After 11 years, the Deus Ex series finally has a worthwhile sequel.
I still consider the original Deus Ex to be one of the top five games ever created — the others would be Half-Life, StarCraft, Super Mario Bros. 3 and Peggle — and while the newly released Deus Ex: Human Revolution doesn't trump the original, it makes the first sequel, Deus Ex: Invisible War, somehow look even worse than it already did.
Full details — or, at least, as "full" as one can get from a 330-word block o' text — can be found in this week's edition of our wood pulp counterpart, as well as on its HTML analogue.
While I would normally tell you guys to just skip the review and just buy the damn game before any more time is wasted, I've already used that gag. So, y'know, read the review, then go buy the game. Then after you spend 40 hours killing jerks in cyberpunk Detroit, come back to the paper and read Dan Savage's column.
When it comes to wangs and cooters, that dude knows his stuff.
After 14 hours on the set of Grimm yesterday, I have learned very little about Portland's new fairy tale police procedural—although quite a bit indeed about "Wizard's Staff," pro skateboarding, and the proper rearing of teacup pigs.
But! If you ever wanted to know what it takes to be an extra, this is how it went down.
Last month Ian Karmel was calling his showcase "Cheap Date." The name had to change it, as someone else already had dibs. But no drop in quality, here. No sir. Just a bunch of Portland's finest comics tonight at the Hollywood Theater for just six bucks. Last month's inaugural show sold out, so I'd get their early if I were you. I mean, shit, you never want the last choice of seats at a comedy show—that means your ass is sitting front and center and getting busted on.
TONIGHT: Funny Over Everything featuring Timmy Williams (The Whitest Kids U'Know), Ian Karmel, Gabe Dinger, Shane Torres, Sean Jordan, Tim Hammer, Anthony Lopez and free Voodoo Donuts @ Hollywood Theater - 9:30PM - $6
Portland artist/musician Ryland Bouchard attracted a fair amount of attention recently—not from his music, which he often releases under the moniker the Robot Ate Me, or from anything released on his label Swim Slowly Records, but for footage that was plundered (or "found") for use in the attention-grabbing video for LA singer Lana Del Rey's upcoming debut single "Video Games." Along with plenty of other sources, the Del Rey video apparently made liberal use of Bouchard's short film "Good Life #2." Bouchard sent a request to Del Rey's people to cease and desist; they didn't because (as some sources indicate) it would draw too much attention to the fact that the footage was stolen. The video has since been re-edited without Bouchard's footage, and the video's current YouTube page credits where all the remaining footage came from.
A few things: As you can hear above, Del Rey's "Video Games" is stunning. It's a remarkable debut for an unknown artist, and while she looks totally glammed-out to the point of artificiality (is that collagen? I'm just asking), that's never stopped a pop star before. "Video Games" is a dreamy, swooning song with real teeth to it, making the single's release date on October 10 eagerly anticipated. (I haven't found mention of any forthcoming album.) Time—and more songs—will prove if Del Rey has what it takes to stick around, but the other songs on her YouTube page are boring, pot-boiling pop, so it's probably best to enjoy "Video Games" for what it is before making any judgment calls.
End Hits: And is that maybe a nose job—WHAT? I'm only asking!
The trail judge thinks there's enough evidence of that to issue a 10-day delay so Choi's lawyers can put the government on trial for putting Choi in trial:
The third day of the U.S. government's trial of former Lt. Dan Choi ended with a 10-day delay for the government to seek an order from a higher court stopping the decision made today by U.S. Magistrate Judge John Facciola to allow Choi's lawyers to argue the government singled out Choi for "vindictive prosecution."
Facciola said this morning that he had found there was prima facie evidence for "vindictive prosecution," meaning enough evidence was presented to allow Choi's lawyers to pursue such a claim. As a result, Choi's lawyers would be able to ask for more documents and evidence from the government in order to investigate if higher-level officials advised their subordinates to try Choi in federal court rather than D.C. court and, if so, why.
Choi got arrested protesting DADT at the White House and is being charged with breaking some obscure federal park service law. He faces six months in prison. I'm going to go out on a limb here and guess that actress Daryl Hannah isn't going to face six months in prison for getting arrested at the White House yesterday.
You can sign a letter in support of Choi here.
Ha ha and trees and etc., but sobering reminder: Transformers producer Don Murphy is actually trying to get a live-action Captain Planet movie off the ground. So... that'll be fuckin' awful.
IT TAKES TWO—With merely a guitar, a drum kit, and a ton of passionate energy, Vancouver, BC, duo Japandroids make music on a monumental scale, with waves of rock bliss pouring off their fuzzy, poppy anthems. They'll perform a bunch of brand-new tunes from their next record, due out next year. NL
Bunk Bar, 1028 SE Water, 9 pm, $10
CHAINSAW—Brain De Palma's epic drug-crime movie starring Al Pacino, Scarface is almost 30 years old, but remains one of the most decadent, gratuitously violent, and occasionally hilarious icons of the genre. See Tony Montana's mountain of cocaine in all its voluminous glory on the big screen, where it was intended, for one night only. MS
Lloyd Center 10, 1510 NE Multnomah, 7:30 pm, $12.50
Despite the recent state unemployment ratings, Portland's still making bank. According to a Bureau of Labor Statistics survey, those who actually are employed in the city are making 6 percent more money than the national average. While most Americans are making an average of $21.35 an hour, we are raking in $22.58 an hour. Health practitioners in particular are making $5.78 more an hour than the national average and management occupations are the highest paid in the area at $49.78 an hour. Woo hoo!
This news pairs nicely with the upcoming holiday, as Labor Day was first recognized in Oregon. The "workingman's holiday", this end-o-summer vacation was made legal on February 1887. Oregon's move quickly became national.
Here's a photo of a 1911 labor day parade in Medford, OR.:
Looks like our commitment to treating our workers right translates to the 21st century.
The church has expanded in recent years from one church to nine churches, with plans in the works for three more. Including one in the heart of Sunnyside, one of the state's most liberal congressional districts (90 percent of neighborhood residents voted for Obama in 2008).
The Mars Hill blog reports that the church has purchased this castle on SE 32nd and Taylor.
The church does a lot of work to reach out to young people, including making videos about "Biblical Oral Sex" and hosting sermons in old rock venues (the Portland branch even has a Twitter feed). Portland Pastor Tim
Hill Smith, who grew up in Beaverton, is featured in this video about the church's new Portland digs and relates Portland's sexual immorality with his own tale of coming to Jesus.
"It is a city that is intensely independent and values freedom above almost everything else," says Smith, in the video. "It values sexual freedom as an end in itself, with a thriving sex industry that goes back more than a century." Unlike... every other city in America.
The SE Portland church has a capacity of 700. Built in 1905, the August 26th sale price for the old church is not yet public, but the building is worth $1.5 million. Services for Mars Hill will start Saturday, September 10 at 10am.
UPDATE 4:26PM— I just spoke with building owner David Rinella, who purchased the historic church with his wife back in 2007 for $750,000, and confirms that the sales price to Mars Hill was $1.25 million. Rinella's family has been living in the basement of the building and broadcast videos of sermons from Dr. Gene Scott every Sunday, cooking up 60 eggs and seven and a half pounds of bacon for the eclectic group of attendees. Surprisingly, Rinella has been paying property tax on the building since buying it. "God doesn't need a write off," he says.
Thoughts on Mars Hill's move to Portland from the Q Center and local progressive Reverend Chuck Currie below the cut.
Confession: we completely blanked on Good Morning News today. But lucky for you, dear bloggers, that led to the creation of a one-of-a-kind belated update. Meet Good Afternoon News! Here goes.
Stubborn Gaddafi: Gaddafi spokesperson refuses Libyan rebels' demand to surrender, despite threats of an "all-out military assault" come Saturday.
AT&T Hits a Wall: The US Department of Justice sues to block the looming merger of AT&T and T-Mobile, dropping AT&T's ego and shares.
Fear Overrides Education: In response to last week's casino bombing in Mexico, 600 teachers are refusing to show up to school as they have been threatened with violence. Thus, 140 Mexican school are not opening for the new school year.
North Carolina Aims to Ban Gay Marriage, Again: While NC already passed a ban on gay marriage in 1994, it will be on the ballot as a constitutional amendment in 2012, just for safety's sake.
Steppin' Out: Another foot — the 13th in four years — washed up on Vancouver, BC's shores. Police remain baffled.
Jack White Takes on ICP: What the what? Jack White's Third Man Records is allegedly producing a new Insane Clown Posse single "Leck Mich Im Arsch", a blend of Mozart and your favorite ICP rhymes. Check out the promo video:
In Other Unusual Celebrity News: Snooki is now a vocal advocate against global warming. "We're all just sweating our balls off," she says in a call to action.
Rising Stars: Watch a time-lapse video of a star being born, thanks to the Hubble Space Telescope.
After much murmuring, Ashkan (of online publication Day After) has announced his all-menswear fashion show, Chapter.1 (does that imply the first in a series? One can hope.). It's set to feature Joshua Buck for Chicago Harper, Devonation, and Pinkham Millinery—two relatively new and exciting names on Portland's menswear scene accessorized by an unassailable institution. And knowing those three, I would expect drama, experimentation, and smartness in equal measure.
Just the other day I was explaining to my daughter that severe injuries are always funnier if they're described as the result of a "freak gardening accident." So true, so true.
Despite its advancement from the John Wayne/John Ford/Howard Hawks classic mold of western, The Magnificent Seven still feels a little dated. The primary hero wears black, and he's played by Yul Brynner. His character's name is "Chris"—not exactly the toughest name in the west, and it gets funnier each time someone in the movie calls him by name. I think he's meant to be Cajun, but Brynner plays him as a sort of ethnicity-less wanderer who could just as easily be alien, or Brazilian, or (as Brynner was) Russian.
Good morning and welcome to a new day of bitching, betrayal, and bizarre ghost story-type thingies about typewriters. That's right, a new day has dawned in I, Anonymous land, and it's business as usual. Today's highlight is the poor soul addressing one "Fred Arminsen."
Contrary to my actions, I am not a walking dildo. I should have said something nice, I should have complimented you work (particularly when you opened up for Jeff Tweedy on his solo tour featured in the Wilco Documentary or Sadaam Hussein), I should have offered to buy you a drink, we could have talked about punk rock, i should have offered you a joint and talked about comedy.
It's a sad tale, folks. Read it here.
Apparently it just came out on DVD. I will be tracking down a copy immediately. Profoundly heartfelt thanks to atomic for the heads up.
In today's New York Times, Mark Bittman takes aim at our government's constant coddling of business interests over environmental health and considerations. He accuses President Obama of having no better environmental policy than President Bush and points out recent examples of policies favoring Monsanto, the agricultural giant, and the new Keystone XL pipeline that will stretch from Canada to the Gulf Coast.
The article is filled with
enraging helpful links as Bittman makes his case. All in all it's a pretty depressing read. Monsanto has flagrantly violated federal regulations without any repercussions and the Keystone pipeline has drawn protests and outspoken anger.
Bill McKibben...calls the pipeline “a fuse to the biggest carbon bomb on the continent,” and NASA scientist Jim Hansen, who says the oil Keystone will deliver “is essentially game over” for the planet.
Game over? No problem, says the State Department, which concluded that the project will have no significant impact on “most resources along the proposed pipeline corridor.” The Sierra Club quickly responded by calling the report “an insult to anyone who expects government to work for the interests of the American people.”
The biggest disappointment, of course, is that President Obama has the power to nix the project, but so far has done nothing. And last night a deeply cynical friend of mine called me cynical for not being surprised, claiming that he thought politicians, especially ones who claim to care for the quality of our planet and embrace sustainable energy, would have more sense. I countered that yes, I would like to believe that as well, but I have never seen any evidence to the contrary.
So read the editorial at least. Then, if you like, go join the protestors at the White House. You'll be in some good company.
Last night Stephen Malkmus and his merry band of Jicks visited the studios of Late Night With Jimmy Fallon to play Mirror Traffic's excellent lead single "Senator" (sans the line about the song's protagonist craving a blowjob). Speaking of blowjobs, Jicks drummer Jake Morris crossed paths with the one and only MacGruber backstage and, uh, this happened.
Once the shame wore off, the band tore through another number, the unreleased "Surreal Teenagers" (which is after the jump).
End Hits: Classic MacGruber!
Just when you thought you had run out of space for your home garden, Portland Bureau of Transportation is giving you more for free! Well, maybe.
This potential upgrade follows the tumultuous initiation of these planter boxes in 2009, when the city destroyed Portlander Jordan Benner's box for being on public property. Benner fought back, leading to the creation of the permits.
But for now, nothing is set in stone. Anderson says PBOT will announce its decision in the fall. Oh, the possibilities!
In case you were unaware, Janet Jackson is in town tonight. Miss Jackson (I am indeed nasty, thanks for asking) will be at the Keller Auditorium as part of her "Number Ones, Up Close & Personal" tour.
One person who wanted to get up close & personal with Janet was Maranda from Troutdale, who promised to clean her dad's house (five times!) in exchange for tickets. But that never happened, and dad took to Craigslist to vent his frustration:
MARANDA CLEAN MY F U K I N - HOUSE!! - $350 (Troutdale)
So I buy my daughter 350 dollar tickets to see Janet Jackson tonight.
She promises me to clean my house "5"times.
DOES SHE CLEAN IT ONCE??? NO
DOES SHE CLEAN IT TWICE???? NO
WOULD ANYONE LIKE A DAUGHTER????
SPOILED ROTTEN LITTLE BRAT!!!!!!
SORTA PRETTY BUT ATTITUDE TAKES CARE OF THAT REAL QUICK!!!
MAYBE JANET WILL COME CLEAN MY HOUSE!!!
I hate to break it to dad, but looks like Maranda also ripped you off on the tickets. The most expensive seat on the Ticketmaster site was listed at $97.40. Then again, maybe they went to a scalper. Then again, maybe this entire post is fake, since what kind of father refers to his daughter as "sorta pretty"? Ouch.
End Hits: Where fathers and daughters go to publicly argue about Janet Jackson.
Well, well, well, we're nearly at the end of our mildly successful Discomfort Zone series, and who's left? It's Mercury arts/web editor Alison Hallett, whose likes are, in this order: 1) Cats. 2) Comics about cats. 3) Eating gelato from Alder while reading comics about cats.
But we don't care about that! What are her dislikes? In the few years that I've known Alison, I have been able to determine that they are as follows, in this order: 1) Hardboiled eggs. 2) Discrimination. 3) Shakespeare in the Park. Therefore, this week's Discomfort nominees were tailored with her dislikes in mind, and while the much-anticipated annual Easter Egg Hunt & Racism Ball unfortunately doesn't fall on this weekend, we found some choice events in the coming days that should make Alison distinctly discomfortable.
Knucklehead Blues Fest
SE Foster biker bar Knucklehead's is hosting a three-day festival of that most discomfortable of musical genres: the blues. While we can't make her go to all three days, we can definitely ruin her Sunday by sending her to a long day/night of white dudes singing, "Woke up this morning..." PROS: The blues; bikers. CONS: Alcohol. Alison might be able to drink her way through this one.
Knucklehead's, 6219 SE Foster, Sunday September 4
Jerry Garcia Celebration
More unfortunate music, this time performed by Jerry Garcia tribute band Cats Under the Stars. What makes this so discomfortable (other than the music)? Alison loves cats, which means she's automatically predisposed to love Cats Under the Stars based on their name alone—but I predict that she'll experience disorientation and confusion (in other words, DISCOMFORT) when it becomes apparent that these particular Cats are neither fluffy nor purr-y. Also, hippies.
The Goodfoot, 2845 SE Stark, Sunday September 4
Shakespeare's As You Like It performed out of doors
A-ha! Now we are getting somewhere. The otherwise likable Portland Actors Ensemble (their logo is of Shakespeare wearing sunglasses! Tubular, dude!) insists on blabbing their way through the gender-bending As You Like It, one of the Bard's most discomfortable plays, without the benefits of an indoor stage. This is certainly one of Alison's pet peeves. Also, it's at Reed, which means she'll be surrounded by Reedies. DISCOMFORTABLE.
Reed College, in front of Eliot Hall, Sunday September 4 & Monday September 5
A charming day at the Oregon State Fair
It's the last day of this year's Oregon State Fair, and there's plenty to see and do, including a concert by Selena Gomez at 4:30 pm! Alison must attend Ms. Gomez's performance in full, PLUS complete at least three of the following activities also taking place on this fine day of family and fun (here's a PDF of the full schedule):
• Warpaint International: Paintball Open Play
• Let’s Pretend Circus - Cutest Show on Earth
• Marion County Sheriff and Keizer Police K-9 Demonstrations
• GASCAR Crazy Animal Races
• Bi-Mart Presents Radio Disney
Oregon State Fairgrounds, 2330 17th St. NE, Salem, Monday September 5
HUNNY—Invading genre lines all over the map, Sons of Huns mash punk and metal together with lysergic, garage-psych delivery. Critic-speak aside, the trio simply makes badass rock 'n' roll, and tonight's show doesn't cost a damn thing, so there's no excuse not to blow out your eardrums tonight. NL
w/Motoplane; Bunk Bar, 1028 SE Water, 10 pm, FREE
MS. JACKSON—The queen of the "Rhythm Nation" (AKA Janet Jackson, AKA Ms. Jackson—but only if you're nasty) brings her Number Ones, Up Close and Personal tour to the Keller, which not only means a night packed with her monster hits, but she'll be almost close enough to touch. Join me in squealing, "EEEEEEE!!!" WSH
Keller Auditorium, 222 SW Clay, 8 pm, $64.50-95, all ages
School is starting soon; you can tell because kids are finally reading the books on their summer reading lists and thinking, "holy crap there are lesbian sex scenes in this book!" And then some stupid kid rats out the book to their parents, and then they try to get one of the best authors alive removed from their kid's reading list.
From The Guardian:
Haruki Murakami's venerated novel of love and mental illness, Norwegian Wood, has been pulled off a reading list for New Jersey teenagers after a rash of complaints from parents.
The novel, which has inspired obsessive devotion from its fans in Japan and around the world since it was first published in 1987, is set in 1960s Tokyo, and tells of 19-year-old Toru Watanabe's relationships with two girls: troubled, vulnerable Naoko and impetuous Midori. The best known of Murakami's novels, it has sold more than 10m copies in Japan and 2.6m in translation.
Specifically, people were offended by the back story of Reiko, which involves a homosexual affair between a piano teacher and her conniving teenage student.
Parents also objected to the novel Tweak, a young adult book that features a "drug fueled, homosexual orgy." (Just picked up my copy, thank you.)
I think this is ridiculous, but it's also great publicity leading up to the publication of Murakami's new book,IQ84, due out October 25th. In extra Murakami news, you can listen to an interview with translator Jay Rubin over at The New Yorker.
While OSPRIG might be trying to strip you of your 2nd Amendment right to government-subsidized corn syrup, the free-market patriots of 7-11 understand what a balanced meal looks like to Real Americans (such as myself and regular Blogtown commenter "D"). How many times have you walked into a 7-11, picked up a bag of Cool Ranch Doritos, and thought, "I just wish there was a bag of chips that paired properly with my Smoky Big Bite"? Wish no more...
Twinkies may be on the chopping block this next election, if OSPIRG has its way.
This morning, Oregon Student Public Interest Research Group members petitioned to cut as much as $30 billion from federal government subsidies that lower prices on unhealthy food. Along with general national health, OSPIRG hopes to target childhood obesity, which has taken a spike in the past years. Stationed outside of Lloyd Farmer’s Market, the group compared a pile of unhealthy foods — Sno Balls, potato chips, chocolate syrup — to a cornucopia of fruits and vegetables. OSPRIG's David Gamburd compared the prices between the piles, illustrating the significant difference in cost.
“People get that this food is unhealthy, but they don’t understand that it’s their tax dollars going towards these subsidies,” said Gamburd. "That's the real issue."
Titled “The Price is Wrong,” the national USPIRG campaign aims to eliminate the major agribusiness influence on government subsidies in the 2012 election. However, Gamburd said that they have no position on what to do with the money if it is cut. “For now, we’re just attacking it at the ground level,” he said.
Representative Earl Blumenauer's office is supporting the local campaign, and sent a statement (his spokeswomen wasn't able to make it due to the Mt. Hood fire) to the group to read at today's event. The letter focused on local farms, which these subsidies originally meant to help, and the necessity of regaining a local economy.
For now, OSPIRG aims to roam the streets for support and hold similar events prior to the 2012 election, in hopes of taking a bite out of the corn syrup-laden grub.
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