what chickfactor did last summer…

photo by vintage roadside

MAY… As previously mentioned, in late may I went out to portland, oregon, for a couple weeks to find a job. I found out (merci to slim and ryan and carrie) that buyolympia.com might be seeking someone so I wrote em a letter. went back to durham, NC, but not before checking out the grilled cheese grill, lovely hulahands, food fight, burgerville, pho van, white eagle, fresh pot, por que no, laurelhurst theater, screen door, camera obscura, forest park and pretty much every dog walking space there is with my dog crazed pals in lovely pdx.

JUNE… back in NC I re-connected with kurt-wally lilys after a decade+ at the farmer dave / jenny lewis show at the cradle. I don’t quite get the jenny lewis appeal. there are a few nice songs but I don’t see why that should translate to a packed house of 19-year-old girls. had a chat with the buyolympia guys on the phone — will be going back to portland to have a meeting in late june. met up with them on june 30 — a 2 hour job interview is a good sign!

JULY… Stayed with my old pal Jeanne around the Alberta area this time. Super hot in Portland but none of that NYC smell or East Coast toxic humidity. I get a job offer — yes, I do feel lucky! — and find an apartment very fast in NE. See the John Dillinger movie and then fly to NYC on July 4, which goes remarkably smooth. arrive in NY and go straight to Paul Lukas’s bbq, where I see Claudia, Brenden, Robert Vickers and Tim from Ajax! We pick up John Woo and go to Molly’s and watch fireworks on the rooftop, the fireworks were far away but it was one of the most beautiful NY twilights in memory.

Next day I saw Coraline the Stephin Merritt penned musical at the Lucille Lortel Theater on Christopher Street and love the music and toy piano display onstage. The next night we had an evening in honor of my dear late friend Spencer Gates, one year after she lost her battle with breast cancer. Did some things related to the Stephin Merritt documentary, ate at Angelica and S’Nice numerous times natch, saw the Avedon fashion photography show at the ICP, ate delish vegan ice cream with Dudley, and did way too much eating and talking like I always do in NYC. That documentary is taking shape! I hope it isn’t long now before people can see it.

Back in NC in time for Merge XX Fest, a veritable college reunion of indie rock. I was in the middle of packing boxes to move to Portland, so I did miss some things thanks to sheer exhaustion, but I did witness The Magnetic Fields (who were attacked by a giant palmetto bug onstage), The Clientele (who played some stunning stuff from their forthcoming LP), Versus (with Edward “The Pacific Ocean” Baluyut back on drums) and Margaret White guesting, M Ward (who was a little too rockin’ and cover-heavy — not the right covers — pour moi), Destroyer (big hair!), She & Him (nice wardrobe, lovely venue), Mark Eitzel (now a bear!), and some others… It was just superfun to see the whole gang there to chat with — Dawn and Josh, Kurt Wagner, FM Cornog, Mac and Andrea (who introduced me to Tabitha Soren), Laura, Martin, Phil Morrison, just like old times and just as sweaty and bug-filled as any summertime NC Merge fest… and there was nothing but good eats every night that week too — from the Lantern, Med Deli, Carrburritos — if only I appreciated the Triangle as much as it deserves…I will miss it, esp. those munchkins.

Arrived in Portland on July 28, when it happened to be a record-blasting 107 degrees F. WTF. It’s a crazy emotional week (Olive, RIP), my pal Carrie is about to move to NYC(!), there are multiple trips to ikea, fred meyer, and every vintage furniture store on Hawthorne. Also got to attend a screening of Some Days Are Better Than Others, a new and very Portlandy film starring Carrie Brownstein and James Mercer and a few other familiar faces — that was really fun.

AUGUST… And so here I am, in Portland, getting ready to open a buyolympia.com retail store and art gallery (see our first press here) and basically just beginning to get to know Portland! So far I am getting to know my new coworkers pat and aaron and bennet; I had dinner with rose and jen (a.k.a. the softies) — rose is about to tour and release a new quiet one on k records; I went to see joe pernice do some songs and read from novel at doug fir, where, with any luck, I will be hosting some chickfactor festivals in the next year or two. I also finally met fellow zine nerd tim hinely from dagger, who has just published a new print issue. pack up your guitars and head this way!