Morrissey, Uninterrupted 

His Reign Falls Hard on This Humdrum Town

MORRISSEY Shockingly, he likes cats.

MORRISSEY Shockingly, he likes cats.

BEING A MORRISSEY FAN can be a tough road to walk. Not simply because of all the hackneyed doom-and-gloom jokes that detractors have been peddling since we were in high school—though there's no denying that repetition of "humor" is an albatross unto itself.

The difficulty comes from being devoted to an artist whose best work reflects a particular time and place in our lives, a youthfully untarnished and almost embarrassingly emotional time and place—and one that Moz himself has only trudged on from slowly, reluctantly, almost imperceptibly. Wherever you've pinned and mounted this butterfly, there he still flaps his wings. The ongoing appeal isn't that his powers are regenerative, but rather, his audience is. For every pontificating old fart with gray in his beard attending Morrissey's show at the Schnitz, there'll be two more who are younger, twinkier, and perhaps not yet disappointed by their hero.

What fans can expect on this tour, which marks Morrissey's first appearance in Portland since 2009, is, well, probably exactly what you already expect. Morrissey is currently in one of his wilderness periods, riding on the back catalog and teasing only a couple of cuts from his unreleased album (which the ever-humble singer has described as so good, no record company can afford the advance it deserves; because it's 1983 and there are still record companies). In other words, you'll hear all the stuff you like from that one time and place.

The further good news is that when Morrissey visited during his last banishment back in 2002 (prior to the triumphant comeback You Are the Quarry), the show turned out to be pretty great. Covering the gamut of his solo material and tossing in a few reinvigorated Smiths tunes, the set represented a performer with something to prove. Being in exile treats Morrissey better than success does.

Chances are most diehards will have already heard bootlegs of the handful of new songs La Mozza's dragging around, as well as his Frankie Valli cover "To Give (the Reason I Live)," so don't be surprised if the Brylcreemed devotees are singing along to every word, even as you wonder why the hell you still don't have them on 7-inch vinyl.

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