I got up at 8:30 in the morning. I got dressed and brushed and got my things, and walked the ten minute walk from David’s to Mississippi. The morning was sunny, and cool and warm at the same time. If I hadn’t been working, it would have been perfect to bike around North Portland. But duty called. And so began my 17 and-a-half hour shift.
- Y La Bamba (heard only)
- Point Juncture, WA (heard only)
- AgesandAges (heard only)
- Nurses (heard only)
- The Minders (heard only)
- Morning Teleportation (for 2 seconds)
- Drunk Ladies
- Heavy Cream
- Ty Segall
Mississippi was throwing an “exclusive” party called PDX-RX put on by OPB and a ton of sponsors. The bands playing were the first six listed above (Y La Bamba to Morning Tele). From 9:00 to 11:00, I was busting ass setting up, alongside everyone else. There was good humor and high spirits and all energy flowed beautifully. I broke an appreciative sweat running chairs around. I had a few Voodoo Donuts. I met up with Bryson and Zack, the new sound guys (I guess everyone else was somewhere else). Jim was bustling around, telling me things he needed me to do. He gave me a grin and said, “Heard you had a good time the other night.”
Then I got posted at the door. I knew I was going to be posted there. I had to oversee guest list and invite cards. Things were already iffy when people were bringing in printouts of the invite card. I felt it possible that just anyone could have printed them off (though I can’t find the image with a google search, so…). At any rate, I was only hearing the bands. Y La Bamba sounded the best, then Nurses. No pictures are here to be enjoyed. Here’s one of Y La Bamba from OPB, probably copyrighted:
The worst came around noon when some guy with a band wristband came to me and said that he tweeted anyone could enter, regardless of invite. At first, I didn’t know who he was, and I was confused and internally upset. When he told me he was Jeremy Petersen, it was all a little bit better. But it made my job obsolete. Kevin told me to stay put. So I sat from noon to 3:00 admitting just about anyone. Notably, Ally came and went.
Tali came saying Jim was texting her about the things I was supposed to do: grab speaker cables, mic stands, speakers… and take them to Alberta Rose. I didn’t know about the Alberta Rose part. There was weirdness – I wasn’t sure what to do. Eventually, Tali drove me to go get my car at David’s. I apologized to her for being so fried at doing nothing all day. I drove back, got the shit from Bryson (the patio show was done after Minders, he was packing up), drove it to Alberta Rose, returned to Mississippi in time for two seconds of Morning Teleportation.
The party was over. People packed their shit. Things were dead for a few hours. Dominic came in as the house manager for MFNW, covering Joy who was Benedict Arnolding at Doug Fir. Dominic said he’d just gotten done tour managing Jared Leto’s band. Sounded shitty, and like lots of fun. He and I hit it off suspiciously well.
The musicians finally showed up. Dominic set them up, and there was Ethan on sound, which is always wonderful. As I hung around during all the soundchecks, David stopped by with a bunch of plants. He and I talked about New York, moving, his brother, Katie’s mother, and other stuff. Great seeing him, as always. He said he might swing back around for the show.
Eventually started did the main event. Dominic had a volunteer named Star, who was very nice and worked box, and another whose name I didn’t catch and who took cigarette breaks between sets without asking (points deducted). Drunken Ladies sucked. I didn’t listen much. Heavy Cream was better. It was pretty conventional punk, but I liked the leopard costume (most of the staff stared, with amused arousal). They were also really nice, sweet people.
Ann Marie, David and their friend Willy dropped in. RTX came on and they all watched amused. We never saw the singer’s face while she sang on stage. She had a big hat and animal pelts around her neck, leaving no room for viewing. The music was… fun, funny, not good. Ty Segall was really great. They were straight ahead punk to my recollection, but a ton of people turned up very suddenly and broke out into a mosh pit. I stood to the left of the stage, making sure no one fell (and sure enough, I picked one bloke up). It took a minute for me to realize I was standing next to Sam Coomes most of the set. Janet Weiss was somewhere in there also, along with a James from Nurses (who Matt had introduced me to earlier, and who gave me a thumbs up during the set).
David was really thrilled with Ty Segall and somehow scored a print of a poster for that particular show for just $2. He, Ann Marie, and Willy headed out – I was left to close up. I told them I’d call them when I was out. There was an adventure yet to be had:
Ethan and I were having a drink (he a beer, I a water) on the patio by the window. Jonny walked out to us and said, “See those fuckers over there? Way over on the left, by the wall? Keep your eye on them. I think they’re up to no good. They ordered a six-pack to go, I said they couldn’t take it to go; they bought it anyway… I think they’re gonna try and take it.”
Sure enough, a few minutes later, they did. One walked up to the fence with the six-pack. “Taking that to go?” Ethan asked. He barked, “No.” Then he handed it over the fence to one of his friends on the sidewalk who had been at the table. I stood up with my glass of water and walked up as the beer was passed and I doused the guy on the sidewalk. “Fuck You,” said I. If he succeeded… the least I could do was make him confused and uncomfortable. That was my rationale, but it was pretty graceless.
I ran to the window and said to Jonny, “They took the beer!” Jonny said “Goddammit” and went out. I returned to Ethan, who was laughing confused.
“Why’d you splash that guy?” he asked.
“He took the beer!” I said.
“No he didn’t! That dude was just an innocent bystander!”
I began to grow nervous. “I saw it, I was two feet away!” I said. Ethan said he didn’t see it. I didn’t know if my perceptions were completely off… But I turned to see the guy at the gate, beckoning me over. He had no beers in tow.
“Why’d you splash me?” he asked.
“You took the beer,” I said.
“No, I didn’t,” he replied. Todd walked over with Jonny.
“What’s going on here?” Jonny said.
“This guy took the six-pack over the fence,” I said.
The guy looked at me, then Jonny, then me again. It occurred to me a little later that he probably didn’t know I worked there. How could he? I barely look like I’m running shows even when I’m hard at work. I think he returned to try and get me kicked out for dousing him, and then he’d roll me in the street. A fight is the only reason he could have come back – only a complete fucking idiot would have returned just to chastise me. He said slowly, “I guess you’ve made your point.” That was a weird thing to say.
“Don’t take beers out of here,” Jonny said. It’s all he could do. The guy retreated down the street, when suddenly Todd emerged from that direction. He had a smug smile on his face and was carrying the six-pack of Pabst. Jonny nodded, and went, and kicked out the other eight or so people.
We jumped in the air and clicked our heals and all sat around until close talking about it and other hits. Todd and I got into some inane discussion about if Neil Young says hippy dippy shit to a fault. I say he does. So ended the 17 and-a-half hour shift.
I drove Todd home (just passed Killingsworth) then went to David’s. I hadn’t wanted to drive, but I was worried about a ticket. I wasn’t sure how I was getting into David’s. It was 4:00 in the morning. I just found the door was unlocked though. I just walked right in and slept.
–for Saturday September 10th, 2011