[ORIGINAL POST]: Early rumors indicate that big changes are in store for next year's MusicfestNW (MFNW). Instead of a multi-day, multi-venue festival, 2014's edition will be a two-day affair at the Portland Waterfront, with room for 10,000 festivalgoers, and two large stages—one sponsored by Nike and one by Red Bull, the Mercury's sources indicate. This is a marked change from Musicfests of previous years, in which more than a dozen Portland venues around town played host to more than 100 different acts over as many as six nights. This will be a condensed, far more focused affair, more akin to other Northwest music festivals such as the Gorge Amphitheater's Sasquatch!, or Portland's annual Waterfront Blues Festival. It also marks the end of concerts taking place in Pioneer Courthouse Square, a relatively recent development that, while initially anchoring the festival, suffered this past year from both bad weather and neighbor complaints.
When asked for confirmation on any of the potential changes, or information about 2014's festival in general, MusicfestNW Executive Director Trevor Solomon
declined to comment [SEE ABOVE]. MusicfestNW typically takes place at the beginning of September, and is run in part by Willamette Week. It's traditionally Portland's big live-music event of the year, and we like it a lot. We'll provided any further updates and/or confirmation, as the information becomes available.
Surely the best office holiday party of the year will be this one: The Mercury presents Your Holiday Office Party (Attendance Mandatory!). There will be booze, Silent Disco dancing, a performance by Sex Life, your drunk mean boss/host Gabe Dinger, a raffle for awesome Secret Santa presents (benefitting Right 2 Dream Too), a make-out cubicle, a genital friendly Xerox machine, food, an "Ugly Tie/Uncomfortable Panty Hose" contest, and MORE!
Tickets are inexpensive, but if you're hard up for cash, check out this contest to WIN THREE PAIRS OF TICKETS on our Facebook page. (Contest ends at 4 pm today!!) Feeling unlucky? GET YOUR TICKETS HERE. The Holiday Office Party is this Friday night and tickets are moving fast! (Besides, like the boss says, "Attendance is mandatory.")
There is no better Tom Cruise-related news than the fact there will be a Jack Reacher 2 (Jack Reacher was great), but as second-best bits of Tom Cruise-related news go, the fact there's a trailer out for Edge of Tomorrow is totally acceptable. Originally going by the far, far more awesome title All You Need Is Kill, the newly retitled Edge of Tomorrow basically sounds like a sci-fi version of Groundhog Day, which is fine, because I've always thought the one thing Groundhog Day was missing was crazy space armor and future warfare and massive explosions. And Emily Blunt. Bill Murray's awesome and all, but Groundhog Day had a downright criminal deficit of Emily Blunt.
Regardless of how Edge of Tomorrow turns out, between it and Oblivion, I'm kind of digging the fact that Cruise is using his megastar power (OR HIS SECRET SCIENTOLOGY PSYCHLO-POWERS) to get big-scale, non-sequel, non-franchise sci-fi movies made. Genre movies that don't have either a number or a colon in the title are becoming an increasingly rare thing in Hollywood; I like having those sorts of movies around.
Directed by Jay Winebrenner, the latest video from Wig Out at Jagbags, opens with drummer Jake Morris being shanghaied by a modern-day pirate (Dan Kim), and it’s pretty much lo-fi madcap adventure from there on out. Winebrenner is eccentrically literal in his interpretation of the lyrics, beat for beat, from the “glassblowing funky neighbors” to Joe Kelly’s Meisner-esque performance of a “smooth talking jack-off jailer.” This will remind some viewers of dorkier days, when “alternative” music-videos got a little goofy. If you hemorrhaged the middle '90s watching 120 Minutes, prepare to be pleased.
*cast and crew can be found nightly at Tiga: 1465 NE Prescott
Forget smartwatches—smartrings are the new thing now. An Indiegogo campaign for a product called the "Smarty Ring" has hit its funding goal. Smarty Ring is a 13mm-wide stainless steel ring with an LED screen, Bluetooth 4.0, and an accompanying smartphone app. The ring pairs with a smartphone and acts as a remote control and notification receiver.
The ring supposedly has a 24-hour battery life. Here's video:
The contemporary cinema classic The FP lives on in the hearts of all who have seen it—and tonight at Ground Kontrol, the love we all feel for the film is about to get a little more physical. Because the star, co-writer, and co-director of The FP, Jason Trost, will be taking part in a Dance Dance Revolution tournament at the arcade, while also signing FP stuff and, presumably, getting smiles humped all up your face. Godspeed, Portlanders, but watch out: JTRO's got some choice moves.
Originally posted August 5, 2010:
My boyfriend and I have "history." We dated casually and weren't ready to stop seeing other people, so we had an open relationship. This phase was awful: lots of fights, a couple minor breakups, and eventually I called it quits for good, cutting off all contact. A month later, we started talking again and decided to commit for reals. No fucking around this time. This is his first monogamous relationship, and while he claims to miss the variety, he says he wouldn't trade having me for having it.
Here's my question: I'd like to have a three-way. While I trust him, I don't want to make it seem like it's okay for him to fuck around again. Is this too dangerous a proposition?
One More Time
My response after the jump...
It's been a long time coming, but I think you'll agree it was worth the wait: It's an autotuned tribute to Steve Irwin "the Crocodile Hunter" that will not only make you think sweet, sweet thoughts about this much-missed personality... but also say, "DANG!! I wish someone would autotune ME like that!"
Last week, when I did my public service in passing on to you the smokin' deal they are offering at new wood fired N Williams pizza joint Life of Pie (a $5, 11" margherita plus $3 beers and wines daily 11 am-6 pm until they decide to stop, AKA go now before it's too late), it caught the attention of the powers that be, and guess who ended up at the Monday night press preview?
So now I write again, having sampled more than half of the pies on the menu, along with the contrastingly bright and refreshing kale and arugula salad (punched up with honey, lemon, and parmesan), and one arancini—the risotto croquette appetizer that, I'm told, gets most of its creaminess from starches rather than butter and cheese, though you wouldn't know it by how decadent it tastes atop its shallow pool of simple and flawless marinara sauce.
As for the main event: pizza. I put the following in my mouth (despite being 90% vegetarian 90% of the time): the margherita in question (so good I couldn't pace myself; I ate two slices even though I knew there were more varieties on the way. Super thin crust, only lightly charred, and another point of proof that house-made mozzarella makes all the difference); seasonal mushrooms with shaved pecorino romano and truffle oil (a white pie with satisfying mushroom dankness, though I preferred the mellow bites that evaded truffle drizzling, simply because it is so strong that it crowds everything else); bacon, goat cheese, and roasted leeks (not bad at all, though much subtler than those ingredients prepped me for, and not as interesting as some of the other combos); fennel sausage and Mama Lil's peppers (our favorite, with zesty chunks of fresh sausage sharing the stage with local pickled peppers that walk a perfect line between spicy and sweet); and salami, those great peppers again, goat cheese, and honey (chef Jason Kallingal made us one special since I was so curious, and the balance works amazingly well. It might be a bit intense for an entire serving, but if you are taking the wise route of sharing several pies among friends, don't miss this adventurous signature).
Hit the break for a couple more shots of the space, including the legendary, huge oven that Kallingal says still retains 450 degrees when he gets to work in the morning.
This year, seven Portland comics and one improv troupe made it into the festival, by my count (feel free to check my math): Barbara Holm, Curtis Cook, Gabe Dinger, JoAnn Schinderle, Philip Schallberger, Stacey Hallal, and Xander Deveaux, plus improv troupe Whiskey Tango. (You can catch Whiskey Tango tonight at the Tonic, btw, and you should! They're funny.)
That's in addition to, like, every comic working today you've ever wanted to see. These West Coast comedy festivals are increasingly tempting long-weekend destinations—SF Sketch Fest is spread out over almost three weeks, which makes planning a bit complicated/expensive, but I've got my eye on the Riot LA fest in January, a four-day festival that's just about a half-notch above Portland's own Bridgetown Comedy Fest in terms of the recognition-factor of its guests. (Which is actually a huge testament to Bridgetown, given that most comedians, you know, live in LA.) And guys: It's sunny there. There are worse ways to spend a weekend.
GOOD MORNING, BLOGTOWN! I ain't got no money, I ain't like those other guys you hang around. And it's kinda funny, but they always seem to let you down. LET'S GO TO PRESS.
Ukranian protesters force the police to retreat after an early morning raid on their camp. (Remember Occupy, guys? Good times. Good times.)
In the year since the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre, 39 new state laws have tightened gun restrictions—while 70 have loosened them. (Take a big guess if those 70 laws were Republican or Democrat ideas.)
A gay sex ban has been reinstated by the India Supreme Court after a lower court struck down the law (which was originally created by the British way back in 1861). Thanks, Brits!
A meteor explodes over Arizona, rattling houses and signaling the beginning of meteor shower season.
Testimony in the investigation of the fatal Asiana Flight 214 reveals that the First Officer advised the pilots of the planes "excessive sink rate" more than four times in the two minutes before the crash.
Budget negotiators have reached a tentative agreement that, if it passes the House and Senate, could avoid another of those super annoying government shutdowns.
Republicans are overhauling their primary election process for 2016 in an attempt to avoid the fuck ups that resulted in Mitt Romney.
Unfortunately for the GOP, the Tea Party has big plans to make them look even more ridiculous than they do right now.
Pope Francis is Time's "Person of the Year." Agree, disagree, or don't care?
Headline of the day: "Did A Woman Super Glue Herself To A Store Toilet?" You're right... this happened in Georgia.
A U of O football player was suspended for his role in a snowball fight—which sounds harsh, but read the story and you'll see that he was being a real dickhead.
Now here's what's going on in your neck of the woods: A foggy morning will turn into a partly sunny day in the 40s! That's downright balmy!
And finally, here's the best father/son dance routine you'll see all day!
Just so ya know: Portlandia is returning for its fourth season on Thursday, February 27 at 10 pm on IFC. And this season they're expected to include a LOT of Portland natives, such as the following... (from SplitSider):
…Vanessa Bayer, Kirsten Dunst, k.d. lang, Maya Rudolph, Dan Savage, Olivia Wilde, Steve Buscemi, Nick Swardson, Gus Van Sant, Jeff Goldblum, Jeff Tweedy, Kumail Nanjiani, and of course Kyle MacLachlan as the mayor.
Huh. Never heard of 'em. (I'm telling ya, this show is never gonna last!)
With musical strains swiped right out of nothing less than 2001: A Space Odyssey, the remake of Godzilla seems to be setting its sights high. As in, really high. Then again, it might just pull it off: While the only other film from director Gareth Edwards was the low-budget, lackluster Monsters, Godzilla has lined up a hell of a cast: Bryan Cranston, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Elizabeth Olsen, Juliette Binoche, Sally Hawkins, David Strathairn, Ken Watanabe, and motherfucking GODZILLA. Old-school Godzilla.
I like it. I would watch that movie.
SOCIAL JUSTICE—Nonprofit p:ear valiantly takes on one of the most thankless—and important—jobs in the social services spectrum: working with homeless youth, annually helping hundreds. Head to Holocene for a fundraiser where bands will play and filmmakers will screen Snapshot, a collection of mini-documentaries about real life on the streets. DCT
w/Kelli Schaefer, Novosti, Tre Burt and a Big Gust of Wind; Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison, 9 pm, $7
MUSIC—The glowing, gratifying pop of Phoenix is best heard in a crowded room at full volume; luckily, we'll get the chance, as the French band is performing as part of 94.7's December to Remember concert series. They'll play tunes from their fine 2013 album Bankrupt! and older favorites. (This one's already sold out, so you'll want to hit up Craigslist or the touts on the pavement.) NL
w/Dresses; Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside, 8 pm, hunt hard for tix, all ages
Rush over to get tickets quick, because the buzz on this one is STRONG:
OH, THE FUN WE'LL HAVE. Get your tickets NOW!
This chart shows how the gun lobby ramped up spending to lobby for less gun control immediately after a nutcase with guns—cheap, easy to obtain, and poorly regulated—murdered 20 children at Sandy Hook Elementary School last year:
$ spent on gun policy lobbying has skyrocketed in the year since #SandyHook: http://t.co/BCf8o7XuTo @SunFoundation pic.twitter.com/d2intLwxQ5
— ProPublica (@ProPublica) December 9, 2013
Since the Newtown shooting, at least 194 more children have been shot to death.
Tomorrow night, Live Wire's Courtenay Hameister introduces a new show that pairs local musicians with local writers, asking writers to create work based on a song, and musicians to write a song based on a piece of writing. The pairing of Laura Gibson and Cheryl Strayed alone would be enough to get me in the door, but it doesn't stop there: The night also features music and readings from Matt Sheehy, Arthur Bradford, Hameister herself, and former Dirty Martini-ers Swan Sovereign. The ambitious show is partially funded by a grant from the Regional Arts and Culture Commission; Hameister was kind enough to answer some questions about it via email.
Mercury: Why did you apply for a RAAC grant for the show? What does that funding go toward?
COURTENAY HAMEISTER: Ideally this would be a running series, and the grant money is paying for startup costs like a logo and website and then running costs like paying all the performers (which a lot of local series don't do), posters, and then recording and editing the show for podcast and possibly broadcast. I'm hoping to have some money left over after it's all over to be able to pay those recurring costs the next round.
How did writers and musicians react to your initial pitch?
The first person I approached over a year ago was John Roderick, who loved the idea and immediately agreed. Then, in a hilarious turn of events, he had to cancel right before Thanksgiving. And by "hilarious," I mean, "Holy freaking crap what do we do now?" Matt had already started working on his song, but he's a trooper and agreed to start all over. Pretty much everyone I approached, even the ones who had to decline, were excited by the idea of working from someone else's pre-existing work.
How did you decide which writers to pair with which musicians?
Laura and Cheryl were easy because they're already fans of each other's work and I wanted at least one pair that loved each other's work, and one that didn't know each other's work (Matt and John—now Matt and Arthur Bradford), just to see if there was a difference in the resulting work. It's obviously easy to be inspired by someone's work that you admire, but what can you find in work you're unfamiliar with? What do you do if you don't connect to it at all? We haven't had that happen, but I think in general there will be cases where artists really have to mine the work to find something that inspires them. I also wanted different voices—Matt's work is generally pretty heartfelt and John's funny, which is why I wanted Arthur [to replace John] since his stories for the Moth and Backfence have been quite funny, too.
Will you be compiling and releasing this material in any way after the show?
Yes—I'm recording the show and will release it as a podcast, and I'm talking to some folks at OPB in the hopes that they might use the content in some way, but that's still up in the air.
What, if any, are your plans for future events in the series?
In this show, artists traded inspiration—stories for songs. Next time around, I'd like to do a game of creative telephone—begin with a pre-existing piece from a writer, give it to a musician who writes a song, then give THAT song to another writer and so on. Four artists, and you end with the writer whose piece started the whole thing writing a new piece based on the last song. The idea of seeing where we traveled between the first and last piece and how we'd end up is very exciting to me. Obviously, this series would take longer to create because you're dealing with deadlines and artists and that's always interesting. I'd also love to integrate visual art—I got the idea for a show like this where artists trade inspiration years ago when Molly Cliff Hilts gave a painting to Kristen Hersh that she'd made while listening to her music. Kristen loved the painting so much, she used the whole series in a slide show that played behind her on tour. That connection and interaction between new work and the work that inspired it was fascinating to me.
Are there any other events or series that you looked toward for inspiration when putting on your own show?
I thought the "Inspired By" show that Action Adventure did was a blast. I loved that they had all these different disciplines interacting with each other. It reminded me that this whole idea came about because of a connection between visual art and music, so integrating that in some way would be great down the line. There are some great photographers in Portland and I'd love to have a photographer/musician pairing.
How did you, personally, find the experience of writing an essay based on someone else's work? Did anything about it surprise you?
Well, I'm not finished with my essay yet, but the rules of this series are very loose—you can choose anything to inspire you: a phrase, a word, the theme of the piece, a feeling—anything. And that's freeing, which is great, but sometimes as a writer I want MORE rules. More limitations mean I don't have the whole world of ideas to choose from, which can sometimes feel paralyzing for me. It was a song that I've loved for a long time that I ended up using, but what I tried to do was find something in it that I hadn't before. I was surprised at how much I struggled with my piece and how much more stressed I felt about the final outcome—this sense that the stakes were higher because there are these other artists that I owe something to. I respect their work so much that I feel like this can't suck. But I suppose "Please don't let this suck" is a standard feeling when creating work. Right?
SEED is at the Alberta Rose Theatre, tomorrow, Dec 11, 7:30 pm, $20-22, tickets at albertarosetheatre.com
Maker-friendly mag Marrow has enlisted Portland neckwear company Harding & Wilson to create a limited edition of neck- and bow-ties made from the cloth of vintage dresses and coats, which they are now selling in their online shop as a floral counterpoint to the darker styles that dominate the season. Their marketing—in keeping with all the hype about tomboys that exploded in 2013—suggests that women need not abandon their vintage dresses just because they've been re-purposed as such; in fact the lookbook features nothing but women sporting the five varieties. See more pf the products and the shoot over on MOD.
Tickets are on sale over at Secret Society's site. It's $15 and seeing the fantastic, infrequently playing Dolorean on its own would be more than enough reason to throw down.
Originally published on November 25, 2010:
I'm a 23-year-old female college student whose life consists of going to class and going to the gym. I got hurt in my last relationship, so I've been staying away from dating for a while. I'm attractive and I notice guys checking me out—making the gym a second home does have benefits!—but I'm afraid I come off as unapproachable.
I've noticed this fine guy at the gym. From the way he looks at me, I can tell he's interested, but I have no idea why he hasn't approached me. We make a lot of eye contact while we work out, and some days he'll walk by my treadmill and awkwardly smile, but we've talked only once. Is he shy? Should I try to talk to him again? How can I come off as more approachable? I'm finding myself obsessing over him (like I said, he is fine), but the more I do, the more pathetic I feel.
Pathetic Shy Girl With A Crush
My response after the jump...
As someone who liked Cloud Atlas quite a bit more than the average moviegoer—and who loved Speed Racer, and still thinks more highly than most of The Matrix films, even with the sequels' problems—it goes without saying I'm curious about Jupiter Ascending, the latest from the Wachowskis. Hey Wachowskis, I would've gone no matter what it was! But then you went and threw in a pointy-eared, goateed Channing Tatum, and Mila Kunis, and Seen Beans, and then INTERGALACTIC ACTION and SPACESHIPS and CYBORGS and high-minded, breathy, srs bsns narration and fuck it, I'm done for. Jupiter Ascending looks as silly and ambitious and cool as the rest of the Wachowskis' stuff, which means I'm totally in.
Also, heads up: From here on out, I will only be referring to this movie as
It's that time of year, when I use my I Love Television™ column to mentally unpack the best animated holiday specials of all time. Last week was Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, and tune in tomorrow when I dissect How the Grinch Stole Christmas! HOWEVER! While I'm focusing on the "best," maybe you should concentrate on the "WORST." What's the WORST animated holiday special ever? Matt Schimkowicz over at SplitSider makes a very good case for the absolutely terrible Christmas Comes to Pac-Land (1982). Here's what he says:
Ignoring most of the tropes associated with seasonal programming, Pac-Land is pretty upfront with its intentions. Essentially a 22-minute commercial for the Pac-Man video game series, Hannah-Barbara must have felt beholden to the game’s central plot, offering Pac-Man little or nothing to do outside of collecting power-pellets, fending off ghosts, and locating Christmas presents. Without any interest in contributing to the tradition of holiday television, Christmas Comes to Pac-Land teaches children to consume as quickly and gluttonously as possible.
Read the rest here, and check out out Christmas Comes to Pac-Land below. If you can think of a worse holiday cartoon special, I'D LIKE TO HEAR IT!
Lucy Kinder at the Telegraph says:
Facebook is developing a 'sympathise' button as an alternative to the 'like' button.
If a user tags their status with a negative emotion, then his or her friends will be able to 'sympathise' with the post rather than press the 'like' button.
Of course, Facebook will never have a "dislike" button because Facebook is an advertising platform, and everything on Facebook has to be happy and like-able all the time. That's the problem with Facebook.
REAL QUICK: Your court date is delayed today, your inspiring civic engagement aims stymied. The power outage that began over the weekend is still affecting the business of government in our fair city. The Multnomah County Courthouse, Portland City Hall and the Portland Building are all closed.
In a driving rain, thousands gathered in Johannesburg this morning to remember the life of Nelson Mandela. President Obama featured prominently in the ceremony (and shook hands with Cuban leader Raul Castro). Something like 2,500 foreign journalists looked on.
General Motors taps a longtime employee and engineer as its new CEO, and a brittle ceiling shatters.
The much-discussed "Volcker Rule"—part of the sweeping Dodd-Frank financial reform law—is expected to be approved today. It would curb the risky behavior that helped shove us into a recession. Of course, don't expect the big banks to blithely accept the regulation. As the NYT notes: "Wall Street is expected to scour the rule for loopholes and consider whether to challenge it in court."
Intrigue! The massive drilling machine digging a highway tunnel up in Seattle has been ground to a halt by a mystery object. My guess is that Mother Nature's a real being with a real face and that face is impervious to drills and buried, for some reason, beneath Seattle. If it's human or familiarly animal—something we can comprehend—we will soon find it twisted in rage and disappointment. Just a hunch.
In New Jersey, a man looking to snag warmer clothes (or a sleeping spot) from one of those donation drop-off boxes became stuck in the door and died.
Los Angeles deputies trying to stymie a federal investigation went so far as to fake a prisoner's release and re-admit him under a false name—an attempt to "hide" the man, who was tipping off investigators. It didn't work, and now that tidbit is only one of the insane allegations that have cropped up in the indictment yesterday of 18 sheriff's department employees.
Some of our most-august writers are on a list of more than 500 authors demanding authorities curtail the massive spying programs revealed by Edward Snowden. Which writer's warnings about the erosion of our civil liberties are you most likely to heed? Personally, I'd like to hear Norton Juster's thoughts. '
Mike Tyson isn't allowed in the UK. Good on them.
Fresh hope members of the band Pussy Riot could be released from Russian prison.
Pretty much over the cold. Portland winter returns Thursday.
If you've never lived in the Midwest or East Coast or any place with a real and savage winter, here's a reminder of how much worse things can be.
The power outage that's had its grip on parts of downtown since Sunday—after an explosion in an underground Portland General Electric vault—will likely still be with us tomorrow, PGE has reported.
The power company has put out a map showing where power's been restored and where it still needs to be turned on. Work was supposed to be finished by tonight. That's not happening.
Why the delay? The Oregonian reports it's because it's taking longer to splice and replace damaged cables underground. Downtown office buildings and government bunkers like City Hall, the Portland Building, and the Multnomah County Courthouse were all closed today.
And not that the city buildings were completely empty. Commissioner Nick Fish says he went to his office all the same, using his cell phone to stay connected, even if it was colder than usual. He says he got a lot done.
"Even though I was lonely," he says, "I just worked out of my office. It was quiet."
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