We Have No Choice

Vortex Music Magazine

“I really think what it comes down to for any musician is that you’ve got to be half crazy and you can’t just be doing it because you love it—you do it because you have no choice.”

Skip vonKuske told me this on a dismally gray afternoon in mid-February as a steady drizzle dampened the street outside of Mississippi Studios.

The cellist, known for his experimentalism and being a founding member of The Portland Cello Project, could’ve been talking about creators in any number of artistic fields—or even anyone who has an idea and the passionate urge to see the concept come to life.

In an oversaturated media landscape where local and national print publications, from The Oregonian to SPIN Magazine, seem to be grappling with the future of journalism—especially in physical formats—people probably think we’re half crazy for wanting to actually print a music magazine.

Yes, we’re printing a new music magazine for the city of Portland because we love this—but we also know we have no choice.

WE HAVE NO CHOICE because we too often witness important issues that need a voice. Not just new music videos and sold-out shows, but community affairs and local industry, new technologies and trends as well as the history behind it all—these are things that affect everyone in the Portland music scene. And we know that if we print this on paper, we can attempt to capture a piece of fleeting attention and introduce our readers to a topic or person they may not have known even existed. This magazine represents our small effort to give Portland musicians and local issues a contemplative voice—it’s our physical push to seek a little more depth, contrary to the capricious nature of the web.

A shot of our cover story stars behind the scenes at Mississippi Studios: Photo by Autumn AndelA shot of our cover story stars behind the scenes at Mississippi Studios: Photo by Autumn AndelWE HAVE NO CHOICE because there are too many unsung heros and hardworking souls who make Portland’s dynamic music community shine with the luster we all relish. We hope to underscore the efforts of those little-known magicians who make the momentous apex of a musical experience happen.

WE HAVE NO CHOICE because we consistently see a disintegration of journalism applied to arts and entertainment coverage. When Twitter battles become breaking stories as the rest of the world struggles to keep up with an endless newsfeed, there has to be a better way to inform readers of the bigger picture as well as the meaningful details.

WE HAVE NO CHOICE because we innately feel that something vital is brewing in Stumptown, and we believe it deserves a thoughtful voice, full of introspection and analysis.

WE HAVE NO CHOICE because when the eyes of the world are upon the Rose City more now than ever before, we want to spread the gospel of Portland-made music.

WE HAVE NO CHOICE because we truly have no choice. While the core team behind Vortex Music Magazine and our contributors have followed various paths throughout life, we’ve always come back to the one that matters most: We’ve always come back to the music.

Click to read stories from the debut issue of Vortex Music MagazineClick to read stories from the debut issue of Vortex Music MagazineThe music matters so much here not because it’s so superior to or different from anywhere else, but because of the active community. It’s a community of permission and encouragement, where leaps of faith are championed and the consequences include charting uncharted territory. All of which leads to more music makers, hailing from near and far, who seek out Portland to join the creative fold.

Vortex Music Magazine will build upon our city’s legacy and the current phenomenon transpiring before our eyes and ears to make the Portland music scene more successful by making it more accessible.

We believe we are all in this together, and if the tides seem to be rising, we should all rise together because the vibrant music community and culture that is alive in Portland today deserves to prosper.

We are Music, Portland-Style.

Chris Young Editor-In-Chief

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