This Week in the Mercury

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Sunday, October 19, 2014

It's Happening Tonight!

Posted by Bobby Roberts on Sun, Oct 19, 2014 at 2:59 PM


BOOKSGirls creator/showrunner/writer Lena Dunham sits down with Carrie Brownstein for a chat about her new memoir, Not That Kind of Girl, which recounts "<3ing New York," sex with tiny poets, and her curious fascination with non-neurotics. Tonight's Q&A is sold out, so if you got tickets in time, I hope you have fun and I'll try really hard not to be jealous. MEGAN BURBANK
Newmark Theatre, 1111 SW Broadway, 7:30 pm, $38-47.25, all ages


MUSIC—More than three decades into a prolific career, the Melvins won't stop rocking. King Buzzo and crew—including, these days, members of the Butthole Surfers—drop their latest, Hold It In, just five days before tonight's stop at the Roseland. Go see what metal's inexorable shape-shifters have in store this time around. DIRK VANDERHART
w/Le Butcherettes; Roseland Theater, 8 NW 6th, 8 pm, $16-26, all ages

Saturday at All Jane No Dick: Queer Zone and The Worst Books You'll Ever Read

Posted by Megan Burbank on Sun, Oct 19, 2014 at 11:44 AM


There's only one day of All Jane No Dick left! How did that happen? For the past couple days, I've been ugly-laughing like a boss at jokes told by women and non-binary comedians. Yesterday's Queer Zone showcase of LGBTQ performers at Alberta Street brought up my laughter quotient, hard. Here were the highlights:

Portland's Andie Main shared her experience of performing for three ungrateful bros in Gresham, and held it down for those of us who list "Downton Abbey and wine" among our favorite hobbies.

I saw DeAnne Smith, the last performer of the night, at Thursday's show too, where she was on her game, but last night she managed to totally kill it using almost no prepared material, which, in a festival that has so many repeat performers, is especially funny and welcome. Her set was full of hilarious, endearing crowd-work and covered everything—the syncing-up of menstrual cycles, the proper way to spell woman (with many Y's and I's), taxidermy stores, and what's wrong with Portland (we're very sincere and just want to be helpful). I've never seen a room so full of people being made fun of and enjoying it so, so much.

Seattle's Elicia Sanchez made some fresh jokes about Bible ownership—"It's America. If you don't have a Bible already, it means you don't want one"—and confessed to ordering a Bible from the Mormons on TV, only to be stalked by calls from the Church of Latter-Day Saints for years to come.

Rye Silverman, Mo Welch, Candy Lawrence, Caitlin Weierhauser, and Caroline Bassett also delivered solid sets covering dumb cat-calls, lesbians who hate cats and astrology, and Portland's underemployment problem and no. 1 hobby (doing kind favors for strangers).

An All Jane No Dick episode of the reading aloud from terrible books series "Say Wha?!" followed the Queer Zone, with Beth Stelling, Brandie Posey, and Courtenay Hameister's dramatic readings from Christian propaganda about the dangers of socialism, divorce, and enjoying food. Also did you know that Alice Munro sat on the jury that gave Canada's Governor General's book award to a novel about bestiality? I didn't, but now I do thanks to All Jane No Dick. Yay, I guess?

If you seriously didn't get off the couch over the past several days, or if you are protesting the fact that Lena Dunham's book event today is sold out, All Jane continues tonight. Your Sunday night can be a typical weekly existential crisis, or it can be spent laughing at strangers saying funny things. Your pick.

Tonight in Music: The Melvins, Hey Lover, Rose Windows & More

Posted by Ned Lannamann on Sun, Oct 19, 2014 at 10:29 AM

(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) A lot of musicians have been welcomed into the Melvins fold over the past three decades, some for extended stretches, others for a single show or recording session. The version of the long-running proto metal act hitting the tonight finds core Melvins Buzz Osborne and Dale Crover joined by Jeff Pinkus and Paul Leary, two founding members of San Antonio psych-rock freaks Butthole Surfers. The combination is a vicious one, with the two Texans adding an element of chaos to the often-rigid attack of the gents from Washington. Joining the Melvins on this tour is Le Butcherettes, equally unhinged rockers from Mexico that love adding theatrical touches like fake blood and a pig head to their stage set almost as much as they love grinding out disturbingly sexy garage punk. RH Also see My, What a Busy Week!

(The Foggy Notion, 3416 N Lombard) Husband-and-wife garage-pop duo Hey Lover are bona-fide scene veterans, having formed almost a decade ago and released their self-titled debut LP in 2007 to mass local acclaim. Their follow-up, Tennessee, released on esteemed Portland punk label Hovercraft in 2011, is a scrappy tour de force that toes the line between all-out punk primitiveness and '60s pop sophistication—a dichotomy best exemplified by great, erratic single "Our Heads in a Hole," one of the most quintessential, anti-Pacific Northwest "wet season" anthems ever penned. Tonight, the group—with new bassist Tim Janchar—play their first show in Portland following a 10-day tour throughout Oregon and Washington, and are additionally celebrating the release of a new cassingle. MORGAN TROPER

(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) The first thing you'll notice about Seattle psych collective Rose Windows is the voice of Rabia Shaheen Qazi. She's got an otherworldly set of pipes cut from the same mold as Grace Slick or Shocking Blue's Mariska Veres. But Rose Windows don't simply lean on Qazi, and last year's excellent debut The Sun Dogs is a musical feast of folk, heavy blues, and Eastern European influences, all with a patchouli scent. Keyboardist David Davila—who provided the notable Ray Manzarek-inspired notes to Rose Windows' sound—recently left the band, but there is plenty to keep ears satiated. It also proves that this truly is a band whose sum is much bigger than its parts. MARK LORE

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Saturday, October 18, 2014

It's Happening Tonight!

Posted by Bobby Roberts on Sat, Oct 18, 2014 at 2:59 PM


MUSIC—Have you heard Sinkane's new album Mean Love? It's soooooo good. The Sudan-born musician (AKA Ahmed Gallab) has really come into his sexy, falsetto-ed own with a collection of eclectic, groove-flecked, and slightly mournful pop songs. They're chockfull of '70s funk, soul, and Afropop, so this oughta be a feet-mover of a show. COURTNEY FERGUSON
w/Helado Negro, Grapefruit; Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi, 9 pm, $15


GAMES & CAFFEINE—The folks at the Portland Retro Gaming Expo have an admittedly loose definition of "classic" games: basically, any game not made for a manufacturer's current system. Which is great—because that means there's a joystick for anyone who wants one. And if your thumbs start to ache, it gets even better. The Oregon Convention Center's also hosting Coffee Fest this weekend. DENIS C. THERIAULT
Oregon Convention Center, 777 NE MLK, see or for schedules and admission prices


All Jane No Dick, Day 2: All Beth Stelling's Friends, Recaps From Brunch Enthusiasts

Posted by Megan Burbank on Sat, Oct 18, 2014 at 2:45 PM

All Jane continued last night with Beth Stelling and Friends at Curious Comedy Theater, which brought together sets from Aparna Nancherla, Rye Silverman, Subhah Agarwal, Emily Maya Mills, Kelsie Huff, and Maggie May, with Mercury pal Bri Pruett MCing. Pat Moran captured these photos at the early show:

Beth Stelling

Maggie May

There are a whole bunch more after the jump:

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Dear Dirty Bird: Fill Out the Mercury's Sex Survey!

Posted by Wm.™ Steven Humphrey on Sat, Oct 18, 2014 at 2:06 PM


HI‚ PERVERTS! My name is Bri Pruett (local funny lady and author of the popular Mercury blog column, "Let's Do It by Bri Pruett"), and I'm honored to be the author of this year's Portland Mercury sex survey. I will be your Cock Cousteau (or if you'd prefer, Jacques Coust-HO), setting off on an exciting sexploration into the murky darkness of Portland's coital depths.

If you've never filled out a Mercury sex survey before, rest assured that it's completely anonymous—so don't be shy! (God knows I'm not.) Simply fill out the form linked below by FRIDAY, OCTOBER 24... and be honest with yourself (and me!). You can fill it out alone (or with a horny friend)—but really think about your complicated sexuality, your sexual relationship with yourself, why you choose the sex partners you do, and, as always... butt stuff. We'll have all the results for you in our HUMP!/Sex Issue on WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 5—so have fun, and LET'S GET DIRTY!


Good Morning, News: Welcome Home, Secret Space Shuttle! Welcome Back, Racist Texas Voter ID Law! Bon Voyage, Christmas Tree Shaped Like a Buttplug!

Posted by Denis C. Theriault on Sat, Oct 18, 2014 at 10:53 AM

Property tax season is upon us! Sing like the angels! And guess what? Bills, along with property values, are going up, up, up, and up. Why? Because of this new bubble we're in and how it's breaking the chains of Oregon's byzantine rules around tax "compression."

Thanks, Supreme Court! Texas will be allowed to use its awful, strict, and racist voter ID law during next month's election, even though it's under court review. But guess what? Three justices, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Elana Kagan, and Sonia Sotomayor, all signed a six-page dissent calling out the court's decision for the hooey that it is.

And here we return to the continuing saga of America's super-secret space shuttle. And guess what? It just returned to earth after nearly two whole years in orbit.

That big green buttplug in Paris? It's allegedly some kind of modern-art Christmas tree. And guess what? It's also been wrecked by pearl-clutching French vandals.

The US government's Ebola response has been... less than desirable. And guess what? President Obama is really mad, you guys. Why, he's been downright SEETHING!

Vladimir Putin doesn't give a shit. He breezed into a Milan summit late. He kept Germany's Angela Merkel waiting for a meeting. And then guess what? When that meeting finally wrapped up, at 2 am, he buzzed over to the deposed Italian prime minister's house for a truffles feast that lasted until 4.

Hong Kong riot cops finally cleared out a protest campsite that'd been up and running for weeks. But then guess what? The protesters answered back with some force, retaking streets and setting up clashes that resulted in dozens of arrests.

The grump from Florida who shot dead a young African American man over loud music was finally sentenced for murder yesterday. And guess what? It's a doozy. He's getting 90 years PLUS life without parole.

In Israeli-Palestinian relations, few things are more tense than the status of the Al-Aqsa Mosque, which Jews also revere as the ancient site of a Old Testament temple. And guess what? Everyone's even more tense than usual after a handful of Palestinian leaders started warning their kin that Israel was about to cut off their access.

The gains made in health care reform sound good. Lots of people who previously lacked insurance now have it. LOTS OF THEM. But guess what? That newfound "insured" status hasn't mattered all that much to some people. Deductibles and out-of-pocket costs amounting to several thousand dollars are still keeping people without means from seeing doctors.

A high school women's soccer coach in Connecticut stands accused of Snapchatting his young charges a 10-second video that shows him in the midst of some Onanism. But guess what? He's argued it was a mistake! It was meant for his wife! Technology! Drats!

A prominent New York investment banker exiting a Lincoln Towncar apparently doored a bike-share rider the other day, seriously messing the guy up, leaving him bleeding and pale and disoriented. The banker is such a big wheel, he just helped Facebook finish a $19 billion acquisition. But then guess what? Once he surveyed the damage, and realized ambulances were coming, witness say the banker tossed off a business card and then took off running. And hardly looked back.


Tonight in Music: Sinkane, Wyrd War Launch, Kool Stuff Katie & More

Posted by Ned Lannamann on Sat, Oct 18, 2014 at 10:29 AM

(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) See My, What a Busy Week!

(Rotture, 315 SE 3rd) Read our article on Wyrd War.

(Kelly's Olympian, 426 SW Washington) As long as Portland-based band Kool Stuff Katie consists of a male guitar player and a female drummer, and the two of them play fuzzy rock 'n' roll, they will have to endure comparisons to a certain beloved, candy-striped duo from the not-so-distant past. But whereas that other band drew heavily from the blues and glowered its way to superstardom, Kool Stuff Katie—Shane Blem and Saren Oliver, who came together via Craigslist—play an exuberant brand of classic power-pop that marries Oliver's crash-and-bash beats with Blem's chunky, buzzy guitar riffs. The results are melodic without sacrificing muscle and vice versa, à la bands like Cheap Trick and Sloan (who play Portland on Sunday). Kool Stuff Katie celebrate the release of their self-titled debut album tonight, but if you miss 'em there, they also play an all-ages in-store at Music Millennium on Sunday. BEN SALMON

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Friday, October 17, 2014

BRB, Laughing Forever: All Jane No Dick, Day 1

Posted by Megan Burbank on Fri, Oct 17, 2014 at 3:49 PM

All Jane No Dick launched Wednesday, with a lineup of local all-stars at Helium and no evidence of MRA protesting. That show—which featured Kristine Levine and Kyle Mizono—was excellent, and the festival continued yesterday with more opportunities for your face to be pleasantly contorted by laughter. Yesterday night's Phoebe Robinson, Kate Berlant, and Friends at Curious Comedy brought together a solid lineup featuring Elicia Sanchez, DeAnne Smith, Kristine Levine, Mo Welch, and Kyle Mizono alongside the headliners.


DeAnne Smith, who is Canadian, discussed feeling alienated by Portland's hipsters, with their hipster mystery tunes playing in hipster coffee shops and bands with "an actual wolf!" for a drummer. Seattle's Elicia Sanchez provided some much-needed realtalk about the myth that women sad-eat cake while crying, because, of course, it's hard to be sad when you're eating cake, and Kyle Mizono, master of absurd physical comedy, affably lost her shit over the Mortal Kombat soundtrack and clowning workshops.

KATE BERLANT Puttin on airs.

Kate Berlant's set was one of the funniest of the night. Berlant is an expert at putting on airs, delivering pretentious, pseudo-academic lines about intentionality, gestalt, and [insert yawn-inducing buzzword here] with a cross-eyed self-seriousness that would not be out of place at art school office hours, except that it's okay to laugh. And did we ever!

A very special All Jane installment of Picture This!—the monthly backwards-Pictionary comedy show hosted by Andie Main—followed at Albert Street Pub. There is nothing not fun about watching an artist scrawl spontaneous illustrations while a comedian tells hilarious jokes, but it's extra fun when the comedian is Sara Schaefer, who recounted accidental public urination (FIGURE OUT HOW LONG YOUR COMMUTE ACTUALLY TAKES, EVERYONE) and the tyranny of "baby-hairs," those tiny, two-inch strands of hair that take up residence around many a lady forehead, never to grow any longer, thus evading ponytails. This is Schaefer's solution:

NEVER AGAIN shall we be subject to the tyranny of baby-hairs, thanks to Sara Schaefer!
  • Pat Moran
  • NEVER AGAIN shall we be subject to the tyranny of baby-hairs, thanks to Sara Schaefer!

A T-shirt on yer head! She is brilliant. I can't wait to get even more life tips from these wisecracking ladies. You still have all weekend to see them in action! Do I have to remind you that our picks for All Jane are over here? Well, our picks for All Jane are over there! Go see 'em. Your laughter-contorted face will thank you.


It's Happening Tonight!

Posted by Bobby Roberts on Fri, Oct 17, 2014 at 2:59 PM


MUSIC—Still one of Portland's best, Blitzen Trapper is trying something new with two shows tonight at the Doug Fir, where they'll be playing Neil Young's Harvest in its entirety. Normally this is where I'd say something about how great this will be, but since I already noted that Blitzen Trapper is playing Harvest tonight, I assume you've already stopped reading this and are buying tickets and/or getting in line. ERIK HENRIKSEN
w/Hand of the Hills; Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside, 5 pm (all ages) & 9 pm (21+), $25


COMEDY—For a while there, Dave Attell was the alcoholic's Rick Steves, having had the genius to parlay long nights of drinking after his comedy sets into a cable show (Insomniac with Dave Attell), which was largely about drinking after his comedy sets. He's had a bunch of other shows since, but Attell's at his best where he began: on a stage, saying hilarious and offensive sentences. DIRK VANDERHART
Helium Comedy Club, 1510 SE 9th, Fri-Sat 7:30 pm & 10 pm, $30

Let's Do It: For God's Sake... Just DATE!

Posted by Bri Pruett on Fri, Oct 17, 2014 at 2:31 PM

  • Image by Erica Moen

“I'm so excited to hang out with you. Let's hang out really soon.”

Right, yeah, let's do that.

“No I'm just so into you, I just really want to hang out with you, like all the time.”

Good. Yes. Let's do it.

“I just like you a lot, so I hope you want to hang out with me.”

Cool.... How about tonight?

“I... uh, now's not a great time, but like I said, I'm really into you.”

What the fuck is going on here? A fascinating, new phenomenon, wherein a supposedly interested party evades a physical meeting. Perhaps it is a person who is more comfortable texting, maybe it is a person with anxiety or agoraphobia? Perhaps it's good old-fashioned fear of intimacy. Whatever the case, it's been my experience in dating lately and some of my friends have reported similar experiences in their personal lives and THIS HAS TO STOP.

Here's the thing about dating or romantic get-togethers of any nature, THEY HAPPEN IN SPACE AND TIME, IN A SHARED REALITY, IN THE WORLD (unless of course you're Joaquin Phoenix living in a high-waisted, ice cream-colored, future world). “Dates” are dates... like on the calendar. That's where the word came from. And if you are a modern person you probably don't have a lot of spare time hanging out on your calendar. If you want to get romantically tangled up with someone you must make a date. Crushing from a distance is cute, but long-distance adoration isn’t going to get you into a satisfying relationship. If you like someone, don't tell them, show them by spending time with them.

Arranging a date is like any other kind of social engagement. People gotta know when the hell it is and it's gotta work with everyone’s schedule, but don’t be overwhelmed! You’re producing a little event for 2 people (or more… I support you poly folks!), It shouldn’t be too hard. Let me show you the moves...

Step 1: Set that date...

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Conan's Andy Richter Sneezes; CNN Reacts!

Posted by Wm.™ Steven Humphrey on Fri, Oct 17, 2014 at 2:03 PM

While picking on CNN is like tipping a particularly slow moving cow, it's still fun to watch Conan (who works for CNN's sibling TBS) do it—especially when he punctures the news network's breathless "instant" reporting of the Ebola (not a) crisis (here yet). Also, COVER YOUR GODDAMN MOUTH WHEN YOU SNEEZE, ANDY!

FashioNXT: Day Three

Posted by Marjorie Skinner on Fri, Oct 17, 2014 at 12:44 PM

Hands down, Day Three of FashioNXT was my favorite night of the event in its entire history, or at least in the history of my attendance. The designer largely responsible for this is Michelle Lesniak, who took inspiration from WPA photographs of the Depression—a premise that gave me pause—and... well, made it a hell of a lot less depressed, economically and otherwise.

But it's not just that. Lesniak may have been the crown of the evening, but Seth Aaron set the bar first for an evening that rarely dipped short of amazing. Check out the photos and review over on MOD.

A look from Seth Aarons all-white technical tailoring exhibition.
  • Jeff Wong
  • A look from Seth Aaron's all-white technical tailoring exhibition.

Tonight in Music: Blitzen Trapper Plays Harvest, Lose Yr Mind, Moon Hooch & More

Posted by Ned Lannamann on Fri, Oct 17, 2014 at 12:13 PM

(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) See My, What a Busy Week!

(Audiocinema, 226 SE Madison) What's better than one night of excellent Northwest bands ripping it up and pleasing all five of your senses? (That's ears, eyes, booze, feet, and booty, right? I failed biology.) How about two nights? The folks behind the Lose Yr Mind fest have no time to spell out "Your," as they've got their hands full with a very packed docket of mostly local bands—although Saturday night performers Naomi Punk (Olympia) and Clarke and the Himselfs (Boise) are honorary Portlanders-in-spirit. Tonight includes the happily reunited Sun Angle and the final show for Summer Cannibals bassist Lynnae Gryffin, plus And And And playing a special set "with secret extra members," and the very fine Talkative. Saturday includes the aforementioned out-of-towners, plus Wooden Indian Burial Ground and the Ghost Ease, both of which—if you've ever picked up this paper before—you already know are excellent. NED LANNAMANN

(Aladdin Theater, 3017 SE Milwaukie) You could say that globally inspired funk 'n' soul band the Pimps of Joytime will get the party started tonight at the Aladdin, but that wouldn't be accurate. In fact, the Pimps will simply continue an already-in-progress party begun by Moon Hooch, a three-piece from New York City that plays an eye-popping, unconventional brand of dance music. Two saxophonists anchor the sound with kinetic and labyrinthine riffs, while the drummer provides a robust beat. After a 2013 debut album that established Moon Hooch's sound, the band's sophomore effort, This Is Cave Music, came out in September and added synthesizers, vocals, and other sonic shenanigans to the mix. Moon Hooch started out playing impromptu shows in New York City subway stations. If they could snag the attention of that hurried and distracted crowd, they should have no problem conquering the Aladdin. BEN SALMON

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Bill Murray, WWII, and Emotional Pornography for Idiots: Here Are This Week's Mercury Movie Reviews!

Posted by Erik Henriksen on Fri, Oct 17, 2014 at 10:44 AM

ST. VINCENT Bill Murray: the best, forever and for all time.
  • ST. VINCENT Bill Murray: the best, forever and for all time.

ST. VINCENT—Vince Mancini calls the Bill Murray movie a calculated piece of formula. Also, he loved it.

It's bullshit, sure, but it's the best kind of bullshit, the kind of bullshit that makes us all secretly okay with being bullshitted.

MEN, WOMEN & CHILDREN—Jason Reitman's latest is impressively awful.

Like Dave Eggers' The Circle, Reitman's film condemns things it doesn't understand; unlike Spike Jonze's Her, it refuses to acknowledge that technology offers any benefits whatsoever.

20,000 DAYS ON EARTH—Shockingly, Nick Cave fan Courtney Ferguson very much enjoyed this film about Nick Cave.

If only all documentaries were this weird, stunning, and stylishly heightened—but then again, it's a singular film for a singular fellow.

FURY—Thanks, Fury, for letting me write about a face.

When Norman (Logan Lerman) is assigned to the WWII tank Fury as a tank driver, the first thing he has to do is scrape up half of a face: ragged skin, thick-splattered blood, and one eye, still staring blankly. It belonged to the last guy who had Norman's job.

THE BOOK OF LIFE—Denis C. Theriault found a lot to enjoy in the Guillermo del Toro-produced kids' flick.

There's no mistaking what you're about to watch: a fairy tale completely disinterested in the usual tropes of a genre perfected by the Disney machine—stories about troubled Northern European ladies and the dashing Northern European lords who save them.

THE BEST OF ME—Alison Hallett calls the latest Nicholas Sparks movie "emotional pornography for idiots" and "the literal worst." I wonder if she liked it.

If this is wish fulfillment, it makes me sad about women's wishes. You guys know porn exists, right?

We've got more reviews, as ever, in Film Shorts—including our takes on Young Ones, Sound & Chaos: The Story of BC Studio, and Björk: Biophilia Live. Here are your Movie Times—choose wisely, as there's nothing worse than thinking you're going out to a nice night at the movies only to realize, too late, that you've signed up for some emotional pornography for idiots.

SL Letter of the Day: The End is Near

Posted by Dan Savage on Fri, Oct 17, 2014 at 10:29 AM

I am a 31 year-old gay man in my first monogamous relationship, now going on 3.5 months. My boyfriend is 45. For the first two months of our relationship, our sex life was great: it was frequent (about 3 times per week), spontaneous, and incredibly hot.

Then, it began to wane. He mostly stopped initiating, and many of my attempts have been met with excuses about how he was tired or had to work. I've talked with him about it several times, offering to work with him in terms of timing, schedule, ways of initiating, etc., and though he has been receptive to these conversations, it seems little has changed. In fact, we're now having even less sex than before (once a week if I'm lucky, but sometimes I can get him to lie with me while I jerk off, which was advice I adapted from another column you wrote.)

He says he is attracted to me and loves having sex with me—and this is evident while we're doing it—and yet he claims he has a low libido and also some difficulty feeling "needed" in certain ways due to an emotionally (though not sexually) abusive childhood. He has also said that he tends to think of sex in a relationship as "exceptional" (versus routine.) In the times between us having sex, I feel little sexual desire from him in terms of comments, compliments, flirtation, etc.

I don't want to be a nag by bringing this up again, but I'm not seeing much change after three weeks. Are our needs just too different? How long should I give this to change before I break up with him? It's very painful for me, as sex is a major way that I like to express and receive love, and my sexual appetite is still ravenous.

Sexless And Sad

My response after the jump...

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Good Morning, Conjoined Twins Singing a Fiona Apple Song!

Posted by Wm.™ Steven Humphrey on Fri, Oct 17, 2014 at 9:59 AM

Ryan Murphy's American Horror Story, like most of his projects, tend to be a bit hit and miss. But when he hits, he's producing television that you've never seen before. In this season's American Horror Story: Freak Show (about a traveling oddity troupe that runs up against some seriously evil shit in a Florida small town), Murphy continues to play with the concept of time by infusing his 1950s period piece with music from the modern era. Here's a great example from this week's episode in which conjoined twins Bette and Dot (both played by Sarah Paulson) cover Fiona Apple's classic, "Criminal." (As it turns out, Bette and Dot actually are criminals on the lam, having murdered their mother. Oh, Ryan Murphy, you naughty, naughty bird!)

Good Morning, News: Murders! Coffee! Infections! Secretive String-Pulling!

Posted by Denis C. Theriault on Fri, Oct 17, 2014 at 9:44 AM

Was this murder? Or a horrible accident? An Olympia man was found bleeding with a head wound on West Burnside, near the Burnside Bridge, after paying some friends in town a visit. He also was found, the cops say, without his pants and wallet. He died later, and now his family is wondering why the Portland Police Bureau won't treat it like a potential homicide.

And let's keep it lurid. Yesterday's stabbing a few blocks north of city hall killed a 43-year-old chef, about to start at a Pearl District restaurant, who'd been staying at a relative's condo in the KOIN tower. He'd apparently gone out to a concert Wednesday night.

You remember the street fee, right? The one that's likely going to be reborn as a street tax? There'd been hope, as we reported in Hall Monitor this week, that a formal proposal might emerge as soon as today. That's been pushed off, along with plans to first air that proposal on November 12. A vote now looms the day before Thanksgiving.

Starbucks is a benevolent less deity. The coffee chain has selected Portland as a test market for a new pre-payment option using smart phones. You order on your phone, you pay on your phone, and then you walk over and pick up your waiting order.

That's as good a transition to Ebola as any. The United States now has a "czar" who's in charge of leading the country's response to the virus' first tentatively exploring tendrils, and who can take the fall in case that response is incompetent and ineffective.

The pandemonium and panic are unceasing. A Texas health care worker who might have handled an Ebola sample has been preemptively isolated after it was realized she was cavorting—still symptom-free!—on a cruise ship.

The apologies and mea culpas also are unceasing. Looking over the despair and destruction that's been rained down upon West Africa because of an unserious international response to the outbreak's early growth, the World Health Organization now says it's very sorry for not having done a better job at its job.

Who's pulling the police strings in Hong Kong? No one should be surprised that the answer is Beijing. China is in a bit of a pickle here. Do they crack down with mainland-style vengeance, scaring off the financial markets that make Hong Kong such a money-maker for the Communist Party? Or do they back off and embolden everyone else under the party's tightly pressing thumb to think they might rise up, too?

Stop-and-frisk policing, which lives in a slightly more benign form in Portland, leaves behind lingering anxiety and trauma in the young men, often African American, whom it targets.

The son of Joe Biden apparently hews closer to America's preferred renegade portrayal of Joe Biden than the actual Joe Biden. Hunter Biden has left the Navy Reserve because he had some cocaine.

Death stalked a South Korean pop concert the other day, after a large ventilation grate beneath the crowd gave way, sending 16 people plunging some 60 feet to their dooms. The band kept going for a little while, until someone finally realized what had happened.

In Paris, a Napoleonic war memorial is sharing space with a 24-foot buttplug. For art! It's green!


Mayor's Office Confirms: Hales, Fritz Hope to "Clarify" Annual Court Hearings on Police Reform

Posted by Denis C. Theriault on Fri, Oct 17, 2014 at 9:00 AM

The legal drama over police reform in Portland isn't quite over yet.

Mayor Charlie Hales and Commissioner Amanda Fritz are going to ask their colleagues to consider pushing back at one of the more contentious elements of a federal judge's decision to accept a package of police reforms negotiated between the city and the federal Department of Justice: an order that the city and feds, along with the Portland Police Association and community advocates return to court for annual updates.

They're seeking a vote during next week's council meeting, according to a resolution (pdf) obtained by the Mercury. The announcement was reported this morning by the Oregonian, although it was cast as a move to toss out the requirement for updates. Both elected officials say they're addressing only the requirement for the updates, not the reforms themselves. Hales and Fritz, in an announcement, insist they want to "clarify" what US District Court Judge Michael Simon's role in overseeing the progress of reform might be.


“This appeal does not challenge the settlement that four stakeholders—the U.S. Department of Justice, the City, Portland Police Association, and Albina Ministerial Alliance—agreed to," Hales said in comments emailed to the Mercury. "The City and the Police Bureau are fully committed to the reforms outlined in the settlement agreement. Chief Mike Reese, our next chief Larry O’Dea, and the entire bureau remain dedicated to continually improving the service our police officers deliver to the community. This resolution authorizes a narrow appeal to clarify the judge’s role in the implementation. We all want to move forward, get out of court and get to work.”

"It clearly identifies that the Council is directly responsible for oversight, which ensures that Portlanders know who is responsible and accountable for managing the Police Bureau in conformance with the community’s values," Fritz is quoted as saying in the city's announcement. "The settlement emphasizes community engagement. I believe that public trust in policing in Portland depends on all Council members demonstrating that we are committed to implementing the Agreement fully. I accept that responsibility. I look forward to collaborating with all Portlanders on this crucial work, especially those with lived experience enduring mental illnesses.”

The possibility of an appeal has always loomed over Simon's ruling, issued August 29, as first reported by the Mercury. The city had long chafed at Simon's insistence on regular updates, concerned about the implications of that extra oversight and questioning Simon's authority, even though the feds and the Albina Ministerial Alliance both agreed Simon could order them if he wished.

Hales' office pointedly didn't respond to our questions, after the ruling came down, on whether an appeal might come or if the city would knuckle under to Simon's insistence.

Not everyone sees this as a modest bump on the road to an otherwise cheery acceptance of the reforms, which are meant to answer federal accusations Portland officers have engaged in a pattern or practice of using force against Portlanders with mental illness.

One advocate, Jason Renaud of the Mental Health Association of Portland—who's been critical of Hales' decision not to try funding mental health facilities called for in the federal settlement along with the city's process for hiring a compliance officer/community liaison to oversee reforms—issued a blistering statement this morning. Renaud was responding to the O's reporting.

Mayor Hales has taken every opportunity to delay, diminish and disregard the settlement agreement in DOJ v City of Portland. Today's proposal to council to appeal Judge Simon's modest requirement for annual reporting on progress of the settlement to the court should be rejected by Council members. Persons with mental illness have been admittedly harmed by Portland's police and after three years of dawdling there is still no independent assurance anything has changed.

Without timely redress, justice is again effectively denied.

The full announcement by Hales and Fritz is here (pdf).


Thursday, October 16, 2014

It's Happening Tonight!

Posted by Bobby Roberts on Thu, Oct 16, 2014 at 2:59 PM


COMEDY FEST—The lineup for this year's All Jane No Dick comedy festival looks badass. It's filled with more than 30 funny women—including the great Sara Schaefer, Aparna Nancherla, Phoebe Robinson, and Beth Stelling—who'll be doing stand-up and improv shows for five straight days of hilarity. It's a lady laff-fest—don't miss it! COURTNEY FERGUSON
Curious Comedy Theater, 5225 NE MLK, Thurs 7:30 pm & 9:30 pm, $20-25, see for complete Wed-Sun schedule


MUSIC—If you're a music-loving lady who's ever been catcalled while on a booze or candy run, Tacocat's NVM is the aural equivalent of packing a bedazzled can of pepper spray designed by Lisa Frank: necessary, lethal to creeps, and really fucking fun. Their show tonight promises to be all of these things. And there will probably be candy! MEGAN BURBANK
w/Thomas Mudrick, the Handles; Bunk Bar, 1028 SE Water, 9:30 pm, $10

In Other Words Update: They Need $20k by November to Stay Open

Posted by Megan Burbank on Thu, Oct 16, 2014 at 1:59 PM


Last week, beloved feminist bookstore In Other Words board member Madeline Jaross told the Oregonian that the nonprofit was struggling financially and might be closing at the end of February if the situation doesn't improve. This week, In Other Words sent out an email announcing an IndieGoGo campaign to make up the funds they'd need to stay open. The choice to use Indiegogo seems smart, since the bookstore will be able to keep all pledges regardless of whether they meet their not-insignificant goal—they need $20,000 by November 5. You can support it here.

From In Other Words' email:

The question we get most often is, "but don't you make zillions of dollars off of the TV show Portlandia?!" The short answer is: NOPE. Far from it. Unfortunately, the fact that the TV show Portlandia features a regular feminist bookstore parody does not provide us with any substantial revenue flow and Portlandia-related donations are far from enough to pay our bills. We aren't rolling in money from Portlandia, but we do have a great time meeting local celebrities Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein, and enjoy chatting with them about feminism and community organizing in between shoots.

Hey, this is where I remind you that, yes, Women and Women First chuckles aside (JUST FOR NOW, YOU GUYS), feminist bookstores serve an important purpose in a literary climate that has some well-documented gender problems, and there are only 13 of them left.

Who Wants to Watch Jon Stewart and Bill O'Reilly Fight About White Privilege?

Posted by Wm.™ Steven Humphrey on Thu, Oct 16, 2014 at 1:44 PM

On last night's Daily Show, host Jon Stewart and long-time foil Bill O'Reilly went at it again—this time on the subject of "white privilege." Apparently Jon Stewart is against it, and Bill... well, he doesn't really think it exists. So put up yer dukes, and LET'S... START... BICKERING!


Posted by Erik Henriksen on Thu, Oct 16, 2014 at 1:17 PM

Fuck it, like you're working today anyway. Let's watch some previews!

Mockingjay: Part One (feat. Lorde)
One of the nice things about making a movie where every literate person on the fucking planet already knows the story: You can put out trailers that sell a mood rather than selling a plot. And then if you want to get everybody extra excited, you include four of the best things in the world: Philip Seymour Hoffman, Julianne Moore, Jennifer Lawrence, and Lorde. The whistle at the end of this might as well be from Mockingjay's marketing department, strolling off into the sunset, thinking how easy their job is.

Thor Versus Moby Dick
Ron Howard takes on the true story that inspired Moby-Dick. I'm going to try to keep my expectations in check for this one—I'd love to see a Moby-Dick movie that actually lives up to the book, but the narrative distance from Melville here (and Ron Howard probably being all Ron Howard-y) could easily keep that from happening. What a weird space for this movie to exist in: It's trading on people knowing and loving Moby-Dick; it also isn't Moby-Dick.

Channing Tatum: Impressionable Wrestler
I've said it before and I'll say it again: Right now, seeing the Annapurna Pictures logo before a film is about as fool-proof a mark of quality as movies have these days. Seriously, look at this production history. That's a better track record than Pixar's. Also: Bennett Miller. Also: Mark Ruffalo. Also: Chatum.

Why Don't You Play in Hell?

And on the note of rainbow yakuza blood, I bid you good day.

Tonight in Music: Ex Hex/Speedy Ortiz, Tacocat, Together Pangea & More

Posted by Ned Lannamann on Thu, Oct 16, 2014 at 12:14 PM

(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) I don't think I could be more excited about tonight's double-headlining bill: Not only do we get to witness the Portland debut of Mary Timony's fantastic new power trio, Ex Hex, we also get a perfect pairing in the form of the Northampton, Massachusetts, alt-rock quartet Speedy Ortiz. They bring to mind a wide range of indie-rock legends, including the heavy pop sensibilities of fellow Massachusetts natives Dinosaur Jr., the tangled guitar-fueled brooding of Archers of Loaf, and the playful song and lyrical arrangements of Timony's own '90s outfit, Helium. Even with all of the familiar touchstones, Speedy Ortiz were able to harness their own unique style on 2013's Major Arcana. "American Horror," the lead track off their recent follow-up EP, Real Hair, saw the band firing on all cylinders, and new live material hints at the group only growing stronger. CHIPP TERWILLIGER Also read our article on Ex Hex.

(Bunk Bar, 1028 SE Water) See My, What a Busy Week!

(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Together Pangea come from the the same smog of LA garage rock that spawned the likes of Wavves, the Growlers (who play Portland on Saturday), and Burger Records in general. And that's a good thing. There's something about this land of sun and bikinis that breeds sweaty, blazed, catchy music. Badillac is an homage to '90s rock—fuzzed-out guitar chords give way to nasal lyrics about the battle wounds of love: wanting to be understood, and finding your way through the daily grime. They're on tour with LA-by-way-of-Portland band the Memories and other Burger buds for a guaranteed stone-y time. RACHEL MILBAUER

Continue reading »

Beer Festivities Galore!

Posted by MJ Skegg on Thu, Oct 16, 2014 at 11:44 AM

Brewpublic’s Killer Beer Week (it’s actually a 10-day run) kicks off Friday. There’s a lot happening across 11 craft beer venues, not least because Brewpublic have some special sixth anniversary celebrations going on. Highlights include:

– Friday 17: Killer Beer Summit at Roscoe’s. A little bit of everything is promised, including IPAs, sour and wild ales, barrel-aged brews, imperials and lagers. 8150 Starck, 2 pm-close

– Saturday 18: The Killer Pumpkin Fest is, apparently, the biggest pumpkin beer tasting festival in the Portland area, with over 25 drinking specimens to try. Plus, pumpkin foods and smashing. 928 SE 9th, 11 am-midnight

– Sunday 19: IPA Fest featuring special, limited release kegs from the likes of Laurelwood, 10 Barrel, Boneyard and Goodlife. NWIPA, 6350 SE Foster, 2-8 pm

– Monday 20: The Rock Out With Your Octo Out event is the chance to meet your favorite brewer, including Charlie Hutchins (Current Portland Rock Bottom Brewmaster), Van Havig and Scot Guckel (Gigantic Brewing), Bolt Minister (Old Town Brewing), Vasilios Gletsos (Laurelwood Brewing), Ryan Pappe (Portland Brewing). Steinhaus, 2366 SE 82nd, 5 pm-close

– Wednesday 22: The Killer Belgian Fest, hosted by Bazi Bierbrasserie, will have 15 beers on tap. Rare treats are promised. 1522 SE 32nd, 5-10 pm

- Friday 24: It’s Brewpublic’s anniversary party at Saraveza. Old favorites on tap and a raffle! 1004 N Killingsworth, 5 pm-close

- Saturday 25: The Killer Beer Fest, held at Bailey’s Taproom. Craft beers that you won’t find anywhere else. 213 SW Broadway, noon-midnight

Full details on all events available here.

Unrelated, but also worth mentioning (because we're talking about beer and love trees): Ninkasi have produced a special pale ale to commemorate Friends of Trees’ 25th anniversary, with profits going to the arboreal non profit. Grab a bottle from New Seasons, Zupan's, or Whole Foods.

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