My wife and I got to have a date night on Sunday, thanks to Marian Call, The Doubleclicks, and PDXYAR. I’d read about Marian Call and her 49>50 tour as several GeekDad contributors got to see her in person, but at the time when she performed in Kansas I was still a good six hour drive from her venue. So, when we got word that she was doing a Pacific Northwest tour I booked the babysitter right away. Bonus: The Doubleclicks, a geeky girl duo local to Portland, were also part of the show (and since I missed them at GameStorm I was eager to see them as well). Extra Bonus: PDXYAR, a Portland-based pirate group. Super Extra Bonus: it wasn’t just a concert; it was a chocolate potluck.
If you’re in the Pacific Northwest, particularly on the I-5 corridor, check out Marian Call’s tour schedule. She has more performances in the Seattle area and all the way up to Vancouver, BC (and then a few in Alaska). Check after the jump for a little more about all the performers, photos, and some videos of the concert. Oh, and a pretty amazing chocolate-based creation.
(Note to parents: some of the songs do include some swearing or more mature content, so preview yourself before sharing with your kids!)
I first heard about The Doubleclicks when GeekMom Cathe Post wrote about them, and I love their quirky sense of humor. Sisters Angela and Aubrey have all sorts of songs that geeks will love, on topics ranging from Dungeons & Dragons to dinosaurs to Twitter to grammar to the Worst Superpower Ever. As my wife put it, they’re kind of like a female counterpart to Flight of the Conchords, with one more outspoken lead singer with a lot of funny lines and the more reserved (cello-playing) sister who makes amusing faces in the background and joins in for the chorus.
One thing about this show, which was held at a local Eagles Lodge, was that the crowd was quite different from most of the other musical shows I’ve been to in Portland (which is not a lot). Portland has a lot of hipsters, and at the previous concert I went to I remember feeling a bit underdressed for the occasion. Here, though, I felt much more at home: geeky T-shirts (“+20 Shirt of Sitting,” Aubrey herself had a Philosoraptor T-shirt on), some folks killing time before the show by playing Settlers of Catan on their iPad, and I caught at least one copy of Mockingjay in the audience.
The other thing I really enjoyed was just how low-key everything was. Part of that is just that these are indie bands without a sound crew (Marian Call actually ran the sound board) but all of the musicians were really good at interacting with the audience like it was a small, intimate setting, trading jokes and inserting banter in the middle of songs as they saw fit.
The duo played a few songs I’d heard online and a few I hadn’t heard yet. They started off with “Don’t You Love Me” (video here) and followed that with “Oh, Mister Darcy.” “Hollywood Raptor” was a letter to a velociraptor telling it not to fall victim to unrealistic expectations from movies, and “Spock Impersonator” was about a string of boyfriends that just weren’t quite right. They sang happy birthday to a fan named April with a version of their “Happy Birthday, Leonard Nimoy” that manages to cram in allusions to Lord of the Rings, Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Star Trek, Battlestar Galactica, Dungeons & Dragons, and Firefly (and was that a They Might Be Giants reference?) in about thirty seconds.
Here, The Doubleclicks perform “The Mystery’s Gone,” one of their Song Fu Challenge songs about the gap between Twitter personalities and real personalities:
I do apologize for the quality of the videos: I’m still getting used to my new camera, and for many of these there happened to be a tall person sitting right in front of me, so you’ll see the back of a head a lot.
One song I wish I’d recorded was the Mr. Bear. As the sisters explained it, Angela usually does most of the songwriting, but occasionally Aubrey writes something, too. And since she likes babies, she wrote this song about singing a lullaby to Mr. Bear. Angela listened to it, said, “Oh, that’s really sweet. Let me fix that.” And so now they have this “failed attempt at children’s music” which has Aubrey’s sweet lullaby paired with Angela’s fear-of-the-dark nightmare. You can watch a version of it on their YouTube channel, but their duet at the concert included cello, plus some harmonizing. Hopefully they’ll record that soon for the full effect!
The Doubleclicks have a CD release coming up. Actually, two: one is called “Chainmail and Cello” and is a lot of geeky and non-geeky music for adults; the other is titled “Worst Superpower Ever” and is an 8-song EP that’s all kid-friendly. I’m hoping I can make it to their CD release party at the end of the month, but there are also lots of Kickstarter-esque options for lots of other Doubleclicks swag here at their website. Also, they’re doing a show in Westford, Massachusetts, this coming weekend, and in Las Vegas in May, in case you’re near either of those. You can also follow them on Twitter.
Next up: PDXYAR!