I was thinking I would type out this part of the story, but then I remembered I rambled my way through the first part of the story in this silly video
- Disclaimer this entire post was typed,proofread, and formatted with my iPhone (6sPlus,nerdsWhen I woke up after spending a few weeksadrift in coma dreams after my Massive Stroke in 2015, I began to play with a few words that were on my mind Think *”Cillian Murphy waking up at some point in Inception epilogue “like and became a Mantra to me over the last 18 months It’s a Long road to travel to Get Better so why not spend some time Being better?! I did survive, afterall !!! against 9 to 1 odds!i made it i was so sold on this concept that i started trying to convince people to do the same. At one point tearfully looking up at a good friend and saying “we need to be better kinder mor mindful moreinclusive slower to angermindful
One of my Psych Therapists thought it was such a good idea, she had me put together a liBe better List of ideas that would be goals for myself after graduating from the Rehab Program I spent so much time participating in Recovery
Maybe she’s out there listenin g and can send me the BeBetter Listdoc we put together (matt)(at) (MkinMotio)dotcom
I graduated from rehab as 2016 became 2017 and now as March 2017 quickly approaches (composed on Feb28thI)welcome another chapter, this time in my homeland of Oregon as a refresher, I was born in NW Portland and grew up in the western suburb of Aloha,Oregon from 1977 to 1995 when my parents moved to Renton, Washington and I began a sort of musical chairs of Washington County towns including Tigard, Beaverton, Hillsboro, then Alohaand then Metzger Days of2001again More MetzgerDays again in2002 in .. too much detail Matt .. no reason to type an autobiography, don’t make a joke about there being a quiz later. there being a quiz later. All this to say yes I’m returning to Oregon to live under the care of the best two people in the Galaxyl My parents.and i know this sounds like the outlinefor a movie pitchthose of you who’ve had the pleasure know what I’m talking about and know I’m not exxagerating
So, if you followed my list of Oregon Towns you might recognize that the best people i mentioned are in Salem and that was never a home of mine But over the last several years I’ve become quite smitten with the capital city of my home State. I’m proud of my origin story and look forward to re-discovering some very special places and people historic splaces and veryspecialfplaces of personal history and to add some new ones too
In addition to this favorite photo of me me plus losing count of how many years i was a cowboy for halloween, it’s no wonder in the grand character arc of my life that i would at some point live in Texas for a while //embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js
Back to the PNW, So what are my plans?!
Here are a few things from that Be better list4
Explore some new hobbies
Increase Stroke awareness in those around me (ugh ..awareness..i know *yawn*#soooNPR)
- Re-assemble a life for myself post-stroke.
- Continue to heal and recover step-by-step (even baby steps are worth celebrating)
- Remember what “Teddy the Greek” said about nostalgia..it Literally means a pain from an old wound
- Put together (write) an album of songs about/for Oregon in the vein of a country version of ?Sufjan Stevens’ Michigan and Illinoise albums .. why country? Well I heard Sturgill Simpson cover “The Promise & it did something. Not the Nirvana cover..
- *I think here is as appropriate a place as any to review one of the ground rules of MkinMotion. I often make random references that fly over a lot of people’s heads. I kinda know when i, or more accurately the MkinMotion persona, throws a wildpitch over your head,and I try to craft my words to make the random reference easy googlible
- Common question from friends and family: Now that you’re going to be so close, can I visit?
- Salem is just an hour south of PDX the airport and the city
- Yes, please! I‘ll welcome any visitors I just ask for a head’s up, espefcially anyone from out- of- stateTheres literally handfuls of ways people have used to keep in touch with me espefcially anyone from out- of- state and for you to be ready to be involved in my recovery which is as simple as listen to me make short stories long or talk through things on my be better list ;or lose to me at Trivial Pursuit: TheOriginal 1983 Genus Edition (What can I say? I rule!) , Not only did i learn a lot by playing with grown-ups as a precocious kid,ospent lots of time of my reading maps and remember a high percentage of things i learned in public school lpromise the internet is over flowing with them youtube is rich with short videos articulating complex concept(iehttps://youtu.be/G3wLQz-LgrM). ;You might also be asked to sit for a portrait session or whatever style/skill of photography I’m honingstudying at the time in my CustomizedFormalPhotographyindependent study
- st::One of ythe themes of The B e Better List some items are creative and might need collaboration to get the juices flowing or to keeep the creativity going or by literaly going on a short road trip and literally go and maybe help with any video or photography gear involved in the specific project Many of the creative projects are somewhat bucket-listish So you could be asked to participate in that Imagine That!
Myy folks are retired and moved to Salem in 2009. My dad grew up there and between the two of them they have a ton of frriends lots of who are good friends of mine, so after a 15 year hiatus from Oregon inAlaska and Texas.continue my long recovery road in Salem
I left Oregon in 2002 with dreams of of adventure, big fish and a job economy in the Last frontier of Alaska that even “W couldn’t wreck from DC In my experience with the economy of Portland there were MBAs Pouring beer and waiting tables and the Hipster movement was just starting to go wild in Portland I didn’t have today’s beard or the resune yet. For Reference the Portland Pearl District That i #SoooPortland didn’t exist except in the beautiful dreams and beautiful Mind of the beautiful Laurie Ames my all-time High School crushes #friendzone . Don’t google her name just google “Real Estate Mogul of Portland and follow the beauty hint : she no longer lives in the US or Portlanunlike The *Sausage king of Chicago who i think still lives in Chicago and is still thee best name to use for a reservation at a snooty restaurant which neither Portland or Salem have.It’s been 24 that public
- So it appears I havent written a formal Blog article/post since the end of 2013. Without pressin the obvious MKinMotion2006 would have a hard time recognizing MKinMotion2017 Life has changed; the world has change;d and that’s really what has me coming back and sniffing around the ol’ long form
A couple of themes i’ll talk to will be literally straight out of my Twitter drafts which seem to point to two two topics near and dear to me these days: 1.
- 1.politics, but before you groan, hear me out democracy AND politicsi n2017..I was born and raised in the Portland Oregon area and have never lost at an opportunity to defend my homeland and have never been defeated at sticking up for the Oregon state of mind that favors moderate views limitless discovery; the new West; kindness and politeness above most things. where political arguments are settled with the offer of another beer or shot of espresso(seldom expresso, or a tip on picking a good wine to take to a hip genuine adult dinner party
- 2. My continued one-man Corps of Discovery of #LifeAfter (yep hashtagged a blog post my 2015 Massive stroke (Often in the guise of Stroke Awareness that largely robbed me of so much I loved and the life in Austin,TexAS I’d built from scratch
Since 2007, MKinmotion.com has largely shrank to become a somewhatsimilar opinionatedpersona on Twitter and I fell deep for Microblogging and it wasn’t til sometime in 2009 when an Alaskan Twitter friend pointed out, over saltysnacks at Darwin’s theory; a tired,Somewhat famous dive bar in downtown Anchorage in Downtown Anchorage in which i could almost never be found rarely m
politics, 2.#MyLifeA8fterbut really what hasnt in the lasttwo about those two subjects have been all but lost due to that pesky character limit
When the topic of favorite music comes up and I mention Matthew Ryan, most people ask who he is. Sometimes I just explain politely that he’s an independent artist, other times I tell an anecdote about how my friend Riche found him on World Cafe or Mountain Stage or something like that years ago and introduced me to his music. Either way, I usually go on to explain that he’s one of the most underrated singer songwriters of our generation.
Paste Magazine recently had an issue exploring the idea of Indie music. Much like the film industry, the indie label has become just that; a label not a definition. Record companies like movie studios create or buy smaller subsidiaries to operate as their independent machine. Matthew Ryan has a record label, a publicist, a booking agent, etc. But he writes, records, performs, and produces his music himself in his Nashville home. He interacts with his loyal fans through Myspace, Facebook, and Twitter. I recently said that Matthew Ryan is unique in that instead of building fans on Facebook he’s building friends. He’s responsive on Twitter not just to mentions of himself, but often interjects himself into a question I throw out to the masses or make a comment on a Bon Jovi joke or classic rock moment of realization. The independent artist has an incredibly loyal fan base, and Matthew Ryan is no different with his social engineering with friends around the world.
A number of coinciding events had me in Portland last weekend. Matthew Ryan’s West Coast swing of his tour supporting Dear Lover was in town. He was playing Berbati’s Pan and a pre-show in-store at Music Millennium on Burnside. Of course I jumped at the chance to see him play at both places. Pulling up to Music Millennium, I’d been listening to Dear Lover and specifically “City Life” as I drove down Burnside past the maxed out homeless shelters, commuters, and the lyrics seem to fit right in with Portland. As I turned the corner of 32nd Avenue, mind you listening to Matthew Ryan, there he was standing on the sidewalk. He was inside by the time I parked and made my way to the store. He played a few songs off of Dear Lover, even pausing mid title track because he was sensitive to there being children in the store and the song called for some strong language.
Between the Music Millennium set and the main show at Berbati’s I met up with my friend Jamie. She had me tell several anecdotes about Matthew Ryan while we walked the few blocks from her work to Berbati’s. By the time we got in the door, Kasey Anderson was already well into his set. Instead of hanging out “backstage” or off in the shadows, Matthew Ryan was standing right near the entrance to the venue greeting his fans, remember, he’s been building the loyalty capital for years and while I seem like a fanatic, I assure you there are plenty of people with just as much enthusiasm as me across the world, including Portland. We shook hands again (we briefly greeted each other at Music Millennium) and I introduced her to my friend Jamie. Jamie said it seemed like I was introducing her to an old friend and that he was very gracious and down to earth. We settled in with a few beers to watch the last few songs of Kasey Anderson’s set. Jamie and I watched Matthew Ryan meet and greet others as warmly as he’d greeted us, and in no time it was time for him to take the stage.
Despite having the support of dozens of friends in the crowd, it’s still hard for a singer-songwriter to command the attention of a venue known much more as a bar that happens to have live music than a hall built for music. No band for back up, just you your guitar and your voice. It was Thursday night and people were out after work to have some drinks not to sit quietly and listen to a musician, whether he deserved their respect or not. Rushed because of two more bands to take the stage that night, Matthew Ryan jumped right into his set and when he couldn’t hear himself over the din of chatter from around the bar, he jumped off the stage and into the crowd to share the rest of his set with the people who were there to enjoy it.
Into the crowd has become a common theme for Matthew Ryan’s performances. It shows the pain and difficulty of being an independent artist, but also that when you surround yourself (literally) with like minded people who love and appreciate your music, magic moments happen. He continued through his songs often getting the whole crowd to sing right along with him, even echoing him where he sang his own background vocals on the studio track. It seemed like he was rushed, and he was, but it felt like he was truly playing for his friends. A few songs that stood out from his performance in the round were “Jane, I Still Feel the Same”, “It Could’ve Been Worse” and closed the show singing U2’s “Running to Stand Still” with a little bit of a Neil Diamond flair to it.
After he’d finished and was packing up his guitar, Jamie and I approached him on stage and invited him to go outside for a cigarette (I don’t smoke). When we got out there, he explained that it isn’t anyone’s fault that the venue didn’t work out. We discussed music, songwriting, Echo and the Bunnymen and cigarette smokes habit of targeting non-smokers. We stood in line to buy some merch from him. I bought a CD I’ve now bought 4 times (but that’s how you support an independent musician, pay them for their music) and with each CD purchase he was giving a poster he would autograph. Jamie bought Matthew Ryan vs. The Silver State and he wrote “Jamie, here’s to beauty and the future.” I bought Dear Lover and he wrote “Matt, genuinely thank you for what you’re doing” on my poster. I assume he’s not talking about telecom product management, but rather doing my part to tell people about his incredible independent music.
Matthew Ryan’s music is available in the iTunes Music Store, AmazonMP3, eMusic, and available in record stores all over the place (if you have one in your town).
“City Life” video with fan/friend participation
It’s been so long since I regularly posted blog entries, not only have I forgotten how to do it, but most people I know don’t know that I ever did it. 2010 is going to be the year of the blog for me. My main outlet over the last few years has been Twitter where I can spit out ideas with staccato, but 140 characters limits the ability to explain much.
Two resolutions for 2010 are to take more photos and expand to more than 140 characters with thoughts. So stay tuned for more about music, Alaska, and life in my world…it’ll be like 2004 all over again!