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Another Portland Blog

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

 

Catching up...

Here's two things I wanted to cover before I skipped town last week but I didn't pull it off:

A few friends and I went to the Achewood signing on the 10th at Skeleton Key Tattoo. While we were there two fans actually got tattoos of the comic's characters on their arms. We grabbed a comp ticket for a chum who couldn't make it up from Eugene. He's considering a Ray. As for myself, I settled on a copy of The Great Outdoor Fight since I can't commit to a brand of breakfast cereal, let alone a permanently attached illustration of a hedonistic house cat on one of my appendages. Achewood artist and creator Chris Onstad kindly scribbled a Ray on the inside cover of my copy and a Phillipe on the back of a colleague's iPhone. The organizers gave us free booze and a good time was had by all. I recommend picking up a copy of the book, available now from Dark Horse. The intro alone is worth it.




I also went to the Flogging Molly show at the Roseland the following night. AKA "The Celtic punk band That Didn't Record That Song From the Climax of The Departed, they put on a solid set that whipped the crowd into a medium to medium-high level frenzy. A group of very large and very shirtless men formed a pit in the middle of the room. For the uptempo songs they slammed repeatedly into one another. For the mid-tempo songs they formed a huddle and ran around in circles. For the slow songs they threw their arms over each other and shouted out the lyrics. Sometime later, one of them climbed a pillar and waived around a flag. If I was undergraduate liberal arts major I might describe such a scene as "homoerotic" but at least one female jumped in the fray so I don't think it qualifies.

Every time I go to the Roseland I'm shocked to discover how much of a fire trap the place must be. At the end of shows the organizers force everyone to exit down two thin staircases and the process takes forever. After the band's set, I found myself wedged between an enormous middle-aged Irish guy who looked like a U2 roadie and a few hundred other sweat-soaked fans. The smell, dear God, the smell. As drunk as he was even he couldn't help rant about that the only thing separating us all from safety and a bone-crushing stampede was a little smoke.

Outside a group of strippers dressed as cheerleaders was screaming at the crowd as they drifted out of the venue and down Burnside. Apparently, they were looking for new recruits for their club. How did this drunken crowd that had just spent a few hours jumping around like maniacs react? With emo-ish sneaker gazing and lectures on how the girls were exploiting themselves. Ahhhh, Portland.

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