Former funeral parlour finds resting peace in downtown Sellwood, as a hip new live music venue.
A recent trip to Portland's newest and possibly 'coolest' music venue was an absolute treat. Rarely has a venue been able to inspire as much excitement upon entry as was The Woods. Prior to performances by The Golden Bears and Norflolk & Western, an exploration of the space served to monumentally increase the night's level of anticipation. As important to the evening as the decor (we'll get to that in a second), were the friendly souls involved with all aspects of operation. From the foxy retro LaCoste dress wearing girl, stamping beautiful blue owls on wrists at the front door to Ritchie Young (one of the brains behind the venue and front man for one of Portland's most talented bands, Loch Lomond), everyone working that night were shining examples of what makes Portland a great place to be. Honestly engaging and fun to be around, they were as important to the experience as the atmosphere.
And how about that atmosphere!?! A tiny maze of lounging nooks including an outdoor seating area, were decorated in vintage extravagance. Survivors of eras past, mismatched pieces of furniture were used in brilliant fashion to create the perfect live music mood. Candle light mixed throughout the rooms begged the question, "is electricity obsolete?", and art featuring owls, cougars, and bare trees, prowled on eyes and softened the walls above the comfortable furniture and hardwood floors. Even a hardback copy of Carl Sagan's Cosmos adorned a shelf in one of the rooms as a possible homage to an inspired Loch Lomond song. The Woods served up a very accessible and quaint bar . Currently featuring some great and nicely priced wine and beer, along with some tasty edible treats... The Woods will soon offer cocktails as well.
The night's music was as special as the space (possibly made so by the venue), as Portland bands, The Golden Bears and Norfolk & Western left all they had to give on the small intimate stage. Blazing keyboard slash trumpet playing by Norfolk & Western contributor Cory Gray, was one of the more impressive side notes to the night. In all, one of the best shows of the year.
A favor must be done for yourself by checking out this venue. The Woods are alive with the sound of music and the invitation has been extended. So catch one of these shows in 2009. Or visit The Woods site for other fantastic offerings.
Saturday November 7th:
Kelli Schaefer, Telegraph Canyon, & Leonard Mynx
Tuesday November 11th:
Loch Lomond (EP release) with Tu Fawning
Saturday November 14th:
Erin McKeown with Sonja Kitchell
Thursday December 3rd:
Weinland with Garrett Pierce
Friday December 11th:
Norfolk & Western, Carcrashlander, & Grand Hallway (Bumbershoot top 10 performer)