Dean Wareham at Bunk Bar on June 26, 2014

For those who came of age in the late '80s, time travel became a reality at a local bar in SE Portland along the industrial Water Avenue this June. The New Zealand-born, American-grown singer-songwriter Dean Wareham just released his first solo LP in March, but at Bunk Bar on June 26, 2014, the set could have easily confused some for a Galaxie 500 show. Also known for his work with another influential band, Luna, Wareham's presence at the minuscule venue was a blessing for his fans and melancholic for the state of music.

At one point when a can of Old German beer spilled over, seeping its content under his effects pedals, the 50-year-old musician made a casual comment about how small the stage was. Yet, the size of the space was a minor distraction for Wareham who played with candor and humility, aided by his wife and a longtime musical partner, Britta Phillips, along with a guitarist and a drummer.

It was rather unfathomable that I would be standing in an intimate gathering hearing songs that are a quarter of a century old for the first time. Indie classics like "Tugboat" and "Blue Thunder" were like fables that I had to loosen from the grips of my childhood, a period when life was more about imagination than checking off items on a to-do list. And while songs from Wareham's new self-tilted album like "The Dancer Disappears" sounded just as precious, the crowd swallowed up the Galaxie 500 tunes as if they were the last bites of a cake they would not eat again for an indefinite future. For tomorrow, they'll be transported back to 2014 as they clock in for another day at work.

View Comments

comments powered by Disqus