Waiting in the clusters of Converse-clad middle-schoolers camped in front of the stage at the Crystal Ballroom Friday night, I felt old. That's a rare feeling for a 17-year-old, but it was there, amid the swarming clumps of radioactive children who had stood in a line stretching around the block to squeeze into the sold-out venue for the Sleater-Kinney show. Waiting through the Minders and Cat Power, the fans were obviously anxious. The Minders came on feeling poppy and gentle, while Chan Marshall's nervously hushed vocals gave strength to the raw, anguished ballads of Cat Power, leaving the few paying attention swaying.

But 45 minutes of standing and swaying was a bit much for 17-year-old legs. Luckily, S-K was on deck and the dancing would begin. Almost immediately after taking the stage, the three Portland ladies erased age, replacing it with energy. Playing through a set that relied heavily on last year's One Beat (Kill Rock Stars), the trio fed off of the crowd's elation and gave it right back. After a few songs, we responded with an erupting mosh pit until guitarist Carrie Brownstein told us to continue dancing, minus the elbows. A few did fly during the lengthy set, but they were stopped by scattered adults. By the time the second encore ended, the buses had stopped running, leaving the city's children drenched, yet satisfied. (Adina Lepp)


Knowledge is a powerful thing. For instance, if the employees at the Meow Meow had known where the power switch for the Southeast club was located Friday, Dec. 5, there might have been a show that night. Some mischief-makers, it seems, snuck into the club's back entrance and switched off the juice some time that day. The employees had nary an idea what to do, and by the time they got a hold of club owner Todd Fadel, who was celebrating his fifth anniversary in San Francisco, Blitzen Trapper's record-release show had been canceled. Which is too bad, because that Blitzen Trapper album is a gem. No word yet on rescheduling. Happy anniversary, Todd.


In all our ranting and raving about the Grammys last week, Hiss left out a very important piece of information about the nominations. Oregon Symphony conductor James DePreist and marimba player Niel DePonte were nominated for the Best Instrumental Soloist(s) Performance (with Orchestra) for their performance of Tomas Svoboda's "Concerto For Marimba and Orchestra, Op. 148."