This Week in the Mercury

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The Visitor

A Retired Teacher Says He'll Starve Until Mayor Charlie Hales Reforms the Police Bureau


Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Watch Some Skateboarder Pee in the Mount Tabor Reservoir!

Posted by Denis C. Theriault on Wed, Apr 16, 2014 at 5:47 PM

When this happened three years ago—some butthole peed in the Mount Tabor Reservoir, forcing the grossed-out city decided to dump the whole thing out—everyone lost their minds. Hate mail poured in. And the city's water bureau found itself fielding calls from national comedic television programs.

I guess Portland really has changed since 2011. Because the same thing happened again this morning—except more than four times as much water will be dumped, some 38 million gallons. And now no one seems angry at all! Even though, this time there's even security video showing the moron skateboarders in action.

(How moronic are they? They wanted to climb in the very same reservoir one of their dim chums just peed in, my colleague Erik Henriksen helpfully notes. [I used italics to emphasize that point, just like Erik would!])

Anyway. You can watch it all below. The water bureau has put out the footage. And while you might be tempted to argue this is fodder for covering the reservoirs, maybe don't try. The reservoirs will be covered whether you want them to or not, because of a federal mandate. And even if that wasn't true, one jerk's pee is literally such a drop in the bucket you'd never even know you were tasting it.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Video Vriday! Dramady, Moon by You, Light House & More

Posted by Ned Lannamann on Fri, Mar 14, 2014 at 3:44 PM

Vivian Maier, it's Video Vriday!

Your Friday afternoon got measurably more adorable. Dramady's new video—for "Deadlines," one of many highlights from their recent Answer Only to the Sea album—has been given this lovely stop-motion animation from former Portlander Rachel Blumberg (Norfolk & Western, a zillion other bands). Actually there are other disciplines in addition to stop-motion happening here, and the result is a rich wealth of moving pictures that's over too quickly. Dramady play tonight at the Know, joining Coronation, who are celebrating their record release.
• • •

Here's Moon by You, the local band that recently won K Records' recent video contest, for which they have been awarded a day's recording at Dub Narcotic Sound Studios. This is a lysergic whorl of pyschedelic rock of the old-school variety, complete with shamanistic incantation from Sarah Kue, interspersed amid some solid biker-speed garage rock that should get your fringe flying.
• • •

Light House offer up this moody clip, shot in Forest Park for the title track of their last EP, In Their Image. A relentless drone, a repeating thump, and a slow build of synths turns this into an eerie, intense listen. The video, in turn, offers a visual treatment that emphasizes trees and light—a right angle away from the dark, inorganic sounds of the synthesizers.

More Vriday after the jump!

Continue reading »

Thursday, January 23, 2014

I Tried Out for the New Arena Football Team

Posted by Alex Falcone on Thu, Jan 23, 2014 at 9:59 AM

You may recall we have a new Arena Football team (inexplicably called The Portland Thunder). In December, they held open auditions tryouts, so I decided to show up and see if they really meant "open." It turns out football is harder than it looks.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Dresses Go through the Roof

Posted by Ned Lannamann on Thu, Nov 14, 2013 at 12:44 PM

Dresses premiered their latest video today on MTVU, which I guess is MTV's college site or something? "Blew My Mind" was filmed on Mt. Hood and shows the Portland duo in the aftermath of a hot air balloon accident. Their dastardly tale of survival and eventual romance will be, no doubt, incredibly educational to college students. For us, though, it's just fun to watch.

"Blew My Mind" appears on Dresses' super-catchy debut album Sun Shy (read more about them here), and they open for Phoenix at the Crystal Ballroom on Tuesday, December 10.


Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Ingest the New Gaytheist Video, Starring Ian Karmel

Posted by Ned Lannamann on Tue, Jul 30, 2013 at 10:14 AM

Gaytheist's first music video is here! And it's a punch in the gut. Directed by Whitey McConnaughy and co-starring Portland As Fuck columnist Ian Karmel as a rightfully suspicious convenience store clerk, it's not for the faint of heart OR stomach. (I guess, considering the track's lyrics, this might officially qualify as NSFW, or at least earn headphones-on status.)

Depicting the true dangers of rock 'n' roll that your parents warned you about, this cautionary tale warns what will happen if you literally ingest Gaytheist's pummeling, raw-power rawk. That's Jacob Bean Watson as the reckless and feckless pill popper, and of course that's Gaytheist playing the Dennis Quaid role from Innerspace. Gaytheist dominated last weekend's Capitol Hill Block Party and will play Rontoms on Sunday, August 25 with Magic Mouth—that's gonna be something—and they also play Dante's on Saturday, September 7 as part of MusicfestNW.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Video Vriday! Quasi, Sun Angle, Wampire, Balto, Dust vs. Op, Chris Robley, Genders

Posted by Ned Lannamann on Fri, Jul 26, 2013 at 3:49 PM

It's Opposite Day on Video Vriday!

With a cast of thousands, a plethora of exotic locations, and costumes and special effects beyondmeasure—dig that drum-playing horse—the new Quasi video is a DeMillesque feast of opulence. Oh wait, it is the opposite of that. This was shot in the band's basement studio and, in Sam Coomes' words, was "inspired by Kenneth Anger's work with the Monkees." The moving camera and homespun production values are fitting for "You Can Stay But You Got to Go," the lead single off Quasi's upcoming double-album opus Mole City. Riding an ascending guitar riff and some thick, Texas-toast style fuzztones, it's that perfect blend of breezy and intense that makes Coomes and Janet Weiss the thing that is Quasi. Mole City comes out October 1 on Kill Rock Stars, and Quasi kicks off a national tour shortly after, with a homecoming show at the Doug Fir on November 23.
• • •

In keeping with the band's hushed and placid music, the new video from Sun Angle features long, static, Tarkovskyesque shots in which subtle details barely register in the viewer's line of sight. Oh wait, it is the opposite of that. The band filmed this video for title track for Diamond Junk on their iPhones while recording the album in a cabin in Zigzag, and either it's been enhanced by some post-production computer effects or this was the trippiest album recording session ever. Sun Angle plays Holocene this Wednesday, July 31 with Aan and Swahili.
• • •

This mega-produced, lip-synched video from Wampire was shot overseas and takes the band out of their live element in favor of something synthetic. Oh wait, it is the opposite of that. Actually, this cool new live video for "Spirit Forest" was shot here in town at the Wave Cave by Chris Cantino, veteran of innumerable Into the Woods shoots. What you see is what you hear, and vice versa. This is sort of a peek behind the Wampire curtain, seeing the band relaxed and facing each other, rehearsal style. "Spirit Forest" comes off the band's recent album Curiosity and Wampire is currently on tour with the Smith Westerns through August.

Less Vriday before the jump! (Get it? Opposite.)

Continue reading »

Thursday, July 18, 2013

An Hour of Entertainment in 4.5 Minutes

Posted by Courtney Ferguson on Thu, Jul 18, 2013 at 4:14 PM

I'm going to put this here, because I'm in love. And I can't stop watching Janelle Monáe dance her butt off. I suspect you will share my opinion.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Y La Bamba's Synchronized Swimming Video

Posted by Courtney Ferguson on Tue, Jun 11, 2013 at 10:44 AM

Two things that taste great... Y La Bamba and synchronized swimming. This 16mm-shot video for the song "Ponce Pilato," off their album Oh February, is a dreamy confection, floating among big trees and deep waters. It was shot on the Oregon Coast, in the Redwoods, and in Puget Sound, starring a troupe of professional synchronized swimmers. The whole endeavor came about because our local amateur synchronized swimming collective, the Olivia Darlings, really wants to keep the aquatic arts alive for a new generation of budding Esther Williamses. (The film star sadly passed away at the age of 91 on June 6. She was a masterfully daring mermaid.) So the group has set about filming music videos for local bands, featuring the fine art of synchronized swimming. This here's their debut—directed by Madison Rowley—and a fine one it is, bypassing the strangely lurid present-day of Olympic synchronized swimming (eeeeeek!), for the beautiful and graceful days of Esther. In the gorgeous out of doors! Sign me up as a supporter.

Speaking of support... the Olivia Darlings are in the midst of a Kickstarter campaign to send out 100 packets to local pools, community organizations, dance schools, and swim clubs. These kits will give a primer course on how to dive in (DON'T SHOOT ME) to the art. They're also giving out a host of goodies for contributors. Here, I'll let their adorable video, starring Minka of the Olivia Darlings, explain it.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Cars III on DVD: Get Out Your Fuckin' Checkbook!

Posted by Courtney Ferguson on Thu, May 23, 2013 at 12:59 PM

“Sorry it's so fucking stupid.”—Richard Bain, co-star of Cars III, comedian, former Portlander

I wasn’t sorry Cars III was so stupid. I loved how stupid Cars III was. It’s a glorious melange of yelling, nunchucks, lasers, gunfights, dead burned lesbians, and blood-spurting belly buttons. So pretty much the most inane and hysterical half hour this side of a Chuck E. Cheese on fire. And the short local film is now out on DVD.

The new Troma release all started as the viral video Cars (look I wrote something about it a couple years back). You know the one where the Funtown Auto guy yells, “GET OUT YOUR FUCKING CHECKBOOK!” Well, that’s Travis Jones, and his son is played by director Bobby Hacker, who’s responsible for a butt-ton of hijinks in his low-budget, surreal trilogy of Cars movies (the ones Pixar decidedly does not condone). While the first two films clocked in around two minutes each, Cars III hits the 38-minute mark, which seems both ridiculously long and sadly too short for this eyes-and-ears-bludgeoning spectacle of redonkulous.

More after the jump.

Continue reading »


Friday, May 17, 2013

Friday Cheer with Janelle Monáe

Posted by Courtney Ferguson on Fri, May 17, 2013 at 4:44 PM

Sigh. Everyone went to see Star Trek into Darkness and I'm stuck Googling the correct spellings of various dried Italian meats. I'm going to watch my own futuristic space opera with Janelle Monáe's new song "Q.U.E.E.N." from her upcoming album Electric Lady. That'll cheer me up. It'll work for you too, I bet. She has that effect.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Video Vriday! Minus 5, Toxic Holocaust, Typhoon, Black Prairie, & Rare Monk

Posted by Ned Lannamann on Fri, Mar 29, 2013 at 12:29 PM

How vantastic, it's Video Vriday! This week we've got some videos and some non-videos. I'll explain.

Here's a video that's sort of a non-video, by which I mean it's a visual accompaniment to the Minus 5's new song, a nine-minute epic about Michael Nesmith. Wait, the same Michael Nesmith who appeared in the paper this week? Who was a member of the Monkees and has a long and illustrious solo career, only part of which involved music? The same Michael Nesmith who produced Repo Man and inherited the Liquid Paper fortune? The very same. The Minus 5's Scott McCaughey turned a lengthy poem about Nesmith into this song, which treats Papa Nez as the somewhat mythical character he is, imbuing him with everyman humanity, imagining what it might have been like to have been risen to the ridiculous heights of fame that the Monkees reached, and how you sort your life out after something like that. Michael Nesmith performs TONIGHT at the Aladdin Theater; I don't know if Portland will get another chance to see him.

More videos and non-videos after the jump! Click to watch Toxic Holocaust, Typhoon, Black Prairie, and Rare Monk.

Continue reading »

Friday, February 22, 2013

It's Video Vriday! Eat Skull and More

Posted by Ned Lannamann on Fri, Feb 22, 2013 at 11:29 AM

It's Video Vriday, everybody's vavorite day of the week!

First up is the weird—truly weird—video from Eat Skull, for the skittering, wrong-way-against-the-grain pop number "How Do I Know When to Say Goodnight?" I'm not entirely sure what's happening in this one, but it's shot on 82nd Avenue on a particularly grim Portland day, and totally captures that oppressive, morose feeling of a Northwest winter. There are little colored pieces of animation in there, too, so there you go. It's a little bit spooky and sad, and perhaps is meant to evoke that morning-after sense of coming down. Eat Skull play III's record release show tonight at Mississippi Studios.

More after the jump!

Continue reading »

Friday, February 15, 2013

It's Video Vriday! New Wild Ones and More

Posted by Ned Lannamann on Fri, Feb 15, 2013 at 1:29 PM

We did this before! We're doing it again! Portland videos from Portland bands for Portland people.

To begin with a bang, here's a new song and video from Wild Ones. Yes, new Wild Ones! (Yes!!) If the fact that there's a new Wild Ones song weren't exciting enough on its own, the video for "Golden Twin" is completely fantastic. Directed by Calvin Waterman and shot by Wild Ones' Clayton Knapp, it's sorta a cross between a James Bond credit sequence and the cover of Hot Rocks, and manages to find the inherent sexiness in both chainsaw art and Jurassic Park videocassettes. Yes! This is a great tune from Wild Ones, a mere taster for their new album Keep It Safe, which hopefully will come out in the late spring or early summer.

Yay, new Wild Ones! Let this be your very favorite thing today.

Lots more after the jump, including videos from Gossip, Pure Bathing Culture, Butt 2 Butt, Catherine Feeny, the Ecstatics, and A Killing Dove.

Continue reading »

Friday, January 4, 2013

A Whole Bunch of Videos!

Posted by Ned Lannamann on Fri, Jan 4, 2013 at 2:44 PM

As the week draws to a drowsy closezzzzzzzzzzzzzzz—sorry, I had a big lunch. But if you're like me, you're already feeling worn out, in spite of the holiday and the short week. So there's no better thing to do than to goof off and catch up on some local music videos!

First up is a live clip from Grandparents, filmed at the Banana Stand on May 19, 2012. That show is shortly to be released by Banana Stand Media as a live album, continuing their series of excellent work documenting Portland bands in the live setting. This is a beautifully shot clip (courtesy of Collective-47), and a dreamy, daze-y track from Grandparents. The track's titled "Fume," and there will be a release show for Grandparents' Live from the Banana Stand at Holocene on January 24.

Lots more to look at after the jump.

Continue reading »


Friday, December 21, 2012

The Ocean Floor Wishes You a Merry Christmas

Posted by Ned Lannamann on Fri, Dec 21, 2012 at 3:28 PM

The Ocean Floor—who we profiled in a recent issue—came up with a Christmas song and video for your holiday. It's a cover of "Toyland," from Victor Herbert's operetta Babes in Toyland, although you might remember the treacly 1961 movie starring Annette Funicello. There's a surreal but charming video to go along with it courtesy of animator Kurtis Hough, and it's a warm, nostalgic, buttery bit of Christmas cheer.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

I Was On "Spicy News" This Week and It Pretty Much Sucked

Posted by Alex Falcone on Wed, Dec 19, 2012 at 10:14 AM

It did not occur to me that eating a habanero or two and then trying to tell topical jokes into a camera would be so... the worst.

I didn't really think much about it. I have my own late-night talk show (Late Night Action w/ Alex Falcone - season two starts in January!), so I know I can deliver the shit out of a topical monologue. I like spicy foods. I like being on YouTube. Boom. Easy. Sure, guys, I'll be on The Spicy News.

Here's something I didn't know: when you eat a whole habanero pepper it has a slight delay, like pulling the pin out of a capsaicin grenade. I thought maybe I was just too much of a man for this silly little pepper to affect me. In that moment, surrounded by the camera equipment and a room full of comedians I really wanted to impress, I thought my overwhelming manhood was getting in the way of my ability to be funny. I was so afraid I'd do a bad job that I ate a second pepper. And then they both punched me in my stupid mouth at the same time.

I barely got through the rest of the jokes, delivering a total of none of them with the aplomb I'd envisioned. The staff (Spicy News feels like it's produced by every comedian in Portland; there were something like 30 people in the studio) rushed in with a bowl of ice cream that did very close to nothing to curb the UNBELIEVABLE BURNING IN AND AROUND MY FACE.

Instead of being relieved it was over, I was enormously sad. I wasn't expecting that either. I think what happened was my eyes were watering so hard, my body thought we were crying. "What's that, eyes? Crying? Lots and lots? Shit, something way sad must have just happened. Come on, emotions, get your head in the game!" I was curled up on a chair hugging my ice cream and feeling super bummed about nothing in particular for 20+ minutes.

Here's something else I didn't know: habaneros don't just hurt your mouth. If you eat two in a row and don't do a great job of chewing them, you feel a small ball of firey pain moving slowly down your digestive track, hitting your stomach, and expanding to fill the entire thing.

Somebody asked me if I'd eaten dinner first. "You should eat a bunch beforehand so you don't get a stomachache. Also we usually have people eat a couple Tums before they start." These are both super helpful tips beforehand. They've done like 40 of these videos, and it didn't occur to one of the hundred staff members/groupies there to tell me this before I did the video.

I tell you all of this, dear friend, to let you know how much I've gone through in the last 24 hours in hopes of providing you even a smidgen of entertainment. If you don't watch this video and enjoy it heartily, it'll be like you personally kicked me in the stomach. Twice. So watch it. And if they ever ask you to be on the Spicy News tell them to shove their habaneros up their numerous asses.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Robot Apocalypse Update: Lamps and Swords

Posted by Alex Falcone on Tue, Dec 18, 2012 at 1:29 PM

If you think our future rulers will take us down swiftly, maybe with some kind of massive mind-control system or death ray, you're wrong. This guy is trying to make it so they enact their terrible mechanical reign using SWORDS. Unlike salad robot and noodle robot, there are no commercial applications to robots who fight with swords. Only fighting applications.

Even more frightening is this lamp created by three students from the University of Wellington.

Three terrifying things about this:

[1] College students did it. So it can't be that hard.

[2] The lamp doesn't like being turned off. Imagine that from a sword-fighting robot.

[3] It's kind of adorable. And it shouldn't be, because it's coming to kill us all.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Mean Jeans "Possessed 2 Party (With U)"

Posted by Andrew R Tonry on Wed, Oct 31, 2012 at 12:53 AM

Just in time for Halloween, the Mean Jeans film a video at Fright Town and prove once again why they are the Best Party Band in the Universe.

Das Was Up.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Monday Music Videos

Posted by Ned Lannamann on Mon, Oct 15, 2012 at 12:14 PM

A magical medley of Monday morning music mideos!... er, videos. (Also, it's afternoon now.)

The new M. Ward video, for "Me and My Shadow" from his recent A Wasteland Companion album, tells the story of a young, Bieberesque pop lad who tries to escape from the clutches of his evil, eye-laser-shooting manager, played by Amy Sedaris. Yes, that's a quick Conan O'Brien cameo, and the video was directed by Scott Jacobson, a writer for Bob's Burgers. I like the story and the images although it feels a little truncated, like there was a bigger story intended to cram into these two-and-a-half minutes.

"Between Parentheses" is a stop-motion clip from Cars & Trains, the nom de record of Tom Filepp. It's a fairly simple but striking video, made by Otem Rellik, and it follows some animated birds on the ground and in the trees, evoking the rhythms of nature. We'll have another Cars & Trains video premiere for you in the coming weeks.

Continue reading »


Wednesday, June 20, 2012

In The Summertime...

Posted by Andrew R Tonry on Wed, Jun 20, 2012 at 6:49 PM

Alison had the right idea. She just chose the wrong video. Behold Mungo Jerry!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Shia LaBeouf: Naked and Crying

Posted by Bobby Roberts on Mon, Jun 18, 2012 at 11:45 AM

The Actual Cannibal as a Young Man. Probably farting, according to his facial expression.
  • The Actual Cannibal as a Young Man. Probably farting, according to his facial expression.

Man, Shia LaBeouf has decided now is the time to just Go There. I mean this in the classic artistic sense - leaping forward, blindly, trying things for the sake of trying them, exposing yourself in a manner that can be described in a multitude of ways, but "brave" above all. Typically, on these sorts of artistic journeys, nobody knows where there is until we arrive, and even then, there's no guarantee it will be a transcendent, beautiful place. It might just be 15 tons of pretentious recycled meat, thudding to the floor with a sound not unlike a deck of cards being shuffled into a bowl of pudding.

Below is a Not Safe For Work video from Sigur Ros, a band whose music is so effortlessly beautiful it is probably best known on the internet for eliciting tears as the score to a Super Mario Bros. advertisement. In this video, Shia LaBeouf does a bunch stuff like driving a cab, having sex with a blond person, crying in a room full of dead butterflies, and generally Going There. I'm sure LaBeouf took this job hoping to make some sort of statement about his own artistic intent, his artistic integrity, non-traditional storytelling, and the power of pure expression. And all that is well and good. But you're going to click play because you can see Shia LaBeouf's dick in it. Because, yo: LaBeouf dick.

Monday, January 16, 2012


Posted by Erik Henriksen on Mon, Jan 16, 2012 at 2:55 PM

This is an ad for Hill's Garbage Service in Hendersonville, North Carolina, made by Rhett and Link. I have watched it three times in the past 10 minutes.

Thanks to Katie for the heads up!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Video: Hot Dog in Spaaaaace!

Posted by Sarah Mirk on Tue, Dec 20, 2011 at 3:27 PM

Read the article about two Portlanders' quest to shoot a hot dog into space.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Gorgeous Portland Time-Lapse Video

Posted by Sarah Mirk on Tue, Nov 15, 2011 at 9:44 AM

I ran into this guy, Lance Page, in the middle of the night at Occupy a few weeks ago. He told me he was working on some project to make a time-lapse video of Portland, I gave him my card and forgot about it and then HOLY SHIT the final product arrived in my inbox. It's rad. Check it out:

Friday, November 4, 2011

The Ramones on Oregon Cable TV in 1983

Posted by Ned Lannamann on Fri, Nov 4, 2011 at 10:59 AM

Dangerous Minds put this up yesterday, and it's great. It's a 1983 episode of some wretched, low-budget cable TV show from Eugene, Oregon. While it's enjoyable enough to watch for its dated production values and awkward banter, there's a solid interview with Jonny and Dee Dee Ramone. The two come off great, while both interviewers just look like airheads. A time capsule of punk spirit butting up against the rest of the world. Just watch.

End Hits: " all the real people outside in the real world."

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