Posts tagged: sub-culture

Ascension Parish by Ross Beach

I was pleasantly surprised when Ross Beach shared his latest album with me (it’s officially due out March 25th). I find it quite enjoyable, much as I find all of his records. Ascension Parish bears the superior engineering and eclectic instrumentation that are the hallmarks of Ross’ recorded works. He describes the album as “country/folk/americana” but the perspective is modern and the preponderance of its sentiments are alternately dry and caustic. Play “Laundry Lint” for any accomplished domestic male who’s had to surrender his relationship with the washing of his own clothes and he will invariably connect with Mr. Beach the songsmith. Much of this set breathes in the terminal damnation of the living and exhales in supple, chiming verses and clever choruses, with their intriguing progressions often coyly telegraphed from afar but still warmly received upon arrival. With all he’s obviously endured and has still emerged smiling, please do at least reward Ross Beach with a listen. No matter whether you do, it seems Ross will continue to bring these delightful collections our way.

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.

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)

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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