A cowboy-themed strip club called “the outlaw” advertised “live hot girls” and country music on the third floor, and even though Naughty by Nature’s “OPP” floated from the windows above, the sleazy foil flash of cheap dance lights twinkled, signifying strippers but not giving anything away. We walked in cause Chantelle wanted to show off the cheesy box-office foyer, where Prodigy’s “Firestarter” was entertaining, loudly. I stole a Toby Keith poster from the wall, one advertising his new album “White Tra$h With Money,” as indicated by the poly-cotton paisley cowboy print shirt and gold dollar-sign chain. This is country.
Connie and I, both thrilled and appalled, yelled at the screen through all of Step Up — a fine dance movie for fans of You Got Served, Fame, Save the Last Dance, Honey, Flashdance, Breakin, Dirty Dancing, Beat Street, Take the Lead, Lambada: The Forbidden Dance, Girls Just Wanna Have Fun, Teen Witch, West Side Story or HBO’s The Wire. A few moments of cogent LCD social commentary, and a grown ass love scene choreographed to a raphael saadiq song and shot like a karaoke video, the sun off a baltimore port shining into the lens, its light fracturing off into star-rays and soft-focusing on the hair of dance. lyrical ballet, to be specific.
but prepare to suspend your disbelief: nobody dances like that in a club.
Sleater-Kinney played “One More Hour,” their most iconic song and one about a break-up, last. “In one more hour, I leave this room.” I collected stories from audience members: a boy from Minneapolis who started listening in ’97 because he was intrigued by the idea of “chicks actually rocking”; Nicole Georges of Portland, who drove to Lawrence, KS at age 16 to see S-K only to discover the show was 18+; three 17-year-old Rock & Roll Camp for Girls interns who first listened to the CD “because it’s what our parents listen to. But I’d rather listen to local bands [sic].”
i know it’s so hard for you to say goodbye. i know you need just a little more time.

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4 Responses to portlandia

  1. matt mc says:

    JS – i meant to make it over your way and say hello at the S-K show, but my Bolex and too many old friends left me over-whelmed. But dang, wasn’t that show great?! It has been a long time since a rock show has made me teary-eyed.
    hope your portland stay is fun. i am heading to nyc in a couple days, maybe i’ll bump into you there.

  2. Jona says:

    What’s going on TONIGHT? We need to HANG OUT before you leave tomorrow!

  3. bex says:

    dude, yelling at the screen is the only way to watch STEP UP.

  4. chantelle says:

    i already miss you. did standby do you right?

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