There have been quite a few bands out of Ashland that have caught my attention. I can think of quite a few performers and bands in the last 15 years, though they are mostly nameless artists who have moved on and only lurk in the back of my fading memory. Ashland has great live music, one of the best in Oregon, though lately, I’ve felt that the scene lacked a simple edge.
That all changed when I was introduced to the music of 100 Watt Mind.
A friend has been telling me about 100 Watt Mind for over a year now and until recently, I never took the time to explore their music. What I found was far more than the edge that the music scene in Ashland was missing. What I found was the blade of the proverbial knife, resting firmly against my eardrums. This is a truly impressive band.
100 Watt Mind has admittedly been through an evolution since the band formed in 2009. Lineup changes, including ten drummers and two name changes have led the group to their current incarnation, playing rock music exactly how it should be played – hard and fast, yet with soul and honesty. Tracks such as “Boom Boom Boom,” “Attack!!!” and “Bad Intention” are only a few examples of the type of in-tune intensity that makes rock ‘n’ roll great. Singer Brynna Dean carries the passionate vocals of Janis Joplin with the intensity of Johnny Rotten and the soulfulness of Cher, with her very own vocal presence. Her energy combined with the stylings of guitarist Skyler Squiglio, bassist Nathan Hurlocker, and drummer Rob Morris, create the type of musical-chaos that makes you want to jump to your feet and stomp and maybe break something. Powerful on so many levels, it would be hard to describe a band that draws on so many influences, creating a one-of-a- kind musical experience. On their Facebook page, 100 Watt Mind describes themselves as an ”explosive rock group who combines thoroughly structured songs with improvisational jams to create an ever changing rock n' roll giant.”
100 Watt Mind will be playing live on September 16th at the Rogue Rock ‘N’ Ink Expo at the Historic Ashland Armory, fresh off shows in Portland and Eugene. Also on the bill that night at the Armory is local rock bands Dry Season and Tallboy. Check back with the Rogue Valley Messenger regarding this epic event in Ashland. It should be a great show.
Jason Franklin is a freelance writer who lives in the sweet and splendid confines of southern Oregon. Spending most of his time with his two children, he has taken on the lonely, solitary minded work of a writer, working full-time for houses.com, property.com and Onlink, while preparing the release of his first novel of short stories, BentBridges and Paradox, due in late 2013.