Brian Cutean weaves a musical midsummer's dream.
BY DAVID RHODES
Chicago-born, Austin-seasoned, Seattle-warped Eugenean Brian Cutean (aka QTN) has been a mainstay in each of those scenes for years. His blend of thought-provoking, entertaining and otherworldly songs, "psychoacoustadelic gypsyhooplafolkmedicinemojo," and colorful guitar chops give audiences a truly unique experience every time.
At Dancing Dragons' "Festival in the Forest" this past summer, QTN was in fine form — and in his freaky element — running through old songs and new with elvish flair, wit and wisdom.
"It's funny what you hear from people after a set," QTN mused. "This one guy came up to me at the Dancing Dragons gig, later on, and gave me a big hug and called me a 'philosopher-poet.' Wow. I took it as a compliment."
Brian also cowrote three nationally released CDs this year: Willy Porter's successful FM single "Unconditional" is featured on Willy Porter and his latest, High Wire Live; "Buddy and Carol's Waltz," an instrumental from Steve Gillette and Cindy Mangsen's CD Sense of Place; and East Coast rabble rousers Chris Chandler and Anne Feeney have released their version of Brian's "Food" song on their newest CD, The Wholly Stolen Empire.
On QTN's latest album, Heartheartheart, poetry meets free jazz consciousness meets wooden music. Listening, one wonders: Is this Willie Nelson with George Harrison at the Oregon Country Fair? Is it Paul Simon in his living room jamming with Bohemians? Dylan and The Band at Big Pink?
Recorded "at an undisclosed location" on Orcas Island in February and April of this year, it is the product of QTN and musical co-collaborator Bruce Harvie.
Brian tells me this is the most fun he's ever had recording (this is his fifth release), "It was one of those albums where it all came together with perfect ease."
Besides fine guest appearances by Amy Danziger on cello, David Nerad on clawhammer banjo, Brett Lovins on dobro and vocals, and Bryan Thurber on violin, on a handful of tunes, QTN and Harvie play every instrument, including but not limited to, voices, guitars, pump organs, harmonicas, mandolin, banjo, string bass, drums — and a few odd things I've never heard of.
QTN's lyrics show what a superb poet and songsmith we all suspected he was. There is so much rich imagery, so much real life true emotion, and giddy word-play, it takes a few listens for it all to sink in.
The CD kicks off with a lively, bluegrass swing-like instrumental, "Goomba"— all aboard for this acoustic journey — that features some tasty mandolin playing, then winds its way around and around until it slips into the backwoods warm-spring bath of "Heron Moon," where we first hear QTN's voice:
"Stars are too many to count or to name/Trees sing a pining tune/Feel the blade as night comes in/I see a heron in front of the moon."
We find ourselves in old-growth woods somewhere in the Northwest. In the studio QTN and Harvie have created the equivalent of a night around "a real woodfire," sharing songs and stories — a pleasant dream on a warm summer evening.
|Adam & Kris|
As I look at the list of tunes, and the words spread before me, I can read the contours of this work — the topographic map through an enchanted land. Each song tells a story, and imparts a bit of nature's wisdom, in nature's own language.
"Standing People Trees", accompanied by a creaky pump-organ, tells the story of America, from
the perspective of an ancient tree — a eulogy really, and a prayer. There is sadness in the earth's dreaming, and that sadness grows in modern times. Or, as the next piece reminds us in its melancholy wail, "Sometimes the Darkness Comes."
Each tune on the album presents a separate piece of the puzzle. "Fixture Picture Departure Overture" paints a beautiful portrait, aided by the bubbling Hammond organ and undulating slide guitar that will melt your heart.
But it's getting late, the fire is burning low, woodland creatures move through the night, and all is under a spell. That sums up the mood of the whole album, and just sitting and listening to it for a while can carry the listener there, out under the trees, drums throbbing in the distance.
The Queercore Blitz
Gay punk rocker's screech into town.
BY VANESSA SALVIA
Sunday the WOW Hall will host a night of queer punk when the Queercore Blitz rolls through town. Organized by Eugene native Anna Jacobson-Leong, the Blitz is the first tour (seven shows over nine days) to feature exclusively all-queer bands and was created to showcase bands from around the country and world. Though these bands are sub-genres of an already marginalized punk rock scene, they're here to prove that the heydey of queer rock didn't end when Team Dresch and The Pansy Division broke up. And, there will always be queers, so there will always be queer rock, so the rest of the music world might as well just shut up and take notice.
Sunday's lineup is Triple Creme (New York City), Dominatrix (São Paulo, Brazil), Jack Queen (Portland) and The Dead Betties (New York City).
The four women in Triple Creme released a full-length CD, Lucid, in 2003. They extoll the industrial, dark virtues of fellow NYC bands Cop Shoot Cop with fury and passion.
Sisters Isabella and Elisa Gargiulo formed Dominatrix in 1995. They solidified their feminist agenda and became legendary as the first feminist punk band in South America. Isabella isn't in the band anymore, but their melodic hard core has developed into a force the world must now reckon with.
The all-male line-up of The Dead Betties is said to be "New York art rock at the heaviest extreme." I don't know what "cyclonic hard core" means, and I couldn't wait 47 minutes 23 seconds for my iddly-piddly dial-up connection to download one MP3, but it sure sounds fierce. In their photo they're young and cute eyecandy!
Our own local contribution, Jack Queen, is a little bit sweet and a lot spicy. For more info, go to: www.queercoreblitz.com.
You Heard It Here First
Speed metal bluegrass, singer/songwriters & ROCK.
BY VANESSA SALVIA
|Rock 'n' Roll Soldiers|
No longer loudmouth teenage drunks, the Rock 'n' Roll Soldiers are now rock stars! Recently seen schmoozing with The Donnas and Playboy Bunnies (the Soldiers played the Playboy Mansion in Los Angeles in September) and more recently spotted at Luckey's, I now predict that 21-year-old lead singer Marty Larson-Xu will steal Drew Barrymore away from Julian Casablancas. The Soldiers are heavily influenced by (late, good) 70s rock which is oh, so trendy right now, but unlike the Strokes, The Soldiers have been into it, really into it, since they were pre-adolescents in middle school.
They're all childhood friends from Eugene, and they grew up idolizing Iggy and the Stooges, The Dead Boys and especially Radio Birdman. They all have youthful energy in abundance and Larson-Xu was born for the stage. There's nothing about the Soldiers on the Atlantic Records website yet (Oh, you didn't know? The band signed a major-label deal in August of this year.), and no info on their homepage about their new CD, but there were two new songs, and they are hot!
Before the corporate juggernaut takes them completely away from us, go see them at the WOW Hall on Friday where they have one more chance to shower their hometown fans with divine grace. Who was the first music columnist to write about the Rock 'n' Roll Soldiers? That's right, moi. Don't you feel proud? White Hot Odyssey (WHO) will also perform, a band fronted by Steve Perry of Cherry Poppin' Daddies fame, and which serves as a vehicle for his persona Count de Monet, an undersexed, hypersexual escapee from the bad boys club of angry white man rock. WHO are celebrating the release of their debut CD.
Saturday, cruise to Corvallis where native daughter and UO alumna Carrie Clark will be performing at the downtown Beanery. This is her first show in her hometown, where she lived until she graduated from Corvallis High. She now lives in Seattle but prefers to play in small towns, far away from the big city, where people actually kind of care. I just made that part up, but Clark does perform on guitar and piano and has a new release, Reverie, which is a follow up to her debut album Release The Butterfly.
Classic rock. Whoo. Classic rock by some band you've either never heard of or barely cared about when they were popular. Double whoo. I know that Wishbone Ash pioneered the twin guitar sound that made Thin Lizzy and Iron Maiden famous, both bands I respect and admire. I know they're popular in Europe. I know they have a new CD, Bona Fide. I know they have performed regularly for 30-plus years and that the tour features founding members Andy Powell and Muddy Manninen (a Finnish guitar maniac). But I just don't care. I know they were big once, but so was The Macarena. Their website failed to impress me on any current relevance. Plus, Powell never responded to my request for an interview and I'm bitter. My editor made me write about them. Save your money and go buy yourself a colon-cleansing enema instead. Wishbone Ash perform at the Jungle Monday.
50 E. 11TH ST. 686-6619
TH: Underwater City People, OAOT--9:30
SA: ARSE, The Perverts, Hot for Chocolate--9:30
SU: The meeting, Caught in the Act--9:30; Karaoke
MO: Caught in the Act--9:30; Karaoke
WE: Unkle Nancy--9:30
|EDIE CAREY (PICTURED) PLAYS CAFE PARADISO WITH BRENDA WEILER ON FRIDAY.|
115 W. BROADWAY 484-9933
TH: This is Spinal Tap--8; movie
FR: Brenda Weiler, Edie Carey--8
SA: Marcus Eaton, Justin King--7
MO: Band open mic--8
TU: Acoustic open mic--7
WE: Slackers--8; movie
1670 ALDER ST. 683-3453
FR: Brad B, Pickster One, Morse Code, Saints of Everyday Failure, Debaser, The Phormula--9; all ages hip-hop show
2222 CENTENIAL BLVD.
SA: DJ Tekneek--10:30; Hip hop, R & B
COFFEE GROVE COOPERATIVE
510 E. MAIN ST., COTTAGE GR. 942-8847
FR: Rob Murtaugh, Donnie Sevilla, The Ellis Family--7; Variety
SA: Rick and Lavinia Ross--7; Blues, Folk
|GET YOUR EASTERN EUROPEAN MUSIC WITH VAGABOND OPERA FRIDAY AT COZMIC PIZZA|
COZMIC PIZZA@THE STRAND All Ages
8TH AVE. & CHARNELTON ST. 338-9333
TH: We're From Japan!--8:30; Experimental Pop; Graham Barey, Sapient, Ethic--9; Hip-Hop
FR: Vagabond Opera, Terpsichore's Daughters--8; Eastern European music, belly dancers.
SA: 3rd Annual South African Famine Relief Benefit with Kubana Marimba, others--7; African
SU: Sospiro--7; 14th Century Gothic
TU: MECCA Craft Night--5:30; Make crafts
COUNTRY SIDE RESTAURANT
4740 MAIN ST. 744-1594
TH: Dance lessons--7
FR: Bob Manning
SA: Bob Manning
WE: Dance lessons--7
915 OAK ST., DOWNSTAIRS 345-7878
MO: Metal Mondays--7
TU: Open mic, all ages--7; Over 21--9
959 PEARL ST. 683-3855
TH: Ladies Night; 80's
FR: Gen. Erik--10; Hip-Hop
SA: House Night with Vinyl Pimps
959 PEARL ST. 343-2346
TH: Ladies Night--10; Open turntables
FR: Attack Ships on fire, Secret Agent Bill-- 10; Rock
SA: The Slow Break, Reeble Jar--Rock
SU: Kung Fu Karaoke--10
MO: Mixdown Mondays--10
TU: Stone Cold Jazz
WE: Cheapskates Wednesday--10; Hip-Hop
EMBERS SUPPER CLUB
1811 HWY. 99 N. 688-6564
TH: Billy McCoy--9; Country
FR: Michael Anderson Trio—9; Variety, country
SA: Michael Anderson Trio—9; Variety, country
WE: Billy McCoy—9; Country
255 MADISON ST. 342-2600
WE: Olem Alves Quartet--6
375 E. 7TH AVE. 484-7181
TU: Rooster's Blues Jam--8
259 E. 5TH AVE.
TH: Jo Fed's All Star Jam Session--9
FR: Jo Fed's Jazz Quartet—9
SA: JC Rico--9
SU: Mark Alan—9; Jazz
MO: Skip Jones Hammond Organ trio—8:30
TU: Barbara Dzuro—8:30; Jazz
WE: Jon Fiori Trio--9; Ladies Night
JOE'S BAR & GRILLE
25 W. 6TH 221-3360
TU: DJ Tekneek and DJ Smuv--10; Hip hop, R & B
JOGGER'S BAR & GRILL
710 WILLAMETTE ST.
MO: Working Man's Blues Jam—9
TU: Dancing w/DJ Ty--19; Old School Hip-Hop
SA: Dancing w/DJ Ty--19; Old School Hip-Hop
|THE ERIC MCFADDEN TRIO PLAY AT JOHN HENRY'S TUESDAY|
77 W. BROADWAY 342-3358
TH: '80s Night w/Chris, Jenn and John--10
FR: David Andrews Band--10
SA: Live Local Hip-Hop-9
SU: Long Beach Short Bus, John Henry's Broadway Revue--10
MO: Swing Shift--7:30
TU: The Eric McFadden Trio--10
WE: The Red Elvises--7
21 W. 6TH AVE 338-9000
MO: Wishbone Ash--7
LATITUDE 10 CAFE
2757 FRIENDLY 343-3460
SA: Craig Einhorn--6
LAVELLE'S WINE BAR & BISTRO
5TH ST. PUBLIC MARKET 338-9875
TH: Skip Jones New Orleans piano--6
FR: Gus Russell--5
SA: Gus Russell--5
WE: John Crider--6
LUCKEY'S CLUB CIGAR
933 OLIVE ST. 687-4643
TH: The Tactics board shop videos, Yeltsin, Touch Force--10
FR: Melefluent, The Volumes--10; Rock
SA: Jordan the Drummer Night with The Visible Men, Scrambled Ape, Deke Falcon, others--10; Rock
TU: Manis Trio--10; Jazz
WE: Wasteband Tuck--10; Party Rock
30 E. BROADWAY 434-5862
TH: Toby Koenigsberg Trio with Tim Wilcox--8
FR: Erick Muiderman, JC Rico and Zulu Dragon--9:30;Blues
MAC'S AT THE VET'S
1626 WILLAMETTE ST. 344-8600
TH: Mac and Mo's Blues Jam--9
FR: The Stage Hogs
SA: Big Monti
WE: Christie and McCallum
THE O BAR
155 COMMONS WAY 349-0707
TH: Thirsty Thursdays: DJ Johnny--9; Hip hop, dance
TU: DJ Jared--9; Hip hop, dance
770 S. BERTELSEN 342-5028
TH: Blus Jam--8
444 E. 3RD AVE. 484-2927
FR: Peter Giri Project--8; Acoustic
TU: Patrick and Giri--7; Acoustic
767 WILLAMETTE ST. 687-9102
WE: Irish Jam--7; Celtic
PRIME TIME SPORTS BAR
1360 MOHAWK 746-0549
SU: DJ Jared--9:30; Karaoke
2105 W. 7TH 485-5925
225 COBURG 342-5181
FR & SA: Coupe DeVille--9:15; Rock
SAM BOND'S GARAGE
407 BLAIR 431-6603
TH: Salt Lick--9; Alt Country
FR: Break the Chains Benefit with The Shudders, Los Mex Pistoles, Happy Bastard--9
SA: Jessie Marquez y Nuevo Son--9; Cuban
SU: Friends of KRVM Benefit with Olem Alves, Inner Limits, Grand Street--8:30
MO: Brian Cutean, Adam East, Kris Delane--9; Americana
TU: Sam Bonds Bluegrass Jam--9
WE: Rootstand, Standing in the Middle--9
825 WILSON ST. 484-4455
FR: Christie and McCallum--9:30
SA: The Survivors--9:30
1714 MAIN ST., SPFD 726-2972
FR: Go 211—9; Rock
SA: Go 211—9; Rock
STACY'S COVERED BRIDGE
401 E. MAIN ST., COTTAGE GROVE 767-0320
WE: Open Mic Night w/Ron O'Keefe--8:30
2841 CENTRAL BLVD 868-4252
FR Ralf Youtz, Le Ton Mite, El Come Home--9
VALLEY RIVER INN 687-0123
FR Jim Basnight Band--8:30; R&B
SA: Jim Basnight Band--8:30; R&B
TAP 'N' KEG
1704 MAIN ST., COTTAGE GROVE 942-8713
WE: DJ Jared--9; Karaoke
TAYLOR'S BAR AND GRILL
894 E. 13TH AVE. 554-5320
TH: DJ Smuv--10; Funk, 80s
FR: DJs Smuv & DJ Tekneek--10; Hip hop, R & B
922 GARFIELD ST. 345-3606
SA: Monkee Torture, PB Army, The Anxities, No Cash Value, The Perverts--10; Punk
|ROCK 'N' ROLL SOLDIERS, WHITE HOT ODYSSEY (PICTURED) AND IDIOT PATROL ALL PLAY THE WOW HALL FRIDAY|
WOW HALL All Ages
291 W. 8TH AVE. 687-2746
FR: Rock 'n' Roll Soldiers, White Hot Odyssey, Idiot Patrol--8
SA: Membership Party with Scott Franzen, Tim Mueller, Nel Applegate, Brian Cutean, Ed Cole, College Girls of Tora Bora--7
SU: Queercore Blitz Tour with Triple Creme, Dominatrix, Jack Queen, the Dead Betties--8
TU: Volunteer Orientation--6:30
WE: Shapeshifters, Pigeon John, 3 Blind Mics--9
SA: Carrie Clark--8; Folk
INTABA'S KITCHEN All Ages
1115 S. THIRD ST. 754-6958
SA: The Grasshoppers--8; Fiddle, Gypsy-jazz
THE PEACOCK TAVERN
125 SW. 2ND ST. 754-8522
FR: The Whet Dawgs--9:30
SA: The Whet Dawgs--9:30
126 SW 4TH ST. 738-6996
MO: Outlaw Karaoke with Patches--7
TU: No Cash Value, Pirk Q Laters--8; Punk
WE: Codie--8; Punk
SW 2ND & MONROE 753-8057
SA: Magpie Reunion--8:30