Discreet Music | January 14 (Portland, OR)

The funny thing about ambient music is, I can play it over and over again, and never really notice if it’s the same song. And then, there are times I’ll recognize the artist and feel sophisticated, like when I’m seeing my new age hair stylist, Donnie. It’s my kind of classical. It’s music you can play waking up, or settling down—as foreplay, meditation, or yoga. It’s “ambient.” It conforms to the mood, and vice versa.

We went down to Portland on Saturday, arrived an hour and a half later than expected. Even the squirrels seem happy in Portland. Or maybe it’s just the weather, the fact the sun finally came out. Walking our dog Ginger through Loren’s neighborhood on a Sunday, past the old Craftsman bungalows and sun rooms, the succulents in the concrete cracks, the old Volvo’s and BMW’s and signs in all the yards saying This is Our America, where Everyone is Equal and Love Wins, and Black Lives Matter, and so on. I want to live and die in Portland, like The Smiths song, Such a Heavenly Way to Die. I bought a toothbrush at the Trader Jo’s made out of recycled yogurt cups. We did our best to stay off our devices and when the kids got back from the bookstore Powell’s I took a picture and texted it, here:

“Discreet Music” is the name of a Brian Eno album from 1975 and also a blog series I’m running through January, prompted by a journal-writing theme I started in Germany over the holidays. It’s inspired by the David Sedaris book I’m reading that chronicles his journal entries from the late ’70s onward.



Categories: Memoir, music

Tags: , , , , , , ,

13 replies

  1. i love the scene in the pic and the ‘activity’ of quiet experience


  2. If only I could conivince my lot it would be nice to sit round together and read! Love that song –
    ‘And if a double-decker bus
    Crashes into us
    To die by your side
    Is such a heavenly way to die’
    Morrisey manages to be jokey, passionate, quirky and heartrending all in one song.
    Love the sound of Portland, the kind of welcoming spot it would be good to call home.
    ‘There is a light that never goes out.’
    All the best


  3. Nice, how you start with ambient music and end with ambient lighting.


  4. This fall, I started listening to The Blue Nike (not that there’s a lot to listen too). I only knew about two songs, one of which I recognized from the Annie Lennox cover. Anyway, all I could think was, “Why didn’t I know about this great make-out music back when I was making out?”

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I too like this glimpse into your living room. When I walk the dogs, I can’t resist glimpsing into any open windows when I pass by. But pictures make it much easier, and it’s, like, super cold out tonight.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Love the lounge room. Viel Gemütlichkeit.
    Love The Blue Nile. Wrote on the debut at Vinyl Connection ages ago. Almost as good as ‘Hats’.
    Anyway, a 2017 release on the floor – very impressive. Even more if it was Eno.

    I think I went to Powells in the 90s. Did they have CDs? I bought a Bill Evans album.


    • Ha, lush, cool. That’s my friend Loren’s place. You two would get on great, that’s us in Portland. The Blue Nile, right you are. All kinds of detail your hairy eye picks up there, no doubt. Good all around Bruce. I’m fiddle-fucking over a Fall playlist I made on Spotify and wanted to share on my blog but I doubt anyone will care and feel a bit like a wanker now because I AM.

      Liked by 1 person

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