Sometimes we play shows and I think, “wow, there isn’t a familiar face in here.” Nights like tonight are quite the opposite. The Primitive Idols have members of 57 Split and The Secludes, both of whom we met back in 1999. The Stims have members of the Blackouts, whom we met in 1997 and Statch and the Rapes who we met in 1998. It’s wild to think here we all are, well over a decade later, still playing music for one another. From the outside it may seem a little pathetic, but being there with so many familiar faces is strangely comforting. It wasn’t just the bands either. Turns out the sound guy was from the band One Last Thing (’00), and crowd members featured Tenpin (’99) and Antiworld (’99) as well as some other friends we met through the band that go waaaaaaay back. Granted we’re all older and perhaps our attention span has faded some (is it physically possible to be over 35 and watch a full set?), but it was cool to see so many people you’ve known for so long in one place. So, how was the show? It was good. Big thanks to Nihilist Youth for filling in on short notice. They were interesting to watch and their guitar player was damn near amazing. Star power was activated on at least three occasions and Justin and I were reminded about the value of regular practice. The Primitive Idols were excellent tonight. They easily stole the show with their raucous garage tunes. Very energetic, very catchy and it did something we haven’t ever successfully done, which is attract women to the front of the stage. The Stims were up third and were as solid as can be. Old school punk done right. We went on right around midnight and our set was pretty decent. We played more songs than usual and there were no major catastrophes to speak of. It was definitely nice to play again, even if only to a few people. Thanks for Nalin and Kelly’s Olympian for having us.
What an odd night. First off, there were actually people in the Tonic Lounge for a show we were playing at. Yeah sure, most of them left by the time we played but there were a lot of people there for a while. I’ve long maintained a theory that shows at the Tonic are great as long as we aren’t playing. I can’t fullly reverse my theory, but I can at least begin to question it. The first band was pretty good, I think. I say that because all I could hear was vocals and the bass drum. The guitars players genuinely looked like they were shredding but I couldn’t hear a note of it. Bummer. Burnout was up second and it was very good to see them again. We played a number of shows together between 2000 and 2002, so it was sort of a trip down memory lane for us. Despite not playing regularly anymore they sounded great. One detail I had forgotten about Burnout shows was the high following of annoying skanky girls they attract. I’m not talking rocker-chick skanky, or crusty punk skanky, but more like one-drink-away-from-being-in-a-Girls-Gone-Wild skanky. These girls are easy to spot. They are slightly overdressed, a little too much makeup, you could say they are packed a little too tightly into their clothes (and perhaps spilling out in a few places), they make persistent cries of “woo-hoo”, throw up the devil horns because they think you are supposed to do that, and the tell tale sign of the coming apocalypse is when one by one they all decide it’s a good idea to stand up front and try to slamdance until they 1) fall down or 2) get bumped too hard and a fight ensues when their evenings gentleman caller. Fans are fans though, and Burnout did play to a packed room. A very nice surprise for me was their covering of ‘Round and Round’ by The Wanna-Be’s. I have had a copy of that song on my iPod forever and have been coming back to it over and over for years. It was nice to see it played and played well. The third band was nuts. I don’t want that to sound bad, I’m just not sure how else to say it. It was two guys that would basically loop their tracks on stage (guitar, bass, drums, keyboards) and then play over their music while mixing the loops in and out on the fly. It was pretty nuts because you could literally watch a song be constructed and deconstructed, while not losing its groove. Very entertaining. We were up last and there were all of 5 people on the floor when we sound checked. Eventually people trickled in, but it was maybe a third of what Burnout had watching. The good news is that one third was four times as many people as we usually play to at the Tonic so it was still a win for us. Our set was a little scattered and went from tight to sloppy within the same song. We played New Song #2 for the first time in years, which was fun for me. There were some rowdy folks up front and at the end of our last song a fight broke out. The cause? A drunk girl “dancing” got bumped into. Surprise. All in all it was a pretty entertaining night.
It had been a long time since we’d traveled more than an hour to a show. After last summer’s fiasco of breakdowns and cancellations we have been a little gun shy about booking out of town shows. Even though it was a Sunday night bar show I think we were all stoked to get in the van and get the heck out of dodge. The romanticism of rolling into the sunset was short lived when the aroma of the mildewed and moldy roof extension hit my nostrils. The overall ripeness was quickly forgotten after Dave confessed the van has been acting “strangely” on his drive over. How so? Well, when he hit the brakes it “made clicking noises” and then the battery light and speedometer would “just turn off”. Awesome. Needless to say my seatbelt was securely fastened at all times. After the van’s mysterious behavior had subsided (we’re assuming it was a bad connection somewhere) the ride up was actually kind of pleasant. Sunny, warm and relaxing. The lazy spring day haze I was in could have very well been the early warning signs of black lung from the roof fungus, but for those few hours it was pretty nice. We arrived to Sea-town, hooked up with some friends and had some tasty Mexican food. From there we were off to the club and met up with more friends and settled in for the show. The Pistol Whipped Prophets made it clear after about 20 seconds this was not going to be your average band or your average set. The music was a super distorted bass and drum combo that was sort of punk rock with a stoner rock fuzz to it. The singer had one of the gnarliest vocal howls and growls I’ve heard quite some time. Although we listen to punk and play music that resembles it, bands like this reaffirm that we have no business calling ourselves punks. Tattooed, bloody and abrasive they were unlike anything else I’ve seen or heard in a while. Very cool. We were up second and it was pretty decent. We played pretty well, I just wish there had been more people to see it. I had to remind myself that it was a bar show on a Sunday night so that was to be expected. Hell, I wouldn’t have come if we weren’t playing. Having said that I should thank Bryan, Al, Zac and Kevin for spending their evening with us. Anyway, after we wrapped up, The Them took the stage and although the crowd was sparse it was nice to see them on their home turf. They seemed quite a bit more confident than the last time we saw them. I thought they played a little tighter as well, perhaps since it was the last show on their tour. Good job by those guys. Thanks to the Funhouse and The Them for getting us on the show!
The show was short and sweet with two good bands opening up and a decent sized crowd of many familiar faces. As much as I enjoy getting to play on a big stage with bright lights and massive sound systems, a cramped and poorly ventilated garage is just as much, if not more fun. Unfortunately I missed Bad River, but Dave reports they were very good. I did witness Almost Is Nothing, and I must admit they were pretty awesome. They were very metal and I would dare say their lead guitar player was one of the better guitar players I think I’ve ever seen. Very cool stuff, especially at a range of 10 ft. At a normal show we would have been a pretty mismatched bill, but in the tiny garage it was all good. Before we knew it we were up and played a short and sweet set. No noise violations and no one stepped on Justin crippled foot. The only downer was loading out through the mine field of urine, vomit and feces. At least two of those materials were out there, but we aren’t sure which. Another secret best left in the tall grass beyond Thunderdome. All in all it was a pretty good night. Thanks Joel!
I feel like it’s been forever since we’ve played a show. We’ve certainly gone longer without playing a live (usually when a drummer spontaneously combusts) but this gap between shows felt like an eternity. During the past three months Dave was out of the country for nearly a month, Dustin has been playing shows with his other band, Justin has been back in school and I wound up getting married. With distractions and excuses like those not only will we maintain our title of “world’s most boring band” but we may have raised the bar, particularly in the domestication category. Additionally, in the weeks leading up to the show we had spotted a few “those guys are still around?” messages online. Yes, yes we are. We used to strive to be the best we can as a band. Now we are just trying to outlast the others. Anyway, given the slow lead up to the show and the lack of hype I expected to play poorly to an empty room. At about 9:00 it was looking very possible. Thankfully some folks started rolling in and life was good. It was cool hanging out and getting to play again. The Stims cancelled due to a double booking, so we got to see 48 Thrills first. They joke they turn down shows to play with us. The funny thing is we do the same because they are always fun to watch. Another solid set from those guys. The Them from Seattle was the reason we were here and also the reason we took this show. They had a pretty good mix of styles. It was sort of like the Misfits meets the Dwarves but with a slightly less serious stage presence. They were fun to watch and I’m glad to be playing with them again next week on their home turf. We were up last and nothing too particularly exciting happened. Good show, good people and a good night. Thanks to all who attended and also to The Them for asking us to play.
All I knew about this shows when it got booked is that it was with Toxic Zombie. Later when I went to check out the flyer you can imagine my surprise when I saw we were booked with a sideshow act featuring The Enigma and Serna Rose. The last time I saw The Enigma was during the Jim Rose Circus Sideshow but at a Lollapalooza which was before the band had even started. The venue was pretty nuts as it was a giant movie theater with a balcony. I caught the tail end of the first band and got to watch most of the Toxic Zombie set. In typical Longview fashion things just ran slower and slower as the night progressed and it was almost 11:30 by the time the Show Devils began to setup. Their sideshow was pretty interesting. Highlights included a condom being passed from nose to mouth and then mouth to nose, a drill going into a nose, sword swallowing, blindfolded chainsaw use and even a stomach pumping of sorts. Pretty crazy. We finally setup around 12:45 and literally had to endure 10 minutes of microphone troubleshooting. When you are on stage with no working microphones every minutes feels like five. We finally started at 1:00 on the dot. Did I mention this was an all ages show? Yeah, awesome. We played pretty well and despite the sound problems on such a wide stage it was actually pretty damn fun to play. We loaded out, a few of us took turns on “the party bus” and then we headed out. A serious thank you to anyone who hung out that late to watch the show.
I don’t have too much to say other than that this was a damn fun show. The show started off a rollicking set by Rum Rebellion who were followed by the crust metal explosion of Embrace the Kill. We played third and I must confess it was very nice to play to a large room again. Every time we get to play a “big show” I know I always try a little harder to enjoy the moment because you don’t get many chances at it. Although we only had a tiny sliver of stage I think we played pretty well. The pit on the all ages side ebbed and flowed the whole set and the head bobbing from the bar side of the room reassured me that things were going well. No real mishaps and no real highlights, just what I thought was a pretty solid set. The Misfits were of course the main draw and the crowd ranged from the curious onlookers to the fanatical followers. I think it’s very safe to say The Misfits are our single biggest influence and therefore I have very mixed feelings on their set. On one hand, the sound wasn’t that great, the show and merch was crazy expensive, the vocals were fairly hit or miss, and let’s face it, the two most prominent members of the band are long gone. On the other hand, there is something satisfying about seeing those songs performed live no matter what the circumstances. Had I paid for the show I might be a little bummed, but we did have the unique position of being able to contribute to a show featuring a band we’ve loved for so long. Would I have preferred to see The Misfits back after Earth A.D. was released? Of course. Sometimes you have to take what you can get though, so all in all I’ll consider this show a success. Highlight of the night goes to Kevin, who pointed out that Jerry Only with his spike covered jacket bears a striking resemblance to Bowser. Thanks to Berbati’s, Double Tee and all our friends who came out despite the cold weather and numerous show options that evening!
I say this a lot, but it sure is nice to play show with bands you know. We’ve known most of MRNB since at least 1998 and met 48 Thrills back in early 2005. It’s always cool to play a show in these circumstances because there is very little pressure to try and impress. It’s even better to have a room full of people show up for it. It had admittedly been a long time since I had seen the MRNB (not to be confused with the OCKBB) and I was pleasantly surprised. Tonight was actually unusual for them because they had a new singer on hand. Surprisingly the choice was not another large “could be a biker, could be a contestant in a toughman contest” but a relatively small female singer who actually smiled from time to time. Don’t get me wrong though, she had a tough voice, sported the requisite denim vest and added a whole different energy to the band. I must admit I was impressed. It was very nice to see them again. Our set was very, very warm. Seriously all I can recall was looking down and seeing that my knees had sweated through my pants. Stage lights are cruel and unusual punishment in such a small venue. I often think this is how they keep french fries warm, why me? Isn’t it time for a “green”, low intensity breakthrough in stage lighting? Al Gore needs to get on that ASAP. Beyond the profuse sweating I think we did ok. 48 Thrills was up last and blasted through their barrage of instantly hummable tunes. Their CD sounds good, they sounded good and all in all it was a pretty great night. Thanks to all.
Originally tonight was supposed to be a bar show at Players. A few weeks back the promoter called and asked if we wanted to play an all ages show as well before the bar show. Thinking it would be an interesting challenge we agreed. The plan was to go to the show play, then pack up and head over to the other venue and play there as well. I started to get pretty nervous when a few weeks prior to the show I noticed the all ages lineup was 7 bands and cost 11 bucks. This violated show rules #1 and #2. The bar show was scheduled for 5 bands which violated show rule #3. We were stoked for a few of the bands (Kill The Kids + Hands On Throat) but no matter how you cut it that’s just a lot of music. As is often the case karma seemed to sort out this situation for us. Here’s the scoop. We left Portland at 5:30, hit up Del Taco, gassed up and hauled balls to Bend. About the time we reached Gresham the promoter called and said “there is barely anyone here, we’re thinking about just cancelling the show and sending everyone to Players”. Show rule violation #4. We pressed on and made up time over the mountain. About 20 minutes outside of Bend we hear from the promoter that they did in fact cancel the show and were sending everyone to the bar. Show violation #5. We arrived to the bar where we were greeting by a few friends along with a myriad of bands all unclear if they would be performing at the show. In fact, it turned out due to some mix up the venue didn’t know there would be any bands. Show violation #6. Initially they agreed to put 3 of us up, which rubbed a few of the out of town bands the wrong way, but later allowed 4 bands to play. The whole thing was a little sketchy and I think everyone got a different version of the same story. Our goal of two rad shows had be downgraded to one ok show. In fact it was pretty much a repeat of our last show in Bend only a few weeks ago with 3 of the bands being the same, which of course is show violation #7. That being said, despite all the nonsense the show was pretty fun. The Cradle Robbers were up first, and then Majority Lost who really sort of stole the show. They were on tour from LA, and despite getting shafted on the all ages show sounded pretty good. We wound up playing 3rd and I think I need to go on public record and apologize to Hands On Throat for this. Earlier in the evening we were told that we’d start around 1:00 am. Yeah, uhmmm, no. Dave basically said there is no way we’re starting at 1:00, since we had to drive back to Portland after the show (show violation #8). They wound up switching us with Hands On Throat, and I really must thank them for this. It does suck having your spot switched on you, and it sucks more being stuck last. We really do appreciate it because as is we got home after 5:00am. Our set was ok. Not many people, but I think we played pretty well. Hands on Throat were last and they sounded pretty great. I definitely wish more people had seen them. We wound up leaving about half way through their set (show violation #9) but they seemed to be rocking it. On the way out we got handed our payout which was $40. We really don’t do this for the money, but when you drive so far for a show and all you get paid is a half tank of gas it’s almost insulting (show violation #10). We are more than happy to play for free and we usually do, but 7 hours in the van with $3 per gallon gas to play for 30 minutes and $40 really kind of rubbed us all the wrong way tonight. Of course we heard two of the other bands didn’t get paid at all (show violation #11) so I guess I shouldn’t complain (violation #12). Hanging out in the van was fun, playing was fun, seeing our friends is always fun, but the rest it retrospect the rest of the evening really kind of sucked. Thanks to Hands On Throat, Stephanie, PJ and Kaylin.
I wound up driving myself to the show tonight and managed to park a few blocks away the club. I had both of my guitars with me. I always feel like a douche carrying guitars through downtown because usually people who carry or play guitars downtown are, in fact, douches. I made it without incident past the usual assortment of homeless and street kids as well as the sea of uselessness gathering outside the Greek Cuisina without a look or comment. I turned to enter the club and a bigger guy with spiky hair, sandals and a flipped up collar asks “do you play both at those at once?” He removed the phone from his ear and confidently looked around as if expecting a high five from someone who thought that was funny. The high five never came. Why? Because I’m fairly certain it was the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard in my life. It wasn’t quite sarcasm, it wasn’t really a joke but it really wasn’t a genuine question either. Keep in mind he felt compelled to pull the phone from his ear to ask this. I responded “no” because I genuinely had no idea how else to respond. This was about 8:45. Little did I know at 8:50 the dumbest question I’ve been asked would be trumped by the strangest question I’ve been asked. I was attempting to talk to Dave out front of the club when we were interrupted by this woman we appeared to be part school teacher, part gypsy and all sorts of crazy. She walked up, paused, and asked “am I too skinny to be a belly dancer?” She was dead serious. So much so that she asked. Dave responded with a joke about glittery clothing and castanets and we didn’t even get the slightest crack of a smile. The details regarding the rest of the conversation are long and tedious but it ended with Dave and I getting a lecture from this lady that we shouldn’t put the word Octane in the name of our band if we don’t know what it means. We had presented the proper dictionary definition but she wanted to know about “the essence of the word” and “what it really means”. She eventually strolled away. I quickly went in the club, vowing never to leave its cozy confines again. Although the attendance was a little lackluster, this show was a fresh of breath air. Well the air in Kelly’s is never exactly “fresh” but you know what I mean. When we were approached about the show they asked “what bands do you want to play with?” I responded “how about 48 Thrills and The Anxieties?” Done and done. Both write good songs, both are entertaining to watch and both are cool to spend an evening with. It turns out this was Glenn’s last shows with The Anxieties. We first met him forever and a day ago when he was playing bass for Compact 56 in Eugene. It was nice because most of the C56 dudes came out to the show, well, except for Adam who is apparently sheep farming in Australia or some nonsense. They played well and as always Glenn makes shredding on any instrument look way too easy. They did a Naked Raygun cover which pleased me very much. 48 Thrills was up next and were entertaining as always. I figured out what I like about them. They try just a little harder than many other bands. Not in a rock star sort of way, but in a sing it a little harder, play it a little better and challenge ourselves a little sort of way. It’s corny but I like to see that the band playing in front of me is working and not just phoning it in. We were up last and it was pretty good. We snuck in a few older songs that aren’t often played (Brand New Faces and Apology To You) and I thought we did alright. Nothing else real noteworthy happened. We just made a lot of noisy racket to our friends and friends of friends until late in the evening. All in all a very good night. Thanks to Nalin for setting up the show and all who stuck around.