MusicfestNW is well underway, and tonight Lisa & I saw three bands in three clubs in three hours. First up: the Misfats, Portland's own all-fat-guy Misfits tribute band. (Well, the drummer's pretty skinny, and I suspect one or two of the others might be padded a little. All lyrics altered to be about being fat guys: "20 Pies," "Mommy, Can I Go Out And Grill Tonight," "We Weigh 288," etc. Expected, but did not get, "Angelfood." Requested, and got, "Green Hell," in the form of "Green Eggs," as in "~ and ham." Appreciated the spray-on devilocks. Even so, if you're doing a band like that you have to TOTALLY throw yourself into it, and they were a little too lackadaisical with the show-flow--the band kept breaking its momentum, so the joke did too. They were scheduled to be followed by The Iron Maidens, who are exactly what you think they are, but we didn't stick around. (It didn't occur to me until later that both bands have songs called "Where Eagles Dare," or as the guy who used to phone in to my radio show in college used to put it, "Wheah Eagles Dayuh.")
Second: Deerhoof at the Roseland Ballroom. Here are a bunch of MP3s of them; if you're new to them, I recommend "Milk Man," which was a highlight of the show, and "Dummy Discards a Heart.") I'd seen some of their show a few weeks ago in Oslo, but it was great to see them play with some room and some time--they have a freaky sense of where the rhythm lives, and they keep snatching it out tail-first. Some guy in front of me was saying to his friend "man! this is the worst drummer I've ever seen!" I have no idea what his idea of a good drummer would be, and I don't think I want to know.
And then the Thermals, a band I'm happy to see any number of times. I think they played their entire repertoire in a bit under 40 minutes--everything on both albums, just about, and a few new songs. (A couple of MP3s from elsewhere: "How We Know" and "No Culture Icons," the latter of which actually started a sort of pit.) One of the few bands that makes me want to write songs just like theirs. I was singing the "oh repeat repeat repea-heat" bit from "End to Begin" all the way home.
Another Burning Man memory: the first morning we were there, Monday, we were woken up (as was everyone else within a radius of... quite a few blocks) around 6:30 AM by the sound of a man screaming. Every ten seconds or so. Couldn't quite tell what he was screaming, but he did it for HOURS, in a low, raspy voice. Mer, who was not in a mood to deal with this, and a few other people went to investigate. Turned out that he was surrounded by a ring of Black Rock Rangers and assorted ex-sleepers, who couldn't quite kick his ass and couldn't quite kick him out of the event, so were trying to talk him into shutting up, with no success... and it also turned out that what he was howling was "CHIIIIIRP! CHIIIIIIRP!"