On Durham and identity
bendy at blackstrap.org
Thu Apr 5 10:51:39 EDT 2007
I came for the housing costs, stayed for the city itself. Tho' I
definitely feel more at home here than I did in my ~3 years in CH. I
grew up outside Nashua, NH, Dad worked in Worcester MA, then I lived in
Pittsburgh, and my wife is from a Kentucky steel mill town. So burnt-out
brick downtowns surrounded by mini-malls are probably my natural habitat.
Once a downtown enters the nothing-but-wig-shops-and-law-offices state
it's pretty hard to crawl out of it, no matter how many galleries open.
Jo & Joe's, in retrospect, seems like it was the inevitable catalyst to
making the music scene gel in Durham- viable both as a lunch business
and a night spot, and it lasted long enough to have a "feel" as a music
spot. Not exactly sure what I mean by that. But I never got that from
the Basement or Ringside's stints as live venues.
Musically, I think drawing distinctions between the three points of the
Triangle is always a strain. Maybe outsiders will eventually focus on
Durham as the center of music from our region, but it's more similar to
the way NYC bands are from *Brooklyn* these days. It's not like a bunch
of native Brooklynites suddenly decided they really liked the Gang of
Four. We always identified Blackstrap a Durham band, but there was never
a time when all the members were living there.
> Umm, I think so many groups are self-identifying as Durham bands because
> their members live in Durham. Root cause: for some folks, it's the most
> affordable place to live, and for a lot of folks, it's the most
> desireable place to live. I stopped counting a long time ago the number
> of my friends who'd moved to Durham from the other points in the Triangle.
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