Posts tagged: migration

Not At SXSW? You and billions of other people!

Last Thursday I was, as they say, “without portfolio” after the conclusion of a morning meetup and I happened to encounter Alex H. Williams.  As usual he was hatching a plot, but he was more enthusiastic than usual about this particular idea.  This thing was still gestating as it was being birthed, attitude fully-formed, into this cold, noisy world.  For my part, I had just told a whole group of somber but optimistic enterprise builders that I was “through with irony,” and here I was about to join the quintessential post-irony juggernaut of #notatsxsw.  I couldn’t refuse.  I was, in fact, already not at SXSW anyway.

Pronounced “not at South by Southwest,” #notatsxsw is a phenomenon facilitated by Twitter and brandished with the business-ends of social media’s many tentacles.  I immediately saw the appeal, especially since I had never been to SXSW, the high-profile, multi-day music, film and interactive festival that takes over Austin, TX every year, and which has more recently overtaken the collective mind of the Twitniscenti for whom it is a “be there, aloha” happening.  By the time I stumbled into the plot, Alex (who has been to SXSW in the past and would like to have attended this year) and his comrade and fellow SXSW ’09 non-attendee Nate DiNiro had already secured the notatsxsw dot com domain name and snagged the @notatsxsw Twitter handle, and they had scheduled the first #notatsxsw-specific event, the Portland Opening Feast.  All that remained was to help raise awareness and document “the first non-conference.”

We debated from the beginning:  What is it?  How to refer to it?  The spirit of compromise prevailed because, primarily, #notatsxsw is about the unity of the masses of people who, for whatever reason, were not making the pilgrimage to Austin this year.  Controversies could potentially undermine the whole thing — details such as whether the prepositional phrase “not at SXSW” is a noun like its more chic corollary “(at) SXSW,” or an adjective, comfortably interchanged with descriptive terms such as “sad,” “bitter,” “unemployed” or “couldn’t get the week off.”  These minor tweeting points became secondary to the need for a sense of community and an organizing principle for those of us who may or may not be feeling somewhat left out of the cacaphonous, hashtagged songs of the SXSW migration.

Ultimately #notatsxsw is a state of mind.  It may offer a return to one’s roots or simply the maintenance thereof.  “I like the carpet under my feet,” wrote Tot Taylor.  This writer, an acutely Cancerian homebody, putters similarly.  For those of us for whom a trip across town is a source of discomfort, wearing the #notatsxsw badge is plenty fashionable, notwithstanding that the prices are lower and the lines are not nearly as long.   And while there are plenty of gatherings, concerts and workshops #notatsxsw to attend, some of us even found time to clean the bathroom or clear some overgrowth in the woods.

Ignite Portland 5 (BLBH #18)

El unificationo de ill-peppered Bacon Landscape attending IP5 on February 19, deriving testament amid situation and freedom, it’s a bonus upon us.  Running on fumes, the fetid race snapside etiologies, gratitude torpedoes the wide red distance.  The highest of fives for the highest ip5-1of the Five to the fabulous and Orwellian (not the pejorative) Legion of Tech (“yes, it’s a techie event”) from Splice Finders, the team at Broken Hour d’Ouevres and all our handfuls of followers on Twitter, ExtraTicket, FreshFriend, HungerMeat, OverShoulder, Underarm Laptop and BeerLines.

Whatever did it matter to these long queues tonight? Portland is the strongest gestureau,  “we” love it here,  we “love” here and we’re used to sitting patiently waiting for the file transfer of our affection to proto call.  Dangling our participles out the bus window isn’t our scene but much was learned about fonts, the Universe and everything, and the sustainable memories collide with general ideas up there, down there, it’s sweet and beloved all the same, both ends of the Sterno burning ever brighter, they have to have your name, the ship is waiting to take you away.  Try it some time.  The next Ignite Portland (6) is already scheduled for July 16, 2009, again at the jewel on the jerrrymand, the illustrious Bagdad Theater.  It’s really comfortable after all and no work is involved, everything will be fine.

Three Friends Mondays: Caffeinated Art #26

It could’ve been the Craigslist promotion for the Open Mic on January 5, 2009, or maybe it was the ineluctable attraction of publisher-musician-poet Paul Evans, he of Redbird Studio and Alberta St. Small Press, but the dingly bell on the front door was a-dinglin’.  Those who came to see and hear Paul were treated to not one but two gorgeous and talented friends of Paul: 1) the warbling banshee Dina Rae, she of sunshine, of obviously superb mid-western stock, and of a vocal range that must be measured using the same unit used to measure the distance from here to her voice’s planet of origin, and, 2) advancing unmasked from under a pink and orange Texas sky, the mega-romantic Dominique Garcia, she with guitar shielding heart, it of passion overflowing.

Cattle call or no, the ensuing Open Mic served up a dozen open-mikers, including the now comfortingly regular participants Rick J, Melissa Sillitoe, and a delightfully more-humbled-than-usual Mike G (for “girl crazy”).  To the stage ascended deep thinkers, wise believers, grieving MCs, a digeridoo and dinglies to match the door-dinglies anon; among other poets, Christian, he of sometimes feeling like a fucking chameleon,  Christine, she of Sinophilia and Mount Hood climbing, Wayne Flower, he of Boise originally, and of many a band (as I suspected), and the briefly but deeply missed Celestial Concubine, she of paying back the sacrificed hours of sleeptime, thank you, we trusted you all along.  Admittedly, the writing in this so-called “blog entry” doesn’t really cover it all, so (as soon as I find where I put it) I will include the visual aid that accompanies Nathan‘s poem about the cats that go ’round (and ’round).

Show and Tell Gallery Productions is so damn glad that the Open Mic event will continue on a weekly basis following the invited performance.   Be sdvised, all you shoe-top dinglers, bridge-builders, denizens of different-tempo chaos  – prestazione dall’invito every giant, steaming Monday under the taupe and tender rafters of Three Friends Coffee House from 7:00 to 8:00, followed by the Open Mic sign-up from 8:00 to 8:15.  At 8:15 the Open Mic (limited to sixteen slots – sixteen milk necks ripe for licking) will unfurl its pink-crested, cartoid heart.

If you ever miss that ringing in your ears, you will find the podcast on the Three Friends Mondays: Caffeinated Series page at brokenhours.net until it, too, is washed away by the ocean.  And, simply because it is the largest distributor of organized sound in the world, iTunes unwittingly allows you to access the Three Friends Mondays: Caffeinated Series podcast via sheer grace by using this link:

http://phobos.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewPodcast?id=295435461

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. 

A Dream for Lickny Speakr (BLBH #8)

A dredge too hard? Morose and delightful in its paired sophistry, a story of indiscpline and persistence, of leaky dialtaions from the calvettes of doom. A bit o’ melancholy, a habit of liquidation, this is indeed a dredge most severe, awful and free as in earlier bytes, but with a snaggly jest ripening for the next. A reverse migration through Bush II’s America pushing up through the plaid and apparently fearless, like a train of jeopardy unclaimed.  Written and performed by Chloe Randolph, music by Broken Hours.

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