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PDX POP NOW! - the recovery stage - ::red*headed step*child::
August 8th, 2005
06:12 pm


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PDX POP NOW! - the recovery stage
There's entirely too much to say about the festival really... but by and large, I had a fantastic time and I'd totally do it again. I wasn't so incredibly eager to see myself back in it that I thought to sign up for next year last night, though - I was too tired by the time I thought of it to even go try to find a sheet to sign. I have never smelled so awful in my life - spending 11 hours sweating, having the sweat dry, sweating a fresh coat, it dries, etc. My poor wimpy spray-on crystal deodorant didn't stand a chance.

Most of the day was spent actually speed-reading The Magus, that infuriating John Fowles book I've been reading for the last two weeks. All kinds of folks asked me about it, and I tried to describe it, but it's impossible really. I got many compliments on my Who T-shirt as I usually do. which is one of the reasons why I love it so much. I also got props on my glasses from a BBW of the Kelly Osborne breed who had just said to her friends: "I'm a vagetarian... get it?" I got to the venue two hours before my shift started, by accident, again. Super boo. But the nice thing about that was of course being able to see bands I wouldn't have otherwise.

Let me break it down:

-Tractor Operator. Solo artist with acoustic guitar and pissed off, melancholy songs. Good singer and guitarist. I was still half asleep.
-Morgan Grace. Powerful bitch-rock of the finest quality. Morgan Grace has the exact Joey Ramone haircut and a voice that Courtney Love wishes she had (and probably thinks she does). She was awesome and she ripped the Mercury a new one for shitting on the festival. Go Ms. Grace!
-Junior Private Detective. Wonderful as usual, though more low-key and more low-tempo than I remember. They're just so cute.
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-The Dimes. Started volunteer shift at 2pm and sat next to this band as they played. They're quite good, but not really my thing. It's so weird to really love some indie rock and be "meh" about others, and there really isn't that much difference in their sound... I don't understand it.
My next security shifts ensured that I didn't see either Science of Yabra or Portland General Electro, though I've seen/heard PGE before and they're pretty fun. Alan Singley and Pants Machine coincided with the end of my security shift upstairs, and they were silly and charming and funny enough that I didn't even notice that I hadn't actually gotten off duty yet for more than half an hour. We Quit was loud and abrasive enough to make me pretty much flee the premises, which might be too bad, but you can't do everything.
-The Cancer Fags. Despite technical difficulties in the form of severe record skipping due to an unstable table/stage combo, the Fags were great as usual. Due to the truncated set (usually they get at least an hour to do their thing) Julian Tulip was basically topless by the end of the second song. I wasn't paying much attention to the crowd, except for two punqueroque girls in the front that Julian made much of, possibly because, they being extremely colorful, he could actually see them with his glasses off. They dug him a whole lot, though, and if it was a different scene probably would have been giving him head in the green room 20 minutes after they'd finished. (This is just a wild guess, and no judgment call - I'd do the same thing myself.)
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I didn't see Wow & Flutter almost at all, but they're a lot more rockin' than the name might suggest. I'd see them again if I could, but in a very different setting it might work better. I was more interested at that point in getting a pint of beer at My Father's Place with mydarkstar, David Prids, Marshall, Corben Fags, and Corben's awesome dad Walter. David and Marshall dissed us, but we parked at a table nonetheless and ended up ordering food as well. Why can't I remember these guys' names? There were two others... two incredibly swell guys who I know somewhat well at this point but ... oh my stinkin' memory. Anyway, we drank a bit and ate and I mused about the Del Tha Funkee show I was at on the night Joolz died and how I could feel it, even though I was 270 miles away and in a noisy club drinking a Coke&Hen. Anyway, thanks to MFP, I did not see Wet Confetti or Cajun Gems, though Cat assured me that the Gems were pretty damn good.
Hillstomp. Didn't watch, but enjoyed the backwoods groove while hanging on the balcony upstairs with Menteer smoking rollies and talking about how we don't get fucked up as much as we used to, and how we like that, and how awesome it is to really interact with your parents as human beings. How I love that man.
Manic D and Fogatron. The night before, I was talking to the husky doorman about hip-hop music, and having seen some amazing white-boy human beatboxes (which is what put me in mind of that Del show, and of Joolz) and he'd insisted that I make sure I see this combo. And they are indeed fantastic - but dammit, more uptempo already, y'all! Brainy rhymes of an intellectual and personal level somewhere between Eminem and the Beasties, to evoke some more white dudes in hip-hop. Good, but there was a super bright spotlight that was glaring at me from the stage, and I had to flee.
Strength. A strange, wonderful neo-disco group who would be my new favorite band if they had a smoother vocalist. It's like Donna Summer's music with ... shit, I don't even know how to describe it - a male Sandra Bernhart, a male Phillis Diller - who would that be? Shrieky, nasal, and extremely grating. The band is fantabular though. Maybe they're better on record!
Point Juncture, WA. By this time I was exhausted and reeking and I was nearing my wit's end. I shoved in earplugs and stood next to the stage right next to a speaker and watched this earnest post-post rock combo play a set to a roomful of adoring fans. I really just wanted to lie down in a cool room somewhere and listen to silence, but it was not to be. I had to stick around for...
Blitzen Trapper. And boy did we wait. They were ... I don't know how long; I'm estimating 35 minutes overdue. Technical difficulties with the mikes or something; whatever it was it took a fucking long ass time for them to actually play after they started setting up. As if to make up for it, the BT guys spazzed the fuck right out and played ferociously fast and intense versions of favorites past and present - a lot of stuff from the first album, and some new stuff, and ONE song from Field Rexx, for which I could have killed them - dammit play my favorite album already! But that's OK, it was "Lux and Royal Shopper", which is one of the songs that made me into a fan in the first place. But no "Summer Twin"? No "Cold Gold Diamond"? And definitely never "Dirty Pearls" because they never play that song. *sigh*
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After all that, hell, I feel justified in coming home, soaking my feet, and giving up on life for a few hours. But I did finish The Magus, so it's not like I didn't do anything yesterday. :)

Current Mood: still tired
Current Music: fan

(4 comments | Leave a comment)

[User Picture]
Date:August 9th, 2005 04:12 am (UTC)
The Magus is an interesting but ultimately frustrating novel. I admit certain passages still haunt me: "Lily" in Edwardian dress, the doll hanging from a tree, and that sickening sense of return, like being stuck in a labyrinth.
[User Picture]
Date:August 9th, 2005 06:51 pm (UTC)
Intensely frustrating. And yet admirable in many ways. I just wish he wouldn't make me read so damn much French ...
I definitely prefer The Collector.
Date:August 10th, 2005 03:21 am (UTC)


I think it's easier to make perfect art that's simpler ("The Collector," being Fowles' first novel and most popular, was also admittedly his simplest and most accessible.) "The Magus" is simply far too exhaustive in scope and wide-reaching to ever attain perfection. Something this grand is nearly always riddled with tiny impurities and flaws. It's brilliant nonetheless, an excellent example of a young, not-entirely-disciplined-yet mind still stretching to grasp at elusive, beautiful things just barely beyond its own long reach (and easily beyond the reach of most other writers, too.) It remains my favourite, with "Daniel Martin" being a close second. I dare you to read "A Maggot." Boggling! And don't go reading any literary criticism of it until afterward...there's much confusion about that one and you shouldn't approach it with any preconceptions.

The film of "The Magus" (featuring Michael Caine, Candice Bergen and Anthony Quinn—you'd expect a good return on those investments) became a notorious example of hideously bungled adaptation. A great Woody Allen quote: "If I had the opportunity to live life over again, I’d do everything exactly the same – with the exception of watching 'The Magus.'"

I'm happy that you read it!

[User Picture]
Date:August 12th, 2005 06:32 am (UTC)

Re: Fowles

I tried to find out using the IMDB whether or not a film had ever been made... I must watch it!! Egads.

I may try "A Maggot" but first I have to clear my mind with other authors. Bukowski did wonders; I love him, he's like a dash of cold water in the face.
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