August 30 at Portland’s The Woods venue,
the San Fran psychedelic rockers, along with openers Hello Mtn, set out to
raise the hippie dead.
By Tim Hinely
Always a nice
evening out at The Woods, Portland’s
own former funeral parlor that is now a music venue. Plus, it’s in Sellwood (SE Portland)
so not to far of a drive for me, Hello Mtn are a Portland male/female duo who appear to be
hippies posing as indie rockers. Or maybe they’re just hippies? Who cares….I
liked most of their set though it was, at times, a bit flowery for my liking.
She plays keys and he plays acoustic guitar and they both sing and in this day
and age of the mellow, bearded folkies (he had a beard, she didn’t) they seem
to fit right in. A tour with Fleet Foxes could be right around the corner.
Still Flyin, led by Masters of the Hemisphere’s Sean Rawls (M.O.T.H. also just
got back together and have a new record coming out next month on Magic
Marker/Kindercore) brought the party bus back to the Rose City though the
probably used a short bus this time. The lineup is different each tour and this
time it was trimmed down to 6 people (last time they had about 10, including
Ladybug Transistor’s Gary Olson and Aislers Set’s Wyatt Cusick and Yoshi
Nakamoto who is now living in Berlin).
Red Pony Clock’s Gabe Saucedo is still in the lineup, though he left his trombone home this time
and brought his sax (and played vibraphone, too) and Maria is still on keys and
backing vocals though now they have their old dancer Phil on drums taking
Yoshi’s place) and he killed it. Bren (from Masters) on keys too and they
brought a friendly Italian chap, Samuele, on bass.
Sean was his
usual friendly self, chatting up the crowd (including talking to the freaky
guys who was dancing around with a painting strapped to his back) and generally
creating a fun atmosphere. Set list included about half of the song on their
new Neu Ideas Compilation (including “Victory Walker”, “Bull Riff”, “Runaway
Train II” , etc) and a handful from Never Gonna Touch the Ground (“Forever
Dudes”, “Hott Chord”, “Good Thing It’s a Ghost Town Around Here”, ) plus a new
song (“Spirits”) and a set-ending (ok, you can call it an encore) of “Rope
Burn.” The small but enthusiastic crowd
tore up the dance floor and I didn’t see frown or grimace anywhere. The way it should be (and I was in such a good mood that
I wasn’t even bummed about them not playing “Following the Itinerary”).