I’ve never been in the loop. As far as new and local music goes, even in my twenties I was pretty clueless. I had friends that were regulars at Satyricon and La Luna and where else? See, I don’t even know where else. I love music. I’m deeply moved by music, but I’ve never been avid about seeing it live or seeking out some new and exciting band. I seem to simply listen to whatever accidentally floats across my path. Sometimes something sticks.
This week, I thought I’d swerve outside that model and take in a few of the bands at PDX Pop Now! This FREE festival of local music has been happening for years but, of course, it’s only barely registered in my consciousness. If I was a teenager in Portland, I probably would have been all over this from day one. It’s all ages and held at least partially outdoors. As an old fart of 43, I was actually more interested in the outdoor part of that equation. It was a gorgeous summer evening and I’d been inside all day. So I wandered down under the Hawthorne Bridge, got myself a scoop of my favorite ice cream, and propped myself up against a wall.
It’s been a long time since I’ve been around that solid a concentration of people in their twenties. I’ve never seen so many girls in little flowered jumpsuits, and boys in tight everything. So many hippies with patchwork pants and daisy-laced hair, freshly returned from the Oregon Country Fair. I even saw a few pirates who I admired for sticking with their thing long after the pirate trend has waned.
The music I heard was decent, entertaining. Add in the fact that it was warm and the sun was setting and I ran into an old friend that I got to catch up with over a beer and the whole thing was a lovely way to spend a night.
The last band I saw was Summer Cannibals and I was a little crushed out on their adorable, enthusiastic drummer. I was more than a little amused by the kid who kept trying to crowd surf but kept plummeting to the ground. And yet he got back up and tried again, and again. The first song of their set was “Wear Me Out” and it’s been stuck in my head ever since.