José James Isn’t a Huge Fan of Portland

The best part about the José James show at The Independent this Saturday might have been…

The opening band, Moonchild, a three-piece nouveau-soul act from southern California, recently self-released their second LP, Please Rewind. The only thing I love more than brassy horns and finger-snapping is DIY-enthusiasm. Smooth on stage and smooth at the merch table: after a few minutes talking about how much I liked the set and the new record, I walked away with a copy of their first album on CD. I really just wanted a sticker…

Or the best part could have been…

The Independent was packed, probably fairly close to a sold-out crowd. The fact that this Brooklyn hip-hop/jazz artist operates outside the lines typically trafficked by the hipster music bloggers meant that few, if any, people bought up extra tickets to flip at a profit. And for a Saturday night at one of my favorite venues in town, that was refreshing. It also meant that two last-minute additions to our party were able to get same-day admission. My disdain for scalpers has been simmering for some time, but given recent events, and the mad rush on Outside Lands single-day tickets, it has now become volatile. I’m recommitted. Boycott scalpers. I’ll even start hashtagging that shit. Spread the word.

No, the best part about the José James show was hearing him rip Rip City all night long.

James had just arrived in San Francisco after playing a show in Portland. After his opening number he greeted us with, “It’s nice to see some black people again. And white people who aren’t weird as fuck.” He then proceeded to pantomime the white Portlandian dance moves.

I love my hometown, but that doesn’t mean I automatically dislike other cities. With Portland, however, I’m getting a little tired of hearing how “much better” everything is up there. And I’m patiently waiting for JN to move back to the Bay Area where he belongs. (You enjoying not watching live major league baseball up there, buddy?)

Another favorite quip: “I like cats I like yarn I like coffee. But I’m not gonna make a big deal about it.”

Not sure if word will get around or not, but I have to assume José James won’t be welcome to bring his smoov Nirvana covers back up to Portland anytime soon.

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