Just back from the show at EMU featuring Gossip and Rock 'n Roll Soldiers. There are too many shows happening lately; at least that makes up somewhat for those long spells where any and all hip bands seem to avoid Eugene for months on end.
I remember when RnR Soldiers were a bunch of squeaky voiced kids some years back when they recorded their first demos in my garage. They're looking like young men now and yowza! They're a hot item for the 70's rocker kids these days. They still pull from the Stooges/Stones vein of music, with a greater emphasis on performance than on actual sound. I would suggest that they slow things down and concentrate on writing some killer songs to go along with their great image, but no one asked me what I think. Still, I'm on their side and have a great affection for them.
Gossip. I don't know why I was expecting something a bit scarier or more intense from this 3-some of Olympia-ites. I've been listening to them on record for maybe 3 years and I have to say I was shocked by how young they looked - in fact, I'm quite certain the entire night was designed to make me feel old. All the young college kids looked more like 15 than 18 to me and the whole scene reminded me oh-so-much of my own mis-spent rock and roll youth. Anyway, I digress. The Gossip were great. Despite having a novice soundman who had NO IDEA HOW TO SET MICROPHONES UP FOR A DRUMSET AND ELECTRIC GUITAR, (I mean, the mics weren't even close or even aiming at what they were supposed to be picking up...) Gossip still rocked with a swagger and nerdy confidence that you could dance to. 4 string guitar and a shitty drum kit providing a perfect bed for the punk gospel wailings of Beth Ditto. Really, she has a great voice and stage presence and boy, can she dance. I can see her really going on to more interesting projects in the next decade or so. I'm not wildly into the whole Olympia kooky/cool scene, but I think it's a great thing for the younger kids looking for something non-mainstream that is self-affirming and fun (and sexy...) I still came away inspired that really, you can do ANY music project on your own terms and make it fun and interesting. Boo Ya!
Now, I'm tired and it's not even 11:30...time to put my kid to bed and then fall asleep watching Saturday Night Live.