James Orr Recap

So, a natural part of going to a college is a general commitment to paying student fees. These funds go into accounts run both by student government and the Office of Student Affairs, where it’s used in hosting and designing activities and programs specifically for the use by the students.

My favorite application of these dollars? Concerts held here at the College. Last year, our Program Council, a group of four students elected as a team by the student body, launched a running series of events featuring small and mostly unheard artists in the “Oasis”, a small outdoor gathering place for students behind Ketchup and Mustard, the apartments for upperclassmen.

Last Friday, an artist I was introduced to last year in the Oasis made a return.

James Orr, a local Boise artist brought his shadowy indie-rock to the McCain Pub, an alternative stage that’s a bit more friendly given the weather we’ve been having around Caldwell recently.

On a whim, I showed up at the Oasis concert last year, due to the persuasion of a text message from a friend. After watching him perform, I was sold as a fan. James’ style seems fairly straightforward on the surface, but seeing him live shows the technical prowess that Orr marshals in order to create his echoing and resonant music.

Orr uses a series of pedals and electronics to accomplish multiple levels of looping. It’s easier to see than to explain, but through the use of his setup, Orr is able to create the sound of a full 5 person band alone on the stage.

All in all, it makes for an atmospheric and escalating show, a perfect way to spend a Friday night.

If you ever have the chance to see this guy as you’re moving through the Northwest, take it.

I took some video of Orr, and caught this night’s performance of “To Chela”, an instrumental that he enjoys playing as his last song. It’s a good example of his style, although his vocal aspects are missed.

James Orr – \”To Chela\”

“Birthday Song” – One of Orr’s few and far between music videos.

PHOTO: Orr laying down a bass-line before switching back to his acoustic guitar.

-Andrew Moore