180 miles of Oregon coast travel: Astoria, Seaside, Cannon Beach, Manzanita,
Nehalem, Wheeler, Rockaway, Garibaldi, Tillamook, Oceanside, Pacific City,
Lincoln City, Depoe Bay, Newport, Waldport, Yachats & Florence.
CD Review: Kids Book Bridges Oregon Coast,
By Andre' Hagestedt
(Manzanita, Oregon) - Something new and wonderful just
popped out of the Oregon coast – and out of Portland as well. “One
Night in Frogtown” is a massive, impressive collaboration between
an Oregon coast writer/producer, a Portland illustrator and a host of
Portland musicians. It’s essentially a kid’s book and CD.
But like a myriad of creative movies geared towards kids these days, “Frogtown”
is equally amusing to adults as well, especially with its all-star northwest
talent lineup that includes Curtis Salgado, Linda Hornbuckle, Eric Robinson,
Andy Stokes, Thara Memory and Devin Phillips, among others.
Self-publishing a gloriously colorful children’s
book like this one is no easy feat to begin. But Philip Pelletier of Manzanita
and Portland illustrator Verne Lindner have gone several steps farther,
not only creating a masterful CD full of music that appeals to all ages,
but Pelletier managed to corral a host of famed Portlanders into this
expansive, whimsical project.
|Cover of "Frogtown," by Verne Lindner
The CD accompanies the book, with little cues to turn the
pages as the story is read by Portland blues master Curtis Salgado (he
was one of the big inspirations of John Belushi’s “Blues Brothers”
characters after Belushi saw him perform in Eugene during the filming
of “Animal House” in the 70’s). Call it kid’s
music that is accessible to adults – or perhaps “Frog Rock”
would be the best term – but this CD and its book do indeed rock.
Pelletier brought all the musicians to his north Oregon
coast studio, where he recorded them, produced the CD and then self-published
it with Lindner. He played most of the background instruments.
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It’s Pelletier you hear in the opening segment, and
the musical bits in between: ethereal, floating synthesizer orchestrations
that sound like twinkling aural starlight, with saxophonist Phillips and
Salgado’s narration on top. Altogether, between the fanciful drawings,
the kooky music and the very funky vibes, the whole effect is a bit reminiscent
of the old “Schoolhouse Rock” cartoons we remember from our
childhood in the 70’s (well, some of us are old enough to remember).
|Philip Pelletier recorded and produced the whole CD
in his studio in Manzanita
Salgado’s cadences are lilting and subtly amusing
as he tells the story of a musician tadpole who wanders beyond his usual
confines and into three distinctly different musical worlds that are somewhat
intolerant of the others.
The first different plane of existence he encounters is
the blues world, which is brought to life by the song “Middle of
the Road.” It’s a slinky blues tune with a hefty groove, where
Hornbuckle is soulful and commanding, but plenty of fun. Phillips’
saxophone peppers the entire song with sinewy fervor. At one point, the
song wanders into bluesy psychedelic territory, like something Sting might’ve
done a time or two in his solo career.
Rockaway Beach. All rooms are immaculate and have TV’s, VCR’s
and in-room phones w/ data ports. Oceanfronts have queen bed, a
double hide-a-bed, kitchen, cozy firelog fireplace and private deck.
Both types sleep up to four people. Others are appointed for a two-person
romantic getaway, yet still perfect for those on a budget. Elaborate
oceanfront Jacuzzi suite has two bedrooms, kitchen, double hide-a-bed,
fireplace and private deck, sleeping as many as six. For family
reunions or large gatherings such as weddings, some rooms can connect
to create two-room and three-room suites. Some rooms pet friendly.
523 N. Pacific St., Rockaway Beach. (503) 355-2112 - 1-800-824-0938.
The second song, “Above It All,” is about our
froggy hero encountering a group of tree frogs whose lives revolve around
classical music. With hints of Prog (or should we say Frog Prog), “Above
It All” sounds a bit like a lost Asia song, but with chicks on vocals.
Actually, more like Asia-lite, as if Asia’s John Wetton had been
neutered. It’s also not hard to imagine Mel Collins (King Crimson)
as the saxophonist here. Or maybe it brings on one of the solo albums
of Yes’ Jon Anderson; it is, after all, quite lighthearted.
The tune somewhat brings back those glory days of rock
pomposity, when Crimson, Emerson, Lake & Palmer, and the non-crappy
incarnation of Genesis mixed classical with rock. Not a bad musical lesson
for kids these days, actually.
At one point, there are some extremely cute and interesting
samples of vocalists utilized to sound like opera singers. They are gleefully
esoteric in the best traditions of electronica. It all ends with bluesy
touch in the middle of all the “stuffiness,” again evoking
Sting’s mix of modern and classical through the use of that slinky
Ocean Lodge. There will not be another property built
like this in Cannon Beach in our lifetimes. Rare, premiere ocean
front location; handsome, dramatic architecture and tasteful, fun
(nostalgic) beach interiors. Overlooks Haystack Rock. 100 percent
smoke free. Imaginative special occasion packages. Massive wood
burning lobby fireplace. Library w/ fireplace, stocked with impressive
book collection. Pet and family friendly. Lavish continental buffet
breakfast. In-room fireplaces, mini-kitchens. Jacuzzi tubs in select
rooms. DVD players, complimentary movies. Morning paper. Warm cookies.
888-777-4047. 503-436-2241. 2864 Pacific Street. Cannon Beach, Oregon.
In “The Down Low,” our little musician tadpole
bumps and grinds it with a group of rappers. Most Americans won’t
recognize this analogy, but it sounds a bit like Russian rocker Boris
Grebenchikov’s flirtations with rap. And it’s a serious kick
in the pants, with Robinson’s rapping gracing the tune.
In the background there’s some kind’a sexy
girl vocals - but that’s something only dads will probably lock
into. Most delightful, however, is the use of frog samples to make the
song gurgle, hop and chug along, all punctuated by some monster grooves
and a fiery electronic brass section performed by Pelletier.
Undoubtedly the most memorable tune is “Alone,”
where north Oregon coast singer Heather Christie gets to shine bright.
It’s a mournful, touching acoustic number that is sure to sear itself
into your brain, with a vibe not unlike Pink Floyd or Sarah McLachlan.
Christie’s voice certainly evokes her in plenty of moments. If one
of these were going to cross over into the world of hit singles, this
would be it.
The fun and funky “Frogtown” slides things
into the end of the CD, with its bouncy, upbeat form of Frog-rock. Andy
Stokes’ soulful vocals evoke Marvin Gaye a bit, while the tune imaginatively
blends elements of all the other styles at various moments.
The two hidden tracks at the end of the CD are also a serious
source of enchantment and coolness.
With its dynamic, even stunning illustrations and a hip,
gleeful soundtrack and narration to accompany it, “One Night in
Frogtown” is a multi-media tour de force for kids and grownups.
It’s something the entire family can rock out to.
Find more at www.frogtowncentral.com
Beach Rentals, Lincoln City. Perfect for large family
vacations all the way down to a getaway lodging for two - with
over 25 vacation rental homes to choose from. A breathtaking collection
of craftsman or traditional beachfront homes, or oceanview houses
– from one to seven bedrooms. In various areas of Lincoln
City and overlooking the beach, with some in Depoe Bay. All kinds
of amenities are available, like hot tubs, decks, BBQ, rock fireplaces,
beamed ceilings and more. Some are new, some are historic charmers.
Lincoln City, Oregon. 1-(503)-232-5984. www.a1beachrentals.com.
Sands Condominium Motel, Lincoln City. Free, fresh baked
cookie upon check-in is just the start. All rooms beachfront and
up against Lincoln City's most famous stretch of beach: the D River.
Each room comes as a suite or mini-suite, and has a kitchen and
balcony or patio. Some w/ gas fireplaces, while all have a DVD Players;
movies to rent come with free popcorn. Heated indoor pool, a spa,
and this fabulous beach is lit at night. Rooms sleep from two, four
to six - including a deluxe fireplace suite. Gift certificates orspecial
occasion packages. www.dsandsmotel.com.
171 S.W. Highway 101. 800-527-3925.
Cape Property Services.
Dozens of homes in that dreamy,
rugged stretch between Cannon Beach and Manzanita known as Arch
Cape. Oceanfront and ocean view , or just a short walk from the
All homes are immaculate and smoke free; some pet friendly (with
a fee). Some with broadband, indoor or outdoor hot tubs, fireplaces,
decks, and fire pits or barbecues. Call about tempting winter specials
that go until March (not valid holidays, however). www.archcaperentals.com
POINT Newport - Offers only the finest in luxury condominium
lodging. Every unit is focused on the beauty of the sea and the
All units boast two bedrooms, two bathrooms, designer kitchens,
wireless broadband Internet, fireplaces, Jacuzzi’s and private
decks. Friendly staff dedicated to high quality and superb customer
service. 140 NW 48th Street, Newport. (541) 265-3751. (800) 870-7795.
City Vacation Homes
Something for everyone: smaller homes
with a view to a large house that sleeps 15. All are either oceanfront
or just a few steps away – all with a low bank access and
fantastic views. Most are in the Nelscott area; one is close to
the casino. You’ll find a variety of goodies: fireplaces,
multiple bedrooms, dishwashers, Jacuzzis, washer/dryers, hot tubs,
cable TV, VCR, barbecues; there’s a loft in one, and another
sprawling home has two apartments. Pets allowed in some homes
– ask first. Each comes with complete kitchens. Most have
seventh night free. Prices range from winter $85 to summer $230
per night. www.getaway2thecoast.com.
at Cannon Beach. Beautifully wooded natural setting at quiet south
end of Cannon Beach. Great during winter storms with a new book by
the fireplace – or when the sun is out for family fun and beach
strolling. Handsome beach cottage-style architecture. Lush flowering
gardens and naturalized courtyard pond. Warm, inviting guest rooms.
Continental buffet breakfast. Warm Cookies. Family and Pet Friendly.
Welcome gifts. Smoke-free. Complimentary Wireless Connectivity. Wine
and book signing events. 800-321-6304 or 503-436-9085. Hemlock At
Surfcrest, Cannon Beach, Oregon. www.atcannonbeach.com.
here for video of Dec. storm aftermath
Coast Best of Awards for the Year And the winners
are: best of Oregon coast restaurants, lodgings, science, odd events
in nature and stunning moments for 2007
Transformations of Oregon Coast Beaches Seasons change
and so do beaches, revealing different sides and a variety of eye-popping
Found on Oregon Beach May Be 80,000 Years Old - They
are the remnants of a forest apparently 80,000 years old, found at Hug
or Night Mysteries and Merriment on Oregon Coast It's
more than just nightlife that comes to life, but the beaches offer major
Coast Travel Site Goes Wireless Provides Lodging Reports
- Oregon Coast Beach Connection now has mobile lodging and dining listings,
along with weekly lodging availability reports
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