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 #6: And And And, the No Tomorrow Boys, and BOOM! at the Know, 12/23
2026 NE Alberta St.
Year Opened: 2005
Description: A self-consciously dive-y dive with a distinctly Last Thursdayish flair for the artful. Where the PBR flows like water through the Willamette, minus the fecal matter.
Clientele: The inked and the pierced. To hear entertainment booker David Rose describe it, it's basically Northeast Portland's answer to the Mos Eisley Cantina. "To quote Hans Solo, 'You'll never find a richer hive of scum and villainy,'" he says.
Memorable Shows: I'll just let Rose handle this one.
Despite The Know being relatively unassuming/a smaller venue, the caliber of acts that we host is rather surprising. Most of the bands that would create "memorable" shows here are certainly not household (or even Pitchfork) names, but have to some degree or another achieved a sort of "cult status" as an underground act. Bands hailed internationally such as Amebix (UK), Systematic Death (Japan), The Vicious (Sweden), Slowmotions (Japan), Steve Lake (of UK legendary band Zounds) and Jonathan Richman (of Modern Lovers fame) have all played at The Know. The list goes on and on. This past summer, I can safely say that a more memorable moment from me stems from having Pierced Arrows play our club. Fred and Toody Cole (formerly of The Rats/Dead Moon and now Pierced Arrows) have been the vanguards of Portland's gritty rock&roll scene for decades. Their presence/performance at The Know created an anticipation/energy that is seldom felt in any venue...it was a sweltering August show, with our room's capacity pushed to the very limit. Following their performance, I found Toody leaning against the building, soaked in sweat and short-of-breath...as i approached she greeted me with a huge smile and with a look that acknowledged that the show had been special and enjoyable. From an artist who has played an innumerable amount of shows all over the world, it was great to see that The Know had left such a strong impression.
Bim Says: "Badass. The Know is my NE Portland hero. They really do have it down, and it's glorious. Despite the obvious challenges of having a venue basically next door to homeowners, they've held it down, offering a killer space run by some of the coolest motherfuckers around."
Download or stream Bim's compilation of songs from all the participating bands at Into the Woods.