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John Craigie’s No Rain, No Rose to be released January 27!!!

John Craigie’s new album No Rain, No Rose will be released January 27, 2017, but Portlanders got a very special treat on December 15 when he performed the new tunes in a once-in-a-lifetime concert at the Doug Fir Lounge with a bevy of local legends who were collaborators on the album. Tears were shed, hugs were shared, and the advance vinyl was available for one night only. The show sold out, of course – a statement about how locals value local music done with love. No Rain, No Rose was conceived, written and recorded in Portland – a first and joyful experience for Craigie, who tends to roam continually, intentionally, and always find his way back here. Craigie and his family of musicians wanted to offer the album to our city first, and with great impact – out of gratitude and love for our supportive and inspiring community.

Photo by Maria Davey

The new album features such local power players such as Gregory Alan Isakov, Tyler Thompson and Jay Cobb Anderson from Fruition, Kat Fountain, The Shook Twins, Bevin Foley from Trout Steak Revival, Brad Parsons, Niko Daoussis, Justin Landis, Bart Budwig and John Nuhn. Craigie’s excellent partnerships have resulted in a decadent presentation of folk music, where every musical phrase complements the rest. Lyrically, Craigie’s message resonates and communicates universally. I had a chance to speak with him about his inspiration for writing, and what it feels like to be such a purposeful wanderer, sharing music with the world.

Photo by Maria Davey

Laughter is the best medicine – we all know that. Psychology Today tells us that music soothes the soul Craigie has combined these two elements in his live performance and recorded music for over a decade – practicing his medicine and sharing encouragement with audiences. His goal, with every step, is to connect with the audience and break down walls. He says that the purpose of music is not necessarily to heal, but to allow folks to feel community – to realize they are not alone in their struggles. It’s therapy for the musician as well. Realizing this early on has created a sense of responsibility for Craigie. Based on his experiences and the goal of sharing, Craigie has masterfully incorporated levity into his performance.

Photo by Maria Davey

After only a few moments of speaking with Craigie, I had to ask…”John, were you ever voted Class Clown?” Not surprisingly, he had won the title in eighth grade – feeling very proud of the award. He quickly followed up by saying he lost to a “funnier fellow” in high school Craigie still remembers his name…this was perhaps the sweetest thing I’ve ever heard from a musician. With an uncanny mastery of lyrics and melody, and an ear for heavenly harmonies that are more than enough to capture the listener’s heart – he still wants more than anything for them to smile and feel comfortable. Rather than “creating a fan base”, Craigie travels around touching hearts and making friends. I’m grateful to be one!

You can get your hands on the album this coming January 27. Until then, check out Craigie’s music on his website. Craigie has always been a traveller, wanting to see the world even as a child. His home is the road, so you will be able to catch him on tour starting January 12 – dates and locations are on the website as well.

Whim Grace presents: Black Holes and Unicorns – Anything is possible!

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With her seven year Portland anniversary coming up, Whim Grace officially releases her new album “Black Holes and Unicorns” on Halloween, a night where anything is possible! Once you listen, you will want to see this band rock it live on November 3 with friends Willow House at The LaurelThirst Public House, a historic venue for Grace and her band.

whim-grace-anything-is-possible-01At her pre-release show this past September at Secret Society and during the shoot of her album art video, Grace tangibly experienced the depth of love and support she has in this community. Extended family has proven to be so close and supportive. Her band has become as close as her family. Everywhere she looks, Grace finds herself surrounded by people who believe in her. It’s not coincidence -she believes in extending positive energy into the community. Of course it is returned – that’s the undeniable joy within our local music scene!

whim-grace-anything-is-possible-02This is Grace’s fifth album. Black Holes and Unicorns is the full realization of her vision, with all the details and embellishments she’s been wanting to bring out since the start of her creative process. The ideas behind her music have always been clear and well-presented, but the new quality of production has really taken her presentation to an absolutely stunning level! The story of her fund-raising for the album production is inspiring to me – this woman has fans who put their money where their ears are!

whim-grace-anything-is-possible-03Whim Grace fans know that their investment means something! Trying to be realistic and to ask for just what she thought she needed, Grace initiated a Kickstarter campaign asking for $1000.. By the end of week 1, she had been pledged $5000 – by the end of the campaign, over $8000 was pledged by local friends, international followers and die-hard fans from everywhere! This allowed her to take the time she needed to record in a professional studio with other musicians, and eventually led to her finding her current band mates. I am looking forward to chatting with the whole band, but I felt inspired to share the release of this impressive project.

Catch the music starting on Halloween! Check it out on whimgrace.bandcamp.com, and give her a like on Facebook. The release show with Willow House is Nov 3 at Laurelthirst 9:30 each Whim Grace band member plans to contribute one of their own original songs as well. A unique band, a unique album, and more than one unique perspective in the music!

Project Pabst presents – Three Bands you must not miss! Dance Party Dream Team!

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This Friday night, August 26, is the opening night for another great series of concerts brought to Portland by Project Pabst! And what better way to introduce a great festival than a concert featuring three of Portland’s finest original dance bands?

Join Portland Notes this Friday at The Doug Fir Lounge for an unbelievable night. The atmosphere at this venue is magical – great food, custom drinks, and professional service from door to bar – I love a concert at the Doug Fir! The bands are not to be trifled with – come prepared to dance – because you WILL be on your feet!

Project-Pabst-Kickoff-04Check out these bands – and then get your tickets before this rockin’ dance party sells out!

Project-Pabst-Kickoff-02Berahmand– is a Portland based recording artist who is quickly gaining a reputation for his high energy live shows that blend Rock & Roll, New Wave, and Soul into a cleverly fused dance sound. As an accomplished multi-instrumentalist, he purposefully self produced his debut album “Empress” on past production stylings involving dated digital devices, cassette tapes and plenty of classic analog flavor. Within moments listen, one can quickly identify an early Prince, David Bowie, Blondie , and the Rolling Stones to name a few. A one of a kind artist that aims to invite you in and move you; Berahmand and his band will definitely do just that! Berahmand was recently a band mentor for our White Eagle Showcase. Fantastic leader in the scene.

Project-Pabst-Kickoff-03Goldfoot fuses musical elements from the past, present, and future with good vibes and dance beats. Their soon-to-be-released single, “Feel Like Dancing” embodies that fusion with a myriad of groove and a heart full of soul. It’s a fresh dose of funk that targets the booty and alleviates your non-dance symptoms. With two EPs and a high-energy live show, Goldfoot orchestrates an  ever-changing dance party for their fans and fellow dancers.

Project-Pabst-Kickoff-01The Adio Sequence is an original American pop rock act from Portland, Oregon. Originally formed in 2007, the band quickly became noticed for their unique blend of musical genres. Their freshly released EP “Electric Body” pushes the group into uncharted sonic territory. With big dance beats, hybrid rock/R&B rhythms, funk guitar, and solid pop rock vocals, the band promises to do what they have always done best: get you moving.

 

THIS WEEKEND and next week – Support youth music and meet some local band members at White Eagle and Alberta Street Pub!

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White-Eagle-Youth-Event-4-05So much awesome stuff is happening in our world of music this week! We just finished an amazing all ages FREE concert at PDX Pop now over the weekend, and now we have a meet and greet Thursday night with Vortex Music Magazine and some crazy good-to-know industry people (RSVP at link to attend) . But, where I really would like to see everyone mingling this Saturday is at White Eagle for our monthly youth event. We’re really pulling this together by adding local bands as mentors, each playing a set and giving the youth some advice about the scene here in Portland and internationally. This month features Berahmand, headlining our show with youth bands Gaffa and 4 Day Moon. (AND…Wednesday 8/3 Niamn tapes a live show at PDX Spotlight…AND…Wednesday 8/10, Michael Hermes plays his new album at Alberta Street Pub for the Local Roots Live Show! ) There’s so much youth music happening – I am overjoyed and grateful!

White-Eagle-Youth-Event-4-02If you haven’t seen and heard Berahmand play live, this is an amazing chance to see the highest level of quality presentation and performance that our city has to offer. Come to dance, come to get some insight into the biz, grab a pale ale, and chat with the other musicians who show up to support. I’ve seen Berahmand at places like Doug Fir and The Star Theater – now, we present an intimate show, incorporating some of our local youth as guest players. This amazing set features original music, but also some cool covers especially for the youth event. We want to give kids access in every way, including to the roots of the music we make now. Expect some lovely dancy individualized covers of Ike and Tina Turner, Amy Winehouse, David Bowie, Rolling Stones, a psychy touch of Pink Floyd – and underlying it all…i’m telling you, the essence of Prince. White Eagle is the place to be on Saturday – Doors 11:30, show noon-2:30.

UNDERGROUND RISING – Vortex Music Magazine this month speaks to the importance of Portland’s unique edgy fringe music scene. Here are a couple of great examples:

White-Eagle-Youth-Event-4-03Gaffa is new on the scene, but the members Astrid Scherlie, Kendra Gruis, and Adam Jones are all youth vets from my original gang at School of Rock Portland. Jones was featured in at least one PDX Pop Now Band this past weekend, and is one of the most sought-after young drummers in Portland. Astrid is always a hit at shows with her striking look, intensity, and hauntingly gorgeous voice. Kendra and I have not had much of a chance to hang out, but I know her reputation as a skilled musician with a crazy good work ethic. Cannot wait to see them finally!

White-Eagle-Youth-Event-4-014 Day Moon has joined our stage once before, and was the most talked about band since we’ve started. With original pop punk tunes, and a grungy 90’s look, the band is fun to watch and impressive with their originality. Emily Schneider, front person for the band, is both gracious and deliberate with her stage presence. Punk? Yes. Accessible and relatable for all generations? Also, a big YES! Excited to hear what they’ve been working on since the last time we saw them.

White-Eagle-Youth-Event-4-04Please join us this Saturday for some incredible youth music performances with adult headliner, Berahmand and a whole gang of amazing pro musicians from Portland – $10 tickets are available online or at the door. (Student ID gets you in for $5) Working musicians, message me for an all-access pass – I can offer a few free tickets. After we pay our minimal expenses, all proceeds go directly to the bands. We want to furnish opportunities for instruments, merch, and training for youth, in addition to venue access. Thanks to our financial sponsors: Ole Latte Coffee, Stefanie Fisher/Windermere Real Estate, School of Rock Portland, and White Eagle Saloon. And a huge shout out to our media partners: PDX Spotlight, Vortex Music Magazine, and Teri’s Tunes. Meet us at the door! 11:30AM this Saturday at White Eagle – 836 N Russell St. Oh yeah! We have tee shirts!

WHITE EAGLE DOES IT AGAIN – YOUTH Double EP release 6/26

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McMenamins White Eagle Saloon and School of Rock Portland have joined together again to bring another fantastic youth event to our city! This Sunday, 3 young bands will blow minds and melt all-ages faces at a double EP release from 2:30-5PMNiamh headlines the show, playing on a fantastic bill with Jamie Iwata and returning guests Pedestrian Death Gang. Niamh and Iwata will celebrate the official releases of their new recordings at this incredible show. Please note: this show is SUNDAY 2:30-5PM – happy hour: a special time to highlight the new releases and allow the bands more time to showcase their music.

YOUTH-Double-EP-release-01We would like to thank all the partners who make these monthly events possible. Ole Latte Coffee and Stefanie Fisher/Windermere Real Estate have continued to offer both financial and physical support, along with John Guffey of School of Rock – who has continued to provide backline and stage management for the bands at every concert. White Eagle graciously hosts our events, donating the venue and providing helpful and enthusiastic staff. PDX SpotlightVortex Music Magazine and Teri’s Tunes PDX have offered amazing media support. Teresa Topaz Music has brought us information on tone and performance, courtesy of Guitar Center.

YOUTH-Double-EP-release-02There is such a love of local music and youth here, but we still have much to accomplish – Music MillenniumFriends of NoiseSMART Collective, School of Rock , NW Music ExperienceEthosPDX Pop NowRock and Roll Camp for GirlsPROWUS and Youth Music Project are all leaders in promoting local youth and their musical dreams. Please join Portland Notes in promoting and supporting all-ages events, local youth bands – check out Vortex Music Magazine’s all-ages calendar for family-accessible concerts, and Youth Music Project for weekly and monthly ways to get involved. Suggest a band for the next showcase, come to our concerts with a friend. Just have fun with us.

YOUTH-Double-EP-release-03Next month, Portland Notes presents two fabulous all-ages events. July 2, Radio Hot Tub and Portland Notes present 5 amazing bands (including local favorite When We Met)  at Analog Cafe. AND!!!! July 30, White Eagle and Portland Notes present the very dancy, very cool Berahmand with special youth guests Miranda Jones, Kyle Bird, Gaffa, and 4 Day Moon.  Celebrate summer while school’s out! As for Sunday, come support 2 bands of students who are releasing original music with both local and international flair.