“You’re hopelessness is like a vacation.”
“I’m not happy that I want to eat that.” Lisa
“It’s like someone puke-farted.” Chuck (Both quotes were responses to Joe opening a bag of Western Family Beef Jerky. Apparently it tasted great)
“Do you know how many Roadrunner cartoons they made? Just think how many they would have had to make if Wile E. Coyote had cried about it? If he had a bunch of pups and cried about it? I mean he learned how to write signs and shit. Maybe that’s what the people who don’t like our president are doing. Writing signs and crying about it.”- Young man with a backpack shouting as he walked down the sidewalk
The first person we saw when we entered Portland was a dude with white boy dreads wearing a suit with a jacket bare-chested underneath and sandals with white socks. So that was cool. We were told we had to be at the club at 7:00 sharp because there was going to be a comedy show before the rock show and we needed to be all loaded in. The venue was called the Star Theater and as soon as we walked in they started grousing at us because we were late. We were actually right on time (not a given with Wussy) and had the e-mails to prove when they had told us to be there, but whatever. We loaded all our gear onto this patio but they wouldn’t let us into the club because the doors had opened for the comedy show. So we had to have someone sit with the gear for 4 hours on the patio while the rest of went and foraged for food. While out I came across Powell’s Bookstore. Oooh, so many sexy books; used, new, floor after floor. A happy place. While walking back to the club I came across our prophet of Looney Tunes doom, who before he began shouting, expectorated loudly, dropped a loogy like melted cheese then proceeded to make no sense whatsoever. When I got back to the club Chuck and Lisa asked if I had seen the man fighting the shrub? “No.” Well apparently this guy was full on punching a bush (there had been no bush punching prior to Portland this tour) (because saying bush is funny) and then when it had been subdued he turned and began punching a tree. The only thing that could possibly distract from his Don Quixote-like quest was our vision of indie inscrutability Lisa Walker. As soon as he saw her he stopped punching and said, “Hey there...” and started walking towards her. Wisely she fled.
The Star Theater was a beautiful, recently renovated theater that used to host burlesque performers according to the posters on the wall. No one was mean to us and I don’t intend to slag the place. It was fine, but there was a weird vibe all night. The club was lit by this big central red light in the center of a cavernous ceiling. The bar was set high and had a glowing strip on it that made everyone look like they were telling spooky stories with a flashlight. The bartender looked like the son of the man who had interviewed Chuck and Lisa in Grand Junction. The comedy show was part of pride week so it was a very focused kind of humor. Unfunny. This has nothing to do with gay or straight humor. Comedians just aren’t funny. It’s not their fault.* A friend of ours from Cincinnati showed up with the owners of the pizza joint where he worked (“they’re not really our bosses – they don’t do anything, we just deliver food to them every once in awhile) who were, and I swear I’m not lying, a little person who likes to dress like Marilyn Manson and a seven foot giant. If David Lynch had directed the Shining you’d be getting close to our evening.
We were opening up for some band so we had about a foot and a half available onstage. We had just about given up all hope when out of the red light came about 40 people who were there to see us. It was so unexpected and lovely. Thanks to you all in Portland. You made our night. After us was the headliner. They were fucking awesome. The lead singer had what was actually a quite beautiful hair hat. They had a full-on light show and a smoke machine that spewed forth continuously like a teenager alone with his Farrah Fawcet poster. The smoke got so thick that for the latter half of the show you couldn’t actually see the band. They played a style of music that put forth the notion that Garbage (the band) were visionaries whose depths had yet to be adequately plumbed. Their version of, “Losing My Religion” was lovely though.
Portland. The show doesn't even come close.
Tomorrow is Seattle and KEXP.
*I didn’t actually see more than 5 minutes of comedy as I was running around. Just being silly.