Category Archives: music

I HONK! Fest Environmental Encroachment 

This band is totally fun and dresses in wacky costumes. They played for us on the grass in skinner’s butte park. Check them out here. I enjoyed their originals about elephants and bunnies and their cover of Radiohead’s “national anthem.” I feel I really got loose for these drawings and drew them in a Jules Fieffer and or William Blake kind of style. Shaded with copics.

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Busted monks

This wild two piece blues band rocks the house!

Check out their recordings here.

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candace.gifPortland Witchpop/ stargaze dream pop band Candace shook the roots at Luckys in Eugene, on tour with The Shivas.

These are swirling huge pop songs with shimmering guitars and wavy variable tempos.

I asked how their sound is so huge, and Sarah Rose told me it was a secret. She also said their drummer moved from Minneapolis to Portland and the whole band for followed her. They have songs posted online but i liked nearly every one of their songs live and didnt like the recordings nearly as much.

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Mt. Eerie

Phil Elverum, aka Mt. Eerie, aka “The Microphones” played Wow Hall. This was an important show for me because I used to play Microphones’ songs on KSUA back in the 90s and that’s how I discovered The Blow. Once Phil was playing in Anchorage and my friends and I tried to catch a ride down to see him play (must have been 2001 or 2002). We couldn’t fit in the car and we didn’t get to see him so 16 years later I see him play at the Wow hall.

This show was intense and really powerfully emotional. Phil played songs from his most recent album A crow looked at me” and they were all about the loss of his beloved wife. Each song seemed to have the same tempo and mood. Many lines in the songs echoed each other and seemed as if they could have been swapped with lines in different songs. Each had touching lines and sorrowful imagery. These are songs about surviving loss, seeing people who knew the deceased at the grocery store, trying to explain what happened to children, and being moved to tears by throwing away a toothbrush or some other intimate object. The whole crowd was silent. We were all on the edge of our seats.

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Legendary jazz pianist Dick Hyman

This hip jazz cat provided music for several Woody Allen films and pbs’ Beale Street Caravan. He played an all New Orleans Jazz set for us at the Shedd. I do not know the names of the musicians who played with him at this gig. Check out his touring schedule here.

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Beats Antique

Beats Antique played the McDonald Theatre. There was some shadow puppetry, a giant inflatable dragon, several belly dancers and of course the band, playing middle eastern dub dance on violin, clarinet, sax and some wild eastern instruments like maybe a tar? I think they fit alongside RJD2, OTT, Balkan Beat Box, and Lindsay Sterling.


You can listen to their music at bandcamp. The geometric pyramid shapes that decorated their stage were a fun challenge to draw.

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The Coathangers


The Coathangers play stripped down rock and roll. Some call it “punk.” There’s no pedals to mess with the sound of pure guitars and that makes even the occasional “weeoo” back up vocal stand out and make the song shine. Stephanie drummed on most songs but on a few she played guitar and Julia switched over to drums. One song stood out where they played a squeaky toy as if to stand in for cursing in a song.  These three put on a good show!  Down Down is a great song and has an amazing music video!DSC_0995.JPGDSC_1006.JPG

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Grayson Fiske (Human Ottoman) rotogif


A crude gif of Grayson Fiske playing the vibes. I’d like to do a gif of their new cello player Julian kosonovic next!

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Legendary New York Jazz band SEX MOB

Cozmic Pizza was blessed with Steven Bernstein, Kenny Wollensen, Tony Sherr and Briggan Krauss: AKA SEX MOB.


This band plays sloppy drunken New Orleans funeral march style, but works in familiar melodies and plays them loosely, as if soaked in booze and squeezed out a slide trumpet. Sometimes they resemble an instrumental Tom Waits track. Kenny (drums) plays some wild stuff, melodically playing sputtered phrases, sometimes making his drum set squeak and rattle, sometimes picking up gongs and soundmakers, and sometimes just hitting hard fast like its punk rock. (He’s played with Norah Jones, John Zorn, and TOM WAITS among many others). The bass player Tony just grooved the whole time, without any piano or guitarist, he is prominent on every song, sometimes playing implied chords and always subtly dancing by himself and smiling. Steven and Briggan play around each other and around the melodies, lurching, swamping, blasting, bellowing. Some songs are dissonant, but all are satisfying in the grand whole: like a complex mix of sour sweet and umami tastes in a complex dish.  I caught a lick from “Adir Adirim” (Balkan Beat Box) and “Clint Eastwood” by The Gorillaz was mixed up with “oh when the saints go marchin in” and sometimes they flirted with maybe almost playing the standard “I Got Rhythm.” In their final medley they whipped out the James Bond theme. I’m sure there were many other in-jokes from jazz and pop music that went over my head.  They also played their own take on songs from Fellini films. This was a beautiful and wild concert and the crowd was satisfied. Most of them relaxed and watched the band’s every move, but a few brave souls danced. Catch them live if you can! Steven said they played Oregon Country Fair in 1984! Wow thats a long time ago. I was 2!


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