Dixon Manor Benefit

Sat Sept 28

Berbati's Pan

No, I've never been crammed in a tour van with all my gear, driving for weeks across the country, stuck trying to make new conversation with two or three people I see all the time (and occasionally want to kill). It almost seems like a miracle that any band survives a tour, especially without a resident counselor, especially considering the reward for all the toil is a half-full show for which you might get paid $20 to $100. And after all that, sometimes you even have to sleep in a makeshift loft in your van, next to your bandmates, like a sweaty little sausage link. No wonder indie rockers have such damaged psyches, and punk rockers drink so much booze.

Brothers Joe and Tom Dixon provide the Dixon Manor Band Hostel, a solution to the foul stanks, dirty clothes, and restless nights common among most touring bands--at least for Portland. Entrepreneurs of sorts (and kids who have dough of sorts), the two bought a big house in North Portland (info: 288-4112) where they're setting up the hostel where touring bands can crash. They'll be opening for business on October 15th. So far, supporters include Lou Barlow, Fly Pan Am, Peaches, and Chicks on Speed. Who will cut the ribbon on the new zine library? It remains to be seen.

So anyway, in support of this cheap alternative to another night of cuddling your bass player ($10/per person, per night--as opposed to $20/night at the seedy Joyce Hotel or $20/per person, per night at the local hostel), the Blackbird and Berbati's booking gals have got Starantula, The Owners, Panther, Half Man/Half Woman, and DJs Kowalski, Hamburguesa, and Steve to donate their services to the cause. While normally I'm not so much in support of businesses doing benefits for themselves (you're a for-profit business, not a homeless person), I doubt these guys will be raking in the dough on their cheap-as-hell rental price. And they provide band folk with what they absolutely need most: a few hours to themselves (or a room to get busy in), laundry facilities, and a shower--for maybe the first time on tour--among people who obviously love them.