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P. 7 P. 24

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rat FALL ARTS GUIDE by aaron mesh

Portland cops hired a snitch. But he was already working for somebody else.

VOL 41/44 09.02.2015

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Willamette Week SEPTEMBER 2, 2015





Confirmed bachelor Alexander K. Sample, a staunch opponent of gay marriage, is struggling to avoid hiring married gays. 8 Having failed to Stop Portland Creep, the people of Milwaukee assented to the rule of a hip young lawyer who moved to the ’burbs with her wife. 10 Portland cops employ 88 informants, mostly to buy drugs. Anyone with a white-power tattoo is considered ineligible by prosecutors. 13


Taylor Swift made a fleeting,

mysterious appearance in Portland last week. 24 Bubbly water cures concussions, says Russell Wilson. 26 Locs are coming back. 29

Regardless of your opinion of important novelist Jonathan Franzen, everyone can agree that cats belong indoors. 45

CBD is a schedule I narcotic, but the FDA lacks the will to stop its open sale and distribution. 51


Wilbur the Rat, photo by Ryan LaBriere.

St. Mary’s Academy hired then fired a lesbian, then changed its policy on hiring and firing lesbians.

STAFF Editor & Publisher Mark Zusman EDITORIAL News Editor Pro Tem Aaron Mesh Arts & Culture Editor Martin Cizmar Staff Writers Nigel Jaquiss, Beth Slovic Copy Chief Rob Fernas Copy Editors Matt Buckingham, James Yu Stage & Screen Editor Enid Spitz Projects Editor Matthew Korfhage Music Editor Matthew Singer Web Editor Lizzy Acker Books James Helmsworth

Visual Arts Megan Harned Editorial Interns Claire Holley, Coby Hutzler, Walker MacMurdo, Zach Middleton CONTRIBUTORS Dave Cantor, Nathan Carson, Rachel Graham Cody, Pete Cottell, Shannon Gormley, Jordan Green, Jay Horton, AP Kryza, John Locanthi, Anthony Macuk, Mark Stock, Anna Walters PRODUCTION Production Manager Dylan Serkin Art Director Julie Showers Special Sections Art Director Alyssa Walker Graphic Designers Rick Vodicka, Xel Moore Production Interns Elise Englert, Emily Joan Greene, Caleb Misclevitz, Kayla Sprint

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mission and the ways we’ve assisted Northwest Excellent article on the thinking dynamics and community members in creating better homes controlling efforts behind abusive-partner behav- and buildings for 10 years. Earth Advantage is a nonprofit that focuses on iors [“Hello, My Name Is Brian, and I Abuse My Wife,” WW, Aug. 26, 2015]. providing knowledge to building-industry professionals and information to Intimate familial relationconsumers (through our homeships, regardless of gender or sexual orientation, struggle on certification and rating programs). We apply some of the most rigorous enerslippery slopes and boundaries gy-efficiency and green-certification when it comes to conflict and standards in the country, including manipulative tactics. The best LEED, Passive House, and our Earth hope for becoming healthier calls for deep, painful honesty Advantage certification. Each home and personal accountability—so we certify is inspected by one of our technical field inspectors at least twice, simple, yet the hardest thing in thereby verifying the quality of the the world for humans to attain. construction and that the home has met We are so clear on the failings “We are so of others, and so very blind in our clear on the above-code performance standards. We own self-reflection. have certified 15,000 single-family homes failings of and 5,000 apartments with energy use —“Noot Ral” others, and at least 15 percent better than code. Last I attended Chris Huffine’s Thurs- so very blind year, homes we certified averaged 27 percent greater energy performance. day night domestic violence in our own group for about five years. My life selfGreen-building-certification point sysand the lives of those around me tems incentivize the deconstruction of existing structures (versus demolition) changed for the better as a result. reflection.” and tree retention where safe and feaAt one time, manipulation and verbal and psychological abuse were daily sible. Zoning issues and municipal tree policies are occurrences for me. For a time, I resisted the abuser squarely the responsibility of local governments. We have also played a key role nationally in label, which I deserved. Once I acknowledged my behavior, I wanted to advancing home-energy scoring (a miles-perchange. Huffine and the men in the group had me gallon-type rating for homes), the introduction in the hot seat many times. I learned a lot, though of net zero energy homes, and the education of the changes came too late to save my marriage. real-estate brokers and appraisers on the value and —“Anonymous” importance of energy-efficient and green homes. David Heslam TAKING ISSUE WITH “GREENWASH” Executive director, Earth Advantage The article “They Might Kill Giants” [WW, Aug. 26, 2015] insinuated that Earth Advantage LETTERS TO THE EDITOR must include the author’s street address and phone number for verification. engages in greenwashing. Arthur Bradford did Letters must be 250 or fewer words. not contact us, and therefore misrepresents our Submit to: 2220 NW Quimby St., Portland, OR 97210. Fax: (503) 243-1115. Email:

Some people don’t believe me, but I recall a year when Portland bottled its Bull Run water. The bottles were given out for free at some event. Do you know when and why they did this? —Martin J. Let us journey through the mists of history to a time of primitive hunter-gatherers, when a wild, half-human creature known as Frank Ivancie roamed the earth. Ivancie was mayor of Portland from 1981 to 1985, and when he wasn’t having his enemies roasted alive for sport or wearing a necklace made of human skulls, he was looking for ways to attract industry to the city. Ivancie decided Portland’s high-quality water supply could be a selling point to convince businesses they should locate here. (The phrase “publicity stunt” springs to mind.) Bear in mind, this was a time when people still intuitively understood that it’s stupid to pay good money for a bottle of ordinary tap water. 4

Willamette Week SEPTEMBER 2, 2015

The wizards of Madison Avenue eventually purged that obvious fact from the national consciousness. To do so, they first had to sell us on the marginally less-insane notion that it’s reasonable to pay for a bottle of sparkling water. Graybeards may recall that the thin end of the bottled-water wedge was Perrier, a naturally carbonated spring water that was alleged to be full of minerals and electrolytes. Unfortunately for Ivancie, Perrier was as far as America’s gullibility had progressed in 1983. Since no one would be crazy enough to bottle plain old spring water, Ivancie had his water carbonated. Portland’s answer to Perrier made it to the 1984 World’s Fair in New Orleans, but by then the lumbering Ivancie had already been wiped out by an asteroid named Bud Clark. These days, of course, the right to bottle Oregon spring water is worth millions—proving, once again, that it’s just as bad to have the right idea five years too early as 50 years too late. QUESTIONS? Send them to

Willamette Week SEPTEMBER 2, 2015


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TAXES: Business groups gear up for a ballot fight. GAY RIGHTS: St. Mary’s Academy accidentally makes history. HOTSEAT: A Milwaukie city councilwoman welcomes the MAX. COVER STORY: A Portland police snitch kept committing crimes.

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WY’EAST IS A PRETTY GREAT NAME. Multnomah County juvenile detention officials responded this week after learning they had employed a former Portland Public Schools teacher who allegedly poked a PPS colleague “in, on or around” the anus. Mitchell Whitehurst pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor harassment charge DONALD E. LONG in December. An Aug. 28 story DETENTION HOME in The Oregonian says the plea stems from an incident at Faubion K-8 School last September, when Whitehurst used a finger or another object to prod a clothed, male teacher from behind. On Sept. 1, Multnomah County officials confirmed Whitehurst worked as an on-call supervisor of juvenile inmates at the Donald E. Long Detention Home since 2006. “He’s no longer on the on-call list,” says county spokesman David Austin, “and won’t be coming back.” Detention home employees are subject to annual law enforcement records checks and are supposed to self-report any police contact. Austin says the county is investigating. Whitehurst, 57, did not respond to requests for comment. Portland’s independently elected auditor, Mary Hull Caballero, issued warnings to Mayor Charlie Hales and Commissioner Steve Novick on Sept. 1, saying the two city leaders had violated city code by failing to record on their public calendars a December 2014 meeting with Uber lobCABALLERO byists at the home of political consultant-turned-lobbyist Mark Wiener. “The failure to record the meeting on your public calendar constitutes a violation of city code,” the letters to Hales and Novick read. “Violations of this provision may result in a civil penalty of up to $500.” Instead, Caballero let them off with a warning. “Thank you, Auditor Caballero,” Novick replied by email. “I apologize for the infraction. It should not happen again!” A Lane County judge on Sept. 1 dismissed criminal sex-abuse charges against gay rights pioneer and Democratic fundraiser Terry Bean (“Terry Bean’s Problem,” WW, June 4, 2014). Prosecutors were unable to go to trial because the 17-year-old alleged victim refused to appear in court. In a statement, Bean declared himself “completely innocent.” Lane County chief deputy district attorney Erik Hasselman called that assertion “disingenuous,” adding that Bean had offered his alleged victim—who was 15 when the incident allegedly occurred—more than $200,000 to avoid a criminal trial. Hasselman says the boy never wavered from his claim that Bean abused him and “was disappointed Mr. Bean was calling him a liar.” High Times magazine has given up trying to persuade the city of Milwaukie to approve permits for the nation’s largest legalweed party, the Cannabis Cup. Organizers told The Oregonian on Sept. 1 that they’ve withdrawn their application to hold the event. Documents reviewed by WW this week show High Times predicted the Oregon Cannabis Cup would draw 10,000 people a day. Organizers had once again delayed the event—proposing last week to hold it in parking lots Oct. 3-4. High Times also asked Milwaukie officials through a lawyer Aug. 12 for “some assurance” the city wouldn’t try to shut down the Cannabis Cup. High Times event coordinator Amanda Younger says Milwaukie officials made getting a permit impossible. “We jumped through hoops of fire,” Younger says. “Bringing the High Times Cannabis Cup to Oregon has proven to be a Herculean task.” Read more breaking news and daily scuttlebutt.

w w w. k i m h e r b s t. c o m



Ben Unger terrifies Oregon CEOs who earn dozens of times his salary. A gaunt former union organizer, the 39-year-old Unger gave up a Washington County seat in the Oregon House last year after just one term. Yet today, he’s got the state’s most powerful business leaders scrambling to arrange a shotgun wedding that befuddles some observers. Unger is the executive director of a union-funded advocacy group called Our Oregon. Earlier this summer, Our Oregon filed a grab bag of measures aimed at the 2016 ballot that the state estimates could raise up to $5 billion a year in new tax revenue—much of it from big corporations. The tax measures are no idle threat. With a combination of voter mobilization, sophisticated data analytics and effective messaging, Our Oregon has for the past decade lost on the ballot about as often as Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt finishes second on the racetrack. Ten years ago, the group regularly defeated ballot measures by prolific anti-tax and anti-union initiative author Bill Sizemore. In 2010, Our Oregon overcame enormous business opposition and passed two tax increases. In 2014, the group killed a business-backed measure to require open primaries and helped defeat business-backed candidates. “They’ve been extremely successful,” says Reed College political science professor Paul Gronke. “So much so that you need a counterweight. But an effective business voice has really been missing in this state.” The state’s two largest business groups, Associated Oregon Industries and the Oregon Business Association, are tired of losing.

They and their members have spent millions on dud campaigns and also-ran candidates. They’ve even tried replicating Cover Oregon with a group called “Grow Oregon.” That didn’t work either. All the while, business leaders have railed against Oregon’s high personal income taxes and the level of political influence that public employees wield in the state. They blame these factors for Oregon’s relatively low income per capita and woeful performance in public education. Recently, leaders of 13 of Oregon’s largest employers, including Intel, Daimler Trucks, U.S. Bank and the state’s three largest utilities, signed a letter urging the merger of the two groups as a way to put the state on the right track. “The need for a unified business voice has never been clearer or more timely,” the July 30 letter says. “Invalidation of the 2013 PERS reforms, the failure of our Legislature to pass a transportation package, and the potential for highstakes ballot measures in 2016 have heightened our concern for the future of business in Oregon.” Discussion of a merger shows both groups are girding for war against Unger and Our Oregon. They’re readying to turn the tax-raising ballot measures into the big-money battle of the next election cycle. Companies pushing for the merger collectively represent hundreds of billions of dollars in capitalization, many tens of thousands of well-paid employees in Oregon, and the potential to make enormous political expenditures. But there are a couple of problems with the plan. First, part of the reason the business lobby speaks with multiple voices is that businesses don’t always agree with each other. Part of the impetus for merging was the failure of a $344 million transportation package in Salem earlier this year.

The debate over that bill crystallized the schism between the extreme wings in each group. OBA was founded in Portland in 1999 as an alternative to the smoke-stack industries that dominate AOI, such as PacifiCorp. This year, OBA endorsed the low-carbon fuel bill. AOI opposed it. Republican lawmakers made repeal of the low-carbon fuel standard the price of voting for the transportation bill. But business lobbyists, working with Gov. Kate Brown, could not overcome environmentalists for whom the low-carbon standard was a top priority. Differences on climate change remain a major issue and could scuttle the merger. Sources say some of OBA’s founding members—such as Nick Blosser of Celilo Media and Jim Kelly, founder of Rejuvenation Hardware—are fighting to block any link-up with AOI because they question the association’s interest in addressing climate change. (Both declined to comment.) The second problem with the merger is it might not change the fundamental problem. “Our polling shows big business doesn’t have a lot of credibility with the public,” says pollster Adam Davis. Davis’ firm, DHM Research, regularly surveys Oregonians on behalf of various clients. He says the results of those surveys make him skeptical that a merger driven by large companies would lead to different political outcomes. “They’ve been tone-deaf relative to where the public is on a lot of issues,” Davis says. “A merger may help in terms of efficiencies or in speaking with one voice, but that doesn’t change that they are out of sync with Oregonians’ values.” Proponents of the merger, which they hope to complete by year’s end, say they are working in the state’s interest. “It is time to build a framework and forum to unite us in service to the principles of job creation and business growth in Oregon,” reads the July 30 letter. “We cannot emphasize strongly enough our desire to move quickly.” Our Oregon’s Unger says his organization’s success is a reflection of listening to voters and protecting their interests. He says both business groups have failed at that task. “They pretty much speak with the same voice now,” Unger says. “Once Wal-Mart joined the OBA board, it was hard to see the difference between them and AOI.” Willamette Week SEPTEMBER 2, 2015






Willamette Week SEPTEMBER 2, 2015




The botched firing of a gay staffer by St. Mary’s Academy could have the unintended consequence of creating greater workplace protections for LGBT employees at Catholic schools across Portland. Last week, WW revealed that the Catholic all-girls prep school had withdrawn a contract offer to new employee Lauren Brown after she told school officials she’s gay (“Vow of Silence,” WW, Aug. 26, 2014). Brown’s story drew an immediate outcry. St. Mary’s parents, students and alumni were furious that a school dedicated to educating young women in diversity and social justice had been quietly forcing its LGBT faculty and staff to remain in the closet. The night after WW published Brown’s story, St. Mary’s backed down and announced a new hiring policy protecting LGBT employees, including those who get married, from job discrimination. Brown was not offered her job back—because the school had already given it to someone else. Gay rights groups praised the reversal as a landmark decision for Catholic schools nationwide. It was also a shift that St. Mary’s leaders tried hard to avoid. On Aug. 4, St. Mary’s officials tried to pay Brown a year’s salary—$41,538—in return for her keeping quiet and agreeing that her “intent to enter into a same-sex marriage” is why she lost her job. (Brown says she isn’t engaged.) Brown’s attorney, Gloria Trainor, now tells WW that St. Mary’s officials contacted Brown three times in the days between their offer and WW’s story. “We would like to get a decision from you regarding the offer we made to you last Tuesday,” school president Christina Friedhoff wrote Brown on Aug. 12. “If you need to meet again to accomplish this, please let us know.” In the following week, Brown says she received two phone calls from St. Mary’s—one from principal Kelli Clark, and another from a mediator, asking her to meet again to sign the agreement. Friedhoff confirmed to WW that school officials contacted Brown three times, and are now “working to schedule mediation.” When WW contacted St. Mary’s on Aug. 24, the school responded through a crisis PR firm, Gard Communications. It then tried to pre-empt the story with a letter to parents saying the school faced “a difficult time” because of its obligation “to follow current Catholic teachings regarding same-sex marriage.” The school knew the controversy came at a delicate time. Classes start Sept. 2, and the school

is preparing to raise tens of millions of dollars to double the size of its downtown campus. In fact, as soon as word leaked of St. Mary’s decision to fire Brown, students and alums began protesting online, using the social-media hashtag “#fightforsma.” On Aug. 26, students dressed a statue of St. Mary in rainbow garb. Mayor Charlie Hales, Oregon State Treasurer Ted Wheeler and major donors Mary and Tim Boyle called on the school to reconsider. Friedhoff announced that night that St. Mary’s board had voted to change its hiring policy. On Aug. 27, Clark told parents in an assembly that the school had “acted out of fear” by withdrawing Brown’s contract. “It’s time to bring our practices and policies in line with our mission and values,” Clark said. However reluctant the decision, St. Mary’s policy change could set a precedent that allows Portland’s other Catholic schools to follow. Rene Sanchez, a visiting assistant professor of theological ethics at the University of Portland, says it’s hard to predict the immediate effects of St. Mary’s decision on other Catholic schools. “Eventually, there’s going be a shift toward greater acceptance and embracing all of those communities,” Sanchez says. “This is not a year-or-two thing.” St. Mary’s on Friday began a “continuing conversation” with the Archdiocese of Portland about its new hiring policy. Portland Archbishop Alexander K. Sample is a staunch opponent of same-sex marriage. The three Portland-area Catholic high schools nearest to St. Mary’s—Central Catholic, De La Salle North, and Jesuit—do not mention sexual orientation in their equal employment policies. De La Salle North declined to comment to WW, Jesuit could not be reached, and Central Catholic directed press inquiries to the Archdiocese of Portland. Archdiocese spokesman David Renshaw says he won’t discuss the implications of St. Mary’s reversal for other area Catholic schools. “We’re just not commenting on the school policy issue while these sensitive negotiations are going on,” Renshaw says. Brown has agreed to her own mediation with St. Mary’s. “This success shows that together we really can move mountains,” Brown said in a statement. “I am glad to know that what I experienced will never happen again at St. Mary’s, and I am overjoyed that the current LGBT staff members can now feel secure knowing they can be out at work.” Claire Holley and Anthony Macuk contributed reporting to this story.

Willamette Week SEPTEMBER 2, 2015


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When TriMet’s new light-rail line officially rolls through Milwaukie for the first time on Saturday, Sept. 12, Karin Power will be among those cheering. The 32-year-old Milwaukie city councilor is excited about the new amenities likely to follow the MAX Orange Line. But as Milwaukie continues to absorb priced-out Portlanders, she’s also proud that the city retains its friendly, small-town feel. Power, who moved to Portland from Boston to attend Lewis & Clark Law School in 2009, is among a handful of elected city leaders under 40 in the Portland area. WW recently spoke with Power, a staff attorney for the Portland environmental nonprofit the Freshwater Trust, about TriMet’s expansion, what led her and her wife, Megan, to Milwaukie, and how she catapulted to the City Council at the ripe age of 31. WW: You’re young and hip. How did you end up in Milwaukie? Karin Power: I lived in inner Southeast because, coming from Boston anyway, we thought the rent in inner Southeast was a steal. Then condos and things started to go up nearby, and then a bunch of houses were demolished for redevelopment. My downstairs neighbors moved out and bought a house, and our leasing company leased their unit for almost $300 more a month than what we were paying upstairs. So we figured we’d hop out of town and find something more affordable before our rent would inevitably go up as well. In 2012, Milwaukie was a hotbed of anti-Portland sentiment as petitioners fought to block TriMet’s light-rail extension. Did that scare you off ? We were driving up to go see our house for the first time when we saw the “Stop Portland Creep” signs in people’s yards. We had a little bit of trepidation, but once we actually got to meet our landlord and neighbors, we understood that the folks with “Stop Portland Creep” were more trying to stop what they thought Portland was about. How were you treated as a gay woman newly arrived in Milwaukie? We didn’t have any problems. I mean that honestly. There are other neighborhood leaders in Milwaukie who are also gay who have not run in the past because they thought their private lives would be made an issue. It was 100 percent not the case with us. The thing that did pop up was that I was a renter. Do you detect any anti-light-rail sentiment left in Milwaukie? There are very smart, progressive folks who thought maybe bus rapid transit would be a better option. We still have a number of people who live in town who are against light rail, and I don’t think that will change just because it opened. But at this point, even people who had their reservations are seeing that we are getting some new businesses downtown, and I think they’re at least willing to be open-minded about it right now. 10

Willamette Week SEPTEMBER 2, 2015

Suburb Power: Karin Power, a 32-year-old member of the Milwaukie City Council, says young Portlanders interested in elected office should consider moving to smaller communities such as Milwaukie, which is about to usher in great changes thanks to TriMet’s new orange Line.

Tell us about a project that illustrates Milwaukie’s evolution? We are looking at focusing community resources on developing an all-inclusive bike-, pedestrian- and street-safety program. I think it’s reflective of the younger families moving to town that want to be able to get across town without hopping in their car. Geographically, we’re not that big. You moved to Milwaukie in October 2012. You won election to the City Council in November 2014. How did you do that so quickly? I went to my first neighborhood association meeting pretty soon after we moved in. Not too long after, I end up as secretary of the neighborhood association, and then within, like, a year and a half, I was chair. [Then-mayor Jeremy Ferguson] thought I was doing a pretty superb job building community between our neighborhoods and building our relationship with the county, and thought I might be able to parlay those skills on the council as well. There’s no one under 50 on the Portland City Council. At 32, you’re one of a handful of city councilors under 40 in the Portland area. What’s the key to getting elected so young? Big money in politics is common in higher office and races in big cities, but outside of that it’s fairly uncommon. In smaller communities, to be competitive, you only need to

raise $5,000 to $10,000. That’s a really affordable goal for a lot of us. How much did you raise? $7,653.02. So what advice would you give to a younger person contemplating elected office? If people are interested in running because they want to make big policy shifts, then the big cities have the capacity to set that tone. Eugene and Portland are generally the leaders in new initiatives statewide. But if you’re really looking to roll up your sleeves and get that local, neighborhood part done, the suburbs are really a better place to do direct service. So the advice to a Portland resident who wants to run would be, “Go north, south, east or west, young man?” You contribute to the conversation whether you win or lose. But if you really want to get stuff done in your local community, coming to the suburbs and then getting involved is really pretty easy. Most of us generally have some sort of opening on some board or commission of interest, and you can get in and make great decisions, good decisions, and really contribute in a meaningful, direct way.


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Willamette Week SEPTEMBER 2, 2015



Willamette Week SEPTEMBER 2, 2015



George Taylor had business in Kansas City. The bosses in Detroit liked his work. No screwups, no cops, plenty of product: new iPhones boxed and mailed to Michigan. Don’t go home to your day job in Portland just yet, they told him. Fly to Kansas City; there’s more work there. At 50, Taylor looked like a guy on a business trip. He was a wiry bantam, with short-cropped brown hair and chiseled, unmarked arms. Under his shirt were tattoos: a dragon, a Viking warrior, the words “White Pride” scripted across his shoulders. It was August 2013. Once he landed in Kansas City, he hooked up with the crew from Detroit. Then to the bus station, to recruit homeless guys who needed money fast and had no address to trace. Clean up the recruits, then head out toward the Great Mall of the Great Plains. By the end of a day, the crew would buy dozens of new phones, worth thousands of dollars, from the nation’s largest telecoms—Verizon, T-Mobile and especially AT&T. Family plan. Three phones. Pay $200 down for each phone, and sign a two-year contract to pay $220 a month. But the payments never came—and the phones were shipped to Vietnam and Thailand, for up to $3,000 each. The phone company would soon figure out it had been swindled by somebody it couldn’t find—they used fake Social Security numbers—or who was too poor to pay. Homeland Security told Michigan newspapers in April that these scams cost phone companies $50 million a year—and much of the trafficking has been run by a syndicate out of Detroit. Taylor claims he was taking home $7,000 a week. “You get so high off the money that you don’t need drugs,” Taylor recalls. “You’re living the millionaire life.” It wasn’t all sweet. Life back in Portland was getting complicated. He kept getting phone calls. Asking where he was. Wondering why his number changed so much. Wanting to know when he was getting back to Oregon. To his other job. Working for the Portland Police Bureau. CONT. on page 14

Willamette Week SEPTEMBER 2, 2015






nitches are as old as police work itself. Portland police Capt. Mark Kruger, who runs the Drugs and Vice Division, says the bureau currently has 88 active informants—and dozens more who are still on the roster but haven’t recently snitched. Kruger says informants can convincingly slip into criminal worlds where police would stick out and endanger themselves. “Some of this information that these guys get is in no way, shape or form available to you,” Kruger says. “Couldn’t get it any other way than sending somebody in to get that information.” Taylor entered the world of snitching the way many do—by getting busted. The McDonald’s on Southwest 6th Avenue and Main Street huddles in the shade of shiny office towers. It’s a popular place to buy a quick lunch and, apparently, heroin. In May 2011, Taylor ate a Big Mac while his 29-year-old girlfriend sold an undercover agent from the Navy Criminal Investigative Service black tar heroin in the restroom. “We leave,” Taylor says, “and they rolled up on us.” Given Taylor’s prior record (more on that in a bit), he was looking at 20 years. It was time to join the war on drugs. On Oct. 14, 2011, Taylor pleaded no contest to dealing heroin and signed a contract that made him an informant for the Police Bureau’s Central Precinct. The contract said he would report to precinct officers Jim McMurray and Branden Combs, buying drugs to “work off ” his heroin arrest. Taylor didn’t mind snitching. It was a chance to hit the reset button, he figured. He did his first buy on behalf of the police Jan. 5, 2012—three baggies of weed for $60 in the South Park Blocks. The stings were easier than buying MAX fare. Hit the Transit Mall licking your lips like you’re jonesing. Pick the nearest guy standing on a corner, ask him for a rock. Either he’d fish out a baggie from his mouth, or he’d point out a runner. Case made. Back to the cops, who were watching the whole time from a block away. The police sent Taylor out with cash, and he came back 14

Willamette Week SEPTEMBER 2, 2015

with drugs: crack in Old Town, heroin in the Park Blocks, meth out on 82nd Avenue. Then he fingered the dealers to grand juries. The cops paid him $40 for each buy. He did it dozens of times. At least 40 cases, and those are just the ones in records WW has reviewed. He identified at least 63 suspects to police, testifying against at least 20 of them to grand juries, using his real name. Eight of those cases were thrown out in March. The Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office is reviewing 12 other cases where Taylor’s testimony led to convictions. Both prosecutors and police are pledging an overhaul of their rules for controlling snitches. And they’re trying to explain how a prized informant, at the same time he was helping law enforcement, was plundering cellphone stores across the country for a Detroit syndicate. The Police Bureau has a list of rules for its informants. Two of the big ones: No using drugs. No new crimes. Taylor broke them both.


ong before Taylor was a snitch, he was a criminal. And not just one who sold heroin at a McDonald’s. He grew up in Portland and Salem, smoking weed and angel dust. Stepdads came and went. Taylor was well-acquainted with local police. “He has been a criminal since age 13,” his parole officer wrote in 1984, “and is trying to ‘make a name for himself ’ in the criminal world.” At 18, he committed three armed robberies—a 7-Eleven and two grocery stores. He spent 23 of the next 26 years in prison—most of his time came from getting caught with a gun while on parole. At 23, four years into his first prison stint, George Robert Taylor helped set a man on fire at the Oregon State Penitentiary in Salem. He distracted a guard while one of the inmates poured napalm on another inmate’s head and lit a match. Taylor’s role in what prison officials dubbed “a heinous firebomb effort” earned him nearly a year in solitary confinement and a trip to the federal penitentiary in Leavenworth, Kan. “Burned a guy up, that’s what they say,” Taylor recalls.

“I don’t want to agree, and I don’t want to disagree. It could come back to haunt you.” Taylor started using heroin in prison, to sleep through the noise. He got a “White Pride” and dragon tattoo—blue ink across his back, with “Heil Hitler” encoded in numbers—to show he was tight with the Aryan Brotherhood. “How many kids know their European past right now?” he explains. “Just be proud of who you are. No shame.” But mostly he had fun behind bars. No distractions. He became a baker and stayed in shape playing handball. “If I stick you in a closet and tell you you ain’t getting out for 10 years, you best make the best of it,” Taylor says. “You can sit there and cry for 10 years, or you can get in there and make yourself a home.” Taylor got out in 2007. Out was harder than in. He says crowds gave him panic attacks. He lived in a grimy West Burnside hotel called the Abbey, and worked at Service Steel on Swan Island for five months as a machine operator. He punched out one day and never went back. He wanted to work on a fishing boat in Alaska, but his parole officer wouldn’t let him leave Oregon. A state psychiatrist who examined him as a condition of his parole in 2011 said he had “psychopathic traits” that required close supervision. The evaluation said Taylor “did not appear appropriate for any type of traditional counseling or therapy.” He had come to see violence as normal, the doctor said, and all his friends were criminals. Taylor figured it was only a matter of time before he went back to prison. That’s when the Russians found him. And then, the cops.


aylor had missed out on the tech boom while he was in prison. But in 2011, men he’d never met before—Russians—approached him on the street in downtown Portland and told him he could be a small part of it. It was a beautiful scam. Perfect. Go to the Greyhound station, or hang around outside

plasma banks. Find somebody who needs money. Make the pitch. “There’s a spiel that you give to people, like, ‘It’s not going to fuck up your credit history,’” Taylor says. “People are gullible. Especially if they’re strung out on dope or they’re homeless. I could see the money of it being made when they ran it down to me.” Two-year contract. $200 down. Out the door with a phone. The homeless frontman gets $100 for every three phones. Detroit gets new Apple products worth $2,000 to $3,000 each. Suburban malls were best: Taylor could hit as many as nine stores a day. He and his accomplice walked into AT&T, Verizon, Best Buy, Walmart and Target, and walked out with new phones “until they can’t get phones no more.” Taylor says he started doing the scam across Portland in the spring of 2011. He was on the syndicate’s ground floor—working his way up the ladder—when he became a Portland police snitch that October. Days after the cops made him an informant, his Russian boss rented him a Lexus to drive. Then the Russians flew him to Detroit for a meeting with the syndicate brass. “And I was running Portland,” he says. At the same time, he was buying drugs undercover for the police. Taylor had enough money to peel off $20 for a dope fiend who needed to chase the sickness. He did meth to unwind. On New Year’s Eve in 2012, he claims he blew $4,000 at RingSide Fish House and the Nines hotel. Then came the business trips to Oklahoma City and Kansas City. Girls, drinks, a night at Harrah’s Casino, a day at the water park. He’d fly back to Portland, do more drug buys for the cops. Go back on the road, do more phones. Then, Kansas City. End of the good times. The Olathe, Kan., police nailed Taylor on Aug. 21, 2013, at a Best Buy, with a woman trying to buy her 18th phone of the day.


CONT. on page 17

Willamette Week SEPTEMBER 2, 2015



Willamette Week SEPTEMBER 2, 2015


In a courtroom in Olathe on Oct. 16, 2013, Taylor avoided conviction and jail time by ratting out his associates and the Detroit syndicate. He added a bombshell. He told the court he was stealing phones with the blessing of his Portland police handlers. In testimony recorded in a court transcript from Johnson County, Kan., Taylor said he told his Portland police supervisors about the phone scam and the Russians. He says the police told him, “If you go out of state, if something happens, I can’t cover you.” Taylor said Portland police not only knew about his extracurricular activities but encouraged him to break the law. He repeated the claim to WW. Police spokesman Sgt. Pete Simpson confirms to WW that Taylor “told his police handlers that he had information on an international cellphone scam,” yet they continued using him. Simpson says Portland police officers passed along Taylor’s tip to federal law enforcement. He says Taylor’s police handlers thought Taylor was just looking to double his money by getting “further financial compensation” from the cops in exchange for informing on the cellphone ring. By continuing to work with Taylor, officers appear to have violated the bureau’s own biggest rule about snitches: No new crimes. “These people aren’t as clean as the driven snow,” says Kruger, who runs the Drugs and Vice Division. “A defense attorney is going to have a heyday with them, because their background is a mess. The best we can do is show we followed the rules. If you catch ’em in a lie, fire ’em. If you catch ’em committing crimes, fire ’em.” Records show police knew troubling information about Taylor. Police Bureau records show Taylor was the subject of six police reports while snitching—including one incident in March 2013, when police found him in downtown bar Thirsty Lion trying to unlock a stolen laptop, and another in April 2013, when he punched a man in the face in Old Town in a dispute over a cellphone. (He served 10 days in jail for the laptop theft.) CONT. on page 19


Sniffing Out the Rat In June 2014, George Taylor bought crack from The DA’s office did not always do that. And a Christopher Graham outside the Biltmore Hotel in defense lawyer figured that out. Old Town. Last November, emails show, Graham Fisher, It was a few minutes after noon. According who was defending a man whom Taylor accused of to Portland police reports, Graham walked up to selling cocaine, asked the Multnomah County DA Taylor on Northwest Everett Street and asked him for Taylor’s criminal history and any other informawhat he needed. tion about him that could affect the case. “White,” Taylor said. Instead, deputy district attorney Christopher Graham reached into his mouth and fished out a Shull sent Fisher the criminal history not of Taylor, rock of crack cocaine, wrapped but of an unnamed person in plastic. Taylor paid him $40 whose criminal record conin cash, and walked away. sisted mainly of convictions Portland police arrested for cocaine possession. Taylor two months later. In Fisher thought it looked October, Graham pleaded wrong. “It didn’t match any guilty to the felony crime of George Taylors that I could delivering cocaine. Because of find,” he says. his long criminal record—47 Fisher subpoenaed the Portarrests, many of them involvland city attorney, who reping drugs—he was sentenced to resents the Police Bureau, to 19 months in prison. get Taylor’s criminal history, He’s still locked up at Sandocuments listing his work as tiam Correctional Institution an informant, and any police in Salem. reports mentioning him. But Graham’s defense attorWhen Fisher got the files in ney, Amanda Garty, now says March, he was shocked. Multnomah County District “I can’t believe they’re using Attorney Rod Underhill’s office this guy,” he recalls thinking. CHRISTOPHER GRAHAM did not provide her with any “His criminal record indiinformation about Taylor. cated that he’s dangerous and “I got nothing,” she says. untrustworthy—and he appeared to be engaging It’s unclear how often people accused of crimes in ongoing criminal activity while working for the by Taylor were kept in the dark about his back- government.” ground. But WW has found four cases where Taylor In March, Fisher confronted the DA with Taytestified against alleged drug dealers—without the lor’s criminal history and white-supremacist tatMultnomah County district attorney telling those toos. Prosecutors then dismissed eight cases. defendants about his full criminal history. Deputy district attorney John Copic, who now That’s a violation of state and federal law, and runs the DA’s drug crime unit, says prosecutors the DA’s own policy. didn’t know “the full scope” of Taylor’s crimes— A 1963 U.S. Supreme Court case, Brady v. Mary- and learned about his cellphone thefts from WW land, says defendants have a right to see any evi- last week. Copic says the DA will review all cases dence that might help their defense. That includes involving Taylor—including Christopher Graham’s any information about a witness that might suggest conviction. “This office is aware of its statutory the witness is biased or untrustworthy. obligation to provide [records of ] criminal convicOregon law also says prosecutors have to turn tions for witnesses to be called at trial,” Copic says. over that information, called discovery. The MultPublic defender Josh McCarthy joined Fisher nomah County District Attorney’s Office policy says in confronting prosecutors with cases involving the same thing. Taylor. He says using Taylor as a witness calls into “Prosecutors have to be aware: You’re dealing question the criminal justice system. with a criminal [as a witness],” says chief deputy “When I look at George Taylor,” McCarthy says, district attorney Don Rees. “You have to be mind- “I honestly look at every person in prison and wonful of the obligations of making the court and the der if they should be there. Because who knows if defense aware of who they are.” Taylor’s telling the truth?” AARON MESH. C O U R T E S Y M U LT N O M A H C O U N T Y


Willamette Week SEPTEMBER 2, 2015



Willamette Week SEPTEMBER 2, 2015



POLICE OVERSIGHT: Central Precinct Cmdr. Sara Westbrook signed off on George Taylor’s informant contract in 2011. The bureau’s handling of Taylor is now the subject of an internal investigation.

WW asked to speak to Cmdr. Sara Westbrook, who runs the Police Bureau’s Central Precinct and signed the contract making Taylor an informant. She declined to discuss why police kept using Taylor after he committed more crimes. In response to questions from WW, Simpson issued a statement. “In hindsight, it is arguable that Taylor should never have been used based on his history,” Simpson wrote. “Many of the things being brought up now by defense attorneys, or Taylor himself, if true, could be perceived as policy violations and, as such, the bureau cannot and will not publicly respond.” After testifying in Kansas, Taylor was released on a plea bargain. He flew back to Portland in February 2014. The cops sent him back downtown to buy more drugs.


ultnomah County prosecutors say they didn’t learn about Taylor’s double life from police. Instead, they were told by a defense attorney for a suspect that Taylor had snitched on for allegedly dealing drugs. Prosecutors are legally obligated to disclose what’s called exculpatory information that could help the accused. But in at least four cases, they didn’t do so— and instead gave at least one defense lawyer the rap sheet of an entirely different person (see “Sniffing Out the Rat,” page 17). The defense lawyer, Graham Fisher, made the Portland police turn over Taylor’s criminal record and any police reports involving him. He showed his findings to the DA’s office March 8. “That’s when I first became aware of the whitepride tattoo,” says senior deputy district attorney John Copic, who started running the drug unit in January. “And on that day, I said to dismiss every case that we had pending that involved him. There’s no way we would use somebody like that.” The tattoo was so alarming because it made Taylor a liability on the witness stand. Even if he were otherwise trustworthy, defense lawyers could argue that every time he snitched on a black person, he was doing it out of racial hate. In March, the DA’s office dropped eight open cases where Taylor bought drugs. Copic says prosecutors will review all cases in which Taylor testified. But they’re not sure how many cases that is. Taylor is back in jail. Not for the phone scam. Not for violating the terms of his informant contract. But because he pleaded no contest to beating his girlfriend in March at her apartment on Northeast 79th Avenue after she learned he had stolen her electronic tablet and sold it. Multnomah County records say Taylor offered to give his girlfriend his tablet, but instead he smashed it

against the wall, put her in a chokehold and said, “I’m going to kill you.” He was sentenced to 16 months, and is scheduled to be transferred from Multnomah County Inverness Jail to state prison this week. Taylor has other worries. He knows his name is all over court records as a police snitch. “I already know the consequences of what I’ve done,” he says. “I’m in an open unit. Any day someone’s going to walk in. I wait for it.” (Prosecutors say the Oregon Department of Corrections will offer Taylor a protective custody unit in prison.) He wishes he’d gone where the phones went: Vietnam, Thailand. He could have saved some money and flown to Argentina, traveled for the rest of his life. He sits and ponders. What went wrong? What was the point of snitching? What difference did he make fighting drugs? “Yeah, they’re doing the $20 buys, and making everybody leery of selling to anybody,” Taylor says. “They might remove a guy for a couple weeks, but another one fills right in. They need a better system, put it that way.” Kruger, the cop whose Drugs and Vice Division maintains a copy of informant files for the Portland police, says he would not have approved Taylor as an informant. But he says he never read Taylor’s file— because Taylor was managed by Central Precinct. He has recommended the bureau implement changes so a similar situation doesn’t happen again. “I can’t tell you strongly enough,” Kruger says, “how important we feel it is that there’s more consistency in how we vet our informants, and how we interact with the district attorney’s office when deciding whether to use an informant.” Portland Police Chief Larry O’Dea says he has launched an internal investigation into the bureau’s use of Taylor. “To answer all of the questions regarding this situation, and due to the importance of retaining the public’s trust in the use of informants,” O’Dea says, “the bureau is initiating an internal investigation.” A spokesman for Mayor Charlie Hales says, “The mayor is monitoring the situation.” The Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office looks at Taylor and also vows: Never again. Last week, when WW submitted written questions about Taylor, prosecutors announced they would review all cases in which Taylor testified. And they pointed to new policies, created this summer after defense lawyers raised a stink about Taylor, to review snitches before police start using them. “This office intends on taking steps,” says chief deputy district attorney Don Rees, “so we can be better informed about some of these informants that the Police Bureau has chosen to use.”


Willamette Week SEPTEMBER 2, 2015



Willamette Week SEPTEMBER 2, 2015


Every “Old Portland” Story You’ve Ever Heard on a Barstool. The year was




, and me and my buddy


because the



before all the

like those rich-boy assclowns from

Anyway, me and my buddy, who worked as a

and the bartender




were hanging out at this shitty old bar called moved in. We loved that damned place



would give us one or two beers for free if business was slow. It was









, and we were miserable because we didn’t wear and/or carry


, were sitting there, and in comes a

. Obviously, I didn’t mind. Those are my people! But I was definitely

un-PC term referenCing a Person’s raCe, soCioeConomiC Class, ethniCity, sexuality, gender identity, hairCut, PierCing or the faCt they are Carrying a skateboard

thinking this was going to be interesting, because the bartender wasn’t as open-minded as us and tended to be a little rude to people who weren’t adjeCtive that desCribes straight, middle-Class, CISGENDER WHITE PEOPLE

But this



walks right up to our pal


and says, “Hey, you need

something?” And the bartender reaches behind the bar, pulls out a big wad of cash and says, “Yup, whaddayagot?” And






and pulls out a couple baggies of




They make the exchange right there at the bar, just like me and my buddy weren’t even there. And so this is how I realized we were drinking beers in a goddamned us free beers! We were the only people there not



. No wonder the bartender was always giving

out of our fuckin’ minds! We were helping them keep their cover as a dive bar when

they were dealing drugs right over the bar! But that was how Old Portland was, man! Gritty! Real! What a time, what a place! Anyway, after that we started seeing all sorts of little things we couldn’t believe we’d missed before—this to the restroom with a


to give handies. Bill the



who was always heading back

, who would pass out right on the pool table. Jim, who once

shanked him with a busted pool cue. Old Portland, man! Customers would come in and write stuff on


and hand it to the bartender, even

though the place didn’t even have a phone! We barely even noticed, believe it or not. One time, I saw a cop working his beat come in for a “sandwich” wrapped in paper, even though they didn’t make sandwiches. Damn! You know, I loved that bar. They


I can no longer drink cheap beers in a bar full of

, and now it’s a



, where people go to



. Well, not unless I go east of I-205, where there are 100 blocks of Portland

proper that have not yet been gentrified. They ruined this town, man. I miss Old Portland so much.

Willamette Week SEPTEMBER 2, 2015



the BeSt GuiDe to portlanD iS availaBle FOR FREE juSt a little While lonGer FREE



Quimby’s at 19th 1502 NW 19th Ave. PDX

Official Extended Weeked Lineup! MONDAY—Bartenders Choice Movie! Free Popcorn TUESDAY—Karaoke With The Captain! *Not an official commission

15/16 Willamette Week’s 20 Guide to Portland

PUNCH UP YOUR SUNDAY! With our Very Special House Punch Pinball! Free Pool! SATURDAY & SUNDAY—Football breakfast starting at 10:00 AM

e tO PORt laND k’s 2015 /2016 GUiD will ame tte wee

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Because weekends are too much fun to limit to three days.

Where to eat • Where to Drink What to Do • Where to Shop look for WW ‘s



Oui Presse

News Seasons Market

Music Millennium

Whole Foods

Libraries—including Central, Hollywood, Belmont, N.W. 23rd, Kenton, and Capital Hill.

Trader Joes’s (boxes outside) Food Front College University campuses (Including OHSU)

Cafes and small shops

PSU Bookstore


Willamette Week SEPTEMBER 2, 2015




“Despite a tight and demanding timeline, with a little persistence I was able to find and purchase the perfect condo that exceeded all of my expectations. My daughter and I moved in with plenty of time to spare.”

New Brunch Sat & Sun 10am - 2pm Daily Happy Hours 4pm - 6:30pm Diane Bozak, Realtor 503.974.4040

816 N Russel St. • Portland Willamette Week SEPTEMBER 2, 2015




SWIFT IN PORTLYWOOD: In Taylor Swift’s wildest dreams, she is apparently a brunette having an affair with Clint Eastwood’s son while living in an alternate reality where Old Hollywood is in Portland. During the MTV Video Music Awards preshow Aug. 30, Swift premiered her video for “Wildest Dreams,” in which she plays an actress from the Golden Age of Cinema, and for a brief moment, she is shown standing in front of the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall’s iconic “Portland” sign. It’s inexplicable, considering no part of the video was shot here, and the “Hollywood” sign is also visible in the frame. (Director Joseph Kahn did not respond to a request for comment.) This isn’t the first time Swift has made an oblique reference to Portland, though: Her 2011 single “Sparks Fly” was inspired by a show, early in her career, when she opened for singer Jake Owen at Duke’s, a country bar in deep Southeast. LOOSE POOPER: A new master criminal set the World Wide Web ablaze this week. A Portland business owner has united with law enforcement to identify and bring to justice a serial defecator deemed the “Portland Pooper,” who has been making a mess in Southeast. As reported by KOIN TV, the business owner (who chose to remain anonymous) caught wind of the Portland Pooper after noticing human feces in his parking lot and set up a discreet security camera to catch him. The plan worked, providing the first look at the Pooper. The video shows that he even brings his own toilet paper because, apparently, there’s a line between being a psychopathic public serial pooper and being a psychopathic public serial pooper with dirty drawers. Police are still searching for the suspect. ALMOST PARADISE: Beaverton’s Juelia Kinney has become the heroine of Bachelor in Paradise, the Bachelor spinoff best described as Survivor meets Bachelor with an open bar. Kinney, 31, is the good girl, a single mom widowed when her husband killed himself. She comes off as deeply trusting and hopeful, and gets screwed over by the villain couple, Samantha and Joe. “It was hard for me on the KINNEY show, and it’s hard for me now,” Kinney says. As skeptical and ironic viewers, we asked her the obvious question: Is any of the show actually real? Because it seems very staged. “No,” says Kinney, decisively. “I had no idea. I really didn’t.” She doesn’t pull any punches with Joe. “Joe is just not a good person,” she says. “And he can try to apologize now to the media, but I know who he is.” She is similarly still angry with Samantha. “I really did think she was my friend,” Kinney says. “It makes me scared because I’m like, I was fooled by my friend. Maybe I’m too trusting.” Kinney and a sorority sister hosted a party Aug. 30 at Henry’s Tavern, where fans of the show paid $10 ($15 at the door) to drink wine and boo when Joe or Samantha appeared onscreen. DOLLA DOLLA DAM, Y’ALL: Damian Lillard spent his summer uploading songs to his Soundcloud page—while also graduating from college, signing a massive contract and traveling the world to sell Adidas. Well, he finally made his live rap debut at Holocene on Aug. 26. Invited onstage by his cousin, Oakland rapper Brookfield Duece, Dame DOLLA spit a verse from his remix of Duece’s “I Wish I Could Tell You” and, as he often does in high-pressure situations, acquitted himself well. Is there anything Lillard can’t do? We’ll certainly find out next season, as the Last Blazer Left Standing tries single-handedly to will the team to competitiveness. 24

Willamette Week SEPTEMBER 2, 2015




THURSDAY SEPT. 3 RAW: NATURAL BORN ARTISTS [ART SOIREE] RAW, an international indie art group, throws fancy cocktail parties around the world, filled with local talent including musicians, hairstylists and filmmakers. In Portland, picks include garage-pop trio Skull Diver and Nichole Stewart, who crafts hair into Marie Antoinettestyle bouffants. The vibe is Baz Luhrmann’s First Thursday. Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison St., 6 pm. $ 15 advance, $20 day of show. 21+.

FRIDAY SEPT. 4 ARIANA GRANDE [ARENA POP] A pint-sized Disney Channel actress-turnedpop star with a shockingly strong set of pipes, Grande is basically Mariah Carey via Toddlers & Tiaras. You often can’t understand a word she’s singing, but damn, can she sing them. Moda Center, 1 N Center Court St., 797-9619. 7:30 pm. $29.50-$69.50. All ages.




OUR IDEAS FOR FUTURE ROGUE NOVELTY BEERS. Rogue Ales has a new beer, Blunt n’ Bitter, in honor of sports talk radio host Colin Cowherd, who was fired from ESPN after making problematic comments about Dominicans. The Newport-based brewery also makes pink-bottled beers branded for Portland’s favorite doughnut shop, and a beer from yeast pulled off the Rogue brewmaster’s scruffy beard. Rogue also took the iconoclastic step of bringing alcohol and carpet together with its PDX Carpet IPA. What other beloved Portland celebrities deserve their own delicious Rogue beers? Here are a few ideas:

Tonya Harding Ice Beer

In tribute to Oregon’s most famous athlete, this brew is freeze-distilled in a room beneath the old Clackamas Town Center ice rink. Strong enough to give you courage to bash in your mortal enemy’s knee caps.

Baldy’s Hot Take Gose

In honor of respected Oregonian sports columnist John Canzano, this is an extra-salty but also hot chili beer.

Cylvia Hayes Golden Ale

You’ll have to dig hard for this upwardly mobile Belgian ale in honor of the ex-first fiancee!

Isaac Brock’s Modest Mouse Poop Beer (Actually just Rogue Hazelnut Brown Nectar.)

Lars Larson Lager

The local conservative radio talk show host’s very traditional German lager is made with only pure ingredients (wink wink).

Aldridge Ale

Repackaged Lone Star in a silver-and-black bottle with five golden rings around the top.

Little Big Hooters

In honor of local chainlet Little Big Burger’s recent sale to the company that owns Hooters, a ketchup-andwing-sauce-flavored beer that still tastes better than Rogue’s Voodoo Doughnut Bacon Maple Ale.

Everclear Brand Everclear

Rogue also makes distilled spirits. Wake up with a soul patch and a lifetime of regret.

LEE “SCRATCH” PERRY [DUB SCIENTIST] The king of dub and producer behind some of reggae’s greatest hits is the walking definition of an “eccentric genius.” At 79, Perry continues his quest to conquer the vampires of the Old World through a perfect alignment of bass and acoustic rhythm, with excursions through dancehall and trip-hop. Star Theater, 13 NW 6th Ave., 2484700. 9 pm. $20. 21+.

SUNDAY SEPT. 6 TOUR DE LAB [BIKES, BEERS, DOGS] Lucky Lab’s bar pedal cashes in on Portland’s favorite things: drinking, biking, doing good and dogs. Riders morph into canines by drinking pints and collecting ears or noses at each stop along the 19-mile Puppy Dog Course or 41-mile Big Dog Challenge. DoveLewis Animal Hospital gets the proceeds. You get unlimited hot dogs at the finish line. Lucky Labrador Brewing, 915 SE Hawthorne Blvd., 9 am. $39.

TUESDAY SEPT. 8 DAM-FUNK [BOOGIE] Damon Riddick didn’t sign up to be the savior of funk music. Regardless, his smooth, slapping, synth-smoked grooves have helped rescue the genre from the tyranny of cartoonish Afro wigs and platform shoes. Doug Fir Lounge, 830 E Burnside St., 231-9663. 9 pm. $13-$15. 21+. JONATHAN FRANZEN [BIG BOOKS] Jonathan Franzen almost-but-didn’t adopt an Iraqi war orphan to research his new novel, Purity, which follows peak millennial Pip Tyler into a world of state-subverting hackers. Powell’s Books at Cedar Hills Crossing, 3415 SW Cedar Hills Blvd., Beaverton, 228-4651. 7 pm. Free.

Willamette Week SEPTEMBER 2, 2015





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THURSDAY, SEPT. 3 Heartlandia Menu

In honor of the release of their Southern-fried cookbook, Heartlandia, Country Cat owners Adam and Jackie Sappington will offer a special threecourse dinner of melon salad, breadpudding-stuffed lamb shoulder and apple pie, which are all also featured in the book. The Country Cat, 7937 SE Stark St., 408-1414. 5 pm. $28.

SATURDAY, SEPT. 5 Romanian Festival


The Romanian festival promises homemade wine (!), Romanian foods and desserts, and folk dancers. And as Béla Bartók always knew, Romanian folk dances put every other country to shame. St. Mary’s Romanian Orthodox Church, 13505 SE Stark St., 258-8492. 11 am. Through Sept. 6. Free.

SUNDAY, SEPT. 6 Tour de Lab Pub Ride

Ride your bike for miles with a pack of dog lovers and receive treats along the way at each pub for doing a good job. At the finish line, you get free craft beer and all-you-can-eat hot dogs. The four-pub course is 41 miles of biking. The three-pub course starts at 10 am and is 19 miles. Lucky Labrador Brew Pub, 915 SE Hawthorne Blvd., 459-4508. 8 am. $39.

Where to eat this week. 1. The Hot Box BBQ

3121 SW Moody Ave., The Volcano pulled-pork sandwich is a logjam of jalapeño pepper jelly and Sriracha aioli, with fried onion providing the crunch instead of cabbage—pretty much an unholy mash-up of pulled pork and Rochester-style bomber. $.

2. Rose VL

6424 SE Powell Blvd., 206-4344. Ha & VL’s new sister restaurant serves most of the same delicate, lovely soups as Ha & VL—but on different days, and for dinner. Get their take on tom yum Monday if it’s still available. $.

3. Vtopia Cheese Shop & Deli

1628 SW Jefferson, 971-271-7656, Unlike so many attempts before, the nut-based vegan cheeses at Vtopia are actually delicious, developed in Eugene by chef and coowner Imber Lingard, and now on sale in Goose Hollow. $.

4. Beast

5425 NE 30th Ave., 841-6968, Screw lines. At under half the cost of the dinner program, Beast’s $40 prixfixe, reservations-only brunch is a remarkably civilized experience. The bacon-topped plum clafouti is pretty much breakfast’s noblest self, confined to a ramekin. $$$$.

5. Kotori

Southeast 9th Avenue and Pine Street, 239-8830, This Biwa outdoor yakitori grill is here Thursday to Sunday evenings, all summer long. $.


Willamette Week SEPTEMBER 2, 2015

GUN-FIRED: The best damn roadside chicken in Portland city limits.

CHICKEN AND GUNS Stop all the rotisseries, and turn off the spits. Portland has gone wild for Latin-style rotisserie chicken lately thanks to Pollo Norte and Polli-Tico, but the latest entrant in this arms race is Cartopia’s new Chicken and Guns, and its Latin-inspired birds have both places beat with old-fashioned grilling over mesquite and oak. The birds are moist and smoky from bone to charred skin, dryOrder this: Chicken. Potatoes. rubbed with spice and served with Extra sauce. onion and tomato, smothered in spicy Peruvian-style jalapeño-vinegar sauce that bursts with freshness. We brought two whole birds ($24 each) back to our office, and cussed joyously at the sheer wonder of it. (One writer went back for dinner the same day.) There are no pretensions to authenticity or regional faithfulness, though the cart was built by co-owner Dustin Knox (Perierra Creperie, Central) to mimic a dirt-road food stand. Along with cart co-owner and former Woodsman Tavern cook Todd Radcliffe, Knox traveled on surfing trips across Latin America and witnessed the chicken cooked by soldiers with guns strapped to their backs. But it’s food tourism at its best, a cherry-pick of bold flavors. The char on the side-dish potatoes, served with aji sauce, crumbles like briquette dust on the edges before yielding to the tooth and revealing tender insides. The chimichurri-sauced salad is made with fresh mixed greens and veg from the farmers market. Up to now, the cart hasn’t had a working phone for takeout, which means waiting 10 minutes or risking they’re out—but they say their landline will be installed Sept. 4. Until then, Chicken and Guns requires you to take your chances. MATTHEW KORFHAGE. EAT: Chicken and Guns, 1207 SE Hawthorne Blvd., 234-7336, 11 am-midnight Wednesday-Sunday.


RECOVERY WATER (SEATTLE SEAHAWKS QB RUSSELL WILSON) Does water have health benefits beyond being an essential liquid for all life? Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson took to Twitter to proclaim so, saying Recovery Water helped him recover from a concussion he suffered in the NFC championship game last season and lead a comeback victory over the Green Bay Packers. (Wilson is also an investor in the company.) So I picked up some of this “electro-kinetically modified Recovery Water… proven to optimize your body’s natural recovery process and reduce the pain and inflammation that often comes with an active lifestyle,” which comes in three flavors: peach, cucumber and mint, and regular. This miracle water costs $2.19 per bottle. You notice a subtle difference when you pour the miracle water into a glass. It’s still a clear, nonalcoholic liquid, to be sure, but Recovery Water seems heavier. It doesn’t splash up as much, and it has small “nanobubbles.” Dump a Snapple into the reservoir, and you have a flavor akin to this. The regular Recovery Water tastes like, well, water. Wilson’s patented miracle water hasn’t made my pec-shaped moobs any less sore so far. The scab on my ear remains in place. It still hurts when I put too much pressure on my left foot. I feel a slight head rush, but that might be from the placebo effect. It’s water. JOHN LOCANTHI.




n ATA l i E B E h r i n g

11AM – 3PM

Lunch walk up window 11:30am–2:30pm

La Calaca Comelona 2304 SE Belmont | 503-239-9675 4-10pm Mon–Sat


BOLD FLAVOR Vegan Friendly

Open 11-10


tricolorE: (clockwise from left) the inzimino, tagliatelle and sformato.


mai doesn’t make every random shape of pasta to suit variety-hungry Americans, but rather just tagliatelle and gnocchi. On multiple visits, the tagliatelle was consistently just on the right side of al dente, the lightly herbed tomato sauce beautifully balanced in its salt, acidity and sweetness. A similar mastery of tomato was evident in the pappa al pomodoro ($8), a tomato-basil soup BY M AT T H E W KO R F H AGE with bread sopping up the broth’s richness. The sformato di piselli appetizer ($9) is another The first person you will likely meet at Burrasca is simple masterpiece. A savory custard, it comes out chef Paolo Calamai. Looking like a friendly version as a drum of sweet-pea-flavored heaven; the secret of the assassin in The Professional, Calamai strolls to the dish is its slow-cooked bechamel, which through his intimate, airy Tuscan-style trattoria takes on uncharacteristic depth mixed with egg greeting new arrivals, filling the occasional wine and Parmesan. I have never loved peas quite like glass, stepping into the line of his busy open kitch- this. The chicken liver pâté appetizer is likewise a en, and surveying the spinach-ricotta gnudi or marvel of fatty texture, although the pane toscano herb-crusted pork loin that come out to the floor. was a little overcrisped to showcase it. Burrasca has no gimmick. Tucked at the the bottom of the menu are a group of small Calamai is a native Florenthis: Sformato di piselli ($9), inzdishes that Americans would tine, and this space is a true order imino ($16), tagliatelle ($14). often eat as appetizers, but Tuscan restaurant of simple Best deal: A $20 bottle of table wine. which a Tuscan restaurant spice and humble presenta- i’ll pass: Pork leg appetizer ($12). tion, except on Southeast serves with the entrees as sides. Don’t miss the cipollini Clinton Street. The booze is Italian, and the restaurant observes the Europe- ($5)—soft, slow-simmered onions—garlic-sage an tradition of good, affordable table wine, with cannellini ($4) and sauteed chard ($4), served $20 bottles of Il Bastardo that Calamai knows with Tuscan bread ($2) or, especially, puffed fried from home. But one could also ask for a fine crescentine rolls ($4). Negroni ($9) or a true rarity: a genuinely good But sometimes the simplicity goes a little far. A Italian beer, a downright creamy Menabrea pale white-wine pork leg appetizer ($12) served on farro lager served in a wine-sized bottle for $11. was underspiced and its texture a little soft. The And just a month after moving into the for- white wine less accentuated the flavors of the pork mer Block’s space, Burrasca already feels deeply than tamed them. The spinach-ricotta gnudi also ensconced in its neighborhood—never mind placed too much faith in its ingredients, and was a that less than a year ago, Calamai was working little monotone in both texture and flavor. But such solo 12 hours a day and serving his dishes out of problems are rare, even with small touches like a quaintly lattice-fenced food cart we named our mesclun soaked under the perfectly medium-rare, favorite in the city in 2013. juniper-accented steak ($20), or a side salad ($8) By far the most famous dish from Burrasca’s with capers, raisins and Parmigiano-Reggiano. food-cart days is the calamari inzimino ($16), a Each meal should end with a frothy, rich cup fisherman’s dish little known in these parts. Cala- of Illy espresso—yes, even in Portland, the cofmai’s version is a heady mix of tender squid rings, fee is Italian—and a polite Italian dessert, in our spinach crumpled like seaweed, acidic DiNapoli case a lovely zuccotto spongecake nestling choctomato and herb that arrives looking like no other olate in vanilla. When you leave, the last person plate in Portland. It is a pungent stew of inky, you see will likely also be Calamai, as he thanks amorphous blackness punctuated with slices of you for visiting. You should say the same. crostini, both alien and deeply addictive. But my favorite plate at the restaurant was the Eat: Burrasca, 2032 SE Clinton St., 236-7791, 11:30 am-2:30 pm Tuesdaymost familiar—housemade tagliatelle in lovely Sunday, 5-9 pm Tuesday-Thursday, 5-9:30 pm beef ragu ($14). As at restaurants in Italy, Cala- Friday-Saturday.


500 NW 21st Ave, (503) 208-2173

Willamette Week SEPTEMBER 2, 2015



Willamette Week SEPTEMBER 2, 2015


= 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.

WEDNESDAY, SEPT. 2 And And And, Eyelids, Boone Howard

[LOCAL HEROES] At some point, most veteran local bands worry about playing themselves out in Portland. Not And And And. Six years into its career of playing smart, raucous, beersoaked Northwest rock, the band will still play whenever, wherever. So you’ve probably seen them at this point. And you might have seen Eyelids, the indie-pop supergroup whose collective pedigree includes stints with the Decemberists and Guided By Voices. But chances are you haven’t been privy to a set from ex-We Shared Milk frontman Boone Howard, whose just starting to branch out as a solo artist and whose new material already confirms him as one of Portland’s most underrated songwriters. So our advice: Get there early, and stay late. MATTHEW SINGER. Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison St., 239-7639. 8:30 pm. $8 advance, $10 day of show. 21+.

dad was a Zappa freak, or you dipped your toe into the pool with a bit of Mr. Bungle, this is some far-out shit, guaranteed to get even weirder this time around with the addition of boundarypushing local guitarist Doug Theriault. And even if you’re not fond of letting weasels rip your flesh, you should show up to support Rllrbll, Portland’s best and most unsung rock band for the last two decades running. NATHAN CARSON. Valentines, 232 SW Ankeny St., 248-1600. $5. 9 pm. 21+.

Diet Cig

[NEO-GRUNGE] Yes, Diet Cig is but one of the shit-ton of ’90s grunge-pop revivalist bands touring and recording these days. But Diet Cig is still worth your time. The music is straightforward and satisfying, but it’s really frontwoman Alex Luciano’s special brand of

CONT. on page 30

The Funk Master Flexes

Caveman Shoestore, Rllrbll

[IMPROV] If you didn’t live in Portland in the ‘90s, you probably don’t remember Caveman Shoestore. But between 1991 and 2008, this experimental rock unit issued seven albums, informed by the proto-punk bassist Fred Chalenor and drummer Henry Franzoni, cut their teeth playing alongside the Wipers and Napalm Beach. Whether your

FIVE SUGGESTED PARODIES FOR WEIRD AL’S NEXT ALBUM “I Really Like Tofu” (to the tune of Carly Rae Jepsen’s “I Really Like You”)

VIDEO CONCEPT: Al, dressed in tie-dye, shorts and sandals, his hair tied back in a bun, runs wild through a Whole Foods. Tom Hanks is also there, for some reason.

2 “Turn and Cough” (to the tune of Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off ”)

VIDEO CONCEPT: Al is a doctor who’d check these young men for a hernia if only they’d stop dancing for 10 seconds.

3 “Vlasic Man” (to the tune of Jidenna’s “Classic Man”) VIDEO CONCEPT: A dapper-looking Al rides in a Cadillac with a pimped-out stork, hollering at ladies and sipping pickle-juice martinis. 4 “Downtown Monk” (to the tune of Mark Ronson’s “Uptown Funk”)

VIDEO CONCEPT: The funkiest monk in the monastery takes the bus into the city to show the unholy how the enlightened get down.

5 “All About That Bass” (to the tune of Meghan Trainor’s “All About That Bass”)

VIDEO CONCEPT: To clarify, it’s “all about that bass,” as in “no tuna.” Al is a fisherman, hunting his personal Moby Dick. Remember those mechanical singing fish everyone used to buy their dad as a gag gift? They’re back, and more hilarious than ever! MATTHEW SINGER. SEE IT: “Weird Al” Yankovic plays the Oregon Zoo, 4001 SW Canyon Road, on Saturday-Sunday, Sept. 5-6. 7 pm. Both shows sold out. All ages.





Dam-Funk didn’t sign up to be anyone’s savior. About a decade ago, when the 44-year-old producer and multi-instrumentalist born Damon Riddick finally decided to make a go of the music career he’d previously carried out only in his bedroom and anonymous session gigs, all he wanted was for his electro-fied brand of funk to find an audience. But funk, on the whole, was in dire straits. James Brown was dead, and Sly Stone wasn’t entirely alive. Rick James’ legacy had been reduced to a couch-stomping caricature, George Clinton wasn’t doing much with his emeritus status, and “Uptown Funk” was years away from ubiquity. With no one stepping up to relight the torch, the idiom withered into parody, becoming the stuff of Afro wigs and platform shoes and pimp-and-ho parties. With 2009’s Toeachizown, Riddick emerged as the hero the genre needed. Rocking Locs and a Superfly hairdo, a drum machine in one hand and a keytar in the other, he introduced the Pitchfork generation to the rubbery rhythms and fluorescent synths that were the soundtrack of his youth in Pasadena, Calif. Suddenly, funk had a new ambassador. It’s a role Riddick has accepted. But he didn’t ask for it. “I never self-proclaimed myself anything,” he says by phone from L.A. “I would never describe myself as a savior. But I guess I’ve just repped it so hard that people might make that assumption.” Whether he campaigned for the position or not, in the time since arriving on the scene, Riddick has undoubtedly become the leading emissary of what he calls “modern funk.” He’s recorded album-length collaborations with Snoop Dogg and singer Steve Arrington, formerly of seminal funksters Slave. He toured with his longtime idol, Todd Rundgren. And he’s seen his style incorporated (he says “copied”) by new-jack up-and-comers. It’s a much different life than he was living before, working day jobs at

OfficeMax and the Red Cross, and uploading tracks to Myspace on his lunch breaks. That’s probably why, when he discusses his new album, Invite the Light, it almost sounds like he’s talking about his debut. While Toeachizown served as a hefty introduction—in vinyl form, it took up five LPs—Riddick considers Invite the Light to be his first complete artistic statement, distilling the professional highs and personal hardships of the last six years into a broader message about staying positive in a dark world. “I didn’t want to make a jerk-myself-off record, where it’s all me, me, me,” he says. “I said, ‘I want this to be a more universal thing, where anybody listening can apply it to them.’” As an autobiography of influence, though, Invite the Light shows there’s more to Dam-Funk than the music he’s literally made his name on. As a kid, Riddick listened to Kiss and Rush as much as P-Funk, and as an artist, he’s shown as much kinship to lo-fi pop weirdo Ariel Pink as Snoop, both of whom appear on the album’s stacked guest list, along with Q-Tip, Flea of Red Hot Chili Peppers, Jody Watley and Riddick’s mentors, Leon Sylvers III and IV. At points, Riddick dips into deep house (“O.B.E.”), jazz fusion (“Floating on Air”), silky R&B (“Glyde 2nyte”) and, on the Pink collaboration “Acting,” experimental fuckery. It all comes back to funk—and there’s plenty of the smoothgliding bangers Riddick is known for, too—but he proves how elastic the definition is, and how far he can stretch it as a producer. At over 90 minutes, Invite the Light, like its predecessor, is probably too dense to bring about a second coming of funk in the mainstream. But then, Riddick never called himself a messiah. He is, however, a damn good advocate. And that’s one title he seems to have no problem embracing. “I’m just trying to continue funk, that’s the whole thing,” he says. “I’m trying to give more respect to the music, because it’s been relegated to comedy stuff. What I’ve been trying to do is continue funk in a more respectful light, which it deserves.” SEE IT: Dam-Funk plays Doug Fir Lounge, 830 E Burnside St., with Bobby D, on Tuesday, Sept. 8. 9 pm. $13 advance, $15 day of show. 21+. Willamette Week SEPTEMBER 2, 2015


MUSIC wit and taunting lyrics that keeps it from feeling tired like so many of the band’s contemporaries. Plus, its origin story is seriously bona fide: The duo met when Luciano interrupted a house show set to ask drummer Noah Bowman for a lighter. SHANNON GORMLEY. Bunk Bar Water, 1028 SE Water Ave., 328-2865. 9:30 pm. $8. 21+.

The Get Up Kids, the Hotelier, Josh Berwanger Band

[PROTO-EMO] With old age comes a variety of pitfalls that can torpedo even the most resilient of emo OGs: a slowing of tempo; an obsession with arcane lyrical content; or, in the case of the Kansas forefathers of the mid-2000s Hot Topic boom, an outspoken reluctance to the part it played in the genre’s digression from its hardcore roots to an eyeliner-and-skinny jeans sausage fest. Guilty or not, you can’t deny the Get Up Kids the glory of their early years, with Four Minute Mile and Something to Write Home About being essential entries in the canon of maudlin diary-shredding situated atop buzzing power chords and breakneck punk rhythms. Here’s hoping the crew has spent the time since releasing its reunion record, 2011’s There Are Rules, acknowledging its mostly 30-something fans’ pleas that the band stick to the hits rather than pretend it still has something important to say. PETE COTTELL. Hawthorne Theatre, 1507 SE César E Chávez Blvd., 233-7100. 7 pm. $19 advance, $22 day of show. All ages.

Loch Lomond, Edna Vazquez

[RARE FOLK] Hometown shows by Portland indie-folk institution have become vanishingly rare in recent years, ever since founder Ritchie Young announced back in 2012 that the band would only tour Europe for the foreseeable future. Obviously, he hasn’t totally made good on that promise, but the group has scaled its local appearances back enough that, even this far into its career, each one is a must-see event. Another reason why this show is a must-see? The opening act is Portland-based Mexican folk singer Edna Vazquez, whose voice is a still underrated regional treasure. MATTHEW SINGER. Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi Ave., 288-3895. 9 pm. $10. 21+.

Psychedelic Furs, the Church

[NEW WAVE] About 20 years before Win and Will were soundtracking Spike Jonze films, the original Brothers Butler were making shiny pop music that, with iconic director John Hughes, defined a decade and an entire film genre. Psychedelic Furs is a hugely influential band that has been covered by everyone from punks Jawbreaker and Texan emo progenitors Mineral to Annie Lennox and friggin’ Korn. Not even the Smiths have that wide of a reach. CRIS LANKENAU. Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside St., 225-0047. 8 pm. $35. All ages.

THURSDAY, SEPT. 3 Brandon Flowers, Rey Pila

[KILLER] We all know Brandon Flowers. Like him or not, he’s the brains and wailing voice behind Las Vegas power-pop band the Killers. This year marks the 11th anniversary of the group’s best release, Hot Fuss, a glimmering effort that made the George W. years a little easier to swallow. But Flowers is riding his own horse now, having just released The Desired Effect. Behind that evershaking voice, Flowers offers a musical love letter to the 1980s, fit with plenty of corny synth, anthemic builds and a broadersounding backing band. Countless prominent frontmen have gone the solo route, hoping to spit out something purer and more personal. But Flowers still sounds like a Killer—for better or worse. MARK


Willamette Week SEPTEMBER 2, 2015

STOCK. Roseland Theater, 8 NW 6th Ave., 855-227-8499. 8 pm. $27.50. All ages.

Missing Persons

[OLD NEW WAVE] The current incarnation of Missing Persons lives up to its name. Its iconic lead singer, Dale Bozzio, is in place, though she’s now lacking her equally iconic plexiglass brassiere and her rhythmically inventive drummer and ex-husband, Frank Zappa protege Terry Bozzio, and his fellow Zappa vet and later Duran Duran member, guitarist Warren Cuccurullo. Still, Bozzio’s futuristic fashion sense and chirpy, burpy vocal style were well ahead of their time—which means they might be just right for the Age of Gaga. JEFF ROSENBERG. Bossanova Ballroom, 722 E Burnside St., 206-7630. 9 pm. $15 advance, $20 day of show. 21+.

FRIDAY, SEPT. 4 Hey Marseilles, Wildling

[FOLKESTRAL] Consider Hey Marseilles the Seattle counterpart to Typhoon, with only seven players as opposed to a dozen or so. It’s a band that thrives when engulfed in a constellation of baroque strings and woodwinds, which spiral around co-founder and frontman Matt Bishop. The group’s sophomore LP, Lines We Trace, is a melodic blend of folk and pop, accented with rich textures that build upon Bishop’s operatic delivery. The lyrics can be overly twee—like Death Cab for Cutie—but few bands in the Pacific Northwest love and lament with such orchestral pizzazz. BRANDON WIDDER. Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi Ave., 288-3895. 9 pm. $13 advance, $15 day of show. 21+.

On an On, Eliot Summer, Dosh

[THE SOUND OF SEMANTICS] It’s a little unclear under what pretext On an On decided to refer to its music as “experimental.” That’s probably its publicist’s wording and not the band’s, but either way, it doesn’t exactly seem like a fair label for a pretty standard indiepop band. Sure, it has some lovely, lulling songs, and might indulge in some electronic noodling now and again. But “experimental” seems a more apt description for Dosh all the way at the other end of the bill. The veteran Minneapolis percussionist builds lighthearted soundscapes that range from dancy to ethereal. With his oldschool keys and synths and acrobatic live looping, Dosh shows truly live up to their experimental billing. SHANNON GORMLEY. Doug Fir Lounge, 830 E Burnside St, 231-9663, 9 pm. $10 advance, $12 day of show. 21+.

Pat Travers, Factor V, Bullet Train

[GUITAR HERO] There’s a lot more to Pat Travers than “Snortin’ Whiskey” and drinking cocaine. If we’ve learned anything from the recent tours by Uli Jon Roth, Michael Schenker and Robin Trower, it’s that ’70s guitar slingers are impervious to the ravages of age. Sure, the quality of their studio albums may suffer. But on that intimate Panic Room stage, Travers will be blazing those sixstrings in your face, rolling out his handful of hits and digging deep from his four-decade catalog. There’s something really special about sharing air space with artists of this stature in such an unassuming room. NATHAN CARSON. Panic Room, 3100 NE Sandy Blvd., 238-0543. 8 pm. $30 advance, $35 day of show.

Rebirth Brass Band, Royal Jelly Jive

[STREET BEATS] From the very moment Rebirth Brass Band founder Philip Frazier throws the mic into the bell of his giant marching tuba, you know the show

CONT. on page 31

is going to be serious. New Orleans’ most famous street-beat masters provide a magic carpet ride to the dance floor, where newcomers and cult followers share in the sweaty, funked-up party. Still rolling full steam ahead off its 2014 release, Move Your Body, the 30-year-old institution remains among the best ways to forget about your troubles, or work off that crawfish po’boy. PARKER HALL. Dante’s, 350 W Burnside St., 226-6630. 8 pm. $19.50. 21+.

SATURDAY, SEPT. 5 Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals, Benjy Ferree

[SLIDING DOORS] During this recent extended hiatus from the Innocent Criminals, Ben Harper’s career hasn’t been exactly what you’d call “solo.” Over the past eight years, he’s collaborated with his mother on 2014 folk album Childhood Home; joined blues brother number one Charlie Musselwhite on 2013 Grammywinner Get Up!; and enlisted Ringo Starr and Jackson Browne for 2011’s backward-leaning rocker, Give Till It’s Gone. The genre-spanning holiday might rightly have solidified perceptions of the slide-guitar virtuoso as nothing more than the sum of his influences, but, back on tour with old running mates en route to a forthcoming album, somehow Harper’s never sounded more like himself. JAY HORTON. Edgefield, 2126 SW Halsey St., Troutdale, 6698610. 6 pm. $49 advance, $55 day of show. All ages.

Lee “Scratch” Perry, Cherimoya

[MAD SCIENTIST] Lee “Scratch” Perry, the king of dub and producer behind reggae’s greatest hits, couldn’t give two shits about your legal weed. In Perry’s cosmology, human excrement is holy, but pot

is a wholly superfluous distraction from the divine battle of good and evil. As depicted in the hit “Duppy Conqueror,” which he once ghostwrote for Bob Marley, Scratch is the type to face demons head-on, which once led him to burn down the legendary Black Ark Studios he founded in search of new inspiration. At 79, Perry continues his quest to conquer the vampires of the Old World through a perfect alignment of bass and acoustic rhythm, with contemporary excursions through dancehall and triphop, as a frontman for the universal resonance of dub science. WYATT SCHAFFNER. Star Theater, 13 NW 6th Ave., 248-4700. 9 pm. $20. 21+.

Mikal Cronin, the Cairo Gang, Lithics

[GETTING KINKY] Garagey intonations persisted through a few of Mikal Cronin’s solo albums even after he’d dedicated so much time to it, first as a Moonheart and then as a Ty Segall compatriot. But after his self-titled 2011 album, it’s slowly dissipated, as his Kinks worship has begun to take over, in both the sharp melodicism and barbed lyricism. All the bells and whistles that come along with gaining a modicum of notoriety started cropping up in 2013. His latest disc, MCIII, arrived a step away from being primed for a spot on a rom-com soundtrack, supplemental strings wrenching the life out of any residual grime. DAVE CANTOR. Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi Ave., 288-3895. 9 pm. $12 advance, $14 day of show. 21+.

Monk Parker

[LIFE-AFFIRMING FOLK] Mangham “Monk” Parker certainly isn’t the first musician to retreat to Austin before issuing an album steeped in utter heartbreak. He last cut his teeth with the Low Lows in Athens, Ga., before relocating, swiftly surrounding himself with the 20-odd players that helped shape the



aspiring nature of his proper debut, How the Spark Loves the Tinder. The added adornment, whether it be the shrill theremin of “Sadly Yes” or the elegant brass arrangements throughout, propels Parker’s languid vocals beyond their bare, poetic nature. It’s all wrapped in waltzing country swagger that’s sometimes mournful, yet always magnificent. BRANDON WIDDER. Bunk Bar, 1028 SE Water Ave., 328-2865. 9:30 pm. $8. 21+.

Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats, the Blue Rider

[OLD R&B] Nathaniel Rateliff started like so many solo artists of the last decade: He sounded a lot like Bon Iver. Since 2013, the Denver musician has abandoned wounded folk for R&B, playing with the barn-burning soul combo the Night Sweats. The band’s debut self-titled LP is feel-good rhythm ’n’ blues with a rustic edge. It pulls from James Brown and Sam Cooke while maintaining Rateliff ’s rural upbringing, and the result is nothing short of the blue-eyed soul Van Morrison made famous. MARK STOCK. Doug Fir Lounge, 830 E Burnside St., 2319663, 9 pm. $12. 21+.

30% OFF ALL CUSTOM FRAMING 21st Anniversary Sale We make your art look great 2236 NE Broadway St in the Irvington District Mon–Sat 10–5 and by Appt. 503-249-5659 Sale runs through September 30, 2015 Restrictions apply

Tracy Grammer

[SINGER-SONGWRITER] In July, folk fans in Portland and throughout the country noted the 13th anniversary of gifted Portland bard Dave Carter’s premature death by heart attack. Of course, Carter had already written himself as good an epitaph as anyone could hope for, the stirring “When I Go,” the title song of the first of three albums he recorded with partner Tracy Grammer. Grammer has worked tirelessly to preserve Carter’s songwriting legacy since his death, and later this month, that legacy receives its highest-profile tribute yet, as folk grand dame Judy Collins’ forthcoming album features her duetting with Willie Nelson on “When I Go.” Meanwhile, a hometown visit from Grammer, who these days lives in Massachusetts, is an occasion to celebrate her continued growth as a songwriter in her own right. JEFF ROSENBERG. Alberta Rose Theatre, 3000 NE Alberta St., 719-6055. 8 pm. $16 advance, $20 day of show. Under 21 permitted with legal guardian.

“Weird Al” Yankovic

Babes in Toyland, FEA

[PUNK LEGENDS] As underground grunge, alternative and metal acts graduated to major labels in the early ’90s, only one band fought hard enough to keep its teeth from being filed down. Minneapolis trio Babes in Toyland released the ferocious Fontanelle album in the summer of 1992, shortly after its European tour with Sonic Youth that was captured in the documentary 1991: The Year Punk Broke. The band formed in 1987 around Lori Barbero’s tomheavy drum patterns and Kat Bjelland’s unearthly vocal snarl and innovative guitar violence. Remarkably, the group was unfiltered, untamed and still commercially successful. Babes in Toyland toured hard, releasing a string of critically acclaimed albums, EPs and videos. By the mid-’90s, though, the unit found its edges fraying from exhaustion, addiction and mistrust. Fast-forward 20 years, and Bjelland, Barbero and bassist Maureen Herman have made amends—thanks in part to a sizable investment from a group of creative philanthropists that politely demanded the Babes return. Whether those guys see a return on their investment is of little concern. They made a wish and, lucky us, it came true. NATHAN CARSON. Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi Ave., 288-3895. 9 pm Thursday, Sept. 3. Sold out. 21+.

[WHITE AND NERDY] Weird Al has truly conquered the world— or at least the U.S. His 2014 album, Mandatory Fun, was his first charttopper, and the first comedy album to reach No. 1 on the Billboard top 200 since 1963. This success was fueled in part by a brilliant promotional campaign that involved the release of eight videos in eight days. And while his timely parodies of Iggy Azalea and Lorde are hilarious send-ups, he also manages to pastiche the Pixies, provide plenty of polkas and unleash new and original epics like “Jackson Park Express.” Being a nerd is finally a badge of honor, and for this, we owe so much to Mr. Yankovic. NATHAN CARSON. Oregon Zoo, 4001 SW Canyon Road, 226-1561. 7 pm. Sold out. All ages. Through Sept. 6.

SUNDAY, SEPT. 6 Ensemble Mik Nawooj

[HIP-HOP ORCHESTRA] In a genre that relies heavily on prerecorded break beats, real musicians are the key to Bay Area pianist JooWan Kim’s world of sound. The leader of a 10-piece chamber orchestra with two fire-breathing MCs, Kim and his Ensemble Mik Nawooj weave a layered tapestry from hybridized sonic threads, where jazz horns and Vivaldi strings brush elbows with 16-bar rhymes. The group has been performing live for a decade, but given the recent pop-culture successes of live jazz-rap hybrids from the likes of Kendrick Lamar and

CONT. on page 33 Willamette Week SEPTEMBER 2, 2015



Willamette Week SEPTEMBER 2, 2015

MUSIC Flying Lotus, this might just be the beginning a golden era for the Ensemble and its take on hip-hop. PARKER HALL. Star Theater, 13 NW 6th Ave., 248-4700. 7 pm. $10. 21+.

MONDAY, SEPT. 7 Billygoat, Pregnant, IBQT

[VISUAL AMBIENCE] Billygoat— formerly Goodnight Billygoat—is less a band than a complex art installation. Innovators and multiinstrumentalists David Klein and Nick Woolley create intricate sets inspired by short films and then make the live score to accompany them. The behind-the-scenes work is incredible on its own—a single minute of visuals takes up to a full month to prepare—but the magnificent ends justify the tedious

means. The duo has equated its work to the silent-film era, when bands would often perform at screenings. Tonight, Billygoat premieres a new piece that is sure to leave your jaw agape. MARK STOCK. Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison St., 239-7639. 8:30 pm. $6. 21+.

Cult of Luna, Minsk, SubRosa

[POST-METAL] Hailing from Sweden, Cult of Luna’s contributions to the post-metal canon cannot be understated. Infusing roaring emotional crescendos and hardcore-in-slow-motion structures with textures borrowed from electronic and folk music, 2004’s Salvation and 2006’s Somewhere Along the Highway helped transform the sound created by Neurosis and Isis in the late ’90s

CONT. on page 35




AN OLD PERSON’S GUIDE TO ARIANA GRANDE Who is Ariana Grande, and why should I care? She’s an actress-turned-pop star, and she can really sing, man. The 22-year-old has one of the best voices in the world, and it’s not just pop music. It’s light as frozen yogurt but can still knock you on your ass with its sheer physicality. She is often compared to Mariah Carey for her ability to hit the highest of notes and her fondness for the sort of breathy, rhythmic ’90s R&B that is sort of out of step with current pop trends. Hey, I like R&B! Will she do a new jack swing cover? We can only hope so. But seriously, check out Grande’s debut album, Yours Truly, a total gem of a record that trades in throwback vibes and broken hearts. Lead single “The Way” even features a sample from Brenda Russell’s “A Little Bit of Love,” which you’ve probably also heard as the basis for Big Pun’s 1998 single “Still Not a Player.” You know, that song you requested at karaoke last week. Has she been featured in my favorite magazine, Rolling Stone? Grande was on the cover in September last year, and she’s been featured not just for her music but also her pointed takes on the way the magazine, and pop culture in general, imposes gross double standards on women. So she’s actually a good role model for your kids. Just ignore that whole doughnut-licking story. Hmm, I’ll have to Google that. Would I have seen her video on MTV or VH1? Have you seen any music video on television in the last decade? Her intergalactic clip for Zedd-produced EDM romp “Break Free” surely broke through the constant barrage of Teen Mom and Catfish reruns on MTV to air every once in a while. She also received two Grammy nominations last year, but you knew that, right? People of your generation love the Grammys! Oh! Is she the one who insists on having her bodyguards carry her everywhere? Yeah, but only when she’s tired. Hey, being a pop star is weird. But rock ’n’ roll is dead, so you might as well embrace it. MICHAEL MANNHEIMER. SEE IT: Ariana Grande plays Moda Center, 1 N Center Court St., on Friday, Sept. 4. 7:30 pm. $29.50-$69.50. All ages. Willamette Week SEPTEMBER 2, 2015



Willamette Week SEPTEMBER 2, 2015

MUSIC into a lasting subgenre with an identity of its own. Now seven albums deep, Cult of Luna is joined by one of its progeny, Salt Lake City’s SubRosa, which is responsible for one of the best metal albums of the past few years, No Help for the Mighty Ones. WALKER MACMURDO. Star Theater, 13 NW 6th Ave., 248-4700. 9 pm. $17 advance, $20 day of show. 21+.

Kid Cadaver, Pacific Patterns, Danny Delegato

[ELECTRO-PUNK] What Kid Cadaver’s latest EP, Roam, lacks in originality is made up for by the raw enthusiasm that makes young bands fusing punk energy with electropop perennial winners on the hypemachine circuit. Although original recipe Sparks is off the market, fans of former darlings like Tokyo Police Club or Black Kids will undoubtedly feel nostalgic for the halcyon days of the late aughts when they hear the ebullient technicolor bounce of tracks like “New Friends” and “Claws.” PETE COTTELL. Valentines, 232 SW Ankeny St. 9 pm. 21+.

Melvins, Big Business

[LOUD AND PROUD] Melvins has had one of the most fluid and malleable careers in rock, thanks to the 29-year partnership of guitarist Buzz Osborne and drummer Dale Crover. The number of bass players they’ve employed is laughable and ought to get them canonized as both job creators and destroyers. For a few years, Melvins’ auxiliary rhythm section, Big Business, was the support on every tour. When that got old, Melvins returned to a trio format for a while. Now that cycle has run its course, and Big Business is back in the fold, though its warm-up set is also as a power quartet, albeit with two guitars instead of two drummers. Prepare to be flattened by your bulldozing masters. NATHAN CARSON. Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell St., 284-8686. 9 pm. $20 advance, $22 day of show. All ages.

CLASSICAL, JAZZ & WORLD Oregon Symphony, Portland Taiko and more


Jenny Don’t and the Spurs JENNY DON’T AND THE SPURS (SELF-RELEASED) [PUNKISH COUNTRY ] “I like everything but country.” I t ’s t h e e t e r n a l refrain of high schoolers and idiots nationwide (don’t even get me started on high-school idiots). But there’s hope for the kids yet. Enter Jenny Don’t and the Spurs. Backed by notable Portland musicians—Kelly Halliburton (Pierced Arrows), Sam Henry (Wipers, the Rats) and JT Halmfilst (a jillion bands)—Ms. Don’t, who previously played with Henry in the band bearing her surname, has released an album of 10 punky country hits that will blow the minds of those who only know the genre through Auto-Tuned CMT fare. The songs run the gamut from the lilting waltz of “Carry Me Home” to the garagey lurch of “Hot as a Desert,” but are all grounded by a similar theme. There’s more of an emphasis on feeling than technical perfection. Nowhere is this more obvious than in Don’t’s voice, piercing and fierce in her higher range, ragged and aching in the lows. The highlight of the album, a cover of Nancy Sinatra and Lee Hazelwood’s “Ladybird,” finds Don’t in a duel with Poison Idea’s Jerry A., who sports a surprisingly supple croon. JAMES HELMSWORTH. SEE IT: Jenny Don’t and the Spurs play Bunk Bar, 1028 SE Water Ave., with Roselit Bone and Dusty Boots, on Friday, Sept. 4. 9:30 pm. $5. 21+.


[O.G. STOMP] Andrew Oliver may have left Portland for London two years ago, but the pianist and erstwhile paragon of Portland’s jazz scene hasn’t left behind classic American jazz. During this brief visit home, he’s anchoring the Bridgetown Sextet, which he co-founded, in a release concert for its third CD, Stomp, Defined. Recorded just before Oliver expatriated, the album continues the band’s spirited romp through classic blues-fueled swing tunes by Jelly Roll Morton, King Oliver, Bennie Moten and other pioneering proto-jazz legends of 1920s and ’30s. BRETT CAMPBELL. The Secret Society, 116 NE Russell St., 493-3600. 9 pm Friday, Sept. 4. $12. 21+.

[A.I. POP] Since 2012, Wild Ones bassist Max Stein and Seattle studio owner Paurl Walsh have been conducting an experiment in repression. As Rainbows, the two musicians, both composition majors, purposely deny themselves their strengths—namely, guitars and the ability to compose—in favor of synthesizers and spontaneous songwriting. It smacks of extracurricular distraction, and the recordings they’ve released up to this point haven’t been all that listenable. With the three-song Let’s Kiss EP, however, they seem to be getting somewhere, ditching contorted Battles bubble-prog and arriving at the threshold of digitized pop. Opener “Bhangra College” is the highlight, not just of the set but of the collaboration so far, an ellipse of sherbet-colored keyboards and android vocals that sounds like what would happen if someone programmed ASIMO to write a Chvrches song. “Knuckles” and “Chords,” meanwhile, stir together bits of Aphex Twin, Art of Noise, Matmos and Röyksopp until it’s as bright as a Lisa Frank sticker sheet. It’s still an experiment in the “let’s twist this knob and see what happens” sense, but now they’re finally justified in letting the rest of us hear it. MATTHEW SINGER.

For more Music listings, visit

SEE IT: Rainbows plays Dig a Pony, 736 SE Grand Ave., with Fog Father, on Wednesday, Sept. 2. 9 pm. Free. 21+.

[CLASSICAL BLAST] The classical music season traditionally gets off to a booming start with the Oregon Symphony’s annual free waterfront concert, which really a mini festival featuring nine different acts ranging from world music like Portland Taiko and Irish fiddler Kevin Burke to various classical acts like Portland Youth Philharmonic. At 7 pm, the host Oregon Symphony plays music by a host of long-dead Europeans and not a single work by an Oregon composer—despite the fact that Oregon taxpayers ponied up tens of thousands of dollars to subsidize this show. (They should commission a new one every year.) But hey: Cannons! Fireworks! Woo hoo! BRETT CAMPBELL. Tom McCall Waterfront Park, 1020 Naito Pkwy. 1 pm Thursday, Sept. 3. Free. All ages.

Bridgetown Sextet, the Midnight Serenaders

Willamette Week SEPTEMBER 2, 2015


l a c i p y t R u o Not y l a v i t s e f R bee EK’S


october 3 1 to 6 pm 21� and over

metalcraft fabrication warehouse 723 n tillamook street Home brewers and pro brewers team up to create never-released beers and vie for your vote in the People’s Choice Award. 36

Willamette Week SEPTEMBER 2, 2015

MUSIC CALENDAR WED. SEPT. 2 Ash Street Saloon 225 SW Ash Scar After Scar

Bunk Bar Water

1028 SE Water Ave. Diet Cig

Crystal Ballroom

1332 W Burnside St. Psychedelic Furs, the Church


350 West Burnside Randy Rogers and Wade Bowen

Dig A Pony

736 SE Grand Ave. Rainbows, Fog Father

Hawthorne Theatre

1507 SE César E Chávez Blvd. The Get Up Kids, the Hotelier, Josh Berwanger Band


1001 SE Morrison St And And And, Eyelids, Boone Howard


515 NW 13th Ave SPACIOUS

Kelly’s Olympian

426 SW Washington St Blood Owl, Seven Inches

Landmark Saloon

4847 SE Division St Jake Ray and the Cowdogs, Miller and Sasser’s Twelve Dollar Band

Mississippi Studios

3939 N Mississippi Ave. Loch Lomond

Star Theater

13 NW 6th Ave THE SINDICATE with Brewfish

The White Eagle 836 N Russell St Color-Coder


232 SW Ankeny Caveman Shoestore, Doug Theriault, Rllrbll

THURS. SEPT. 3 Alberta Street Pub 1036 NE Alberta St Wooden Sleepers

Ash Street Saloon

225 SW Ash The Streakin’ Healys, WWIV

Bossanova Ballroom 722 E Burnside St Missing Persons

Gov. Tom McCall Waterfront Park

1020 SW Naito Parkway Oregon Symphony, Portland Taiko, Portland Youth Philharmonic, Metropolitan Youth Symphony and more

Kelly’s Olympian

Mississippi Pizza Pub 3552 N Mississippi Ave Red Yarn kids show

Mississippi Studios

3939 N Mississippi Ave. Babes In Toyland, FEA

Panic Room

3100 NE Sandy Blvd The Atomic Bitchwax, Mos Generator, Against The Grain, Billions and Billions

Roseland Theater

8 NW 6th Ave. Brandon Flowers, Rey Pila

The White Eagle 836 N Russell St Labrador Twins

FRI. SEPT. 4 Amphitheater Northwest

17200 NE Delfel Road Kid Rock, Foreigner, Packway Handle Band

Ash Street Saloon 225 SW Ash Mother Crone

Bunk Bar

1028 SE Water Ave Jenny Don’t and The Spurs, Roselit Bone, Dusty Boots


350 W Burnside St. Rebirth Brass Band, Royal Jelly Jive

Doug Fir Lounge

830 E Burnside St On An On, Eliot Summer, Dosh


2126 S. W. Halsey ST. Anita Margarita & The RattleSnakes

Hawthorne Theatre 1507 SE 39th Chingaso (live in the lounge)

Jimmy Mak’s

221 NW 10th Ave Industrial Revelation and Farnell Newton Band

Keller Auditorium 222 SW Clay St. Lindsey Stirling

Mississippi Studios

3939 N Mississippi Ave. Hey Marseilles, Wildling

Moda Center

1 N Center Court St Ariana Grande

Panic Room 3100 NE Sandy Blvd. Pat Travers, Factor V, Bullet Train

Roseland Theater 8 NW 6th Ave Yellow Claw

Star Theater

13 NW 6th Ave Engine Driver Presents: FORTUNATE YOUTH with Ital Vibes


426 SW Washington St

KPSU + We Out Here Magazine Present The Thesis featuring Mic Capes, Grape God, DJ Verbz

The Secret Society

116 NE Russell St. Smut City Jellyroll Society (early show); Bridgetown Sextet, the Midnight Serenaders (late show)

The Sweet Spot

3037 N Williams Ave. Redneck, DayMoanstar, Nikki n’ The Pathos, The Toads

The White Eagle 836 N Russell St All My Exes

Twilight Cafe and Bar 1420 SE Powell Static and the Cubes, Bottlenose Koffins, Golden Handcuffs

Wonder Ballroom 128 NE Russell St The White Buffalo

SAT. SEPT. 5 Alberta Rose Theatre 3000 NE Alberta St An Evening with Tracy Grammer

Alberta Street Pub 1036 NE Alberta St Be Calm Honcho

Ash Street Saloon 225 SW Ash Donerail

Bunk Bar

1028 SE Water Ave. Monk Parker

Clyde’s Prime Rib Restaurant & Bar

5474 NE Sandy Blvd Cool Breeze

Dante’s 350 West Burnside J-Fell and 105.9 The Brew presents ISLAND IN THE SUN, 89 VISION and THE FASHION NUGGETS

Doug Fir Lounge

830 E Burnside St. Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats, the Blue Rider


2126 S. W. Halsey ST. Ben Harper & the Innocent Criminals

Hawthorne Theatre

1507 SE 39th 11th Annual Dimebag Benefit Show: Stronger Than All, Agnozia, Chronological Injustice , Strength

Jimmy Mak’s

221 NW 10th Ave Ants in the Kitchen

Kelly’s Olympian

426 SW Washington St Elton Cray & the Pariahs, ADDvert, Tribe Mars

IN THE COURT OF THE LIZARD KING: I’m In Your Mind Fuzz is about as fitting a record title as possible for the also appropriately named Aussie psych-rock outfit King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard. On Monday night, the septet treated a packed Mississippi Studios to a hyper-hypnotic set of mildly surfy, extremely cerebral rock ’n’ roll. It was the brash and boisterous approach that puts the electric guitar on a pedestal and leaves everyone else heaving. From the rigorous stop-and-go of “Cellophane” to the bossa nova twist of “The River,” King Gizzard was in fine, fearsome form. MARK STOCK. See more photos at lastweeklive.

Lovecraft Bar

421 SE Grand Ave The Leading Psychics

Mississippi Studios

3939 N Mississippi Ave. Mikal Cronin, the Cairo Gang, Lithics

Oregon Zoo

4001 SW Canyon Road “Weird Al” Yankovic

Roseland Theater 8 NW 6th Ave Social Distortion

Star Theater

13 NW 6th Ave. Lee “Scratch” Perry, Cherimoya

The Sweet Spot

3037 N Williams Ave. Latter Day Skanks,Raw Dog And The Close Calls

The White Eagle

REFORMED KILLER: Brandon Flowers plays Roseland Theater on Thursday, Sept. 3.

[SEPT. 2-8]


The Movement Center 1021 NE 33rd Ave Alam Khan

For more listings, check out


= WW Pick. Highly recommended.

Editor: Matthew Singer. TO HAVE YOUR EVENT LISTED, send show information at least two weeks in advance on the web 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:

836 N Russell St Liz Vice

Twilight Cafe and Bar 1420 SE Powell Burnside Skate Park Benefit with Shcroder Bomb, Ghost Alien, The Unknowns

SUN. SEPT. 6 Ash Street Saloon 225 SW Ash The Wilds

Clyde’s Prime Rib Restaurant & Bar

5474 NE Sandy Blvd Ron Steen Jazz Jam

Doug Fir Lounge

830 E Burnside St Andrew Duhon Trio

Landmark Saloon

4847 SE Division St Ian Miller and Friends!

Oregon Zoo

4001 SW Canyon Road “Weird Al” Yankovic

Panic Room



600 E Burnside St Rontoms Sunday Sessions: Cambrian Explosion, Ice Queens

Star Theater

13 NW 6th Ave. Ensemble Mik Nawooj

The White Eagle 836 N Russell St Rob Johnston

MON. SEPT. 7 Dante’s

350 West Burnside JIMMY SMITH (of the Gourds) & THE HARD PANS


2126 S. W. Halsey ST. Skip vonKuske’s Cellotronik

Goodfoot Pub & Lounge 2845 SE Stark St Sonic Forum


1001 SE Morrison St Billygoat, Pregnant, IBQT

Kelly’s Olympian

426 SW Washington St

Open Mic hosted by Lee Aulson and Talon Bronson

Star Theater

13 NW 6th Ave. Cult of Luna, Minsk, SubRosa


232 SW Ankeny St. Kid Cadaver, Pacific Patterns, Danny Delegato

Wonder Ballroom

128 NE Russell St. Melvins, Big Business

TUES. SEPT. 8 Ash Street Saloon

225 SW Ash Stochastic Mettle Union

Doug Fir Lounge

830 E Burnside St Dam-Funk


2126 S. W. Halsey ST. The Earnest Lovers


1001 SE Morrison St Daniel Rafn

LaurelThirst Public House 2958 NE Glisan St Jackstraw

The White Eagle 836 N Russell St Madam Officer

Twilight Cafe and Bar 1420 SE Powell Granddad, Shiver Twins, Inside Information, Mineral Spring

Willamette Week SEPTEMBER 2, 2015



Willamette Week SEPTEMBER 2, 2015



Where to drink this week. 1. Noble Rot

1111 E Burnside St., 233-1999, Noble Rot may be best known for its rare eastside rooftop view and its signature flight of funky Sauternes dessert wine, but dig a little deeper and you’ll find the throaty sweetness of a 1983 Toro Albala Don PX sherry. Take advantage.



2. The 19th Hole

Southwest 15th Avenue and Yamhill Street, Nothing says summer quite like mini golf, cheap beer and blisteringly hot parking lots. Mini golf is $6 per person per ninehole round, but hanging out is free, and they’ve got $5 cans of Grapefruit Sculpin and Vortex IPA.


SEPTEMBER 7TH 10am to 7pm all days!

3. Analog Cafe


720 SE Hawthorne Blvd., 206-7439, After mild contention, the great demonstration of freedom that is Marijuana Mondays will survive OLCC scrutiny with bud giveaways through October.

4. Fifteenth Avenue Hophouse

1517 NE Brazee St., 971-266-8392, Hophouse co-founder Leah Lockwood has bought out her business partners in the two Hophouses—including her husband, Phillip—and will assume sole management of both bars. No changes to the kitchen staff are planned, but Lockwood says to expect more ciders and healthy food options.

5. Trifecta

726 SE 6th Ave., 841-6675, Trifecta is a great restaurant, but in some ways it’s an even better bar, sporting one of the most inviting rooms in Portland, and a kick-ass drink list that includes a Gibson with oregano-brined pearl onions and obscure Spanish gin.

ALEXANDER POPE HOUSE: Some would question the wisdom of theming a bar after people ruined by drink. In a quaint side-street house in Nob Hill, new bar The Peddler and Pen (2327 NW Kearney St., 477-4380, has papered the walls with subdued Victorian patterns and hung pictures of famously lushy Edgar Allan Poe and Oscar Wilde (who died awash in opium, chloral and Champagne) not to mention an anonymous drunken writer sprawled over a fireplace stuffed tight with books. But maybe the theme makes sense here. One drinking establishment after another has been abandoned here over the past four years, from Laurelwood to Northwest Public House to Huckleberry Pub. Name a drink for Kafka after that, and you’re within your rights. But like Wilde on his deathbed, any true alcoholic writer would be drunk beyond his means, with an ambitious draft list that includes beautifully alcoholic Brother Thelonious Belgian strong dark ($9) and Fleur de Blanc from the Commons ($6), plus rotating house-bottled cocktails ($10). Even the crap beer—Dortmunder DAB in a can—comes from Germany, not Milwaukee, and the hot dogs that take up half the food menu cost around $8. Well drinks drop to $4 during early and late happy hours, with a buck tacked on to get one of the city’s better cheap Old Fashioneds. The mood is less degenerate than tamely domestic, but the bar’s best feature went nigh unused on a recent Friday. An idyllic patio sat empty, next to a quote from Wilde narrating the problem: Only some of us were looking at the stars. MATTHEW KORFHAGE.


Jenny Don’t & The Spurs are a Portland band favoring a lonely desertwestern style acoustic sound with roots in dusty punk and americana. Featuring Jenny Don’t, Sam Henry & Kelly Halliburton (A.K.A. members of Don’t, Napalm Beach, The Rats & The Wipers), these musicians have been making their mark on the Portland sound for decades. JOIN US AT MUSIC MILLENNIUM


WED. SEPT. 2 Lovecraft Bar

421 SE Grand Ave Event Horizon - Industrial EBM and electro night! DJs Straylight and Miss Q



3967 N. Mississippi Ave DJ Sappho

FRI. SEPT. 4 Bossanova Ballroom 722 E Burnside St Flamingay “Babewatch”

Fifth Avenue Lounge 125 NW 5th Avenue JUICE! drum and bass presents DJ MARKY, Sao Paolo, Brazil

Lovecraft Bar

Lovecraft Bar


421 SE Grand Ave “Shadowplay presents: the Official H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival Pre-Party.”

421 SE Grand Ave Death Trip w/ DJ Tobias and guests - Garage, psyche, post punk, goth and death rock 1001 SE Morrison St Bey Day: A Celebration of the Queen featuring DJ Ronin Roc, Holla n Oates


3967 N. Mississippi Ave HEW Francisco

SAT. SEPT. 5 Moloko

3967 N. Mississippi Ave DJ Roane

SUN. SEPT. 6 Lovecraft Bar

421 SE Grand Ave DJ Buckmaster presents Sad



Kelly’s Olympian 426 SW Washington St Eye Candy VJ’s Music Videos in the bar

Lovecraft Bar

Lovecraft Bar

1001 SE Morrison St DJ Sappho 421 SE Grand Ave MISPRID presents Expressway to Yr Skull



Purchase the new albums now at Music Millennium for guaranteed admission to these performances!



421 SE Grand Ave rock w/ Cory, dance w/ Cory, watch videos w/ Cory

Willamette Week SEPTEMBER 2, 2015


The Potlander Ready foR octobeR 1? Joining the Willamette Week family of successful glossy magazines such as Beer Guide, Outdoor Guide, Finder and Restaurant Guide, The Potlander will be every Oregonian’s handbook for recreational cannabis! We’ll tell ouR ReadeRs: • Where to buy with a comprehensive dispensary directory and maps (including Vancouver) • What to smoke with strain reviews and photos • Plus gear reviews, head shops, and more!

aVaIlable sePteMbeR 30! Pick up your copy at hundreds of select distribution outlets (pick up WW every week to find out where)! On-sale year-round at Powell’s

Space Reservation & Materials Deadline: Thursday, September 10 at 4pm Call: 503.243.2122 Email:

RESTauRanT GuiDE Restaurant Guide is Portland’s definitive annual look at the best of the robust culinary universe our city has to offer. Featuring our Top 100 Restaurants as well as the Restaurant of the Year, this glossy keepsake can be found atop many a coffee table year round!

AVAILABLE OCTOBER 21! Pick up your copy at hundreds of select distribution outlets throughout Portland! On-sale year-round at Powell’s

Space Reservation & Materials Deadline: Thursday, October 1 at 10am Call: 503.243.2122 Email:


Willamette Week SEPTEMBER 2, 2015


= 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: ENID SPITZ. Theater: ENID SPITZ ( Comedy: MIKE ACKER ( Dance: ENID SPITZ ( TO BE CONSIDERED FOR LISTINGS, submit information at least two weeks in advance to:


A skewering of actorly pretensions and the legitimate theater’s dimming relevance in show business, I Hate Hamlet’s famously troubled 1991 Broadway run launched the career of comic playwright Paul Rudnick with this tale of a callow, young sitcom star bedeviled by the ghost of John Barrymore after unhappily accepting an offer to play the titular role for Shakespeare in the Park. Penny Lonergan will direct the Hillsboro Artists’ Regional Theater production, and newcomer Benjamin Philip, himself not long removed from an iambic pentameter stint ‘round New York, will play long-suffering hero Andrew Rally. JAY HORTON. HART Theater, 185 SE Washington St., Hillsboro, 693-7815. 7:30 pm FridaySaturday, 2 pm Sunday, through Sept. 20. $11-$15.


Post5 co-founder Ty Boice stars in his last production before moving to Seattle, a contemporary political drama from American playwright Bill Cain that questions the importance of truth in times of national crisis. Paul Angelo directs this thriller that asks what would happen if King James I of England commissioned William Shakespeare to write a definitive history of the 1609 Gunpowder Plot that was supposed to blow up the English Parliament. But there’s a rub: The king requests that Shakespeare add some flattering dialogue...and witches. As the playwright and his company grapple with issues of artistry, politics and morality, they risk losing their heads, and Shakespeare has to decide if he can equivocate about the truth and maintain his integrity as an artist. Bill Cain’s play features 20 parts to be played by six actors, including characters from Macbeth, which Shakespeare was writing around the same time. Post5 Theatre, 1666 SE Lambert St., 7:30 Friday-Sunday through Oct. 4. $20.

Into the Woods

The advanced repertory ensemble from Bellingham Arts Academy for Youth is touring Stephen Sondheim’s classic fairy tale mash-up that asks what happens after “happily ever after?” This is the first time the young students, ages 13 to 17, are going on tour, taking the ambitious musical, which most people know from the Hollywood version, across the Pacific Northwest. Alberta Abbey, 126 NE Alberta St., 7:30 pm Saturday, Sept. 5. $10.


Based on a true story, Looped is set in a 1965 sound studio where Tallulah Bankhead, the original celebrity bad girl, has been summoned to re-record (or “loop”) one line of dialogue for the film that would prove to be her last: Die! Die! My Darling! This simple task turns into an epic showdown between an uptight sound editor and the outrageous legend when the actress proves too inebriated to perform the line correctly. In the midst of the face-off, recollections spill out as Bankhead’s talk turns to the scandals and rumors that have followed her for years, from her infamous affairs to her disastrous performance in A Streetcar Named Desire. Catch this Triangle Productions presentation of the Tonynominated comedy. The Sanctuary at the Sandy Plaza, 1785 NE Sandy Blvd., 239-5919. 7:30 Thursday-Saturday and 2 pm Sunday through Sept. 26. No Show Sunday, Sept. 6. $15-$35.

Mortified Portland

Shameful stories and embarrassing memories from a varied cast of local performers come to light at Portland’s version of the national Mortified show. It’s like a sad yet hilarious show-andtell where childhood journals are dug up for the amusement of random strangers. Alberta Rose Theatre, 3000 NE Alberta St., 7 pm Thursday, Sept. 3 and 7 and 10 pm Friday, Sept. 4. $15.

The Taming of the Shrew

Director Patrick Walsh says that The Taming of the Shrew’s reputation as a misogynistic, innuendo-laden romp is undeserved. Rather, it is a love story about two outsiders who battle a society where one’s worth is determined by the amount that someone will pay for them. Veteran Northwest Shakespeare actors Melissa Whitney and Sam Levi star as Kate and Petruchio in Portland Actors Ensemble’s interpretation of one of Shakespeare’s most problematic plays. WALKER MACMURDO. Reed College, Great Lawn, 3203 SE Woodstock Blvd., 3 pm Saturday-Monday, Sept. 5-7. Free.


COMEDY & VARIETY Curious Comedy Open Mic

Curious hosts a weekly open-mic night. Sign-ups begin at 7:15, and comics get three minutes of stage time apiece. Curious Comedy Theater, 5225 NE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., 477-9477, 8 pm Sunday, Sept. 6. Free.

Curious Comedy Showdown featuring PIPES

Curious Comedy’s improvisers duke it out, in hopes of winning audience votes. After a brief intermission, Curious’ finest perform PIPES, a totally improvised musical comedy that is completely new and different for every performance. Curious Comedy Theater, 5225 NE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., 477-9477, 7:30 pm Friday-Saturday, Sept. 4-5. $15.

Earthquake Hurricane

Local comedy superstars Bri Pruett, Alex Falcone, Curtis Cook and Anthony Lopez are back for another installment of their weekly standup showcase. This week, the Velo Cult bike shop and the fearsome foursome will host Geoff Tate, who has come all the way from New York to make the rounds of the Portland comedy scene. Coming along with Tate is the hilarious Emma Arnold. Hailing from Idaho, Arnold was featured at the 2015 Great American Comedy Fest and has performed at the Limestone and Laugh Your Asheville Off comedy festivals. Geoff Tate is not the singer from Queensrÿche. Velo Cult, 1969 NE 42nd Ave., 922-2012, 9 pm Wednesday, Sept. 2. $5.

Friday Night Fights

Competitive improv, with two teams battling for stage time. Curious Comedy Theater, 5225 NE MLK Blvd, 477-9477, 9:30 pm Friday, Sept. 4. $5.

Funny Over Everything Presents Geoff Tate

After passing on college and finding employment hard to come by because he couldn’t pass a drug test, Geoff Tate decided he’s last, best option in life was standup comedy. The guys from Funny Over Everything, one of Portland’s best standup showcases, are bringing Tate to town to show off the talent that has garnered favorable comparisons to the late, great Mitch Hedberg. Tate has toured the country with Comedy Central Live



Not very many people are both a biomedical engineer and a Saturday Night Live alum. In fact, Brooks Wheelan might be the only person on earth with both on his résumé. Born and raised in Iowa, the 29-year-old Wheelan appeared on both Conan and Late Night With Seth Meyers, and wrote and performed on SNL. Now he’s touring the country after releasing the critically acclaimed comedy album This Is Cool, Right? Wheelan pulled over on his way to a gig in Big Bear, Calif., to talk with Willamette Week: WW: You were working as a biomedical engineer, so how did you get on Saturday Night Live? Brooks Wheelan: I was an engineer right up until SNL hired me. I held on to my job way too long because I was terrified to quit. Things were going really well in comedy and I was being the worst engineer. I got fired from one job for leaving too much to do comedy. I got another job, and they were in the process of demoting me when I got SNL. I had to be like, “Guys, I’m not going to be at work tomorrow. I’m going to be on Saturday Night Live.” Nobody just gets randomly hired by SNL. I never planned on being on that show. I was just doing standup, and Seth Meyers saw it and he liked it, so they had me audition and brought me on to write, and then they put me in the cast. It was a rocky situation after that because it’s tough to get on that show, and first-year guys have it pretty rough there. It just didn’t work out.

Were you able to still do your own comedy while you were on SNL? I did a lot of standup when I was on SNL. It was like taking a breath of fresh air. You’re trapped in this writers room, and you write three sketches and they wouldn’t make it on the show. I wouldn’t feel very funny, and I then I would go do standup and I would be like, “Oh yeah, I love comedy.” It was a great reminder that it’s not all rejection. Did being an engineer help you become a better comedian? I think it really motivated me to not just lay around not writing because I have a background in getting up and going to work. I’m also terrified of ever having to go back to engineering, so I want to keep this comedy thing going. I’m trying to do my own tour more as a DIY, which is how the comedians I really love are doing it, like [Kyle] Kinane and Nick Thune. Growing up, who were the guys in comedy that you watched and wanted to emulate? The reason I got into comedy was Adam Sandler on “Weekend Update,” 100 percent. But then you drift away from what you loved when you were 10 and 11. I moved to Chicago and that’s when I learned about Pete Holmes and T.J. Miller and Kyle Kinane and Matt Braunger. Kinane is all about doing weird stuff—he does Sturgis. There’s no reason comedy shouldn’t start changing and evolving. And Kinane shaving his beard [when he performed at Bridgetown this year] was, as lame as it sounds, really fucking cool. He was like, “I don’t want to be about the beard anymore, I want to be about my jokes.” It was a bit of a shock, but of course he still killed it. What a fucking indie comedy conversation we’re having right now, like, “Ohh, Kinane shaved his beard.” SEE IT: Brooks Wheelan is at Helium Comedy Club, 1510 SE 9th Ave., 888-643-8669, 8 pm Thursday, 7:30 and 10 pm Friday-Saturday, Sept. 3-5, $15-$30. 21+.

Willamette Week SEPTEMBER 2, 2015





Helium Open Mic

Generally regarded as the best open-mic night in town, Helium’s sign-ups fill quickly. Show up between 6 and 7 pm to snag some stage time. Helium Comedy Club, 1510 SE 9th Ave., 643-8669, 8 pm Tuesday, Sept. 8. Free.

It’s Gonna Be Okay

Hosted by Barbara Holm, It’s Gonna Be Okay brings fun, smart and geeky comedy to EastBurn. This week, Barbara Holm presents local notables Lucia Fasano, Adam Pasi and Dinah Foley, along with visiting comic Matt Lieb, who comes all the way from San Francisco. EastBurn, 1800 E Burnside St., 236-2876, 8 pm Monday, Sept. 7. Free.

Odd Couples

A new Brody showcase enters its extensive lineup, an all-in-one improv, music, sketch comedy and mash-up jam. Audience members will have the opportunity to sign up, join the ensemble and bare it all onstage. Don’t worry, if you chicken out this time, it’ll be back the following Thursday. AMY WOLFE. Brody Theater, 16 NW Broadway, 224-2227. 9:30 pm Thursday, Sept. 3. $5.

NE MLK Blvd., 477-9477, 9:30 pm Saturday Sept. 5. $10.

Seth McGrath Presents Bath Night

Following a run of 12 consecutive sold-out performances, the brainchild of local actor and comedy writer Sean McGrath has returned with an all-new sketch show. Bath Night is an hour of partially scripted (nonimprov) comedy. This show features an all-new cast culled from among Portland’s most outstanding comic actors. CoHo Theater, 2257 NW Raleigh St., 2202646, 7:30 pm Thursday-Saturday Sept. 4-19. $18-$21.

DANCE Xana-redU, A Parody Tribute to Xanadu

What’s Up Ladies Comedy Showcase

Some of Portland’s funniest ladies are coming to the Alberta Street Pub. JoAnn Schinderle, host of the Control Yourself showcase, has invited Portland’s Funniest Person runner-up and Willamette Week top-five comedian Bri Pruett, local

Quirky contemporary dance company TriptheDark joins forces with Stageworks Ink, a local fringe theater troupe, for a revival production based on the 1980s dancecentric movie, Xanadu. The film itself was a bit of a flop: This version promises a parody tribute about a man who falls in love with Terpsichore, the Greek muse of dancing, and decides to open a disco roller-skating rink. KAITIE TODD. The Hostess, 538 SE Ash St., 888-5141, 7:30 pm ThursdaySaturday through Sept. 19. $10-$18.

Orders From the Horse

Chicago-based contemporary dance troupe Khecari presents its current work in progress, a minimalist piece featuring the company’s artistic directors Julia Rae Antonick & Jonathan Meyer. The pair moves fluidly, alternating between solos and magnetic duets. It’s an attempt, they say, to capture the “low-brain, non-cortical awareness” of being half-asleep. The Headwaters Theatre, 55 NE Farragut, No. 9, 702-6222, 8 pm Friday, Sept. 4. $8-$15.

Portland Regional Talent Showcase

A bunch of Portland’s favorite local comics compete for a spot in the 36th Annual Seattle International Comedy Competition. Wednesday’s showcase is hosted by Todd Armstrong and features a number of beloved local funny people including Jacob Christopher, Dylan Jenkins, Brodie Kelly, Lonnie Bruhn and Ali Reingold. Helium Comedy Club, 1510 SE 9th Ave., 888-643-8669, 8 pm Wednesday, Sept. 2., $5-$13.

For more Performance listings, visit

Random Acts of Comedy

Willamette Week SEPTEMBER 2, 2015

Fresh off its 600th installment, Who’s the Ross has put together an evening of comedy and music specifically for the ladies. Host Aaron Ross has Portland’s Funniest Person finalist JoAnn Schinderle holding down the comedy portion of the evening. Schinderle will be accompanied by the musical stylings of Laura Palmer’s Death Machine, and everyone in attendance will be treated to the male dancers from Stag. Dante’s, 350 W Burnside St., 226-6630, 10 pm Tuesday, Sept. 8. $3.

Check out Curious Comedy Theater’s weekly long-form improv showcase. Sunday School features Curious Comedy’s teams, special guests and students all flexing their strongest improvisational comedy muscles. Curious Comedy Theater, 5225 NE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., 477-9477, 6 pm Sunday, Sept. 6. $5 suggested donation.

Team-based, long-form improv open to audience members and performers of all stripes. Curious Comedy Theater, 5225 NE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., 477-9477, 7:30 pm Thursday, Sept. 3. $5.


Who’s The Ross: Ladies’ Night

Sunday School

Open Court

Curious Comedy puts on a freewheeling show that brings together sketch, standup and improv. Curious Comedy Theater, 5225

favorites Whitney Streed and Katie Rose Leon and others to entertain Alberta Street’s grilled-cheese enthusiasts. It will be exponentially more fun than waiting in line at Salt & Straw. Alberta Street Pub, 1036 NE Alberta St., 284-7665, 9 pm Sunday, Sept. 6. Free.


Presents and has appeared at the Aspen Rooftop Comedy Festival. Friday night, Tate will be sharing the Hollywood Theater stage with Willamette Week’s funniest local comic, Sean Jordan, among others. Hollywood Theater, 4122 NE Sandy Blvd., 493-1128, 9:45 pm, Friday, Sept. 4, $10.

Bri Pruett is part of What’s Up Ladies Comedy Showcase.

Cannabis news, culture & reviews from Portland. Willamette Week SEPTEMBER 2, 2015


VISUAL ARTS By MEGAN HARNED. 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:

tive imagines the stories behind the photographs. In one example, he constructs a mythical explanation for three young characters’ unusual meeting. Through Sept. 27. Blue Sky Gallery, 122 NW 8th Ave., 225-0210.

Beauty in the Age of Indifference

This Is the Only One

= WW Pick. Highly recommended.

Co-Conspirators and the Possibilities of Painting in a Parallel Universe In her first Portland show, Leslie Baum presents a series of new works in conversation with her existing painting, Co-conspirator. Using differing media and scale, each of these new pieces—which include oil paintings, large-scale drop-cloth paintings, standing floor panels and table-top watercolors— engages in conversation with the reference piece. Working both as fully realized objects and in the larger dialogue, the new works are building blocks for her paintingbased installation. Through Oct. 1. Hap Gallery, 916 NW Flanders St., 444-7101.

Emerging Dissolving

Loving and losing love, an action and state of being that is as much a part of being human as is the need to drink water, are the themes of Danielle Wyckoff ’s site/sightspecific installation at Northwest Portland’s newest gallery. Using hand-scribed mulberry paper, salt and water, Wyckoff ’s installation will use material and metaphorical transformations found in the natural world to explore common human experiences. Through Sept. 19. Soltesz Fine Art, 1825 NW 23rd Ave., 971-276-9097.

Foreign and Domestic

L.A. artist Ben Sanders doesn’t want you taking anything for granted. The red cups in a game of beer pong, the garish flowers at a funeral, the picnic table cloth or the paper plates of a summer barbecue—these ubiquitous and often ignored objects decorate the landscapes of our lives. In his bright, pop-art style paintings, Sanders explores them within a traditional medium in order to make us look at the doldrums of everyday life in a new way. After all, that is one of the oldest occupations of art. The exhibit even includes 3-foot-wide bottle caps, painted in enamel with scenes like restaurant table settings, and a mountain with a smiley face on it. Through Sept. 6. Carl & Sloan Contemporary, 8371 N Interstate Ave., No. 1, 608-9746.

settings. The design student brings a contemporary vision to the traditional technique. Through Sept 30. Hellion Gallery, 19 NW 5th Ave., Suite 208, 774-7327.

Public Works: An Interventionist Media Performance Score

Public Work’s two-part presentation is half a performance developed by Ryan Dunn and Heather A. McShane, and half an art installation that takes newspaper content and turns it into an auditory installation, playing with the boundaries between art that’s three-dimensional, written and heard. Compliance Division, 625 NW Everett St., No. 101. Opening: 6 pm Thursday, Sept. 3.

A Peanut in a Suit Is a Peanut Nonetheless

Daniel Long appropriates both common painting techniques and visual symbols into an open-ended rumination on representation and narrative. The ensuing world—populated by scenes of largely ancient Egyptian and Greco-Roman pottery floating amidst textured backdrops and hieroglyphic serpents, disguised as MS Paint squiggles, attempting to pop off the surface plane—is a rabbit hole wherein visual references constantly collide and combust. Through Sept. 14. Nationale, 3360 SE Division St., 477-9786.

Skinning Vision

Over the past year, Rebecca Mackay Rosen Carlisle created a series of process-driven works utilizing dense layering, thick application of pain, and physical manipulation of the surface to reimagine the body. The tactile materials suggest flesh and skin, forgoing figurative imagery in favor of straightforward portrayal. Eyes and eyelike forms draw viewers into the work with an eerie pull, like you’re being watched. It an experience of pareidolia—in this case, the recognition of a face where there is none. Through Sept. 26. PNCA, Gallery 2, New Commons, 511 NW Broadway.


Back in the day, Peter Rock, an author and professor of English at Reed, wrote stories about art to keep himself occupied while working as a museum security guard. His current show harks back to that period, displaying his art-inspired writing in audio and video installations throughout Blue Sky Gallery. Inspired by five of his favorite photographers—Sophia Borazanian, Sara LaFleur-Vetter, Shaena Mallett, Peter McCollough, and Colleen Plumb—Rock’s narra-

Heather Watkins’ process- and material-based practice examines ideas of action and repetition, and seeing and experience, through gesture and pigment. This new series of work includes experimental forms of drawing, printmaking, installation and sculpture. Her use of the richly hued cobalt-blue ink is consistent across genres. Through Sept. 26. PDX Contemporary Art, 925 NW Flanders St., 225-0210.

Traces of the Arctic

Lauren Hartman’s embroidery and sculptural installations respond to topics to serve as a record in our cultural conscience. After watching news of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill, Hartman began to focus on our relationship to the sea, which became a platform to discuss global issues connected by international waters through her craft and printmaking-based practice. Through Oct. 23. Duplex Gallery, 219 NW Couch St., 206-5089.

Trust Falls and Transparent Things

Local painter Michelle Ross’ newest body of work starts with outdated logos and art periodicals and ends with abstract washes of color that reference architectural space. Inspired by the ways digital photography and traditional painting interact, her oil and graphite works on birch panels are abstract, mostly depictions of angular blocks and imprecise swaths of color on gray-scale backgrounds. It takes mental acrobatics to imagine why she named the minimalist abstract pieces things like Night is always a giant and The Woolgatherers, but the simple shapes and joyful colors make perusing them happy nonetheless. Through Sept. 26. Elizabeth Leach Gallery, 417 NW 9th Ave., 2240521.

We Were Singing

Ellen Lesperance, best known for her detailed paintings and textiles that pay tribute to direct-action campaigns and feminist activism, debuts a body of work based on feminist Sylvia Sleigh and her radical paintings of nude males. After years of investigating and paying homage to women activists—Angela Davis, Rachel Corrie, Pippa Bacca—Lesperance turns her gaze inward to mine her life and experiences as they intersect with Sleigh and the history of art and feminism. Through Sept. 19. Adams and Ollman Gallery, 209 SW 9th Ave., 724-0684.

For more Visual Arts listings, visit R E B E C C A M C K AY R O S E N C A R L I S L E

This self-proclaimed “controversial” exhibition celebrates and challenges our notions of what is beautiful, and what role beauty plays in a contemporary society obsessed and distracted by new technologies which have obliterated old ways of doing and seeing things. These disruptive patterns of behavior, and our ability to constantly need to upgrade and adapt to them have taken us away from traditional appreciation of how important beauty is in our lives. Through Sept. 12. Jeffrey Thomas Fine Art, 2219 NW Raleigh St., 544-3449.

Impromptu in Grey

Roya Motamedi grew up in her parents’ homelands of Afghanistan and Japan and has been adjusting to living in the U.S. for the past 25 years. This makes the process of finding herself in a painting much like the effort to locate herself culturally. This push/pull dynamic, translated into a play of vibrating color and negative/positive shapes, animates Motamedi’s pared-down paintings that she limits to just two colors and shapes. Through Sept. 26. Blackfish Gallery, 420 NW 9th Ave., 224-2634.

Moment With Tadashi Ura

Japanese artist Tadashi Ura began studying Suibokuga, a style of ink and wash painting, in 2006. The paintings displayed in his new show are inspired by everyday life, featuring children and animals in idyllic


Willamette Week SEPTEMBER 2, 2015



= WW Pick. Highly recommended.


By JAMES HELMSWORTH. TO BE CONSIDERED FOR LISTINGS, submit lecture or reading information at least two weeks in advance to: WORDS, WW, 2220 NW Quimby St., Portland, OR 97210. Email: Fax: 243-1115.

friends and getting good and drunk. As one might expect from a store with a reputation for showing cuttingedge art—the first artist whose work it showed was zine legend Dishwasher Pete—said friends include some pretty esteemed local and national artists. Work from artists including Eisner Award winner Aron Nels Steinke, children’s book author Rilla Alexander and Tae Won Yu—perhaps better known as the dude who designed the cover of Built to Spill’s Keep It Like a Secret—will be on display. Booze will be from Merit Badge. Reading Frenzy, 3628 N Mississippi Ave., 971-271-8044. 6 pm.


For 15-year-old Julie, deciding whether to join the swim team isn’t just an issue of how she’ll spend her after-school time. It’s an issue of whether she’ll follow in the footsteps of her swimming prodigy brother, who’s holed up in Berlin. Set in early-’90s Portland, Dryland is the debut novel from Sara Jaffe, former Erase Errata guitarist and current writing teacher at the Pacific Northwest College of Art and Portland State University. Powell’s City of Books, 1005 W Burnside St., 228-4651. 7:30 pm. Free.

THURSDAY, SEPT. 3 Being Being Book Release and Exhibit With Jason Overby

SUNDAY, SEPT. 6 Portland Poetry Slam Finals

Since 1988, World Wrestling Entertainment has been bringing together the world’s top wrestlers in a display of theatrics and athletic ability called SummerSlam. Since 2004, Poetry Slam Inc. has been bringing together North America’s top slam poets in a display of theatrics and verbal ability called the Individual World Poetry Slam. Famous SummerSlam stars include Hulk Hogan and the Undertaker. Famous Individual World Poetry Slam winners include Buddy Wakefield and Mighty Mike McGee. If you want to see SummerSlam, well, you missed this year’s. If you want to see the Individual World Poetry Slam, it’s in Washington, D.C., this year, but you can watch the best slam poets in our city duke it out to see who gets to go. Literary Arts, 925 SW Washington St., 227-2583. 6:30 pm. $5.

Jason Overby has been a mainstay of the Portland underground comics scene since 2007, when he released Jessica, a swirling collection of frantic drawings and impressionistic storytelling. Since then, he has experimented with form like in 2101, a mixed-media Internet comic, and Comix Comix, a criticism project with Blaise Larmee (Young Lions). Being Being, published by the publishing wing of local experimental art-show team Gridlords, is a collection of Overby’s shorter comics, his graphic novel Exploding Head Man and new work. Floating World Comics, 400 NW Couch St., 241-0227. 6 pm. Free.

Justin Taylor

MFA students with low self-esteem. Habitually scared Florida retirees. Servers in anthropomorphic mushroom costumes. All these and more can be found in Taylor’s Flings. The Brooklyn-based writer (Everything Here is the Best Thing Ever, The Gospel of Anarchy) has been hailed as the voice of the generation (or, at least, a voice of a generation) of college grads rife with cynicism and disappointment. Powell’s Books on Hawthorne, 3723 SE Hawthorne Blvd., 228-4651. 7:30 pm. Free.

FRIDAY, SEPT. 4 Plutona Signing with Emi Lenox

Finding a dead body in the woods— it’s a disturbingly ubiquitous trope in books about kids. But what happens when the body is not that of a drifter but of a superhero? That’s what’s at stake for five suburban kids in Plutona. Written by veteran Jeff Lemire (Madman, Sweet Tooth) and illustrated by Portland’s Emi Lenox, most famous for her daily autobiographical blog, EmiTown, it’s already getting rave reviews. Things from Another World, 2916 NE Broadway, 284-4693. 5 pm. Free.

Read Me! 21st Anniversary Exhibit and Celebration

This week, Reading Frenzy turns 21. And as is only appropriate, it’s celebrating by gathering all of its

TUESDAY, SEPT. 8 Kate Harding

For the better part of a decade, Kate Harding has been interrogating everything from bikini usage to BMIs at her blog, Shapely Prose, and on sites like Salon, Jezebel and Dame, where she currently writes. In Asking for It, she lays out a research-based argument that both society and the legal system support rapists more than rape survivors, and offers solutions on how to change this. Powell’s City of Books, 1005 W Burnside St., 228-4651. 7:30 pm. Free.

Reading for The Timberline Review

Willamette Writers has been building connections between writers in Oregon for 50 years. But this year, it has started something new: a literary journal called The Timberline Review. Eleven writers will read from their contributions to the debut issue, including Oregon Book Award finalist Jill Kelly, YA author Kate Ristau and former Seattle Times writer Steve Theme. Annie Bloom’s Books, 7834 SW Capitol Highway, 246-0053. 7 pm. Free.

For more Books listings, visit


Jonathan Franzen Book Club BY MA RTIN CIZMA R



Web editor Lizzy Acker does not hate Jonathan Franzen, but she dislikes him. Arts and Culture editor Martin Cizmar does not love Jonathan Franzen, but he likes him. Both read Franzen’s new Big Important Book, Purity (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 576 pages, $28). We gave them beer and a tape recorder. Martin Cizmar: What do you object to about Franzen? Lizzy Acker: Before I started reading this book, it was a vague objection to his existence. This middle-aged, white-male author who writes big books with obnoxious titles. The whole thing with the bird watching and trying to take down the Audubon Society. Martin: In fairness, he tried to prop up the Audubon Society against cat lovers, which in this town are killing all of our birds. That’s something I’m grateful to him for. Lizzy: I’m for birds and against cats, we can agree on that. Martin: I felt like I knew all of the characters [in Purity]. I knew those people. Lizzy: I think that’s not true. My main objection to the way female characters are written is the idea that this character is so beautiful and she doesn’t know how beautiful she is, and this makes her more beautiful and unattainable. And she’s so young. Martin: I was startled by how sexualized the female characters were at all times. But their interest in sex isn’t presented as a moral failing. Lizzy: I’m saying their worth is how much they’re fuckable. There’s only one point where a woman is ugly. Tom’s mom is on steroids, she’s so hideous. He can barely stand to look at her, as if we’d judge our mothers on physical attractiveness. Martin: This is a valid point. But I think the thing [Franzen] does really well is, he creates backstories where, while the characters are in no way likable, you can empathize. Which is a wonderful quality in a writer, to write about all these horrible people but make us like them or at least understand all of them. Lizzy: Some of those characters should have been less likable. Andreas is written as if he was a hero. But he’s also a pedophile. We’re supposed to feel like his love for Annagret is more pure. The name

of the fucking book is Purity. That’s a stupid name for the book. Martin: That is a terrible name for the book. But I felt like he did a really good job explaining what part of their lives had made all of them to be in this state that made them kind of horrible people, in a way that is not totally their fault. Lizzy: The character I most had issue with was Pip. I really do think Jonathan Franzen doesn’t know anyone who’s, like, 22 years old. She really seems like a middle-aged man’s idea of what an 22 year-old girl is like, in how she would interact with the world. Especially her student loans. The notion that this compelled her to do all this stuff doesn’t seem real to me. Martin: She was motivated by different things. First, finding her father. Student loans, I don’t think, were a real motivation. What are the odds you find your father and he has a spare $200,000 lying around to give you? Lizzy: I’m not sure the fabric that was meant to pull these characters together made much sense. And the book was so long. Too long not to have a real plot besides “Will Pip find her father?” It was readable. I didn’t enjoy it. Jonathan Franzen is a capable fiction writer. I find half his female characters too beautiful, and the other half were mothers that were just awful. The young female characters, all they want is a man to fix them—whether by killing their stepfather or paying their student loans. Martin: That’s one of the dangers of being Jonathan Franzen. No one will stop you from writing this bloated book. And it is bloated. But he picks out interesting details about the world and weaves them in to teach you something, which I really like. You learn a lot about our contemporary world and some of the ridiculous things about it. Like [in Freedom] the thing about the cats eating birds. Nobody who read Freedom is so pro-stray cat. Lizzy: I guess I know about that. Because my parents are birders. A longer version of this conversation can be found on GO: Jonathan Franzen is at Powell’s Books at Cedar Hills, 3415 SW Cedar Hills Blvd., Beaverton, 2284651,, on Tuesday, Sept. 8. 7 pm. Free.

Willamette Week SEPTEMBER 2, 2015




= WW Pick. Highly recommended. Editor: ENID SPITZ. 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.


C- Five friends travel to the Oregon Coast to spend a weekend at a beach house in Portland writer-director Brian Padian’s debut film, screening as part of the Portland Film Festival. What ensues is a quiet thriller reminiscent of the psychological and existential horror of European filmmakers Michael Haneke and Lars von Trier, with a touch of the dark narrative weirdness of David Lynch. But Padian’s script struggles to convey the slow breakdown of friendship that’s the film’s central plot line. The characters speak to each other with open contempt instead of the subtle barbs of passive aggression you’d expect from a waning friendship, so it’s hard to believe that these people liked each other at all in the first place. Jesse Jones’ excellent soundtrack and Jordan Eusebio’s sound editing do a much better job of conveying that bitter pall of suppressed rage. NR. WALKER MACMURDO. Living Room Theaters. 7:45 pm Friday, Sept. 4. $10.

Death on a Rock

C- This beautifully shot film undercuts its potential by overcomplicating the presentation of its ill main character, Lillian (Rachael Perrell Fosket), who’s dealing with the trauma of her ambiguous diagnosis. Opening with the end of the story, we see Lillian pour gasoline around her feet in a rowboat, holding a match with a somber expression staring nowhere. From there, it’s a jumbled mess of scenes from her earlier life as a bubbly florist, and intermittent montages of fingers sifting through sand and sunlight glistening on dewy spider webs. The lifeless dialogue does little for the lack of chemistry between characters, and director Scott Ballard relies more on Fosket’s feminine pout than her character’s story to make us feel sad. Unfortunately, Fosket’s flat performance doesn’t show enough conviction to illustrate why she’d want to live or die, releasing the tension holding the film together. NR. LAUREN TERRY. Academy Theater. 11:30 am Thursday, Sept. 3. $5.

Deep Dark

B- Hermann Haig wants to be a famous artist. And he’s willing to make out with a hole in the wall to get there. Hermann (Sean McGrath) makes terrible mobiles that are ignored by local gallery curators. After moving out of his mom’s and into his own apartment, an eerie hole in the wall begins to speak, and the movie only gets weirder from there. Hermann never stops to question how this is possible, or why the gooey, bloblike items the hole emits turn his mobiles into masterpieces, so one can’t help but roll with it. Random moments of directorial zeal from Michael Medaglia include captions that label random moments in Hermann’s life and materials used, as if the scene were on display in a gallery. Although the inexperienced cast brings down what could have become a classic to some, McGrath’s portrayal of the earnest dweeb obligated to a monster has moments reminiscent of Rick Moranis in Little Shop of Horrors. NR. LAUREN TERRY. Mission Theater. 6:15 pm Friday, Sept. 4. $10.

Odd Brodsky

C- Billed as “a quirky comedy about following your dreams,” this indie film festival winner follows the ironically twee style of Wes Anderson and Miranda July. It’s a yellow-brickroad narrative about a woman pursuing her dreams of becoming a starlet, which most aspiring creatives can relate to, and the movie looks much higher-budget than it really is, thanks to a veteran cinematographer and sound editor. But the film’s tone vacillates painfully between cloying cuteness and mysterious darkness. Much


of the movie’s humor comes from Hollywood insider jokes a la Arrested Development, but a majority of the dialogue evokes cringes rather than laughs. As the meandering plot loops back on itself for an “art reflects life,” metafictional ending, it seems the night would’ve been better spent watching Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt on Netflix. NR. ZACH MIDDLETON. Mission Theater. 1:45 pm Thursday, Sept. 3. $5.

The Resurrection of Jake the Snake

C Even in a business whose aging

stars drop dead while their AARP cards are still in the envelope, Jake “The Snake” Roberts stands out as one of pro wrestling’s grimmest casualties—and he’s not even dead yet. An icon of WWE’s golden age, Roberts spiraled into addiction as his fame waned, bottoming out in pitiful public fashion. Now closing in on 60, he lives alone in Texas, using his body only to fix himself a drink and looking less like Jake the Snake than a python that died halfway through digesting a medicine ball. This is his redemption story. Roberts attempts to dry out, reconnect with his kids and work himself back into fake-fighting shape, through a regimen of tough love, bro-yoga and motivational slogans. If that sounds more like a reality TV premise, that’s also how the film feels. Roberts comes off sincere, at points heartbreakingly so, but the film’s sincerity is more questionable—hardly a minute goes by without a promotional “DDP Yoga” shirt visible onscreen. NR. MATTHEW SINGER. Mission Theater. 8:15 pm Wednesday, Sept. 2. $10.

Steve Jobs: The Man in the Machine

B Director Alex Gibney, who earlier this year put L. Ron Hubbard and his acolytes under the microscope in Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief, swings his spotlight over to the Apple cult’s beloved leader in Steve Jobs: The Man in the Machine. Gibney’s sketch of Apple’s history and latter-day market dominance is perfectly serviceable, but the film doesn’t heat up until its final third, when Gibney gets to work on his de-canonization of St. Jobs, the Dylan-quoting monomaniac whose ostensible liberation theology belied a cold, calculating will to power. That a rich genius just cared mostly about himself is not all that surprising, and viewers who are even a little bit cynical about capitalist triumphalism won’t find any new fuel here. But we should remember Gibney’s film when the next savior starts talking sweet to us. R. CHRIS STAMM. Kiggins.

Vintage Tomorrows

C+ If you’re into “Victorian retrofuturism,” curious about what steampunk is, or have an affinity for dress-up and science fiction, this movie is for you. This documentary is essentially an hourlong definition of steampunk, by steampunks, primarily comprising phrases like “a crossroads of romance and technology” and “nostalgic cyberpunk.” Some of the authors and designers spearheading the “movement” treat a steampunk convention with the gravity of a NATO summit. But to be fair, they are experts on just about every aspect of the pre-industrial era. The steampunk phenomenon does highlight our need for more tinkering with technology, and customization for the benefit of the user, not the shareholders. Although entertaining and appropriate for debut in a city that hosts the only Steampunk Film Festival in the world, it’s difficult to ignore that the huge majority of the faces onscreen are white, middle-class nerds, clearly starved for a sense of culture and belonging. NR. LAUREN TERRY. Living Room Theaters. 9:45 pm Wednesday, Sept. 2. $10.

A Walk in the Woods

B+ Based on Bill Bryson’s novel,

Willamette Week SEPTEMBER 2, 2015

CONT. on page 47



and then smiling while he’s put into his car seat. “Who are you?” “I am Batman.” It melted my goddamn heart.

BY A LEX FA LCON E @a lex_fa lcon e

PART TWO: Nagging Doubts That Have Since Crept In I cried almost the entire movie. Even though Batkid Begins resisted myriad opportunities to ask us to donate, I left feeling like I should immediately sign all my checks over to Make-A-Wish. But the more I’ve thought about it, the more tiny doubts have festered. Like, did this really help Miles? The moments where it seemed to have a big impact on him hardly seemed deeper than if you’d given him a surprise milkshake. Make-A-Wish said, “We’re giving him a bit of his childhood back.” Whose childhood is this? And won’t everybody start demanding bigger and bigger wishes? The next time a kid gets to be a superhero, do we all take time off work, or was once enough for everybody? Then there’s the money. San Francisco slated $100,000 in city funds for crowd control. It would’ve been a great marketing investment for the city, but it was moot because a private donor stepped up. So that’s not a city marketing decision, it’s $100,000 that could have gone to other charities (like cancer research or 20 Disneyland Make-A-Wishes). I realized this wasn’t a Make-A-Wish for Miles Scott. It was for us. He would have gotten more of his childhood back getting a high-five from Mickey. It was the adults who wanted to play heroes. We wanted to feel like we were making a huge difference in this kid’s life. None of this is the fault of Batkid Begins. It tells the story in a powerful and uncomplicated way, and that’s for the best. Nobody wants to watch the movie Batkid 2: Nagging Doubts About Adult Egoism.

PART ONE: How I Felt During the Movie I only loosely paid attention to Batkid in November 2013, when he was a social-media phenom and pictures on Twitter showed part of San Francisco shutting down to stage his superhero fantasy for the Make-A-Wish Foundation. But what I didn’t get was the insane scope of the undertaking. Batkid Begins fills in the gaps. Even if the documentary were bad, the story is so great that I’d still love it. As luck would have it, the film is a genuine tearjerker that never feels cynical or manipulative. Miles Scott, who was diagnosed with lymphoblastic leukemia at 18 months old, just wanted to be a superhero. So Make-A-Wish planned to have Miles run around San Francisco fighting crime in costume with an adult dressed as Batman. But the plan snowballed on social media, and by the time the event took place there were 12,000-plus volunteers. San Francisco Opera made the costumes, Apple volunteered its communications team to handle the press, and San Francisco’s mayor and chief of police enthusiastically acted as if they were running Gotham City. Miles didn’t know any of this was coming. But when Batman knocked on his hotel-room door, handed him a costume and said it was time to fight crime, Miles didn’t hesitate. When he walked out as Batkid, he swaggered like he’d been preparing his whole life for that moment. The doc is full of incredible shots, like Miles glowing as he locks up a pretend Riddler in a pretend jail, saluting throngs of adoring fans

A- Batkid Begins is the closing-night film of the Portland Film Festival, screening at Mission Theater, 1624 NW Glisan St., on Sunday, Sept. 6. 7:30 pm. $15.

credits). Sometimes bad things happen, but they’re all Minnie’s choice. I guess this is growing up. R. JAMES HELMSWORTH. Cinema 21, Bridgeport, City Center.

Digging for Fire

C- I’ll say two things for Digging for Fire: One, Jake Johnson is charming as fuck. Also: Chris Messina gets naked. Other than that, Digging for Fire is generic mumblecore garbage. Johnson stars as a teacher named Tim who is married to yoga instructor Lee (Rosemarie DeWitt). They have a 3-year-old son. They’re poorish (in this L.A. world, “poor” means they have a nice car, unlimited Uber rides and lots of leisure time), but they’re house-sitting a mansion. While messing around in the yard, Tim finds a bone and a gun. Then Lee decides Tim needs to spend the weekend alone doing

taxes in the mansion, so she takes their son to her mom’s. Famous actors doing poor imitations of real people appear. More bones are dug up. Conversations about adulthood, parenthood, marriage and spirituality are conducted. Leather jackets are worn. R. LIZZY ACKER. Living Room Theaters.

Fantastic Four

D With the exception of largely decent casting and some genuinely compelling flashbacks, it’s a gloomy, vacuous parade of junk science wherein four perfectly serviceable actors spend most of their time staring at computer holograms or strapped to hospital beds. PG-13. CASEY JARMAN. Cedar Hills, Clackamas, Movies on TV.

CONT. on page 48


this film shows Robert Redford as Bryson, embarking on a hike of the Appalachian Trail, joined by an estranged friend from his youth, Stephen Katz (Nick Nolte). The pair of older men, unfit for the strenuous length of the trail, meet skeptical glances from their perky, young fellow hikers and wheeze as troops of Boy Scouts trot past. At their age, even crossing the slick rocks of a minor stream amps up the tension along the way. Nolte is bloated and gravelly as ever, but as morbidly amusing as his physical comedy comes off, the screenplay sets up honest, candid conversations between two men coming to grips with their mortality. Director Ken Kwapis mixes in stunning shots of the pristine forests and seemingly mile-deep ravines, so awe-inspiring that, like Bryson and Katz, one is reminded that the need for validation is not at all the meaning of life. R. LAUREN TERRY. Cedar Hills, Eastport, Clackamas, Bridgeport, City Center, Division, Evergreen Parkway, Fox Tower, Hilltop, Lloyd Center, Movies on TV, Tigard.

STILL SHOWING American Ultra

C+ Mike Howell (Jesse Eisenberg) is a perpetually stoned clerk at the Cash-N-Carry in Lyman, West Virginia. He outkicked his coverage with his girlfriend, Phoebe (Kristen Stewart), and worries that he is holding her back. This all changes one day when a strange woman (Connie Britton) walks up and utters a series of seemingly unintelligible gibberish to him. Howell then unwittingly—and masterfully—kills two people. He’s been activated. And the CIA wants him dead. This is all light and funny in a gory kinda way, but it’s only one of the two movies writer Max Landis tries to fit into this one film. The other is a serious exploration of Howell realizing he has been programmed by the CIA. The result is a wildly inconsistent tone. Is American Ultra an action comedy with somewhat earned pathos? Or, is it the story of a man coming to terms with the fact that everything he thought he knew and loved is a lie, and he also happens to kill a dude by ricocheting a bullet off a frying pan? We can’t quite be sure. R. JOHN LOCANTHI. Bagdad, Cedar Hills, Eastport, Clackamas, Mill Plain, Oak Grove, Bridgeport, City Center, Division, Evergreen, Fox Tower, Lloyd Center, Movies on TV, Sherwood, Tigard, Wilsonville, Sandy.


A Even if you followed Amy

Winehouse’s career, it’s hard to keep from crossing your fingers for a different ending while watching Amy. R. LAUREN TERRY. Cinema 21.


B+ Ant-Man is a largely self-contained, breezy, hilarious and gorgeous heist film that manages a feat few recent superhero films do: It stands up well on its own. . PG-13. ANDY KRYZA. Cedar Hills, Eastport, Clackamas, Bridgeport, Division, Evergreen, Fox Tower, Movies on TV, Tigard.

Best of Enemies

A This doc centers on the debates between Gore Vidal and William F. Buckley during the 1968 Republican and Democratic conventions and plunges viewers into the frothy political climate of protests against militarized police in a decade when people were fighting for freedom of body and opinion. R. LAUREN TERRY. Fox Tower.

The Diary of a Teenage Girl

A Minnie (Bel Powley) begins an affair with her mom’s (Kristen Wiig) boyfriend (Alexander Skarsgård), Monroe. She’s 15. But this isn’t some Nightline investigation. Minnie wants to have sex, so she does. Minnie wants to do drugs and does (there’s a joint roller listed in the


This Is Not PIFF Portland needed a Sundance— an arthouse festival for cinephiles—according to Portland Film Festival creator Josh Leake. Because never mind the Portland International Film Festival, the Oregon Film Festival and the Northwest Animation Festival. To name a few. Back for its third year, Leake’s brainchild is sticking close to its indie roots with 214 screenings of flicks from around the world, including “a musical journey into the forgotten corners of Jamaican reggae,” plus a Guinness world record with zombie extras. Here, the four Northwest directors give their take on Portland’s film scene. ENID SPITZ. Brian Padian (The Black Sea) I have heard stories told about a local genius filmmaker who will only shoot on film and who lives in a camper with his cat. If you can find him, he’s the one to ask [about Portland’s film scene]. What’s missing from the fest, other than artisanal beer and cheese, is only the time to attend everything. Byrd McDonald (Vintage Tomorrows) Austin, Texas, 15 years ago was perhaps known for the mumblecore movement, but I don’t think Portland filmmakers are that easily pigeonholed. When I moved here in 2000, the biggest surprise was how many world-class filmmakers make Portland their home. And you can drive 60 miles in any direction and find just about any location you’d ever need. Michael Medaglia (Deep Dark) If we were playing word association and you said “Portland” and “film,” I would say “genuine” and “scrappy.” Don’t be surprised when your sound mixer bikes to location hauling his gear on a bike-trailer. I can’t think of anything that could possibly make PDXFF a better festival. OK, maybe Nicolas Cage. Steven Richter (Birds of Neptune) I would love to see people making more personal films here. The community is not as tight as one would think. We share talent and crew, and we follow each other’s projects on social media, but we are not all going to the same bar or even watching the same films.

Portland Film Festival strives to make PDX the new Sundance.

SEE IT: PDXFF is screening films at various Portland theaters through Monday, Sept. 7. See for a complete schedule.



STAY CONNECTED Willamette Week SEPTEMBER 2, 2015


MOVIES C The Gift is that rare mass-mar-







2735 E BurnsidE st • (503-232-5511) •

keted psychological thriller that’s less concerned with scares than nuanced interiority. It’s as ominous, thoughtful and ultimately meaningless as any of the elaborate gifts left at the sparkling new home of Simon (Jason Bateman) by a forgotten schoolmate, “Gordo the Weirdo” (writer-director Joel Edgerton). R. JAY HORTON. Cedar Hills, Eastport, Clackamas, Bridgeport, City Center, Division, Evergreen, Fox Tower, Hilltop, Tigard, Wilsonville.

Hitman: Agent 47

D- According to the extensive voice-over (accompanied by some 3-D rate CGI, which plays a larger role in the film than most characters) that begins the movie (based on the titular video game franchise) the Hitman program was a government experiment to create supersoldiers, super-strong and devoid of human emotions like fear and love. Based on the film, its makers seem like graduates of this program since they don’t understand human emotion—no character gets time to develop or any qualities that would get in the way of slo-mo shots of bullets flying and blood splattering. The bar for well-crafted drama is already low in movies based on video game franchises, but Htiman makes the Mortal Kombat movie look like My Dinner With Andre. R. JAMES HELMSWORTH. Cedar Hills, Eastport, Clackamas, Mill Plain, Oak Grove, Bridgeport, City Center, Division, Evergreen, Hilltop, Movies on TV, Pioneer Place, Sherwood, Tigard, Wilsonville, Sandy.

student and a frightening number of adults in the movie act like it’s the biggest deal. While the quasiintellectual banter is fun, I just can’t get too excited about whether or not two people I do not like are going to fulfill their terrible dreams. PG-13. ALEX FALCONE. Cedar Hills, Eastport, Clackamas, Hollywood, Living Room Theatres, Bridgeport,

No Escape

B A taut, relentlessly old-fashioned thriller that plays shamelessly upon the worst fears imagined by First World families on exotic vacations, No Escape at first appears uncomfortably exploitative of a presumed collective racism. From the moment a Texan couple (Owen Wilson and Lake Bell) arrives in a politically

unstable Southeast Asian country, the film obsesses over the leads’ whiteness. The story completely follows obvious ethnic lines, inviting unwelcome historical parallels, and Pierce Brosnan reprises his role as a gin-soaked colonial guide and protector. But in this case, his twinkling parody of a British secret agent has gone to seed and the Yanks have no defining characteristics beyond unflagging optimism and cheerful ignorance. As the couple runs for their lives, the film romanticizes innocence abroad more than most homegrown genre vehicles have for generations. It ignores how the proud Americans

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The Gift

Inside Out

A It’s sad. Crushingly, relentlessly sad. And absolutely brilliant from writer-director Pete Docter (Up). PG. ALEX FALCONE. Cedar Hills, Eastport, Clackamas, Mill Plain, Empirical, Oak Grove, Bridgeport, City Center, Lloyd Center, Movies on TV, Tigard.

The Man From U.N.C.L.E.

Southpaw (R) 9:50PM Straight Outta Compton (R) 12:05PM 3:35PM 7:00PM 10:15PM The Man from U.N.C.L.E. (PG-13) 11:05AM 1:50PM 4:45PM 7:35PM 10:25PM Sinister 2 (R) 9:40PM We Are Your Friends (R) 2:40PM 5:15PM 7:45PM 10:15PM Ricki and the Flash (PG-13) 11:05AM 1:40PM 4:15PM 7:00PM Shaun the Sheep Movie (PG) 12:15PM Un Gallo Con Muchos Huevos (PG-13) 11:20AM 2:05PM 4:45PM 7:20PM 9:55PM Walk in the Woods, A (R) 11:10AM 2:00PM 4:50PM 7:40PM 10:30PM War Room (PG) 11:00AM 1:50PM 4:40PM 7:30PM 10:25PM Trainwreck (R) 11:00AM 1:50PM 4:40PM 7:35PM 10:30PM Transporter Refueled, The (PG-13) 11:00AM ® 1:35PM ® 4:10PM ® 6:45PM ® 9:20PM ®

Transporter Refueled, The (PG-13) 11:00AM 1:35PM 4:10PM 6:45PM 9:20PM No Escape (R) 11:35AM 2:15PM 4:55PM 7:35PM 10:20PM Fantastic Four (2015) (PG-13) 11:30AM 2:10PM 5:00PM 7:40PM Gift, The (2015) (R) 10:20PM Heroes of Dirt (PG-13) 12:40PM 3:10PM 5:35PM 8:00PM 10:25PM Dope (R) 2:25PM Pixels (PG-13) 11:10AM 1:45PM 4:30PM 7:15PM American Ultra (R) 10:00PM Ant-Man (PG-13) 11:10AM 2:00PM 4:50PM 7:40PM 10:30PM Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation (PG-13) 12:45PM ® 4:00PM ® 7:10PM ® 10:15PM ® Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation (PG-13) 12:45PM 4:00PM 7:10PM 10:15PM Mistress America (R) 11:05AM 1:20PM 3:35PM 5:50PM 8:05PM 10:20PM Minions (PG) 11:25AM 1:55PM 4:25PM 7:05PM Hitman: Agent 47 (R) 11:50AM 5:05PM 7:50PM 10:20PM Inside Out (PG) 11:15AM 1:55PM 4:35PM 7:15PM Jurassic World (PG-13) 9:25PM

Southpaw (R) 10:00PM Straight Outta Compton (R) 12:15PM 3:35PM 7:00PM 10:15PM Sinister 2 (R) 10:00PM We Are Your Friends (R) 11:40AM 2:05PM 4:30PM 7:00PM Shaun the Sheep Movie (PG) 11:30AM Transporter Refueled, The (PG-13) 12:00PM 2:30PM 5:00PM 7:30PM 10:00PM Walk in the Woods, A (R) 11:30AM 2:15PM 5:00PM 7:45PM 10:30PM Trainwreck (R) 1:00PM 4:00PM 7:00PM 10:00PM Thani Oruvan (Aim Distribution) (NR) 9:00PM The Man from U.N.C.L.E. (PG-13) 11:30AM 2:15PM 5:00PM 7:45PM 10:30PM No Escape (R) 12:00PM 2:35PM 5:10PM 7:45PM 10:20PM Bhale Bhale Magadivoi (CineGalaxy) (NR) 12:20PM 3:30PM 6:40PM 9:55PM

Gift, The (2015) (R) 1:45PM 4:30PM 7:15PM 10:00PM Ant-Man (PG-13) 11:30AM 2:15PM 5:00PM 7:45PM 10:30PM Payum Puli (Primetech Media) (NR) 9:30PM American Ultra (R) 12:30PM 3:00PM 5:30PM 8:00PM 10:30PM Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation (PG-13) 1:15PM 4:15PM 7:15PM 10:15PM Mistress America (R) 1:00PM 3:15PM 5:30PM 7:45PM 10:00PM Minions (PG) 12:35PM 2:55PM 5:15PM 7:35PM Hitman: Agent 47 (R) 11:40AM 2:10PM 4:40PM Inside Out (PG) 12:00PM 2:30PM 5:00PM 7:30PM War Room (PG) 1:00PM 4:00PM 7:00PM 10:00PM

Shaun the Sheep Movie (PG) 11:45AM 2:10PM 4:30PM 7:05PM Sinister 2 (R) 12:00PM 2:40PM 5:15PM 7:45PM 10:30PM We Are Your Friends (R) 2:30PM 7:55PM Pixels (PG-13) 11:20AM 2:05PM 4:50PM 7:30PM 10:10PM Southpaw (R) 11:35AM 5:00PM 10:25PM Transporter Refueled, The (PG-13) 11:30AM 2:15PM 5:00PM 7:45PM 10:30PM Walk in the Woods, A (R) 11:40AM 2:20PM 5:10PM 7:50PM 10:30PM Straight Outta Compton (R) 11:30AM 3:00PM 6:30PM 10:00PM The Man from U.N.C.L.E. (PG-13) 1:00PM 4:10PM 7:20PM 10:20PM Mistress America (R) 11:00AM 1:15PM 3:30PM 5:45PM 8:00PM 10:15PM

Ant-Man (PG-13) 11:00AM 1:55PM 4:45PM 7:35PM 10:25PM Dope (R) 9:40PM No Escape (R) 11:15AM 2:00PM 4:40PM 7:25PM 10:05PM American Ultra (R) 9:45PM Gift, The (2015) (R) 11:25AM 2:10PM 4:55PM 7:40PM 10:20PM Minions (PG) 11:10AM 1:50PM 4:20PM 6:50PM Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation (PG-13) 12:20PM 3:40PM 6:55PM 10:10PM Hitman: Agent 47 (R) 11:30AM 2:00PM 4:45PM 7:15PM 10:00PM Inside Out (PG) 11:05AM 1:40PM 4:25PM 7:10PM 9:55PM

Transporter Refueled, The (XD) (PG-13) 12:10PM 2:45PM 5:20PM 7:55PM 10:30PM


Willamette Week SEPTEMBER 2, 2015

B+ If you walked out of Mission: Impossible: Rogue Nation and thought, “I can’t wait to see another spy thriller with too much punctuation based on a ’60s TV show,” then fear not. The film feels a lot like writer-director Guy Ritchie’s amazing heist flick Snatch: innovative action sequences, unflappable characters and lots of jazzy flute riffs. PG-13. ALEX FALCONE. Cedar Hills, Eastport, Clackamas, Mill Plain, Oak Grove, Bridgeport, City Center, Division, Evergreen, Hilltop, Lloyd Center, Movies on TV, Pioneer Place, Sherwood, Tigard, Wilsonville, Sandy. St. Johns Theater.

Mission: Impossible: Rogue Nation

A The newest installment in the Tom Cruise-led series is top-of-the-class for its genre. It’s a tight action movie focused on talented people working together for the good (or harm? You have no idea!) of the world. PG-13. ALEX FALCONE. Bagdad, Cedar Hills, Eastport, Clackamas, Mill Plain, Moreland, Oak Grove, Bridgeport, City Center, Division, Evergreen, Hilltop, Lloyd Center, Movies on TV, Pioneer Place, Tigard, Wilsonville.

Mistress America

B- Greta Gerwig’s newest collaboration with director Noah Baumbach has depreciated every day since I saw it. It’s a buddy movie about two intolerably self-centered women in New York. One is introverted college student Tracy (Lola Kirke from Gone Girl), who cares exclusively about getting published in a literary magazine and mumbling. The other is

social butterfly Brooke (Gerwig from Frances Ha), who seems like Jenna from 30 Rock without the success. They go on an adventure to raise money for biggy’s bad idea for a restaurant. It’s hard to get worked up over what is or is not being written in a college lit mag, though every

LOOK ME IN THE EYE: Sympathy’s Blackmagic camera apparatus.

POV Idols

With $80,000, 14 days and a single Northridge, Calif., location, Sympathy, Said the Shark PDXFF standout Sympathy, was an ambitious exercise in Said the Shark has a unique microbudget filmmaking from perspective. the beginning. But the makers of the new feature, premiering at the Portland Film Festival this Sunday, had bigger dreams than just producing an indie thriller. In an unprecedented visual gambit that was only possible with a contraption that looks like vintage diving headgear, Sympathy ditches traditional filming to tell its story through first-person points of view. Justin and Lara (Lea Coco and Melinda Y. Cohen) open their door to find a drenched, bleeding former friend (Dominic Bogart) who claims he’s just survived attempted murder. From that moment on, Sympathy puts everything into a personal perspective. To capture the remarkably fluid imagery, cinematographer Mark LaFleur created a compact headgear apparatus with a miniaturized camera and stabilization system. Actors traded off wearing the contraption to film. “After years and years and years of training yourself not to look at the camera,” admitted Coco, “all of a sudden you’re acting straight into the lens.” The basic concept is so ingenious that it practically sells itself, so first-time writer-director Devin Lawrence smartly avoided gimmickry by overlapping the timelines during point-of-view transitions. Each scene gives the audience a new detail that the last scene skipped over. This required a painstakingly coordinated pas de deux of cast and crew to foster the illusion of subjectivity. “It was very, very complicated choreography,” laughed Coco (Sinister 2), “like dancing while doing a math equation.” “The helmet rig weighed 15 pounds,” remembers Cohen, “and I have a pretty fragile little neck. It definitely pushed me to my limits physically.” The result was worth it. The film’s skillful flourishes include 360-degree pans past mirrors, and the cast harbors few qualms about the weighty filming. “I loved the creative freedom,” Cohen said. You’re handed a camera and are essentially now in charge of telling that story. As an actress, you never get that opportunity.” JAY HORTON. SEE IT: Sympathy, Said the Shark is at Clinton Street Theater, 2522 SE Clinton St., 2:45 pm Sunday, Sept. 6. $5.


illegally enter Vietnam by any means necessary, emphasizing instead how foreign nations are all intrinsically dangerous and tourists are all inevitably luckless. This theme, hammered home again and again, proves that at the end of the day, all politics are local. R. JAY HORTON. Cedar Hills, Eastport, Clackamas. Mill Plain, Living Room Theaters, Oak Grove, Bridgeport, City Center, Division, Evergreen, Hilltop, Lloyd Center, Movies on TV, Sherwood, Tigard, Wilsonville, Sandy, St. Johns Cinemas.


A Since its debut at the Toronto

International Film Festival last summer, the nominations keep coming for this concise, moving neonoir set in postwar Germany about Nelly (Nina Hoss), who has just returned from a concentration camp, her face disfi gured beyond recognition. PG-13. LAUREN TERRY. Cinema 21.


Bat Country


It was somewhere around the fall of 1998 when Hunter S. Thompson became a go-to Halloween costume. The great gonzo journalist was no longer prolific, but his impact endured thanks to Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, his 1971 eulogy to free love that essentially predicted the rampant greed that would dominate American culture in the 1970s. By the ’90s, though, Thompson’s output had withered, largely relegated to uninspired magazine commentary. His image—the iconic panama hat and omnipresent cigarette holder— disappeared from the public consciousness, except that of die-hard Doonesbury fans. So when Terry Gilliam’s bugfuck big-screen adaptation of Fear and Loathing hit screens, its impact was twofold. For the generation that grew up with Thompson, it played like an acid flashback, with blood-soaked reptile orgies and Circus Circus hallucinations played out in vivid detail. To a younger generation, it served as a surreal introduction to Thompson’s persona. The film flopped. Critics lambasted it as unfocused and unpleasant—the very things that they praised in the book version. But cultfilm fans caught on. Many adored how the film deftly plays a real-life horror scenario as comedy. Others simply saw it as a hysterical drug film, misidentifying the excessive chemical intake as a call to action. The t a ke away i s h ow Jo h n ny D e p p ’s immersive performance finally showed what it might have looked like to witness Thompson in action. Expertly played by Depp at his peak—before scarves and hats became his acting method—the Thompson character, Raoul Duke, is a spindly, paranoid avatar stumbling through greedy Vegas, peering into the war on drugs and the savage death of the hippie mythos. Being a first-person account, the book doesn’t explain the good doctor’s physical attributes outside of Ralph Steadman’s legendarily

grotesque sketches. In the film, Depp balances the writer’s real-life mannerisms—his screeching hysterics, wobbly gait and fiery eyes—with the cartoonish exaggeration that, to this day, dominates the perception of him. The film came far too late, really. It couldn’t have been properly made until 1998, but it seems oddly out of place since Thompson’s prediction that the American dream would die was a hard truth by then, rather than a bold prophecy. And Thompson, by the time the film was released, had become a shell of his former self. What we end up with is a nostalgic look back at the days when he was the counterculture’s most stirring voice. But modern audiences being what they are, the new generation of fans simply glommed onto the clown aspect. Now, 44 years after Thompson’s masterpiece and 10 years after he punched his own ticket, Gilliam’s film shows the point where Thompson’s legacy became blurred and mumbling Raoul Duke caricatures became a staple of Halloween parties for revelers who know nothing of bike gangs or great shark hunts. But if you view Gilliam’s movie in just the right light, you can still see the high watermark where Thompson changed the world. It may have been a belated big-screen endeavor, but at the very least it has inspired others to pick up the book. Or, at the very least, it caused a spike in sales of Panama hats and cigarette holders. SEE IT: Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas plays FridayThursday, Sept. 4-10, at the Academy Theater. ALSO SHOWING:

For this year’s 48 Hour Film Project, teams had two days to come up with a short involving legal weed, a ticking clock and a bike. Now, the 12 best entries get their big-screen debuts. Hollywood Theatre. 7 pm Wednesday, Sept. 2. Peter Cushing unleashes a blood-slurping mutant moth monster—who is also his daughter—in The Blood Beast Terror. The film later inspired Hannah Montana. Joy Cinema. 9:15 pm Wednesday, Sept. 2. For a while, Temple of Doom was considered the worst of the Indiana Jones adventures due to its shrill romantic interest and rampant camp. Then Shia LaBeouf played Tarzan with a bunch of bouffanted monkeys. Now Indy’s infamous Indian dinner buffet seems like high cinema. Cartopia. Dusk Sunday, Sept. 6.


C It’s refreshingly colorful for a summer blockbuster, but the allwhite cast is dull and unconvincing. A trip to Ground Kontrol would have been cheaper and more satisfying. PG-13. CASEY JARMAN. Eastport, Clackamas, Movies on TV.

Ricki and the Flash

D It sounds all right on paper: the story of rocker mom Ricki Rendazzo (Meryl Streep), who left her kids and ex to focus on her career, One expects another fresh, touching tale from the pen of Diablo Cody. But this fi lm has none of the soul that made Juno so endearing. PG-13. LAUREN TERRY. Eastport, Clackamas, Bridgeport, City Center, Division, Fox Tower, Tigard.

Shaun the Sheep Movie

A- In a vibrant return to traditional clay animation, Shaun the Sheep Movie tells a fresh story with the familiar painstaking imagery that makes Aardman Studios the “English Pixar.” Steeped in the tongue-incheek charm of the original Wallace & Gromit, parents will fi nd as much in store for them as their children. PG. LAUREN TERRY. Cedar Hills, Eastport, Clackamas, Oak Grove, Evergreen, Lloyd Center, Movies on TV, Sherwood, Tigard.


B- There’s no way to describe Southpaw without making it sound like a list of boxing movie clichés, because that’s exactly what it is. R. MICHAEL NORDINE. Academy, Cedar Hills, Eastport, Clackamas, Kennedy School, Movies on TV.

Straight Outta Compton

C Telling the greatest story in the history of popular music—full of actual violence and sex and death and betrayal and redemption and brotherhood—wasn’t going to be easy. Especially since it attempts to follow three main story lines, as Dre, Cube and Eazy-E all get major play, with DJ Yella and and MC Ren rightly relegated to bit-player status. And even more especially since it’s co-produced by the star subjects, who all want to manage their own images and follow their own arcs. That doesn’t really work here. As best I know, it’s a fairly faithful telling of the story, but it’s not the movie N.W.A. deserved. R. MARTIN CIZMAR. Cedar Hills, Eastport, Clackamas, Mill Plain, Hollywood, Oak Grove, Bridgeport, City Center, Division, Evergreen, Hilltop, Lloyd Center, Movies on TV, Pioneer Place, St. Johns Cinemas.


B+ Shot on an iPhone and featuring two fi rst-timers in the leading roles, Sean Baker’s fi fth feature resembles a debut fi lm. Taking place one sunny Christmas Eve, the fi lm is led by two transgender prostitutes whom we fi rst meet as they commune in the window seat of a Hollywood doughnut shop. Sin-Dee (Kitana Kiki Rodriguez) is fresh out of jail after a 28-day stint and looking to fi nd her unfaithful pimp boyfriend’s lover. The quest narrative that follows is often hilarious, giving a more groundlevel view of Los Angeles than in any other movie in recent years. Laughs abound, but so do moments of silent understanding in what’s ultimately an exploration of friendships that form between people with no one else to care about. That may not sound like much, but when everything else unravels, it’s more than enough. R . MICHAEL NORDINE. Laurelhurst.


C Amy Schumer stars as Amy, a version of herself as a magazine writer instead of a comedy writer. R. ALEX FALCONE. Cedar Hills, Eastport, Clackamas, CineMagic, Bridgeport, City Center, Evergreen, Fox Tower.

We Are Your Friends

D The tale of a young, deadbeat DJ trying to make it in this tough EDM world, We Are Your Friends is essentially a music video from director Max Joseph—we haven’t heard of him, either—that wouldn’t get MTV air time. Cole (an eager Zac Efron) plays the DJ in a fratty quartet of friends rounded out by a promoter, a drug dealer and a token quiet guy. When Cole becomes involved with the girlfriend of his established DJ mentor, We Are Your Friends looks like it’ll be just another self-serving comedy a la Pineapple Express, et al. But those poor, porny jokes— “She better have been an 8 on a bad day”—don’t land hard enough for consistent laughs. The fi lm does have a weepy inspirational message, though: Work hard and work together and things will just work out. Without any insight into the culture of EDM, we’re left with a bad millennial family movie sprinkled with tits and MDMA. R. MITCH LILLIE. Cedar Hills, Eastport, Clackamas. Mill Plain, Bridgeport, Division, Evergreen, Hilltop, Movies on TV, Pioneer Place, Sherwood, Tigard.

Z for Zachariah

C+ Loosely based on Robert C. O’Brien’s 1974 novel, Craig Zobel’s Z for Zachariah eschews most of the conventions of the post-apocalyptic subgenre of science fi ction and replaces them with themes of possession and loneliness, with uneven results. Ann Burden (Margot Robbie), an aw-shucksy teenager living in a bucolic valley, nurses nuclear wasteland-wandering scientist-engineer John Loomis (Chiwetel Ejiofor) back to health after he bathes in an irradiated stream. Dreamy-eyed Caleb (Chris Pine) shows up, and as the characters argue about whether they should convert the church Ann’s father built, their love triangle takes shape. Although it’s a great postapocalyptic mumblecore fi lm, Z for Zachariah isn’t sure whether it wants to be a commentary on science versus religion or a jealousy-driven love drama. It doesn’t say enough about either to be particularly interesting. PG-13. WALKER MACMURDO. Cinema 21.

For more Movies listings, visit

Willamette Week SEPTEMBER 2, 2015


L U C A S F I L M S , LT D .


NO SHIA LABEOUF: Temple of Doom plays at Cartopia beginning at dusk Sunday, Sept. 6.

Regal Lloyd Center 10 & IMAX


Regal Movies on TV Stadium 16

2929 SW 234th Ave. UN GALLO CON MUCHOS HUEVOS Fri-Sat-Sun 11:45, 02:15, 04:45, 07:15, 09:45 THE TRANSPORTER REFUELED Fri-Sat-Sun 11:50, 02:20, 05:00, 07:35, 10:05 THE VISIT

Bagdad Theater

3702 SE Hawthorne Blvd., 503-249-7474 MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE ROGUE NATION Fri-Sat-SunMon-Tue-Wed 12:00, 03:15, 07:00, 10:15

Cinema 21

616 NW 21st Ave., 503-223-4515 THE DIARY OF A TEENAGE GIRL Fri-Sat-Sun-MonTue-Wed 01:30, 04:00, 06:45, 09:00 AMY Fri-SatSun-Mon-Tue-Wed 08:45 PHOENIX Fri-Sat-Sun-MonTue-Wed 01:15, 03:45, 06:30 MERU Fri-Sat-Sun-Mon-TueWed 02:30, 04:30, 07:00, 09:00

Laurelhurst Theatre & Pub

2735 E Burnside St., 503-232-5511 MULHOLLAND DR. Fri-SatSun-Mon-Tue-Wed 09:10 TANGERINE Fri-Sat-SunMon-Tue-Wed 07:15 WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS Fri-Sat-Sun-Mon-Tue-Wed 09:40 MAD MAX: FURY ROAD Fri-Sat-Sun-Mon-TueWed 09:30 SPY Fri-Sat-SunMon-Tue-Wed 07:00 THE WOLFPACK Fri-Sat-SunMon-Tue-Wed 06:45 LOVE & MERCY Fri-Sat-Sun-MonTue-Wed 06:30 AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON Fri-SatSun-Mon-Tue-Wed 09:00

Oak Grove 8 Cinemas 16100 SE McLoughlin Blvd., 503-653-9999 THE TRANSPORTER REFUELED Fri-Sat-SunMon-Tue-Wed 03:00, 05:15, 07:30 STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON Fri-Sat-SunMon-Tue-Wed 03:30, 06:35 NO ESCAPE Fri-Sat-SunMon-Tue-Wed 02:20, 04:45, 07:15 MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE ROGUE NATION Fri-SatSun-Mon-Tue-Wed 01:20, 04:10, 07:00 SINISTER 2


Willamette Week SEPTEMBER 2, 2015

Fri-Sat-Sun-Mon-Tue-Wed 02:50, 05:05, 07:20 THE MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E. FriSat-Sun-Mon-Tue-Wed 01:50, 04:25, 07:05 INSIDE OUT Fri-Sat-Sun-Mon-Tue-Wed 02:35, 05:00 HITMAN: AGENT 47 Fri-Sat-Sun-MonTue-Wed 07:25 MINIONS Fri-Sat-Sun-Mon 12:20 SHAUN THE SHEEP MOVIE Fri-Sat-Sun-Mon-Tue-Wed 02:30, 04:35 VACATION FriSat-Sun-Mon-Tue-Wed 06:45

St. Johns Cinemas

8704 N Lombard St., 503-286-1768 NO ESCAPE Fri-SatSun-Mon-Tue-Wed 05:15, 07:30 STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON Fri-Sat-Sun-MonTue-Wed 03:45, 07:00

CineMagic Theatre

2021 SE Hawthorne Blvd., 503-231-7919 TRAINWRECK Fri-Sat-SunMon-Tue-Wed 04:30, 07:00, 09:30

Kiggins Theatre

1011 Main St., 360-816-0352 STEVE JOBS Fri-Sat-SunMon-Tue 06:30 DIRTY DANCING Fri-Sat-Sun-MonTue 09:00 THE PROPHET Fri-Sat-Sun-Mon-Tue 04:45 MR. HOLMES Sat-Sun 08:15

Hollywood Theatre

4122 NE Sandy Blvd., 503-281-4215 MISTRESS AMERICA FriSat-Sun-Mon-Tue-Wed 07:00 STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON Fri-Sat-MonTue-Wed 06:45, 09:45 THE END OF THE TOUR Fri-SatSun-Mon-Tue-Wed 09:00 FUNNY OVER EVERYTHING PRESENTS GEOFF TATE Fri 09:45 TURBO KID Sat-SunMon 09:30 VORTEX 1 Sun 02:00 RADIO SILENCE Sun 06:00 BUDDHA’S PALM Tue 07:30 DANNY SAYS Wed 07:30

Regal Pioneer Place Stadium 6

340 SW Morrison St. THE TRANSPORTER REFUELED Fri-Sat-Sun-MonTue-Wed 01:15, 04:15, 07:15, 10:00 THE VISIT

St. Johns Theater

8203 N Ivanhoe St., 503-249-7474-6 THE MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E. Fri-Sat-Sun-Mon-Tue-Wed 01:00, 04:00, 07:00, 10:00

Century 16 Cedar Hills

3200 SW Hocken Ave. INSIDE OUT Fri-SatSun-Mon-Tue-Wed 12:00,

02:30, 05:00, 07:30 THE TRANSPORTER REFUELED Fri-Sat-Sun-Mon-Tue-Wed 12:00, 02:30, 05:00, 07:30, 10:00 MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE ROGUE NATION Fri-SatSun-Mon-Tue-Wed 01:15, 04:15, 07:15, 10:15 MINIONS Fri-Sat-Sun-Mon-Tue-Wed 12:35, 02:55, 05:15, 07:35 ANT-MAN Fri-Sat-Sun-MonTue-Wed 11:30, 02:15, 05:00, 07:45, 10:30 TRAINWRECK Fri-Sat-Sun-Mon-Tue-Wed 01:00, 04:00, 07:00, 10:00 SOUTHPAW Fri-Sat-SunMon-Tue-Wed 10:00 THE GIFT Fri-Sat-Sun-Mon-TueWed 01:45, 04:30, 07:15, 10:00 SHAUN THE SHEEP MOVIE Fri-Sat-Sun-Mon-TueWed 11:30 THE MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E. Fri-Sat-Sun-MonTue-Wed 11:30, 02:15, 05:00, 07:45, 10:30 STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON Fri-SatSun-Mon-Tue-Wed 12:15, 03:35, 07:00, 10:15 HITMAN: AGENT 47 Fri-Sat-Sun-MonTue-Wed 11:40, 02:10, 04:40, 07:10, 09:40 SINISTER 2 FriSat-Sun-Mon-Tue-Wed 10:00 AMERICAN ULTRA Fri-SatSun-Mon-Tue-Wed 12:30, 03:00, 05:30, 08:00, 10:30 WE ARE YOUR FRIENDS FriSat-Sun-Mon-Tue-Wed 11:45, 02:15, 04:45 NO ESCAPE FriSat-Sun-Mon-Tue-Wed 12:00, 02:35, 05:10, 07:45, 10:20 MISTRESS AMERICA Fri-SatSun-Mon-Tue-Wed 01:00, 03:15, 05:30, 07:45, 10:00 A WALK IN THE WOODS Fri-Sat-Sun-Mon-Tue-Wed 11:30, 02:15, 05:00, 07:45, 10:30 THANI ORUVAN FriSat 06:00 BHALE BHALE MAGADIVOY Fri-Sat-SunMon-Tue-Wed 12:20, 03:30, 06:40, 09:55 PAAYUM PULI Fri-Sat-Sun 12:55 HOW TO CHANGE THE WORLD LIVE PREMIERE Wed 07:30 THE VISIT

Regal Cinemas Bridgeport Village Stadium 18 & IMAX

7329 SW Bridgeport Road. THE TRANSPORTER REFUELED: THE IMAX EXPERIENCE Fri-Sat-Sun 12:00, 02:30, 05:00, 07:30, 10:00 THE TRANSPORTER REFUELED Fri-Sat-Sun 12:40, 03:10, 05:40, 08:10, 10:40 MISTRESS AMERICA Fri-Sat-Sun 12:45, 03:05, 05:25, 07:45, 10:05 THE VISIT

Academy Theater

7818 S.E. Stark St., 503-252-0500 LOVE & MERCY Fri-SatSun-Mon-Tue-Wed 04:45 SPY Fri-Sat-Sun-Mon-TueWed 02:15, 07:15 MAD MAX: FURY ROAD Fri-SatSun-Mon-Tue-Wed 02:20, 09:45 AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON Fri-Sat-Sun-MonTue-Wed 11:25, 04:10, 07:00 HOME Fri-Sat-Sun-MonTue-Wed 11:35 FEAR AND LOATHING IN LAS VEGAS Fri-Sat-Sun-Mon-Tue-Wed 01:40, 09:55 SOUTHPAW

Mon-Tue-Wed 11:45, 09:30 INFINITELY POLAR BEAR Mon-Tue-Wed 07:30 TOMORROWLAND Mon-TueWed 04:50

Valley Theater

9360 SW Beaverton-Hillsdale Highway, 503-296-6843 AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON Fri-Sat-SunMon-Tue-Wed 06:30, 09:20 HOME Fri-Sat-SunMon 02:00, 04:05 SAN ANDREAS Fri-Sat-SunMon-Tue-Wed 06:15 SPY Fri-Sat-Sun-Mon-Tue-Wed 08:40 TOMORROWLAND Fri-Sat-Sun-Mon 01:40, 04:20 MAD MAX: FURY ROAD FriSat-Sun-Mon-Tue-Wed 07:00, 09:30

Century Clackamas Town Center and XD

12000 SE 82nd Ave. JURASSIC WORLD Fri 09:25 INSIDE OUT Fri 11:15, 01:55, 04:35, 07:15 THE TRANSPORTER REFUELED Fri 11:00, 01:35, 04:10, 06:45, 09:20 DOPE Fri 02:25 MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE ROGUE NATION Fri 12:45, 04:00, 07:10, 10:15 MINIONS Fri 11:25, 01:55, 04:25, 07:05 ANT-MAN Fri 11:10, 02:00, 04:50, 07:40, 10:30 TRAINWRECK Fri 11:00, 01:50, 04:40, 07:35, 10:30 PIXELS Fri 11:10, 01:45, 04:30, 07:15 SOUTHPAW Fri 09:50 WAR ROOM Fri 11:00, 01:50, 04:40, 07:30, 10:25 THE GIFT Fri 10:20 FANTASTIC FOUR Fri 11:30, 02:10, 05:00, 07:40 RICKI AND THE FLASH Fri 11:05, 01:40, 04:15, 07:00 SHAUN THE SHEEP MOVIE Fri 12:15 THE MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E. Fri 11:05, 01:50, 04:45, 07:35, 10:25 STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON Fri 12:05, 03:35, 07:00, 10:15 HITMAN: AGENT 47 Fri 11:50, 05:05, 07:50, 10:20 SINISTER 2 Fri 09:40 AMERICAN ULTRA Fri 10:00 WE ARE YOUR FRIENDS Fri 02:40, 05:15, 07:45, 10:15 NO ESCAPE Fri 11:35, 02:15, 04:55, 07:35, 10:20 MISTRESS AMERICA Fri 11:05, 01:20, 03:35, 05:50, 08:05, 10:20 A WALK IN THE WOODS Fri 11:10, 02:00, 04:50, 07:40, 10:30 HEROES OF DIRT Fri 12:40, 03:10, 05:35, 08:00, 10:25 UN GALLO CON MUCHOS HUEVOS Fri 11:20, 02:05, 04:45, 07:20, 09:55 STRIPES Sun-Wed 02:00, 07:00 HOW TO CHANGE THE WORLD LIVE PREMIERE Wed 07:30 90 MINUTES IN HEAVEN





No Pain, Little Gain ATTEMPTING RECREATIONAL USE OF CBD. Ever know the kid who tried smoking a hemp bracelet? I’m from a little town in the Midwest, so I knew a few. And I’ll tell you now what they told me then: They didn’t get high. They coughed lot, and then maybe felt a little woozy from lack of oxygen. But if those kids had, say, cancer and a vaporizer, they may have had a very different experience. Because while industrial hemp is extremely low in psychoactive THC—the substance that makes guitars sound better— it’s often also high in cannabidiol, or CBD, which people in great pain say eases their struggle without using heavy narcotics. This makes CBD unpopular with large companies that sell heavy narcotics. And even under President Obama, U.S. News & World Report reported in March that the Food and Drug Administration has decided to “crack down” on CBD, sending strongly worded letters to manufacturers about products containing CBD. Prohibitionists cheered the step, and hoped for more. So that’s great news for Big Pharma and the pro-pain crowd, but are they screwing us recreational users out of anything? After experimenting with CBD for a few weeks, I can report they aren’t. For those of us without lingering physical pain, the CBD products I tried have roughly the same soothing and centering effect as a really, really good cup of herbal tea.

Care By Design spray

Available at Happy Leaf, 1301 NE Broadway, and from This mix of coconut oil and CO2-extracted cannabis oil comes in little spray bottles to be shaken and squirted under the tongue. It has 18 parts CBD for every one part of THC, meaning you could throw the whole vial back like a shooter without getting high. Two squirts give you a pleasant, citrusy cannabis flavor, not unlike a weed-flavored breath freshener. I experimented with two or three sprays at various times of the day in recent weeks, and found it mostly useful as a sleep aid, especially paired with a glass of red wine. During the day, the effect was more like drinking herbal tea, calming the blood and loosening the joints.

ViPova Yunnan CBD black tea

Available from Can be shipped. Arizona-based ViPova renders the CBD oil in this tea from industrial hemp, meaning the company is not worried about shipping this product across state lines. Each tea bag has 50 milligrams of hemp oil at 20 percent CBD, meaning you should get about 10 milligrams, enough to get you high if it was THC. In addition to Chinese black tea, each bag contains a little nonfat evaporated milk, which is intended to help aid the absorption of CBD. Eight tea bags cost $24, making it rather expensive for drink-at-home tea, though ViPova points out it costs less than Starbucks. I had a mild but positive response, finding the tea calmed and centered me, but without providing any sort of physiological effect. It’s great for curling up with the book, and someone who is experiencing pain might find it has other advantages, too.


Available at Pure Green, 3738 NE Sandy Blvd., Look a bit, and you can find strains of marijuana with almost no THC—and high in CBD—for sale at local dispensaries. We’ve had a few writers try them, and they all report it makes them feel light and goofy of limb, but not in any useful way. So instead I reached for Cannatonic, which tested at 14.59 percent CBD and 6.53 percent THC, meaning it will get you mildly high. I baked about a third of a gram in the middle of the heat range on a Cloud EVO desktop vaporizer and went for a walk. I noticed that the guitar boooooing on Built to Spill’s “Aisle 13” felt like one of those little mini metal springs being flicked inside your head. Also, my nose and throat got that minty-clean openness you get after being slathered in Vicks VapoRub. I had a bunch of great ideas. It was wonderful. THC 1, CBD 0. MARTIN CIZMAR. Willamette Week SEPTEMBER 2, 2015



Willamette Week SEPTEMBER 2, 2015

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Week of September 3

August 2015

Good stewards for children, such as schools, day care providers, churches, summer camps, and hospitals are always expected to look out for the best interests of the children in their care. What about religions as faithful stewards of children, helping them grow to happy and productive adulthood? One religion, Jehovah’s Witnesses, insists and actually demands that parents relinquish their parental role to the church. This happens when the children are baptized, usually in their pre-teen years. Is this church acting as a good steward worthy of the trust of its members?

ARIES (March 21-April 19): “Excess is the common substitute for energy,” said poet Marianne Moore. That’s a problem you should watch out for in the coming weeks. According to my astrological projections, you’re a bit less lively and dynamic than usual. And you may be tempted to compensate by engaging in extreme behavior or resorting to a contrived show of force. Please don’t! A better strategy would be to recharge your power. Lay low and take extra good care of yourself. Get high-quality food, sleep, entertainment, art, love, and relaxation. TAURUS (April 20-May 20): For a pregnant woman, the fetus often begins to move for the first time during the fifth month of gestation. The sensation may resemble popcorn popping or a butterfly fluttering. It’s small but dramatic: the distinct evidence that a live creature is growing inside her. Even if you are not literally expecting a baby, and even if you are male, I suspect you will soon feel the metaphorical equivalent of a fetus’s first kicks. You’re not ready to give birth yet, of course, but you are well on your way to generating a new creation. GEMINI (May 21-June 20): “Since U Been Gone” is a pop song recorded by vocalist Kelly Clarkson. She won a Grammy for it, and made a lot of money from its sales. But two other singers turned down the chance to make it their own before Clarkson got her shot. The people who wrote the tune offered it first to Pink and then to Hillary Duff, but neither accepted. Don’t be like those two singers, Gemini. Be like Clarkson. Recognize opportunities when they are presented to you, even if they are in disguise or partially cloaked. CANCER (June 21-July 22): “Going with the flow” sounds easy and relaxing, but here’s another side of the truth: Sometimes it can kick your ass. The rippling current you’re floating on may swell up into a boisterous wave. The surge of the stream might get so hard and fast that your ride becomes more spirited than you anticipated. And yet I still think that going with the flow is your best strategy in the coming weeks. It will eventually deliver you to where you need to go, even if there are bouncy surprises along the way. LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): “Money doesn’t make you happy,” said movie star and ex-California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. “I now have $50 million, but I was just as happy when I had $48 million.” Despite his avowal, I’m guessing that extra money would indeed make you at least somewhat happier. And the good news is that the coming months will be prime time for you to boost your economic fortunes. Your ability to attract good financial luck will be greater than usual, and it will zoom even higher if you focus on getting better educated and organized about how to bring more wealth your way. VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): “I stand up next to a mountain, and I chop it down with the edge of my hand.” So sang Jimi Hendrix in his raucous psychedelic tune “Voodoo Child (Slight Return).” We could view his statement as an example of delusional grandiosity, and dismiss it as meaningless. Or we could say it’s a funny and brash boast that Hendrix made as he imagined himself to be a mythic hero capable of unlikely feats. For the purposes of this horoscope, let’s go with the latter interpretation. I encourage you to dream up a slew of extravagant brags about the outlandish magic powers you have at your disposal. I bet it will rouse hidden reserves of energy that will enhance your more practical powers. LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): It’s the phase of your cycle when you have maximum power to transform yourself. If you work hard to rectify and purify your inner life, you will be able to generate a transcendent release. Moreover, you may tap into previously dormant or inaccessible aspects of your soul’s code. Here are some tips on how to fully activate this magic. 1. Without any ambivalence, banish ghosts that are more trouble than they are worth. 2. Identify the one bad habit you most want to dissolve, and replace it with a good habit. 3. Forgive everyone, including yourself. 4. Play a joke on your fear. 5. Discard or give away material objects that no longer have any meaning or use.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): I hope you’re not getting bored with all of the good news I have been delivering in recent weeks. I’m sorry if I sound like I’m sugarcoating or whitewashing, but I swear I’m simply reporting the truth about the cosmic omens. Your karma is extra sweet these days. You do have a few obstacles, but they are weaker than usual. So I’m afraid you will have to tolerate my rosy prophecies for a while longer. Stop reading now if you can’t bear to receive a few more buoyant beams. This is your last warning! Your web of allies is getting more resilient and interesting. You’re expressing just the right mix of wise selfishness and enlightened helpfulness. As your influence increases, you are becoming even more responsible about wielding it. SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): When 16th-century Spanish invaders arrived in the land of the Mayans, they found a civilization that was in many ways highly advanced. The native people had a superior medical system and calendar. They built impressive cities with sophisticated architecture and paved roads. They were prolific artists, and had a profound understanding of mathematics and astronomy. And yet they did not make or use wheeled vehicles, which had been common in much of the rest of the world for over 2,000 years. I see a certain similarity between this odd disjunction and your life. Although you’re mostly competent and authoritative, you are neglecting to employ a certain resource that would enhance your competence and authority even further. Fix this oversight! CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): If you have ever fantasized about taking a pilgrimage to a wild frontier or sacred sanctuary or your ancestral homeland, the next ten months will be an excellent time to do it. And the best time to plan such an adventure will be the coming two weeks. Keep the following questions in mind as you brainstorm. 1. What are your life’s greatest mysteries, and what sort of journey might bring an awakening that clarifies them? 2. Where could you go in order to clarify the curious yearnings that you have never fully understood? 3. What power spot on planet Earth might activate the changes you most want to make in your life? AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): When he died at the age of 77 in 1905, Aquarian author Jules Verne had published 54 books. You’ve probably heard of his science fiction novels Journey to the Center of the Earth and Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea. He was a major influence on numerous writers, including Jean-Paul Sartre, J. R. R. Tolkien, and Arthur Rimbaud. But one of his manuscripts never made it into book form. When he finished it in 1863, his publisher refused to publish it, so Verne stashed it in a safe. It remained there until his great-grandson discovered it in 1989. Five years later, Verne’s “lost novel,” Paris in the Twentieth Century, went on sale for the first time. I suspect that in the coming months, you may have a comparable experience, Aquarius. An old dream that was lost or never fulfilled may be available for recovery and resuscitation. PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): “I enjoy using the comedy technique of self-deprecation,” says stand-up comic Arnold Brown, “but I’m not very good at it.” Your task in the coming weeks, Pisces, is to undermine your own skills at self-deprecation. You may think they are too strong and entrenched to undo and unlearn, but I don’t -- especially now, when the cosmic forces are conspiring to prove to you how beautiful you are. Cooperate with those cosmic forces! Exploit the advantages they are providing. Inundate yourself with approval, praise, and naked flattery.

Homework What other name would you give yourself if you could take a vacation from your present name? Why?

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In the Witness religion, baptism is not a rite of passage, such as a bar mitzvah is in the Jewish faith or a Quinceanera for Latino daughters. Rather, for the Witness child it amounts to the transfer of parental authority from the parents to the church. Baptism as a Jehovah’s Witness hands over control of the child to the church from that point forward. It need not be said that a pre-teen child is not capable of making adult decisions. No matter the age of the child -- 10, 11, 12, 13 years – after baptism the child is held accountable to follow the rules and doctrines of the church, just as if the child had been an adult at the time of being baptized. There are several reasons this will make a life-changing difference in the life of the child. The foremost reason is that believing parents willingly relinquish their parental oversight of the child in favor of church teachings. The results to the child are stunning. Never again can the child openly question any teaching, requirement or recommendation of the church. Failure to comply with church requirements can result in being verbally chastised, emotionally coerced, or even excommunicated at a young age. Upon excommunication (or disfellowshipping as Jehovah’s Witnesses call it) parents and all other members of the child’s family who remain in the church are required to shun the child, have nothing further to do with the child, not even speaking to the child, upon threat of being disfellowshipped themselves if they do so. Of course, even under these circumstances, such parents would continue to provide food, clothing, housing and other basic necessities to the child until the age of majority. Any discussions of a spiritual nature would cease. Once the child is old enough to leave home, all contact between parent and child stops. Any desire on the part of the child to develop a personal relationship with God apart from the Jehovah’s Witness religion, join another church, or simply learn about the many spiritual beliefs held by people worldwide is made very difficult by the strong belief espoused by Jehovah’s Witnesses that they alone, among the 7 billion people on earth, are God’s chosen people and possess the only spiritual truth that exists. The untenable situation the disfellowshipped child finds him or herself in would be difficult for any adult to cope with. For a teenager, it can be overwhelming and life threatening. The Jehovah’s Witness organization’s excessive need to usurp the parental role and control children was reported in an article by Lee Moran published February 16, 2015 in the New York Daily News, ( In it, Mr. Moran explained that Jehovah’s Witnesses have produced a promotional cartoon video for children belonging to their church, in which the children are threatened with death [by Jehovah God] if they do not stay awake and pay attention at church meetings. So baptism as a Jehovah’s Witness does not mean entering into a new and special relationship with God. To claim such is to perpetrate an outrageous lie. While the child may believe that is what he or she is doing, such is not the case. Just examine Jehovah’s Witness literature on the subject. The April 15, 1987 Watchtower, the main publication of the Witnesses, urges children “not to be afraid to come under the authority of the elders [church leaders].” Children are warned that they will “be held accountable for any infraction thereof.” See also Watchtower 1/15/89, pg. 18; 11/15/88, pg.19; 2/15/80 Questions from Readers. The March 22, 1990 Watchtower warns its members against deferring baptism because of fear of disobeying the church’s rules and subsequently being shunned by family members and friends in the church. There are numerous articles in Jehovah’s Witness literature commending children for getting baptized as early as age ten (see Watchtower 11/1/67 and 6/15/85). Shunning has occurred in my family and I’ve personally seen its effects. I saw my 15-year-old niece shunned by Jehovah’s Witnesses when she came to her father’s home to say goodbye to her mother, who was dying of a brain tumor. Because she offended church elders, another teenaged niece was put out of the house by her mother and step-father. In one case the child was placed in foster care, and in the other case the child was taken in by a family acquaintance who was not a Jehovah’s Witness. There are numerous examples in my family and other families of such behavior by parents. In these cases, parents are warned not to look for excuses to have a relationship with their children, even for such a small matter as communicating through email. (January 2013 Watchtower (study edition not available to the public). It is not in the nature of most parents to shun their own children, and would not occur except for the church control exercised over these parents. The totality of the control is such that, when a child is baptized, the church will decide if the child can play school sports, participate in school activities such as school elections or after school clubs, attend football games, attend his or her graduation ceremony, celebrate a birthday or mother’s or father’s day, have non-Witness friends, go to college, or receive a life-saving blood transfusion. I ask you, the Jehovah’s Witness parent, what do you get for this sacrifice? What kind of parent has this church been for your child? Let’s take a look at the history of the church. The church “parent” to which you have entrusted your child – the most precious gift of your life – once required you to withhold vaccinations from your child. For a ten-year period the church would not allow a life-saving organ transplant. The church reversed both positions so that vaccinations and organ transplants are now allowed. Where is the apology from church leadership for the havoc and heartache these policies caused? Although the church has not published photographs of victims of failure to vaccinate or provide an organ transplant, they have published dozens of pictures of children who have died because they were denied a blood transfusion on the basis of their adherence to their religious teaching. (See their Awake magazine, 5/22/94 front cover.) The church wants its members to be proud of such “sacrifice.” It may be that in the future the church’s position on blood transfusions will also change. How will that help the deceased children and their families? Is this church a worthy steward? Read on, for it gets worse, much worse. Any reasonable person would expect a steward of children to protect them from pedophiles. Here are two specific examples of alarming developments within the Jehovah’s Witness organization. In the United Kingdom, names of 26 church leaders were posted online (see ukpedophile/ratiohtm). In the last four years these men have been prosecuted for child sexual abuse. They had been entrusted by parents with the spiritual welfare of children in the church and had violated that trust in the worst possible way. Also, CNN reported at the end of July 2015 that in Australia over the past several decades, more than 1,000 known pedophiles within the Jehovah’s Witness religion were not reported to the police. The Royal Commission of Australia is currently holding an inquiry into this issue. Judgments have been levied against Jehovah’s Witnesses in Britain, Denmark and the United States, resulting in millions of dollars of settlements and jury awards for the victims. Locally there has been one settlement in Corvallis, and there are two ongoing lawsuits in Hillsboro and Vancouver. A consistent fact in these cases is failure of the church elders to report pedophiles to the police once this behavior becomes known to them. The child molestation cases came to light through methods other than the church leaders reporting them directly to police. The church views these situations as ”spiritual” sins and has tried to handle them internally except when police, counselors, teachers or other individuals become aware of this conduct and report it to the authorities. In a particularly tragic case, in 2002 Robert Bryant of McMinnville murdered his entire family and then committed suicide. His story was told on the television show “Deadly Devotion” on the Investigation Discovery network and aired August 3, 2015. Mr. Bryant had been in despair over leaving his Jehovah’s Witness religion. He had been an elder, or church leader, in California for three years, during which time he became alarmed when he learned that other elders in his church had actually excommunicated a female member, a victim of rape, who had not screamed during the transmission of the rape, and therefore was judged by the church to have somehow “allowed” this crime to be perpetrated upon her. That alarm was the beginning of Mr. Bryant’s disenchantment with his religion, so much so that he relocated his family to Oregon and tried to start his life over – all the while being shunned by members of his extended family and former friends, and receiving threats from his in-laws that they would somehow be able to take custody of his children away from him and his wife because of his having left this church. Of course, we don’t know all the circumstances that led Mr. Bryant to take this unthinkable action. We do know that most people rely on their religion, especially in times of personal or family crisis. Instead, Mr. Bryant’s religion, and his reaction to its decisions, created a large part of his stress and emotional upheaval. By this article I’m asking Jehovah’s Witness parents to assess the situations presented here, and instead of facilitating the Jehovah’s Witness religion in making decisions for your children, take stock of what is really happening and resume your parental role. For those outside the Jehovah’s Witness religion, these policies are confusing. For example, school teachers are given church literature outlining those school activities in which Jehovah’s Witness children can and cannot participate. Parents dutifully obey instructions issued by the church to provide this information on or before the first day of school. Teachers are obliged to follow the instructions of the parents, even when they believe these rules are excessive and even damaging to the child. In cases of divorce where custody is an issue, judges assume the issues are between two parents -- but often the situation is adversarial because it is between the non-Jehovah’s Witness parent and the Jehovah’s Witness church. The Jehovah’s Witness parent does not truly have the freedom to act on his or her own behalf, but will do what the church says. In fact, the headquarters organization of Jehovah’s Witnesses provides a book to Jehovah’s Witnesses in this situation called “Preparing for Child Custody Cases.” Parents are instructed to, if necessary, lie under oath about their child’s school social activity, and the church’s teachings about the “dangers” of college education. At the very least, Jehovah’s Witness parents should honor the court system by being honest about the lives they and their children lead. That being said, Jehovah’s Witnesses teachings are in some respects helpful to its members and the communities in which they live. Members are generally honest, hard-working and cooperative. But church leaders need to be called to account for their overly intrusive role in the family lives of their members and their failure to report child abuse cases. Change in this organization will come, albeit slowly and not from the top down. Even though the saying that “absolute power absolutely corrupts” is applied mostly to politicians, it applies to religious leaders as well. The leaders of Jehovah’s Witnesses have been corrupted by the absolute power they wield over church members’ lives and families. This power is so absolute because church members believe it comes from God, and is, in my opinion, primarily fear based. Conversely, the judicial system in this country does not wield absolute power, nor does the President or the congress. The reasons our government was organized this way are obviously so that one person or group is not in a position to exercise complete dominance over its citizens. To Jehovah’s Witness parents: Do not allow yourself and your children to be under the complete control of others, even though some of the things they believe and teach seem honest and trustworthy. Retain your ability to think clearly, analyze each situation as it arises and thoughtfully make decisions that are in the best interests of your children – now and in the future. To doctors, teachers, judges, lawyers and others who come in contact with minor Jehovah’s Witness children: Be aware of the potentially damaging and dangerous interpretations of the Bible as Jehovah’s Witnesses teach, and lawfully endeavor to protect and defend the rights of Jehovah’s Witness children whenever it is in your power to do so. Daniel Duron 503-348-1257

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41 44 willamette week, september 2, 2015  
41 44 willamette week, september 2, 2015