Talking with The Freaks!

By Mike Walker | October 28, 2016 |

Its quite safe to say that The Freak Mountain Ramblers are an institution in the McMenamins music community. Going into their 12th year as a Great Northwest Music tour regular, not once but twice per season, we wanted to chat with The Freak Mountain Ramblers about how this relationship came to be, and to rehash some great memories they’ve made with us over the years.

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Interview with Saint Motel in the Green Room, Crystal Ballroom May 28, 2016

By Mike Walker | June 2, 2016 |

McMenamins photographer Kat Nyberg had the opportunity to sit down with Saint Motel before their show at Crystal Ballroom on Saturday for a fun, spontaneous interview and photo shoot. Find out why the Crystal is one of their favorite venues, where babies come from, and other interesting topics. It was an amazing show for everyone, and the interview was a fun bit of spontaneity for both Kat and the band.

Thanks for a great night guys!

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Through June: Earn Join The Band loyalty points at Al’s Den and the Annex!

By Mike Walker | May 10, 2016 |

Are you a member of the Crystal Ballroom’s “Join The Band” loyalty program? Now through the month of June we’re rewarding points for all food and beverage sales in Al’s Den and the Annex.

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Ural Thomas and The Pain kick off the 10th anniversary season of Great Northwest Music Tour

By Mike Walker | March 16, 2015 |

Ural Thomas and The Pain kick off the 10th anniversary season of Great Northwest Music Tour

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Going West

By Jonanna Widner | May 18, 2012 |

This week’s blog post is gonna be a quickie, but a goodie.

Will West, "The Life Single"


Will West has been holding down a lot of forts for us lately – heading up the White Eagle’s “Eagle Time” and “Add Love” showcases, kickin’ it at Rock Creek Tavern, etc.

We like West for his hand-clappy, call-and-response approach to Americana….

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Celilo: Laurel Canyon Meets the PNW

By Jonanna Widner | April 20, 2012 |

photoI’ll be honest: I’m not a big fan of Celilo’s occasional new age driftings. But when the group corrals its inner Enya and sticks to its own brand of mellow California 70s rock, it’s fun and groovy and gently rocking, in a Laurel Canyon kind of way. It’s a sound as airy as sea foam, but rooted, too, like a sequoia. If that makes any sense. 

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What Music Pairs With Ruby?

By Jonanna Widner | March 22, 2012 |

photoPerhaps you’re thinking, Hey, I should go out and celebrate Ruby’s birthday tonight. After all, pints of Ruby are a mere $2.50 all across McMenamins-land. You would be thinking correctly, friend. Ruby’s big day is one of the most popular we have. The air around us carries with it the same zingy crackle as Ruby’s raspberry infusion. The beer’s a-flowin’, the smiles are…smiling, and the music’s jinglin’, janglin’, rippin’, and roarin’.

Music? You say. Why, of course! What’s a birthday without music? And you would be right. You’re a smart person, friend, and don’t ever let anyone tell you otherwise.

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The Decemberists’ Chris Funk talks Pogues, KMRIA

By Jonanna Widner | March 15, 2012 |

KMRIAI have spent the last 8 hours wracking my brain, trying to figure out how to tell you exactly how awesome KMRIA – Portland’s Pogues tribute band – is. The band, which consists of some of the best musicians the Pacific Northwest has to offer, will kick off the Saint Patrick’s Day weekend festivities tomorrow (Thursday, March 15) at the Olympic Club.

The Pogues are not your normal band, and this not your normal tribute band (after all, what tribute band can boast members of the Decemberists, the Eels, and Dr. Theopolis, among others?), and so I feel compelled to get the message out. And the message has gone through all sorts of fancy permutations in my head, borne of panicky questions: Do people know who the Pogues are anymore? Do people know what an amazing band they were? Do people understand the level of talent that’s in KMRIA? Do people know what “KMRIA” stands for?

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Sarah Jaffe: Beyond a Singer-Songwriter

By Jonanna Widner | March 8, 2012 |

Sarah JaffeThe first time I heard Sarah Jaffe (who is opening for the New Multitudes boys at the Crystal Ballroom this Friday, March 9.) she was maybe 20 years old. It was 2007. I had just moved to Dallas to take the music editor position at the alt-weekly Dallas Observer, and one of the first things I heard out of the mouths of those in the know was, “You gotta go hear this girl, Sarah Jaffe. Singer-songwriter. She’ll blow you away.”

I was doubtful. I had already spent four years covering music elsewhere, and I had grown cynical about the genre. The words “singer-songwriter” to me equated “bore you to tears,” not “blow you away.”

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Jay Farrar + Woody Guthrie = New Multitudes!

By Jonanna Widner | February 29, 2012 |

Beardos, take heed! All your dreams are about to come true!

photoSeems some of America’s most favorite be-whiskered gentle rockers have teamed up to tackle a very Americana-esque task. Going under the moniker “New Multitudes,” Jay Farrar (Son Volt, Gob Iron, Uncle Tupelo), Will Johnson (Centro-matic, South San Gabriel), Anders Parker (Varnaline, Gob Iron) and Yim Yames (My Morning Jacket, Monsters of Folk) have joined forces, gathered up some previously unpublished Woody Guthrie lyrics, and set them to their original compositions, on which they all collaborated.

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