Sunderland in race for concert slot

online voting underway

Sunderland premiere's their first album and hopes to win a chance at the opening slot for Weezer during their June 21 concert in Portland at Pioneer Square.

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Sunderland premiere's their first album and hopes to win a chance at the opening slot for Weezer during their June 21 concert in Portland at Pioneer Square.

If you are under 25 in Hood River chances are you’ve heard of Sunderland. They are a homegrown band that has begun their race towards fame.

In the last 30 months, the pop/rock group has completed six national tours. Fans and would be fans can now help boost the band in building a strong Oregon fan base in the next few days through an online vote. is offering one of ten Northwest band finalists the chance to open for the band, Weezer, at a June 21 Pioneer Square concert. The lucky group will be chosen based on the number of votes cast online.

The voting link is: Voting closes on June 9.

“We are already in the top 10. We submitted our “Echoes” music video and a judging panel at Microsoft, and some members of Weezer, selected us,” said band member Dylan Bauld.

Guitarist McKinley Kitts, multi-instrumentalist Zach Grace and Kyle Hill, drummer of Tualatin, join Bauld as bandmates. The three founding members are all from Hood River. Hill joined the group last summer.

The band just completed their first full-length album, “Closer Now,” which was produced by multi-platinum producer John Fields, who has worked with the Jonas Brothers, GooGoo Dolls, Switchfoot and others. They previously released two EPs: “A Change of Pace” and “Sunderland.”

“This was a much bigger step than those two,” said Bauld.

Following the guidance of their new producer, the band submitted a plate of new music that Fields and his manager reviewed. Eleven new songs were ultimately fully recorded and included in the album.

Fields is also working with his connections in Hollywood to gain some traction for the group.

“They are putting our name out to their business connections and advocating for Sunderland,” said Bauld.

“Every song on the album was written by a different member,” said Bauld, with most written before Hill joined. “But, he gives us a solid backbone for the band.”

As to the album title, Bauld says, “It has multiple meanings: It is our main single and it’s about this being a step closer as a band.”

If they win the coveted slot with Weezer, Bauld feels an important opportunity will open up for the group.

“We’ve been touring around the country but we’ve been missing a bigger Oregon fan base. This is a great opportunity for that; it would be huge.”

Sunderland won a similar online contest in the fall of 2011. They then opened for Panic! at the Disco in Madison, Wisconsin in Oct. 2011.

The bands two EPs are already available on iTunes along with their new album. And the group recently made it into the Pandora play list.

“It’s cool. Not only do we have our own channel, but our band will be featured on other bands’ channels.”

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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