Last Tuesday night a circus rolled in to McMenamin’s Mission Theater. Calling itself The Traveling Imaginary it was a two-show stop on a tour organized by ringmaster Julian Koster to promote his band The Music Tapes newest album Mary’s Voice.
Last fall Koster, probably best known as a member of The Neutral Milk Hotel, launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund The Traveling Imaginary. The money raised was used to purchase a custom circus tent that the band is playing shows in across the country along with games, stories, films and amusements.
People arrived in the lobby of the theater to find games set up in front of the red and white striped tent. Julian walked around banging a pan lid with a drumstick and announcing games through an electric megaphone: “The Penny and The Bell!” “Flooded The Sailor School!” “Traditional Bag Toss!” Most required a blindfold and winners were promised prizes after the show.
After about 45 minutes of games the tent was opened and the roughly 30 people in attendance sat on the checkered floor in front of instruments and a seven-foot tall metronome. It was the start of a surreal swirl of music, performance art, storytelling and even a magic trick.
This entry was written by Live and tagged Eleven, Eleven Magazine, ELEVEN MAGAZINE PDX, ELEVEN PDX, Eleven PDX Magazine, ELEVENPDX, Julian Koster, Kickstarter, McMenamins, Mike Herman, Mission Theater, Neutral Milk Hotel, Neutral Milk Reunion, PDX, PDX Live Music, PDX Music, The Music Tapes, The Traveling Imaginary. Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink., posted on May 10, 2013 at 1:37 am, filed under
Sold out weeks in advance, there was restlessness in the air at the Crystal Ballroom on Thursday night as the crowd waited for headliner Local Natives to take the stage. So many fans have been waiting to get a piece of Local Natives but it’s been a while. The five-piece indie rock outfit is known for their satiable live performances but haven’t been through Portland in nearly three years. Their debut release, Gorilla Manor, was received with praise but the band remained under the radar to the average fan.
Queue Hummingbird. Nearly three years after the release of Gorilla Manor, Hummingbird was perhaps one of the most anticipated albums of the 2012. Whether or not the album delivered and fulfilled the hype, Local Natives took the stage to one of the most uproarious crowds seen at the Crystal Ballroom in recent memory.
This entry was written by ELEVEN, Live and tagged 2013, Crystal Ballroom, Eleven, ELEVENPDX, Gabriel Granach, hummingbird, Indie, Live, live performances, Local Natives, McMenamins, PDX EVENTS, PDX Live Music, PDX Music, Portland, rock, Show. Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink., posted on April 26, 2013 at 10:07 pm, filed under
Everywhere I go, someone’s asking to stamp my hand. Through the ticket booth, again as I’m entering the Crystal doors, and again after I climb the two flights of stairs up to the ballroom and turn right to enter the fenced off 21+ section that opens up to the balcony stairs. I’ve got dark stains on the inside of my wrist and two piled on the top of my hand. I think I’m valid now as I grab a beer and push my way to the frontest of front rows I can go to catch Kimbra, who’s band is pounding out bass-heavy bubble ballads. She’s a flame on stage, flitting back and forth with boundless energy and an incredible range, purposely quivering through pitches, the highs and lows seeming humanly impossible. Most impressive was “Settle Down,” an incredibly poppy pattern of hard-hitting keys, enthusiastic vocals and overdubbed beat boxing spit out by the artist herself.
This entry was written by ELEVEN, Live and tagged Crystal Ballroom, Eleven, ELEVEN PDX, Gotye, Kimbra, Live Music, McMenamins, Mercy McNab, Nikki Volpicelli, Portland Music, Somebody That I Used To Know. Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink., posted on April 11, 2012 at 11:00 am, filed under
1. West Coast Beard & Mustache Championship
Where: Crystal Ballroom
How Much: $5
When: Saturday, January 21st—9pm
Why: Put Burt Reynolds and ZZ Top to shame with the 2nd annual competition of everything facial hair. Freestyle stachin’ and beard mashin’ galore this Saturday at the Crystal ballroom. I’m sure there is a scientific term for a beard fetish, but I’m scared to google it. Anyhoo, this party is going to be worth growing to.
2. Sons of Huns w/ Belt of Vapor & Wizard Rifle
Where: East End
How Much: $6
When: Saturday, January 21st—9pm
Why: The ferocious guitar and drum styling’s of this rock ‘n’ roll trio never cease to amaze. After killing it last weekend at Big Ass Boombox, these dudes obviously have no plans of slowing down anytime soon. Get your butts there and have a good time!
3. Youth w/ Still Caves & Chairs Missing
How Much: Free!
When: Sunday, January 22nd—9pm
Why: A perfect psych-pop evening with locals Youth and Still Caves. Joining them is San Diego’s Chairs Missing—a tasty psych folk-pop trio with organic textures and sounds galore. The snow will be gone and it’s free! No excuses!
This entry was written by Upcoming and tagged Beard, Belt of Vapor, Chairs Missing, Crystal Ballroom, East End, Eleven, ELEVEN PDX, Live Music, McMenamins, Mustache, Portland Music, Rontom's, Sons of Huns, Still Caves, West Coast Beard & Mustache Championship, Wizard Rifle, Youth. Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink., posted on January 19, 2012 at 10:10 am, filed under
1. Blind Pilot w/ Point Juncture, WA
Where: Crystal Ballroom
How Much: $20
When: Wednesday, November 23 –7pm
Why: The Portland-based folk-pop group makes a stop at home while on their cross-country tour in support of the late summer release, We Are the Tide. The sophomore effort has been a consistent top-seller at Music Millennium and it’s no secret their heartfelt music makes it easy to instigate sing-alongs at their live shows.
2. Animal Eyes w/ Slow Trucks & Pony Village
Where: The Woods
How Much: $5
When: Friday, November 25 – 8:30pm
Why: Worldly indie rock that will move you and groove you with their beautiful harmonies and enthusiastic live performance. Get there early to enjoy the guitar-heavy sounds of San Francisco trio, Slow Trucks (reminiscent of Pavement and Built To Spill), and twangy indie-rock from Portland quartet Pony Village.
3. Into The Woods Quarterly
Where: Mississippi Studios
How Much: $5
When: Sunday, November 27 –9pm
Why: Showcasing some of the areas newest and brightest talents, this year’s second quarterly will feature the mind-blowing sounds of Hosannas (formerly Church), Sun Angle, Log Across the Washer, and Support Force. ITW will premiere the first episode of their new series, “Favorite Places” starring Hosannas and the 2,000-year old Ape Cave. If that wasn’t enough to get your foot in the door, Archers guitarist, Chris Cantino, will DJ the event.
This entry was written by Upcoming and tagged Animal Eyes, Blind Pilot, Crystal Ballroom, ELEVEN PDX, Hosannas, Into The Woods, Into The Woods Quarterly, Live Music, Log Across the Washer, McMenamins, Mississippi Studios, Point Juncture WA, Pony Village, Portland Music, Slow Trucks, Sun Angle, Support Force, The Woods. Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink., posted on November 23, 2011 at 11:11 am, filed under
There’s nothing more enjoyable than a sold out show in this wonderful city, the camaraderie that comes along with a show in such an intimate venue like the Mission Theater is hard to beat. As the venue began to fill in and the fog ascended from the stage, Guards hit the stage to warm up the crowd with some reverb infused tunes with lo-fi guitar sounds that take you back to another time.
Warren Haynes has still got it. Simply put, the middle aged, scraggly gentleman with a heartwarming smile and a mind-bending voice, most efficiently channeled through six delicate strings, knows how to entertain. The full house at McMenamin’s Crystal Ballroom was spellbound as Warren delivered new jams with classic styling off the tour-supported album and appropriately titled “Man in Motion.”
This entry was written by Live and tagged 10/24/2011, Crystal Ballroom, ELEVEN PDX, Live Music, Man In Motion, McMenamins, Portland Music, Warren Haynes. Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink., posted on November 12, 2011 at 11:11 am, filed under
Once you learn how to pronounce Thao Nuyen’s name you are unlikely to forget her or the the upbeat alternative folk that she and The Get Down Stay Down are all about. The diminutive Thao, frantically strumming and pounding out rythmic guitar beats, quickly filled the Crystal Ballroom with energy that did not abate. The floating floor was bouncing within seconds of their first song. Their effortless blend of alternative, folk-infused indie rock was dance, clap, and stomp-worthy, to which the crowd obliged exuberantly.
This entry was written by Live and tagged 10/19/2011, Aaron Mills, Bex Silver, Crystal Ballroom, ELEVEN PDX, Live Music, McMenamins, Portland Music, Thao with The Get Down Stay Down, The Head and the Heart. Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink., posted on October 23, 2011 at 11:11 am, filed under
1. PDX Bridge Festival Closing Party
Where: Crystal Ballroom & Lola’s Room
How Much: $10 – All Ages
When: Sunday, August 7th – 6pm
Why: For a measly $10 you get a near baker’s dozen of some of Portland’s finest indie bands. Featuring: Copy, Symmetry/Symmetry, Tango Alpha Tango, The Dimes, Dropa, Mnemonic Sounds, Violet Isle, and Water & Bodies just to name a few. Both venues are all ages, so grab a bunch of friends or a few random strangers and treat yourselves to an evening of great local music.
This entry was written by Upcoming and tagged Audacity, Blood Beach, Cecilia Und Die Sauerkrauts, Christmas Island, Copy, Crystal Ballroom, Dropa, ELEVEN PDX, Ghost Mom, Guantanamo Baywatch, King Tuff, Live Music, McMenamins, Mean Jeans, Mississippi Studios, Mnemonic Sounds, Nucular Aminals, PDX Bridge Festival, Peach Kelli Pop, Personal & The Pizzas, Plan B, Portland Music, Psychic Feline, Sara Jackson-Holman, Serious Business, Shannon & The Clams, Showdeer Presents, SMMR BMMR, Symmetry/Symmetry, Tango Alpha Tango, The Dimes, The Horde and The Harem, The Moonhearts, TRMR, Violet Isle, Wanderlust Circus, Water & Bodies, Youthbitch. Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink., posted on August 3, 2011 at 9:54 pm, filed under
1. Bare Wires w/ Outdoorsmen and Taxi Boys
Where: East End
How Much: $8 (+21)
When: Thursday, June 30th
Why: Matthew Melton has been kicking out the jams for the better part of a decade. Originally from Memphis, Melton moved to Oakland where his solo efforts brought on projects like Snake Flower 2 and Bare Wires. The latter is the finest power-pop glam/punk you’ll hear out of Oakland. Keep your ears peeled for new songs from their third album due out later this year!
This entry was written by Upcoming and tagged Bare Wires, Blues Festival, DJ Cuica, DJ Honey O, DJ L-Train, DJ Linger, DJ Linoleum, DJ Patricia Furpurse, East End, Edgefield, Girl Trouble, Hempstead World Music Festival, McMenamins, Modest Mouse, Outdoorsmen, Portland Music, Talkdemonic, Taxi Boys, Washington Park. Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink., posted on June 30, 2011 at 3:27 am, filed under