Returned, an hour-or-so back, from a show at the City Art Supply. What a wonderful evening for an open-door gig, with three local artists teaming with two Portland-based performers to create quite a magical night of music (and video) on Cherokee. For a time, I sat on the stoop of a neighboring house, sipping at a donated can of PBR and listening to a gorgeous drone-scape from guitarist/sound manipulator .e and I was as deliriously spaced-out as you can be.
In the past couple years, I’ve run into a few nights like this at City Art, evenings when I didn’t necessarily know the musicians, but wound up a serious fan of one, or more. Already, I’m on the second listen of a CD that I picked up tonight, Shelley Short‘s “Captain Wildhorse (Rides the Heart of Tomorrow).” Great voice, interesting sonics… maybe a slightly-less-oddball version of St. Vincent? That’s what striking me as an apt comparison at a late hour. At any rate, t’s an awesome disc and it wouldn’t be in collection tonight if I hadn’t taken the three-minute bike ride to C.A.S.
While tonight had certain, lovely qualities, more often I would up at City Art Supply on Saturday afternoons, maybe after running to Soulard Market or before striking some errands off the to-do list. I’d stop anytime that I’d see Dana Smith in the shop, usually finding him painting in the front window, with natural light streaming in on him and on his latest work. It was fun to sit around and kibitz about the local art scene, music scene, freak scene. Once in a while, I’d even buy something, figuring, hell, it was a place of commerce, not just a conversation salon.
City Art’s been a valued piece of the “new” Cherokee Street. And a great resource for tips on new artists, of all stripes. If tonight was my last chance to sample the particular energy of this space, I’ll miss it, for sure. But anytime Shelley Short’s on my stereo, I’ll look back on fondly, with thanks and hosannas going out to Dana.
Damn you for being so cool, you funky little shop.