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Aural Report

Bon appétit!
Summer ingredients
by Kurt Dahlke

ummer is a time for all kinds of cooking. Here's a Portland sampling of some of July's better bites:

John Bunzow's Tennessee Portland Tasty Chicken

John Bunzow: Click to visit the Web site.

This grub is finger-lickin' good if you're looking for greasy, spicy old-fashioned American fare. The recipe calls for crisp songwriting followed by wild soloing.

Does Bunzow's dish become a little formulaic? Maybe, but there's a reason Heinz stopped at 57, baby! Bon appétit!

· 170-lb.drummer (best if entirely new to Bunzow)
· 5'10" bass player (the more indefatigably positive, the better)
· 1 guitar-playing John Bunzow (for extra spice, marinate Bunzow)
· 1/2-bottle Tennessee Portland BBQ sauce

1. Take Bunzow, seasoned several years in Nashville, then smoked Pacific Northwest style; gently layer onto a small bar stage.
2. Sift in a smiling, beatific, tuned-in bass player (Jay Johnson variety whenever possible); let settle into a groove.
3. Select an indispensable, smart, intuitive Portland drummer (endless varieties available); blend briskly.
4. Season liberally with tuneful, soulful, intelligent songs cut southern singer-songwriter style.
5. Add a pinch of mechanics-revealing cues for that human element.
6. Season to taste with Tennessee Portland BBQ sauce.
7. Boil furiously, occasionally adding beer and whiskey, then simmer while sprinkling with Jamaican spices.


Always finish a piece of Bunzow's Tasty with a burning, soulful or combination guitar solo (see: "Which Bunzow solos are in season?"). Use only transportational solos preternaturally grown with melodic fertilizer. Solos can be enjoyed with a garnish of band enthusiasm and laughter; extra smooth when washed down with a few prayerful grooves from Johnson, and peppery fills from whatever drummer you find in the cupboard.

OEbase Bouillabaisse

This stew is truly meant for the fishes contained within. If you see yourself anywhere in this recipe, start cooking!

· 200-400 variegated music-industry types
· 165 lb. Jonathan Nicholas
· Copious drinks and tapas
· 1 floret indie-rock chanteuse and band
· 18-ft. hip-hop crew
· 1 uncomfortable writer

… No, that won't do; Bunzow's oeuvre eats up the food metaphor, but the British-art-rock-meets-Portland vibe of OEbase calls for something more concise and pithy, such as the style used by the Oregonian's venerable society columnist Jonathan Nicholas.

PDX Web Rec Exec is Hep

Dave Allen: Click to visit the Overland site.

Local amorphous entertainment confab Overland Agency, brainchild of erstwhile art-punk bassist-cum-Intel-refugee Dave Allen, has grown a new limb. What will drive traffic to www.oebase.com? Artistic and business integrity, hopes Allen.

He's crafted "a program that helps artists keep doing what they do best, keep a bigger share of what they earn, and continue to own their copyrights and masters," while providing music buyers with "the crème de la crème of the CDs that are available out there."

What do you get? Lots of great local acts from hip-hop to folk-rock, and a tasty tour through the high points of alternative rock from the last 30 or so years, from Bowie to Flaming Lips, with many nice stops in between.

Think of Allen as your cool older brother, then spend some time flipping through his record collection.

Overboard Entertainment

Sophe Lux and the Blooming Bees: Click to visit the Web site.

If Nicholas is around, the party is official. But hundreds of music mullahs, and Penny Lane to boot, couldn't care less (well, not exactly). Nevertheless, the OEbase launch party is an unqualified success. Tapas get scarfed, booze flows freely (Who does your catering Dave? Exemplary bartenders!) and live music and DJs are here to distract the socially challenged (me).

Sophe Lux fails to completely captivate me with semi-shambolic country art-folk-rock (Tori Amos is one comparison), but mostly it's just that I'm distracted by trying to actually talk to someone. The band, fronted by director Todd Haynes' sister, Wendy, definitely has the poise, polish and talent to carry a crowd home in its pocket. Check out samples at the OEbase Web site.

Local Flava Livens Dish

Lifesavas: Click to visit the Web site.

Portland hip-hop trio Lifesavas tops my party-dish with Quannum projects (ala Blackalicious) spice. Positivity-flecked lyrics tinged with sardonic realism flow freely over crowd-moving samples and beats.

Hands are waving, voices chant the choruses, honeys start freaking in front of me. Yeah! I bob my head, wave my hand and, after Lifesavas are done, find I've left after Nicholas.

Not bad at all.

A great party for a cool, progressive agency and retail Web site. Thanks Dave!

E-mail Kurt at orangeandorange@msn.com, and don't miss his previous reports.

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