Sunday, September 8, 2013

CLUBLAND! MFNW edition # 5

Oh hell, I'm doing the best I can. Once again arriving at Pioneer Courthouse Square well into a band's set, in this case Thao and the Get Down Stay Down, I'm there just in time for all of one and one-half songs, but their enough to charm me, those harmonies, Thao's obvious charisma, I'm pretty sure I've missed out on a perfect sunset set from the Portland/Seattle quintet so add them to my list of the gotta-see's, a recurring theme for this year's fest, though I trust it is for just about anyone dashing to and fro, trying to catch as much as possible on almost the least possible sleep. As crazy as it is, I have to admit it's part of what I like best about this festival, the frantic scheduling, the adjustments to that frantic scheduling, the running around. Makes ya feel alive, I tell ya. 

After a quick bite and a glass of spilled water at Ringlers, I'm back at the Crystal waiting on Shuggie Otis, legend, visionary, scion of another legend Johnny Otis. Oddy, in my view, he's on the bill before Charles Bradley. Nothing against Mr Bradley and his many fans, he's a fine musician deserving of his following (one of which, when I was leaving after the set to catch another band elsewhere, was incredulous. "You're not staying for Charles? But he represents!"), but compared to Shuggie Otis? His stature wanes. 

But in the meantime, we're treated to the soft groove soul of Morning Ritual, an ensemble I'm wholly unaware of, an organ-let five piece, two of whom are background singers a la classic Tamla/Motown. The mood is mellow, the bass exquisite. They'll be at the Mississippi Sept. 19th if you want to check them out and by the strength and sway of tonight's performance, you do. 

Oh, and by the way, the Crystal is unusually sweaty tonight, even by their standards, close to unbearable but then again maybe it was that Captain Neon burger? The bite of jalapeno? Nahhhh!

But here's the deal. I take the opportunity to inch up close to the stage to take the above shot of Morning Ritual - not too crowded yet, mysteriously - and, recognizing it for the chance it is - seeing an historic performance of Shuggie Otis from this close - decide, despite the pressing heat, to stay put. This..should be good.

Trumpet, sax, bass, keys, drum and Shuggie on guitar, is that classic enough for you? They haven't even begun yet and I'm already blown away.

Trim and decked out in a black broadcoat with bright white frills spilling out at the neck and the sleeves, knee-high black riding boots and the coolest dark glasses you've ever seen (well, they're not that unusual but given who's wearing them..), Shug's the definition of star power, smiling, a man content with his legacy being finally allowed to flower.

Occasionally funk-tinged blues soul of the very best order. It's no surprise the band on are crack form, but man are they on crack form, in the groove pocket, the horn charts popping, organ providing that smoooove floor (when it's not taking the silky lead), the bass player, as usual, the coolest guy on the stage, the drummer steady-crazy good.

The (purportedly) first-time-ever-played "Special" skips along on a jouncing disco groove (sorry I keep using that word but there ain't no other) that just don't stop, it's eternal in its funkaliciousness.

With "Me And My Woman" we return to the sleek West Coast blues the man made his name in, Shuggie's blue Epiphone cryin' out in a type of pain that can't fail to bring the greatest joy to those down front here.

Naturally there are echoes of Sly, intimations of Arthur Lee & Love, but come the title track from the great 'lost' album Wings Of Love (unreleased for 30+ years, now issued with as a double with Inspiration Information, which I'd hoped to purchase at the merch table but no Shuggie to be had there, sadly), we are talking pure Shuggie Otis, a deliberate, yearning, soul stirrer of a song featuring some of his most eloquent soloing of the night, full of grace and fire and clearly the push-off point for that notorious little guy from Minneapolis that's also prone to the occasional frilly shirt, and there's little wonder Prince took what this guy had started and flew with it on, indeed, wings of love.

Superb, and I'm going to shut up now and just...groove.

I finally have to wait in a line for admission, at Roseland for Godspeed You! Black Emperor, the monumental post-rock titans from Montreal. Nothing serious, ten minutes or so, and once in it's all forgotten. What an astonishingly beautiful racket. Besides being here just to hear such breathtaking noise (and it will take your breath away), I'm also trying to redeem myself for having missed them at the Aladdin back in 2000. There was little excuse for not going that time aside from a sorry lack of initiative, a state of affairs I do my best to avoid these days.

So OK, I'll just lay it out straightaway: this is psychedelic music for the over-stimulated digital age, complet with droning visuals projected on the screen behind them  (makes sense if you were there, all B&W media smears and flashing bits of lost text). Symphonic, hypnotic, relentless, heavy, portentous, restless - sound like I'm describing 2013 yet? Those visuals emphasize media saturation, the sonics ambient overload. Why it's all so beautiful is another story.

Very little compares to this band - Sunn O))) maybe, Mogwai almost (not really). Apocalyptically orchestral with a taste for aching doom and the poignant hope for salvation through persistence, GY!BE are a floating soundtrack to everything that's wrong and everything that's right with the world.

They are wordless but more profound than most any other band by several miles. You don't really need to see this band (which is good, as I'm shoe-horned in at the back), there's nothing all that much to see, no presentation per se and certainly no histrionics. What you need to do is hear this band, stand there and be assailed by a building majesty, a sometimes sorrowful, sometimes hopeful, oftentimes mysterious majesty. All of this is manifested by a guitar, keyboards, a bass player, violin, the occasional cello and a double drummer drama that punctuates the soundscapes like Thor if he'd been obsessed with Wagner.

And then this word comes to mind: elegaic. Something cries in you hearing this band live, even as you rejoice. Sounds pompous but once you hear/experience them, crescendos building, resolving, then being instantly rebuilt, understanding will flow, trust me.

Sadly, by 11:00, my barely rested legs betray me, they can take it no more (absolutely no place to sit at Roseland at the moment; hardly any place to stand). Trooper that the rest of me is being, the rest of me that wants to stay, my legs declare Go home or we're falling off. Not to be argued with, surely. Yet the heavenly noise coming off the stage, riveting, seductive, it's such a marvel to witness as it's being created live and I'm almost persuaded to perservere. Almost. However, in the spirit of 'the spirit is strong but the knees are weak,' I gotta go.

Tomorrow night the finale: Neko Case.

- Dave Cantrell

Saturday, September 7, 2013

CLUBLAND! MFNW edition # 4

After last night's tempest, tonight we're treated to a beautiful summer's night pall hanging over Pioneer Courthouse Square.I'd tell you all about my plans for night four of Music Fest Northwest but I just got to get straight to it. Arriving at the Square over half hour into Dan Deacon's set I find a stuffed patio of folk joyously, unhingedly sproinging around to what's obviously Dan Deacon but there is no one on stage. 

There are strobes and lights a-plenty but no Dan Deacon. Turns out, enquiring of a stranger, that our Dan is down on the bricks with us, jammed against the stage, unloosing some of the slammiest indie techno dance noise ever heard on planet Earth. Frenetic but melodic but pounding and clearly utterly infectious. I don't know that I've ever just stepped into a scene like this, this sea of kids bodies hangs mid-air on Deacon's every beat. Ain't long I'm pulled slightly in then of a sudden, it ends. I'd hoped to catch thirty minutes but instead have to settle with fifteen, fifteen very catchy minutes. Alright by me, I'm now officially primed. Next up Animal Collective. Been meaning to see them for yars and yars. I do make a note to myself though: next time Dan Deacon is in town, get there on time. And with a lot of saved up energy.

Puffy plastic indecipherables on either side of - and behind - the stage. At the appointed hour distorted, f'd-up vocal samples meet up with dim flashing graphics and then the Animal Collective boys come ambling on stage, donning guitars and head lamps. Tripping time!

Somewhat low-key since 2011's album-of-the-year Merriweather Post Pavilion, it will be curious to hear where their power lies. Theirs is a difficult pop, always has been. Woozily angular, swamped at times in synthesizer washes, there's also something so centrally human to their sound, there's the excitement and doubt and jittery wonder and the uncertainty of where your next beat is coming from.

And a beats here are both murky and huge and occasionally crisp just to mix things up. Mostly what their sound is, though, is busy. Not a lot of space in Animal Collective songs. Once they get going they go in several angles all at once, somehow converging into a splendid whole. How they do it is the crux of their success. Repeated motifs dominate, vocals sometimes secondary, backgrounded as if they're meant to reflect our ultimate voicelessness in the face of all the noise going on around us all the time. 

But - and this is paramount - AC are never 'theoretical,' they don't get lost in being analytical, though, okay, 'cerebral' can be attached to them, no point disputing that. At one point I'm reminded of Lemon Jelly, at others (gasp) Vampire Weekend, meaning there's an undercurrent of playfulness in the air here and it can be hypnotic even as that cerebreality arches over our heads in neon splendor. 

Predominant though is the trippyness, music lysergic enough to withstand the fog machines. It's not a stretch to be reminded of Pink Floyd's early years at The UFO Club, though we're more structured here, there's no improv excursions driving into the dawn and here I guess we get to the nubbin: Animal Collective practice the ancient craft of expensive head music within a prescribed framework, each song a psychedelic snapshot, at least sonically.

All of which, come to think, speaks to this time we're living in pretty succinctly. Wanna trip out but not all night, we're too busy, got things to do in the morning.

But boy do they hit complexity's sweet spot and do it often. Not often remarked upon, in fact, is exactly that, the sweetness inherent in Animal Collective's sound. Almost always challenging in some way, seldom do they lose sight of such a central niceties as hook and melody, even if it does frequently sound like those hooks and melodies are coming from four or five different songs all at once. They are in a rarefied league with Dirty Projectors, and as stated in last year's blog post of that show, I've got some prog rock fans that are missing out. There may not be the same emphasis on virtuosity - though these lands can surely play - but that sublimely controlled sense of soon-to-drift-off-the=rails would pull in any Soft Machine fan if only they'd let themselves be pulled in. 

As always I do my best to spread the word and after tonight's performance I'll be even more of an Animal Collective evangelist.

I arrive back it Branx (see MFNW blog post # 3)  discover two things: an unholy face-melting (but in a good way) racket and, I forgot my ear plugs at home. Oh well, I've lasted this long.
Wooden Indian Burial Ground are a kind of three headed blues-based boogie psychedelic animal, a Portland power trio that has no truck with any notion of pulling punches. Whatever the guitarist (it's either Justin, Dan, or Paul; an internet search was fruitless in determining who's who) is singing is surely immaterial, this is raw paint-peeling noise (good thing it's exposed brick walls in here) but truly? They're great, a throwback to the Monsters of Rock of yore and naturally stuff like this is always refreshing at least for a while. I've been here 15 minutes so far and I'm still giddily on board. I'll keep you apprised. 

One thing's clear: I'll walk out after their set thinking 'That was a blast' and too right I'll be. All that said, though, it's not as if WIBG isn't without sufficient tuneage as they decidedly are. Barrage rock as they may be, the Nuggets-ready (better make that Pebbles-ready) hook quotient is fully present.

Another band I've been waiting to see, its nice to check them off the list and they end with a stormer, much indebted to Alvin Lee & Ten Years After, on the one hand rougher and more garage, on the other, the guitarist, midway, abandons actual guitar and twiddles a suitcase of knobs wherein samples of his guitar runs. Pretty damn cool and in the end I don't care where they come from, that boy can play and he's got the jet fuel rhythm section necessary to help propel you right out of the water. Go see them next time you have a chance, just remember your ear plugs.

I'm back in a very crowded Branx in time for Unknown Mortal Orchestra's set but I have to come clean. For one, the pen I had been using since the original faded on me back at Pioneer Courthouse Square, the spare I pulled from my bag, well, I left it back in the car when I was dictating the above paragraphs. So, no notes. And for two: the wall was finally hit (too bad it was an exposed brick one, eh?), the last hiss of steam fizzled out of me and I was done. I sat for a time in the entryway to Branx, soaking up what wondrous last strains of UMO that I could before being forced to drift in a near coma back to my car and head home. Knew it was going to be a test to hit the first three nights of MFNW while getting up to go to work at 5:40 every morning and I'm pleased I made it this far and didn't see the wall coming until I hit it. So, sorry about that, sorry to UMO, but that just means I'll have to make a special effort to see them the next time they play the Mississippi or wherever. But the good news is, I'm all rested up now, just about to head out the door for Saturday night's go-round. Hoping for Thao & the Get Down Stay Down, Shuggie Otis, Godspeed! You Black Emperor. Depends on the lines, depends on the whims of the moment. See you tomorrow. 

Friday, September 6, 2013

CLUBLAND! MFNW edition # 3

Life's got complications, eh? Tonight, night three of MFNW, it's the much-anticipated thunderstorms rolling into town from the south. Originally I had planned on catching Youth Lagoon at Pioneer Square but other obligations came up during the day and I had to scuttle those plans. Ha! Once again, lucky me. I'm sure by festival's end it will be one of the stories of this years happening but frankly? I'm happy not being part of that lore.Happy and dry.

Aside from all that, the choices just keep being rather painful.Using "I like 'em but I've never seen 'em" as my guide, I'm at Roseland to catch Lost Lander, or anyway at least for half their set, then it's across the street for my synth-wave post-punk friends Vice Device. Figure splitting wealth is better than betting it all on one show. Pros and cons to that view but there's no time for that, a dedicated knot of fans are gathered at the stage and Lost Lander are plying them with their unique Portland brand of rocked-up sophisti-pop. What's always attracted me is their gift for effortlessness. Their songs are crafted, no doubt, but they pour forth, Sarah Fennell at the electric piano bringing a classic pop depth, engaging modern Tin Pan Alley fills while putative head Lander Matt Sheehy sings the ache out of each song, at the same time having his way with a miked acoustic. Can't recall anyone getting such a deep bodied sound out of an acoustic before. Whatever the case, it's not a little magical which nea,tly encapsulates the whole pop package these four summon up, a summon, if you will, that's greater than its parts.

When word comes before another new song is premiered that they've been hard at work in the studio, a kind of gasping Yay goes up from the floor. The two new songs do point a warm way forward, a much welcomed proposition on a cool rainy late summer's night. 

Now too quickly scurry across the street. where it turns out, much to my chagrin, that Vice Device have just ended their set. Thankfully, I've seen them recently (at The Know and they were amazing) but regardless I'm sorry to have missed them on the wonderful stage of the Star Theater. Next year, I promise.

At first I decide to stay at the Star Theater and check out Diana because I've never heard of her them and thought in might be one of those delightful surprises this festival is known for. When it becomes evident pretty much within a minute that that's not going to be the case I hightail it back to my car and shuttle myself across the river to Branx. Royal Canoe is playing, opening up for Chk Chk Chk (AKA "!!!," of course, whom I secretly suspected I'd end up seeing) and I've heard good things about them, even posted video of them on Facebook earlier in the day trying to get a grip on where I was going to go tonight. This, as it turns out, was a momentous decision.

With their lowdown solid white funk vibe, the Winnipeg-based Royal Canoe easily remind me of Minneapolis Prince/Justin Vernon-affiliated outfit Gayngs. Slinky, slow prog-funk sex jams, grooved melting falsetto, all of it. In case we ain't getting it, the two-drummer-and-pronounced-bass setup make sure there sublimely gutter level message gets through. Now I wish I just run over here straight away.

Royal Canoe's infectious, swimming and swooning groove is, ahem, having an obvious amorous influence on the couples in attendance. There is, after a quick swivel of the head, a fair amount of grinding going on.

And yeah there's a reliance on effects, on treated drums etc, but the result couldn't sound, and feel, more organic. This sound goes Funkadelic deep at times, a slow dirty funk with a deft touch and elegance, almost, and boy are they sick tight. Royal Canoe. You're going to want to remember that name. 

OK now I'm in place for !!!, and I'm in need of a blitzing shot of post-punk funk, stir the corpuscles, resurrect the dying legs, the recalcitrant knees. And indeed, this is medicine to me. 

Singer Nic Offer has on a pair of Some Girls-patterned shorts which makes nothing short of total sense given his megalomaniacal frontman stage presence, strutting, primping, arms flailing in crazed robot geometrics. In a word, this is MAD! An absolute punk-funk extravaganza! You'll have to excuse me while I just lose my sh*t for a while, phew! (as an added note, it makes complete sense that the picture below is blurry. The guys really are that kinetic)

I've probably told you all you need to know about the band. Oh, the audience? Branx is packed, and the repeat formula here of two drummers, one wild-thumbed bassist and an absolutely stunning guitarist, all wound up in the right places, has the area up near the stage surging and jumping in a gyrating mess of a mass. By the third song with a chorus that is almost certainly "California Here I Come" all is lost, the guitar just suh-LAYS and the handclap funk that follows is almost unbearable. 

There's not a person here that's not amazed and let that be the end of it. !!!? I say add another couple of exclamation marks. I also say it's doubtful I'll be more plain bloody thrilled by a band for the remainder of MusicFest as I have been by this lot. I repeat: Phew!

- Dave Cantrell

Thursday, September 5, 2013

CLUBLAND! MFNW edition # 2

Oh crap, now the decisions of where to go and who to see, who to begrudgingly decide you won't see, begin to potentially bite. Because of circumstances beyond my control, I don't make it out of the house until near 9 o'clock and on the fly have chosen Richmond Fontaine at the Doug Fir. On the conservative side, maybe, choice-wise, but I've never actually seen them before and now's as good a time as any. Have seen Willie read, and until their last album (High Country) have kept pretty steady with them (the drop off on account of just being so busy, haven't heard it yet and it's been two years). It's not just Vlautin's writing, though that is going to be a large part of it no matter what, but the band as a whole are Americana writ sharp and intuitive, they live not inside but with their songs like intimate trailer mates. 'course, I'm likely gonna have to bounce early to get over to the Crystal and, with luck, get in to see Deerhunter, the plum in the night's cap and I mix my metaphors with glee but anyway Richmond Fontaine are about to begin here so let's check it out.

Lined up like the truckers and Monday night bowlers they look like, with no one out front and therefore everyone out front - well, except the drummer - this is communal musical democracy on the brink.and here we go. Being a literary storytelling songwriter, the fact is that regardless of how good the band behind him is, and they're very good, the focus has to be on Vlautin. If you've lived any kind of life at all, if you've ever been young and broke and determined to not care, you've met these people. Windblown, broken but fronting, pride and empty pockets and often lots of drinking and an often fatal fatalism.

The playing is immaculate though. During third song "The Boyfriends," a kind of easy but dark-as-usual country shuffle, the pieces fit together so dovetailingly well it's almost like an illusion. They all seem so relaxed and comfortable up there, Paul Brainard hittin' the light mariachi trumpet like it's Tijuana NW, Dave Harding's bass all soothing and poignant, Dan Eccles' guitar accents like paint strokes and drummer Sean Oldham holding back with an exact grace. You understand why the British have fussed over them so much (considerably more popular there than here). And that's not even getting two Brainard's normal mainstay job as a BJ Cole-worthy pedal steel player, tones sliding and crying up and back like chills up my spine. Great way to start a Wednesday night straight up.

Jetting out a few minutes before the end of the set (voice in back of head "Deerhunter, Deerhunter, Deerhunter), there's a passel of some smart car variety done up all crazy outside, one with Legos hanging all over it, another with Super Mario being played on the inside of the windshield and next to them all a small banner "I heart PDX" and right now, the way that MFNW is unspooling, at least for me but I'd bet for everyone out on the bricks tonight, we're all flying that flag.

The gamble pays off, though there is a scare coming to the Crystal: I pass the side of Roseland and the line stretches around the block. For the second time tonight the phrase 'Oh crap' echoes through my head. If there are that many folks waiting for Chvrches what must the line for Deerhunter be like? But by whatever quirk of fate, as I swing around Washington and onto 14th, there line! I quickly find a place to park and 4 minutes later I'm in the historic bouncy house that is the Crystal and boy is it hot and humid (it ain't the heat it's the humanity). The crowd is healthy but not yet jammed to the hilt. There is, however, a certain palpability afoot. Most here, I'm guessing have likely scene Bradford Cox's lot before, I have not.
There's not a record of theirs that hasn't in some way twigged me sideways (that's a good thing) so I'm thrilled to finally be in their presence. As for the crowd and atmosphere? Winterland 1975, is all I can say.

Lucky me I score a side bench upon which I now stand. The crowd is now substantial and it's even stuffier in here. But screw that, Mr Cox is instantly riveting, a cross, in both stature and charisma, between Julian Cope, Iggy Pop, and Bobby Gillespie. Having not seen them before I'm surprised there are no keyboards, just drum, bass, two guitars and voice. Whoop, the Thin White Rail just strapped one on, make it 3 guitars.

Considering how unpredictable they can come across on record - excitingly so - it's also something of a surprise how much of a bloody terrific, out and out rock band they are here tonight. Dense, with detours into a stroppy weirdness here and there but overall they're, of all things, a poppy proposition, at least within the confines of fringe indie. 

Deerhunter thrive in the Venn territory where primal, sometimes even feral, overlaps with the cerebral, amounting to an emotional/aesthetic covering of all bases. The time signatures aren't particularly challenging but the pure honest intensity is.

Jamming with an extended near-drone groove ain't uncommon, either, a kind of college-aged Neu! before reverting back to a quirky, slightly murky geek sex pop with one of the hookiest bridges this festival is going to witness.

And so OK now I've gotta fold up this little notebook. The colored spots are swiveling music is swivelingly incandescent and I gotta just take it in. I'll say goodnight and, indeed, it's been a good night but let me add this: the beauty and magic of live music - during Nothing Ever Happened, an uptempo, wigged-out, shoulda-been radio hit, my 57-year-old fatigue melts away, just lifts off me. And that's before it takes off into another motorik groove, before it becomes virtually transcendent. And that sort of thing is happening all over town right now, cares and worries and anxieties and even actual years being swept magically away by the lure of great music, which is my unsubtle way of saying "Go see live music, and hey, here's a perfect opportunity that comes around but once a year."

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

CLUBLAND! - MFNW 2013 edition

The first night of a festival has a first date feel to it. Tentative, quietly anxious, bit of a jitter. There's so much expected but it's far too early to give that hopeful anticipation form. And so it is on a Tuesday night at Dante's in early September as a milling smatter of punters trickle in for MFNW's first rock'n'roll show (there's a hip hop showcase up the street at Roseland headlined by Joey Bada$$). We await Portland band Summer Cannibals, who from what I've heard, define the word 'promising,' we await Black Bananas, the latest vehicle for raggedly invincible crusher doll Jennifer Herrema, ex-Royal Trux. And, we await Redd Kross, the band that refused to die, an initial stint spanning 17 years (1980-97) before reforming in 2004 and continuing to refuse to give up, or, for that matter, even grow up. In essence the same pop-punk rocker kids they were when they first emerged, we're here tonight to see how that's holding up. But first the Summer Cannibals.

(oh and by the way we all know its been a monkey summer lately and Dante's is already beginning to earn its name)

Summer Cannibals are immediately, well, rather dangerously good, a Dum Dum Breeders indie melodic drive, singer-guitarist Jessica Boudreaux and guitarist-singer mark Swart trading guitar power runs and sharing some whoa oh oh vocals. Mostly though, this is Boudreaux's show, she's got a tear-it-up, hard/soft rock chick persona it's hard not to focus on.

As a decade, the 90's seemed to leave us with a lot unsaid. Summer Cannibals aren't the first I've seen/heard lately that's intent on redressing that balance, just one of the best. Fifth song in they even hit a chunky blues grunge sweet spot (rough spot?) that would do Jon Spencer proud. Fred Armisen as well, I should imagine, the 90's alive and well in, well, Portland.

Okay, confession: I was never much of a Royal Trux fan. Heroin chic turned on its head? Cool, I suppose, but the shambolic, falling-down-the-stairs nature of it put me off. Jennifer Herrema seems a Nico for our ages, less classically trained, more self-indulgent mess. But, I'm more than willing to let bygones be bygones and give the disheveled queen of chaos a chance.

Well, with the help of a head-bowed, lank haired wizard of a guitarist and a keyboard laptop magician, she manages to sound pretty good inside that context. Her singing, however, is virtually buried and certainly unintelligible, as is her between song patter. Sadly, what she reminds me of is Patti Smith if she'd found heroin instead of Rimbaud. Her bandmates, however, are ace, crack accompanists that bravely hold up each side of the stage while Ms. Herrema gamely caterwauls in between them. At one point a dirty funk is reached for (as are earplugs) and it may very well be reached but if so, so far as the singer is concerned, it's a lucky grab. But hey, again, the two-man band?  Superb.

Well, yeah, we're packed in here now, as well we should be. I've bounced into friends we're all hyped up and ready to bang shoulders together

So we start with a squall,.a playful, kinda quiet one but a squall. But within seconds we're in pop-punk city and it doesn't have to go very far before this formulation of occurs: Slade doing Buzzcocks. It's an equation that won't leave me the rest of the night. Weird thing? They're not, of course, British, but hail from sunny, cementy Hawthorne, California and wear the hippie tresses to prove it. With that in mind, come to think of it, power pop skate punk may also well suffice.

Without a doubt a heritage band, of sorts, but the thing is there's just too much of a sharp (though non-threatening) edge to them to ever end up at Spirit Mountain. They especially escape falling into such a fate since they're, y'know, still putting out new material though in truth it doesn't very wildly from what made their reputation in the first place over 30 years ago. The slightly cartoonish image their music portends, that initially made me shy away all those years ago, is actually they're most enduring charm. You don't come to a Red Cross show looking for enlightenment, you come for a rockin punkish good time and you most certainly get it, in spades, in surges, from the rafters to the soles of your feet. In the end, respect.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

CLUBLAND! MusicFestNorthWest edition

Heads up, everyone!! I'm soon off into the night for the first night of MusicFestNorthWest (henceforth always shortened to MFNW). Easing into it tonight with a show at Dante's (hoping it's not too packed by the time I get there) but more than anything else, just wanted to alert everyone that KZME is ON THE JOB, BOB!! Stay tuned, my friends, and wish me luck. It's six nights of music on the fly, I'll do my utmost to bring you on-the-scene reporting (though, to be fair, posts will appear the morning after) that's rich in detail and puts you as THERE as there can be. Until tomorrow then...