Our first Saturday night show at EJ’s and its with Black Jack. You just can’t do much better than that in Portland unless you are opening for a major national band. I was expecting such a killer show. So guess what happens … the sound guy doesn’t bother to show up. None of the other sounds guys were avaialble either. So to make a long story short, Dave and I end up running the sound for all of the bands, including us. How did we end up doing this? We were the only ones who could find the power switch. Needless to say I was a little disappointed with this evening. Thank god so many people showed up or I would have jumped out the window. Amazingly, our show went pretty well. People are actually learning the words to our songs, which is cool because I still don’t know them all. In fact I don’t think Dave does either. Unfortunately, I missed Black Jack’s set, but Dave’s quote was “oh my god dude they are awesome.” That should tell you something about them. This evening’s highlight was when the sound guy finally showed up at 1:00 and had to re-wire and re-mic everything we had set up.
Talk about hot, holy cow Richland, WA is hot. 103 degrees when we arrived. Still over 90 when we left at night. The Uptown Tavern is located in a small strip mall of bars with live music. Its also conveniently located on the town’s main cruising strip. Every redneck and jock in tri-cities seemed to visit this area at one time or another this evening. Whether entering the clubs or simply driving by making the token redneck “woo” sound at girls they all seemed to make an appearance. Needless to say we were not in our normal element. The booking guy Dustin and the Burning Cindy’s were the thing that kept us sane in this club. The show was … uhmm … interesting. It was one of the first time I’ve really felt like a “bar band” … and I don’t mean that as a good thing. Let me explain. Two doors down at the next bar there was a cover band of 40 something’s playing the current spectrum of “alternative hits.” Whatever they want to play is their business but its annoying to think that we have spent the past 4 years playing and writing these songs and to the average live music fan in this town its probably just as memorable seeing us play our balls off as it is seeing some balding, washed out 40 year old playing a Green Day cover from the radio. (They probably get paid 5 times as much too!) Perhaps I’m over analyzing this, but sometimes it really is frustrating when you play to an audience that is generally apathetic at what you do. There were lots of people and no one really booed us but it just felt awkward playing that show. After the show was the redeeming part of this evening. A couple of people came up and said how they really liked us and that bands like us don’t come through their town real often. Even some of the people that I had pegged as stereotypical “rednecks” seemed to really like what we are doing and were far more receptive than I had though. It was a nice surprise.
Woohoo … hemp fest. A noble cause that we generally choose to ignore. I really don’t care about the 10,000 uses for hemp that were addressed in between bands. Anyway, we arrived very late and the owner didn’t want to let us play. After arguing with him for a while he kindly (get it … kind?) decided to let us play “for about 20 minutes.” Oh, the generosity. Anyway the guy turned out to be ok after all, but what a pain right up front. This evening’s highlight for us was Big Tooth Comb. Metal. Pure and simple, metal. This was not metal of the new school variety either. This band covered the spectrum of politically sensitive topics from the commercialization of native american culture to the preferred length of certain types of female body hair (don’t ask). Pretty cool … made me feel like it was in 1987 again.
Rad, rad, rad is all I can say. If you were one of the lucky 200 or so people at Jim and Lyle’s birthday you saw one of the best shows in Portland this year. Best part was that it was free and in a basement! It was a fun party and a great show. Everyone rocked except for the six and a half foot tall cross dresser. I can’t wait until next year.
So we get to Goose’s House and there are 5 people sitting around with some beer. Some party. After all it is the 4th of July and we were told to expect 100 people. So after about 2 hours of standing around watching some kid blow stuff up with gunpowder we finally took off to another house where more people were at. We get there and it’s like some weird alley way hippie/crusty punk Mecca. Of course they had no idea there was going to be a band, but the crusties thought we looked cool and the hippies were all too intoxicated to complain. So next thing we know we are playing on some dude’s porch to a group of people who didn’t seem to mind slamdancing on a gravel and stone driveway. I’ve never seen so many bloody wounds at a show before (well at least until Bomf! played). Most of the people there were actually pretty nice except for a few notable exceptions, but the annoying ones were the ones who kept ending up meeting the gravel head first. Unfortunately by the time the Bar Feeders played the cops were arriving to shut them down. Bummer for them, they drove from San Francisco and only got in about 10 minutes. Before we went home we did manage to light off a few fireworks. Very unimpressive. This evening’s highlight was the poor guy dressed from head to toe in stars and stripes riding a unicycle who made the mistake of riding by the party. The poor guy he tried so hard to keep his dignity but it was only to be shot down but a group of 15-20 rather vocal individuals who just didn’t care for his style of patriotism.
Tuesday night at the Satyricon means a low turnout and a dull if not sleepy atmosphere. This evenings highlight was Dave’s frequent mumbling of incoherent if not bizarre sentences between songs. For example “I just got back from Louisiana … it sucks there.” How profound! Its been a few months but we got to play with the Leeches again. Of course I’ve seen them about 500 times since our last show together so it really wasn’t that special. If you see them on the street please offer to buy Paul a new amp. Dangerous Bob is a country/hillbilly/punk band that has very cool equipment. Don’t believe me? When was the last time you saw a bass amp disguised as a metalflake refrigerator with pink shag carpet inside of it? The guitar player’s amp is built into a stove! Try and try we just can’t compete with that and feel terribly inadequate.
I had never been to Spokane before. I wasn’t sure what to expect and after it was all said and done I’m still not sure what I thought of it. Our Spokane adventure began at Dick’s hamburgers when we were greeted by Spokane’s local resident weirdo (benny?) who insisted on saying hi to all of us, showing us his collection of pennies and telling us about rock and roll and football. Apparently he’s something of a town icon. After collectively ingesting several pounds of burgers we moved on to Ichabod’s and prepared to … as Dave puts it get rid of several pounds of burgers. After clogging the toilet and upsetting the management the show began. We actually met and played with a band called Furburger. We also played with the Felons whom we had actually met last year in Kelso but never played with. We also spent a great deal of time listening as Dave fine tuned his “10 pound theory” at the expense of some poor girl who was dancing up front. As for our set it was probably the most fun we’ve had playing ever. I was jumping around, Dave was jumping around and if Bryan didn’t play drums he would have too. Even Nate busted out some hardcore roadie skills during the show … including the highlight – fixing a fallen cymbal stand in under 15 seconds. So anyway the show went great and as usual Bomf kicked some serious butt (I get tired of writing that, but its always true). After the show some Japanese foreign exchange students took our pictures. What an ego trip. I’ve done the sign an autograph thing, but pose for a picture? Rad. Well, thanks to everyone who came out and a special thanks to Donny for letting us stay at his place.
Finally … our first show in Seattle. Interesting night to say the least. The sidewalk outside Gibson’s is a pretty good cross section of the homeless and insane population of Seattle. Another weird thing was that Sonic Youth was playing that night right down the street from us. The stage at Gibson’s is in the window, so when the show got out hundreds of people were walking right past the window stopping and looking in while we were playing. Despite it all we had a pretty good turnout. The Kelvis and his posse came out to see us and brought us all a late pass. Bomf played after us and fairly well considering the amount of alcohol they consumed.
What a crappy night … we show up to the club and were informed that the previous night’s band blew up the PA. Great. We had spent all week putting up flyers and telling people about this show. Then to make things worse a few of us decided to go catch the Nashville Pussy show. We get there and its sold it. What a drag. Back to the couch for all of us.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again … Bomf rules! Let me say that one more time … Bomf rules! Although I really enjoyed filling in for them on guitar for the past 2 months, I’m really glad to see that Scotty is back and they are kicking out the rock again. We’re stoked to be playing with them in Seattle and Spokane next weekend. Now if they could only play nintendo as well as they could play their instruments.