*Week Four: Bands at Burger Shops; Bands with Music Videos set in Burger Shops
SATURDAY, AUG. 13
Weed, Charts @ Burgerville on Hawthorne
After more than a year of hosting shows, seeing bands at Portland's hippest food chain on one of Portland's hippest streets still feels somewhere between totally natural and absolutely surreal. In between burgers and shakes, Vancouver B.C.'s Weed played a sweet set of lo-fi pop and sounded something like a shitgaze Weezer, which should be taken as a total and utter compliment (as the band reminded me that I was just a few short days away from seeing Weezer itself).
Fanno Creek, Animal Eyes @ Animal Planet
When I first saw Animal Eyes at a house show in April, I was instantly smitten with the band's high energy performance, which reminded me of some of the same level of passionate intensity we have seen from the best of the upper echelon of Portland bands over the last several years. Accordions, trumpets, multiple singers, and a dream to lift you up. See this band now, so you can say you saw them when.
SUNDAY, AUG. 14
Lovers @ Rontoms
It had been about a year since I last saw Lovers, and I have only fallen further in love with them since that time. Tonight's set of bad romance electropop made me wonder what it would have been like if Springsteen had delved further into his interest in the dark electronic punk musings of Suicide.
WEDNESDAY, AUG. 17
A bunch of bands fresh off Warped Tour @ Backspace
Gratitillium, Doom Squad, Van Go Lion @ Someday Lounge
Forgive me for forgetting the names of the mallcore-straightened-hair-screamo and emo-pop-punk bands who drew over a hundred people to Backspace today. I was flitting between the two venues tonight, catching some of Gratitillium's Shins'-second-coming pop melodies while also trying to figure out just how right H.L. Mencken was when, over a hundred years ago, he said "Nobody ever went broke underestimating the taste of the American public." At least I was drawing closer to seeing Weezer. Also, if the disco thump of Van Go Lion's "Body Moves" hasn't been your off-to-the-dance-floor-single-of-the-summer, you're obviously doing something wrong.
THURSDAY, AUG. 18
U.S.F @ Holocene
Seattle's buzz bands of the last several yearsâFleet Foxes, Cave Singers, the Head and the Heart, the Duchess and the Dukeâhave all erred on the side of a twangy organic acoustic sound. U.S.F. and their fellow Seattle electronic music scene princes Beat Connection suggest the home of Microsoft has a solid pulsating heart of digital enjoyment to spread as well. U.S.F.'s pleasantly dreamy set was, if anything, too short.
FRIDAY, AUG. 19
The Thermals, Weezer @ WaMu Theater in Seattle.
Weezer played the blue album and Pinkerton in their entirety, and the Thermals played a kick-ass set of singles. How do *you* think it was? It's been nearly ten years since I last saw Weezer, on their green album tour with Jimmy Eat World and Tenacious D at the Rose Garden. Weezer's first three albums have had their significance compounded by my generation's experiences in that time, so as you might imagine, this was a cathartic show of white-hot energyâthere was moshing, thrashing, screaming and singing along. Weezer didn't say a word, but then again, they didn't need to.