Sam Bond's has made Esquire's list of best bars in America again.
Here's the magazine's write up:
"As you stretch out on the split-timber benches under the old barn's bare rafters, you slowly realize you're in the family room of one of the weirdest neighborhoods in America -- a shady, overgrown co-op of artists, ecoanarchists, spirit healers, drug dealers, and permanently circling vagabonds. And the living couldn't be better: Couples play cribbage on the rough-hewn communal tables, kids loll on the modest stage until the sun goes down, and the strong-limbed waitresses circulate the beers in mason jars and smile, but only if they really mean it. It's like a frontier dance hall in a mining town where the vein's gone dry. The dreams are alive, but appealingly bruised."
Hmmm. Could be a new motto: "Eugene, the Word's Greatest City for the Appealingly Bruised"
Ditch Projects: Matt Browning and Anne Mathern
by Sheena Lahren
Image: Glass,glass by Matt Browning
Background: Goin' up the Country,digital video by Anne Mathern
When I walked into Ditch Projects, a decommissioned storage space turned gallery located among railroads and old logging houses in Springfield, this is what I saw (and heard): What looked like a Raymond Pettibon tribute painted on the wall. Canned Heatâ€™s â€œGoinâ€™ up the Countryâ€ playing on the speakers next to a video of the forest. A structure that resembled twin mountain peaks. A morphed glass object that turns out is melted down beer bottles. And a handcrafted stash box. Sonic Youth goes camping? Nope, the Matt Browning and Anne Mathern exhibit.
This seemingly bizarre combination of nature, punk culture and binge drinking, which results as a very visually appealing exhibit, was tactfully (or mistakenly) engineered by Ditch Projects when they chose to display the two Seattle-based artists in the gallery together.
â€œWhen choosing artists we look for a pairing that is fruitful, one that has both similarities and differences,â€ says Jared Davis-Haug, member of Ditch Projects.
Fruitful, indeed. The exhibit is a fusion of Browningâ€™s found-art-style pieces and Mathernâ€™s paintings and videos joined under one theme. Davis-Haug explains, of â€œformation of identity within the natural landscape and/or social situations.â€
Photo by Sarah Cass
Is it ballsy or lazy to list your influences as "Life & Death" on MySpace? In the case of Gliss, a band I've somehow never heard of before, I'd guess it's a little of both â€” though I don't mean laziness in a bad way, necessarily. The trio have a sound that meanders between fuzzy, shoegazer-esque Britpop and something that sounds a little like, well, the Strokes on downers, too tired, too worn out from an all-nighter to pick up the tempo.
Pitchfork says Gliss' second album, Devotion Implosion (which comes out on Tuesday), "is firmly rooted in the Siamese Dream era, when Corgan's band struck a fine balance between shoegazer insularity and American arena rock bombast," but what I've heard on MySpace seems ... actually, now that I'm thinking about it, I totally get that. "Sleep" sounds like the Beatles crossbred with Gliss' sometime tourmates Black Rebel Motorcycle Club; "29 Acts of Love" suddenly gets almost chipper, though singer Martin Klingman manages to sound enjoyably listness and half-drunk even while wrapped in poppier tones and a restless bassline. I can't decide which song makes me think most of My Bloody Valentine, but the more I listen to this band, the more I like them. There's something dreamy and surly, enticing and familiar, languid and alluring about their hazy, swirling retro-pop.
".....when GLISS play live, they all play each otherâ€™s instruments....GLISS will turn you on with their fuzzed-out guitars and krautrock rhythms......GLISS will love you back..." â€” or at least that's what they say. Gliss plays with Takeover U.K. and The Dimes at 9:30 pm Saturday, April 4, at Sam Bond's Garage. 21+ short. $5.
* "First Impressions" is my just-chosen cutesy blog name for when I want to blog about a band the first time I listen to them â€” which is to say, it's exactly what it sounds like.
If you've been wondering what's up with the lack of bingo at Sam Bond's on Mondays this month (instead it's an open mic), here's SB's booker Peter Wilde with the report:
tom heinl and scotty k are on their annual sabbatical to rejuvenate and cleanse themselves. after a short vision quest at a northern california flea market they will return to the sam bonds stage hosting bingo for . .. .the . .. rest . ..of .. their .. lives.
(this message was created without the expressed written consent of either tom heinl or scott k)
Dudes, get rejuvenated. We're all waiting to welcome you back with open arms, hugs and The Munsters beer mugs.
We just learned that Portland's instrumental rock/pop outfit Talkdemonic is playing Sam Bond's on Saturday, Nov. 1, so it's too late for a write-up in Thursday's print edition, but we thought we'd go ahead and post the band's new video for "Duality of Deathening," off their recent Eyes at Half Mast LP, because Talkdemonic are, like, awesome and stuff. Warning: The video is high-res, so may take awhile to load.
Talkdemonic play with World's Greatest Ghosts and Brass Clouds at 9:30pm Saturday, Nov. 1, at Sam Bond's. 21+. $6.
Video courtesy of Pitchfork.tv
In the introduction to my story on Blind Pilot this week, I mentioned a gig they had at an organic farm 10 miles north of Portland. Yes, it was a birthday bash. And it was my first introduction to the band and its live act. But the thing was, I was there for the birthday, so felt a little strange talking with Blind Pilot while in the back of my mind thinking of story angles and simultaneously reminding myself to just relax and enjoy the evening. Being a scene reporter can get schizophrenic sometimes.
When I finally introduce myself to the dark-haired Israel Nebeker at the farm, his stomach is growling. â€œDo you know where I could get some food?â€ he asks. Rule #1 on a bike tour: You need energy, so bring plenty of snacks. Rule #2: Failing that, rely on the kindness of strangers. I offer Nebeker bread and cream cheese, which he wolfs down while other band mates join in.
Nebeker is a seemingly bashful fellow with a sensitive side. Heâ€™s not hard to engage in conversation, but heâ€™s not a verbose self-promoter, either. Since they went through the trouble of paying a PR rep and all, I thought I'd arrange for a phone interview later the next week through their PR guy. What follows after the jump is that conversation. Also, to sample Blind Pilot's music ahead of their Sept. 3 gig at Sam Bond's, go to their MySpace page or tune in to Eugene Weekly's Signal:Noise music podcast, episodes 10 and 11.
To read further, click HERE.
As promised, here are some videos you should definitely check out if you're looking for something to do Friday night...
Aussie Volkswagen commercial for new EOS (feat. "Little Waltz" by Basia Bulat")
Music video for "In the Night" by Basia Bulat
Leo London (CD release show)