Divers, Sam Dan Drywall w/Backbiter; Anarres Infoshop, 7101 N Lombard
I can't lie: I was ecstatic about Divers "winning" the other paper's Best New Band poll, for a variety of reasons.
For one, they earned it. Unlike several of the bands the local press has relentlessly fawned over the past several years, they're not just some garden-variety indie band with a mysterious financial infrastructure (AKA rich parents) and cool clothes. This might seem like a trite putdown, but that is literally the recipe for success, so take note. Like any rock assemblage worth a centimeter of print space, Divers cut their teeth playing shitty bars and beer- and sweat-soaked basements, and it shows. You've undoubtedly read about the group's frighteningly energetic live show, and it's the sort of performance summoned from years of playing on punk bills.
Secondly, Divers' far-reaching local popularity signifies a long-overdue reconciliation between Portland's oft-ignored punk community and the "cool bar" scene. Hence, their ability to appear on the front page of a local newspaper and play a radical community space without anyone from either contingent batting an eyelash. They're the first Portland band in a long time that every local music fan knows and cares about, and that's a really, really promising thing.
Tonight's a rare all-ages show for Divers, and additionally serves as the tour kickoff for Lee Corey Oswald, who will be joining this summer's Warped Tour. Lee Corey Oswald "aren't" "playing" "tonight" because of Warped Tour radius stipulations, but "Sam Dan Drywall" "is." Entry is free with the donation of a zine or any other similar form of literature that the band plans to amass and disseminate on the notoriously sexist, homophobic, and just generally horrible Warped Tour. (All other proceeds go straight to Anarres Infoshop.)