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By: Michael Lara

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“I don’t think I’ll find the love I want… The love I’m searching for in this machine.” Sure, Matt Sharp probably wasn’t thinking of Japan or Portland when he scribbled these words down over 10 years ago for a classic clean RENTALS roast, but holy satin capes and collars Batman, you find it and much more in the multi-faceted love this night promoting both the indie and micro-brew capital of the world that is resplendently Portland.

Photo: Michael Lara (click to enlarge)

Assembling all elements this night to give you a rich sliver of PDX to savor an all-nighter in full with your Langlitz leathers proudly on, Tokyo’s famed Le Baron de Paris transforms itself to a Pacific Northwest thicket of nourishment within this concrete jungle via the coalescing triumvirate of STARFUCKER, Portland’s historic Ace Hotel (formerly the Clyde Hotel) and DJ GIRLFRIENDS.

In losing their Nippon (Japan) virginity prior to returning to The States to unfurl their swaths of savory sweetness in Boise, NYC and beyond, STARFUCKER’s Josh Hodges (vocals, drums, keys), Ryan Biornstad (guitar, vocals and turntable), Shawn Glassford (bass, drums, vocals) and manager Ingrid Renan deliciously dispense the goods on their culminating depository for this season’s sins as both Halloween and a most memorable election approach the land of Uncle Sam:

"Trick or treat! Smell my feet. Give me something good to eat." Hey, we all know that famed seasonal chant and it is that time once more and with CMJ'08 in just a couple days to bring your triumvirate of treats to the masses assembled throughout NYC, here a 7 deadly sins of questions for you all to answer (post-Nippon) in each of your own wondrous ways, building a bridge that richly spans from PDX to NRT and back and beyond:

Thirsty: Weeks after your Tour de Tokyo and with Halloween fast approaching, what was your favorite treat over yonder in all respects?

Josh: Green powder tea-"matcha" it's called in the US.
Ryan: Oh my God. I remember this time when I couldn't sleep. I went outside to take a walk and remembered I forgot my keys inside the house in my pajama pocket. Shit, my pajamas were inside too.  I was naked in the cold and rain until 6am when I realized I could crawl through the window.  I took a nice hot bath and fell asleep.
Shawn: Ashimi
Ingrid: The sushi and green tea, most definitely, oh, the toilet seat warmers as well!

Thirsty: How about as 10-year old's on Halloween night? Besides sweets, was there a house, street or neighborhood that reigned supreme? Why so? How about now in PDX?

Photo: Michael Lara (click to enlarge)

Josh: Well, I grew up in a really strict, superstitious house so I wasn't allowed to celebrate Halloween. I have clean teeth though.
Ryan: There's something very strange about what's going on in our culture.  Everyone is scared to get too excited about anything.  I think the next generation has the opportunity to change that, and we have an obligation to show them how.
Shawn: The dentist gave out toothbrushes... all the kids hated him.
Ingrid: I was dressed as the snow queen, and I loved candy, because my mom wouldn't let us have it any other time of year. I grew up in SE Portland, so Eastmoreland was the neighborhood we went to for the good candy bars, not my poor neck of the woods.

Thirsty: But hey now, let's not forget the flipside? What's the best trick on you thus far and vice versa? We all are wonderfully guilty of being on both sides of this endless fence of life fact.

Josh: One time, nothing to do with Halloween, my friend and I went to the Baptist church near my house and changed their marquee sign to say: on one side "big cock lube oil $6.95" and on the other "bleeding cunt bash Oct. 4-8".
Ryan: There are very few things that genuinely scare me, and one of them is that one day, I'll be looking down a cliff or building, and just do it.
Shawn: I'm drunk right now...
Ingrid: One time someone gave me ice cream with Tabasco hot sauce inside of it… Oh wait, that's what me and my twin sister gave to the neighbor girl.

Thirsty: With such high (or low as some may say) points of tomfoolery shared now, and to now get busy so to speak, if you had to go track-to-track on your album, what treat would represent each song and why so? Mmmm, a delectable assortment of 11 to fill a pillowcase come Halloween! Skittles? Reese's, Baby Ruth, Mounds and more perhaps...

Photo: Michael Lara (click to enlarge)

Josh: Uh, I like Root beer floats ah lot!!
Ryan: My best friend once gave me a present for my birthday, and I lost it that same day.  It was a sad and shameful moment at the time, and now I don't even remember what he gave me.
Shawn: I think Fun Dip would sum up the entire album...
Ingrid: I think cotton candy.

Thirsty: What current treat out there now would you deem as the official bar of STARFUCKER and why?

Josh: Green Tea Kit-Kat.
Ryan: My favorite book to date is The Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime.
Shawn: Fun Dip
Ingrid: 3 Musketeers

Thirsty: Spanning the globe and the States you are now doing and well, in doing so over the years this hallowed holiday, which was your favorite get up and what was its motivation to be. For me, it is this year, where I shall be "Fan Man" in Shibuya. More details on that after the 31st as I don't want to spoil what is to come.

Josh: I like cavalier King Charles Spaniels.
Ryan: I used to be chubby, and even though I lost the chub by time I was a junior in high school, I had a body image problem until I was 23.
Shawn: I was a shadow one year and freaked myself out so much i went home...
Ingrid: I enjoyed being Wonder Woman on mushrooms

Thirsty: And lastly, what's the deadliest sin you've committed and can admit? They do say the truth sets you free.

Josh: I like the band from Philly Poop Dog Experience.
Shawn: I smoked two cigarettes in Tokyo...
Ryan: I didn't know you smoked two cigarettes in Japan.
Ingrid: What happens in Tokyo stays in Tokyo!

Well now, while there was sadly no Portland power in suds present, the obvious Black Hole was addressed both handsomely and responsibly in person by both STARFUCKER and DJ GIRLFRIENDS and Ace Hotel waiting in the wings as well.

Alas, as Boz Scaggs appropriately first said over 30 years ago in his shuffle for all takers, “One for the road! Lido…Whoa…………..” Definitely.


Photo: Michael Lara (click to enlarge)

A Letter from Ryan:

The lyrics to John Lennon’s ‘Oh, Yoko’ would have a huge impact on me and my life right now if he sang, instead, ‘Oh, Tokyo.’ Being in Tokyo was like being in love. Everything’s new, beautiful, exciting, and extremely efficient. Love doesn’t mess around when it comes to getting it done, and neither do the Japanese. Someone-I-don’t-remember-who told me that being in Japan was the first time they actually felt like they were in a different culture, and that was very true for me. Aside from the population being something like 98% Japanese, the whole cultural landscape is like 1984 with a very colorful fashion palate. Everyone is extremely polite, going to great pains to make sure no one is offended, it’s extremely clean, and nobody locks their bikes. But underneath it all, I had this hidden suspicion that something very shady was going down to keep it that way. It’s probably just my American skepticism, getting immediately cynical as soon as something seems so good and perfect, but either way, I thought it better to just have fun and be the most annoying tourist possible, so if later I find out there is something fishy going on (other than the food, bu bum kah), it will be well documented for later investigation. Oh, and yes, they do have vending machines on the street with beer and cocktails (and bidets with a deodorizing button).

The first night we rolled in pretty haggered. None of us slept on the plane, and I felt like I was on a boat, constantly rocking back and forth. But our spirits were soon lifted into the heavenly kingdom of udon noodles. Ann-Marie from cute-alert and Ryan from the Ace Hotel met us after a long shuttle ride to whisk us off to a place down a narrow, red lantern-lit alley in downtown Tokyo to meet Jeff and Laurie from Travel Portland (our financial and cultural support) for Noodles and, for Japan Shawn and Ingrid, sake. Josh was in the market for some green tea, which proved challenging given that our translater, Jeff, wasn’t yet on the scene. When I gave the ‘host’ my shoes to be put in a drawer while we ate he said, very enthusiastically, ‘oh, stinky!’ I was now officially in love with this place. We slept however we could the next couple nights in the apartment provided by LeBaron, the club we were to play at Friday night. The owner of LeBaron, Luli, was extremely sweet and welcoming, and once we saw all the equipment rented for us to play (two drum sets, keyboards, amps, turntable, etc.), I realized how much work everyone had put in to making this show happen. Jeff was the most incredible cultural guide, having lived there for over 10 years (right?), Laurie reminded us to have fun and enjoy the trip, Ann-Marie coordinated with the club and Travel Portland (and came up with the idea in the first place), Ryan made us feel supported and important, Ingrid reminded us that we need to get business cards so we can come back, and Travel Portland provided the cold hard yen to make it all, well, paid for. All that and a traveling DJ Girlfriends to help us represent Portland so our Japanese friends will come visit us soon. We couldn’t have been more grateful for this crew of people. I want to go back. Like now.

Photos: Michael Lara (click to enlarge)

Photos: Michael Lara (click to enlarge)



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10/22 Cake Shop: 13:00 (
10/22 Crash Mansion: 15:00 (
10/22 OS Art House: 23:45 (
10/22 Knitting Factory: 20:00 (
10/24 Knitting Factory: 17:00
10/25 Knitting Factory: 12:00
But wait, there’s more!!! No Ginsu knife though…



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All opinions expressed by Michael Lara are solely his own and do not reflect the opinions of Stay Thirsty Media, Inc.

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