The archive of the old hardlikealgebra.com

Category: 30 Days in April

An update of sorts

Thirty days is still happening!

It is happening as a tinyletter, and as a rock poet, and in other places as well. [1]

It is not as hard core as it once was.

Neither am I.

  1. Some of those places are just in your heart. ?

Kathy, I’m lost, I said

I feel like a good rule, when I don’t know what to do because I am feeling all of the feelings, is to write it out. At the very least, I will have another blog post at the end of it, right? *

I just saw a really great looking article about places to eat in PDX on twitter. I mean, it’s got a bit of “I was there first, so I am better” b.s. feel to it, but it also has my favorite ever music venue and my favorite ever donut shop so it’s not all bad.

And of course am stupid and when I saw them mention a coffee shopI didn’t know about–lilkely because it is new–I googled for it, grabbed the street view, and felt my guts hit my throat because of this:


click here to embiggen

This is a pretty innocuous photo, really. Right? Just a sunny day, and…a huge line for a donut shop. Okay.

But I cannot tell you how many times I have been on that street, in that place.

It was part of my life before full-time work when I would camp out all day at Stumptown and pay $1 on the counter and skip the line since I was there for drip coffee and sometimes get props from the cute midwestern barista that recognized my slapstick t-shirts.

After I got the full-time job it was a place I would go during my lunch breaks for donuts for my team or to get an americano for me (and maybe a coworker) in order to help fuel the dark afternoons of playing catch up.

Half a block away I’d wait for the 12 to take me to 57th and Sandy or, later, the 12/19/20 to get me back to 18th and E Burnside.

We had boys and beers at Berbatis, which used to have a music venue entrance where VooDoo is now. And when I left the full-time job behind, I became very acquainted with Johnny Walker Black because of some the best coworkers a man could ask for.

I think maybe this place–not the corner, but the city–might be where I became a man, if that’s what I am now, at thirty-five.

It is certainly where I became my own man.

I miss it in my gut the way I used to pine for it–before I moved there–and feel in my bones that I belonged there.

I so did. And I still do.

I’ve been doing the April 30 days stuff! But the results are not all here–they are scattered on PDX Rock Poet and some other places. Hooray though!

*I used to never ever ever call this site a blog. It was my “music site.” But this post? No music, and maybe a blog post.

Everything, in no particular order

I’m an avid Spotify listener. I have told people, multiple times, that if needed to cut back on my subscriptions, Spotify would be the last to go (sorry, Erin). It really has changed the way that I listen to music.

In the past, if I wanted to explore something random—say, for instance, a jazzy track that I heard on the NBA 2k13 soundtrack—I could do a few things:

  • Google it, and try to find a copy that I could buy
  • Google it for .mp3’s I might be able to download (a bit sketchy)
  • Use a torrent search to try and download it (pretty sketchy)
  • Add it to the mental list of albums to try and buy someday in a record store (legit, except, hello, memory)
  • Get it on eMusic, a service which was great until they began systematically limiting downloads more and more.

And so I ended up either getting things in a sketchy way or, basically, forgetting about it.

Now, I can just find it on Spotify. This was possible with Rhapsody, but Spotify’s professed love for amping up their servers so that it seems like the files are all local really works.

Over the course of this site’s existence, I wrote a draft of a post that talked about bands giving music away (a la Radiohead and the The Depreciation Guild ), and I think that a looong time ago I wrote about how my musical taste was, like many of us, shifting to the single, because of my Kubrickian iPod.

Well, Spotify changed the game again for me, and maybe this is another snapshot of that. I have enough gadgets—and Android is popular enough now—that I can pretty much listen not to just to my music, but all of the music I can think of all the time (as long as I have a connection)(pro-tip: as long as you plan ahead, you can also download songs from Spotify. No connection needed!).

Oddly, this is leading to me moving more towards built in Spotify apps (to help me discover bands) or—get this—album listens.

I still don’t know the answer to my Guided By Voices question. Maybe the act of flipping the record, instead of searching in a text box, really does get me to be able to get into GBV more.

Or maybe I would never have bothered if I hadn’t decided to pay $10/month for all of the things.

30 Days in April: Day 30

For the thirtieth day of my project, I was tossing around a few ideas, but nothing really felt right until Erin sarted suggesting a list of 30…somethings.  She was suggesting funny things, kind of as a joke, but I liked this idea.  A lot of the work that’s important to me influences the work that I am doing, and I like spreading the word about folks because some stuff is just freaking cool.  For me, it’s never about being a snob or knowing more than other people, it’s about sharing the art that really gets to me.  The dude who runs Hype Machine describes himself with ths bio: “I wake up in the morning to get people excited about music.” Would that we could all be so lucky. Anyway, I give you (with links when I have time to add them):

in no particular order 

01. Jenny Holzer
02. On Kawara
03. Steve Almond
04. Chuck Klosterman
05. Amanda Petrusich
06. Donald Judd
07. Carl Andre
08. Dan Flavin
09. Bruce Nauman
10. David Horowitz
11. Miranda July (esp. her stories, and this)
12. Mierle Laderman Ukeles, (specifically, Handshake Ritual)
13. John Cage (esp. Lecture on Nothing)
14. Phillip Glass
15. Laurie Anderson
16. Christo and Jeanne-Claude
17. Kerry James Marshall (esp. this painting)
18. Matthew Barney
19. Andrea Zittel
20. Superamas
21. Walter De Maria
22. The Neo-Futurists
23. The San Francisco Mime Troupe
24. David Horvitz
25. Jeff Tweedy
26. Dick Higgins
27. Vito Acconci
28. Robert Rauschenberg
29. Barbara Kruger
30. Mike Daisey

There are more! There have to be more. If you know me well, you probably know people that I would have wanted to include better than I do! These are the ones that came to mind with the assistance of just a few books and references. There’s so much more out there, and I didn’t include Eddie, Ben, Nicole, or any of the other artists that I actualy know in real life, in my life. Feel free to leave comments with great artists that I left out.

Thanks for coming along this journey with me. I plan that there will be more to come around here.

30 Days in April: Day 29

Photos I took for the project today.

30 Days in April:Day 28

Yesterday, PICA put out their schedule for next year, and the thought of another TBA Festival has been bouncing around my head since then.

The first impression I had was that I didn’t see any names that I recognized.  I was hoping that they’d bring back Mike Daisey, of course (I did call him the darling of the festival last year, and he mentioned trying to do a 24 hour performance–something that I’d love to see), but also, it’s pretty unusual that they don’t have any repeats.*  When you add the popularity of Superamas and the Reggie Watts fest of last year, I’d have expected at least one of those three artists to be back.  Who knows how busy any of those artists are, but I’ recalling the back-to-back years that Nature Theatre spent here as an example. 

There have only been a few performers (most notably, Laurie Anderson) that I have known before hearing about them in conjunction with this festival, and this year continues that pattern. A quick scan of the lineup and I’m already excited about seeing Erik Friedlander (I’m hoping he’ll collaborate with the Portland Cello Project at the Works), the Back to Back Theatre piece sounds intriguing, and another piece has…vampires? Pan Pan Theatre’s production, looking at living life publicly online, hits home for obvious reasons as well. 

At any rate, after stepping up my volunteering for two years, and then becoming a blogger last year, I’m really thinking about taking the week off and getting a (non press) pass this year.  I want to be able to attend the late night stuff as well as the regular shows, and really, I have told multiple people that if I ever move away from Portland, the TBA would keep me visiting annually.  I’d still like to blog, but it also looks like it might be time to take the plunge and grab an audience pass.

*Granted, I’m basing this one what I’ve seen and remember.  No fact-checking here! There are TBA alums, but none that rang a bell for me.

30 Days in April: Day 27


–Make something in Garageband
–Make it quickly
–Get to bed on time

Success: achieved!


30 Days in April: Day 26

A while back, one of my friends (can’t remember who) told me that they felt I took really great cell phone photos.  Now, one could take that as more of a “wow, this fast food hamburger tastes great!” kind of compliment, but I decided not to do that. 

I’ve been pretty enamored of how the photos have been turning out with my Palm Centro, especially the arrows one from a few days ago.  Mind you, I don’t do any digital retouching at all. 

I have always been fascinated with making do with the at supplies you have at hand.  When I take  cell phone photo and use it as my artwork for the day, I really did take the photo thinking, “this might be my art for the day.”  But digital photos are also so immediate that it always feels like cheating to me.  Especially camera phones.  I don’t know why.  I wouldn’t say that Girl Talk cheats by making collages of songs, or that Photoshop artists aren’t making art.  

At any rate, it’s sleeping time.  Big day at work tomorrow.

30 Days in April: Day 25

free dandelions

Read the rest of this entry »

30 Days in April: Day 24

Today’s art brought to you by the letter tired and the number queasy.

I like cameraphone shots also.