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Storm Large of Pink Martini
Sunday 10/26
Storm Large of Pink Martini @ The Hamilton
$20 / $25
Storm Large: musician, actor, playwright, author, awesome. She shot to national prominence in 2006 as a finalist on the CBS show Rock Star: Supernova, where despite having been eliminated in the week before the finale, Storm built a fan base that follows her around the world to this day. Storm spent the 90s singing in clubs throughout San Francisco. Tired of the club scene, she moved to Portland to pursue a new career as a chef, but a last minute cancellation in 2002 at the Portland club “Dante’s” turned into a standing Wednesday night engagement for Storm and her new band, The Balls. It wasn’t long before Storm had a cult-like following in Portland, and a renewed singing career that was about to be launched onto the international stage. Storm made her debut as guest vocalist with the band Pink Martini in April 2011, singing four sold-out concerts with the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. She continues to perform with the band, touring nationally and internationally, and she was featured on their CD, Get Happy. Storm has also sung with Grammy winner k.d. lang, pianist Kirill Gerstein, punk rocker John Doe, singer/songwriter Rufus Wainwright, and Rock and Roll Hall of Famer George Clinton. She debuted with the Oregon Symphony in 2010, and has returned for sold out performances each year thereafter. Storm made her Carnegie Hall debut in May 2013, singing Weill’s Seven Deadly Sins with the Detroit Symphony as part of the Spring for Music festival. The NY Times called her “sensational,” and the classical music world instantly had a new star. In 2007, she took a career departure and starred in Portland Center Stage’s production of Cabaret with Wade McCollum. The show was a smash hit, earning Large glowing reviews. Her next endeavor, the autobiographical musical memoir, Crazy Enough, played to packed houses in 2009 during its unprecedented 21-week sold out run in Portland. Storm went on to perform a cabaret version of the show to critical acclaim at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Adelaide Festival in Australia, and Joe’s Pub in New York. Her memoir, Crazy Enough, was released by Simon and Schuster in 2012, named Oprah’s Book of the Week, and awarded the 2013 Oregon Book Award for Creative Nonfiction. Storm is featured in Rid of Me, a film by Portlander James Westby, starring Katie O’Grady and Theresa Russell. In November and December of 2010, she starred at the Mark Taper Forum with Katey Sagal and Michael McKean in Jerry Zak’s production of Harps and Angels, a musical featuring the work of Randy Newman. In the 2013/14 season Storm and her band, Le Bonheur performed in many new cities around the country, including Las Vegas, Boston, Minneapolis in a evening called "Taken By Storm" In June 2014, she appeared at the Ojai Festival with the exciting new orchestra, The Knights and the vocal ensemble Hudson Shad. Later in the summer she debuts at the Grant Park Music Festival in Chicago. In the Fall of 2014, Storm & Le Bonheur will be releasing a record designed to capture their sublime and subversive interpretations of the American Songbook. Entitled simply, “Le Bonheur” and ¬released¬ on¬ Pink¬ Martini’s¬, Heinz¬ Records,¬ the recording will be a collection of tortured and titillating love songs; beautiful, familiar, yet twisted...much like the lady herself. Storm and her band will hit the road in support of this new release. Storm also makes her debut with The New York Pops Orchestra at Carnegie Hall, The Cincinnati Symphony, The Houston Symphony and The RTE Concert Orchestra in Dublin amongst others. Storm is also busy creating a new musical with The Public Theater in New York City.
Dave Barnes
Friday 10/24
Dave Barnes @ The Hamilton Live
$17 / $23
When Dave Barnes first showed up on the music scene 12 years ago, he was the guy hitting the college circuit with limitless energy and an equally unrestrained expectation for the future. There were songs to be penned, tours to be booked and a whole world of experiences to be seized. Since then, the singer-songwriter has written and released seven albums, played hundreds of cities each year, received Grammy and CMA nominations for Blake Shelton's cut of his song “God Gave Me You,” become a father and formed deeper relationships in the industry than his 23-year-old self could have dared hope. Turning 35 this year, Barnes is in a season of both nostalgia and reality about what it means to be a traveling musician, and those reflections have become the life and breath of his eighth full-length release, Golden Days. “It kind of tells a story of beginning something, where you are now and, as the season changes, the things you look back on,” he says. Having recorded his 2012 Razor & Tie Records release, Stories to Tell, in LA with renowned producer John Fields, Barnes is stepping closer to home for his new independently released project, co-producing with multi-Grammy nominated Ed Cash in Nashville and giving his thoughts time to simmer and take shape. “I’ve tried as I’ve gotten older to make records like they’re chapters in a book, to try to really capture what I’m thinking about in that season,” he explains. “This record, to me, is probably one of the most interesting subject-wise. It’s a bit of a retrospective.” Golden Days opens with the lively and optimistic “Twenty-Three,” a song that captures the essence of the early years when Barnes and musician friends like Matt Wertz and Andy Davis were “young and wild and free” and “dreaming about the possibilities” of their futures. Following a loose chronology, Golden Days closes on a note of raw reflection with “Hotel Keys,” a song Barnes originally wrote with and for David Nail but found himself connecting to personally. “‘Hotel Keys’ is really about when this dream turns into a job,” he says truthfully. “The fairy dust starts to wear off – it becomes more work than play. Basically, it’s wishing you could go back to when this dream was more than just a pocket of hotel keys.” Though he’s refreshingly candid about the realities of the road, when Barnes sits back to survey his career so far, the emotion that rises to the surface is one of immense gratitude, expressed on his favorite track and the first single from the new record, a song called “Good.” The piano-led ballad finds Barnes in his sweet spot, taking in the blessings of his everyday life – the sunrise, his wife laughing in the kitchen, little footsteps on the stairs and even the wrong turns and heartaches that have allowed him to recognize the gifts for what they are. Between those bookends, the 11-track record unfolds with vibrant and diverse tunes like the sultry Lucie Silvas duet, “Little Civil War,” which pushes and pulls with the beautiful tension of a Bonnie Raitt refrain, the danceable “Something More” and “Heartbroken Down,” an upbeat yet bluesy number about missing a love. When asked what times has taught him about songwriting, Barnes points to the value of a sentiment. He says he’s come to understand the amount of time and care it takes to truly unearth one and express it. “Maybe it’s like this,” he begins. “At the beginning of your career, it’s like you’ve been willed this huge plot of land full of songs sitting beneath the surface. Every time you dig your shovel in, you’re like, ‘Oh my gosh, this cool little thing – I bet this is valuable.’ And 12 years into a career you’ve dug up so much of that ground, but every now and then, deeper and deeper below, you find something that’s significant – something that’s worth a lot more. You hit your shovel to it and realize, this is going to take me months to unearth. It’s worth it, but it’s going to be lots of work.” Having set himself to that work for more than a decade, Barnes has discovered many of these fragile and precious pieces, but unlike when he was first starting out, he’s more intentional now, careful to give these insights the time to develop before attempting to fully grasp them. “When you’re younger, you can sort of break those things in half in excitement,” he reflects. While inspiration often comes as the result of time and work, Barnes says nothing has opened him up to a new realm of creativity so much as being a father to his now two-year-old son. “It’s like God just takes a piece of your heart, pulls it out of your chest and puts legs on it,” he describes. “It’s affected everything. It’s been this really great introduction into this new part of myself that I didn’t know. It’s like a whole new array of colors that you get introduced to as you sort of paint these things … like here are 3,000 new colors.” And he isn’t keeping that inspiration to himself. An artist loved for his approachable and often hilarious nature, Barnes is actively involved in building into the Nashville community and using his experiences to help others however he can. From spearheading a monthly gathering of artists to mentoring younger musicians, he lives by the question, “What good is what you know unless you can share it with other people?” “Now that I’m here more, I’d love to feel like I’m still involved in people’s lives,” he says. Balancing the realities of his life, career, family and fans, he’s finding the harmony between writing and recording in Nashville and being out on the road playing shows. “It’s not like starting over, but it’s kind of like starting over,” he explains. “You’ve been through round one of what you do, and now you’re getting to where you’re not going to be out playing 200 shows anymore because you can’t.” In some ways, life has undeniably changed for Dave Barnes since those early years running the college circuit. He’s matured, grown up even. He’s not 23 anymore, but anyone who knows him will tell you this: 12 years into this thing, he’s still full of limitless energy and an unrestrained expectation about the future. “As much as it’s terrifying,” he concedes, “it’s kind of the land of promise, because who knows what’s gonna happen?”