Saturday, September 15, 2007

Stars of Track and Field playing at LiveWire

Stars of Track and Field
I loved Stars of Track and Field's song "With You", even before I saw them at Bumbershoot. Seeing hot indie guys sing really pretty love songs that also rock has me tempted to see them perform again at the local public radio station's LiveWire production tonight. With occasional exceptions of legitimately good stuff like Pink Martini and the March Fourth Marching Band, LiveWire usually struck me as the ketchupy zaniness of "A Prairie Home Companion" (as I was born outside the Midwest after 1970, ketchupy zaniness is not a good thing) mixed with the Wednesday night bands at Dante's or Berbati's that you're just sick of hearing about.

But I'm far from sick of Stars of Track and Field! I want more! Maybe my ill-fated year in L.A. was SoTaF's Wednesday-night-at-Dante's year. More likely, they played at the myriad cool new venues that put more thought into booking than just getting willing half-naked hot chicks to sing Nirvana covers (they call this, Dante's old schtick, Stripperoke now, based on the ads I've seen). New venues booking cooler bands, I think, deserve more credit than Elliott Smith (rest his soul) for Portland's well-deserved indie cred. But don't despair, frat boys of Portland. Of course the lovely and talented and inescapable Storm Large will also be at LiveWire tonight. Hell, I was rooting for her, too, on that reality show with Nikki Six or whatever.

Bike to Work Day
In addition to Stars of Track and Field and Storm, cool, hyper-involved City Commissioner (for now?) Sam Adams (he blogs) will be at LiveWire tonight. I was just thinking about his plan to install rental bikes throughout Portland this morning after I heard this story about how enamored NPR's French correspondent is of the rental bikes in Paris.

Also politically themed, Andi Zeisler from Bitch magazine will be at LiveWire. Now, I don't like Bitch magazine. Based on the Internet comments I read about Hillary Clinton, they ain't "reclaimed" shit by using the word bitch. I hate the word in any context, such that in the feminist section of Powell's, I've been known to turn the magazine around so I don't have to see it making assumptions about me just for standing there. There's also a lot of trite nonsense (knit for freedom!) and picking apart other people's family decisions ("How to have 17 kids and still love Jesus") by feminists like those of Bitch, who are otherwise awesome. However, some things that look like trite nonsense are crucial, and Zeisler hit a big one when she took a stab at the disgusting pink section in toy stores, which still turns girls into fairy princesses whose only goal is to land a rich man. Gender identity is "natural", my ass. When you're shoving pink binkies in your girl babies from birth, you're telling them to find something pretty to suck or they fail. The way girl children are treated as girls rather than as children is still a vitally important issue, and Zeisler nailed it. I wish the magazine were named something different, but of course that would alienate a lot fans. Rock, meet hard place.

Another writer who will be at LiveWire is Steve Almond, who I've never given a proper chance because I always think "Tainted Love Steve Almond? Soft Cell Steve Almond? Why is he writing about chocolate?" and then my brain gets tired. Also, books about single foods don't compel me, whatever their freakish popularity. And I don't read short stories or memoirs. So yeah, Steve Almond and I are doomed. However. Almond's resignation letter was right on. He's honest. You simply cannot divorce your morals from your working life, as he notes in this column, where he cites this trenchant Amazon review of his book:
"I literally threw the book across the room (where it still sits at this moment) after his progressive tantrum on page 204."

Do you think the reviewer doesn't know the meaning of the word "literally", or is it "irony"?

Also appearing at LiveWire will be local band The Sort Ofs. I can't find mp3s to download, and I won't link to MySpace because MySpace fucking sucks.

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