Thursday, October 29, 2009

KIM TABARA: Disagreeable to the Patrons

KIM TABARA is the pen name of one of Baltimore's most elusive yet dedicated supporters and scenesmen. He is a proficient writer, friendly chap, and he's been going to shows in Baltimore since before the city started acting like South Williamsburg. Two things about Kim are evident: one, he is very quiet, and two, he is absolutely everywhere you think you need to be.

What do you do?
I write and I make music.

How long have you done these things?
I am from a musical household, so I have been singing since I could verbalize. It started in a public way in children's choir, moving closer to its present form via bad grunge bands in high school. Guitar/instruments came later via the Unheard Ones.

I started creatively writing in middle school. I remember getting in trouble for writing mash-notes to crushes. I wrote for my high school newspaper, extolling the virtues of the Melvins, Fudge Tunnel, and Universal Order of Armageddon over the prevailing G'N'R wisdom. I wrote for my college newspaper, sometimes filling out the entire A & E section with my odd rants thanks to a complicit editor. Towson University didn't seem to care as much about the Fall's album reissue campaign as I did.

Why do you do them? How does it make you feel?
I think I do both because they allow me access to emotions that I have trouble expressing otherwise. I think I do both because they leave me deeply satisfied after doing them in ways that other activities do not. I think I do both because I have to.

When was That Moment in your life that told you you would become what you are? What happened?
I was in a noise band called Within (this incarnation featured original members Mike Apichella and Lisa Starace). Let's say it was 1995 or so. We were playing a coffee in house in east Baltimore, near where I grew up. The music we played was so disagreeable to the patrons that we forced the majority to leave the place and stand outside until we were done. When we completed our set, the patrons criticized us and our music, attacking us verbally on the street as we loaded out our gear. Although I have written and sung things that have had the opposite effect in people, I think I always hope to inspire that reaction in some people whenever I make anything. If I don't, I'm not doing my job.

How has your life changed or not changed to accommodate that moment's effect on you?
I was already heading in a certain direction in my life at that point, and you could argue that that moment (and moments like it) cemented it. I have lectured on the topic "How Baltimore Music Destroyed my Life," and I still believe that lives I could have lived were destroyed in those times. I wonder if I will ever again feel so clear in purpose and determination as I did that night. I have been chasing that moment ever since, of being able to rattle skulls, to attack with great effectiveness our modern mess, to pierce the veil, to ruin someone's evening by making them think about things they don't want to think about.

How has your work affected your life in return?
I feel like my work has created a chain of connection between my past and present. I do not see this all of the time, and I often assume that the flame of my creativity has guttered and almost gone out, but then I look back and see that no matter that circumstance in which I have found myself, I have always been trying to make music and write. It has created a body of work that only needs to matter to me.

Is David Lee Roth still relevant? How?
David Lee Roth is an amazing human being. He has the ability to charm the pants off of anyone. No matter how far he has gone into doing outrageous and self-indulgent things, you cannot help but love him and root for him, unless you are another member of the Van Halen continuum.

Do you have anything you'd like to ask me?
How's it going?
Pretty well, thanks!

Writing Link:
(Beatbots articles listed, if you scroll down)
Music Link:
(best summary of my musical activity thus far)

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