What do you get when you combine gypsies, burlesque fan dancers, stilt walkers, clowns, puppeteers, minions of Satan and a high school marching band? Well, if you live on the lower east side, you might get something akin to Gogol Bordello. But if you live in Portland, you'll get the March Fourth Marching Band.
This evening I caught up with my friend Fuller, a fellow fixed gear geek with whom I haven't hung out for far too long. I headed out on the bike to meet up with him and his friend Kyle (also riding a fixie) at the Pilsener Room for a couple pints and some seafood/corn chowder (thus fulfilling the food requirement for a post on what is, after all, a food blog; standard McCormick & Schmicks fare, but a perfectly serviceable chowder nonetheless). We then headed over to La Merde and met up with Fuller's friend Abby for another round. Yes, you heard that right. "La Merde," french for "the shit." It's attached to Le Bistro Montage (famous for their leftover tinfoil sculptures). A fun little place underneath the Morrison Bridge in Produce Row. By the time we left, Kyle and Abby were done for the night, but Fuller and I headed a few blocks over to AudioCinema to catch March Fourth's set on the first night of the PDX Pop Now! Festival.
M4 put on quite a show. The stilt walkers made regular forays into the crowd, which made for some interesting audience participation. The rest of the band provided postmodern marching band insanity for the better part of an hour. They're heading out on a nationwide tour this fall, so if they come to your town, I highly recommend checking them out. It's a spectacle unlike any other you're likely to see!
From there Fuller and I went for a nightcap at the Speakeasy, a little dive bar on Taylor, near my mechanic, that I'd been meaning to check out for a while. Here's a shot of their lovely marble bar, taken by Fuller with his new iPhone:
Like any Portland dive bar worth its salt, the Speakeasy has shuffleboard. If you're thinking of the game that's played on cruise ships, that's deck shuffleboard. This was table shuffleboard, an entirely different animal. It's basically a bar version of curling. Fuller was amped up for a game, but I knew that if that happened, we'd never make it out of the place, so I resolutely refused to get involved. Sorry, Fuller. Next time for sure, buddy!