Columbia City Theater – 8-6-2011

Noah Gundersen. Some things you should know about this kid. He’s got a talented family.

Show was opened by his drummer/comedian/guitarplayer/singer. I have no name, because I am terrible at that. If you know, post me a comment. I’d love to remember. He’s 1 part newsie, two parts untrustable Eddie Haskell, and an incredible story teller. Captivating. He was a last minute fill in for the original opener. No offense to the original opener, but I’m glad they cancelled.

Then came some young kids. Like 16 – 17 year olds. I thought “How nice. Letting the little kids play the second slot before Noah comes out and steals the show.” Jaw dropped. Kids played and I heard a legit cover version of Folsum Prison Blues. Not a crappy cover. And nobody has any business covering this song. Le Wrens, however, made that one of those times you stand in a club, beer underfoot, uncomfortable huggy-kissy couple next to you, loud jock kid that forgot he was in public and the occasional frosted hair oldster that wandered in from the alley and just stare in awe. At the act on stage for a change. Awesome. Le Wrens. Don’t forget it. LeWrensBand on Myspace, or find them on the facebookings. Went to the merch table. They, of course, had hand-pressed CD’s in absurdly cute paper bags with hand glue-stick’ed cover art. If I wasn’t so old, I probably would have died from cuteness. I saw genuine excitement from musicians on stage for the first time in a long time. I felt like I was seeing a 16 year old version of Heart playing at a High School Talent show that served beer. I was, quite literally, amazed.

Now, Noah Gundersen came on stage. Set up three chairs, and a light that shone up from the floor wedges into his face. He sat down. And next to him, stage left, sat a beautiful violin player. From Le Wrens. I thought, “seriously? Is this some kind of joke?” Nope. Apparently, this whole bag of awesome is related for the most part. Abbey Gundersen, Noah’s sister was the violin player. And she rocks the Cello as well. And sings like a siren. Noah, on the other hand, sings like the devil wishes he could. Soulful, and sings lyrics that require you to pay attention. Not in order to understand them, but they require your attention simply by capturing your imagination and sending your hipster cynicisim to the beach for a mini vacation. Lets also mention the guitar player and bass player from Le Wrens are ALSO related to Abby and Noah. Von Trapps be damned.

This was the first beer swilling show I’ve stood up for the entire time, and when the lights came on, I was truly dissapointed it was over, and had no idea it had lasted so long.




Bumbershoot Lineup Announced!
So… This has me excited. Not only for the endless possibilites relating to Hall&Oats mustache-ery, but the pure, unadultrated suprises that are lining this years festival. Some of these acts we reviewed during our Sasquatch 2011 breakdown, and some are just plain unknown. We’re gearing up here at BMRE to bring you a full breakdown of Bumbershoot. My personal goal is to get what I pay for. In this case, an $80 three day ticket averages out to… drumroll please…. .68 cents per act. Yup. This years Bumbershoot will average out to .68 cents per concert. 117 acts over three days. I may have to borrow a thesaurus. Or a Truckasaurus (who will be on the bill) along with Reverend Horton Heat and Com Truise. Seriously, who is Com Truise? I don’t know, and don’t care at this point. It’s my blind “based only on their band name suprise dark horse best band I don’t know about” pick. You heard it hear first. C’mon. Com Truise isn’t worth .68 cents? Thats just crazy talk.

Northwest Convergence Zone 2nd Birthday Bash – Perry Acker

When Jack Johnson took Dave Mathews out to his beach house, they happend to run into Jason Mraz. They decided to get together and do what those guys do… Smoke out and play around a campfire. Well, Dave took a header into the fire, Jason Mraz jumped in to help him while Jack Johnson just sort of laughed to himself. What emerged from the flames was a really awesome melty fourth-meal version of those three guys called Perry Acker. A little tougher, a little more bangy, a little less wussy.

Northwest Convergence Zone 2nd Birthday Bash – The Hardcount

You’ve never seen a three piece suit, mask wearing, guitar crushing rock and roll outfit like these guys before. Seriously. It’s like your worst movie nightmare made out with some unknown guitar prodigy then threw up some Ramones covers on your pillow case. And I mean that in a seriously awesome way. Could not avert my eyes, and I’m still a little terrified. Satisfied, but terrified. Like a 3 year old that still can’t decipher fear from excitment.

Film Industry Night at Neumos – Pete Stewart

Pete playing Film Industry Night.

So – The dudes from CSN&Y walk into a bar. They get into a fight with Elliott Smith. They all make up over a couple bottles of whiskey then break out the guitars. At that point, Pete Stewart would show up. Don’t play this for your girlfriend. She’ll probably leave you and call Pete. You’ve been warned.

Film Industry Night at Neumos – Whitney Monge

Whitney Monge playing Film Industry night at Neumos

If you were wondering what would happen if Macy Gray went on a serious bender, and Melisa Ethridge picked her up after the bar closed and they ended up in the back seat of Tracy Chapman’s Fast car: Whitney Monge would be what happened. Silky, raspy, sexy and street wisdom beyond her years.

On tap: film industry night at neumos.

Pete Stewart on tap. Review here after show.