Music

Of Rodney and Rundgren

A Skagit sojourn

Attend

More:

What: An Unpredictable Evening with Todd Rundgren
When: 8pm Fri.-Sat., Nov. 15-16
Where: Skagit Casino Resort, 5984 N. Darrk Lane, Bow
Cost: $70-$75
Info: http://www.theskagit.com

Who: Lone Pinon
When: 7:30pm Fri., Nov. 15
Where: McIntyre Hall, 2501 E. College Way, Mount Vernon
Cost: $25-$35
Info: http://www.mcintyrehall.org

Who: Rodney Crowell
When: 7:30pm Tues., Nov. 19
Where: Lincoln Theatre, 712 S. 1st St., Mount Vernon
Cost: $29-$44
Info: http://www.lincolntheatre.org

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Last week, I touched on some of the many events taking place at the Mount Baker Theatre during the days before it becomes Bellingham’s ground zero for holiday happenings.

Not so fast, say Skagit County’s siziest venues. Because the Skagit Casino Resort, McIntyre Hall, and the Lincoln Theatre would like to lure us to points south for entertainment offerings all their own.

I suppose it says something about my age that my main point of reference for Todd Rundgren is the fact that Liv Tyler spent the first eight or so years of her life thinking he was her father before her undeniable resemblance to Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler made plain that he was the source of half her genetic code.

Obviously that does Rundgren, a visionary musician and producer, an injustice.

Recently, he earned his second nomination to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and that, coupled with his upcoming shows at the Skagit Casino Resort that take place Fri.-Sat., Nov. 15-16, prompted me to give myself an impromptu refresher course about the man and his music.

As I listened my way through his hits—such songs as “I Saw the Light,” “Bang the Drum All Day,” “We Gotta Get You a Woman,” and others—I realized, as so often happens, that I was more familiar with his work than I thought. And as a perused photos of Rundgren from the early 1970s, all long legs, long hair and soulful eyes, while “Hello It’s Me” and “Couldn’t I Just Tell You” played in the background, I could kind of see what all the fuss is about.

But from his earliest days, Rundgren was much more than a pretty face with a pretty voice who could write pretty songs. He was one of the first artists to fully embrace all that technology had to offer when it comes to making music, earning a reputation as a psychedelic high-tech wizard of sorts. His breakthrough release, the 1972 double album Something/Anything?, was pretty much a solo effort, with Rundgren writing, playing, singing, producing and engineering everything on three of the album’s four sides. It wasn’t long before other bands recognized his studio skills and he then became one of the first musicians to become a sought-after producer as well, with Grand Funk Railroad’s We’re An American Band, the New York Dolls’ New York Dolls’,, Meat Loaf’s Bat Out of Hell, XTC’s Skylarking, and more to his credit.

Sounds like a Hall of Fame career to me, but Rundgren, ever the iconoclast, was mostly nonplussed by the honor, saying to Billboard magazine, “I’m not looking for some organization to acknowledge me, somehow… I’ve never really taken the whole thing seriously.” If that’s not an on-brand statement, I don’t know what is. At press time, Rundgren’s shows were darn near sold out, which is likely an honor he finds to be more relatable.

If you slept on getting tickets to Rundgren or he’s not your musical flavor of the moment, the show happening Fri., Nov. 15 at McIntyre Hall might be more to your liking. According to their bio, “Lone Pinon is an acoustic conjunto from Northern New Mexico whose music celebrates the integrity of their region’s cultural roots.”

If we’re being totally honest here, I had to Google “conjunto,” although my remedial Spanish led me to believe it was some sort of band or group, which the internet confirmed for me. In this case, said conjunto consists of Noah Martinez and Jordan Wax, who play not just instruments we’re familiar with like guitar, mandolin, fiddle and accordion, but also have a commanding grasp of the bajo quinto and quinta huapanguera, as well as lyrics in English, Spanish, Nahuatl, and P’urepecha.

Their skill set might be intimidating, however their music is anything but. Embracing the practice of all great folk movements, Lone Pinon first learned from their elders in an effort to preserve the disappearing string music of New Mexico before adapting those songs and sounds to suit a more modern audience. In doing so, they not only ensure an entire way of life continues to survive and thrive, but they also are able to bring that tradition to wider audiences. Plus, Lone Pinon is pretty darn entertaining, which is the key to longevity for music of any origin.

Not to be left out of this mix, the Lincoln Theatre will take a break from performances of Pray the Gay Away to host a Tues., Nov. 19 concert featuring Rodney Crowell.

I do not love all country music (like, what are you even, Florida Georgia Line? Do you only exist to afflict me with secondhand embarrassment?), but anyone who cites Townes Van Zandt and Guy Clark as his biggest influences and was part of Emmylou Harris’ band automatically bypasses my personal barriers to entry. But Crowell’s country bona fides go far deeper than that. As a songwriter, he’s written hits for everyone from Crystal Gayle to Keith Urban. As a producer, he put his own career on hold for a long period to bring albums by his then-wife and sometime-collaborator Rosanne Cash into the world. And as a recording artist, he cranked out five consecutive number-one songs—“It’s Such a Small World,” “I Couldn’t Leave You if I Tried,” “She’s Crazy for Leavin’,” “After All this Time,” and “Above and Beyond”—in just slightly more than a year and a half, an effort that won him the first of his two Grammys.

As with many country stars of his era and ilk, Crowell fell out of favor for a bit, only to once again gain traction—and renewed respect—during recent years. However, he’s never stopped writing, producing or touring, and you can expect him to be in fine form when he hits the historic Lincoln Theatre stage.

More Music...
Sounds of the Season
The sequel

Like it or not, the holiday season is happening

Personally speaking, I like it. But then again, everyone already knew that. Per usual, no physical evidence of my seasonal spirit exists anywhere in my life—no stockings have been hung, no presents procured, my tiny artificial tree remains…

more »
Holiday Happenings
Celebrate in song

Even though I live a life dictated by deadlines, I am not as proficient as I should be when it comes to planning ahead.

That said, I’ve known for months what story I’d be writing for this issue of the Cascadia Weekly. Since the day it was announced that Wayne Newton would be coming to…

more »
Christmas Creep
Get thee to the Shakedown

I can feel it overtaking me.

It must be said that I’m not trying all that hard to resist the Christmas creep that had me considering digging out my cat’s Santa suit the other day. I’ve taken inventory of my Christmas sweaters already. I’ve watched a Hallmark holiday movie or two.…

more »
Events
Today
Holiday Pet Food Drive

10:00am|Whatcom County

Deck the Old City Hall

12:00pm|Whatcom Museum's Old City Hall

Giving Tree

9:00am|Village Books

Holiday Festival of the Arts

10:00am

Miracle Pop-Up Holiday Cocktail Bar

4:00pm|Swim Club

Shrek the Musical

7:00pm|Burlington-Edison High School

Treasure Island

7:00pm|Sehome High School Theater

Number the Stars

7:30pm|Anacortes Community Theatre

A Christmas Carol

7:30pm|Sylvia Center for the Arts

Crazy for You

7:30pm|Bellingham Theatre Guild

Pacific Arts Market

10:00am| Sunset Square

Toys for Tots

10:00am

Holiday Tea

11:00am|Willowbrook Manor

Valley Made Holiday Market

5:00pm|Maplehurst Farm

Christmas on the Docks

5:00pm|Cap Sante Marina

Wonderland Walk

5:00pm|Washington Park

Honk! The Musical

7:00pm|Bellingham Arts Academy for Youth

Darkness and Light

7:30pm|St. James Presbyterian Church

Narnia the Musical

7:30pm|Claire vg Thomas Theatre

Tarnation and Holiday Games

7:30pm|Upfront Theatre

Breakfast with Santa

9:00am|Sedro-Woolley Community Center

NSEA Work Party

9:00am

Sumas Book Club

10:00am|Sumas Library

Fairhaven Winterfest

10:00am|Historic Fairhaven

Winter Faire

10:00am|Whatcom Hills Waldorf School

Old-Fashioned Christmas Market

10:00am|Friday Harbor Brickworks

Winter Arts & Crafts Festival

10:00am|Pioneer Park Pavilion

Your Life is a Story Writers Group

10:30am| South Whatcom Library

Award-Winning Book Club

10:30am|Lynden Library

Mastering Wisteria

10:30am|Full Bloom Farm

Snow Geese of Skagit

10:30am|Christianson's Nursery

Saltadena Celebration

11:00am|Saltadena Bakery

Winter Wonderland Gift Gala

11:00am|Carnation Building

Holiday Craft Bazaars

11:30am

Holiday Maker's Market

12:00pm|Terramar Brewing and Distilling

Holiday Tea and Crafts

1:00pm|North Fork Library

Holiday Joy with Fidalgo Youth Symphony

1:00pm|McIntyre Hall

Festive Feasting Reception

1:00pm|Good Earth Pottery

Teen Art Fair

2:00pm|Blaine Library

Big Holiday reds tasting

2:00pm|eifert & Jones Wine Merchants

Shrinking the Worry Monster

2:00pm|Village Books

Birding for Kids

2:30pm

Bowman Bay Holiday

3:00pm|Bowman Bay

A Deep Dive Into Eve Deisher's Psyche

3:00pm|Museum of Northwest Art

Noel Ensemble

3:00pm|Jansen Art Center

One Meditation

4:00pm| Boulevard Park

The Nativity

6:30pm|Mount Baker Theatre

Holiday History Hi-Jinks

7:00pm|Downtown Bellingham

Early Railroads of Whatcom County

7:00pm|Village Books

Contra Dance

7:00pm|Fairhaven Library

Center Into Solstice

7:00pm|Cafe Blue

Winter Solstice Concert with SeaMuse

7:30pm|Firehouse Arts and Events Center

The Kelley World Tour

7:30pm|Lummi Island Library

Cidertails with Alexine Langdon

7:30pm|housand Acre Cider House

Heralding Christmas with Skagit Valley Chorale

7:30pm|McIntyre Hall

Tomorrow
Holiday Pet Food Drive

10:00am|Whatcom County

Deck the Old City Hall

12:00pm|Whatcom Museum's Old City Hall

Giving Tree

9:00am|Village Books

Holiday Festival of the Arts

10:00am

Miracle Pop-Up Holiday Cocktail Bar

4:00pm|Swim Club

Crazy for You

7:30pm|Bellingham Theatre Guild

Number the Stars

7:30pm|Anacortes Community Theatre

Pacific Arts Market

10:00am| Sunset Square

Christmas on the Docks

5:00pm|Cap Sante Marina

Valley Made Holiday Market

5:00pm|Maplehurst Farm

Honk! The Musical

7:00pm|Bellingham Arts Academy for Youth

Narnia the Musical

7:30pm|Claire vg Thomas Theatre

Winter Wonderland Gift Gala

11:00am|Carnation Building

The Nativity

6:30pm|Mount Baker Theatre

Heralding Christmas with Skagit Valley Chorale

7:30pm|McIntyre Hall

Sedro-Woolley Community Breakfast

8:00am|American Legion Post #43

Langar in Lynden

11:00am| Guru Nanak Gursikh Gurdwara

Celtic Yuletide

3:00pm|Lincoln Theatre

Scarlett and Dicey

4:00pm|Village Books

Vaudevillingham

7:00pm|Cirque Lab

Monday
Holiday Pet Food Drive

10:00am|Whatcom County

Giving Tree

9:00am|Village Books

Holiday Festival of the Arts

10:00am

Miracle Pop-Up Holiday Cocktail Bar

4:00pm|Swim Club

Whatcom Flute Ensemble

3:00pm|Bellingham Public Library

MVHS Winter Concert

4:00pm|McIntyre Hall

Community Soup Kitchen

6:00pm|Little Cheerful Cafe

Avalanche Awareness with NWAC

6:00pm|REI

Poetrynight

7:00pm|Alternative Library

Guffawingham

9:00pm|Firefly Lounge

see our complete calendar »