Tuesday, April 23, 2024

White Winged Moth / Vacation nightwalks

This morning after not thinking about the artist White Winged Moth for over two decades, I thought about the artist White Winged Moth. Anything on YouChoob? Yes, this:

Whoa, sudden college radio nostalgia feeling, totally crazy! Is this what it felt like when Boomers saw the ad for Freedom Rock?

I think I drove up to Los Angeles to see him/them perform and I feel like I remember seeing people dragging folding chairs around in a dark room. Was that the performance? Was I disappointed? Or elated? 

I looked to see if copies exist on Disqwogz. They do, and they aren't expensive. Weird cardboard-and-elastic Moleskine-evoking packaging - how is that holding up three decades later? One person selling it was clearly a college radio nerd in the late 90s, and the CDs for sale are basically one stratum of padded envelopes that I would have been very happy to see come into the music office. Do I need any of them? No.

We went to Lincoln City on the beach. After boyo went down for the night, I went to wander through the hills. 

There was a deer by the pickleball courts. I gingerly stepped down the hill to get a closer look and it vanished. 

There's a ditch across from the Surftides resort that erupts with frog song at night - I had completely forgotten about it, but they are louder than ever. Do people hear it from the resort, or is the ocean louder? 

I walked down a hundred steps or so to the ocean. The whitecaps were illuminated by the lights from the resort. A ways down the beach I could see people having a driftwood fire. It looked cozy but then I remembered that I don't like fire. I took a moment to contemplate, think about how small I am against the ocean, and how small I am in time, and then I walked back on the twisty streets to the motel.

Monday, April 15, 2024

Cosmonox / LP bins in 2024

Cosmonox played a show at SE Foster's finest dark void of a music venue, the legendary Starday Tavern. No cover and in a prime pub crawl location. It was fun to see how various stumbling-in drunk randos reacted to this alien tape squawk music. I will spare you the photo, but it involves some very short basketball shorts. My brother was there and journalistically observed the parade of drunks, from "Where do they find these people" to people just totally feeling it and taking phone videos.

My mom watched the boy last night so JL and I went, naturally, to a certain estate sale warehouse in Tigard. We got some glassware. Their LPs were priced at $5 apiece (!!!) but were half off by the time I got there. The left bin was random would-not-sell-at-25-cents records (you can probably picture a lot of them) and classical records, the right bin was mostly Christian music, and the center bin was various picked-over pop-folk stuff. But I was pleased to find, in the middle of all of this, a copy of Richard and Linda Thompson's Pour Down Like Silver. RT's blue eyes staring out at me in the middle of all of this rote flipping. As someone who had only ever played the album on the streamz, I was surprised to see that Linda's portrait appears on the back.

We put our treasures in the hatchback and had an actual date night, with happy hour cocktails even, in the incredible April sun on the mysterious west side of the Willamette.

Friday, April 12, 2024

99 Cents Only / Parsnip "Turn to Love"

I spent a pretty good amount of time in the 99 Cents Only chain of discount stores when I was extremely poor in grad school in the Southland. At least at that point, it hit the right balance between looniness and desperation, unlike many similar discount stores. I was a fan. Apparently they are going out of business, so I'd like to say thanks for the memories and the cheap and questionable food. And because I have a song for everything, here is "Tamagotchi 99 Cent Only." True story, I think. RIP.

This Parsnip video is just delightful, at that rare meeting point between extremely psychedelic and extremely hammy. Great song, too.

Monday, April 1, 2024

Miss Macintosh My Darling / the Inland Northwest

Miss Macintosh My Darling is available! After having Marguerite Young's massive magnum opus on my internet auction watch list forever, Dalkey Archive has the e-books available. Actual 1,200 page novels are still in preorder, but after going through War and Peace in the dead tree edition recently, I'm OK with the ebook. We'll see how far I get, but I'm excited.

We took our spring break trip out to the Tri-Cities and Spokane in Eastern Washington. Richland has a really nice park by the Columbia River and the dramatic weather made it even more exciting. 

Once the boy went down I took a night walk to their quaint little Uptown shopping center, where a block off the highway there were actual dreadlocked individuals spinning flaming batons. I walked a half block south and was surrounded by people who were a few sheets to the wind and super jazzed about riding a mechanical bull. Totally jarring and wonderful. I stared through the windows of the public library at night even though it was closed and I didn't have a card. 

This sign made me very happy:

Spokane felt a bit like when Portland was deciding if it was a lumber town or a hipster destination. There are cool people doing cool things - we stayed in the Garland District, which felt like a pint-sized Hawthorne - but there are also huge lifted pickups everywhere, just a nonstop wall of diesel whine at all times. Riverfront Park, where you can walk over a waterfall mere blocks from downtown, is indeed awesome. We had a delightful vegan meal at Rüt and I got to wave hello to the world's friendliest baby multiple times. I bought a copy of Myron Floren's Disco Polka for a buck (along with a Silver Convention record) at a punk rock record store and felt sheepish, but it is a record that cannot be denied:

Spokane is also a good town for walking at night. The air felt great and we were a few blocks away from an amazing view of the skyline. That said, the constant aggro menace sounds of the lifted truck scene reminded me of the night walking privilege I have as a cisgender heterosexual white dude. And indeed, while we were there, dudes in lifted pickup trucks a half hour away in Coeur D'Alene were revving their engines and hurling epithets at black female basketball players staying for the NCAA tournament. SIGH.