All posts by Justin

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.

Deschutes River State Recreation Area March 2019

Spring is finally here and the weather is only slightly getting better but this weekend it was pretty good and I was going stir crazy. When you get a good weekend weather in March you take advantage of it while you can.

I wanted to get outside and do a hike some place I had never been before. I grabbed my trust hiking guild and found the Deschutes River State Recreation Area. The park follows the Deshutes Rivers for several miles and includes the area where it dumps into the Columbia River. It has your typical outdoor activities like fishing and camping.

I was interested in the hiking and found a decent length trail to Ferry Springs. What my book didn’t show me, nor the map at the park, was the elevation change. First hike of the season and I was not prepared for the hike up the hill. Near the mouth of the Columbia there are several trails that parallel each other. Two are hiking trails and another is an access road so you have options on how difficult a hike you want.

A fire burned through the area and is the dominate feature at the start of the high. It doesn’t matter what trail you take all you see is burnt vegetation and dry dirt. Life is slowly starting to come back with some brushes surviving and trying to grow back. Grass is starting to go in patch and should takeover rather quickly. Another good size was seeing animal tracks in the dirt.

Deschutes River

When it comes to getting to Ferry Springs it is at the top of one of the hills. The climb up was more then I was expecting but worth it once you get to the top. Because of land ownership it appears the start of the actual spring is not in the park but just outside it. The better view is just sitting on the hillside looking out towards the value. All across the valley spring was starting to bloom. Just some low grass in places but no flowers yet. I am sure as the season progresses the valley will become abundant with life.

A nice little park that has a really long trail along the lower section of the Deschutes River. They also offer camping which would be nice. I can imagine that sunrise and sunset in the valley along the river is pretty nice.

Poetic Imagination in Japanese Art

Poetic Imagination in Japanese Art

I forget where I heard this but I heard the Portland Art Museum has a $5 after 5pm special every Friday! Not that the regular ticket is that expensive but its a good way to get out into downtown and experience some culture on the cheap. It was Christmas too so I really wanted to get downtown among the hustle and bustle to see what was going on plus whatever was on exhibit at the museum.

They change their stuff around pretty frequently which is nice but also makes the $5 ticket price a real bargain when you consider it. It was only a few months ago that I saw the Shape of Speed exhibit here. I didn’t know what was happening when I arrived so I was pleasantly surprised when they had a special showing called Poetic Imagination in Japanese Art.

They have several different areas that highlight different types of art in Japan as it evolved over time. Its a style of art that you know it when you see it. Just like their tattoo style. What this exhibit did highlight were different areas where the art was used for different purposes. One was simply writing in large characters which is still practiced today and takes a special hand to complete. The flow with the brush is pretty cool to watch.

They had another section of landscapes. Lots of imagery and symbolic meaning with the landscapes that where chosen. Mostly in that muted and limited color palate but still no less amazing to see. Another big area was landscapes with poetry. Poetry was very big in Japanese culture back in the day. More so here then in any other culture from around the same time period that I know of. These poets would come up with some beautiful stuff so to go along with the words often it was done on a painting.

You can’t see everything in one visit but at that price, who cares. Its a reason to come back the following Friday to continue checking out what the museum has to offer. That Friday I saw all the special exhibit with time to spare so I headed upstairs to the second level. Here I finished out the left section of the museum but still haven’t made it over to the modern art building. One day….

A giant orchid outside the museum.

On my way out I saw a posted notice that the museum is seeking approval to expand the museum. It’s great to see the Portland Art Museum isn’t suffering from a lack of funding. I think only good can come from having and appreciating more art. Whatever form that takes the world can use more of it.

Knowing that there are cheap tickets every Friday I am going to have to make this a regular stop for myself. I figure at least once a quarter would be worth it. Checkout what’s on special and get downtown for an evening out. Thinks are a little busy right now but maybe come February I can get back for another quick visit on a Friday afternoon.