Thursday, September 30, 2010

Setlist: Arcade Fire, Portland

Memorial Coliseum, Portland
Thursday, September 30th, 2010

1. Ready To Start
2. Month of May
3. Neighborhood #2 (Laika)
4. No Cars Go
5. Haiti
6. Sprawl 2 (Mountains Beyond Mountains)
7. Crown of Love
8. Modern Man
9. Rococo
10. The Suburbs (ending with Suburbs Continued)
11. Oceans of Noise (with Calexico trumpets at the end)
12. Neighborhood #1 (Tunnels)
13. Intervention
14. We Used To Wait
15. Neighborhood #3 (Power Out) -------->
16. Rebellion (Lies)

17. Keep The Car Running
18. Wake Up

New Shows: Passion Pit, Brandi Carlile, Amadan

Passion Pit

They sure have been touring. This will be their third Portland show in the past year, and they played the last two Sasquatch Festivals. Maybe they understand their flash-in-the-pan potential? Synth made a comeback, but it won't be around forever, right?

Watch out for the Chads. They will be in full force. Live review from their most recent stop in Portland here.

Crystal Ballroom, Portland
Wednesday, December 1st, 2010
Tickets go on sale Friday, October 8th, at 10:00 a.m.


Brandi Carlile

Aladdin Theater, Portland
Friday, December 31st, 2010
Tickets go on sale Friday, October 15th, at 11:00 a.m.



Wonder Ballroom, Portland
Friday, November 19th, 2010
Tickets go on sale Saturday, October 2nd at 10:00 a.m.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

New Shows: X, Lyrics Born, Les Savy Fav, Eisley


Not the XX. Sit back down emo kids.

Roseland, Portland
Saturday, January 1st, 2011
Tickets go on sale Friday, October 1st at 10:00 a.m.


Lyrics Born

Dante's, Portland
Friday, November 5th, 2010


Les Savy Fav

Wonder Ballroom, Portland
Saturday, December 4th, 2010

Tickets go on sale Friday, October 1st at 10:00 a.m.



Wonder Ballroom, Portland
Saturday, November 13th, 2010

Tickets go on sale Saturday, October 2nd at 10:00 a.m.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Live Review: Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band

Dante's, Portland
Friday, September 24th, 2010

Have you ever had scary looking folkster snarl at you while playing a bad-ass guitar? I hadn't either. Sir, you seem like the nicest guy in the world, but you still scare me.

Since most of you have never heard of this band, they are pretty simple to explain. Paul Bunyun traded his axe for a guitar and is joined by his wife playing the washboard, and a drummer who looks a bit like Joe Dirt after spending 21 days eating Voodoo maple bacon bars. They play a blend of blues, folk, and country, and are known for their entertaining song topics and shoutalongable lyrics.

Case in point, the second song of the set called, "Mama's Fried Potatoes," wherein the lyrics state, "I want to thank you all for the food you made us, but it doesn't hold a can to mama's friend potatoes," with the crowd screaming along to the lyric "fried potatoes." They later played, "Your Cousin's On Cops," which apparently is based on a true story, which makes the song about three levels higher on the hilarity scale. They are from Indiana after all, and I'm pretty sure the show "Cops" starting down south.

The Rev's unique booming voice, coupled with his guitar skills (including the slide) dominates the show. He has a signature move with the slide in which he uses the "woop, woop, woooooooh" to finish many solos, ala Zakk Wylde's scream on Ozzy's post Rhodes hits. Does it get old live, maybe a bit, but it's still entertaining, like when someone uses the same pick up line over and over, yet it works. I prefer the, "I can tell by the way you ordered your drink that you can't beat me in a thumb wrestling match, you love Justin Beiber, and your favorite color is grape." No need to break the ice when you can smash it (readers booing loudly). Okay, tough crowd. Moving on.

In between songs, The Rev talked about a review of a recent show that was sent to his publicist saying really nice things about the band, but claiming his beard was fake. I'm writing a review I won't send to his publicist, but my first thought about his beard was "epic." It's so epic, he asked a couple people in the front of the crowd to stroke it to validate is authenticity.

I think whoever wrote that review was a lot nicer than I am, because I owe it to my three fans to be honest. This band is extremely entertaining live, but is not one you want to spent two hours listening to, or watching. A 45 minute show will more than showcase everything they have to offer (so far), because they lose some of their dynamic after an hour.

They made up for any downtime at the end of their set, including a washboard solo. There is something inherently awesome about a washboard solo, right? Watching her play the instrument brought me back to the days in which my mother would rub my back and sing me to sleep, but in a non-boring way. To cement her status as one of the baddest washboard players alive, she lit the instrument on fire during the encore finale, "Two Bottles Of Wine," while the crowd chanted along to the chorus. And Rev, I mean this as a compliment, not a pass at your wife, because as mentioned earlier, you scare the shit out of me.

New Shows: Joe Satriani, Tricky, Rockapella, J. Cole, Mt. St. Helens Vietnam Band

Joe Satriani

Roseland, Portland
Tuesday, January 11th, 2011
$35 GA, $55 Balcony Reserved
Tickets go on sale Friday, October 1st, at 10:00 a.m.



Tricky likes his fans, in a drug induced sort of way. If you are interested in awkward man hugs with shirtless sweaty dudes, it only costs $23.

Doug Fir, Portland
Sunday, December 19th, 2010



Barry Cole (or B. Cole as I like to call him) to this day easily has the best bass voice I've heard. Born it Portland, he is no longer a member of the band, but it's worth pointing out. Listen to the first couple seconds of "Zombie Jamborie," and you'll know what I'm talking about.

Then again, you've probably heard of Where In The World Is Carmen Sandiego, so this band isn't new to you. I've been listening to them since grade school as well.

Aladdin, Portland
Wednesday, January 16th, 2011
Tickets go on sale Friday, October 1st, at 10:00 a.m.


J. Cole

Or Jermaine Cole as I like to call him. Wait, I'm getting confused again. This guy sings hip hop, right? Does he have a deep voice?

Roseland, Portland
Thursday, November 25th, 2010
Tickets go on sale Wednesday, October 6th, at 10:00 a.m.


Mt. St. Helens Vietnam Band

I'll still give this band credit for being available at the last second for Sasquatch 2010, and a great replacement at that (since I find the act they replaced thoroughly annoying). Sure it's like not being invited to an exclusive party, then sitting at home by the phone waiting in case they change their mind, but still.

I like their sound, they're probably just missing a couple catchy tunes to hit it big. This could be a good thing or a bad thing?

Mississippi Studios, Portland
Friday, December 3rd, 2010
Tickets on sale Saturday, October 2nd, at 10:00 a.m.

Friday, September 24, 2010

New Shows: Deicide, Wild Flag, Matthew Dear, Weinland, Freelance Whales


Hawthorne Theater, Portland
Saturday, March 5th, 2011


Wild Flag

New local supergroup consisting of Carrie Brownstein (Sleater-Kinney), Mary Timony (Helium), Janet Weiss (Sleeter-Kinney, Quasi, Jicks), and Rebecca Cole (Minders).

Doug Fir, Portland
Saturday, November 13th, 2010
Tickets go on sale Saturday, September 25th, at 10:00 a.m.


Matthew Dear

Holocene, Portland
Monday, November 8th, 2010
$12 ($14 day of the show)


Weinland's New Year's Eve Supergroup (w/Sallie Ford & The Sound Outside)

Doug Fir, Portland
Friday, December 31st, 2010


Freelance Whales

Doug Fir, Portland
Sunday, November 21st, 2010

Thursday, September 23, 2010

For Sale: Arcade Fire GA Floor Ticket at Face ($50)

I recently made the decision that I like beer more than my would be date (beer may have been involved). If you want to pay me half a C note to get me drunk, I'll provide you the opportunity to see Arcade Fire up close. It's a pretty even trade monetarily, but you end up with a potentially life changing experience, and I end up with a hangover.

It's a hard ticket, and with fees, it cost $51, give or take a couple pennies. If interested, send me an email at Pick up near downtown.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

For Sale: Black Keys Ticket at Face ($30)

Black Keys at the Crystal Ballroom, Tuesday, October 5th. If you are interested, email me at Apparently, there are a bunch of shitfucks out there trying to sell their tickets for $50 to $100 per.

I won't be able to meet up until this weekend, so I likely won't reply to the winner until Thursday.
Also, I don't necessarily subscribe to the first come first serve theory. I don't like scalpers, and those are usually the first to reply. I will however give preference to the early birds in the event a tie breaker is needed.

You also need to be willing to pick up the ticket. I'm not driving to Salem or Vancouver to deliver this. I live near downtown.

New Shows: M.I.A., Twiztid, Lucero


Um, yeah.

Roseland, Portland
Monday, October 18th, 2010
Tickets go on sale Wednesday, September 22nd at 9:00 a.m.



Um, yeah.

Roseland, Portland
Friday, November 12th, 2010
Tickets go on sale Wednesday, September 22nd at 10:00 a.m.



Um, why not?

Berbattis Pan, Portland
Friday, December 4th, 2010
Ticket information not available

Monday, September 20, 2010

New Shows: Willy Porter, Best Coast, Toro Y Moi

Willy Porter

Aladdin Theater, Portland
Saturday, November 20th, 2010
Tickets go on sale Friday, September 24th at 11:00 a.m.


Best Coast

Holocene, Portland
Thursday, October 28th, 2010
$12 ($14 day of the show)


Toro Y Moi (w/Nosaj Thing)

Holocene, Portland
Monday, November 15th, 2010

Archive: Album Reviews

MGMT - Congratulations
The National - High Violet

Friday, September 17, 2010

New Shows: Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Marnie Stern, Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti, Bob Mould

Godspeed You! Black Emperor

Wow, I never thought they would reunite. Today is a good day.

Crystal Ballroom, Portland
Friday, February 18th, 2011
Tickets on sale Friday, October 1st at 12:00 p.m.


Marnie Stern

Guitar goddess for $10? I'm really surprised she is playing such a small venue for so little. I would vote, "can't miss."

Mississippi Studios
Friday, November 5th, 2010
$10 ($12 day of the show)


Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti (w/Os Mutantes)

Is Ariel Pink THE definition of a hipster band? What, you've never heard of him, you are like, so totally lame. What a strange pairing, seeing as how Os Mutantes are older than most hipsters' grandparents.

Prediction #1: There will be no chanting, howling, or clapping. At the conclusion of each track, the crowd will simply flash a glance and a head nod of approval towards each other.

Prediction #2: There will be at least twelve collisions between hipsters who have yet to figure out sunglasses don't work well in dark venues.

Prediction #3: No fun will be had, unless someone shows up wearing a flannel.

I should say, Ariel Pink sold out the Doug Fir a couple months ago, so if you really want to catch this, you might want to purchase early.

Berbati's Pan, Portland
Sunday, November 28th, 2010


Bob Mould

Mississippi Studios, Portland
Saturday, December 4th, 2010
$18 ($20 day of the show)

Thursday, September 16, 2010

New Shows: Donavon Frankenreiter, Joan Osborne, The Dandy Warhols, The Heavy, Mayer Hawthorne & the County

Donavon Frankenreiter

Crystal Ballroom, Portland
Saturday, November 6th, 2010
Tickets go on sale Saturday, September 18th, at 10:00 a.m.


Joan Osborne (Acoustic Duo)

While most think she's another pop star, she's actually a switch hitting hippie hickster (don't look that phrase up).

Her smash hit "One Of Us," has served it's purpose way too many times. "What if god was one of us? [yawn] Just a slob [yaaaaaaaawn] stranger, bus, god, one.....zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz."

Aladdin Theater, Portland
Friday, October 29th, 2010
Tickets go on sale Friday, September 17th, at 11:00 a.m.


The Dandly Warhols

Crystal Ballroom, Portland
Sunday, December 12th, 2010
Tickets go on sale Saturday, September 18th, at 10:00 a.m.


The Heavy

Now that "How You Like Me Now?" is no longer the most played out song in the history of commercial television, it's okay to listen to it again. This band has one hit wonder written all over them, although I hope I'm wrong. Dude has too good of a voice to go away so soon.

Wonder Ballroom, Portland
Thursday, November 4th, 2010
Tickets go on sale Saturday, September 18th, at 10:00 a.m.


Mayer Hawthorne & The County

Live review from their show earlier this year here.

Aladdin Theater, Portland
Tuesday, November 9th, 2010
Tickets go on sale Friday, September 17th, at 12:00 p.m.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

MusicFest NW Live Review

MusicFestNW 2010: The Year of the Mustache and Crowdsurfers

I've been to a lot of shows lately, and a lot of hipster shows, but I don't recall seeing this many mustaches in such a short period of time, ever? The crowd surfing was at an all-time high as well. I guess this should be attributed to the youth of the crowds, eager to get as much music as their relatively cheap wristband would allow.

This post represents some highlights and memorable moments, not a review of every band I caught.

Panda Bear

One of the best parts of this show was how loud it was. I've seen drunken MusicfestNW fans completely ruin shows at the same venue (mainly M. Ward a couple years ago) due to lack of interest in the music, and an obsessive interest in getting drunk and bullshitting loudly with their friends. Even the mentality of these drunksters were thrown a curveball by the amazing graphics appearing on the screen behind Panda Bear. It's like watching TV, but with loud mellow melodic tunes, accompanying images of a couple fucking on a ferris wheel and other oddities. I wasn't even on drugs, but found the visuals breathtaking at times.

Panda Bear played two Animal Collective songs from Merriweather Post Pavillion (well, at least part of one song), and another Animal Collective song from their recent EP Fall Be Kind. Panda's "Comfy in Nautica" was easily the song causing the largest smiles, which makes me smile just thinking about it. The new songs off his forthcoming album Tomboy seemed more beat driven. I'm thinking Tomboy will be much different than his 2008 classic Person Pitch, and probably in an amazingly good way.

Wonder Ballroom Staff - Classless/Mentally Challenged/Pricks

Is it believable that the Wonder Ballroom staff would incorrectly turn away half the people waiting in line when the doors opened? It happened.

I showed up early to guarantee entrance. The line was pretty short, only about 20 people in front of me. After waiting for 20 minutes for the doors to officially open, the Wonder Ballroom staff came out and notified everyone that entry with a white (general) wristband would not be allowed. One now ex-patron asked, "since when?" "It's always been like that," was the staff reply. How could I have blatantly misread the MusicFestNW website and overlook this rule?

Since there was less than 100 people there (half already turned away), and the show didn't start for an hour, I took off on foot hoping to find a bus to take me downtown. I had left my car at home knowing I was going to be drinking, so my options getting to Jackpot Records and back were limited. Long story short, it took me a little over an hour to get downtown and back, free Jackpot Records ticket in hand. Upon re-entry, I noticed they were allowing people in with white wristbands. I asked why I was turned away, and was belligerently told, "there was confusion earlier."

Look, I respect the fact you choose to employ workers who are mentally challenged, I even find it admirable to give them such an opportunity. But allowing these same mentally challenged employees to decide who is allowed in is ludicrous.

It's not over; the concept of a stamp at a concert is not new. Typically, when your ticket is torn or scanned, you are offered a stamp, which allows you re-entry. When I went outside for some fresh air after the first act, I was assured by the stamp guy I would get back in with the stamp. Ten minutes later, I walk up to the entrance, flash my stamp, and was pointed to the line. I said, "really, I asked the guy up there before I left, he said the stamp guarantees re-entry. "Well I guess you got lucky then," was the reply, (referring to the lack of line). Yes , luck is definitely on my side this afternoon.

Dude, I get it, you've worked hard in your life to put yourself in a position where you can work the front door of a venue, and be prick to patrons. It boosts your low self esteem, and makes you feel empowered. Since the line ended up being empty, he was basically telling me to walk 30 feet away from the front door, around a couple people smoking cigarettes by a tree, and back the same 30 feet to get in. Should I pat my head and rub my belly while I'm at it? At this point, I'm willing to play dead as well, as long as you pat me on the head and say, "good boy."

I don't think I've ever issued a formal complaint to a business regarding anything, but I felt the need to voice my concern over this experience. I sent an email that night. Do you think they ever replied? Next time you are at the Wonder Ballroom, and you see a relatively tall guy wearing a tee shirt that says, "The Wonder Ballroom Blows" in big block letters on the back, come introduce yourself to me.


The reason I showed up to the Wonder Ballroom so early. I can't say enough good things about this duo. The last time they were through town, I reviewed their performance here. Their show on this evening was a couple songs longer, which made me a bit giddy. You have another chance to see them live Wednesday, October 13th, at the Mississippi Studios. It's only $13, and I guarantee you'll enjoy the show. Just go.

Setlist (I did this from memory after the show, so it might not be 100%, but it's very close):

1. As Far As I Can See
2. Let Me Go
3. Mouthful Of Diamonds
4. Running From the Cops
5. You Are The Ocean
6. Make A Fist (New Song)
7. Turn It Off
8. Bloody Palms
9. All Dried Up
10. When I'm Small

Ra Ra Riot

If a tree falls in the forest, and the lead singer of Ra Ra Riot switched places with Ezra Koenig, would anyone notice? I'm going to keep this rated PG by saying cellist Alexandra Lawn looked like she was "dancing with" her instrument.

The Leaders

Note to guitar player, you were shredding the shit out of that guitar. Internet high five. Do you guys really play at the Double Dribble, or was that a joke?

Major Lazer

Part dance party, part nudity, part stunt, part sexual assault, part gymnastics, part drug induced energy, part sweaty mess, and complete insanity. Diplo ran the music wearing a dapper suit, while cheerleader dude and his dancing partner ran around stage singing, leading chants, and performing acrobatic dance moves, which occasionally included pelvic thrusts, violent sex acts, and a ladder to jump off of just for fun. This was one of the liveliest crowds I've ever seen. It was really tough to find more than two or three people standing still, and I'm including the balcony. I also must congratulate the Roseland for not allowing an extra couple hundred fans over capacity like they've done at MusicFestNW in the past. By the time the show started, they were no longer allowing regular wristband entry, yet the venue was not at capacity. Simply awesome.

I have to give props to the crowd surfer who continually did somersaults back and forth. I've seen some cool crowd surfers, but this guy takes the cake. He must have gotten in eight somersaults before hitting the ground. I also witnessed a rather hilarious exchange between a staff member and a patron who was holding two beers standing on the stairs (leading up to the over 21 balcony). He was asked to move, and when he wouldn't, the Roseland employee grabbed both of the guy's beers throwing them to the ground on the stairs (while our favorite ID checker lady was left to towel up the mess?) I felt a bit bad for the guy having $10 worth of beer yanked from his hand, but seriously, what were you doing there in the first place? Beer is only allowed upstairs. You can't stand on the stairs in a fire-lane with two full beers? It's either up or down, and beers are not allowed down.

One highlight was when "about six" women from the crowd were asked to dance on stage. There were more like 25 half naked sweaty females bumpin', a couple looking way too hofessional to be random audience members. Then there was the scantily dressed heavy-set woman who was immediately picked up my the male cheerleader, with her legs wrapped around his waist. Enter your own stereotypical joke here.


The lead singer doesn't fit the mold of metal front man, looking more like the friendly comedic big guy every knows. Then he started singing, and his intense glare while screaming was enough to insight nightmares. I guess I don't go to enough metal shows anymore, which needs to change, but I thought the 80s hair metal hairdo was no longer in style? The other guitar player and bass player were both rocking the Dave Mustaine flowing mane.

Tallest Man on Earth

The only excuse for missing this free 2:30 p.m. live radio show at the Doug Fir is having a job (with no time off). The Fir was completely full, with a conglomerate of people standing in the stairwell trying to get in. He put on a great performance, as usual, playing two news songs, plus immediate classics, "The Gardner" and "King Of Spain." Another classic "Love Is All" was the opener. His hand slipped off the guitar halfway through the song, leading to him flashing the "shoosh" sign to the crowd, and starting up the song about seven seconds later. It was obviously not planned, since this is one of his more sentimental songs, but he pulled off it off, turning this mistake into a highlight of the show.

He has always been a quick witted character performing live, so this was nothing new. He continually joked about how embarrassing that moment was. He also joked about encouraging the crowd to make noise by saying, "this is live radio, here's your chance." 30 minutes is never enough time to catch Kristian Mattson doing his thing, but it served as enough of a reminder why I wouldn't recommend missing his next show in town. Live review to his spring show in Portland here.

Surfer Blood

While the band looked like a couple nerds and frat boys (and one hippie), I was impressed by the dual percussion and the lead singers talent and stage presence. He may have looked a bit strange constantly swinging his shoulders back and forth like a Disney "It's A Small World," robot, but we're not scoring dance movements here. It's always intriguing seeing a somewhat mellow indie rock band for the first time, and how their performance translates live. What got me is the power behind the vocals, and occasional screams which rarely occurred on their album. His voice is really strong, the type of guy you don't want to live next door to at a cheap apartment.

They finished the set with two of my favorites, "Swim" and an extended version of "Anchorage" with a jam at the end featuring massive reverb, while the rest of the band slowly exited the stage. The song ended with the lead singer/guitar player laying on his back in the middle of the stage still playing the guitar. I'm still a bit curious how he was able to put on such a lively performance while wearing a rather thick jacket?

These guys are apparently pretty big these days. After the show, most of the nearly packed house exited, and the venue was at half capacity for the Black Lips show. I definitely was impressed, and look forward to catching them again in the future.

Morning Teleportation

A messy entertaining set, featuring extensive movements by the band members. I was amazed by the crowd energy, making me wonder if this band is completely blowing up, or if everyone was high as shit thinking they were watching Man Man?

Man Man

I'm not going to even attempt to explain how talented and entertaining this band is, or how ridiculously hot this venue was. I left soaked.

The Gories

One of my favorite sets of the weekend. What a contrast in styles between the two singers, but their energetic guitar playing unified the effort regardless of who was singing. Watching Mick Collins light gray tee shirt gradually turn to sweat covered dark gray throughout the night was a tribute to the effort put forth.

I do wonder about the drummer though. She played the exact same beat for 98% of the show, playing back to back songs without mixing it up once. It was a very remedial beat as well. I guess that's her style? Had she yawned a couple times , it wouldn't have surprised me one bit.

I guess I'm being picky though. Collins and Dan Kroha could have been backed by a flautist with a cow bell, and the show would have been just as great.

The Builders & The Butchers

The B&Bs are just fun live, that's all there is to it. Their songs/lyrics are cool, their antics are cool, they are extremely appreciative of each fan/attendee, and they play well. The best part, no one sounds remotely like the B&Bs. They own their sound. Thanks for playing until 2:30 a.m., that made for the perfect ending to a long day.

The Walkmen

While some vocalists make singing look easy, Hamilton Leithauser looks like he is bench pressing double his weight when pounding out his lyrics. The band's music is pretty mellow, focusing on Hamilton's voice as the life of the party, but it works. While my favorites "The Rat" and "In the New Year" stood out as highlights, their new songs were outstanding, especially "Victory." And it was.

The National

Live review of the Marymoor Park and Pioneer Square shows coming soon. For now, here is their Pioneer Square setlist, closing out MusicFestNW.

1. Runaway
2. Anyone's Ghost
3. Mistaken For Strangers
4. Bloodbuzz Ohio
5. Slow Show
6. Squalor Victoria
7. Afraid of Everyone
8. Available (with extended ending)
9. Conversation 16
10. Apartment Story
11. Abel
12. Daughters of the Soho Riots
13. England
14. Fake Empire


15. Vanderlyle Crybaby Geeks
16. Secret Meeting
17. Mr. November
18. Terrible Love

Saturday, September 11, 2010

New Shows: DJ Shadow, Lifehouse, Gift of Gab, Phantogram, Die Antwoord

DJ Shadow

Roseland, Portland
Wednesday, October 27th, 2010
Tickets go on sale Wednesday, September 15th, at 9:00 a.m.



Lucky them, hitting it big with the song, "Hanging By A Moment" in the early aughts. I'll admit, I still dig that song. Their music is geared towards businessmen and soccer moms who can afford $30 for a night of bubblegum guitar pop.

Roseland, Portland
Wednesday, November 24th, 2010
Tickets go on sale Wednesday, September 15th, at 9:00 a.m.


Gift of Gab

Front man of the duo Blackalicious. He is one of the fastest rappers alive, and one of my favorite hip hop performers. What a cool venue to catch him at.

Doug Fir, Portland
Thursday, October 7th, 2010



Mississippi Studios, Portland
Wednesday, October 13th, 2010


Die Antwoord

I still can't figure out if this band is a joke, or why people like them. There is definitely internet buzz surrounding them, but could they even sell out the Doug Fir at this point? I almost want to go just to brag about seeing the smallest crowd in the history of the Crystal Ballroom, or to be extremely surprised by a bunch of weird fuckers who made it a point to attend. Maybe I'm underestimating their worth?

Crystal Ballroom, Portland
Thursday, October 14th, 2010

Friday, September 10, 2010

Holy Shit: Leonard Cohen Hits Portland

Leonard Cohen

Following his tour in 1994, Cohen spent the rest of the decade in seclusion at a monastary near Los Angeles. At that point, already in his sixties, it seemed safe to say we would never get the opportunity to see him perform again. Playing music in front of 10,000 people is about as opposite of seclusion as you can get.

In 2008, he returned to touring. It was speculated the reason for his return was financially driven. His former manager apparently drained his retirement fund. He has played shows all over the globe, yet a Portland appearance seemed unlikely. He's too big for Portland, right? Thankfully, the answer is no. I'm still amazed this is actually happening. All the huge names skip Portland.

Even at the age of 75, his voice is still as good as it ever was. Listening to Cohen speak has the ability to send chills down the spine, but singing, oh my. How does he have it in him to routinely perform three hour sets? I dare you to listen to his recently released Live In London album without tagging this show a must see.

Rose Garden Theater of the Clouds, Portland
Wednesday, December 8th, 2010
$49.50 to $250
Tickets on sale Saturday, September 25th at 10:00 a.m.

New Shows: Gordon Lightfoot, GWAR, Brandon Flowers, K'Naan

Gordon Lightfoot

Arlene Schnitzer, Portland
Wednesday, November 3rd, 2010
Tickets go on sale Friday, September 10th at 10:00 a.m.



Roseland, Portland
Friday, November 26th, 2010
Tickets go on sale Wednesday, September 15th at 10:00 a.m.


Brandon Flowers

I'm not sure the Roseland is big enough to contain the lead singer of the Killers ego.

Roseland, Portland
Saturday, November 13th, 2010
Tickets go on sale Wednesday, September 15th at 10:00 a.m.



Roseland, Portland
Friday, October 29th, 2010
Tickets go on sale Friday, September 17th at 9:00 a.m.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Live Review: Pavement/Quasi

Quasi: Local Heroes

This was a wildly entertaining show. The lead singer/guitar/keyboard player didn't have the greatest balance, as his attempts at standing on the amp didn't last long, stumbling back to the stage each time.

The first song, his guitar strap fell off, which led him to shredding on the guitar while trying to keep it elevated propping it up against his leg. The second song, he lost his balance on the amp, and knocked over his mic while almost falling down. He did a good job trying to remount his mic while playing and singing.

He eventually took off his sunglasses to reveal the crazy eyes. Dude is pretty strange, and didn't seem to care what the crowd thought, but was still putting on a memorable show regardless. His keyboard was enclosed by a wooden homemade shell with the stensiled words, "Fragile Musical Instrument," spray painted on the wood. It wasn't too fragile though, as he continually smashed his fists, right foot, and head on the keys, including an impressive trill with his forehead. Outside of the insanity Harry Connick Jr. has exhibited on the piano, this was about as memorable as it gets with the keys. I had a headache just watching it.

Quasi played a set heavy on their recent album, American Gong, while playing a couple older classics. The hipsters didn't seem to care, and I was surprised at the lack of interest for this set. They were much more entertaining than I've seen them in the past.

Pavement 2010: The "If You Still Have Hair, Flaunt It, If Not, Wear A Hat" Tour.

I'll first say I was not listening to Pavement in the 90s, so I had never seen them live before this year's Sasquatch. Virtually everything I've read about their performances include the word "sloppy," which is how the die hard Pavement fans prefer it. Their performance at Sasquatch was just that, which I described as "sloppy, but endearing, like when your girlfriend drinks one too many glasses of wine, and can't stop laughing, even after falling down." Pavement had played at Primavera in Spain three days prior, and were suffering from jet lag and an possibly intoxicated Malkmus celebrating his birthday. The internet argument about the worth of the show that ensued was either, "One of the greatest shows I've ever seen," or "one of the most painful experiences outside of getting a root canal."

But to the chagrin of the Pavement die-hards, "sloppy" never happened. If anything I was amazed at how tight they were. They opened with the song recently named the top track of the 90's by, "Gold Soundz", then into "Shady Lane," and "Silent Kit." After "Kennel District," my first highlight and lowlight occured simultaneously with the song "Unfair." I was in the middle of the crowd about 20 feet back from the stage, so I started thinking a mosh pit would break out during the chorus, but that didn't come close to happening (more on this later). I was just about to go apeshit over Malkmus screaming the chorus, but Bob Nastanovich sang it instead, creating disappointment to the eighth degree (thus the lowlight).

The biggest highlight came when they played "Conduit For Sale," which immediately made me think there is no way Malkmus could have pulled this song off at Sasquatch. The lyrics are fast and technical, and he nailed it, all while Nastanovich screamed "I'm Tryin, I'm Tryin, I'm Tryin, I'm Tryin."

What makes a good show great? The crowd getting into it is usually the answer, which is why this show didn't completely blow my mind. First, there were about 2,000 people, less than half the venue capacity, and hipsters were everywhere. Part of being a hipster is emiting the essence of cool and uninterested. Therefore, dancing, singing along, pumping your fist, and jumping around like a madman is very un-hipster, and it might mess up their hair. Mentally, they are the photographic image of cool, meaning they only look cool in picture form. Movement creates the opposite of their desired effect.

There were people still jumping around and singing along, but not as prevalent as one should expect from such a performance. They were at least less disruptive than during the opener, where groups of hipsters were cracking mildly humorous comments about the show, ala Mystery Science Theater 3000. I get it, you think you are interesting, so loud conversations in public places is your canvas to show everyone within listening distance how interesting you think you are.

I think I'm interesting too, but rather than ruin everyone's time who is trying to watch the show, I write about it on a blog. I need to learn more about what motivates hipsters (besides coffee). If you are a hipster, and would like to have witty conversations in which we try to outdo each other with our coolness, send me an email at Wait, I forgot, hipsters won't admit they are hipsters. This won't work.

Back to the music part of the reviews, Stephen Malkmus' banter between songs has always been tip top. Malkmus poked fun at Scott Kannberg's choice of living in Seattle rather than Portland, and also other bands members for their choice of hotels. This led Nastanovich to start a mini pep rally trying to get everyone from the crowd back to their hotel at the Holiday Inn near the Lloyd Center (room 238?).

Malkmus also made a point to call out the Sasquatch Music Festival. He initially asked who went to Sasquatch to see them, with a small number of people screaming, then went on a rant about how the festival is geared towards high school kids.

He has a right to call out Sasquatch. In 2008, he closed down the second stage with the Jicks, playing after the Kooks, who appeal to a younger crowd, and started 45 minutes late. I suffered through that set just to see Malkmus. The problem with the delay was that Malkmus was now playing opposite the Cure, instead of ending before they started. There were only a couple hundred left when the Cure started.

Fast forward to 2010's Pavement appearance. Pavement was the first band announced as a headliner seven months prior to the festival, and tickets went on sale immediately. Based on the lack of crowd at Edgefield, I'm going to make an educated guess that Pavement was initially billed as a headliner, but when tickets sales were nowhere near expectations, were demoted to opening for Massive Attack. So there you have it, two reasons for Malkmus to be pissed off at Sasquatch, and a good reason why he might never be back.

Overall, it was one of the best performances I've seen this year, but the small crowd, and the lack of crowd interest, drops it down a peg. I rarely listened to Pavement after Sasquatch, yet have spent the last two days listening to nothing but, so if my opinion means anything, I really enjoyed this show, much more than their Sasquatch appearance. I'm sorry to those old school Pavement fans who wanted a "sloppy" show, but this was the Pavement show the non-hipsters wanted to see. Why be sloppy when you can be great?


1. Gold Soundz
2. Shady Lane
3. Silent Kit
4. Kennel District
5. Unfair (Highlight)
6. Perfume-V
7. Shoot the Singer
8. In the Mouth A Desert
9. Cut Your Hair (Highlight)
10. Grounded
11. Box Elder
12. Date With Ikea
13. Stop Breathin' (Highlight)
14. Stereo
15. Frontwards
16. Fight This Generation
17. Conduit For Sale (Highlight)
18. Spitting On A Stranger
19. Starlings Of the Stripstream (Highlight)
20. Trigger Cut
21. Here
22. Fin
23. Two States

24. And Then
25. We Dance
26. Range Life (Highlight)

New Shows: Danzig, Liz Phair, Mike Gordon, Robyn, Horse Feathers


Blackest of the Black 2010 tour. More acts to be announced.

Roseland, Portland
Tuesday, November 16th, 2010


Liz Phair

Doug Fir, Portland
Wednesday, October 13th, 2010
Tickets on sale Saturday, September 11th


Mike Gordon

Bassist for Phish. Phish tends to have a devoted following, so get your tickets early. In fact, you can purchase them right now at his website (will call only).

Aladdin Theater, Portland
Monday, November 8th, 2010
Tickets go on sale Friday, September 17th, at 11:00 a.m.



Wonder Ballroom, Portland
Saturday, November 20th, 2010
Tickets on sale Friday, September 10th, at 10:00 a.m.


Horse Feathers (Two Shows)

Doug Fir, Portland
Friday and Saturday, December 3rd & 4th, 2010
Tickets go on sale Saturday, September 11th

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

MusicFestNW Preview

On the eve of the most exciting musical occurrence in Portland, let's first discuss the logistics of the festival, which is common knowledge to many, but if you've never been, you don't know, so...

The most important point some don't realize until they stand in line for a couple hours is this; your wristband only guarantees no cover for a show. If that show is at capacity, it is one in, one out. This means you have to pray someone passes out, gets in a fight, or decides to leave early in order to get in the venue. If you have tons of time to kill, show up really early, and you should get in. Even the sold out shows will allow a couple hundred wrist band holders in.

The VIP pass guarantees entrance to every show, except the Wonder Ballroom Nike shows.

To enter the Wonder Ballroom Nike shows, you need either a regular wristband, or a free ticket from Jackpot Records the day of the show. This isn't really convenient if you have a job, neither is showing up two hours early to guarantee entrance. The Wonder Ballroom holds approximately 800 people, and since the show is free, you likely will not get in casually arriving 15 minutes before your favorite band plays.

With that said, these are the artists I would recommend.


Panda Bear: This is going to be the worst show you've seen all year. Personally, I love Animal Collective, and seeing Panda Bear live is already going to be the highlight of my MusicFestNW. The problem is, there are thousands who own a wristband, and will wait in line because it is the only show Wednesday night. This means many people who don't appreciate Panda Bear's music will infest the Crystal Ballroom. If you like Panda Bear, show up early, and try to get as close to the stage as possible, because if you are anywhere near the back, it will be a bar type atmosphere. Good luck hearing the music then. My advice to non fans, stay home.


Phantogram: One of the best albums of 2010, and one of the hottest females performing this year's festival. Live review here.
Ra Ra Riot: Playing after Phantogram, this band also has a couple extremely attractive females. The Wonder Ballroom is the place to be for the hotties Thursday afternoon.
Ted Leo & the Pharmacists
Mike Coykendall: A giant guitar player in stature, he plays with local hero M. Ward. He is also an extremely nice guy.
Sallie Ford & the Sound Outside: If you live in Portland, you owe it to yourself to check them out live. They are the next big thing. Take advantage of the low cost tickets and smaller crowds while you can.
The Thermals: Another extremely attractive female, and one of the most popular local acts.
Frank Turner
Major Lazor: For all of you EDM fans out there, Diplo is a big name in the electronic field, and he's friends with M.I.A. which means he is a terrible human being. It should still be fun though.
Baroness: One of the great things about this festival is the diversity in musical styles. If there's such thing as dream pop, I think Baroness classifies as dream metal.


Surfer Blood
Black Lips: Known for putting on some of the craziest live shows, including public urination, beer cans being thrown at the crowd and band, and much more debauchery.
Wampire: Whatever I say won't give these crazy fuckers justice.
Mimmicking Birds: Haunting mellow tunes. One of the best singer/songwriters coming out of Portland in the last couple years.
Wiz Khalifa: Another reason to love the diversity of MusicfestNW.
Okkervil River: Will Scheff is easily one of the top five songwriters creating music today. I dare you to listen to the song "Westfall" without falling in love, or wanting to kill someone.
Man Man
Tallest Man On Earth: One of the most recommended acts this weekend. Get there early, the venue only holds 400. Live review here.
The Gories: This is a huge deal in garage rock circles.
The Builders & the Butchers: Alaskan/Portland natives. I'm going to make up another term here, and call them Death/Folk. They are playing really late, so you can stumble into their show after everyone else is done playing. Live review here.


Decemberists: Hate them if you will, but Hazards of Love is one of the bests albums of 2009, and watching them perform the entire album live blew my mind.
Titus Andronicas: If you want some high energy moshing insanity, this is your show.
Menomena: They recently added a fourth member, which is making their shows infinitely better. Each of the three members plays multiple instruments, which is impossible to recreate live, so the fourth really helps. This would be my favorite local band, and one of my all-time favorites.
Portland Cello Project
Sleep (performing Holly Mountain)
Japandroid: Highly recommended. They fucking kill it live.
NoMeansNo: Who likes punk?
Shabazz Palaces: That dude from Digible Planets is making a new name for himself with lo-fi electronic beats, and repetitive lyrics. It's interesting and weird hip hop.


Helio Sequence:
The Walkmen: Not a popular opinion, but I'm looking forward to the Walkmen more than the National. If you are new to the band, check out the songs, "The Rat" and "In the New Year."
The National: Lead singer Matt Berninger has one of the best voices in music today.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Holy Shit: Manu Chao Playing Extremely Rare NW Shows

Manu Chao

Although his popularity in the United States has been minute, Manu Chao is gigantic throughout the rest of the world. His blend of almost every genre possible while singing in several different languages makes his music slightly dis-cohesive, yet extremely unique. I guess the best way to describe it would be Punk/Latin/World Music, with the extra emphasize on Punk. One of his biggest influences after all was the Clash.

I was lucky enough to catch what may have been his only NW performance, at Sasquatch 2007, which was a highlight of the festival. He plays to crowds well over 10,000 outside of the United States, and has played to similarly sized crowds at his most recent U.S. appearances (Lollapalooza, Coachella, Sasquatch, Outside Lands, ACL and Merriweather Post Pavilion). Playing to a max capacity crowd of 1,500 at the Crystal Ballroom is going to be odd.

Crystal Ballroom, Portland
Wednesday, October 13th, 2010
No ticket information available

Paramount Theater, Seattle
Tuesday, October 12th, 2010

Saturday, September 4, 2010

New Shows: Emmylou Harris, Faster Pussycat, Killing Joke, Floater

Emmylou Harris

Crystal Ballroom, Portland
Wednesday, November 3rd, 2010
Tickets go on sale Monday, September 6th, 2010


Faster Pussycat

Berbatis Pan, Portland
Friday, October 29th, 2010
Tickets go on sale Friday, September 10th at 10:00 a.m.


Killing Joke

Wonder Ballroom, Portland
Thursday, December 16th, 2010



Dante's, Portland
Friday, October 1st, 2010