Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Guarnieri Quartet Mesmerizes at CMNW Festival

Thursday evening, June 25, saw the renowned Guarnieri Quartet play the Chamber Music Northwest Festival as part of their farewell tour. After 45 years together, 2009 will be their last season.

Reed College’s Kaul Auditorium was full to capacity to hear them play two late Beethoven quartets, No. 12 in E-flat Major and No. 15 in A Minor, Op. 127 and 132 respectively. These deeply pensive works seemed somehow fitting for a farewell concert.

From the exclamatory opening chords of the No. 12 onward, the Guarnieri Quartet (violinists Arnold Steinhardt and John Dalley, violist Michael Tree and cellist Peter Wiley) displayed the masterful ensemble playing for which they are known. Their ability to generate a rich and complex depth of sound often gave the impression that there were more than four instruments on stage.

Certain moments stood out as particularly exceptional. In the Adagio, cellist Peter Wiley was able to bring a delectable, murmuring melodic motive up from the depths, retreat until it threatened to fall back into the dense harmonic texture and then suddenly bring it forward to make its presence felt once more. There were times his singing timbre made it sound as though a second viola had entered. During the Scherzando, the entire group played a galloping mezzo-staccato couplet theme in perfect unision, drawing the full melodic meaning from this difficult texture. The old joke that Beethoven was the greatest composer who couldn’t write a melody was put to lie; the challenge is to find and draw out that melody, and this group certainly did that whenever it was called for.

Opening the second half with the A Minor, the playing in parts of the first movement seemed a bit restrained, almost rote. This was soon remedied by the extreme, intentionally jarring dynamic contrasts of the Allegro ma non tanto. The middle of this five-movement work, the Molto adagio, was sublime and absolutely magnificent. The GQ interpreted the many different shades of this long, meandering segment with the utmost skill and dexterity. At times it felt forward looking, an almost Dvorăkian hymn to the splendorous, wide spaces of America. At other times it seemed as though Beethoven was quoting the main theme from Pachelbel’s Canon, and the GQ captured this sensitively, rendering a warm, woody intimacy that called to mind a chest of viols from a far earlier era. Their superb interpretation, their ability to intuit the spirit of the many different musics Beethoven seemed to be invoking was rapturous, and the auditorium felt breathless and transformed as the movement died away to a whisper. The Guarnieri Quartet plays at Reed College again tonight, featuring a concert of late Brahms, including the famous B-Minor Clarinet Quintet featuring Festival A.D. David Shifrin on clarinet.

Crossposted at NW Reverb.

Monday, June 22, 2009

CD Review: bitter sober EP

I first heard bitter sober at the Portland Pride fest two weeks ago. I had gone into the party to take a break from the parade when I heard this all-girl band up on stage with a lead singer whose expressive, beautiful, warbling voice immediately captivated me and would not let go. I watched them play until they were done, even waiting through an interruption from a hideously loud marching band (I'm not sure but I think it was probably March 4th) making its exit from the parade under the Morrison Bridge. Her voice immediately called to mind Karen O from the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, one of my very favorite new bands that I've heard in the last five years (I gush about them whenever I get the chance.) While her voice did remind me of Karen's soulful honesty, the music was not similar at all, so I bought the cd and look forward to reviewing it.

I'm not familiar with Sarah and Tegan, the group they seem to get compared to in some of the other articles I've read about them. Just as well I guess; I didn't become hypnotically addicted to this music almost instantly just because they reminded me of someone else; it was lead singer Sherry Soto's fucking phenomenal vocals that hooked me in and wouldn't let go. The CD is short and over far too soon, but I guess this isn't much of a CD review anyway. I love every song on it simply because Sherry Soto is singing it. Check out the MySpace page linked above if you've any interest in hearing her amazing pipes.

CD Review: Handel's 'Samson'

Carus Verlag recently released a new three-disc set of Handel’s titanic oratorio Samson, featuring Nicholas McGegan again teamed up with collaborators the FestspielOrchester Göttingen and the NDR Chor, as well as a bevy of world-class soloists. Although only three years old, one can expect many great things from the FestspielOrchester in the future; under McGegan they have released three Handel works on the Carus Verlag label: Acis und Galatea, Solomon, and now Samson.

The story of the biblical hero Samson proved fertile ground for Handel’s boundless imagination, and there are few as well-equipped to realize Handel’s vision in our day as Nicholas McGegan.

Thomas Cooley, singing the title role, delivers a mixed performance in this release. While technically never less than precise, some of the arias, especially on the first disc, come off as just that—technical. While such precision is admirable, if it is not accompanied by sympathetic emotional interpretation, it may come off as dry, a risk that runs particularly high when singing works from the Baroque. Alto Franziska Gottwald, in the important role of Micah, has a voice that is heavy and oft overbearing.

The great advantage to a work of this length is that even if some portions occasionally suffer for want of interpretation, there is so much to hear that it is worth listening to that the less satisfying segments do not detract from the overall enjoyability of the presentation. One Cooley aria in particular, ‘Thus when the sun,’ is truly exceptional, a breathless moment of reverie as Samson contemplates the fate he must now know awaits him, the punishment for his treachery coupled with the bittersweet redemption for failing his God. Cooley here displays a true emotional verité, encapsulated within yet never confined by the stylistic strictures of the baroque. Soprano Sophie Daneman as Dalila provides a welcome respite from the largely lower-range and dark-timbre voices featured in this oratorio; of particular delight is the rich, argumentative duet she sings with Samson, 'Traitor to Love!'

McGegan and the FOG are absolutely spectacular—in addition to the the flawless accompagnato skills they bring to the table, the sinfoniae that are scattered throughout exhibit crystalline perfection and could stand alone. The NDR Chor is as able and exact a baroque choir as one could want, and their English diction (for a non-native speaking choir) is superb. Early music lovers will find everything delightful about the baroque era in this three-hour epic masterpiece.

Cross-posted at NW Reverb.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Old Hat: Sasquatch, the rest of the Story. The Queer Spirit of Rock?

Spencer Moody and The Murder City Devils

So now for the backtracking to the two acts that impressed me the most: The Murder City Devils and Jane's Addiction. Sandwiched in between them was Nine Inch Nails. I've the greatest respect for Trent Reznor--he turns out a lot of music that people really enjoy and has many other talents as well (including acting as peacemaker between perpetually feuding JA bass player Eric Avery and frontman Perry Farrell on their current NIN-JA tour...get it?) From a strictly aesthetic point of view however, there is plenty of NIN that I just find boring as hell. I was glad to hear them play Hurt, my personal favorite song of theirs, and one that (if there's anyone who doesn't already know this) the Man in Black himself Johnny Cash thought so highly of that he covered it on one of his last releases before he died. (Here's a link to a high-quality video of Cash's cover. Worth checking out.) And of course they played Head Like a Hole, the first song that I (and I expect a good many others ) ever heard by them. The first time I ever heard the term 'industrial' used as a musical style descriptor was in reference to NIN and Ministry back in the late 80's.

What impressed me so much about about the Murder City Devils was not just the quality of the show--although they did rock, playing their dirty, alcoholic garage punk with just the right mixture of control and fuck-it-all abandon, despite the fact that lead singer Spencer Moody was drunk off his ass. I'm never sure whether or not MCD are actually together or whether they just reunite occasionally to play various shows; maybe it's some weird combination of the two.

Perry Farrell, god of rock 'n roll hedonism.

At any rate, right from the start Moody began challenging the audience. Moody and the rest of the band members have never been shy about their bisexuality; their album art has photos of them cannoodling in a decidedly non-platonic fashion, Moody has talked about it at length, about how people wonder if they're gay, straight, bi, whatever. On Saturday he immediately called out all the homophobes in the audience, asking them how they liked coming to a show with a bunch of faggots up on stage.

The Seattle Stranger has some direct quotes, like the one here: "A lot now, we play these shows in front of a lot of people, and I see a lot of gross, disgusting high school jocks in the audience. But what we do is for all the beautiful faggots, and the rest of you can all eat a big bowl of wet dicks."

Or there's this gem: "I may be stepping out of bounds, but all the heterosexuals in the audience, all the straights, can just turn around and face the other way. If you don't turn around, I'll accept that you're homos, just like all of us up on the stage."

Well I didn't turn around, I stared facing forward, not only because I love these guys and I love Moody's fearless- in-your-face confrontation, but also because I'm totally queer--I've been bisexual since...oh, about birth or so, so I strongly identify with bands like MCD (and JA) who openly embrace their queer sides.

Perry and Dave

I don't agree with the actuality of Moody's attempted segregation of the straights and the queers but he made an excellent point: it was exclusionism, an exclusionism that he foisted, or attempted to foist upon the audience. It immediately called to my mind, as hopefully it would any other thinking person, the current battle for marriage equality (a battle which by the way us queers and our allies ARE WINNING bit by bit and will continue to do so until our second-class status is a thing of the past nationwide. Get ready Fred Phelps , soon those faggots will be holding big queer weddings in Westboro, KS. OK; enough ranting. I'm planning on starting a NEW BLOG (the working title at this point is 'Random Crap') wherein I can give voice to my many non-musical thoughts.) By the simple act of telling the straights to turn around it was sort of like a 'lesson' in reverse-discrimination. Straights can get married, gays can't. Gays can continue enjoying our show, straights can't. A pretty simple, straightforward narrative.

Was it effective? Who knows. As far as I know none of the band members are totally gay, I don't even know if they are all bi. I don't expect that Moody really thought everyone who was still watching them was gay, nor do I think for a second he was trying to insult straight people for being who they are. Taunting and baiting the audience, challenging them mentally, intellectually, physically, is one of the oldest tricks in the punk rock playbook; direct audience involvement, a breakdown of that 'third wall.' It certainly was in homage to that punk rock tradition, but there was no doubt there was a larger point being made.

It got to the point where some audience members were actually getting up and leaving, as he repeatedly taunted jocks, straights and homophobes, asking them why they listened to faggot music. "Who the fuck does this guy think he is?" said the jockish-looking young kid in front of me who stood up in disgust and left with all his friends. It was fucking brilliant--I was cheering and hollering the whole time. All throughout the set, in between songs (he even jumped down from the stage and made out with a random guy in the audience, who blogged about the experience in the comments section of the above-referenced Seattle Stranger article) he cajoled, cursed, taunted and insulted, to the point that (probably for the best) his bandmates started playing over the top of his rants just to get the next song started. Good times; that's what I call some real rock 'n fucking roll.

(Just for fun, here's a link to some pictures of the hapless straight couple that got caught boning on top of the hill during the Decemberists. The Seattle Stranger links seem to always take some time to load but they're worth checking out.)

The festival headliners came later that evening: I've seldom been as excited about seeing any band as I was about seeing Jane's Addiction. To understand why, I feel like I must digress from my prepared remarks to talk a little about why THIS band means so much to me.

My history with Jane's Addiction is much deeper, much more profound and tied up emotionally, with my image of who I am, of from which tradition(s) of the pop-sub-culture jungle I hail. The first time I ever heard of them I must've been about 16. I had joined the Sony tape club...the kind where they sent you one tape a month and you had to pay for it no matter what? Well one of them that I picked was Jane's Addiction's Nothing's Shocking, a band whom I'd never heard of before and knew nothing about. Still, the cover art was a picture of naked siamese twin chicks sitting on a bench with their hair on fire, so I figured 'what the hell.'

I got it and listened to it a time or two, and I think it was a little beyond me at that point. There are some other bands that I just didn't 'get' the first time I heard them (the Pixies come to mind immediately) but to whom I returned years later and became a passionate fan. I got into punk rock listening to dubbed tapes that I got from my friend Glen who was in 8th grade when I was in 9th, who in turn got them from his punk friends Max and Guy (with whom I became friends later.) By the time Nothing's Shocking arrived in my mail box and I'd determined it wasn't really quite for me (although the refrain of 'sex is violent, sex is violent, sex is violent' on Ted, Just Admit It was intriguing to my virgin ears) I traded it to Max for a copy of britpop band The Primitives Pure that I think was a little too tame for him but which was right up my alley (and which I still love.)

(NOTE: The next little bit is a big digression. Skip to the end for the short version of why I love Jane's Addiction so much.)

A few years later saw me beginning my life as a hard partier after abandoning the Jehovah's Witness religion of my youth. They 'disfellowshipped' (excommunicated) me shortly before my 21st birthday because of my remorselessly hedonistic ways: such as getting wasted all the time, smoking pot, throwing raging keggers at my house, sexual indiscretions, etc. I fell under the category of the 'unrepentant sinner.' (I'm still thinking about getting that tattooed somewhere someday...) One night I overheard some coworkers talking about Perry Farrell while they were giving me a ride home from work. I innocently asked 'who's Perry Farrell?' I still remember the chick looking at me (she was also the first person whom I personally knew as openly bisexual; 'I like the hotdog and the taco' she told me once. Well put.) with disdain in her eyes and saying, "Ever heard of a little band called Jane's Addiction?" I nodded yes. "Well he's the lead singer." 'Nuf said, I guess.

But when I really became a fan was shortly after that. The first time I ever took acid I didn't know what to expect. I took a hit, waited a couple hours, took another one. Went over to a friend's apartment and this girl we called Grim was decorating the walls with these glow-in-the-dark fingerpaints, and had the black light on. (Everyone seemed to have weird nicknames. I had two: 'Puker' and 'Fireball.' Fortunately for me neither of them stuck.) That's when I noticed that the insanely interesting shapes painted on the walls were resolving themselves into the visage of a kindly, bearded old man, and they were moving, sliding down the walls like an effervescent river of light. I went into the other room where the light was on and wondered why the hell my hands were changing colors, going from blue to green to red to yellow, and why the stuccoed ceiling above me was churning and frothing like a boiling pot of mud. I wondered why I was suddenly feeling ridiculously happy, more overjoyed for no reason than I had ever felt in my entire life. And that's when I noticed a simple guitar riff coming from the other room, accompanied by the bongos. My friends Haystack and Patterdale were playing the main riff from Jane Says over and over again. Or were they really? How many times did they play it? Who really knows. All I know is that the tune wrapped around me like a fuzzy blanket, calling to me like the calm burble of a river heard from far away.

After that Jane's Addiction became a staple of mine, and will forever be intimately entwined with the psychedelic phase of my life; I mean I was a real space cowboy for a few years there. Acid, mushrooms, plenty of weed, copious amounts of booze, pills, other drugs that I don't like to admit to; whatever came my way I took. Strange, strange times, days where unimaginable terror and inexpressible joy sometimes resided one right next to the other. I went for four months without wearing shoes once. Grateful Dead shows, Rainbow Gatherings, hemp fests, rock fests, lazy days of nothing, classes and work thrown in somewhere amongst all the partying.

There was this time when we drove over the hill (we lived in Bend) and took some strong acid (orange and pink blotter, if I recall correctly) before sneaking into the Cougar Hot Springs one night. It started to kick in real fast; by the time we were done staggering down the trail through the forest in pitch blackness I was very in-tune with the universe but couldn't seem to manage a coherent sentence. There were a bunch of Hindu hippies there, burning low-light torches so we would hopefully not get busted by the park rangers (now that would be a bummer)...I spent the evening feeling very sensual, surrounded by penises and breasts and asses and Eastern religion...there were chants and dances and the aligning of chakras...I felt all the atoms in all the stars in the universe as I took a handful of sand and, underwater, passed it over my legs and let it carress my skin, more intimate and pleasurable than the touch of any lover I had ever known...the trees above my exploding eyes rained a river of paisley down on my head, dripping onto my face like a melting soft-serve ice cream cone beneath the whirlpool stars..the smoke from the torches and steam from the waters swirled around us, dappling the torchlight into shadows that took forms as real as my own and then they disappeared slowly as the morning inexorably crept into our world...we took an empty bottle of Henry Weinhard's Boar's Head Red Ale and filled it with warm water, taking turns pouring it over one another's heads and beautiful, naked young bodies, still too high to feel any self-consciousness, passing a bowl of good ganja around as the long comedown began. 'The brethren of the pool....is the brethren of the pool!' was our motto, one of those ridiculous phrases that means nothing to anyone who wasn't there but summed up all of the feelings of that incredible, indescribable evening to those of us who were there, melded in mind and spirit and taking psychedelic voyages to the undiscovered, paradisaic tropical isles of the psyche.

Eric and Perry

And once again...Jane's Addiction was there. After the trek back to the main road, a trek which saw two random hippies riding on the trunk of my car, passing a steamroller of cannabis in and out of the window as we cruised down the road, we made our way back to Bend (sans random hippies, whom we dropped off at the main road to hitchhike to wherever they were going.) We all piled on an immense bed and ate fried egg sandwiches that Scotty made, and we watched JA's film Gift, a sad, strange, beautiful homage to heroin addiction, as the overworked synapses of our crusted brains finally shut down and we drifted off to sleep in a big pile, the late morning sun warming us like the benevolent smile of Apollo through filthy, cheap windows...

Other random connections that make JA important to me is the fact that my cousin Stacey used to hang out at Scream (a punk club in LA where Jane's Addiction got their start) and she's hung out with Dave Navarro (who she said was cool) and Perry Farrell (who she said was a dick) before they were big.

Back to the rock fest....

I saw Perry fronting his new project Satellite Party last year when the opened for Smashing Pumpkins. I was glad that they did a bunch of JA and Porno for Pyros tunes but it still was nothing like seeing JA, all of them together. Perry is the consumate showman, and knows his audience well. He uses phrases that endorse psychedelic exploration (long now a thing of the past for me) and the expanding of consciousness (something I'd like to think I continue doing without the use of chemicals) and the embrace of sensuality, of Bacchanalian hedonism. "Being here with you all is making my dick hard,' he said, without any trace of false modesty or rancor. He urged us to take out our cocks and play with them as we visited each other's tents, saying that it doesn't matter how big it is, but, he joked, it never hurts to be....

Ocean Size....

So they played lots of good tunes from Nothing's Shocking, Ritual de lo Habitual and of course the self-titled debut album (which we usually called 'Triple X' in honor of the record company that released it.) Nothing from Kettle Whistle, not even City, my favorite non-studio-produced JA tune.

It was the radical comparison between Spencer Moody and Perry Farrell's approach to the whole queer question that really struck me. I guess there's really no 'question'...some of us are queer, some aren't. 'It's just the way I'm wired,' my friend Scotty used to say, and that's a phrase that's stuck with me for a long time. It is, indeed, the way I'm wired.

As Spencer insulted, cajoled, challenged, so Perry incited, lured, enticed. There is a time for both, for fighting and loving, for....oh never mind. No need to rhapsodize. In the words of the immortal Forrest Gump, 'that's all I have to say about that.' I'm queer, so love me or leave me. I'm learning to do the former.

ENDNOTE: Props to Wikipedia; I directed all my links there as the lazy man's way out. Good info there, sometimes not enough, sometimes too much, other times erroneous or hagiographic. It's a good place to start if you're interested in something.

Blurry photos: better than nothing. It's hard to take good pictures after drinking for 16 hours.


Monday, June 1, 2009

The true spirit of rock? Sasquatch Music Fest Part 1: Everything but Jane's & the Devils

It might seem an odd thing to attach the term--'the true spirit of rock' to a gig like the Sasquatch Music Fest. Nothing against it specifically--after the heyday of the touring rock fests like Lollapalooza, Lilith, Warped, etc., in the 90s, a new dynamic of large, annual regional rock-fests came to the fore: fests like Sasquatch, Bonnarroo, Austin City Limits and Coachella (to name a few) filled the gap as the novelty (and some would say overall quality) of the touring fests petered out. (Zack Adams, Festival Founder.)

But the true spirit of rock? Does that coincide with $9 cans of shit beer, with countless thousands of impossibly beautiful, impossibly thin, impossibly white twenty-somethings traveling from around the country on their parents' credit cards, with loudspeakers blaring about the great deals from the Verizon Wireless booth?

You get the idea. In one sense, Sasquatch is nothing but a giant money-making machine, over-charging you for everything and blowing pop-culture smoke straight up your ass to try and make you feel good about dropping a grand on a three-day long music festival.

But sometimes, something squeaks through. Something honest, sincere, direct and in-your face, something that cuts through the frilly shit with the focused intensity of a laser beam and hones in on that rarest of commodities--the truth. The naked, raw, brutal truth, observed from varying angles and displayed, even if unintentionally, for all to see. That happened for me, and for a lot of other people who were most definitely not comfortable with it, outside of George, WA on Sunday night.

I won't write a review of every artist I went there to see, maybe just a brief rundown so I can get to the meat of what I really want to write about. Truthfully I missed a lot of bands that I either vaguely knew of (most sadly for me I didn't catch Gogol Bordello) or wanted to hear because of the buzz surrounding them. Here's a laser beam of truth for ya: I missed them because it was so goddamned hot and cloudless, and I had to sleep off my morning drunk in the early afternoon each day and decided to do that at my campsite instead of at the fest.

I wanted to see Vince Mira, whom I wrote about in my review of last year's Sasquatch fest, but he was the opener at noon on Saturday so I had to miss that. New acts to me that I did catch were Animal Collective, who played a lot of spaced-out psychedelically tinged ambient rock that I thoroughly enjoyed, and Silversun Pickups, who (despite the fact that I really like their big radio hit Lazy Eye) bored me to tears with a pukey brand of distorted emo. I also saw The Decemberists again (unfortunately.) I know they are the most important band from PDX in the world right now, and I wish I could like them simply for the sake of hometown solidarity, but I've seen them twice now and I just can't stand them. I will allow that there were actually one or two songs of theirs that seemed alright this time, but these wimpy, heart-on-your-sleeves crooning singers (like the guy from Silversun and the one from Death Cab for Cutie) just make me want to drop a steaming-hot microwave burrito down their pants and then kick the crap out of them. And I'm not a violent man.

The Yeah Yeah Yeahs were a big reason I wanted to go this year: they are perhaps my personal favorite brand-new band that I've discovered in the last five years or so. I've got the raging hots for their gorgeous lead singer Karen O, and their songwriting is fearlessly original, even if her voice does occasionally sound like Siouxsie Sioux and some of their music is reminiscent of one of my favorite bands of all time, Throwing Muses. If ya gotta have influences, they might as well be good ones. Karen O had great energy and they rocked the place hard, and I even enjoyed their heart-aching love ballad Maps (the song that turned me onto them in the first place) despite the idiot girls behind me singing loudly through most of the song. Guess what? I know all the words too, and could sing it just as loudly as you can, but I wanted to hear Karen O sing it. Thanks a lot for ruining that for me you self-absorbed idiots. Thankfully someone shut them up before they ruined the entire song.

Karen O of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs

Despite their compelling story and one or two songs that I enjoy, headliners (all four of whom are brothers) Kings of Leon didn't really excite me. They seemed to play well enough, but the next day even seasoned KOL fans remarked about how lacklustre the performance was, so it's no wonder it didn't catch the attention of a marginal fan like me. Seattle's Fleet Foxes sounded good although at that point I was hiding in the few feet of shade afforded by a rickety wooden fence, desperately trying to avoid the merciless afternoon sun. TV On The Radio impressed me yet again with their strange electro-soul rock. I don't know that I'd rush out and buy any of their CDs, but I've seen them live twice now opening for other bands I wanted to see and I've liked them both times.

I watched this poor bastard wake up...he was still too loaded to care.

Erykah Badu was the main reason I stayed for all three days; she was the penultimate act of the fest, right before the Monday night headliner Ben Harper, who I can most definitely live without. I've loved Ms. Badu since I first heard her. She does hip hop with a huge dose of soul, jazz, blues, r&b and gospel influences, spinning it all into an incredibly entertaining, intensely personal style that I just can't get enough of. When I listen to her songs I always get the feeling that I'm sitting at the front table in a smoky bar late at night, it's dark except for the blinding light shining on the diva onstage three feet away, and she's singing right to me.

And diva she was...she ran a very tight ship and it showed in the results: a very tight blend of very complex, multi-layered music being performed by an eight- or nine-piece band. She's known for her fashion sensibility and I loved her bright, super-shiny pleather pants with big silver zippers all over them, her gray Public Enemy hoody, which hood she was wearing underneath a shortish stovepipe hat. Still, I couldn't help but think that her band looked vaguely terrified of her most of the time: they were playing good music but it didn't seem like they were having much fun. She ran that show like an Irish nun at a Magdalene laundry. (I think since I'm Irish I'm allowed to make that joke...)

Ms. Badu's always comin' for real...

So I ended up not even staying for the whole set. The call of a real bed and the dreaded thought of having to be at work 350 miles away at the crack of noon the next day pulled us back to the Wild Horse Campground (seriously--this is the place to stay if you are ever camping for a show at the Gorge. Take the time to make reservations as soon as you buy your tix.) Just as we finished packing up our super cool camping neighbor Liz got back; we had been planning to stay and leave early the next morning, so she was bummed we were leaving. I hope she gets ahold of me; after a long hug I gave her my name and told her to look me up on Facebook.) We took off, stayed at a motel in Yakima and were out early the next morning.

(More on that whole 'true spirit of rock' thing in the second installment when I write about the two main acts I wanted to see this year: Jane's Addiction and the Murder City Devils.)