From the Archives: Willamette Week’s Hiss & Vinegar Column Describes the Music Scene’s Reaction to the Sept. 11 Attacks

Destiny’s Child bagged their Total Request Live appearance at the Rose Garden.

From the archives: The week following the Sept. 11 attacks, WW published a number of interviews and columns about the reactions of the government, society at large and Portlanders. In the Culture section, WW’s Hiss & Vinegar column looked at how the aftermath influenced the music world—from national tours to the CMG Music Marathon in New York to comedy night at Dante’s.


When the hijacked planes slammed into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and that field in Pennsylvania, the outrages scrambled everyday life in a million ways. Among those impacted by the ensuing logistical and emotional turmoil were Portland music-scene folks headed to the Apple for the College Music Journal Music Marathon. The annual gathering, which attracts thousands of musicians and industry types from around the world, was to have taken place at clubs in Manhattan and Brooklyn, Sept. 13-16.

Which is why Portland musicians Jeff London, Rachel Blumberg, Corrina Repp, Dan Blaker and Rob Jones, among others, found themselves in New York last week. In various combinations, they were all supposed to play CMJ. Portland labels Hush and Jealous Butcher were both scheduled to sponsor Marathon showcases at Manhattan clubs. According to Jones, some of the artists scheduled to play the JB showcase at the legendary punk club CBGBs planned to go forward with the Thursday, Sept. 13, show.

Meanwhile, back in Portland, ex-Gang of Four and Shriek back bassist Dave Allen, NAIL Distribution honcha Alicia Rose and Centerspan’s Joel Weinberg also found their NYC plans scuttled. All three were to have taken part in Marathon industry panels.

The CMJ Music Marathon has been rescheduled for Oct. 10-13. At press time, it was not clear how many showcases or panels would survive intact, though Allen said he planned to go.


Compared to the chaos visited on CMJ and other East Coast events, the immediate impact of Tuesday’s attacks on Portland’s music scene was muted. Some clubs, like Jimmy Male’s and Berbati’s Pan, went dark last Tuesday night.

Others went forward with scheduled events—in fact, both Dante’s and Tonic Lounge reported unusually large crowds.

(It was comedy night at Dante’s, incidentally.)

As the week went on, long-term implications of the travel shutdown and the national siege mentality began to emerge. Destiny’s Child bagged their Total Request Live appearance at the Rose Garden. They Might Be Giants post-poned their Sunday, Sept. 16, show at Crystal Ballroom, with a makeup date yet to be announced. Nick Cave bailed out of his hotly anticipated sold-out show at the Crystal scheduled for next Sunday, Sept. 23.

Undoubtedly, there will be more.


Musicfest Northwest, the three-day music festival organized by Willamette Week, begins with Thursday night’s hip-hop showcase at the Roseland. Some festival participants cancelled in the wake of the Sll attacks. However, we were able to make a number of last-minute additions to the festival. Most notably, Seattle kingpins The Makers are now slated to play Saturday night at the Crystal Ballroom.

Other Sept. 11, 2001 Willamette Week stories from the archives:


An Interview with Former U.S. Senator Mark O. Hatfield about the September 11 Attacks

Red, White and Queer

Stomaching It

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