The Tacoma Files: Kennon Christel

By Daniel Blue on August 27, 2008


Tacomafileskennonchriste Tacomafilesart Kennon Christel sits quietly and gazes out at the world around him. He watches busy lives with mild interest as he sips his fancy coffee drinks in contentment.

Recently graduated from the Tacoma School of the Arts, Kennon is an extremely talented guitar player. His riffs are haunting and reminiscent of a better time in the music industry. A time where male three-part harmonies were normal accoutrements to complicated Lydian and diminished scales.

Kennon sits or stands in the back of the room at most concerts. He likes to close his eyes behind his dark glasses, no one knows what he is thinking, but I have a pretty good guess. This tight legged wiry sprig is dreaming of California, touching the orange steel of the golden gate bridge with his tongue and wandering about in rough spun frocks with people who just want to make music all day long.

"You can write about me as long as when people read it they think I'm some kind of weirdo", he told me as I was snapping his photo through the open window of the Black Water Cafe. OK.

Kennon is a total weirdo; I met him through another total weirdo in the music community named Kyle. They go down to the practice space and do unspeakably weird things with their six strings. Unimaginably weird. Nearly pagan. I mean weird here, beyond gonzo. Sometimes they play notes that don't even sound good together. All in a row, over and over. Whoa.

Anyway, if Kennon does not move to Portland with the leader of Team Unicorn, I hope he plays music here forever.

LINK: The Tacoma Files archive