop since Grand National came out last year, but you said in an interview at Lollapalooza that you had enough songs for a new album, how do you find time to write with such a busy schedule?

I'll actually take a bit of a break after this tour and just chill out, write more songs and do nice things like visit the beach with my family, and then I'll see how I go and just record an album. We're looking to kind of probably, now that we're kind of getting more established in all the territories we're going to give everybody a little less. Usually what happens is you go really hard at the beginning and kind of get everybody on board and then once everybody's on board you don't really need to tour three or four times a year, you know, it's actually probably dangerous to do that because everybody you know gets sick of you. You know, we'll start coming back once or twice a year, and that will leave a little bit more time for all kinds of stuff. You know, it takes a long time to get it to that place - whether it be in America or Australia or Europe - and you just kind of have to dig in for a while you know?

I was actually living in Australia last year when Grand National came out in March and was wondering what's it like being so huge in Australia - getting daily radio play and being blasted over the sound system at City Beach on a regular basis for example - and then coming to the US as a relatively unknown act? Is it strange or do you like it better being somewhat anonymous?

It's to be expected, you know, there's a big difference between mainstream popularity and underground popularity, which is what I guess we kind of have over here now after seven or eight years of [touring] America. It just takes time, you can't expect things to transfer from one country to the next unless you have some sort of world-wide hit, which comes with it's own dangers. There's several bands from Australia that have had major world-wide hits - no one's ever heard of them and then they're big around the world and then it's hard to kind of maintain that. So we kind of do it in the opposite way. We kind of just build it up from the ground up and what it kind of means is by the time you're kind of getting to where your status is in the well-known region, it's solid and it just stays for a long time. That's kind of what's happened in Australia, every step of the way it's grown slowly, it's never been like a huge splash and so by the time we were big, the roots were very deep, it wouldn't really matter what storm came by, what we built ... it wouldn't be knocked over. So that's pretty much what we've built over in America, it just hasn't hit mainstream yet, but it's a very solid place to be and I don't have a problem with that.

 


Is it nice to go around and not worrying about people coming up to you all the time though?

You know I don't mind that. To a certain degree, people are pretty polite in Australia. I'm not like a huge celebrity because I'm not a f***-up. Because I'm not a f***-up I'm not very interesting in that big paparazzi world so I'm not getting really hounded. You know, we're really popular, but people seem to have a general respect for us. Coming over here it's not that much of a difference. There's a few less photos and that's kind of cool, it's nice. But like I said, if I was a f***-up, then it would be a nice thing because then I could go and get f***ed up in public and make a fool out of myself and no one would know who I am, but I don't do that so it's really (courses for courses?) ... I'm so busy on the road it's kind of hard to find time to get out in a huge public situation and get mobbed anyway - I don't really think I would - but I'm pretty much just on the bus and gigging and with my family, but I don't really get that exposure to see if I would mind not being more affected than not.

How did the team up with G. Love and the Special Sauce for the North American tour come about?

We've known each other for a few years and have a mutual admiration for each other's art and I think we just thought it would be a good idea to kind of put a tour together and do something together rather than just doing it by ourselves all the time. It was a good idea and we're just having fun. I heard G. Love 12 years ago when I was busking on the streets and I thought it was the coolest sounding music around and to be on the road with him is quite an honor.

You're touring in the midst of a huge political surge right now in the States, what's the political atmosphere been like at concerts? Do you think the US is starting to progress in the right direction or do you think that the younger generation is still too unmotivated to make a real change (like their poor voter turnout in the 2004 elections, for example)?

Oh America. Okay, well, I think you know, most people ... it's hard to tell. People tend to hang around people who are very like-minded. Take, for example, me, I'm not very much of a right wing conservative, so the people I hang around with all think that America is ready for a good change. But because I guess of the unpopularity of George Bush and the complete shamble of a job that he's done as a puppet kind of coup de tat president via Fox [news] and the military complex, I would say that even some of the more conservative people in the country are starting to lose their faith in what their party has to offer. In general in the world, things are just getting more extreme, and I guess when things get more extreme we start looking at the common denominators a lot more closely than we ever have before. I don't really believe in politics as a practice unto itself. Politics is for the people and politics is to protect basic common sense. It's not really about us against them, blue against red - that's all a game to keep people separated. I think most people in this country want the same thing, whether they know it or not and whether they back McCain or Obama or a Muslim or a Christian or a black or a white or an atheist or a fundamentalist. I think we all want the same thing, most of us, unless we're crazy, and there are a couple lunatics out there who always ruin it for everybody - and there happens to be one running the country. But, having said that, I think we all want the same things. We want clean air, we want clean water, we want peace, we want justice, we want freedom, we want equality - I don't know anybody who doesn't want that. What gets confusing is when people are pit against each other in the name of a flag or in the name of an organization, whether it be Republican or Democrat. I guess with the war and the environment and global warming and the corporate takeover of America things are getting very extreme and we're starting to find that when things get extreme, everything gets pushed into the kind of same place, and when you get pushed into the same place, it's that common denominator. You start looking at each other as human beings and not necessarily as Republicans or Democrats and I think that's an extremely handicapped situation, and I don't know how the hell you're going to possibly put this down into print. I think it's changing slowly, I think it always has to get worse before it gets better. I think, personally, which doesn't really mean much, because of my political (bed?) that this country's totally ready for a change and I think that we have a candidate called Barack Obama who's black and you know can be a really good leader for this country and very, very good for the reputation of this country throughout the world. Whether it happens or not, I don't know, I was surprised George Bush got in last time, I'm always surprised that people vote for people they know have lied to them but hey... All I can say is the younger generation, they kind of know what's going on, and there's a lot of disengaged people and there's a lot of people who are engaging and it's kind of hard to tell on the day, you just kind of have to see who's going to get off their ass and vote. And that's the best thing you can do, is to just tell people to just get out there and register and be a part of this.

Grand National is a very upbeat album, more so than Sunrise over Sea, but has more political and social commentary in it -can we expect more of this on your next album with all that's been going on in the world?

What I've been writing, I have to be careful nowadays because we're in such a polarized climate politically and religiously and economically that it's easy to write about these things quite a lot to me because it's kind of what concerns me. I use music as a vehicle to make sense of the world and to express how I feel about it and to use it as a kind of therapy. So there are probably going to be quite a few songs talking about what's going on around us. Not because - and this is a really important factor that I say to everyone I talk to - not because I feel like I know something that other people don't know, not because I'm trying to tell them how to be - I think that would be bad way to take my music and it's really condescending (can't understand what he says) ... I don't come from that place, I come from a place where I just really have to express how I feel about. You know, sometimes I just go, 'What the f***'s going on everybody?' I mean, you turn on Fox and you think 'How can anybody not see this for what it is?' It's hard not to say that out loud and it's hard to not write a song about it. So probably there are a lot of songs about what's going on, but I'm more excited about peeling off the layers of the onion more than talking about McCain and Barack Obama, I'm more interested in the human condition, I like to look at it that way, like if we're at war, 'Why are we at war? Is it greed? Is it insecurity? Is it because we fear?' and then you start to get into these kind of juicy topics, rather than talking about "Why's there a war? Can't we all live in peace?" "Oh my God, I need a release." That kind of thing gets boring. Looking at the anthropological kind of psychological reasons why we choose to kill each other or why we choose to love each other is a lot more interesting to me, so I'm sure there will be a lot more of that stuff, with you know, the intention of not trying to write the same songs over again.

It looks like (from the Lollapalooza posts on your Website) you've cut your dreads? Why did you decide to get rid of the hairstyle that you'd become known for?

I just didn't like them anymore. I had them for 13 years you know? People change. They didn't suit me. I had to make a decision for myself and it was the first time I've ever had to think about my hair in the context of my career, and was like "what the f*** is that about, I've never had to think about it this way, that's weird, this is lame, there's no way I'm keeping my hair for my career, f*** that. If people only like my music for my hair than they don't obviously don't like my music in the first place." I just was sick of it, I needed a change and I like it a lot more.

It's a pretty big thing for some people, and, I'm not comparing myself to this person at all, but I think that I'd be shocked if Bob Marley cut his hair, but I'm not like a Rasta, and maybe if I was a lot bigger and then did it, like when Lenny Kravitz did it, but I'm kind of still in an early phase of my career and my creativity and I'm not a Rasta and I'm just a human being. It's all kind of part of it, to tell you the honest truth, it's all kind of part of the whole consciousness of what I create. It's not about how you look, it's not about what you wear, it's not about what god you worship, it's about what you have to offer. I guess my life in one way or another kind of represents that. That's kind of the way I roll. At least that's the way I endeavor to roll and put a lot of my energy into. If you look at it that way then it all makes sense.

What are the chances of you playing "Ocean" for the Bend audience?

I play "Ocean" every night. That [song's] kind of the foundation for where my career started in a lot of ways, on the street ... it keeps me close to where it all began.

You also sang with your daughter in Chicago, do you tour with your family?

We just got my daughter a violin and she's just cranking on it, she's a little natural, she comes on stage and sings with me sometimes ... it's a good environment for her to grow up in in a lot of different ways. We all miss home at times but we're all together and home is kind of where our hearts are so it's a blessed life we lead.

What are you looking forward to doing when you get a break from touring in a few months?

It's all about enjoying the simple things in life - food, love and music.

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Tuesday, September 2, 2008

The STP Sing-along

Posted By on Tue, Sep 2, 2008 at 2:51 PM

Last night my 4,312-day Stone Temple Pilots concert drought came to an end as the four men of the newly reunited STP brought their aged selves onto the Les Schwab Amphitheater stage on a particularly brisk night for what can be most easily and predictably described as a 1990s nostalgia sing-along.

After waiting for a good hour after I disappointingly missing openers Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Led Zeppelin's "Good Times, Bad Times" boomed over the largest collection of speakers I've ever seen on the LSA stage and the lights finally went dim. Enter three-fourths of STP, dressed for the event with bassist Robert DeLeo actually in a sport coat variation and brother Dean in some sort of quirky-yet-classy Western shirt. They all saddled up - but still no sight of Scott Weiland. Instantly, my mind went a little nuts as it often does, wondering if Weiland had again fallen off the wagon and was maybe camped out somewhere in between Bend and Seattle (where the band played a headlining slot at Bumbershoot) ingesting whatever substances he could get his hands on. I imagined him sitting in a drainage ditch for some reason - perhaps that's what my generation expects out of Weiland. But then out of the shadows, the red glimmer of a freshly lit cigarette glowed through the darkened stage and there was Mr. Weiland.

With a cowboy hat, scarf, sunglasses, and skin-tight designer jeans, Weiland took one last drag, hacked a sizable chunk of saliva to the side and got the show on the road, manhandling the microphone stand as only Weiland can do as the band got things started with "Big Empty." It was only a few seconds later that, just as my pubescenent eyes saw on November 11, 1996, precisely 4,312 days prior, Weiland hopped up on the monitor speakers and strutted around. And just as I did more than 4,000 days ago in Seattle's Mercer Arena, I, and everyone around me was singing along, without a care of how silly a line like "her dizzy head is conscious laden" sounds. How often do you describe one's head as "conscious laden"? Probably not often.

But nonetheless, the sing-along continued through familiar ditties like "Creep," "Big Bang Baby," "Lady Picture Show" and of course, of course, of course "Plush." Weiland is still heroin-addict skinny (that's just illustrative language and not to be taken literally, OK?) and still arrogant as all hell, dishing out the occasional hip thrust and finger point from his front-of-stage, monitor speaker altar. In this day of modest indie rockers who enjoy themselves on stage, yet have no delusions of hubris, it was strangely refreshing to see the kind of showmanship Weiland brings to the table. Another weird thing about Weiland...he was super tan. You don't see that in a rock star too often.

The venue included seats for the first several rows, stopping any chance of a mosh pit, as was once the norm at an STP show. There seemed to be more than a few testosterone overloaded fans who disagreed with the fence keeping them from getting closer to Weiland and the guys, as a massive contingent gathered around the entrance to the seated area. One aforementioned man-of-men showed his disappointment by hucking a trash can over the fan at a security guard. But for the most part, STP fans have aged to the less aggressive, stand-and-sing-along types, rather than mosh pit enthusiasts.

Damn, I used to love mosh pits.


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