MFNW – Friday Part Two: Not MFNW or How I Wandered into the Wrong Show – LSD&D, Rabbits, the Lovesores (ex-Humpers)Posted by Nick Hilden
As I left the Ash Street Saloon, the sidewalks along 3rd Avenue were, as usual, jam-packed with mobs of street kids and gutter punks flashing an array of cardboard signs petitioning for change, weed, beer, or offering to perform elaborate sexual favors, presumably in exchange for change, weed, or beer. On the corner of Washington and 3rd, a raggedy looking man held his hands skyward screaming, “Oh no. You won’t catch me eating people. Not Charlie Brown.” Then he turned to a group of passers-by and hollered, “Stop it! You have to stop eating people!”
Nothing out of the ordinary. The nonsense people scream in the streets has developed into a sort of Portland-lexicon. It was clear that Charlie Brown (if that is his real name, or was he saying that he wouldn’t eat Charlie Brown?) wasn’t so much concerned about people eating people. He was just upset at the condition of things in general. Later, when I emerged from Kelly’s Olympian, he was standing outside listening to the music through the windows, eyes toward the sky, motionless and without expression, placid as a fire hydrant or a collapsed warehouse.
But I am getting ahead of myself. I must first enter Kelly’s Olympian in order to leave.
I had heard that Scott Drake, one time singer of the Humpers (“Mutate With Me”), was fronting a new band called the Lovesores. Assuming that their show at Kelly’s was a part of MFNW, I decided to try and catch some of their set before Rabbits and Zeke went on back at the Ash St. I walked through Kelly’s Olympian’s front door and flashed my wristbands at the bouncer. He nodded as if the wristbands meant sometime to him—they did not—and I went into Kelly’s Knife Shop venue.
Portland local band LSD&D were almost finished with their set. They were, simply put, rad. Their high energy rock had elements from all across the spectrum—garage, hair-metal, punk, and even a kind of Zeppelin-blues.
Unbeknownst to me, my friends Alabama Black Snake were performing at the same show later in the evening. When I spotted them in the crowd, they told me that the Lovesores were going on next, so as LSD&D broke their equipment down, I raced back to the Ash St. to catch Rabbits.
I got back in just as Rabbits went on, and they were loud. Really, really loud. They had this wall-of-sound fuzz that filled the room and shook your brain and jangled your nerves in that pleasant way that aficionados of hardcore can’t live without. In some moments they would fill the room with a grinding sludge, before suddenly cutting through the wash of noise with buzz-saw tearing thrash.
As the set wound to a close, I decided to race back to Kelly’s and see if I could catch a few minutes of the Lovesores. A different bouncer was watching the door this time, and when I showed my wristbands he looked at me with a confused expression and said, “This is a free show. Did somebody make you pay to get in?” So…apparently I was covering the wrong show. Kelly’s Olympian was one of the only downtown venues not participating in MFNW.
Inside the Knife Shop, Scott Drake was racing back and forth across the room, jumping from the stage, howling in his distinctly recognizable tone. The Lovesores bring back that neo-garage-punk sound that, for a large part due to Drake and the Humpers’ contribution, took the West Coast by storm in the early 90’s.
I knew that Zeke would be going on anytime now, and I was excited by the coincidence of seeing an ex-Humper and Zeke in the same night in two different places. I had first encountered both bands in the mid-90s through one of those inexpensive Punk-o-Rama compilations, back when I was learning to play music faster, louder, and harder. Punk-o-Rama also introduced me to Poison Idea, who was playing MFNW as well, but they don’t make it into this article as their show was on the other side of town.
I left Kelly’s Olympian a little before midnight to head to Zeke thinking that I wouldn’t be back for Alabama Black Snake. But as some of you may know, when you’re in for days and days of music, the nights get longer before they get shorter…