Wesley Stace’s Cabinet of Wonders: Benefit for the Children’s Cancer Association’s MyMusicRx Program – Tickets – Aladdin Theater – Portland, OR – April 4th, 2014

Wesley Stace's Cabinet of Wonders: Benefit for the Children's Cancer Association's MyMusicRx Program

Wesley Stace's Cabinet of Wonders: Benefit for the Children's Cancer Association's MyMusicRx Program

Jim James, Colin Meloy, Wesley Stace, Ural Thomas & The Pain, China Forbes, Laura Veirs, Willy Vlautin, John Roderick, Black Prairie, Amy Miller

Friday, April 4th, 2014

Doors: 7:00 pm / Show: 8:00 pm

Aladdin Theater

Portland, OR

$40.00 - $100.00

Cabinet of Wonders
Cabinet of Wonders
Announcing our Second Annual Cabinet of Wonders benefit for MyMusicRx, a program of the Children’s Cancer Association. MyMusicRx is the only “kid-prescribed” in-hospital and online music medicine program in the nation, delivering the healing power of music to seriously ill kids and teens, whenever and wherever they need it most. Our first ever Cabinet of Wonders CCA benefit last year made many a Best Musical Moments Of 2013 List, featuring performances by k.d. Lang, Ben Gibbard, and many more. Do not miss our show this year!

The 2014 line up features:

- Jim James (of My Morning Jacket)
- Colin Meloy
- Wesley Stace
- Ural Thomas & The Pain
- China Forbes (of Pink Martini)
- Laura Veirs
- Willy Vlautin
- John Roderick (of The Long Winters)
- Black Prarie
- Comedian Amy Miller


About Cabinet of Wonders

Wesley Stace’s Cabinet of Wonders is a variety show with celebrated musicians, writers and comedians. It will make you laugh, think and sing along. Sometimes all at once. A little bit Vaudeville, a little bit rock n’ Roll, and a whole lot of fun. Wesley Stace generously travels to Portland to host this show for MyMusicRx, we are so lucky to have him!
Jim James
Jim James
Jim James has spent the better part of almost two decades as the lead singer and songwriter of My Morning Jacket. Through six studio albums, My Morning Jacket has grown into one of the most acclaimed rock and roll bands in the world. Alongside the band's recording and touring, James has maintained a steady, bordering on voracious, flow of work. In 2009, he released the Tribute to EP, with his versions of six George Harrison songs. He has also lent his voice to albums by the likes of the Decemberists, the Roots, America, Booker T. Jones, and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, and recorded and toured with the Monsters of Folk—which teamed him up with Conor Oberst, M. Ward, and Mike Mogis—and participated in the Woody Guthrie tribute album New Multitudes alongside Jay Farrar, Will Johnson, and Anders Parker. In 2013, James released his debut solo album, Regions of Light and Sound of God. The album demonstrates James' soulful songwriting, his captivating voice and showcases his talents as both a producer and engineer.
Colin Meloy
Colin Meloy
Colin Meloy is the lead singer and songwriter for the Portland, Oregon, indie folk rock band The Decemberists. In addition to vocals, he performs with an acoustic guitar, 12-string acoustic guitar, electric guitar, bouzouki, harmonica and percussion.
Wesley Stace
Wesley Stace
Wesley Stace was born in Hastings, Sussex, in 1965, and educated at the King’s School, Canterbury, and Jesus College, Cambridge. He released 17 albums under the name John Wesley Harding. His new album, Self-Titled, for which he has returned to his given name, is released by Yep Roc, September 2013. He has also published three novels.

Wesley Stace’s Cabinet of Wonders, his variety show based at City Winery in NYC, has recently launched on NPR. Since the Cabinet’s inception in 2009, the show has become a virtual who’s who of contemporary performers, writers, and comedians. It’s “one of the finest nights of entertainment this city has to offer” (New Yorker), “a brilliant evening of laid-back fun” (Village Voice), and “one of the most whip-smart variety shows on the market” (Portland Tribune). Additional shows will air in 2014.

Stace has been joined onstage by Lou Reed, Iggy Pop, John Prine, and Bruce Springsteen (with whom he recorded a duet on his album Awake), among many others. He has appeared on Late Night with Conan O’Brien, The Late Show with David Letterman, and The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. His songs have been featured in films (including High Fidelity) and covered by other artists. Most recently, he co-wrote Eleanor Friedberger’s Personal Record.

Stace teaches a course (“How To Write A Song”) at Princeton University with poet Paul Muldoon. He has also taught literature at Fairleigh Dickinson University, where he curates the Words & Music Festival.

His first novel, the international bestseller Misfortune, was published to great acclaim in 2004. It was nominated for the Guardian First Book Award, the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize, and the James Tiptree, Jr. Award, listed as one of the books of the year in the Washington Post and the Boston Phoenix, and was one of Amazon’s Top Ten Novels of the Year. His second, By George, (2007) was one of the New York Public Library’s Books To Remember of 2007, and Booklist Editor’s Choice for books of the year. His third, Charles Jessold, Considered as a Murderer, (2010) was called “the most confident musical fiction I have read in years” (New Statesman), and an “Inventive black comedy unfolding with Nabokovian precision” (Financial Times).

Stace’s fourth novel, Wonderkid, will be published in February 2014 by The Overlook Press.

He has lived in America since 1991, and resides in Philadelphia with his wife Abbey, daughter Tilda, and son Wyn.
Ural Thomas & The Pain
Ural Thomas & The Pain
Ural Thomas is, and forever will be Portland's pillar of soul.
He started singing beneath his mothers knee in church at the age of 3. By high school he led the doo-wop group the Mono Rays, breaking hearts and taking names at Jefferson High and Irvington Park along the way. Ural's voice and songwriting soon gained national attention and he found himself sharing the stage with the likes of James Brown, Otis Redding, Johnny Guitar Watson and "Little" Stevie Wonder. He played the Apollo 44 times. He backed the Northwest's biggest soul and garage outfits of the1960s (The Kingsmen, Paul Revere and the Raiders, Cavaliers Unlimited) and he never for a moment stopped teaching, singing and loving soul music..

Now Ural is poised to represent Portland on equal ground with contemporaries like Lee Fields, Sharon Jones and Charles Bradley, all of whom ultimately gained their dues in their golden years. To ensure the legacy he's backed by a 9 piece band comprised of the some of the most recognizable session and solo players in town. Band leader/drummer Scott Magee (aka Cooky Parker) has arranged a setlist compiled from the gilded age of soul and R&B and Ural originals, all with a sharp focus on moving the dance floor. The foot stomping days of Jump Town, USA have returned and Ural Thomas & the Pain are here to lead the way.
China Forbes
China Forbes
China Forbes was born and raised in Cambridge, Massachusetts where she graduated cum laude from Harvard and was awarded the Jonathan Levy Prize for acting. She appeared in New York regional theatre and off-off Broadway productions, earning her Equity card alongside future stars of stage and screen such as Norm Lewis, Peter Jacobson and Rainn Wilson. In 1994 she put a band together and played regularly at NYC clubs CBGB gallery, Mercury Lounge and Brownies. She was plucked from New York City by Harvard classmate Thomas Lauderdale to sing with Pink Martini in 1995, and has since written many of Pink Martini’s most beloved songs with Lauderdale including “Sympathique”, “Lilly”, “Clementine”, “Let’s Never Stop Falling in Love”, “Over the Valley” and most recently “A Snowglobe Christmas” which can be heard on Pink Martini’s holiday album Joy to the World. Her original song “Hey Eugene” is the title track of Pink Martini’s third album and many of her songs can also be heard on television and film. She sang the theme song to the TV show Clueless as well as “Qué Será Será” over the opening and closing credits of Jane Campion’s film In the Cut.

With Pink Martini, China has appeared on The Late Show with David Letterman, Late Night with Conan O’Brien, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and Later with Jools Holland. She has performed songs in over twelve languages and has sung duets with Michael Feinstein, Jimmy Scott, Georges Moustaki, Henri Salvador, Saori Yuki, Faith Prince, Carol Channing and Rufus Wainwright. She has performed in venues from Carnegie Hall to the Hollywood Bowl to the Grand Rex in Paris. She released her second solo album ‘78 on Heinz Records in 2008, a collection of autobiographical folk-rock songs.

In 2009 China took a few months off from performing after the birth of her son Cameron. In the spring of 2011 it was announced China would take a temporary leave of absence from Pink Martini to undergo surgery on her vocal chords. Thankfully all went very well and she is thrilled to be back on stage. China lives with her family in Portland, Oregon.
Laura Veirs
Laura Veirs
Laura Veirs grew up in Colorado Springs, Colorado, where she often spent summers camping with her family, which gave her much of her songwriting inspiration. Veirs has said that she didn’t seriously listen to music until she was in her 20s; instead, she just heard what was in her environment. She listened to folk, country, classical and pop music around the house and on the radio during her youth.

Attending Carleton College in rural Minnesota, Veirs latched onto feminist punk rock from the Pacific Northwest. Laura studied geology and Mandarin Chinese. After college, she embraced older country and folk music. Her first foray into songwriting started with a geological expedition in China, where she served as translator. She was miserable and immersed herself into writing lyrics as a way of coping.

She put out her own self-titled album Laura Veirs, recorded live and featuring just her and guitar, in 1999. She has since made seven highly acclaimed records with producer/husband Tucker Martine. Veirs’ seventh album, July Flame, was released in January 2010 on her own record label, Raven Marching Band Records, followed by “Tumble Bee: Laura Veirs Sings Folk Songs for Children,” in November 2011. Her latest release on August 20th, 2013 is “Warp and Weft”.

Veirs tours frequently in Europe and North America. She lives in Portland, Oregon with Martine and their young sons Tennessee and Oz.
Willy Vlautin
Willy Vlautin
Born and raised in Reno, Nevada, Vlautin started playing guitar and writing songs as a teenager and quickly became immersed in music. It was a Paul Kelly song, based on Raymond Carver’s Too Much Water So Close to Home that inspired him to start writing stories. Vlautin has published four novels: THE MOTEL LIFE (2007), NORTHLINE (2008), LEAN ON PETE (2010), and THE FREE (2014).

Vlautin founded the band Richmond Fontaine in 1994. The band has produced nine studio albums to date, plus a handful of live recordings and EPs. Driven by Vlautin’s dark, story-like songwriting, the band has achieved critical acclaim at home and across Europe. 2014 will see the debut album from Vlautin’s new band, The Delines, featuring vocalist Amy Boone (The Damnations).

Vlautin currently resides in Scappoose, Oregon.
John Roderick
John Roderick
John Roderick is the songwriter and singer/guitarist of The Long Winters, forming the band from a mound of clay back in 2001. Widely acclaimed as one of America's preeminent artists, credited with resurrecting Seattle's moribund music scene and bringing new life to the rock genre, John also writes his own press bios. A central figure in the Northwest music community, John nevertheless maintains his outsider status by being both dangerously edgy and completely huggable, in contravention of established Seattle practice. Equally talented at almost any instrument, (except guitar, at which he is even more talented), John has made it nearly impossible for any other musicians to find work in Washington State, effectively playing ALL the music that needs to be played. John is also a widely respected journalist, an extensively quoted author and philosopher, a prima ballerina, a cowboy and an astronaut.
Black Prairie
Black Prairie
By now, Black Prairie has clearly outgrown its roots as a casual side project, solidifying into a primary, creative focus for its members—a band with its own internal momentum, genuine character and style. Still, it’s only become harder to describe what that style is. “I gave up a long time ago,” guitarist Jon Neufeld says. When asked what kind of music Black Prairie plays, Neufeld usually just says “soft rock,” and walks away.

Black Prairie’s fourth full-length record Fortune is an unexpected departure—which is, strangely, exactly what everyone’s come to expect from the band. This group of seasoned musicians from Portland, Oregon—each steeped in traditional American acoustic music—has become hellbent on taking one imaginative leap after another.

“We’re a much more fearless writing team now,” says bassist Nate Query. The band that started as an informal collective has now materialized into its own, fully living thing. Getting together to write Fortune last fall after a busy year of touring and tackling smaller, unconventional songwriting projects, the band felt like they had a well-bred, spirited animal hitched up and waiting for them—a horse flaring its nostrils, ready to run—and they wanted to keep driving it through as many different landscapes as they could.

“It was the most collaborative and magical thing,” Chris Funk says. Individual members brought in little strands of ideas, and the band collectively spooled them in like a loom and spun them into songs. Again and again, they found one person’s chorus and someone else’s verse slapping together like attractive magnets, or lines for a lyric flying out of all six mouths.

In a way, Fortune is also Black Prairie’s most conventional record—thirteen, polished vocal tunes with (mostly) conventional pop song structures. On the other hand, there’s a glaring eccentricity to Fortune that hits you right away: here is a band of accomplished acoustic musicians playing what are essentially rock songs, and sometimes with a pretty hard edge—it's a record, band members say, that’s trying to channel not the spirit of Earl Scruggs or Jerry Douglas, but Led Zeppelin.

At the outset of making the album, Chris Funk set a new challenge for the group: write a record of all vocal songs. (Fiddle player Annalisa Tornfelt had reluctantly sung a handful of songs on Black Prairie’s earlier records; though Black Prairie always intended to be a strictly instrumental group, Tornfelt's bandmates felt her voice was too rich and beguiling to keep quiet.) “I’ve worked with so many great songwriters over the years,” Funk says, “We all have. You sit behind them listening to all these great songs go by, and eventually you’re like, ‘Can I do that?’” The answer was yes. The band began hunkering down in their living rooms. After only two weeks, they looked up and realized they’d written their new record.

Inspiration and ideas had come ricocheting off everyone, pinball-like, and often at the oddest angles. Writing the lyric to Funk’s riff, “White Tundra,” for example, Tornfelt incorporated lines from a poem by Funk’s wife, Seann McKeel, and psychedelic stories about ethereal wolves from a book of Norse mythology that accordionist Jenny Conlee had read Tornfelt to sleep with in their hotel room on tour. Conlee’s song “Trask,” about a late 19th century Oregon fur trapper, came in as a straight ragtime number until Funk suggested reimagining it, amping it up into a grinding, punk romp, like something by the Pogues. Tornfelt took a melody by drummer John Moen and a half-jokey aside by Funk—he told the band he wanted to write a song about a couple kissing on the sidewalk, surrounded by rats—and came back with the pop-country gem “Kiss of Fate.”

“Normally in a band,” says guitarist Jon Neufeld, “you bring in solid, fully-formed ideas, because you think your song’s precious and you don’t want to leave a chance for anything to go wrong. But we were all leaving a lot of things up in the air. We were leaving space for inspiration, for things to go right.” There was no insecurity or ego, no sniping or bruised feelings; the writing was propelled forward by the band’s shared sense of adventure and the unshakable faith in each other they’ve forged. “I completely trust in everyone’s musicianship,” Tornfelt says, “and I know that an idea I bring in will be realized in its best light.”

Band members trace the new, classic rock attitude that infuses Fortune back to New Year's Eve 2012. That's when Tornfelt sang Zeppelin's "The Song Remains the Same" at a gig with Black Prairie members and Portland musician Laura Veirs. “Annalisa tore the roof off it,” Funk remembers, and having discovered a whole new, blaring dimension to their fiddle-player’s voice—and with a longstanding love of classic rock between them—Black Prairie got excited to edge a little in that direction. The band started covering the Zeppelin tune on the road, and other covers followed, including “Carry On My Wayward Son.” Inevitably that energy started inflecting the songs they were writing. Query says, “We’re trying to avoid the kitschy factor of a string band playing classic rock—we’re just trying to convey a joy of music and life.” It’s whimsical, maybe, but they’re committing to the whim with total artistic seriousness and passion.

To that end, they recruited Grammy-winning engineer Vance Powell—whose work with The Dead Weather and Red Fang the folks in Black Prairie especially loved—to produce Fortune. Powell’s battle cry in the studio became, “Let’s make it sound more broken!” He set up the band to play the tracks live, then he’d funnel them through an array of effects and layer that rougher sound behind their acoustic instruments. Pushing things in this direction seemed natural to Powell who, having seen Black Prairie live many times, knew that they may look like a bluegrass or folk band, but that their tastes and repertoire are much more expansive. There’s a fierce emphasis on musicianship, he says, but otherwise: “They’re genre-less. They’re not afraid of anything.”

The band’s story started in 2007, when Chris Funk gathered local musicians he admired for a chance to write music and play instruments he wasn’t utilizing in his role as guitarist in The Decemberists. He pulled in fellow Decemberists Nate Query and Jenny Conlee, on bass and accordion, Annalisa Tornfelt on fiddle and Jon Neufeld (Jackstraw, Doloreon) on guitar. In 2012, Decemberists drummer John Moen joined in, too. Their only ambition was to have fun, and their all-acoustic instrumentation meant they could hold practices in each other’s living rooms, sitting around a fire like a Stitch n’ Bitch or a book club.

But ideas started sparking immediately—they were pushing their own musicianship and the conventions of their instruments, and could hear a new brand of Americana music burbling up. Black Prairie's first record, 2010’s Feast of the Hunter’s Moon, documented these first moves forward. And with 2012’s A Tear in the Eye is a Wound in the Heart—a record that seamlessly combined ghostly, progressive bluegrass, plaintive alt-country hooks and the occasional, wailing gypsy romp—the
band was off and running.

The attention and excitement A Tear in the Eye generated made 2013 a breakout year for the band, from gigs at big festivals like Bonaroo and Newport Folk to an appearance on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. But none of it dampened the anything-goes, risk-taking attitude Black Prairie had adopted in the living room days. They jumped into all kinds of eccentric and creatively demanding projects. They did a stint writing songs and performing with cult-folk legend Michael Hurley. They supported a rotating, eclectic cast of musicians as the “house band” for Wesley Stace’s “Cabinet of Wonders” variety show in New York. They performed a set with the Oregon Symphony in Portland and composed a theatrical score for a production at the Oregon Children’s Theater, eventually released as the record “The Storm in the Barn.” And, last summer, they composed a “soundtrack” to New York Times Magazine writer Jon Mooallem’s book Wild Ones, then teamed up with Mooallem for a string of shows, orchestrating his storytelling live on stage.

"Last year was epic, in many ways," says Funk. "I'm excited to play these songs live, but I'm also excited to keep going and just start writing the next record. It's like a whole new muscle is getting exercised."
Amy Miller
Amy Miller
Amy Miller is a fast-rising talent on the West Coast and national scene. Originally from Oakland, California Amy found her comedy chops in the Bay Area scene and is still a favorite at the San Francisco Punch Line and Cobb's Comedy Club. After a move to Portland, Amy quickly rose to the top of that scene, winning Portland's Funniest Comedian in Helium Comedy Club's contest, as well as being voted Portland's Funniest 2013 and 2015 in the Willamette Week. Amy was a breakout favorite in Season 9 of Last Comic Standing. Roseanne Barr called her "a star" and a "contender for next alpha female comedian." Keenen Ivory Wayans said she had one of the "fiercest jokes he had ever heard." Amy is currently in Portland being alpha and fierce and getting rained on, but works comedy clubs and festivals around the country, working with headliners from Norm Macdonald to Arsenio Hall to singer Ryan Adams.

Credits:
- Last Comic Standing Semi-Finalist, Season 9
- Winner, Portland's Funniest Person, Helium Comedy Club
- San Francisco Sketchfest
- Bridgetown Comedy Festival
- Riot LA Festival
- Doug Loves Movies
- NPR's Marketplace
- The Bennington Show