Monday, May 23, 2011

New Shows: James Blake, Duncan Sheik, Montrose, Alkaline Trio

James Blake

Get em while they last, his recent Doug Fir show sold out quick.

Wonder Ballroom, Portland
Friday, September 23rd, 2011
$20 advance, $22 day of the show
Tickets on sale Friday, May 27th, at 10:00 a.m.


Duncan Sheik

Mississippi Studios, Portland
Tuesday, June 28th, 2011



Aladdin, Portland
Sunday, September 18th, 2011
Tickets go on sale Wednesday, May 25th, at 10:00 a.m.


Alkaline Trio

Hawthorne Theatre, Portland
Friday, July 15th, 2011

Friday, May 20, 2011

New Shows: Digitalism/Jack Beats/Caspa, KMFDM, Indie Arie, Darude, Two Gallants

Digitalism (w/Jack Beats & Caspa)

Roseland, Portland
Thursday, August 4th, 2011



Wonder Ballroom, Portland
Thursday, August 4th, 2011
$20 advance, $25 day of the show


Indie Arie (w/Idan Raichel)

Newmark Theater, Portland
Monday, October 10th, 2011
$55 to $68


Darude (w/Randy Boyer)

Roseland, Portland
Saturday, July 9th, 2011


Two Gallants

Mississippi Studios, Portland
Friday, June 24th, 2011

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

MusicFestNW Lineup To Be Announced May 31st, Free Live Music

MusicFestNW is announcing their lineup as part of an evening of music, which includes acts Mad Rad, Wienland, And And And, and The Globes. The event is free, and takes place Tuesday, May 31st at 7pm at the Star Theater. They event is free for those 21 and over, so even if you aren't attending the festival, there's four solid local acts to satisfy your live cravings. Oh yes, I would totally be there, except I'll be recovering from my five day Sasquatch hangover that evening. Come on, really, Sasquatch and MusicFestNW appeal to the same audience. Who attends Sasquatch, drives back to Portland, then goes out that night to see a couple bands? Not me. I'll read about it the next morning.

MusicFestNW 2011 takes place September 7-11, at various locations and venues around Portland. If you are all excited now, and need more hype to hold you over for two weeks, my MusicFestNW 2010 Live Review is located here.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

New Shows: Queens of the Stone Age, Modest Mouse, Montley Crue/Poison/New York Dolls, Cibo Matto, Cold Cave

Queens of the Stone Age

Roseland, Portland
Thursday, July 28th, 2011
Tickets go on sale Friday, May 20th, at 10:00 a.m.


Modest Mouse

Edgefield, Troutdale (OR)
Saturday, July 2nd, 2011
Tickets go on sale Friday, May 20th


Montley Crue (w/Poison and the New York Dolls)

Sleep Country Amphitheater, Ridgefield (WA)
Thursday, August 11th, 2011
$35 to $85
Tickets on sale Saturday, May 21st, at 10:00 a.m.


Cibo Matto

Doug Fir, Portland
Thursday, June 23rd, 2011
Tickets go on sale Friday, May 20th, at 10:00 a.m.


Cold Cave

Doug Fir, Portland
Friday, July 22nd, 2011
$12 advance, $14 day of the show
Tickets go on sale Friday, May 20th, at 10:00 a.m.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

New Shows: Roger Daltrey, Joe Bonamassa, Gillian Welch, ...And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead

Roger Daltrey

Performing Tommy.

Rose Garden Arena, Portland
Monday, October 24th, 2011
$40.50 to $100
Tickets on sale Friday, May 20th


Joe Bonamassa

Arlene Schnitzer, Portland
Wednesday, December 14th, 2011
$49 to $79
Tickets on sale Thursday, June 30th at 10:00 a.m.


Gillian Welch

Roseland, Portland
Tuesday, July 12th, 2011
Tickets on sale Wednesday, May 18th, at 10:00 a.m.


...And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead

One of the greatest band names ever.

Wonder Ballroom, Portland
Monday, June 20th, 2011
No ticket information available

Friday, May 13, 2011

Coachella 2011: Day 1

Before you read this, read my getting there adventure. This is a long story broken up into five parts.

7:30 a.m. Rise and shine. I've already kicked off the blankets, but nothing is going to cool me off except getting out of this tent. It's already that hot. I guess the standard is set, I'll be awake around this time the rest of the festival. That's not very comforting. I guess it's time for breakfast, which means it's time to start drinking all that illegal liquor and beer I smuggled in. You don't actually eat for breakfast at festivals, you wait until you have a nice buzz. Then before you leave for the festival, you throw down whatever you have the energy to make. That's just how it works. I don't make the rules.

Most of the morning is spent looking at the schedule, and discussing which acts are can't misses with my neighbors. The schedule didn't come out until the night before my trip started, so I've had no time to figure it out. My neighbors on all three sides reside in Los Angeles, and don't like guitars. That's another way of saying they are big fans of electronic music. That's cool, because I know a thing or two about almost every non-electronic act on the lineup, so hearing their EDM can't misses helped narrow my focus. For example, one neighbor said Beardyman has only played in the States a couple times. I love the rare, so Beardyman jumps up from a probable to a can't miss.

It's amazing how fast time flies after a couple early morning cocktails. The estimated departure time always sneaks up on me at festivals, even if my departure time isn't until mid afternoon. I end up having the internal argument (and sometimes a verbal argument with others) about going to the festival versus having another couple beers and missing a band or two. Not this weekend though, I have a goal to see the first band playing each day, and staying until the headliners are finished. I'm operating purely my own schedule, so I should be able to attain this goal. Cooking seems like a chore, so I run to the food court and grab a couple pieces of pizza. Then I change my clothes, lock up my gear, and I'm rolling to the festival at 11:30 a.m., half drunk operating on three hours of sleep.

I show up to the front gate, and to my surprise, they still have not let anyone in. Alf Alpha is supposed to start at 11:30, and it is close to 11:45. I hope he saved his good material for the end of his set. Finally, 11:50 rolls through, and the gates open. The security checkers were most concerned about checking bags, so I was able to go around the small crowd of people who beat me there, and was given a brief pat down. The second level security check was a metal detector type entrance you walk through with your arms hanging at your side. This gate scans the bar code on your wristband, and a light turns green notifying the security that you are legit. It's a pretty nifty system actually, high class.

This is my ninth outdoor self-contained festival, yet this is the first time I've arrived as the gates are opening. Being one of the first through security, people started running. There was a sense of, "I have to be the first person there!" I felt it too, so I picked up the pace. I have to be the first one. First one where though?

I trot away from where the music is playing, just to familiarize myself with the venue while it is empty. That's when I stumbled upon a giant silver enclosed room like structure which was referred to as "unlisted" on the map. That must be the Spiritualized exhibit I have been reading about. Apparently it is a room built to experience the song "Ladies And Gentlemen We Are Floating In Space," the opening track off the album with the same name, which happens to be one of my favorite albums of all time. I don't know what this exhibit is all about, but it is already one of my most anticipated activities of the weekend, and I'm the first one there. I briefly speak with the security guard who said it isn't open yet, and to check back in an hour. Crap. As I leave, a chick walks up and asks the question that will be asked 17,483 times over the next 58 hours,"What is this?"

I'm ready to get my Alf on, so I quickly familiarize myself with the stages in a clockwise direction, starting with the Do Lab and Main Stage, then the Outdoor Stage, the Gobi, the Mojave, and finally the Sahara. The Oasis will be seen later. At least I have a general idea of where to get water, where to urinate, where to eat, and where to find shade.

Alright, let's talk some music, FINALLY! Not only did Alf Alpha get the honor of opening the festival, but he was scheduled to play 30 minutes unopposed as well. Whose raver goggles did he polish to land that slot? He's is also backed by a ridiculously cool light show, on par with the lower tier of some of the best light shows I've witnessed. I decide he is the luckiest guy at the festival. The twelve people there are just standing around looking at each other. I know there were twelve because I was just standing around looking at them. He's a DJ. He sounds like a DJ.

After a couple minutes watching Miguel, I realize how cool it is that I made it this early. I would never pay to see Miguel, I don't listen to their music, hell, I don't even know who he or they are, but I am being entertained. They remind me of Morris Day and the Time from the Purple Rain movie, complete with choreographed jumps and dance movements, with the lead singer dancing around a glowing neon mic stand. Speaking of Purple Rain, they did a Prince cover near the end of their set, which is when I left. I am officially in festival mode, and wanted to see what else was going on. I want to see the bands I like, the bands I don't like, the bands I've never heard of, and enough DJs to see if I could tell one from another. I'm not going to catch many full sets today, but I decide I should give each band I see at least two songs or ten minutes before moving on and counting them as a seen act.

Back to the Sahara for Tokimonster. She's a DJ. She sounds like a DJ. Cool light show (again). Hurts are dressed nicely, and they all combed their hair. I remember nothing about New Pants. The Rural Alberta Advantage are Canadian. Hearing the female's heavy accent in the desert was enough for a grin, eh? I caught most of their set, but I didn't leave a fan like everyone said I would. Come to think of it, everyone I know who raves about this band are Canadian. Hmm.

After pounding roughly ten seventeen ounce water bottles over the last two hours, I feel completely sober. I'm not even joking about the excessive amount of water consumption. It was 96 degrees, 30 degrees warmer than I had experienced in the last six months. I was freaked out about staying hydrated (especially after having screwdrivers for breakfast). It felt like the water was my source of energy to survive through this first day on so little sleep. Drinking so much water did backfire slightly. I'm now stopping by the honey buckets every 30 minutes, yet I keep sucking down the water at a vigorous pace.

Dude from Moving Units is overdressed, he looks like he is wearing an over sized costume. People really like this band, they must get radio play. I was really digging Brandt Brauer Frick's music, and stayed for most of their set. It was a mellow electronic type of sound. I’ll have to buy one of their albums. Excision is heeeeeavy on the bass. I think he is only bass actually. It was fun for fifteen minutes, but I'm not high on drugs. Cold Cave, um, no recollection. I think Cold Cave, Moving Units, and Hurts are the same band, at different levels of popularity. Omar Rodriguez-Lopez, you think the lead singer of the Mars Volta is annoying, the dude Omar had singing vocals was much more annoying, but a lot less talented. I couldn't stay at that one long, it was bad.

I've done a lot of walking so far, between filling water bottles, emptying my bladder, and trying to catch every other band on the lineup. It’s 96 degrees, and I’m nearing exhaustion, so I hit the food court, natures energy. I wasn't planning on catching Titus Andronicus (I'll be seeing them in June), but there was no shade near that food court, so I took in a couple of their songs near the back while eating. They seemed less dirty, loud, angry, and unintelligible than the first time I saw them two years ago. They were still pretty dirty, loud, angry, and unintelligible though. "You'll always be a loser," repeated over and over. I love that song, which is oddly named "Titus Andronicus." A lot of people left that show early; they are not for everyone.

Back to the Sahara for Skrillex. Giant crowd, and a killer light show, the best I've seen so far today. One thing I learned this weekend spending so much time with ravers is this, if you want to be taken seriously in this culture, you cannot like Skrillex. It's the equivalent of telling a bunch of indie rockers you are a big Kings of Leon fan. So here I go sacrificing my rave credibility by saying this was a pretty rad show, one of the day's highlights.

Just like Kings of Leon has masses of fans, Skrillex does as well. He only has two Eps and a couple singles out so far, and I've listened to most of his output, yet the crowd was still going crazy whenever he started a new track, as if to say, "YES, I love this song." I was a bit confused because I barely recognized any of them. There is something I'm missing here. Do the ravers have their own EDM radio stations that play Skrillex, or do they spend 80% of their free time parked in front of youtube? My method of merely listening to albums and Eps with headphones is starting to feel a bit old fashion.

The highlight of the show was when the guitarist and the lead singer of Korn came out to play two songs. The second song was Korn's debut single, the one that starts out with Jonathan screaming, "Arrrre Youuuuu Reaaaady?" This caused the fifty of us who remembered when this song came out to start headbanging, while all the teenagers pretended to remain dancing to this not-so-familiar-not-so-electronic tune. I don't know if Skrillex and Korn have collaborated in the past, so this was about as big of a surprise to me as if Jimmy Buffett had joined Skrillex.

During the last song, Skrillex said something along the lines of, "get the ladies up," leading to roughly 200 women (and three men) being hoisted up on the shoulders of their partners. It was like two layers of heads bobbing. I've never seen anything like that before. As awesome as this show was, take away Korn, the lights, and the crowd, and leave just Skrillex playing music for me in a gymnasium, and I would boo him off the stage. He’s kind of a weird looking guy, isn’t much of a performer, and reminds me a lot of the long haired kid from Dazed And Confused who kept tucking his hair back behind his ears four times per scene.

The exchange of Skrillex fans leaving the Sahara and OFWGKTA fans pouring in led to massive congestion with people barely moving in each direction. Let's face it, Skrillex and OFWGKTA don't have a huge crossover fan base. We had plenty of time to sort out the crowd mess because there were technical difficulties leading to Odd Future starting 10+ minutes late. Just for fun, Tyler called the sound engineer an asshole. The show finally started with one of the members of the group sprinting on stage wearing a green mask. The crowd was going absolutely nuts, but it didn't last. I've never seen a couple thousand people with their hands in the air jumping up and down turn into fifty people doing the same so quickly. It took about three minutes. Four minutes later, people started leaving. It was atrocious. I could almost hear one dude rapping, and his flow was outstanding, but his lyrics weren't legible, and the constant hype shouts by the rest of the group made it impossible to hear the featured rapper. The crowd was literally dead after four songs, which is about when I left.

There isn't much I'm interested in for the next couple hours, so I caught Warpaint. I enjoyed some of their recorded material, but left the show with no interest in ever seeing or hearing them again. I then wandered to the main stage to catch Cee-Lo Green, who I've never been into. He played a cover song I don't recall, then a Gnarls Barkley song, then I took off. My short stay led to a conversation I had with a friend the next day. It went something like this:

He: "Did you catch Cee-Lo's set?"
Me: "Not really, I just walked by and caught a couple songs."
He: "He only played a couple songs, I guess they cut him off."
Me: "Yeah, I caught his set."

I heard he started late, then tried to get the crowd to start a chant about how much Coachella sucks? Yeah, pretty bad idea dude. This festival is much bigger than you are. I guess this was the childish whiny bitch hour, because I headed straight to Arial Pink's Haunted Grafitti next. I'm a fan of his music (he was on Animal Collective's label after all), but I never pulled the plug on paying to see him. The show pretty much sucked from the get go, and I almost left after two songs. Pink, or Arial, or lead singer dude, whatever you call him, kept yelling at the sound engineer, staring him down while gesturing he needed the keyboards turned up. Honestly, the keyboard sounded way too loud already, and it sounded like the volume was actually turned down (thankfully) during the tantrum. Then after almost 20 minutes, he announced, "I know you're going to hate me, but we're done playing music," and stormed off the stage.

The rest of the band looked really confused. After an awkward 30 seconds, the drummer ran off stage to retrieve the Sugar Puff. It was obvious the band wanted to continue playing. Why wouldn't they, it's fucking Coachella? The Crying Child was eventually coerced back on stage, and the show continued, sort of. Drama Pumpkin decided he would just nod his head acceptingly with his lips pressed tight instead of singing. The Delicate Flower didn't sing a note for almost three full songs, before surprising those who hadn't left by busting out the final lyric of the second to last song. Sarcastic crowd cheers followed. Some people leaving actually came back to catch the end, which was their hit, "Round and Round." I'm not sure if this was a staged publicity stunt, if the Pooh Bear was wacked out on chemicals, or if he just rationally felt a reason to get pissed off, but he sure lost a lot of fans in the process. I found it much more entertaining when he started acting like a premadonna, so it didn't bother me, it actually kept me from leaving. I felt like I was going to miss something big. It was pretty hilarious hearing the rest of the band complete their backing vocals on each song, while the lead vocals were missing. I doubt I'll ever see that again.

I needed to head back to camp for food and drinks, so I caught a couple songs by
YACHT before leaving. YACHT appeared to be putting on a fantastic show, both musically and showmanship-wise, but knowing I have a chance to see them in a couple weeks had me heading to the exit.

After dinner, and one of the stiffest whiskey/colas I've ever mixed, I was back at the mainstage to catch the very end of Interpol, who played my favorite song "Obstacle 1." The version they play live is vocally different than the album version. This being the fifth time I've seen this song performed, I realized the live version is exactly the same every time. Whatever, I've already beaten that Interpol unoriginality live horse over the years. There's a reason I didn't catch their full set.

Cut Copy was great, one of the few full sets I caught this day. I'm a sucker for electronic music mixed with an actual lead singer. The voice sampling is one of my biggest pet peeves in electronic music these days. The more music you can pull off live, the better. I almost regret missing the beginning of Beardyman, but I was having too much fun at Cut Copy. Just writing this is reminding me how much fun this evening would become, and how most of the festival's highlights occurred on this day, Beardyman being one of them. He is part DJ, part comedian, and part beatboxer, recording his own live sounds and playing them back mixed with electronic beats and heavy bass. He even had a small laser show, which doesn't really work when the smoke is being blown away from the stage. Wind hates smoke/laser shows, or is it the other way around? The comedy was prevalent as he tried to sing popular songs he didn't know the words to, making up his own. He picked a Black Eyed Peas songs saying, "we used to be good, now we suck really bad." The White Stripes' "Seven Nation Army" lyrics were replaced by, "I don't know the words to this song." He took a shot at Kings of Leon as well, singing part of the song "Use Somebody."

Beardyman left me in such a good fun-loving mood, I wasn't ready for musicians who take themselves too seriously. This is why I ended up watching the Aquabats, and loving every second of it. Making fun of Kings of Leon was a popular theme this evening, since they were the headliner of the day. The Aquabats had a couple guests on stage they claimed were the Kings of Leon, then promptly ran them off while making fun of them. For those who don't know, the Aquabats are a band that appeals to children. They dress up as super heroes, play ska type music, and act out various super hero type adventures on stage. When the schedule was release, I was scratching my head as to why they were playing at night? They seemed like the perfect early afternoon band, when there are still kids around. Let's just say Coachella at night is a different beast, not where you want your children. This ended up being the reason the Aquabats fit in so perfect at night. They had to adapt their style from entertaining 11 year old kids, to entertaining a bunch of drugged out adults who were acting like 11 year old kids. Seeing these adults with their eyes glued to the stage and monitors (which were displaying cartoons and trippy children's television images) was a highlight of the day.

During one song, they had caveman villains rush out on stage, and a fight ensued. During the fight, they turned down the tempo of the song to a couple beats per measure while fighting in slow-motion, before speeding up the beat and resuming fighting in regular speed. On another tune, they had a giant inflatable dinosaur attacking, followed by an Aquabat shooting dry ice at the beast to defeat him. The lead singer then said, "looks like the ice has killed the dinosaurs,...again (crowd laughter, applause)." They finished with the catchy as hell song "Luck Dragon Lady," with images of the Never Ending Story displayed on the monitors and a fake dragon running around on stage. The crowd was waving their arms back and forth and singing along. I'm telling you, it was a fucking blast.

Having already gone five minutes over their allotted time, the lead singer joked, "we have two more songs," before laughing and saying they were getting cut off. "Thank you Coachella, we've been practicing really hard to make this dream come true." I really didn't want that show to end, and you can bet I'll be paying to see them again.

Back to the Sahara for another DJ, Sasha. I dug this set. It was much more trancey than everything else I had seen that day. Man the Sahara can feel like being in a blender at times. The light show was a bit more classy, filled with earthy colors, rather than the constant seizure causing bright colors cycling at rapid speeds that defined the Sahara this weekend.

I have read so much about Robyn over the past two years, I knew I would dig her music, but I kept putting off listening to her albums until she appeared on the Sasquatch lineup. It didn't take a full album listen before I was hooked. I love that catchy pop stuff. I grew up listening to Madonna after all, and I'm not afraid to admit it. I didn't plan on catching her at Coachella, but curiosity got the best of me. Robyn is a great dancer, and is in incredible shape to be going through so many dance motions while still singing legible lyrics. I now listen to her albums all the time, and they always make me smile.

Since I had been in a half set mood all day, I decided to split Boys Noize and the Chemical Brothers. The Chemicals were one of my top can't misses, but after hearing Boys Noize was working with the Creators Project, and his production was supposed to be amazing, I had to see it. Boys Noize is one of my favorite EDM artists to listen to, yet I'd never seen him live, so skipping part of the Chemical Brothers didn't seem like too terrible of an idea. I was disappointed though, and left after about 15 minutes. You could actually see most of his body, instead of him being hidden behind a giant box like everyone else, and he was putting on a good performance. That was the good part. The bad part, the lights were too bright, and they weren't colored. They were like, you know, the lights that signal the show is over, but they were flashing. I could see everyone around me because it was too bright. I not a hider at shows, but the reminder that there were hundreds of people standing near me was pretty annoying. I like it being dark at shows.

Now I'm in a rush to the mainstage to catch the rest of the Chemical Brothers, but I got held up at the Gobi where the female choir, the Scala and Kolacny Brothers were performing the Foo Fighters hit, "Everlong." Although I could hear music blaring from virtually every stage at that point, the choir was mic'd up, and it sounded phenominal. Like the Aquabats, I really questioned why the choir wasn't playing early in the day? I thought they would be the first band I would see for weeks. Unlike the Aquabats though, I still don't understand why the choir was playing at midnight? I wanted to stay, but could see the Chemical Brother's light show going off on the main stage behind me, so I continued my trek halfway through their next song.

When I arrived at the Chemical Brothers, they were playing "Horse Power," my favorite song of theirs. I have this weird likeness in which I dig animal sounds in music, especially horse noises. I can't tell you how excited I was that I didn't miss that song. I later found out they started really late (the main stage was running behind), and "Horse Power" was their second song. That means I only missed a couple minutes of their set, while seeing two other bands I really wanted to see. How lucky was that?

I'm not going to dissect the Chemical Brothers set like I've done with virtually every other band so far, I'll just say it was amazing, one of the best light shows I've ever seen. By the time they finished, I was literally exhausted. Based on the lack of crowd leaving the venue at that moment, it appeared everyone else left early. I guess there were more Kings Of Leon fans there this night than I realized.

I started closing my eyes as I was walking back to camp, and nearly fell asleep. Have you ever fallen asleep walking? I managed to stay awake, and crawled in my tent immediately upon returning to camp. Thirteen hours of music beginning to end on three hours of sleep in 96 degree weather left me a pile of wreckage. To my surprise, getting to sleep wasn't that easy. There was a DJ playing about 100 yards from my tent, and that lasted until 3:30 a.m. Everyone was still partying. I slept sparingly for over an hour before passing out for good around 3:45 a.m.

Day Two Coming Soon........

New Shows: Storm Large, BoDeans, Fruition

Storm Large

Aladdin, Portland
Friday, June 10th, 2011
Tickets on sale Saturday, May 14th, at 10:00 a.m.



Crystal Ballroom, Portland
Sunday, July 17th, 2011



I feel like bringing my tiple and playing along whenever I see Fruition.

Doug Fir, Portland
Thursday, June 30th, 2011

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

New Shows: Ray Lamontagne & The Pariah Dogs, Menomena, Badfish

Ray Lamontagne & The Pariah Dogs

Edgefield, Troutdale (OR)
Sunday, September 4th, 2011
$42 to $74



Opening for TV on the Radio

Edgefield, Troutdale (OR)
Friday, July 22nd, 2011
Tickets go on sale Friday, May 13th, at 10:00 a.m.



Sublime Tribute Band. They cost much less than seeing that other Sublime Tribute band fronted by Rome.

Roseland, Portland
Saturday, October 1st, 2011
Tickets go on sale Friday, May 13th, at 10:00 a.m.

Monday, May 9, 2011

For Sale: Sasquatch Four Day Pass for Face ($295)

Some of you pricks are entertaining me with your scalper adds. I feel like I'm watching a furniture infomercial, "get them while they last, my loss is your gain, priced to sell!" You are cheezy and you really fucking suck.

With that said, the anti-scalper is here for you. I have more than one festival pass available for face value, which is $295. The four day pass includes parking and/or camping, so don't let the stingy fucks make you believe you are getting a deal by paying more for this.

My goal is to help everyone I can attend the festival that is the highlight of my year. I write the Sasquatch Blog and I'm a moderator on the Sasquatch Message Board (didn't really plan that well, I was the only applicant), so you should know this festival is pretty important to me. I'm just looking to help out fellow friendly folks (FFFs).

Hard tickets, local pickup, blah blah blah. I live downtown (Portland). Email me at

New Shows: TV On The Radio, Neko Case, Steel Pulse, Jon Anderson

TV On The Radio

Edgefield, Troutdale (OR)
Friday, July 22nd, 2011


Neko Case

Edgefield, Troutdale (OR)
Friday, July 8th, 2011


Steel Pulse

"Back To My Roots." Love that song, my favorite non Bob Marley reggae tune.

Roseland, Portland
Saturday, July 23rd


Jon Anderson

Lead singer of Yes.

Aladdin, Portland
Thursday, July 14th, 2011
$32.50 to $49.50

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Holy Shit: Soundgarden/Queens of the Stone Age/Mastodon/The Meat Puppets (at the Gorge)

Gorge Amphitheater, George (WA)
Saturday, July 30th, 2011
Tickets go on sale Tuesday, May 10th, at 4:00 p.m.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

New Shows: Sia, The Ditty Bops, 100 Monkeys


Wonder Ballroom, Portland
Tuesday, August 16th, 2011
$20 advance, $22 day of the show
Tickets on sale Friday, May 6th, at 10:00 a.m.


The Ditty Bops

Doug Fir, Portland
Monday, July 11th, 2011
$15 advance, $17 day of the show


100 Monkeys

Wonder Ballroom, Portland
Sunday, August 21st, 2011
$13 advance, $15 day of the show

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Coachella 2011: Getting There

The Coachella Valley Music Festival has been my white whale for years. I attend the Sasquatch! Music Festival each year, and I try to make it to one other festival. I choose my second festival based on the strength of the lineup, but by the time the other festivals have announced their lineups, Coachella has already occurred, or is sold out. At the end of each festival season, I compare the lineups, and Coachella is always the best (for my taste). This is why I decided last summer, regardless of the lineup, I am going to Coachella 2011.

When I was first able to afford going to a lot of shows, I dealt with friends backing out, or not wanting to go, so I started going to most shows alone. I became so used to flying solo, I preferred it. There are no boundaries, no group decisions on where to stand, no having to move if your short friend/date can’t see. There is no missing opening bands because your friends want another prefunk beer at the bar. It is 100% based on what you want to see, where you want to go, and what you want to do.

Fast forward a couple years, and now I’m in the same situation with festivals. I'm tired of friends backing out, and I’ve never attended a festival alone. I’ve never been on vacation alone, so this experience will be brand new to me. And just to make the trip that much more epic and memorable, I’m going to road trip it. It’s only 17 hours each way. Airplanes are for pussies.

Now that the boring background information is out of the way, let’s get the trip started. I should say another reason I decided to drive is because I have never driven through California, and I have a lot of friends who live between Portland and Indio. Another good thing about driving, there is no need to worry about trying to fit everything you need in one suit case, so I am taking advantage of this. Anything from my apartment that fits is going with. You never know when you might need a toilet plunger, or a VCR, or a 25 pound dumb bell.

Wednesday, April 13th, Departure Day.

I’m putting my couch back together since it wouldn’t fit in the SUV. Everything else is loaded, camping chairs, coolers, tents, blankets, two bags of grass, seventy-five pellets of mescaline, five sheets of high-powered blotter acid, a saltshaker half-full of cocaine, and a whole galaxy of multi-colored uppers, downers, screamers, laughers... Also, a quart of tequila, a quart of rum, a case of beer, a pint of raw ether, and two dozen amyls. I'm heading to the desert after all.

I’ve already broken the first rule of surviving a camping music festival, which is getting caught up on sleep the night before you leave. Against better judgement, I went to see Wire at Dante’s the night before, and ended up with five hours of sleep before working a full day mildly hung-over. Luckily, the first leg of this trip is only a 4.5 hour drive to Southern Oregon to stay with some friends. They all have jobs, and wives, and kids, so they’ll want to turn in early. I’m sure I'll get plenty of sleep.

But what happens when some old buddies who haven't hung out in over a year get together? One beer turns into four or nine, and the next thing you know, it’s 1 a.m. (again). Drats. I curled up on the couch shortly after 1:30 a.m.

Thursday, April 14th, Arrival Day

The alarm goes off at 5:43 a.m. and I’m on the road a couple minutes short of 6:00 a.m. I hit the grocery store on the way out of Medford to pick up all the supplies I should have purchased before leaving Portland. Hey, look at this, cases of PBR are really cheap. I’ll take four. Better to have way too much than to run out, right? We ran out of beer at Sasquatch one year sharing with neighbors. Since then, I've operated under the theory, “A case per person per day.” Sure I’ll never drink that much, but combining forces with others makes finishing that much easy. Shoot, I should have bought ten cases. Since the couch wouldn’t fit, I have room in the truck.

I didn’t do the greatest job planning this trip, so I’m pretty much winging it. I don’t have a map, or directions printed out, I’m just relying on my phone for directions. Having taken the long way to my friend's house the night before, I know the directions aren't always the fasted route, but I won't get lost. So when the phone tells me Los Angeles at rush hour is the way to go, who was I to argue?

I'm 45 minutes into my stop and go L.A. rush hour nightmare and it seems like three times as many cars are entering I-5 than getting off per exit. I’m still waiting for that connection to the next highway my phone is leading me to when my phone's navigation quits working. Before that happened, I had zoomed in close enough on the map to see that it didn't look like I-5 even connected to the highway I’m trying to find (Hwy 60). Screw the phone, I'll figure it out.

I had turned off the music so it wouldn’t be a distraction in the heavy traffic, but at this point, I'm barely moving. I decided to check out what L.A. has to offer for local radio. The second station I found was playing Soundgarden, so I stayed there. The song ended 30 seconds later, and the host says, “I'm jealous of all of you on Highway 10 heading to Coachella right now.” I look up, and the exit sign says, “Hwy 10 to San Bernadino, Next Exit.” I was already in one of the far right lanes, where I could exit or continue on, so I exited. I tend to exaggerate here and there for entertainment purposes, but I swear this is how it happened. Had I heard the Hwy 10 comment 60 seconds later, I would have passed the exit. Radio ain’t that bad after all.

I spend the next 20 minutes on the ramp waiting to get on Hwy 10, then another 25 minutes in stop and go traffic on Hwy 10, traveling about two miles per hour. Reading the speed limit sign stating, “65 MPH, Radar enforced,” gave me an out loud chuckle. I finally got through the worst of the traffic, and I'm back to traveling at more or less the speed limit. Luckily I had been making pretty good time before L.A., only having a couple brief pit stops for gas, so I’m still on pace to get to Indio before 10 p.m. I start thinking about how I can’t wait to jump out of the truck, and immediately shotgun a beer.

I’m going to be too tired to set up the grill for dinner tonight, so I make one last stop to get a bag of burgers for dinner/late night munchies, and fill up on gas one last time to avoid having to do so the morning after the festival when I feel like shit. Only 20 miles away from Indio now, and I’m noticing all the trucks/vans with Coachella and various band names written all over the windows. This got me thinking, Isn’t writing Coachella all over your vehicle just like saying, “Hey cops, I have drugs, pull me over.” They were all going 10-15 mph faster than the speed limit as well. Maybe this is some sort of L.A. reverse psychology. Maybe the cops see the flashy “Coachella or Bust” vehicle speeding and think it’s normal, but are more skeptical about the middle aged guy driving the not-so-trendy SUV going the speed limit? I quickly increased my speed.

10:00 p.m. and I arrive in Indio. I was able to follow street signs all the way to the Coachella campground from L.A., and I haven't touched my phone in a couple hours. I’m now in the usual line of cars waiting to get in the campground, moving about a car length every 75 seconds. 45 minutes later, I get to the front of the line, expecting to be setting up camp in ten minutes or so. Strange thing happened though, it was just a crosswalk which we were waived through. Why did it take 100 cars 45 minutes to make it through a crosswalk?

I ended up driving another four or five blocks, partially being directed which way to go, partially guessing on my own. Just when I thought I was lost, and the train of cars behind me were idiots for following me, I stumble across a lit up sign reading, “Camping Entrance.” I’m pretty sure I could have made it there 45 minutes ago had I not turned on the street I was instructed to. I'll remember this if I come back next year. Oh well, I’m here, finally, almost time to shotgun a beer, right?

Wrong, really wrong. We were directed to follow the car in front of us until we quit moving. Once our line of cars was full, they directed the next cars to start a new line a couple feet to the right. After several minutes, this large field was filled to the brim with parked cars. Everyone eventually shuts off their engines and the party begins. After about 15 minutes of not moving, I got out and walked up to the front of the line. The guy I spoke with told me everyone is in line to get their car searched prior to entering the campground. Looking around, I saw zero people checking cars, so I asked, “does this line ever move?” He said, “yeah, it will start moving in a couple minutes.

I went back to the car and watched the guys in the truck in front of me pound beers. I am so tired, and very much ready to start drinking, but I still have to drive the vehicle to my camping spot after getting searched, and there are cops everywhere. The last thing I need is a DUI after arriving at the festival.

An hour an a half later, engines and head lights start turning on, and I can see a line of cars actually moving! The guys in the truck in front of me have already reached the eyes half shut, face red from laughing, level of drunkenness. Everyone is half wasted actually. The holding tank quickly turned into a party bigger than the party in the actual camping ground, because everyone was so amped to have finally arrived, and everyone was packed in much closer. People have been dancing on the roofs of cars, and everyone is screaming. One guy was having a tough time finding his vehicle after 90 minutes of partying, so he was wandering around talking to himself. I knew he was lost, and could hear what he was saying because he was speaking into a megaphone. Another guy is laying in the grass in front of a stranger’s car to prevent them from moving forward, so his chain of cars could all get in the moving line without being separated. I should be six beers deep already.

I finally make it to the car search. I get out of the vehicle and get patted down. They ask me if I have any glass, and I answer no (horse pasture most of the year, broken glass and horses don’t mix well). Then a couple security guards start checking the truck. When they opened the back, there were a couple cases of beer visible. The security dude says, “How many cases of beer do you have?” Now I know a loaded question when I hear it. For some reason, I wasn’t expecting the security guard’s response to my four case admission to be, “Right on man, you’re going to get totally fucked up.” Knowing two cases were noticeably visible, and there was at least another case in the coolers, I admitted to having three. “You are only allowed one case per person,” he said. I replied, “I didn’t know that, so what are we going to do about this?” He said, “we’ll have to confiscate two cases.” As one security guard grabs a case of beer (she may or may not have been licking her lips), the security guard asks me, “are you by yourself?” I also know a door being left slightly ajar when I hear it, so I reply, “nah, I just had to work late, all my friends showed up a couple hours ago.” The security guard replies, “oh, you're meeting people inside, that’s fine then,” and they place my beer back in the truck. They didn’t check any of my bags, they were more concerned about the glass and excess beer. They didn’t find the gallon of liquor I also had with me, which I later heard was not permitted. I’m not sure how I missed the liquor and beer campground rules when reading the Coachella website. I would have done a much better job trying to hide the stash. Either way, it worked out, and I now have enough alcohol to get me good and wasted for a month.

A couple minutes later, I’m waiting in line to be parked in what I later find out to be one of the furthest campgrounds from the venue. The car in front of me is then directed to a different lot. So I follow, and a quarter mile later, I am parked in the lot closest to the venue’s entrance, pretty close to the food court. Nice. It is now 1:00 a.m. I originally showed up in Indio at 10:00 p.m. I left Southern Oregon at 6:00 a.m., 17 hours ago. The long awaited “Hello Coachella Shotgun” was grand, really fucking grand.

Why is “getting there” such a jolt of energy? It’s 2:00 a.m., I’ve set up camp, briefly met my neighbors, and I have the energy of a frat boy after three Jager bombs, four high fives, and three chest bumps. I fill my pockets with beers, and wander around the campground to familiarize myself with the area. I eventually found the front gates to the festival. It was pretty obvious that was the part of the campground they filled up first, since that section was dark and quiet. The sounds of partiers screaming from where I am camped (the people who just arrived) can still be heard in the distance.

I found a break in the fence where I could see the main stage while they were testing the lighting. That was my first, “I made it, I’m at Coachella,” moment. I stood there for a half hour watching my personal light show. I was so excited, I grabbed my phone to text some friends, before realizing it was 3:30 a.m. They probably wouldn’t share the same level of intrigue, and would think I was completely wasted.

I finally pulled myself away from the light show and eventually made it back to my tent. Those burgers I was going to eat about five hours ago are now ready to put me down for the count. As I crawl in my sleeping bag and finish my last bite, I check the time. 4:30 a.m., 22.5 hours after I woke up this morning. I'm asleep almost instantly.

Day 1 Review coming soon.

New Shows: Pat Metheny, Atari Teenage Riot, Yuck, Rx Bandits

Pat Metheny

Aladdin, Portland
Thursday, September 22nd, 2011
$45 to $85
Tickets go on sale Friday, May 6th, at 11:00 a.m.


Atari Teenage Riot

Hawthorne Theatre, Portland
Monday, September 5th, 2011
Tickets go on sale Wednesday, May 4th, at 10:00 a.m.



Doug Fir, Portland
Sunday, July 24th, 2011
$12 advance, $13 day of the show


Rx Bandits

Hawthorne Theatre, Portland
Thursday, July 28th, 2011

Monday, May 2, 2011

New Shows: Stephen Marley, Sarah Bareilles, Straight No Chaser

Stephen Marley

Roseland, Portland
Saturday, June 18th, 2011
Tickets go on sale Friday, May 6th, at 9:00 a.m.


Sarah Bareilles

Arlene Schnitzer, Portland
Tuesday, July 19th, 2011
$27 to $35
Tickets go on sale Friday, May 6th, at 10:00 a.m.


Straight No Chaser

Arlene Schnitzer, Portland
Tuesday, December 6th, 2011
$22.50 to $45
Tickets go on sale Wednesday, May 4th, at 10:00 a.m.