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For over 100 years, the building at 2241 NW Hoyt Street in Portland, Oregon, served as a temporary resting stop for the homeless, hopeless, drug-addled, and mentally insane. It was shut down in 2006, last operating under the 'business' name Westport Villa, it's inhabitants thrown out on the street. Shortly after the eviction notices were served, I became sole tenant of said building. Under the auspices of 'caretaker', I was able to explore, detail, and document the past crimes committed at Westport Villa. For 6 months I lived isolated in the decrepit building. For 6 months I went to sleep next to, woke up to, and learned to commune with the spirits that continued to reside in the empty building. "Ghosts In The Flophouse" is the result of those 6 months.
Not all the previous residents of the flophouse are dead. We still exist! The flophouse was an unfortunates place of last resort, a prison for some who were too helpless and manipulated to find a way out, but for many it was at least a roof to keep off the rain. While 2241 NW Hoyt has been converted into luxury studios with a 1.5+ million dollar renovation, the people who were forced to reside there, and then forced out, are still living on the streets. That's why, instead of charging for "Ghosts In The Flophouse", I am asking you to make a donation to Sisters of The Road or Street Roots, two organizations dedicated to helping improve the lives of some of the very people who used to live there, and help insure that these conditions are never repeated.
If you have a recent browser, you can experiment with the interactive text-based webpage.
I created an avante garde movie which goes along with the album. It explores the Flophouse from a first person perspective while illustrating the underlying narrative of the album: a love story of two troubled souls, the yin and yang of an unfortunate edifice, and their eventual unification. You can purchase it and a few acoustic versions of the songs at the store.