Black Elk frontman Tom Glose in his formative years, hanging on the wall of the B Side bar in PDX
It about broke my heart in two that I was only able to attend MusicfestNW in Portland for two days (Wednesday-Thursday), but I'm thrilled that I got to catch what I did. The Doug Fir served as my primary default location, since most of what I wanted to see was there and I didn't want to risk missing out on anything by dodging to other venues. When we needed a breather from the crowds at that club, we made a beeline for the B Side, a charming dive with a fondness for mixing flammable-strength drinks and playing Hot Snakes records. They also had quite a knack for decor...among the items hanging from the walls: crude-yet-cute dioramas of the bar itself, a stuffed bunny with a nail through its head, and a framed, grade school-era photo of Black Elk frontman Tom Glose with the word "Fail" written in across his forehead (amusing, especially considering how whip-smart that guy is).
Sadly, the pragmatic choice of sticking close to Doug Fir on Thursday night meant bailing on the Scared of Chaka reunion (midnight over at the Ash Street Saloon) so that I didn't miss the return of Steel Pole Bathtub (1 a.m. at Doug Fir). Thankfully, watching SPB openers Red Fang melt everyone's faces off was a helluva consolation prize, and hopefully Scared of Chaka will play a show in Seattle soon (confidential to Dave Hernandez: Do it! Do it!).
Steel Pole Bathtub
On Monday, I'll have much more on everything I managed to catch, including the unanticipated joy of seeing former Unwound drummer Sarah Lund's excellent new band, Hungry Ghost (pictured below).
All photos by JJ Wandler