Exploring PDX

Spring in PDX

Mar 06, 2005 by josh |

Day 368

(Written between March 2004 to March 2005 enjoy)

Having awaken late from an all-nighter from the party before I would find myself having a bite to eat in the sun and it's almost sunset with my friends who traveled down from Washington for the party. Would receive a phone call about Oregon Park having some people setting up for a variety of performances in the park and for invites to Church(Freak Mt. Ramblers @ Laurelthirst). Then being told about others spending this Saturday morning at Saturday Market it all became clear to me.
I started this adventure in March of last year and found that it was very easy to see shows. To go out and see music to spend my evenings out enjoying what Portland had to offer. But it was this day that made it clear as to why.

The sun.

In Portland and the Northwest we tend to worship the sun a bit. Ok, A lot! It is a strange thing that I have seen only here. I'm sure other areas of the world that seen the sun seldom as us follow suit. It is this following of the sun, this acknowledging that the seasons have change and our passion for a beverage that drives us out from our winter gloom. To commence this event in Portland we have the Portland Saturday Market. It actually became so big that they have it on Sunday too. None the less it starts the first weekend in March and ends the day before Christmas(yes, I've shopped there that day). The have two stages now and many performers throughout the day. It was that sunny Sunday afternoon in March on the first weekend that I realized that the Saturday Market actually Commences the start of the the " Sunny Season " in Portland. Now, it could rain any day of the year here but it was a bright sunny day for the first weekend and the idea and concept still holds. March is traditionally the first Month of the year where you will most likely see sun. Now this year we never really saw any snow. In the city of in the mountains. We'll see how that pans out for us later this year. I did realize that with the sun brings so many great things to Portland. The music scene being one. Music in the next few months will be popping up every where about the city. All day Saturday and Sunday at the Market, and soon to follow Music on the Lawn at the Grand Lodge, and then my favorite the Portland Park Series. Outdoor music is something I enjoy the most. I have traveled far just to see some of the best and I imagine I'll do more in my life.
So, this sunny afternoon I come to know the reason why seeing music every day for a year in Portland really wasn't so difficult. In fact, it wasn't until January and February that I started to have some disappointment in what was available. Yes, there was still music and I'm sure I missed some good shows but on average the shows stop or drop during the same two months that the Portland Saturday Market takes a break.
I'm now excited again about what is coming and what is to happen this summer in the music scene. Already I have seen 5 new bands this year and have ideas yet to promote the music scene in Portland.

Thank you again to all who play, hear, see, and support the music that is in our backyards.



Mar 05, 2005 by josh |
Day 367

Wow! That is all I can really say about the party. It is now a couple weeks past and I have had a bunch of time to relax, think and digest the last year. I now have many more things I going to do to help promote music. I have been contacted by others in the industry and asked to do things as well as started to share some ideas. Today is actually March 21st and I just saw Carban Leaf and Big Head Todd @ the Monsters. The inspired me on a few more items and to that I have more to do. I have been thinking about many things to come but first the anniversary.
So, Buds of May, Sweetjuice, and Higherground all played at the Imbibe. Personally for me it was the most crowded show at the Imbibe that I've seen. I was treated to some of the best musicians in town playing many great songs. Have been told many times over by many people how much they enjoyed the time.
The music would continue with many more musicians playing till 4am at a house party down the road. That time was even more special for many more. The comments from those who had the opportunity to sit in and play acoustically in the house was just amazing. Great musicians from around town and from other states came and played. It is these times in music that I really enjoy. Watching one person lead the way and others follow then another take the lead the music change. This musical jam creation is some all musician lovers would enjoy. Something everyone who loves music should experience.
Need less to say one of the best nights of music I saw in the last year. I truly great experience that I will remember for the rest of my life and something that has inspired me to do more. What that is will come to fruition soon.
To everyone who supported me, played for me, saw me, or suggested a song, band or venue or in anyway helped me along my journey I would like to thank them beyond words. They all have given to me something to continue and something to remember.

Higher Ground @ Biddys

Mar 04, 2005 by josh |
Day 366

So, I took what I thought would be a little relaxing day at Biddy's to HG before my big party but ran into many people who would have many great things to say about the party and wanting to know more details. Would spend the night dancing, chatting about and enjoy music. Many people were there who play, promote and enjoy the music scene around town.

A year later

Mar 03, 2005 by josh |
Day 365

So, it has been one year. With tonight I will have been out for a year. Of course I plan on seeing music for the next 2-3 days. I have my big party on Saturday and others to support on Friday I'm sure some where.
Not even sure where I'll tread tonight. Feeling better today so I need to do some research into what is happening about town today. I'll have to see what places I find that I have yet seen and if they are showing something. Was invited out last night to the Open Mic at the 45th St. Pub which I haven't seen. I was told it was more like an open mic for bands then song writers. Evidently a large event so I'll have to check that out on a future Wednesday. It's always great to hear of more places promoting music.

Well I ended up spending my birthday with some of the people that have supported me from day one down at the Buffalo Gap for the First Thursday Variety Night. These and more I'll be spending my days with for the next 3 days. These of course are artist and other music lovers like myself. They have all encouraged me to go out and seek new music, introduce me to new musicians and venues, and applaud my efforts.
So being a year old now I realize that other things I enjoy have been set aside while I stuck to my goal. It was like deciding you want to run a marathon then actually putting in the effort to achieve the goal. Sure their are days when you just want to stay in and not go out. Days of complete musical boredom, but I hardly had a day past when I didn't smile while out, be cheered up by the sounds of a familiar instrument. These days I'll cheerish the most as I wasn't expecting much, just some run of the mill players and to find a great guitar player or be dazzled over a new instrument. These things kept me going and wanting to find more.
I only hope that perhaps this encourages others to go out and see live music. Support local bands. The type of music is unimportant but the supporting and encouragement of music at all ages is something that we all can use. When I was just a lad I was forced at times to practice piano and other instruments and now I'm happy I had the oppurtunity. I better appreciate what it takes to play well and since I've seen many of these bands numerous times to play consistant is also a great achievement. Cheers to them all. Hope to see all of you on Saturday for a pint or three.

Still working on getting better

Mar 02, 2005 by josh |
Day 364

So, I was hoping to finish off this week going to all new venues once more but as it turns out I were to become ill and limit my decisions based upon how far to travel, environment and time of day.
Today I went to Sweet Oregon Grill to listen to the Rouge Bluegrass band. Had some medicine before heading out and then over a bowl of veggie soup and a beverage enjoyed the music. It reminded me of Northwest String Summit which happens in June. Just people playing the songs they enjoy. Even did some request from the audience.

Recovery with Westside Jazz Jam

Mar 01, 2005 by josh |
Day 363

So, I became a sick in this last week. I guess I'm being pushed to actually finished this year. None the lest I went out for a while and saw some not a new venue to me but a new event. At the Bethany Village Grill every Tuesday is the Westside Jazz Jam. I have wanted to stop by since I've seen this advertised. The place brings out a good crowd mostly consisting of the variety of Jazz players. It is great to see this venue which I've seen change hands many times finally be backed by someone interested in music and serving good food. I good westside venue for Jazz and other music all week.

Mock Crest Tavern

Feb 28, 2005 by josh |
Day 362

Wanted to spend my last week going to new venues in town. I have grown attracted to the Blues in the last year and thought to pursue some of those as well. So off to Mock Crest Tavern on Lombard. Home of the Portland blues I think it said. Small place that has a back yard which from photos looks like a cool summer venue. Mark Anderson was playing slide and steel guitar. Enjoyed his music and chatted with him briefly at the end. He is off to LV for a month tour.

Bag pipes

Feb 27, 2005 by josh |
Day 361

Stumbled apon a solo bag pipe player on the way back from Seattle. Now this was interesting to me as it was almost a year ago when on St. Patrick Day while listening to some bag pipes the decision was made to pursue this year long goal of live music every day for a year. I was already in 16 days be then and was just actually at the time thinking of only going 128. Well, today is Day 361 and a year is but a few days away. Of course this morning I started to feel crappy. Losing my voice and not up to wanting to do anything. The Bag Pipes sounded great. Solo performer out in a field echoing against the surrounding buildings.

Xavier Rudd

Feb 26, 2005 by josh |
Day 360

Journey up to Seattle to see one of my favorite new artist in the last year. Xavier Rudd comes from Australia and plays solo. He is just excited to be there and performs with great energy. Was happy to see him again. The opening dual Nine Nails played guitar and the Peruvian Box. Good music as well and when they all played a little at the end enjoyed that as well.
As for Seattle there always seems to be an edge in that town. Folks just not friendly and some just a bit forceful with everything they do. It is an odd thing to see shows up there when no one appears to be enjoying themselves and gets upset at everyone around them.

Beale St. NW

Feb 25, 2005 by josh |
Day 359

Headed out to a new venue near the airport. Beale St. NW and heard Carlee Smith with Fountaine Bros. A good blues band in town from across the nation. Beale St. NW is an interesting place. It is an old bank remodelled. It looks like they may have even expanded the building. Strange feel to it. All clean and big. Has a decent sound and I'm sure it gets a bit more crowded then I saw as I went to the first set. They server up BBQ that I have yet to try. I'll go back out there and listen to some blues.