There are a few bands that Bend can't seem to get enough of and The Gourds are one of them. The alt-country rockers from Austin, Tex. are playing a special Bend show for all of us who can't get over the mountains for the Pickathon festival. All of you who think that you haven't heard the Gourds, think again. They're the band that cleverly transformed Snoop Dogg's "Gin and Juice" from hip-hop anthem to rootsy Americana jingle to the pleasure of many downloaders who thought they were listening to Phish. 9pm/doors, 10pm/show Saturday, August 2. Domino Room. 51 NW Greenwood Ave. $15/advanced, $18/door.
Do you like to have fun for approximately four days in a location with other people who like to have fun during the same prescribed time frame at the same location? Well then, my fellow Deschutes County resident, it's time to head up to Redmond for the county fair! Don't forget to take your children to the wholesomely fun activities including, but not limited to, Alice Cooper. What says family fun more than a 60-year-old man slathered in leather and vampire makeup? Deschutes County Fair & Expo Center, 3800 SW Airport Way, Redmond. 548-2711.
Conor Oberst & The Mystic Valley Band
Yeah we know, we gave this show a pick last week...yeah, yeah. But there's good reason for this redundant redundancy and that's the fact that Oberst and band are totally friggin' killer Americana indie rock and are as quality of act as we're likely to see all year. Go to this show...don't be the recipient of "Oh you should have been there, dude" comments all day Friday at work. All ages. 8pm. $22/advance, $25/door. Midtown Ballroom, 51 NW Greenwood Ave.
There is art all over Bend, but rarely do you actually get to see the art as it's being created. This is perhaps the main reason to get down to the Elevate Art Festival - that and it's one of the edgiest and innovative gatherings you're likely to see in downtown Bend. You can top your visual delight with some music from local DJs and eat some tasty localized food, then feel a new piece of trendy clothes on your skin all the while smelling the culmination of the entire event. All five senses, baby! 12-10pm. Troy Field, Downtown Bend. All ages. Free!
First off, flip on to the rear of the paper and check out the review of Stein's novel, The Art of Racing in the Rain. Did you do that? Good, now go see him at one of three locations: Paulina Springs Books in Sisters August 1 at 12pm, North Sole Footwear August 1 at 5pm or Sunriver Books & Music August 2 at 5pm. 5pm Saturday, Aug 2.
Wait...wasn't 4 Peaks last weekend? It looks like 4 Peaks alumni just can't stay out of Bend for too long, as is the case with New Monsoon (2007's headliner) and PMW (4 Peaks host band) who return to collectively rock the roof off of the Summit with some thundering jams. So, if you've been suffering from 4 Peaks withdrawal, go ahead and head to this Sunday service to get yourself back on the train. 9pm Summit Saloon and Stage, 125 NW Oregon Ave. $12.
In the area to play Pickathon (just like the Gourds) Crooked Still hops our way to play a free show at the Schwab. Crooked Still hails from Boston and provides a hearty bluegrass attack that's softened by smooth and silky female vocals. But don't let that fool you, these folks can really rip it. 2:30pm Les Schwab Amphitheater. 344 SW Shevlin Hixon Dr. Free.
Reed Thomas Lawrence CD Release Party
Local sensation Reed Thomas Lawrence is on fire, man! The dude just released a new music video, signed a record deal and now he's playing a free CD release party for all his peeps in Bend! If you haven't seen the summer lovin' video for Lawrence's song, "Music," head over to the Blender Blog at tsweekly.com and check that thing out. Then of course, go celebrate the release of Lawrence's CD. 7pm. McMenamins Father Luke Rm. 700 NW Bond St. Free.