Author: Julie Eaton

Make Music, Salem!

I don’t know about you, but I’m more than excited about Make Music Day Salem coming around again. Last year’s event was one of the most enjoyable times I’ve had in Salem. And I’ve lived here a long, long time. It was so good the City of Salem bestowed their “Distinguished Project Award” upon organizers Mark Green, Doug Hoffman, Carlee Wright and Brian Hart. (You may recognize Mark Green from RiverCity Rock Academy, Doug Hoffman from the wildly popular nightclub The Space Concert Club, and Brian Hart and Carlee Wright from bringing TedTalks to Salem, among many other things.)...

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Percy Lounge, CaveDweller, Mr. Frederick and Danny Shaw 8:30pm at Fifty Pub n Grub

I always want to showcase the Percy Lounge shows. So much that I force myself not to. But man…they’re playing with CaveDweller who I saw last weekend for the first time and I immediately declared them my new favorite Salem band. I have limited space, but I’ll tell you to keep an eye out for both of these bands. They’re super young and it’s such a relief to hear such maturity in their music. Both very solid bands. Also on the bill is Danny Shaw, also a relative newcomer. Acoustic with a great voice. Mr. Frederick is my boyfriend’s...

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Captain Wails, The Folly and Cold Static • Rock 9:00 pm • The Space Concert Club

Let me ask you one question: Do you like your rock n roll straight up without a lot of bs? That’s what I thought. I could tell that about you by just looking at you. Well in that case, this is the show for you. Captain Wails has been rocking the NW for a little over a year now, hailing originally from Illinois. The Folly have been around the valley for quite a while now with their 90s influenced alt-rock. And this will be a first show for quite a while for Cold Static. With a mix of Portland...

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Potatoe Famine • Irish Punk Rock March 11th at 8:00pm at Vagabond Brewing

Devin Skelton has been fronting this raucous band of Irish punk rockers for over a decade. And since they play Irish flavored punk, you know that St. Patrick’s Day is their big time of year. For several years now, they’ve been playing a series of four or more shows around town, sometimes with a couple shows on the actual St. Patrick’s Day. This year is no different. AND I will point out, St. Patrick’s Day falls on a Friday this year. This show at Vagabond is the first in their four-part series: this show, then two shows on March...

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Shitwolf’s Last Show with Friends and Witch Breath  Friday, February 17th, 8pm at The Fifty Pub

Aw man. It’s always a bummer when a local band calls it quits. But, it’s comforting to know that there’s no bad blood. Just members moving away and moving on. Shitwolf is some intense thrash punk and since this will be their last show, they’re going to give you all they’ve got. They’ll be joined by some of their friends and by another Salem thrash metal band, Witch Breath. I also really wanted to pick this show because it will probably be the last time I’ll get to type the name “Shitwolf.” Sorry/not sorry. Free...

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Rival Rust and DJ GitDown Wednesday, February 22nd, 9pm at The Triangle

DJ GitDown has been doing his “GitDown Wednesdays” for quite a while now, and he’s got them booked up through April, with no end in sight. He always hosts a guest DJ and this week it’s Rival Rust. The other cool thing is he leaves open decks for anyone to come do their thing. But you must have your own gear or a laptop with Serato Scratch Live and message GitDown at least 2 days prior. Rap/Hip Hop. Always...

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Within Sight, Cathedral Hills, Proclaimer, and Harlit Skyline Friday, February 24th, 7pm  at Midway Music – Albany

Albany seems to have a pretty darned active Punk/Metal scene that’s centered around a music store – Midway Music. I’ve never seen these bands and I’ve never been to Midway Music, but I’m damned curious. Google maps tells me Albany is a quick 18 miles south from Salem, and by the consistent shows I see going on down there, I’m thinking it’s worth the trip. Also, kudos for the amazing show posters they make for every show. Midway Music is located at 113 3rd Ave, Albany. 503-881-8432....

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“In Heaven, Everything is Fine…”

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: The Salem music scene in the 90s was totally righteous, dude. Sorry/not sorry. Maybe I’m part Grumpy Old Man, “In my day, all the clubs in town hosted bands playing original music. AND WE LIKED IT!” There were so many bands drawing large crowds that venues were cropping up in the most unlikely places. Anyone remember the Ethiopian restaurant Queen of Sheba? Even the Westside Station was a major hotspot in town for all original bands from up and down the I-5 corridor. In fact, it was at the Westside...

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Get Busy Livin’

I’m a sucker for a redemption story, so I’m inspired to help write one on this page. If you’ve lived in Salem for any amount of time and pay attention to the music scene, you’ve heard the name of blues guitarist, Gary Burford. He’s been out of the game for while, but he is back, and he wants you to know that. With the recent return of Tim Knight’s shop, Guitar Castle, where Burford once worked back in the 90s, doing a piece on Burford seemed appropriately nostalgic and also warranted. He’s had an interesting and tumultuous life, but...

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son of the velvet rat, Tied to a Grizzly, Rebecca McDade and Chelsea Sue Thursday, January 19th. 8pm

To be honest, what caught my eye about this show was the name, “son of the velvet rat.” Kinda stands out and I’m glad it did because it’s beautiful. It is a husband and wife duo, Georg Altziebler and Heike Binder from Austria. In fact in Austria, Altziebler was bestowed the honor  “best Austrian singer-songwriter ever” by two major newspapers there (got that from Wiki.) So, odd name, husband/wife duo, from Austria – I’m intrigued. Their music is haunting and sparse, but eerily beautiful (I got that from my own ears.) When I listened to it, I felt things....

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Rich McCloud and Percy Lounge Saturday, January 21st at 9pm.

Whoa Whoa Whoa. Two of my most favoritest Salem talents in one marvelous show? Yes, please. I saw Percy Lounge for the first time a couple months ago and loved them. With limited space, they’re talented musicians fronted by an impossibly energetic lead singer/acrobat, Reed Bertran. He is everywhere. He works the stage and puts on an amazing show of stamina and joy. He is ebullient and impossible not to watch. Pair this with Rich McCloud! Not only is he a gifted songwriter and guitar player, he’s an amazing person. He sings about things that mean something: fighting the...

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JFK 5.0

Joel F. Kinney, the namesake and driving force behind the local venue packing band JFK is turning 50 years old. He’s bringing his milestone celebration to Half Penny this Saturday, January 21st, starting at 9pm. Joel has been rocking since the 80s, when he formed his first hard rock band, Ally (see photo). He performed at parties and even had a few shows at his high school, McNary in Keizer, Oregon. It might seem odd that a high school administration would allow a rock show in the cafeteria; but that is a testament to Joel’s upbeat and gregarious personality....

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Wonderly and Slater Smith

Friday, December 9th @ 9:00pm Wonderly is a woodsy folk duo comprising of Ben Landsverk and Jim Brunberg, owner of the wildly popular Portland venue Mississippi Studios. These guys have some seriously sweet harmonies. Slater Smith is lead for The Weather Machine, also a Portland based alt-rock/folk group. His raw passion for what he does just oozes out with every performance. Governor’s Cup •...

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Valiant Bastards, Existential Depression, Carve the Earth and Nihilist Nation

Saturday, December 10th @ 9pm We’ll give you three guesses what kind of music show this is, and the first two don’t count. You’re right! It’s a metalhead’s dream. The latest offering by Marion County Underground – one of Salem’s premiere metal booking companies. All these bands hail from Portland except Existential Depression, who are from Bend. Come on out and get your holiday frustrations out with some grinding hardcore metal. You know you need it. Fifty Pub & Grub •...

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Night Lizard, M69s and City of Pieces

Friday, December 16th @ 9:00pm Three of Salem’s favorite bands packed into one eventful evening. This is also a birthday celebration for Steve Cannon – guitarist for Salem’s Songs for Alice and all around excellent human being. Starting the night will be the pop/punk power trio City of Pieces. They haven’t performed in a month of Sundays, so it’s going to be great seeing them back at it. The straightforward rockin’ M69s are back at it with some new songs recorded back in November and finishing out the night is Night Lizard – Salem’s electronic dance darlings. We predict...

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Awake

Eight years is a long time to do anything. But that’s how long Josh Brewer, mastermind and founding member of Dusks Embrace has been pursuing and perfecting this project. Eight years and countless lineup changes have brought him to Dusks Embrace’s sixth and latest album, “ReAwakening.” Two of those eight years have been spent carefully crafting this album alone. I listened to ReAwakening and then met with the band downtown at Taproot. This is a serious album; it is apparent that the band put much effort into its final form. I don’t like making comparisons when it comes to...

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Drumroll, Please…

Salem Weekly Music is pleased to introduce Austin Rich as our newest music writer. Austin has a Rich (heh) background in writing, music and broadcasting. He’s written tons of music and show reviews, zines and he currently has a radio show on KMUZ called Mid-Valley Mutations, which airs Friday nights at 10pm. Austin has lived in Eugene and Portland and now calls Salem his home. He has a wealth of knowledge of Northwest bands and music. For now, he will be focusing his efforts on album and show reviews, as we know that has been something that the music...

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We Got This…

Salem has a hip hop scene, due in large part to the seemingly tireless efforts of Aaron Nash, stage name “ThatKidCry”.  If there’s a rap show going in on town, look closely at the flyer. Chances are he’s either curated it, or he’s performing. Not only does he put on tons of shows, he also has an impressive catalogue of music and videos. He has nine releases all on bandcamp for your enjoyment. I’m listening to “Words to Remember – Mixtape” right now, and his variety in style is impressive and refreshing. The title track features Salem’s own hugely...

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Remy Gnol (pdx), Uneasy Chairs (sea), Justin Smith(pdx), and devils/club  • Noise

Thursday, November 10th @ 8:00pm Here comes a night of experimental noise artists representing the NW from Salem to Seattle. A little local Salem slant – Uneasy Chairs is Salem’s own Patrick Gundran, who has called Seattle his home for years now. He was bass player for Pilot, a 90s band fronted by Jeremy Wilson after the Dharma Bums.  Details: ~an evening of experimental new music~ with: from Portland: Remy Gnol (Brown, Hive, Tecumseh) shape-shifting-hallucinatory-noise. http://www.remygnol.com/ https://jeremylong.bandcamp.com/ from Seattle: Uneasy Chairs free improvised guitar attacks. https://uneasychairs.bandcamp.com/ from Portland: Justin Smith harsh noise violin destruction. http://noisesmith.org/noise/ from Salem: devils/club hardware/synth/controlled/chaos...

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Oregon Valley Boys • Western Swing

Saturday, November 12th @ 9:00pm This is something you don’t see everyday. Oregon Valley Boys are bringing their western swing chops to The Space. This is an award winning sextet, y’all: Western Swing Album,” “Best Western Swing Band;” Bandleader Randy “Tex” Hill 2014 inductee into the Pacific Northwest Western Swing Music Hall of Fame and 2016 Cowtown Western Music Society DJ of the Year. Dig out yer boots and come swing. The Space Concert Club • $5 Suggested Donation for the...

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