My Brothers and I – Don’t Dream Alone

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With a new album release and an 11 stop tour going on now through the end of March, you’d think this band might want to sit back and relax, but NO! Their dream is expansive, and it’s carrying their audiences and fans right along. My Brothers and I will never dream alone! Portland Notes was invited to attend soundcheck and the concert at their March 3, Mississippi Studios tour kick off, and we were impressed by what we saw and heard. This band is on the rise – check out the podcast to hear about their debut album, their first full-length tour, and the challenges of balancing fame with…finals…and flip-flops…you’ll also hear what originally inspired the band to unite, and what they are planning for the next few months.

My-Brothers-And-I-02Don’t Dream Alone features 11 beautifully produced, soulful yet dancy songs, that are impossible to avoid singing along to. The album is available on Itunes now…but wait! There’s video! The Dream video is a beautiful tribute to the value of relationship, and the corresponding “making of” video explains why – the participants, band members, and producers are all friends, living out this musical dream together. Granted, their newest video, was just released on USA Today, and featured on the hit television series Pretty Little Liars (Season 6, Episode 19).

My-Brothers-And-I-01Their tour is going well, even better than anticipated! According to manager Kyle Kuhns of XX Artists – advance tickets are selling extremely well, even in cities the band has never previously visited. This is not surprising, given their success on Spotify – with several hundred thousand listeners, the word is spreading, and dreaming alone is no longer even an option. So much attention so fast might overwhelm a band, if they weren’t deeply connected as brothers and friends – this project is a labor of love, and it is sweeping audiences off their feet in a major way! Front man David Wurgler is somehow managing to balance a series of engaging performances with studying for his college finals, which take place immediately upon his return! Their stories are personal, the connection with the audience is real – it’s what we are all wanting from our favorite artists!

My-Brothers-And-I-04David (lead vocals), Scott (drums), and Erik Wurgler (bass) are actual brothers, who play alongside childhood friends Jordan Roach (guitar) and Johnny Iliyn (keys). The band is finding the value of collaboration – working with experts to get their message out. Alex Steininger, of In Music We Trust, along with Kyle Kuhns, are making sure the mates connect with people who want to help them. The band gives a HUGE shout out to their resident technical genius, David Iliyn, Johnny’s cousin. Knowing who to turn to has really propelled the band to greater heights.

My-Brothers-And-I-03Portland Notes was honored to spend time behind the scenes with this outstanding new band- the conversation with the group was so entertaining and informative – we know you will enjoy learning about this band of brothers – My Brothers and I!

Mogo Music Festival – Relive the moment!

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Okay, so not everyone will be able to remember where they were on November 20 and 21, 2015…but I know I remember! Portland’s first mogo Music Festival was taking over Dante’s Portland and the Star Theater. I was on stage introducing some fantastic new local artists and some well-loved veterans. It was a weekend to remember, and hopefully to be repeated!

mogo-festival-2016-02Jason Fellman, of J-Fell presents, is well-known for his unparalleled influence on the Northwest cover and tribute band scenes. But Jason is a true fan of original music as well, being a songwriter himself. He was able to easily put together two nights of local original artists at two venues, creating a nice flow between acts, and keeping the weekend affordable. The idea was to introduce Portland audiences to 20 original local bands across a variety of musical genres, drawing listeners together, opening minds, and building bonds of friendship and musicianship that would help to propel these bands and fans throughout the following years.

mogo-festival-2016-03The promotion of this new event was novel – 10 weeks of radio promotion with in-depth band interviews, learning the influences of the music, and playing brand new music on Portland Radio Project’s Rock Block Show. Kelly Jones, Luke Neill, Teri Briggs, and Paul Lankow interviewed, photographed, and wrote articles for the bands – discovering new favorites along the journey, and finding out that mogo meant more than just a chance to play for large audiences – mogo was the embodiment of community among Portland musicians.

mogo-festival-2016-01Join us on Portland’s Playlist on Portland Radio Project this week, as we explore the successes and opportunities presented by this new local music festival. We will recap the adventure, and hear some of the exciting music that was premiered. Gene Rowan, from Acorn Sound Production House, also joins the discussion to talk about his favorite mogo moments. Show airs live Wednesday night, 7-9 PM 3/9/16 on www.prp.fm.

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

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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

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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!

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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”!

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