If there's one thing I discovered by having local folkster Andy Combs as a guest at my last Portland Lounge Series, it's that he's a ham. The newest member of Point Juncture, WA, and a fine songwriter in his own right, Combs had the crowd chanting and stomping along at his every whim—and had himself jumping from guitar to piano to ringleader, as well. Now he's got a rad video for "The Bloodship"—the lead track from his '07 release, The Robot in the Clouds—to drive his penchant for theatricality home. (I mistakenly said the track was from his more recent EP, The Ghost Squid, in this week's WW; apologies!)
As you can see, Combs is floating down an isolated, lush (presumably Oregonian) waterway atop a ramshackle, Huck Finn-ish raft, being taunted by his lack of thumb (see lyric: "I pocketed my hands when the bitter frost began its bite/ It gnawed away my poor thumb so I haven't a full five/ Now I can do equations if they have to do with nine") and the creepy woodland beasts ashore.
When he reaches landfall, it first appears Combs is the leader behind the Wicker Man-ish (in costume, at least), banjo-led dance party that ensues—until his transfixing call to "shut that coal mine down" shuts down his enemies, as well (they literally chant themselves into the ground). You tell 'em, Combs. Er, have 'em tell themselves, I suppose.
Combs plays tonight at Mississippi Pizza. 9 pm. Cover. 21+. Video directed by Selena Persiani. Photo by Jason Quigley.