20130902_201713I haven’t actually been blind date blogging for quite a while. Tonight certainly wasn’t a blind date since I actually know myself pretty well, but here’s a brief digression: The woman who trained me in the Peace Corps spent three years in Africa without a mirror. I wonder how much time she saved.

Meanwhile, I went to the Aladdin Theater tonight for ZZ Ward’s tour kick-off.  James Bay, a fresh young face from the UK experiencing Portland for the first time, opened the show. James has a gorgeous voice and did an amazing job of weaving his guitar and vocal skills together. In my opinion, he is a master of using the space in between the notes. He gave us time to take in the texture and timbre and become enmeshed in all the aspects of his songs. Definitely check him out!

The Wild Feathers  continued to rock despite the fact that they came out so hot their mics were popping!  These Nashville boys were well rehearsed and fun with tight harmonies and a whole lotta guitars.20130902_223709

 Wait!! What just happened? Giant Man With Tall Hat just found his seat. Fortunately, I found another on the end of the row.

20130902_210605Finally, ZZ Ward  stepped onto the stage and said, “It’s good to be home!” Way to start a show. Yes, ZZ grew up in Roseburg, Oregon. And she was awesome enough to bring her dad, the man with whom she began performing at 12 years old, to the stage. He rocked it on the harmonica and we loved him. Both her parents were there…along with quite a few audience members who made the drive from Southern Oregon to help this girl celebrate. It was a pretty sweet show.


But wait!! What just happened AGAIN? Shortly after Giant Man With Tall Hat either went hat shopping or found a different seat, James Bay decided the seat directly in front of me would be an excellent choice. Fortunately, I was giddy enough to be so close to an up and coming rockstar that I simply got on my knees and looked over his hat.

20130902_222603I saw ZZ last February at the Doug Fir. It’s exciting to see all her hard work paying off. Go, ZZ! She’s a great performer and a really good songwriter.

She has some great videos as well. Here are a couple of my favorites:

365 Days http://youtu.be/m6YkSItejP4

and of course, Put the Gun Down! http://youtu.be/5chkHjTNFgk

Dave Dorman

Dear Friends,

As promised earlier, I am posting my Tori Amos art. Every once in a while, I’m asked to get involved in a charity, and since I really enjoy Tori’s art — her wonderfully ethereal and original music — I wanted to give back for the enjoyment she’s given her legion of fans for many years.

Both of these original pieces were done as oil and acrylic on illustration board for Tori’s organization, R.A.I.N.N., which stands for the “Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network.” Both of these pieces were for calendars she does to raise money and awareness for her organization. The first piece, which is the winter scene, I did to show the contrast between the warmth of her red hair against the brittle cold of a winter forest.

The next piece came as the result of me playing around with the spelling of the name Scarlet, her…

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Tonight my friend and I had the chance to watch Chasing Ice. I’m on Hollywood Theatre’s mailing list & receive free screening opportunities a few times a year…and every once in a while they even fit into my schedule. The documentary is really well done and left Dawn and me (as well as most of the audience if you’re judging by the fact that nobody spoke or moved at the end of the film) speechless and motionless. The brilliant cinematography and stunning photography speaks louder than any words I’ve ever heard could about global warming. Thank you, James Balog, for your tenacity!

Hollywood Theatre is in the middle of a kickstarter campaign that is worth checking out. They have some pretty sweet compensation offers for your donation.

p.s. This is a public domain picture from google, not one of Balog’s. His amazing photos are all restricted, but I’m hoping the picture will inspire you to check out the film!

Press Release from Mi2N.com http://mi2n.com/press.php3?press_nb=159208

Stoneface Honey, an Indie band based in Portland, Oregon, is preparing to release their first album, Breathing.The band is led by classically trained, Angie Kopshy, who has a voice and style that has been compared to the likes of Adele and Tori Amos. Kopshy released My Troubled World in 2008 as a solo project before launching the collaborative effort that became Breathing. Kopshy wrote all the music and songs and when the collection was enough music for another album, she approached Hip Stew Studios, a recording studio with an incredible piano and the ability to season any piece of music with a pinch of jazz.

Kopshy says, “The album is all over the map – a direct reflection of me and my life.” Pop, jazz and classical influences are hinted throughout the album. When the studio had enough for a rough cut of the album, a campaign to find the perfect blend of musicians for the revival of Stoneface Honey was launched.

One of the band’s favorite songs is Stifled. “Stifled is actually a remake from my last album, so I wrote the song about six years ago. A lot of my songs fade away as new material arises, but this song kept coming back. And although the song was inspired by a really old relationship, the content stillfeels relevant a lot of the time. So I asked Hip Stew Studios to put some sort of twist on it and I love what they did.”

Another frequently requested tune, Breathing On My Own, was inspired by the sounds of Citizen Cope and Yael Naim. The huge chords in this song help to exude an impressionistic aura that sets the stage for the imagistic lyrics and cascading vocals.

Although the musician make-up of Stoneface Honey is new, the stage at Sellwood Public House will be full of seasoned and experienced musicians who have worked diligently to weave their talent and passion together in order to present a refreshing, crisp sound perfect for a Portland November night.

I’ve been mad at Mississippi Studios – I wanted to book my CD release party with them, but I didn’t quite have what it takes. So I wasn’t really mad…just pouting and avoiding which is stupid because they’re RAD…But tonight as I headed out with a group of musician friends and stood on the balcony at  Mississippi Studios to take in the music, I was reminded of why it isn’t quite time for me to headline on their stage. The musicianship was spectacular tonight. We’re lucky to have such an incredible venue…remodeled by musicians for musicians…BRILLIANT!

The opening act had just started and my ears perked up when I heard a female lead who was heavy on the keys that of course made me remarkably happy. Lauren Mann and The Fairly Odd Folk are really good! While Mann stayed primarily on the keyboard with the exception of a couple ukulele songs, Dane Letourneau, Jay Christman, Jessica Christman, Ray Gourlay and super jumper/dancer/twirler/clapper Zoltan Szoges took turns switching instruments. At first I was distracted by the immediate assumption that they wouldn’t play very well on different instruments and should really focus on their primary instrument, they pulled it off AND it gave the audience members milling on the crowded floor the opportunity to catch a peek at different band members as they switched instruments. AND THEY TALKED ABOUT A CAUSE. These guys made a goal of giving 10% of their merch proceeds would go towards fixing wells in Rwanda. Watch for this group in the future…I think they’re gaining momentum!

Before I get to Rusted Root, I just wanted to share some fun facts about Portland audience members:

1. It is apparently really, really difficult for some people to figure out how to turn the flash off their camera while a band is performing.

2. I think this might be the reason the bouncer/flash stopper looked so mad all night. Cuz if I had the opportunity to stop flash and get an amazing show out of it, I’d probably have a permagrin.

3. And speaking of permagrins…it was a very happy, loving crowd tonight…but why did someone keep farting on the balcony??

4. And I really tried to ignore all the chaos…including the giant man in a too small shirt doing some sort of buddha pushin’ up the roof dance…But it did start to bother me just a little that the stranger standing beside me on the balcony wasn’t even watching the musicians. Rather, it seemed that he had an amazing view of dancing cleavage just below him.

5. Finally, for musicians coming to Portland, we’re quiet people here. If the feet of audience members are still glued to the floor at the end of the show, that means they want more. Otherwise (and I’ve seen this many times) they’re already out the door before you’ve even bowed at the end of the night. We’re not big on clapping and clapping and screaming for an encore. We conservationists trying to save our energy by standing as still and quiet as possible. PLEASE COME BACK ON STAGE STAT!!

Rusted Root Trivia time: This band has been together for 20 years…it doesn’t even seem possible…were they five when they started the band? And ‘Send Me On My Way’ has been used in commercials for the past two years, but did you know that NASA used it as wake-up music for the Mars Rover?? How many musicians can put that on their resume?

This was absolutely on of the best live performances I’ve ever seen. Michael Glabicki is ridiculously talented and versatile. The lovely Liz Berlin has a gorgeous voice and plays a mad cowbell. She also rocked the talking drum and a mean cabasa. Patrick Norman has a beautiful voice and is ridiculously cool on stage…all chill and hip in his shades. Colter Harper, with his sweet hat and stellar style, rocked the guitar and percussion…every band needs a hottie with so much versatility. Dirk Miller played the  guitar and banjo in a corner that was hard for me to watch from my corner, but I have to give him superprops for the greatest soundcheck show ever!! Ummm…yeah, he plays a little better than me. Preach Freedom brought the house down with his mad percussion workout at the end of the night with his cascara/clave showdown. The band obviously put a lot of time and energy into practice…talk about cohesive. The Movement, their new album is officially released at the end of this month. And if you happened to be at the show, you had the opportunity to purchase  a copy early. 🙂

Finally, my CD release party…November 17th at Sellwood Public House.

The solar systems seemed to align last night as my favorite producer from Hip Stew Studios and I  discovered fantastic parking, fabulous friends and a stage full of ridiculously talented musicians at The Star Theater last night.  Joey Porter facilitated the 9th annual Herbie Hancock & the Headhunters tribute concert.

As a keyboardist, I feel compelled to convey my adoration for the mad skills of Joey. As his long hair sways to the beat, you can clearly see that every inch of Joey Porter’s body is saturated with music. He is a master at using the effects of his instruments to create an impeccable rendition of Herbie. And he makes it look easy.

Porter shared the stage with the happiest guitar player I’ve ever seen: Mr. Jay “Bird” Koder. He never stopped smiling – and if I played like him, I’d probably have a grin permanently glued to my face as well. The man must abound with modesty because, in my humble opinion, there weren’t nearly enough guitar solos in this show. He is amazing! As for the rest of the gang…

As to be expected by preceding reputation, Joshua Cliburn was truly spectacular on the saxophones. Portland was lucky to inherit this ridiculously talented musician (and karaoke rock star according to the word on the street) from California. And honestly, I don’t know what he’s like off stage, but I really appreciated his habit of sneaking off to the side when he wasn’t playing – I mean he was obviously completely present and brought his glorious aura back to the center of the stage at all the right times, but these little moments allowed us a better view of Mr. Melz’s mad drummin’ skills.

Reinhardt Melz held everything together on drums and continues to make Portland proud. His solos were great and his ability to maintain focus while exuding a vast array of intricate rhythms and techniques is breathtaking. I can’t imagine how much practicing this man has accumulated over the years in order to obtain his level of playing.

Not only a giant in stature but also in reputation, bass player, Dan Scollard, sported a mustache that very few men could pull off. His tasteful and carefully crafted playing demanded respect in some indescribable awe-inspiring manner. You just get the impression that this man is brilliant and doesn’t take any shit from anyone while remaining humbly loyal to those who earn his respect. I could be completely wrong, but his aura definitely exudes awesomeness.

Jans Ingber (who has a really interesting biography) was on percussion, back-up vocals and clever commentary duty in the front. He may hate me for this, but this man reminded me so much of Screech from Saved By The Bell that I instantly loved him. And, just to clarify, I am specifically referring to the character Screech and NOT Dustin Diamond who might have one of the worst child star reputations ever! But Ingber was funny and interactive, skilled with his tasteful additions and awesome with moose calls on the conga drums! And was it just me, or did he change his shirt during the break?

I always enjoy shows at the Star Theater – it’s just a cool venue with so many different options: sitting, dancing, balcony, or a break by the fire in the superfly outdoor area. It was a little disturbing to almost hit a man standing in the road on Burnside on the way there (and not moving…like traffic stopping commotion sort of situation) but one of the dancers in the audience made up for it by displaying choreographed techniques that can be compared to these guys. Make sure you get to at least 1:05 for the full experience!

It was really inspiring to see such an incredible group of musicians on stage, especially as we close in on Stoneface Honey‘s CD Release party at Sellwood Public House on November 17th! And since I usually include pictures but forgot to take any last night, here’s more info on my show! But back to Joey Porter and his brilliant tribute concerts: Next year is the 10th annual tribute concert. I have a feeling it will be an historic event you better not miss. Just sayin’!


“Music has always been healing for me, since I was little. I can really be in pain, then listen to or play music, and I feel things…ease. I feel the music play me, so that I become an instrument that it plays.”

Tori Amos performing during her Dew Drop Tour in 1996

Photo: krissikes

I recently came across this quote by Tori Amos and found myself nodding vigorously. Having been in physical pain for the past few months now, I feel better whenever I listen to music or sing. It makes me forget the pain and move on. When listing to Tori Amos, one gets transported into a strange world of soft words and harsh lyrics that cause a dissonance that is intended.

No stranger to pain, Tori Amos is an intense artist and performer whose voice, words and visuals don’t leave their audience for quite some time. Gutsy and…

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Missy Higgins

So I’m a big fan of Missy Higgins. In fact, I cover three of her tunes. Of course I had to see her performance at The Wonder Ballroom – one of my favorite venues in town. And I was expecting to have a good time, but was most definitely not prepared for the Three Powerful Chicks that rocked the stage tonight.

Butterfly Boucher (Sarah McLachlan and Friends...

The show opened with Butterfly Boucher. Besides being ridiculously talented and gorgeous, what I was most impressed with was Butterfly’s stamina. She was on stage all night and didn’t even look like she was sweating or tired at the end.

Katie Herzig

The second act was Katie Herzig, who rocked  the stage with her incredible voice and energetic music. Towards the end, she brought Missy out for a couple collaborative pieces.

Finally, Missy hit the stage with her ridiculously talented group of musicians. Much to my delight, they started with one of my favorites ‘Secret’ – slow and sexy and incredibly rich with all the instrumentation and vocal backing. By the end of the night, she’d played all of the songs Stoneface Honey covers and ended the night with one of her most popular new tunes. Many of us in the audience were surprised by the fact that they really left the stage for good and didn’t return for an encore at the end. But it was really, REALLY hot in there! Peter even started a little strip tease at one point. Thank you, Peter.

What I love most about Missy Higgins is that she is real. Hearing about her experience, her doubts, her need to explore a world outside of music and ultimately rediscover her niche within music…it was amazing. And affirming. She connects with the audience, is tiny and adorable, writes meaningful music that also happens to be beautiful and catchy, and fills the room with incredibly tasteful instrumentation and rich harmonies. Everyone was singing. Stoneface Honey has the same make up – two women and three men, so the night was not only hot and sweaty and refreshing as I became acquainted with the adorable couple next to me from Vancouver, BC. But the night was really, REALLY inspiring.  Thank you, Missy!

Missy Higgins

Missy Higgins (Photo credit: Devar)

P.S. My phone appears to be refusing to take pictures, so I borrowed some from Word Press’s media gallery. But I’m sure there are many, many pictures out there from tonight – it was a camera happy crowd!

The new and improved Stoneface Honey was delighted to perform together for the first time last Saturday at Sellwood Public House. If you haven’t been to this place, I highly recommend it. They have free ping-pong and darts and poker and a huge stage. Everyone working there was great & SPH has an interesting history. I like the way Portland Mercury describes it: Like a den in an attic, this former social club space has been transformed into a nice, casual place to relax, drink some beer or fresh juice cocktail, and sup on gourmet brick oven pizza, throw some darts, buy-into a game of Texas Hold-Em and a handful of other offerings.


So, the night opened with Brain Sand rocking the stage for about 30 minutes before A-Shep Rock AKA &mperSandMan hit the stage. And I’d forgotten how much I don’t know about sound, so was incredibly grateful for A-Shep taking care of that. But what I discovered is that meeting at 8pm for set-up and not performing until 10pm may be too long for some band member’s significant others to sit and wait with alcohol at their beck & call. Sadly, the night didn’t end well for all parties involved. It was shocking, infuriating, heartbreaking and insightful all at the same time.  And, sadly, Stoneface Honey broke up with one of our band members that night. BUT, we’ve been busy auditioning new members & I’m looking forward to our new and improved debut at Mississippi Pizza on September 22nd at 6pm.

Thank you for having us, SPH. You are a great venue!

Last night, I had the chance to check out Radius, an art studio at SE 3rd and Morrison. They were raising funds and celebrating the building of their gas kiln at their non-profit studio. Radius Community Art Studios is a community space offering workshops, facilities, and private studios for anyone serious (or curious) about art. Working to accommodate both the beginning and experienced artist, we offer professional facilities and instruction of specific art disciplines in a supportive and creative environment. The event is going on again tonight – so check it out if you have the chance! Everyone is really nice and, of course, ridiculously talented.

And they really seemed to do that. In addition to selling pottery donated by many of the artists, they sold wine and beer and hosted Papa Coyote. The band played outside with the glowing kiln at their backs. The setting was the backyard of the studio, nestled in-between other Southeast Portland buildings that towered above us. As the breeze blew through the mostly twenty and thirty-somethings crowd, I watched various people stop their bikes or shopping carts from high above us to check out the scene. Papa Coyote oozes talented musicians playing well-honed tunes.

And one of the amps was held up by a gargoyle!