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VOICES Five Portlanders with innovative theories about space, wolves, beaches, slavery and the Titanic. page 9

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MIDNIGHT MURDER: The fabulous gang wars of 2014. Page 34.
















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Ever y student in Portland Public Schools deserves an education that fulfills his or her potential. That’s why PPS has invested in staff training to help educators develop the skills and strategies to close the achievement gap [“Murmurs,” WW, Dec. 25, 2013]. Training is just one part of PPS’s overall effort to improve equity in our schools. PPS has been accountable for the results. PPS schools measure progress by looking at the gap in learning between the lowest-performing racial subgroup and white students at key benchmarks, from early reading scores to graduation rates. This approach holds us accountable for the progress of all underserved groups, not just black students. Despite years of budget cuts, the achievement gap has narrowed for our lowest-performing students on nearly all measures—even as student achievement overall has also steadily improved. Are we there yet? Of course not. Today our schools still produce better outcomes for white students than they do for students of color. That’s why we need to stay focused on equity to sustain that progress. Erin Hoover Barnett, communications director Robb Cowie, public affairs director Portland Public Schools


The biggest mess is the one left us by Jeff Cogen [“Clickworthy,” WW, Dec. 25, 2013]. Now we have a temporary Multnomah County Board chair, and an incompetent sheriff with no checks whatsoever on overspending his budget year after year.







Three cheers for Steve Buel. The Portland Public Schools board could use a few more like him. —“billstaf ”


Every country and state taxes alcohol [“Price Check on Fireball,” WW, Dec. 25, 2013]. They lied in Washington state that prices would fall, and now that their lie is for all to see, they are changing tactics in Oregon. Why would the grocery-store lobby support this if they were not going to be making a major profit? I used to be in favor for abolishing OLCC sales, but now I feel completely the opposite. —“J McCarthy””


In our Dec. 11, 2013, stor y “Gender Rap,” Portland Police spokesman Sgt. Pete Simpson discussed reasons why female officers use force less often than their male counterparts. Neither Simpson nor WW meant to suggest the bureau intentionally keeps female officers out of dangerous assignments. LETTERS TO THE EDITOR must include the author’s street address and phone number for verification. Letters must be 250 or fewer words. Submit to: 2220 NW Quimby St., Portland, OR 97210. Fax: (503) 243-1115. Email:

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How did the Pearl District get its name? I heard that only a few years ago the area was a bunch of vacant warehouses and industrial buildings. —Chuck H. As you read this, one of America’s greatest annual festivals is drawing to a close. I’m speaking, of course, of National Punt Week, that period between Christmas and New Year’s when American workplaces slow to the glacial pace of a Greek post office in the offseason. In media, this cavalcade of lassitude leads to a lot of “Year in Review” and “Best of 2013” articles. Indeed, I was tempted to do “Marty’s Top 10 Restraining Orders of 2013,” but it’s so hard to pick just 10. Besides, you deserve better.* The most widely circulated Pearl origin story is that in 1985, local gallery director Thomas Augustine was quoted in a travel magazine as saying that the neighborhood’s industrial buildings were like crusty oysters, while the galleries


Cogen was a fraud. Just a hippy-dippy lightweight with a stoner’s outlook on managing the county by flirting with the board and being a cheerleader for county employees: “Wow, awesome. You guys do an awesome job. Wow, cool, keep it up.” Talk about a total bust. —“Irving Berliner”

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and lofts inside were like pearls. When I hear this, I can’t help but imagine Godzilla crunching through the stony rooftops to get at the pale and lustrous yuppies within, but maybe I’m weird. The legend was extended in 2002, when The Oregonian’s Margie Boulé tracked down Augustine, who emended his tale with the late-breaking news that he’d actually named the ’hood in honor of his friend Pearl Marie Amhara. Amhara supposedly threw such great warehouse parties that people started calling it “Pearl’s place” or “Pearl’s district.” I have no evidence that any part of this story is anything but true, but still, I’d be interested to see it corroborated. (Augustine’s trail goes cold at a gallery that closed several years ago.) I encourage anyone who was there, or who knew Amhara, to get in touch. Make Dr. Know eat crow! *No, you don’t. QUESTIONS? Send them to

“Six weeks ago...”


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ARTS: Who brought the Bacon to Portland? 7 COVER STORY: Voices 2014: Portlanders with not-so-crazy ideas. 9



Opponents of a proposed publicly subsidized hotel at the Oregon Convention Center were planning to force a vote on the question in the November 2014 election. Project opponents—downtown hoteliers who object to the $80 million subsidy underpinning the deal—wanted to challenge the way Multnomah County would handle lodging taxes in the deal. But county counsel Jenny Madkour last week determined that part of the deal isn’t subject to a public vote. Metro, the regional government, is leading plans for the $200 million Hyatt hotel project. Representatives from hotel opponents didn’t respond to WW’s calls to say if they would challenge the county counsel’s decision. “There’s an opportunity for appeal,” County Chairwoman Marissa Madrigal tells WW. “We’ll do whatever the court compels us to do.”


Salvador Ibarra, a witness in a massive immigration fraud case, remains in a federal detention lockup in Tacoma, awaiting deportation to Mexico. But one of Ibarra’s attorneys, Alison Hall Sundby, says she’s more optimistic now that U.S. Attorney Amanda Marshall’s office has twice communicated an interest in helping keep Ibarra in the United States since WW wrote about him last week (“Between ICE and a Hard Place,” WW, Dec. 25, 2013). “They are initiating efforts on their end to continue working with him as a witness and helping to secure his release from Tacoma,” Hall Sundby says. “They are interested in ensuring he’s available.” Ibarra can provide evidence of fraud that was the subject of a recent cover story (“Greed Card,” WW, Nov. 27, 2013) about two southern Oregon “notarios” who allegedly bilked scores of undocumented residents out of as much as $1 million with phony promises of help with immigration paperwork. Marshall’s office, which has not brought charges in the case, didn’t respond to questions. Progressive radio host Carl Wolfson is coming back to the airwaves this month. Nonprofit startup XRAY. FM—which aims to return talk-show personalities Wolfson and Thom Hartmann to Portland radio alongside local indie-rock shows—in 14 days collected $44,000 on fundraising website KickWOLFSON starter. That’s more than it needs to begin broadcasting in January as KXRY 90.1 FM. The pledge drive is organized by former state representative and Portland mayoral candidate Jefferson Smith, who is returning to public life with his own XRAY.FM talk show (“Air Apparent,” WW, Oct. 9, 2013). Smith is looking for further donations to buy “a station larger than a breadbox.” If XRAY. FM raises enough money, Smith says, the station will seek a studio with a restroom. Read more Murmurs and daily scuttlebutt. 6

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TRAVELING TRIPTYCH: Francis Bacon’s Three Studies of Lucian Freud is at the Portland Art Museum until March 30.


The most famous Pacific Northwest mysteries have often involved serial killers. But our city’s current whodunit is about something we’re much less known for: a great deal of money. Three Studies of Lucian Freud, a triptych of portraits by midcentury London painter Francis Bacon, was sold Nov. 12 at Christie’s in New York for $142.4 million, making it the most expensive work of art ever sold at a public auction. The buyer’s identity has been a closely guarded secret, amid rampant speculation. The British Daily Mail newspaper first fingered Roman Abramovich, a Russian oil tycoon whose art holdings include a different Bacon triptych (which cost $86 million). Fellow U.K. paper The Daily Telegraph speculated that oil-rich Qatar was the buyer, shopping for trinkets in advance of the tiny Arab country’s hosting of the 2022 World Cup. But the guessing started anew when the painting arrived Dec. 20 at the Portland Art Museum. Museum curator Bruce Guenther says

he tracked down the buyer and snagged a three-month loan of the painting, which is on display until March 30. While museum officials won’t reveal who owns the painting, conversations with a number of people in the art world suggest a couple of things: First, that ownership can probably be narrowed down to a few folks and, second, that there are significant tax benefits to the Bacon painting’s detour through Portland on its way to its final destination. Guenther has been tight-lipped. But he’s dropped two big hints. On Dec. 16, he told The New York Times that the buyer was on the West Coast. Last week, he told WW that the buyer was “a previous donor and lender” to the Portland Art Museum. Based on an ever-grinding local rumor mill and those criteria, we offer a few possibilities for your perusal.

The Front-runner: Eli Broad Real-estate and insurance billionaire. The case for: At an estimated net worth of $6.3 billion, he’s got the money. He’s also been one of the most active lenders and donors to the Portland Art Museum. A number of art insiders in Portland have pegged him as the most probable owner of Three Studies of Lucian Freud. Broad is building a $40 million museum in Los Angeles for his private art collection. Robert Kochs, owner of Augen Gallery, says the Bacon piece “would be the perfect thing to headline a museum.” In

addition, a prominent Portlander told WW he heard from someone closely connected to the museum that the purchaser of the painting was a consortium of three people: Broad, singer Barbra Streisand (a noted art collector and member of the board of trustees of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art) and Greg Renker, a multimillionaire from California who has been a big donor to the Portland Art Museum. The case against: Broad has never been the sort to buy anonymously, says local art critic Jeff Jahn, and he’s never bought a piece for more than $24 million. Also, Portland Art Museum director Brian Ferriso and Broad’s art foundation spokesperson both tell WW Broad isn’t the guy.

The Hollywood Mogul: Michael Ovitz Billionaire art collector and investor, former Disney president and talent agent. The case for: Ovitz’s foundation is one of the largest donors to the Portland Art Museum, and Ovitz was at the Nov. 12 auction at Christie’s. The case against: Despite media reports he was among the bidders for the Bacon painting, after the auction Ovitz seemed miffed: “I am an art collector,” he told “This is not about collecting. For a moment last night, I thought I was in the commodities market.”

The Software King: Paul Allen Microsoft billionaire and owner of the Portland Trail Blazers. The case for: Allen’s $15.8 billion give him the wherewithal, plus he’s an avid art collector and donor to the Portland Art Museum. The case against: Allen’s art collection,

while including a Jasper Johns, has tended more toward Renoir, Monet and Hendrix.

The Local: Jordan Schnitzer Schnitzer family heir and president of Harsch Investment Properties. The case for: The Schnitzer family has been a generous financial backer of the Portland Art Museum for decades, and Jordan Schnitzer has reportedly talked avidly in public about Bacon’s art. The case against: Schnitzer’s collection is tightly focused on post-war prints, and his curator says he’s not involved. While ownership of Three Studies of Lucian Freud is in question, there seems little doubt its presence in Oregon has tax benefits, specifically the state’s lack of sales or use taxes. “When people who buy these high-end artworks park them in an institution, particularly in Oregon,” says gallerist Elizabeth Leach, “they don’t have to pay the taxes.” Artworks shipped immediately from New York after auction are not subject to that area’s nearly 9-percent use tax. If the buyer is from a state that has a use tax, such as California, payment can be avoided through the buyer’s “functional use” of the artwork in another state for 90 days before bringing it to California. For example, it could be displayed in an Oregon art museum. On a $142.4 million piece, this could save up to $14 million. Leach says this situation has been great for Portland’s art audience. “We had a van Gogh,” she says. “We’ve had a Damien Hirst for these reasons.” Richard Speer provided additional reporting for this story. Willamette Week JANUARY 1, 2014




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Five Portlanders with innovative theories about space, wolves, beaches, slavery and the Titanic.


reat ideas start as crazy ideas. Put away the tinfoil—we’re not talking about chemtrails or the Illuminati. Rather, we’re remembering how once-revolutionary theories about the benefits of running barefoot or using moldy bread to treat infection are now widely accepted. WW often opens the year with our Voices issue, a chance to hear from people who see our community in new and different ways. This year, we went a step further: We found five Portlanders challenging long-accepted notions about how our world works. One believes that wolves filtering into the wilds outside of town will improve our ecosystem. Another is working to make space travel affordable for average people, with an eye toward interplanetary colonization. Two are authors who make compelling cases that Oregon was once a slave state and faulty rivets were a major cause of the Titanic disaster. Another Portlander wants to line the banks of the Willamette River with urban beaches. Some of these ideas might sound fishy at first. But after hearing from proponents, we think you’ll be newly curious, if not totally convinced. cont. on page 10

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cont. n ata l i e b e h r i n g



By day, Cameron Smith teaches anthropology at Portland State University—digging fossils in Africa, launching solo voyages in the Arctic or sailing primitive vessels in the open ocean. By night, Smith, 46, is feverishly building a DIY space suit. Working in concert with a Danish nonprofit aerospace organization called Copenhagen Suborbitals, Smith wants to democratize space travel. He has turned his Pearl District apartment into a workshop where a homemade space suit nearly five years in the making lies on a folding table. Next year, he plans to balloon up to 63,000 feet to test the suit. The year after that, the Danes will send it up to 63 miles. And after that? WW: What are you trying to achieve?

Cameron Smith: Our mission is bringing down the cost of space access. My flight will be a test of the suit and the life-support system, and that will be by balloon. And the point of that is to go 63,000 feet. It’s called the Armstrong line. And this 10

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gets you to an atmospheric pressure that’s so low that people begin to call it, for engineering purposes, space-equivalent conditions.

this has many complications. On the other hand, it’s relatively simple.

you’ve done archaeological expeditions all over the World. What’s the connection to space travel?

A lot are. There are several layers to a pressure suit. The first layer is basically a pair of long johns, and sewn into them is about 30 feet of tubing that plugs into the ship and circulates cold water. The second layer is what’s called the gas-retention layer. When we plug it in and we pump gas through the suit, it balloons up and it gives you the physiological pressure you need to continue to breathe. The third layer is what’s called a pressure-restraint garment. With that I can reach the few controls I need. The next layer is the coverall. It’s flameproof. It is orange so people can see it if I need to be rescued. Of course, there is the helmet. That’s the one thing I didn’t manufacture myself. That was from eBay. It is a Russian high-altitude aviation helmet.

I was born in 1967, when the space race was in full swing. We lived in Texas and my folks took us to NASA and the Johnson Space Center when I was 10. We saw the rockets, and like a lot of kids at that time, I was kind of hooked on this sort of mindboggling thing, to put people into space. hoW long have you been Working toWard going into space?

Since 2008. For about three years, I didn’t tell anybody about it. I thought, “People are going to think I’m crazy.” But I can build a balloon. I can build a pressure suit. And I can ride underneath the balloon. This is something I can [build] at home. I can work on it every night. It’s not like being in the Arctic, but it’s something I can do that’s sort of connected to this expedition world that I was craving. is there a diy guide to building a pressurized suit?

No. I learned how to build it from by looking at a lot of patents. Everything that NASA did is public. I learned that a suit like

Where did you buy the components? are they household items?

hoW much time and money have you spent so far?

Someday I’ll get around to adding it all up. I believe it’s less than $5,000. And 99 percent of that is materials that didn’t work. When Will you go into space?

[Next] summer I’ll go back to Copenhagen. I’m building the suit for Copenhagen Suborbital’s astronaut to fly. The suit needs to

fit into their capsule, which is a very, very delicate operation. That’s 2015. The summer of 2014, I plan to fly the balloon. And the arrangement now is that they will build the balloon in Copenhagen. Why build your oWn suit?

You can buy a used pressure suit from the Russians for something like $20,000 or a new one for $50,000. The American suit is much more expensive. What I would like to do with this is show that it can be built for perhaps a tenth of that cost. Right now, space travel is a rich man’s game. You want to go up with Richard Branson, it’s $250,000. There are going to be a lot of terrible disasters as the technology is worked out to make this cheaper, but essentially the idea is that going to space should be cheap. It should be widely available rather than heavily restricted. Why should it be Widely available?

As an archaeologist, I’ve looked carefully at human prehistory and human civilizations, and it’s a bleak picture. All civilizations have crashed. The reason I have a job is that ancient civilizations fall apart, and so we study them now that they’re museum exhibits. Somebody said recently that civilization has a failure rate of about 99 percent. I think civilization is a wonderful thing, and I think that to preserve it you’ve got to go to space. You’ve got to be able to settle space and move away. It’s just like Carl Sagan said: If you’re a one-planet species, your time is numbered.

VOICES n ata l i e b e h r i n g



Once upon a time, the big bad wolf had Oregonians huddling in their cabins. Our territory ’s first formal meetings were held by pioneers to plot the demise of “marauding wolves.” The farmers and ranchers who followed the wagons west shot, trapped or poisoned every wolf they saw, and by 1947 we’d driven the fanged menace from Oregon and the rest of the lower 48. Turns out, that’s not such a good thing. Oregon State University scientists studying “trophic cascades” have shown that losing an apex predator wreaks havoc on ecosystems. In 1995, wolves imported from Canada were reintroduced to Yellowstone National Park. They’ve proven themselves resilient and adventurous, spreading across the Northwest. They’re not in the 503 area code yet, but they might be soon. Rob Klavins of Oregon Wild—a bearded soldier in the Timbers Army and a 2012 recipient of the Skidmore Prize, WW ’s annual award honoring young Portlanders’ extraordinary work at nonprofits— explains why that can be a good thing. WW: What happened to oregon’s Wolves?

Rob Klavins: Before we started eliminating them, wolves were the widest-ranging nonhuman land mammal on the planet. That included nearly all of Oregon. We worked to eliminate them through poison, steel traps, shooting. We even had government-sponsored bounties. There’s actually an argument that Oregon exists in the way it does because of wolves and our war against them: The first legislative session was brought together in part to deal with the problem of “marauding wolves.” We were pretty successful at that. And that happened at the majority of the lower 48 states. In 1947, the last wolf bounty was collected for a wolf that was shot just outside of what is now Crater Lake National Park. There were reports of wolves after that time, but for all intents and purposes, after ’47 we had eliminated wolves from the landscape.

But they’ve Been in Canada all this time. and noW those Wolves are Coming here?

Canadian wolves started to make their way back on their own into northwest Montana and then were reintroduced to Yellowstone National Park in ’95. Three years after that, the first wolf made its way into Oregon from Idaho. The wolf was darted, put into a crate, put into a helicopter and returned back to Idaho by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. Realizing that wasn’t going to be a long-term solution, the state put together a wolf plan in 2005. At the moment, there are 46 confirmed wolves in the state, 47 if we include Journey, which is what we


call wolf OR-7, who traveled from the far corner of Eastern Oregon, and now travels between California and Oregon. do We have traCking deviCes on all of them?

We do not. When we get population estimates, it’s a minimum number. It’s the number of confirmed wolves in the stateBecause they’re a pack animal, if you have a collar on one wolf in a pack, biologists can go check on that pack and count the number of pups. All but one wolf are confined to the very northeast corner of the state—Union County area—and there’s one wolf, Journey, who got international attention when he moved from northeast Oregon. He made his way and became the first wolf in western Oregon since 1947. He was then the first known wolf in California in nearly a century. hoW Close Will Wolves get to portland if they’re alloWed to Continue estaBlishing themselves?

You’d be surprised. There’s wildlife all over. Wolves, in particular, travel. You get a story with a wolf like Journey, who has logged over 3,000 miles. I think there are a lot of good habitats for wolves across the states—and that includes the Cascades— so Mount Hood National Forest is a place with great habitat for wolves, also the Coast Range. There used to be this idea that wolves

were this wilderness-dependent species, and wilderness is important for wolves and other wildlife. But we found they are surprisingly resilient. If we don’t shoot and poison them, and they have a stable prey base, they can do pretty darn well. And there’s good habitat for them not too far from Portland. It used to be that you had to go to Yellowstone, and that’s not going to be the case. There are cougars in Portland, and actually Oregon has a pretty healthy bear population. They say there’s wildlife around us already, and I think you’re seeing people starting to move past the days wanting to kill anything with pointy teeth. in another deCade Could We go out to timBerline and hear the hoWl of a Wolf?

There’s a good chance. One thing they do regularly is surprise us. It was only three years later that the wolf swam down the Snake River, shook itself dry and came over to Oregon, and three years later we had one on the west side of the state. The trick is that there isn’t much wildlife space in Oregon and the Cascades. So it’s going to take a few brave, wandering wolves from elsewhere to cross and then find each other. Eventually there will be a couple of wolves that do find each other, have pups and they’re going to do well if we allow them.

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cont. n ata l i e b e h r i n g


On April 15, 1912, the Titanic sank in the North Atlantic after colliding with an iceberg, causing the deaths of more than 1,500 people. Less than a month after the ship settled on the ocean’s frigid floor, the first movie about the disaster was on screens. In the century since then, countless books, movies, video games, poems and songs show we’re still compelled to relive the disaster. Powell’s City of Books has an entire section dedicated to the Titanic, and on that shelf you’ll find a 2008 book by Portland metallurgist Jennifer Hooper McCarty. In What Really Sank the Titanic, McCarty uses information gleaned from studying rivets salvaged from the wreck to argue that the world’s most famous shipwreck was caused by poor-quality iron. McCarty, who recently left a position at Oregon Health & Science University to work for an international engineering firm, studied 48 rivets pulled from the Titanic’s wreckage, visited the archives of the ship’s builder in Belfast, Northern Ireland, and pored over the archives of the British Board of Trade and Lloyd’s of London, which set ship-condition standards. Her argument goes something like this: Working in harsh conditions on tight deadlines, the Titanic’s builders used inconsistent materials to make the 3 million rivets in her hull. While some rivets were modern steel, others were less-durable wrought iron. And much of the iron was of lower quality than that typically used and was set by unskilled laborers. Unluckily, McCarty says, the bow of the ship, which struck an iceberg, was built using the lessdurable iron rivets, which snapped under the pressure. If the ship had been built better, she says, the “unsinkable” ship would have remained afloat long enough for rescuers to save more of the passengers and crew. WW: You conducted Your research on the TiTanic during graduate school at Johns hopkins universitY. What first got You interested?

Jennifer Hooper McCarty: The Discovery Channel offered an expedition to go see the ship and assess what role the materials played in the sinking. My mentor was invited to go down and see the ship. He said this could be my thesis if I wanted 12

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on the expedition. Getting down there, he could see what was going on with the steel. He was able to see the ship; it was very exciting. They brought back steel and rivets, the fasteners that hold the ship together. I was able to spend the next three years studying the pieces under the microscope and working using computer modeling. This was around the same time that the Leonardo DiCaprio movie came out. There were a lot of questions about the materials—why this unsinkable ship sank in three hours.

an inch of movement in the plates. WhY is there so much interest surrounding the TiTanic?

We’re attracted to tragedy. In its time, the Titanic was the largest moving manmade object. It had all these features that were the first of their kind. There was a lot of excitement for its launch. There are so many little facts that people can keep learning about and getting into. The history of the materials, the history of the workers, the history of each person on that ship—there is always more to learn.


What Was ultimatelY Wrong With the rivets on the TiTanic?

In short, the rivets in the bow and stern sections were made with a quality of wrought iron that was below industry standard. The iron had an excessive amount of slag, which resulted in weak regions in the rivets following their installation on the ship. This weakness was not detectable during normal quality checks, but resulted in rivet failure after less than

there’s half a bookshelf devoted to the TiTanic at poWell’s. What does Your book add to this selection?

There is a lot of info out there, but one of the reasons I think I was successful in getting a book published is, there are very few people actually studying the materials the ship was made out of. I can back my story up with lots of hard research. A lot of people can speculate. They have a lot of

information on the tiny details on the history, but they haven’t physically looked at the materials. I can describe to the Titanic community how something so tiny can have such a huge impact. did unexpected curiosities turn up in Your research?

Out of the 3 million rivets on the ship, I thought they would all be wrought iron. I started looking at them and thought, “Oh my gosh, they were using rivets of iron and steel.” As soon as I saw that, I realized somebody used recently developed new materials to strengthen the ship. They knew the steel was stronger, so they used it. However, rather than using stronger material throughout the whole ship, they used it only on some parts. They were cutting costs, working as fast as they could, and the workers liked working with iron better than steel. What is the takeaWaY message of the book?

They had to make some significant engineering decisions that had a huge impact on how fast the ship sank and how many people died. These are the kind of decisions that happen all the time. Tiny little defects contributed to the sinking of the largest manmade moving object. That is so fascinating to me. It’s just nanometers. They thought they were being safe.




A beach in the middle of Portland? Will Levenson wants three of them. Until a couple of years ago, it would have been a ridiculous thought: Regular sewage overflows had Portlanders viewing the Willamette River as a giant septic tank. But after the massive sewage upgrade engendered by the 2011 completion of the $1.4 billion Big Pipe project, Levenson wants you to know that it’s safe to go back in the water. Since 2010, the Popina Swimwear co-owner has organized an annual Willamette River flotilla of kitschy inflatables called the Big Float; this year, he helped organize a world-record 620 people holding hands on inner tubes. And now he’s building three public-access beaches in the center of Portland. WW sat down with Levenson to ask how he wants to change the way Portland thinks about its river. WW: I GREW UP HERE. WE DIDN’T SWIM IN THE WILLAMETTE.

Will Levenson: When I came to Portland, I got indoctrinated not to touch the Willamette because it was polluted. First I was disappointed, and then I got pissed off. I’ve been here 15 years and I’ve tried to figure out how to impact this discussion; the biggest impetus for me was the Big Pipe. It’s the largest public works project in Portland history. It took 20 years to complete. After a tenth of an inch of rain, raw sewage used to flow into the Willamette; it’s disgusting. It happened all the time.

toria, Seattle—they all have water access. When you’re up top looking down at the Willamette, it’s like looking at an elephant or a tiger in the zoo from far away. “Hey! Look down there, it’s a tiger!” WHERE ARE THE BEACHES YOU HAVE PLANNED?

Tom McCall Bowl—a stretch of rocky beach access by Waterfront Park—is the lowest hanging fruit. We had a public event called Unrock the Bowl. [Mayor] Charlie Hales took part in that. At Marquam Beach—under the Marquam Bridge on the west side—there’s a perfectly good sandy beach made by people about 10 years ago. The only way to get to it is to climb over riprap rock at the breakers; it doesn’t invite you down there. We got approval from the city and the Army Corps of Engineers to make a path down to it. Also, we removed 140 tons of concrete from the east side of the Hawthorne Bridge. We’re calling it Audrey McCall Beach until we’re told otherwise.



The Environmental Protection Agency, the Oregon Health Authority, the city of Portland all agree: It’s safe to swim. What’s stopping people? First, it was unsafe to swim in the Willamette five or seven years ago. And that’s hard to overcome. But the other thing is access. When you look at other major cities—Vancouver, Vic-

The Clacka mas is a n awesome river experience; it’s my favorite river experience. The Sandy isn’t bad. But wouldn’t it be great if you could just ride your bike down to the river in Portland and go for a swim? Take the bus downtown? Get off at lunchtime and take a dip? What I want is for people to drive over the Willamette

and say, “That’s Portland’s giant swimming pool.” WHAT WILL GET PEOPLE SWIMMING DOWNTOWN?

You have to create a human habitat. People have said to me they’d never swim in downtown Portland. I said, “So where do you swim?” “Oh, at Sauvie Island.” Well, you understand that Sauvie Island is downstream from a Superfund site at the confluence of the Willamette and the Columbia. But at Sauvie Island there’s sand, there’s trees. There’s packaging. There are three things I like to see: One, a sign that says, “You’re welcome here, this is the swimming area, go this way.” Two, a path leading down to the swimming area that’s welcoming. Then, when you get to the end of the path, it should be a nice place to hang out.


The only incentive is just to do it. When you get into the water, it’s so liberating. It’s like having this crazy aunt you never got to know so well. But one day you maybe had a drink [with her], and she’s actually pretty cool. All the sudden there’s this great new friend of yours. AND THE RIVER’S THE CRAZY AUNT?

The river’s kind of like the crazy aunt. Maybe she went through a bad year of her life, but she pulled through it. We all understand that humans have the ability to screw up nature. Do we have the ability to unscrew it up? Right now you can make a difference by just getting in the water. It’s the world’s laziest revolution.



Willamette Week JANUARY 1, 2014





Like most deep-rooted Oregonians, R. Gregory Nokes presumed America’s ugly racial history didn’t apply to him. Not personally, any way. Slavery, the fifthgeneration Oregon native assumed, was the South’s sin to reckon with. A few years ago, Nokes, a former reporter for The Oregonian and the Associated Press, was shocked—and horrified— to learn that one of his ancestors had, in fact, owned slaves in Oregon, a supposedly “free state.” Even more disturbing, it was not an isolated case: As late as the 1860 census, there were a handful of people within our borders being kept as slaves. In his new book, Breaking Chains: Slavery on Trial in the Oregon Territory, Nokes details the only slavery case brought before an Oregon court. WW spoke to Nokes about this little-known period in state history, and just how close Oregon actually came to becoming a full-fledged slave state. WW: HOW DID YOU LEARN ABOUT THERE BEING SLAVES IN OREGON?

R. Gregory Nokes: My brother suggested, “Why don’t you write about Reuben Shipley?” I said, “Who’s Reuben Shipley?” He said he was a slave brought to Oregon by one of our ancestors from Missouri. I had no clue there was any slavery in our family, and I had no idea there was any black slaves in Oregon. In the course of my research, I discovered there were probably about 50 slaves in Oregon from 1843 to 1853 that were brought here, all of them from Missouri, for settlers to help get their farms started. Some of the settlers made a deal with their slaves: “You help us get the farm started and we’ll give you your freedom.” There were slave owners who did keep their slaves for much longer than a few years, some for almost 10 years, until there was a court case that resolved the issue. HOW WELL-KNOWN IS THIS PARTICULAR CASE?

Not very well-known at all, but it is known. A former reporter for The Oregon Journal named Fred Lockley was interested in the slave issues. He had come across the case and he wrote about it for the Oregon Historical Quarterly in 1922. And then I traced it back and found the original trial transcript in Polk County. At the time, there wasn’t a whole lot of coverage of it. There weren’t many newspapers in Oregon. The 14

Willamette Week JANUARY 1, 2014

case was brought in 1852 and decided in 1853, so there wasn’t much interpretative journalism going on. HOW DOES THIS COMPARE TO THE MORE FAMOUS DRED SCOTT CASE?

The Dred Scott case was one that kind of declared slavery legal and took away the rights of blacks to be citizens. The Holmes v. Ford case in 1853 had different issues. Robin Holmes, the black former slave, contended that Oregon law prohibited slavery and therefore Nathaniel Ford, who was still holding [Holmes’] children as slaves, should have to give them up. The judge, George Williams, newly arrived in Oregon and chief justice of the territorial


Supreme Court, ruled in Holmes’ favor and basically said that, without a law authorizing slavery in the state, it can’t exist. It was the only slavery case ever adjudicated in Oregon courts. But in 1857, when Dred Scott came along, this became an issue, because 1857 was the year Oregon voters approved the new state constitution, which includes an exclusion clause that banned freed African-Americans from coming to Oregon. But to carry that forward, there was also a vote at the same time on whether Oregon should be a slave state. This was incredible to me, that people in Oregon actua lly voted in 1857 on whether it would become a free or slave state. WHAT WAS THE PRECEDENT FOR THAT, OF PUTTING THE ISSUE OF SLAVERY TO A VOTE?

I know of no other instance where that happened. At the time, many of the leaders in Oregon were pro-slavery, but the general populace was not. A lot of the leaders were driving the slavery issue. The head of the Oregon Constitutional Convention, a fellow named Matthew Deady, was described by some people as the point man for slavery in Oregon. He wasn’t alone. There were quite a few others. They had a lot of influence, politically, in the state at that period.


I don’t think there is any doubt about it. I grew up in Portland at a time when there was redlining, where African-Americans had to live in a specific area—in the Albina area, as it was then known. And blacks who came to visit Oregon were denied places to stay, particularly in towns around Oregon where there were laws known as sundown laws. Nothing was written down, so it’s hard to know the specifics, but it was understood that blacks couldn’t stay in these towns overnight. And then you had all the anti-miscegenation laws and the land laws, and the constitution not only banned blacks, but also banned them from voting. It denied them civil rights. As Oregon developed into statehood, into the modern era, blacks had two strikes against them. The exclusion clause [in the Oregon Constitution] shouldn’t be overlooked. Even though they were not generally enforced, they did sent a message to the rest of the world that African-Americans were not welcome here. And I’m sure that was part of what kept Oregon so white for so long.

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MARTIN CIZMAR regrets everything about a story on poisonous berries this summer, which needed more clarity to even be funny. He will never assign another story about wild edibles that doesn’t include at least three interviews with experts. He also regrets the timing of his screed about Oregon’s uninspired IPAs just before the recipes for Boneyard RPM and Laurelwood’s Workhorse were tweaked. Also, forgetting to include the review he wrote of Fire on the Mountain’s brewing operation in last year’s Beer Guide. (On the plus side, he already has one never-beforepublished listing done for this year’s guide.) He also regrets not sending former staffer Ben Waterhouse the $50 he won at the state journalism BITTERSWEET NIGHTSHADE awards banquet sooner—it’s in the mail now. He also regrets leaving Pearl Jam’s Portland concert before Sleater-Kinney reunited for the first time in almost a decade to join the band’s closer, “Rockin’ in the Free World,” and not finding the giant weed tent outside the Seattle Pearl Jam concert. REBECCA JACOBSON regrets confusing Seattle-manufactured (and thus inherently inferior) Utilikilts with locally produced Stumptown kilts favored by Roadside Attraction patrons. She’s grateful, though, for careful readers who catch her mistakes, and she expects an invitation to Rich’s birthday party in 2014 in hopes that this year’s costumes will be just as fabulous. She also regrets calling Mike Daisey a “weaselly talker”—he’s an outright weasel, no hedging required. She regrets nothing she wrote about Streetcar Bistro & Taproom. MATTHEW KORFHAGE regrets leaving Pacific Pie Co. out of the Cheap Eats guide, as he considers the Anglo-Celtic meat pie one of history’s greatest inventions. He regrets not treating Lee Daniels’ The Butler as a more lurid and interesting example of camp than he’d first taken it for. Conversely, he regrets giving a solid B to a C-plus movie, namely Woody Allen’s Blue Jasmine. He regrets not being much crueler to Old Town in the Bar Guide; friends with drinking problems sometimes need tough love, and the entire marauding suburb of Gresham is no exception. He also regrets taking part in our taste test of pumpkin beers, as it has forever damaged his relationship with nutmeg and cloves, and probably made it so he will never drink a pumpkin beer again. He does not regret killing a rabbit. MATTHEW SINGER regrets growing up at the beach and never learning to surf. And there was that one time he could’ve gone to an Oscars viewing party at Melissa Etheridge’s house but skipped it for some reason he can’t even remember. That was definitely a mistake. And the older he gets, the more he wonders what his life would have been like if he’d gone to engineering school. Oh wait, you meant regrets for 2013 specifically? Well, drinking that dog beer was pretty gross.


Stay on the Edge of the Pearl.

MUSIC: Dead Moon rises again. BAR REVIEW: Bodegas that fill beer growlers. THEATER: Spring theater, comedy and dance previews. MOVIES: Predictions for Portland cinema in 2014.





WREKMEISTER HARMONIES [MUSIC] In 2012, Chicago experimentalist J.R. Robinson screened his avant-garde documentary You’ve Always Meant So Much to Me at the Museum of Contemporary Art, with live musical accompaniment from collaborators in the Windy City’s metal underbelly. The resulting album is among the best metal recordings of 2013, alternately lush and terrifying. Tonic Lounge, 3100 NE Sandy Blvd., 238-0543. 9 pm. $10 advance, $12 day of show. 21+.

In 1965, Bob Hill began working out at Loprinzi’s Gym off of Southeast Division Street. Nearly 50 years later, he’s still at it. He’s run 29 marathons and competed as a weightlifter several times, including placing first in his age group in the bench press at the World Bench Press and Dead Lift Championships. Hill, 66, bought the gym upon the death of its namesake and his longtime friend, Sam Loprinzi, and still works out there every day. How can you keep your New Year’s resolutions until, say, March? We asked for his tips on stickin’ with it. SAVANNAH WASSERMAN.

LOU REED TRIBUTE NIGHT [MUSIC] The inveterate New Yorker died in October at age 71. He held special sway ’round Puddletown, as shown by this eclectic assemblage of performers. Expect roots luminaries Fernando and Michael Dean Damron to infuse their cuts with Americana. And if Kenny Feinstein— lately famed for his string-band version of My Bloody Valentine’s Loveless—gives Metal Machine Music the bluegrass treatment, the dearly departed might even crack a smile. Dante’s, 350 W Burnside St., 345-7892. 9 pm. $8. 21+.

Keep it fun. “Don’t make a job out of it. Working out can be just as much fun as playing a video game. It’s almost like keeping up with your hygiene. For people that exercise every day, it becomes a part in their daily routines.”

SATURDAY JAN. 4 DEAD MOON [MUSIC] Over his 40-year career as a self-made rock-’n’-roll lifer, Fred Cole has made a point of gunning forward and never looking back on his past. So this reunion of the dark, doomy punk band that made him and his wife, Toody, legends in the Pacific Northwest and abroad isn’t just a treat but something that truly may never happen again. Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside St., 225-0047. 8 pm. $20. All ages.

Listen to your body. “If you don’t feel like doing much one day, maybe back off a bit, listen to what your body tells you and do a little. Other days really get into it and do a lot.”

Set goals. “Set goals for yourself and be persistent. You don’t just get in shape overnight. It’s a progressive thing, just like getting out of shape. I always liked being the strongest one of all my friends, or the one who could outrun all of my friends.” Keep moving. “Walking is the single best exercise there is and doesn’t cost a thing. Get out and vigorously walk. You can do sit-ups, push-ups and pull-ups at home.

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Think about the future. “A lot of people that work out do it for the health-insurance benefits: They’re not sick as much, and they’ll live longer. A lot of people don’t look past 30. However, they need to project ahead and think about how they’re going to feel in their 60s. When I was younger I had no idea I’d still be doing this, and now I’m 66.”


SUNDAY JAN. 5 Ride bikes. Keep moving and don’t stop; it’s all about getting your heart rate up.” Eat better. “You have to learn to not eat too much. Foods like pasta break down into sugar in the body, and anything that has sugar in it makes you crave more. What you eat really makes a difference. Chew slowly, absorb flavor and make sure it’s satisfying—and keep the amounts down.” Mix up your workouts. “This has several advantages: Most importantly, your workout will never get boring. Whether you’re trying to grow or strengthen your muscles or lose a few pounds, try different things.”

Get a workout buddy. “I highly recommend a good workout partner. It doesn’t matter what gender you are, all the exercise is pretty much the same for both. A lot of times you might not want to show up, but if your friend is expecting you, you can’t let them down, and it helps you!” Get inspired. “I’ve always been observant of people who do well. I’ve realized that most people have no idea what their body is capable of unless they try. It’s something that people should do at least one time in their life, see how good of shape they can get in.”

GO: Loprinzi’s Gym, 2414 SE 41st Ave., 232-8311, 5 am-10 pm Monday-Friday, 7:30 am-5 pm Saturday, 8 am-5 pm Sunday. $8 a day, $43 a month, $350 a year; no contracts.

LAWRENCE OF ARABIA [MOVIES] When filming the camelriding scenes in David Lean’s fantastically overstuffed epic, Peter O’Toole downed bottles of brandy and lashed himself to the snorting ungulate. Toast the legendary lush at this revival screening, featuring a digital restoration of the 1962 classic. Hollywood Theatre, 4122 NE Sandy Blvd., 493-1128. 2 pm. $8.

MONDAY JAN. 6 TOO STUPID TO QUIT: 30 YEARS OF UNCONVENTIONAL TOOLS [SCIENCE] John Economaki made furniture until an allergy to wood dust sidelined him. Now he makes heirloom tools on display at the Museum of Contemporary Craft, through Feb. 8. Find out why exactly he wants to make chisels and bevels that look more like avant-garde sculptures than what you’d find in your grandpa’s toolshed. Hollywood Theatre, 4122 NE Sandy Blvd., 797-4677. 7 pm. $5 suggested.

Willamette Week JANUARY 1, 2014




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MAINE EVENT: Lobster roll (foreground) and lobster bisque.

MAINE STREET LOBSTER The Maine Street Lobster cart is a mess of improbable. A streetside lobster seller might be normal at a wharf in the other Best deal: $5 lobster Portland, where the beast actually exists, sliders offer a taste. but here it’s a logistical nightmare: The cart flies in fresh crustacean three days a week. And though the lobster roll is a classic New England treat, the cart owners—who came here from Florida and Georgia— throw $10 po’boys on the menu for good measure. But the Maine lobster roll is exactly what it should be: a hot mountain of buttery, tender lobster chunks on a crisped, halved roll. Don’t expect bargain basement here—it’s lobster, after all. But in a town where diners will pay $10 for a tuna melt without blinking, the $14 hoagie stacked high with tender morsels is a workingclass treat, less special-occasion than a hard day’s reward. The Down East ($14) is basically a lobster version of crab louie on a bun, a cold lobster sammie with mayo sauce and watercress. It’s pleasant, but when the lobster’s fresh, I prefer it unmasked. The bisque ($6/$8) is straight-up butter and sherry in lobster base, a winter warmer worth savoring. Just be careful with those sandwiches. The heaped lobster has a nasty tendency to drop off the top—heck, my dining companion actually picked up a couple chunks off the parking lot when they fell. “I wouldn’t normally do this,” he said. “But it’s lobster.” MATTHEW KORFHAGE. Order this: Maine Lobster Roll ($14).

EAT: Maine Street Lobster, 8145 SE 82nd Ave. (Cartlandia pod), 770-480-3437, 11:30 am-7:30 pm Tuesday-Saturday, noon-5 pm Sunday.


BON VOYAGE (BLOCK 15) Block 15’s Bon Voyage should be served Eliot Ness style: the barrel split with a broad ax, the foul brew inside left leaking into the sewer. That’s easy for me to say, of course. I invested only $3 in a 4-ounce pour at Beer Mongers. I knew I was in for a bad trip when I felt the heat of this barrel-aged Baltic Porter on my eyeballs. I sipped anyway, getting rotten cherries, rancid milk and moldy wood. The Corvallis brewery dumped toasted coconut flakes into the beer, but there’s no covering up the stink of whatever bad bugs were lurking in its rum barrels. Why does a well-respected brewery release something like this? Brewmaster Nick Arzner tells me this “challenging beer” is what he was looking for. That’s good, I guess, because there’s a lot on the line. It’s impossible to know what’s going to come out of a microflora-laden liquor barrel, and even harder for a small business to cut bait on expensive cooperage, an imperial-strength base and nine months of storage. The beer has its fans, Arzner tells me, but I’d call it untouchable. Not recommended. MARTIN CIZMAR.



TACOLANDIA: (Clockwise from lower left) Carnitas tacos, Cubana torta and guacamole.


simple and satisfying preparation of fried sausage crumbles with cilantro and chopped onions. I’m always excited to see machaca, dry and heavily spiced beef from Northern Mexico that’s been adopted nationwide as a breakfast meat paired with scrambled eggs. Nayar—named for the state of Nayarit, on the Pacific a few hours south of Mazatlan—gives it the full breakfast treatment, presenting a taco that’s more of an omelet wrap.

Rookie restaurateurs are pushovers when it comes to their menus. If you mention you’re from the neighborhood and ask for something they might be expected to serve, there’s a decent chance you’ll soon find it on the specials board. The eggs also appear on a massive Cubana In a bid to be all things to all possible regulars, a torta ($9.95), which layers thin cuts of pork loin, local housewife’s requested ketchup-and-onion bacon, ham, sausage and chorizo on approprisandwich is suddenly sharing menu space with ately soft, sweet bread. And the green chile pork grandma’s time-tested meatball recipe. from the tacos also comes as a plate ($9.95) with Albondigas—meatballs—might be the only beans, rice and pico de gallo. Other plates weren’t typical taco filling not yet available at Nayar as good. The chili relleno ($9.95) came out cooler Taqueria, a 4-month-old Mexican restaurant that than preferable, the poblano pepper slightly rubrecently took over a weathered Southeast Foster bery and drowned in a bath of red sauce next to Road space formerly houstwin seas of refried black ing a Salvadoran restaurant. beans and rice. An overOrder this: Chile verde taco ($2.95), When I first stopped in a few chorizo taco ($2.50) and machaca stuffed California-style burmonths ago, I was happy to taco ($2.95), plus chips and guacamole rito of shredded chicken in ($2.75) and a horchata borracha ($5.50). discover an excellent taquechipotle sauce ($6.25) was a Best deal: Chips and guacamole ($2.75). ria manned by a charming disorganized jumble of bean I’ll pass: Burritos. restaurateur. After two more pockets, rice clumps and visits, I’m concerned they sour-cream splats. have too much on their plate—the menu has Great chips and drinks were welcome supexpanded, leaving the good stuff harder to find port. Nayar’s simple guacamole was excellent and and the staff stretched thin. a steal at $2.75. We squeezed hard on bottles of Nayar’s taco menu includes a whopping 16 creamed red and green salsas on fresh, hot chips. different fillings, including all the usual suspects They’ve got every Mexican beer through Victoria along with salmon, machaca, and picadillo that’s and better-than-average margaritas, but opt for ground beef with raisins, almonds and potatoes. a cocktail called the horchata borracha, a boozy And that’s just the first section of a menu that version of the white taqueria standby flavored includes five tortas, tamales, a prawn ceviche, a with rice, almond and sesame. vegan burrito with chipotle tofu, nopalitos salad, On my last visit, I chatted with the owner a bit quinoa salad and a burrito stuffed with steak about Mexico and the pre-Columbian fare availand a chile relleno. It’s a massive menu for any able in Mexico City, including grasshopper tacos. restaurant, let alone a new operation manned by “You know there’s a place on Belmont that has one server and one cook, still advertising itself them?” he told me. “I’ll have to check that place with hand-lettered green poster board. out,” I said. On the way out, I was kicking myself. My two favorite items—on three visits we The last thing Nayar needs is any more menu didn’t get through one-fifth of the menu—were items. both tacos. The chile verde taco ($2.95) had tender cubes of moist pork in a bold, bright-green EAT: Nayar Taqueria, 5919 SE Foster Road, 971-888-4897. 11 am-9 pm daily. tomatillo sauce. The chorizo taco ($2.50) is a Willamette Week JANUARY 1, 2014




Willamette Week JANUARY 1, 2014



msinger@wweek .com

Who’s going to tell Fred and Toody Cole they can’t smoke in here? No one at Mississippi Studios, certainly. Upstairs in the North Portland music venue’s green room, the punk-rock power couple is crammed knee-to-knee in a tiny two-seat booth, filling a plastic cup with butts and the room with the stale aroma of the clubs they used to play. It’s a frostbitten night in early December, and in a few hours, the 65-year-olds will descend the stairs to blast out a set of dark, heavy garage rock as Pierced Arrows. In a month, they’ll play their biggest show in almost a decade, reuniting with drummer Andrew Loomis to headline Crystal Ballroom as Dead Moon. But they’re only thinking about that now because someone is asking about it. There are plenty of other shows to worry about before then. After getting offstage tonight, the Coles will drive back to their home in Clackamas. They will drop off their equipment and pick up acoustic guitars, then head to the airport to catch a 6 am flight to New York. There, they’ll perform two gigs as a duo, before flying to Europe for 10 shows in as many days. They’ll return to the states just before Christmas, giving them about a week to solidify the planned two-hour Dead Moon set and nail down songs they haven’t played in eight years. With that schedule, no one would begrudge them a cigarette or five. And there isn’t a person with the slightest reverence for Pacific Northwest music history who’d dare kick the grandparents of Portland punk out into the frigid cold— indoor smoking ban be damned. This breakneck pace isn’t unusual for Fred and Toody: They’ve gunned through much of their life with undeterred momentum, usually from behind the wheel of a tour van, and have rarely stopped to look back. That’s what makes the resurrection of Dead Moon, the most beloved of the bands they’ve been in together, a bit unexpected. Asked why this is happening now, the Coles cite their personal connection with the Crystal, where they met in the ’60s and which marks its 100th anniversary this month (“I think that’s where Amanda was conceived, in the elevator,” adds Fred, referring to the eldest of their three children); numerical superstitions (something about the relation of the date of the show to Fred’s birthday); and, well, it just felt right. But Fred also says the last year “has been a nightmare.” He had a hernia operation, and endured other undisclosed health issues. He appears notably thin, his signature battered black cowboy hat now giving him the look of an ambulatory scarecrow. Loomis, who’s MIA this evening, has had problems of his own: He was hit by a car

while riding his bike, breaking his collarbone and fracturing his sternum. Toody, for her part still exuding the brassy spirit (and tobacco-stained cackle) of a veteran barmaid, says the band is rounding back into form, but admits, “It’s not as easy as it used to be.” “It’s just like, fuck, we’re not puppies anymore,” Fred sighs, ashing into the cup. The Coles deny that reviving Dead Moon has anything to do with confronting their own mortality. But, for as indestructible as they seem, they ain’t getting any younger. Talking to them, there’s the sense that a window of opportunity is closing. If they don’t do it now, who knows if they’ll ever get another chance? For Fred Cole, the road to Dead Moon is littered with bands even he only halfremembers. The Lords. The Weeds. Lollipop Shoppe. Zipper. Albatross. King Bee. He’s lived rock ’n’ roll from the time he was a teenager. It’s all he’s ever done. But that doesn’t mean he’s ever known exactly what it is he’s doing. “I just play what sounds good to my ears,” the singer-guitarist says. “I don’t know anything about music beyond the fact that I put my fingers where the dots are or where they aren’t.” “That’d be self-taught!” Toody interjects, cackling. No surprise, then, that Fred found his niche in punk, where lack of virtuosity is considered a virtue. In 1978, spurred by seeing the Ramones for the first time, he and Toody began making quick, compact



By the ’90s, when all those kids—like Eddie Vedder, who’s covered Dead Moon songs in Pearl Jam’s live sets—became international rock stars, the entire world suddenly sounded like the Northwest. But nothing much changed for Dead Moon. The band had found a rabid following overseas, and for the next decade it just kept cranking out records—13 in all, released on their own label—and touring relentlessly. They became a model not just for how to operate as a band, but for how to live as a band. “As they continued, and got better and better, and I got to know them, I could see the passion, love and heart in what they did so much more clearly,” Turner says. “Fred’s managed to write his and Toody’s life together into some sort of grand opera of rock ’n’ roll.”

Moon in 2006 during a 60-show tour “that would break any fucking band,” Toody says. Their bodies went first: On a flight to Gothenburg, Sweden, Loomis’ leg swelled up. Details are sketchy, but doctors thought he had thrombosis; he played that night anyway. Fred began having migraines. Toody had already taken the previous year off due to tendonitis, which left her unable to even pick up her bass. And aside from those physical ailments, they were all becoming sick of each other. “I was done before it was done,” Loomis says. “All the feeling was out of it. It wasn’t fucking fun. It was, ‘I hate my job, and I hate my boss.’” When the band got back to the states, Dead Moon was over. The plan for Fred and Toody was to take a few years off. It wasn’t four months before they started Pierced Arrows with drummer Kelly Halliburton, and the pedal, once again, hit the metal. In the last few years, however, the Coles have allowed themselves fleeting moments of reflection: Their recent acoustic shows serve as career retrospectives, and in 2011, they agreed to a one-off Rats reunion, just for Loomis’ 50th birthday. But Dead Moon is a different situation. The expectations are immense. Offers have poured in for more shows—particularly in Europe—that they’re willing to entertain “if we can make it through this,” Toody says. But Fred and Toody have a secret, one that’s helped sustain both their bands and their marriage: constant competition. Whether racing to complete crossword puzzles or the Portland Marathon, which they ran at age 60, they keep trying to oneup each other. They simply won’t let themselves suck. It’s what’s kept them going. It may be what’s keeping them alive. “We have a race right now,” Fred says, lighting another cigarette. “I’ve always told her I’m going to live to be 100. We’ll see about that, but it’s always been, who can outlive who? Who’s going to bury who?”

Plowing forward with your head down for 20 years, though, you’re bound to hit a wall eventually. It happened to Dead

SEE IT: Dead Moon plays Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside St., with the Ransom and P.R.O.B.L.E.M.S., on Saturday, Jan. 4. 8 pm. $20. All ages.

steeped in a certain kind of Americana. His lyrics tapped into a shadowy, rustic doom, full of images of graveyards and nooses and endless rain, sung in a wounded, high-pitched bray worthy of the blues. The stripped-bare sound of Dead Moon wasn’t “cowpunk,” nor revivalist rockabilly, but something akin to Northwest gothic. It was perhaps too regionally specific: For its first six years, Dead Moon never left the West Coast. In Portland and Seattle, though, the Coles, already well into their 30s, were the cool parents with the awesome record collection to an entire generation of young punks. “What resonated to me was everything,” says Mudhoney guitarist Steve Turner. “There was a sense of continuity, of rock ’n’ roll, ’60s garage and psych into ’70s punk into ’80s whatever-you-want-to call-it, which very few people from their generation could see.”

“I DON’T KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT MUSIC BEYOND THE FACT THAT I PUT MY FINGERS WHERE THE DOTS ARE OR WHERE THEY AREN’T.” —FRED COLE bursts of melodic noise as the Rats. That lasted eight years, until Fred decided to go in a different direction. “At first, I just wanted to do country,” he says, “but we got Andrew out there to try out, and he couldn’t play country worth a shit.” A diehard Rats fan 13 years the Coles’ junior, Loomis’ experience was in bands that, well, sounded like the Rats. It didn’t help that he was trying to fit in with a married couple with built-in musical chemistry. “When we get a rehearsal together, we’re stuck in this room where there’s barely enough elbow space for them to strum guitars and me to hit my fucking drums,” Loomis says. “So they’re standing right there, and I’m just like, ‘Durrrr,’ and for them it’s like taking a shit.” Still, Fred was enamored enough with Loomis’ playing to adjust the band to the drummer’s strengths. While Dead Moon ended up louder than planned, Fred didn’t abandon his aspirations to write songs

Willamette Week JANUARY 1, 2014




Burton Schaber (left) and Ben Durfee of Philip Grass

SCENE REPORT: ELECTRONIC MUSIC Portland’s indie-rock and folk scenes outshine most other cities’. This is a universally accepted truth, and something that has made electronic music a second-class scene. That’s not for want of trying: While the scene is fledgling and underappreciated, these trials have produced some serious dance-floor innovation. Through productivity, independence, versatility and enigma, Portland’s electronic community is set for an explosion in 2014, and these artists will be at the flash point. Nearly every Sunday in 2013, Cory Haynes, founder of Internet label STYLSS, has compiled a Soundcloud playlist of ambient, alt-trap, bass and house tracks. He applies the same diligence and hard work to his performances as Quarry. In 2012, Quarry played prestigious bass party Low End Theory in San Francisco, and as far as I can tell he hasn’t stopped working since. There’s been a thundering, stuttering Quarry single on each of STYLSS’s 11 label compilations, beginning in February 2013. I won’t even delve into his collaborations with Tyler Tastemaker as Most Custom. If he keeps up this pace, I’m not sure who will have a bigger 2014, the STYLSS team as a whole or its hyperproductive figurehead. Portland has enough raucous soul nights to steam-power the whole city, and Beyondadoubt’s I’ve Got a Hole in My Soul is the best. So it’s easy to forget that Beyonda is the woman who brought New Orleans bounce to the West Coast, and that she’s a resident at Ecstasy and released her first single in 2013. “9inch Heels,” with spooky and sexy vocals from London’s Niyi, refits bounce’s harsh thwaps with an old-school Chicago house beat. It’s out of left field, but not out of Beyonda’s range. She’s the most versatile DJ in town, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see more releases from her in 2014 with an even greater variety of styles. Most artists wouldn’t catch much hype from just two officially released tracks in a year, but Philip Grass is different. One appeared on Dropping Gems’ Gem Drops Three, and the other on Blankstairs, a newborn Portland net label focused on pushing the electronic envelope, which included Grass’ “Can I Talk to U,” a soulful cut dipped in a warm oil bath, on its freshman compilation release. On their Soundcloud, another seven even more forward-thinking tracks stand alone, in Grass’ often bassy, jazzy corner. In the coming year, catch Grass live or online, but forget about catching them on a label. Pretty much all anyone knows about Vektroid—who has released atmosphere-free, post-whatever e-albums under names like Macintosh Plus, Laserdisc Visions, PrismCorp Virtual Enterprises, Fuji Grid TV, Dstnt and others—is that she’s from Portland and she’s a key player in the so-called “vaporwave” movement, a softcore, pitch-shifted, chopped-and-screwed ’80s Muzak revival. Her entire persona seems designed to confuse and amaze the investigative music journalist or avid fan, and while it doesn’t always work, when it does, the enigma not only deepens the listening experience but grants a broader license for experimentation, something Vektroid will continue to do in 2014. MITCH LILLIE. The artists who will dominate Portland dance floors in 2014.

This is the first in a series of features on local artists to watch in 2014. 22

Willamette Week JANUARY 1, 2014


JAN. 1-7

= WW Pick. Highly recommended. Prices listed are sometimes for advance ticket sales. At-the-door increases and socalled convenience charges may apply. Event lineups are subject to change after WW’s press deadlines. Editor: MATTHEW SINGER. TO BE CONSIDERED FOR LISTINGS, go to submitevents and follow submission directions. All shows should be submitted two weeks or more in advance of event. Press kits, CDs and especially vinyl can be sent to Music Desk, WW, 2220 NW Quimby St., Portland, OR 97210. Please include show or release date information with all physical mailings. Email: Fax: 243-1115.

TUESDAY, DEC. 31 See for New Year’s Eve concerts and events.

THURSDAY, JAN. 2 The Mondegreens, Cambrian Explosion, Grand Lake Islands

[FOLK ROCK] On their debut selftitled release, California-based fourpiece the Mondegreens rely on tight three-part harmonies and vocals reminiscent of the Avett Brothers. Their style melds acoustic rhythm with sometimes fuzzy, sometimes twangy electric-guitar licks. It’s not new by any means, but the Mondegreens get by on emotion alone—simple, harmony-driven emotion. KAITIE TODD. White Eagle Saloon, 836 N Russell St., 282-6810. 8:30 pm. Free. 21+.

FRIDAY, JAN. 3 Lou Reed Tribute: Fernando, Karaoke From Hell, the Welfare State, Don of Division St., Adrian H and the Wounds, Kris Deelane, Michael Dean Damron, Kenny Feinstein, Anita Lee Elliott

[MAGIC AND LOSS] For an inveterate New Yorker, Lou Reed—architect

of indie cachet, art school-trained rock’n’-roll animal and prototypical genteel bohemian—held special sway ’round Puddletown. This is shown by the arrestingly eclectic assemblage of performers gathering to pay homage. The Welfare State’s Eric Gregory (whose selections include “White Light/White Heat” and “Average Guy”) once fronted Velvet Underground tribute act Foggy Notion alongside super-producer Larry Crane. Between leading Karaoke From Hell and moving like Jagger for the Miss U’s, Voodoo Doughnut kingpin Tres Shannon has spent decades limning the legends. Alternatively, we’d expect roots luminaries Fernando (“Lisa Says,” “What Goes On”) and Michael Dean Damron to infuse their cuts with an aggressive Americana, and if Kenny Feinstein (lately famed for a cranked string-band version of My Bloody Valentine’s Loveless) decides to give Metal Machine Music the bluegrass treatment, the dearly departed might even crack a smile from beyond the veil. JAY HORTON. Dante’s, 350 W Burnside St., 226-6630. 9 pm. $8 advance, $10 day of show. 21+.

Strategy, Gulls, Best Available Technology

[ELECTRONIC PIONEER] Paul Dickow, aka Strategy, has been a champion of Portland’s electronic scene for more than a decade. His live shows reflect the wide-ranging tracks and remixes he’s produced over the years, from straight club-bangers to left-field, jazz-

inspired beats. Regardless, Dickow’s contributions to Portland’s music scene cannot be understated, having helped lay the foundation for the vibrancy and quality we take for granted today. GEOFF NUDELMAN. Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi Ave., 2883895. 9 pm. $5. 21+.

Corrections House, Wrekmeister Harmonies, the Body, Rohit, Redneck

[MUSEUM-CORE] Chicago visual artist JR Robinson lifts the diaspora of underground noise and metal into the world of art galleries and museum installations. His 2012 film, You’ve Always Meant So Much to Me (shot in locations such as Detroit, Joshua Tree, and Tasmania), sold out the theater at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, thanks in part to live musical accompaniment of collaborators from the Windy City’s metal underbelly: Leviathan, Nachtmystium and Anatomy of Habit. The results were later captured at Steve Albini’s studio and released under the same title, garnering placement on Spin’s list of the Best Metal Albums of 2013. Released under Robinson’s musical nom de plume Wrekmeister Harmonies, the audio is alternately lush and terrifying. He’s made it to Portland (finally) under the wings of Corrections House, an industrial supergroup comprising Scott Kelly (Neurosis), Mike Williams (Eyehategod), Bruce Lamont (Yakuza) and producer Sanford Parker. NATHAN CARSON. Tonic Lounge, 3100 NE Sandy Blvd., 238-0543. 9 pm. $10 advance, $12 day of show.

SATURDAY, JAN. 4 Bike Thief, Rare Monk, Sama Dams

[SOARING, SWIRLING INDIE] How many musicians does it take to steal a bike? A core team of five with numerous accomplices, as the swelling live lineup of the Portland group with the same name suggests. Really lame

jokes aside, we’re impressed by Bike Thief’s ability to harness the elements and produce methodized, sophisticated chamber pop amid such a swirl of violin, horns and keyboards. It recalls Arcade Fire, and founder, frontman and lead vocalist Febian Perez has a Jeff Buckley thing going on with his haunting bellows. GRACE STAINBACK. Doug Fir Lounge, 830 E Burnside St., 2319663. 9 pm. $6. 21+.

Thanks, Brownish Black, DJ Cooky Parker

[SOUL MEETS MORE] When Thanks first arrived last year, the band was grounded in a decidedly soulful, nostalgic sound. With its debut album, Blood Sounds, the Portland sextet’s influences—and intentions—aren’t so clear. Thanks have crafted 12 youthful tracks, injecting notes of country, R&B and blues into the foundation. On “Hollow,” vocalist Jimi Hendrix (no really, that’s her name) sings like a calmer Janelle Monae, but the melody strikes like a grittier Florence and the Machine. The matching male-female vocals on “Undone” are well balanced, earn comparisons to one of last year’s dynamic indie breakouts, MS MR. Blood Sounds is a statement that could easily thrive in either a tiny boombox or on the national alt-rock airwaves. GEOFF NUDELMAN. Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi Ave., 288-3895. 9 pm. $5. 21+.

Levon’s Helmet, Minty Rosa

[POWER PUNK] It takes little more than the spunky opening power chords on Levon’s Helmet’s debut EP to realize the Portland trio isn’t some washedout tribute to the late, pre-eminent force behind the Band. Entitled S/T EP, it captures the former folksters channeling punk-infused pop melodies and full-unison hollering only hinted at in founding members Gordon Keepers and Jason Oppat’s former bluegrass band, Water Tower. BRANDON WIDDER. The Annex, 5264 N. Lombard St. 9 pm. Free. 21+.

SUNDAY, JAN. 5 Tennis, Poor Moon

[GAUZY FOLK] Constant comparisons have to be tough for Seattle’s Poor Moon, given members Christian Wargo and Casey Wescott’s affi liation with their other band, Fleet Foxes. The band’s self-titled LP, though certainly not as excellent as either record from the Foxes, doesn’t help shake the uncanniness. Yet, Wargo’s delicately sweeping warble and drowsy, harpsichord-abetted musings— which he will be performing solo at Mississippi Studios—render it slightly more laconic and pop-friendly than its brethren. But yeah, they still kind of sound like Fleet Foxes B-sides. Indie-pop darlings Tennis headline. BRANDON WIDDER. Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi Ave., 2883895. 9 pm. $12. 21+.

TUESDAY, JAN. 7 Red Bull Sound Select: Pickwick, Lost Lander, Magic Fades

[MELODIC ROCK] Just before a much-deserved European tour, Portland’s Lost Lander plays its hooky indie rock before a home crowd. Matt Sheehy and company are at work on new material, but there’s more than enough catchy sounds to go around with their 2012 debut, DRRT. The quartet produces highly melodic rock in a similar but perhaps more lush vein than Sheehy’s other outfi t, Ramona Falls. There’s no doubting the Brent Knopf infl uence, but LL sounds a bit more celestial and celebratory. Seattle alt-rockers Pickwick fi nish the night off properly. MARK STOCK. Doug Fir Lounge, 830 E Burnside St., 231-9663. 9 pm. $3 with RSVP. 21+.

CONT. on page 24

Willamette Week JANUARY 1, 2014




CLASSICAL, JAZZ & WORLD David Friesen Quartet

[JAZZ] Oregon Jazz Hall of Fame bassist and composer David Friesen has been presenting Christmas season concerts in Portland for four decades. Even if you’re tired of holiday music, his deep-blue new arrangements of standards like “O Come All Ye Faithful,” “Silent Night” and others on his just-released new CD, Morning Star, wander way beyond the source songs and remain captivating, no matter the season. If you caught one of his December concerts, never fear: This is a different band, featuring John Gross and Rob Davis on saxophones, pianist Greg Goebel and drummer Charlie Doggett. BRETT CAMPBELL. Bipartisan Cafe, 7901 SE Stark St., 253-1051. 7 pm Friday, Jan. 3. Call venue for ticket information.

Eddie Martinez

[JAZZ CHAMELEON] Jazz guitarist Eddie Martinez has quite the feathered cap. He’s played alongside Mel Brown, Robert Palmer, Blondie and some dude named Mick Jagger. As a session guitarist for multiple genres, Martinez is a dextrous well of talent with a “wise man on the hill” sort of status. As is the case for many accomplished musicians, it is jazz that continues to be his muse, and arguably the best stylistic conditions for him to work under. Catch him solo tonight, flexing decades’ worth of incredible industry experience. MARK STOCK. Jimmy Mak’s, 221 NW 10th Ave., 295-6542. 8 pm Saturday, Jan 4. $10. 21+.

Oregon Symphony

Oregon Symphony’s performance of one of the great American symphonies, Aaron Copland’s third, wasn’t quite up to snuff for its CD-in-progress, the orchestra decided to turn the recording session into an outreach (and revenue) opportunity. It invited listeners to peek behind the curtain and attend the re-recording. Show up for the presession chat at 3 pm and you can hear award-winning sound engineer John Newton and producer Blanton Alspaugh (who scored Grammies for their work on the orchestra’s 2011 CD) reveal the mysteries of symphonic recording. BRETT CAMPBELL. Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, 1037 SW Broadway, 248-4335. 4 pm Sunday, Jan. 5. $20.

St. Lawrence Quartet

[CLASSICAL AND CONTEMPORARY] During its 15-year residency at Stanford University, the mostly Canadian string foursome St. Lawrence Quartet (which introduces its new violinist, Mark Fewer, at these concerts) has earned a deserved reputation for persuasive—and proudly passionate—performances of both classic and contemporary music, including premieres by John Adams and Osvaldo Golijov. The latter’s “Qohelet,” which highlights Monday night’s program along with two splendid Haydn quartets and another by Verdi, has reportedly evolved significantly since the group debuted it in 2011. Tuesday’s show features one of Haydn’s great Op. 76 quartets and others by Martinů and Dvořák. BRETT CAMPBELL. Lincoln Hall, Portland State University, 1620 SW Park Ave., 725-3307. 7:30 pm Monday, Jan 5. $30-$47.



STEPHEN MALKMUS & THE JICKS WIG OUT AT JAGBAGS (MATADOR) [ROUNDBALL ROCK] On a recent Grantland podcast, Stephen Malkmus let his guard down on the secrets behind the awesomely titled Wig Out at Jagbags, his new record with the Jicks. “There’s one song called ‘Chartjunk’ where I inhabit the mind of two prima donna-esque characters of the NBA, Scott Skiles and Brandon Jennings,” Malkmus said, with only a slight trace of irony. After years of trying to parse meaning from his inscrutable lyrics, it turns out the key has more to do with fantasy basketball than obscure literature. When you think about it, Malkmus has never tried to hide his dorkiness. Back when the members of Pavement were the darlings of the indie-rock universe, Malkmus went out of his way to talk about his favorite Scrabble moves instead of hip influences. Now 47, back in Portland after a few years living with his family in Berlin, he’s fully embracing his inner nerd: penning songs about fights at Chicago dive bars (“Rumble at the Rainbo”), joke-naming the most tender ballad after another hoopster’s nickname (“J Smoov”), and singing about cinnamon, lesbians, Tennyson, venison and the Grateful Dead. Wig Out at Jagbags is easily Malkmus’ most fun record since his self-titled solo debut—it’s an almost effortless collection of weird pop songs, guitar freakouts and inside jokes. Malkmus sounds confident and invigorated, embracing his whims and mostly ditching the extended classic-rock jams for hummable melodies and a sort of lovable white-boy soul. “Houston Hades” and the terrific first single, “Lariat,” showcase the king jester at his sing-song best, ripping off hilarious lines, non sequiturs and odd poetic phrases that get better with each listen. “We grew up listening to the music of the best decade ever,” he sings on “Lariat,” pausing briefly before the punch line: “Talking ’bout the ADDs.” Never change, Stephen. MICHAEL MANNHEIMER. HEAR IT: Wig Out at Jagbags is out Tuesday, Jan. 7. 24

Willamette Week JANUARY 1, 2014

Willamette Week JANUARY 1, 2014



jan. 1-7 Biddy McGraw’s irish Pub

= WW Pick. Highly recommended. Editor: Mitch Lillie. TO HAVE YOUR EVENT LISTED, send show information at least two weeks in advance on the web at submitevents or (if you book a specific venue) enter your events at Press kits, CDs and especially vinyl can be sent to Music Desk, WW, 2220 NW Quimby St., Portland, OR 97210. Please include show or release date information with all physical mailings. Email: For more listings, check out

6000 NE Glisan St. The Barkers, Hot Club Time Machine

Crystal Ballroom

1332 W Burnside St. Dead Moon, Poison Idea


350 W Burnside St. Furniture Girls, In Cahoots, Loud Machine

doug Fir Lounge

830 E Burnside St. Bike Thief, Rare Monk, Sama Dams

duff’s Garage

1635 SE 7th Ave. Hank Shreve Band

east end

203 SE Grand Ave. Minka, Dead Cult, Number Station, G.F.L.

Goodfoot Lounge

2845 SE Stark St. Sugarcane, the Student Loan

Hawthorne Theatre Lounge

1503 SE Cesar E. Chavez Blvd. The Shrike, Akkadia, When Vanity Kills, Dogs of August

Katie O’Briens

2809 NE Sandy Blvd. Dartgun & the Vignettes, Thundering Asteroids, the Anxieties, simply luscious

Wed. Jan. 1 al’s den at the Crystal Hotel 303 SW 12th Ave. Anna Tivel

ash Street Saloon

225 SW Ash St. The Dark Backward, the Great State, Panshot

Kelly’s Olympian

426 SW Washington St. Eye Candy VJs

McMenamins edgefield 2126 SW Halsey St., Troutdale Kris Deelane

McMenamins Rock Creek Tavern

10000 Old Cornelius Pass Road, Hillsboro Billy D

The analog

720 SE Hawthorne Jason Demain’s Songwriter Showcase

The Blue diamond

2016 NE Sandy Blvd. The Fenix Project

White eagle Saloon

836 N Russell St. Edewaard, Cedar Teeth

THuRS. Jan. 2 al’s den at the Crystal Hotel 303 SW 12th Ave. Anna Tivel

ash Street Saloon

225 SW Ash St. Bibster Beats, AlienShipRex, TNC Niner, Gremlyn, S!lent, Edword, Kid Moe

Bob White Theatre

6423 SE Foster Road Mister Tang, the New Jangles, the Hewitt Family Band


1001 SE Morrison St. Fin De Cinema: Night on the Galactic Railroad: Aan, Purse Candy, Philip Grass, DJ Spencer D

Landmark Saloon

4847 SE Division St. Andrea and the Enablers, Dust and Thirst


2958 NE Glisan St. The Fire Weeds (9:30 pm); Old Flames (6 pm)

Lola’s Room at the Crystal Ballroom

1332 W Burnside St. Jake Ray & the Cowdogs

McMenamins edgefield 2126 SW Halsey St., Troutdale Red and Ruby

McMenamins Rock Creek Tavern

10000 Old Cornelius Pass Road, Hillsboro Lynn Conover and Gravel

Mississippi Pizza

3552 N Mississippi Ave. Stephen Steinbrink, Jeff’s Son’s Airplane (9 pm); Steve Rodin (6 pm)

Mississippi Studios

3939 N Mississippi Ave. Casey Neill & the Norway Rats, Ian Moore & the Lossy Coils, the Don of Division Street

Muddy Rudder Public House 8105 SE 7th Ave. Sleepy Eyed Johns

Music Millennium

3158 E Burnside St. Community Day/ Songwriter’s Circle: Thad Beckman, Santi Elijah Holley, Jack McMahon

Sky Club at ankeny’s Well

50 SW 3rd Ave. Soundscape Thursday: Julius Major, Final Frequency, Ryan Frakes, PIA!!

The Press Club

2621 SE Clinton St. Perola Brasileira

West Cafe

1201 SW Jefferson St. Alan Jones Academy Jazz Jam

Jade Lounge

2346 SE Ankeny St. Salon De Musique: Jamie Leopold


Willamette Week JANUARY 1, 2014

White eagle Saloon 836 N Russell St. The Mondegreens, Cambrian Explosion, Grand Lake Islands

FRi. Jan. 3 afru Gallery

534 SE Oak St ByteMe! 3.0: Sarah McCormick, Dan Cohen, Sean Hathaway, TIPOL, Donald Delmar Davis, Petyr Sorfa, Jeremy Rothstein, Jason Plumb, Colin Oldham, Brian Richardson, Michael Bunsen, Jon Garrison, Andrew Parnell, Libbey White, Mike Gilbert, Austin Whipple, Jim Eastman, Erik Lane

alhambra Theatre

4811 SE Hawthorne Blvd. Demure, Third Vision, Cordova, Tuesday Nights

ash Street Saloon

225 SW Ash St. The Stein Project, the Mirrors, Avenue Victor Hugo, Solid Gold Balls

Biddy McGraw’s irish Pub 6000 NE Glisan St. Freddy Trujillo, Lynn Conover

Buffalo Gap eatery and Saloon 6835 SW Macadam Ave. Nekked Bonz

Crystal Ballroom

1332 W Burnside St. Floater, Smoochknob


duff’s Garage

1635 SE 7th Ave. Karen Lovely Band

ivories Jazz Lounge and Restaurant

1435 NW Flanders St. Steve Christofferson, Todd Strait, David Evans, Tom Wakeling

116 NE Russell St. KZME Live: Don’t, the Cool Whips, Slutty Hearts (9 pm); Dominic Castillo (6 pm)

The Blue diamond

Jade Lounge

2016 NE Sandy Blvd. Lloyd Allen Sr.

Jimmy Mak’s

3341 SE Belmont St. Bubble Cats, Bevelers, Moon Debris

2346 SE Ankeny St. The Ink-Noise Review, Curtis B. Whitecarroll 221 NW 10th Ave. Hailey Niswanger

Landmark Saloon

4847 SE Division St. Oregon Trailers


2958 NE Glisan St. Baby Gramps (9:30 pm); Tree Frogs (6 pm)

McMenamins edgefield 2126 SW Halsey St., Troutdale Mark Alan

McMenamins Rock Creek Tavern

10000 Old Cornelius Pass Road, Hillsboro Jon Koonce

Mississippi Pizza

3552 N Mississippi Ave. Cutbank, Tillamook Burn, the Martindales (9 pm); Jenny Sizzler (6 pm)

Mississippi Studios

3939 N Mississippi Ave. Strategy, Gulls, Best Available Technology

Muddy Rudder Public House

350 W Burnside St. Lou Reed Tribute: Fernando, Karaoke From Hell, the Welfare State, Don of Division St., Adrian H and the Wounds, Kris Deelane, Michael Dean Damron, Kenny Feinstein, Anita Lee Elliott

8105 SE 7th Ave. Reverb Brothers

doug Fir Lounge


830 E Burnside St. Sean Flinn & the Royal We, Rio Grands, Rebecca Marie Miller

Secret Society Ballroom

Original Halibut’s ii 2527 NE Alberta St. Boyd Small

Ponderosa Lounge at Jubitz Truckstop

10350 N Vancouver Way Flexor T 315 SE 3rd Ave. Bearcubbin, Shelter Red, Artifex Pereo & the Crash Engine

The Blue Monk

The Know

2026 NE Alberta St. Hot Victory, Smoke Rings, Night Wave

The Press Club

2621 SE Clinton St. Cary Miga Trio

Tonic Lounge

3100 NE Sandy Blvd. Corrections House, Wrekmeister Harmonies, the Body, Rohit, Redneck

Landmark Saloon

White eagle Saloon


2621 SE Clinton St. Jenna Ellefson 836 N Russell St. Nails Hide Metal, Tim Karplus Band, Sour Alley

Sun. Jan. 5 al’s den at the Crystal Hotel 303 SW 12th Ave. Samantha Crain

arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall

1037 SW Broadway Copland’s Third Symphony: Oregon Symphony

ash Street Saloon

225 SW Ash St. Black Snake, Black Wizard, Black Witch Pudding

ivories Jazz Lounge and Restaurant 1435 NW Flanders St. Malea & the Tourists

Jade Lounge

2346 SE Ankeny St. Kojima

Landmark Saloon

4847 SE Division St. Hack Stitch and Buckshot, Ian Miller


Kells Brewpub

2958 NE Glisan St. Young Blood, Chelsea Motel, Shoeshine Blue (9pm); Freak Mountain Ramblers (6 pm)

Kelly’s Olympian

McMenamins edgefield


McMenamins Rock Creek Tavern

210 NW 21st Ave. Sami Rouisi

day-GLO TRiPPeRS: Thanks plays its album-release show at Mississippi Studios on Saturday, Jan. 4.

The Press Club

426 SW Washington St. Grandhorse, Atlas and the Astronaut, Violent Psalms, Muriel Stanton Band 2958 NE Glisan St. Steelhead, the Low Bones (9:30 pm); the Yellers (6 pm)

McMenamins edgefield 2126 SW Halsey St., Troutdale Mary Flower, Spud Siegel

Mississippi Pizza

3552 N Mississippi Ave. Jim Jams, the Spiracles (9 pm); Sons of Malarkey (6 pm)

Mississippi Studios

2126 SW Halsey St., Troutdale Lewi Longmire, Anita Lee Eliott

10000 Old Cornelius Pass Road, Hillsboro Hanz Araki

Mississippi Studios

3939 N Mississippi Ave. Tennis, Poor Moon

Music Millennium

3158 E Burnside St. Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings


600 E Burnside St. Charts

3939 N Mississippi Ave. Thanks, Brownish Black, DJ Cooky Parker


Mock Crest Tavern

Tonic Lounge

3435 N Lombard St. The Adequates

Muddy Rudder Public House 8105 SE 7th Ave. John Bunzow

1033 NW 16th Ave. Grand Style Orchestra 3100 NE Sandy Blvd. Misanthropic Noise, Exogorth, Mahamawaldi, Succor

Trinity episcopal Cathedral

Velo Cult

Ponderosa Lounge at Jubitz Truckstop

147 NW 19th Ave. Choral Evensong on Twelfth Night: Cathedral Chamber Singers

White eagle Saloon

Rock Bottom Brewery

Vie de Boheme

Secret Society Ballroom

White eagle Saloon

1969 NE 42nd Ave. Mouthbreathers 836 N Russell St. The Weather Machine, There Is No Mountain, Rachel Addel

SaT. Jan. 4 al’s den at the Crystal Hotel 303 SW 12th Ave. Anna Tivel

aladdin Theater

10350 N Vancouver Way Chance McKinney 206 SW Morrison St. Samsel and the Skirt

116 NE Russell St. Farnell Newton, the Libertine Belles


1033 NW 16th Ave. Theo Hilton, Your Rival, Our First Brains, Tommy Celt

3017 SE Milwaukie Ave. Ants In The Kitchen, Redlight Romeos

Star Theater

alberta Rose Theatre

The analog

3000 NE Alberta St. The Lulo Reinhardt Latin Swing Project

alberta Street Public House

1036 NE Alberta St. Professor Gall, Bakelite 78

ash Street Saloon

225 SW Ash St. Stoning Giants, Dakota Max

13 NW 6th Ave. Fruition, Twisted Whistle 720 SE Hawthorne Rustlah, Raspy Meow, Andrew’s Ave., the Sorry Devils

The annex

1530 SE 7th Ave. Lulo Reinhardt

836 N Russell St. Doug Stepina, the Mountain River, Amanda Richards

MOn. Jan. 6 al’s den at the Crystal Hotel 303 SW 12th Ave. Samantha Crain

Camellia Lounge

510 NW 11th Ave. Vocalists’ Jazz & Blues Jam: Joe Millward


350 W Burnside St. Karaoke From Hell

5264 N. Lombard St. Levon’s Helmet, Minty Rosa

Jade Lounge

The Know

Kelly’s Olympian

2026 NE Alberta St. Lunch, Mane, White Warm

2346 SE Ankeny St. Elie Charpentier 426 SW Washington St. Eye Candy VJs

4847 SE Division St. Hack Stitch and Buckshot 2958 NE Glisan St. Kung Pao Chickens (9 pm); Portland Country Underground (6 pm)

McMenamins edgefield 2126 SW Halsey St., Troutdale Skip von Kuske’s Groovy Wallpaper, Rob Wynia

McMenamins Rock Creek Tavern

10000 Old Cornelius Pass Road, Hillsboro Bob Shoemaker

Mississippi Pizza

3552 N Mississippi Ave. Mr. Ben

Muddy Rudder Public House 8105 SE 7th Ave. Lloyd Jones

Music Millennium

3158 E Burnside St. Community Day

The elixir Lab

2738 NE Alberta St. The Moonshine

White eagle Saloon 836 N Russell St. Rocket 3, Slope

TueS. Jan. 7 alhambra Theatre

4811 SE Hawthorne Blvd. No Bird Sing, Hives Inquiry Squad

ash Street Saloon

225 SW Ash St. Kazumis, Young Dad, Year of the Raven

Camellia Lounge

510 NW 11th Ave. Tom Wakeling, Steve Christofferson, David Evans, Todd Strait

doug Fir Lounge

830 E Burnside St. Red Bull Sound Select: Pickwick, Lost Lander, Magic Fades

east end

203 SE Grand Ave. Music Video Night: Price and Joel

Goodfoot Lounge 2845 SE Stark St. Asher Fulero Band

Jimmy Mak’s

221 NW 10th Ave. Top Hat Confederacy


2958 NE Glisan St. Ruth Beck and Ken Brewer (9 pm); Jackstraw (6 pm)

Lola’s Room at the Crystal Ballroom 1332 W Burnside St. Steer Crazy

McMenamins edgefield 2126 SW Halsey St., Troutdale Tommy Tutone

McMenamins Rock Creek Tavern

10000 Old Cornelius Pass Road, Hillsboro Open Bluegrass Jam

Mississippi Pizza

3552 N Mississippi Ave. Celeste Amadee

Music Millennium

3158 E Burnside St. Plug In Stereo

Starday Tavern

6517 SE Foster Rd. Joe Baker

The Blue diamond

2016 NE Sandy Blvd. Gretchen Mitchell Band

The Blue Monk

3341 SE Belmont St. Hats Off: 100 Watt Mind, SurfsDrugs

White eagle Saloon

836 N Russell St. Jenny Don’t and the Spurs, Kat Jones, Jane Kramer

JAN. 1-7



BODEGA BEER: I passed the cracked yellow sign hanging above Clinton Street Market (3400 SE Clinton St., 234-0372) a thousand times without once considering whether the store might carry something I wanted. From the outside, this beaten-in little bodega looks like the sort of place that makes its bones on energy shots, beef jerky, lottery tickets and smokes—mostly smokes. And it is indeed the sort of place where a mustachioed man buys yellow packs of American Spirits by telling the cashier, “Two.” But inside this surprisingly large store turns out to be perhaps the largest collection of beer bottles south of Division Street and east of the river, including semi-rare imports like Brasserie d’ Achouffe and Pinkus situated above Camo Black Extra malt liquor. And behind the camo bandannas, cigarette lighters and iPad register, there are five taps for growler fills, including one keg from Baker City’s Barley Brown’s and Breakside’s Big Country Winter Ale, all $12 per 64 ounces or $6 for 32 ounces. I was even more impressed by the whistle-clean lines at 39th Mini Mart (935 SE Cesar E. Chavez Blvd., 234-1411), which pump 64 ounces of Boneyard RPM for $10. That comparatively antiseptic shop trafficks in tandoori chicken, cellphone chargers and copies of Busted magazine, but also schedules special Bridgeport tastings and offers Pfriem’s single-hop Mosaic pale ale. This might sound weird, but to me these shops are the ultimate testament to Portland’s beer culture. In most of the country, these tap lists would draw beer geeks from all over. Here, incredible beer is available next to Swisher’s new e-cigarettes. MARTIN CIZMAR.

Star Bar

639 SE Morrison St. DJ Drew Groove

SUN. JAN. 5 THURS. JAN. 2 Black Book 20 NW 3rd Ave. Modern(ist), DJ Troubled Youth, Ryan Biornstad

Ground Kontrol

511 NW Couch St. Community Library DJs: Brokenwindow, Strategy


220 SW Ankeny St. Bounce: Tourmaline, Valen


3967 N Mississippi Ave DJ Sahelsounds

FRI. JAN. 3 Alberta Street Public House 1036 NE Alberta St. LoveTrain: DJ Causal Charlie

Goodfoot Lounge 2845 SE Stark St. DJ Magneto


1001 SE Morrison St. Zeitgeist 2K14: DJ Cooky Parker, Holla n Oates

Lola’s Room at the Crystal Ballroom

1332 W Burnside St. 80s Video Dance Attack

The Lovecraft

Star Theater

13 NW 6th Ave. Church of Hive


421 SE Grand Ave. Brickbat Mansion: DJ Curatrix, DJ Wednesday

Ash Street Saloon


Beech St. Parlor

1465 NE Prescott St. DJ Eazy Ian

225 SW Ash St. DJ D Train

412 NE Beech St. DJ Magic Parlour


SAT. JAN. 4 EastBurn

1800 E Burnside St. DJ Jesse Espinoza

Ground Kontrol

511 NW Couch St. DJ Etbonz


1001 SE Morrison St. Booty Bassment: Dimitri Dickinson, Maxx Bass, Nathan Detroit

Lola’s Room at the Crystal Ballroom

1332 W Burnside St. 90s Dance Flashback


3967 N Mississippi Ave DJ Roane

1465 NE Prescott St. DJ Lisztless

TUES. JAN. 7 Beech St. Parlor 412 NE Beech St. DJ Little Axe

Kelly’s Olympian

426 SW Washington St. Hideous Racket: DJ Flight Risk


6605 SE Powell Blvd DJ Easy Finger

The Analog

720 SE Hawthorne S.Y.N.T.

Willamette Week JANUARY 1, 2014


jan. 1-7 PREVIEW

= WW Pick. Highly recommended.



Most prices listed are for advance ticket sales. At-the-door increases and so-called convenience charges may apply, so it’s best to call ahead. Editor: REBECCA JACOBSON. Theater: REBECCA JACOBSON ( Dance: AARON SPENCER ( TO BE CONSIDERED FOR LISTINGS, submit information at least two weeks in advance to:


Audience members tell stories that Playback’s actors and musicians improvise on the spot. The theme this time is “The A-Ha Moments”—those revelations or game-changing events that set your life on a new course. Action/ Adventure Theatre, 1050 SE Clinton St. 6 pm family show and 8 pm regular show, Saturday, Jan. 4. $5-$20.


Broadway Across America brings the touring production of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s Tony Awardwinning musical about Madonna—oh wait, sorry; we mean former Argentine first lady Eva Peron—to Portland for a six-night stand. Don’t cry for her, Argentina. Keller Auditorium, 222 SW Clay St., 800-745-3000. 7:30 pm Tuesday-Friday, 2 and 7:30 pm Saturday and 1 and 6:30 pm Sunday, Jan. 7-12. $35-$75.


Imago’s long-running extravaganza, which has toured the world and spent time on Broadway, returns for the holidays. It’s a family-friendly, fantastical show featuring elaborate costumes and impressive acrobatics. If you’re raising your kids in Portland, it’s basically required viewing. Imago Theatre, 17 SE 8th Ave., 231-3959. Noon and 3 pm Wednesday, Jan 1; 2 pm Thursday, Jan. 2; 7 pm Friday, Jan. 3; noon and 3 pm Saturday, Jan. 4; and 2 pm Sunday, Jan. 5. $16-$31.

The Lion in Winter

Northwest Classical Theatre’s production of The Lion in Winter might as well be called Game of Thrones: Christmas Edition. Director Elizabeth Huffman has given James Goldman’s play modern scenery, an upscale living room decked out with cheerful Christmas décor. But don’t let that fool you. The story, set circa 1183, centers on King Henry II of England as he and his queen Eleanor battle over which son will inherit the throne. There’s Richard, the warrior; Jeffrey, the forgotten; and John, Daddy’s favorite and the fool, right down to his untucked shirt and rainbowcolored vest. Tensions rise and fall as brother betrays brother, mother betrays son, father betrays everyone— but the real fun comes in watching Marilyn Stacey weave Queen Eleanor’s web as deliberately and gracefully as a spider intent on a big and delicious payoff. At one moment despondent at Henry’s latest move and then smiling the next, Stacey’s performance constantly surprises, and she cries, smirks and bickers her way through the play’s most dangerous and emotional moments. All the manipulation and backstabbing can grow overwhelming in the 2½-hour runtime, but The Lion in Winter should still tide over hungry Game of Thrones fans until the spring. KAITIE TODD. Shoebox Theater, 2110 SE 10th Ave., 971-244-3740. 7:30 pm Thursdays-Saturdays and 2 pm Sundays through Jan. 5. $20.

Noises Off

When I first saw Noises Off as a 14-year-old at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, I didn’t know theater could do that. A dozen years later—and after watching dozens and dozens of plays—I’m still not quite sure how Noises Off does what it does. What’s clear, though, is that Michael Frayn’s 1982 backstage comedy is perhaps the world’s


most exactingly constructed play, and certainly one of its funniest. It centers on a third-rate British theater troupe staging an abysmal bedroom farce, and it’s essentially the same thing three times over— just with snowballing levels of lunacy as the company’s disastrous personal dynamics and dubious talents collide in hellish but hilarious ways. This production is Third Rail’s first farce in years, and a departure from its usual sharp-tongued or politically tinged fare. While it can’t eclipse my first fling with Noises Off, director Scott Yarbrough’s rendition is more than serviceable, even if the second act could use some polish. It’s a mostly solid cast, but a few actors stand out. Damon Kupper, in a garish orange shirt and (not orange) Carrot Top wig, has a command of physical comedy that’s simultaneously smarmy and daffy. Even daffier is the black bustier-clad Kelly Godell, who spends the play unflappably barreling ahead with careful line readings, even as everything around her crashes into smithereens. And we’d be nowhere without Maureen Porter as the de facto mother hen: She’s the glue holding together both the play and the play within the play. Despite some questionable casting (Isaac Lamb exudes far too much teddy-bear cuddliness to play the beleaguered, snarky director), these performers bring method—and, surprisingly, humanity—to the madness. REBECCA JACOBSON. Winningstad Theatre, 1111 SW Broadway, 235-1101. 7:30 pm Thursdays-Saturdays and 2 pm Sundays through Jan. 11. $20-$43.

Peter Pan

Peter Pan and Wendy fly back to Northwest Children’s Theater for the holidays. NW Neighborhood Cultural Center, 1819 NW Everett St., 222-4480. Many showtimes through Jan. 5. See for schedule. $13-$22.

COMEDY Artsy + Fartsy

A handful of comics—Jen Tam, Jason Treager, Barbara Holm, Jon Washington and Steven Wilber—do the standup thing at this monthly event, while cartoonist Shannon Wheeler shows off his Too Much Coffee Man comics. Jack London Bar, 529 SW 4th Ave., 228-7605. 8 pm Thursday, Jan. 2. $5 recommended.

Brad Brake

One time, Seattle comedian Brad Brake dislocated his knee during a standup set. In addition to flailing limbs, his comedy also incorporates plenty of impersonations, including ones of Christopher Walken and Rage Against the Machine. Harvey’s Comedy Club, 436 NW 6th Ave., 241-0338. 7:30 pm Thursday, 7:30 and 10 pm FridaySaturday and 7:30 pm Sunday, Jan. 2-5. $15.


Family-friendly competitive improv comedy. ComedySportz, 1963 NW Kearney St., 236-8888. 8 pm FridaysSaturdays. $15.

Curious Comedy Open Mic

Gabe Dinger hosts a weekly openmic night. Sign-ups begin at 7:15, and comics get three minutes of stage time apiece. Curious Comedy, 5225 NE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., 477-9477. 8 pm every Sunday. Free.

Dan Soder and Adam Ray

Helium kicks off 2014 with a double bill: rising comic Dan Soder, who’s appeared on Conan and Opie and Anthony, and Adam Ray, who acted in The Heatand made that viral YouTube video about Kermit watching 2 Girls

Willamette Week JANUARY 1, 2014

get PumPed: Hand2mouth prepares to psych you up with Pep Talk.



THEATER Pep Talk Anything from the inventive and audacious folks at Hand2Mouth provides reason for excitement. This original work finds the troupe digging into sports culture and coaches’ motivational speeches. In a fitting touch, it’ll be performed in a North Portland gym. Peninsula Park Community Center, 700 N Rosa Parks Way, 235-5284. Jan. 22-Feb. 16. The Caretaker Imago dipped into Harold Pinter with December’s excellent The Lover, and now Jerry Mouawad will direct the tragicomedy that established the iconic dramatist’s reputation. It’s a psychological study exploring the power dynamics between two brothers and a homeless vagabond. Local theater legend Allen Nause plays the tramp. Imago Theatre, 17 SE 8th Ave., 231-9581. Feb. 27-March 23. pool (no water) In Mark Ravenhill’s 2006 play, a group of young artists gathers at the posh digs of a friend who’s made it big. When a terrible accident lands the host in the hospital, the others try to turn her suffering into art. An ambitious and somewhat experimental piece of movement-theater, we’re intrigued to see how Theatre Vertigo makes it work in Shoebox’s tiny black-box theater. Shoebox Theater, 2110 SE 10th Ave., 306-0870. April 11-May 19. Buried Child Profile Theatre’s season of Sam Shepard includes the playwright’s Pulitzer Prize-winning drama, a blend of horror and comedy that takes aim at the corrosive myth of the American dream. Artists Repertory Theatre, 1515 SW Morrison St., 242-0080. May 29-June 15.

COMEDY Tracy Morgan So maybe Tracy Morgan isn’t a standup comic as much as a somewhat crazy person who possibly thought he was filming a documentary when

appearing on 30 Rock, but that just means he’s more naturally hilarious than many of his peers. The last time Morgan was here, he played the Newmark, so this three-night stand at Helium definitely qualifies as “intimate.” We’re pretty sure he’s learned to avoid jokes about stabbing his hypothetically gay son, so it should be all good. Helium Comedy Club, 1510 SE 9th Ave., 888-643-8669. Jan. 17-19. Mike Birbiglia Mike Birbiglia spins some of the best stories in the business, tales that transcend comedy to hit a place of cringingly awkward but lovely tenderness. Newmark Theatre, 1111 SW Broadway, 248-4335. Jan. 24.

DANCE Cloud Gate Dance Theatre Dance presenter White Bird’s big get this season is Taiwan’s Cloud Gate Dance Theatre. China’s first contemporary dance company—and the most acclaimed in Asia—makes its Portland debut with Songs of the Wanderers. The work evokes a spiritual pilgrimage, one that’s brought to life with 3½ tons of luminous, golden grains of rice that rain on the dancers. Keller Auditorium, 222 SW Clay St., 2451600. March 4. New Expressive Works Studio 2’s residency program returns with a new batch of performances from four dancers. Luke Gutgsell has perhaps the most impressive résumé, having performed at the Sydney Opera House and the Kennedy Center. He’s joined by choreographers Lucy Yim and Eric Nordstrom, as well as by Yulia Arakelyan, whose Wobbly Theatre is a butohinspired company that incorporates movement from people with disabilities, including those in wheelchairs. Studio 2 at Zoomtopia, 810 SE Belmont St., 449-6160. March 28-30. Oregon Ballet Theatre In this Celebrate program, dancer Alison Roper takes her final bows after 18 seasons with the company, but the show is about OBT’s future as well. Artistic director Kevin Irving has lined up the company premiere of Helen Pickett’s vibrant Petal, as well as a revival of audience favorite The Lost Dance by Matjash Mrozewski. Roper will dance a pas de deux in another company premiere, Cor Perdut by Nacho Duato, and Irving says he has other surprises in store. Keller Auditorium, 222 SW Clay St., 2225538. April 17-26.

JAN. 1-7

Music Millennium’s Upcoming In-Stores & Events



SHARON JONES LISTENING PARTY TRY THE NEW PULLED PORK VOODOO DOUGHNUT SUNDAY, 1/5 @ 3 PM Be the first to hear the highly anticipated album, Give the People What They Want, from Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings while enjoying a brand new creation from Voodoo Doughnut-barbecue pulled pork sandwiched between two steamy glazed doughnuts. PLUS FREE REFRESHMENTS! These sharp danceable funk grooves stick to your bones; the fervent, impassioned singing goes straight to your heart; and the sweet soul hooks stay in your head for days on end.

Pre-buy the vinyl ($14.99) or CD ($12.99) and get a FREE 7-inch single at the listening party.

PLUG IN STEREO RECORD RELEASE EVENT TUESDAY, 1/7 @ 6 PM You can only buy the new EP at Music Millennium or on Plug In Stereo's tour! Behind all great musical projects lies an artistic puppeteer that orchestrates the strings – for Plug In Stereo, it’s 18-year-old wunderkind Trevor Dahl. Trevor is a jack of all trades, a multi instrumentalist with a talent for easy-going and down to earth acoustic melodies. With influences such as John Mayer, The Shins, and Jason Mraz, Plug In Stereo’s new album takes a different route, straying from his older more synth heavy sound. This time around, Trevor focused on providing his fans with more genuine melodies and lyrics brought on from experiences in his own life.

1 Cup. Helium Comedy Club, 1510 SE 9th Ave., 888-643-8669. 8 pm Thursday and 7:30 and 10 pm Friday-Saturday, Jan. 2-4. $15-$25.

Fly Ass Jokes

Jen Allen hosts five comics at this twice-monthly standup showcase, one of the more consistent comedy nights in town. Brody Theater, 16 NW Broadway, 224-2227. 9:30 pm Friday, Jan. 3. $8.

Friday Night Fights

Competitive improv, with two teams battling for stage time. Jay Flewelling plays referee. Curious Comedy, 5225 NE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., 477-9477. 10 pm every first and third Friday. $5.

Ian Karmel and Friends

Before he returns to the Los Angeles sun and his spot around the Chelsea Lately writers’ table, former Portlander Ian Karmel takes to the Brody stage for a night of standup. Brody Theater, 16 NW Broadway, 224-2227. 9:30 pm Saturday, Jan. 4. $10.

It’s Gonna Be Okay

Portlander Barbara Holm hosts a twice-monthly standup showcase featuring local and traveling comics. EastBurn, 1800 E Burnside St., 236-2876. 8:30 pm every first and third Monday. Free.


Late-night comedy show with improv, sketch and stand-up. Curious Comedy, 5225 NE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., 477-9477. 10 pm every Saturday. $5.

Open Court

Team-based long-form improv open to audience members and performers of all stripes, with teams chosen randomly and coached by Curious Comedy’s improv pros. Curious Comedy, 5225 NE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., 477-9477. 8 pm every first and third Thursday. $5.

Pipes: An Improvised Musical

Comedic improv, set to song. Curious Comedy, 5225 NE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., 477-9477. 8 pm Fridays-Saturdays through Jan. 24. $12-$15.

USS Improvise: The Next Generation the Musical

Funhouse improv troupe the Unscriptables brings back its popularStar Trek spoof, complete with unscripted musical numbers and dance numbers. Funhouse Lounge, 2432 SE 11th Ave., 841-6734. 7:30 pm Saturdays through Feb. 8. $10.

Weekly Recurring Humor Night

Whitney Streed hosts a New Year’s Day installment of her long-running standup comedy showcase. Jimmy Newstetter headlines, with additional sets from Scoot Herring, Barbara Holm, Anatoli Brant, Scott Rogers, Lucia Fasano and Carson Creecy. Tonic Lounge, 3100 NE Sandy Blvd., 238-0543. 9:30 pm Wednesday, Jan. 1. “Pay what you want,” $3 to $5 suggested.




Willamette Week’s

BEER GUIDE February 5th • 2014

DANCE Boyeurism

Drag queens, G-strings and everything in between make up this monthly all-male revue produced by burlesque madame Zora Phoenix. Star Theater, 13 NW 6th Ave. 10 pm Thursday, Jan. 2. $10$15. 21+.

Burlesque S’il Vous Plait

New burlesque dancers walk the plank, joined by some season standbys, in this variety show. Burlesque madame Zora Phoenix MCs the night. Crush, 1400 SE Morrison St, 235-8150. 9 pm Friday, Jan. 3. $10. 21+.

First Friday Irish Ceili Mor

Little-known fact: The Celtic New Year, or Samhain, traditionally falls on Halloween, marking the end of harvest season and the beginning of the dark part of the year. Still, Portland’s Irish dancer master Sam Keator is having his New Year ceili in January. As usual, no experience is necessary for the monthly lesson. Musicians are Bob Soper, Elizabeth Nicholson and Felim Egan. Winona Grange No. 271, 8340 SW Seneca St., Tualatin, 691-2078. 7:30 pm Friday, Jan. 3. $8-$10.

For more Performance listings, visit




JAN. 1-7

= WW Pick. Highly recommended. By RICHARD SPEER. TO BE CONSIDERED FOR LISTINGS, submit show information—including opening and closing dates, gallery address and phone number—at least two weeks in advance to: Visual Arts, WW, 2220 NW Quimby St., Portland, OR 97210. Email:

in his dramatic tableaux, lining up objects in vast rows, then climbing on a ladder and shooting them from an extreme high angle. The finished images look like photos taken from an airplane looking down on landscapes of assembled junk. This extreme point of view imparts a sense of objectivity to what is otherwise a neurotically subjective hobby. The photos are even stronger for being created the old-fashioned way, rather than digitally composed. Through Jan. 31. Pushdot, 2505 SE 11th Ave., Suite 104, 224-5925.

Leonard Ruder: Paintings


Ben Buswell: We Live Only Through Ourselves

Ben Buswell’s show gets our vote for Most Flatulent Press Release of 2013. For unfathomable reasons, it mentions the artist’s recently deceased grandfather, only to say that his death provided “a lens through which the artist examines how meaning arises from physical processes.” What physical processes, we are left to wonder—decomposition? The release concludes by maintaining that “Buswell’s purpose is to undermine a sense a narrative and eschew the symbolic meaning of the imagery, collapsing the distance between perception of the object and apprehension of its meaning.” Writing like this is endemic of an attitude that if you use big enough words in a long enough sentence, you can convince yourself and hopefully others that an artwork is worthwhile. The photographic and sculptural work in Buswell’s show actually is worthwhile. The pieces have a witty minimalist elegance, but you’d never know that from the show description. Through Jan. 25.Upfor Gallery, 929 NW Flanders St., 227-5111.

Francis Bacon: Three Studies of Lucien Freud

With a title like Bling Boutique, Mark Woolley Gallery’s 20th anniversary show was bound to be an exercise in glitz, and that’s just what it turned out to be. Some of the sparkliest works in this sprawling group show come courtesy of Wesley Younie. His sculpture of a miniature black volcano appears to be coated in glittery flecks of mica mixed with obsidian. Less majestic and more whimsical is his painting of a droll frog, sitting on a background of shimmering gold leaf. It walks a delicate line between whimsy and opulence, irony and post-irony. Through Jan. 25. Mark Woolley Gallery @ Pioneer, 700 SW 5th Ave., third floor, Pioneer Place Mall, 998-4152.

Contemporary Northwest Art Awards

Jerry Mayer and Ellen George: Match

Expansive, thoughtful and dramatically installed, the biannual Contemporary Northwest Art Awards didn’t disappoint this year. Curator Bonnie Laing-Malcolmson has created a spectacular survey of artwork across a diverse field of practices, filling—but not overfilling—a generous exhibition space with work by artists from Oregon (Karl Burkheimer), Washington (Isaac Layman, Nicholas Nyland and the single-monikered artist known as Trimpin), Montana (Anne Appleby) and Wyoming (Abbie Miller). As heterogeneous as these artists’ works are, somehow Laing-Malcolmson makes them cohere spatially and thematically. Through Jan. 12. Portland Art Museum, 1219 SW Park Ave., 226-0973.

Willamette Week JANUARY 1, 2014

With their architectonic shapes, rendered in wood, resin and acrylics, David Curt Morris’ works are alternately playful and exacting. They make for a jaunty, natural complement to the late Louis Bunce’s works on paper, which superimpose biomorphic forms atop geometric frameworks. Jan. 2-Feb. 1. Laura Russo Gallery, 805 NW 21st Ave., 226-2754.

It’s a spectacle that brings old-timey nouns to mind: brouhaha, hubbub, hullabaloo. The rather sudden and mysterious appearance of Francis Bacon’s Three Studies of Lucien Freud at the Portland Art Museum has engendered tireless (and tiresome) speculation about who owns the astronomically priced triptych. But purely as an art object, does the piece live up to all the Sturm und Drang? In a word, no. Despite its art-historical and economic significance, it’s a pretty drab, flat exercise in basic psychological portraiture. Bacon sits his friend Freud down in a simple stool in a loose, crass pose. Bacon renders his subject’s body with illustrator-like simplicity and depicts his face in the grotesque contours that were Bacon’s stock and store. He places the stool within a receded cube, a bed frame at its endpoint, before a mustard yellow background. Bacon and Freud fans will no doubt relish the chance to see this relic of the influential painters’ complex dynamic, but viewers with tastes running toward more purely optical pleasures will likely leave underwhelmed. The work’s visual symbolism is simplistic, and Bacon’s flashy technique, which once held genuine shock value, now comes across as sophomoric and tame. Through March 30. Portland Art Museum, 1219 SW Park Ave., 226-0973.

Bling Boutique


David Curt Morris and Louis Bunce

The dynamic collaborative duo of Jerry Mayer and Ellen George reunites for Match, a minimalist installation at Nine Gallery. The piece uses only two repeating sounds and two colored lights to create a hypnotic atmosphere in which viewers are invited to lose themselves in contemplation. Jan. 2-Feb. 2. Nine Gallery, 122 NW 8th Ave., 227-7114.

Jim Golden: Collections

A collection of keys—hundreds of them. Dozens of obsolete cameras. Collections of scissors, musical instruments, rifles, plastic Santa Claus figurines, cassette tapes and cassingles…there is nothing, apparently, Americans won’t collect. Photographer Jim Golden catalogs our obsession with collecting

By day, Leonard Ruder (1917-2010) was a custodian at a local school; by night, he was a rigorously disciplined painter. He exhibited infrequently during his lifetime, but the treasure trove of works—predominantly geometric abstraction—he left behind, prove that his talents far exceeded the modesty of his disposition and reputation. On First Thursday, Ruder’s daughter and two sons will be on hand for the opening of this important posthumous show. Jan. 2-Feb. 1. Augen DeSoto, 716 NW Davis St., 224-8182.


The sometimes sexy, sometimes flesh-mortifying allure of figure drawing endures among the six artists exhibiting in Melange. Braeden Cox, Kelsey Bunker, Scott W. Duff, Patrick Kernan, Christopher St. John and Erin Leichty finesse the divide between figuration and abstraction, sometimes with the addition of encaustic (wax-based) media. This art form stretches back to Rembrandt and beyond, with more recent exemplars including the great John Singer Sargent and the brilliantly perverse Willem de Kooning. It’s great to see young, emerging artists essaying this form with contemporary perspective and vigor. Through Jan. 11. Gallery @ The Jupiter, 800 E Burnside St., 230-8010.

Shine: Winter Group Exhibition

His gallery space is modest and boxy, his personality defined by a bone-dry wit. But anyone with any doubt as to the outsize impact of Charles Hartman on the Portland art scene need only take in Shine, his winter group show, to realize just how good this gallery is. Not only does Shine feature historically important photographers (see Cornell Capa’s photo of Pablo Picasso holding an umbrella over his muse Françoise Gilot), he has also cultivated an impressive stable of living photographers, including Portland-based Corey Arnold. Arnold’s haunting print, Conversation, turns two buildings into ominous blocks of color that recall the elemental paintings of Ellsworth Kelly. Add in artists who work in media other than photography, such as painter Hayley Barker and mixed-media guru Anna Fidler, and you have a stunning cross section of geography, time and artistic practice. Jan. 2-Feb. 28. Charles A. Hartman Fine Art, 134 NW 8th Ave., 287-3886.

The Art of Musical Maintenance

Some of the most dynamic poster art in the world currently graces the Goodfoot, as more than 40 artists exhibit in the venue’s 10th annual exposition, The Art of Musical Maintenance. Using a continuum of techniques ranging from handdrawn to computer-generated, artists from across the country fill the Goodfoot’s cavernous but still inexplicably cozy space with some 300 posters. David Welker designed the show’s promotional banner, which features a nude angel, legs turned outward in provocative contrapposto, standing beside a hellish bonfire. Through Jan. 27. Goodfoot Lounge, 2845 SE Stark St., 239-9292.

For more Visual Arts listings, visit

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= WW Pick. Highly recommended. Editor: REBECCA JACOBSON. TO BE CONSIDERED FOR LISTINGS, send screening information at least two weeks in advance to Screen, WW, 2220 NW Quimby St., Portland, OR 97210. Email: Fax: 243-1115.

Note: Due to early press deadlines, theater listings are incomplete. Please check theater websites or call ahead.

12 Years a Slave

A Twelve Years a Slave was part of

a literary tide. When the memoir was published in 1853, Uncle Tom’s Cabin and Frederick Douglass’ autobiography were bestsellers, helping to fuel the abolitionist movement. But Solomon Northup’s story was different. Born a free man, he led a comfortable life as a carpenter and violinist with his wife and children in upstate New York in 1841, when he was kidnapped and sold into slavery. Northup managed to regain his freedom 12 years later and soon published Twelve Years a Slave, which became a bestseller of its own. But at some point, Northup disappeared and his book fell out of print. Now, it’s little-known outside the halls of academia. All of which makes British director Steve McQueen’s 12 Years a Slave an even more staggering revelation. The film is agonizing but not lurid, compassionate but not melodramatic, patient but still thrilling. McQueen exposes the full extent of slavery’s physical cruelty, from the endless hours of cotton-picking to the capricious acts of violence, as well as the system’s psychological toll. Alongside the film’s occasional brutality, McQueen stages takes of astounding beauty and surprising tranquility. Most impressive is that 12 Years a Slave does not feel like an ethical or educational obligation. While its instructive value is undeniable, this is also a rousing portrait, a morally complicated tale and a masterful work of art. R. REBECCA JACOBSON.

20 Feet From Stardom

A- Life is unfair, and the music indus-

try is worse. If there were a rubric to figure out what makes one performer a household name and the other just another name in the liner notes, the history of pop would read much differently. Turning the spotlight on several career backup singers, Morgan Neville’s 20 Feet From Stardom shows, with great warmth and color, what it might sound like. Most are resigned to their roles in the musical ecosystem, content to have sacrificed their own aspirations for the sake of elevating the art itself. Whether that’s noble or a con, Neville never judges. He just lets them sing. And, in a more perfect universe, that would be enough. MATTHEW SINGER.

47 Ronin

C 47 Ronin’s most enjoyable moments are also its most ludicrous. These include, but are not limited to: an attack from a roving beast that might generously be described as “mythical”; a shape-shifting witch helping a court official usurp his rival’s power, thereby springing the masterless samurai of the title into vengeful action; and a pep talk beginning with the words, “What I propose ends in death.” Keep in mind that Carl Erik Rinsch’s $175 million film is based on actual 18th-century events, happenings that presumably did not resemble Mortal Kombat or Princess Mononoke in the slightest. These fantastical elements are never acknowledged as such, which is probably a good thing. Any in-depth explanation of how and why the “half-breed” played by Keanu Reeves ended up exiled to a Dutch island, forced to fight a giant to the death, would only distract from the goofy spectacle of it all. All of which is a long way of saying that Rinsch’s take on one of Japan’s most famous stories is a curious folly, albeit an almost endearingly sincere (and strange) one that seems to revere its legendary source material as much as it distorts it. PG-13. MICHAEL NORDINE.

All Is Lost

B well. We know that, after nearly 50

years on the big screen, Redford the man is not an investigative journalist,

a gadabout sidekick or a dark-horse power hitter. He is, however, a mildly eccentric and reclusive celebrity, one who might very well undertake a solo sailing trip around the world. As the only actor in All Is Lost, he does just that. Then, wood cracks and water rushes in. A shipping container has punched a hole in the hull, destroying the GPS and radio. He does his best to patch the hole, but it’s Redford vs. the world from here on out. This is one man, alone, facing death. Redford is playing himself, and he’s not playing around. PG-13. MITCH LILLIE.

American Hustle

A Director David O. Russell’s vision of

America has always been Winesburg, Ohio, hopped up on trucker speed: a place of frantic grotesques distorted by their own need. In his new film, American Hustle—loosely based on the Abscam federal bribery scandal of the 1970s—everyone from New Jersey’s mayor to federal agents to small-time con artists are so warped by ambition that integrity and even identity become expensive luxury items. The film is a balls-to-the-wall, unbridled love affair with homegrown bullshit and piss-taking. American Bullshit was, in fact, the working title of the film, and in bullshit, it would seem Russell has finally found his true subject matter. From the sincerely insincere, American Hustle builds genuine characters. The film’s establishing shot is brilliant in this regard: a humorously long sequence of Christian Bale’s potbellied con man, Irving Rosenfeld, gluing a toupee to his head. When meticulously permed federal agent Richie DiMaso (Bradley Cooper) makes a move on Rosenfeld’s girl almost immediately thereafter, it’s an insult. When he musses his rug, it’s an unforgivable violation. It’s a wild pretzel of a plot: Rosenfeld and mistress Sydney Prosser (Amy Adams) have been caught by DiMaso in an undercover sting and are forced to run confidence rackets for the feds in order to nab other grifters. Halfway through the film, it’s unclear who’s conning whom, but it’s clear everybody’s conning themselves. This is the high wire that makes American Hustle so exhilarating, with the quick turns of a David Mamet or Howard Hawks fast-talkie. It’s the sort of flick we’ve rarely seen since the ’40s: a farce with a heart. R. MATTHEW KORFHAGE.

Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues

B- It’s been nearly a decade since Ron Burgundy and the Channel 4 News Team graced the silver screen, but you’d be forgiven for thinking they never left. As soon as Ron himself announced the character’s return on Conan last year, he’s been everywhere: commercials, actual newscasts, talk shows, bookshelves, liquor cases, icecream freezers. After a year of anticipation, we’d be forgiven for being sick of the hype. But oh, does Anchorman 2 contain some serious belly laughs, and the instant Ron (Will Ferrell) hits the screen reading nonsense news and exclaiming, “By the hymen of Olivia Newton-John,” goodwill returns. Where the first Anchorman marveled at the foreign-seeming world of ‘70s network news, director Adam McKay’s sequel takes its cue from his buddy-cop flick The Other Guys, and he peppers the screwball, surrealist comedy with an actual message, taking aim at the decline of real journalism. This time, Burgundy and his team try to conquer the 24-hour cable-news cycle of the ’80s with alarmist weather warnings and baseless live reporting on car chases. They’re basically ushering in a protoFox News—there’s even a scheming Aussie owner—and it works like gangbusters because, unlike the original, most of the laughs are derived from what we see every day. Anchorman 2 does contain some misses, particularly a bizarre and overlong second act in which Ron leaves the business for some soul searching. But keep in

mind that this is still a mile-a-minute comedy that includes a man bottlefeeding a shark, investigative reporting that involves taste-testing street drugs, condoms made of mongoose hair, and the theme song from Xanadu as an aphrodisiac. It’s good to have Ron Burgundy back, even if he kind of overstays his welcome. PG-13. AP KRYZA.

Blue Is the Warmest Color

A- As soon as Abdellatif Kechiche’s

Blue Is the Warmest Color premiered in Cannes last May, frenzied discussion engulfed the film. Whether people found it exhilarating or exploitative, it seemed no one could shut up about this three-hour French saga about first love between two young women. The seven-minute sex scene monopolized much of the conversation, with a video montage that captures the responses of real lesbians eventually going viral. But for all the hooting it has unleashed, Blue Is the Warmest Color isn’t strident or demagogic. The film charts the evolution of the relationship between Adèle (Adèle Exarchopoulos, whose astounding performance will knock the wind out of you), and Emma (Léa Seydoux), who is a few years older. From the initial moment the two lock eyes, their connection is as electric as the shock of blue through Emma’s hair. Sometimes that connection plays out explosively, as in the aforementioned sex scene, but there are far more scenes devoted to quotidian routines and banal conversation. Minutes after exiting the theater, you’re unlikely to recall much of what Adèle and Emma talked about. But you’ll remember the frantically searching expressions on Exarchopoulos’ face, the looks of cool composure on Seydoux’s, the unrelenting urgency and desperation that infuse their exchanges. As much as the response has focused on the depictions of lesbian sex, the characters’ sexual orientation isn’t the crux of the film. It’s more than incidental, but this isn’t a gay-rights drama. It’s an epic tale of love between two people who just happen to be women, and that’s hopefully what will allow it to endure. nC-17. REBECCA JACOBSON.

Blue Jasmine

B Woody Allen’s Blue Jasmine isn’t

so much a fish-out-of-water movie; it’s a horse-with-a-broken-leg-inwater movie. You know how this thing’s going to end. Cate Blanchett’s Jasmine is a rarefied, half-delusional socialite tossed roughly down the slopes of her husband’s financial pyramid scheme after he is arrested. She lands in a strangely Bronx Guido version of San Francisco inhabited by her low-rent sister Ginger (played with wonderful sympathy by Sally Hawkins). Blanchett’s performance is fascinating. She’s an Ingmar Bergman figure yanked straight out of Tennessee Williams: brittle, highbred, well-guarded against reality but wretchedly vulnerable, snapping back and forth between highclass snob and raving drunk. Blue Jasmine cannot reconcile its broad comedy and pathos into coherence, but all the more impressive, then, that Hawkins’ and Blanchett’s twinned performances still manage to pick up most of the pieces. PG-13. MATTHEW KORFHAGE.

Captain Phillips

A- You probably already know the

story behind Captain Phillips, because you heard it first from the helmethaired hagiographers of cable news. Back in 2009, four Somali pirates boarded a freighter and kidnapped its captain, Richard Phillips (played in the movie by Tom Hanks). They kept him for five days on a lifeboat, demanding a ransom of $10 million, then got their brains blown out of their skulls by Navy SEALs. In outline form, the politics of the plot are problematic for a film: It is the heroic triumph of superior, mostly white American forces against amateurish, violent African criminals. But Paul Greengrass’ film is no Black Hawk Down. Whenever the Navy SEALs emerge, they are seen in blank silhouette, accompanied by the ominous music of alien assault. They look like a machine built only for death. Though shot with an eerie, disciplined neutrality, this is perhaps the most compassionate piece of filmmaking

I’ve seen this year. PG-13. MATTHEW KORFHAGE.

Dallas Buyers Club

A The first time Matthew

McConaughey appears onscreen in Dallas Buyers Club, the reflex is to gasp. That carved-from-amber beach bod has been whittled down to a toothpick. He’s gaunt, almost insectoid, with a head too big for his neck and skin stretched like plastic wrap around his eyes and Adam’s apple. It’s a transformation mirroring that of McConaughey’s career over the past year, ever since the day he woke up, put on a shirt and decided to become the best actor of his generation: The rom-com lothario has withered away. In his place arrives a performer at his peak, in a role that better damn well win him an Oscar, as an AIDS activist the movies have never seen before: a shit-kicking, homophobic redneck. That redneck actually existed, too. In 1985, Ron Woodroof, a Dallas elec-

trician, bull rider and pussy-chasing, coke-snorting degenerate, became one of the rare straight men in the early years of the AIDS epidemic to contract HIV. Left out of the trials of an experimental new drug, and frustrated by the grinding inertia of Big Pharma, Woodroof went to Mexico, where, with a cocktail of natural supplements and non-FDA-approved meds, he was nursed back to health. Figuring there was a great racket in AIDS drugs that actually worked, he returned to Texas and opened a “buyers club.” Operating out of a fleabag motel, he skirted federal regulations by selling “memberships” at a rate of $400 per month and doling out the banned substances for “free.” To the credit of writers Craig Borten and Melisa Wallack and director Jean-Marc Vallée, Dallas Buyers Club has no weepy epiphanies, no soliloquies about newfound understanding. Woodroof may have been an asshole, but he was an asshole whose instinct

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OuT HERE IN THE FIELDS: Conner Chapman (right).

THE SELFISH GIANT On the heels of Clio Barnard’s hailed debut, The Arbor, comes the equally devastating The Selfish Giant, in which the British writer-director again depicts a generation failed by an unsympathetic system. From the very first frame, Barnard so assuredly and imaginatively captures an abandoned underclass that viewers will be hard-pressed to connect the script to its Oscar Wilde origins—Dickens pops to mind much more quickly. But Barnard’s screenplay was indeed inspired by a fable by Wilde, and she transplants that story’s garden to the contemporary, postindustrial wasteland of the northern English countryside. For adolescent hothead Arbor (Conner Chapman) and his pudgy pal Swifty (Shaun Thomas), it’s obvious life isn’t going to get any better, especially after Arbor’s incessant tantrums get them expelled from school. The boys are neighbors in the housing projects and soulmates in their attempts to provide for their families—Arbor’s drug-dealing older brother steals his ADHD meds, while Swifty’s jackass pop literally sells the sofa out from under his children. The duo resorts to scavenging metal, which they sell to a dodgy, violent man named Kitten (Sean Gilder). When sensitive Swifty takes a shine to Kitten’s prized steed, the adult uses the lad as jockey in illegal road races. Meanwhile, Arbor and Kitten eye a bigger payoff: the high-voltage power lines that loom above their impoverished Yorkshire borough. The tragedy to come is a foregone conclusion. But just as heartbreaking is the universal resignation that scrapping—one way or another—is these boys’ destiny. Hope simply doesn’t exist here. Trapped in a fog of claustrophobia, cinematographer Mike Eley casts these rural silhouettes in a depressing yet gorgeous haze. Barnard’s post-Thatcher social realism is hyperspecific—her unflinching vision makes her one of the U.K.’s sharpest filmmakers— and she harnesses astonishing performances from Chapman and Thomas. The first-time actors are so natural in their rapport and so endearing in their friendship that we wish they could have enjoyed a bit more time in Wilde’s garden before being spat into the scraps. AMANDA SCHURR.

It’s only teenage wasteland.


SEE IT: The Selfish Giant opens Friday at Living Room Theaters. Willamette Week JANUARY 1, 2014


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for self-preservation eventually helped extend the lives of millions of better people. And, in the face of a plague, that’s worth more than one jerk’s enlightenment. R. MATTHEW SINGER. Hollywood Theatre.

Despicable Me 2

C This sequel to 2010’s blockbuster adds Kristen Wiig as high-spirited love interest and expands the animated repertoire to encompass 3-D thrills, but the story itself, which shoehorns Gru into the service of a global superspy league for the flimsiest of reasons, arrives packed with exposition and shorn of coherency while allowing precisely no opportunities for expression of the dastardly hubris that named the franchise. PG. JAY HORTON.

Don Jon

A- “Condoms are just terrible,”

whines Jon (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), a Guido beefcake who likes porn better than real sex. “But you gotta wear one because, unlike porn, real pussy will kill you.” Or rather, real pussy— with all its trappings of commitment— will kill your bachelor lifestyle. Jon doesn’t have time for that. He is so immersed in Internet porn that it’s hard to tell whether his attitudes about sex and love are the product or the cause of his obsession. GordonLevitt brings just enough depth to the character, and to the film overall, to turn a schlocky premise into an honest and approachable exploration of how porn—and really, any other addictive simulation of reality—can cheat us out of the richness of actual experiences. R. EMILY JENSEN.


B+ In the year 2154, we’re told, the

rich don’t care about the poor. Neill Blomkamp, whose debut film was the alien-apartheid fantasy District 9, pretty much takes this for granted. His sophomore film, Elysium, is essentially a political metaphor gone fiercely rogue in the physical world. Not only do the rich not give two flying figs about the poor, but they live in a utopian space station in the sky, constantly bathed in heavenly light. Below, on Earth, the abandoned residents of Los Angeles languish in a dreamily intricate slum that has fallen into apocalyptic steampunk, a world of shit and piss and dirt. Blomkamp’s cinematic vision may be stunning, but Elysium’s plot and characters are pure Hollywood camp. But goddamn if it isn’t good, solid, hardworking Hollywood camp—with absolutely brutal, inventive action sequences that include swords, hovercraft, force fields, exploding bullets and acrobatic killer robots. R. MATTHEW KORFHAGE.

Ender’s Game

Enough Said

A- In Nicole Holofcener’s Enough Said,

you’re going to get a huge sitcom-caliber calamity: Julia Louis-Dreyfus’ new best friend (Catherine Keener) turns out to be the embittered ex-wife of her new lover (James Gandolfini). The film is a rare thing: a portrait of middle-aged romance that feels genuine in its baby steps and lurches, the hesitations of people out of practice. Louis-Dreyfus’ comedy is rooted in missed opportunity and sudden regret, Keener’s often in the brittle judgment of the alpha female. Gandolfini’s? Apparently it comes from love. In his final role, he shows a tenderness and good-natured humor that imbues the film with an extra layer of pathos: that we will not know him this way again. One of his last lines in the film is “I’ve missed you.” Well, I’ll miss him, too. PG-13. MATTHEW KORFHAGE.

Free Birds

B While we wouldn’t quite call Free

Birds a good idea, there are so many children’s pics waiting to collide at the Christmas line of scrimmage that any cartoon set during November (even a mismatched pair of turkeys traveling through time to steer the first Thanksgiving away from poultry) seems, well, smart business. Helmed by Horton Hears a Who! vet Jimmy Hayward and voiced by an enviable troupe of A-listers, the resulting feature arrives with sweeping inoffensiveness and large personalities. Woody Harrelson’s grizzled selfsatire as a Turkey Liberation Front radical might actually comfort both sides of the vegan divide. If the film changes any Thanksgiving menus, credit less the mixed moral lesson than the impossibly unappetizing depictions: These turkeys resemble golf-club cozies in pastel-colored suede jackets. And, if we must watch another iteration of an adorably feckless fellow

wooing an officious overachiever, Owen Wilson and Amy Poehler know the roles pretty well. For a production so strictly manufactured, there’s an addled comedic sensibility given blessedly free range. The nimble tiptoe past racially sensitive issues and the Brueghelian tint of the computer animation tend toward the dully ominous, and the only interesting character development plays strictly for adults. Neither kids nor parents will be happy, exactly, but that’s not the point of Thanksgiving. We gather together, ignore the dry white meat, and load up on the stuffing. PG. JAY HORTON.


B Widely hailed as a return to the classic animated features of yore, Frozen arrives as an uncomplicated triumph of traditionalism, for better or worse. A musical-theater retelling of classic Hans Christian Andersen tale The Snow Queen, hidebound Disney preservationists were worried the decidedly modern title foretold the goofy revisionism of 2010’s Rapunzel fan-fic Tangled. But there’s a far easier explanation for the name change: Once again, it’s all about the princesses. Kristen Bell’s Anna takes center stage as a rambunctious royal eagerly awaiting the social possibilities accompanying her older sister’s imminent coronation. Compared to the pandering messiness of most kids’ movies, there’s plenty to excite the family-friendly faithful. Widescreen 3-D visuals sculpt an endlessly inventive setting of ice palaces and snowcapped peaks, the original songs written by veterans of Avenue Q and The Book of Mormon soar and tickle as needed, and snowman sidekick Olaf giddily beats back the encroaching melodrama. It’s the sort of Disney film even Disney barely makes anymore, as majestic and problematic as a sudden snowfall, and, like all blizzards of youth, we’ll mourn its passing. PG. JAY HORTON.


A- With Gravity, Alfonso Cuarón and

his screenwriter son, Jonas, take on the most primal fear possible, that of being lost in an abyss of nothingness. The film features only two actors, Sandra Bullock and George Clooney. Their simple space-station repair mission turns into a nightmare as debris from a destroyed satellite tears their shuttle to shreds and they’re left hopelessly adrift with a dwindling supply of oxygen. We, like the characters, are stuck, watching the events as they unfold, mostly in real time, and gasping for our collective breath as the oxygen meter slowly runs out. It is perhaps the most stressful experience to be had in a movie theater this year, and as such it’s nearly perfect. PG-13. AP KRYZA. Empirical Theatre at OMSI.

The Great Beauty

A The Great Beauty begins with a

cannonball, followed closely by a heart attack, and concludes with a 104-yearold toothless nun crawling on her knees up the steps of a church. Paolo


B- There’s no denying that Orson Scott Card’s political and anti-gay views are worse than cockeyed. Still, Gavin Hood’s adaptation of Card’s 1985 sci-fi novel deserves notice: It makes clear how salient and eerily prescient the author used to be, back before

he was equating Obama with Hitler. Much in the same vein as The Hunger Games—and, of course, The Lord of the Flies long before it—Ender’s Game taps into the brutality and ruthlessness of which children are capable. In this speculative future, Earth is at war with the Formics, an alien insectoid race, and children have become the military’s best shot at victory. The fact that the complex computer games and zero-gravity exercises (realized through some impressively understated CGI) leave the kids increasingly desensitized doesn’t seem to cost their commanding officers (Harrison Ford and Viola Davis) any sleep. Ford’s Colonel Graff uncovers a potentially sociopathic Skywalker to wage an alltoo-familiar “war to prevent all future wars” in loner Ender Wiggin (Asa Butterfield). Continuing to display a remarkable aptitude for portraying isolated characters, the otherworldly Butterfield is just as compelling here as he was in Hugo. Hood keeps a firm handle on the film’s somber tone, ensuring we’re never once at ease with the sadistic environment. PG-13. CURTIS WOLOSCHUK.



paranormal activity: the marked ones Sorrentino’s luxuriously sprawling film is both enchanted and repulsed by the decadence it depicts, a tension that makes for one of the richest cinematic experiences of the year. At the center is Jep Gambardella (a wondrous Toni Servillo), a 65-year-old hedonist who wrote an acclaimed novel as a young man and now spends his days (and nights) living large in Rome. Toward the beginning of the film, he learns that his first love has died, which jolts him down a path of grief, nostalgia and, because he’s at times a pompous cad, pride. That journey is a sensuous feast, scored by haunting choral music and techno mariachi, and marked by appearances by washed-up socialites, a blue-haired dwarf, vanishing giraffes and dreadful performance artists, including a woman who runs naked and blindfolded into a stone wall. The loosely connected vignettes can meander, but taken together they compose a fascinating portrait of Berlusconi’s Italy, one that is too consumed by orgiastic terrace parties and neverending conga lines to realize how stagnant it’s become. REBECCA JACOBSON.

Grudge Match

D During the enfeebled showdown that caps Peter Segal’s “grumpy old men come to blows” dramedy, television announcers remind us that old rivals Henry “Razor” Sharp (Sylvester Stallone) and Billy “The Kid” McDonnen (Robert De Niro) both walked away from boxing while at the height of their powers and with virtually unblemished records. Having endured almost two insufferable hours of punishingly lame gags and limp training montages (rest assured, raw eggs are as disgusting as ever), viewers can’t help but be taunted by a “what if?” scenario in which these screen icons demonstrate a similar desire to go out on top. With Stallone moping nobly and De Niro mugging shamelessly, their demeanors rarely suggest that 30 years of resentment are reaching a simmer, much less a boil. The other relationships are similarly unconvincing, with Stallone’s romance with Kim Basinger (seemingly in an opioid haze) proving spectacularly anemic. In turn, the seniors’ climactic bout might be the most dispiriting scene to unfold in a boxing ring since a broken-down Mike Tyson surrendered to Kevin McBride back in 2005. At least Tyson had the decency to admit it was just a cash grab. PG-13. CURTIS WOLOSCHUK.

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

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Willamette Week JANUARY 1, 2014

B+ When last we saw Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) and his band of dwarves, they were headed to confront a dragon. But along the way, they also took an awful lot of time to do the dishes and sing songs seemingly stolen from Led Zeppelin. That was a central complaint about Peter Jackson’s first entry in his Hobbit trilogy, and it made fans wonder whether swelling J.R.R. Tolkien’s shortest book into three films would result in stagnation. That fear goes flying out the window like a decapitated orc head in The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, which justifies its nearly threehour runtime not by cramming in tons

of story, but by allowing the action pieces to play out with the lunacy of an ultraviolent Looney Tunes short. And so we have our heroes floating downriver in barrels as a battle between elves and orcs rages overhead, and a freaky showdown with an army of spiders. It all leads up to a confrontation with the titular dragon, who instantly becomes the most terrifyingly beautiful winged beast ever put to film. It wouldn’t be a Tolkien film without the self-seriousness, but The Desolation of Smaug never loses its sense of fun, forgoing the confusingly labyrinthine setup of its predecessor in favor of watching its heroes escape ridiculous peril time and time again. PG-13. AP KRYZA.

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

B Taking what initially seemed like

a watered-down version of Battle Royale, The Hunger Games series has created a sprawling and very grown-up world for young audiences. With Catching Fire, director Francis Lawrence further expands this postapocalyptic universe where children are forced to slay one another in an annual gladiatorial event designed to tamp down discontent. This film finds heroine Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) and her milquetoast co-champ Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) on a “victory tour” through a country where the rich bathe in luxury while the poor undergo flogging and execution in what resembles WWII-era Russia. As with the first film, Catching Fire goes slightly flat once the actual Hunger Games commence. But in the lead-up to the most violent episode of Survivor imaginable, the director crafts a dense dystopia full of political allegory, media satire and other elements that most YA films consider their core audiences too dumb to handle. PG-13. AP KRYZA.

In a World...

B+ Lake Bell is on a crusade against

“sexy baby voice.” For those unfamiliar with this obnoxious tic, imagine if Betty Boop incorporated some of Ke$ha’s vocal fry—that low, guttural vibration—and ended every sentence as if it were a question. That’s Bell’s pet peeve, and she lampoons it to pitch-perfect effect in In a World…, which she wrote, directed, produced and stars in. But as funny as that sendup is, it’s still far from the best thing in the film, which takes us into the idiosyncratic and competitive realm of voice-over artists. Bell plays Carol, an aspiring voice-over artist with a bear of a father (Frank Melamed) who’s big in the biz. But rather than help Carol get her foot in the door, he’s as vain and sexist as the rest of his industry. “Women are flying planes now!” he gasps, lounging poolside in a velvet leisure suit. The movie is overstuffed, but its unassuming tone, its generosity of spirit, and Bell’s skillful performance redeem the uneven pacing and bumpy storytelling. R. REBECCA JACOBSON.

Inside Llewyn Davis

B+ Lovable losers abound in the

films of Joel and Ethan Coen. Even the most ardent admirer of Raising Arizona’s H.I. McDunnough or The Big Lebowski’s the Dude would be hardpressed to call either man conven-

JAN. 1-7

Is the Man Who Is Tall Happy?

A Inside a flickering frame, direc-

tor Michel Gondry is furiously animating. Words slowly appear on the screen above as Gondry narrates in a thick French accent. “I think that Noam is telling me what it takes to do true science,” he says of a debate on Newton. That’s just one snippet from Gondry’s surprisingly cozy interviews with Noam Chomsky, which he recorded on a film camera that’s clearly audible throughout. These interview fragments appear within frames of Gondry’s neon-on-black animations, which are something of a cross between Schoolhouse Rock and Monty Python’s cutouts. Less expository than interpretive, Gondry’s childlike images add whimsy to Chomsky’s ideas. Though the two have plenty to disagree about, their mutual respect shines through, especially after a few of Gondry’s questions touch on Chomsky the man: what makes him happy and how he met his late wife. Irreverent but respectful, Is the Man certainly covers the breadth of Chomsky’s oeuvre—from linguistics to politics to history—but doesn’t attempt to plumb its depth. All the better. Gondry has done the impossible: He’s rolled a tribute, a profile and an objet d’art into one. MITCH LILLIE.

Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa

B+ As this narrative begins, Johnny

Knoxville’s newly widowed, 86-yearold Irving Zisman is driving his grandson across the country to be dropped with his deadbeat dad. The farther they travel across America, the further Knoxville and talented child actor Jackson Nicoll press their man-on-the-street badinage

toward creepiness. Nicoll’s unilateral decision to be adopted by friendly strangers probably wrings the most laughs, but Knoxville’s addled ferocity attains more intriguing dimensions. Older but no wiser, and still obsessed with seizing the easy laugh with lunatic aplomb, Bad Grandpa isn’t quite art, and it’s not quite growing old gracefully. This, though, you may want to try at home. R. JAY HORTON.

Last Vegas

C- One can easily imagine the pitch that led to Last Vegas: “It’s The Hangover for the retired set!” John Turtletaub’s film thrusts four 60-something besties (Michael Douglas, Robert De Niro, Morgan Freeman and Kevin Kline) into Sin City for a bachelor party/last hurrah in hopes hilarity will ensue. If that premise sounds familiar, so are the ensuing shenanigans: fanny packs, bikini contests, Viagra jokes, unearned nostalgia and shopworn musings on aging. Though intermittently funny and not entirely without their charms, Turteltaub’s half-hearted attempts to create a new Rat Pack mostly fall flat. PG-13. MICHAEL NORDINE.

Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom

C Arriving with morbidly perfect timing, this by-the-numbers biopic about the recently deceased South African leader tries for Gandhi greatness but fails to hit any sort of mark. Dutifully marching through a highlights reel of Nelson Mandela’s life—coming of age in the bush, practicing law in Johannesburg, helping establish the military wing of the African National Congress, enduring 27 years in prison—Justin Chadwick’s film isn’t savvy enough to investigate any of the more compelling narrative threads. Why did Mandela’s second wife, Winnie, grow increasingly radical even as her husband moved away from such tactics? How did political ideals butt up against pragmatic concerns during the negotiations for Mandela’s freedom? Instead, Chadwick cuts between stirring speeches and soft-focus flashbacks, with occasional context-free bursts of archival footage tossed in seemingly for the hell of it. Idris Elba, despite looking far too much like a linebacker to bear much of a physical resemblance to the real man, successfully adopts Mandela’s commanding presence and distinctive speech patterns, but he can’t save a film so hagiographic and uninspired. PG-13. REBECCA JACOBSON.


C Alexander Payne has built his brilliant career on examinations of pathetic characters—and I mean that literally, not pejoratively. In the black-and-white Nebraska, a combination Valentine and fuck-you to his home state, he continues this project, but to dishearteningly flat results. You can predict the emotional arc based on the premise

alone: David (Will Forte) decides to accompany his near-senile father, Woody (Bruce Dern), with whom he has a fractious relationship, on a road trip from Montana to Nebraska to claim the million-dollar magazine sweepstakes prize Woody believes he’s won. Payne’s typically trenchant observations on humanity’s soft underbelly feel broad, perhaps due to his non-involvement in the script, a first. Instead, the film rests on lazy humor (get your overweight, mouth-breathing Midwesterners here!), forced provocations (crotchflashing at a cemetery!) and ingratiating moments of father-son bonding (David and Woody recover lost dentures near the train tracks!). It’s disappointing to see Payne succumb to sentimentality untempered by insight or depth. R. KRISTI MITSUDA.

Out of the Furnace

B+ From the outset, shades of

Michael Cimino’s Vietnam drama The Deer Hunter permeate Scott Cooper’s Out of the Furnace: images of Pennsylvania steel mills, a PTSDaddled young soldier forced into a world of underground violence, and, well, actual deer hunting. Out of the Furnace centers on two bluecollar brothers: the elder Russell (Christian Bale), an everyman who is involved in a horrific tragedy that lands him in prison; and Rodney (Casey Affleck), an Iraq War vet struggling to acclimate to civilian life who turns to bare-knuckle boxing in an attempt to make ends meet. Were the film to focus solely on the brothers, it would be a solid, if slightly dull, meditation on returning to a mundane existence after a life of extremes. Cooper’s ambitions go beyond that, and it’s not long before Rodney crosses paths with Harlan DeGroat (Woody Harrelson), a lollipop-chomping, heroin-addicted hillbilly who runs a criminal empire amid the dilapidated trailers of the New Jersey mountains. Cooper, whose freshman film, Crazy Heart, coaxed a career-best performance out of Jeff Bridges, handles the expansion from quiet character study to mosaic thriller with panache. By focusing on the anguish of characters forced to drastic measures, Cooper spins a sophisticated tale that never resorts to melodrama. R. AP KRYZA.

Paradise: Faith

D- “Jesus, it’s so wonderful just to

look at you,” coos Anna Maria as she gazes up at a painting of Christ’s smiling visage. “You’re such a handsome man.” Anna Maria is a radiologist by day and masochistic zealot by night who opts to spend her vacation going door-to-door with a 3-foot statue of the Virgin Mary cradled in her arms, fishing for converts. When she’s not out saving lost souls as a part of what she calls “the church’s assault group,” she roams about her claustrophobically


tionally successful. But that’s kind of the point: The old adage about loving someone for his flaws holds true in these cases. Keep that in mind when you meet the title character of Inside Llewyn Davis. A down-on-his-luck folk musician in 1961 New York City, Llewyn (Oscar Isaac) crashes on friends’ squeaky couches, gigs at the Gaslight Cafe and mills about while waiting for his big break. It isn’t much of a spoiler to say he’ll be waiting awhile. Witnessing all this unfold is, in a word, lovely. That may seem an odd way to describe such a bittersweet portrait of failure and disenchantment, but the Coens are experts in drawing out the bitter and the sweet in nearly equal measure. Inside Llewyn Davis continues in the sincere, unironic register established by their 2010 remake of True Grit, but that’s not to say it lacks their signature black humor. When Llewyn eventually sees the words “What are you doing?” written on a restroom stall, he seems genuinely taken aback. As the viewer, getting to share in Llewyn’s struggle to answer that question in any meaningful way is more than worth the accompanying sorrow. R . MICHAEL NORDINE .


Herman Jolly and a special guest Thursdays at 8pm (Jan 2: Brian Berg)

Thursdays • Free • No Cover



jan. 1-7

sterile home, physically abusing herself in honor of the Lord and casting steely glares at her husband. It’s excruciating to watch, as though director Ulrich Seidl is punishing his audience for a lifetime of sin. Faith is the second in Seidl’s Paradise trilogy, all playing this week at the Clinton Street Theater. EMILY JENSEN. Clinton Street Theater. 7 pm Friday, 9 pm Sunday and Tuesday and 6:30 pm Thursday, Jan. 3-9.

Paradise: Hope

The final film in Austrian director Ulrich Seidl’s Paradise trilogy tells of misguided love between a 13-year-old girl and an older man at a diet camp for overweight teens. Based on the other two installments (see reviews of Paradise: Love and Paradise: Faith in this issue), our skin is crawling already. All three films are playing this week at the Clinton Street Theater. Clinton Street Theater. 9 pm Saturday, Monday and Thursday and 7 pm Wednesday, Jan. 4-9.

Paradise: Love

C- Teresa (Margarethe Tiesel), an

overweight Austrian woman on a beach vacation in Kenya, hires a local man named Mungu (Peter Kazungu) for sex. But the exploitation is reversed when Mungu starts fleecing Teresa for financial gain. Though the premise is outwardly shocking, Ulrich Seidl’s directorial hand is colder than his fellow countryman Michael Haneke’s, resulting in a film devoid of character development or psychological depth. From our initial introduction to a woman with a vile way of speaking about her attraction to Africans’ unique odor, to Teresa’s exhaustingly repetitive string of humiliating dalliances with local men (alert: explicit nude dance scenes), Paradise: Love seems set on numbing viewers rather than engaging them. The film, the first in Seidl’s Paradise trilogy (all playing this week at the Clinton Street Theater), is marginally redeemed by the occasional retina-singeing shot, some of which verge on portraiture, but ultimately fails to elicit either curiosity or concern. REBECCA JACOBSON. Clinton Street Theater. 4:30 pm Friday, 6:30 pm Saturday and Tuesday and 9 pm Wednesday, Jan. 3-8.

Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones

Another tale of a family stalked by demonic forces. Not screened for Portland critics. R. Bridgeport, City Center, Division, Lloyd Center, Pioneer Place, Tigard.


C- The hardest part about watching Philomena, a film based on the true story of an Irish woman’s search for the son she gave up for adoption 50 years previous, is accepting the amazing Judi Dench as a bumbling simpleton in the title role. “We don’t have Mexicans in England—we have Indians,” she excitedly explains to the Mexican-American cooks. If you can get over Dench as Grandma Goof, then Philomena stands on its own two feet. One of those feet is the enthralling, often emotional storyline. Philomena and Martin Sixsmith (Steve Coogan), a political journalist who’s taken on his first human-interest story, uncover secrets both cloistered in the nunnery where Philomena’s child was born and spread across America, where her son was taken as a child. Unfortunately, the other foot is the waiter-my-soup humor that Fawlty Towers made irrelevant four decades ago. After the film ends, it’s Philomena’s story that sticks. Director Stephen Frears and company should be given credit only for staying out of the real Philomena’s way. PG-13. MITCH LILLIE. Hollywood Theatre.

Saving Mr. Banks

C Disney movies walk a fine line between warm-and-fuzzy feel-goodery and all-out cheese, but few straddle the line as frustratingly as Saving Mr. Banks. This is, after all, a film that casts Tom Hanks as Walt Disney himself, struggling to get Mary Poppins made by awakening the inner child of prim, proper and persnickety British author P.L. Travers, played with eccentric hilarity by the great Emma


Thompson. There’s considerable joy to be had in The Blind Side director John Lee Hancock’s depiction of 1960s Hollywood, and in watching Travers slowly seduced by the infectious songs that made Poppins a classic. Alas, Travers suffers more flashbacks than Timothy Leary. Each time the film hits a stride, we’re forced back to turnof-the-century Australia to witness her upbringing with her whimsically alcoholic dad (Colin Farrell, definitely playing to character). These endless flashbacks take the wind out of the film like a rip in a kite. For all its considerable joy and fantastic performances, Saving Mr. Banks gets greedy: It starts out tugging at the heartstrings but, with its strained sentimentality, eventually tears a ventricle. PG-13. AP KRYZA.



The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

D+ The Secret Life of Walter Mitty is a movie for anyone prone to existential crises during soft-drink commercials. Based on James Thurber’s 1939 short story about a teenage punk rockerturned-graying office drone with severe delusional psychosis (because one can only assume director-star Ben Stiller remained totally faithful to the source material), the film adopts a long-winded motto from Life magazine as its motivational tagline-cumgreeting card message that can be easily distilled down to “Do the Dew, brah!” Spurred by a shitty new boss (Adam Scott with General Zod facial hair), love interest (Kristen Wiig, less phoning in her performance than texting it while in line at the post office) and spirit animal (Sean Penn), Stiller’s Mitty sets off to make his vivid daydreams into reality. Soon he’s bounding through airports to the tune of Arcade Fire, leaping out of helicopters, fighting sharks and skateboarding toward erupting volcanoes. The thing quickly blows up into an extended Super Bowl ad break—complete with promotions for eHarmony, Papa John’s, Cinnabon and whatever cellphone carrier has coverage in the Himalayas—with all the heart and genuine emotion that suggests. PG. MATTHEW SINGER.

Sex Worker Film Series: Whores’ Glory

[ONE NIGHT ONLY] Michael Glawogger’s 2011 documentary follows the experiences of prostitutes in Mexico, Thailand and Bangladesh. Clinton Street Theater. 7 pm Saturday, Jan. 4.

Tyler Perry’s A Madea Christmas

The pistol-packing, cantankerous grandma goes to the country for the holidays. PG-13.

Walking With Dinosaurs

Giant dinosaurs POKING YOU IN THE EYE. PG.

The Wolf of Wall Street

A Martin Scorsese’s best picture

since Goodfellas and his fifth with Leonardo DiCaprio is at once hilarious, terrifying, hallucinogenic, infuriating, awe-inspiring, meandering and, at three hours, utterly exhausting. It’s also (in this critic’s opinion) the best movie of the year, possibly DiCaprio’s finest work and the bitch slap that Wall Street deserves—even if the true but ludicrous story of financial criminal, stock-market juggernaut and rampant drug addict Jordan Belfort could inspire others to aspire to his level of douchebaggery. This is a man who makes Gordon Gecko seem like Mother Teresa. With his buddies, he runs roughshod over the financial well-being of rich and poor alike and creates for himself a world of drugaddled debauchery that makes Hunter S. Thompson’s escapades seem like a college freshman’s. Some may scoff at the runtime, or at the film’s episodic look into Belfort’s debauchery, but both just serve to further pummel you into submission as our “hero” glides through a privileged life with a steady diet of Quaaludes, cocaine, hookers, alcohol, sushi and hubris. Every moment counts. Every scene is frontloaded with hysterics and backloaded with dread. It is a modern masterpiece of excess, style and lunacy. R. AP KRYZA. Hollywood Theatre.

Willamette Week JANUARY 1, 2014


apkr yza@wweek .com

AP Film Studies is not written by a psychic. But it’s still possible for this pre-eminent film scholar to make jarring cinematic predictions about the year to come. To wit: Nerds will complain endlessly about RoboCop and The Amazing Spider-Man 2, and then gladly hand over their money. Wes Anderson will craft a twee movie full of quirky characters. Jonah Hill will talk about his dick. But we shall not concern ourselves here with blockbusters. Instead, here are predictions for 2014 in Portland’s independent theaters. The Academy Theater will celebrate its new digital projectors with a revival of Terminator 2. Unfortunately, the theater’s skepticism about the digital conversion will prove prophetic as the projector system begins sending signals to a mainframe that will coordinate a worldwide nuclear strike. Mankind will be obliterated, ushering in the rule of the machines. Emboldened by the success of the Grindhouse Film Festival, the Kung Fu Theater series and other revival programs, the Hollywood Theatre will further emulate New York’s 42nd Street, circa 1979, by resurrecting 35 mm prints of classic pornography such as Debbie Does Dallas, The Opening of Misty Beethoven and Mona: The Virgin Nymph. The acclaimed series will result in an erotic offshoot of Hecklevision that will, in turn, lead to countless arrests. On a fateful Saturday, a confused movie patron will show up at the Clinton Street Theater’s weekly Rocky Horror screening dressed as a character from Repo! The Genetic Opera. The patron will frantically explain that he thought it was Friday, but his pleas will be drowned out by the thunderous stomping of platform boots. The beating will result in the most bizarre and fabulous gang war in Portland’s history.

The NW Film Center will be shocked to discover, one hour before the opening-night screening, that none of the titles for the Portland International Film Festival has arrived. Frantically, the staff will cobble together a mishmash of YouTube clips, footage from Step Up 2: The Streets, a rerun of Small Wonder and photographs of the programmer’s cat. The three-hour opus will receive universal acclaim from the audience, which will praise its European sensibilities. also showinG: Grindhouse Film Fest continues its New Year’s Day tradition of showing a secret movie. It’ll probably include violence, boobs, awesome music, boobs, violence and boobs. Hollywood Theater. 3 pm Wednesday, Jan. 1. Nearly 30 years later, Terry Gilliam’s dystopian nightmare Brazil remains as hilarious, terrifying and batshit insane as the day it was unleashed on the world. Academy Theater. Jan. 3-9. With respect to Drillbit Taylor, the best John Hughes movie the late legend wrote (but didn’t direct) just might be Pretty in Pink, a teenage dream from a time when Molly Ringwald was America’s sweetheart and Jon Cryer wasn’t that asshole from Two and a Half Men. Laurelhurst Theater. Jan. 3-9. 1950’s Gun Crazy follows a young couple as they lay the groundwork for every set of star-crossed, gun-obsessed lovers to come. It’s one of Hollywood’s finest noir films. NW Film Center’s Whitsell Auditorium. 7 pm Friday and 8:30 pm Saturday, Jan. 3-4. Had the protagonist of 1946’s The Chase seen all the films his story inspired, he’d know better than to get involved with his gangster boss’s wife, regardless of what a dish she is. NW Film Center’s Whitsell Auditorium. 4 pm Saturday and 7 pm Sunday, Jan. 4-5. To honor legendary lush Peter O’Toole, the Hollywood is screening his best-known film, Lawrence of Arabia. Hollywood Theatre. SaturdaySunday, Jan. 4-5. Before Michael Pollan investigated apples and cannabis, French filmmaker Luc Moullet studied the origins of three simple food items—eggs, bananas and tuna—in 1979’s Genesis of a Meal. Spoiler alert: He found lots of bad shit, including obesity, exploitation and xenophobia. NW Film Center’s Whitsell Auditorium. 4:30 pm Sunday, Jan. 5. B-Movie Bingo returns with Dead Heat, in which Treat Williams and a not-at-all-’roided Joe Piscopo put a buddy-cop twist on the Frankenstein story. Or do something else stupidly awesome. Hollywood Theatre. 7:30 pm Tuesday, Jan. 7.

jan. 3-9

courTeSy oF horizon PicTureS


NOTHING IS WRITTEN: Lawrence of Arabia plays Jan. 4-5 at the Hollywood Theatre.

Century 16 Eastport Plaza 4040 SE 82nd Ave., 800326-3264-952

Cinema 21 Note: Due to early press deadlines, movie showtimes are incomplete. Please call ahead or check theater websites. Street addresses and phone numbers are listed here. Regal Lloyd Center 10 & IMAX

1510 NE Multnomah St., 800326-3264 PaRanORMaL aCTIVITY: THE MaRKED OnES FriSat-Sun 12:00, 02:20, 04:40, 07:00, 09:20 LOnE SURVIVOR THE LEGEnD OF HERCULES 3D

Regal Tigard 11

11626 SW Pacific Highway, 800-326-3264 PaRanORMaL aCTIVITY: THE MaRKED OnES FriSat-Sun 12:10, 02:30, 04:50, 07:10, 09:25 THE LEGEnD OF HERCULES 3D

Regal Division Street Stadium 13 16603 SE Division St., 800326-3264 PaRanORMaL aCTIVITY: THE MaRKED OnES Fri 12:20, 02:40, 05:00, 07:30, 10:00 THE LEGEnD OF HERCULES 3D LOnE SURVIVOR

Clinton Street Theater

2522 SE Clinton St., 503238-8899 PaRaDISE: LOVE FriSun-Tue-Wed 09:00 PaRaDISE: FaITH Fri-SunTue 09:00 REPO! THE GEnETIC OPERa Fri 10:00 WHORES’ GLORY Sat 07:00 PaRaDISE: HOPE Sat-Mon-Wed 07:00 THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW Sat 12:00 GaTHR PREVIEW SERIES Mon 07:00

Roseway Theatre

7229 NE Sandy Blvd., 503282-2898 THE HOBBIT: THE DESOLaTIOn OF SMaUG 3D Fri-Sat-Sun 04:00, 08:00 THE HOBBIT: THE DESOLaTIOn OF SMaUG Fri-Sat-Sun 12:00

Regal City Center Stadium 12

801 C St., 800-326-3264 PaRanORMaL aCTIVITY: THE MaRKED OnES FriSat-Sun 12:00, 02:20, 04:40, 07:00, 09:20 LOnE SURVIVOR THE LEGEnD OF


616 NW 21st Ave., 503-2234515

Empirical Theatre at OMSI

CineMagic Theatre

1945 SE Water Ave., 503797-4000 MYSTERIES OF THE UnSEEn WORLD FriSat-Sun 11:00, 03:00 jERUSaLEM Fri-Sat-Sun 01:00, 04:00 GREaT WHITE SHaRK Fri-SatSun 12:00, 02:00, 05:00 GRaVITY 3D Fri-Sat-Sun 06:00, 08:00

Regal Sherwood Stadium 10

15995 Tualatin-Sherwood Road, 800-326-3264-331 THE LEGEnD OF HERCULES 3D

Regal Fox Tower Stadium 10

846 SW Park Ave., 800326-3264 BIG Sun-Wed 02:00, 07:00

Regal Pioneer Place Stadium 6

340 SW Morrison St., 800326-3264 PaRanORMaL aCTIVITY: THE MaRKED OnES FriSat-Sun 11:30, 02:00, 04:30, 07:00, 09:30 THE LEGEnD OF HERCULES 3D

Regal Cinemas Bridgeport Village Stadium 18 & IMAX

7329 SW Bridgeport Road, 800-326-3264 PaRanORMaL aCTIVITY: THE MaRKED OnES FriSat-Sun 12:00, 02:30, 05:15, 07:45, 10:15 THE LEGEnD OF HERCULES 3D LOnE SURVIVOR

Century Clackamas Town Center and XD

12000 SE 82nd Ave., 800326-3264-996 BIG Sun-Wed 02:00, 07:00

Academy Theater

7818 SE Stark St., 503-2520500

Avalon Theatre & Wunderland

3451 SE Belmont St., 503238-1617

Bagdad Theater and Pub

3702 SE Hawthorne Blvd., 503-249-7474

Century 16 Cedar Hills

3200 SW Hocken Ave., 800326-3264-984

2021 SE Hawthorne Blvd., 503-231-7919

Cinetopia Mill Plain 8 11700 SE 7th St., 877-6082800

Cornelius 9 Cinemas 200 N 26th Ave., 503-8448732

Edgefield Powerstation Theater

2126 SW Halsey St., 503249-7474-2

5th Avenue Cinema 510 SW Hall St., 503-7253551

Forest Theatre

1911 Pacific Ave., 503-8448732

Hollywood Theatre

4122 NE Sandy Blvd., 503281-4215

Indoor Twin Cinemas

Highway 99W, 503-538-2738

The Joy Cinema and Pub 11959 SW Pacific Highway, 971-245-6467

Kennedy School Theater

5736 NE 33rd Ave., 503-2497474-4

Kiggins Theatre

1011 Main St., 360-816-0352

Lake Twin Cinema

106 N State St., 503-6355956

Laurelhurst Theatre & Pub 2735 E Burnside St., 503232-5511

Living Room Theaters

Mt. Hood Theatre

401 E Powell Blvd., 503-6650604

NW Film Center’s Whitsell Auditorium 1219 SW Park Ave., 503221-1156

Oak Grove 8 Cinemas

16100 SE McLoughlin Blvd., 503-653-9999

Regal Cinema 99 Stadium 11

9010 NE Highway 99, 800326-3264

Regal Evergreen Parkway Stadium 13 2625 NW 188th Ave., 800326-3264

Regal Hilltop 9 Cinema

325 Beavercreek Road, 800326-3264

Regal Lloyd Mall 8 2320 Lloyd Center Mall, 800-326-3264

Regal Movies on TV Stadium 16 2929 SW 234th Ave., 800326-3264

Regal Vancouver Plaza 10

7800 NE Fourth Plain Blvd., 800-326-3264

Regal Wilsonville Stadium 9

29300 SW Town Center Loop

Roseway Theatre

7229 NE Sandy Blvd., 503282-2898

Sandy Cinemas

16605 Champion Way, 503826-8100

St. Johns Cinemas

8704 N Lombard St., 503286-1768

Valley Theater

9360 SW BeavertonHillsdale Highway, 503-2966843

341 SW 10th Ave., 971-2222010

Milwaukie Cinema & Wunderland

1624 NW Glisan St., 503249-7474-5

Moreland Theatre

6712 SE Milwaukie Ave., 503236-5257

Like This


11011 SE Main St., 503-6532222

Mission Theater and Pub


SubjecT To change. call TheaTerS or ViSiT WWeek.coM/MoVieTiMeS For The MoST uP-ToDaTe inForMaTion FriDay-ThurSDay, jan. 3-9, unleSS oTherWiSe inDicaTeD

Willamette Week JANUARY 1, 2014



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503-445-2757 • © 2013 Rob Brezsny

Week of January 2


ARIES (March 21-April 19): Deep bronzes and smoky cinnamons and dark chocolates will be your lucky colors in 2014. Mellow mahoganies and resonant russets will work well for you, too. They will all be part of life’s conspiracy to get you to slow down, deepen your perspective, and slip into the sweetest groove ever. In this spirit, I urge you to nestle and cuddle and caress more than usual in the coming months. If you aren’t totally clear on where home is, either in the external world or inside your heart, devote yourself to finding it. Hone your emotional intelligence. Explore your roots. On a regular basis, remember your reasons for loving life. Stay in close touch with the sources that feed your wild soul. TAURUS (April 20-May 20): For years, French painter Édouard Manet and French poet Stéphane Mallarmé hung out with each other every day. Mallarmé referred to their relationship as “the most complete friendship.” They influenced each other to become better artists and human beings. I’m guessing that in the coming months, Taurus, you’ll thrive on that kind of stimulating companionship. Having such regular contact with a like-minded ally might even be an important factor in ripening your intelligence. At the very least, I predict that soulful friendship will be a crucial theme in 2014. You will attract blessings and generate luck for yourself by deepening your ability to cultivate synergistic bonds. GEMINI (May 21-June 20): St. Peter’s Basilica is a very old church in Vatican City. It contains a life-size bronze statue of St. Peter that is at least 700 years old. Over the centuries, countless visitors have paid their respects by kissing and touching the feet of the idol. The metal composing the right foot has been so thoroughly worn down by these gestures that the individual toes have disappeared, leaving a smooth surface. You will have a similar kind of power in 2014, Gemini. Little by little, with your steady affection and relentless devotion, you can transform what’s rigid and hard. CANCER (June 21-July 22): Big rivers don’t travel in straight lines. Their paths are curvy and complicated, with periodic turns and bends. In some places they flow faster and in others they’re slower. Their depth and width may vary along the way, too. Your own destiny is like one of those big rivers, Cancerian. In some years, it meanders for long stretches, slowing down as it wanders along a crooked course. It may even get shallower and narrower for a while. But I expect that in 2014, you will be moving more rapidly than usual. You will be traveling a more direct route, and you will be both wide and deep. LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): “In games there are rules,” writes science fiction author Kim Stanley Robinson, “but in life the rules keep changing.” This is always true, of course, but I think it will be an especially poignant truth for you between now and your next birthday. During the coming months, you may sometimes feel as if every last law and formula and corollary is mutating. In some cases, the new rules coming into play will be so different from the old rules you’ve been used to, they may at first be hard to figure out. But now here’s the happy ending: It may take a while, but you will eventually see that these new rules have an unexpected logic and beauty that will serve your future well. VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): I predict that you will commit no major acts of self-sabotage in 2014. Congrats! I also foresee that you will be exceptionally careful not to hurt or damage yourself. Hooray! More good news: You won’t be as critical of yourself as you have sometimes been in the past. The judgmental little voice in the back of your head won’t be nearly as active. Yay! Even your negative emotions will diminish in frequency and intensity. Hallelujah! Whoopee! Abracadabra! LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): The citizens of Iceland love literature, but many are not content to simply read. One out of every ten Icelanders writes and publishes a book at sometime in his or her life. I know it’s unrealistic, but I would love to see at least one in ten of all my Libra readers do the same in 2014. I think you’re ready to make a big statement -- to express yourself in a more

complete and dramatic way than ever before. If you’re not ready to write a book, I hope you will attempt an equivalent accomplishment. SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): I’m hoping you will find a new teacher or two in 2014, maybe even a mentor. Not a guru who tells you what to do. Not an exploitative “expert” who claims to know what’s right for you or a charismatic narcissist who collects adoration. What I wish for you, Scorpio, is that you will connect with wise and humble sources of inspiration . . . with life-long learners who listen well and stimulate you to ask good questions . . . with curious guides who open your eyes to resources you don’t realize you need. In the coming months, you are primed to launch a quest that will keep you busy and excited for years; I’d love to see you get excellent help in framing that quest. SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): In 2014, it’s possible you will be given a cabbage farm or a petting zoo or some bequest that’s not exactly in close alignment with your life’s purpose. But it’s more likely that the legacies and dispensations you receive will be quite useful. The general trend is that allies will make available to you a steady flow of useful things. Your ability to attract what you need will be high. In the coming months, I may even have good reason to name you an honorary Scorpio. You might match those Great Manipulators’ proficiency at extracting the essence of what you want from every situation. CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): Would you be interested in a motto that will help set the tone for you in 2014? I’ve got a suggestion that’s in alignment with the astrological omens. It’s from a poem by Margaret Atwood. Try saying this and see if it works for you: “Last year I abstained / this year I devour / without guilt / which is also an art.” If you choose to make this affirmation your own, be sure you don’t forget about the fact that devouring without guilt is an art -- a skill that requires craft and sensitivity. You can’t afford to get blindly instinctual and greedy in 2014; you shouldn’t compulsively overcompensate for 2013’s deprivations. Be cagey and discerning as you satisfy your voracious hunger.


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AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): The coming months will be a good time to meditate on the concepts of happy accidents and benevolent trouble. Go ahead and throw constructive mischief into the mix, too, and maybe even a dose of graceful chaos. Are you game for playing around with so much paradox? Are you willing to entertain the possibility that fate has generous plans for you that are too unexpected to anticipate? There’s only one requirement that you have to meet in order to receive your odd gifts in the spirit in which they’ll be offered: You’ve got to be open-minded, eager to learn, and flexible. PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): I think we humans need some new emotions. It’s true that old standards like sadness, anger, jealousy, and fear are as popular as ever. But I would personally love to be able to choose from a greater variety, especially if at least 51 percent of the new crop of emotions were positive or inspiring. Now it so happens that in 2014 you Pisceans will be primed to be pioneers. Your emotional intelligence should be operating at peak levels. Your imagination will be even more fertile than usual. So how about it? Are you ready to generate revolutionary innovations in the art of feeling unique and interesting feelings? To get started, consider these: 1. amused reverence; 2. poignant excitement; 3. tricky sincerity; 4. boisterous empathy.

Homework To hear Part One of my three-part audio forecasts about your destiny in 2014, go to

check out Rob Brezsny’s Expanded Weekly Audio Horoscopes & Daily Text Message Horoscopes

The audio horoscopes are also available by phone at

1-877-873-4888 or 1-900-950-7700

Holly Mele Kalikimaka and Aloooooo-ha! I was born and raised on the tropical island of Oahu but I got island fever and recently moved to Portland. And I love it here!!! People are so polite, it doesn’t rain THAT much, and I hear we just got voted #1 city in the US. I’m home!! I’m

a wiggly 2 year old Pocket Pit Bull, and I’m super duper friendly. It’s the aloha way! I like other dogs after a rapport is established, so I’m great with my doggy friends but not a dog-park dog. I definitely like children! My adoption fee is $220, and I’m spayed, vaccinated and microchipped. To schedule a meet and greet please fill out an application at Hope to see you soon. Aloha!

503-542-3432 • 510 NE MLK Blvd • Willamette Week Classifieds JANUARY 1, 2014




503-445-2757 •


by Matt Jones

Upstarts–watch that first step. 64 Person who believes Haile Selassie was the Messiah 67 Org. where Edward Snowden once did contracting 68 Stranded, in a way 69 “Bill ___, the Science Guy” 70 Chick 71 Jamaican music 72 Spider-Man creator Stan 73 Home of Kraftwerk and bratwurst: abbr. 74 Part of PBS

Portland’s Indie Rock Strip Club


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Across 1 NASDAQ purchase 4 Thanksgiving turkey carver, maybe 7 ___-M-Aid (candy renamed Fun Dip) 10 Before 13 “Tic ___ Dough” (game show) 14 Last-minute shopper’s day 15 Let loose 17 “The greatest” boxer 18 Cinematographer’s concern 20 “The Twelve Days of Christmas”

musician 22 Enjoy Mt. Hood, say 23 Animal on Wyoming’s flag 24 Get a move on 26 Roll with the punches 28 Aries, astrologically 30 Unreliable people 34 Garfield’s foil 36 College town north of San Francisco 38 Computer key 39 “Filthy” dough 41 Jailbird

42 Hockey great Cam 44 Subject of Indiana Jones’s quest 45 Big guy in Molokai 48 First Nations tribe 49 Seven Sisters college 51 Major stress factor, it’s said 53 Send a short message 55 Opticians’ products 58 “I, Robot” author Asimov 61 Confound 63 Wild West “justice”

Down 1 Bacterial infection, for short 2 “Rocky” actress Shire 3 Game that’s sort of an ancestor of Jenga 4 Court order 5 Sinatra ex Gardner 6 GOP’s opposition 7 Like tabloid headlines 8 Needle ___ haystack 9 What to try if things aren’t working 10 Halloween vandal’s projectiles 11 Change of address, to a realtor 12 Forbidden fruit locale 16 “Sweet Love” singer Baker 19 Place to buy a few compacts 21 Old knockout fumes

25 Carrier’s org. 27 To the back of a boat 29 Foot curve 31 Beyonce’s “Irreplaceable” and Hall & Oates’s “She’s Gone,” for two 32 “Allure” shelfmate 33 Eye problem 34 Royal Norwegian name 35 ___ mater (brain covering) 37 Rice from Louisiana 40 Reality check 43 ___ Lodge 46 “___ you for real?” 47 Hole-poking tool 50 Singles, RBI and triple-doubles 52 Bruce who keeps up with the Kardashians 54 Keep away from 56 Piece of Bacon? 57 Navy commandos 58 States of anger 59 Did well at Battleship 60 Massive landmass 62 “PED ___” (street sign) 65 Charge card charge 66 “All in favor” word last week’s answers

©2013 Jonesin’ Crosswords ( For answers to this puzzle, call: 1-900-226-2800, 99 cents per minute. Must be 18+. Or to bill to your credit card, call: 1-800-655-6548. Reference puzzle #JONZ656.

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Week Classifieds JANUARY 1, 2014



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Willamette Week Classifieds JANUARY 1, 2014


Willamette Week’s



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40 09 willamette week, january 1, 2014  
40 09 willamette week, january 1, 2014