A new push to bring touring acts to Bend’s Astro Lounge has already paid off with last weekend’s show by British pop singer Shirin, and there’s more in the offing. John Davis, the guy booking the gigs, emailed earlier this week to tout some of March dates: Portland roots-rocker Sam Densmore (March 12), Arizona alt-folk singer-songwriter Decker (March 14) and Portland synth-pop band Lost Lander (March 28), among others.
And tonight, the Astro hosts Luke Sweeney, an emerging artist from the Bay Area whose music is a kaleidoscopic whoosh of psych-pop, indie-folk, lo-fi soul and futuristic blues. His newest album “Adventure: Us,” released last fall, reminds me of a grittier Father John Misty, or a more sincere Push Kings, or The Flaming Lips without the silliness, or Pavement if they didn’t pretend not to try.
It’s an album with an old soul but a 21st century perspective, where nifty little pop nuggets get filtered through a woozy production aesthetic. And it’s eminently listenable. Once it earwormed its way into my brain, I found myself returning to it for repeated spins. Check it out at www.lukesweeney.bandcamp.com.
Anyway, Sweeney and his band is now on tour of the Northwest, and tonight he’ll stop at the Astro, venerable downtown hotspot to all, even people who might understand a Push Kings reference. Go support what Davis is doing over there.
Luke Sweeney ; 10 tonight; $5 men, free for women; The Astro Lounge, 939 NW Bond St., Bend; www.astroloungebend.com or 541-388-0116.
— Ben Salmon