Dan Cadmus – part three (BLBH #16)

Jan and Dan

Jan and Dan

With the world crashing down because of the outgoing administration, the dog needing to go outside, and Jan needing stainless steel screws or nuts, we wrap up our visit with Linnton Feed and Seed’s Dan Cadmus.

We try to make sense of mercenaries, the Coen brothers and shipping potatoes to Peru, and we discuss urban farming as well as how much hasn’t changed in North Carolina.  Thank you to Jan for holding down the store throughout our lengthy interview, and thank you Dan, not only for your time but also for being in our time.

(This podcast is no longer available)

On the news of Derik Evan Loso’s passing

To say that learning of Derik Loso‘s apparent suicide was deeply shocking to me is not so much an understatement as it is a means for me to exhale.    I am in stunned disbelief and feel great sorrow for his family, friends and colleagues, as well as for those of us who walked alongside this gentle soul in earlier years.

I remember Derik first of all as a trusted and sensitive friend, and almost immediately next as a gifted artist and passionate creator.   Derik had an immense capacity for love and friendship, and it is my recollection of this that somehow helps me to make sense of his death.  I have seen others overcome with life who became suddenly, hopelessly lost – others similar to Derik, who were truly kind and very sensitive and who also burned with a profound, longing affection that burned out too soon.  In addition to being a handsome and well-postured gentleman, he was also a man of considerable talent and ability in the area of visual art.  From early on (I met him when we were in our late teens, and we were less than three months apart in age) he demonstrated a bold, individual visual style and a sharp, perceptive mind.

The last time I saw Derik, he and another mutual friend from Issaquah had made the long trip from Seattle to Vancouver, Washington, on a Saturday morning to be present at my brief and modest wedding ceremony.  I frankly remember little else from that occasion as much as that I recall looking across the small group in attendance, and to my surprise, seeing Derik’s intently loyal expression return my gaze; he nodded reassuringly to say, “I’m here for you.”

The previous time that I had seen Derik moved me a great deal more.  Derik and I were both in the groom’s party of our mutual friend’s wedding, for which I had to travel North from Vancouver in order to participate.  After the festivities were ended and I was preparing to depart for home, Derik and I talked for a while.  It became clear during the conversation that some closure of our old school friendships was occurring, and that we would probably never be as close as frequently as we had been up until then.  It was not a childish refusal that I felt from him but rather a true sense of loss, in that this might be the last time we would see each other for a while.  I was more than halfway down the road when these same feelings that I had suppressed began to well up – feelings that Derik was determined to share with me in my presence.

We had been close companions, and had spent many an evening together with music, with playing cards and with the usual accouterments of our wilder years.  Derik seemed to always have a woman involved romantically in his life – whereas at the time none of us others in our small circle could hardly manage any such commitment.  He also worked hard and became strident in independence at a young age – something for which we whom he often entertained at his own apartment were vaguely grateful because it allowed us a place to play.  I, for one, was always envious of Derik’s industriousness, his resourcefulness, and his attention to order and style, and I was often amazed at his enthusiasm for his friendships and activities alike; I coveted his energy, which was boundless, and I especially admired his ability to project what he imagined onto paper, and later into three dimensions in Haunted House events and television sets.

As a writer with an often irrepressible tendency to the weird, I would sometimes find Derik’s sense of wit too conventional at times, or too garish at others.  However he more than made up for whatever I, in my egocentric way, would find lacking in him with his deft and efficient technique.  He was a master cartoonist, and I remember him constantly penciling and inking his way through idea after idea.  We collaborated on a few things, and although one might consider them juvenalia I intend to find them in my archives and preserve them for good: particularly memorable was an eight-panel comic strip based on the lyrics of Blue Oyster Cult’s “Cities on Flame With Rock and Roll.”

I gave him my absurd concept, which capitalized on a fleeting obsession with Al Jolson and transformed into a Satanic Mass.  We may have written out the idea to some extent, but in no time he had produced the completed art, and it was absolutely perfect.  It ran in the I-Hi Times, our high-school newspaper, along with lots of other stuff he did, including a perfect rip-off of the original “Rolling Stone” masthead for our 1977 lampoon issue, “Issaquah Stone.”  His work, I felt – I was convinced, was headed for much bigger and better venues.

I agonize, then, to read that possibly among the issues with which he was struggling in his last days would be the sense of being in a career rut.  If there were anyone among the people I was close to in my late teens and early twenties whom I, without reservation, expected to succeed at everything and enjoy it all just as much, that person would have been Derik.  And I suppose that tells me a lot about my own feelings of internal and external pressure and the chaos that is sometimes unleashed in my psyche – chaos for which the most drastic resolution somehow resonates as appropriate.  Thus I do not condemn the act or the suicidal man, but can only offer sympathy and solace to those left in his wake.

It is apropos of nothing but my ego and my practical tendencies that I was not a better and closer friend to Derik these past twenty or so years since those two weddings.  For some time now he has certainly been on my list of folks I’d hoped and tried to connect with as this Internet brings many of us back into each others’ loving arms.  What I would give now to have Derik among the people with whom I keep in touch.  Regardless of the tragic circumstances surrounding his death, the indelible stamp that he left upon me asks me to believe that Derik had given everything he had and could find no more to give, and that it broke his heart.

Regardless of all the good that exists in this world and in spite of all the love that you gave to it, Derik, my heart is indeed black today as I despair that I must say goodbye, my sweet and beautiful friend.

Luke Lefler
November, 2008

Dan Cadmus – part two (BLBH #15)

Dan Cadmus

Dan Cadmus

More of our protracted and serene conversation with Linnton Feed and Seed proprietor Dan Cadmus, which will conclude with a third and final part next time in BLBH #16.

Here, Dan discusses his life’s travels, spending “a great number of years on farms and ranches,” from growing up on his family’s Willamette Valley farm and through his work with the Peace Corps in South America.

He also tells a surreal story of responding to his summons for the military draft. and touches on the economics of agriculture, the iBucket and Thunder Road.

(This podcast is no longer available)

Three Friends Mondays: Caffeinated Art #22

Myrrh Larsen, Becca Yenser and Arsalan Darbandi

Myrrh Larsen, Becca Yenser and Arsalan Darbandi

The Three Friends Coffee House series and oasis sprung forth a Caffeine Monday event of majestic sound and vision and words on November 24, forever contained within the boundaries of kiss, with dignity, and characterized by the finely attired and attuned.  Consider the texture, tension, gloom, womanly thighs and heckling from a fearless foursome podcast for your edification.  You will notice, as the crackly mix of thumb and thunder swells from Myrrh Larsen‘s vintage amp and foot thingy, a persistent and often rhythmic scraping in the mid-range.  Indeed it is Arsalan Darbandi of his digestion of gods continueth with utensil in hand and intensity grating his vision onto some hard, flat and portable portal to the infinite.

Then, a reading, giving way to a testament to the bone-drought of love and life, casual in its haunted waffle embers of observation, delivered in delicate, brutal detail by Becca Yenser.  After a right turn at the anthropology stacks and rocketing straight from downtown Portland, Oregon flies Patrick Bocarde (who after all is not the invited but simply absent Chris Haberman) in his destroyer-of-worlds machine, and the mood of the monster poet is typically playful, declaiming, tending to shock and awe-shucking.  Arsalan continues to claw out jewels from bare boards while Becca’s waffle iron cools on the tiled counter of our abeyance, and for the finale more Myrrh, who has offered to appear even while buried in the task of producing an album with his band, and who conjures a post-rock toastie that must have belonged to a host of angelic lieder.  We drank our coffee and had community courtesy of the nearly-famous Melissa Sillitoe‘s Show and Tell Gallery Productions.

And ya know… you’ll find the podcast on the Three Friends Mondays: Caffeinated Series page at brokenhours.net.

Also, now you can access the Three Friends Mondays: Caffeinated Series podcast via iTunes using this link:


Dan Cadmus – part one (BLBH #14)

Dan Cadmus

I tried to  say, “I love you,” my golden-baled and allergenic Broken Ears of autumnal corn, but my work schedule got in the way.  Here, then, after three days of NaPodPoMo have slipped away, is the first of a perhaps two- or three-parter that I hope will make up for what gets us down.

The subject is the well-spoken and endearing Dan Cadmus, proprietor of the finest store in the city limits of Portland, Oregon.  No links to send your broken days twittling around with to be found here, folkies, mainly because the man is rooted in the soil of practical endeavor and has not one toe stuck in the technological junk-bucket of this fierce era of wires sticking out of everyone’s ears and pockets and everything.

Grab an herb tea or a bottle of organic pinot and enjoy learning about the history of Linnton, and about how life can be when one has, just by working hard and hanging around long enough, landed softly, bus transfer in hand, at the end of one’s rainbow.

(This podcast is no longer available)

Three Friends Mondays: Caffeinated Art #21

Ross and the Hellpets

Ross and the Hellpets

A true gem of Portland’s music scene, the cuddle-worthy Ross and the Hellpets have played two shows, both free to the public and each compelling in its own way, for Show and Tell Gallery Productions this year, and Broken Hours has been humbled to podcast both.

On Monday, November 17, 2008, Ross Beach, Teresa Bergen and Chris Baker presented some old and some new songs, responded to a request (the poignant “Oxygen”) and even nailed a Duran Duran cover which sadly had to be excluded from the podcast (damn licensing!).  (Warning: tense shift!) Between the songs comes wickedly smart banter that could be an whole other commodity for these good-natured tunesters.

But that ain’t all!  Between the two sets Teresa Bergen whips out her latest novel, Killing The President, and treats the house to some brisk and entertaining prose.

And where were you?  Okay, well you’ll find the podcast on the Three Friends Mondays: Caffeinated Series page at brokenhours.net.

Also, now you can access the Three Friends Mondays: Caffeinated Series podcast via iTunes using this link:


Contact With Your Environment (BLBH #13)

Low-ebb bellows from the briny mawr of Baron Landscuzz asante, reckoning, blithely channeling M. Gira or Nick Cave, and barely on schedule. Winter fast approaching, entrails washing upon the shores of Miasma Beach, scattered leaves, paranoia, that most obscured object of desire, plugged, describing a circle within which there is another circle. Music by Nat Cloud, based on a walk by Ol’ Fuddyduddy. Please come back tomorrow.

“Interlude – Camp Freienorla” (from The Wreck of The Broken Landscape) (BLBH #12)

The story so far: Baron Landscape, former host of the inexplicably popular KBOO-FM program Baron Landscape’s Broken Hours, has returned to the airwaves after fifteen years to host The Wreck of The Broken Landscape (a Radio Tragedy in Three Acts) on July 18, 2008.

play me

“Interlude – Camp Freienorla” occurs between Acts 2 and 3 and finds the Buccaneer Baron smarting from having undertaken an ill-conceived boating trip in the first ninety minutes of the program.  He arrives back in Portland, talks about the failure of the show so far, obtains a coffee refill, and plays an exclusive Sauvie Island Moon Rocket Factory track (thanks again, Dave Klopfenstein) before wandering into the marshy and mysterious “Freienorla Camp,” where he temporarily loses what’s left of his consciousness.   He awakes to discover not only that he has spilled his coffee, but also that he’s being held prisoner by a strange, unnamed captor. This mysterious warden who has an infectious laugh, and who is prone to meandering speeches, ultimately reveals the secret of the Baron’s long-postponed radio journey, or something.

Produced by Splice Finders for Broken Hours, and starring Baron Landscape as the flightless Dutch Boy.  The Wreck of The Broken Landscape was written and directed by Luke Lefler with special contribution by guest star Bob Scheu who plays the off-kilter camp counselor.  Cameo appearance by Melissa Sillitoe as “Suzanne.”  “Interlude – Camp Freienorla” was inspired by Jan Grünfeld‘s “Freienorla Camp,” which is featured prominently.  The producer wishes to extend his gratitude to John Hartog for the natural soundscape recordings that were used in this production.

Ignite Portland 4 (BLBH #11)

Amber Hockley

Amber Case - Photo by Aaron Hockley (Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.0 Generic)

The accidental meeting of The Princess Bride and an industrial shredder at the warm and inclusive Bagdad Theater on November 13, 2008.  Broken cyborgian moments from the excursion to the alternate planet Portland, scouted and chaperoned by the handsome and modern Legion of Tech for lovers everywhere.

This is the canary in the cold cuts, the broken pix elation of the Baron’s de-tuned avatar, a soundflake like no other.  Throw your gang signals elsewhere, jockoes, how does one spells “re-tweet,” and remind me again what the name of that piece of skin between the nose and upper lip is called.  My digital watch is still in the box, in fact I don’t know where it is, and it’s hard enough trying to dance, much less to text, perchance to power dream.  If batteries were horses then beggars would podcast.

(This podcast is not currently available)

Sound Semantics (BLBH #10)

Broken Hours is privileged to share the thoughts of Sound Semantics‘ mastermind Eran Schweitzer (Guitar, Vocals) and chief vocalist accomplice/foil Allie Silverberg, along with a few tracks from the album Ebb & Flow.  Candid, intimate and occasionally music-geeky, it’s what’s behind the music – in this case the music of two high-achieving music school graduates.  So it’s technically pretty damn good, but this ain’t aimed at your wallet; it’s about vision and devotion.  Think of The Decemberists channeling Elliott Smith; or, if you’re from Portland, don’t think about that and just listen. 

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