Not three Saturdays in a row, at least not yet. Saturday, Feb. 8th Portland was (by our standards) snowed in, and I was hunkered down. But on the 15th I went to a bar within walking distance of the apartment and saw the local band Dartgun and the Vignettes. High energy stuff, and they were fun, and I'm immediately butting up against my lack of experience writing about rock. I don't have much else to say!
I still feel like a poseur at the relatively few rock shows I've been to. Even having listened to plenty of rock on the stereo (and that's an "I feel old" way of phrasing it, huh?*), I have trouble completely getting into the music in person. Folk music, no problem: get me into a Sooj "s00j" Tucker house concert and I'm golden (and swaying). But rock, in the moment? Somehow I don't, and that's supposed to be a big part of the enjoyment of rock. Or of any music! So I won't wax poetic, at least not now. But I was there, I listened, I smiled, I had a beer, I kept smiling. And I was especially happy to see another side of the talent of Dana Thompson, who's part of Atomic Arts (and spent five years playing Uhura in Trek in the Park) and is one of the Vignettes mentioned in the name. Back-up singing is its own special art.
No beer the next Saturday because that day I donated blood. So we're up to the 22nd. I wandered East Portland from the morning on, visiting the goats near Belmont -- the goat named Duchess returned to the herd after being off-site for several weeks, and her new kids Winter and Atho came along -- and then got to the Red Cross. More wandering after that, then hanging out with Gerald at his apartment, then on to another show...
...The Funemployment Radio Listener Party! Funemployment started as a podcast run by Greg Nibler and Sarah X. Dylan, two of the people who got fired in one feel swoop from a now-gone Portland rock station in October 2009, and has grown into an online network with a bunch of shows, like Geek in the City and Chronicles of the Nerds. All of these shows are hosted by people I vouch for and like; I've been a paid subscriber for a few years, which supports a live feed for all of the shows**. Dumbly, though, I'd only barely listened to the shows until recently, when I finally learned how to download shows to my iPad. I've taken another step into a larger world, and I'm catching up. But I'm still a supporter, and Saturday I was surrounded by other supporters.
Gerald and I spent the whole night, past one o'clock in the morning, at the Hawthorne Theatre for the party. Kielen King did DJ duties throughout the night. CotN had what should be their final "Nerd Fight," kind of an Ultimate Argument over geek opinions like "which is the worst Part 3 of a film series: Superman 3, Spider-Man 3, X-Men 3, Alien 3, or Matrix 3?" Greg and Sarah had as a guest Bill Oakley, a former Simpsons producer who now works on Portlandia. The entire on-air staff of the late, great The Rick Emerson Show reunited on-stage, and Tim Riley got to do the news the way he could only do on that show: penis news, monkey news and Florida news, so he could do a few of the "_____ Watch" sounders. ("Florida Watch" news, which so often is crazy news, got introduced with a few seconds of "Theme to Miami Vice.) Sarah spent five minutes doing stand-up comedy, something she REALLY HADN'T WANTED TO DO but was able to tough it out amusingly for five minutes, after which she threw all of her index cards into the crowd as if declaring "I'm free!"
The closing was Greg Nibler and Scott Dally, one of the four Geek in the City hosts, doing a rap battle where they got to diss each other. Since I know Dally and he's really one of the nicest people I know, I was delighted to see him become a heel, getting booed and apparently just soaking up the boos. Greg won, but Jim Willig of The Big And Loud Podcast (another FER show) threw a twist in at the end by immediately challenging Greg to another battle. Yay for entertainment done like wrestling!
These are just tidbits from that night; I can't write about them all. But post-show I did some further visiting with friends and acquaintances, then walked home, which is an hour's committment but I was feelign cheap. I got home, wrapped up night quickly, got to bed, and except for one bathroom break stayed in bed until noon Sunday. And then imitated a vacuum cleaner because I hadn't eaten since 5 o'clock that past night.
* I put it that way to encompass LPs, CDs, and any device involving headphones and earphones. I CAN BE HIP AND WITH-IT.
** Due to music rights/clearance issues, some of the shows (like Play Anything with Lisa Wood and Aaron Duran's other show Drive Time at the Drive-in) can only be played on the live stream and can't be archived. They exist, but more in the moment. Looking forward to experiencing that moment...