Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Reality Check No.1

This is a stream-of-consciousness article chronicling some of my superficial observations about my experiences in Montreal.

At this point I'm eight articles deep into my literary nightlife forays. With a shaky-but-improving grasp on the lifecycles of Montreal's musical mechanation, I'm now in the process of trying to refine my filter for talent. As a relative newcomer to the city, I find myself in a position of some minor, but seemingly relevant, influence on the community. As a result, I'm pitted with the views and aspirations of myriad promoters, DJs, bands, and venue owners, many of whom know the beast a heck of a lot better than myself. It's a bit nerve-wracking in the sense that some people understandably get the idea that I think I know what I'm talking about. Maybe I do, maybe I don't. I'm not too sure most of the time. But nevertheless, I've situated myself as such, and thus must deal with the consequent sway I sometimes have. In trying to do justice to the efforts of all the people in the business of pleasure, I'm realizing that I'm gonna have to break out of my closed-loop of parties(namely, the ragin'-est, loudest, most rediculous shit I can find) and find stuff that's under my patchy radar-screen. I know this because some of the wildest events I witness are way out of my column's current boundaries. That's the dichotomy of the writer, I suppose: I'm not an expert on the scene, or a literary prodigy; I'm just a writer with a serious addiction to crazy parties, tectonically working towards being those things.

Part two of the equation is that my favorite ways of expressing myself seem to be pretty much unsuitable for the magazine, so I also have to refine my writing skills to get to a level where the two worlds jive. These things are essentially my current challenges, and my gurus are all the wierdos I talk to when I'm out. I have essentially no critical input, so I'm shooting in the dark for the most part, using the slurred phrases of wisdom yelled at me over a dirty bass-beat on the dancefloors of all the clubs, bars, lofts and apartments this job drags me around to.

The next, perhaps most complicating factor, is of course my indulgent, chaotic, arrogant personality: my best weapon and my biggest crutch. Years of the road-warrior lifestyle, rife with mystery, challenges, catharsis, self-reliance, cops, criminals, tribulations, poverty, and, ultimately, success have certainly sanded the edges of my beligerence. But I've still got fire in my eyes. There's not much other than time and good council that's going to refine that, I'm afraid.

My savior so-far seems to be the surprisingly understanding, well-intentioned people I meet on the scene. Sure, there's a lot of coke and sinister personalities around: c'est la vie. I can smell those fuckers a mile 'round the corner, anyway. Five years of highway banditry set me up with some keen ears for deceit. But the cats I deal with on the incidental schedule of the night each have a whiskey-spiked piece of truth for me to absorb, and I'm lucky they're there to unintentionally point me in the right direction. The scene takes care of it's own, in it's own jagged way.

And so, the ruminations continue to another all-night party, and hopefully another narrowing of the gap between my personality and the identity superimposed upon it by my job...