Mar 22 2011

LogoShould a band that's been playing since 1958 have a MySpace page? In a musical world full of pop stars whose blip of fame barely registers long enough to produce a ring tone, The Ventures may be the only 53-year-old band to be able to pull it off. Why? Because The Ventures' signature surf-adelic instrumental sound is (here's a word you don't hear every day) timeless... as cool and breezy as a '60s pop song, yet somehow still more punk than 98 percent of the bands in Portland.

Legendary, classic, yet thriving in the modern world -the Ventures are a lot like the Crystal Ballroom itself, so it's no surprise they'll be gracing the stage there on Thursday, May 12. Go here for tickets (and don't forget, we have a special VIP package available that includes a backstage meet-and-greet, early entry and a special VIP section for viewing the show).

Ventrues ALbumAlthough the band began (in Tacoma, Wash., actually) during the Eisenhower administration, you young 'uns out there will recognize songs like "Surf Rider," "Walk, Don't Run," and a brassy version of the Hawaii Five-O theme, all of which feature distinctively jiggly, rapid-fire riffs that shake like Jell-O and boast more echo-y reverb than Carlsbad Caverns. The Ventures are best known for this sound, specifically applied to the "surf music" aesthetic – you'll know "Surf Rider" from the version featured in Pulp Fiction – but the band is more than a one-genre wonder. The group actually pioneered a good deal of guitar effects and production techniques that are common in rock today: tremolo, dropped tunings, and fuzz-tone, to name but a few.

In short: A fascinating band, with a fascinating history. Don't miss a rare chance to hear a legendary group that remains as relevant today as they were half a century ago – in fact, more so!

About the author: Jonanna Widner, McMenamins Music Marketing Assistant, is a former music editor for the Santa Fe Reporter and the Dallas Observer.
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