Archive for September, 2006

Rock Kills Kid at the Hawthorne Theater – Canceled!!!

1193207631_m.jpgWell sh!t on a stick, the show was canceled! <Sigh> I’ll just have to blast their CD, do some housework (which I had hoped to avoid) and maybe get a good night’s sleep instead. I’ll try to figure out this images formatting thing too.

Preshow report:

Tonight I’m heading over to the Hawthorne Theater, conveniently located within walking distance of my abode, to see Rock Kills Kid, The Village Green, and To Live and Die in L.A. This will be my third outing with Rock Kills Kid and I’m super excited to see them headlining!

I first saw them open for The Lovemakers at the Doug Fir. That was my favorite show in 2005. It was Rock Kills Kid, She Wants Revenge, and The Lovemakers. I’m still reeling from it! I was there for She Wants Revenge, whom I had just the week before discovered on satellite radio. RKK was a total surprise!

… continue reading this entry.

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Banco de Gaia at The Doug Fir Lounge

As Stumptown Girl promised, here’s my review of last night’s show at The Doug Fir. The show opened with the DJ from Dahlia. He was spinning a nice groove but with it being a Tues night, I wasn’t much in the mood for shaking it. A little later, Jennifer from Dahlia came out and performed a little preview of their upcoming show. She has a good voice and looked like she was having a good time. I’ll reserve further judgment until I see their full show, although I suspect it’ll be great.

Banco de Gaia was the headliner. He’s a DJ from the UK who spins World music to an electronic groove. It put me in mind of Deep Forest. My friends all agreed that it was a little too much like background music. We weren’t sucked into it and by ones and twos, left early. There was a pretty good sized crowd there for a Tuesday night and there were definitely some people who were digging it. This one guy must have been tweaking (or maybe he’s in better shape than he looked) because he was bouncing and breaking double time to the beat and had clearly spent his youth in the rave scene. He was the most entertaining part of the evening and should have been on stage so everyone else could enjoy him!

I have to say, I enjoy smooth electronica much more when I’m listening to it while doing something else. The problem with this genre of music in a club is that it’s not engaging enough to listen to and there’s nothing to watch but the DJ’s bobbing head and the crowd. Conversation with friends inevitably involves a lot of shouting at each other to be heard, and that gets old after an hour or two. If you feel like dancing, then it’s not such a bad thing. I would listen to Banco de Gaia when I’m at home messing around or in the car.

In the end, the show was just ok, I’d rather listen to the CD, but the company of friends was great!

Happy Anniversary Alberta St. Public House!

Friday night I spent the evening listening to music at the Alberta St. Public House. I saw Zephyr,Sassparilla, Sneakin’ Out, and Ashleigh Flynn. The show was a part of their 5 years in business week-long celebration.

I had a full entry written but somehow it completely disappeared when I hit [Publish], so instead of a full review, you’ll get this. The bands were great. Check out the links to hear samples.

If I ever decide to trust the auto-save feature again, just shoot me in the head.

One thing I’ll say is that I think these bands all bring something special to their live shows that doesn’t translate to their recordings. Keep an eye out around town and go see them. They’re worth the trouble.

Bill Bryson – Read His Stuff Now!

Let’er Buck! (or, how I spent the day with rednecks)

Yesterday I spent the day at the Pendleton Roundup, one of the largest rodeos in the country. This was a company offsite adventure. We always start these adventures with cocktails, regardless of the time of day, as my boss seems to think that coworkers spending the day together need some social lubricant. I feel he has a point as I have almost nothing in common with my officemates, beyond the ability to make silly conversation when drunk.

Upon our arrival at the rodeo grounds (via a 45 minute ride in my boss’ jet, which is pretty much exactly as cool as it sounds) we immediately hit the Let’er Buck room. The Let’er Buck room is located beneath the South Grandstand. Interestingly, if you go to the official Web site there’s nothing mentioned about this room. Apparently, they like to keep it a well-known secret. Inside the room, you can buy two different types of drink tokens. The cheap plastic tokens will get you a well drink. The cool bronze fancy tokens will get you Pendleton Whisky, which is a very nice blended Canadian whisky.

The crowd was a mix of real cowboys, wannabe cowboys who clearly bought their hats from one of the vendors outside, and odd spectators like ourselves. As the day progressed, the scene turned more and more into a sort of cowboy mardigras, complete with beaded necklaces. One guy, an HR administrator for Coldwater Creek in Idaho, had an electric readerboard on his hat that scrolled the words, “Let’er Buck…Show me your tits!”

Another guy, who fell into the real cowboy category, was successfully reeling in young women wearing low-cut tops. His purpose in reeling them in (he was very smooth with the arm around the shoulder maneuver, gently pulling them closer as his friends closed in to block any chance of escape), was to give the girls fake tatoos of the rodeo logo.

This was accomplished by first licking the top of the girl’s breast (often for a good 5-10 minutes) to make sure the tatoo would stick. Then he had to carefully rub the tatoo paper onto the wet spot, holding the breast still with his other hand so it wouldn’t smudge. I tell you, this guy was a master!

The girls all had this vague deer-in-headlights look, like they couldn’t quite believe they were letting a complete stranger in a cowboy hat lick them, but couldn’t think of what to do about it. They all stood verrryyy still, even the ones that giggled. It was sort of like watching a train wreck and I wouldn’t be surprised if those girls occasionally wake up in the morning, in some guy’s bed, with no clear idea of how they got there.
Having been to the rodeo last year, and having experienced some groping of our own, my female coworker and I wore tops with no cleavage, stayed mostly in one spot, and kept our backs to the wall. To give you another idea of the scene, last year one of my male coworkers found himself suddenly surrounded by 4 women, one of whom said, “Hi there, you’re new here aren’t you?” At which point, he ran away to find us, and told us rather indignantly that he “felt like a piece of meat!”

The rodeo itself was interesting to watch. Having had 3 drinks in 45 minutes, my take on it was perhaps a little skewed, but these were my thoughts at the time.

“Bronco riding = get the fuck off my back!”

“Run little calf, run! No! Don’t stop for a snack!”

“Steer wrestling is not unlike pug wrestling”

“Boy, that had to hurt”

And finally,

“Bareback riding in a loin cloth seems like a bad idea.”

It was fun to watch the animals run away when they’d beat the cowboy. I was happy to see that when one of the cowboys incorrectly roped a calf, they let go of the rope rather than risk injury to it.

The steer wrestling was completely insane. Imagine racing on a horse at 30 mph, jumping off the still running horse onto a running 600 pound beast with really big horns, grabbing the beast by the horns as your heels skid for 50 feet through the dirt until you finally come to a stop, at which point you lever the beast (600pounds!) onto its side before it succeeds in goring you, which it clearly would like to do as being grabbed by the horns really pissed it off.

That in a big nutshell, is how I spent a fun day with rednecks.

Cool Gmail Feature of the Day

Since I’m calling this blog Technogrrrl, I figure I should probably post some techie stuff now and then. My first official techie post is about a nifty feature of Gmail that a friend (thanks Iggi) clued me into the other day. Giving credit where it’s due, you can check out this guy’s blog for the full story, ideas, and comments.

If you have a Gmail account you can add “+” and then whatever you want to your username and the e-mail will make it to you. For instance, you could do technogrrrl+blog@gmail.com (I don’t actually have that account) instead of technogrrrl@gmail.com and the e-mail would make it to me.

… continue reading this entry.

Nouvelle Vague -Post Show Report

Damn, they were even better than I remembered! Acoustic guitar, accordion, upright bass, percussion, alto vocals, and soft soprano vocals all add up to a great sound. Phoebe Killdeer has a really cool voice. She reminds me a lot of Shirley Bassey, a great jazz singer. She was mesmerizing and entertaining.  For an encore they did a rousing rendition of Mexican Radio, which the audience enthusiastically joined in on. The crowd was really into it.  Then they did I Just Can’t Get Enough.  As Phoebe said, they “…not only do renditions, they do renditions of renditions!”  It was a blast!  Too Drunk to Fuck was also a crowd favorite. I think that was the first of their songs I’d heard on Rhapsody last year.  It’s repetitive but freakishly catchy.

Anyway, it was good stuff and in spite of a couple of obnoxious people who seem to follow me from show to show (I’m not kidding, I call them the Weird Couple) and another person dumping a chocolate martini in my lap, I had a great time!

Nouvelle Vague

Tonight I’m headed over to the good ol’ Doug Fir Lounge to catch Nouvelle Vague, an excellent group of French musicians who take classic New Wave songs and turn them into Bossa Nova pop. They’re a blast! I saw them this time last year at Holocene, another Eastside club here in Portland. … continue reading this entry.

Holcombe Waller at The Doug Fir Lounge

Last Thursday night I went with a friend to the Doug Fir (yes, I go there a lot) to see some local talent. We missed the first opener and left before the headliner. This left us with the middle act, a guy named Holcombe Waller. As he started to play it occurred to me that I’d seen him before somewhere. Where, where, where had I seen this guy?! It was driving me nuts!

My friend didn’t recognize him at all. Had I seen him around the neighborhood? If so, my friend would have recognized him too. Was he in a different band? Climber maybe? As he moved about the stage he looked even more familiar. The way he moved was familiar. Arrrgh! It was so distracting! Since there’s no T-Mobile service in the club, I couldn’t even google him.

But on to the music, which wasn’t bad, but didn’t make me jump for joy either. I wasn’t keen on his accompanying vocalist as I felt like their voices didn’t meld very smoothly most of the time. Separately, they were both unique and good. Together, not great. His lyrics tended to be repetetive, the point apparently being to show off the range of his falsetto vocal stylings. I felt like he really enjoyed the sound of his own voice, which was quite lovely at times, but it made his performance feel very insular. He seemed very self-aware and focused on what he was doing, until the last song, when he let loose a bit.

… continue reading this entry.