Vril’s Anima Mundi

If I’m allowed to have favorites, I would claim Vril, the Ger­man DJ and Res­i­dent Advi­sor Lieu­tenant, as mine among his genre, which shouldn’t mean any­thing to the long­time tech­no con­nois­seur (who should prob­a­bly find them­selves skip­ping this review and mov­ing on,) but does lend me to evan­ge­lize to those who’ve been deprived of pos­i­tive expo­sure to the cul­ture. Most any elec­tron­ic music can be trans­portive and my own affec­tion for it can no doubt be attrib­uted at least in part to my near-total iso­la­tion from its com­mu­ni­ty. I have nev­er been to a prop­er club (the only offer­ing in the set­ting of my young adult­hood has nev­er aspired beyond squishy DJs who are now some­how 100% con­tent describ­ing their scene as “EDM,”) and I’ve only had a few friends with whom I could share sig­nif­i­cant inter­est, though their knowl­edge was extra­or­di­nar­i­ly exten­sive. It takes inci­sive wis­dom to cut through “Tech­no” as the mis­nomer it has become in today’s Amer­i­ca — a sub­ject deserv­ing its own, more delib­er­ate dis­cus­sion — but for the moment, let’s con­sid­er a sin­gle record which man­ages to exem­pli­fy the poten­tial of this his­tor­i­cal­ly-niche medi­um.

For years, I’ve been one hun­dred per­cent sure that “Vril” is a prop­er noun, but I could very well have gone on liv­ing the rest of my life nev­er decid­ing between whom or where. Up until Ani­ma Mun­di’s release on Octo­ber 15th (tech­ni­cal­ly it was released last year, but exclu­sive­ly on cas­sette,) his cat­a­log was con­sis­tent­ly Vril — on-brand, you might say — though in the most respectable sense for a dance DJ, I’d imag­ine. I can’t quite recall the moment of dis­cov­ery, but I do know that the dozen or so of his live mix­es avail­able on Mix­cloud caught my atten­tion imme­di­ate­ly after­ward. There’s some­thing mag­ic in the lay­ers that grabs an unnamed rhyth­mic organ of mine in a way that can­not be expressed in writ­ten form with­out expe­ri­ence I do not have. What I can pro­vide is the most com­pre­hen­sive­ly con­cise exam­ple I can find: a live set from the infa­mous Berghain in 2014.

Regard­less if I’m writ­ing, walk­ing(?,) or chas­ing grav­el apex­es, these mix­es always kick me into anoth­er plane, where the pan­ning high hat halos are biased astray by a frac­tion of a degree, delay­ing a false local dis­ori­en­ta­tion akin to the sound of a dozen chore­o­graphed kinder­garten tap dancers’ feet next to one’s head, mild­ly dura­tion-com­pressed. Tech­no as a whole has become quite com­fort­able with the prac­tice of orbit­ing high fre­quen­cy per­cus­sion in elon­gat­ed ellipses around the stereo pic­ture, which I’ve adored and defend­ed since day 1. My hypothe­ses: it’s actu­al­ly a cheap shot for the psyche’s poten­tial desire for jus­ti­fi­ca­tion of their club expe­ri­ence as some­thing tran­scen­dent. It’s a pret­ty easy cheat to keep the listener’s imme­di­ate envi­ron­ment feel­ing expan­sive, reflec­tive, and there­fore mean­ing­ful. I, myself am prob­a­bly drawn to its threat­en­ing aura of immi­nent con­tigu­ous indus­tri­al emer­gency, but again, I’ve nev­er been to Berghain, Lon­don, or Stock­holm, nor has my adult nigh­t­ime recre­ation ever found me in any venue to which one could attribute the term “club” with­out imme­di­ate­ly “chuck­ling. This music has not tra­di­tion­al­ly found its place among lives like mine, and nobody even seems inter­est­ed in fig­ur­ing out why.

It seems like there was a big thirst for these kinds of inten­tions. But the more atten­tion we get, the hard­er it gets to keep those inten­tions up and not get washed away by the per­cep­tion of oth­ers. Who are maybe search­ing for some­thing that some­times seems impos­si­ble to deliv­er.

Vril on Res­i­dent Advisor’s pop­u­lar­i­ty, Invert­ed Audio.

For the hell of it, let’s begin by remov­ing one of techno’s most noto­ri­ous­ly-defin­ing cat­e­gor­i­cal descrip­tors: “dance music.” I’ve done this per­son­al­ly — aside from mod­er­ate head-bob­bing — but I’ve already got a bad habit of mis­con­tex­tu­al­liz­ing music, so let’s focus on our hypo­thet­i­cal tech­novir­gin, Gavin, who thought Bass­necter was amaz­ing in 8th grade, can “some­times fuck with” run-of-the-mill dub­step, plays col­lege foot­ball, and is gen­er­al­ly more seri­ous about school­work than the trashy cam­pus bars he vis­its every oth­er week­end out of a vague desire for female atten­tion. Let’s have faith in Gavin and assume that he doesn’t need per­spec­tive-alter­ing nar­cotics to be intro­spec­tive, but we’ll wait until he’s alone in his shit­ty dorm in the ear­ly morn­ing hours, typ­ing out an Amer­i­can His­to­ry essay on his Mac­Book. He’s in his bed, ear­bud-equipped nog­gin propped uncom­fort­ably against the wall, machine rest­ing on his diaphragm. It’s stream­ing fuck­ing Aphex Twin from some stranger’s Spo­ti­fy playlist, which we’ve hacked. Just after “Win­dowlick­er“ ‘s last, foul moan, we’ll covert­ly begin this invol­un­tary acquain­tance with “Mani­um“ ‘s sim­ple fade-in.

It’s sin­cere­ly seri­ous, con­tem­pla­tive, sci­ence fic­tion-esque, but cer­tain­ly not even as man­ic as the taste­less breast-obsessed num­ber one hit he’s just heard. In fact, the con­trast is so sharp that his atten­tion is agi­tat­ed away from his sen­tence, and he looks off the screen across the room to the door’s elec­tron­ic knob. Accord­ing to whomev­er wrote Delsin’s descrip­tion of the album, Gavin has just unwit­ting­ly set upon “a deep excur­sion for mind and body” — a phrase which would no doubt make him a bit uncom­fort­able, yet here, alone, or per­haps in the back seat of the right friend’s car on a long dri­ve, its acute cau­tion com­pels his mind to con­sid­er the heav­i­est pos­si­ble ques­tion of the moment: some­thing about finals, I would guess. His brow slow­ly scrunch­es in the Word document’s soft white glow. The unchang­ing dis­so­nance from the back­ground synth’s sin­gle chord grows loud­er and loud­er, grad­u­al­ly, before drop­ping briskly, allow­ing for the sim­i­lar suc­ces­sive fade-in of “Stat­era Rerum.”

Lay­er num­ber one is sure­ly a four-sec­ond sam­ple of a dot matrix printer’s oper­a­tion, slowed and pitched-down thir­ty or so per­cent — rem­i­nis­cent of the phe­nom­e­na to which shop­ping cart cas­tors are com­mon­ly sub­ject: a cer­tain speed’s vibra­tion trig­gers a sort of res­o­nant buzzing freak­out. Vril’s sim­plis­tic con­struc­tion con­tin­ues with anoth­er mechan­i­cal lay­er, then panned pul­sar synths which ebb and recede in lazier loops across the spec­trum. By now, Gavin is on his way back to real­i­ty and has final­ly begun alt-tab­bing by the last few sec­onds of track 2. Just as he finds and restores his Spo­ti­fy win­dow, it has end­ed, and the album’s title track begins. His inves­ti­ga­tion is stymied for a beat by the iden­ti­cal track and album meta­da­ta, but he’s still curi­ous enough to search the album out after fig­ur­ing it out. Since this is a hypo­thet­i­cal world, let’s make it just a bit bet­ter and assume Ani­ma Mun­di’s Band­camp page is the first result returned by Gavin’s search engine with its brief, but gor­geous motion graph­ic pro­mo video, which he allows to play par­al­lel with track 3 on Spo­ti­fy since it’s less than 30 sec­onds.

The result­ing cacoph­o­ny is unlike any­thing he has ever heard, and — prob­a­bly in reac­tion to his essay topic’s inabil­i­ty to stim­u­late him what­so­ev­er — its some­what extend­ed bat­tle cry elic­its suf­fi­cient intrigue to keep his atten­tion from stray­ing fur­ther. It’s a lucky thing, too, because the rework of “Riese” (lit­er­al­ly “giant”) is up next, and it’s the most pro­found and unex­pect­ed groove on the whole record. It’s rhythm­less, reflec­tive, and very cin­e­mat­ic in a sim­i­lar (but far far supe­ri­or) doc­trine to Hans Zimmer’s use of sim­plis­tic, swelling har­mo­nious chords to blast audi­ences’ emo­tion­al intel­li­gence to smithereens behind films like Michael Bay’s Pearl Har­bor and J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek. Accord­ing to Invert­ed Audio’s review, its notes “lose their dis­so­cia­tive feel­ing for some­thing a bit more inti­mate and in turn gain even more emo­tion­al pow­er over the lis­ten­er.” Essen­tial­ly, it’s real gor­geous, though Gavin’s not quite in a vul­ner­a­ble enough state to be moved to tears. So far, Ani­ma Mun­di has been almost entire­ly sep­a­rate from “tech­no” as it is com­mon­ly defined, but it’s clear to even the most casu­al fan of the scene that it’s def­i­nite­ly an adden­dum, not aban­don­ment. I could be wrong, but as a fan of Vril’s, I’ve found the four tracks Gavin’s heard up to this point feel almost like the end­notes to the more brisk, pur­pose­ful melod­ic and rhyth­mic iden­ti­ties formed in Por­tal, his first album, along his years of live club arrange­ments. If I were to be a bit bold, I’d sur­mise that Vril could con­sid­er Ani­ma Muni an artis­tic dec­la­ra­tion: just so you know, I am a lot more than just the guy behind the booth — I am a “world soul.”

I’m afraid it would be dis­hon­est of me to extract a hap­py end­ing from my der­riere for this hypo­thet­i­cal of ours because of a sin­gle word in track 5’s title with tru­ly awe­some pow­er among the Youth of Today: ani­me. In Spring 2017, I record­ed Future­land’s most enter­tain­ing episode with my good friend Tevin, who hap­pens to be a beau­ti­ful bridge between fra­ter­ni­ty cul­ture and Japan­ese Ani­mat­ed Video Con­tent, yet lacks faith in the former’s chances of pro­gress­ing much at all, going for­ward. Gavin has prob­a­bly been exposed to ani­me once or twice, but for him, it’s unlike­ly to ever become any­thing but a punch­line. “Infini­tum Eter­nis Ani­me” means (rough­ly) “infi­nite eter­nal soul,” and it’s the record’s first amal­gam of rec­og­niz­ably tech­no ele­ments (for which I do not know any of the industry/jargon terms, so do for­give my lack of detail.) It’s a shame Gavin won’t give it a chance because it’d like­ly serve as an effec­tive gate­way drug for a more sophis­ti­cat­ed nightlife, but I’m sure you were get­ting awful­ly tired of him, any­way. To cite Invert­ed Audio’s Will Long once more:

Each one of the tracks from the ‘Haus’ EP works even bet­ter in the con­text of the full record. “Haus” gets an even smoother, more melod­ic rework; “Riese” is also more melod­ic in con­struc­tion with the beat stripped away in favour of more reverb and sus­tained notes. They lose their dis­so­cia­tive feel­ing for some­thing a bit more inti­mate and in turn gain even more emo­tion­al pow­er over the lis­ten­er.

Though his com­par­i­son of Ani­ma Mun­di to Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey was quite crude, I can obvi­ous­ly con­cur with some of his oth­er lan­guage, like “future clas­sic,” and “buy on sight.” As much as I’d like to fur­ther indulge my own analy­sis of the rest of the 80 minute work’s tracks, one-by-one, let me just con­clude by dot­ing on my per­son­al favorite track, “Sine Fine.” With­out resort­ing to the word “ambiance,” I can’t say much, but — above all — it’s Track 10 that takes me to The Vril Place in which I have always felt so intrigued and com­fort­able. Buy Ani­ma Mun­di right fuck­ing now.

I Need to Start a Garden

I knew bet­ter than to skip out on Haley Heynderickx’s recent live show in Port­land while I was still around, but friends from home were able to see her here, where she appar­ent­ly slipped up on a line once or twice in the most charm­ing way — you know the kind of wor­ry that’s spurned by brute force earnest­ness in the present day: it’s a pan­ic that screams pro­tect the fuck­ing sweet­heart! The mad world is com­ing! Though even if one should wish to belit­tle her so, the chal­lenge would be a steep one. Any human being respon­si­ble for blend­ing such sin­cer­i­ty with metic­u­lous the­o­ry and 100%-fresh song­writ­ing is of a qual­i­ty your lazy ass would be bonkers to deride.

I’m not here to review I Need to Start a Gar­den, because that’d be futile and redun­dant. The estab­lish­ment music media man­aged to see the mag­ic — even NPR pub­lished an album review along with Pitch­fork, Pop­Mat­ters, The Young Folks, and Haley’s home­town Mer­cury. I am here only to make sure those of you like me who are made very uncom­fort­able by most indie folk — espe­cial­ly from the North­west — set aside your assump­tions for at least a few min­utes to give this LP a chance, because it is absolute­ly brim­ming with the sub­stance I spent a whole year whin­ing about nev­er being able to find in Pot­land. Ms. Heyn­d­er­ickx proves through her song­writ­ing, alone, that she has a place among the cir­cle of folk sto­ry­tellers and riv­er sages remain­ing con­tent­ly in the bilges of rur­al Amer­i­ca, but this thing is so much more. She has clear­ly suf­fered, but the insight she’s able to effec­tive­ly con­vey so ethe­re­al­ly is not some­thing young human beings should ignore or take for grant­ed.

I just spent a good por­tion of the night prepar­ing a con­densed mix of the album for a friend’s school album analy­sis pre­sen­ta­tion. As we scrolled through 7 of its 8 tracks, the true tech­ni­cal mas­tery involved in the pro­duc­tion of the work became much more appar­ent than it had been at first lis­ten, just after its release all those months ago. Not that I’m try­ing to sug­gest that the indie scene needs “tech­ni­cal pol­ish” — the mon­ey is in those words and arrange­ments, babies — just that I hadn’t rec­og­nized the scent of obses­sion until I sat down in front of the wave­forms to rearrange the lot. It seems to me that most indie folk in the Unit­ed States right now is com­ing from trust fund hip­pies and asso­ci­at­ed cousins of their par­tic­u­lar hypocrisy. From my per­spec­tive, there’s no way to be a worse musi­cian, and far too much young white breath is blown on a com­plete waste of time, but Haley Heyn­d­er­ickx has some­thing to say which I can stand behind with zero cyn­i­cism or reluc­tance. Instead, it’s impor­tant that we uplift art­work like I Need to Start a Gar­den so that the people’s music can resume aspir­ing for bet­ter health.

Worth It” is our favorite track.

Rebuilding Piano Ties

For over a year, I’ve been work­ing on an essay enti­tled some­thing like “Cel­e­brat­ing Two Decades of Chor­do­phone Sym­bio­sis,” in which I’ve been attempt­ing  to explain an argu­ment devel­oped over my life­time rela­tion­ship with the piano: I am dis­tinct­ly not a musi­cian, which is not self-dep­re­cat­ing, nor irrel­e­vant as it sounds — espe­cial­ly to pro­fes­sion­al musi­cians. The fun­da­men­tal (and ill-dis­cussed) truth in the dis­tinc­tion is that a musi­cian results from a pri­ma­ry focus on dis­ci­plined train­ing with an instru­ment, where­as [title need­ed] like me can­not be made by any­thing but lots of time spent just fuck­ing around.

I don’t remem­ber the orig­i­nal moment of dis­cov­ery, but there are three dis­tinct ele­men­tary school-era instances in my mind of blis­ter­ing my fin­gers from whole after­noons spent pound­ing away in my first two octaves. In all three cas­es, I refrained from stop­ping even after notic­ing them, and — in all three cas­es — blood was the end result. The sound itself was very rudi­men­ta­ry. Dupli­cat­ed hands on a sin­gle-octave spread was all I was capa­ble of. C, E, G, Mid­dle-C, E, G, in the begin­ning. But to coax my devel­op­ing brain to pipe a trick­le of even the most basal uncon­scious infor­ma­tion to the devel­op­ing mus­cles in my tiny fin­gers so that old instru­ment could trans­late it into some­thing I could hear… It’s called impro­vi­sa­tion, and — for me, then and now — it is entire­ly irre­sistible. It is serene.

After dis­cus­sions with musi­cians and enthu­si­asts across the spec­trum — includ­ing one espe­cial­ly-stim­u­lat­ing all-nighter hang­ing with the excep­tion­al Colum­bia Jazz Orches­tra — I believe this con­ver­sa­tion is one of the most impor­tant insights I have to offer. An intense phys­i­cal, emo­tion­al, and intel­lec­tu­al rela­tion­ship with one’s instru­ment like those expe­ri­enced by (espe­cial­ly) pro­fes­sion­al musi­cians requires main­te­nance, and the “art” of impro­vi­sa­tion has tremen­dous poten­tial for reflec­tion and heal­ing.

but when he’d final­ly play, I’d pity
because he must ask first
and his fin­gers are well-read
but they must ask first
and every lit­tle passer­by
draws away his eye
so del­i­cate,
his atten­tion for she that loves him

Scapabo­bidid­dy­wid­di­ly­doobap­bap­ba­pho­bia” by David Blue

After return­ing to my ear­ly adult­hood home of Colum­bia, Mis­souri this week­end after my year spent in Port­land, I real­ized that my own rela­tion­ship with the instru­ment has been neglect­ed more than ever before, sim­ply because I’d had less access to the keys than I have in any oth­er peri­od since I began play­ing as a tod­dler. For my (under­ap­pre­ci­at­ed) fol­low­ing on Periscope, I streamed my first time sit­ting down at my own child­hood upright Bald­win in far too long, and found the ses­sion quite reas­sur­ing. It’s cer­tain­ly not an impor­tant lis­ten — if you real­ly want to hear my impro­vi­sa­tion at it’s best, stop by my Band­camp — but it got me think­ing about what I might offer in future works with­in this sub­ject. To begin, look for an upcom­ing review of the newest album release from the great­est liv­ing cham­pi­on of the improv process, Kei­th Jar­rett, and (even­tu­al­ly,) a com­plet­ed draft of my afore­men­tioned essay.

In the mean­time, I’d love to read any thoughts you may have on the mat­ter, how­ev­er you’d like to deliv­er them.

Indie Folk Battery Burglary

I have to just fuck­ing do it — I’m going to start writ­ing about music in this space. There’s vir­tu­al­ly zero chance that I’ll shout over oth­er voic­es of music crit­i­cism as long as Bilge remains so poor­ly opti­mized for SEO, and Port­land, Ore­gon has been far too con­fus­ing to deprive myself the oppor­tu­ni­ty to work out any under­stand­ing of its youth cul­ture. It’s not a lack of tal­ent­ed musi­cians in the area — the oppo­site is true — but a severe drought of the kind of tragedy and trau­ma which ulti­mate­ly give acoustic Amer­i­can musi­cal expres­sion its whole shit. What I caught of the weekend’s inva­sion with San­ta Cruz musi­cians were all praise­wor­thy, tight and con­fi­dent per­form­ers who’d obvi­ous­ly invest­ed heav­i­ly in their equip­ment and their pres­ence here. Joe Kaplow arrived with a sort of bespoke mag­a­zine rack con­tain­ing 20 neat­ly-arranged effect ped­als, lead­ing me to won­der for a moment if I was about to wit­ness ban­jo pow­ervi­o­lence for the first time, but he explained that he sim­ply pre­ferred their avail­abil­i­ty, and wouldn’t use “more than a few at once,” and seemed almost gen­uine­ly per­turbed by my attempt to explain the spe­cif­ic indus­tri­al­ly-influ­enced involve­ment of audio hard­ware in hard­core punk and grind per­for­mance which I was refer­ring to with the term. (“Pow­ervi­o­lence” has appar­ent­ly become an ambigu­ous one around these parts, and I’m sure he was actu­al­ly just utter­ly unin­ter­est­ed.)

No more than two dozen guests made up their peak crowd of wit­ness­es, yet Joe and his band cer­tain­ly made good on shear effort expend­ed in lay­ing down a hearty, back-to-back recital for us at an unusu­al­ly pro­tract­ed rate, though appar­ent­ly either they, the Get­away Dogs, or The Cur­fews had insist­ed that a “cov­er charge” be col­lect­ed at the door of the house show. It’s not my busi­ness to to dwell on or attempt to inves­ti­gate an unsub­stan­ti­at­able rumor, but I under­stand this could have been a breach of house show eti­quette. What I do know is that one of the vis­it­ing musi­cians stole 4 flat AA bat­ter­ies out of my COOLPIX and appar­ent­ly attempt­ed to jack its ancient Com­pact Flash card, which is only hilar­i­ous because they didn’t suc­ceed. Regard­less, it should be said that Joe Kaplow’s song­writ­ing is more flat­tered by Indie mags than my own ears, though one still wish­es for a more sub­stan­tive top­ic than “I thought it’d be cool make a corn cob pipe, so I did.” Then again, much of what you’ll find at this URL reads a lot like “I thought it’d be inter­est­ing to make a Word­Press blog, so I did.” White peo­ple have tru­ly run out of shit to say, haven’t we?

The inspi­ra­tion that sparked ‘I Said’ moved me like a pup­pet. So much so that I had to pull over at the top of Alta­mont Pass, by the huge wind­mills, and write the song in the back of my van.

Joe Kaplow for Glide Mag­a­zine

Reflec­tion upon just about any­thing can have per­son­al mean­ing, but no amount of musi­cian­ship can mask a stark lack of con­text. I do won­der if Indie Folk should just return to the megachurch, where song­writ­ers like Joe and musi­cians of his crew’s sort are lit­er­al­ly hand­ed a gigan­tic audi­ence of trained experts at find­ing pro­found mean­ing where it prob­a­bly isn’t, along with great salaries, from what I hear. Oth­er­wise, all that tax­ing prepa­ra­tion and expen­di­ture will only lead to more for­get­table per­for­mances. Or per­haps I am sim­ply mis­guid­ed in my assump­tion that artists work exclu­sive­ly to com­mu­ni­cate some­thing last­ing to some­one. Every con­ver­sa­tion I’ve had with Port­landers about Port­land music has been pre­dom­i­nant­ly about what artists and their audi­ences wear and how they behave instead of what they’re try­ing to say. There’s noth­ing inher­ent­ly wrong with leav­ing things pet­ty, lyri­cal­ly and choos­ing to remain con­tent with estab­lished sounds, musi­cal­ly, as long as your work is adver­tised as enter­tain­ment, not per­for­mance.

Before I came North­west, my fiance had been expos­ing me to a vari­ety of its music, which I most­ly tol­er­at­ed polite­ly. Dozens of albums and EPs were played through once and for­got­ten for­ev­er, but when I arrived at a demo tape record­ed by her long time friend’s band, The Cig­a­rette Burns, I final­ly heard some­thing famil­iar, yet vital­ly com­pelling: pissed off punks hav­ing fun. That said, I should admit that I only attend­ed Saturday’s show because he was on the tick­et, and I’m still glad I did.

After what felt like hours of drowsy corn cob pipes, Christ­mas sweaters, and old sweet­hearts at fifty beats per minute (there were lit­er­al­ly two young men sleep­ing with­in 15 feet of the bands for the dura­tion,) Ricky sat him­self on a stool in the midst of Kaplow’s sprawl­ing gear load at 2:30AM with only his gui­tar and his voice. Unfor­tu­nate­ly, I’d squan­dered the Nikon’s bat­ter­ies on Cal­i­for­ni­ans (the light­ing was not ide­al any­way,) so I thought I’d share his set on Periscope. Though Ricky had been patient­ly present and atten­tive for the entire night (unlike myself,) those who were left of the enter­tain­ers bolt­ed to the porch for a live­ly dis­cus­sion about uni­cy­cles and quinoa while Ricky told us about hate, jeal­ousy, and feel­ing like shit in a somber ele­gy. Any fur­ther adjec­tives may edge dan­ger­ous­ly close to a half-assed “con­cert review,” which I am not yet qual­i­fied for, but I will say that Ricky’s sin­cer­i­ty made him most engag­ing part of the night, and his frus­trat­ed, con­clu­sive nod to The Cig­a­rette Burns was the first real punk sounds I’ve yet heard in Port­land.

I real­ize shar­ing this small expe­ri­ence does lit­tle to grow the con­ver­sa­tion, but this isn’t a mag­a­zine, and I am des­per­ate for answers about the bizarre real­i­ty in which I find myself. When Ricky ded­i­cat­ed a song to Court­ney Love, one of the male musi­cians(?) yelled “Court­ney Love fuckin’ killed Kurt Cobain!” which was such an unbe­liev­ably cliche happening/decision that I’ll sure­ly spend the rest of my days in this city unsuc­cess­ful­ly attempt­ing to work it out, aloud. I can’t quite recall who it was last Fall that respond­ed to my frus­tra­tion by chal­leng­ing “what if there’s noth­ing to under­stand?” While this may be a rea­son­able con­clu­sion, I sus­pect it’s not one I could accept as long as I remain here with­out los­ing my mind. If Port­land is tru­ly the dimen­sion­less bas­tion of apa­thy and intel­lec­tu­al stag­nan­cy for young Amer­i­cans, I must blog my way out it as soon as pos­si­ble (for Pete’s sake, just give these kids some anti­de­pres­sants,) but I’d still like to believe the idea too oxy­moron­ic to actu­al­ly exist.