Wednesday, May 4, 2011

0 SHOW PREVIEW: Starbird Booking Showcase at Chop Suey

This last weekend I had the privilege of attending Red Fang's "Murder the Mountains" record release show at Branx in Portland. It was a packed house, people were stoked, and each and every supporting band (Lord Dying, Mongoloid Village, Drunken Ladies) on the bill brought something a little extra. Red Fang themselves destroyed during a set that lasted over an hour. The set list was packed with cuts off their first release on Relapse Records. Even Relapse head honcho Matt Jacobson was in the house. Cutting through the haze, I believe they played the first 8 of the 10 tracks that make up "Murder the Mountains" including personal favorites Throw Up, Into the Eye, and Wires. Sprinkled throughout were hits from the self-titled release; Good to Die, Human Remain Human Remains, Bird on Fire, Sharks, and of course Prehistoric Dog. They ended the night by inviting the rabid audience on stage for a sloppy but rousing rendition of the Wipers' "Over the Edge", a cover that was recorded and released as part of a recent tour sampler.

The show was amazing, and sure we have Red Fang and the rest of the bands to thank for that, but behind the scenes one person worked real hard to make sure everything went smoothly. That person is Carly Henry, a Boston native who has made a name for herself as a go-to booking agent, staunch supporter of Portland's heavy music community, and supporter of heavy music in general. She is the proprietor of a successful booking agency called Starbird Booking which boasts an impressive roster that includes Seattle's own Lesbian, Bellingham's Dog Shredder, recent Roadburn Festival alumni Black Math Horseman, San Fran's Grayceon, Giant Squid, Via Vengeance, and most recent addition, New Jersey's Fight Amp. Carly also works as an in-house booker at the aforementioned Branx, as well as books monthly heavy music shows at Saratoga and Tube.

Carly's experience in the "music biz" dates back 15 years, but it was only 5 or 6 years ago that, much to her chagrin, she was convinced by then Black Eyes and Neck Ties guitarist Josh Holland (Dog Shredder) to help his band book a west coast tour. That first tour went well, she worked with more Bellingham bands, word got around and according to Carly, "It snowballed from there."

Having spent time in both Bellingham and Seattle before moving to Portland, Carly has built many strong relationships around the NW as well as a very favorable reputation as an honest and reliable booking agent; someone you want to work with. I am very pleased to have met Carly in 2010. In my opinion she is the single most important catalyst and lifeline between the Seattle and Portland heavy music communities at this time, and I'm happy to call her a friend as well as a confidant in my own show booking endeavours. 

Starting this Thursday in Bellingham Carly is celebrating her success by having not one but two Starbird Booking showcases. Both Thursday's Bellingham show at Jinx and Friday's show at Chop Suey feature Starbird bands Lesbian, Grayceon, Dog Shredder and Fight Amp. On Sunday back in Portland, Lesbian and Grayceon will be joined by Burials and SRG favorite Diesto to cap off the heavy-as-fuck weekend festivities.

If you have enjoyed a Lesbian or Dog Shredder show in recent times not to mention the recent influx of badass Portland bands playing Seattle like Rabbits, Diesto, White Orange, Norska, Wizard Rifle, and Lord Dying you can thank Carly Henry. She has most certainly had some direct or indirect influence in making those shows possible.  

Lesbian, Grayceon, Dog Shredder, Fight Amp this Friday at Chop Suey. Don't miss it.

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Posted by Nik Christofferson


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