petekrebscropA few weeks ago, Portland stalwart musician Pete Krebs was diagnosed with cancer.  Pete had Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in his early 20s, and through radiation and removal of some lymph nodes, he beat it. However, Pete has now been diagnosed with another type of cancer known as desmoplastic melanoma.    Pete goes into surgery next week and will have a second biopsy taken from his neck.  From this surgery, we will know how far the cancer has spread and what Pete’s chances are for survival.
This sad news has rocked the local music community. Pete has inspired so many of us over the years, through his direct musical partnerships and his ever-evolving, Herculean contribution to the music scene that is Portland.  Portland’s musicians have swiftly rallied around Pete to help his family offset some of the immense costs of medical care and lost wages incurred while Pete is in recovery mode.
Three separate benefit shows have been scheduled, with donations administrated by the Jeremy Wilson Foundation, a non-profit organization that helps provide a safety net for musicians in times of medical crisis.
As many of you know, Pete has genre-hopped over the years, with his past bands Thrillhammer, Hazel, Golden Delicious, The Gossamer Wings, The Kung Pao Chickens, and current projects The Stolen Sweets and The Portland Playboys .  He may be the only person alive to have headlined both CBGB’s and Preservation Hall.  Not surprisingly, Pete’s benefit shows reflect the divergence of his musical paths, and there’s something for everyone.
Wednesday, February 20, 2013    Doors at 4:30 pm; Show 5:00-11:00 p.m.
The Secret Society
Featuring: Brent Martens Combination, Boy & Bean, The Stolen Sweets, Swingtime PDX, Itty Bitty Bang Bang!, Nina Nightshade, Pink Lady, Hai Fleisch, Everything’s Jake, The Jenny Finn Orchestra, The Midnight Serenaders
Sliding scale donations starting at $20.00.  All donations are tax-deductible.
Thursday, February 21, 2013   Doors at 5:30 pm; Show 5:30 pm-12:30 am
The Wonder Ballroom
Featuring:  The Dharma Bums, Black Prairie, Colin Meloy, Sean Croghan, Casey Neill, Lewi Longmire, James Low
Sliding scale donations starting at $25.00.  All donations are tax-deductible.
SILENT AUCTION & RAFFLE!  Those interested in donating to the raffle/auction, contact Alex Steininger below.
Friday, March 15, 2013  The Laurelthirst Pub    More info TBD.  Contact Bill Leeds below.
In Pete’s own words today:  “My family and I are immensely honored by and grateful for the support we’re receiving.   We can’t even begin to express our humility and thankfulness.” 


PORTLAND, OREGON — 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, leaving them with a beautiful video and poignant story, but no music.

“It was devastating because this was some of the most meaningful and personal footage I had ever shot,” said Dempsey, Americonic Films’ director of photography. ” The idea that it might never be seen was heartbreaking.”

Determined not to let the project go by the wayside Lacey and Dempsey turned their attention to Portland’s up-and-coming musicians, conducting an exhaustive search in hopes of finding the perfect partner to complete their project.

They found that person in Tyler Stenson, a musician with a song in search of a video.

Twice-named Portland’s “Performing Songwriter of the Year” by the Portland Songwriters Association and named “Best Male Artist” at the 2011 Portland Music Awards, Stenson’s song “This Too Shall Pass” perfectly complimented the story told in the Americonic video.

“Tyler’s song not only fit the imagery in the video, but it carried the same message.” said Lacey, Americonic Films’ director.

Lacey made contact with Stenson, and the next day, they met. “Glenn just rough-synced my song to the existing video and it was unbelievable how well it visually aligned with the lyrics and music” said Stenson. “I try to take big issues and ideas and personalize them, and it was amazing to see the story I was telling with music come to life on the screen.”

After a one-day shoot of Stenson’s scenes and a late night of editing, the video was completed just in time for Stenson to release it to his fans. This was crucial, as he was entered in a national contest sponsored by Zazoo, in which fan votes pared down 3,594 entries to just ten. Stenson made the cut.

Counting Crows lead singer Adam Duritz would review the top ten and pick the winner, who would open for the band at the Outlaw Road Show, part of the prestigious South By Southwest music festival in Austin, Texas on March 9th. Once again, Stenson won.

“Steven and I couldn’t be more thrilled, especially because we may have played a small part in getting this amazing artist’s music noticed.” said Lacey. Like the message of Tyler’s song, “this too shall pass”, there are happy endings.

Esperanza Spalding and Thara Memory Grammy Winners!

Portland’s own Esperanza Spalding has secured two coveted prizes at the 55th Annual Grammy Award ceremonies—one of which she shares with longtime local musical treasure, Thara Memory. Spalding’s fourth studio album, Radio Music Society was selected as “Best Jazz Vocal Album” Sunday night in Los Angeles. In addition a track from that album, “City of Roses,” a composition she produced with Memory, won a Grammy accolade for “Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocalist.” Memory was also in attendance at the ceremony.


Esperanza Spalding first came to light as a teenager in a November 2001 Two Louies review by SP Clarke, wherein he praised her first band, Noise For Pretend, and made prominent note of her auspicious talent. Again in June of 2002 SP predicted that she would one day “accrue widespread recognition,” which eleven years hence seems prophetic to say the least.


These are Spalding’s second and third Grammy victories. In 2011 she won the award for “Best New Artist,” defeating Justin Bieber, among several other very noteworthy candidates. She is the only jazz artist ever to win the honor. All of this for a brilliant young woman still only twenty-eight years old, with a portentous future ahead of her! The best is yet to come for Esperanza Spalding. We are fortunate to be able to claim her as one of our own.


Video— “City of Roses” 



Pete Krebs needs our help. with update from Birdie.

Pete still needs our help so here is a link to the Jeremy Wilson Foundation Pete Krebs Grant Fund.
 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, which means that (for now) the cancer appears to be localized. Because this form of cancer does not respond to chemo or radiation therapies, surgery is the only alternative. In an effort to quell the advance and to ascertain the extent of the disease, tissue in his neck is to be removed and a biopsy is due to be performed.
Pete Krebs first appeared on the local radar screen in 1992 with Hazel—one of Portland’s most influential alternative bands. Since Hazel’s disbanding in 1997, Pete has explored a variety of musical styles with bands such as Golden Delicious, Gossamer Wings, Kung Pao Chickens, Stolen Sweets and Pete Krebs and the Portland Playboys.
For the past several years, Pete has been working full time as a musician, while his wife Rebecca attends grad school. Together they were buying a house, which they are now forced to sell in order to contend with the mounting medical bills. The family is already experiencing severe financial strain and they haven’t even received a diagnosis for Pete’s illness yet.
It is in times such as these when all of us within the local community need to pull together to help a fellow musician in dire straits. Anyone who remembers the plight of Billy Rancher can certainly sympathize with the position that Pete Krebs and his family are in.
Those interested in contributing to Pete Krebs’ cause, should click here:
All of us wish Pete a rapid and complete recovery.

“Oh February” by Y La Bamba

you can read more about Y La Bamba’s new release here.