January 11, 2013

Slang – “Handle With Care”

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It just might take a super group to cover a supergroup with the kind of pedigree of the Travelling Wilburies. Luckily for Slang and their cover of “Handle with Care,” they meet the description of supergroup, with and without the space.  A duo consisting of Janet Weiss on drums and vox and Drew Grow on guitar and vox, Slang simply “plays really good cover songs.” And boy do they. Easily the best cover band I’ve ever seen with a repertoire which can only (somewhat unfortunately) be described as “all killer, no filler.” The few times I’ve seen Slang perform, I find myself thinking “this is the best cover song choice ever,” and then I repeat that thought the entirety of their set. When they played a wedding of dear friends last February I tweeted “I want Slang to play ALL the parties.” And I do.

But I have to admit, I was a little nervous when Grow’s harmonica and Weiss’ crushing drums began “Handle With Care,” a lasting favorite of mine that I have loved since it first came out in 1988, when I was just seven years old. Those worries were wholly unfounded, as the adoring and adorable duo make the song their own and in doing so, just may out do the original (and definitely surpass the too many cooks in the kitchen version from Jenny Lewis’ Rabbit Fur Coat). Grow and Weiss’ voice were made to harmonize together, not blending but accentuating,  and when they sing “Handle With Care” every word is managed to be sung with both intense integrity and a cheeky wink.

While we haven’t even seen two weeks of 2013 pass,  it’ll take a hell of a cover to make me  think Slang’s version of “Handle with Care” isn’t “the best thing I’ve ever found.”

June 7, 2011

A Bonus Doe Bay Session with Drew Grow and the Pastors’ Wives

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Drew Grow and the Pastors’ Wives ::: photo by Josh Lovseth

 

 

Drew Grow and the Pastors’ Wives Doe Bay Session began under unexpected circumstances, which is par for the course for a band so creative and gifted, you never know what note is coming next. Setting up in the middle of the trail, Pastors Wife percussionist Jeremiah Hayden found a ladder in a nearby tool-shed and decided to play perched atop it for the bands first song. And just as the band began the wailing harmonies of “Bootstraps,” a small brass band began playing, the deep notes of a tuba reverberating off the Bay and trees. No matter the distractions, the band “played it loud and got it on,” resulting in one of our most unique sessions.

 

 

Drew Grow and the Pastors’ Wives play Chop Suey this Thursday with See Me River, Buffalo Deathbeam and The Foghorns as part of Noise for the Needy. You can buy your tickets here. And for our under 21 readers, the band is playing an all-ages show on Friday at Ground Zero Teen Center in Bellevue.

March 29, 2011

The Columbia City Round #1 with Shenandoah Davis, Drew Grow, and Matt & Mike of Curtains for You

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The Round: Drew Grow listens intently to Matt Gervais of Curtains for You

Curtains for You find a new fan in Drew Grow ::: Photo by Josh Lovseth

Five years on, the Round is more than just an intimate event that’s catching on internationally, it’s a malleable concept that’s potential is only limited by how much it’s participants are willing to run with the idea and cross-pollinate. The participants of the inaugural south-end Round at the Columbia City Theater met those expectations of putting on a one-time-only event, weaving three distinctly different approaches to music, two poets, and a painter into an interactive and reactive experience. Painter Fritha Strand-Davern layered colors and more colors, creating what at first I thought was the face of a skull, only to have that image obscured five minutes later, finally ending with an I-don’t-know-what-that-is result. The poets this night, Ela Barton & Jessie Anne Fouts, seemed particularly focused on race and gender, which was yes, slightly uncomfortable among a room full of educated white people. Even so, the second poet was a compelling speaker who related challenging ideas and situations that made her “slam” poetry so much more than just poetry and a white guilt trip. (Though, too be honest, it was that too. I felt the guilt.)

Perched at the grand piano for much of the night, and accompanied by a string section, Grand Hallway’s Shenandoah Davis provided the best glimpse yet of songs from her upcoming solo release, songs that felt big and fully realized with additional instruments and the nimble backing vocals fellow performers Mikey and Matty Gervais of Curtains For You. Always excited to make music with friends and lend a harmony or clarinet to any mix, the brothers Gervais are the ideal Round participants. Linking up in the day beforehand to work out a few songs might’ve taken some of the spontaneous fun out of show, but as a gaggle of gifted artists can do when they put their minds to it, they can also raise the bar and make a far better end product. Davis and the Gervais’ proved natural compliments to each other’s meticulously formed songs, and the contributions of Shenandoah’s guest guerrilla string section to nearly every song surely earned them a seat a the front of the stage next time around.

If Davis and the Gervais’ performance thrived in planning, the duo of Portland’s Drew Grow and Pastors’ Wives wild-man instrumentalist Seth Schaper seem to only work on an improvisational basis completely on the other side. At one point Grow explained his next choice of song was made on the spot due to a lyric in Davis’ just performed song. When asked by a poet for some sad sack beach walking music, Schaper was at the ready to provide the reverbed mood. “It All Comes Right,” always the much anticipated closer at any Pastors’ Wives set, was not just everyone on stage’s opportunity to belt one out together, but also the crowds opportunity to join in the Round.

Shenandoah Davis and Kaylee Cole will be joined by the full Seattle Rock Orchestra at the Triple Door, Saturday April 2nd doing their own songs. The Round 71 is April 12th at the Fremont Abbey with Shelby Earl and OK Sweetheart, and the Round 72 is May 10th at the Abbey with Kaylee Cole and Kevin Murphy plus some Moondoggies. No word yet on when the next Columbia City Round will be.


The Round: Shenandoah Davis

Shenandoah Davis ::: Photo by Josh Lovseth

The Round: Matt and Mike Gervais of Curtains for You

Shenandoah Davis ::: Photo by Josh Lovseth

The Round: Poet Number 2

A Poet ::: Photo by Josh Lovseth

The Round: Drew Grow w/ Fritha painting

Drew Grow ::: Photo by Josh Lovseth

February 16, 2011

Drew Grow & the Pastors’ Wives Benefit and Silent Auction This Saturday

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Drew Grow ::: photo by Abbey Simmons

Its been just over a month since Drew Grow was in a nasty car accident which totaled the Pastors’ Wives tour van, as well as severely breaking his foot and femur, resulting in multiple surgeries. It was a terrible accident and the consequences severe, but it could have been much worse and we are lucky that Drew is alive, writing new songs and standing on a casted foot today.

As Drew has been working hard on healing, a community stronger than we ever knew existed, sprung into action organizing benefits, cooking meals and doing anything they could to help Drew and the Pastors’ Wives make it through this tough time. This Saturday, much of that activity culminates in a benefit show and silent auction at Columbia City Theater with acoustic sets from The Maldives, Kevin Murphy of The Moondoggies, Bryan John Appleby, Mychal Benjamin Goodweather of Campfire OK, Ghosts I’ve Met, Jake Hemming of Big Sur and some special unannounced guests. All of the musicians playing have donated their time and all of the proceeds from ticket sales will go to the Pastors’ Wives.

You can buy your tickets for the benefit HERE

And its not just the musicians playing who’ve donated to the cause, from 7 to 10pm during the benefit there will be a silent auction in the Bourbon Bar with big ticket items like three nights at the Doe Bay Resort Retreat House (large enough for 20 folks) and $2,000 worth of website design from Hardly Code and smaller items like a custom knit sweater, prints from local photographers and more. As well as the silent auction there will be a merch market place where friends of the Pastors’ Wives and some of the bands playing the benefit have donated merchandise to be sold with all proceeds going to evening’s grand total.

This Saturday’s benefit certainly isn’t the only one for Drew and the Pastors’ Wives, but it’s the biggest event in Seattle planned. Portland, the Pastors’ Wives hometown, are also coming together to show their support and appreciation, and another benefit for the band was just announced: March 2nd show at Doug Fir with Boy Eats Drum Machine, Tope and Light for Fire.

Yesterday in a new blog post, Drew shared his thoughts on the past month and his thanks:

What should a person think after living through something like this? How much worse could things be looking for me than they do? Is there more to the trauma of what happened or to the guilt that I was so fortunate? What if I didn’t have such support from my community, no “family”? In the hospital friends visited, to my needs friends swarmed. I want you all to hear it, because in a way, it was you that this community visited, and it was to you that this corner of the world swarmed. It is who we are and what we are that has manifested so tangibly. I want you who have sent me a message or a thought or prayer, or a dinner or some financial help toward medical bills or donated your art or played a concert for my benefit, to know how real your part has been in this chapter and how much your effort has truly made a difference. I have, maybe we all have, often thought that taking some risk to step outside ourself is not worth the sacrifice or perhaps only hardly worth the sacrifice, but I now know differently. I have seen what you all have done and I have been bolstered and shielded from further harm by your gestures. I will remember this.

We’ll see you at Columbia City Theater on Saturday, because not only is it all for a great cause, but its going to be a great show.

January 21, 2011

Drew Grow (and the Pastors’ Wives) Benefits – UPDATED

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Drew Grow ::: photo by Abbey Simmons

[ originally written 1/12/2011 -- updated and re-published to include updated benefit information ]

Save the date and bring your check book (or turn in your extra coins to the CoinStar) because its time for us to come together to help one of the Pacific Northwest’s most gifted musicians. Last night Drew Grow, the charismatic front man of the Pastors’ Wives was in a terrible car accident that totaled the band’s tour van. Drew himself suffered badly broken bones including his femur, foot and nose and is due to go into surgery for his injuries in the next half an hour.

While Drew will heal and recover from his injuries, he will likely need months of rehabilitation and will not be able to work. This is a cost few musicians can bare, so while the accident might not cripple Drew, the cost easily could. While details are still being sorted and there will be multiple benefits and ways for you to donate, the first will be February 19th at Columbia City Theater. Portland, your first chance to show your support for Drew and the Pastors’ Wives in March 2nd at The Doug Fir. More details for both dates and benefits are coming soon and we’ll share them with you here.

Update Benefits Information (current as of 2/16/11):

Donate to Drew NOW via PayPal

* January 21st – See Me River, Big Sur & Lemolo,Youth Rescue Mission – The Comet (Drew was originally scheduled to headline this show) – SOLD OUT! * February 5th – Featuring members of Big Sur, Elk and Boar, Alexander Graham Bell & Special Guests – Peabody Waldorf Gallery (Tacoma) * February 18th – Portland Cello Project with Shenandoah Davis – The Woods (Portland) * February 19th – The Maldives, Kevin Murphy (of The Moondoggies), Bryan John Appleby, Mychal Benjamin Goodweather (of Campfire OK), Jake Hemming & many more / Plus a Silent Auction – Columbia City Theater – BUY YOUR TICKETS * March 2nd – Boy Eats Drum Machine, Tope and Light for Fire – Doug Fir (Portland) * April 1st – Benefit Show – The Comet

If you’ve been inspired by Drew’s music and raise the rafters live performances, please come and show your support. This is a moment for our community to come together and show what we can really do when we unite and there couldn’t be a more deserving person for such an effort. With zero hyperbole we can say Drew is one of the most captivating, kind and gifted people and performers we’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing on and off-stage. Josh said it best, “Drew is everything that is right about Northwest music at the moment.” And he and the band need our help. And until the benefit shows, please send your love and healing thoughts and prayers or whatever it is you do, to Drew and the Pastors’ Wives.

If you think you can contribute in any way to the benefit other than your attendance, please don’t hesitate to email me at abbey@soundonthesound[dot]com

And if you can’t wait to donate or you can’t attend one of the benefits, please donate what you can do the Drew Grow Benefit fund via PayPal.

January 15, 2011

Record Setting Night of Generosity at The Blue Moon

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Donations Jar ::: photo by Abbey Simmons

We are truly wowed and grateful for all of you who came out to The Blue Moon last night and all of you who tried to come out. It was a record setting night at The Blue Moon and your kindness extended beyond tipping your bartender. You all donated over $700 to the bands who played last night and to a fund for Drew Grow. We got to send nearly $350 to Portland for Drew Grow, as well as send The Moondoggies on tour with a considerable chunk of gas money and pay the perfect party soundtrack of Kelli Schaefer, Pickwick and the Petty Party a little extra.

We’re moved by your generosity and your support of local music and of us. Thank you so much.

January 13, 2011

If You’re Coming to Our Birthday at The Blue Moon Tomorrow …

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Jars and Photo by the wonderful Meghan Carlson

 

 

Remember that The Blue Moon is a cash only establishment. And bring a few extra bucks for the bands who are taking the stage and our much beloved Drew Grow.

December 17, 2010

Our Year in Photos 2010: Drew Grow and the Pastors’ Wives

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Drew Grow and the Pastors’ Wives ::: photo by Abbey Simmons

What is there left to say about Drew Grow and the Pastors’ Wives on Sound on the Sound in 2010? We’ve spent much of 2010 in reverent awe of the quiet man who takes the stage to become an entity larger than the rooms he plays … a conduit for emotion and energy in a manner that only comes around once in a decade (perhaps a lifetime) and that you always feel blessed to be in the presence of.

Tomorrow Drew Grow and the Pastors’ Wives will play in a room befitting of the size of their impact: a hopefully sold-out Showbox. It will be the biggest crowd the band has played to by hundreds and if anyone is ready to command such a crowd, it is this band and man. Or as Drew said better himself in an interview with Jonathan Zwickel for the Seattle Times, “I wanna be a part of the messy part of life. And when we reach out with music that comes from a place like that, we’ve found that everybody agrees. We all feel this way.”

Just before taking the stage at The Showbox, The Pastors’ Wives will be at KEXP for their first in-studio on Audioasis. You’d be wise to both tune in and to buy your tickets right now for tomorrow night’s Holiday Spectacular with The Maldives and The Moondoggies. And despite how great both of those headlining bands are, if you miss the opener, you’ll most likely miss the performance of the night.

Drew Grow and the Pastors’ Wives ::: photo by Abbey Simmons

December 16, 2010

Abbey’s Favorite Songs of 2010

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Sharon Van Etten “Love More” ::: photo by Josh Lovseth

If my 2010 was a mix tape (or a couple mix tapes as it were), these would be the tracks. These were the songs that were my most frequent and adored companions of 2010. They’re the songs I’ll know the words to for the rest of my life. They’re largely local, though my favorite song of 2010 hands down, no questions asked, comes courtesy of Sharon Van Etten. I’ve listened “Love More” at least a hundred times more than any other track. I still think in just over 5 minutes, Sharon Van Etten manages to accomplish what most artists spend a lifetime trying to attain: perfection.

This list only covers my favorite songs released in 2010, though many of my most cherished discoveries and companions weren’t born of 2010. (A list not specified by date of release would include a lot of Carissa’s Wierd, Baptist Generals and early Damien Jurado.) Speaking of Damien Jurado, he’s noticeably missing from this list, despite releasing one of my favorite records of 2010. Why? Because Saint Bartlett is an album, in full and despite a hundred listens, I couldn’t single out one song as a favorite and saying “all of them” seemed like a cop out. Also, you won’t see “Airplanes” by Local Natives, “What Took So Long” by The Moondoggies or “Vanderlyle Cry Baby” by The National on this list, though they were doubtlessly favorites. That’s because they made my lists for 2009 … that’s what you get for being ahead of the curve.

p.s. I say “favorite” because I can’t say these are the best songs of 2010, my listening isn’t broad enough to make such a statement, but I hope you find something you love all the same.

My Favorite Songs of 2010

* “Love More” by Sharon Van Etten | download song| * “Down in the Valley” and “The Sea Beside Me” by The Head and The Heart |watch video | download song| * “It Just Makes Sense to Me” and “It’s a Shame, It’s A Pity” by The Moondoggies | download the song | * “Ghost of the Beast” by Kelli Schaefer | watch video | * “Go Back to Virgina” by The Maldives | watch video| * “Song for November” by Chris Pureka | Download the Daytrotter Session| * “War” by Le Sang Song | listen to song | * “King on the Throne” by Drew Grow | stream the song | * “Live There” by The Lonely Forest | download the song | * “Unico” by Avians Alight | stream the entire debut album | * “It All Comes Right” and “Spider” by Drew Grow and the Pastors’ Wives | watch video | * “Finish With Starting” and “Neck Bones” by Hoquiam | watch the video | * “Not a Problem” by S

* “New New” by The Lights |download the song| * “Road Regrets” and “Pine for Cedars” by Dan Mangan | watch the video| * “Otherside” (Remix) by Macklemore and Fences | stream the song | * “Excuses” by The Morning Benders | watch video | * “My Silver Hands” by Case Studies | listen to the song| * “Fara” by Baltic Cousins | listen to the song| * “Albatross” by The Besnard Lakes | download the song| * “Night Might” by The Strange Boys | download the song | * “Never Wanted You” by Dave Bazan | watch video| * “Right Angle” by What What Now * “Mr Peterson” by Perfume Genius | download the song| * “Grey Wizard” by The Sandwitches | download the song|

* “Who Loves” by Lemolo * “Days in my Room” by Nick Jaina | watch the video | * “Penthouse Lover” by Hobosexual | listen to the song| * “Grow” by Land of Pines | stream their debut EP| * “Shades of Blue” by Luke Stevens |stream the song| * “Nothing But Our Love” and “Simple Girl” by Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. | watch the video | * “Ex” by The Mallard| download the song | * Stumbling 22nd St.” by Moon Duo | download the song | * “Love is All” by The Tallest Man on Earth | watch the video | * “Crows” by Cousin Dud | download the song | * “Girls With Accents” by Fences

December 4, 2010

Stream Drew Grow’s The Comfort Feel EP

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comfortfreel

Much has been made on Sound on the Sound and other places, of the power of a Drew Grow and the Pastors’ Wives performances. On stage the Pastors’ Wives transform into a singular entity, many voices channeled into their wildly gesticulating front man, conjurers of goosebumps, a band that breathes a single breath. We have told you about people weeping openly in the audience at their shows, hell, we’ve been the weepers … but I’m here to tell you now, Drew Grow isn’t all bombast and he’s more than his band’s laudable live performances.

The Comfort Feel, a brand new acoustic EP recorded by Drew Grow, reminds that its the songs and Grow’s lyrics that are really raising the goosebumps — not the wild communal performance. The six song EP will be available for purchase this Tuesday, but Grow was too excited to share the material to not start streaming it tonight. Recorded mostly in his basement, the EP features two reworkings of Pastors’ Wives Songs (“Company” and “It All Comes Right”), two brand new songs and two older tracks. While it is all lovely, the stand out of the EP is the six-minute long “King on the Throne,” a weeping whisper of an old spiritual played on some ancient phonograph. Laid bare without the soaring backing vocals of the Pastors’ Wives, Grow’s voice has never sounded more beautiful or distinct. While he doesn’t have the operatic range of band mate’s Kris Doty or Seth Schaper, Grow conveys more emotion and power in his gravelly timber than someone with eight octave range. Never has that been more clear than on The Comfort Feel.

Listen for yourself: