after living in portland over ten years, i'm always excited to experience new things. this weekend i visited the mock crest tavern for the first time to see the jessica stiles band, also for the first time. both made for a great evening!
the mock crest is located in north portland at 3435 n. lombard 503.283.5014 http://www.mockcrest.com/
the mock is a cozy little bar nestled in between the kenton and st. john's neighborhoods. the drinks were stiff and reasonably priced. i was even offered a sample of tequila the minute i sat down, which in my opinion is quite the sign of hospitality (you can take the girl out of new mexico...). we also ordered some appetizers and out came the largest portion of tater tots i have ever seen in my life. in fact, after 10 pm, you receive a complimentary small basket of tots with the purchase of a pitcher.
my friend and i arrived early to get a seat as it can fill up very quickly. there's not a stage so the band is up close and personal which creates a very intimate setting. as much as i love to go see live music, i do not enjoy music that is so loud that you and your companion must yell at each other (which seems to happen at tiny music venues) and i am happy to say that the volume was perfect. i will definitely catch another show here and i've been told that they regularly have great music.
the jessica stiles band plays classic western music a la patsy cline. jessica writes here own music which tends to be humorous, western drinking songs and also performs classics such as dolly parton's "coat of many colors" and gram parson's "sin city" but with her own charming style. if you have the opportunity, check jessica out next time she's playing. i found her home page on my space under jessica lynn stiles. she was also joined by portland pedal steel player, paul brainerd for her last set. i swear paul must be cloned because he plays with every alt western band this side of austin!
so if you're looking for something to do this weekend, check out either of these fine portland establishments.