September 08, 2007

Highly enjoyable! Do again!

Last night I set out to make up for the night before. I write to you now from the comfy chair on my front porch, where I am staying until I recover somewhat from my own success.

My boss very awesomely gave me yesterday afternoon off, so I grabbed my sad front wheel and trotted over to the bike shop. The nice bike dude immediately replaced my flat tube while comparing Thursday night concert notes with me (he, too, had tried with infinite optimism and no success to see Spoon), and handed it back all inflated and nice. I made bread. I made hummus. I sat down very seriously with the MusicFest website and made a list of the bands I wanted to see, with times and venue names and addresses, and then I totally ignored it.

I hopped on my bike after dinner and rode a ridiculous seven miles out to the Hawthorne Theatre to see a crappy pop-punk band from Rainier. When I say that they were a crappy pop-punk band, I do not mean that I went expecting something different and was disappointed. I mean that I listened to the sample songs on their MySpace page and said to myself, "Oh my god! Crappy pop-punk, this is awesome! It's like Midtown is channeling the Ataris! I'm there!" I think there was a year or two where I spent every other weekend at Slim's or the Bottom of the Hill or the Great American Music Hall, and there was a lot of crappy pop-punk involved. Nostalgia demanded my attendance last night, and I was not sorry to have obeyed.

Katie: I did not stay to see Lifetime, who were playing later in the evening at that same location. You may commence being disappointed in me now, and also employ any lame puns about once-in-a-Lifetime chances that you feel are needed.

When a second band came on and turned out to actually take itself seriously, I left and headed downtown to try another show. Bands I'd heard were playing at Berbati's and Slabtown, so I employed my best logic and went instead to the Fez to see someone I'd barely even heard of. It turned out to be the best call of the night. The opening band was good (when is an opening band ever good?). The headliner was great. In between was The Upsidedown, the only band of the night that I feel compelled to actually praise by name. They are phenomenal. They have a girl whose job is to rock a rack of synthesizers with one hand and a tambourine with the other while looking like a fashion plate from 1967. At one point they had a dude playing a miniature toy accordion into a microphone. They are swirly whirly and wreeoooowwww and deenerneener and other interesting noises. They are a bit like what would happen if Spiritualized switched to uppers instead of downers. I pouted when they stopped playing and went and bought a CD, to which I am presently listening.

In any event, what with the swirly whirly and the wreeooowww and the riding to Hawthorne and back I was dead on my feet by a quarter to twelve. I had to scrap my plan to see one more show and just come home instead, which in my rock-and-roll haze seemed best to do by bike alone instead of taking the train like a weenie. It's not that people don't ride up the hill on Interstate Avenue all the time, it's just that many of them don't start it when their eyes are already trying to close without permission. I'm not entirely sure how it worked; some alternate-universe Dianna probably fell asleep halfway up and fell off her bike and rolled into the Willamette, but the fact that I woke up aching unfathomably in my own bed suggests that I did somehow make it home.

Tonight there are more shows, the first of which is my roommate in a competitive open-mic that clearly requires moral support. Back I go to Southeast, back I come to downtown, back I come up the hill because Okkervil River is playing long past the point of no trains. They didn't put the MF in MFNW for no reason, I see.

Posted by dianna at September 8, 2007 02:44 PM

Points for effort on the Okkervil River front. Three of the three shows I've seen indicate that you would have been impressed, but I appreciate the need to morally support those who pay a portion of your rent.

Posted by: Chris at September 10, 2007 04:38 AM

Particularly when they presently make up approximately 33% of your in-town social network.

Posted by: Dianna at September 10, 2007 01:47 PM