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Nowhere Nights Blog

Portland, OR, February 25, 2010

Kasey Anderson  |  March 10, 2010

We had to fly from San Francisco to Portland, due simply to the fact that the drive is twelve hours and, maybe somebody is capable of staying up all night, driving, and then playing an in-store followed by a show, but that person ain't me. So, like I said, we had to fly.

The aforementioned in-store happened at Music Millennium, a record store I've been going to since I was 14 years old. I understand that iTunes has revolutionized the way people buy and listen to music, and that's fantastic but, to me, there's still something very romantic and exhilarating about the tactile aspects of purchasing, opening, and holding a record (or CD) in your hands. If independent record stores like Music Millennium can weather the economic storm (assuming that, at some point, it subsides), and find ways to adapt to the way business is done now, there will be a time when people "rediscover" vinyl - and maybe that time is already beginning. Drop the needle and pray, as Bruce Springsteen says.

As for the gig itself, would have gotten a workout tonight, man. I want to preface this by saying that, as performers, we do appreciate your coming out to the show. We do understand that you paid a cover and, in a sense, with that stamp on your wrist comes license to behave any way you see fit, within the boundaries of the law. That being said, there seems to be a common misconception that, as performers, we are on stage, isolated in some Popemobile-esque bubble of inspiration. This is not the case. We're concentrating - or trying to, anyway - and when you're shouting at the top of your lungs about your day, or where you're going dancing after the show, or whatever, it breaks our concentration. When you see performers admonish the audience for talking, this is why. Trust me when I tell you it's not an ego thing, and it's not about taking control. It's about respect and concentration, both of which can be adversely effected when the volume of your conversation starts to rise above the volume of a guy and his acoustic guitar. It's just a matter of being aware of your surroundings.

Rant aside, I love playing hometown shows. There's nothing quite as simultaneously reassuring and nerve-wracking as seeing familiar faces in a roomful of people. Thanks to everyone who came out to support me and Matthew, and thanks especially to Peter Ames Carlin and Ryan White of the Oregonian, who dedicated an enormous amount of print and blog space to my record and the show. That kind of advocacy and support is above and beyond the call of duty, so trust me when I say it does not go unappreciated.

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