Bim Ditson goes to more shows than you. Don't feel bad: He goes to more shows than just about anyone. And sometimes, he takes pictures with his cell phone. In this new column, we're letting Bim—who you might know as the drummer for garage-pop misfits And And And—show you where he's been and who he's seen this week, and tell you where to go and who to see in the week ahead. You should take his advice. After all, he goes to more shows than you.
WHAT DID BIM SEE LAST WEEK?
Boone Howard (of The We Shared Milk) @ White Eagle
Bim says: "First he told me he was playing a solo show at White Eagle in a few hours. Next he needed a ride 'cause his bandmates were preoccupied with either food or girls—this part was not clear at first—and by the end of it, he needed a drummer. I guess my night was a little like being very nice to a homeless man, but with one difference: homeless people rarely trick me into playing a really fun impromptu set with one of my favorite guitarist-songwriters."
Pierced Arrows @ Doug Fir
Bim says: "It's a bummer that this show was $10. Why charge 10 bucks if you're only going to fill a venue halfway? Sometimes I feel like booking agents at our mid-sized venues are slot machines, buzzing and dinging and attempting to ruin the locals as much they can. Luckily, none of the bands on this bill could be phased, especially not Pierced Arrows' haggard professionals. If you haven't seen 'em, imagine you're in the movie Dark Crystal, only Pierced Arrows were not originally—and will never be—made for kids."
Grandparents @ Holocene
Bim says: "Ending this week of nonstop killer shows with Grandparents—reemerging yet again with an updated lineup that somehow trumps the last incarnation—was beautiful. I think of a few bands in town when I see the term 'band's band,' and up 'til this show Grandparents really weren't floating in my mind's eye. I have proof that they are now. How, you ask? In attendance were members of: Talkative, Souvenir Driver, Tiger House, the We Shared Milk, Mufasa, Father Figure, Sama Dams, Nucular Aminals (I'm 99% sure), Sons of Huns, the Century, XDS, and I'm sure many more."
Talkative @ The Firkin Tavern
Bim says: "In most cases, my favorite places to see bands are dive bars, usually the ones with crass, musically indifferent locals hooting at each other, just around the corner from an area recently titled 'Stage.' Cody Burger's band, Talkative, is an all-inclusive hurricane. It includes the preemptive inhale, the bobbing misplaced wreckage, and the crowds that ransack every bit they can grab before the windows get boarded up."
Bim says: "I changed my show-plans so quickly when I saw this lineup that I ended up at Stantonova an hour and a half early. Sorta didn't believe it was real and had to find out ASAP. Within minutes of staking out a couch cushion I was enjoying a rampant monologue about the possibility of a worldwide, collective human consciousness—show starts in an hour. I'm not sure how the Stantonova residents have been pulling these shows off for the last year—they're actually not swinging it anymore. They got kicked out because culture is an eyesore, so this is the last hooray. To pull this off for even a year, though, they must be wizards. It's a good thing, too. For me, house-shows are Portland's all ages scene."
WHAT'S BIM SEEING THIS WEEK?
Father John Misty makes me enthralled with the notion of impoverished joy. I'll be honest, I've been obsessed with them—almost as much as I was with the Walkmen in 2008—but even with these two bands that I absolutely love, I considered skipping this show purely due to how little I ever want be inside Roseland Theater. "Theater" is a misnomer in this case.
Valentine's defies downtown. Somehow this almost-literal hole in the wall pulls in some of the best experimental and strange rock bands over and over. I know that I like Mojave Bird's solo, genteel looping, and the Hugs are fun and sweet. What's Hypnogogue about? No clue. I'll let ya know.
1/29 @ Bunk Bar: Eidolons, A Thousand Swords
There once was this band in Portland named Archers. They had ripping guitars, aggressive and sometimes overwhelmingly intricate basement songs and stories, and a keyboard genius named Griff. A Thousand Swords is Griff's longstanding project. It'll take you to space, but you're on your own getting back.
1/30 @ Valentine's: THANKS, Break Up Flowers, Sun + Fun
And then I spent my week at Valentine's. THANKS makes you wanna have a lot of friends and kiss 'em all a lot.
Ah, God, where to start? How 'bout with Ah God? They rip! But honestly, what made me want to go to this show over the other 10 killer ones that night is simple: Death Songs is one of the best bands in Portland. When Nick plays live it's almost like watching a savant have a perfectly-executed seizure at a guitar and a Fender Rhodes, but in slightly slower-motion than real time.
I'll be in Astoria, but if I were in Portland I'd attend this $10 orgy.