Unwound got back together for the first time in over 20 years. Their bass player had passed away in the interim. Today they filled out the band with a second guitarist. It sounded awesome. They played two separate sets. It was so much fun to hear this band loud again. I really liked each performer. I loved the drums. I really liked the way the guitars both felt like they were warming up and swarming. There were many songs I did not know right away. I don't know if I don't have them or if they were re-arranged. Regardless it was awesome. They dedicated the last few songs of the second set to their former bass player Vern. Their drummer lives here in Portland, and she said her kid was at the show. I went with my old friend Jon from San Francisco again. We had fun.
Archers recently put out a great new album and went out on tour. I went with my friend Jon, who I'd gone to Unwound with earlier in the week. This was another show full of mostly dudes my age. The band rocked, no question. They played all the hits. The opener was a young band who were clearly influenced by the types of music I grew up with. I'd listen to them again.
It'a always great to go to a new place to see a show. This is an old theater with an awesome neon marquee. Jon invited me to go. We got there just when the last opener ended. I stayed seated throughout the show since I was a little tired. It's the same line up as the last time I saw Deerhoof, so many years ago. I joked with Jon that I could remember when the long haired guitarist had short hair. The drummer as usual had so much energy! His drum kit is pretty simple too: 3 drums and 3 cymbals. The structure of their songs continues to be so interesting. It was a good night out.
Earlier this year, I learned that Love And Rockets were going to play a big festival in southern California. Of course they added some west coast club dates afterwards, and I was able to get tickets to this show. From the stage David J said it was the first city to sell out for the tour. It was nice place to see them; it's only a little larger than the Metro. Mike and I were able to get a good spot, off to the side and pretty close to the stage. This is because I still had my crutches and "boot" on, so we were able to sit in the ADA section. We arrived during Vinsantos' set. Vinsantos played keyboards, and there was a guitarist off to the side. I'd known nothing about them prior to the show. They are a drag burlesque performer who has apparently been opening for Bauhaus shows for some time now. There was a lot of audience chatting going on, and Vinsantos made a commment along the lines of how much people paid for a ticket to just talk. Why not stay at home? The line for the merch was near us and it was already long when we got there. As far as I know, it was long for the entirety of the show. I got in line during a few Love And Rockets songs I was not familiar with. I got an iconic and classic Love And Rockets logo t-shirt. Man, I had so much fun at this show. From the moment Daniel Ash walked out, you could see his very spiky hair in silhouette. Soon thereafter you got to take in his rock star bright red blouse. I knew I was just going to be in psychedelic glam rock seventh heaven. For the occasion, I wore my 35 year old "Earth Sun Moon" t-shirt. The band all wore sunglasses. David J wore a three piece maroon velvet suit. I knew all the words to the songs from the 4 albums I love from back then. They played a few songs from each. There were a few songs that I was not familar with (which Mike was). They opened with the slow version of "Motorcyle." They played "No New Tale To Tell" in about the middle of the set; definitely one of my favorites. "Ball of Confusion" was the encore closer, and they came out for a single-song second encore, which I did not know. But I identified it by the lyrics the next day. It was "Sweet FA." Other awesome ones were "Kundalini Express", "Yin and Yang (and the Flowerpot Man)" and "Dog End of a Day Gone By". Before the show started, I'd asked the person seated beside me if she'd seen them before. She had not, but her partner was a huge fan and was somewhere up front of the stage. She said they'd had met David J in person before, and their partner had said "I love Love And Rockets and would you ever tour again?" David J apparently said "No way, you're living in la-la land if you think that's going to happen." Lala Land was a lot of fun tonight!
This show was postponed from March. I was glad I was able to make it. It had been awhile since seeing him. He's still as charismatic as ever. Tommy was sitting at a full drum kit again. I'm not sure if I hadn't noticed the other times I've seen him, but Jonathan played three Modern Lovers songs. Or I should say, his songs referenced three old songs. He played "Old World" but it was about 1830 and not 1950. He also played "Pablo Piscasso" but updated the chorus to "Pablo Picasso was never called an asshole… for the first 15 minutes." He added lots of banter about how he'd read the memoirs and now knew more. He also played "Girlfriend", and he really emphasized his Boston accent and "G I R L F R E N" phoenetic spelling. He'd also mentioned that when he was 17 he'd wanted to be a painter, but then he heard the Velvet Underground. He'd seen colors in their sounds and decided he was going to be a singer. He also played "Dancing in a Lesbian Bar" and had the crowd going. He closed with a fun song called "Cold Pizza". I think he sang in at least 4 languages: English, Italian, French, and Spanish. I'm pretty sure there was one more language too, but I could not make it out. It's always great to see Jonathan Richman; I hope I can do it again soon!
From following Drag City on Twitter, I'd learned of Wand nearly two years ago. I bought an album, and I liked it. Then via the same social media sources, I learned both 1) the singer of the band has a new solo album and 2) Wand was going to be in Portland about a week later. I asked Jon if he wanted to go, and we agreed we'd go the day before. It was a rocking show. It also went on really late for this old man (about midnight). I'd recognized about two of the songs, and the rest were good. They had so many pedals on the stage. As usual a strong rhythm section allows a band like this work. The opener were three people with even more effects pedals. Afterwards, once Wand was on the stage, we realized half of Wand was in the opening band. Only the singer wasn't in Wand, and their songs reminded me of some Sonic Youth. Overall a great night with music I wasn't too familiar with. That's a change from the last few years of shows I've seen.
Almost like clockwork, Osees came through town 364 days since I'd seen them last. Instead of sitting on the mezzanine, I was on the floor this time. The openers were terrific; they were super fast and loud. Osees started playing over the PA music to start their set in a flash. The band was the same lineup as last year. It once again was awesome to watch the two drummers. There was a mosh pit near us for most of the show. They played all the hits; I had a blast. It was one of those shows were things are going so great that you just have to laugh out loud. I got to go with another old friend who has moved to Portland. We caught up before and after the show. I am very tired as I write this the next day.
While planning a trip to Los Angeles to see friends I haven't seen in awhile, Marc suggested we try going to a show. The Breeders were playing "Last Splash" in its entirety. I went with Marc, Dennis, and Marc's friend Julie. We were in the second to last row up in the mezzanine. It was a beautiful venue. The band were about the size of an iPad on your lap however. Regardless it was a fun show. It sounded terrific. Kim Deal seemed to be having fun. About halfway through she said "This is the last song on side one. Almost time to get up off the couch to flip the record." Another time she said "Things are getting weird" and the bassist and drummer switched instruments, which is what I guess happened on the record. After they finished the record, the first song of the encore was Kim's "Gigantic" from "Surfer Rosa". Kim was on bass for this, and it was awesome. They played even more hits from their career in the encore. The opener for this show was Belly, but we did not watch them since we were all catching up with each other. During the encore, Tanya from Belly, who was on "Pod", played "Happiness is a Warm Gun" with the band. It was a great night out with old friends.
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!