Holocene, a popular Portland venue. I played at this venue for the second time last night and looked forward to eating at LaVilla for a second time. Unfortunately, in lieu a fine Middle Eastern restaurant, I found a boarded-up ex-restaurant where LaVilla once stood.

On my first and only visit to LaVilla, its owner treated me with the utmost respect. Though the restaurant was about to close, she made me falafel and gave me free baklava. I suspect LaVilla’s demise was related to Southeast Portland’s ongoing gentrification. However, there is no way to confirm this. Perhaps the owner drank, or was a poor manager of money, or the food quality declined, or the restaurant was a front for a methamphetamine lab or gambling ring. Who knows?

This is the problem with traveling. My experience of many cities is limited to the club I play and the restaurant I eat at. “I like Denver,” I might say. However, I do not know much about Denver—-only that clubs I have played there are nice and near a sushi place I enjoy. When I say I like a city, this is much like a person who is only familiar with the letter “A” claiming that he or she “likes the alphabet.”

I also like Denver because I know a D.C. transplant who lives there. He claims to have attended junior high with Daniel Higgs and worked for the government in Antarctica. His experiences in Antarctica make for interesting conversation. Once, I gave him a copy of a CD to take to an Antarctic radio station. I did not know that Antarctica had radio stations until this kindly gent informed me of this fact. Unfortunately, I do not think donating a CD to a radio station in Antarctica did much for my band’s Q rating. Still, some enterprising penguins may have erected a radio tower and been able to absorb my art via AM and/or FM. Once one rocks a penguin’s world, little is left to accomplish in the aesthetic realm.