Static Street Chargers
Ash St. Saloon
225 S.W. Ash St.
21+ w/ID $6
I’m not really sure, by definition, what it means to get dirty. But to certain citizens of Missoula, Mont., “getting dirty” is more than an action. It is a manifesto, a call to arms and a state of being. Missoula rockers, the International Playboys, are coming to Portland to get dirty.
Getting dirty at its simplest entails a healthy amount of cheap American beer, late hours and a whole bunch of ’70s rock ‘n’ roll on vinyl. Getting dirty might entail having an American flag sticker on your van. But it doesn’t necessarily mean you are towing the George Bush line. It probably has more to do with the sentiment expressed by Missoula scene alumni the Fireballs of Freedom, who boldly state, “I make my money in the motherfucking U.S.A.”
Suffice to say, when you are getting dirty you know you are getting dirty. And the next day it probably involves sleeping late and feeling awful. Importantly, there is an undeniable link between getting dirty and great rock and roll. In Missoula, these things are very important.
Missoula is a wonderful town. It is surrounded by nature, filled with pleasant neighborly types and you can walk the streets at night. It is also landlocked, a single entity hours from the next major city. The winters are brutal and the economy isn’t exactly booming. Add to this a university and you have the beginnings of a scene.
Legendary Jay’s Upstairs in downtown Missoula is another important piece of this puzzle. Between Seattle and Minneapolis there aren’t a lot of clubs to play in. A combination of smart management and prime location has assured the residents of Missoula a chance to see nearly every touring band in the cozy second story room of Jay’s. Jay’s also serves as place of employment for two of the Playboys.
Like seemingly every band these days, they claim the MC5 as an influence, but these guys actually back it up. While so many bands look as though they discovered rock and roll six months ago and ditched their hardcore T-shirts for a Kiss belt buckle last week, the International Playboys are actually some swinging mothers. They take the energy of the aforementioned MC5, add the concise boogie feel of early ZZ Top and texture it up with Thin Lizzy-like guitar harmonics and whip it into a walloping live show.
While most bands after playing less than two years are still talking about playing out of town the International Playboys are taking on America on their second tour. Having spent a month out in the fall the Playboys returned to Missoula, recuperated and will visit Portland on the beginning of a six week jag across the U.S. The American King Cobra Tour is merely the start of 44 shows in 46 days.
Though many may think six weeks in a van may cramp your style, this poses no problem for the sprightly Playboys. Look for them to storm the stage in their signature suits and sunglasses, a fine bottle of champagne in singer Carlo’s hand. After all, just because you are getting dirty doesn’t mean you have to be dirty.