“How many times is Tony Smiley going to play in Bend?" you ask. “And how many times will you write about him?"
My answer: As long as you people keep packing his shows here, I’ll assume there’s interest and keep covering him.
Over the past few years, Smiley — a one-man rock band who expertly uses looping technology to build songs from the ground up, one instrument at a time — has grown quite a fan base in Bend. This is thanks, in part, to the Portland-based musician’s willingness to road trip over the mountains on a regular basis to play all kinds of gigs: Madhappy Lounge, McMenamins, Silver Moon, Astro Lounge, seasonal festivals, free outdoor shows ... the guy has paid his Bend dues.
Of course, it also helps attract people and their ears when you make a catchy and high-energy brand of pop-rock that I have compared to the Foo Fighters’ less heavy moments in this paper a whole bunch of times now. Smiley is not your typical one-man band; you won’t find any cymbals on his knees. He rocks, straight up. And it’s impressive to watch.
And a new development: Recently, Smiley has been collaborating with a couple of locals, pop/electronica wizard Keez (aka Brad Jones) and eclectic hip-hopper Mosley Wotta. The result makes for a night of good tunes and good times, and their most recent show at Silver Moon sold out early. You’ve been warned.
Tony Smiley, Keez and Mosley Wotta, with DJ Prajekt; 9 tonight; $5; Liquid Lounge, 70 N.W. Newport Ave., Bend; www.facebook.com/jah promotions or 541-389-6999.