Wednesday, December 17, 2008

sittin' around the beanery

It was darn cold driving down here, and rainy, and it occurs to me that the rain may freeze up at some unpredictable point, maybe before I drive home.  The Bean seems to be closing early, possibly because they are worrying about the very same thing.

Is the Beanery my favorite coffee shop?  Yes it is.  This place has had quality coffee and atmosphere ever since the early seventies, so basically that is ever since I can remember.  They also have free music, big windows, and they are located in kind of a nice area near the river.   The Interzone has great coffee, but it is a small place, and being near campus it is dominated by young students that never seem to read the Oregonian.  Maybe they read it online, but probably not.

Having recently gotten a laptop, I am attempting to figure it out, but I have always been a big internet surfer, ever since the days of lynx and yahoo being a big deal.  There are some amusing local blogs...

In fact, there is so much online that it is impossible to keep track.  When it comes to sitting down and reading a book, though, there's no experience like a physical book made out of paper.  Furthermore, the writing on the internet has a fairly homogeneous feel to it.  If you go into some dusty book shop and pick out something by, say, Sir Walter Scott, or Thomas Wolfe, you will get something quite different; a more beautiful form of writing that is has a quantum difference from the usual pabulum.

Valerie Lopez played here Saturday night, and it was a standing room only crowd.  I wasn't too impressed with her the first time I saw her, about two months ago.  She seemed like she was trying to sound like a pop star rather than doing something original.  This time she seemed more real and interesting, and her guitar and banjo playing were good.  Moreover, she had a good band backing her up, and they were all good, from the bass player, to the drummer, to the flautist.   The crowd was nearly in hysterics.  That was a bit much.  She's good, ....maybe she deserves all the cheering,...but anyway it was a large crowd, that is for sure.

That Friday night was a band consisting of four young guys with nice instruments.  To bad they couldn't play them.  I think that some of them actually are pretty good at some of them, but the drummer should have been playing the guitar.  They were trying to play Southern Man and just totally destroyed it.  What a waste of a good guitar.  You can buy an expensive instrument, but if you can't do a bar chord and have no technique and don't practice, it won't help.  Then again....why rain on their parade if they were having fun?  Why not?  I just can't stand a song that is supposed the be played in a screaming and powerful style played in a weak and barely-there style.

Latch-Hook Robots at Interzone: loud and powerful sound, screaming vocalist.  Kind of not too bad, really.  Four stars.

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