Sample Saturday, "You Had to Be There"

You Had to Be There:  Three Years of Mayhem and Bad Decisions in the Portland Music Scene - Sharon E. Cathcart
Through all of this, I was going to shows at least once a week at The Metropolis. The only way to learn the “scene” was to go out there and check out the bands. In doing so, I found that I wasn’t as “punk” as my high school classmates thought. In fact, I disliked hardcore punk and most of its sub-genres as much as I did heavy metal.

To me, music must have three elements: rhythm, melody and harmony. I played piano, violin and guitar, and also sang (choir and theatre). I had a grounding in classical music as a result, and a correspondingly particular ear. As I’ve said before, my taste is eclectic; I’ll give just about anything a listen in order to formulate an opinion. Hardcore, thrash, et al., were not my cup of tea.

I loved David Bowie, Roxy Music, Human League; in other words, the “art school” performers. It was one of the things that made me such a fan of Theatre of Sheep. I liked the more cerebral sound.
At the same time, I liked a good dance band like Billy Rancher’s, the mod and rockabilly resurgence coming out of Europe, some pure pop mainstream acts like The Police; it was hard to put my taste into one simple box.

One of the bands I heard at the Met was a trio called The Van Goghs. They had an edgy, mod sound and I liked them a lot. I approached their manager about doing an interview that I would pitch as a freelancer to Two Louies, the local music paper. He and the band were amenable, so I wrote it up and gave it to them for a fact check.

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