March me, baby

Marching bands grow as big as the zine conventions in Portland, Oregon

March Fourth Marching Band is coming to town (Fri/26, Cellspace). Throw up your batons! Toss about that pocket-stored confetti! Let the high steppin’, flair totin’ cyclone of happiness begin!

Perhaps I should explain.

These guys are big in my hometown of Portland, Oregon- and believe when I tell you I understand that there’s nothing that a San Franciscan is less interested in than what is big in Portland, Oregon. One need only look to the enscription above the front door of Beat mecca Café Vesuvio, which reads “we are itching to get away from Portland, Oregon,” to know that our distant neighbor to the north is seen as a bit provincial.

But nonetheless, good things are conceived of up in those green, piney dales- and March Fourth’s appeal translates more than, say, Gore Tex and constant deluge. First formed in 2003 to perform covers of Fela Kuti, Rebirth Brass Band and Fleetwood Mac at a Mardi Gras party, they have since won Best Local Band honors and will probably go on the Portland penny when the West Coast finally secedes from the rest of the country. They are a marching band made crazy, given wings and learned to fly high above in the starry skies.

Once I went to a March Fourth show (shoutout to the Doug Fir Lounge on East Burnside!), and was movin’ and groovin’ my way in the front row when I suddenly looked up out of my hip shaking reverie to find the band, brass instruments and all, had disembarked from the stage and completely surrounded our portion of audience. It was like a hippie drum circle crossed with that Drumline movie, crossed with one of those pre game football huddles where everyone winds up jumping and roaring.

Yes, it was like that. And given that on Friday, they’ll be sharing the stage (ring?) with the acrobats, contortionists, lasso twirlers, pyrotechnicians, and assorted hooligans of the Wanderlust Circus, it would appear that the show will be even more life endowing and wonderful.

Ah, consider the homesickness temporarily assuaged. Now all we’re missing in SF is Portland’s superlative beer and pizza movie theaters – can we work on that one next?

March Fourth Marching Band

w/ Wanderlust Circus, Saqi, Smoove & The Conscious Carnival Midway

Fri/27 10 p.m., $10-15


2050 Bryant, SF

(415) 648-7562

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