Cocaine Unicorn
Tues Nov 9
Berbati's Pan
10 SW 3rd

"Courtney Taylor-Taylor says we're never going to make it big in the Midwest... maybe we should change our name to Dale Earnhardt Unicorn."

So jokes Cocaine Unicorn's lanky, heavily tattooed, tambourine player/enforcer, Dasa Kalstrom, as he considers the band's prospects for their upcoming tour with their friends and heroes, The Brian Jonestown Massacre. It's amazing these five still-young men are sitting together in a room, smiling, joking, and speaking hopefully about the future. Nine months ago, a pre-show fight turned out to be the straw that broke the Unicorn's back after months of infighting, sparsely attended shows, unemployment, and constant partying. Today, they are looking forward to recording an album and anxiously anticipating their upcoming West Coast tour.

The BJM tour is certainly a high point in the band's history. For two years, the band struggled as townies in Eugene. Though the group had a handful of hometown devotees, the small local music scene was stylistically at odds with the band's accessible blend of '60s pop melodies, bellbottom jeans, and supreme self-confidence. Singer/guitarist/songwriter Paul Burkhart recalls being derided as "a fashion band, just because we wore clothes." But anyone who would dismiss Cocaine Unicorn as mere cool boys with shaggy hair misses the underlying humility and earnestness of Burkhart's ambition. Says the lead Unicorn, "I want to play songs like the music I love... [music that's] catchy and fun and doesn't require people to analyze it too deeply... I still don't know how to play guitar."

It's not that the band's desire to play bigger shows, find a niche of people that appreciate them, and gain acclaim in Portland went unfulfilled, at least not initially. Kalstrom clearly recalls the buzz surrounding the band upon their arrival. "People were receptive because we were new, but the nature of Portland is you go to five shows and then you're sick of a band."

With this being Cocaine Unicorn's only Portland show in the near future (Burkhart is now a San Francisco resident), there's no reason to stay home.