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Torn Between Two Cities (or "PDX vs. VBC") by Christeen Aebi

Seems to me there's some kind of uncanny parallel/opposite-type universe of Rock, a synchronicity, happening between Portland, Oregon, and Vancouver, B.C.  Geographically, Portland has the West Hills and the Willamette River, which pale in comparison to the vista of English Bay and the Coast Range; not to mention, our optional-nudie Sauvie Island river respite cannot approach the infamy of Wreck Beach.
     Of course, we've sent marauding invaders of raunch-and-roll back and forth over the border these past couple of decades, upping the ante of the dirty lowdown of sound.  Much of the PDX scene was distilled in the then-decaying haunts of our Old Town, and Vancouver's Gastown provided a similar breeding ground.  As overly made-up punk-ass teenyboppers, we swilled booze at PDX Chinatown's Hung Far Low while Vancouver's primal punks were taking over the Smilin' Buddha.  Dennis Hopper has long been a huge fan of the killer punk rock 'n' roll coming from both our burgs.  Hopper put the Pointed Sticks in his own film Out of the Blue, and insisted that the Wipers (the Portland band that made Kurt Cobain wanna rock out) be on the soundtrack for the classic teen-fuckup movie, River's Edge.  Two of the anthems howled by those in attendance at gigs by our "rock church," the legendary Dead Moon, are titled "D.O.A." and "54/40 or Fight."
     Recreational habits also converge.  Portland rockers guzzle the ever-crappy and supercheap Pabst Blue Ribbon, and you have your delectable Kokanee, best served at car-trunk temperature in the wee hours, after enduring unsatisfactory delivery time by those crafty B.C. bootleggers. While you-all have "decriminalization," we have "medical marijuana" (at least, according to the voters but maybe not law enforcement and the judiciary).  And though Vancouver used to hold the title of "Highest Number of Strip Clubs Per Citizen," it is widely known that PDX vanquished your right to that claim some years back. Portland has amazing community and college radio, KBOO 90.7 FM and KPSU 1450 AM, and lucky Vancouver has UBC's CITR 101.9 FM.   You have Fireball Productions; we have the Fireballs of Freedom. 
     Which brings me to my bitchin' point:  You keep stealing our band names!  I've had a Runaways tribute band called Cherry Bomb since 1996, and lately the 'Couv has had some 3-piece ACOUSTIC (!!!) chick lineup using our  name!  We have the Neins, you have a Neins.  We have the Gays, you have The Gay.  You have some Denim Demons, we have some Denim Demons.  We have Starantula--you had I, Braineater (but I digress).  We have Christeen, you have Canada Jones.  You have the Jaks; we have the Jaks. (Gods help us all!)
     But it's OK, Vancouver, because we can still be friends.  It's meant to be, don'tcha know?   I mean, look how much we have in common--how could we not feel a kindred Rock spirit?  So many of us have found each other already.  Odds are great that every time I visit Terminal City, I will run into yet another familiar, formerly blurry face that's crashed on my floor, on the couch, in the practice room or basement, or in a chair with a bottle of rum in hand, lung-butter floaties and all.  (Hello, Paul McKenzie!)  Any number of Vancouver bands--brand-spankin' new, or time-encrusted--has stayed at Christeen's (Aging) Rock Youth Hostel.  And a goodly number of yourselves has been kind enough to lend me a corner of the floor or a spare room, during my Great Northern Adventures. ...
     See you at the pub!  (Your town or mine?)
Christeen Aebi

Christeen surveys the PDX punk scene with critical acclaim and is an authority on Portland punk. She must be Oregons longest serving punkette journalist. Since '79 Christeen has been a welcoming host for visiting punk bands, and her journals have been printed far 'n' wide in numourous publications. She has contributed her views in print across the US and is currently invading Canada. You can check out her indepth investigative piece on the Dead Kennedys demise elsewhere on this site.