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January 4th, 2006 MARK BAUMGARTEN | Riff City
 

Barfly On The Wall

Real Portlanders talking about real things at real clubs.

     
Tags:
Characters

Cartmanesque (unrelenting)

Woman (uninterested)

The Brit (unfazed)

Scene

The patio of the Doug Fir Lounge, Dec. 28, 2005, at 10:30 pm. A man in his late 20s, who speaks like an older and perhaps slightly drunk Eric Cartman of South Park fame, is sitting on a patio chair and smoking a cigarette. The music of the Binary Dolls pulses through the concrete below his feet. A woman in the seat next to him lights a cigarette.

Cartmanesque: Isn't this the coolest place in Portland?

Woman: Well, I don't know about the coolest, but it's definitely cool.

Cartmanesque: Yeah, I guess nothing can be the coolest, but this place definitely has the look.

Woman: Mmm hmm.

Five minutes of silence pass. The woman finishes her cigarette and leaves. A man in his early 30s approaches and sits in the empty seat. He lights a cigarette. The man speaks with a British accent.

Cartmanesque: There's someone sitting there.

The Brit: Oh, I'm sorry.

Cartmanesque: Nah. I'm just kiddin'.

The Brit: Oh.

Cartmanesque: You here for the music downstairs?

The Brit: No. Are you?

Cartmanesque: No, but I sure can hear it. Do you play music?

The Brit: Yeah.

Cartmanesque: Me too. I'm a singer.

The Brit: Oh?

Cartmanesque: Yeah ... Doesn't it seem like there are a lot of metal bands in this town?

The Brit: Ah, yeah. Well, there are a lot of great guitar players here.

Cartmanesque: No—not just the guitarists. I mean, there are a lot of metal bands in this town. A lot of guys who are just going up there and screaming their heads off.

The Brit: Well, there aren't many good singers in this town.

Cartmanesque: You think?

The Brit: A good singer makes the band. Take Bob Dylan. I just can't listen to him with that voice.

Cartmanesque: Oh, I know.

The Brit: But Jeff Buckley. He had a voice.

Cartmanesque: Definitely. Are you a singer?

The Brit: No. I'm more of a writer.

Cartmanesque: Cool, cool. A writer. Yeah....

The Brit: But there aren't many good singers in the world.

Cartmanesque: Well, what if there are, but they just don't have the balls to get up there in front of people and do it?

The Brit: That doesn't mean that will add up to anything. A great band requires five things: youth, charisma, exhibitionism, talent and flair. Some bands have a couple of those things, but only a few have them all. So, where does your band play?

Cartmanesque: Well, we don't really play out right now. We're recording a demo before we start playing out. But, man, am I sick of rehearsing. I just want to record and sing in front of a crowd of people.

The Brit: Yeah?

Cartmanesque: Yeah. But you gotta put your time in, right?

The Brit: Right.

Cartmanesque: You gotta treat it like work. Like it's a job, 'cause it is.

The Brit: Well, I don't know about that. You're supposed to be having fun too.

Cartmanesque: Fun—is that what it's supposed to be about? I guess, if you're working with people you like.

 
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