Live from the Rose Garden as the Portland Trail Blazers meet the Phoenix Suns in game three of the Western Conference playoffs. Since this is a special occasion, we broke out the only Blazers artwork fitting of an ELO cover. How important is this game, you ask? In the Blazers' history, every single playoff series tied 1-1 has been won by the team victorious in game three.
One important lost and found note before we get started: If anyone has seen Rudy Fernandez's ability to play the sport of basketball, please return it to: Rose Garden Arena, One Center Court, Suite 100, Portland, OR 97227. Thank you.
Is anyone going to be surprised if I say I love Ground Kontrol?
Hell, I'm personally cited three separate times in Wikipedia's entry for GK — twice for articles from Blogtown and once from an interview with Ground Kontrol co-owner/omnipresent figurehead Anthony Ramos I wrote in my early days at Destructoid — which, if my math is on point, is 50 percent more benevolent pimping than The Oregonian has offered our city's finest arcade.
(Of course, it's not really their fault. They're too busy distributing deadly razor knives to the homeless  to properly cover the positive facets of our city.)
Anyway, where was I? Oh right, I love Ground Kontrol, and when I get an e-mail from the people who run the place asking if I can help them earn a bit of extra scratch and prove that Portland has the bestest retro arcade in the world, I'm all up on that.
Hit the jump for an explanation.
This week's web comment of the week came from regular commenter Alexjon, on Sarah's presumably rhetorically titled post "Do You Care What Beau Breedlove Has to Say About the Recall Effort?"
I'm going to guess the people who are all aflutter over "the lie, THE LIE" haven't lived in a time or place where a noise complaint can turn into sodomy charges. Which sucks royally. Cops loved rounding up homos in the gay neighborhood back in my hometown under violations of noise ordinances before Lawrence v. Texas. If you get all big-headed and say "yeh, I was havin' gay sex", in the clink you go! Do not pass go! Do not collect $200!
I was "playing video games" and "moving furniture" a couple of times, in fact.
It's royally embarrassing to the LGBT community that we so deeply stigmatize sex that we can turn a lie about sexual conduct into TWO recall attempts. It's even more embarrassing that folks are basically trying to cover a wrongheaded publicity grab that netted several interviews and the cover of Unzipped.
We can't give you nights of noisy uninhibited passion, Alexjon, but we can give you this small
Everybody else, you know the drill: Next week, same time, same place, the most coveted gif in town could be yours.
Read the whole post over at MOD.
Open Season is happening on May 7th, so be sure to get your tickets now!
From the press release:
Kevin will appear in September's Veronica #202, in a story called "Isn't it Bromantic?" Kevin Keller is the new hunk in town and Veronica just has to have him. After Kevin defeats Jughead in a burger-eating contest at Pop's Chocklit Shoppe, she desperately latches onto him. Mayhem and hilarity ensue as Kevin desperately attempts to let Veronica down easy and her flirtations only become increasingly persistent.
This is BIG news, people! No more will Archie clandestinely beat off guys at the beach to "win Betty's favor," 'cause now Kevin Keller can openly do it, as the first gay character in the Archieverse. I'm not sure how Jughead will feel about this (warm and funny?), but it's got me wondering about Kevin's future. He's pretty much the only gay man in town, so who's he going to get with? Where are the popular gay hangouts in Riverdale? Who will win in the bid to be Kevin's BFF: Betty or Veronica, or will it be Jughead or Archie? Will they do fashion spreads for Kevin like they do for the ladies? Who's he going to take to the prom? How come his hair is so nice, and Archie's still looks like it's a tic-tac-toe board? This really better up the ante for fanfic.
Annnd... it's still better than Star Trek: Insurrection.
Via Topless Robot.
The Jackpot Film and Music Festival kicks off tonight with a screening of the legendary 1964 concert film The T.A.M.I. Show. The lineup for T.A.M.I. (which stands for Teen Age Music International) is among the greatest ever assembled for a single concert—the Rolling Stones, the Beach Boys, Marvin Gaye, Chuck Berry, the Supremes, Smokey Robinson & the Miracles, Jan and Dean... BUT these all pale in comparison to the amazing performance from the hardest working man in show-biz himself, Mr. James Brown:
The T.A.M.I. Show tonight; Hollywood Theatre, 4122 NE Sandy, 7 pm, $5 suggested donation/free
This will be the ONLY time I EVER link to anything produced on that idiotic George Lopez show. That being said, enjoy this duet from Trek's William Shatner and Taiwanese singing sensation Lin Yu Chun as they sing a stirring rendition of "Total Eclipse of the Heart." (Sidenote: George Lopez is a deeply untalented hack who can blow me.)
The Portland theater scene has a wealth of homegrown talent and I don't want to sound like I'm not proud. Buuuuuut... have you seen these amazing audition tapes from Sarantos Studios in Oak Park, IL? Sarantos has uploaded seemingly all of them onto YouTube just to rub their cultural achievements in our face. Every local production would be improved by including Oak Park's Sandy Gulliver. Can you argue with this evidence?
More talent after the jump or watch all the videos here!
Listen to KPOJ this morning? No? Oh, well. You can catch up with it here. We've got a great news section this week.
EAST OF EDEN East Portland is Getting Poorer—And Angrier.
KICK 'EM TO THE CURB City Tries Another Version of Its Sit-Lie Ordinance.
SIMON SAYS Two people do what Matt Davis says, prompting a gross distortion of Matt Davis' perspective.
MONEY AND MENTAL HEALTH Steve Novick writes a guest column—how to fix our system.
Read the goddamn news.
Yesterday Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced the introduction of something called "Open Graph" and social networking took a step... in some direction. Introducing its "Like" button to an amalgam of websites around the Internet, Facebook now allows anyone with an account to "Like" a story, a website, or nearly anything they deem worth "Like"-ing and share their web-based delight with their Facebook friends.
The intention of including the Like button outside of the Facebook network is said to aid the website in developing a "more personal experience" for its 400 million members.
Some are banking on the development to ultimately change the face of the Internet.
I'm just hoping to find out which of my friends are fans of things like this:
Since the inclusion of the Like button, I have learned that one of my friends likes strawberries, ravioli, and Shit My Dad Says. Another friend came out of left field with liking Nancy Grace, working out, and white zinfandel. Apparently I have a lot to learn about these people.
If this is the new face of the Internet, I am officially for it.
Become our friend on Facebook (and find out what we like) over at facebook.com/portlandmercury.
"I had two customers cry today when I told them. I feel guilty, but I'm also excited to be doing something new."
Oooooohhhh. We're talking Guilt and Obligation after the jump.
Cornett explains that he weighed his financial options and decided to nix running TV campaign ads, instead directing that money to hiring paid door-knockers. "In the course of the campaign, I've talked about unprecedented outreach to Portland voters. And as I looked at options and ways to spend money, I could either spend money to mail out piece after piece of paper to Portland voters, or I could do the same thing on TV. But I thought it would be better to do it in a way where people can ask questions and have some exchange," says Cornett.
Cornett's campaign will be using canvassers from Democracy Resources, an agency which is known for gathering signatures for progressive ballot measures.
The move is a little odd, given that Cornett's repping his involvement with the Bus Project during his race. The Bus Project champions using volunteers for political campaigns and organizers volunteer canvasses in major races precisely so that candidates don't have to worry as much about raising funds for paid workers. But, then again, unseating an incumbent is a nearly-impossible uphill battle.
Cornett doesn't think it's so odd: his campaign is also drawing on "about 100" volunteers going door-to door, too. "It's how many doors you wanna hit, it's how many people you want to talk to. We've got the tremendous grass-roots campaign and we're supplementing it," says Cornett.
If you are quick perhaps you can beat the fashion people to it before they wake up from their champagne dream-fueled beauty sleep.
GONERS—Portland gets all atwitter when the Reverend Jesse Jackson drops in to chastise the city for its handling of police shootings, but I dare say the notoriously controversial political hiphop heroes Dead Prez will have something a lot more... how do I say... inspiring to say about the state of things. MS
w/Mic Crenshaw, Illmaculate; Berbati's Pan, 10 SW 3rd, 9 pm, $18-22, all ages
HAITIAN LIT—Edwidge Danticat's lecture in Portland was scheduled long before an earthquake hit Haiti, but there's no denying that the appearance of the acclaimed Haitian author (she wrote Breath, Eyes, Memory) has more resonance now—a fact Portland Arts and Lectures acknowledges tonight by donating proceeds from all single-ticket sales to Mercy Corps. AH
Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, 1037 SW Broadway, 7:30 pm, $30-100
We've got all the "inspiration" you can handle at My, What a Busy Week!
I would like to say I have some sort of explanation for what follows. BUT I DON'T. It's a mash up of the final dance scene in Dirty Dancing that includes Iron Man with a little AC/DC thrown in for good measure. AND IT IS AMAZING (in a WTF?? sort of way). Now... can someone please put Iron Man in Ghost?
This week's PHART CHART TOPPER is Andy Kehoe! Congrats, and look! We've animated it for you!
Will you be the next Phart Chart Topper? Submit your art or photos to the Mercury's Flickr group, and start PHART-ing today!!
According to the completely awesome website Restore Stephen Baldwin, Stephen Baldwin = Job. He has been forced into poverty by refusing to take acting roles he didn't like (just like Job!), and now it's up to the Christians of the world to save him so he can yell at people some more and still pay for soul-patch wax and pouting cream.
A privately funded and managed website. Our vision is to see Stephen Baldwin publicly restored in front of millions. Stephen's platform will increase allowing him to reach even more people with the Gospel and God will get all of the glory. Publicly.
Please do not miss the Q&A section of the site. It will answer all your Qs about Stephen Baldwin and why he and God need your money so badly. For example:
Q- What happened to his wealth?
A- When he became an outspoken Christian in 2002 his income went down by 70% when he refused roles with gratuitous sex and violence.
Q- Why does Stephen need personal wealth?
A- Stephen’s influence is in Hollywood. Hollywood worships money and without it you are seen as a loser and cannot be an effective influence to this group.
Q- Is the site secure for credit cards?
A- The site is as secure as any major online store.
This website really seems too crazy to be real, but the company that created it is the same company that does Baldwin's official site, as well as his "Breakthrough Ministry" site, and other related works.
This week for an article called "East of Eden", I toured East Portland with Representative Jefferson Smith and discussed how the lands east of 82nd have been shafted time and again by the city. Since the mid-county was annexed (in a process later rules unconstitutional) in the late eighties, East Portland has grown to 28 percent of Portland population, swelled by people and families living inner Portland for the cheaper rent out east.
One of the big victories for East Portland advocates this year was getting Mayor Sam Adams office to make the city break down its budgets geographically. For the first time in the city's history, citizens will now be able to track exactly what percent of city spending is going to which neighborhood.
So what does the breakdown reveal? Well, though the mayor's office has promised that the city will play catchup in East Portland, the draft transportation budget shows only 3.3 percent of transportation funds are slated for East Portland. Check out a pdf of the budget (which will still be reworked by Adams' office) for yourself.
When East Portland residents who sat on the budget committee found out about the unequal split, they penned this letter to the mayor's office, asking for a fair share of the city budget:
The City has standards, and to not prioritize the redress of substandard areas is to declare such areas as insignificant, irrelevant, or undeserving.
We realize that these conditions are recognized, as was reflected in comments made at the recent hearing for the Portland Bicycle Plan. However, it is time for the City to seriously address infrastructure needs in East Portland — both for the existing residents’ quality of life, and the future position of the area in the regional agenda, especially now, as over 11,000 new housing units have been added in East Portland since annexation and approximately 40% of Portland’s school age children live in East Portland.
Oh hot damn, this is one of my favorite times to be in Portland—seriously. The way Bridgetown is set-up down on SE Hawthorne, with all the venues packed tightly together and a festival bracelet you just can't go wrong. It's too much fun.
If you've never seen live comedy, I swear there's no better way to get acquainted than Bridgetown—170 performers, most of whom are at the top of their game.
A good way to begin the festival might be with the screening of I Am Comic at 7 pm tonight at the Bagdad, a new documentary being shown in Portland for the first time. It puts you in the right mindset to enjoy stand up, plus there's a panel afterward with the director, Jordan Brady, along with some comedians, including the brilliant, Andy Kaufman Award-winning Brent Weinbach.
There's no full trailer yet for the film online, but there are a few clips. This one, featuring perhaps the greatest stand up performer of the day, Louie CK, addresses heckling (NSFW).
CK is right: If you heckle you are most likely "are a bad person with a cold, mean heart." And you're not as funny as you think. You're probably just drunk. The show is on stage, not at your stupid table. Don't ruin it for the rest of us.
There are a handful of killer shows tonight. 10:00PM's Bridgetown Preview is a can't-go-wrong lineup of steady national talent. I'm not sure how the Burlesque aspect will go over, but the Naked Lobster Burlesque features some killer about-to-break young comics like Moshe Kasher and top local dudes Richard Bain and Ron Funches. It's 10:00PM at the Hawthorne Theatre. If you want to go hyper local, there's the battle of Portland vs Seattle, beginning at 9:30PM at Mt Tabor. There may be a few loose ends at this show, but I promise Don Frost and Christian Ricketts will make Portland pretty hard to beat.
See you out on the street. And P.S.: Sewickly's Addition (49th & Hawthorne) might be a skeezy dive, but their drinks are by far the cheapest, and strongest (by a magnitude of two). Just don't get wasted enough to think you're the comedian.
Another week, another Mercury music section to read while you watch the video of Flip-Flop Bro. Don't laugh, inability to put on flip-flops is the second biggest problem at Coachella. Number one? Perry Farrell.
It's safe to say that Dan Bern really likes to write songs. Songs for films, for kiddies, and even for himself. Bern's endless output of material cover all spectrums of pop music, and in fact he just wrote two songs while this song uploaded to our server.
Dan Bern - "New American Language"
Simon Green (that's Bonobo to you and me) treads on new ground with Black Sands. Female vocals, full live band, and one giant balloon.
Bonobo - "All In Forms"
Has it really been two decades since Bizarro became a mixtape staple for every heartbroken boy/girl this side of Leeds? It has, and now the Wedding Present are performing the flawless record to the stage in its entirety.
The Wedding Present - "Kennedy"
End Hits: Lost your love of life? Too much apple pie.
Finally we turn our eyes to a stunning mystery. Supposedly there is going to be a big celebrity coming-out on May 5th. Naturally it will take place on the cover of People magazine, America's top choice for coming out location after your mom's car while she's driving you to the airport and Denise's basement. But zomgargoyles, who will it be??? Queen La? Zach Quinto? The regretful ghost of Dinah Shore? No one knows! You guys should speculate in the comments please. We hope it's a really exciting person. We hope it's 50 Cent. That would be amazing. Apparently the person is doing a big "coming out tour," so we'll have to guess, though, that's it's someone who's trying to create some celebrity, not someone who already has it.
My guess is Suri Cruise—but, hey, fingers crossed for Malia Obama. Who do you think it will be?
Dam It! In honor of Earth Day, Brazil OKs building the world's third-largest dam, which will flood rainforest land.
Hil Loves the Bomb: Fresh from Obama urging Russia to reduce its nuclear stockpile, Hillary goes all telling NATO to keep their stockpiles strong.
Muslim Group Warns South Park: Keep up those depictions of Mohammed in a bear suit and South Park could face threats, warns NYC Muslim group.
Mexican Drug Wars: Still terrifying.
Russia Bans Scientology Writings: Don't laugh.
Goldman Sachs Says Its Sanctions "Hurt America": Okay, now you can laugh.
Oregon National Guard Returns from Iraq: Thank God. Welcome home.
Dixie Mattress is Closing! After four decades, the confederacy is falling. I hope they put in another Stumptown there.
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