Death on the Installment Plan

From the auction block to the wrecking ball, our house is sold to the dozer. Our house is dust, wait for the wind to sweep it all away. Our house is dust, we never held the deed anyway. — Milemarker, “The Installment Plan”, Anaesthetic, 2001.

I always thought Milemarker referred to all-ages clubs when they sang about their house in “The Installment Plan.” These clubs were their homes, their families, their livelihoods. But with gentrification these clubs were eradicated and the families were forced to look for other places to live, to breathe their music.

I was at the Smell a lot from 2003 to 2006, nights filled with watching the Mae Shi, Manifolds and whatever local noisy band was playing. Hell. A night’s worth of entertainment for $5 was a helluva bargain. Even though they were strict about their no-alcohol policy, there was a dive bar next door The Jalisco Bar where you could get cheap beer to fuel a night of manic convulsing dancing. Even though I hadn’t been to a show there since 2006, I still consider it close to my heart, a place where I grew up musically in my 20s.

So when The Smell owner Jim Smith posted this demolition notice on Facebook this past weekend, it broke my heart a little:

The Smell Demo Notice
Demolition notice for the Smell. (Jim Smith Facebook)

It’s like “The Installment Plan” coming to life. The Smell is started a GoFundme campaign to help fight the demolition. Perhaps now the chorus of the song might come true?

Now I stand atop a rubble pile that once was my home but I have saved a brick each time I watched a building fall to dust. And I will build my own house with the bricks I’ve kept throughout the years, on the installment plan.

Apparently the owner of the buildings don’t want to demolish them right away. He just wants that option just in case in the future.