2009: A Year In Review, Part 1

Yeah, I am going to go ahead and join the bandwagon of everyone else doing "year in review" blog posts. It's kinda cliche, but oh well. Like many of the other bloggers I follow regularly, I started out 2009 with good intentions of keeping up to date with my blog and the adventures in my life. I did good until about June. Then life got a little crazy and I stopped blogging. I guess the best way to do this is to do it month by month. I'm sure you'll notice some themes this past year. We'll talk about those later.

The month started out slow. Not a lot going on and I think most of us were still recovering from Snowpocalypse 2008.

The month started out on February 3rd with Amy Ray (Packer ft. Kaia Wilson, Jenny Hoyston and LKN and Arizona opening) at the Wonder Ballroom. I have a love/hate relationship with the Wonder. It's a great venue for a show. However, the staff can be real assholes once the show is over. I've been kicked out on more than one occasion while trying to buy merch or get an autograph. Anyways, I digress.

On February 6th, I ventured up to Bellingham, WA to see Brandi Carlile at the Mount Baker Theater. It was a great show, as usual, and I was able to hang out with some of my favorite people in the world from AgainToday.com, the unofficial Brandi Carlile Fan Forum.

On February 12th, I had Anne Heaton play a house concert in my living room. She's a great singer/songwriter and has such a gentle spirit. It was a real treat to have her play at my house. I'm hoping she makes it back here again real soon.

The end of February saw me, my sister Lisa, and our friend Gretchen in the Bahamas. More specifically, Grand Bahamas Island near Port Lucaya. My dear friend Bobo hooked us up with a great place to stay and wonderful people to hang out with. I wrote all about it on this blog. Check it out in the archives.


The month of March is always a favorite for me because it's my birthday month. This year, I celebrated my 35th birthday. I had a lovely party at the house surrounded by good friends. This was a slow month for music. I saw Meg Hutchinson & Caroline Herring at the Alberta Street Pub on March 15th. Both of these ladies are amazing musicians.

I saw Ten out of Tenn at the Doug Fir Lounge on March 28th. If you get a chance to see them in concert, GO!!! It's a rotating cast of musicians from Nashville, and this show included Butterfly Boucher, Katie Herzig, Courtney Jaye, Trent Dabbs, KS Rhoads, Andy Davis, Griffin House, Matthew Perryman Jones, Jeremy Lister, and Tyler James. This is one of the best touring acts of 2009, in my opinion. It's so refreshing to see a group of musicians supporting one another in their careers, playing on each other's albums and backing each other during shows. It reminds me of the "good ol' days" of early rock and roll when Elvis, Roy Orbison, Johnny Cash and others used to tour together.

April shaped up to be a great month for music. Chris Pureka played on April 15th at Mississippi Studios, one of my all time favorite venues in Portland. She had a full band this time, which I absolutely loved!

From April 20th to April 23rd, I went on a bit of a road trip through Boise, Missoula, and Spokane. I couchsurfed along the way and met some really cool people. I experienced Cracker Barrel for the first time (and not the last!). I hung out in Missoula for two days, which was nice to be back "home" for a bit. I still yearn for Missoula and Montana, but I just don't think it's ever gonna be in the cards to live there. Oh yeah, the road trip was to see my favorite musician, Brandi Carlile. I blogged about it here, so no need to re-hash it.

May ended up being a busy month. My dear friend Andy moved back home to Oregon. I flew out to the midwest and met him part of the way, in Kansas City, MO. We drove back in four days. Along the way, I had been checking Craigslist for mopeds and scooters for sale. I managed to find a 1985 Tomos moped for $175 in Eagle, ID, just outside of Boise! The guy I bought it off of was so nice and we had a nice visit with him and his wife.

May 15th, I went to see Michelle Malone & Ashleigh Flynn (w/Tony Furtado) at Mississippi Studios. I hadn't seen Michelle in probably 12 years and had no idea what a talent she is! Seriously, that woman can put on a show like no one I've seen in a long time. Ashleigh is a local gal who I first saw a couple of years ago in Eugene and I love her music. She doesn't play around here a lot, so when she does, I take full advantage of it.

May was also the month of house shows for me. Our first house show of the month was on May 21st featuring Allison Weiss and Lauren Zettler. I met Lauren through the againtoday.com/Brandi Carlile fan site. She's an amazing talent who I expect good things from in the future. She brought along her friend, Allison Weiss, who I absolutely adore! They traded off playing songs based on words people in the audience said. It was quite entertaining. We also were able to livestream the show, which was kinda fun!

On May 28th, I joined a group of friends at the Alberta Street Pub to hear Edie Carey perform for the first time. She has a beautiful voice, and did some covers of some songs I like. The following night, on May 29th, Christine Havrilla played in our living room. I blogged about that too, so be sure to check out that blog for all the fun details. It was probably the best house show we had this year.

June started out rather crazy. I did a three-day trip to San Francisco to see Brandi Carlile perform at the Great American Music Hall. I've never spent a lot of time in San Francisco, so I made a three day weekend out of seeing a show. I was able to see the Castro, the Mission Delores, Coit Tower, Chinatown, and the 'Loin. My friend, Bagel, who I rode cross country with on my Vespa back in 2006, met me one evening and took me out to dinner at Burma Superstar and down Lombard Street on the back of his Vespa. It was great.

When I got back to Portland, I worked one day, then drove over to Bend on the 10th to take my mom to her first Brandi Carlile show at the Tower Theater. She loved it! My friend Gretchen drove over from Eugene to go to the show with us. I think it was a little loud for my mom, but after the show, she got to meet Brandi. I was actually more excited to see Kaia Wilson (of the Butchies) hanging out! I think Gretchen and I were the only two people in the entire theater who realized who Kaia was. We got a picture with her. It was pretty cool.

The following day, I drove back to Portland for the Brandi Carlile show at the Aladdin Theater. I had about 20 people from Portland/Seattle meeting before the show for drinks and food. It was great. We had such a wonderful time.

On the 13th, I drove up to Seattle to see Brandi Carlile perform at a "not so secret" show a the Triple Door. I had never been to that venue before and it did not disappoint. We drove back that night so we could go to the Pride Parade the next day in Portland. Pride this year was a lot of fun, though we missed out on some stuff because of being in Seattle the night before.

The rest of the month was pretty mellow, with a final show on the 29th of Butterfly Boucher at the Doug Fir. She was an opener, so it was a short set, but it was longer than her Ten Out of Tenn set from earlier in the year. She played a great show and we were able to talk to her after the show, which was nice.