months ago, i gave an interview to a journalist in relation to how The Know “became a premier Portland venue and music destination” (which is a debatable sentiment). i’ve included an excerpt from that dialog here, which i intend to serve as a segue to my previewing of some really outstanding shows that will be happening over the coming weeks. i liked this part of the interview because it kinda had that “behind the scenes” aspect….or perhaps a “how do they do it?” (ya know, like the Discovery Channel) unveiling of some of the components that make our venue ‘tick.’
anywho….here it is:
The Know has always been and likely always will be a ‘punk’ club. It really can’t help itself…from the very heart of the building-structure, which is somewhat decrepit and worn; to the owners, who’ve grown up playing in heavy-metal bands or living in show-houses that put up DIY-touring-acts 4 nights-a-week. The result was/is inevitable…like-minded people with similar “tastes” staff and patronize the bar/venue.
In the early days of The Know, the owners and staff were booking the shows, drawing from their friends’ bands and the connections that they’d established as participants within “the scene.” This is still the case to some extent, as many of the feeds we get on touring-acts or exceptional bills are via connections within said staff and friends. Outside of working at The Know, our staff are running punk and indie record labels/radio shows/recording studios/zines and of course playing in bands (several of which are international-caliber punk-acts)! I think this provides us a legitimacy with bands/artists that are wary of the typical music industry bullshit that goes down at other, bigger, venues that are forced to capitalize on the bands to keep their doors open. As result, the caliber of acts that we’ve hosted is pretty phenomenal. Bands hailed internationally such as Amebix (UK), Systematic Death (Japan), The Vicious (Sweden), Steve Lake (of UK legendary band Zounds) and Jonathan Richman (of Modern Lovers fame) have all played at The Know. Not many places our size can say the same.
so that list of bands at the tail-end of the excerpt is un-fuck-with-able, but also just scratching the surface of how many shows we host that involve international and/or high-profile bands. maybe that’s not a big-deal to everyone. i, however, find it pretty awesome (given our square-footage and lack of big-budget promotion) that we consistently are “found” by bands who are coming from some-6500 miles away!
and that leads me to the show previews for FOUR shows in the next FOUR weeks that see us host notable bands that are coming from another country and/or continent to play our humble stage!
“We are MUGEN HOSO! Japanese 2 piece rock band. Gt.Igaki plays crazy and Dr.Taro plays crazy. Crazy plus crazy is equal to tooooooooo crazy.” says the Facebook page of Japan’s MUGEN HOSO who hit our stage for the second time in as many years on TUESDAY, AUGUST 28th! i can attest to the fact that the combined energy of Igaki and Taro is potentially a bit too crazy. Last summer when they played The Know their incessant movement, stage-antics and uninhibited/somewhat-irrational enthusiasm was both captivating and potentially hazardous to their health, which they seem to take pretty seriously…i watched them ‘warm-up’ in the back of our sweltering venue-area during the opening bands’ set. this consisted of calisthenics, jumping-up-and-down and applauding/shouting like maniacs at the conclusion of a song!!! that was their WARM-UP!!! the actual stage-show that was revealed when it came their turn to play was so schizoid that it was practically nauseating to watch. at one point Igaki (while playing guitar) RAN at full-speed across our stage slamming into our venue-wall only to ricochet off into a barrel-roll and spring high-off-the-ground and back onto his feet! did you catch that??? he was fucking playing his guitar (not missing a note) THE ENTIRE TIME!!! long story short…this IS rock & roll! spoiler trailer: here
the finest of finish hardcore since 1978! on MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 3rd RATTUS bring their tried-and-true brand of abrasive/political punk to The Know for the first time. ‘highly anticipated’ would be an understatement…beloved by the affected-ears of punks in the US since their inclusion on Maximum RockNRolls’ legendary “Welcome to 1984” compilation (issued over 25 years-ago!), RATTUS’ legion of cult-followers are presumably chomping-at-the-bit to see them in action. opportunities to host and/or witness a group, whose music and band has withstood generations and world-wide changes, do not present themselves regularly and this is not lost on us as host-venue! we’ve assembled a cast of local support-acts that would be enviable anywhere! RATTUS will be joined by TRAUMA (another band whose members have a long-legacy of quintessential hardcore-output with past/current participation in Tragedy, His Hero Is Gone and Deathreat) and lauded new-comers VICIOUS PLEASURES. don’t miss this historic event!!!
Doot Doola Doot Doo…Doot Doo! is the iconic refrain of Vancouver, BC’s NARDWUAR the Human Serviette who hits our stage with his band, THE EVAPORATORS on SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 22nd. For over 20 years-now, the quirky and colorful ‘human serviette’ has been hosting music-related interviews for radio, magazines and tv shows in Canada/US. his notoriety has grown to epic proportions (specifically in the punk rock&roll underground) as result of his uncanny ability to land wildly over-the-top interview pairings with pop superstars (examples being: snoop dogg/jay-z/lady gaga/courtney love/etc). Nardwuar will be showing a special selection of these interviews on our BIG projection-screen for FREE at MIDNIGHT following the bands! speaking of the bands…Nardwuar’s really gone and outdone himself by teaming up his EVAPORATORS with fellow-Canadians TRANZMITORS for this tour. TRANZMITORS reputation as one of the best pogo-inducing power-pop/garage acts in north america proceeds them, having particularly strong ties to PDX via many of their records being released on Portland’s own Dirtnap Records! fantastic local support-acts, THE BLOODTYPES (ex-Epoxies) and YOUTHBITCH, along with music-interludes courtesy of DJ Ken Dirtnap, round out this evening that will undoubtedly yield merriment and memorable hijinks…pogo-till-you-puke!
be sure to wear your adidas tracksuit on SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 23rd in celebration of Australian rocker MAD MACKA’s debut 7″, inaptly titled “adidas tracksuit”. don’t be fooled, we’re not going to be hearing much in the way of 80’s hip-hop (a la Run DMC), but rather a healthy dose of scuzzy-garage punk as Macka and his mates stop at The Know enroute to Gonerfest in Memphis, TN. lets backtrack for a second…when i said ‘debut’ and MAD MACKA in the same sentence it was somewhat of a deception. MAD MACKA has decades of beer-swiveling punk under his belt, having been a cornerstone of two other infamous Australian garage-acts, namely THE ONYAS and COSMIC PSYCHOS (both of which are credited as having a huge influence on the 90’s “seattle sound” that would, for better or worse, become ‘grunge’). the guy is not ‘green’ and certainly no slouch…
Snot-nosed/mid-tempo punks, THERAPISTS, also join in on the action. turning-up the nihilism and serving as the perfect complement to the Aussie-contingent!
we’ll have another killer-act in place come day-off-the-show, but really…what more do you require?
in closing: international-traveling bands are obviously logistically/financially inhibited from being able to come play Portland “whenever.” so…don’t miss ’em while they’re here – could be your only chance!
thanx for reading.