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Lewi Longmire: My name is Lewi Longmire. I’ve been in Portland for 22 years this October, and I’m from Albuquerque, New Mexico. Actually, raised in rural New Mexico but I was in Albuquerque before I came here.


Adam King: Before you came to Portland, did you have a concept of what the music scene was like here?


LL: Yes. Definitely. It was the music scene that actually lured myself and my band to move to Portland. We had a little, sort of like amplified acoustic, hippie, jammy – we thought of ourselves as sort of punk by attitude, but we were pretty granola-y maybe in some ways. We had a little hippie band that had been touring all over the Western states in the early 1990’s. Probably started touring maybe ’94 or so whatever – continued until we moved here in late ’97. So we would do tours through Portland, and the musicians that we met, and the support of the audiences, and just the general fertile culture really showed us how good it was to be a performing and working musician up here. But also the entire culture was more fertile in that way for the things we were looking for. It was progressive. It was green. It was socially conscious. They recycled. I remember there was some stat – I don’t remember what it was – but there was something like 86% of the people had library cards and used them, and New Mexico was like 35%. You know what I mean? It just sort of said something about the whole. And then there were all the trees. It was green in that regard as well. Lush, compared to being in New Mexico. And I’m a very pale, pale man. So yeah, we got to play a lot of shows up here and it seemed to be the most supportive place and most welcoming place to play music and to commune. The other musicians that we met here were all incredibly friendly. It didn’t seem super competitive. 


We used to play shows with this band, Calobo, that had a couple of members that went on and now are in The Decemberists. And they were just like… we met at festivals. We played together at High Sierra and stuff like that. And they invited us to open shows for them and we formed sort of a comradery. They were always so welcoming. It’d be like inviting us to open up for them playing a sold-out show at The Roseland. And in those days you were probably – you’d get like three or four hundred dollars if you were doing the bar all night gig. Like nine to midnight, nine to one. Play a bunch of sets and there’s no cover or whatever, and you’re just the party band or whatever. And you could do those on the road for around three or four hundred bucks. And then multi-band bills where you’d get one-fifty or something like that. Or there’d be like it’s you opening up for Derek Trucks, but you’re getting fifty dollars or something crazy like that. And we’d come up here and they’d be like, “We’re gonna play the Roseland.” They’re gonna sell it out no matter who they have opening and they’d give us like a ton of money, and let us play an hour/seventy-five minutes or whatever. You know, like do a real thing. And just so welcoming and just glad to have a community and stuff like that. Where we were in New Mexico it was probably – it seemed competitive. At the time I felt like there were just these tiny enclaves of like, “Oh, we got like – there’s like fifty freaks or longhairs and dreads. But the guys who are playing rock music that sounds like Soundgarden, they’re different from us and they’re over here, and we’re not part of them.” And it seemed really competitive and not very cohesive, and the whole culture of Portland just seemed very, at least the musical culture, just very open and welcoming.


AK: Do you feel like a band in that position now would get that same impression from Portland coming here?


LL: I… Gosh, I think. I don’t really know. I would like to think that within the community that I move, yes. That that is a thing. I’m dating a lady right now who just moved to Portland, and I introduced her to some people, but her own natural sort of outgoing nature has connected her to a lot of people that she’s been playing shows with right away after landing here. And those are people that I didn’t know beforehand. And so I think within certain things, I feel if a really talented songwriter moves to town or something like that, you’re gonna introduce them to everyone you know. Especially if he’s a nice guy or girl. You know, if they’re a nice person, then I like to think that does exist. Certainly within the community that I get to work. I like to think that I would like to foster that in the ways that I can. 


AK: In a broad sense, do you think that sort of vibe that brought you here is still as strong or is still as defining of Portland?


LL: Well I don’t know. The only thing that I know… I’d hate to define something as being Portland because A) I’m not living anywhere else so I have no perspective in that regard, and B) I only have my own perspective here within Portland to have any… I only know when I’m living really and what the people around me are living. And my group, my community, in many senses is probably not very diverse. I think only because we play a music that emulates white rock and roll, stuff like that from the late 60’s, early 70’s. It’s predetermined that a certain sort of cultural group is going to immediately identify with that more than others, maybe. Maybe that’s a limiting perspective. But I have a certain privilege of having had some of the good experiences and growth that I’ve had and now being involved in my own venue. I think that sort of inclusiveness and welcoming-thing is certainly what I want to see in anything I’m around. It personifies Portland to me in the sense that I’m in Portland now and that’s what I’m trying to push forward as a thing. I would have to assume… I mean, I’ve never really stopped to think about it. I’m so busy living my own life that I can’t imagine what it’s like… 


Actually, the crossovers that I do know like I played guitar for a while with Jenny Don’t and the Spurs, which is like a pretty traditional sounding outlaw country band. Jenny’s a great singer and she writes killer tunes. But they were made up of members who had moved over to play country music from the punk scene. The drummer, Sam Henry, from The Wipers and Napalm Beach. And the bass player, Kelly Haliburton had been in Problems, and had been the drummer in Pierced Arrows with Fred and Toody Cole from Dead Moon, and Jenny had had more of a muscular rock and roll band that was just called Don’t. And they had formed a country band, and they were really good. And I played guitar with them for a while, and they introduced me to… I got to see aspects of the punk scene and their rocker scene that had the same sort of thing. In some ways, maybe even truer than some of the stuff I know within my own scene, but I’m almost fifty. In the sense, that they were never without a place to stay as a band. There’s community out there on the tours and stuff I did that had become their community through being rockers and now was over on the country music side. So I think, I would like to hope that every pocket has their own level of that. To me it depends on what you’re going for. Like are you going for an experience? And are you going for a lifetime? Why are you involved in the music business, or shamanistic ritualism or whatever your relationship with music is. What are you into it for? And that’s not even a judgement of a conscious thing, like on what level, why did you become a performer? “It’s because I want people to look at me!” Or why do you sing songs? “It’s because I have these things I have to shout from within me!” Or when you’re young there’s the whole thing of like “I’m hoping a member of my preferred gender would look at me just right!” You know what I mean. And how do you evolve through that? Or “I want to make a buck!” “I want to make it big! Why not make it big?” “I want to be famous!” So it depends on, I think certain aspects of those are… that would decide how maybe opening and welcoming you are. And that’s not even like a judgement thing, but I mean like what motivations… Maybe some people are less welcoming because they’re scared. ‘Cuz the act of being an artist, or the act of being a performer is in itself, it’s vulnerable. Or can be. And people navigate it in different ways. 


AK: Do you think you could objectively outside of your own pocket and these other pockets, classify something that you would say is the Portland sound, or the Portland vibe?


LL: I don’t know. I don’t know if there is a Portland sound or a Portland vibe. I think the whole thing generally is that there… like I say, I would like to think that it’s this more community minded thing. Certainly in earlier years, that was what I felt like the whole town was. It was easier for people to do. If there’s lots of place to play, and everyone’s making music… back when there was less legitimate music business going on here, everybody that was doing it because they were doing it because they had to. It was in them, and that’s what they needed to do to express themselves. There was no other reason to be in it. It wasn’t on people’s minds that they were gonna get big at a certain point, I don’t think. But it was just like the people that were making music here were making music because they needed to. It wasn’t like you were gonna brand a certain kind of music and make money off of licensing. I’m sure there are bands that pretty much mostly exist as an excuse to have a licensing thing, and the actual performance or day-to-day thing of a band is not what I would think of. 


AK: Can you tell a difference between Portland crowds and different crowds?


LL: I don’t tour that much, so I can’t really speak to that either. My experiences outside of Portland have been with people who are already pretty established, or situations that are already established, like festivals, to be just incredible. So I will say that certainly on a very base level of the concept of financial support, it seems that the Portland audiences tip heavy. The Portland audiences, more than any place I’ve ever played, and I haven’t done much of late, but the concept of you giving them something for free is something people immediately respond by being like, “I want to support this. I will give money towards this.” And whatever that money represents. It represents a certain support. It’s a tangible, sort of energetic support for someone else. It’s a compliment but it will help you in its own way. Like now you can get a burger – yay! Simple, you know. And to me that’s something that… I put out a tip jar almost anywhere, anytime judging on the respect of what I feel will be respectful of the room obviously. I’m not gonna go put a tip jar out at a wedding unless they tell me that I should, or something like that. But I think that’s a time and memorial relationship between performer and audience that goes back to the streets… of Cairo… or whatever… centuries. So what was the question?


AK: Imagine you were blindly spun around the world, and put into a room that you didn’t know where it was, and let’s also presume that there’s going to be nobody there that you know, do you think you would be able to feel that you were in Portland walking out onto a stage?


LL: [laughing] I don’t know! God. Geez. I can’t tell. I’ve walked out onto stage in Portland and felt terrible before. That exists as much as anything else. There’s situations I’ve gotten myself into that I simply shouldn’t have ever been there, for whatever reason. I was telling someone about this just recently. Somehow I ended up on some gig where we were playing at a trade show of some kind. It was for really cool, amazing stuff but it was in this crazy warehouse, and it was just so loud that no one could even hear the band. Like I could hardly hear the other guitar amp from where I was standing, just because the room was chaos. Getting paid decently, and I’m just like “Why, why am I here?” How did this happen? Why do they have music here? Who decided this? All this is going through my head! So if I knew nobody in the room… I don’t know man. There’s greatness everywhere. There’s really greatness everywhere. I don’t know. I don’t think so man. I don’t think so. I think there’s greatness everywhere. I don’t want to get too stuck on I think what goes on here is amazing. Like I say, I’ve just never been anywhere else to say. I mean I’m sure there’s gotta be pockets of amazing everywhere you go, right? Is this true? We don’t want more people moving here though! We just don’t have room. I want to include everybody, but Lord the rent! No. I don’t know. I’m a terrible interview.


AK: Do you feel that surviving as just a Portland musician is… I guess there’s two questions: whether it’s become easier or harder for you personally, and if you think on a whole it’s easier or harder to just survive as a Portland musician now?


LL: I would say for me it has gotten easier. And I think that is a… I’m so thankful for whatever made that happen, because it’s not… I know so many people who are way more deserving of that situation than me. But that is also through very careful setup of how I’ve lived my entire existence up to this point, mixed with luck and fate, or whatever things. I have directed towards trying to live as a musician and try to find a way that’s really honorable about it – feels honorable to me. I’m sure I could always grow, and hopefully am growing in ways to become even more so. But to where I’m serving what it means as an experience. I’m not owed the concept that anybody would listen to me play music. Or have me play their music with them. I’m not owed any of that, you know what I mean? I love to do it, and I’ve tried to do it really well, and I try to get better at it, and I try to really honor it. I think through that I’ve been lucky enough to be rewarded energetically with the universe allowing me to keep doing it and keep growing. 


Part of that too is that I’m lucky in that aspect that that is the central pivot point of my life and what I’d rather be doing than anything else. I’d rather be playing music pretty much any day, any time, than doing much else. And I do that as much as I can, but I also don’t live extravagantly. I’m lucky in the sense that as a business thing, I can acquire a guitar or something like that, that I feel will aid my music. And it becomes part of the business thing that I do, and I’m lucky for that because that’s the only thing I have interest in anyway, really. But it also comes… I made a conscious decision in my own mind a long time ago that I was not gonna have any children. I took this kind of agreement with myself to live at a certain level of what is considered poverty probably. But feels totally opulent to me for the things that I need to be happy in this life. And so I’m lucky in that regard. But I don’t know what it would be like if I were trying to support an entire family doing this sort of thing or support my portion of a family. Things change. You know! So it’s gotten easier for me in that regard. Beyond that, I think it’s harder in general in Portland if only because the cost of living is so much higher. When I moved here, and granted this was a long damn time ago, you’d get a three-bedroom house for eight-hundred bucks near the Hawthorne District. You could just about spare change on Hawthorne in front of the Ben and Jerry’s and make your nut if you had a good enough act.


AK: Do you think in general there’s less people that are living strictly off their music in Portland than there used to be?


LL: I don’t know. And to be honest I don’t want to give too much of the wrong view of it, because I don’t know what the line is. I have through this whole time that I’ve lived as a musician, I’ve always had a day job. Through the entire time. It just happened to be booking the Laurelthirst for the longest time. And now as an owner of the Laurelthirst. But there’s always been a thing within my making a living as a musician where I did have one aspect of it that was paying into the system legitimately. And then I would do all my stuff to try and make sure they’re taking out enough so I’m not gonna get destroyed when there’s a pile of 10-99’s as an independent contractor at the end of the year. But I know some folks in some successful bands, and often times they work when they’re not on the road. So I don’t know if it is easier. For most people it’s probably harder now, just because of the cost of living. Just speaking frankly, someone who does like… I don’t know what the touring member of the larger Portland bands do when those bands are not on tour. I don’t even know, nowadays with the record sales the way they are, I don’t even know if those bands… You could be in The Jicks or something like that playing with Stephen Malkmus and I think when that band’s not playing, you got a job.


AK: I’m pretty sure Jake Morris delivers pizzas, the drummer for the Jicks.


LL: Yeah. Exactly, that sort of thing. So if that’snot working for you, then it’s not working for anyone. And I wasn’t high enough up on the chain when record sales was really a thing to have my own social circle of people really moving in that world to know what that was like. I do know that as an independent artist, self-releasing CDs in the ‘90’s, that that was always at least sustainable, which I thought was great. You could record a record… put some money in, record a record, release it on CD. That CD would usually sell enough to pay for having made and recorded that one, and either provide tour support as you’re out there on the road that you can use just as cash, or save it up to go against the next record that you’re doing. And then that one you’re not even paying back. Once you’re three records in, you would always sell enough to make it worth doing, for sure. Like now, it’s totally… I imagine unless you have some sort of licensing scheme, I can’t imagine you actually making up if you put any money into it at all. I suppose if you did a set-up just like we’re doing right now and you volunteered to do it for free, then sure you’d probably – I could buy you beers or something like that. But I don’t know what it was generally like for the Dandy Warhols when they fuckin’ really hit it. Like a heady time, but I didn’t know them back then.


AK: So further on on that, and also going back to gigs that you didn’t know how you got the first place, do you have in your mind a clear, distinct line where your artistic integrity and potential paycheck diverge?


LL: Yes. Of course. I would do anything for love, but I won’t do that – you know? That came up earlier today. I’m lucky enough and I’m also workman-like enough about it, I feel like that I play often enough during the week and thankfully have opportunity to do it in a way which means that I’m constantly playing already and enjoying that playing enough to where that I pretty much don’t… I rarely will accept a gig just for money. I just don’t need it. I’d rather do the little fifty dollars here, thirty dollars there. As a person who doesn’t drink, that’s certainly like my experience with going to the bar and playing gigs is that I never spend any money really, unless it’s on food. The fact that I don’t drink, most places if they can will allow me to have food instead of drink, because if that’s part of my compensation for doing the thing and I don’t partake of that thing. If they can, they will. 


I don’t do weddings or whatever unless it was like for a personal friend who I really knew that their whole scene was gonna be fun, and we were gonna be the right thing. And that’s less out any… it’s not like I feel like I’m an artist or anything like that, it’s just I’m not comfortable in those situations. I don’t like putting myself into a position where so many someones have a vested interest in what I may or may not be doing right. You know? How I’m dressed, or what time we got there, or where we sat when we ate. With family stuff like that, and things that go on at weddings, to me that’s like totally… you can’t pay me enough to go through an afternoon of that. You just can’t. And I don’t think it serves anyone anyway, because then if that’s how I feel, what kind of energy am I bringing to this thing? You don’t want me around. Why pay me to grump around. If it’s personal, that’s a totally different thing. But that’s the whole thing with like… I forget the exact things – I used to have this… I sort of feel like… I forget the exact way I used to word this because it hasn’t come up in a while, but I always felt like that there was a certain list and there’s a number of things for any gig, personally me, that I’m gonna do, or gig or project or whatever. That I absolutely – one of them would be that I absolutely love the music itself. That it’s just like “Oh my god, this is fantastic, and I think I really want to be a part of it, and I think that I can add something to it, and I think it really resonates with me.” That’s one. Another would be it’s gonna push me. I’m gonna have to work to do this thing. Like I definitely will come out of this a better musician by doing the work that I’m gonna have to do to do some gig. Learn a catalog. Learn some riffs. Whatever. Check out some new style to try and figure out what’s going on. One would be that you absolutely love the people that you’re doing it with. If I have a really good friend who maybe is not the best musician in the world and he wants me to go play with him, I’ll go play with him. ‘Cuz that’s just what you do, and it’s what makes the life worth living! And then down on that list is they are paying you a shit-ton of money. At some point they’d be paying you a ton of money to do the thing. And so for me I always feel like most gigs… like you can only have a couple of those things lacking before it drops below the line. But there’s always that sort of scale of there’s definitely… And the gig that I wondered why I found myself there? It was playing music I really liked with a bunch of really good buddies and they paid us a bunch of money. It wasn’t a good experience because they just couldn’t hear us – that was the thing. And I should have known I should book smarter, like realize what sort of thing you’re getting into. It’s nobody’s faulty but mine. I really try not to mope it up if I do find myself somewhere because you gotta make the most of wherever you are. 


AK: Let’s talk for a little bit about the city itself – the government forces of Portland. Have you seen a notable change since you first moved here of how the government interacts or tries to regulate the Portland music scene?


LL: I would only say that I would judge the difference in the way that we as the music scene interact with the government by the sense that I never thought about it that much until recently. It didn’t come up for me and I was… I’m sure things have been changing and going on for quite some time. I was not paying very much attention because it wasn’t affecting me at that moment, and I probably wasn’t as civically involved in earlier years as I could have been. And I certainly wasn’t as civically involved as I am now. 


AK: Do you think that’s because there were people in power who were looking out more for the music scene so it sort of left musicians to not worry about it so much?


LL: Yeah it was either that the administration for some time, and I don’t know if they’re out to get the music scene and culture per se. I don’t know if it’s quite as… I think it’s just market forces have driven land values to such a point that the people who are trying to make money off of that sort of thing are a difficult force to be reckoned with. And they just weren’t here back then in that way. Portland wasn’t popular enough for many places to have problems. Land wasn’t worth enough to tear down perfectly fine homes to build something else. It wasn’t fiscally sound. Whereas now it’s totally fiscally sound! If you’ve got the money to do it, you do it and you’ll make probably more money! Who knows?!? I don’t actually even know what the vacancy rate is in Portland of some of these units. I don’t understand how money works at all. How come there’s so many mofos out there that can afford this stuff? Where’s all this coming from? I don’t get it. But for whatever it’s worth, now I feel like everything is so dear and worth so much, that everyone is paying more attention to everything, on a government level I mean. Like what can we do to get more people? They also have real concerns. Not every time that government makes a regulation is there something nefarious behind it or something like that. It’s always gonna be difficult – any kind of changes like that. But I do know that now that a lack of civic involvement is not an option. The other thing too is as I get older, there comes a time when it’s like you have to start stepping up to be your own hero. ‘Cuz I’ve been around Portland for twenty years, like why not me? Why shouldn’t I go down to city council and try and you know… Or try and make my voice be heard in some way if I think someone will listen. So maybe twenty years ago, it wasn’t for me to do. I wasn’t vested enough in the thing to do it and maybe I was lucky. I do know that some of the people who now I know like Jim Brunberg and some of these people, they’ve been civically involved for decades. Some of these people have been watching what’s going on. I think there’s always been someone down there over the years who’s had a little contact. Just enough to put a bug in the ear of some of the politicians and stuff like that.


AK: Well do you feel like even beyond saying “Why not me,” kind of from what Portland has given you that you have a responsibility to stand up for it now?


LL: Definitely. In that regard, no one’s gonna do it for me. And I’m still not nearly as involved as I maybe feel that I should be or could be. I hadn’t imagined being, for whatever it’s worth – whatever it means, I hadn’t imagined ever being legitimate or important enough in a trip to feel like I could really make a difference by going down, or speaking on the news, or whatever, as like some sort of a face of something, some kind of culture or some kind of community. I had never imagined that I would be a pub owner, a venue owner, years ago. That was not my intention. But if that is a thing that I’m gonna do that will help my kind of world exist into the future about musicians playing in this kind of way where, “This guy’s been playing here every week for twenty years! People come, it’s great!” If I want that to exist, then it was presented to me by the universe to like… if you want it to exist, you need to be able to step up, or it’s not gonna exist. So I’m like, “Okay, well this is what it is.” And then obviously if you have that, then it’s a stewardship of a certain kind of thing. I’m balancing a lot of plates in the sky at the same time. I’m trying to have a life. Just a general day-to-day life. Trying to continue to write my own songs and perform them with my own band. I have several other musical projects where I feel like I’m integral. Where I’m like a member of this band. And I’m still booking and running music over at the Laurelthirst Pub, and all the stuff that that entails. Like the website, the social media, all that. One man show. So it doesn’t leave a lot of time to be like, “Rally! We’re gonna rally!” But I do as I can. It’s also the specific things of how we ended up with the ownership of The Laurelthirst Pub was like we ended up with our building by crowd funding. So it’s not only for us – all those people, that showed how many people were interested in a place like this to stay going. It’s almost like I’m the electoral college guy for those people. I’m the delegate for those constituents of the scene or whatever. Probably not a very good one. I do what I can.


LL: So are you optimistic or pessimistic about where the music scene is going in general here? Or do you try not to think about it?


AK: I try not to think about it. I try to just concentrate on my little microcosm. Like I say, I try to be as involved as I can in the general community, but pretty busy most of the time – I did 250+ gigs last year. Most of which in Portland. I consider myself a realist in the way I see myself. I might be a pessimist. I’m not a hundred percent certain about that. But I’m not overly confident about the continuation of our society and humanity as it is right now and I’m okay with that. That it fits in also with my, like I had mentioned earlier, that I had sort of decided that I didn’t want to have children. There’s enough people. There’s just plainly enough people. It’s totally cool. No problem there at all. And so I just generally, I’m just thankful for everything we got going while we have it ‘cuz that’s just all there is, that’s just all there is. I’m dug in. I’ve got skin in the game, as they say, owning the pub and everything. But it’s also like if that kind of culture can’t exist then maybe I don’t need to be here anymore or whatever. I love it here but when I lived in New Mexico, I never would have imagined leaving. I was so proud to be a native New Mexican. I was all about it man. And then the culture around me changed and the viability of that band continuing to do what it was doing was passing by and we could sense it. And our sort of thing was like, let’s move or we’re gonna break up. And then we moved, and thenwe broke up. Which was fine. ‘Cuz several of us stayed up here and some folks went back to New Mexico and I’ve never looked back. It got me here. 


AK: So are you proud to be a Portland musician now?


LL: I am proud to be a Portland musician. I really am. I’m a freak. I’m immediately suspicious of the business.You know what I mean? So, I kind of wonder about the whole thing about the Portlandia deal and stuff like that. Like did that change the national perception of what Portland was? It certainly had to be. It had to have. ‘Cuz I remember not living in the Pacific Northwest during the heyday of grunge. And then what I thought Seattle was all about in ’93. So it must have changed then and anytime you suddenly have this big national persona it’s a bad trip. But that’s just me. I like the natural growth of things. I’m not into pushing too hard. I just want a nice little comfortable thing that if you’re lucky it’s grows, because nothing stays the same. So it’s either gotta grow or fade. But I’m proud to be a Portland musician. I think it’s really genuine up here. I still think it’s incredibly genuine. For me one of the greatest things is aging and actually feeling like I’ve gained some kind of wisdom or perspective just from having been around for a long time. Like I used to maybe not be as accepting. If there were music, like the music was not to my taste, then I would feel a certain way about maybe the culture, or the people that were making it, where I felt like they were different from myself or whatever. And then I think of like aesthetically, I’m not like a 90’s rock and roll kind of guy so I was never into the Dandy Warhols or anything like that. It meant nothing to me. Good on anyone having success but it didn’t mean anything to me. And now to have met all those cats, and someone like Zia uses her celebrity to get behind political causes that she’s really into, I think it’s totally righteous. I think it’s pretty cool. A long time ago, I wouldn’t have felt a kinship with them just because we’re both from Portland, and now I kinda do. This is all one big community. 


I really liked when I got to be part of a photo shoot for the first issue of Vortex magazine when that was happening. And they got all these people from all these different sections of the Portland music scene and got us together for a photo shoot, and we actually kind of jammed. And it was just really rad to just reach across those kinds of lines and have it be like, “Oh no man, we’re all in this together.” There was a DJ, a rapper, and then Natasha Kmeto – an electronic musician, and Zia was there, and it was just fantastic. I appreciated that concept of crossing genre lines or whatever. I’d like to think hopefully that in general Portland and in the world, that hopefully we’re growing towards a much more post-modern view of things. I do feel like as a town one of things, and this is maybe a thing that Portlandia made fun of, of which I thought didn’t need to be made fun of because it was actually kind of cool, is the fact that in Portland you could, and maybe this is in any of the hip places around the county. Because now any place with the internet… if you have the internet any place has a chance to be metropolitan in its’ own little tiny way. To have some sort of culture. A gluten-free muffin shop in a town of 2000 people or something. Whatever. I forgot where I was going with that. Oh well – gone forever.


AK: That’s fine. Okay lastly, speaking of gone forever, what were some of your favorite places to play in Portland that aren’t here anymore?


LL: La Luna. The big room in La Luna was really cool. It was just a totally bizarre space. It sounded great. No architect would ever design a space like that again. Something like that will never happen again. That was really cool. I don’t know if it was a favorite; I had a lot of great times at Berbati’s Pan. That was pretty crazy. Stuffs. I think I just love playing at the Laurelthirst more than just about anything in the whole world. Which is a pretty good thing really! That might just be because I know it and it’s become the living room, but a lot of the places that I've really loved to play here in Portland have stuck around. And it’s in different sorts of reasons for whatever. I like to play the Crystal Ballroom. It sounds terrible. It sounds terrible in there. I know, I know for sure. But it’s the Crystal Ballroom so you play. I never got to play EJ’s. I only played Satyricon once and I was thankful to do that. That was with Bingo and Fernando. That was cool. When I think about Satyricon, I wish we could have a little more diverse music at the Laurelthirst, but the volume thing makes that untenable. 

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