Jimbo Saves. Our Seattle Jesus took us out for breakfast once again, a Last Supper of hangover bar food. He turned one credit card into individual skillets and messes for everyone. I could have ordered 2 eggs with 3 sides of 2 eggs, but Doubting Nicole said it couldn’t be done. Everyone was a snob about the hashbrowns, which were Immaculate.
The rain fondled our van all the way to Portland. What can I say about Portland that Fred Armisen hasn’t already? Bikes, haircuts, unemployment. It’s all there, and more. The whole city is decorated with a sense of whimsy and smirky humor. Actual adults participate in soap box derby races, adorn crossing walk signs with hula hoops, and ride unicycles while playing flutes in full Star Wars regalia.
Our hosts were my camera shy friend-for-life Michele and her husband Tom. Michele will go down in my history as the junior who pulled me away from my freshmen year lunch acquaintances, and made the table of upperclassmen punk rock theater misfits my new home. Tom and I worked together at an indie label distribution warehouse in 1997, which is a whole nuther affair. Michele and Tom were putting us up in a groovy Tibetan meditation house that their Buddhist pals are renting to them for either six months or nine years. Tonight it would be a full house. John Namasté-mos!
Backspace is a large computer cafe with a back room devoted to either gaming or cyber sex. Hard to tell. It’s located in Chinatown, though Portland got rid of most its Chinese character for fear of people thinking it’s racist. I flipped through a free press rag to see if they had anything to say about the show, but the earliest listings were for tomorrow’s shows. Today was so over.
For dinner we endured inadequate service, but relished the yummy burgers amid drag queens joined by Nicole’s columnist pal Erika. Then Michele and Tom met me at Ground Control, a vintage barcade for $5 Free Play Night. I got to play coin-op Paperboy and Tempest, but the guy hogging BurgerTime wouldn’t leave, and Qbert was out of order. So the three of us combined forces to conquer Sunset Riders, shooting banditos, varmints, and whores for 16-bit rewards. Wow, so this is Portlandia.My cousins Jaci and Ryan made the 176 mile trek to see us play. Also in attendance were Regina and John, improv cohorts of mine from late 90′s Chicago, who I hadn’t seen since then. As a bonus, former Unicycle Loves You accessory man Trusten also came to support his old bandmates sans tambourine. Mingling was the order of the evening before we took the stage.
Our set is getting more and more violent, especially during “Wow Wave Cinema”. Tonight Jim’s guitar went unexpectedly silent during the solo, so he karaoked it until the microphone fell apart in his hands. Nicole and I kept it going, until Jim eventually figured it out (“figyer it ay-ooouuuuuuuuut!”). Regina and John were a vocal force during the set, poking us with nutty heckles. They cut a rug for “Sun Comes Out”, which ended with my drums tumbling over like a failed domino rally. Tonight my tiny shinies received compliments from Portland’s white hetero males. If they liked it then they shoulda put a bird on it.While Jim & Nicole caught up over cans of Genesee with Trustin, Michele, Tom & I hit Voodoo Doughnut. I got an original Voodoo Doughnut, a yellow cake glove, frosted chocolate with goofy monster decoration, blood red jelly filling, and a pretzel stick cigarette. It was tooth-rotting delicious!
Back at the house we talked about Portland, which is one of the things you do in Portland. I learned that in Portland you spend three years trying to find a job, then take a crappy one, and do that until you invent your own job. One of these days I’ve got to move. Maybe it will be here. And I can blog advice to hang-gliding sea punk Boba Fettishists.