Michael Quu Helium Comedy Club May 7th 2019

Most of our customers are MSP clients but we do a fair amount of contract project work as well. This means we get some pretty cool clients like Helium Comedy Club. As a thank you for helping them out they gave us some free tickets to see the first night of Michael Quu. It was Tuesday night of all things so I understand getting free tickets. Get as many people in the venue as you can and hope they buy drinks. Plus I’m sure its good for the talent to see a full venue when they look out into the audience.

I didn’t plan on going but never bought movie tickets liked I planned either. A colleague was going and invited me so I decided a change of plans was in order. It ended up being three of us. Our third didn’t arrive till just before show time. I arrived first and decided to see about a table but the line getting in was ridiculously long and slow. They choke point was the ticket booth. My ticket was “free” but a $6 cover was required at the door. They have a stated 2 item minimum but they didn’t appear to enforce that.

There was an opening act in addition to Michael. The opening guy was a local that moved to NYC and now does comedy full time. Not bad but he will probably never make it off the medium city/small club tour. Still funny at times and worth it. The main act Michael was also pretty funny. Longer set. I think Michael did like 45-60 or something.

Anyway a good night out to see some comedy. I can always use a good laugh and I will have to come back to the club. Hopefully they can work on the queue issue but a nice place to catch some comedy.

Sand Lake Recreational Area April 2019

Bobby loves spending time outdoors in his truck exploring nature. Especially when that is with other like minded people from online groups he belongs to. A new one he started participating in was going to Siuslaw National Forest for a little fun in the sand. They where headed to Sand Lake Recreational Area not far from Tillamook.

I started off at Bobby’s house at 6am I think it was. It was rough but I made it with time to spare. We then made out way to the meeting spot on the outskirts of some little suburban town. From there it was maybe an hour trip through the mountains to get to the coast and the recreational area.

15 vehicles traveled to Sand Lake for an afternoon of wheeling.

The meeting at the recreational area was a little haphazard. Everyone just parked where they could and air downed their tires. Not much communication from the organizer but everyone made it work. From there it was down too the beach for a quick group photo. I think it was 15 trucks or so on the beach that morning which was cool.

From here it quickly broke down. The group organized had to be prodded to make a speech to make introductions, gauge peoples comfort levels and have a forum for people to ask questions. One guy got tired of waiting and just starting going at it. I swear he was determined to flip his truck the way he was driving around the beach that morning. Others have been out with him before and he is apparently a wild man all the time.

Most of us then went up a hill that overlooked the beach and the ocean. From here there was another quick meeting and most went off to explore the rest of the park. A few went down to the beach. Bobby and I stayed on top of the hill. I personally just wanted to hang out with him and enjoy the amazing view with a cigar, some coffee and good company. Work was proving really stressful for me over the last few months so taking this opportunity to just sit back and relax was something I really needed. I was glad Bobby was receptive to just hanging out.

We played in the sand for a little while but eventually we had to go. Bobby was trying to meet someone in Pacific City and I for one wanted some real food. We headed into town for Pelican Pub and Brewery for some really good fish and chips. The beer was also really good here. Even the outdoor seating was busy on this brisk March day. It also helped that the large dining areas was rented out for a wedding reception. The weather was only just starting to get better but everyone took the time to get out and enjoy what little we got.

The wait was rather long which worked out. It gave us an opportunity to explore low tide alone the water and the tide pools. I don’t see this very often so it was cool to explore nature up and close without being in a museum. When the tide started coming in is when I got the text our table was ready. The Five Fin pilsner was pretty good. I got the fish and chips to go with it and I must say, they where really good. Some of the best I have had in a long while.

We hung around Pacific City as long as we good but besides the beach, there isn’t much to do in town. Your typical summer beach town that I imagine is pretty dead in winter. Ice cream shops, souvenirs, and a kit shop I spotted throughout town. Not much in the way of food so Pelican is a good find. After grabbing some ice cream we decided to start making our way back.

I was very thankful to get out of the house and go wheeling with Bobby down to Sand Lake. I don’t get out into nature often enough. I believe that everyone should do this regularly to help reset themselves. Being stuck in doors with work and home life all the time can’t be a good think.

Mel Brown B-3 Organ Group The Jack London Revue April 4th 2019

I was talking with a colleague earlier in the week about jazz and mentioned The Jack London Revue. I love this place because this is what I imagine jazz clubs where like back in the early days of the genera. The basement of some dark, dingy, building but also very intimate. The venue has a way of sucking you in and making you a part of the performance because of how things are setup. I just love this place. On Thursday’s Mel Brown B-3 Organ Group has a weekly two set residency.

Heineken

My colleague couldn’t make the show but I had hyped myself up just thinking about it I went Thursday night for their regular gig. I just wanted to listen to some live music. Even though I only stayed for the first set it was a lot of fun. I thought it better to get home at a reasonable hour and sleep then stay out too late.

The walk to and from the venue was nice. The weather was starting to become more comfortable. It rained in both directions. Going home it was pretty heavy. I didn’t even thing to check the weather till I was already outside. It just adds to the memories of the night.

Another good performance by Mel Brown and and the gang. They had a sit-in keyboardists this time. He too played with the same person Mel did. For some reason I want to say Aretha Franklin but I could be wrong on that. Another good night of jazz with Mel Brown at the Jack London Revue.

Budos Band Roseland Theater Friday, April 19th 2019

I have heard the Budos Band on and off over a long many years. One thing I remember about them is I never see them tour. I don’t even know if I have seen them do the festival circuit even. With the recent announcement of the Soul’d Out Music Festival here in Portland I noticed the Budos Band was stopping by the Roseland Theater for a performance. Never seeing them tour before I took the opportunity to check them out.

It was the last day of the work week heading into Easter. I was excited to see the band and prepped by driving to Washington to get some supplies for the show. I wanted to be good and ready when the Budos Band took the stage. I even took a short nap before the show just to make sure I would be ready.

After a short walk to the venue I arrived at 9pm just in time to see the True Loves open. The venue is pretty huge so I just headed up stairs to secure a good view and simply relax. Yet again I was impressed with the opening act. You just never know what you will find and its often very good. They have this kinda soul/funk feel to them. They would hit the horns often which I really enjoyed too.

First time seeing the Budos and they did a really good job that night. I wasn’t sure what I was getting into but it was great. I have heard the band of course for many years but nothing in depth. Its hard to describe the sound but I would recommend everyone check them out. Lots of people at the Roseland that night grooving to the music.

Budos Band played for nearly two hours which was cool. By the end of the show I was exhausted. I was physically and mentally drained. It was a nice walk getting home that night in the drizzle. I even managed to work up an appetite and ate a second dinner when I got home.

If they manage another west coast tour I will certainly check them out again and I recommend others as well. Just a cool rocking good time.

The Budos Band
Roseland Theater – Portland, OR
Friday, April 19th 2019
Part of the Soul’d Out Music Festival.
The True Loves from Seattle opened.

Show starts at 22:17
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Set over at 23:34

Encore starts at 23:41
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house list at 23:58

With sing along to bring the band out for the encore. Bass amp dies during the encore break and they have to fix it.

Nite over, time to head home.

Garage-A-Trios Nectar Lounge Sunday, February 3rd 2019

A while back, late last year probably, I stumbled across Garage-A-Trios playing a two nights in Seattle at Nectar Lounge. By the time I found out Friday and Saturday was sold out so they added a third performance on Sunday night. I immediately started contemplating a trip to see them.

We grabbed dinner before the show and managed to watch the end of a very boring Superbowl.

Garage-A-Trio is three members. Charlie Hunter, Stanton More and Skerik. I remember seeing and hearing about them back in the early 2000’s. The last time I saw them perform was at Bonnaroo in 2003 or 2004, it was time to see them again. With only a few days of thought I planned out a rough schedule for the weekend and decided to travel that weekend to Seattle.

When I told Jeremy about it he was in so he came up for a long weekend. He arrived Friday night and left Monday. Sunday was the show in Seattle and we hung out on Monday as well. We got a pretty late start to Seattle but honestly we where not in any sort of hurry to get there. The weather ended up being bad all weekend and we got caught in blizzard conditions driving north on I5. It was crazy getting to Seattle that afternoon.

We checked into the hotel and started looking for dinner. It was Super Bowl Sunday and we managed to find a good place for food and caught the last half of the most boring Super Bowl ever. Duke’s Seafood and Chowder was a little difficult to find but well worth the effort because the food was really good. We loaded up on some pre-show food and finished out the Super Bowl. It really was a crappy game and I was glad we where in Seattle for a concert and not a Super Bowl event.

The Nectar Lounge wasn’t far from the hotel so it didn’t take us long to get there and find parking on the street. An interesting venue to say the least. It has a couple huge garage doors that get opened during nice weather. The stage is actually on the side of the venue right in the middle. This makes the audience area narrow but super wide. Part of the floor area spills into the outdoor seating which is cool. There is also a balcony. We tried to make it there but couldn’t. As we tried to get up top I panic and just had to get out of there. Memories of Robert Walter’s 20th Congress flashed through my head and I just had to go.

As for the performance it was a really good show. I just saw Charlie a few months prior for his most recent incarnation of the Charlie Hunter Trio. For me this was a throw back to seeing them at Bonnaroo in 2003 or 2004. Lots of good energy and a good mixture of songs. Some really good jams and interplay between everyone. Skerik was the front man all night playing MC. For much of the second set they had a guest trumpeter which was cool. There was no opening act but they did play two sets which was nice.

The show was Sunday night but we where in no rush getting home so spent Monday in Seattle before heading back to Portland. The next morning we woke to the city blanketed in snow. It was a pretty amazing sight to see to be honest. I have seen snow before but it doesn’t snow like this in the northwest. It turned into a major snow event over the next few days, setting records. Let me tell you it was interesting navigating the city streets in my car that morning.

Pike St and 1st Ave

We left the hotel and followed directions to downtown. The first thing it said was turn right, which I did, and then start up this long hill. Well that I couldn’t make and eventually had to turn around. This was an indication of how the rest of the day would go.

First thing we did was hit one of the first Starbucks located on Pike Street. We warmed our hands and body with some coffee before heading back out. We then walked across the street to Pike Place Market and walked around for a bit. Jeremy is a huge fan of comics so when we found Golden Age Collectables by dump luck it was a good day. This place is incredible and I recommend any fan of comics, even just a little, check this place out. Lots of cool stuff here.

We hit the road home by mid-afternoon. It is 3 hour drive and I personally didn’t want to get home to late. I had work the next day and Jeremy was flying back to Texas. Driving to Seattle we hit a major snow storm and leaving Seattle we hit another. It wasn’t as bad as getting there but still pretty dangerous. At times it was near white out condition and tracks in the snow you had to follow. God help you if you wanted to change lanes.

The time was all to short having Jeremy in town. As always it was a great time with an amazing side trip to Seattle to see Garage-A-Trios. It brings back memories of road trips to see shows in our younger days. The nice thing now is we can afford to have better accommodations. We can fly to where we want to go and stay in hotels, not our car. Next is is Montreal to see the Grand Prix du Canada. Really excited for that.