Back in 2006, the Too Much Coffee Man opera debuted in
Portland, OR. EM and I went to see it, as much for an excuse to vacation
in Portland as for the opera itself, and had a blast. So when Shannon
Wheeler, author and artist behind TMCM, expanded the work to a second
act it seemed a convenient excuse to return to Portland. EM's best friend, LK, had moved there
and I figured while I
was on the left coast I might as well see my brother, JN, in San Diego
and make a long pacific rim tour of the affair.
JN picked us up at the airport and sped home to get
ready for a show. His band, Black Hondo, was performing at a
sidewalk party as an unofficial part of some local neighborhood
festival. We arrived at the host's house with beer and liquor in hand to
find JN's pork butt, after smoking on the grill all day, laid out on the
cutting board, ready to eat. I couldn't stop stuffing hunks of the
delicious meat in my mouth. JN had rubbed the outside with some hot
spices and it had cooked so slow it was tender and juicy - perfect.
||As if tasty pork washed down with a bottle of rum
weren't enough, some local boys cranked up some passable
rockabilly with Spanglish moments. Good for about one set, but
when asked to do another it was obvious they had played the few
songs they knew well and struggled to stay together for their
encore tunes. But they're
like 17 years old so what the hell. The crowd that gathered on
the sidewalk loved 'em.
|Black Hondo followed, sounding vaguely like Patty Smith
fronting Black Sabbath. Not bad for their first public
The hosts grilled up some kebobs to lure passers-by into
lingering. Free music, free food, free beer - my kind of party.
During a break EM and I slipped around the corner for some
tacos, then later for coffee and a slice of cake, all from local
stores in the South Park area, a cute little village of bars,
coffee shops, restaurants, etc. There were a few sidewalk
vendors selling artsy craftsy trinkets but we hung with JN and
his wife, RB, until the party wound down. We hit a local bar,
the name of which escapes me, then called it a night relatively
early. EM and myself were feeling the 3 hour time difference.