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—whom 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.
Where's Bim Been This Week?
2/15 @ The Firkin Tavern: Octa#grape
Bim says: "Octa#grape is four dudes ripping, for dudes that wanna rip. There's a place between noise and MSG that tastes almost as good as watching Glen (lead guitar/vox) battle a guitar, sans-strap—grinning and continually almost falling over—always just making it back to the mic for relentless masterful hooks and general vocal brilliance. I'm pretty sure that Octa#grape is my favorite band outside of Portland right now, and the Firkin just might be my favorite place to see bands. Can't wait to see the next secret band that the We Shared Milk brings in this week for the last of their Friday night residency at the Firk'."
2/16 @ Kelly's Olympian: Fanno Creek
Bim says: "When there's an eight-band bill, there's one band that breaks it open. Fanno Creek did that honor as if it were prophesied by an earthly hand of the Rock'N'Roll gods—which is quickly becoming something you can count on them to do—bringing the energy of a punk or hip-hop group: No small achievement for a band that sounds mirror-quality polished live. Next was Old Age and I really don't have time to explain the sonic miracle they've become—new drummer and keyboardist are each beyond perfect—so you'll just have to get off the couch and see for yourself. That is, next time they make the trek from Alsea, Ore."
2/17 @ Mississippi Studios: Animal Eyes
Bim says: "It's been a couple years now since my first encounter with Animal Eyes—which started off in the sun, dunking on my van, somewhere in SE—and watching them tighten musically while expanding professionally couldn't be more enjoyable. There on a short list of local chameleon bands that can get you spilling your beer all over a dive bar, and the next week, play here at Mississippi Studios to OPB donors and dirty-30s daters."
2/18 @ Punx House: Long Knife
Bim says: "Punk shows at random houses might seem risky to some people—and yes, the chances of contracting scabies are notably increased—but that's just because some people don't realize that punks are more afraid of not having a fun night than you are of them. The lead singer of Long Knife was about three beers past predictable locomotion. It was like watching a train get hit by one of those military-grade double helicopters—perfect and horrifying plus hilarious stage banter croaking out of a finished man still going."
2/19 @ Bunk Bar: The Century
Bim says: "The Century is not a test. They've got elements pouring in from all sides: a cello, a giant man singing vocals and writing the songs who possesses one of the most unique—and visually juxtaposed—falsetto whispers that you'd be hard pressed not to love, and of course, Portland's most explorative bassist, borrowed from Charts. While there's a lot going on, it's never overwhelms or outshines the experience and skill used to carve out their songs. Now if only they'd record an album so it would be less weird for me to throw money at them."
2/20 @ Bunk Bar: Charts
Bim says: "I knew that Charts have been busting ass recording their new EP (not sure when it drops but holy damn the roughs sound amazing). I didn't, however, realize just how much that would effect their live set. This was the best sounding Charts set I've ever heard. Charts are on the way up and being a fan already makes that a wonderful realization."
What's Bim Seeing Next Week?
2/23 @ Hellstroms Hive: Fake Nails, Sweet Tooth, Dodge Logic, Tender Age
Is it against the rules to write about a house show? Fuck it. I like a lot of what I'm hearing online of all these bands, but I admittedly don't have firsthand knowledge of any of them other than Tender Age—they all sound nicely lightweight and garage-y. When it comes down to it, a show experience involves an exhausting number of things that are not sound, lights and cover. I may not know these bands well but I do know that shows at houses are generally more fun—it's the voyeur and community, the lack of professionally is a strength not to be belittled—and even if these bands are not amazing, the experience as a whole very likely will be.
2/24 @ Holocene: Kishi Bashi, Shugo Tokumaru
Kishi Bashi rips! Oh shit, I don't have a ticket and can't go! #PDXMusicProblems
2/26 @ Valentine's: Soft Shadows, Souvenir Drive, Tender Age
Let's get dreamy at Valentine's together, I wanna use my shoulders. I'm all wound up and antsy and need a release. Can we pour ourselves out? Can the music loosen the valve? Can you feel it coming up to you now, is it going to raise higher than that? I hope it does, I need it to.
2/27 @ Tube: Ghost Mom, Therapists, Sad Horse, Needles & Pizza
First off, I'm not going to Starfucker for two reasons: It's at our worst venue that still charges for shows, Roseland "Theater," and I feel abandoned by Starfucker. I mean, LA, and then when you come back it's that place, really guys? Therapists have been bumming around town for long enough that if you're into Portland punk, you know the name at least. The thing that makes this show interesting to me is the thought of trying to fit even all the members of all four bands inside the Tube, much less the people that come to see 'em. This will get sweaty and out of control very quickly and I can't wait.
2/28 @ Kenton Club: Young Dad, Christian Profeta, Banh Mi
It's been entirely too long since I've been to the dive halfway between a watering hole and an Elks Club called Kenton Club. It's my kind of place, and though I only think I've seen Young Dad (possibly maybe and that's a stretch of confidence) they're playing just about as many shows as I get out to in a given week so they've gotta at least be nice dudes.
3/1 @ Backspace: Sama Dams, Walter Mitty and His Makeshift Orchestra, Tiananmen Bear, Amenta Abioto
This week's been packed with bands I know little about—this bill included, aside from Sama Dams—but what I do know with complete certitude is that Sama Dams is one of the best bands in Portland today. While outwardly subversive, technically skilled and theatrically endowed, Sama Dams is pretty much a ground-up type of project. That's a mind-full. Simply, these are buds that make up good music and have fun with it, but they happen to be better at that than is normal, or even reasonable to expect.