Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Utah

On my way to Colorado I spotted this:


The Utah highway symbol.
Do you see a beehive or do you see something else?

Friday, June 05, 2009

Camera Obscura

Mark this one as a victory for Portland and for Doug. The Wonder Ballroom is in fact within walking distance of the MAX. I was worried there for a minute, first when I found that the concert was in the NE somewhere, and then later when I was walking around MLK without really knowing where I was. But I found it, on time even, and managed to make it back to the Westside without getting stabbed. I somehow even made the last bus back to the mall, and spared myself a walk. (My brother is willing to drive out in the middle of the night to buy pot, but is not willing to pick his brother up from the bus station) It turns out that MLK is kinda nice at least the Southern NE part. There are indie bars, coffee shops, and of course, the Wonderball room. With my camera broken, I had no ability to take pictures, so sadly, I cannot post any (Which is probably for the best, the band was pretty ugly. Not only are they indie, but they are also Scottish.)

The opening band was three chicks, who were also joined by a guy in a really old orange tuxedo and a bird mask and a boxing glove who banged on the tambourine for a couple songs. They were more or less non-descript for being an all-female opening band, but they did have one really amazing song. They had an amazingly beautiful cello/violin player, who was actually more cute in that indie sort of way upon closer inspection. (As I was standing next to the stage, I had plenty of opportunity for closer inspection) She did have a really nice dress on and blonde hair, I guess that threw my initial impression of her.

Camera Obscura themselves almost verged on disappointing, but then I realized that I really don't like them all that consistently. I love about five of their songs, tolerate half of what's left, and the others kinda just put me to sleep. And I was kinda put to sleep by the 5th song, but fortunately the 6th was one of the ones I like. They pretty much alternated between songs I love and songs that put me to sleep, so I was pretty conflicted going into the penultimate song. (On top of the sleepiness, I was also distressed about the whole having to find a job thing, so my heart wasn't in the concert nearly as much as I would have liked) That song, "Books Written for Girls" just stopped me dead. It was terribly slow, as they can be, but that one song actually was filled with emotion and somehow just changed the show for me, woke me up, and got me really into them again. Up until then, the band seemed kinda like they were just going through the motions, and didn't have too much energy or heart, but it kinda changed at that one song. Unfortunately, it was the next-to-last song, but the encore consisted of "Lloyd, I'm Ready to be Heartbroken" (a favorite) and some crazy mostly instrumental that I didn't recognize. "Lloyd" was played in the music before the show for some reason, it is the first time I have heard of someone doing that, but it was probably just a cd and they didn't think about it. Of course, I liked the live version better, but you have to admit the album version does sound much cleaner, with the vocals actually intelligible. In all, definitely decent, but I have a feeling, only because they played almost all of the songs that I absolutely loved to begin with. (They didn't play "Suspended from class," which is still my absolute favorite, but they got all the better ones besides that one.) Honestly, without being an avid fan to begin with, I would have been bored and much more tired than I was already. There were plenty of songs that were very entertaining, but even I thought there was too much slowness that i didn't appreciate, except, of course for "Books."

I was going to buy a t-shirt, but I snagged a set list before I left, which I figure to be just as good, and much, much cheaper.

I forget the ranking, but I'd give it about a 80/100.