Tag Archives: Oregon

Stickmen Brewing Co.

A gigantic brewery in an industrial area on the outskirts of town.

Another dreary Saturday afternoon so I decided to stop by a brewery. It all started because I needed a post office and all the ones in the city are closed on the weekend. I get it but it is inconvenient as hell. It means I have to travel to the burbs and if I am going that far I may as well make an afternoon of it.

I found Stickmen Brewing Co. in Tualatin which wasn’t far from the post office. This particular one I have been to before and has an automatic postal machine so they always have what I need. The brewery is in a large warehouse district and to be honest the place is to big. Their operation are already huge but the space they have, they can expand three times and still not fill it all. The ceilings must be fifty feet tall which is just bizarre to see a place so large.

The bar area isn’t as big as you would thing but its nice. Lots of benches in the place to foster meeting people and talking with them. They even have a nice large patio area outside with umbrellas so on nice days a good place to hang out. There is food onsite but its only pizza. Lots of different styles to choose from and the one I got was awesome.  It was a pear and Gorgonzola pizza which was really good. That is all they have but its really good. Bottles to go if you want to take something home with you.

Stickmen Purple Haze

This turned out to be a good afternoon of pregame. I managed to stick around for three beers which was awesome. The beer was nothing special, nothing blew my doors off or anything. But it was certainly nice just to hangout and relax while drinking beer. Later that afternoon I meet Bobby and Tracy at Church near my apartment. A friend of theirs was celebrating her birthday and they asked if I wanted to come along. Had a couple more beers here. It was great having some adult conversation.

I still needed to drive my car home but I took my time doing it. I walked through a boutique grocery store which was just about to close. Didn’t get a good luck around but had what I expected. Lots of specialty items and looks like some good prepared food too. Then I found The Pie Spot which had of all things, pecan pie. I don’t know what it is about the pacific northwest but they don’t make pecan pie up here and it kills me. I then saw chicken pot pie and got one of those for dinner. Both of these pies were really good and I highly recommend them if you are looking for something to eat in the area.

Antibalas Wonder Ballroom March 17th 2018

Everything you need to know in one sign.

Since seeing the Antibalas open for MMW so many years ago at the 9:30 Club I have wanted to see them again.  If I am correct they are from Ontario so east coast is harder for them to put a tour together.  I lucked out when I moved to Portland and caught their stop at the Wonder Ballroom on their recent swing through the northwest to ended their winter tour.

The show didn’t start till 8pm and for some reason I thought Antibalas would go on at 8 and play two sets.  Instead they had an opening act and they played one long ass set.  My timing was perfect when I arrived.  I rolled right up into the place and within 5 minutes the 1939 ensemble was taking the stage.  Needless to say I got really close since no one was in the place that early.  These guys were really enjoying themselves on stage and into the music.  They did some serious pre-game and where spot on for the night.  An interesting mix of instruments and music.

After a short break Antibalas took the stage and killed it.  Well with the exception of the first song or two, something like that.  The start was just a little weird, you had to be there but after that hiccup they where off like a rocket.  Because I arrived so early I was really close till the encore so I had a great view of the band.  It was amazing to see all these guys on this tiny little stage playing their hearts out.

The flow of the music and the rythm all night where great.  The crowd was really into the music and it was weird but at times the music was very relative to whats going on today.  It seemed like a political rally at times, it was great.  Marcus kept getting the crowd to chant between songs about love.  The world could certainly use more peace and love.  Such a great show and performance by the band.  Very happy I was able to make it that night.

This tour was in support of their new album.  Living in the pacific north west I hope I can see them more regularly then when they happen to release a new album.  Such energy and a vibe from the band and crowd.  The two that night where in perfect sync.


Thursday, March 15th 2018
Wonder Ballroom – Portland, OR

1939 ensemble opened

Show starts at 9:12pm
1. ….
2. Dirty Money
3. .
4. .
5. Gold Rush
6. .
Set over at 10:50pm

Encore starts at 10:52pm
10. .
11. .
12. ?
House lights at 11:14pm


Dark Star Orchestra Roseland Theater February 9th 2018

Dark Star is another band that I haven’t seen in a long time and living out west now when bands I love come through town I make it a point to see them. I get to keep up with my favorite bands, explore the city I live in and start checking out the local music scene. So when Dark Star Orchestra announced two nights at the Roseland Theater I was execited. I don’t know how long its been but to long.

A well curated collection of bottles.

Night one was Friday and a co-worker of mine and I went to the show. We planned on a late night of drinking and no driving. We got together at 6 and headed to The Upper Lip for a few glasses before heading to the show. This was a great second story place Derek found. A quite and low key place but a great curated selection of bottles and draft beer. I loved it for the selection but also just the atmosphere. Not a lot of hustle and bustle, you could still talk to your friends and the decor was great. Wood and brick all over the place.

After a few drinks we headed to the venue for two sets. I was hoping for a cover performance but Friday ended up being an original set which was good. The venue is oddly designed. It’s two stories with the main stage on the second floor.  There is a small balcony that rings the stage as well. On the first floor is a smaller stage, a big bar and a general area to relax during the show and get away for a few minutes. The stage is only a few feet off the ground too. Seems very small and intimate when you are there but it is loud as all get out because of the small size.

The show was really great with a good mix of songs and styles. Derek and I kept getting beers during the first set and milling around in the back where there was a little more space. Since we arrived late neither of us felt the need to push our way through the crowd. Set break came and we needed one too. The venue was hot and muggy so we stepped outside for a smoke and to chill with everyone else. I love smokers, such friendly people.

Set two was just as good as the first. I for one was done drinking that night. We worked our way up pretty close to the stage for set two. We posted up in the back again and I got to dancing. It was the weirdest thing as I was dancing all of a sudden a woman’s starts dancing with me. She even kissed me and just like that she was gone. Strange folk here in Portland. It wasn’t long after the second set started that Derek had to head home for the night. I honestly wasn’t that far behind him. As the set went on I was getting more and more tired. All the alcohol was starting to catch up with me. I went down stairs for a few minutes but eventually decided to walk home. Unfortunately security took my cannabis on the way in so I didn’t have anything to smoke but it was fine. The weather was good and I needed the fresh air.

Unfortunately I drank to much that night and was sick all day Saturday. Like so sick I never got out of bed and slept through the second show. I was dissappointed I missed it but this just reminds me how much I don’t like to drink to excess.

Despite being sick all day Saturday and missing the second night, the Friday show was still a great one and so much fun. The beer was good, the music was good and the company was good. Don’t know how I feel yet about the Roseland Theater but I will certainly see DSO again when they roll through town.


Dark Star Orchestra
Friday, February 9th 2018
Roseland Theater – Portland, OR

Set One
The Wheel >
Johnny B. Goode
Loose Lucy
Passenger Mission In The Rain
Just Like Tom Thumb’s Blues
Mama Tried >
Mexicali Blues
We Can Run
Shakedown Street

Set Two
Man Smart (Woman Smarter) >
Touch Of Grey >
Throwing Stones >
Terrapin Station >
drums >
Gimme Some Lovin’ >
Other One (tease) >
I Need A Miracle >
Standing On The Moon >
Viola Lee Blues

You Never Can Tell (C’est La Vie)


Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe Revolution Hall January 27th 2018

Not my first show in Portland but still a pretty memorable one.  A year ago at this time I was actually here in Portland to see KDTU at Aladdin Theater.  Just like then it was a part of his west coast winter tour.  Last year I wanted to do some traveling and hadn’t seen the family in a few years so thought it would be a great opportunity to travel.  This year Karl upgraded the venue immensely and it is only four blocks from my new home.  My what a difference a year can make.

The show was on a Saturday so I planned to explore my own city like I would any other when I travel to see concerts.  For a winter day the weather wasn’t that bad so I took the opportunity to hike.  I packed a few essentials and headed north to Lark Press for some letter press.  The last few months are pretty heavy in terms of birthday cards.  I was out and needed to stock up.  The food up north here is pretty interesting so I made a point to stop for lunch while in the neighborhood.

Thankfully I didn’t have to stray far from N Williams Ave. to find something to eat and drink.  Right around the corner I found Lompoc Brewery and their Fifth Quadrant location.  This is the actual brewery operations.  Typical modern brewery facility with tall ceilings, concert and wood everywhere.  The food was really good but neither of the beers blew my doors off.  In fact I couldn’t even give them average ratings.  Having said that I would go back.  Good atmosphere, food and plenty of other beers to explore on the menu.

Being a mini-vacation I took a very relaxing nap in the middle of the afternoon.  This being KDTU I knew it was going to be a later night.  Portland seems to be pretty liberal on their late night parties so I knew it would go past midnight.  Another pre-game event was dinner at Danwei Canting to fuel the body for a night of grooving.

Revolution Hall is a new place for me but I was super excited to see the show here.  Four blocks from my house is hard to pass up.  I can literally stumble home.  I can walk home before an Uber will pick me up.  This just amazes me.  I knew before I walked in the place it is a renovated school.  Some of the school has been carved up for office space but the old theater has been transformed into a concert hall.  Complete with lockers on the outside walls to store your crap in.  All retail and fans co mingled in the halls which is an interesting experience.  Its crowded just like my old high school was.

The Dip was actually pretty cool and opened for the band.  Another soul and funk kind band right in line with KDTU.  I have been pleasantly surprised by the quality acts I am seeing as openers these last few shows.

By the time KDTU took the stage I was so relaxed and ready to just groove.  For part of the show I just sat in my chair and grooved to the music.  The entire nights performance was great with a lot of energy from the band and the crowd.  I do think the change of venue lifted the bands spirits which allowed them to play that much better tonight.

As I expected it was almost midnight before the houselights came up and it was time to head home.  Being how things are all located I stopped at Voodoo Too for some donuts before taking a very long and very well deserved nights rest.  Sunday was going to be a day of recovery for me.


Karl Dension’s Tiny Universe
Saturday, January 27th 2018
Revolution Hall – Portland, OR

Start time at 10:38pm

  1. .
  2. .
  3. .
  4. .
  5. .
  6. .
  7. .
  8. . Allman Brothers cover
  9. .
  10. The Bridge (really amazing jam in the middle of the song)
  11. Melville (? off the new album)
  12. .
  13. .
  14. .

Set over at 12:29am

Encore starts at 12:32am
15. Jessica
House lights at 12:40am


The New Mastersounds Wonder Ballroom November 7th 2017

A while back I put in motion a trip over Veterans Day weekend. The trip would involve a couple of cities and two bands. The first leg was Seattle and the second was Denver. The good thing about The New Mastersounds show in Seattle was it was a part of their west coast tour. They were playing Portland as part of the same tour. I saw them last on the east coast for their winter tour and thought it would be fitting to catch as many shows as possible on this west coast fall tour.

The Portland show was a no brainier honestly as this is in my back yard. I was so existed you would have thought I would have a better plan then I did. My whole night was planned around just getting to the Wonder Ballroom and seeing what happens. I did a map search and noticed there would be plenty to keep my occupied before the show.

First thing is always food. On the same block as the theater was Russell St. BBQ. Some really decent BBQ here let me tell you. I got the port shoulder without sauce and I am glad I did. It had a great smoke flavor that was pronounced but not overpowering. It was a little dry but not a deal breaker by any means. Sides all traditional and very good. I wish I could have stayed for dessert but I was so full I had to skip it. I let my dessert be beer.

Not very far from everywhere was Ex Novo Brewing Co.. I had plenty of time to kill before the show so ponied up for a couple of beers here. Really cool place I must say. Serves food and has a second floor. You can see the brewery making equipment right from the bar which was cool. Decent beer with lots to explore on the menu. I was actually able to see the Trail Blazers game and unfortunately they lost that night to the Memphis Grizzles.

Some really good BBQ at Russell’s. The pork was a little dry but the flavor was outstanding.

I honestly spent to much time at Ex Novo but it was a good hanging out. Kung Fu was opening and started at 8:30 that night. I unfortunately missed their set completely because I was to busy drinking beer. I just didn’t feel like standing around waiting for The New Mastersounds, the brewery was a much better option.

The Wonder Ballroom really just is four walls and a roof. Very simple design, I can’t stress that enough. The front part of the building is large enough for a ticket booth and bathrooms, that is it. There is a very small second balcony area that looks rickety as hell. There is a downstairs bar and smoking area but I didn’t get a chance to explore that area. Certainly an interesting place to see a concert.

The New Mastersounds kicked ass that night. Another great performance by the band. As a change of pace Simon Allen was back at drums. The last few shows I have seen of The New Mastersounds have been with Alan Evans which was awesome to see him sit in. Many of the same classic songs I am use to with the same energy as always. They actually mentioned there was no official setlist for the night, they were going to just going with the flow of the audience. Their song catalog is now large enough they can play nearly two hours without fear of repeating anything or losing the vibe.

Another great performance by The New Mastersounds and a good evening out. I found another great BBQ place in Portland and another brewery checked off my list. I am excited to see them again in two days in Seattle which should be a great time as well.