Tuesday, March 28, 2006


It is hard to put into words the amount of inspiration I feel every time Jimmy and Emily come to town. I've known these guys since they were playing brightly-lit coffee shops in Santa Monica and driving a beat up minivan to work, where they spent their days in a QA dungeon, painstakingly checking the sound quality of thousands of songs that would be distributed by an internet music company.

I've always admired their music and wondered if the rest of the world would feel the same way. Emily is a true poet, constantly creating and questioning. We went to Coachella together one year, determined to sneak into the VIP tent. Once there, while Jimmy and I sucked down margaritas and talked shit, Emily sat quietly, jotting lyrics in a sketchbook she carried with her.

Jimmy is a prolific musician who lives life as passionately as he plays guitar and trumpet. He emailed me before he got to Portland on Sunday night: "We're in town until 6am... dangerous." And it was. After their gig, our reunion was a blur of beer, bourbon and bear hugs, punctuated by shots of tequila and sloppy karaoke. At one point, Jimmy put his arm around me and said, "We're selling out this tour." I'm sure I shot him a strange look, so he clarified: "We sold out the Filmore last night!"

Metric will never sell out. I remembered Palm Springs again, when Emily told me that they turned down a chance to license their music to a Power Puff Girls cartoon. It was at a time when they clearly could have used the money, but instead kept their integrity in check.

I wished I was as dedicated to art as they were. I wished I could go see them fulfill their dream of actually playing Coachella this year. I'm sure my thoughts were slurring by this point. Then, almost instantly, the inspiration I felt was replaced by another sensation, something that I hadn't felt since college. Forcing a bottle of water into my hand, my wife guided me out of the tour bus (how had I gotten there?) into the car, and back home where I vomited.

Metric "Too Little Too Late"

Portland concert photos: jk@justin-kent.com


Diane said...

What a life! Cool, I guess.

Chum said...

Well, maybe not that cool, but it is nice to see artists who actually "make it" through hard work and sacrifice.

Patch said...

Need some work on holding the booze. ;)

Chum said...

I thought I worked hard on that, but I still needed a little sacrifice...

daniel said...

Been reading you for awhile now. Thanks, I love the blog. I am an artist/surfer/dad (from Olympia wa) who also despises the corp. surf style. I'm showing (in Portland) one piece at New Space Center for Photography in July and have a solo show at Pushdot also in July. It would be great to meet ya if you have time to stop by one of the openings!