Bid adieu to The Dirty Words tonight

Thursday, August 26th, 2010, 9:17 am by Ben Salmon

Bend’s indie-rock community will take a big hit in the next week or so when the four fellows in The Dirty Words relocate to Portland.

David Clemmer, Mike Chastain, Aaron Poplin and Scott Page have played a whole bunch of shows around town in the past five years, and they’ve done so with style. They got together when Clemmer met Chastain through a local theater production in 2004 (see my full feature on the band here) and they’ve been rocking constantly and consistently ever since. Clemmer writes songs that drip with passion, emotion and wit, and his three bandmates ably inject those songs with a healthy helping of kinetic energy. Think Modest Mouse, but with plenty of melody in place of all that silly barking.

Anyway, the Words believe Portland will be more fertile ground for their band, and they’re probably right. But before they go, they’ll play a farewell show tonight at Silver Moon Brewing & Taproom (24 N.W. Greenwood Ave., Bend). Doors will open around 8 p.m., the show will start around 9 p.m., and it’s $5 to get in. It’s also Clemmer’s birthday, so come prepared to party.

David Clemmer was kind enough to answer a few questions from the Frequency question machine about the band’s impending move and future plans. Read on …

Q: Why are The Dirty Words moving? And why Portland?

A: We’re moving to Portland to expand our fanbase and open ourselves to more opportunities, as any move would entail, but Portland especially has a very singular and diverse music scene that gains its own niche in the musical universe. Some of our favorite bands are from there, or have operated there, or are part of the greater realm of “Northwest music,” of which Portland is a pivotal component.

Q: Does the band hope/plan/want to perform over there? If so, what would be your dream gig?

A: We’re going to perform like crazy up there. I’m not sure what the others’ dream gig would be, but I personally haven’t speculated that completely. I’ve only been to a small amount of shows up there, and in a city of its grandeur, I’m sure there are tons of places other than those I’ve been to that would be amazing to play at. Doug Fir would be pretty amazing, though, as would Berbati’s Pan.

Q: What was your favorite gig ever in Bend?

A: Though we’ve only relatively just begun playing there, my choices for favorite shows would be our McMenamins shows. They’ve always been well-attended by enthusiastic music-lovers, and the venue is terrific. Honorable mention has to go this one show we played at Players with Kousefly; the band members, my girlfriend, and Scott’s mom Sue were the only people in the place, but we and Kousefly were both on top of our game, so to speak, and we ended the night by jamming together over a projection showing of “Wizard People, Dear Reader” (which, if you haven’t heard of it, you should definitely look up and watch a million times).

Q: Can you describe how Bend’s music scene has contributed to The Dirty Words’ growth and development as a band?

A: The only thing I can say about the Bend music scene as pertaining to us directly is that for whatever reason, promoters and bands have felt it appropriate for us to be on the bill with numerous diverse bands. We’ve shared the stage with Tentareign, Mosley Wotta, Kousefly, Anastasia, Larry and His Flask, Blackflowers Blacksun, and even straight up metal bands like Empire of Ashes. Things like this have bolstered our resolve in what we’re doing as a unique body of music that can have a wide array of appreciation.

Q: Anything else you want the people of Bend to know?

A: We want Bend to know that we are wholeheartedly appreciative of the support we’ve received, and that we’ll miss our fans terribly. But to our loving fans that have half-jokingly expressed their anger/annoyance/what-have-you at our moving, we want to reassure that we’ll be back; we’re booked for the Bend Roots Revival, for one, and we know other opportunities will pop up for us to return.

We also want to apologize for not having our second album out by the time we said it would be. It’s very close, though, and we plan on booking our CD-release show here in town.


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