Wednesday, July 18, 2012

OMSI After Dark, July 25th, with Wild Ones and Mimicking Birds

Everybody knows that OMSI is awesome.  Everybody likes synthpop and/or indie rock.  (Don't lie, you know you do.)  It is indisputable that futurism- whether retro-, or plagued with zeerust, or the regular ol' philosophical kind- is kickass.  How shall we combine these things... hmm, let me see...

OMSI After Dark!

I'll let the folks at OMSI explain all the pertinent details below, but let's just say I definitely plan to be there next Wednesday night, in bowtie and tweed, acting like the alternate-history-writin' fool that I am.  I'll also be doing an interview with the PIC, which should be quite interesting.  Hope to see you there!

OMSI After Dark Offers Music and Science for “Geeks Gone Wild” 21+ Crowd

July event showcases popular local bands Wild Ones and Mimicking Birds;
Explores science behind future that never happened

Local bands are the newest feature of the popular adult event OMSI After Dark, known for kid-free, brain-building science fun for the 21+ crowd!

July Local Bands in Concert:

Wild Ones and Mimicking Birds

Wild Ones started with Danielle Sullivan and Thomas Himes in 2009 as a synth-pop duo and quickly evolved to include bass player Clayton Knapp and drummer Andy Parker and produce its debut EP "You're a Winner."

Having toured with Modest Mouse and played at festivals such as Austin City Limits and Lollapalooza, Mimicking Birds is no stranger to large crowds.  With lush vocals and a deeply toned acoustic guitar, their songs are ethereal, pensive and austere.

July Science Theme: Jet Packs and RoboMaids: The Future That Never Happened!
Whatever happened with jetpacks, robot maids, hovercrafts, and holodecks? A whole lotta nothing! Explore the future that never happened and the tech that just didn’t take.

Interactive Demos and Activities:

  *   Nano Pants – See the science behind fabric that will repel water
  *   Flaming Tubes and Good Vibes – These flames can groove to the music
  *   Mind Games – Play video games using only your noggin
  *   Holograms – Make a hologram and see it in action
  *   Segway Rides – Whiz around on the transportation of the future
  *   Exploding Ping Pong Balls – Liquid nitrogen + enclosed container
  *   Quiz to the Future – Wild? Or eerily accurate? Explore predictions throughout time
  *   Magic Wallet – Financial planning using simple household items

Wednesday, July 25
7 to 11 p.m.; concerts will be at 9 p.m. and 10 p.m.

OMSI, inside and out!

Regular tickets will be $18 and include OMSI After Dark and the concert
$9 for OMSI members
FREE for OMSI After Dark members

Visit to learn more about the current exhibitions on display, local artisans and services featured at the event, and the evening’s themed food and drink menu.

Founded in 1944, the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI) is one of the nation’s leading science museums, a world-class tourist attraction, and an award-winning educational resource for the kid in each of us. OMSI is located at 1945 SE Water Avenue, Portland, OR 97214. For general information, call 503.797.4000 or<>.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Kendrick Lamar w/ Best Coast, vitaminwater and FADER uncapped concert series

So, when I was hooked up with this show, I was generally excited, but didn't have any idea what was in store.  I brought along my lovely wife, hoping not only to impress her as a snooty bigtime journalist, but perhaps take advantage of her razor wit.

The first thing to mention is the format of this concert series, a collaboration with vitaminwater and FADER- the Uncapped shows are in most cases a juxtaposition of two artists- one indie rock and one hiphop.  Now, I know... sounds like a recipe for either awkward or awesome.  You know, like the Judgement Night soundtrack.  Actually, it works.

Immediately I knew that this was going to be an interesting night.  The venue, instead of being a club or random warehouse, was actually kind of both.  It's a place called Lumberyard MTB over off 82nd, a brand new combination indoor bike park/pub.  So yes, I love Portland.  Now, when I say it was both, this is what I mean:


The whole place was like that- a combination of raver candybeams and non-Euclidean geometry.  Disorienting, but cool.  There was an instant photo spot, libations, and guardrails everywhere, surrounded by a ton of people wandering here and there, with a palpable buzz.

And the people!  There were a living crapload of people, the vast majority of whom were not bloggers.  The crowd was that perfect melange of ages and cultures that you only see as extras in stock photography.  And the energy was building.

It's this energy that really made the night for me.  In so many of the concerts I take in, there's a sort of restless nonchalance.  You know what I'm talking about.  Not here, as I would soon see.  While waiting for the first band, Kayla and I met some nice hipster kids who were admiring her tattoos, and pretty soon we realized that these hipster kids were big fantasy nerds, and I got one of them stoked about my upcoming novel.  We decided to do a photo swap, so here is Kayla with our new friends.


The first act came on- Best Coast, out of Miami.  I'm not sure why this concert series is flinging artists all the hell around the country, but it's a cool idea.  Kayla, determined to get some sass in, offered this about the indie rockers: "Pretty cool for a bunch of Rilo Kiley ripoffs."  Which is pretty high praise from her.  I agreed- Best Coast was pretty cool, but somehow they seemed a little mismatched with the room.  With a crowd that hyped up, anything less than manic could possibly come off as flat.

After a brisk set, Best Coast left us in the hands of the venue's DJ, who had a nice mix going, and we all hung around to make small talk.  Just kidding, 75 percent of the people there went outside to smoke and left us inside to enjoy the sudden welling up of fresh air and 3G bandwidth.  People began to file back in, and as the PA blew through "Gold Digger," "Poison," and Kayla's fave "Jane Fonda," we noticed that our hipster friends were tearing up the dancefloor.  Yes, boogying the fuck down.

Now it was time for Kendrick Lamar to go on, and with everyone back in the room that energy was back.  I was not at this point familiar with him, but with what little I'd read I was very stoked.  Apparently everyone else was- as soon as Lamar hit the stage, there was a mass vibration that wasn't all from the air being pushed by sorely tasked woofers.  The energy stayed tight the whole time, and get this- it seemed like everyone knew all the songs, shouting and responding at all the right times under Lamar's intense command.  I'm not sure I've ever seen someone work a room so solidly, and I have seen James Brown live.

Kendrick Lamar's almost flawless set (marred only by a perhaps carcinogenic level of gratuitous dub siren) was enhanced by a couple of really nice touches.  First was Bethany, singer from Best Coast, doing a duet with Lamar, as seen here:

After that was a local guy named Kenny, who furiously ripped through one of Lamar's songs with scary accuracy, and stayed on as hype man through most of the show.  Portland, represent.  We were very impressed.

So that was the night.  Sometimes you start out feeling a little cynical, ready to just jump on everybody's shit. For a show and a crowd to completely reverse that and leave all involved feeling great- a rare blessing.  I have a feeling the rest of the Uncapped series is going to be much like this, so if you get a chance to see them, do it.  Also check the Uncapped youtube page for videos of earlier shows.

And as far as the mission to combine business with pleasure- or journalism with date night- how did that go? Well, I think my wife was impressed.

Kick it!

Yo, VIP.


Monday, July 9, 2012

BAT COUNTRY!!!!!! "I'm Your Ice Cream Man" Edition

Skipping Girl Vinegar have made the most twee indie Nickleback video EVER.

Oh yes I did go there!

 Looks like I picked the wrong day to stop taking my crazy pills.
Now this is the sort of slick funky whatchamafuck I was looking for.

 Holy crap, what is going on here?!?
Okay, it was cool until this guy started talk/rapping. Go to his gig on July 16th and yell at him for me.

 "Oh, it's positively maudlin outside."
I don't really know what to make of this video. I like it for a few moments, then it's all, "Hey, Live called and they want their identity back."  

Here we go.
See- dark music, minimalist video- classy all around. 

 Hold on to your beer!
Well, it started out cute.

 Local rapper J Poetic doesn't seem like he really means it.  
I guess give him points for trying.

 So, I was simultaneously scared and eager to check this one out.  
Well, it is totally one step away from being a Die Antwoord video, but the song is pretty cool. 

 That's it for Bat Country!!!!! for now. Oh, wait. Ice cream. I totally forgot to make my ice cream-related announcement. Soon! Here's a little something to tide you over.