Hullo and welcome!
Dave Camp, a ridiculously talented and singular human and beloved Portland music mainstay, passed away last night. I didn't know Dave well but considered him a friend and managed to coerce him into playing guitar with me a couple of times on a couple of things. I always thrilled to the sounds he could make. I enjoyed when our paths crossed--he was unfailingly good company. I was stunned when I heard the news. Dave was a very vital, vibrant person--one of the most alive, curious people I've ever come across. I didn't know he was sick but I hear he handled it with his trademark grace. Memory eternal, Dave. It was good to know you.
Portland's fizzing like a shaken up liter of pop these days. With a lot of recent articles in local press on rampant development, razing of bungalows, closings of venerable city institutions (bars), seemingly neverending and ever-expanding in-migration of SF techies and their moneyed ilk, and besotted "I heart Portlandia! Keep Portland WEIRD! Voodoo Donuts!"-ers, people are taking sides as they never have (so openly) before.
I welcome it. It feels like a boil that needed lancing. There's a huge chasm between the news and the olds with a feeling on the olds's parts that the news don't give a shit that anything existed before they arrived like Jesus on a donkey, and on the news's parts that the olds just need to get over it and move on, "change is good!"
The discussion I've read on this subject in the various forums hasn't been very heartening, or civil. But at least it's being discussed, and I've no doubt it'll get better. Not because I'm an optimist, because if you know me at all you know I'm not that. Just because a lanced boil is always better than a festering one. I mean, it's been YEARS now that Portland's felt like an anthill every ant on the planet suddenly needed to be on, sure that Portland would somehow magically solve every problem they ever had and change their ant lives. And all this stewing and simmering and seething.
Anyway. I look forward to seeing how it all pans out. I'm rooting for any solution that doesn't involve the continued blithe body snatching of Portland. I already feel like a stranger here, now. Don't think I could take it if my last remnant of "home" went.
In other news, my sister made me a little surprise for graduation season--a video of an old song of mine, Commencement Address (off Jonah Days, 2005). I realize the lyrics make me sound like an old crank, which I admit I am. But you should know I wrote the song when I was a much younger crank. It's probably more charming coming from the latter, but I love what Katie did with it and so I hope you can appreciate it at least for the sake of the video, if not for my bad-mannered commencement message. :) The song made me laugh when I wrote it, and still does. I like to imagine someone delivering that Commencement Address. I think Katie captured it beautifully. Thanks, Katie.
There're some thank yous below I want to leave up here, re: Falimy (my most recent album). Each time I put out an album, my stomach goes increasingly to hell and more pieces of me fall off. It's a joy to write but putting something out there is awful, really awful. You just want to die. So, I'm keeping the "thanks"es up for awhile. I hope you read them and think nice thoughts about these good people. I certainly do.
p.s....'Falimy' and individual songs and, well, all my stuff! is available for purchase exclusively on Bandcamp. I ditched all other online outlets, including iTunes and Amazon. Stupid, you may say, but it made me feel better for some reason. Somehow, I know not how, I'm still up in some fashion on Pandora and (I'm told) Spotify. Dammit.
A big thank you to Kevin Renick of Zachary Mule for his very kind review of Falimy. Any review that begins "a genuine weirdo" is worth a read, and this one's such a pleasure to read I would recommend it even if it wasn't about me me me me me.
An equally big thanks to Richard Lindsay of Kill Ugly Radio/Radio Lost and Found (KBOO) for including me and 'Falimy' in the august company of his KBOO Top 10 Albums of 2014 list. I'm always delighted to be played by Rich because his tastes are vast and interesting and unpredictable, and he's a master of programming. I feel a little sheepishly like the least cool person in this particular room, but I'll take it!
Zaph Mann of Radio 23's In Memory of John Peel--a unique, strange and wonderful show/host for which I'm a fangrrl and just giddy when my music gets played--included a few of my 'Falimy' songs among the nominees for his fantastic Festive Fifty One, which just made me happy as can be. I didn't come even remotely close to winning (or placing), but felt like, without having to actually be around people, which is ideal, I was a part of something bigger and less redheaded than me.
I had a lovely Skype chat w/ Finland's Ripple Rock Radio. I may have complained about Portland (what a shocker). Also, That Mag ran an interview I did with them months ago, with Erinn Fortson. I was of course asked about our music scene and--being a hermit--acquitted myself pretty lamely, overall. Though I recall I got all excited about the fabulous Gwynneth Haynes and her band, Sophe Lux and the Mystic and how much I'm looking forward to her new album.
Popdose reviewed the album most kindly and they have my gratitude. I played Estate Sale on guitar (!) for their video series, Parlour to Parlour w/ Michael Fortes in 2009 (Michael played gourd). My first two albums were guitar based. Shocking!
A really big thank you to The Big Takeover, Wondering Sound, babysue.com, East Bay Express, Ghettoblaster, Innocent Words, Pittsburgh in Tune and Jersey Beat for saying such nice things about my "Falimy." Big thanks to Dave Cantrell, too, who wrote a lovely and enjoyable-to-read review of the album for Caught in the Carousel, which seems to have disappeared in 2014. A sad loss!
Big thanks too to those who've been very generous of ink for my work, steadily over the years, and much appreciated--Willamette Week, The Portland Mercury, Casey Jarman, Robert Ham, Jeff Rosenberg, A.L. Adams, Ryan White, and The Portland Tribune's Rob Cullivan (whose plug for the Falimy album release show at Miss. Studios made me laugh so hard--something about "go see her before she goes back inside") and of course to stalwarts KBOO/The Outside World's Daniel Flessas, Ola of Ola's Kool Kitchen, X-Ray-FM, Jeremy Petersen, OPB, David Christensen, Robert Richter/KMUZ and the oft-mentioned here John B. Jones, host of Hello Cruel World for playing my things and getting the word out, and for their friendship to my music in general. The aforementioned Zaph Mann and Richard Lindsay and Michael Fortes are owed equal heaps of thanks for their longstanding encouragement and help.
I owe an especially big debt of gratitude to Tom D'Antoni of Oregon Music News and KMHD for his continued and steady friendship over the years.
A great big special thanks to S.P. Clarke for the first review of Falimy on The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly/Buko Magazine. S.P. gave me my very first album review ever, ten years or so ago, and has kept it up w/ each subsequent album, much to my delight.
Without all this support, I don't know where I'd be. Intermixed are countless friends and strangers who have helped me immeasurably and probably never even knew it, just through buying my music, coming to shows, chiming in on my FB page or sending an email of encouragement. Thank you!
p.s...i know i forgot someone--please forgive me and trust me--i will remember!
p.s.... My sister Katie made this beautiful video for my song "Sitka/Seward's Folly" (from 'Ormolu').
Cover Kitty: Olive Martini Paladeni! Follow her to the music! Photo by artist (and friend)
Tammy Paladeni, Olive's loving family.
p.s....some radio shows and podcasts i like:
Hello Cruel World on XRAY-FM with John B. Jones
The Outside World on KBOO with Daniel Flessas
Radio Lost and Found on KBOO with Rich Lindsay
Kill Ugly Radio with Rich Lindsay
In Memory of John Peel on Radio23 with Zaph Mann
Ola's Kool Kitchen on Radio23 with DJ Ola
I Like It Like That on KMHD with Tom D'Antoni
p.s...My friend Zakk made me a fan page on the FB: the
"Rachel Taylor Brown Fan Page for Musical Enlightenment." Please believe me that I didn't name it that.
p.s...That two of my songs were included in the Loud Family/Game Theory legend Scott Miller's book, "Music: What Happened?" is probably one of the things that makes me the most proud ever. Scott Miller died Monday, April 15, 2013. I will always be grateful to him, and to Sue Trowbridge for sharing my music with him.
p.s...if you need anything and it's not here please contact Howard Wuelfing, Howlin Wuelf Media. Thank you, Howard. Thank you, Wendy.
contact rachel . skyhand website design, seattle