Archive for Music

Bands I’ve Seen and Liked

Here’s a list of the bands I’ve seen and enjoyed over the past several months. Check them out!

Editors at the Roseland Theater

    The Prids at the Doug Fir Lounge

    Charmparticles at the Doug Fir Lounge

    Feist at the Schnitz

    Joy Wilson Band at Macadam’s Bar & Grill

    Talkdemonic at the Doug Fir Lounge

    The High Violets at the Doug Fir Lounge

    Dat’r at the Doug Fir Lounge

    Datarock at the Doug Fir Lounge

    She Wants Revenge at the Roseland Theater

    Benefit show for Ethos at the Someday Lounge

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      Completely Uncensored

      Goddamn, I just saw We’re From Japan and they totally fucking rocked it. Fuck prosac, if you’re feeling down in the dumps go check out some live music! I’m pretty new to the progressive post-rock scene a la Mogwai, Godspeed You Black Emperor, and Isis, but I don’t care: I loved it!

      There were no vocals in the entire set. It was all instrumental. Boring you say? Ohhhh no. There was no boring music, unless you think the sound of the ocean is boring. It was symphonic wave after wave that ebbed and flowed and swelled and boomed and caressed.

      I’ve been curious to see them for quite some time and, clearly, I wasn’t disappointed. Two guitars, bass, and drums they all seemed to be doing their own thing, each lost in their own little piece of the music , yet somehow they melded together into this awesome wall of sound.

      Check them out online or catch their next show. If you don’t dig them, well…there’s really nothing I can do for you.

      My Ears Are Ringing

      So last night I went to Berbati’s Pan and saw The National. Tonight I saw The Prids at The Doug Fir. Dang, both bands were totally fun, if entirely different, and The Prids had the added bonus of The Sun The Sea opening for them. My ears are seriously complaining about the abuse but both shows were really freaking fun. Check out these bands if you haven’t already.

      The National has a symphonic rock sound with deep smooth vocals and a sweet violin. The Prids are a darker, bass heavy and fast drums band, while The Sun The Sea are charismatic garage indie rock at its most fun. It’s weeks like this that I feel really happy to be alive and well in Portland within a 10 minute drive of great music.

      Back in the Saddle – For the Moment Anyway

      I’ve been absent from the blogging world recently for several reasons that all distill down to this — I’ve been completely wrapped up and obsessed with my own little world. When I’m in that head space, it’s impossible to write anything. I’m actually still completely wrapped up in my own little world but I feel like I’m seeing a glimmer of light at the end of the sewer pipe. I have a few comments to make for the record, while I’m still hanging out in the aforementioned pipe.

      A. I joined a pool team. I suck at it, and that’s OK.

      B. Selling a house and then packing up to move out of it is a pain, especially when…

      C. Finding a new place to live in SE Portland (the cool part anyway) is ridiculously hard, time-consuming, and thus far fruitless.

      D. I’m totally addicted to Smallville and I haven’t even made it through season 1 yet.

      E. I really like a good soak in the tub.

      As of today, I’m house-sitting for my friends next door. To keep with the Technogrrrl theme I so rarely pay any attention to, I’ll mention here that I brought over all of the essentials necessary to a high standard of living: my laptop, the Xbox, an mp3 player, some clothes and toiletries, my single cup coffee thingy, my kitchenaid stand mixer, and my Sidekick. Apparently, everything I’m jamming into my PODS unit is just fluff. Actually, given how heavy it all is, I suppose it would be ballast.

      Your reward for making it to the end of my little rant is the following statement. Westfold is a pretty cool band and you should check them out.

      Check back soon for a review of the latest book from my favorite vampire porn author!

      The Sun The Sea — The Best New Band I’ve Seen in Some Time

      thesunthesea.jpgAlright, for those keeping track (although I can’t imagine why you would), I did not make it two weeks without going to a show. I scored free tickets to The Doug Fir Thursday night, and boy am I glad I did! The night started off with a performance by kids from The School of Rock. I only caught the last bunch but they were great! 14 year old kids jamming in a real bar in front of a real audience was a pretty amazing sight. Granted, part of the audience consisted of their parents, most of whom looked like aging rockers themselves.

      Otherwise, the audience pretty much appeared to be hardcore music fans. Not fans of hardcore music, but rather people who were there for the music instead of the scene. I didn’t see even one bridge and tunnel person. The only person who stood out was a Troutdale-looking fellow in acid-wash ripped jeans and jean jacket, topped with a straw cowboy hat. It wasn’t much of a scene if he was hoping to pick up on someone.

      Which brings me to The Sun The Sea. Of the new bands I’ve seen this year, they are my favorite. They consist of two guitars, drums, and bass. The Doug Fir described their sound as “Shoegazer and Rock had a Pop baby” and I think they’re right. One guitar handled the peddle effects to an expert degree of psychedelic joy, while the other guitar handled the rock riffs. The lead singer reminded both my friend and I of Brandon Flowers of The Killers a la Sam’s Town, but that was only his looks. His voice was smooth as silk. By the end of the show I realized he could be passionately singing about the weather for all I knew, because I was completely taken in by their overall sound. If they’d had an EP, I’d have bought it for sure. MySpace has four demo songs available for listening but there were a few songs during the show that I’d particularly like to hear again and they’re not on there. I will have to be patient! In the meantime, the more I listen to the available tracks, the more I like them. It’s an interesting listening experience.

      The headliner Thursday night was called Hot One but we didn’t get to hear them because we got a call that the power went out at the house. So, we had to run home to unplug everything. I have a serious mistrust of surge protectors. Now that I think about it, the “Storm of the Decade” probably kept the bridge and tunnel people at home that night. It’s too bad because they missed a fun show!

      On Snow Patrol Followed by The English Beat – A December to Remember

      english_beat.jpgI often find myself in a quandry when seeing bands in the winter. How do I get from my car to the venue and back without freezing to death if I leave my coat in the car? If I wear my coat from the car to the venue and back, what do I do with my coat during the show?

      At last night’s Snow Patrol show, I carried my coat the entire night because the coat check was closed. It was a sold out show at The Crystal Ballroom, and if you’ve ever been to one of their sold out shows, you know it’s really hot and crowded. I concluded that carrying my coat all night totally sucked, as evidenced by my sore biceps (it was a stupidly heavy leather coat) this morning. Although, I suppose a bicep workout isn’t a bad thing for an anti-gym bunny like myself! In any case, for tonight’s English Beat show I shucked off my coat at the car and fled several blocks in the cold to reach the venue, only discover a fully functional coat check in operation. Sheesh.

      Now why would the coat check be open for The English Beat crowd, but not the Snow Patrol crowd? Perhaps it’s indicative of the crowds themselves? Snow Patrol has a top 40 hit called Chasing Cars blaring on the rotation of every radio station in town. I was sort of horrified when I first heard it softly crooning from my coworker’s office. My coworker listens to “soft rock” during most of the year, and then the day after Thanksgiving through New Year’s Day she has it on an “all holiday music, all the time” station. Headphones are my friends.

      Snow Patrol is a cool band from Belfast. Easy Listening they are not, but their ballads are lovely. The mix of radio stations playing them lent itself to a mixed crowd of teenagers through gray-hairs. I have no clear idea what that has to do with the coat check, but feel free to comment if you think of something. Beyond that, Gary’s voice was “going off” as he put it thanks to being ill so the show wasn’t as good as I had hoped. It sounds like they’re coming back in February (they ought to just move here) so maybe I’ll catch them again. If they play a bigger venue though, I’m out of the game.

      The English Beat crowd was for the most part all in their 30’s and early 40’s. We were the ones who grew to adulthood listening to them. I never thought I’d see them live. I felt that way about Echo and the Bunnymen last year too, but this was way more fun. They put on a fantastic, energetic show and the entire crowd was dancing. One thing I’ll say for it, The Crystal has a great floor for ska! The floating wood floor makes you bounce along with everyone whether you want to or not. I’m not sure it’s a super great idea to have drunk people bouncing with pints of beer held over their heads but, there you go.

      I kept a wary eye on the drunken, bleached hair dude who was sometimes next to me. I say “sometimes” because, well, let’s just say he got around a bit. I’m pretty sure by the time I got there most of his beer was already on the floor, if not someone’s head, which is precisely where the last of his beer ended up. The guy he doused was good-natured about it, as one can’t really be too cranky at an EB show. The ironic thing is that my friend got a nice round of beer dumped down the back of his leg last night at the SP show, by a guy who was standing completely still. You just never know when the beer gods are going to anoint you.

      Like the saying about it not being a party until someone spills a beer, The EB pointed out that it’s not really a party until someone ruins a perfectly good Motown song. And with that, they launched into Tears of a Clown. I had forgotten how many songs they have that I like. I had also forgotten how much fun ska is live. The last ska band I saw was in the mid-90’s in Seattle when Black Happy played Bumbershoot. I could count the short set from The Clash tribute a few weeks ago but I wasn’t paying enough attention.

      There are a few other interesting shows this month but I think it’s time for a short break. I might even make it two weeks before I break down and head for a show. I have a serious backlog of books waiting to be read…

      Dahlia at The Doug Fir Lounge

      dahlia.jpgSome time ago you may recall that I expressed a desire to see Dahlia do a full show at the Doug Fir. They perform there the last Weds of every month and tonight, I finally had the chance to go. Dang they’re fun, not to mention hot as hell! Or, as the doofy guy to the left of me, who I kid you not was banging his head and playing air guitar the entire show, said to his not quite as doofy but still pretty doofy friend, “Wow, she’s a real sexpot!” Even if the show had sucked, that guy was unintentionally funny enough to make the night worth the price of admission.

      As I like to do from time to time, I went to this show incognito. When I say incognito, I mean to say that I was alone and wrapped in my own personal invisibility cloak. I think I have the ability to draw in my aura (or whatever it is that makes people able to sense your presence) such that I get run into and stepped on a lot.

      I do this so I can be in my own little world of musical enjoyment without being approached by drunken bridge and tunnel boys. The next time my mother asks me why I wear such clunky shoes, I’m going to tell her it’s so when some dude backs up 3 feet and stops only when my hands are on his shoulder blades and his foot is firmly planted on my toes, I remain unscathed.

      Getting back to the music, Jenn does these great Shirley Bassey vocals, full of smoke, to a driving rhythm provided by her DJ Keith. They had the Weds night crowd moving and grooving well before the end. I would definitely see them again!

      Dahlia was preceded by Sophe Lux and Suckapunch. I saw Sophe Lux open for Stalking Jane a few weeks ago and didn’t really dig them so much. Perhaps I wasn’t in the right mood for what seemed like a gimmicky show. But then, I have a tough time with girl bands who have lyrics that include “Yeah, yeah, yeah” in their choruses. It may just be me though, because The Mercury totally loves them. Since I was busy earlier in the evening I skipped their part of tonight’s show but managed to catch Suckapunch.

      I’m not a big hip hop fan but this guy was very cool. I liked his smooth-voiced lyrical delivery and what he had to say was good progressive Portlander stuff about the government staying out of his grill and humans respecting the environment. It’s getting a little fuzzy now, but it all made lovely sense at the time. He reminded me, dare I say it, of Will Smith’s autobiographical raps.

      Next week, I’ll see Snow Patrol and The English Beat. Good stuff!

      Random Thought of the Day

      I was just sitting here thinking that I haven’t been to a show in ages, and then I realized it’s only been a week. I may have a problem. On the other hand, for the first time in I don’t even know how long, there are no tickets clipped to my fridge. This must be remedied ASAP. If anyone has a suggestion, I’d be happy to take recommendations. No Rose Garden shows though please. Thanks.

      —-update—-

      94.7 just announced their December to Remember lineup. SNOW PATROL is coming back!!!!! The English Beat is playing the next night so I’m all manner of set. Soon– soon there will once again be tickets adorning my fridge!

      Snow Patrol at the Roseland Theater

      Chasing CarsI wrote the following entry one afternoon last week while sitting in a restaurant eating lunch. I was too busy at work to blog last week and too busy in the evenings to blog at home. I spent the weekend on the couch , with a yucky cold, watching the first season of Lost while I worked on my laptop. See the next story down for that saga. Anyway, I’m finally getting this thing posted.

      Saturday’s [Sept. 23rd] Snow Patrol show was awesome. I’ve been a fan of theirs since the moment I heard them in late 2004. They played a “December to Remember” show at the Crystal Ballroom with Keane, whom I also love but not as much. I’d never heard of them and was barely familiar with Keane. It was another example of loving the opening band even more than the headliner I was there to see. Sadly, I got there late and missed over half of their set. I was so bummed!

      They came back in the spring of 2005 and played two sold out shows at the Roseland. For reasons beyond my comprehension (probably cashflow related) I missed them. I’ve regretted it ever since. When I found out they were coming around again to promote their new album, Eyes Open, nothing was going to stop me from seeing them. Instead, vocal chord polyps stopped their tour short of reaching me! They had to reschedule the show from June to September. I consoled myself with what I call “Snow Patrol Days” wherein I queue up their four albums available on Yahoo Music Unlimited and listen to them all day at work. I also have “Fall Out Boy Days” but that’s a different mindset and, ah, let’s not go there. <Ahem> Back to Snow Patrol…

      Imagine my happy surprise when I checked the Bite of Oregon schedule and saw them on it! I didn’t believe it could really be them so I confirmed it on their Web site to be sure. Yep, it was them. I’d get to see them twice! But, no. The terrorists won a small victory and fouled up all the British Airways flights, stranding half the band and all their equipment in Amsterdam. As Tara on 94.7 said later, nothing short of Armageddon was going to keep them away from the September 23rd show! Consequently, my expectations were totally ramped. I’m happy to say, I wasn’t disappointed.

      They were clearly happy to be here and had big smiles on their faces during most of the show. The crowd was very enthusiastic and remarkably well-behaved. The drunken assholes in the balcony left after the opening band, but that’s another story. I’ve seen Augustana twice and I’m so bored with them and so annoyed with their fans that I’m not going to waste another word on them.

      Snow Patrol had Friday to bum around town so they went to Kell’s Irish Pub (what with the band being from Ireland and all). Here’s the part I don’t get and if you’ve made it this far into my fangirl post without puking, perhaps you can help me. Gary Lightbody (lead vocals, guitar) said they went to Kell’s and had an “Irish Jew.” He said it twice, and while I’m sure that’s not what he really said, my friends and I all heard it that way and couldn’t figure out what he was talking about. Whatever he actually drank, it brought a tear to his eye, and made him think of his mother. Enough gushing. Check them out, sing along, and feel warm and fuzzy inside.

      Ahhhh Snow Patrol, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways…

      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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