February 9th, 2007

Whale fluke


Yes! I heard the Portland band Quasi tonight. First time I've seen them; first time I've been to the Doug Fir Lounge; third time I've seen drummer Janet Weiss (one-third of the late band Sleater-Kinney) be slammin' good. She is demonic -- and LOUD -- on the drums.

The show was wrapping up just past midnight when I left. Maybe there was an encore, but I needed to get home. But with the bands Broken West and The Smiles playing earlier, I got three hours of live music tonight. This is good. Now "good" means "getting to sleep soon." 'Night. (Maybe more tomorrow morning...)
Whale fluke

A Quasi review by the quasi-awake Chris Walsh

Oh, man, that was worth it. ("It was worth being an exhausted zombie, Chris?!") I'm glad I got out to Quasi's show last night, even if it meant a late night on, potentially, Rock Star Time, which has its own strange laws. Yeah, I'm not normally still out at midnight on a weeknight, but I missed chances in the past to see the band (most recently their New Year's Eve show) and I wanted to correct that. They're good, they're local, this is a good combination.

Quasi is usually a two-person band, with Sam Coombes on guitar or keyboard and Janet Weiss on drums, with other members sometimes...such as the late, great Elliott Smith (who was heard by the most people when he wrote the song "Miss Misery" for Good Will Hunting). I don't know so much about Coombes, but I was familiar with Weiss from her work with the recently-disbanded Sleater-Kinney; she now also plays for Stephen Malkamus and The Jicks. The slightly soap-opera aspect of their lives is that Coombes and Weiss were once married, but decided (like Meg and Jack White of The White Stripes) that they were better as a professional couple than a personal couple. And it works. Oh yes, it does.

The Doug Fir Lounge where they performed is neat: a recently-remodeled restaurant and lounge with two bars (one where I got a late dinner: a very good salmon chowder and a Coke), a wide performance space in the basement, and what I sensed was a nice vibe. People were in a good mood in the place. The "we're NOT too cool for the room" vibe extended to the bands: Broken West at 9 (they had a nice sound: very positive music, not angsty), The Smiles at 10 (actually I think a little too low-key for the night), and most definitely Quasi around 11. I love that Weiss actually grins while she's onstage, wailing away on the drums (and I mean "wail": she has punk-rock experience, after all). I'd seen that side of her back in the summer when she played the last Sleater-Kinney show and duetted with her friend Eddie Vedder. (Yes, Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder.) They were a three-piece last night: a woman whose name I didn't catch was on guitar, and Coombes played keyboards for most of the show (with exceptions like when he played -- then threw -- a tambourine).

My music-analyzing centers in my mind aren't really working yet, so I'll stop trying to describe the show. But I'm glad I went.
Whale fluke

Think I'm just too white and nerdy

Hey, speaking of music...

"Weird Al" Yankovic has annouced dates for the Straight Outta Lynwood tour, starting in New Zealand and Australia in March and then, in May, hitting the U.S. of A.

Let's see: so far, the nearest place to me is Puyallup, Washington (in the Tacoma area) on Sept. 12th.

For all those nowhere-near-a-"Weird Al"-concert yet, there are some gaps in that schedule (mid-May, all of June, the first half of July, most of August); maybe there'll be more shows added then. The Scheduling Elves must be scurrying around the U.S. as we speak, reaching more venues and finding the operators and standing on each others' shoulders so they're as tall as a regular human so they can grab the operators' shirts and say, "Listen, bub, you're gonna let Mr. Y put on a nice show for the nice people, you hear me??!"

OK, this entry is growing increasingly wonky.
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Whale fluke

Tasty, tasty links

The things you find looking through old e-mails... I once sent this to friends who I thought would appreciate it:

Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban was once asked what his very last meal on Earth should be. He said:
"A steak and onion rings on top of a 30-inch pizza surrounded by chocolate chip ice cream with a moat of hot fudge covered with whipped cream, with Denise Richards and Elizabeth Hurley there to burp me and wipe the chocolate from my face in case it gets messy. And my girlfriend there to rub my tummy."
And another randomosity salvaged from my old e-mails: walking directions to Barad-Dur, Mordor.
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