May 16, 2009 - Ash St. Saloon

Sorry for the delay in posting this; I've been trying to get this new site design in order. Now that it's all ship-shape, I can recount the tales of our mid-May Saturday night at the good ol' Ash St.

It had been a long while since I had set foot on that stage, and it was nice to be back. Heather, the booker/soundlady/showrunner is always easy to deal with and I've been lucky enough (as I think every musician in town has) to get to know her over the years, but even luckier to remain on good terms with her and the venue the whole time I've been playing shows in Portland. So, it was nice to know it would go smoothly, and we were also looking forward to being backed up by a reliable sound system, given our shaky start (I'm looking at you, Report Lounge).

Local new jack crooners The Beauty opened the show, and though I'd listened to some of their stuff online and had heard they were great live, I was not prepared for their stage show. In fact, they didn't even use the stage, instead opting to work the floor and randomly serenade members of the gaggle of friends and family they brought along. One of the Beauty dudes was celebrating a birthday, and they had the whole place in party mode from the get-go. Three-part harmonies the likes of which I had never heard before, but I wish to one day hear again. I really hope we get to play with them in the future. Next time I will remember to take a picture of them.

My old pals The Buttery Lords were up next, and as usual, they were electric. It's clear they've been in the lab–the boys are breaking out more and more new material each time I see them, and it's been consistently great. As with any good Buttery set, things got sweaty, Hub stripped down to his tank top, and the ladies swooned. This was the first Sticks Downey/Buttery Lords bill, but there will, I'm sure, be many more. Though the word on the street is that they're considering changing their name to Boner Patrol, so if you see that on a poster, you know what's happenin'.

We were up next, and the highlight of our set was getting the Butteries back up on stage for a rousing rendition of "Sticks of Butter." Hadn't played a game of Pass the Mic in a while, but I wasn't as rusty as I feared I might be. The rest of our set went just fine, and we had a blast up there. A good amount of friends turned out, and even some unfamiliar faces, which is always nice. Though I was disappointed at the lack of drunken hippie dancers, because that's usually a mainstay at the Ash St. Maybe they're trying to keep the riffraff to a minimum these days. Other than that, I can't complain. We had a great time, and both Talik and the Footstress were fantastic up there.

Another group of old chums closed down the show, The Wall Hits. They had been booked randomly, but I've known these guys since high school. They just keep changing their band name, so it's hard to keep up. They've stepped up the visual aspect of their show since I saw them last, and it (their projection screen rolling video insanity) made for some good watchin' and listenin'. So, yes, a fun night. A hot night. We were all perspiring. Here's a picture of me and Foots hawking the wares post-set:

You can't see it, but my hat was soaked through. And my beard was glistening.