CD RELEASE SHOW: July 29th at Mississippi Studios

Read SP Clarke’s review of  “World so Sweeet”

July 29, 2011, Portland, Oregon’s own Rachel Taylor Brown will celebrate the release of her seventh studio album, World So Sweet.  Also on the bill are The Brothers Young, plus special guests.  Tickets are $10.00 in advance and $10.00 at the door.  Doors at 8:30pm, show at 9pm.

When asked to describe her music, Taylor Brown jokingly suggests, “Pith Rock; sharp ‘n’ pointy!  Or spongy and permeable!”  She starts to laugh. “Pith ‘n’ Vinegar Rock!  No, wait: there’s that horrible thing they do to frogs in a lab, that’s pithing.  Maybe Igneous Rock is better.”

Talk to those who know her music, though, and other descriptions come up. “Unsettling but addictive.” “Good stories.” “Unpredictable.” “Arresting.”  “Dark, funny, sweeping, panoramic, pretty, ugly, complex, moving.”  And, “You can dance to it.”

But to fully grasp and understand World So Sweet and Rachel Taylor Brown, you have only to listen to the record.

“I realized in retrospect how dark these songs may come off. I wish I could explain better how they make me feel hopeful,” explains Taylor Brown.  “I always feel better when dark things are out in the open instead of hidden away.  Looking at the scary stuff makes me more appreciative of the beauty in the world, makes me feel like my feet are on the ground.” She continues, “I think it helps that you can dance around to many of them. I can see someone getting down to one of these songs and never knowing what the hell I’m singing about.  I like that the songs can be enjoyed on that level–it makes me feel sneaky.  Lyrics are very important to me but I know a lot of people don’t listen to them, especially now.  It’s interesting to see who notices the words and who doesn’t.”

It’s that love of life, humor, curiosity, basic compassion, and a healthy dose of skepticism that fuels Taylor Brown. It’s heavily reflected in everything she does, including the thirteen tracks found on World So Sweet.

“I love the people I love, and the beautiful world,” she continues.  “I’m fortunate.  There was a time I didn’t want to be around.  Now that I do, it’s sweet, every day; even when it’s horrible.  There are birds.  The world is sweet, even though it’s awful.  That prayer I had to say when I was a kid: ‘Thank you for the world so sweet, thank you for the food we eat, thank you for the birds that sing, thank you, God, for everything.’  I’ve always loved that prayer, even though I don’t believe in the God part anymore.  I love anything that reflects even some little awareness that we’re living with a whole lot of other creatures and that we’re just one bit of the whole thing.”

Rachel Taylor Brown might best be described as a dubious but hopeful observer who watches the world and the people of the world destroy and create beauty daily, just one witness who can tell a story through song.

“These songs are about the usual mundane things that seem to preoccupy me; how great and how awful people are and how beautiful and ugly the world is,” she says.  “There’s huge scope in that.  I know I have a comfort level with some of the things I write about that others may not have, due in large part to my own history.  I’m not thinking of how it may hit anyone else when I’m writing.  I’m usually surprised when my husband or some other listener points out that it’s maybe hard to hear.  I really believe in letting a song be what it wants, though.  And I guess some (ok, a lot) of my songs want to be peppy tunes about the worst of human nature.  I have to say, though, I find that contradiction very satisfying.”

For all the hurt and pain in the world, like all of us Rachel Taylor Brown goes on.  Creating music that is equally pretty and haunting, sometimes simple but sometimes epic, the perfect strange cocktail of darkening doubt, lightening hope and “it’s got a good beat, you can dance to it.”  Music that’s meaningful but catchy, a paradox of everything the world has to offer.  With World So Sweet she brings to the surface good and evil, creating an album that is as rich as it is sparse, dense as it is airy.

Curious, I looked up “pithy.”  The thesaurus reads: “succinct, concise, compact, to the point, epigrammatic, crisp, significant, meaningful, expressive, telling.”  “Pith” means “essence, fundamentals, heart, substance, core, crux, gist, meat, kernel, marrow, weight, depth, force.”  “Pith Rock” is a weird and awkward moniker for her music, and maybe a little too close to “piss” said with a lisp.  But, you know it kind of fits.

“Taxidermy” — http://www.inmusicwetrust.com/pr/freemp3s/racheltaylorbrown_taxidermy.mp3
“How To Make A World Class Gymnast” — http://www.inmusicwetrust.com/pr/freemp3s/racheltaylorbrown_howtomake.mp3


CD RELEASE SHOW:  July 23rd at Dante’s
Doors at 8pm, show at 9pm.  Cover $8.00 advance / $8.00 door
Also on the bill: I Can Lick Any Sonofabitch in the House, Steve Wilkinson


Slow DragsJuly 23, 2011 at Dante’s, The Slow Drags will celebrate the memory of Scotland Barr with the release of the band’s posthumous double album, We Will Be Forgotten.  Doors will be at 8pm, show starts at 9pm.

Also on the bill are Steve Wilkinson and I Can Lick Any Sonofabitch in the House; both bands will be playing their own sets, and covering a few Scotland Barr & The Slow Drags’ tunes as well.  Cover is $8.00 advance, $8.00 at the door.

Scott Barr Moritz (aka Scotland Barr), born October 28, 1965, passed away due to complications from pancreatic cancer on September 1, 2009.  The front man for Scotland Barr & The Slow Drags, he left behind two alt. country/roots-rock albums: 2005’s Legionnaires Disease and 2008’sAll the Great Aviators Agree.

Also, at the time of his passing, he and the band were working on the band’s third full-length, a double album entitled We Will Be Forgotten.

The band, comprised of Bryan Daste (pedal steel), Zach Hinkelman (electric guitar), Chris Hubbard (keyboards), Jordan Korach (electric bass), and Andrew Nelson (drums), and Scott’s wife Stacy Moritz, worked relentlessly following Barr’s passing to complete We Will Be Forgotten.

A nineteen-track, two-disc set, Barr sings the eleven songs comprising disc one (some were finished vocal tracks; others were “guide vocals” that were edited to function as lead vocals).  Disc two consists of eight songs that feature guest vocalists from inside and outside the band.

Disc 1:

  • 1. Rock Solid
  • 2. Everybody Knows
  • 3. Love Is Pavement
  • 4. Eyes Like L.A.
  • 5. Right Where You’re Supposed To Be
  • 6. Venice These Days
  • 7. Turn Me Into Night
  • 8. Rasputin and Me
  • 9. Washing Over Me
  • 10. Smile Christine
  • 11. You’re Gonna Be All Right

Disc 2 (with vocalists):

  • 1. We Will Be Forgotten, part I – Mont Chris Hubbard
  • 2. Stretch Your Arms Out – Chris Robley (Chris Robley & the Fear of Heights)
  • 3. Stones of Poor Farm Hill – Tyler Stenson (solo artist)
  • 4. Love Like Iron – Tony Fulgham (Jackrabbit)
  • 5. Devil’s Blood – Morgan Geer (Drunken Prayer)
  • 6. We Will Be Forgotten, part II – Mont Chris Hubbard
  • 7. New Machine – Bryan Daste
  • 8. Heart Floats On – Morgan Geer, Tyler Stenson, and Phil Favorite and Mark Dybvig (The Lonesomes)


“Finishing Scott’s last album was extremely important to me.  It’s not so much closing a chapter as simply finishing something that needed to be done.  Scott continues to be a strong presence in my life so I don’t know that the chapter will ever close,” says Barr’s wife, Stacy Moritz.  “The song ‘Love Like Iron’ became the anthem I heard in my head while working through finishing this album.”

“Scotland Barr was a relentlessly creative man. From the genius of his culinary creations to the brilliance of his songwriting, he always sought to make an impact. In his mind, there just wasn’t time to be boring. His dreams were his mission statement, and there was work to be done,” reads the liner notes to We Will Be Forgotten, which will include a 20-page booklet in the 6-panel sleeve digipack.  “When Scotland passed away, with this album only a third of the way to completion, the band ran off the rails. We had his songs, but it turned out that Scotland was more than our creative force – he was both our conductor and our prime mover, and there we were, left to push the train by hand.  Without the guiding direction of Scotland’s dreams and the force of his passion, those of us who were left to complete the work you now hold in your hands often felt lost, but we found our way, knowing that this album was all we had with which to honor the man who inspired us all, and that finishing it with love was our only path.  As his bandmates and friends, we are sad that Scotland is no longer around to entertain us with hilarious stories or made-up lyrics, to hit the road to support this album, or simply to hang out over Peking Duck. Yet his songs and his voice remain. We believe we’ve made something that not only honors him, but that he would love.  May we hear him dream forever.”

In an email to friends and family after Barr’s passing, Barr’s wife wrote, “He once asked me ‘Why do all these people care?’  I thought for a minute and said, ‘Because you have touched their lives.’  He smiled at me and said, ‘That’s nice.’  I think we sometimes forget the impact we can have on others around us on a daily basis even if it is small.  What I have learned from this is that we shouldn’t let things slide.  We should give compliments and praise often and with sincerity, even for the little things and we should insist upon dealing immediately with the ‘hurts’ that come along so they don’t fester and become a systemic infection.  Scott was a role model for both of these.”

Even after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, Barr’s uplifting, spirited personality was not worn.  He still encouraged his friends, while working tirelessly on finishing his dream of a double album.

Further discussing her anthem, “Love Like Iron,” Moritz says, “I was very pleased that Tony Fulgam [of the band Jackrabbit] agreed to record [the vocals].  Tony is family and Scott valued family and appreciated Tony’s talent musically. I think The Slow Drags produced a lovely piece with that song.  When I hear it in my head it is bigger, louder, and angrier.  I sing it with gritted teeth and a clenched fist. But then that is how I feel about losing Scott.”

Choking back tears, she adds, “This album is an important part of Scott’s legacy.  His music will be with us forever but it has a limited scope. He won’t be turning anymore phrases or writing any more hooks.  This is it.”

In a letter to their mailing list, via their website, the band recently wrote, “While it’s taken far longer than what we intended, the double album is packed with great music.  Half of the tracks are sung by Scotland, with the remaining tracks coming from local musicians that have had strong ties with the band.  We are proud of the work we’ve done and we can’t wait to let you all hear it.  Thank you for sticking with us, for donating time and money to the band, and for keeping hope alive.  This album is a testament to Scotland’s songwriting and the unbridled creativity that he held.”

“He will forever be remembered for his two loves: music and food,” says his wife with pride.  “As an acclaimed singer/songwriter, he worked tirelessly at his craft developing melodies and writing lyrics, never resting until he felt they were complete.  As an exceptional foodie, he co-founded Salvador Molly’s Restaurant, and created the renowned Secret Aardvark habanero hot sauce; Secret Aardvark’s fans are legion and the sauce can be found on the majority of Portland’s restaurant tables.  Secret Aardvark will continue to grow and flourish!  Our mission is world domination and I plan to do everything I can to make that happen.   I’d like to personally thank everyone who participated in this album.  To those who recorded various sections thank you for all your time and hard work and to those who wouldn’t let me give up on finishing this you will forever be in my heart.”

Scott Barr Mortiz passed away on his couch, at home, with his wife by his side.  An avid surfer and fan of the ocean, his ashes were spread out in the Pacific Ocean near his mother’s house in San Diego.

Visit Scotland Barr & The Slow Drags online at:
Official websitehttp://www.scotlandbarr.com
Myspace – http://www.myspace.com/scotlandbarrandtheslowdrags





Featuring Black Label Society and Thin Lizzy
Tour Hits Seattle on Saturday, October 29th at the WaMu Theater
Tickets On Sale Friday, June 24th at 10am!

After storming the world for nearly 40 years and taking their very special brand of heavy metal to all four corners of the planet, JUDAS PRIEST – one of the most influential heavy metal bands of all time, have announced this will be their final world tour!

However, the mighty PRIEST will certainly be going out strong as they rock the planet starting in 2011 on the massive EPITAPH tour – hitting all the major cities throughout the world they will be playing the songs that helped make the name JUDAS PRIEST synonymous with heavy metal!

The tour will feature new guitarist Richie Faulkner. The 31 year old British guitar player has blended into the band perfectly, due to his amazing six-string talents. Richie joins Rob Halford, Glenn Tipton, Ian Hill and Scott Travis in the line-up. Together, JUDAS PRIEST will hit the road for the EPITAPH Tour.

With all guns blazing and amps cranked to eleven, the band will be giving all their fans one last chance to witness the ultimate metal experience that is JUDAS PRIEST!

JUDAS PRIEST will be starting their North American tour on Wednesday, October 12th in San Antonio. A confirmed itinerary of performances for the first leg of tour can be found below.


  • 12 – San Antonio, TX: AT&T Center
  • 14 – Corpus Christi, TX: Concrete Street Amphitheater
  • 15 – Houston, TX: The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion
  • 16 – Dallas, TX: Allen Event Center
  • 18 – Tucson, AZ: Ava Amphitheater
  • 19 – San Diego, CA: Cricket Wireless Amphitheatre
  • 21 – Phoenix, AZ: AZ State Fair
  • 22 – San Bernardino, CA: San Manuel Amphitheater
  • 23 – Las Vegas, NV: Hard Rock
  • 25 – Los Angeles, CA: Gibson Amphitheatre
  • 26 – Oakland, CA: Oracle Arena
  • *29 – Seattle, WA: WaMu Theater
  • 30 – Vancouver, BC: Rogers Arena


  • 1 – Edmonton, AB: Shaw Conference Center
  • 2 – Calgary, AB: Scotiabank Saddledome
  • 4 – Salt Lake City, UT: Maverik Center
  • 5 – Denver, CO: 1STBANK Center
  • 12 – Chicago, IL: The Venue at Horseshoe Casino
  • 13 – Detroit, MI: Joe Louis Arena
  • 18 – East Rutherford, NJ: Izod Center

*Tickets available at the Qwest Field Box Office,

Ticketmaster locations, charge by phone 800-745-3000, and Ticketmaster.com


Vocal Cord Surgery for Pink Martini’s China Forbes

China Forbes has been forced to take an extended hiatus from her duties as Pink Martini vocalist. Suffering an injury to her vocal cords earlier this year, at first it was hoped that an extended respite might restore her to health. But it has since been determined that she will require throat surgery.

Forbes, 41, debuted as a singer with Pink Martini in 1995, when she was recruited by bandleader Thomas Lauderdale. The two of them met while attending Harvard University. It was there that they developed an idiosyncratic musical relationship. After graduation, they went their separate ways, with China developing her own craft as a folk/rock singer/songwriter. Subsequently, Lauderdale asked her to perform with Pink Martini on their first album Sympathique. The rest is local music history.

It is not Forbes’ first absence from the ensemble. She was out for six months in 2009 on maternity leave. But this instance is of greater concern for her future as a singer, in that her vocal cords are involved, and there is no chronology as to when a recovery might be expected, nor assurance that her voice will necessarily return to its former grandeur.

While China is out, Lucy Woodward will replace her for performances in the final week of June, and Storm Large will take over for July shows as well as for an upcoming European tour scheduled for this September. But, more importantly, we wish for China a speedy and complete recovery.