Everything in its Right Place

Screenshot 2014-01-06 18.58.50

I’m not quite sure what triggers it either. I mean, this is the thing with so many weird/unusual/WTF mental health/mood/WTF things right? Some days you just didn’t get enough sleep or you had too much caffeine or not enough coffee or too many cookies or not enough food or too much social time or not enough hugs, and there you are just feeling like the entire day is a push against the middle of your chest where your body just aches because you’re scared.

So that was today and so that also meant it was time for Kid A.

As you do.

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what the internet is for. It has to do with this Episode of CMD-Space (featuring the always-gonna-make-me-think John Roderick) where he talks about making primary materials. So, podcast you make=primary materials, article about dumb things on the internet = not primary. They also talked a bit about how there was a moment where Clap Your Hands Say Yeah could happen because of myspace and cool kid word of mouth, and how we’re back to a place where that sort of thing doesn’t happen in the same way any more.

And then they said something like “I dunno, maybe things go back to blogs now.”

I always hesitated to call this place a blog. BLAG, blagh, interblog. I said “my music writing site” or sometimes “journal.” And as of late I said, “that thing that I haven’t done much with for a long time.”

While I listened to that podcast, I found myself thinking, “what did I write about music for?” Because, unlike what Roderick was saying, I’ve had a pretty Buddhist (right speech) / Thumper (if you can’t say something nice….) way of writing about music ever since my days with the Portland Mercury. Even I don’t have the ego enough to think I
have influence**, but I do think that if someone is wondering if they should go see Bark, Hide, & Horn, and they read 150 words about their love song to a snail, they might say, “yeah, that’s a thing I want to throw money at.”

And then I remembed what Mr. Hype Machine says in his bio, what he has said for years:

I wake up in the morning to get people excited about new music.

Yeah man, I’ve always thought. Yeah.

This is how Icome at art criticism, or trying to get people into Lisa Olstein’s Poetry, or, sure, Radiohead. I’m a jerk about enthusiasm. dudedon’tgivemethat youresowrongaboutthis ICANTBELIEVEYOUDONTOWNTHISFUCKINRECORD! Jeezus!

I love having an outlet for that. I’ve wanted more of it for years. I want Hard Like Algebra to be that. I want my life to be that.

Because you can feel shitty and morose and anxious (and beat yourself up for all of those things)(which TOTALLY HELPS THE ANXIOUS LET ME TELL YOU) and then go, “Hmm. You know, Kid A might help this.”

And then it does, and then you’re yourself a bit more again, you’ve got that life back, you’re filling yourself back up and hearing “Idiotecque” and thinking, well yeah, if I made these songs I would dance like Thom Yorke does, too."

Or at least, that’s what music does for me.

It's been a while....

...and as I have said before, I want to make a change here but I'm not sure how. Yet.

But!  I just saw this on January 1, which seems a bit like a fun time to post it. According to Last.fm, this is what I have liked and listened to in the last year.

Seems about right.

Last.fm is fun.


I'm into indie, rock, emo, stoner rock and acoustic, including:

Tegan and Sara, Frightened Rabbit, Into It. Over It., Vampire Weekend, Summoner, The Sword, american sharks, Wilco, The Promise Ring, Kylesa, Belle and Sebastian, Baroness, Pelican, Iron & Wine, The Dismemberment Plan, The Shins, Matt Pond, The Long Winters, Robyn, Matt Pond PA, Imagine Dragons, Rancid, Minus the Bear, Snow Patrol, The Mountain Goats, Lorde, Guided by Voices, Phoenix, Fountains Of Wayne, The Flaming Lips, Spoon, Girl Talk, CHVRCHES, Phosphorescent, Mazes, Pyres, Van Morrison, Black Sabbath, Mates of State, R.E.M., David Bowie, Saint Etienne, Foals, Red Desert, Yuck, Kleenex Girl Wonder, Sons of Huns, Bored Nothing, Screeching Weasel, Har Mar Superstar.

Check out my music taste: http://www.last.fm/user/jwithington

An update of sorts

Thirty days is still happening!

It is happening as a tinyletter, and as a rock poet, and in other places as well. [1]

It is not as hard core as it once was.

Neither am I.

  1. Some of those places are just in your heart. ?

Kathy, I'm lost, I said

I feel like a good rule, when I don't know what to do because I am feeling all of the feelings, is to write it out. At the very least, I will have another blog post at the end of it, right? *

I just saw a really great looking article about places to eat in PDX on twitter. I mean, it's got a bit of "I was there first, so I am better" b.s. feel to it, but it also has my favorite ever music venue and my favorite ever donut shop so it's not all bad.

And of course am stupid and when I saw them mention a coffee shopI didn't know about--lilkely because it is new--I googled for it, grabbed the street view, and felt my guts hit my throat because of this:


click here to embiggen
This is a pretty innocuous photo, really. Right? Just a sunny day, and...a huge line for a donut shop. Okay.

But I cannot tell you how many times I have been on that street, in that place.

It was part of my life before full-time work when I would camp out all day at Stumptown and pay $1 on the counter and skip the line since I was there for drip coffee and sometimes get props from the cute midwestern barista that recognized my slapstick t-shirts.

After I got the full-time job it was a place I would go during my lunch breaks for donuts for my team or to get an americano for me (and maybe a coworker) in order to help fuel the dark afternoons of playing catch up.

Half a block away I'd wait for the 12 to take me to 57th and Sandy or, later, the 12/19/20 to get me back to 18th and E Burnside.

We had boys and beers at Berbatis, which used to have a music venue entrance where VooDoo is now. And when I left the full-time job behind, I became very acquainted with Johnny Walker Black because of some the best coworkers a man could ask for.

I think maybe this place--not the corner, but the city--might be where I became a man, if that's what I am now, at thirty-five.

It is certainly where I became my own man.

I miss it in my gut the way I used to pine for it--before I moved there--and feel in my bones that I belonged there.

I so did. And I still do.

I've been doing the April 30 days stuff! But the results are not all here--they are scattered on PDX Rock Poet and some other places. Hooray though!

*I used to never ever ever call this site a blog. It was my "music site." But this post? No music, and maybe a blog post.