Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The Vaselines Play Tonight - Whee!

The Vaselines, a 1986 Scottish folk-punk-pop duo, have reformed and are touring around the West Coast this week. I'm going to see them at the Doug Fir in Portland. They had a wee underground following that swelled in ranks once Kurt Cobain took up their cause and started covering their songs in earnest. The man dearly loved the Vaselines.

Seattle's The Duchess and The Duke will open and that's nothing to shake a stick at either.

Jesus Doesn't Want Me For A Sunbeam - This definitely has the Kurt Cobain seal of approval.

Son of a Gun - 2008

You Think You're a Man - 2008

Molly's Lips - Keith remembers my little cousin Matt making fun of us for liking this song back in '94. He told us, "Molly's Lips? What kind of a song is THAT?" Then he made us sing the chorus and he laughed at us. Twee folk rock is not for everyone, but it does has its fans.

Update: Well, the show was swell, if a bit like watching a long Red Sox game with its technical glitches and tunings between songs ("We might be here all night," mused Frances McKee in her charming brogue. "I hope you brought your sleeping bags!.") The songs were almost flawless though, and with an excellent Belle & Sebastian rhythm section (introduced as Bobby and Mike) and 1990s lead guitarist (Stevie), there was much "punch" to force our heads a'bobbin.' I'm sorry I just wrote that, but it made sense at the time.

Mostly younger Portlanders, a friendly, if pasty lot (including myself), worshipping at the alter of their elders. Big encore claps and yells, which in the middle of I thought, people--you KNOW they're coming back out here--the lights are dim--no sound on the P.A, etc. Then when they did come back out, Eugene mentioned, "You knew we were coming back, didn't you? You didn't even have to cheer." Deadpan--I love it.

They ended with the Divine disco put-down, You Think You're a Man, and one of my favorites, Dum Dum (I've always loved Eugene's gnarly little guitar solo in the middle). After everyone left the stage, Eugene thanked us for coming, saying, "We didn't know if anybody liked us, and now we see that some people do." He was very sincere about it and I think when you're very underground, as they were, and you get covered by Nirvana, and then people say things like, "I like the Nirvana version better," then touring (20 years later) to sold-out audiences must be very gratifying indeed.

Mwillie70 posted this from their L.A. show a few days ago. Thanks, Miss!

Frances McKee
Frances McKee - 2009, Doug Fir Lounge, Portland, OR

Frances and Eugene Kelly
The Vaselines - 2009, Doug Fir Lounge, Portland, OR

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