LOCAL YOUTH MUSIC SHOWCASE ANNOUNCED! 4/9/2016 at McMenamins White Eagle Saloon!


Imagine being 16 years old, dying to learn about how to play live music and express yourself through original songs you’ve been working on since you were 12…you’ve gotten your friends together, begged your parents to soundproof the guest room and let you set up a drum kit…you get up early and do homework so that you can rehearse your music after school. You’re a responsible student, with respectful friends who clean up after themselves. Your parents think you’re pretty awesome and want to support your musical endeavor. This all sounds great – so where’s the issue?

Youth-Music-Showcase-2016-06Youth-Music-Showcase-2016-01Where can you go? A few local venues are stepping up here and there, but it’s a challenge to see a show, much less play a show in Portland. Most of our fantastic local music venues are 21+ only, and it’s completely understandable. A bar makes money by selling alcohol. A bar gets shut down by mishandling an all-ages crowd. The risks of allowing students to see or play live music at a bar are many, which discourage most venues from taking a chance on even the best of our young musicians.

Youth-Music-Showcase-2016-05A few venues have stepped up to show their support of our next generation of local artists – S.M.A.R.T. Collective is dedicated to youth shows. Youth Music Project in West Linn teaches classes and hosts all-ages jams, karaoke, and showcases. School of Rock Portland and School of Rock Lake Oswego hold classes, shows, and showcases regularly. But young musicians are desperate for more opportunities to show what they’ve created…enter McMenamins! The White Eagle has graciously offered to host a fantastic event, and are in full enthusiastic support of our first line up of local youth musicians!

Youth-Music-Showcase-2016-04I’ve personally attended all-ages concerts at McMenamin’s Mission Theater, Crystal Ballroom, Edgefield, and The White Eagle – they are doing their best to create ways to highlight young artists. The venues are not usually open to students for evening shows, so be sure to double check before planning your evening, of course – as most shows cater to 21+ crowds exclusively. However – we are really impressed, because the White Eagle has really come forward to offer a great opportunity to young musicians at the upcoming Saturday, April 9, Local Youth Music Showcase! With the support of our wonderful local sponsors, we hope to create an ongoing series of events that will prove the value and viability of supporting local youth in music.

Youth-Music-Showcase-2016-03Rock signs, fist bumps, and shout outs to all those who have helped in planning this premiere event: Premier Motorsports, Stefanie Fisher Real Estate, Ole Latte, SkateTracks Radio, PDX Spotlight, Vortex Music Magazine, Sounds of PDX, Teri’s Tunes PDX, School of Rock USA, and McMenamins! We are so excited to hear these bands! School of Rock House Band will be joined by 4 Day Moon, Black Sand, Pedestrian Death Gang, Jack Mortensen Music, and Michael Hermes.  Come join us for good music, good food, and above all – good friends! Check out the band links for info and some music!

Youth-Music-Showcase-2016-02McMenamins White Eagle Local Youth Music Showcase #1 happens this April 9, Saturday 12-2:30, doors at 11:30. Tickets available online at www.cascadetickets.com or at the door. $10 adults, $5 students, and free to age 5 and under – good fun for all!


The Faints (formerly The My Oh Mys) at Grand Lodge on 03-05-16


McMenamin’s Grand Lodge threw a 94th birthday party for itself Saturday by having live music all day, sometimes in more than one location. One of those locations was outdoors, under tents in the sometimes-driving rain. After reading their bio, I was looking forward to checking out The My oh Mys (soon to change their name to The Faints).

The-Faints-at-Grand-Lodge-on-03-05-16-01This 6-piece band (with the recent addition of a background singer) is made up of former members of bands like The Decemberists, Jive Talking Robots, Triclops Organ Trio, Rob Stroup & the Blame, The Minus 5, Curtis Salgado, The ForReals, Jeremy Wilson, Dr. Theopolis, and Redray Frazier. The strong pedigree shows as there music is tight, melody-driven rock with 4-part harmonies that is easy to listen to but not predictable. When they broke out a ballad, they were *so* gorgeous I just melted, not an easy feat in 50-degree temps with the wind blowing through.

In the Spring of 2013, they released their first album “A Howl Against the Wind“. They return to the studio soon to begin work on their second. They treated us to some first-time-performed titles. I’m here to tell you this is going to be a great album! In the mean time, their next show is Thursday, March 17, 8PM at Doug Fir.

The Noted – Intentional Songwriting with Positivity!


Daniel Work of The Noted stopped by this week to chat with Portland Notes about the band’s upcoming all-ages album release show at McMenamin’s Kennedy School on March 24. During the conversation, I was able to get some insight into what creates their seemingly universal appeal that crosses genres and generations. Daniel is an experienced musician, with decades of songwriting and performing to draw from. With The Noted, he feels that they have created a team that works together well, blends a variety of styles, and shares the same passion for sharing their music with audiences through albums and concerts. Finally, Daniel’s expertise and friendliness allows him to connect with music professionals all across the country, creating opportunities for The Noted to reach even more ears and hearts.

The-Noted-03Daniel has been working with the West Coast Songwriters for many years, and is currently the volunteer Director for the Portland Chapter. West Coast Songwriters is a 501(c)(3) non profit organization dedicated to the craft of songwriting, performing and connecting members with industry professionals and other musicians looking to collaborate. Through this organization, Daniel gives back to the music community by helping other songwriters perfect their craft. Through his years of songwriting, Daniel has gained, developed, and taught an appreciation of how to create, craft, and produce high-level professional music. The Noted produces commercial, mainstream songs with a vast level of diversity, and the band is excited to share their new project Not Far Away with the public at an amazing show on March 24!

The-Noted-02The album release is a FREE, all-ages event, to be held at the historic McMenamins Kennedy School, in the gymnasium! The Noted strives to keep their music positive and accessible to all. They write with the common threads of good solid pop music with complex undertones, while being dedicated to offering great diversity from song to song, and always staying positive and vibrant in their message. Testimonials on their webpage from audience members prove that The Noted are staying true to their intended goal – making people happy through music! Their songs have aired on over 250 radio stations worldwide, and their debut CD At This Moment, was chosen by ITunes editorial staff to be featured on their main page in 2013.

The-Noted-04The Noted’s members, Daniel Work, Jeff Koch, Mike Snyder, John Dwyer, and Angela Baldino all have different musical influences, different backgrounds, and different “day jobs.” But they’ve all consistently had their hands on instruments throughout their lives, and they come together to share their experiences with each other and their audiences. On this new album, each member might have a different favorite song – but they really love to see which songs connect most dramatically with the audience. It’s different at every show, because while all the music is positive and energetic, some messages speak to some audience members in a very direct way. This is intentional – The Noted write songs with intent and purpose.

The-Noted-01The idea of a free, all-ages concert is an excellent way to show the band’s wide appeal. Look for The Noted to appear on Portland Radio Project with Kivett Bednar and Nastacia Voisin on Wednesday, March 16. Then, come and see The Noted at their album release show on March 24 In their own words, “inspiring rock about love, life, and you”!

Baker’s Dozen Coffee Beer and Doughnut festival March 12 – you Dough Nut want to miss it!


Brian Yaeger, organizer of the Second Annual Baker’s Dozen, was kind enough to explain the inspiration behind this unique event – we hope to see you all at Culmination Brewing Co. (2117 NE Oregon St) on Saturday, March 12! The fest begins Saturday, March 12, 10 a.m. and goes until 3 p.m. Tickets are limited to 400 (to ensure attendees can sample everything) and are available for $24 ($27 at the door) at http://Merctickets.com/go/BakersDozenPDX

Brian-Yaeger-Article-01Paid admission includes a 4-ounce sample of every unique coffee-infused beer and every delectable doughnut morsel (most will be quartered). Additional items will be available for purchase, including additional beer by the glass. For folks needing savory protein, Culmination Kitchen executive chef Carter B. Owen will have breakfast sandwiches available for sale and several of the roasters will provide complimentary joe.

As an all-ages event, festival-organizers are introducing the Doughnut Decoration Station courtesy of “Double D,” Delicious Donuts (whose apple fritter will be included with each ticket). Cake doughnuts will be available for purchase for young ones and less-young; all proceeds will go to Friends of the Children, Portland providing commitment assistance to at-risk youth.

Because this event is so different from anything I’ve experienced in Portland, I had a few questions for Brian.

The 13th doughnut…?

The 13th doughnut this year is actually something I dreamt up last year: The world’s first collaboration doughnut. We’ve seen this among breweries a ton: 2 or more brewers put theirs heads together to come up with a new beer. So stay tuned for the collaborative efforts of doughnut makers to debut at the fest!

I’ve often paired coffee and doughnuts, but never coffee beer and doughnuts…can you explain the inspiration behind this festival?

Coffee and doughnuts are a natural. They’re the most perfect symbiotic relationship in the food and beverage world. Maybe it’s the Strange Brew fan in me, but I’ve always loved the marriage of beer and doughnuts, too. But not every beer goes with any doughnut. To make this work, the magical addition of coffee into the beer means there’s a strong likelihood of discovering your new favorite pairing at the fest.

What exactly is a coffee beer, if you can explain it?

Brian-Yaeger-Article-02For years and years, “coffee beer” meant one of only two things: a coffee porter or a coffee stout, and even there there’s not much difference since you’re taking a dark, roasty beer with naturally occurring coffee notes from the roasted barley and complementing it with actual coffee. Those were and remain delicious. But nowadays we’re seeing myriad beer styles accented with coffee beans or cold brew. This year’s line-up includes base styles like stouts, of course, as well as a brown ale, a pale and an IPA and, to push the envelope even further, a mead. I can’t wait to try that blend of fermented honey and cold brewed joe!

You have written a great deal about beer – what is the attraction for you?

Wow, that IS the question isn’t it? I can ramble on about this for ages! But I won’t. Essentially, I’ve always written about artists, probably because I’m not a great one so I support the community by writing about it. Once I started looking at beer as an art form, the shift in my writing was pretty swift. It’s a fascinating world and I really enjoy exploring the characters in the industry, the trends, the places our delicious beers hail from, and the never-ending possibilities of what beer can be and who can dream it all up. Incidentally, before I ever profiled a single brewer, I’d written a story about the doughnut maker whose creations I grew up devouring. I’ve interviewed hundreds of brewers at this point, but that baker goes down as one of my all-time favorite interviews.

This festival hosts a number of culinary artisans – how do you select the participants?

Brian-Yaeger-Article-03It’s a little known fact that there are as many roasters as there are brewers in Portland. By doing Baker’s Dozen annually, I hope to be able to tap a coffee beer from each and every great brewery as well as incorporate beans from every worthy roastery. But bringing together 60-70 coffee beers is just too dang much. So I immediately knew I wanted to call this festival Baker’s Dozen and therefore select 13 artisans from each field: beer, coffee, and doughnuts. As for the selection process for breweries, I strived for a range of newer and more established breweries. For the roasters, I encourage partnerships based on proximity to the roastery/brewery. And for doughnuts, it’s a testament to Portland’s love of these typically hole-y delicacies that there are double-digits to choose from. Some brands are known to everyone in town and deserve their followings. Some are less-known but equally fantastic. As one example, most people don’t know of Rocking Frog Cafe on SE Belmont let alone that they make doughnuts made to order. No display case! No bonkers toppings. Just fresh, piping hot ‘nuts you have to wait a few minutes for after you order them. So, how do I select the participants? I invite the ones I love patronizing the most and then start thinking about who to invite the next year.

You host a number of events – what else are you working on right now?

Brian-Yaeger-Article-04Other than Baker’s Dozen, my main beer event I’m working on is called Kriekfest. Krieks are sour cherry beers from Belgium, but of course they have caught on in America. When I was at Solera Brewing in Parkdale halfway up Mt. Hood from Hood River, which is surrounded by cherry orchards, I instantly knew they had to host a beer fest dedicated to these beers. And to ensure that happened, I organized it. That will be July 9. And yes, I’ve already put some brewers on the case for Kriekfest 2017. Beyond this, I’ve done some smaller events like “Rural Brewer,” a play on the 30 Rock running joke about a play called the Rural Juror. I brought together many of Oregon’s most remote breweries. I did Glühbier–a night of all hot, spiced beers–because that’s actually A Thing in European Christmas Markets that I couldn’t believe hadn’t made it’s way to Portland, so look for that to return to Bazi Bierbrasserie next December. I definitely have a few more I’m fleshing out I’d love to discuss down the road:-)

Here are some photos.

Local Youth In Music – John Guffey from School of Rock


First of all, we would like to thank School of Rock Portland for joining Portland Notes to present a Local Youth Music Showcase this April 9. Along with McMenamins White Eagle Saloon, we are inviting 6 local youth bands to share their covers and original music with Portland, in hopes of expanding opportunities for all student based bands to play and see live music. School of Rock has, of course, always been a strong voice on behalf of young musicians – so naturally, we wanted to find out what motivates such an organization.



I think that this conversation with John Guffey from School of Rock might just explain everything…Guffey is the Director of Franchise Operations for the International music school program, which teaches kids to “rock on stage and in life.” His job consists of traveling from school to school, training managers and instructors how to make the best use of School of Rock’s proven teaching methods, how to nurture their students’ interest and skill in music, and how to best encourage parents to participate in their children’s music education. He’s a very busy man, but we managed to catch him in between his travels to ask him about his personal journey with music, School of Rock, and the students he’s taught and mentored.



Like most adults who spend any time at a School of Rock, I immediately said, “I wish there had been something like this when I was a child!” Imagine – a place where a child can sit down with an instructor and learn how to play songs they listen to at home, practice in the lesson and at home, and then come together with other students to play the songs as a group. Rehearsals every week, and then a real rock show performance at an actual music venue in their town – on stage rock star status, screaming fans and all! The best way to learn music is to play music, and the most fun way is to play it with other music fans. It’s a great way to learn about music, but also a rewarding way to learn cooperation, teamwork, encouragement, and accountability.



Providing an easily accessible way for students to study and create music opens their minds and hearts to more than just notes on a page. Music is an escape for some, a way to communicate, to find like-minded creative friends, and to express emotions that are sometimes difficult to put into words. School of Rock is a place where close, long-term friendships are formed over a common love of music. All of these sentiments are reflected in Guffey’s story. From the story of how he was introduced to music, to his career path with School of Rock, Guffey’s life is an example of how using music as communication and common ground has propelled his success and satisfaction.


Guffey is a strong supporter of local bands – he mentioned a few, and led us to several others. Ape Cave, Chronological Injustice, Saola, Dad Rock, New Social Outcasts, and Red Fox all have current or former School of Rock student band members. The April 9 lineup at McMenamins includes Jack Mortensen Music, Michael Hermes, 4 Day Moon, Black Sand, and Pedestrian Death Gang – along with the School of Rock House Band. There is so much talent among these bands. Finding places to play is a challenge – finding places to play where their underage friends can see them is nearly impossible. Thanks to McMenamins White Eagle Saloon for being willing to take a chance on April 9! And again, a giant thank you to the parents and Portland School of Rock for being huge supporters, and helping to actually form the featured bands through years of investment in their musical education!

Sharing local artists with Portland and the world