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...Hardly a year after my first of many encounters with the Untouchables, they found out that some band had already registered that name. So Chris decided to call the group Napalm Beach. I saw a very early Napalm Beach gig at Accuardi’s in Old Town at 2nd and Davis. From the first incredibly loud roarstroke of Chris’ anguished guitar, it was evident that the lightness of the Untouchables had been supplanted by dark, grungy sludge.
The grungy sludge heard round the world. Chris began using the legendary Big Muff foot pedal around that time and it made a big difference in his guitar tone. In reviews at the time, I referred to Chris as a rock and roll Pavarotti, a 21st century Pagliacci. But I had no idea that within ten years he would launch a thousand ships of sludge from the Northwest, each bearing the grunge flag... MORE
The band’s rawness has been deeply seared to a dry char. There’s still smoky, meaty flavor there, but all the juice has been cooked out. In this particular instance, the overcooked piece of meat is served smothered in mushrooms and gravy. MORE
I first saw Monica Nelson perform at the Long Goodbye in the fall of 1986...Down in the basement, the Obituaries were scheduled to open for some long-forgotten outfit. I had heard of the Obituaries via a positive review Dianne Hollen had written about them for Two Louies a few weeks earlier. I wanted to see them for myself.
I will never forget the spectacle I saw that night. It was the early days of the band. Laura O'Donnell was still the bassist. I don’t remember who the drummer was. The band sounded like the Grand Canyon caving in, with guitarist Rob Landoll riding cowboy over the chaos, driving the band over and through all obstacles. In the middle of that was Monica at the microphone stand. MORE
When Pete Ficht moved to Portland from New Orleans in 1995 he wasn’t expecting to immediately find success similar to that he had experienced back home—where he recorded for a local label an album with his band, the House Levelers, that was produced by the late Jim Dickinson...Pete probably never thought it would take twenty years, either.
It’s not like he’s been shrinking in the shadows all these twenty years. He formed his band Noisecandy...joined Joy Pop Turbo as bassist and backup singer...teamed up with Corinna Repp...for Scenic Overdrive—which evolved into The State Flowers. After that, Pete played keys for King Black Acid, in addition to subsequent stints with Lisa (Miller) & Her Kin, National Anthem and the Strange Effects. Pete Ficht may be many things, slacker is not one of them. MORE
Supposedly, the term “Power Pop” was coined by Pete Townsend around 1967 in describing the Who’s music (and that of the Small Faces as well). In essence, he could have been describing any number of bands releasing records at the time...Smart guitars, no solos—or very few past a signature riff, straight ahead beat, accessible lyrics and a big fat hook somewhere within the first sixty seconds...
So, we’ve established that Power Pop has been a flavor in the music marketplace for quite some time—consumed freely and abundantly by aficionados and other adolescence-addled brains since well before the term was even conceived...By those lofty standards borne of such hallowed traditions, we must approach the Cry! with some trepidation. For one thing, the concept of Power Pop has fractured. MORE
WaveSauce bill their sound as “Surf Pulp Sci-Fi.” And that’s pretty accurate, as far as it goes...Their most obvious musical distinction of note is the employment of a theremin in their presentation...What’s true is the theremin is probably the most difficult instrument in all of Western music to play with any precision or efficacy. You’ve got two ultra-high frequencies beating against each other, to produce a third audible frequency. Rather than lengths of string or frets or keys, the accomplished thereminist is left to haplessly wave her hands in empty air, searching for an elusive pitch that hovers somewhere in space between two indefinite oscillators. It’s like trying to accurately solo on an air guitar! MORE
It’s been nearly four years since we took a listen to the Quick & Easy Boys’ sophomore release, Red Light Rabbit in 2010. In the interim, the frisky three-piece has toured the country relentlessly—while releasing their third album along the way, Make It Easy, in May of 2013. As was noted in the earlier review, the Quick & Easy Boys are a great bar band...They are stylistically diverse for a trio and they don’t take themselves too seriously.
To be sure, the Quick & Easy Boys are throwbacks to the days of yore, when an intrepid rock band knocked it out in the clubs, fighting the good fight. MORE
Considered to be perhaps the greatest wordsmith in all the English language, not much is known about William Shakespeare. What is known about the man is often clouded by rumor and innuendo. But as time passes the only conclusion at which one can reasonably arrive is that Mister Shakespeare actually authored the thirty-seven plays (that we know of) for which he is renowned...One of the more ambitious attempts to delineate Shakespeare in a new and inventive way, arrives to us via Here Comes Everybody. MORE
Here is a short history of the Blues Festival and how it all got started 27 years ago.
Ladies and Gentlemen, here's the official trailer for Buko TV produced Portland Waterfront Blues Festival full-feature film! All proceeds are to benefit the Oregon Food Bank and their wonderful efforts to feed hungry people and families in Oregon.
We started five years ago filming answers from the many walks of life and prototypes who make up the pulse of this seminal event. Adults, children, vollunteers, music industry insiders, Security and stage peeps, Food Bank Representatives and even Peter Dammann!
Pacific Mean Time. What does that even mean? Some of us may be familiar with Greenwich Mean Time. Greenwich Mean Time was developed by the British in the 19th century to help the trains run on time...In considering Pacific Mean Time we need recalibrate our clocks. As of today, time begins in Portland, Oregon. Moment zero is here. Now. So, something has changed. Some perspective has shifted. What perspective might that be?...MORE
Rachel has been releasing an album every year or two for the past ten years. She first appeared on my radar screen in 2004 with Do Not Stare, an album that clearly introduced her quirky quirks: musical, lyrical and possibly psychological, though it’s certainly none of my business. I have, however, reviewed all or most of her six or eight (including one Christmas) albums over the years, though I’ll be damned if I can find a couple of them. Down the Buko magazine wormhole... MORE
Jeremy Wilson has been on stage playing music in Willamette Valley bars for over thirty years. That’s pretty impressive! Especially when one considers that he is only now in his mid-forties. I have seen it said somewhere that he and his band the Watchmen were rumored to have played the infamous Oregon Museum tavern in Salem, but I don’t think that’s possible as that “event” took place in 1981 (with Sequel and Jenny Jeans on the Bill). But who knows?
And—regardless—just how that youngster and his bandmates were able to get into bars when he was barely in his teens must be a story unto itself. But there it is. Obviously his precociosity preceded him. It’s in his genes. ...MORE
Buko Publications is proud to announce the release of UNreal gods - A Novel by our own SP Clarke. The book is based loosely on the life and times of Billy Rancher and the Unreal Gods. Not the True story, but the real story.
Signed copies of the book are available exclusively at Music Millennium. It is also available online via Amazon or can be ordered through any bookstore: ISBN#9781495921452.
More information at: unrealgods.com
While we would love to see this as testament to the power of the press, there is no such thing as either (power or press). There is, however, breaking news to report in regards to Steve “Pearly” Hettum’s Wednesday Night Open Mic exodus from Eugenio’s to the Starday Tavern: the Division Street camp has relented. ...MORE
Steve “Pearly” Hettum has been running an Open Mic for a long time now. For many years he hosted the Wednesday Night Open Mic at Eugenio’s on Southeast Division to ever-increasing success. Steve’s good-natured affability and knack for commanding attention always served as the foundation for those affairs. Many of the nights that I was in attendance the room was filled with an appreciative audience for the long list of musicians who waited for their turn to play. ...MORE
Drew Norman is a lofty balsam among the abundant flora in our local music scene— one whose own magnetic roots burrow back the better part of twenty years. We remember him as guitarist of notable shreddery for Porcelain God, and the subsequent mach-two version: the Cow Trippers. There, he occasionally contributed the odd song, typically delivered in a gruff, somewhat salacious manner,...MORE
It was in November of 1970 that notorious bon vivant and ferociously cranky rock critic Lester Bangs called Led Zeppelin the “ultimate Seventies Calf of Gold.” This was in the eleventh month of the first year of that decade, mind you. He wasn’t wasting any time. This proclamation came in reference to Led Zeppelin III , which he was reviewing for Rolling Stone. And none too favorably. ...MORE
When Blitzen Trapper first came to the fore in 2007, with the release of Wild Mountain Nation, the band had already been in operation as a recording entity for four years with two releases prior to that. All the same their visibility on a national scale escalated incrementally from that point, with key support from Pitchfork online magazine, especially. MORE
I’ve told the story before, probably more than once. Quarterflash and I go way back. Way back. Back before Seafood Mama. Before Beggar’s Opera. Back before Jones Road. Back to the days of Oregon College of Education. You won’t find that school listed in any current register! It’s called Western Oregon State University now. It’s in Monmouth, which is west of Salem and north of Corvallis, on the road to somewhere else...MORE
New BUKO TV exclusive interview cuts of some of last years Inductees! KGON's Iris Harrison. Mark Hudson, EVERCLEAR, DK Stewart, Calvin Walker and the unforgettable U-Krew!
Its time again to recognize the very best musicians who have made history and helped shape our incredible music scene!
This year's Induction Ceremony is Saturday, Oct. 5th at the Aladdin Theater. Go to OMHOF.org, the Aladdin or Music Millennium! MORE
In one way, it’s hard to believe that Pink Martini are nearly twenty years old. In another, it seems like they have always been here...one thing is certain: there is no other musical aggregation in the world that can approach the incredible feats of sonic perfection Pink Martini regularly demonstrate. MORE
Four headlining acts would play the main stage inside the Sleep Country Amphitheater and two small outdoor stages were built in the parking lot for numerous other bands to also play. The festival promised to give you a full day of rock n’ roll and they sure kept that promise. MORE
For most people the title of this album, White Lighter, would connote an inexpensive incendiary device of no pigmentary value. A white lighter is certainly something with which the average human might be familiar. You see lighters every day. Some of them may be white.
However, there are some walking among us (and I count myself as one) for whom the context is completely different. They are “white lighters.” They’ve seen the white light. Oh yeah, the vaunted white light at the end of the tunnel when you die. Sure. Most folks think that’s an urban myth, until they experience it for themselves. I began experiencing the white light at an early age and was availed of the occasion to experience it again a time or two through the course of my adult life. I think I know what Kyle Morton, leader of Typhoon, is talking about... MORE
Billy Triplett died of a heart attack on Sunday, August 11th. Anyone who knew Billy knew him to be in every way a gentle giant of a man. He was physically massive in every way—tall and very heavy. But he was the friendliest guy you are ever likely to meet. Exceptionally helpful. Incredibly kind. A real sweet man... MORE
Once upon a time in a Portland long ago and far away, there was a band called Providence. They didn’t play around town that much. They weren’t exactly a “bar band.” Actually they were many things the Moody Blues sought to be, and vice versa.
Whereas the Moodies used Mike Pinder’s mellotron—in most cases—to achieve an orchestral-like choral string ambience, Providence just went ahead and incorporated a real string trio... MORE
The rock music scene in Portland is fifty years old this year. To a certain extent 1963 is an arbitrary date. There were something like rock bands before that time, but they were combos who played sock hops and the like. Bands such as the Wailers and Paul Revere and the Raiders were already up and running in the Northwest. So were Portland’s Kingsmen, more or less. But in 1963, the rock music “club” scene first began to take shape. They were teen soda bars, to be sure. But live rock music was... MORE
Musical acts with a choral female vocal core have been a mainstay of popular music since the genre was inaugurated early in the 20th century. The Boswell Sisters, in the early ‘30s, come instantly to mind as purveyors of tight harmonies and blues-inflected jazz phrasing. Later the Andrews Sisters glommed onto those tight harmonies and, later still, it was the Chordettes singing “Mr. Sandman” in 1954... MORE
Susannah “Little Sue” Weaver has been a fixture in the local folk picture for, dare I say it, about twenty years now—since she first burst upon the scene with the lamentedly late, great Crackpots (In Exile). And while we have all aged to greater or lesser degrees over those two decades, there is little question that Little Sue has aged better than most...MORE
Anyone who knows me knows I have a deep love for Led Zeppelin. They were pioneers in music and their music still continues to influence and inspire. They are easily one of the best. When the band came to an end in 1980 due to the late John Bonham’s passing, the rock world mourned... MORE
Drive By High Five's first single, "Meet Me Half Way," video was Directed Freddy Heath. MORE
A fixture in the Portland music scene for the past twenty years, singer/guitarist Pete Krebs has been diagnosed with a rare form of cancer, desmoplastic melanoma. It is known to appear in the head and neck regions of individuals with sun-damaged skin. Pete’s doctors have determined the extent of his illness to be at Stage II. MORE
In the fast-paced world of independent music video production things can go from major to minor in a heartbeat. Soon after completing a music video for a New York-based artist, filmmakers Glenn Scott Lacey and Steven Dempsey of Portland-based Americonic Films got word that the musician had decided to go in a different direction...MORE
The Greater Midwest were putting on a show to celebrate the release of their CD Consumer Confidence. I got an advance on their music and really liked what I heard...MORE
We first heard from Steve Wilkinson and his new musical entity the Wilkinson Blades about nine months ago with the release of their debut album 4AM, which scored for them the Number Six slot in my Top 9 of 2012 list. And while that venture was more or less a solo album with benefits, many of the same side players who contributed to tracks on that album are now fully integrated members of the real band. Having played dozens of gigs together over the past year, no one in the band sounds like a guest... MORE
The (semi) annual Monsters of Rock show at Dantes was just that a MONSTER. The show pulls from a talented pool of local musicians and puts them in special one off band situations for just this event...there were so many awesome performances, musicians stepping out of their comfort zones and really challenging themselves and fans left wanting more. MORE
Recent recipients of the Number One slot among my highly coveted “Top 9 of 2012” awards with Court the Storm, Y La Bamba have returned eleven months later with the breathtaking Oh February. The six songs found here serve as a window into the world of artists in the midst of tremendous musical growth. The members of YLB are maturing as individuals, as musicians, and together they are ripening—very satisfyingly—as a precise musical entity of great power and portent. MORE
As always, there are a million reasons to shop at Music Millennium. Now there’s one more, and it may be the most important reason of all... MORE
It’s the end of one year and the beginning of another. And at the end of every year, every music critic, music columnist, music writer, music journalist, music blogger or music fan of any note generates a “Best of…” list. Late in my career I am making the attempt to fit in to one of those categories. So, I have prepared my own “Best of…” list. I’ve been seeing these things pop up since, like, Thanksgiving, which seems awfully early to me. MORE
After three years together, Crown Point are the perfect example of how a band evolves. When singer-songwriters Jon Davidson and Russell Stafford first aligned at the beginning of 2010, both came to the project with industry pedigrees. Stafford was actually signed to Sony Australia before he moved to the US. Davidson and Stafford put their band together slowly, methodically, with intention. They released a six-song EP, Wolves, a couple of years back. MORE
Over the years I’ve reviewed dozens of various artist compilations comprised of the works of local artists. KGON produced a couple of collections in the early ‘80s. I reviewed Volume 2, the Homegrown album back in 1982. KKRZ, Z100 gave us in Pride of Portland in 1986. Since then, there have been other radio station related promotions...Local labels have regularly released compilations. Mike Jones’ Schizophonic label was one of the first in 1990, gathering eleven high profile bands and a poet for the initial I-5 Killers series, which ended up numbering three that I know of. Cravedog Records released at least a couple volumes of Can’t Stand the Smell...
But—of all the myriad various artist compendia ever to have been released in this region—none can touch this one. Not even close. MORE
It’s been six years since Sleater-Kinney went on hiatus. For many music lovers, myself included, June 27, 2006 will forever remain a day of black sadness...The dawn of Century 21, S-K had carved for themselves a very secure niche in the national music scene. Renowned music critics Greil Marcus and Rober Christgau championed the band. In 2001, writing for Time magazine, Marcus called Sleater-Kinney “America’s Best Rock Band.” MORE
Here is the complete uncut interview with Obo Addy less than a year ago backstage at last year's OMHOF Ceremony. We believe it was his last on-camera interview.
He talks candidly about his illness, his career, his history and the importance of teaching children.
Ghanian master drummer, beloved teacher, and long time Portland treasure, Obo Addy, died Thursday afternoon after a long battle with liver cancer. He was 76 years old. The son of a Wonche medicine man, and one of 55 children, Addy emigrated to the United States from West Africa in 1978 and moved to Portland soon thereafter. At the forefront of the World music movement, he was one of the first to bring African musical culture to mainstream American audiences. In 1996 Obo Addy was awarded a National Heritage Fellowship by the National Endowment of the Arts. He leaves behind his wife, Susan, and six children. The family has set up a page to help raise funds for costs related to Obo’s illness and funeral expenses at http://www.indiegogo.com/oboaddy.