October 28th, 2009 5:33 pm | by Local Cut Music | Posted In: Columns, Tour Diary, Tour Diary

Portland Cello Project: The Not Green Room Green Room (Seattle and Spokane, WA & Vancouver, BC)


I just got the most frighteningly insane news about this tour:

When we play Detroit—ON HALLOWEEN—we're playing in a venue that immediately after us is having an INSANE CLOWN POSSE AFTERPARTY.

It'll be Halloween and the ICP Juggalos (how do you spell that damn word? Is it even a word?) will be out in droves mixing with the PCP and Thao fans (as if the audiences at these shows haven't been diverse enough…and Detroit is rugged enough of a town.)

More news on that as it comes in. Thao booked a room in the hotel where the party is happening…I dunno…We're thinking of fleeing across the border right after the show and getting a quick start on our way to Toronto…

Anyway, we're in Seattle. Thao's band nominates the backstage at Chop Suey as the most disgusting backstage area of all indie rock venues. I nominate Berbati's Pan. Berbati's seems like they're often too embarrassed of it to even use it.

But regardless, tonight we're at Chop Suey. The stage is really tight, and we're filling it up with numerous, numerous special guests. Seattle's perhaps getting the best PCP show of the tour: basically our Dance Party from the Doug Fir a few months ago + Justin Power + Pantera's "Mouth For War." John Brophy and Brian Perez and Chandra Hall are up here from Baby Ketten night (I'm not sure why, but I'm stoked they're up there). They'll be doing “Take On me” and maybe “Toxic." Christopher Francis, who kicked off our Doug Fir Dance Party is going to do “Smooth Criminal” and Timberlake's “Like I Love You.”

Thao's drummer, Willis, is quite the sport for learning all of these songs at the last minute to play with us, considering I only got a text from Brophy yesterday saying he was going to be up here and wants to join us.

Vancouver, BC

We took the wrong border crossing on accident and tack on a couple of hours to our trip, but we have arrived safely at a very sweet looking venue: the Biltmore Cabaret. The sound is great—the stage is big enough to bring the cellists up with Thao. The only crappy thing about this venue is the “Not Green Room Green Room” as Thao called it, just a little booth with a curtain, conveniently in the hallway next to the men's bathroom. The venue's full and drunk people keep ducking their heads in making really annoying jokes.

Thao goes for a walk and finds pretty much the biggest maple leaf anyone from the USA here has ever seen. Fitting for Canada.

We've started a contest (unintentionally). Ever since L.A., every time we play “Hey Ya” people have been singing along. L.A. did pretty well (they were the pioneers) and Santa Cruz had some amazing angelic voices. Seattle did alright, but BC did great.

So now it's a contest. Adam Thompson is going to start judging in Spokane so we have some solid data to analyze at the end of the tour. We're giving bonus points for cities where people know the verses. (Portland, you'll get your chance at the Aladdin on December 4.) Also, Justin Power's with us on these shows in Seattle, BC and Spokane and people in BC were singing along with his songs. When he left the stage, someone yelled for "Hungry Liars."


It's funny being on tour in October because EVERYONE'S on tour—you see all your friends' posters up in all the venues, and they all tell you they've seen your posters up in all the venues. You're crossing paths with people right and left. People's Facebook pictures are from all over the place.

The Empyrean in Spokane is fascinating. It's a small town that has seriously groomed a wonderful music scene. There's a really cool opener for our bill named Kevin Long, and the place is absolutely packed with all sorts of people. People come up to me to talk about Musee Mecanique and the Builders and the Butcher. Horse Feathers are playing on the radio in the café…

And the people who put on the shows do it right. They give us a place to stay, they give us a home cooked meal of tasty curries. They take Justin Power out to get drunk until 2:30 am when his train sadly takes him back to Portland. But we'll meet up with him again in Detroit. Now we're off to the Midwest to meet up with Sarah Young of Cloud Cult who's joining us as a guest cellist on our Midwest dates…

Portland Cello ProjectSpace

Photos courtesy of Justin Power and PCP

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