(click for full-page printable poster)
Saturday, October 8, 2011
Crystal Ballroom 503-225-0047
1332 W Burnside St, Portland, OR (MapQuest)
8pm (doors open at 7pm). All Ages.
$29.50 advance tix from Cascade Tickets.
$32.00 at the door.
ABOUT COLBIE CAILLAT--
Listening to All of You, the third and most intriguing release from Colbie Caillat, is like turning a page of a book you've savored for two chapters only to be surprised and delighted by what awaits in Chapter 3.
This is, first of all, definitely and unmistakably a Caillat gem. Those qualities that burst from the first notes of her 2007 debut Coco like bouquets of sonic joy, and flowered in
2009's Breakthrough, emanate from every track on All of You. But now they bloom with a richness of emotion and insight that comes only when a gifted artist can channel lessons learned into her music.
Think about it: Coco debuted at No. 5 and raced its way past the multi-Platinum barrier. Her first single, "Bubbly," caught a generation's imagination and has become one of
the best-selling digital tracks of all time. Billboard took note by naming Caillat its Breakthrough Artist of the Year. Fittingly, Breakthrough broke at No. 1 and was honored with two Grammy nominations; that same year, Colbie won two Grammys for her collaborations
with Jason Mraz and Taylor Swift. She has sung the national anthem on the kickoff to the 2011 NFL season and performed at the Nobel Peace Concert in Oslo. She and her original music have been featured in commercials for cotton and in ABC Family Channel's "25 Days
of Christmas," whose theme song she wrote and arranged. Her embrace has stretched to include work for honorable causes including the Surfrider Foundation, Save the Music and the
Humane Society, for which she has recently become a spokesperson.
Yet all of this was achieved by an artist just beginning to stretch her wings. Even as her music and disarming personality warmed listeners like a sunrise over the Western horizon,
she continued to enjoy life's adventures. All of these, especially a new love, have invested All of You with a depth that signifies an important forward step.
"All of You is a more advanced version of me," Colbie explains. "I like to keep my music acoustic, sunny and optimistic. These songs still have the bright feeling and California
vibe I love. But they're also songs that I write from my experiences."
The most significant of those experiences involves her relationship with Justin Young. The two had worked together for years, with Justin singing backup at her shows. Then, as she
sings in "Brighter Than the Sun," "this is how it starts -- lightning strikes the heart." "He was in my band for two years before we noticed that we like each other," she says, laughing. "I
wrote most of this album about us, our ups and downs. All the songs are about life experiences, so I guess this record is more grown up, with a somewhat wiser perspective."
That wisdom shows in "Shadow," which she and Justin wrote about a friend not
getting what she deserves from her boyfriend. It's there too, in a different way, in the playfulness of the album's first single, "I Do," written by Colbie and Toby Gad. Set to an infectious, finger-snapping beat, it dances around the hallowed marital vow -- all the way to an unexpectedly sweet, teasing finale. "When we had video treatments for 'I Do' come in from directors, everyone wanted to do a wedding scene," Colbie says. "But it's not about getting married, it's about saying 'I love you.' Really, it's another song about Justin, about wanting to say 'I love you' to someone and still picture yourself growing older with them."
Colbie's escalating finesse as a writer and singer in no way diminishes the positive spirit that's at the core of her creativity. But All of You spreads that spirit wider than ever, from the gleeful overlay of styles in "Favorite Song," written and performed by Colbie, Ryan Tedder and the rapper Common, to the subtle country flavoring of "In Stereo" and the flamenco-inflected "Brighter Than the Sun," which kicks off All of Me with a full blast of
beach-party energy and a lyric about being love-struck at first glance.
"I usually like to start my albums by easing my way in," she says. "But 'Brighter Than the Sun' has a punch. It's so up-tempo and happy. My manager actually requested that it be No. 1, and he was right. This song is awesome because it just gets people started right away and interested in what's next. A different instrument leads into each part of the song. It never
stays the same, which keeps listeners wanting to hear what's next."
Similarly, "What If," also featured in the film Letters to Juliet, suggests that first loves, whether real or fantasy, can stir feelings that endure for years. "I've done it and I know
we all do it," Colbie admits. "You see someone from afar or you just meet them, and they look like the person you've always imagined. You start putting their last name as yours, like
you do in high school; you write the boy's last name as yours on your notebook. It's a funny, cute thing when you're daydreaming. But you still wonder, what if we were meant for each
other? What if we were born to be together?'"
Perhaps the most revealing song is the title track. Written by Colbie with Jason Reeves, it addresses the subject of love built on such a strong foundation of friendship and empathy that it's able to overcome even the pain of betrayal. "I didn't hold back for fear of being embarrassed over what people would think of my writing or the person I'm writing about," she says. "I didn't hold back from anything because I think people need to be more honest and open in every situation instead of keeping secrets or hiding their true selves. That's the concept of this whole record."
Working with five producers and a cross-section of creative musicians, Colbie turns All of You into a self-portrait in multiple dimensions. But unlike many artists, seasoned as well as young, she demonstrates here that she has balance as well as a taste for pushing toward new territories. In a way she has never revealed before, she opens herself while also pointing toward where she is going in these 14 original songs.
"They say when you write your first songs, you don't have expectations," she reflects. "I just wrote the songs on Coco for fun with my friend Jason Reeves at home. With Breakthrough, there was a fine line of wanting to open your mind up to people's suggestions while also staying true to who I am and what I want. Honestly, I don't take the business as seriously as that on All of You. This is just more me than anything I've done."
ABOUT ANDY GRAMMER--
It's widely known that it takes 10,000 hours of deliberate practice to become an expert at anything. Andy Grammer logged his 10,000 hours of practice on the streets of Los Angeles. With his car battery powered amplifier and acoustic guitar in tow, Grammer managed to sing his way from the streets to the center of the music industry.
One listen to Grammer's self-titled S-Curve Records debut and it is clear that this young man became an expert. From the buoyant Top 10 hit, "Keep Your Head Up" to the breezy "Fine By Me," jubilant, horn-laced "The Pocket," and emotionally-charged "You Should Know Better," his irresistible pop songs blend heartfelt, compelling lyrics with instantly unforgettable melodies. Think the relaxed vibe of Jason Mraz crossed with the rock soul of Maroon 5.
Even though he knew music would be his path, Grammer never assumed it would be an easy road or that he could take any success for granted. He played any corner that would have him--using every experience to hone not only his songwriting craft but to learn how to understand his audience. His desire to be heard led him to the streets, "I didn't know what else to do. So I just went out there and started playing." Even if it meant sleeping in his car, Grammer, could not deny his need to play for as many people as possible.
Named one of Billboard's 2011 Artists to Watch, the singer recorded the album in New York and Los Angeles with a collection of top producers, including Matt Wallace (Faith No More, Maroon 5), S*A*M & Sluggo (Train, Neon Trees) and Barrett Yeretsian (Christina Perri). "Basically, it was show up somewhere, really dig in with someone who's going to help you get your creative vision across and then go somewhere else and do it again," he says. "We got some really great stuff that I wouldn't have gotten if I just worked with one producer."
Every song that Grammer wrote on the album had one goal in mind: "I'm just trying to track down the truth," says Grammer, who was born in Los Angeles and grew up in New York. "My favorite thing is to pop up above everybody and write from a bird's eye view. It may be about a break-up, it may be about a good relationship, it may be what we're doing on this planet here. I like to be far enough away to see the whole scope of what's occurring."
While much of his music is upbeat, Grammer is quick to add he's hardly "pink and fluffy. I'm not intentionally trying to be positive, I'm just trying to be real."
In fact, Grammer wrote "Keep Your Head Up" as a letter of encouragement to himself after he'd spent an exhausting day street performing and had little to money to show for it. The video, which features groundbreaking interactive technology in a partnership between VEVO, Interlude and S-Curve, won an MTV O Award for Most Innovative Video, topping entries from Arcade Fire, Robyn and OK Go! "The most challenging part about the video was the sheer amount of times we'd have to tape each cut so people can go through the video thousands of different ways," Grammer says. "It was crazy." The clip stars "The Office's" Rainn Wilson. "He's such a gracious, amazing guy," says Grammer, who met Wilson through a former roommate. "He gave me tips on how to look in the camera. The video has gotten so much more exposure because of him coming and hanging out."
Grammer grew up in a musical household. His father, Red Grammer, is a Grammy-nominated children's performer who gladly indulged his son's desire to get on stage...to a point. "My dad would bring me up to sing with him. I'd just have a couple of lines," Grammer remembers. "Afterwards, I'd say, 'Dad, I think I'm going to need a bigger part in your show because I nailed that. Seriously, it was intense. I can see it in their eyes, they want more of me.' I was six or seven and he just laughed and laughed."
His dad gave Grammer an insider's insight into what happens off stage as well. "The most important thing I learned from my father about being a musician was the work ethic," Grammer says. "He worked really hard, he traveled all across the country. I saw his respect for his audience, respect for himself. I saw him take days off where he wouldn't talk to rest his voice. I saw the work it takes to cultivate an artist's career."
In 9th grade, Grammer picked up his dad's guitar and taught himself to write songs. "I knew one chord, so I was like, 'I'm going to write the coolest song with one chord ever'," Grammer laughs. His first band, Out of the Blue, got off to an auspicious start after playing some covers and Grammer's first original song, "Doorstep," at a battle of bands contest. "We did not win...at all," Grammer says. "I thought it was going to be a big concert moment. It was fun, but it was like, 'This is really hard and we suck'."
Around the same time, Grammer had a musical epiphany when he heard Lauryn Hill's seminal solo album, 1998's "The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill." "It felt like it was shifting things inside of me and I loved it," he says. Other artists who helped him influence his sound include Jack Johnson, John Mayer, Coldplay and Common. "For me, it's always been about about a mix of hip-hop, acoustic singer/songwriters and piano rock," he says. "I pull all those together. Each song may lean more heavily on one than the other, but they all have all three pieces."
So that's what he did. Now based in Los Angeles, Grammer began playing everywhere he could, including gigs at more than 100 colleges and universities, as well as birthday parties and high school dance classes. "I'd send my music to a choreographer and she would choreograph a dance, then I would come in and play while 100 high school students would dance to my music," he says. "They'd know all my music and come to my shows. It was all really fun. Any time you make the transfer of 'I've created something and I'm giving it to you and I hope it makes you happy,' that's good."
Performing live remains a communal experience for Grammer, who's toured with the Plain White Ts, Josh Kelley and Natasha Bedingfield, among others. "As an artist, you have an opportunity to get in and move things around in people. It's one of the only times during the day where they say, 'I'm going to open up to some other stuff here,' and you have that hour to get in and move stuff around and put it all back together. Those are the best gigs, where you can see that the whole room has moved somewhere together."