It’s Labor Day weekend, stinkwrecks! True story: Labor Day was created in the 1800s by leaders of the US Labor movement as a way to appreciate the hard work that ordinary laborers - like you and I - put into making this country great.
Here in 2015, let’s celebrate by getting rid of all those pesky dollars in which your hard work has resulted! Buy a new car! Buy a new washing machine! Buy new clothes! Plan a vacation! You’re not just working to make this country great, you’re an ice cold Red Bull coursing through the veins of the great and all-powerful commerce machine! So feed it. Feed it all your dollars.
You know, or don’t. You mostly have a choice. I mean we’ve been through this so many times and we’re always shocked and saddened when our beloved local businesses close - we somehow convince ourselves that it’s not our own fault for not spending our money there. I think it is particularly apt that Videoport is having its Farewell Party on Labor Day weekend, a weekend that means nothing to us other than a day off of work (or a busy and miserable day at work if you’re in hospitality) and big sales at big retailers. It means a trip to the mall. With the advent of streaming, movie rentals were of course becoming outmoded tech and I can’t imagine it would be easy to diversify or adapt easily without investors or a hefty loan, and that makes it harder (or impossible) to stay open, for sure. I haven’t been here long enough to know what happened with Videoport but I know a lot of people have really strong emotional attachments to it and I’m sad to see it go because of that and because the owners really seemed to put their heart into making it a wonderful resource for their community, and it was probably a struggle at least a few times along the way. I know I’m preaching to the choir here, but on this Labor Day weekend, if the opportunity strikes, talk about it. Awareness - even without action - of the value of community over material possessions and convenience is a good enough start for now.
I won’t be going to Videoport’s farewell party because I’m an outsider and I don’t belong there, but it’s happening on Friday at Bayside Bowl at 6:30pm to close. I wish everyone involved with Videoport the best of luck and I hope y’all have a fucking stupid outrageous blast on Friday. Hug it out. Make toasts. Cry. Honor the legacy of a cool business that did right by Portland.
Alright. Let’s shift gears. Here’s your weekend:
Friday September 4
That Whole Foods down there where some of us work at but none of us shop at is having a First Friday thing at which staffers The Restless Atlantic are playing from 5:30 to 7:30pm. There’s also artworks made by artists who are on staff and also a beer tasting so you can expect some gluten free organic shit served in a biodegradble cup I guess. Probably also cheese samples. Cheese is pretty great, huh.
Blue has an all local lineup starting at 6pm with Darlin’ Corey (bluegrass/folk), Okbari (Middle Eastern folk) and jazz/avant-garde vocalist Lady Zen. I think that’s a really interesting lineup, another good date night from our friends at Blue, go get yourselves laid while it’s still warm enough to give a shit about anything other than surviving the trip from the car to the house.
Dogfish has Travis Humphreys for happy hour at 5pm before he goes over and plays at Gritty’s later that night. So much Travis! Does the world need this much Travis? It’s really the great question of our age. At 8pm they have local event/wedding jazz act The Waiters.
OK so Empire has Dustin Saucier “and Friends,” which is an after party for the Death Cab/Antlers show happening at the State Theater earlier in the evening. It starts late at 11pm and costs $6 and much-lauded hero Britt Daniel set the precedent that cool musicians go to Empire and play local bands’ guitars after their State Theater shows, so who knows maybe we’ll be doing jello shots with Ben Gibbard later that night. He seems like kind of a buttoned up guy though, huh. He’s maybe more of a Manhattan or Negroni guy (It’s Negroni Season!) until he gets a little buzz going and then puts his cardigan on and goes home to have some organic granola in soy milk, watch an episode of Supernatural and just pass out on the couch with a hat on under a lovely chenille throw from Restoration Hardware. Or… I don’t know, I mean I don’t know the guy! I don’t know Dustin either but I love his voice, I think he’s a really good songwriter and I bet he has some fun "friends," even though we don’t know who those friends be since it doesn’t say on the fb invite. Other things I know about him is that he does emo night (The Saddening, which is the greatest of event names, h/t Mike Leonard) at PHOME and also really likes the City of Angels soundtrack. I mean if this is not a glowing endorsement for this show I don’t even know what. I’ll go, maybe I’ll manage to talk to another human IRL for once.
Flask has their monthly LOVE series with their regular resident DJs but this month they have a guest DJ from Italy. I’ll bite, I hope his turntables are mounted to the handlebars of a Vespa because Vespas and Spaghetti are the only things I know about Italy. Oh, also striped tops and red neckerchiefs. I also know that.
Oh look, Geno’s has a new band’s first ever show. They are called Darling Disaster. I went to their Soundcloud page only to find another good but green voice and nothing too terribly groundbreaking in terms of pop/folk rock, but I think it’s important to foster all these young bands, we all started somewhere. Someone else has got to be on this bill but it doesn’t say on the FB invite. It’s $4. All y’all Geno’s regulars, go get a drink between 9 and 11 and let’s show this new band some love.
Alright, check out this interesting shit - Mayo Street Arts has Les Sorciers Perdus presents SILENT FILMS with recent scores by Mark Tipton. They’re showing two silent films, one comedy short and Buster Keaton’s incredible The General. Local composer Mark Tipton has written scores for both films which will be performed live by him and a group of other local musicians. This is from 7:30 to 9 so you can go see it before doing all your late night shit. If you’ve not been, Mayo Street Arts does have a little wine and beer bar in what is effectively a closet to feed your oral fixation while you watch the films. I love The General because my friend and former colleague Trevor used to play it on repeat on our lobby screens in our film days, and it’s so funny. It’s even funnier with repeated viewings. Hard not to be in awe of ol’ Buster when you see what he was capable of.
And now check out this other interesting shit - At noon today, One Longfellow Square hosts OLS & Creative Trails Present: Monique Barret w/ Smashing Kay (CD Release) & The Furry Ambers. This is a group of Creative Trails music program leaders and the program’s participant musicians. Creative trails is a community support programs for adults who are intellectually unique and The Furry Ambers are their band. I love this because I think music has the power to help all of us overcome the challenges we meet in everyday life, and while this may be a more straightforward instance of that, we’ve all felt that amazing moment when music helped us figure stuff out and shake free of the things that hold us back. Cool program.
Salvage has The Joint Chiefs (I love a punny band name), Slab has The Shakes and Plague is doing Customer Appreciation Night, which means it’s a more robust party than usual and you get in free if you bring a friend who is new to Plague. I wonder how they can prove that… Portland, you so intimate, girl, you know everyone.
Saturday, September 5
Caethua & Colby Nathan are at Space opening for some touring artists. Oh god, Caethua. She is Clare Hubbard and her Red Moon EP is unsettling and addictive and super intense and fucking sick. UGGGHHHHH IT’S SO GOOD YOU GUYS. It’s a slow moving horror film and a transformative fairy tale and super visual and it operates on so many levels. I don’t really know to talk about this record in concrete terms. I listened to Red Moon by myself at night and I felt sad and scared and exhilarated. It’s weird lo fi shit. It’s on Spotify go check that shit out.
When Particles Collide are at Slab tonight, they are a married couple electronic duo and they lead with that in their bio as if to align themselves with all the other husband and wife teams in music but I don’t find that relationship particularly compelling, to be honest, it’s like, great, you have an intimate emotional relationship with each other and also fight a lot just like every other set of writing or artistic partners does. HOWEVER, I do like their music and so does everyone else apparently, since they tour all over the place. Portland has pretty much made its mind up on these guys though, everyone who tells me about WPC either loves them or hates them, but either way, they’re accomplished artists and this FREE show should be a lot of fun.
Side note, when I worked at High Times, there was this guy named Artical Dan, he was like a dancehall reggae artist sort of like Sean Paul, and he pronounced his name like “heartical” and he had this weird stalker crush on one of my friends and if you were hanging out with her he would sort of just pop up from out of nowhere and be like, HERE I AM when you least expected it and it was very disconcerting so we started calling him Fartical Dan because farts are funny. I just wanted to tell you guys that I still think farts are funny but also that in my head, this band is called When Farticles Collide. Sorry, WPC, I owe you an edible arrangement to apologize for being terrible and taking it out on you.
Alright now, let’s move on to Joel Thetford’s album release party at PHOME with support from Carleigh Nesbitt and Chris Ross and the North (whose album I just reviewed for Dispatch, did you read it? NO? GET THE FUCK OUT OF MY PARLOR). Joel is a Texan country and blues songwriter/singer/guitar player. Ross is a Mainer with a Ray Lamontage thing going on and Carleigh is a Virginia transplant living and writing/performing a similar brand of country and blues. I think I like her lyrics the best of the three of them, but that’s probably because I’m a ladyperson and I feel the tractor beam of her ovaries on my emotional brain when I listen to her words. All three of them are very skilled and polished players, you will get some excellent country and blues guitar at this show, but you won’t get too much that’s highly innovative, these guys aren’t pushing boundaries, they’re perfecting an art that’s been done for generations, and that’s fine too. So if you’ve loved country and blues for years, don’t worry, these crazy kids won’t be trying to ruin a good thing. If you’re looking for boundary pushing though,..
Wheeeee, how about Sunrunner with El Malo and Capture the Sun at Empire? Sunrunner just put out a new record (this is their album release show) called Heliodromus that I haven’t heard yet (their other records are on Spotify), but it is apparently BONKERS, at least that’s what this video and all the positive reviews it’s getting tell us:
According to THE INTERNET, Heliodromus is a level of initiation in the Mithraic Mysteries, which is an arcane ancient religion practiced in the Roman Empire. Heliodromus, AKA the Sun Runner, is level six of seven levels of initiation into the religion. Heliodromus is basically the Tom Cruise Operating Thetan of this ancient Roman religion. It’s SO NERDY. It’s one of those things that you either get or you don’t - this kind of music makes me want to, like, put on a leather cape and giant fur boots and eat roasted mutton (LOL MUTTON) and parade around on snowy peaks in some nondescript European country with a giant sword, which I will point at the sun while invoking the great and powerful star’s energy. Or like, maybe I’ll just start a riot at a Ren Faire. Right, you get it though, it’s this narrative-heavy rock/metal/prog stuff that the kids who were in the A/V club at your high school would listen to, made by some of the most accomplished and inventive musicians in portland. Get down there for this, and here’s a fashion tip: this season’s MUST HAVE accessory for a Sunrunner show? A turkey leg and a flagon of mead. HAHAHAHA I DON’T EVEN KNOW WHAT A FLAGON IS. It can hold mead, right? Fuck it, I’ll just put my mead in my wine bra and then my wine bra will be a flagon. Remind me some time to tell you all about the time I drank mead brewed by a real witch and what happened next. That’s called clickbait, y’all.
And last but not least, we have Shabti and Swarmlord with RI”s I, Destroyer at Geno’s. Black/Death/Grind/Thrash metal, darlings of the Portland metal scene. You know.