Chris Stamm is leaving Willamette Week!

September 6, 2012 § Leave a comment

So one of my favorite music writers mentioned in passing that he won’t be continuing the Upper Extremities punk column for the Willamette Week anymore.

This is a loss, guys. Chris Stamm is wonderful both at picking out bands that smack me right in the heart and describing them precisely as they sound, with adjectives I sometimes have to look up. Picking out a good quote is really difficult, but here’s one: “Pop-punk’s magic mixture of dumbfuck hope, idiotic glee and stupid heartache, which attains stirring perfection every once in a while (Ramones, Screeching Weasel, Green Day, The Queers), aligned in sublime ways with the myriad silly and sad realities of life last year, and I was lucky enough to be bummed at a time when a slew of contemporary bands were making albums that could go toe to toe with the documents of suburban sadsackery that spun my head around as a dour teen.”

I emailed the Week’s arts editor about Stamm leaving, and this is the whole exchange:

(from me)


Just wanted to say I’m super sad to see that Chris Stamm’s Upper Extremities blog is ending soon. I can only fall to my knees, raise my fist and say “WHYYYYY???”

I am seriously torn up about this. Stamm’s writing is hilarious and vivid and has brought this here degenerate Montana lady to know so, so many bands I would never have heard of but now love very deeply.

So thanks? If you could forward this message on to him that would be cool.


(from Chris):

Hi Kate,

My editor just forwarded your email and it made my fucking day. Thank you so much for your kind words. I’ve written fifty of those damn columns under the assumption that *maybe* my mom or future imaginary children or some ghost version of me would read them one day or something. I never got any feedback so I just kept tossing words out into the ether. So it’s just beyond awesome to know someone was reading my stuff and digging the music I wrote about and the way I wrote about it. Truly: nothing better than your email has happened to me lately. I’m so stoked. THANK YOU. We should be friends.
You should go read all of his stuff. (Go ahead, I’ll wait.) In the cacophonous stream of music blogs and writers on this mighty Internet, Stamm’s column was a treat to check every week to tune into to the narrow little stream of stuff I really, really like.

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