Enter 2012

Here it is, another New Year. I’ve had more of these than I care to count, so this business of “resolutions” is lost on me. I resolve not to make any more resolutions. Amen. There are many things within my life about which I am very resolute. Not one of those things have required the expiration of some arbitrary year (nor its magical imagined metamorphosis into another) in order to motivate me toward them. In the end, you either do it or you don’t.

This being my inaugural voyage piloting the good blog SP, I don’t have any intention, agenda, or anything enlightening to say. Those who know me will not be in the least surprised at that disclosure. But it’s never stopped me in the past. More or less (probably less) I just wanted to take this thing for a spin, RPO it (for those not acquainted with the ins and outs of the automotive repair industry: Run the Piss Out of it) and put it back in the driveway for a month or two. We’ll see about that.

Those familiar with my “work,” the more public aspects of it anyway, are familiar with my (euphemistically speaking) career in the realm of reporting upon the transpirations of the local music scene. I have been doing this for far too long. I’m starting to feel like Dick Clark on New Year’s Rockin’ Eve. “Wheel the old boy out and give him  his confetti.” Speaking for myself–and I am the only person I entrust to do such a thing–I would hazard that Dick probably still enjoys showing up for the event. That’s my MO, anyway and I’m sticking to it.

This is my attitude about putting a dog to sleep. If it’s not having fun anymore, then it’s time to consider…you know. Because what is a dog’s life if not (hopefully) fun? Most dogs lives aren’t fun I suspect, and that is, no doubt, the subject of another blog on another day. But, dogs were designed by the human race as sources of endless inter-species funitude. One thing dogs know how to do is to have a good time. At least that’s true for the dogs I know. Fun lovers, each and every.

So when Dick Clark stops having fun, it’ll be time to pull the New Year’s Rockin’ Eve plug. That’s my attitude too. When local music and musicians stop being fun for me, I’ll turn in my turntable. Until that day, here I shall remain. I’ll give up my pen when you rip it from my cold dead hands.

I already have repositories for my work in the area of local music. My current reviews and observations appear at www.buko.net under the heading: The Good The Bad and the Ugly. Also at the buko.net site is a link to the Two Louies archives. Eventually all of my album reviews and articles (way, way over a thousand reviews and a million words) through many hundred issues of Two Louies will be posted online. In addition, my History of Portland Rock is linked to both sites. The History is incomplete, to be sure. It’s my understanding that history is never complete. But all of the local music history that I have observed is linked here. So think of this site as your one-stop hub for all things SP. If that is not a enough of a caveat, the outcome is out of my hands. Warning served

God bless him, Mister Buko seems strangely reluctant to commit his every waking hour to the necessities of my websites and creative outpourings, thus I must be patient with the tortoise-like pace at which these various sites are assembled. Trying to maintain these things for myself is out of the question. My girlfriend refers to me as a Luddite. And, truly, in that respect she is being much too kind.

I am technologically impaired. This is not a new revelation. I was the source of endless frustration for my father, who could not understand my inability to differentiate between a car’s generator and radiator. It was always my contention that the device “radiated” electricity. However, this confusion has made my communication with mechanics (of whom there have been many, over the years, given the fact that I have worked for pikers for most of my life) very difficult– a situation greatly magnified by the fact that my longtime mechanic, Mister Ho Hoang of Ho’s Auto Repair at 33rd and Division, is Vietnamese, with English as a very distant second language. Our conversations sound like Marx Brothers’ bits. Fun stuff.

So, without the kindness of strangers, I would probably be still scribing my tomes on the backs of paper sacks and envelopes (in the driver’s seat of my inoperative vehicle), and the few of you who might stumble across these missives would be shut out from the benefit of my inciteful insight. Just ponder that for a minute or two!

Blame it on the enchiladas. I am more inclined to think it’s Michael Jarmer. For some reason, last night, I was inspired to consider this ongoing exercise in literary masturbation called a blog. Right now, I think I already have the best readership here that I’m likely to encounter: me. Strangely, I get almost all of my jokes and view myself as being pretty witty and erudite. All other estimations appear to topple from that lofty nest. I’ll make some effort toward readership. But, I must say: self-promotion is not among my attributes. I’ll see if I can get a few friends to like it for Facebook. That should do the trick.

What does one do with these here blog thangs, anyways? My first inclination in all things is to smoke it. And, as an existential conceptual exercise, I have to say I’m gettin’ a buzz. Beyond that? Meh. Tell you what. In commemoration for these days of resolution, I hereby resolve. I will try to promote a few of my creative pursuits. I mean, if not here, then where?

I don’t know.

Maybe it is and maybe it ain’t Maya Year Zero. We’ve got what? 353 days until we find out? Well, let the meltdown countdown begin. I just want to ask. Are there still any Mayas around to re-calibrate their long count calendar, if it’s just a case of the original authors running out of rock? That’d give us another 5,100 years, give or take, and we can be done with the whole matter for a while. I’m looking forward to putting this one to bed once and for all. But not until after Carlos & Toni’s End of the World party. Hey, if you’re going out, you might as well party like it’s 1999.

Now, if the world does indeed survive whatever the Maya have planned for December 21st, you might well ask: “Well, SP, what was it, exactly, you were planning on promoting?” That’s a good question for which I actually happen to have an answer. Unreal Gods. Unreal Gods? Unreal Gods. It’s a band. It’s a book. It’s a way of life. It’s biographical. It’s a novel. If I can shake out enough people here, I might post a few chapters. It’s, like, 625 pages long. So, Ive got a few extra pages for show purposes.

Unreal Gods is a novel based on the life of Billy Rancher and his band the Unreal Gods. If you’re not familiar with Billy’s story, and an alarming few hipsters in this vaingloriously cutting-edge artistic rats nest are familiar with it, then, here is the novel to tell you of his adventures.

I spent twenty five years sitting on Billy Rancher’s tale. I wanted to blur for myself reality and fiction. It actually took that long to forget it all, so that I could tell Billy’s story from a more distant, objective perspective. Plus, a lot of what is in the book is not true. A lot of it is. I don’t want to be responsible for the accuracy of either. I hate accuracy. That entails research.

My own research typically does not extend much farther than consulting my History of Portland Rock or other similar resources. And if you’re at all interested in the story of Billy and the Gods, the History provides details and a basic outline and chronology. It’s a great story. Timeless. Sad. Timeless and sad.

I’m sure I have lots of other stuff to promote. I’ll think about that. Right now, I need to remain focussed on the book, as it is very important that Billy’s story is told. As soon as I figure out how to do such a thing, I will link to Michael Jarmer’s site. Michael is a longtime Portland musician (Here Comes Everybody) who is also a writer and he is wrestling with many of the same dilemmas that I am, in regards to the pathetic publishing industry and the ridiculous hoops one must jump through to even hope to get a book published. Your assignment for today: write a haiku describing in vivid detail the plot of the Bible.

We’ll save that gnashing of teeth for another play date. For today, I wanted to put forth my manifesto. I lack, I think, a thesis. A punchline. A cause. So, it’s a manifesto without a cause. If that doesn’t sound like “not with a bang but a whimper,” I don’t know what does.


A pretty good book.

The hero dies in the end.

Oops. Spoiler alert.