O c t o b e r   2 0 0 3

Aural Report

One less band in Portland
Time to call it quits
by Kurt Dahlke

oodoo Globefish was the first, though another name may have existed prior. Many names were floating about; Weird Cardboard and Lint were my favorites. But when my high-school buddies and I decided we should be a band, the tried and true pick-two-words-from-the-dictionary-at-random method seemed best.

Voodoo Globefish. Pretty neat, huh?

Something you Sid: The author alá Mr. Vicious.

We practiced in Mark's parents' garage. Sometimes I wore a gray Miami Vice coat, jackboots, no shirt and hair dyed black and spiked alá Sid Vicious. I stood next to two old lamps and a fertilizer spreader.

The neighbors complained, of course, banging on the garage door. Could it have been because we sucked?

Our 10-20 minute response, the skronk-opus "Noise Ordinance," impressed no one.

We practiced doggedly at The Palace, even after the glam-heshers, rural Poison wannabes, mocked us.

Being Kurt: rocking the house.

"You guys are going straight to the top!" they warbled moronically after our butchering of "Just Like Heaven." It's probably safe to say they aren't at the top now, either.

Pappy was next, setting the pattern and the bar too high for a first-time "real" band. Out of five members we had a bassist, a bassist/singer, a guitarist/singer, a guitarist and a drummer content with that sole duty. We pouted, we bitched and we made power plays in a basement on Southeast Stark Street. None of us ever wanted to shut up, either, onstage or off.

We did weird time-signatures, often simultaneously, with loping, feminist grooves; acid damaged third-gen math prog-rock by stoner art-hippies. Out of a dozen gigs before the inevitable crash, we managed an opening Saturday-night slot at the old La Luna with Caveman Shoestore and Kilgore Trout, both painfully obvious influences.

If you've ever rocked (no matter how ineptly) at chest height in front of 200 cute girls and guys in a dark, smoky hall, it's really hard not to want to do it again.

So after the first group of creative/friend/lover/business-partners didn't work out (gee, how could it be so difficult?), I participated in a pared-down thing called Crop Circles with two other friends, Daria and Larold.

Moment of truth: Toasterboy handbill.

The math-rock was again heavy, this time with an added Eastern influence. Just bass, drums and two singers.

My favorite gig of the 12 before the break-up was a last-minute fill-in at a long-gone downtown Portland bagel shop.

We busted out a speed-freak version of a fretboard-tapping tune that exists nowhere now but in the memories of three people.

But the best (I think) was Gypsy Moth.

We played out only once, in the basement of the old Last Thursday house on Northwest 25th and Lovejoy. During that set I played a song while doing an impromptu limbo to keep my floppy silk fuchsia plant-hat from falling into some candles. On drums the band featured a noted former mouthpiece for the Earth Liberation Front. That type of passion is hard to find, but somehow one of the two bassists (not me) got pregnant, and there you go.

The Toasterboys in the band: Mark, Al-Gene and Kurt.

In Toasterboy I replaced a guy who went on to much better things in 3 Leg Torso. Result: 12 gigs before lame dissolution.

With each band, the grooves got dumbed-down, became manlier and, I thought, the potential went up.

At Toasterboy's last gig, another house party in another huge house at 25th and Northwest Lovejoy, we drove everyone away with our stupidly loud volume, then actually brought them back again – to start dancing, no less – during the last song, a 10-minute workout on one simple riff. It seemed the logical time to call it quits.

I think you'd agree.

At the end of the last century was my last live show. Just me, my drum machine and my sampler at an open mic at the Ash Street Saloon.

Just one gig, but mmm was it satisfying. Finally – everything just the way I liked it. It was deafeningly loud and only four of my friends were there to watch, but I couldn't really complain.

E-mail Kurt at orangeandorange@msn.com, and don't miss his previous reports.

site design / management / host: ae
© 2001-2005 nwdrizzle.com / all rights reserved.