May 2009 The Flatlanders (Alladin)

May 27, 2009

‘Plan B’ proves successful, for sure

This month, I went to the Flatlanders show in Portland. If you don’t know, it’s a band of three Texas singer-songwriters, who over the last 30 years, have put out four or five albums. They’ve got a new album, Hills and Valleys, from which they played a lot of songs from on this current tour. The band lineup is Joe Ely, Jimmie Dale Gilmore, and Butch Hancock. Each is a stellar musician in their own right, and it’s a really nice deal to see them all together. They were supported by an additional electric guitar player, drums, bass, and a guest on accordion – Bukka Allen, a talented singer-keyboardist, who opened the show.

I’ve always wanted to check these guys out, so when my “Plan A Concert” for the month fell through, it was on to “Plan B.” But hey, I don’t think the quality degraded in the least. In fact, musically, it was probably an upgrade. But, more on that later.

I must admit, I don’t have much of the back-catalog from these guys. I believe I have at least one cassette from Gilmore, and maybe a song or two, here and there on some compilations, from the others. But after this show, it’s time to track down more of this stuff, for sure. It’s a great mix of Americana, honky-tonk, ballads and country.

An interesting note on these guys: I do know from the local Gorge music circles that our own Rick Hulett (Django's Cadillac) did at one time play in a band with one of these guys – I believe it was Joe Ely.

I think my favorite singer of the night has to go to Jimmie Dale – it’s a mysterious voice, similar to Willie Nelson’s – it really has its own identity. Most songs featured each player singing a verse or two, and there was plenty of harmony to go around. The sound was great, as it is always, at the Aladdin Theater, and even though I didn’t know the songs, everything was understandable, and with some quick research, I was able to track down the set.

So, I guess you’re asking by now, “What was Plan A?” Well, I hate to admit it, but I’m afraid that I did not heed Leon Redbone’s advice (see March show review) of “Not waiting too long in life.” By the time I went online for “Flight of the Conchords” tickets, they were “unavailable at this time.” All the regular seats were gone, and the only tickets available were for a hundred bucks, or more (and I mean much more…..) at these “ticket resale sites.” Have you seen these things? I mean, one site was charging $400 bucks for a $38 ticket. Unbelievable.

So, where were we? Oh yeah, the Conchords. It’s a couple of goofy guys from New Zealand, billed as the country’s fourth most popular folk-comedy act. They have a hit series on HBO, and, I must say, it is quite funny. If you haven’t seen it, do yourself a favor and get season one on Netflix, it’s a hoot!

So I’m walking out of the Aladdin after the show, and I’m looking at all the upcoming concert posters on the wall. And there it is – an upcoming comedy show from Todd Barry. If you have seen season one of “Flight of the Conchords,” you’ll recognize him as the annoying bongo player, who catapulted the band to even more stardom.

I was thinking that maybe I should get in line now for tickets, and in ten years, when the Conchords are mega-platinum famous, at least I’ll be able to say that I didn’t actually see the Conchords, but I did see their drummer. J

The Flatlanders

May 20, 2009

Aladdin Theater

I Had My Hopes Up High

Eggs of Your Chickens

Wavin My Heart Goodbye

All That You Need


Wheels of Fortune

Homeland Refugee

Borderless Love

After the Storm

Midnight Train

Thank God for the Road

No Way I’ll Ever Need You

Love’s Own Chains

The Way We Are


Sowing on the Mountain

Encore 1

Baby Do You Love Me Still?

Gimme A Ride to Heaven

Encore 2

Free the Wind

White Freightliner Blues

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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