The party's on Sunday, May 3, where birthday-party-hatted attendees will get to select from an astounding array of beers including Firestone Walker’s Stickee Monkee barrel-aged quad, the Bruery’s Oude Tart with cherries and Freckle imperial stout, and two from Three Floyds: Topless Wytch Baltic Porter and their coveted, hop-centric pale ale, Zombie Dust. Furthermore, Vermont’s venerable Hill Farmstead is sending two of their most sought-after saisons, Anna and Arthur. As for what barrels Hair of the Dog will provide, owner Alan Sprints is still undecided, but all stops will be pulled. On top of the beers, guests get to nosh on some of Fred’s faves: cheese, chocolate, candy, and cereal.
Advance tickets are available here. Entry into FredFest includes a souvenir glass, a free ticket for a raffle of bottled specialty beers, and four hours of sampling, sipping, and story-telling with Fred. Tickets are limited and they will go fast (they’ve sold out every year to date).
FredFest 2015, Hair of the Dog Brewing, 61 SE Yamhill, Sun May 3, 1-5 pm, $65 (all proceeds benefit the Oregon Zoo Foundation)
There are a trove of artists that cater to grown folks business. Artists like Marvin Gaye, Prince, Sade. They make it easy on the rest of us; no bedroom DJing required. Put em’ on and let em’ roll, confidant those artists will cradle us in their velvety tones all the way to the sex bank.
There are folks who told me they don’t go sexin’ with a soundtrack, which totally surprised me, but then, I don’t do much without mah beats. I suppose it is a little juvenile: “Hang on honey, before we get to fuckin', I needs to cue up MY FAVORITE TUUUNES MAAAAN!” Maybe because most of the sex I’ve had is in proximity to a roommate with paper-thin apartment walls, I’ve always had a playlist.
Like with any foreplay action, you are setting a tone for the kind of sex you’re going to have. If you’re trying to get something sweet and tender, try Bon Iver. If you’re trying to do something sexy and sweaty, stick to R&B like Miguel. Something dirty and slightly kinkier, something with a darker, more-electronic vibe, try The Weeknd or Massive Attack. If you’re having kinky-as-hell, raw, nightmare sex… you probably already have the details of your scene all picked out, from the spreader bar to the German industrial playlist.
Generally it’s up to the host to pick the tunes and have an appropriate bedroom sound system. A laptop with no speakers will not get you laid—nor will a free Pandora station. If you are broke, try 8tracks.com or Songza, services that let’s you make and listen to mixed tapes. Better yet, you can enter in your mood/activity/artist and it’ll let tapes roll that share that tag. (Example: “sex” “chill”)
Bedroom jams can backfire horribly from time to time. You don’t want a mix to be so on point that your lover pauses between strokes to yell "THAT'S MY JAM!” Instant boner killer. Sometimes song lyrics can evoke powerful memories. You don’t want to pick songs that evoke a vivid memory, like of an ex-partner. An easy fix is choosing instrumentals. A friend recommended French hip hop; unless your lover is bilingual, the focus will be on your derriere.
Maybe you are a total square like me, you don’t have a ton of time to make mixed tapes and you’ve been recycling the same busted-ass playlist like you’re a sound engineer from Guardians of the Galaxy (that soundtrack was hack, deal with it). That's why I enlisted some local music aficionados to, ahem, fill the gap.
Ladies and gentlemen, after the jump, your new sex tape:
HEIDI JULAVITS—Julavits' latest puts diary-keeping into (lengthy) book form. Shelby King wishes it hadn't. "In the first paragraph of The Folded Clock: A Diary, author Heidi Julavits writes about watching the clock as a child, wondering 'Will this day ever end?' I asked that same question many times while reading," she writes. Ouch. My condolences, Shelby.
KATHLEEN HANNA—Kathleen Hanna is coming to Portland next week! In advance of her Riot Grrrl Then and Now lecture, here's what she told me about, Bikini Kill, '90s nostalgia, her current projects, and why no one should actually be clamoring to launch Riot Grrrl Part Deux. Hanna's lecture is sold out, so here's a delightful recent interview with (!) W. Kamau Bell:
BLACK CAKE RECORDS—Did you know that Portland has its own record label devoted to free multimedia recordings from local writers? We didn't either, so Joshua James Amberson investigated. "[Founder Kelly] Schirmann doesn't set strict constraints on Black Cake's sound projects, preferring to let the poets choose their own approaches," he reports. "While this prompts some to create work that falls somewhere between art forms, others create comparatively straightforward audio chapbooks."
Oregon Wine Month kicks off on Friday, which is an excuse to drink more Oregon wine as well as celebrate a flourishing industry that contributes over $3 billion in economic impact to the state annually and generates 17,000 jobs. There’s a host of activities throughout wine country and in town all through May, but festivities properly kick off on Saturday with a block party in Dundee. Hosted by Chapter 24 Vineyards, there will be tastings from 15 local wineries, including Dobbes, Argyll, Cathedral Ridge, Four Graces and Panther Creek, with special pricing on cases of mix-and-match wines. There will also be live entertainment, plus bites from local eateries Babica Hen, Bert's Chuckwagon, Dundee Bistro and Red Hills Market. Chapter 24 tasting room, 531 Oregon 99 W, Dundee, May 2, noon-3 pm, $20 ($10 for members of participating wineries), tickets available on the door and here
Closer to town, Sunday sees Portland’s urban wineries open their doors for tastings. Twelve wineries are participating, including Enso, Fausse Piste, Division, Jean-Marc and Clay Pigeon, with each pouring two or three wines as well as offering discounts on cases. Snacks are provided by Cuisinières Catering. Early bird tickets are $32, which isn’t a bad deal given the number of tastings on offer, though you might want to make sure you have a designated driver or TriMet ticket to hand. PDX Urban Wine Experience, Union/Pine, 525 SE Pine Street, May 3, 3 pm-6 pm, $32 (pre-purchased here by April 30), $40 on door
JOSÉ GONZÁLEZ, ÓLÖF ARNALDS
(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) It's hard to believe that it's been a dozen years since José González bubbled to indie-rock's surface, thanks to a handful of wonderful EPs and the peak of music blogs' power. It's even harder to believe that it's been more than seven years since González blessed us with a solo album (2007's In Our Nature). Time flies, right? It does, but in González's world, not much changes. The Swedish singer/songwriter's new record, Vestiges & Claws, delivers more of what the man does brilliantly: ethereal, acoustic folk-pop songs played with percussive flair and sung with disarming intimacy. As he did in his earliest work, González sounds like he's living inside your headphones, personally delivering fingerpicked perfection to your ears. If you add in his work with his folk-rock band Junip—with whom he released albums in 2010 and 2013—González is building up a seriously impressive catalog. BEN SALMON
DEATH VALLEY GIRLS, GOOCH PALMS, SUMMER CANNIBALS, FIRE NUNS
(The Know, 2026 NE Alberta) While Burger Records has become synonymous with California teenage-beachgoer noise, Lolipop Records has steadily risen alongside, showcasing the diversity of the Los Angeles underground, both in musical themes and the number of women artists. Death Valley Girls (with releases on both labels) are a fiery bridge between fuzzy garage rock and slow-burning punk. Akin to angsty yet hedonistic '70s psychobilly bands like the Cramps and the Gun Club, Death Valley Girls provide fuel for a good time, but with their emotions still vulnerably worn on their leather sleeves. Their echoing, violent guitar riffs, matched with consistently warm power chords, drive their latest 7-inch, Electric High, but it's Bonnie Bloomgarden's pterodactyl screeches that really set them apart from the homogeneity of LA lo-fi. You may have even heard Bloomgarden's banshee-like yells backing King Tuff on Black Moon Spell. CAMERON CROWELL
Before she was the reluctant namesake of the ubiquitous Bechdel Test, Alison Bechdel wrote the great "family tragicomic," Fun Home, about her father's suicide and her family's repression. In 2012, she published a follow-up graphic novel, Are You My Mother?, pairing her complicated relationship with her mother with D.W. Winnicott's idea of "the good-enough mother." It was a worthy sequel, further complicated by the fact that Bechdel wrote it while her mother was still living. Bechdel's mother has since died, and a new musical adaption of Fun Home has just debuted in New York. So Bechdel wrote a coda to Fun Home—and, I'd argue, Are You My Mother?—that considers what it's like to write two highly personal memoirs about your parents, and to see your family repression performed onstage. Vulture's got the whole thing, and if you've read Fun Home, it delivers a similar punch of strong emotion tempered by Bechdel's smart analysis. In just a few frames, she provides a satisfying ending to two searching books.
For those new to HUMP!—the Pacific Northwest's funnest amateur dirty movie festival—the Best of HUMP! Tour is a great introduction. We choose some of the best entries from past years of HUMP! to put together a night of sexy fun that we tour around to a grateful nation (with the directors' and actors' enthusiastic permission, of course). And guess what? The Best of HUMP! Tour is dropping into Portland for one long weekend on May 14-16 at Cinema 21. Get tickets, and info on the what films we'll be showing here!
OR! If you're feeling extremely lucky, then try to win a pair of tickets to the Saturday, May 16, 8:30 pm showing of The Best of HUMP! Don't forget to tweet and Facebook it to get extra entries, and hurry! The deadline for this contest is Monday noon!
The butcher/deli/restaurant/bar that is the Old Salt Marketplace is kicking off a season of tasty-looking classes for meat lovers, whether you're a novice or more advanced practitioner. The series of 10 classes, which start on Sunday, cover sausage making, pates and terrines, and butchery—yes, you too can learn how to break down a pig. Other highlights include cooking on live fire and basic meat skills, which aims to get you up and running on summer classics, either in the pan or on the grill. Classes are run by Old Salt chef and owner Ben Meyer, with help from head butcher Christian Cleaver, and range in price from $40 to $300 (that price includes a quarter of a hog to take home). Snacks and drinks are included.
The full line up is as follows:
4/26, 3-7 pm - Basic Spring Meat Cookery, $65
5/3, 3-7 pm - Sausage making 101, $85
5/10, 3-7 pm - Mothers' Day Cooking class and dinner, $55
5/24, 3-7 pm - Lamb 100, $225
5/31, 3-7 pm - Intro to Cured Meats, $75
6/4, 6-8 pm - Cooking from the Farmers' Market, $40
6/7, 3-7 pm - Pork Butchery 101, $300
6/14, 3-7 pm - Pate and Terrine Making, $55
6/21, 3-7 pm - Fathers' Day Pig Butchery 101, $300
6/28, 3-7 pm - Basic Meat Skills-Summer 101, $65
7/5, 3-8 pm - Cooking on Live Fire, $75
7/12, 3-7 pm - Pate and Terrine Making, $55
7/19, 3-7 pm - Basic Meat Skills-Summer 101, $65
7/26, 3-7 pm - Sausage making 101, $85
Old Salt Market, 5027 NE 42nd, oldsaltpdx.com, 971-255 0167
ESSENTIAL GUS VAN SANT (& HIS INFLUENCES)—"The Portland that Gus Van Sant documented in the '80s and '90s is gone. Watching Mala Noche, Drugstore Cowboy, and My Own Private Idaho is like playing bingo with the past: that's where Satyricon used to be; there's a sports bar on that corner now; that street's name has changed," Alison Hallett writes. "Portland's changed entirely since Van Sant shot those iconic films. (It's probably annoying for recent transplants to constantly hear about the rough old years in Portland; it's also annoying for longtime residents to no longer be able to afford to live here, so it cuts both ways.)"
THE AGE OF ADALINE—Megan Burbank braved this "low-rent Benjamin Button"—"a clunky, luminous mess that ultimately suggests that a person who has lived to be over 100, raised a daughter, traveled the world, learned a ridiculous number of languages, and had a lot of adorable pets hasn't lived until she finds a man."
CLOUDS OF SILS MARIA—"The title of Olivier Assayas' latest refers to a beautiful, foreboding meteorological phenomenon that takes place in the Swiss Alps: With the right conditions in place, a bank of clouds will move away from a group of lakes, wending like a serpent through a mountain pass near the town of St. Moritz," writes Mercury meteorologist Robert Ham. "It's stunning—but also an indicator of bad weather ahead."
THE WATER DIVINER—Man. Megan really drew the short straw this week. (Sorry Megan!) She also sat through Russell Crowe's directorial debut, and realized "the problem is that Crowe hasn't made one movie, but, like, 15. And he only has 111 minutes. So we get a mash-up bathed in magical realism-lite, where everybody is a little bit psychic, and there is much shouting into the void."
BIGGER THAN LIFE: THE FILMS OF NICHOLAS RAY—Ned Lannamann took in the NW Film Center's series, which, among other films, includes Rebel Without a Cause. "Have you seen it lately?" Ned asks. "Have you seen it as a grownup? It's... not very good. Sure, it's the definitive movie about teenage angst, but—like the Red Hot Chili Peppers—years of imitators have rendered the original not just irrelevant, but unbearable."
We've got more reviews, as ever, in Film Shorts—including Jenna Lechner's thoughts on Bill Plympton's Cheatin', Courney Ferguson talking about zombie worms, and Ned going off about why he loves John Milius' Conan the Barbarian more than life itself. And here are your Movie Times! Choose wisely.
Here is Conan punching a camel in the face. Movies can be magical.
On Ellen, Ms. Degeneres welcomed Jurassic Park star Chris Pratt and the kid who apparently says "apparently" all the time to compete against each other on the subject of "dinosaur knowledge." There are many informative things about this video, such as 1) The "apparently" kid is more than apparently adorable and knows a shit ton about dinosaurs, 2) Ellen's production assistant is super hot, and 3) Chris Pratt is very patient when the Apparently Kid goes from adorable to annoying. WATCH!
It's Friday! Maybe you're the type to ring in the weekend with pomp—stepping out, having a few, finding yourself marooned in a far-flung part of our great city unable to operate a motor vehicle and at the mercy of a woefully insufficient supply of taxicabs. No more. There are no longer limits to how many cabs can be on the streets, and Uber and Lyft are saying they'll launch this afternoon.
Is the third time a charm for legislation that would mandate background checks for all gun sales, regardless of the fact they're taking place in your weird basement? Probably. The Oregon Senate's already signed off. Now the House will almost certainly finish the job.
Everyone in this entire city hates the new house next door (and newness). Well, the city council's tinkering with reining in what kind of monstrosity emerges in that newly vacant patch to the north/south/east/west. A cool $600,000 may go toward studying how to better tighten guidelines for infill development.
Wheeee! A bill in Salem would allow motorcyclists to whiz in between cars during traffic jams, further enraging drivers faced constantly with the inefficiency and waste of their conveyance of choice.
The good news is that Comcast won't nefariously control service for 55 percent of all broadband subscribers, after its deal to merge with Time Warner Cable fell through. The less good news is that other, similar mergers are probably in the offing.
So Canadian mining bigwigs were looking to sell their enormous uranium-mining operation to the Russians. And they just happened to kick millions to the foundation run by Bill Clinton, which didn't disclose the donations. And then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton just happened to be in control of one agency that had to sign off on the deal. But Clinton's people insist its ridiculous to suggest there was anything untoward about the scenario.
The CIA had been watching a Pakistani compound for weeks, and figured it knew pretty much what was going on. So officials were a touch surprised when, once they disintegrated the small plot in a drone strike in January, there were six bodies instead of four. Turns out the CIA couldn't see the American and Italian men being held hostage within.
Pot's essentially legal here, so maybe start irresponsibly using that and not the marijuana-like synthetic drug "spice" which the NYT claims is sending people to the hospital—with visions of bloody women, damaged kidneys, and violent outbursts—in increasing amounts.
Thanks, Washington Post, for explicating just how devoid Oregon—and Portland in particular—is of journalism jobs, and interviewing ex-Oregonian reporters and editors to make the solid point that it's foolish as hell to be in journalism in this town... and really everywhere else.
WE CAN PROBABLY RE-CREATE A WOOLY MAMMOTH. DID ANYONE ELSE KNOW ABOUT THIS?
Life Hack of the Day: Want to start a sex club in the American South, but everybody's breathing down your neck, drawling gospel-tinged objections in town meetings, and spitting for some reason? Just tell them it's a church! Easy peasy.
The Art Gym at Marylhurst University is a pain in the ass to get to, so I don't often write up a show there unless it's really worth seeing.
Reader, the Art Gym's current show, Botched Execution: Selected Works by Heidi Schwegler 2004-2015, is really worth seeing. Schwegler's work is immersive and tremendously creepy, containing allusions to all manner of horrors, from the Lynchian to our own prison-industrial complex to the kitsch terror of murderous clowns and uncanny dolls.
One such doll greets you at the entrance to the show. From the door, it looks like a small child resting on the parquet. For a moment, I thought maybe it was an actual, living child, although I can't say taking a kid to this particular show is a great plan. Nope, it's a child-sized dummy, a lifelike construction that's kidlike from behind, but up close has an adult-sized face and hands. My stomach turned upon realizing this; it's that visceral, uncanny body horror no one asked for, and it left me simultaneously intrigued and wanting to head for the doors.
See also: A chainlink cage, which rattles in regular intervals as its motorized door creaks open and closed in an infinite loop. There's also "Distinguishing Characteristics," a sound collaboration with Jason Loeffler, in which a computer voice rattles off distinguishing marks that might be given in filing a missing persons report, or identifying a body. The taxonomy of scars, tattoos, injuries, moles, and birthmarks is frightening in its breadth—listen long enough, and you'll hear descriptions that fit everyone you know.
This Saturday at the Grotto (that'd be the skateboard spot at 15 NE Hancock, and not the National Sanctuary of Our Sorrowful Mother), Adidas is holding its Northwest regionals for the global Skate Copa competition. Open to the public, from noon-4 pm the competition will be held, which is a good opportunity to soak up some pro skater inspo. At 4 there will be a "Boost the Bar" competition for best trick, too, which anyone can sign up for (and there is a prize purse), plus stations set up in the space throughout to "see and test the latest technology from adidas."
And BONUS! Adidas has also teamed up with the Mercury to give away a shirt, a hat, and a pair of shoes that hasn't even been officially released! The winner just needs to visit the "Boost area" at Saturday's Copa to collect, and y'all know what to do right here by now:
Full flier after the break!
Currently Ian Karmel is trending in Memphis. How did such a thing occur? The answer lies in Ian's "Everything as Fuck" column this week in which he ladled on a heaping helping of hilarious shit-talk on the Memphis Grizzlies. READ IT HERE. Then Ian tweeted this:
As it turns out, people in Memphis have Twitter, too! And they used theirs to say things like this:
At least one person hoped that Ian would "die slowly."
Then it gets a bit confusing... because some of the tweets are protected... but someone threatened Ian with a gun.
Which led to....
Hailing from the streets of Northern China, jian bing is Asia's breakfasty answer to the Crunchwrap Supreme—a savory crêpe stuffed with scrambled egg, crunchy wonton-style crackers, black bean paste, cliantro, chives, and pickled veggies.
Considering what sublime stoner food this is, it's a wonder we haven't seen it in Portland before. So it's great that owners Tim Harris and Alisa and Neal Grandy are doubling down on this wonder wrap: Jian bing is the only menu item at Bing Mi!, their new food cart at the SW 9th and Alder pod. Oh, and it'll satiate you for $6.
Neal Grady told the Mercury they started up their utilitarian cart—bedecked with two constantly hot crêpe makers and that's about it—because no one else in Portland, and just a few other places on the entire West Coast make jian bing.
"Jian bing is a huge deal in Northern China—and for good reason!" he wrote in an email. "So we were astounded by the fact that you couldn't find it anywhere. It was only logical to introduce it to Portland."
In the tradition of Nong's Khao Man Gai and Whole Bowl, Bing Mi! unlocks the secret of many of Portland's best carts: (1) stick to a limited menu of rarities and specialties, (2) execute them better than anyone else, and (3) flourish.
Case in point: Yesterday, a Medford-area woman was convicted of murdering two men and feeding their corpses to her pigs. Gross, right? Well, yeah, except what's good for the goose is good for the gander. Or, more correctly, what's good for the human is good for the pigs.
Bacon-haters from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) apparently want this double murder to be a lesson to all of us. They have "purposed" (This is why we can't have nice things, TV news) this billboard, containing a cute little
ingredient for a BLT piglet, reminding us all to put a green checkmark next to "Respecting All Life by Going Vegan."
Awwwwwwwww, cute. But, no. I personally am all about feeding pigs to people, and I could be convinced to get on board with feeding people to pigs. But I want to know how YOU feel, Mercury readers!
So let's have a poll, shall we?
Ready for a hot take? This Grizzlies team is really freaking good.
For the sixth time this season, and the second time in the playoffs, Memphis just strangled the life from Portland’s offense. Demolished it. The Blazers are trying to enjoy some smooth jazz and a glass of red wine while the Grizzlies are their teenage neighbors throwing a dubstep-filled rager. The two teams are just operating on different planes.
After a demoralizing game one loss, the Blazers attempted to right the ship last night. For a brief, shining moment, it seemed like whatever offensive adjustments they made were working. LaMarcus Aldridge and Allen Crabbe both sunk early threes, and Portland raced out to a quick eight-point lead.
But then the buzzsaw came. The defensive clamps of the grit and grind Grizzlies tightened and Portland’s offense absolutely cratered. In an instant, behind a quick 11-0 run, the Grizzlies had built a double digit lead. Against their stifling defense, ten points may as well be a hundred.
The Grizzlies are executing their game plan to perfection: guard Aldridge one-on-one, do everything possible to shut down Damian Lillard, and dare the Portland role players to beat them. Wesley Matthews isn’t walking through that door. The ghost of Brandon Roy isn’t walking through that door. When it’s up to Allen Crabbe, Meyers Leonard, and CJ McCollum to make the Memphis defense honest? Eh, things probably aren’t going to work out too well.
Squint hard enough and there is still hope. Courtney Lee and Beno Udrih can’t continue to shoot like Steph Curry sitting on top of Kyle Korver’s shoulders. Damian Lillard won’t be a pumpkin forever. Minus a terrible second quarter, Portland played Memphis to a draw for 36 minutes last night. It’s a long series. A raucous home crowd, a few made outside shots, and the Blazers could still have some legs.
So save those “OMG LaMarcus is leaving next year” articles for another time. The sky hasn’t fallen yet. Even though the Grizzlies have owned this matchup as of late, and the Blazers appear to be stuck in mud, there’s still a lot of basketball left to be played. Anything is possible.
(Aladdin Theater, 3017 SE Milwaukie) Children of the '90s, rejoice—Polaris have returned! Initially formed in 1993 as a one-off side-project featuring members of the New Haven, Connecticut, college-rock band Miracle Legion, Polaris were commissioned by the creators of the Nickelodeon cult classic The Adventures of Pete & Pete to become the show's house band. Much like the show itself, Polaris' music has endured quite well over the two-decade span between Pete & Pete's initial run and these recent reunion shows, which mark the band's first-ever live performances. Hearing the show's theme song, "Hey Sandy," or the anthemic "Waiting for October" is guaranteed to bring forth an onslaught of resurgent nostalgia. Meanwhile, slower, sentimental numbers like "She Is Staggering" and the melancholy-soaked "Everywhere" still sound great enough to position frontman Muggy Polaris—AKA Mark Mulcahy—and his little band from Wellsville right alongside recent Melbourne-based jangle-pop breakout acts like Twerps and Dick Diver. CHIPP TERWILLIGER
SWAHILI, DJ GIGS, LAMAR LEROY, ACID FARM
(White Owl Social Club, 1305 SE 8th) I won't swear there's anything on Amovrevx, the new album from Portland electro-psych dance band Swahili, that you haven't heard before. But the way they've put it all together is invigorating and inviting: morotik-influenced Autobahn beats, Blade Runner funeral hymns for androids, clay-colored hot springs that bubble with new-age sounds, disco of both the Italo and Americo varieties. Swahili moved to Portland from the high desert of Reno in 2010, which might explain their sun-brightened, almost pastel take on the otherwise nocturnal, neon-lit realm of electronic dance music. But that is likely a reach—Amovrevx seems, simply, like the product of five likeminded people exploring exciting avenues of sound together. NED LANNAMANN
SOUTHERLY, TEAM EVIL, RITCHIE YOUNG, RYAN BARBER
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) It's easy, perhaps, to take Krist Krueger for granted. The Wisconsin native and one-man tour de force behind Yardsss, Sdtrkr, Southerly, and the Self Group (and probably some other things no one knows about yet) always has something going on. He can be difficult to keep up with. Yet even as the mediums change, his consistency remains impressive. Southerly has been the most accessible and visible acts among his cadre (2007's Storyteller and the Gossip Columnist is one of the best records of its kind to come out of Portland over the past decade), and the prolific Krueger returned to that moniker earlier this year with a fourth installment of his Song-a-Week series. The gist, once again, was that he wrote, recorded, mixed, and posted a new song within a week, this time resulting in 13 new songs. He'll celebrate its conclusion with the first full-band Southerly show in quite some time, alongside an entire bill of acts who evoke similarly fond memories. JEREMY PETERSEN
Don't ever let anyone tell you that the Mercury isn't a family friendly publication, see:
RE: "Garth Brooks at the Moda Center, Sun April 12, 2015" [Blogtown, April 13], in which author Robert Ham reports on the country star's first (of five) recent performances in Portland.
Great review, well written and concise! Wish I had been there! Proud of my son, Robert Ham!
From Daredevil to Game of Thrones to Avengers, genre movies and TV shows are currently dominating culture—and they've brought some issues with them. Combined with Hollywood's longstanding sexism, it's kind of a perfect storm. For everything that makes you think, "Hey, things aren't so bad!"—like DC Comics and Mattel's pretty-great sounding DC Super Hero Girls, "an exciting new universe of Super Heroic storytelling that helps build character and confidence, and empowers girls to discover their true potential"—there's something else that makes you remember, "Oh, wait, no. Right. Things are still awful." (Earlier this week, Joanna Robinson at Vanity Fair looked at how when it comes to Avengers merch, "Black Widow’s conspicuous absence is part of a larger, sexist pattern.")
Obviously this is all part of a bigger picture, and while the very general sense I get is that things are sloooowly getting better on the entertainment side of things (take Kathleen Kennedy's promise, for example, that the new Star Wars films will feature "really strong women"), there's still a lot to think about just about every time we take in this stuff. And since a lot of the issues come from how these things are made, and who's making them, the below two pieces are well worth reading. If, you know, how culture affects our lives is something that interests you.
• "Does Ex Machina Have a Woman Problem, or Is Its Take on Gender Truly Futuristic?," by Kyle Buchanan, at Vulture, is an interview with Ex Machina writer/director Alex Garland that delves into the film's much-talked-about portrayal of gender. It gets bonus points for using the word "himbos."
“Let’s say 50 percent of a narrative is offered by the person providing the narrative,” [Garland] suggests, “and 50 percent is from the recipient of the narrative: what they project, what they want, their own life experience, what they're interested in.” If that’s the case, then my own 50 percent is certainly different than its critics, because I found the movie’s portrayal of gender to be bracingly modern and even poignant. To me, Ava read as post-gender, her circuits whirring underneath a body she’s been placed into but feels skeptical of. At the same time, she’s still just as hemmed in by male expectations as any real human woman would be: Kept imprisoned by Nathan in his remote hideaway, Ava is born into a literally patriarchal system that measures her worth based on how men respond to her, and it’s up to her to either exploit that system or learn how to circumvent it.
• "‘No Room For Failure': Female Directors Discuss Michelle MacLaren’s Wonder Woman Exit," by Victoria McNally at MTV, in which several woman directors talk about the issues surrounding director MacLaren's departure from the upcoming Wonder Woman film, and how that plays into the film industry as a whole.
Women might come at filmmaking from a different place than men do, Brenda Chapman told MTV News over the phone, but “we’re still capable of telling a story just as well as any guy is… And for all I know, [MacLaren leaving Warner Bros.] could just be pedantic creative differences; that they just didn’t see eye to eye on how to tell the story, and it had nothing to do with being a woman. But what I find is that there are probably more men in the room that the woman director, so you’re also getting a different point of view. If the guys can’t relate to the woman’s point of view, then that can turn into creative differences. It’s coming from a different place.”
I've been reading your column for years (19 years?), and I love it. "Savage Love" has been a major part of my coming to terms with my sexuality after a very religious upbringing. And I hate to complain about something that probably seems pretty minor, but hopefully my reasons will be compelling.
You recently advised GTBHF about taking the virginity of her Middle-eastern boyfriend, and you referred to his very conservative upbringing and the "medieval version of his faith." I'm a medievalist, and this is one of the things about our current discourse on religion that drives me nuts. Contemporary radical Christianity, Judaism and Islam are all terrible, but none of them are medieval, especially in terms of sexuality.
Today's history lesson—and it's a fascinating one—continues after the jump....
The rain's back, Portlanders.
A Colorado Springs man was cited by police for blowing eight rage-filled holes in his computer. Lucas Hinch, 37, reportedly told authorities, "It was glorious ... Angels sung on high." I get it, man.
When I go to a Starbuck's, I always think about how the one thing they're missing (besides delicious coffee) is booze. So when I found out several local coffee shop locations are working to get their Oregon liquor licenses, I was like yay! but then I figured out they're only serving beer and wine, which don't sound good in my coffee at all. Boo! I mean, booooooooze. Let's work on that, mmkay, Starbucks?
Good morning, boobs! City Council members in Venice Beach, Calif. voted 12 to 2 in favor of an ordinance to allow girls to sunbathe topless on city beaches. The council member who introduced the motion, Melissa Diner, said she was inspired by the #FreeTheNipple campaign, saying that women be “afforded the same rights as men to sunbathe topless on the sands of Venice Beach”. Excellent idea!
'Evil Twin': An otherwise healthy 26-year-old woman, Yamini Karaman, was having debilitating headaches and became unable to function over the course of several weeks. When doctors performed brain surgery on her, they found "a clump of bone, hair and teeth. A Frankenstein’s monster within Karanam’s own mind." Hello nightmares.
Brett Robinson, 33, a former Washington County jail employee who stands accused of sexual misconduct for allegedly having sex with an inmate at the jail, won't be allowed to plead insanity. Bummer for her.
Here's a video of some guy riding a BMX bike over a Lamborghini in downtown Portland last Saturday. I get why it's funny, but there's no reason to be a dick.
If today's out-of-order protest was any indication of the coming fight, Portland’s propane proponents are going to have a tough time over the next few months trying to get a fossil fuel storage and export facility built at the Port of Portland.
Portland City Council this morning was poised to hear testimony on Portland’s proposed 2030 Environmental Performance Objectives when six activists from the Portland’s Climate Action Coalition (armed with giant cutout heads of the commissioners and carrying accompanying talk bubbles; it was a little surreal) threw Robert’s Rules of Order right out the window and took the public meeting over for a short time, much to the exasperation of Mayor Charlie Hales and the rest of council.
Kelly O’Hanley read from a prepared script as if she was speaking as a collective voice for the disembodied heads, calling themselves out (I know, confusing) for giving lip service to combating climate change while not doing enough about it.
“Today, despite what you might of heard in the media, we would like to remind Portland residents of what we have said in the past about the importance of taking strong, local action to fight climate change,” O’Hanley read as Hales tried, unsuccessfully, to regain order. “Tying our city to an enormous fossil fuel export facility for many decades obviously would contradict Portland’s prior commitments to leadership on climate change policy. No amount of money can shake our resolve to do what is in the best interests of future generations and say no to Pembina.”
The group was there to protest a proposed $500 million propane plant that Canada-based Pembina Pipeline Corporation wants to put in at the port. Opponents say the deal with Pembina—which wants to freight in propane via 1.3-mile-long trains, store the liquid in huge tanks, and pipe between 36,000 and 72,000 barrels a day of it onto floating storage tanks for transfer onto giant ships for export—flies against everything “green” Portland stands for.
Sometime in the middle of the speech, Hales got exasperated and he and rest of council evacuated. When O’Hanley finished (amid some hoots and whistles of support from the audience) she and the talking heads left quietly and the otherwise orderly meeting resumed.
A decision on the proposed zoning change from city council is the next step towards Pembina's approval, but hundreds of protestors at an April 7 Bureau of Planning and Sustainability Commission hearing reminded policy makers their path isn’t going to be a smooth one.
This all started in October 2014 when the Mercury reported that Pembina and the port had hit an unexpected policy problem: a proposed pipeline for the project ran afoul of the city’s zoning code. More specifically, the pipeline would traverse an environmental overlay zone, put in place to protect waterfowl and other wildlife along the riverbank.
To get a zoning change completed, the issue must first get past the planning commission—which it did by a 6-4 vote—before the final decision is taken up by city council. They were tentatively scheduled to vote at the end of April, but the hearing has been pushed back to an undetermined date.
Protestors are willing to wait.
“They’re going to have a long row to hoe if they want to get this done,” said Chris Fountain, one of the talking heads from today’s event. “And we’re going to be there to stand in their way.”
Here is a super fancy version of the full video:
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