Thursday, September 13, 2012

MFNW part dos

On Friday I ventured out to The Doug Fir for two KEXP Lounge shows.  The Doug Fir is a little restaurant/bar/performance area that looks like a log cabin and is on the corner of/affiliated with a newer hotel. The lounge was a floor underground, which on a 85 degree day provided a wonderful cool respite that more than once was compared to a cave. I missed The Pains of Being Pure at Heart due to a fire that delayed the buses (it's always something isn't it?) so I skipped over to Sizzle Pie to wait for the next show.  Sizzle Pie is a mini-chain in Portland for gourmet pizza that was fantastic.  I would never have thought to put sliced almonds with thin pieces of roast, garlic and two kinds of cheese, but man did it work.  I also treated myself to a Crispins cider and then a local Caldera Amber, which despite being canned, was great.

Upon wrapping up there, I plunged into the underground world of The Doug Fir for Lost Lander.  I'm a big fan.  They have a great sound, which at some points was a tiny bit like Cold War Kids, at other points was more like a band who I like and whose name is completely eluding me right now. They are coming to Seattle Sunday!

After the Lost Lander show, I emerged blinking into the sun and happily strolled to the patio for a Flat Tire Sunshine beer. Very appropriate for the day. I stayed around to catch the Black Mountain show.  Again, it was a band I'd never heard of.  In every way they were a great Zepplin cover band, except that it was original music.  The female singer looked like she was the daughter of the male lead, appearing maybe 18.  She presented a totally unaffected demeanor at all times.  There was never a smile or a scream. She was either high or bored.  Musically, they sounded like Zepplin from the choices of chords, to the feedback and reverb. I was left thinking "why wouldn't I just listen to Zepplin?"

Danielle met me at the outdoor stage at Pioneer Courthouse Square for two shows, but I got there first and saw Gardens & Villa. I wasn't paying a lot of attention at this point as I was people watching and making hipster notes. They seemed benign though not totally uninteresting. The crowd was about the same and both Gardens and Menomena suffered from an apathetic crowd and lots of synthesizers too early in the day. Danielle came in part was through the Menomena show.  Again, I believe they are local.  The area was starting to fill and they put on a good show but were hampered by the stage orientation which had them facing straight into the sun.  The last show at Pioneer was Beirut which required an additional ticket (included in our ticket fee). I feel like I need to listen to them again while not surrounded by and irritated by hipsters. They look like what happens when band nerds get older but don't grow up.  I liked the use of tuba, trombone (both played by a guy who also played keyboard), trumpet (played by a guy that reminds me of ten Spaniards I've met) and even accordion. There was a feeling of trying to do too much on stage by having six members who all changed instruments and stage position. They were clearly a crowd favorite as the area had filled and folks were pushed up towards the stage.

Danielle and I left before the end to make our way over to the Star Theater. The Star was a nice venue.  Small inside with a long skinny set up with a stage at one end, but a big patio outside with two bars.  It was busy but not overly packed.  We had dealings with a waitress who was vacant.  It's strange to run in to someone who is really honestly dumb as rocks.  She had trouble reciting the beers on tap to us even while using her cheat sheet.  A couple more beers here while not paying much attention to Moon Duo (other than to notice the guy in it looked like an appropriately aged and heavily bearded Manson), or Daughn Gibson. Out on the patio we had a interesting conversation with an American Spirit Tobacco Sales Rep about quitting smoking campaigns. We did move in from the patio to hear The Pains of Being Pure at Heart who I liked more than I thought I would.

At this point we didn't have to roam far to find a taxi who, upon Danielle's direction, took us to a Taco Bell where we dismounted the cab and walked through the drive-through. I didn't think they'd serve us since every drive through now has a sign saying "must be in motorized vehicle" but Danielle persuaded the woman to take our order for tacos and nachos.  I wonder how often Taco Bell employees get tipped. The walk that Danielle swore was only a mile was probably a couple of miles and we both launched into bed post haste.

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