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Friday, November 09, 2007
The Pipettes at John Henry's - 11/2
John Henry's is a weird place. Located in downtown Eugene, the nightclub looks like the result of a head-on collision between a dive bar and Portland's Dante's. There's a tiny dance-floor and a small stage near the entrance, the walls are the color of blood, a plastic monster baby hangs over the bar and they serve 32 ounce bottles of Miller Hi-Life for $4. It's not the sort of place I thought I'd ever see a girl group like the Pipettes perform on a Friday night in November.
While much of their act is sprinkled with irony, the three British girls that make up the Pipettes dress in polka dot skirts, perform choreographed dance moves and sing songs that lean back towards the glory days of Phil Spector before his 'fro grew three sizes too big and his soul shrunk four sizes too small. There's a blond Pipette (the nerdy one), a brunette Pipette (the moody one) and a redhead Pipette (the one with the hungry eyes that seem to say, "I'm going to ditch the other two ASAP and start my own career). The later is supposedly working on a solo album as we speak.
The Pipettes played an hour-long set in front of a crowd of around a hundred people and kept their clear disdain for Eugene, Oregon in check. Who knows what size crowds they're used to back home. While there was no encore, the girls were nice enough to come out and pose for photos with members of the crowd after the show. Or at least their manager sent them back out. After all, you can never tell when there'll be an influential journalist or blogger (no, not me) in the crowd, even at whistle-stops between Portland and San Francisco.
The real find of the night was the Pipettes' opening act, Nicole Atkins and the Sea. Out of Neptune City, New Jersey by way of NYC, the band sounds sort of like Rilo Kiley and sings songs about doomed love. living in cars and wrecking balls. Atkins has already appeared on David Letterman and seems set for a long career in the indie rock world if she sticks with it. Between sets, Atkins mingled with the crowd at a merchandise table. While talking with my friend Sho (AKA as the proprietor of Cup o' Noodles), she asked to take a photo of him and his 32 of Hi-Life. In return, she posed with the beer. Now that's one way to earn yourself a regional fanbase.
If only more bars outside of Germany were willing to sell beer in such large individual quantities. Thanks for passing along these photos, Sho.