This Week in the Mercury

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Thursday, September 1, 2011

MGM Grand

Posted by Marjorie Skinner on Thu, Sep 1, 2011 at 5:39 PM

As you may have caught wind, tonight Holocene is hosting a roster of entertainment curated by buzzy Portland dance troupe Woolly Mammoth Comes to Dinner, a mélange of dance, music and comedy featuring Linda Austin, Allie Hankins, Why I Must Be Careful, Pool of Winds, Comedy is Ok, Rob Walmart, and E*Rock wearing his DJ hat. But the headlining act causing hearts to flutter is MGM Grand (Modern Garage Movement), a California based dance collective. Earlier this year, the NYT drooled that "MGM Grand is coolness incarnate. The name, Modern Garage Movement, comes from its 2005 beginnings in a garage in San Francisco. Following a rock-band model, the group has kept itself on the road, performing in nontraditional spaces." Video evidence of their work has proven difficult to track down on the web, but appealing photos of their performances abound. The Holocene show is a mere $5 and starts at 8:30, but if you can't catch it there, they'll also be at PNCA tomorrow through the 6th.


Iconic, Brawny Firemen Quench SW Portland Fire

Posted by Sarah Mirk on Thu, Sep 1, 2011 at 5:05 PM

SW Portland smells a bit like ash right now because there was a big fire on the roof deck of the Riverplace office and condo building down at the south end of Waterfront Park.

Eight fire trucks and their crews put out the blaze so quickly that, by the time I showed up, the whole thing was over and people were just standing around talking and enjoying the sunshine.

But what I learned is that firefighters look iconic doing anything. Seriously, all they were doing were tasks like unloading bottled water and moving boxes but it looked like the set from an action movie about American heroes. The conclusion here is that the Portland Fire Bureau should cover some of its costs by renting out firefighters to AmericanizeTM events. Like tomorrow, it's the 25th anniversary of the MAX. Wouldn't a celebration of public transit seem a bit less socialist if there were burly firefighters wandering around carrying things?


Iconically squinting at the sun.
Iconically hauling wood.
  • Iconically hauling wood.

Tonight: First Thursday

Posted by Matt Stangel on Thu, Sep 1, 2011 at 4:07 PM

On view at PNCAs Gallery 214.
  • Ruth Lantz
  • On view at PNCA's Gallery 214.

It's First Thursday time again, and if you're planning on heading West of the river for the art walk, I've got a few shows I'd like to tip you off to.

After the jump: new illustration and sculpture by Ryan Bubnis at the new Grass Hut; animals in tween bling at Breeze Block; Michael Reinsch inside a mobile gallery; Nike's graphic designers at Compound Gallery; and Maggie Casey and Ruth Lantz at PNCA's Gallery 214 (pictured above).

Continue reading »

Gold Star: The Mercury's Web Comment of the Week!

Posted by Alison Hallett on Thu, Sep 1, 2011 at 3:44 PM

I know two of you have been really bummed about the absence of Comment of the Week, so lo, its triumphant return.

On our My, What a Busy Week! listing for The Man Who Fell to Earth.


Alright jamdox, that's pretty funny. Gold star for you.



The I, Anonymous Blog Quote o' the Day!

Posted by Wm.™ Steven Humphrey on Thu, Sep 1, 2011 at 3:28 PM

Be sure to pay your daily visit to the I, Anonymous Blog where today you will read the following half-hearted apology to actor Fred Armisen. FRED ARMISEN?!? HE'S THAT GUY THAT STARS IN PORTLANDIA!! "Put a bird on it," amirite? HIGH FIVE!! Okay, shutting up now.

When you were walking out of the Portland Poetry Slam I assumed you were coming back. I assumed I would be able to follow up my witty comment regarding your performance. Alas, the retort expired as swiftly as the wit; neither were meant to be. Contrary to my actions, I am not a walking dildo. I should have said something nice.

Read the rest of this actually kind of awkward missive here, and if YOU happen to have any celebrity apologies you'd like to make, submit them right here at the somewhat newish I, Anonymous Blog: "Where the dream of the '90s is alive."


Donald Trump Thinks Dick Cheney Isn't Very Classy

Posted by Paul Constant on Thu, Sep 1, 2011 at 3:14 PM

I hope this is the first in a series of Donald Trump video reviews of books he doesn't plan to read. Maybe he'll do Fight Club next:

I can't believe that there is a statistically significant number of human beings who believe this guy should be president.

Stupid, Stupid Baby: It's Called a VAGINA, You IDIOT!

Posted by Wm.™ Steven Humphrey on Thu, Sep 1, 2011 at 2:59 PM

Okay. I can maybe accept that stupid, stupid babies are too stupid to stop themselves from drooling all over my new H&M polo. Because, after all, they're STUPID. What I CANNOT and WILL NOT accept is the butchering of anatomical terminology. NOTE TO STUPID, STUPID BABIES OF THE WORLD: It's "VA-gina" not "PA-gina," you blithering infantile morons! Jesus fucking Christ. I need a goddamn drink.

Fucking... stupid... baby!

Drive: Holy Shit

Posted by Erik Henriksen on Thu, Sep 1, 2011 at 2:44 PM

Nicolas Winding Refn's Drive doesn't come out until September 16, but it screened for press this afternoon—and while I'm technically supposed to keep any reactions to myself until then, (A) fuck it, and (B) now that I think about it, I kinda doubt the film's publicists will mind if I break their embargo just to say this: Holy shit.

It's been a long time since I've loved a movie this entirely. Refn 101: If you haven't already seen it, watch Bronson, one of my favorite films of the past few years, then check out Valhalla Rising (which I should note I've warmed up to considerably since I first saw it). It's easy—they're both on Netflix instant. I suspect you'll be glad you did. Especially in a week or two when Drive hits.

It's Happening Tonight!

Posted by Alison Hallett on Thu, Sep 1, 2011 at 2:29 PM


—It's a big night for Portland's bookstores: Floating World Comics proudly hosts the grand opening of a new, expanded space—and shows off art from renowned Brazilians Gabriel Bá and Fábio Moon—while the venerable Reading Frenzy puts 17 candles on the cake and hosts a map-themed group art show to celebrate years of keeping it indie, small press, and local. AH
Floating World Comics, 400 NW Couch, 6-10 pm, FREE; Reading Frenzy, 921 SW Oak, 6-9 pm, FREE

MAMMOTH—Local darlings of modern dance Woolly Mammoth Comes to Dinner have curated a packed night featuring dance from California troupe MGM and Linda Austin, music by Why I Must Be Careful, and comedy from Comedy Is OK, just for starters. MS
w/Allie Hankins, Pool of Winds, Rob Walmart, DJ E*Rock; Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison, 8:30 pm, $5


Kitten Terrorizm Hits PDX

Posted by Alex Zielinski on Thu, Sep 1, 2011 at 2:14 PM

Brace yourself, baby animal fans. So — everyone.

According to the Portland Police Bureau, several kittens were thrown from a moving gold minivan at North Peninsular Ave. and Willis Blvd. early this morning.The van sped off, but bystanders managed to grab two of the three kittens (sounds like the other ran off). Of the two, one had to be put down after suffering severe injuries.

Potentially worst pie graph every created.
  • Potentially worst pie graph every created.

This inhumanity falls in the category of first degree animal abuse in Oregon, marking it a felony. Both the Oregon Humane Society Investigations Department and PPB are both on the lookout for suspects and witnesses, offering $1,000 for any information on the incident.

First Steven Seagal shoots a puppy, now THIS? Something's terribly wrong in the world of cute. And humanity.

According to statistics from — an online animal abuse database — Oregon animal abuse classifications released today, "throwing" remains at 8 percent of types of abuse statewide. The leading cause is neglect and abandonment, followed by shooting and then hoarding. With such a horrifying list of classifications, I hope to never find out what lies in the "other" category. Ick.

Hey Look! It's Two Portland-Made Bike Guides

Posted by Sarah Mirk on Thu, Sep 1, 2011 at 1:44 PM


I always carry a fat stack of the city's pocket-size foldy bike maps to hand out to visiting friends and other people new to biking in Portland. But two groups of locals are one-upping the city, printing full guides to Portland by bike.

Bike activist Elly Blue and bike fun instigator Meghan Sinnott launched PDX by Bike a few months ago and just recently printed their cute, bright blue bike guide to Portland. The 32-page pocket-size zine is a crash course on Portland bike culture, infrastructure, and history. It's fun! It's pretty basic info for people who already know the ins-and-outs of the city, but would be a good gift for a newbie. The zine PDX by Bike is in stores all over town, but you can also get a copy on their site.

And then today established Portland bike tour company Pedal Bike Tours (you've seen them—the packs of a half dozen people with matching bikes and helmets on the Eastbank Esplanade?) launched their own guide book, Pedal's Picks. It's more of an eat-drink-bike guide to the city, listing neighborhood places that the tour company winds up always recommending to tourists. The book is only available at their headquarters (133 SW 2nd Avenue).

Books. Bikes. Portland can never have enough!


Christian Singing Group at a State University Votes to Kick Gay Singer Out

Posted by Dan Savage on Thu, Sep 1, 2011 at 1:27 PM

The other members of the group didn't kick out that gay singer out because he's gay—that would violate university rules—but because of what that gay singer believes about being gay:

The Christian a cappella group Psalm 100 voted unanimously Sunday night to remove one of its members, senior Will Thomason, because of his views on homosexuality, members said.... Psalm 100’s constitution mandates that members of the group act in accordance with ideology laid out in the Bible, said Blake Templeton, general director of the group. Templeton stressed that Thomason was not removed because of his sexual orientation.

“It’s really easy in this situation for the focus to be on this one thing—the homosexuality,” he said. “It wasn’t about that. It was really about a disagreement with something that was clearly written in Scripture and in the Bible and we just have to base all of our decisions, constitutionally... on the Bible.”

The group is coed, performs in churches, and I believe the bible has something to say about women keeping their mouths shut in church.

Here's Psalm 100's Facebook page—where folks are expressing sympathy for the members of Psalm 100 who voted to kick Thomason out—and I'm thinking Blogtownies, particularly the non-NALTs who read Blogtown, might want to jump in. Psalm 100's Twitter feed is here, their website is here.

Fallout: Nuka Break Gets The Web Series Treatment

Posted by Earnest "Nex" Cavalli on Thu, Sep 1, 2011 at 1:11 PM

In January, a group of Fallout fans released a short film titled Fallout: Nuka Break. As you probably already guessed, it was set in the post-apocalyptic world of the beloved gaming series, but in a sharp break from your preconceptions, it was also pretty damn solid. Here have a look:

Actually, it was so good, that Wayside Creations has segued that 16:30 film into an ongoing web series. The first episode of which has just been released. As per Internet writer segue standards, here is that thing also:

There's no word on how long this series will run, or when we can expect its creators to get bored and kill the thing in favor of a situational comedy set inside a gaming company, but until then we can all enjoy the sweet metafiction that Bethesda has so long denied us.

Well, at least until Bethesda actually sees this thing, and decapitates it with a cease and desist order. After all, they have to protect their right to pitch the same idea as a SyFy Channel original come 2015.

It Gets Better for County Commissioners, Too

Posted by Alex Zielinski on Thu, Sep 1, 2011 at 12:14 PM

Almost year after the kickoff of Dan Savage's "It Gets Better" project, Multnomah County Board of Commissioners has created their own video in the same vein. While it dabbles in LGBTQ awareness, the main focus is on general bullying, and how hard it can be on teenagers in particular. "There are times when things seem so dark. I've been there, I've seen that darkness," says Chair Jeff Cogen. "But what I really want people to know is that the darkness lifts."

While it appears board member inspired, the idea itself was sparked by a Grant High School Junior and county intern, Giovanni McKenzie. "I used (my internship) to focus on a project that was close to my heart and affects many young people today," McKenzie says on the Board's website. The site and video also offer local help lines for teens.

A little behind the times, but important nonetheless.

Check out Savage's June follow-up on the movement in the Mercury.



Posted by Marjorie Skinner on Thu, Sep 1, 2011 at 11:44 AM

It seems like only yesterday that I wrote, "It used to be that every time you turned around there was a benefit function, corporate anniversary, or some other tenuously related event that featured a fashion show. Much like cupcakes, they had become the party favor du jour." And now, after a relatively fashion show-free summer, the fall storm of shows appears to be gathering.

On September 30, a Chicago-born organization called Backbones—a support/mentorship community for people with spinal cord injuries and their families—will celebrate its expansion into the Pacific Northwest with a runway at the MercyCorps HQ featuring looks from Mag-Big, Mabel & Zora. Along with last night's festive Dress/Undress Planned Parenthood benefit, these types of shows/parties seem like a pretty fun and goodhearted way to ramp up enthusiasm for the season's more formal events, even if they're less of a platform for debuting new work, and even if a shop's representation on the runway is really about styling (styling is damn important, after all). Stay tuned for more details on this and many other upcoming show on MOD.

Eva Franco Barnaby Dress at Mabel & Zora
  • Eva Franco Barnaby Dress at Mabel & Zora

Who's Funding Islamaphobia in America?

Posted by Sarah Mirk on Thu, Sep 1, 2011 at 11:14 AM

When I hear radical anti-Muslim pundits on TV or read right-wing blogs that do things like describe the language of Arabic as "a spearhead of an ideological project that is deeply opposed to the United States," my first response is always, "Who ARE these people? Who's cutting them enough checks that they have time to scribble hateful blogs and be television talking heads?"

Well, progressive think tank the Center for American Progress released a report last week detailing exactly who is bankrolling Islamaphobic groups in the US. Read it here.

Seven contributors have poured nearly $43 million into anti-Muslim think tanks nationwide since 9/11, the study found. These groups, like Stop Islamization of America and Jihad Watch, don't speak into a vacuum—they push the mainstream perception of Islam toward a religion synonymous with terrorism and anti-democracy.

As Colorlines points out, 60 percent of Americans say they don't know a Muslim person. That means Americans rely a lot of media coverage to shape their understanding of Islam and when that media coverage is shaped by anti-Muslim think tanks who have the time, money, and connections to get on the news, well, you wind up with anti-Muslim intolerance and hate crimes.

T-Mobile CEO to Employees: Don't Worry, We'll Shove This Thing Through Somehow

Posted by Paul Constant on Thu, Sep 1, 2011 at 10:59 AM

This Is My Next has text of T-Mobile CEO Philipp Humm's internal e-mail to his employees about the news that the Justice Department is blocking the AT&T merger:

DT and AT&T believe the DOJ has failed to acknowledge the significant consumer benefits of this deal. DT remains convinced that bringing together these two world-class businesses would create significant benefits for customers and the country.

Go read the whole thing, if you really like reading squirmy, cowardly corporate double-speak. But I'll translate it for you right here: "Don't worry: We'll still fuck everyone over—from all you future layoff victims employees reading this e-mail to every last one of our customers—because we've got great lawyers and we're betting the government's bark is worse than its bite."

Nerdlebrities Weigh in on the Star Wars Blu-rays

Posted by Erik Henriksen on Thu, Sep 1, 2011 at 10:44 AM


As suspected, that Yoda change wasn't all—after a few days of panicked rumor-swapping in the dweebier corners of the internet, Lucasfilm finally admitted to the New York Times that, in the upcoming Blu-ray version of Return of the Jedi's climactic scene, the formerly silent Darth Vader now cries "NOOOOOOOOOOO!" in much the same goofy-ass, repeatedly mocked way that he did in Revenge of the Sith. Which is... well, stupid, 'cause Vader's silence in that moment was one of the highlights of the original movies, while the "NOOOOOOOOOOO!" from Sith is one of the lowlights of the prequels.

On Wednesday, a press representative for Lucasfilm confirmed that this change will be included in the Blu-ray release, writing in an email: “Yes—Darth says NO.”

Though it may sound like a minor detail among the millions in the Star Wars movies, this alteration has not sat well with many admirers of the film franchise.

On one hand, this is basically the least surprising news ever—Lucas will never stop (poorly) tweaking these movies, and fans will never stop getting outraged. On the other hand, though, it is kinda surprising, simply because the change is something you don't often hear associated with Lucas: It's bad business. With physical media whimpering its way through its prolonged death throes, these Blu-ray releases are basically Lucasfilm's last chance to make a good chunk off change off selling hard copies of these things, but now—out of anger, bitterness, and stubbornness—a whole lot of formerly reliable, money-spendin' nerds aren't gonna buy these. Asking 'em to buy the special editions was already a hard sell; asking 'em to buy some special special editions—while continuing to deny them access to the originals they want? That's just about impossible.

But who cares what I think—WHAT DO FAMOUS NERDS HAVE TO SAY? As the Times noted, Simon Pegg—star of Shaun of the Dead, Spaced, and Hot Fuzz— weighed in:


Which is a pretty good point, and—

Continue reading »

SL Letter of the Day: Pretty Little Hippie

Posted by Dan Savage on Thu, Sep 1, 2011 at 10:29 AM

Before I go into the now I’ll delve to the past for a little background on myself.

I have always been attracted to females. I have always had crushes on female teachers and classmates. I have always fantasized about women. Another friends mother caught myself and my closest early childhood friend, a girl, naked and in missionary position when we were five. This was my first sexual experience, and I was hard. I think I learned the moves I used on my girl (I was french kissing her) from films. To this day I have trouble getting hard without making out. My love-making style is very cinematic.

I digress.

Moving on, I have had experiences with other males as well. All fondling. I have at times found the penis erotic but it does not consume me. I enjoy women so much and prefer them in every respect. None of my erotic dreams include men and I have only masturbated to orgasm thinking of a man once, which felt awkward and not erotic. The issue at hand, so to speak, is that I get pegged, so to speak, as being gay, so to speak, quite a lot. I recognize why this would be. I do flirt with men. I sincerely like being nice and making people happy and as a matter of course I smile and make eye contact. I think some guys may confuse my polite, hippie "I love everybody" hippie mentality for my being willing to suck their dicks to MAKE them happy, which honestly is not a can of worms, so to speak, that I feel compelled to open. There are plently of women in the world, and I am not in prison at the moment.

The rest of the question—and my response—after the jump...

Continue reading »


Portlandia... Now in a Mall Near You

Posted by Wm.™ Steven Humphrey on Thu, Sep 1, 2011 at 10:14 AM

Hey, look what I saw in the mall: Portlandia gifts for sale! (Including Portlandia coffee mugs, coasters, nighties, and T-shirts that read "The Dream of the '90s is Alive," and of course, "Put a Bird on It".) But this is what I thought was the funniest part: a placard that unsuccessfully tries to explain what "Put a Bird on It" means.


"In Portland you can just put a bird on something and call it art." This term is referring to a skit performed on the TV series, Portlandia. Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein help change a boutique's fashion and design woes by putting birds on things."


Okay, anyway. POLL TIME!

This Is the Best Spam Email I've Ever Received.

Posted by Alison Hallett on Thu, Sep 1, 2011 at 9:59 AM


[note: there were no attachments.]

Books Are Dead, Long Live Books

Posted by Jacob Schraer on Thu, Sep 1, 2011 at 9:44 AM


At The Wall Street Journal, Joseph Epstein uses his review of The Cambridge History of the American Novel to trash English departments across the country and liberal higher education in general. What's more, I mostly agree with him, though I would probably word my argument more like this: "The baby boomers and their imaginary PC garbage created a whole generation of useless scholarship." But this isn't about me, it's about you, Blogtown readers. Were you an English major? Were your classes worthwhile? Do you proudly display your framed degree in your personal library or does it sit in a box in your closet in the same envelope in which it was mailed to you?

Seriously, Epstein sounds like a dick, but there's no question that the study of literature is in big trouble, and the book industry in general is freaked about it's future viability. That's why you should temper your enjoyment of that review with this refreshing look at how interactive iPad stories are changing the way people (so far, mainly children) interact with "books". Hidden mini-games, choose your own adventure narratives, stories that teach and learn with examples—these are the literary devices of the future. And the author is kind enough to acknowledge that books as we know them will always exist cause they're still a unique medium that is in no way obsolete.

Good Morning News!

Posted by Sarah Mirk on Thu, Sep 1, 2011 at 9:30 AM

The Libya Summit: Libyan rebels meet and greet heads of state at a major summit in France.

Meanwhile, Vacay! A UCLA student is bumming around with the rebels for summer vacation.

US Bombs Yemen: Airstrikes in the country are said to have killed some Al Qaeda members.

Iraq vs. Afghanistan: A casualty-free month for US soldiers in Iraq vs. the deadliest month so far in Afghanistan.

MyFace: Facebook will be launching some sort of music platform so all your friends can invite you to listen to their crappy bands.

Cohabitation: Right or Wrong? The NYTimes opens debate on whether living together makes you a bad parent.

Jihad Rap: A popular former German rapper with knuckle tattoos reading STR8 THUG is now inspiring bombings.

Blimey, Limeys! London rioters head to court en masse.

Do We Really Need to Talk About Huntsman's Jobs Plan? Let me guess, tax breaks for the rich?

Or Rick Perry's Thoughts on Abortion? Ugh, look at the kinds of anti-choice laws he supports.

Steven Seagal Killed a Puppy?! This cannot stand. Also, please note that this story is about Seagal launching a raid on the house of man named Jesus who was a cockfighting king. Allegedly.

Annnd Mustache Monkeys are at the San Francisco Zoo. oOOOooo!

This Week's Mercury Music Section

Posted by Ezra Ace Caraeff on Thu, Sep 1, 2011 at 7:53 AM

Oh man, hes got the exact same Five Finger Death Punch tat as you have. Bummer.
  • Oh man, he's got the exact same Five Finger Death Punch tat as you have. Bummer.

Another week, another Mercury music section to line your birdcage with as you watch this video of an adorable little scamp asking death metal bands about babies. Hey kid, the answer to your question is Lemmy. Babies comes from Lemmy. All of them.

It's been nearly six months since KUFO was yanked from the airwaves, leaving Portland's hard rock and metal community without a spot on the FM dial to call their own. We take a trip to RockFest to see how their fanbase is coping.

Big Black Cloud has streamlined their lineup and are preparing to make the rounds in support of their latest cassette, Shitty Vibrations. I know what you are thinking, is there a theremin on this release that makes fart noises? What? You weren't thinking that? Sorry, my bad.

Big Black Cloud - "Human Host"

After a two year delay, Young Jeezy returns with Thug Motivation 103. I'm sorry, but that album title sounds like a class at the Learning Annex.

Young Jeezy - "All White Everything"

Wheedle's Groove is an excellent documentary on Seattle's sizzling soul/funk scene from 1965-75. Wheedle's Groove is also the all-star band, a 15-20 piece outfit composed of musicians featured in the film. See them both in the same night.

Black On White Affair - "Bold Soul Sister, Bold Soul Brother"

End Hits: Death metal babies.

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