Last Played

"Moby Dick" by Led Zeppelin. Play Count: 31


I went to this show solo. I arrived as Glixen were in the midst of a song. During the whole song I'd not heard any vocals; I wasn't certain who the singer or leader of the band may be. I assumed it was the guy to the left, shredding his guitar during their big crunching drone. There were also two women with long straight hair playing guitar and bass. They kept swinging their hair around. I kept hoping for some sort of resolution with the music that didn't quite come. I didn't realize until it was over that it was their last epic song. Sasami came onto stage solo, wearing a sort of fancy dress or gown. She shredded her guitar metal style over a pre-progammed backing track and sang. She then moved onto less metal songs that gave me a dancy 80s Pat Benatar vibe. She mentioned how she usually tours with a metal band and she was trying something new. She ended her set by playing a French horn along to her tracks. It wasn't exactly my style, but she kept my attention with how different the music was and her energy. While the stage was being set for DIIV, the smoke machines started filling the room. Its fragrant smell brought me back to the late 80s and early 90s. They had a large screen behind the band. Come to think about it, screens are used so often that's sort of like saying "The band used microphones and amplifiers." However the videos had a couple interesting twists. The main theme throughout the evening was a vibe of a cult video promoting their lifestyle, and DIIV was part of that along, even partnering with Exxon Mobil. It was all fun and quirky. They hit the spot so well. It reminded me of the story in the house at Meow Wolf in Santa Fe, or the Jejune Institute game in San Francisco years ago. Additionally, they had videos with the lyrics and it was all synchronized along with the band. This was something I'd not seen before, and I liked it. The band is fully playing live, but there are some parts that are clearly pre-recorded (synths etc.). There was one fun video where it was like the band was on a zoom meeting, and when the singer was singing, his screen would zoom larger than the others. Now that I've talked about all the effects, I'll talk about the music. This band is terrific. They have this shoe gaze meets mid 80s New Order meets Hum thing going on. It's so great to listen to. The sound was big and clear. I was near the front (behind the pit (when there was one)) and it sounded crystal clear. The singer is sort of back and to the side and leans over his microphone. In front is a guitarist who I think only sang one small bit. Stage left is the bassist, sometimes singing. All of this is through the smoke machine. Much like the music, it sort of gives one a vibe of not really wanting to engage. It was a great show.


I joined Jesse, another Sabin dad, at this show. It was a nice pop rock show. Jesse joked that everyone looked like they could be a Sabin school parent. The opener were two guys on guitars, backed by a drummer for about half their set. They are from Olympia, WA. They ended their set with a Simon & Garfunkel cover I wasn't familiar with. Lunchbox are on Slumberland Records. They had a full band with a synthesizer too. It sounds like they traveled from California. I liked their set. The last band was local. They were the most rocking of the bunch. It was a fun night out. This place closes tight at 11 PM, so it is nice for dads.


Dan invited me to another show. This venue is quite close to my home, and I finally made it there. The two bands had a country vibe, but more in the Flying Burrito Brothers realm. They both had pedal steel guitars. Steel Fringe was more traditional, and I really enjoyed their quick set. The first band may have played three long jams while I was there. The one in the middle was a pedal steel freak out, in that lots was going on with that instrument while the rest of the band had a groove that nearly reminded me of Tortoise. Great to get out on a Thursday night of all new bands and a new venue.

Swimming Sea Lion in Downtown Portland (3/19/2024)

I rode my bike around the Willamette River today. It looks like the last sunny day for a little while. It was peak cherry blossom time on the west side. As I went under the Morrison bridge, I saw a sea lion swimming. No one else seemed to notice.  #

New Year (2/5/2024)

The end of 2023 was made a little more complicated by the Portland Schools Teacher Strike. After it was resolved, we had a shorter winter break and lost a few days off during the rest of the school year. I hope we can keep it steady in 2024.

Oscar is going to be 8 years old tomorrow. It's so fun to watch him grow up. He's an avid reader and loves math.

I've been working on my iOS Site App. It's only on TestFlight right now. It's been fun to use it to see what I've seen on this day. Lately I've been digging into a historical archive I have of the data of my iTunes listening since 2006. I've learned more about SQL in the process. I've also spent a lot of time trying to "clean" the data so it is consistent over time. Once that is done, my hope is to be able to add this data to the program too.  #

Books (12/24/2023)

I read quite a bit more this year than I have for awhile. It's been fun. Here's what I read in order. I haven't quite finished the last one yet, but I bet I do in a few days.

  1. Play Like a Man - Rose Marshack of Poster Children
  2. The Wager - David Grann
  3. The Death and Life of the Great Lakes - Dan Egan
  4. Cloud Cuckoo Land - Anthony Doerr
  5. My Brilliant Friend - Elena Ferrante
  6. Hidden Life of Trees - Peter Wohlleben
  7. The Story Of A New Name - Elena Ferrante
  8. Killers of the Flower Moon - David Grann
  9. Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay - Elena Ferrante
  10. White Noise - Don DeLillo
  11. The Story Of The Lost Child - Elena Ferrante
  12. Mud Ride - Steve Turner of Mudhoney
  13. The Candy House - Jennifer Egan
  14. Libra - Don DeLillo
  15. The Nineties - Chuck Klosterman
  16. American Prometheus - Kai Bird and Martin J. Sherwin
  17. Entangled Life - Merlin Sheldrake
  18. Cosmopolis - Don DeLillo
  19. Sonic Life - Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth



My friend Dan invited me to this noise show. One of the performers was in a band with Dan's brother. It was like nothing I'd seen in a long time, and I had a good time. I'll describe the performers in order. Chaotic - When I first walked in a tall guy with long hair and a beard who has a mask on and a fuzzy yellow full body kid costume. The place is small and he runs up the alley between the booths and bar just yelling right in my face. I just stood there trying not to laugh. It was over crazy fast beats. Musical - Laptop, bass, and lots of pedals. Hypnotic - Lots of pedals and some more we could not see in a box. No computer. Interesting hand held trigger. Complicated - More twisty cables than I’ve ever seen hooked into a laptop. Perhaps included a 3D render of the performers head projected behind him?


Mark Arm still has his voice. I've no idea how; if I even tried to do it, I'd break down coughing. They went through all the hits. It was so much fun to see them. Aladdin is such a great place for a show too. We had a great spot. We could see it all. I went with my brother and two other friends. My family was just getting sick, so I had a unique night. I wore my mask the entire time, and I didn't drink any beer. I do not know the last time I've seen a show without having a beer! I liked the songs of Mudhoney's that I hadn't heard before. It was also interesting to see them shortly after I'd finished reading Steve Turner's "Mud Ride" memoir. I really should get the rest of their catalog. Seems like they'll keep on rocking, and I'll be sure to see them again.

More Unknowns Fixed (11/10/2023)

I wasn't always perfect about tracking the dates of shows. Early on, I guess I'd write them down without a date. In later years, I'd remember going to the show but wouldn't have tracked it soon enough to know the date. Bill Johnson helped me out on Facebook with six unknown dates from Starcourse shows. He found a list of names physical folders archived somewhere at the University of Illinois. Thanks, Bill!

Now I just have to find an archive of Blind Pig and Trito's shows from that era too.  #


Devo went out on tour to commemorate 50 years of de-evolution. They played many of the hits. I looked back and re-read what I wrote about other Devo shows I've seen. This show was similar, and it was also super fun. It started off with an introduction from Big Entertainment's Rod Rooter in 2023. He's balding and has turned over the business to his son. He still dislikes Devo. The band then started with more synthesizer songs, and the latter half of the show was more guitars. The core members are all in their 70s now, but I wouldn't have guessed it unless I already knew. The graphics shown behind the band were great. There were bits of the videos we all knew. Mixed in were new graphics that iterated on classic Devo iconography. The energy domes rendered in 3D twisted upon each other into infinity, for example. Towards the end of the show during "Beautiful World" they displayed a graphic while Booji Boy was saying they'd see us in 2073 with 100 years of de-evolution. He wanted us to mutate. See you then!


Friends, Romans, Countrymen