Posts Tagged ‘Portland’

Wizard Rifle, part 20: FINAL

July 6, 2012

The tour was over.  Arcata was the last show.

We had a really early breakfast with Sam’s uncle and cousins.  His uncle told us how pissed off Grandma Ford was at the Arcata Hotel for screwing us over the night before.  Sam’s cousin told us he’d tried to do some modeling.  Sarah and I both thought he should get his ass to a big city.  He was clearly bored where he was.  Sarah and I split a big pancakes plate; Sam and Max split an omelette.  We lulled around afterwards, then took off north.

We got into Oregon, went through Grant’s Pass to get from 101 to I-5,then went straight up.

Except for one detour… which took two hours.  Sam the Idiot wanted to get his antique bobble, but our way was blocked by big fucking river with not-working ferry.  So we had to find the nearest bridge, which was way back down in Salem, a good while backtracking.  We got it.  He was pleased… but he never said sorry.  The detour was an epic culmination of a sort.  We were so close, and yet we were held up.  And I would blame fate – surely it’s just fate that is keeping my desire from being realized.  But no, it’s always other people.  No grand finale, no grand return.  Just a wet impasse.

I loved my time on the tour, but this isn’t the time to express my gratitude and ruminate on my luck.  We unloaded in Portland, Oregon at the practice space, then got a ride to the Pearl where we checked into our swanky Condo we were housesitting with Ian for the next several days.  It was heaven.  For a day or two.

And then it was time to call a spade a spade, see big things to their logical conclusion, and then grow up with a humor that’s sharpened by suffering, all while realizing that the meaning of life is other people and everything else, all of whom and all of which I will love first, and best.  Ah-men.

-for Tuesday May 15th, 2012

SXSW – Austin, Texas, part 7

March 16, 2012

There was finally more music to be played – a Paste Party and a Portland Party.  915 austin highlands austin 78745

 

 

We woke at 10:00 – about two hours before normal – and ate a quick but large breakfast.  The drive out to Austin was fairly nice, with the weather being cloudy but warm.  We arrived at Stage On 6th and loaded in.  There was some issue with the venue staff being rushed and stressed, but I didn’t feel much of it.  I sat and read as the band set up.  It was a quick set that went over well.

 

 

Some interviews and photos were done, and the receiving of a gift bag from Paste.  Soon the van was loaded back up.  There was talk about going to Barton Springs for a swim.  We all piled in the van and made our way, or so I thought.  We pulled up near the Convention Center and everyone started hopping out.  Turned out we were getting out wristbands first.

And we did – I filled out my little card with everyone then got in line.  Without any questions, they connected the Artist Wristband to me with pliers.  I thanked Kyle very much.

Kyle, Tyler, and I went to the fourth floor looking for free food, which had been reported to us.  We only found pop corn.  The “Artist Lounges” were like places to drink the cool-aid.  After more wandering around the place, we found the rest of the band was just wandering as we were.  Finally there was a rendezvous outside.  Jim and Matt from Mississippi showed up – they’d gotten into down at midnight.  It was great seeing them both.

 

 

Finally, we headed for the van.  When we got there, I think we discovered (or some among us had found out long ago?) that Barton Springs was closed during South By Southwest.  After a little more loitering by the van, at the end of a cul de sac near the river, we decided we were going to make our way to the Grackle – the location of the day’s second show – the Unofficial SXSW Portland Showcase.

After a protracted job at parking the van and trailer, we arrived at the venue.  It was good, and yet I was apprehensive that it was just going to be a Portland reunion that I wasn’t fully ready in my heart to have.  Fortunately I guess, it wasn’t quite that.  Some faces sprinkled in the crowd, with more to show up, but the audience was primarily Austinian, as far as I could tell.

The “green room” was the backyard of the house next door, with a pool and a little place inside for food and drinking and bathroom.  It was rather utopian.  And despite that, or because of it, I got a little bored.  The boredom was broken somewhat by a walk with Pieter, Toby, and Norah to get tacos and hit a thrift store nearby.

Back at the pool party, more sitting around chatting was done.  Radiation City and AAN were around, as well as the dog who was in heat and fucked the shit out of my leg.  Matt and Liana showed up.  The beer ran out.  I passed the time reading until the sun went down and it was too dark out.

 

 

Part of the reason I was rooted at the pool was because the venue was at capacity and they were doing one-in one-out.  I ran into Kevin of Talkdemonic and asked if I could help him load his drums in and thusly sneak in the backdoor.  He was into it, so we did it.  I help him set up speedily then watched their set, which was quite good.

I helped Talkdemonic load out and helped load Typhoon into the venue.  It was tiny and there was a question of if it was logistically possible.  It was.  And it was perhaps the best show I’d seen them play at the festival yet.  We loaded the gear out and left it sitting in the alley way where we hung out and where Matt congratulated me on being a stand-up human being.  It was sweet.  I happily saw Y La Bamba close the evening out.

In the back alley afterwards, I showed Kevin phrenology with the lump on the back of my head – my “parental love.”  Kyle and I had a nice heart-to-heart.  Some other folks came and went.  Eventually, I made the command decision over my time and my body – I told them all to head back to the Villa without me.  I was going to have a night on the town, whatever that entailed.  I felt it’d been a great day of music.

 

 

I headed towards downtown, sinning the entire way, and sinning more when I got there.  The streets were filled with people, all of them drunk, I presume.  All the clubs and bars were closing, so people poured into the streets.  I met a homeless lady that began following me asking if I had a hotel room.  I told her I didn’t, and that seemed to piss her off, but I think she wasn’t quite right.

I had a long conversation with Sam about the Wizard Rifle tour and Sarah and whatnot.  I walked around the waterfront and 6th St while the people dispersed and the street sweepers came out.  Eventually, I came upon an IHOP near the freeway.  At this point it was close to 4:00 in the morning.  I was hoping I would be able to stay until dawn.  I only stayed until 6:15 or so.

I had a nice server named Lindsey who I saw was having some trouble with this and that.  I asked if she needed help, but she declined; I have no idea what helping a server at IHOP early in the morning really entails so it was stupid to ask.  I was very tired though, almost falling asleep at the booth.  I wonder if that pissed her off.  She said she was having a bad night; that the work was actually okay, but the personal was not.  One of her co-workers said he was talking dirty to another co-worker of theirs; he said she just laughed it off.  “Isn’t she a mother?” asked Lindsey.  She had a slight laugh, but it went away when she turned her back on him.

The reason I even left was because she asked if I’d like to pay because her shift was ending.  I paid and went, wandering towards the river listening to Nighthawks At The Diner.  Eventually, I found a park bench.  I had to try a few out – some were too visible, and sometimes, rain drops starting hitting me. I finally settled on one, and held the umbrella over myself as I slept.  I assume it looked odd to passer-bys.

 

–for Wednesday March 14th, 2012

The Last Picture Show

October 7, 2011

 

(Spoilers):

I’ve been putting off writing a post or two about Twin Peaks for a few weeks now.  One of the topics I’m spinning on is how the show’s portrayal of a small town will stick with me and make me nostalgic of Portland.  (also, how the show’s setting of the Pacific Northwest make me nostalgic for… the Pacific Northwest)

The town in The Last Picture Show definitely has a smaller feel than the town of Twin Peaks.  In Twin Peaks world, Twin Peaks has a population of 51,201.  The show only represents relatively few town residents, but there’s occasionally a sense that at least a couple hundred more folks are around.  (for size comparison: Springfield, Oregon supposedly has a population of 59,000)

The town writer Larry McMurtry grew up in was Archer City, Texas.  As of 2010, the population of that city is 1,834.  Twas perhaps smaller in the mid-fifties, when McMurtry was coming of age; maybe bigger in 1971, when the film was released.  The Last Picture Show is a representation of Archer City, renamed “Thalia” in his book, and “Anarene” in Peter Bogdanovich’s film (thanks Wikipedia!!).  There are considerably less characters here than in Twin Peaks (which has quite a few for a television show; too many sometimes), which is fitting because it’s considerably smaller than Twin Peaks the town.

There’s really not a lot in common between the two.  One thing I felt they did share though was the atmosphere of the residents just coming and going or just leaving altogether for good.  And in that way, both remind me of Portland.

I suppose I don’t know if it’s totally justified.  No later than 2009, I was considering Portland “a small town.”  By 2011, I was convinced by some conviction that it was a podunk town (Wikipedia is telling me “podunk” means “middle of nowhere”; couldn’t any place be described that way with a big enough map?).  But that’s just feeling based off personal experience.  Portland’s got like 700,000 people in it, along with some skyscrapers, major institutions, an international airport, a supposed culture supposedly all to itself.

Whether I’m living in a fantasy or not, that connection is somehow made in my head and its there to stay.  Sonny and Duane are both enjoying the end of a nice tutelage from Anarene High School, and now they wonder whether to go far somewhere else or suck eggs in the same place.

Duane sort of gets away working a job elsewhere, but his heart’s still drawn to Anarene for Jacy – a girl that’s wild, beautiful, manipulative, not to be trusted, lost, directionless, misguided, sad, worried, melodramatic, and human after all.  He sure knows how to pick ’em.  Maybe that’s just a foil though; love’s just a metaphor for an umbilical cord.  He eventually enlists and goes to Korea, but his attitude hasn’t shifted to much more than a sadder resignation.

Speaking of which, Sonny sits around sucking eggs, getting laid, watching friends drop like flies, and Never-You-Minding.  Duane is something of a seeker in his scraping and scrapping for Whatever, while Sonny never even leaves the crib.  This is probably where my antennae are going up.

I saw the movie on Wednesday, October 5th with John and his friend Dakota.  We all loved it.  I made a half-assed attempt to tell Dakota how it reminded me of Portland — but not in a homesick way, just a peaceful nostalgic way — and felt rather unjustified because (I think) most think of Portland as a decent-sized city, not a podunk town.

But!  Maybe it doesn’t matter how big the city is.  “Just remember, beautiful,” Jacy’s mom says to her, “Everything gets old if you do it often enough.”  Likewise, I guess: spend enough time anywhere and it will feel like the middle of nowhere.  Say… just today I was walking down Broadway on the Isle of Manhattan – where it touches Madison Square Park – and I ran into Lauren from Mississippi Studios, Portland, OR.  I hugged her and said, “It is a small town, after all.”

 

 

I ought to add, for my own posterity, a scene I’m stuck on.  Jacy gets a thoughtful, materialistic gift from dumbo Duane (a new watch; “six months savings” I think he says), gives him a feel of the fruit (to make him feel slightly better maybe about running off), runs off to a pool party where she exposes herself with apparent discomfort.  To fit in, she plays it cool.  But her gift is ruined in the pool.  There is a moment of tender empathy for her current actions and for Duane’s sweetness – you see it in her eyes (up top).  But she continues with the philandering, and isn’t quite the same for the rest of the film.

#2

September 29, 2011

Moving out again.

Summer

September 24, 2011

 

The summer is over.  The equinox was a few days ago, but Autumn already set in.  The weather took its turn immediately after the music festival ended.  Life and weather seemed to simmer starting September 12th.

I slept here and there – on Ian’s couch and floor, in Alison’s closet, at Charles’s new place in Tigard one time, and elsewhere.  I had a bad time with Ann Marie, then a good time.  I ate a lot of shit, sadly.  I biked all over; I’m pretty sure I didn’t drive once.  I moved some shit from hither to dither.

Ian and I got a good portion of a screenplay out into the world.  He has big plans for it.  No telling what will happen, but I have hope.  I’m sure he and I will toss it back and forth still, and we’ll both stretch it and tighten it at the same time.  Like the Great Cunt of Paradox.

I watched the whole of Twin Peaks.  More on that later.  I’m currently struggling to find a time for Fire Walk With Me.  I need to watch it with Ian before I go or nothing is true.  But it’s hard to find breathing room these last few days.

I did my best to collect what money was owed to me.  It went well statistically, but the two people I predicted to be impossible indeed were.  Between them, I lost a total of $94 and the sweatshirt I took to New York in January (which was a Christmas gift acquired with the five-finger discount).  Once again, I’m shown that people don’t disappoint.  I’m not as bummed about the losses themselves as I am that they’re to these two fucking losers.  My loans’ll be extremely discriminatory going forward.  I should send my resume to the fucking IMF.

 

 

I worked the following shows:

Monday September 12th, 2011 — Tim Easton & Jonny Corndawg

I got called in for security at the door.  It was very slow; maybe 25 paid.  Kyle and I talked about Twin Peaks, the odd narrative structure of real life, and Losing-To-Win.

All our conversations seem to never have a chance to end, maybe because we’re at work and duty calls before we can conclude and draw up an awkward silence.  Then again, our talks typically philosophical, so a conclusion would be misplaced anyways.  And ultimately, always being left begging for more is what gives my life meaning.

Wednesday September 14th, 2011 —   AM & Shawn Lee

I ran production and worked the box office.  The show was slow, the music was okay.  They were nice guys.  Can’t remember any note-worthy moments.

Friday September 16th, 2011 —  The Growlers

This was security again.  A free show, with the venue covered in Sailor Jerry’s swag.  There was some stupid mix up: at first I was working the guest list at the box office (similar to PDX-RX; similarly awful), when suddenly Sailor Jerry’s pulled in their own door guy.  He was an idiot who wasn’t going by the list and who kept leaving to take pictures.  I wondered how that would have worked if I hadn’t been there.

The Growlers played fine and seemed fucked up.  Michael and Stevie (the new security guard covering Caitlin) had to keep kicking out these two hot girls trying to sell them drugs.  I’m sure they succeeded in the end.  The world’s still turning.

Also in the end, another pair of girls asked me if they could take a big Sailor Jerry’s sign (they were very into it; one had a S.J. tattoo).  I told them to ask a rep and one of them said, “Ugh!  I figured the hot one would let us!”   Thanks!  (I stood my ground, but the sign disappeared when I was off elsewhere)

Monday September 19th, 2011 — Colour Revolt

Again on production and box office.  I don’t remember much of this.  It rocked hard, the music was pretty alright.  A large portion of Typhoon was on the guest list.

Wednesday September 21st —  Ohioan

Again on production and box office.  This was the least professional show I ever worked.  Karl Blau cancelled because he had a baby, so Michael Hurley replaced.  Everything ran late.  Manxes went on a little late, even though I beckoned them nicely to start promptly.  Raffa De Alaska Y Sus Campas sounded great but played for an hour and a fucking half.  Michael had to basically shout at Tony on sound to get him to cut them off.

Ryan from Ohioan, who was the show’s curator, did little to help direct much or assist my efforts to run the ship.  I was stuck at the box, having a difficult time keeping things smooth and on schedule (a failure).  Charles came and I was so done with it all that I settled with everyone quickly and left before Michael Hurley (I regret this, but I’d seen him before).

Friday September 23rd — Denver

I was working just the box office on this.  I’d just finished about 13 episodes of Twin Peaks in 24 hours, so I was feeling high.  The show was fine.  Everyone was attractive.  It was very sound financially.  Unsurprisingly, Luz Elena Mendoza played the best.  Some old guy came up to me to tell me how much he didn’t like it.  I almost told him, “You’ll be dead soon, and this pleases me.”  Kyle and I talked a bit; he told me he’d miss me quite a bit and that I ought to be flighty in New York.

 

 

And so:

I feel this piece of shit is going to have a much more sprinkled presence.  Thus far, it’s been fairly consistently linear accounts of the summer.  Moving forward, I imagine that it will be more random thoughts, childhood stories, reviews, pictures, and maybe the occasional milepost under the category of “Present.”

Part of the reason for this is the difficulty finding the time, the computer, and the internet to continually update.  I do enjoy the writing and the memory exercises, but I typically haven’t enjoyed missing the sunshine.  I have little notion of a long term living situation in New York, so I can’t guarantee consistency to myself (or anybody else, but who cares about them).  But… who knows.

MFNW, no. 5

September 19, 2011

I found this picture on a telephone pole.  Sources not cited!

 

 

  • Bobby Bare, Jr.
  • Morning Teleportation
  • Cass McCombs Band
  • Band Of Horses

I slept in only a little at David’s Sunday morning.  Ann Marie and Willy and not enough of David were hanging out.  I had Ann Marie drive me to Hungry Tiger.  On the drive, I realized I’d left my phone at David’s and (using her phone) I had him leave it on the front porch.  Risky business, but it turned out well.  Still, for better or worse, there are no photos to share.  I had brunch with Ally and Kaila.  After eating a long meal, we all walked to TLE downtown.

After a quick wrap-up with those ladies,  I rolled on to Pioneer Square.  I got there and caught the last half of Bobby Bare, Jr.’s set.  He was pretty boring, except for what he said right before his last song, which basically went:  “I hope you can go to the back there and buy some of my records.  A portion of the proceeds will go to a Feed The Children fund.  You see, in Nashville [or wherever], you’ll find my ex-wife depending on these proceeds to feed the children I left her with.  I’m Bobby Bare, Jr. [he’s talking about child support; I thought it was funny; this isn’t actually anywhere near a direct quote]”

I used to hate Morning Teleportation, but maybe they’re like Arcade Fire.  After awhile, I can make out the worth.  Still, their ADD songwriting isn’t helped by some haphazardly placed passages of disco funk, which sound like shit compared to weirder, prettier moments that seem less derivative and more thoughtfully composed.  They closed with this song “Crystalline” that repeats a line “Make a move from city to city, but I can’t take it in cuz it’s all so pretty.”  It’s great, and it is pretty.  But it has this heavy metal ending that’s retarded.  Too bad.

Cass McCombs was way better than when I saw him at Mississippi (the only worth of that being an introduction to Frank Fairfield).  He played well, but was not suited for the venue.  Sirens, buses, and trains fucked up his game.  The whole time I was sitting next to Charles’s ex-roommate and her husband.  She recognized me (or decided to tap my shoulder) during Cass’s last song “County Line,” the only one I really like (so good timing).  I pretended to be dazed and said very little (and left quickly after Band Of Horses).  I later told Charles to tell her, if he got the chance – and the balls – that I was on opium and marijuana, and was too fucked up to talk.

Band Of Horses had rear projections that were benignly annoying, but became utter shit when (three different times) they showed a barrage of photos from touring (playing shows, good times, scenery).  Pappy, and retarded.  At the mic, their singer (Ben?) said it was four years to the day that they’d last played Portland, and he found out that day his wife was expecting (daughter Anna-Belle).  He said “Four years ago, on September 11th…”  It seemed like some kind of nod about it being 9/11.  But… not enough.  Their songs were all to happy, I guess, to really make me believe there was anything deep afoot.  He described “A Funeral” as “A song that’s got it all: happiness, sadness, scary parts.”  I didn’t find this meaningful.  The song itself hit the spot though.

Right after I headed for the Max on 6th, “London Calling” came on.  Then turned off again fast.  I couldn’t tell if some bold sound engineer threw it on because it was 9/11, only for some worried Levi’s asshole exec to dive in slow motion towards the power main, pulling the plug.  Or something less awesome.  Whatever the case, I felt strongly about it, so I put on London Calling on my iPod, and listened to it on the Yellow Line all the way to Alberta, to David’s house.  I got my phone back safely, hopped in my car, and drove to the airport listening to Life Ruiner by And And And.

I picked up Ian.  He was returning from South Korea.  I embraced him like the prodigal son, we hopped in my cool car, and.. we… Did The Unbloggable.

And that’s how my Musicfest went.

–for Sunday September 11th, 2011

MFNW, no. 4

September 19, 2011

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
  • RTX
  • 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

MFNW, no. 3

September 19, 2011

I was directly criticized for a bad close Thursday night.  I’m actually happy to have heard it so I’d know how to do it going forward.  As Kevin tells it:

BW: apartment green room- shoot – ALL the lights in the apartment were left on, the apartment AC was left on ALL night, the dead bolt wasn’t locked (the handle lock was), and tons of trash was left out on the tables and counters.

Oops.

 

 

  • The Horrors
  • Dan Mangan (for 2 seconds)
  • Typhoon
  • Sallie Ford & The Sound Outside
  • Markéta Irglová
  • Iron & Wine
  • Wizard Rifle
  • Bare Wires (for 2 seconds)
  • Blitzen Trapper

 

 

Ann Marie and I departed early; she for law school and I for the Doug Fir.  I saw The Horrors who sucked ass.  They were late; starting around 10:50.  They came out all dressed up, with token singer in leather and fucking sunglasses.  At 10:00 in the morning?  (Fuck you, dude.)  There were also long instrumental passages (which I didn’t care for) where he’d just lean on his microphone and look dejected.  (Fuck you, dude.)  All that posturing was too much for a sleepy Friday morning.

I went to Hungry Tiger and found Anne Adams.  She talked about fundamental issues of being a musician, namely being in a sea of people who all want their voice heard.  I myself struggle with the same problem.  It’s part of why I haven’t played in a number of months.  I was held up a little bit, and got in late for Dan Mangan at the Doug Fir.  But it was solo acoustic, and I really wasn’t in the mood for it.  In fact, for some reason, I was in something of a foul mood.  I can’t remember why.

 

 

 

I returned at 2:30 for Typhoon who were, as always, just great.  If I hadn’t already seen them a thousand times and didn’t know them well, I’d say it was the best thing I saw the whole festival.  But… that seems unimaginative, like a cop out.  It was my last time seeing them for a good while though, and I appreciated having the chance (as I was missing their Pioneer Square show) and being close.  It really lightened my mood.

After Typhoon, I had to make some big decisions.  What do do with my car, bike, bag, clothes, and (maybe most importantly) my evening after the show in Pioneer Square.  I was set to stay at David’s and I needed a shower badly.  I decided that I would… leave my bag and clothes in my car at Ian’s.  Then I would ride back there that evening, leave my bike at Ian’s, drive to David’s (since I’d be at Mississippi all Saturday and David’s was within walking distance).  I went and moved my car from Laurelhurst to Ian’s, then biked downtown.  I immediately  missed my water bottle; the sun was burning.  This all brought me back down to foul.

 

 

Ann Marie met me inside right before Sallie Ford.  Sallie, of course, played a wonderful set.  I was pleased for the same reasons as seeing Typhoon – that feeling of finality.  Typhoon was closer quarters though.  The stage at Pioneer was over six feet high, which made a feeling of inaccessibility.  But the essentials were all there.  I later told Ann Marie of my first meeting Sallie when I got her to play my living room on September 11th, 2009 — two years and two days previous.

 

 

 

Markéta Irglová was okay.  It was pretty music, and I’m sure it held a lot of meaning, but I wasn’t bowled over (I demand only the best).  Ann Marie and I were also socializing and moving about the Square.  By the time Iron & Wine came on, Ann Marie seemed like she’d had enough.  I sighingly had to let her go, which maintained that same air of the day.

Iron & Wine… became a jam band.  When?  Sam Beam stepped onto the stage with a nine piece band (including Markéta on harmonies) and said, “Gonna play some songs for you.  Check back in with you later.”  I expected sha la la da duuuh whispered.  Instead, his electric guitar went bow chick boom chick a boom chicka wow.  It was groovy – badly.  He sang loud; I couldn’t really hear what he was saying.  He said “bitches” twice in stage banter, after indulging some idiot that yelled for “Freebird” by playing a few bars.  There was a percussion station which was retarded.  Bongos broke through the mix.  Overall there were a few shining, beautiful moments… preceded and proceeded by a transformation I don’t care to come to terms with.

 

 

My phone died.  All photos stopped, and the ones I’d gotten of Iron & Wine either sucked or could have been anyone (above).  Pissed, I left after the set but before the encore.  I biked to Ash Street Saloon where Wizard Rifle was playing.  Randomly, I walked in at the same time as Nathan, Bim, and Ryan.  They loved Wizard Rifle a lot (as did I).  I saw Lucinda near the front, and was dreading having to speak with her.  I was 100% sure I would get held up, or get it held against me when I hit the trail.  Luckily, I didn’t make contact, and am fairly sure I left unseen.

The And And And guys and I headed to the Star Theatre, which I’d never been in before.  They had a tab still open there, and we caught a little of Bare Wires.  Nathan declared them mediocre, and I concurred.  He also laughed hard as I’ve ever seen him laugh when a beach ball came flying out of nowhere and hit a woman square in the face.  America is looking destiny in the eye and it’s going to blink first — it’s good that we can find merriment at this late hour.  That brought some much-needed levity.

We went out onto the patio and talked about drugs, alcohol, Sandinista!, The Future Is Unwritten, and The Filth And The Fury.  I enjoyed myself, but told them I was bummed I’d be missing their MFNW show, my last chance to see them for long time.  We parted ways – I was going to see Purple And Green at Branx, they were off to see Blitzen Trapper at the Crystal.  But I changed my mind at the last second and went to Blitzen Trapper.  I’d had a better time seeing Eric at the Washougal than seeing Justin in front of Mississippi.  I don’t know if it was the right decision.  I don’t think it was.  Blitzen Trapper was only okay.  They had some pretty mediocre country songs – both Nate and I agreed their rockier stuff was superior.  I was sweating my balls off.

I didn’t know how I was going to get a hold of David with a dead phone.  It was 12:30 and he was either at Bunk Bar or home already.  I rode to my car at Ian’s.  I drove to David’s while charging my phone from my laptop (itself running on a short battery life).  When my phone finally came back on, I found I’d bet wrong: David was still at Bunk Bar.  I said, “Ugh,” to myself and sinned foully.  I parked in front of David’s house right when his roommates were getting home.  Thankfully they recognized me.  I showered and David was there when I got back.  He and I chilled out from a long, hot day.

It was something of a failure.  A small one only; I ain’t ungrateful.  But the worst was yet to come.

 

–for Friday September 9th, 2011

MFNW, no. 2

September 19, 2011

 

  • Little Dragon
  • Unknown Mortal Orchestra
  • Sebadoh
  • Ume
  • The Needful Longings
  • Richmond Fontaine
  • You Am I

When I awoke in my backseat, there were three men near my car.  I lifted my head carefully to see they weren’t too close, but not far.  I waited a bit, but only one of them left.  Eventually, I just got out, with pillow and blanket, and headed into Laurelhurst Park.  I found a nice bench only slightly concealed by bushes and napped for a few more hours.

I got up and returned my things to my car.  I got my bag and checked my phone for the Doug Fir KEXP day show schedule.   Little Dragon was on at 10:30.  I walked to Doug Fir on Ankeney, stopping in at Music Millennium on the way mainly to see if they had Growing Up In Public.  They did not.

 

 

I wished I’d caught more of Little Dragon.  They penetrated me, in a very smooth way.  It was rhythmic, electronic, and the vocal melodies were all so passive.  Nothing to bash my brains in.  Every one played as if they’d just got out of bed, which was perfect (to find out why, see the next entry).  At one point, one of their keyboards gave out and the percussionist (who only played a drum machine) walked over, examined it, then pronounced to the audience without a mic: “It’s Dead!” as if he were Dr. McCoy.

I had until 12:30 to do something.  I decided to get my bike from Mississippi.  My phone was dying, so I figured I’d charge it up there as well.  I walked to the Esplanade to get to the Max.  Kaila called, which didn’t help my phone much, but it gave me a chance to invite her to brunch on Sunday with Ally and I.  My phone was dead the moment the conversation ended.  I got my bike and rode back to Doug Fir, stopping in at Grendel’s first to give my phone just a little juice.

 

 

Unknown Mortal Orchestra were pretty good.  Their drummer had it, but I felt like their bassist hardly did shit.  His parts didn’t seem to hold much more than a few notes to ground things.  The guitarist, who’s hot-as-shit, was the obvious primary mover.  He soloed endlessly, seemed to have odd chord shapes, sang through a weird condenser mic (I think) that looked like a soup can with no label.  He was a wanker, but his guitar was on fire.  Something about it, maybe how high it was turned up, or distortion and flange, or whatever – all he had to do was flick the body of the guitar and it squealed and hissed.

I was hungry and had a moment of indecision.  Eventually, I rode to Gorditos and ate a burrito that made me want to vomit.  Not because it was bad.  Because it was mediocre.  And too much food.

 

 

I biked back to Doug Fir holding my guts tenderly, but came through for Sebadoh.  I’d never seen them or really even heard them, but their set was thoroughly enjoyable.  I noted Trevor Solomon at the other end of the stage singing along.  Good for them.  They were enforcing a No Camera Cell Phones Off policy.  Taking pictures was difficult, but not impossible.

I think I had a brief, nice conversation with Theo Craig afterward, then headed to Mississippi to meet Joy and set up the You Am I show.  Everything went very smoothly and there was even a period where Joy and I just sat around and talked about New York City.  She said I should try and crack Bowery Presents.  We’ll see.

I worked a similar position that I worked the night before.  I wasn’t technically security, but I still saw people in the same way.  Neil and his soothing voice worked the sound booth.  I had to hustle helping set it up.  You Am I had a stage manager that busted ass.  It wasn’t too hard keeping up, but I got clammy hauling shit off the stage into the little store room.

 

 

Ume was the best band of the night.  They were a three piece that thrashed around, and I remember enjoying their music.  Hopefully that’s not all I’m attracted to anymore.  I don’t remember The Needful Longings.  I don’t remember Richmond Fontaine, despite them being an established band.

Part of my lack of memory is because Ann Marie stopped in.  We’d talked about it before.  She was touchy feely and I wondered how that was going over with the staff.  I felt rather uncomfortable, but I went with it.  I asked her if she liked Iron & Wine and she said she did.  I gave her the spare ticket I had and said we should see it together, and that I was showing up earlier – it was really all about Sallie Ford.

 

 

You Am I acted pretty big…  Their stage manager was also a guitar tech, taping down their setlists (very rock n roll), organizing the shitload of gear.  Trevor Solomon showed up and told the band they were one of his favorites and of course he wouldn’t miss it.  They played fine.  It sounded tight.  Their front man wanted to be Joe Strummer and Pete Townshend.  He failed, but I caught him in the act trying at the latter, see.

The rest of the night I cannot be charitable in divulging.  One more Ume for the road:

 

–for part of Thursday September 8th, 2011

MFNW, no. 1

September 15, 2011

Writing the blog for Sunday September 3rd – having to make the Flickr account, link pictures, etc – set me back here on updating Blah Blah Mountain.  Musicfest Northwest 2011 set me back on everything., though… not as much as I really would have liked.  You see, I typically like to be Off The Grid for MFNW.  It didn’t go that way this year, due to working 60% of it.  And due to other people.

I guess… a note if anyone actually reads this (you there, Pendleton?).  All pictures are linked to their blown up flickr doubles – standard practice henceforth.  But the MFNW ones I post are black & white, taken in a dark room (mostly) without flash – just ambient light, and a minority are zoomed in.  I have faith in them all, but I bet zoomed in they’ll look blurred.  Hopefully the spirit of the moment remains.

 

 

  • Hungry Ghost
  • Hurry Up!
  • Corin Tucker Band

I was set to work security for the show – opening night.  I felt iffy because I’d actually been planning on being there to enjoy the show.  I arrived at Mississippi at 4:00 in the afternoon.  Things were bustling everywhere.  Not a hand on deck wasn’t gussying up for a shitshow.  There was supposed to be a production meeting.  I was somehow credited by Kevin for the “great idea” of pushing the meeting back due to everyone’s busyness.  You’re welcome?

Kyle met up with Joy, who used to work at Mississippi long ago.  She and Jonny have something of a rapport.  I ended up shadowing Kyle so I’d know what to do for my shifts as house manager Thursday and Saturday.  I ended up doing a substantial amount of setup work, and was glad I clocked in.  I asked Joy and Kyle about any leftover wristbands.  Kyle recommended I ask Kevin, and said there was some mass email about it that I… was… not in on.  Didn’t sound good.

Kevin walked by and I said, “Can I ask you a vanity question.”  All I wanted was a wristband and a ticket to Friday’s Iron & Wine show in Pioneer Square (mainly to see Sallie Ford).  Kevin beckoned me to follow him, and we met in Bar Bar with a blond older lady representing MFNW.  Kevin asked what the situation was.  The lady ended up having one of those big yellow envelopes full of everything.  I got two wristbands and two tickets to Iron & Wine.  In my brain, I said “Fuck it” and I asked the lady, “Can I get tickets to Sunday’s show?”  She gave me two of those also – and not even reluctantly.

Kevin told me some of what I’d gotten was for Josh.  But I wasn’t clear what and how much.  He said, “Ask Josh which show he wants to go to more.”  I did, and Josh said Band Of Horses (Sunday).  So… a ticket for Band Of Horses was going to Josh.  He was playing with Dirty Mittens, which meant he had a wristband already.  That left me with my Band Of Horses ticket, two Iron & Wine tickets, and two wristbands.

 

 

I got a good post on security.  I was sitting in the middle of the foyer directing two lines – one for ticket buyers, one for wristbands/VIPs.  Behind me was the music, so I wasn’t really missing out, though I wouldn’t say I really experienced the show.  Despite this, I felt joyous being there and having all the MFNW ins for free right in my pocket.  A plethora of people passed through.  Sam Coomes, Fred Armisen,  The Thermals (two of which were playing), Maggie from KRS (once; also playing).  Matt showed up with his wife Rachael, who I hadn’t seen in over a year.  She and I talked about New York City and this and that.

Matt and Rachael disappeared after awhile.  I sent him a text saying, “A large portion of my happiness at this point in my life is thanks to you, Matt.”

I forgot Hungry Ghost.  They were probably fine.  It was rock n roll.  Hurry Up! was pretty good.  Thermals Drummer (too lazy to look up his name) kind of sounded like Hutch when he sang, and kind of even looked like Hutch when he performed.  Kathy played the drums well, and Maggie screeched and played bass.  I liked it, for its part.  Last was Corin Tucker, which was fantastic.  It was a much harder sound that I feel like I’d read her solo material to be.

Halfway through Corin’s set, Joy pulled the box office (meaning anyone gets in), so I went in and enjoyed the show.  Matt found me near the end of the set.  He gave me a big hug and thanked me for the text.  He also said the fact that Teenager Of The Year was the house music made his night.  I said that was my call, which it was of course – Nalin needed music and I supplied it with my iPod.  Speaking of Nalin, he and I discovered it was our last time working together.  He gave me a big high five for good times and for my Frank Black supply and wished me the best.

 

 

The show wrapped and I hung around with Matt, who was a little tipsy.  I cleaned up with the other security crew, then ate some fries in the secret garden with Matt and Liana.  They got into some really stupid back-and-forth about the practicality of having a Bowie Bolan Dance Night.

It was closing time and everyone headed out.  Liana asked if I was sleeping at her place, but I declined.  I did walk to her place though, leaving my bike at Mississippi.  I got my car and drove to Laurelhurst Park – to the third tree back.  But it was blazing hot in that backseat.  I resolved to try and sleep on the grass in the park somewhere.

I got out and wandered through the park, which is very eerily lit.  I came across a lost dog, oddly.  And I also found that every goddamn inch of grass was wet from sprinklers.  Even the benches were wet.  I found one dry bench, but it was in direct light.  And I kept hearing people, and saw some walk by.  I didn’t trust it.  I went back to my car, and fell asleep uncovered, which I thought was risky.  But goddammit if I wasn’t out of options.

 

–for part of Wednesday September 7th, 2011