Dag nabbit!

Last night was the Neko Case show (finally!!), but I am having a terribly hard time finding either photos or videos from the performance!

The Crystal Ballroom was actually raping people’s bags with flashlights and hands, not letting any cameras through (thank God I didn’t actually bring one this time), and everyone with large messenger bags (it’s Portland = everyone has them) had to either bring them to their car or take the bus home to leave them there because the CB so lovingly does not have a bag check. It was uberously lame.

And you know, I seriously don’t get it. Just about everyone’s phone has some sort of camera on it. I don’t, but my parents’ phones both have 5 megapixel cameras, which is the same amount, I think, as my REGULAR camera. So why not just let people use them as long as they don’t flash??

In any case, the show was one of those near-religious-experience things. Neko has one AMAZING voice. Seriously, she sounds the same in concert as she does on her records. I am so glad I could have gone.

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Awesomemazing fantastical magic

Flight of the Conchords at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall last night. EPIC. Photo by Jenny Cestnik.
Flight of the Conchords at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall last night. EPIC. Photo by Jenny Cestnik.

Um, last night the wait was up: I finally got to see Flight of the Conchords in concert.

EPIC.

Bret and Jemaine performing "Sugalumps." Image courtesy of Jenny Cestnik.
Bret and Jemaine performing "Sugalumps." Image courtesy of Jenny Cestnik.

Really, it was nothing less than awesomemazing … fantastical … magic. Some of my friends got some great photos. Arj Barker was hilarious (Sarcastica? Good Times New Roman? Chill Sans? You know the way to a font lover’s heart). The Conchords will be my love forever, pretty much. Actually, a few of my friends waited freaking TWO hours after the show to meet them. I’m totally jealous, but am at the same time unsure if I would have had that kind of commitment!

Anyway, back to the show.

There were Part-Time Models. Some Racist Dragons…and a crazy slowed-down acoustic version of Sugalumps, my personal favorite song from season two.

useblog1useblog2And granted, I was way up in the upper balcony, I still had to wear something great just ‘cuz.

This week, I got a very special shipment from the peach of a gal that is Jen from Jen’s Fashion Plus. After seeing Gabi‘s fabulous gingham dress, I knew it had to be mine. And now it is! And a fabulous short-sleeved cardi, and a great silky belted dress! Yay!

I normally don’t like buying clothes online, but the prices were absolutely right, and Jen was super helpful! I dressed up this gingham halter dress with rubine tights from We Love Colors.

Yay!

Clearly, it was a perfect (or awesomemazing) evening!

Oh, and just for good measure, here’s some footage of an excellent Conchords rendition of Free Bird. Pardon some of the jiggles. 🙂

OK Go! (And other things)

OK Go performing at the Wonder Ballroom.
OK Go performing at the Wonder Ballroom.

As Gchat would say: …and we’re back!

Thanks all for bearing with me while I took quite the refreshing blog-cation. It might happen a few more times over the next few months, but I’m still lurking ’round…not to worry!

The last few weeks were crazy!

I’ve started taking a conversational Spanish class, which made me realize that the crazy 5-year gap since I had my last formal class (and the 2-year gap since I’ve been able to practice) has done more damage than I thought! It was totally embarrassing when our maestra started asking me questions, and, while I could understand them completely, when I opened my mouth, I spit out a mixture of gibberish and Spanglish. Yikes!

First OK Go concert in June 2005. My friends Judy (far left) and Marta (far right) came along.
First OK Go concert in June 2005. My friends Judy (far left) and Marta (far right) came along.

In other news, when everyone in the Great State of Oregon was taking their spring breaks, I got to take my baby sister to the OK Go show at the Wonder Ballroom as part of her Christmas gift (I bought the tickets on presale, back in December).

They became famous a year or two back after winning a Grammy (methinks) for their backyard dance video to their song “A Million Ways.” Then they rocketed further when they did a dance routine on treadmills to “Here It Goes Again,” which garnered more than 45 MILLION views on YouTube.

Damian croons to the crowd.
Damian croons to the crowd.

Anyhoo, I’ve followed them since BEFORE they were famous, as proven by the photo of me and the lead singer, Damian Kulash at a 2005 show. The show was super-intimate, and the band was very accessible after the concert, signing stubs (where IS mine, anyway???), taking photos with fans, and chatting everyone up. They were adorable and sweet!

I was really hoping that the Wonder Ballroom show would be the same. Well, they definitely didn’t fail to entertain. For one, they performed “What To Do” entirely with handbells. Hilarious interludes, lots of confetti,  you know the usual.

That said, the show was SOLD OUT. And was packed with preppy highschoolers. I was probably the oldest one there.

But I suppose that’s the crowd that the pop/rock genre tends to attract…unless you’re the Dandy Warhols, whose pop is loved mostly by hipsters and stoners. Damian had cut his hair, and was wearing a tight suit. And gone were the days where they’d hang out with the crowd afterward. Because, realistically, they would maul the band, probably.

Overall, it was a great show, but my best memory of them was definitely before they were famous.

You tell me

David Eugene Edwards of Woven Hand performs.
David Eugene Edwards of Woven Hand performs.

Is it normal for people to scream really, really weird stuff at shows?

You see, a few weeks ago when I saw Woven Hand at the Doug Fir in Portland, someone–in the lulling silence between songs–said (not shouted, just said) “This band is the shit,” and then everyone echoed in agreement. It was such an intimate venue that no one needed to shout to make themselves heard, but I thought it was the funniest thing ever.

Then, when I was in Tucson, my friend and I went to see Woven Hand at Club Congress (yes, two Woven Hand shows within five days….), and during the silence, someone sounded like they were spasming, shouting, “So good! So good! How are you so good?” It was so hilarious that for the rest of the trip, we were randomly shouting “SO GOOD” or “THIS BAND IS THE SHIT” to each other.

I really am curious, though. Because I’ve been to my fair share of shows, but none that elicits such weird reactions. And we’re not just talking about the shouting. There were people being religious with their hands raised. There were the crazy dancers with band shirts. And to the right of me was an older woman doing some mystic dance moves.

Granted, I think that actually seeing this band in concert is a trip:

David Eugene Edwards, the singer/songwriter/creator/person, has his eyes shut for pretty much the entire set (and at Club Congress, I was SO close to him, I felt victimized by all the sweat and spit…yes, SPIT…I went away with), and his leg will do random spazes (yet land oh-so delicately on the synth peddles). And he speaks in tongues. And blesses his crowd.

It really is a sight to be seen.

So, what do you think? Do you think there are just crazies wherever you see live music, or do you think that people are just so moved by this particular band that they feel so inclined as to shout random phrases?

Meet and greet!

Chris (bassist) and Doug (singer/songwriter/acoustic guitar). Photo courtesy of El Con.
Chris (bassist) and Doug (singer/songwriter/acoustic guitar). Photo courtesy of El Con.

If you’re in Tucson today, come and meet me and my El Con friends at Old Town Artisans tonight at 7 p.m. They’ll be playing in the bar until 9 p.m., and you can bet I’ll be there either sipping on mezcal or snapping photos.

See you there!

Dandy Warhols, take three

The Dandy Warhols in 2006
The Dandy Warhols in 2006

Wow, this blog is quickly becoming a music blog.

Whoops! My bad!

I’m working on three hours of sleep today, people, which is never pretty.

And in a few hours, I’ll officially decide if the Dandy Warhols show at the Roseland was worth it. Counting last night, this was the third show of theirs I’ve been to.

You never really know what to expect with their shows. For example, the first one I went to, they had a 20-minute psychedelic jam session. That kind of pissed me off, because I definitely wasn’t in the mood, crammed in the Crystal Ballroom like sardines, and such.

Anyway, last night was a really good performance — even though I wasn’t crazy about the fact that the set didn’t start until 11 p.m., and then lasted a solid two hours. I’m obviously not one for endurance standing, even with a good pair of Danskos, and this CRAZY girl in front of me was so close, she was practically giving me a lap dance. Eek! I am of the ilk that believes you should have a personal bubble when going to a show. And mine is always violated.

Well, back to the actual music. Courtney Taylor-Taylor (CTT) had, yet again, another hairstyle. This time, it was channelling the Kurt Cobain “bob,” if you will. And his lips were still plumpalicious.

And they played a lot of their classics in addition to several of their new songs. At times, I thought the performance and singing was kind of forced, but overall, I thought it was good.

Oh, and apparently I’m that girl who wears band shirts to the show. Boo! I literally had no idea it was faux-pas. Whoooooops!

Calexico at the Crystal!

Calexico live.
Calexico live.

I totally purchased Calexico tickets on presale about four months ago. And I’ve pretty much been counting down the days until the show. Which…was last night!

And holy crap! These guys are a bunch of extremely talented musicians. I don’t know if I want to call it protest music, but to be at the Crystal Ballroom (in the middle of the cosmopolitan part of Portland) listening to music about social justice and the US-Mexico Border totally gave me chills. It seemed a little out of place, to be honest, because their music is so influenced by the American Southwest, but I obviously didn’t care one little bit.

The crowd was pretty hilarious, too. You could tell that most of them probably hadn’t listened to much of Calexico’s stuff, and were just there for the Crystal Frontier…because that’s when they really livened up.

And their rendition of Guero Canelo was AWESOME.

They played a great set, which included TWO encores(!) and lasted more than two hours.

My back hurts today from standing up for so long. But the pain was worth it.