Category Archives: Rock & Roll

All Access Party

By Vanessa Nesvig
Coordinator of Special Projects

On Thursday, March 12, we are collaborating with SPACE to host an incredible night of rock and roll with five bands jamming in the two spaces. A progressive evening, the performances start at the Museum at 7 p.m. with Soul Movement and then Phantom Buffalo. The exhibition Backstage Pass will be open and people can have a few bites to eat and grab a drink at the cash bar.

Then at 8:30 p.m. we will dance down the street to SPACE where three more bands will be ready to jam on.  Darien Brahms will start it off to draw everyone down, followed by Metal Feathers and Honey Clouds. All these bands are well known to the Portland music scene, but if you don’t know them, definitely check out their sounds on


This night has been a collaboration with many people. It has been fun for me to work with Ian and Nat at SPACE. They have done a fantastic job getting the bands together and will make everyone sound great that night. Bryan Bruchman was incredibly generous to let us use his fine photos for promotion of the event (see photos above!), and Buckdancer’s Choice was so nice to lend us a sound system for the evening! Thank you all! See you there….buy your tickets anywhere (, Bullmoose,, or SPACE on the night of the event!)

Darien Brahms
Darien Brahms has won too many awards to count with her brilliant music, stemming from a deep knowledge of rock and just-about-everything-else with a stage presence the Portland Phoenix says “is somewhere between Elvis and a Siamese cat, unfurling songs equal parts torch and twang.

Metal Feathers:
The grimy indie-pop band Metal Feathers features songsmith wunderkind Jay Lobley on guitar and vocals, along with his brother Derek Lobley and Jason Rogers of Diamond Sharp on keys and bass, respectively, with Althea Pajak thumping on the drums like Mo Tucker from the Velvet Underground. The group is poppy and light while still delivering songs with the brilliant darkness Lobley mastered in his former heavyweight band, Cult Maze.

Honey Clouds:
Ron Harrity lends his guitar talents to one of the flagship bands on his local label, Peapod Recordings. Honey Clouds’ frontman Trey Hughes has a jilted monotone reaching a Pavement-esque breadth of expression, even reaching for the brazen heights of the Fall’s Mark E. Smith on Honey Clouds’ faster, poppier tunes.

Soul Movement:
Kenya Hall and Megan Jo Wilson defy the laws of physics with their harmonies, weaving melodies over one of the tightest backup bands in Portland. Prepare yourself for a soulful, funky good time.

Phantom Buffalo:
Phantom Buffalo is one of Portland’s longest running, most respected indie-rock groups. Frontman Jonny Balzano-Brookes and Tim Burns sing sweetly about our hilly town and lands beyond, both real and imaginary. Classic pop hooks are drenched in modern psychedelia with whirling effects and arresting song structures to create a sound Portland can call its own.

(Photos courtesy of Bryan Bruchman.)

February Vacation Rock & Roll Camp

by Julia Einstein
Coordinator of Youth and Family Programs

Rod Stewart’s lyric, “Every picture tells a story, don’t it,” plays in my head as I look at these from our great week! Young artist-musicians, Daphne, Samuel, Gabriel, and others, came with their creative rock attitudes and styles to look at and listen to famous visual and musical artists. How fantastic it was to view the Rock & Roll Photography exhibition as inspiration on how to photograph our own pose, style, and attitude! Looking at art as we traveled throughout the Museum’s galleries was the best way to collect ideas and Josephine Cameron, our music teacher, taught us to translate these song sketches into original compositions. Our campers produced a rock & roll CD complete with photographic cover art and design, liner notes, and a sessions recording. It was very cool!

Reading Bob Dylan Aloud

By Tim Beidel
Director of Interactive Development
The VIA Group

I had the opportunity to be among the readers last Saturday at Foto-Rhetoric: The Poetry of Bob Dylan. While I was looking forward to it, it occurred to me on the way to the Museum that this could turn out like a horrible college date: a few disinterested passers-by pausing as they noticed someone was reading song lyrics to them from the corner, and worse, talking about what those lyrics meant to them.

I needn’t have worried. The gallery was packed, as it has often been for the Backstage Pass: Rock & Roll Photography exhibition, and there was a big group of Dylanphiles ready to hang on to each and every word—words that in most cases they have been hanging on to for decades.

We readers provided a cross-section of Dylan’s work, from the iconic (”Blowin’ In The Wind,” “The Times They Are A-Changin’”) to, thanks to Dennis Bailey, a former spokesman for Maine Governor Angus King, poetry from Dylan’s album liner notes.

The highlight, though, was when an audience member read “Rainy Day Women #12 & 35,” and everyone joined along in the refrain. This was the kind of crowd that would have thought this was a good college date.