Greetings from Oregon!
I’m currently in the midst of a short tour with my little singing group. We played a gig in Portland last night, and I’m spending the day today with my brother and his family out in the burbs near Hillsboro, not far from Portland proper. It’s nice to have a day off with family, especially because we’ve been putting in long drives all over the West Coast.
My brother Cameron and his wife Jenn had a baby eight weeks ago. His name is Reed, and he’s adorable. He’s very curious about me.
I seem so much like his dad but am somehow not—the uncanny valley of dads.
Tour has been fun, but it’s a little weird and disheartening to see the widespread effects of gentrification in the urban cores along the west coast. Some of the cool, divey rock ’n’ roll clubs where we played two or three years ago have now been transformed into airport bars. (In Reno terms, it’s sort of like when the Zephyr became the Z Bar.) Musicians, artists and small business owners are getting squeezed out by rapidly rising rents and living costs. Seattle seemed especially hard hit—most of the people there now appear to be white techies in polo shirts. It’s a bummer to see a city so historically vibrant turn into Silicon Valley.
The good news is that everywhere we’ve gone—even Salt Lake City—has been flying rainbow flags high and proud. As horrible and devastating as the Orlando incident was, it’s inspiring to see such widespread support of our LGBT brothers and sisters.
Anyway. Enjoy the issue! I’m sure it’s a good one. I have all the faith in the world in my editorial team—Dennis Myers, Jeri Chadwell-Singley, Kris Vagner and Kelley Lang. Thanks for holding down the fort, gang!