Horseshoe Pub’s Birthday Bash was a Musical Time Machine

I had completely spaced this show but remembered last second and rushed over the 10 blocks from my house to the Clinton Street Theatre to catch the show. Sadly I missed the Lagoon Squad’s opening act but have since checked them out online and I can see why they were amongst the rest of these heavy hitters. And when I say that, I don’t mean metal or even necessarily punk although The Sellwoods and The Hauer Things can jam as rough and raw as anyone, The Sellwoods tend to fall into the pool of surf garage rock and The Hauer Things are hard to classify. Like if you took monster mash and mashed it into an entire feel of a band, it’d be these guys. They put on a great show with high energy and even led a train around the theatre which I promptly helped get going because the crowd did need a bit of coaxing as half of them were plastered to their seats as was I until two older gals pulled me up to dance. Without Rachel there this night I was all alone but it felt like the entire place was at a 60’s wedding or birthday bash with many doing the twist and other classic dance moves. The Mean Reds might have been my favorite that I hadn’t seen before this show. Dressed in pastel floral and all done up with an overall look that captured the era that they also embodied with their sound. With a similarity to The Belles and The Pandoras and other sweet bands the Mean Reds are not a dime a dozen as was candy in those days. They are easily moving up on our list as well. Can’t wait for them to release more than a “casingle” (cassette single) as the frontwoman classified it.

The Sellwoods are one of my favorites in town and deserve a lot more respect amongst the music scene as they put on many great shows at Twilight Bar & Grill and draw in many other great surf, garage, and punk music along with them. Had completely spaced these guys when creating our first draft of our list of best bands in town and had to go back and put them near the top. And don’t quarrel with us yet because the other three will rise on our chart as soon as the new revision arises.

Easily the best free show I’ve ever seen. And thanks again to The Clinton Street Theatre and Horseshoe Pub for putting it on and keeping it free. Sorry the place wasn’t full. One of these days Portland will wake up to the fact that we take our amazing local bands for granted until music scenes fall apart. I don’t ever see that being a possibility in Portland but just in case; get the fuck off your couch next time and come join us for a swinging good time.

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