Who doesn't love dive bars? Nobody, that's who—although few love a good dive as much as And And And's Bim Ditson. That's why he put together the Underbelly Bender, a six-week crosstown concert series dedicated to celebrating Portland bands and the bars that nurture them. In conjunction, each week here at wweek.com we will be profiling the hosting bar and its local music history. For the full itinerary, go here.
Underbelly Bender #5: My Autumn's Done Come, Yours, and And And And at Langano Lounge, 12/16
1435 SE Hawthorne Blvd.
Year Opened: "About 10 years ago," according to a server who prefers to go by "Plucky."
Description: "It's like going to your dad's basement," Plucky says. Located underneath Jarra's Ethiopian Restaurant (it offers the same food), the Langano is indeed a hidden treasure of the Hawthorne bar scene. It's appropriately tiny, almost claustrophobic, and gets cramped easily, but that just adds to the basement-party atmosphere. Just don't leave anything lying around -- if you do, it might become part of the decor. "If somebody brings something and leaves it," Plucky says, "it's just going to stay there forever."
Clientele: "It's a neighborhood bar," Plucky says. "A lot of people walk in from around the corner."
Memorable Shows: Last summer, Canadian noir-a-billy buzz-band Dirty Beaches, whose mastermind Alex Zhang Hungtai is friendly with one of the regular bartenders, stopped in for a show. "It became an all-day mini
festival," Plucky says. "It started around 4 and went on until 2 am." Although the bar can get packed for shows, Plucky says nothing too crazy has happened down there. "The good thing about it is most people who come to the bar have respect for the bar. They're always been pretty good and calm. We don't get the cops called on us too much."
Bim Says: "Ah, bars that are downstairs! Langano is a place that more than makes up for its subterranean tininess in welcoming kindness. You get the sense that you're at someone's bar, a place they care about that also happens to not be raking in cash. That's fine, though. Maybe better."
Download or stream Bim's compilation of songs from all the participating bands at Into the Woods.