“You gotta’ sell it.”

July 11, 2009

Irish Cream Soda & Lincoln's Beard @ The Grind Coffeehouse.

Irish Cream Soda & Lincoln's Beard @ The Grind Coffeehouse.

I’ve been trying to catch Lincoln’s Beard for nearly a month now. In my haste to get to the Grind Coffeehouse to catch their show, I left a stack of demo CDs on the roof of my car and took the wrong freeway entrance from the Rose Quarter to get on I-5, making it nearly to Lake Oswego before I finally managed to exit and turn around. The stress didn’t last long, as the hip–and surprisingly young–atmosphere and great food at The Grind calmed my nerves a bit. Sponsored by Guerrilla Media, Portland’s own social network for artists, the all-ages informal patio show was one of a series of Summer concerts promoting the often overlooked Vancouver music scene.

Lincoln’s Beard strikes me as the illegitimate outcome of a one-night stand between Old Crow Medicine Show and Radiohead, managing to unite a rugged folk and contemporary Indie rock into a coherent, witty whole. Their stage setup said it all. Dwayne Spence alternated banjo and bass (with a smattering of percussion) on one side while Tyler Morgan “punched” the keyboard and chunked a mandolin at the other end (with a little glockenspiel for flavor). Grounding them in the

Keepin' it real on the patio.

From this far away, it looks like Lincoln's head on Kris' body. I'm not sure how I feel about that...

middle, guitarist and lead vocalist Kris Chrisopulos contributes to the eclecticism of the group by serving up a  wide palette of vocal flavors. In short, Lincoln’s Beard makes the most of the versatility of its members delivering a clever and entertaining musical romparound.

This was my first Saturday night out in Vancouver and I must admit that I’m impressed. I’d never driven through Vancouver on a weekend night before, and I was pleasantly surprised by the vibrant nightlife on Main St. I’ve heard that Portlanders don’t really head up this way very often. Thanks okay. There’s plenty happening in Portland, and it leaves Vancouver to carve out its own unique arts and entertainment culture.

Two words: vaudeville revival.

“I’m trying to sell it, man.”

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