Man told to scram from Burning Man. P. 8
WILLAMETTE WEEK PORTLAND’S NEWSWEEKLY
What we learned from pairing Star Wars-themed weed strains with the first six movies. P. 45
“LAY IT ON ME, YOU FUNKY ALIEN!” P. 21
SOMEBODY’S WATCHING YOU PAGE 13
OREGONIANS CHERISH FREEDOM AND PRIVACY. TURNS OUT WE DON’T HAVE MUCH OF EITHER. BY NIGEL JAQUISS
VOL 42/07 12.16.2015
Willamette Week DECEMBER 16, 2015 wweek.com
M AT T S C H U M A C H E R
WHAT WE LEARNED FROM READING THIS WEEK’S PAPER VOL. 42, ISSUE 7.
Two old dudes who go to lame bars are convinced the young people working there like old-dude rock music. 4 One Monday Funday in April was not fun for several local “Burners,” as people who attend the Burning Man festival are known. 8
Until recently, Portland police still knew where you were driving four years ago. 13 Only true Star Wars fans know Fetty Wap and Chewbacca’s better half. 21 Ramona Quimby probably ate at Joe Brown’s. 22
The city of Portland manages 157 bridges. 11
Carrie Brownstein’s memoir has
ON THE COVER:
OUR MOST TRAFFICKED STORY ONLINE THIS WEEK:
English Springer Spaniel on a Cushion by Sawrey Gilpin. Photograph by Maya Setton.
only one passing reference to Fred Armisen. 43
Many of The Oregonian’s top staffers are asking for buyouts.
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, Madeline Luce Stage & Screen Editor Enid Spitz Projects Editor Matthew Korfhage Music Editor Matthew Singer Web Editor Lizzy Acker Books James Helmsworth
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Willamette Week DECEMBER 16, 2015 wweek.com
WHO WANTS A FLU SHOT?
I used to skip getting the flu shot some years because I was foolishly convinced of my own immortality [“Runny Nose. Sore Throat. Empty Wallet,” WW, Dec. 9, 2015]. Then one year I got the flu. Even though I fully recovered, I was bedridden for a week. The first few days I thought I was going to die, and the next few days I wanted to die. It took me a month to feel like myself again. I do what I can to convince my friends who make excuses, but yeah, for some people it will take getting the disease to see flu vaccine as the wonderful thing it is. —“CH Shannon” Everyone who gets flu shots are the sickest people I know. The flu shot ties up their immune system, and they come down with everything under the sun. In most cases, it is no more effective than a placebo. Health does not come from the end of a needle full of viruses and toxins. It’s the biggest scam ever perpetrated on the human race. —“Kiwimommy”
stant flux, our rents on a continual rise, and the weather doing that fabulous unpredictable thing, we could all be on the streets at any time. —Kelli Martinelli
Increasing density is a very long-established goal of the city [“Sky Scrapping,” WW, Dec. 9, 2015]. If it bothers people to increase height limits, I would take it up with the planners, because they are very much onboard and don’t require arm-twisting from the Greg Goodmans of the world. —“Shoobie2”
DAVID DOUGLAS 1, TRUMP 0
I just want to tell you how much I adored the cover headline “PDX to Trump: Drop Dead” [WW, Dec. I just want 2, 2015]. I guffawed with hysterito tell you cal chuckles. how much I Given Trump’s controversy about his proposed “complete adored the cover headline shutdown” of allowing Muslims to enter the country, I felt like “PDX to this cover story was so necessary Trump: for the education of people who Drop Dead.” were born in the United States. The stories about the teenagers NEW HOMELESS CAMP at David Douglas High School were remarkable I’m all for helping homeless people, but allow- and a crucial addition to the public discourse ing shanty towns to pop up all over the city just about refugees and immigrants in the U.S. doesn’t seem like a smart way to do this [“A Tale —Wahkeena Sitka of Two Tent Cities,” WW, Dec. 9, 2015]. Is it possible to build dorm-style housing or CORRECTION refurbish a derelict hotel? That’s probably too Last week’s story on a mysterious Iraqi winner of a $6.4 million Oregon Lottery prize (“Megabucks expensive to be feasible, however. Instead we need to pay for murals that get Over Bagdad,” WW, Dec. 9, 2015) incorrectly said thelotter.com is based in Israel. The company is tagged, right? based in Malta. WW regrets the error. —“RyanH” You’re nervous about a so-called tent city moving into your neighborhood? Then help us create thriving tiny-home communities. Because with the state of this world in con-
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR must include the author’s street address and phone number for veriﬁcation. Letters must be 250 or fewer words. Submit to: 2220 NW Quimby St., Portland, OR 97210. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
that what they had as young people was awesome but that what young people have now is stupid. This is the most common theory, in the same way that “asshole” is the most common type of person.
Why is the music in taverns and coﬀee shops always older than the people bringing me beer? Sure, I like the Stones, but I’m old. I know there are young people out there making good music. So why does my high-school soundtrack still haunt me?
—GOMER (Grumpy Old Man Exuding Rage)
First of all, GOMER, we don’t use the acronymic sig line here. You’re probably thinking of “Savage Love,” a sex-advice column by the extravagantly better-paid Dan Savage. (Savage and I have little in common save that we both have about the same amount of experience with the human vagina.) In any case, why young people listen to old music is a hot topic on the Internet. While it’s not the sort of question where you’re likely to get a definitive answer, here are a few theories: 1. The music back then was just better. This theory is popular among those who insist 4
Willamette Week DECEMBER 16, 2015 wweek.com
2. Rock as a genre has gotten older. In 1967, there wasn’t any old rock ’n’ roll to listen to. Today, two-thirds of rock history happened over 20 years ago—just picking equally from every era makes for a pretty old-looking playlist. 3. The way we find music has changed. I didn’t find this one online, but it’s still right. See, when you and I were young, we found our music in the record store, on the radio, or in music magazines. Those platforms are all driven by labels promoting recent releases. We didn’t listen to much old stuff because the new stuff was being pimped so much harder. These days, anybody can find anything from any era. It’s not that weird that today’s young people listen to older music, it’s more weird that oldsters like you* didn’t. * Not me, of course, since I’m still “down” with the “kids.” #yolo QUESTIONS? Send them to email@example.com
Willamette Week | run date: WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 16, 2015
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The city’s aﬀordable-housing shortage is claiming another victim. The Portland Development Commission announced to employees last week that it will have to reduce staﬀ by about 20 percent in the next 10 years because the City Council has directed the economic development agency to dedicate more money to aﬀordable housing. This fall, Mayor Charlie Hales and Commissioner Dan Saltzman championed the decision to make the PDC set aside 45 percent of urban renewal money for aﬀordable housing, up from 30 percent. That means a bigger cut of the tax dollars the city collects in 11 urban renewal areas will be redirected to the Portland Housing Bureau, even as those tax dollars decline. The onceﬂush PDC has about 95 employees and hopes to cut costs through early retirement. The commission will consider an early-retirement incentive program Dec. 16. Shawn Uhlman, a PDC spokesman, says the agency is trying to get ahead of future shortfalls. “The need might not be immediate,” he says, “but they’re trying to be prudent.” Warner Paciﬁc College, the “Christ-centered” institution on the south slope of Mount Tabor, is facing new employment-related lawsuits in Multnomah County Circuit Court. Noel King ﬁled ﬁrst, on Dec. 11, alleging the college declined to hire him for an adjunct professor position in August 2014 because he is Jewish. On Dec. 14, Michael Jerpbak, a Warner Paciﬁc faculty member on the college’s hiring committee, ﬁled a second lawsuit, alleging the college retaliated against him and denied him a promotion for recommending King. “The college prefers that its leaders and instructors actively practice the Christian faith,” Warner Paciﬁc spokesman Dale Seipp Jr. told WW in a statement. Last month, WW reported that the state of Oregon has paid the Portland law ﬁrm Markowitz Herbold $3.6 million in legal fees related to litigation with Oracle America Inc. But that number didn’t cover the full cost of the brawl over who’s responsible for the $300 million failure of health insurance exchange Cover Oregon: Records show that in addition to the payments to Markowitz Herbold, the state has paid an additional $693,000 related to the Oracle litigation to four other law ﬁrms, the bulk of that—$549,000—to the Portland ﬁrm Garvey Schubert Barer. “This is major litigation, and the legal team hired by our state has done an excellent job,” says Oregon Department of Justice spokeswoman Kristina Edmunson. The parties are due back in Marion County Circuit Court on Jan. 11. Read what we know, when we know it.
Willamette Week DECEMBER 16, 2015 wweek.com
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Crude Figures A NEW TERMINAL COULD MORE THAN DOUBLE THE NUMBER OF OIL TRAINS TRAVELING THROUGH THE COLUMBIA RIVER GORGE. BY AA R O N M E S H
Portland residents woke Sunday morning to what looked like a nightmare come true: an oil train on fire. For the past three years, railroads have been carrying liquid crude oil from North Dakota’s oil fields via Oregon and Washington to the Pacific market. Critics warned that the tanker cars filled with volatile oil were time bombs rolling through the Columbia River Gorge, a national scenic area. The cloud of black smoke billowing near the St. Johns Bridge on Dec. 13 suggested the kind of derailment and inferno that skeptics feared. In fact, it was nothing of the sort. The Dec. 13 fire was the result of a tanker truck crashing into railcars near U.S. Highway 30. The crash killed the driver of the truck and ignited gasoline in the tanker—but the railcars were carrying liquid asphalt, not crude oil, and they didn’t leak or catch fire. Yet the media rush and viral videos placed renewed scrutiny on oil trains at a pivotal moment for the future of such shipments. Texas oil company Tesoro and Utah logistics company Savage are seeking final approval next year for what would become one of the nation’s largest crude-by-rail facilities—across the Columbia River from Portland at the Port of Vancouver. Railroads are federally regulated, which means local jurisdictions can do little to block oil trains from traveling through. The locals can, however, decide whether to approve terminals. Supporters of the proposed Vancouver terminal face a skeptical public—especially after a series of investigative reports by The Oregonian detailed the risk of train explosions. Tesoro pledges high safety standards for the project. “Crude oil is—and will continue being—safely transported through Vancouver via rail,” says project spokesman Jeff Hymas. “Tesoro and Savage are actively engaged in the national effort to further enhance crude-oil-by-rail safety.” That’s not persuasive to environmental activists. “If someone were to propose a pipeline this size, you’d say it was nuts,” says Dan Serres, conservation director with Columbia Riverkeeper. “It’s an absolutely enormous threat to salmon habitat, to drinking water supplies, to all the communities along the Columbia River.” The Tesoro terminal, called Vancouver Energy, needs approval from Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, a strong environmentalist. A Washington state energy council will begin public hearings on the project next month. If the terminal wins approval, that would mean a sharp increase in the number of oil trains traveling through the Gorge. It’s hard to determine how many railcars carrying crude currently roll through Multnomah and Clark counties—railroads are only required to disclose a broad range of trains per week to state governments. But the Washington state environmental impact study for the Vancouver Energy project shows oil-train traffic in the Gorge could more than double if the terminal moves forward.
Average number of railcars currently carrying crude oil through the Columbia River Gorge:
RAILCARS OF OIL A WEEK.
Potential number of railcars carrying crude oil through the Columbia River Gorge to the Vancouver Energy terminal, if the project is approved:
RAILCARS OF OIL A WEEK.
= 10 RAILCARS S O U R C E S : WA S H I N G TO N S TAT E E M E R G E N C Y R E S P O N S E C O M M I S S I O N , O R E G O N O F F I C E O F S TAT E F I R E M A R S H A L , S TAT E O F WA S H I N G T O N E N E R G Y FA C I L I T Y S I T E E VA L U AT I O N C O U N C I L
Willamette Week DECEMBER 16, 2015 wweek.com
Burned Out THE LATEST CASE OF EXPLOSIVE SEX-CRIME ALLEGATIONS ON SOCIAL MEDIA EMERGES FROM THE LOCAL BURNING MAN SCENE. BY L I SA D UN N
Monday Funday, the weekly gathering at Colonel Summers Park on Southeast Belmont Street, looks from the outside like a throwback to the tie-dye 1970s. But an incident that took place at Monday Funday in 2014 set into motion a court case that is pushing the boundaries of what you can and cannot say on social-media websites. On April 14, 2014, Joseph Alan Brown showed up amid the usual hacky-sackers, hula-hoopers and tribal drummers, and approached a group that included his ex-girlfriend. According to court records, Brown moved within 20 feet of his ex. His proximity violated a written request she’d made in January, asking Brown to stay at least 50 feet away from her at the event and abstain from all other contact. Documents say he continually attempted to make eye contact, and the woman’s friend, Phil Hutchinson, asked Brown to move. Brown refused. That confrontation set off a chain of events, including an explosive Facebook post written by Hutchinson containing allegations about Brown’s behavior. That post would eventually lead to a lawsuit set to go to trial in February in Multnomah County Circuit Court. The case is the latest in a series of recent battles over whether describing a man as a danger to women is protected speech or defamation. This time the battle is being waged inside the Burner community: the crowd of artists and free spirits defined in part by their travel to the Burning Man festival in the Nevada desert each summer. On Jan. 30, 2015, Hutchinson wrote a public Facebook post about Brown, alleging he had been ostracized from multiple social circles “for not respecting boundaries and the 8
Willamette Week DECEMBER 16, 2015 wweek.com
withholding of sexual consent.” Brown responded by suing Hutchinson on Feb. 12 for $69,600 in damages, alleging defamation, invasion of privacy, and intentional infliction of emotional distress. The lawsuit raises questions about whether the freespeech protections that the press traditionally enjoys also apply to individuals posting on social media. Stephen Kanter, a professor at Lewis & Clark Law School, says revealing the kind of information Hutchinson posted can be valuable, but it must be accurate. “People can out others for sexual misconduct even if there’s no official charge,” Kanter says, “but it’s complicated, because, on the one hand, if someone is engaging in this behavior, it’s important to know that. On the other, if they’re not engaging [in that behavior], this kind of speech can ruin them.” Brown’s lawsuit comes on the heels of previous local battles over social-media posts alleging sex crimes. Earlier this year, online allegations against a prominent activist roiled Portland’s protest community (“Purged,” WW, Jan. 21, 2015). This summer, a husband sued his ex-wife, who, like him, was prominent in open-source computer programming circles, after allegations on Twitter of sexual violence (“OpenSource Warfare,” WW, June 30, 2015). After the incident at Monday Funday, Brown then attempted to apply for services at a nonprofit where his exgirlfriend worked, according to court documents. Shortly after that, the woman pursued a stalking order against Brown, and Hutchinson posted to Facebook. In the Jan. 30 post, Hutchinson wrote that he felt it was important “that word about [Brown] gets out, because the continued silence and fragmented response has led to more women being hurt.” He described Brown as “part of the Portland [B]urner community, and also an attendee of Beloved,” an annual New Age music festival held each August near Tidewater, Ore. Hutchinson also posted a link to a website he helped create that contains public records related to Brown’s legal history— including an arrest for voyeurism, a restraining order from his ex-wife, three stalking orders, and a conviction in a “complex burglary case” that culminated in Brown allegedly breaking into a woman’s house and climbing into bed with her. Brown’s attorney, Nicholas Yanchar, says his client filed suit because the social-media posts went beyond a factual listing of Brown’s legal record.
Yanchar says Hutchinson, in writing that Brown had been rejected from his social circles for not respecting “the withholding of sexual consent,” had falsely alleged Brown was a rapist. (Brown declined to comment.) “My client has never raped anybody,” Yanchar says, “and the defendant specifically assumed and lumped together every single bad thing my client ever did in the public realm to say that he was a rapist.” In a sworn declaration, Hutchinson says he didn’t intend to harm Brown, but felt he needed to “alert the community to behavior [he] believed caused danger to women who might interact with Mr. Brown.” Jonathan Radmacher, Hutchinson’s attorney, says the lawsuit is an attempt to stifle free speech. “This case is appalling—there is an unbelievable amount of information to back up my client’s claims,” Radmacher says. (Hutchinson declined to comment.) In April 2015, a woman, whose name WW is withholding, alleged in a sworn court declaration that Brown had raped her. In her declaration, the woman says she met Brown at a party in the summer of 2012, and they went home together. “[She] reminded him again that [she] was very tired and wanted to go to sleep and that there would be no sex,” her declaration says. She woke up to find Brown penetrating her, and when she realized what was happening, she threw him off her. She says she filed a police report after the assault, but she did not press charges. She tells WW she did not press charges in 2012 for two reasons: A mutual friend of her and Brown’s told her that Brown had voluntarily sought counseling as a result of the incident, and she felt it would be too difficult to prove. The woman, who is also part of Portland’s Burning Man scene, says she gave a sworn declaration to support Hutchinson in speaking up for her and others. “We’re not always believed, and while I want us to be heard, that’s not always possible,” she says. “Consent is something that is very, very important to Burners.” Yanchar, Brown’s attorney, says there’s no evidence the woman’s allegations are true. “My client has a very different opinion and recollection of that night,” he says. Kyu Ho Youm, a media studies professor at the University of Oregon, says he believes a social-media post like Hutchinson’s falls under Oregon’s protections for free speech. “More people are using social media to alert each other to issues of public interest,” Youm says. “An allegation related to rape, that is definitely in the public interest to know.”
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NEWS minimal. It’s a crew arriving with a truck, loading material and then driving away. So the cost of that is probably a lot less than a thousand dollars per incident. But the moderate ones are between $50,000 and $100,000, and the really significant ones that occur maybe once every five years can be a half a million to $1 million. Are the numbers of landslides increasing much? We have good winters and we have bad winters. On an average good winter, you have maybe 12 incidents. But in a severe winter, five to 10 dozen. We have more this week than we’ve had the last two winters combined. It’s too early to say whether this is going to shape up to be a bad winter, overall, although it has been one hell of a week.
MUD WRESTLING: Portland transportation engineer David O’Longaigh monitors repairs on a landslide along West Burnside Street at Southwest Tichner Drive. Landslides can cost the city between $1,000 and $1 million to clean up.
David O’Longaigh A PORTLAND TRANSPORTATION ENGINEER EXPLAINS HOW THE CITY PATCHED UP 20 LANDSLIDES LAST WEEK. BY CO BY H UTZ L E R
Landslides don’t bring David O’Longaigh down. For 12 years, O’Longaigh has been the supervising engineer for bridges and structures at the Portland Bureau of Transportation. That’s a job that usually involves managing the design of bridges, as well as keeping an eye on the 157 bridges, 566 retaining walls and 188 stairways that PBOT currently owns. But this past week has been different. Since Dec. 6, Portland has been deluged by more than 8 inches of rain. The result: flooding, power outages and 20 landslides within city limits—all of them occurring in the first 72 hours of heavy rain between Dec. 6 and 9. Most of these landslides occurred in the posh West Hills (see map at right). O’Longaigh manages the team of transportation engineers who orchestrate the city’s response when a landslide smashes into a road. Last week, PBOT says, crews removed at least 900 cubic yards of debris from Portland roads. That’s enough dirt and rocks to fill 75 dump trucks. O’Longaigh took a brief break from wading through mud to tell WW how he
can tell if a landslide is still dangerous, what falling rocks cost the city and what it would take to remove the threat completely. WW: What does the city’s response to a landslide look like? David O’Longaigh: Our first thing when we get there is to assess the slide to see if there’s any energy left so that it’s still going to move. We’ve had a number of moderate slides along the banks of creeks where the roadway is above a creek and there’s been a fall towards the creek. If we don’t get there immediately, the road could fail. Our crews [install] a small rock buttress—angled rock that knits together and creates a really stable slope. It takes maybe three to four hours, and you’ve saved literally thousands of dollars of repair on the street. Portland seems to have a consistent, repeated pattern because the West Hills generally feel the same everywhere: low-height hills, similar yards, similar soil types. Over time you get a feel for a slide, you almost have seen it before. And we do rely on rapid assessment, because when it rains, it pours. We don’t just have one, sometimes we have many that day that we’ve got to get to.
How do you know when you can leave a slide alone? Soil has natural angles of repose, and silty soil has a natural angle of between 20 to 30 degrees, depending on how stiff it may be. You gauge that angle in the slope as you’re observing it. You can see if there’s any, for example, trees remaining that look like they’re unstable, ready to topple, and if there are, we try to take those down before they do fall. How much do landslides cost to fix? The small ones, the ones that we call “popouts,” where the earth pops out and we pick it up and walk away, the cost is very
What was the most memorable landslide you saw last week? What was dramatic is when [West] Burnside [Street] became a river on Monday [Dec. 7]. That blew out the ditches, because there was so much water coming down the hill, and Burnside Street was filled with debris and water, almost like a riverbed, and walking across Burnside you’re literally walking through six inches of water. My foot was underwater. It was a bizarre feeling to see Burnside like that, almost like a return to the wild. Are there problem areas on the city’s radar? Any way to proactively fix them? That’s an interesting question. The West Hills is defined by how it looks, like natural slopes, vegetation, trees, ditches. To engineer ourselves out of landslides, it would completely alter the West Hills and its appearance. Instead of West Hills, it’d be West Walls. You’d be building retaining walls everywhere, and I’m pretty sure it wouldn’t be the idyllic stone wall like you find in Italy. They’d be ugly concrete block walls. Engineering is a great tool, but it doesn’t solve every problem.
“WE HAVE MORE THIS WEEK THAN WE’VE HAD THE LAST TWO WINTERS COMBINED.”
SLIDE CITY: Portland experienced 20 landslides between Dec. 6 and 9. Find details—and the landslide nearest you—at wweek.com. Willamette Week DECEMBER 16, 2015 wweek.com
Willamette Week DECEMBER 16, 2015 wweek.com
SOMEBODY’S WATCHING YOU OREGONIANS CHERISH FREEDOM AND PRIVACY. TURNS OUT WE DON’T HAVE MUCH OF EITHER.
BY NI GE L JAQ UI SS
Privacy is like oxygen: You only notice when it’s gone. After the mass killings in Paris and San Bernardino, it’s likely that laws protecting our privacy will be threatened in the name of providing greater security for Americans. “After Paris, we are going to have a new battle on our hands,” says Dave Maass, of the Electronic Frontier Foundation in San Francisco. “After every terrorist attack, there’s a rush to give the government new powers.” But the reality is that we already live in a surveillance state. Oregonians may not realize the ways in which law enforcement can already spy on them, in at least one case to a degree unmatched in any other state. We do have some protections: The Oregon Constitution is a national model in safeguarding individual rights, and Oregon senior Sen. Ron Wyden is perhaps Congress’ biggest critic of unfettered surveillance. “Sen. Wyden has long opposed the mass surveillance of Americans, which violated core constitutional rights without making our country any safer,” says his spokesman, Hank Stern. Yet your life is an open book, in ways you may not realize. Government agents tap phone lines and vacuum up cellular data. License-plate readers continually snap shots of your car, and airborne cameras fly over the state 24/7. Local, state and federal law enforcement agencies have tools to watch everything you do.
Surveillance can be a valuable and necessary tool for monitoring dangerous people. “It’s a completely different world now,” says Ryan Lufkin, a Multnomah County deputy district attorney who’s been in the thick of the battle in Salem between law enforcement and privacy advocates. “People are constantly changing phones, using sophisticated communication techniques and encrypted technology.” But high-tech tools can also violate a fundamental constitutional right—the Fourth Amendment right against unreasonable search and seizure. Dozens of interviews with privacy advocates, criminal defense lawyers and law enforcement officials show that law-abiding Oregonians are on the wrong end of an arms race, involuntarily surrendering their rights to a well-financed, secretive law enforcement sector. Law enforcement agencies regularly employ high-tech gadgets developed by the military industrial complex and funded by a Congress worried about terrorists and drug cartels. The result: We have no idea how closely we are being watched. “Technology has put citizens’ privacy at risk,” says state Sen. Tim Knopp (R-Bend), one of the Legislature’s leading privacy advocates. “I think there are blurred lines that have been created.” Here’s how the cops are keeping an eye on you: CONT. on page 14
Willamette Week DECEMBER 16, 2015 wweek.com
iretaps—the secret recording of phone conversations—can be employed by police if they get warrants from judges. That’s supposed to be a high bar. Yet records show it’s easier to obtain a federal wiretap in Oregon than in just about any state in the nation. In Oregon last year, federal prosecutors obtained more wiretaps—59—than all but four of the 78 federal jurisdictions that reported figures (see chart below). The number of federal wiretaps in Oregon is also disproportionate to the criminal caseload. It’s nearly as many as the number of federal wiretaps U.S. prosecutors obtained in the western district of Texas (San Antonio), which handles 12 times Oregon’s federal criminal caseload; it’s almost three times as many as the southern district of Florida (Miami), which has three times Oregon’s caseload. Ann Aiken, chief judge of the District Court of Oregon, says the wiretap numbers are surprising. “That is jaw-dropping,” Aiken says. “I was not aware of it, and I have no explanation for it.” That’s a common response. “That number is shocking,” says Portland criminal defense lawyer Matthew McHenry. Wyden, who as senior senator will head the appointment of the next U.S. attorney for Oregon, was also unaware of the spike and is, Stern says, “interested in finding out the reasons for last year’s increase in federal wiretaps in Oregon.” There is no clear explanation why federal prosecutors seek so many wiretaps in Oregon. “It’s impossible to say,” says Tung Yin, who teaches criminal law at Lewis & Clark Law School. “But there was a management issue in that office.” He’s referring to former U.S. Attorney for Oregon Amanda Marshall, who resigned in April. Although she cited health reasons, Marshall quit following an investigation into her relationship with Scott Kerin, her chief drug prosecutor in 2013 and 2014, when the reported number of wiretaps spiked. Neither Kerin nor Marshall responded to requests for comment. Cops and prosecutors say wiretapping phone lines
“AFTER EVERY TERRORIST ATTACK, THERE’S A RUSH TO GIVE THE GOVERNMENT NEW POWERS.” —Dave Maass helps build strong cases. “Wiretaps are extremely useful,” says John Deits, Kerin’s predecessor as the chief federal narcotics prosecutor in Portland. “The closer you get to the heart of an organization, the more important they are,” Deits says. “The big guys don’t touch drugs, and they don’t touch money. The only way you get them is to catch them on their phones with their own words.” Defense attorneys say wiretaps are devastating. “How effective is a wiretap?” asks Tom Coan, a Portland criminal defense lawyer. “That’s like asking how effective is a videotape of somebody stealing a six-pack from a grocery store.” At the same time, wiretaps can be intrusive and 60
Federal Wiretaps in Oregon Have Soared in the Past Two Years …
infringe on people’s Fourth Amendment rights because they capture intimate details and contacts with people not suspected of crimes. “Few threats to liberty exist which are greater than that posed by the use of eavesdropping devices,” the U.S. Supreme Court said in a 1967 decision that became the basis for wiretap regulations. Because wiretaps are so intrusive, they are supposed to be employed only when investigators have exhausted every other option. The process for obtaining a wiretap is arduous: An agent drafts an affidavit, which is reviewed by a supervisor and then sent to a local assistant U.S. attorney for review. It’s then sent to Washington, D.C., for two more levels of review, and only then submitted to a local federal judge for approval. Federal court statistics show, however, that judges typically rubber-stamp prosecutors’ requests for wiretaps. In the past 10 years, prosecutors in all U.S. courts asked for 28,256 wiretaps. Judges rejected just eight requests. That’s a batting average of .9997. Earlier this month, a challenge to a federal wiretap in U.S. District Court in Portland showed just how flimsy some affidavits can be. The case involved James Dang, who appeared in federal court Dec. 3. Dang, a compact man with a goatee and shaved head, flew in from Hawaii, where his family operates tuna boats and nail salons. For nearly five hours, Dang watched as Morgan Matthies, a mountainous Drug Enforcement Administration special agent, explained why he placed a tap on Dang’s phone in November 2014. Matthies told the court the wiretap allowed him to “break through the iron curtain” surrounding Dang’s business—and ultimately yielded a money-laundering indictment. But under questioning, Matthies conceded that the 81-page affidavit he’d submitted to a judge to get the wiretap contained a major error—it falsely accused Dang of drug trafficking. Every federal wiretap approved in Oregon last year involved a narcotics investigation, so including that detail would have helped. The claim about drug trafficking was “not an accurate statement,” Matthies admitted to the court. “It was a mistake.” (Matthies did not respond to a request for comment.) Dang’s lawyer, Mark Bartlett, served as a federal pros-
… and OREGON'S USE OF FEDERAL WIRETAPS IS HIGH RELATIVE TO ITS CRIMINAL CASELOAD AND TO OTHER WEST COAST DISTRICTS
69 62 62 59
NEW YORK-S 830 30
ILLINOIS-N 673 TEXAS-W 6,895 OREGON 553
13 CALIF.-N 670 0
YEAR `04 14
Willamette Week DECEMBER 16, 2015 wweek.com
3 WASHington-W 976
NUMBER OF CRIMINAL CASES numb er of w ir eta ps
SOURCE: ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES COURTS
A LY S S A W A L K E R
C O U R T E S Y D AV E M A A S S
SOMEBODY’S WATCHING YOU
W W S TA F F
HOW POLICE USE STINGRAYS Officers park a Stingray near a location of interest. By mimicking a cellphone tower, the Stringray tricks nearby phones into sending their signals—and thus their digital identities—to the device.
A laptop connected to the Stringray collects the phone numbers from the tricked phones, allowing officers to figure out who was at a particular location at a given time.
ecutor in Seattle for 25 years, including more than a decade as the top deputy. He blasted Matthies for writing a false affidavit that Bartlett said was “reckless” and filled with “crummy, old information.” Judge Michael Simon—who initially approved the wiretap—nonetheless rejected Dang’s motion to suppress the information gathered from his phone. Billy Williams, the acting U.S. attorney for Oregon, declined to answer questions about his office’s use of wiretaps.
hile there’s at least some tracking of wiretaps, law enforcement officials have been able to use other, less precise surveillance tools with even less scrutiny. One powerful tool law enforcement agencies use is called an International Mobile Subscriber Identity-catcher, a device better known by the brand name Stingray. Many law enforcement agencies deploy Stingrays, although few admit it. The News Tribune in Tacoma, Wash., recently uncovered documents showing Tacoma police had spent nearly $400,000 on a Stingray and used it more than 100 times, but they refused to acknowledge even having the device. “I’m sure the Portland Police Bureau uses Stingrays,” says Chris O’Connor, a public defender in Portland. “But they never turn over evidence of that.” Police Capt. Mark Kruger, who’s in charge of PPB’s Drugs and Vice Division, says the bureau does not own a Stringray, but he acknowledged officers may have access to devices “on a case-by-case basis.” Stingrays are small enough to fit into a suitcase but powerful enough to extract hundreds of phone numbers simultaneously. They act as mobile cell towers, fooling nearby cellphones into sending their signals, phone numbers and locations to the Stingray, which records the data. That allows police to determine which phones are associated with a particular location—such as a drug house or crime scene. O’Connor says after a recent shooting in North Portland, a helicopter lingered overhead for a long time. “I can’t prove it, but I bet there was a Stingray onboard,” O’Connor says. Information about who owns Stingrays and how they are used is shrouded in secrecy. Nationally, the American Civil Liberties Union and the Electronic Frontier Foundation have filed numerous public information requests seeking disclosure about the devices. Those requests have yielded little, in part because of secrecy agreements between the manufacturer of Stingrays,
Florida-based Harris Corp., and federal law enforcement agencies. The ACLU this year reported that 58 agencies in 23 states use the devices. Task forces combining federal and local agents conduct complex investigations in Oregon and around the country. Federal agencies are exempt from state public records laws, which provide more transparency than federal disclosure laws. Coan, who defends clients in federal criminal cases in Oregon, says investigators could only have built one recent case against a client of his with a Stingray. “There was a device hidden inside a van,” Coan says, “and they were able to park the van near the suspect, and the suspect’s phone data was captured.” Stingrays are indiscriminate: If an officer parked a Stingray-equipped van outside Lloyd Center, he could trick the phone of every shopper in the mall into providing his or her location. Yet most people are not suspected of committing a crime, which is the legal threshold for surveillance. The ACLU of Oregon proposed legislation earlier this year that would have required warrants for Stingray use. The measure was stymied in part by a Catch-22—since the device’s use is shrouded in such secrecy, it’s difficult to demonstrate abuses. The legislation died. “There are agreements that prevent law enforcement from discussing whether they use them,” says Kimberly McCullough of the ACLU. “So while we’ve gotten reports they are being used in Oregon, we haven’t gotten a clear answer on the extent of their use.”
hen police know somebody’s phone number, they can use a Universal Forensic Extraction Device, also known by the brand name Cellebrite. Not much larger than a brick, a Cellebrite allows an investigator to vacuum up everything on a person’s cellphone—text messages, phone numbers and history, emails, photos and browsing history. That means if a phone is seized in the course of an arrest, the police could access everything on the phone—and they often have. Police can also gain access to a cellphone remotely, using a Bluetooth connection, without the owner ever knowing. Even when police seize a phone that is password-protected, the Cellebrite includes a program that allows it to decipher passwords. PPB’s Kruger says the bureau owns about 10 such devices. The Oregon Department of Justice also owns one, and the Oregon State Police own an undisclosed number of Cellebrites.
YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT YOU DON’T KNOW If police gain information by means they want to keep secret, how can they use that information to arrest someone, without showing their hand? Simple. It’s called “parallel construction,” or a “wall stop.” In October 2013, for instance, police in Klamath County pulled over a woman named Sandra Guillen-Avila and found 22 pounds of methamphetamine in her vehicle. Her attorney, Bill Gourley, a former Oregon state trooper, doubted the pretext for the traffic stop—going too slowly and failing to signal a lane change. His skepticism grew out of the coincidental presence of four state troopers and a drug detection dog. “This is a highly unusual use of state resources for a mere traffic infraction,” Gourley wrote in a November 2013 court request for information about the stop. Parallel construction occurs when police gather information from surveillance and then “pass the information…along to another law enforcement agency with the caveat that the receiving agency should develop their own probable cause for stopping and searching the vehicle,” Gourley wrote. (Guillen-Avila was sentenced to five years in prison and is pursuing an appeal.) Some agencies call such arrests “wall stops,” because disguising the original source of the information used in the arrest erects a protective “wall.” USA Today recently reported that massive amounts of data the National Security Agency gathered in warrantless wiretapping aimed at counterterrorism has been shared with drug investigators—but only if the local agencies agreed to hide the source of their information. Tung Yin, who teaches criminal law at Lewis & Clark Law School, says the U.S. Supreme Court ruled “pretext stops” are legal, and courts have been reluctant to allow defendants caught in such stops to fish for information. Criminal defense lawyers say it is increasingly obvious that prosecutors are bringing cases that originate from sources they never disclose. “If government can bring a case based on secret evidence gathering,” says Portland criminal defense lawyer Bronson James, “that’s a violation of due process and the concept of public trials.” NIGEL JAQUISS.
CONT. on page 17 Willamette Week DECEMBER 16, 2015 wweek.com
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One might think the devices are used to investigate terrorism or drug cartels. But as LICENSE-PLATE READERS recently as July, state police used a Cellebrite to investigate who had leaked former Gov. John regon lawmakers succeeded in requiring warrants for Cellebrites, but they failed to Kitzhaber’s emails to WW. The police report revealed that officers used limit another widespread surveillance tool— a Cellebrite on at least four state employees’ automatic license-plate readers. phones, presumably to determine whom they’d In 2008, the Portland Police Bureau began been communicating with. placing cameras on patrol cars that would autoThe Oregon State Police declined to answer matically scan license plates for stolen or wanted questions about their use of Cellebrites. vehicles. The license-plate readers also give police Courts have slowly caught up with Cellebrite a digital road map of motorists’ movements: where technology, which has been around since at least they work, eat, shop and spend the night. 2007. The U.S. Supreme Court “Looking at where ruled in 2013 that police need somebody goes on one day is not an invasion,” to get a warrant to use such a device—except in cases of says McCullough of the emergency. ACLU of Oregon. “But Lufkin, a Multnomah over a long period of time, County deputy district attorit moves from a reasonney, has been prosecutors’ able search to unreasonpoint man in Salem. He says able. If a government had even before passage of the new an agent who followed bill, police were seeking warevery person every day, rants in nearly all cases when we’d probably all agree it’s using Cellebrites. unreasonable.” In June 2015, the Oregon The U.S. Supreme Legislature passed a law speCourt previously ruled that a similar type of cifically requiring warrants. The law goes into effect in surveillance, the placing of a GPS tracking device January 2016. “IT’S NOT THAT on a person’s car without Privacy reforms have WE DON’T WANT sparked bipartisan cooperation a warrant, violated Fourth Amendment protections. in Salem. A group led by one POLICE TO USE But the court hasn’t ruled senior lawmaker from each THEM; IT’S THAT WE on plate readers. party in both chambers meets Although police are supregularly in an attempt to balDON’T EVEN KNOW posed to access plate inforance law enforcement needs WHETHER THEY ARE mation only when they with privacy rights. have probable cause that “We get concerned BEING USED IN THE a crime has been commitwhen law enforcement uses FIRST PLACE.” ted, they are continuously devices that are essentially search-and-seizure tools with gathering information —Rep. Jennifer Williamson about citizens without any no outside oversight,” says such suspicion. House majority leader Jennifer Williamson (D-Portland). “It’s not that we The ACLU of Oregon proposed legislation this year that would have restricted the retendon’t want police to use them; it’s that we don’t tion period for license-plate images to 24 hours. even know whether they are being used in the first place.” That would have marked a major shift—Portland police, for instance, had until recently a policy of storing images for four years. The bill died in DRONES committee. wo years ago, the Oregon Legislature passed “My big concern is that they are sitting on a pioneering bill prohibiting police use of that data and are unwilling to purge it,” Wildrones without a warrant—except in cases of liamson says. “They just say, ‘It will help us solve emergency. crimes.’ End of story.” But privacy advocates have come to realize Unlike other information—such as police the new law left loopholes—it is silent, for reports—license-plate data is off-limits to the example, as to whether police can acquire data public, and is supposed to be used by police for gathered by drones deployed by other governcriminal investigation only. ment agencies, such as the Department of Recent investigations by the Electronic Forestry, or numerous private contractors. Frontier Foundation and others, however, have Lufkin says such concerns are overblown. found that the data in other cities is sometimes “I have no reason to believe that happens,” misused and not always secure. he says. An EFF investigation found that Internet Kruger says the Portland Police Bureau users could access data from license-plate trackemploys two airplanes equipped with a heaters used in California, Florida and Louisiana. sensing camera for surveillance, but it doesn’t “Right now, law enforcement says it wants that use drones. data for stolen cars, warrants and Amber Alerts,” “I wish we did use drones,” he says. “We the EFF’s Maass says. “But we think you’ll see them spend a lot of money on planes, and the work try to use it for far more purposes in the future.” could be done cheaper with drones.” Maass says surveillance technology continues Nonetheless, privacy advocates hope to to advance more quickly than oversight. tighten drone restrictions next year. “It’s easy to regulate something before it’s “We are trying to close that gap so law adopted,” he says. “It’s harder to take away enforcement can’t do an end run around the something law enforcement is already using. statute and subcontract with others for data,” Unless massive abuses come to light, there’s less says Rep. John Huffman (R-The Dalles), a leader impetus to do anything about it.” of the Legislature’s bipartisan privacy group.
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BITE-SIZED PORTLAND CULTURE NEWS.
W W S TA F F
DONALD, THE DEVIL: The owners of a Southeast Portland food cart disconnected their phones after a campaign of harassment by Donald Trump supporters. El Diablito torta cart’s owners, who also make custom piñatas, had made a Trump piñata several months ago that they decided to smash as part of their grand-opening festivities Dec. 11. A man who cart owner Erik Sandoval says posed as a KOIN reporter made a video of the piñata-smashing and posted it on YouTube, where it spread to conservative media and the Daily Mail. “I started getting a lot of phone calls—insane things, ‘Fuck you, go back to Mexico.’ There was racial stuﬀ,” Sandoval tells WW. “It’s all been Texas, Alabama, Mississippi, mostly Republican states.” The cart’s shuttered location on Northwest Quimby Street began to receive allegations of food poisoning from residents of other states. The harassment has taken its toll on Sandoval and his family. “It turned out to be a nice evening,” he says of his cart’s grand opening, “but the morning was pretty bad—horrible, even. You don’t feel safe. I was thinking, ‘I don’t even want to go outside.’ I am a father. I have a family.”
ARIES VS. CAPRICORN: Portland comedian Amy Miller Twitter-beefed with former MADtv-er Aries Spears last week and ended up getting a gig out of it. Spears, who is performing Thursday through Sunday at Helium Comedy Club, tweeted that “Rap like sports is a man thing!” He followed that with: “I like women to spit on my dick n leave the wax to the fellas.” (“Wax” as in record-making.) Miller, who won our ﬁrst Funniest Five poll of local comedy insiders, responded by saying: “TELL US THO are we allowed to do standup comedy ” After a bit or do we have to stay spitting on yr dick! of a back and forth, Miller asked for a slot on Spears’ Helium show. Spears responded with: “yeah I’ll give u ﬁve! But if u suck then u makin my point n lookin bad for ya species.” When WW asked for a comment, Miller said: “Aries will always have an audience because he’s a great entertainer, but it would be nice if comics were held accountable for their shitty opinions oﬀstage. Particularly when women make up half of the comedy audience and often do the date-planning. Why are we paying someone to demean us?” PABSTFEST NORTHWEST: Two of Portland’s biggest music festivals will join forces next summer. MusicfestNW and Project Pabst are teaming up to stage a two-day festival in August at Tom McCall Waterfront Park. If you recall, Project Pabst launched in 2014 at Zidell Yards, the same year MFNW (owned by the owner of this newspaper) switched to a primarily outdoor format. This past summer, Project Pabst welcomed headliners Weezer and Blondie, and MFNW had Modest Mouse, Danny Brown and Beirut. FOGGY GENE: Add two more venues to the list of local closures in 2015: The Foggy Notion and Eugenio’s are closing this week. Although the Foggy Notion is primarily known for skee ball and pierogis, the gay-friendly North Portland bar also regularly hosted underground Portland rock bands. It appeared on the Cooking Channel rehab program Belly Up! in 2014, and will close after Friday night. On Saturday, music venue and Italian eatery Eugenio’s on Southeast Division Street will host its ﬁnal night. Last week, the longtime bar held a “death march” down Division to protest the changes it says forced its closure. 20
Willamette Week DECEMBER 16, 2015 wweek.com
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SEE IT: Star Wars: The Force Awakens opens Friday.
HEADOUT WHAT TO DO THIS WEEK IN ARTS & CULTURE
WEDNESDAY DEC, 16 Nick Lowe’s Quality Holiday Review [SAINT NICK] What white-haired traveler comes to Portland nearly once a year, bearing gifts aplenty? In this season’s magic bag, the songwriting genius carries tender blue-eyed soul and a healthy dose of gallows humor. Expect a mix of traditional holiday tunes and Lowe’s own dystopian Christmas songs. Aladdin Theater, 3017 SE Milwaukie Ave., 234-9694. 8 pm. $35. Under 21 permitted with legal guardian.
THURSDAY DEC. 17 Christmas Vacation
[CLASSIC] You could drink and watch on your couch, but the holidays are for sharing. Mission Theater gives you a free cocktail with your ticket and a prize for wearing an ugly Christmas sweater. Mission Theater, 1624 NW Glisan St., 223-4527. 8:30 pm. $10. 21+.
Mrs. Chewbacca Appears In: Return of the Jedi. Origins: Inspired by the Ms. Pac-Man craze of the early ’80s, George Lucas decided to give married ladies a character they could relate to in Chewie’s betrothed. Notable scene: Calls to remind her husband to pick up some toilet pa per and womp-rat bacon on his way home from destroying the Death Star.
Fetty Wap Appears in: The Empire Strikes Back. Origins: Jango Fett’s other son, who leaves the family bounty-hunting business to pursue a career singing tributes to Queen Amidala and the many intergalactic drug dens she frequented. Served, of course, as a major influence on the rapper Bobby Shmurda. Notable scene: Performs the end-credits love theme “It’s a Trap, Queen,” featuring MC Ackbar.
Darth Steve Appears in: Attack of the Clones. Origins: Known as the chillest Sith Lord, he only joined the Dark Side because he thought it was, like, about disc golf or something. Notable scene: Sleeps through the secret meeting about the evil droid army, but spends the afternoon turning his lightsaber into a wicked gravity bong.
Deschutes Abyss Release Party
[BEER] For the 10th year in a row, Deschutes will release its Abyss barrel-aged Imperial stout just in time for Christmas—and at the brewpub they’ll host a vertical tasting dating to 2011 so you can taste how the previous years’ entrants have aged. And if you like the 2012 best, just...don’t drink the bottles you buy today until 2018. Science! Deschutes Portland Public House, 210 NW 11th Ave., 296-4906. 9 am.
FRIDAY DEC. 18 In Good Company
[DANCE] Northwest Dance Project’s annual end-of-year show is all new works choreographed and performed by some of Portland’s top dancers. With another Princess Grace Award and a new studio this year, the company has reason to celebrate. Revolution Hall, 1300 SE Stark St., 421-7434. 7:30 pm. $40 $40. Under 21 permitted with legal guardian.
OBSCURE STAR WARS CHARACTERS ONLY TRUE FANS WILL KNOW. BY MATTHEW SIN GER
SATURDAY DEC. 19 Hailey Niswanger
[LOCAL SOUL] A quick-jabbing alto sax player with a big, clean sound, Hailey Niswanger is one of the most talented young jazz musicians in the country. Residing for most of the year in New York, the West Linn native is home for the holidays, and she’s brought the majority of the band she used for her latest release, PDX Soul, back with her. Dante’s, 350 W Burnside St., 226-6630. 9 pm. $10. 21+.
SUNDAY DEC. 20 Bleekbloorp Appears in: A New Hope. Origins: In The Phantom Menace, casual fans were aghast to meet Jar Jar Binks—a buffoonish reptilian creature many accused of being a gross Caribbean stereotype—but diehards know Lucas devised a similar character for the very first film, a smooth-talking, discodancing hustler from the planet Funkatoon. Notable scene: If you look closely, he can be seen doing the bump at Mos Eisley Cantina and shouting his catchphrase, “Lay it on me, you funky alien! Splackity-yow!”
ALF Appears in: Revenge of the Sith. Origins: Needing extra money after adopting their nephew, Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru rent their guest room to a furry, lovable layabout from the planet Melmac. Hilarity ensues. Notable scene: Tries to eat an Ewok while vacationing on Endor, gets bludgeoned to death by two dozen tiny staffs.
A Greener Christmas Hip-Hop Toy Drive, feat. Devin the Dude
BJ-3Po Appears in: Star Whores Episode XXX: The Force Arouses. Origins: A service droid fluent in more than 6 million forms of communication...and pleasure. Not considered canon. Notable scene: Answers a call to help fix a leak aboard the Millennium Falcon, only to find there is no leak—and that’s when things get interesting.
[WEED WRAPS] The amiable Texas stoner-rap vet headlines Portland rap ambassador Cool Nutz’s annual holiday toy drive. There’s not a tremendous difference between what Devin released in 1994 and his newer fare—which is to say, he’ll still gladly accept that vaporizer for Christmas. Peter’s Room at Roseland Theater, 8 NW 6th Ave., 971-230-0033. 8 pm. $10 with toy donation, $18 without. All ages.
Willamette Week DECEMBER 16, 2015 wweek.com
FOOD & DRINK REVIEW M AYA S E T T O N
= WW Pick. Highly recommended. By MATTHEW KORFHAGE. Editor: MARTIN CIZMAR. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. See page 3 for submission instructions.
WEDNESDAY, DEC. 16 a neighborhood joint Lunch Happy Hour Dinner Sunday Brunch 801 NW 23rd Ave • 503-477-9505 • pdxfireside.com
Beer & Holiday Lights Tour
The problem with driving through an hourlong traffic jam on Peacock Lane? Legally enforced sobriety. Brewvana has an annual bus tour that solves this problem, with price of admission netting you one beer at Growler Guys and one on the road, plus a bus trip through the light shows at Peacock and Portland International Raceway. Brewvana Brewery Tours, 2580 NW Upshur St., 729-6804. 7 pm. $30-$39.
THURSDAY, DEC. 17 Deschutes Abyss Release Party
For the 10th year in a row, Deschutes will release its Abyss barrel-aged Imperial stout just in time for Christmas—and at the brewpub, they’ll host a vertical tasting stretching back to 2011 so you can taste how the previous years’ entrants have aged. And if you like the 2012 best, just...don’t drink the bottles you buy today until 2018. Science! Deschutes Portland Public House, 210 NW 11th Ave., 296-4906. 9:00am.
Six beers from Alameda, plus six cheese pairings from Cheese Bar’s Steve Jones and six raffle prizes handed out throughout the night. The grand prize is a pair of tickets to a Winterhawks game— which is kind of great, because at Winterhawks games they sometimes give out free ski-lift tickets. Alameda Brewpub, 4765 NE Fremont St., 460-9025. 5 pm.
7783 SW Capitol Highway, 234-0330, tastebudpdx.com. It’s been a long time since Portlanders could get Tastebud’s pies, outside of a farmers market. Well, the new place in Multnomah Village is far better than the original in Brooklyn—a warm, inviting room with wonderful pizza. $$.
2. Teo Bun Bo Hue
8220 SE Harrison St., No. 230, 208-3532. The bun bo Hue soup here rivals or bests the namesake soup at the Southeast 82nd Avenue Bun bo Hue restaurant farther south. That said, the pure taste of the chicken pho may be the standout. $.
3. La Carreta
4534 SE McLoughlin Blvd., 236-8089, lacarretaportland.com. This mazelike Mexican roadhouse has strawberry margaritas that actually taste like juice—and they’re $1.99 before 6 pm if you sit at the bar. Pair it with an excellent beef enchilada. $.
6839 SE Belmont St., 384-2483, coquinepdx.com. Just a few months ago, this tidy mountainside cottage felt like our own little secret. The city’s gotten wise, but French-trained chef Katy Millard is earning all the praise she’s received. $$$.
5. Next Level Burger
4121 SE Hawthorne Blvd., 719-7058, nextlevelburger.com. The Pita Pit next to the city’s preeminent bong retailer is no more. In its place is a bustling vegan burger bar with superb sweet-potato fries. $.
Willamette Week DECEMBER 16, 2015 wweek.com
Joe Brown’s Carmel Corn Nordstrom came and Nordstrom went. The Lloyd Mall movie theater where I saw Office Space is now actual office space, and Toys “R” Us finally grew up and became a shopping-mall college for masseuses. Next year, even the Lloyd Center ice rink will probably get a shave-down. But Joe Brown’s Carmel Corn is forever. Below Joe Brown’s striped awning, the shop serves up glistening caramel apples and three kinds of fresh-made popcorn. It’s the only store in Lloyd Center that has remained unscathed and unmoved since Lloyd began as an open-air mall in 1960. Every year when I was a kid, we’d get a tin of Joe Brown’s as big as my torso as a Christmas gift from a family friend—kettle corn, caramel corn and butter corn, each in its own compartment that would slowly intermix during the week or so we spent covering my parents’ carpet with crumbs. Sure, at Joe Brown’s you can also get Swedish fish and mint truffles by the quarter-pound, red licorice ropes from a hook on the wall, or three flavors of Icee in sizes from large to decadent. But you can get those anywhere. At Joe Brown’s it’s all about the corn ($2.95 for a small bag, $15.90 for a gallon tin), which you can mix with any of 10 kinds of nuts for a slight premium. The caramel is rich and thick and sweet and beautifully crisp, but also a bit variable—in the way of all things homestyle—one kernel a little browner and crisper than the other. Weirdos and Midwesterners go for the Chicago corn— caramel and butter mixed together—but the masterpiece at Joe Brown’s is the near-perfect kettle corn. It comes salty and just barely crisped, with little pockets of sugary sweetness. For the past five years, the Lloyd Center Joe Brown’s has been owned by Portland native Cyndee Kurahara, who—like me, and probably Ramona Quimby—remembered childhood afternoons with her nose pressed to the glass of a huge bin of sweet corn. And so her goal was to keep it much the same. You can do whatever you want to the ice rink. But you don’t mess with Joe Brown’s. MATTHEW KORFHAGE. EAT: Joe Brown’s Carmel Corn, Lloyd Center, 1053 Lloyd Center, 287-2143.
Most Most Premium Russian Imperial Stout (GIGANTIC)
Back in December 2013, Gigantic Brewing released a great big, black beer. That was Most Premium Russian Imperial Stout—“thick as Ovaltine and as black as a cloudy, moonless night under Oregon pines, with a milky sweetness that leaves a little gap under the door for nutty and herbal flavors to float in”—which landed in our top 10 beers that year. Now comes Most Most Premium. It’s the same recipe, but this beer was aged for 18 months in bourbon barrels. It’s got some boozy heat from the bourbon and is, by design, low in carbonation. I missed the more delicate nutty flavors, which were bludgeoned by the barrel, but I suspect this will get better with some age. If you spend the $15, give it until this time next year. MARTIN CIZMAR.
m aya S e T T o n
bEhold: The $20 hamburger at the Feisty lamb.
Silence of the Lamb THE FEISTY LAMB’S ECCENTRIC MENU WORKS, BUT IT HASN’T FOUND AN AUDIENCE. By M ic h a e l c . Z US M a N
If suspense is your thing, show up at the Feisty Lamb some night and wait for another customer to walk in. Your anticipation may not be rewarded—each time I’ve visited, the place has been deserted—but you should enjoy a fine meal so long as owner/server/ chef Micah Edelstein continues to do her part. Potential diners’ hesitation may be understandable. The restaurant is located along an easy-to-drive-by section of West Burnside across from RingSide Steakhouse, though there is a small parking lot. The decor is something like manic trailer-park rummage sale, with upside-down umbrellas hanging from the ceiling and kitsch covering nearly every horizontal surface. The soundtrack runs amok from Rat Pack to reggae to rap. And the menu is, let’s just say, idiosyncratic— and relatively expensive, with what we think is Portland’s very first $20 hamburger, made with a thick lamb patty and two highly elaborate sauces. In a bizarre bit of murky symbolism, lamb dishes dominate at the same time the restaurant’s name derives from Edelstein’s dual “feisty” and “lamb” personas. Draw your own conclusions. Edelstein is a culinary wanderer with inscrutable lilt ultimately traceable to South African and Irish parents. Her résumé reads like a world atlas. Before she arrived in Puddletown, advance word suggested she had a difficult personality, and Edelstein didn’t help herself with breezy pronouncements noting her appearance on Top Chef (has any mediagenic chef not been on a cookingcompetition show at this point?) and how she was going to wow us with “world eclectic” food focusing on her native South Africa. Edelstein runs her kitchen with minimal help. There’s one staffer and Edelstein’s young daughter, who mostly reads quietly in a corner, but occasionally pitches in. Edelstein is busting her ass five days a week, enthusiastically preparing a short catalog of
flavorful, well-composed plates using ingredients she scrupulously sources from farmers markets. She’s often your server too, offering detailed descriptions of each dish, then retreating back to her kitchen. Some of the dishes sound like they couldn’t possibly work, but they mostly do. I found Edelstein’s service industrious and welcoming. At dinner, start with a simple emblem of Edelstein’s dedication to detail: a large bowl of curry popcorn ($7) made with heirloom kernels from Sun Gold Farm, hand-ground curry powder and just the right sprinkling of a fine finishing salt. Thereafter, one will do equally well ordering fusiony lamb belly char shiu ($16), rich, justgamey-enough, fork-tender hunks from SuDan Farm painted with sweet-savory sauce; a lamb bacon sandwich called a “sarmie” that’s served on a long bun with sweet cherry tomatoes, sauteed greens and a sunnyside-up egg; or a square of lamb bobotie ($15 small, $20 large), a traditional South African garam masala-spiced meatloaf melding ground lamb and egg accented with pecans and cranberries. There is also an enticing option for vegetarians and non-lamb-loving meat eaters: Edelstein’s voluptuous vertical take on ratatouille, denominated “Ratatouille Renovation” ($16, $21 with chicken), highlighting a stack of curvy zucchini ribbons and plump eggplant slices. I’m equally a fan of the Feisty Lamb’s desserts, which have typically been as compelling on the plate as they have been good to eat. Notable examples: the stylishly composed apple-pear clafoutis and the “adult” ice-cream cake topped with chocolate sauce enhanced with 23-year-old rum. The tongue-incheek “Hoppy Ending” with IPA-flavored gelato, a brownie dough “pretzel” and mustard caramel was a bit too clever, but tasted better than it sounds. Edelstein is also plying her trade—with fewer lamb dishes—at weekend brunch hours. Crowds have also been sparse. The Feisty Lamb is an unusual and very personal project, and it may prove too eccentric for this city, but it’s endearing nonetheless. EAT: The Feisty Lamb, 2174 W Burnside St., 206-4253. 5-9 pm Wednesday-Saturday, 9 am-2 pm Friday-Sunday. Willamette Week DECEMBER 16, 2015 wweek.com
Willamette Week DECEMBER 16, 2015 wweek.com
j a c ly n c a m p a n a r o
The 10-Year Storm RECALLING A DECADE OF TYPHOON. BY H IL A RY SAU N D E R S
When Typhoon started a decade ago, it wasn’t meant to be anything more than a friendly studio project. In the 10 years since, the indie-pop orchestra has grown into one of Portland’s most beloved bands. It has toured the U.S. several times, shared stages with the Shins and the Decemberists, jammed on late-night television and released three albums (plus an EP) of music that is simultaneously confessional and bombastic, communicating fear and struggle but also revelry for life. This week, Typhoon plays a sold-out show at Revolution Hall to celebrate 10 years together. To commemorate the milestone, we asked the band to take us on a photographic tour of 10 significant moments in its career. All photos by Matthew Thomas Ross of Neighborhood Films.
1 2006-07: PACIFIC NORTHWEST
We played our first few tours at coffee shops and in living rooms throughout the Northwest. On our second tour, we went out with Maggie Morris (now of Genders) and later stole her drummer, Pieter Hilton.
September 2011: PORTLAND
Here we are at the free pile on set for our BFF Tour promo video with Wild Ones and Youth. It was basically just an excuse to have a water fight with our best friends and do goofy slow-motion shots. The following tour up and down the West Coast and through the Rockies was one of our favorites.
April 2012: SAN MARCOS, TEXAS
While in Austin for South by Southwest, we decided to rent a house outside the city for the week. [Frontman] Kyle [Morton] found this big place south of the city that was billed as a villa. It was the first time we had a few days off after a few weeks on the road, and we made the most of it. We’ve been back since then. It’s a special place.
May 2012: HAPPY VALLEY, OREGON
Spending a month at Pendarvis Farm writing and recording White Lighter was truly a memorable experience. Most of the band lived on the farm while we were there, in the barns and in the woods. Kyle slept here in the studio.
October 2010: PORTLAND
Here we are in the green room at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall. Opening for Belle and Sebastian at the Schnitz was a milestone for many of us. The opportunity to play in this beautiful venue and open for a band many of us had grown up listening to made that evening a night that will remain with us for years to come.
3 October 2010: PORTLAND
August 2012: HAPPY VALLEY, OREGON
Anyone who has been with us (or within earshot of us) before a show knows that like any other team, we do a specific cheer before we go onstage. We’ve been doing it for as long as we can remember. We’ve been fortunate to play a lot of festivals around the country, but Pickathon takes the cake.
November 2012: PORTLAND
Many of us have grown up going to shows at the Crystal Ballroom, so playing a show there ourselves was a humbling and exhilarating experience. It’s pretty wild to step onto the same stage you’ve seen your favorite musicians perform on and see a crowd of people waiting. That was a real milestone for us.
During the recording of A New Kind of House at the Orange House, we were lucky enough to have some of our closest friends join us on some group vocal parts. We owe a lot to our friends, and it means a lot to us to have some of them on this record.
August 2011: NEW YORK
From being picked up by a caravan of SUVs at 5 in the morning to meeting an astronaut in the elevator, our first national television experience on Late Night With David Letterman was fairly surreal for all of us. Even though it was 90 degrees outside, Letterman likes to keep it ice cold in the studio and here in the green room. To say we were nervous is an understatement, bringing a whole new meaning to the term “cold sweat.”
March 2014: NEW YORK
From the first time we played at the Mercury Lounge in 2011 to this gig at Webster Hall, playing shows in New York has always been a thrill. Seeing this crowd packed into such a beautiful theater, this was one we won’t forget.
see IT: Typhoon plays revolution Hall, 1300 SE Stark St., on Sunday, Dec. 20. 8 pm. Sold out. all ages. Willamette Week DECEMBER 16, 2015 wweek.com
Year-End Q&A: Willis Earl Beal THE AVANT-BLUESMAN ON PORTLAND, JAIL AND JASON DERULO.
Willis Earl Beal needs a job. The vagabond singer-songwriter moved to Portland earlier this year—after bouncing from Chicago to Albuquerque to Brooklyn to Lacey, Wash.—bringing with him a slew of critical plaudits and outsider cred. But apparently positive Pitchfork reviews don’t impress prospective employers. In addition to his financial struggles, Beal got divorced, spent two weeks in jail for alleged “criminal mischief” and discovered Portland isn’t the artistic utopia it’s cracked up to be. His year wasn’t all bad, though. Beal signed to Tender Loving Empire and in August released Noctunes, an album that traded his mangled art-blues for ambient dreamscapes and got him mentioned in the same breath as Brian Eno and Vangelis. WW caught up with Beal while on tour in Europe to discuss his upand-down 2015. MATTHEW SINGER. WW: How would you classify this past year? Willis Earl Beal: My knee-jerk reaction is “shitty,” but I shouldn’t say that because a lot of great things have happened. So I’ll say “cathartic.” It seems like there was catharsis going on with Noctunes. I guess. I mean, everything I have to say about the record is on the record. I talk a lot, and the record itself doesn’t talk much at all. I guess the only cathartic part about it was being in control, knowing what sound I wanted to accomplish and then doing so to my exact specifications. So the year was cathartic in terms of getting to make the album you wanted to make. And in a lot of other ways, too. I met a great woman, found a lot of truth, got a lot of hypocrisy exposed, figured a lot of stuff out for myself, and there’s a lot of stuff I haven’t figured it out. But this last year, it was like I jumped off a cliff. You’ve mentioned in other interviews that you haven’t found Portland particularly welcoming. I find Portland to be extremely gentrified and very, very white. But the whiteness isn’t the problem. It just doesn’t feel open to me. That’s the most fair way I could put it. That said, three 26
Willamette Week DECEMBER 16, 2015 wweek.com
COURTESY OF TENDER LOVING EMPIRE
days before Thanksgiving I was outside, singing on the street. And I made more money out there than I’d made in a while on the street. So if there’s one thing I can say about the people of Portland, they’re generous when they’re told to be generous. Along those lines, this year you got into a bit of legal trouble, and people raised money to help you out. I’m not going to say anything about what happened, but I’m glad you brought that up, because I have a tendency to focus on the negative. It was a good experience, actually. I didn’t drink alcohol, I didn’t smoke weed, I didn’t do anything else. I did a lot of pushups, played a lot of basketball, watched a lot of Univision. I wrote a song or two, wrote a couple love letters. So is Portland more or less your home at this point, or are you looking to move on? Portland’s home right now. Maybe until March— maybe later, maybe sooner. It all depends on if I can pay my rent. I’m not touring for the love of music or anything, I’m touring because I have to. You wouldn’t tour if you didn’t have to? I really would not. I would travel, but I would not tour. I’d do transatlantic traveling, I’d travel by boat and smoke marijuana cigarettes, like Humphrey Bogart. I’d just stand out there, wearing a trenchcoat. Is the dream to make a living as an artist, or does that complicate things? My dream is to sustain myself in a way in which I can actually help other people. And if that’s being an artist, fine. If it’s doing something else, then fine. I’m always going to make music. Honestly, the dream is to not sell music, and to just put my hands in the literal soil and just work and eat and make things and give them away and own my own land. You said in one interview that you’d ideally like a career in landscaping. I don’t know, man. I don’t want a career. I just want to live. I’ve met some up-and-coming entertainers, and they hand you their card and they have big, bright smiles, and they’re beautiful people, but they’re so interested in success in a marginalized way. That’s just not me. I’m not going to be the next Jason Derulo. No disrespect to Jason Derulo. He’s got a wonderful voice. Tell him I said that. He’d probably be like, “Who?” MORE: Read an extended Q&A at wweek.com.
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The Oregon Historical Society’s Hatfield Historians Forum kicks off February 9
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ON SALE FRIDAY!
JANUARY 24TH • ROSELAND • 8PM • ALL AGES ON SALE FRIDAY!
featuring best-selling authors Simon Winchester, Daniel James Brown, Candice Millard, & Kenneth C. Davis! Buy tickets at ohs.org Series packages start at $72 First Congregational United Church of Christ 7pm–9pm 1126 SW Park Ave., Portland 97205 503.222.1741
FEBRUARY 23RD • WONDER BALLROOM • 8PM • ALL AGES Willamette Week DECEMBER 16, 2015 wweek.com
N E W Y E A R â€™ S E V E PA R T Y
Willamette Week DECEMBER 16, 2015 wweek.com
Welcome home! 56% of Oregon voted to legalize cannabis, but overzealous regulation threatens to confine users to their homes. Thanks to recent changes in the Clean Air Act, World Famous Cannabis Cafe faces a January 1, 2016 shut down. Please help keep our safe space alive by emailing these Committee Chairs regarding HB 2546: Rep. Peter Buckley, Co-Vice Chair Rep.PeterBuckley@state.or.us (503)986-1405 Rep. Nancy Nathenson, Co-Vice Chair Rep.NancyNathenson@state.or.us (503)986-1413 Rep. Greg Smith, Co-Vice Chair Rep.GregSmith@state.or.us (503)986-1457 Senator Jackie Winters, Co-Vice Chair Sen.JackieWinters@state.or.us (503)986-1710 Senator Betsy Johnson, Co-Vice Chair Sen.BetsyJohnson@state.or.us (503)986-1716 Senator Richard Devlin, Co-Chair Sen.RichardDevlin@state.or.us (503)986-1719 Willamette Week DECEMBER 16, 2015 wweek.com
Willamette Week DECEMBER 16, 2015 wweek.com
Left Coast Country
= WW Pick. Highly recommended.
[NEW-GRASS] Although the Paciﬁc Northwest is a long way from the coal-dotted hills of Appalachia, the distance has never stopped Portland bands from tackling the region’s old-time music, with modern twists. Left Coast Country is a great example, a band that carries hallmarks of the genre—such as the string-based instrumentation and traditional song selection—but isn’t restricted by them. The honeyed harmonies and ﬁddle on the quintet’s summer eﬀort, Pines Fly By, could be culled directly from the ’20s and allow the acoustic ballads
Prices listed are sometimes for advance ticket sales. At-the-door increases and so-called convenience charges may apply. Event lineups are subject to change after WW’s press deadlines.
No Cover Charge
John Craigie, Margaret Gibson Wehr
[FOLK] Sometimes, all you want to hear is a guy with a guitar and a harmonica sing clever lyrics. Throw in a few extra cutesy quirks—a colorful painted guitar, self-deprecating lyricism—and you’ve got John
CONT. on page 32
3390 NE Sandy Blvd | 535 NE Columbia Blvd www.chopstickskaraoke.com
Editor: MATTHEW SINGER. TO BE CONSIDERED FOR LISTINGS, go to wweek.com/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: email@example.com. Fax: 243-1115.
a timeless quality which might only be thrown oﬀ by the lack of an upright bass. BRANDON WIDDER. McMenamins Al’s Den, 303 SW 12th Ave. 7 pm. Through Dec. 19. Free.
WEDNESDAY, DEC. 16 Nick Lowe’s Holiday Revue featuring Los Straightjackets, Cactus Blossoms
[SAINT NICK] What white-haired traveler comes to Portland nearly once a year, bearing gifts aplenty? Nick Lowe, of course! In this season’s magic bag, Lowe carries tender blue-eyed soul and a healthy dose of gallows humor that seems especially appropriate for the holidays. Expect a mix of traditional holiday tunes, Nick’s own dystopian Christmas songs, and lively Lowe favorites from the vault re-twanged by the masked men in his backing band, Los Straitjackets. Lowe is a consummate showman whose stylings beﬁt the “Holiday Revue” setting, and the Aladdin is one of his favorite places to play. “It’s just a little bit seedy,” he once told me. “Which I like.” CASEY JARMAN. Aladdin Theater, 3017 SE Milwaukie Ave. 8 pm. $35. Under 21 permitted with legal guardian.
J Fernandez, Us Lights, Arlo Indigo
[SMALL-SPACE POP] J Fernandez’s debut full-length, Many Levels of Laughter, is a literal example of bedroom pop—not because it sounds a lot like Beach House, but because it was actually recorded in his bedroom. Even though the album was made by one guy alone in a room, it contains a shit-ton of sound. Fernandez’s intricate songs are ﬁlled with all kinds of weird twists and turns. It is multilayered indie pop with psychedelic swagger and a little bit of dreariness. SHANNON GORMLEY. Bunk Bar, 1028 SE Water Ave., 328-2865 9 pm. $8. 21+.
The Dears, Dear Boy
[INDIE ROCK] Largely overlooked Montreal band the Dears was part of the glut of Canadian imports credited with revitalizing the corpse of a post-New York-obsessed rock scene of the mid-2000s. But while Arcade Fire went commercial enough to win a Grammy and Wolf Parade dissolved into a plume of side projects and hiatuses, the Dears have remained alluring as ever. This year’s Times Inﬁnity Volume One is another epic exercise in post-rock ennui— think Tortoise if it had a more overt Morrissey obsession. CRIS LANKENAU. Doug Fir Lounge, 830 E Burnside St. 9 pm. $13 advance, $15 day of show. 21+.
XRAY Holiday Party and Benefit Show featuring Hurry Up, Woolen Men, Blesst Chest, Rasheed Jamal, XRAY.FM DJs
[TWO EARS A-RINGIN’] Portland community radio station XRAY celebrates a banger of a year with a few local artists who also had a pretty great 2015, including cerebral wordsmith Rasheed Jamal, indie vets Woolen Men and harsh Thermals spin-oﬀ Hurry Up. Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison St. 8 pm. $8. 21+.
Colleen Green SUNDAY, DEC. 20 A child dies in the ruins in Syria and no one is alive to cry for them because they’re all gone. On the other side of the planet, a teenager peruses Tumblr, sighing. He or she is filled with that peculiar brand of American ennui and searches for something to fill that terrible void. The teen is 24. Then, out of a haze of marijuana and vague grief, comes Colleen Green. Her latest record, I Want to Grow Up, shows a woman struggling with doing just that. Her music feels like an update of the musical tastes the young alt-adult grew up with. Blink-182 and grunge seem to be at the forefront here, but updated with that bedroom pop, Burger Records-style L.A. sound. She sings about television, not being able to pay attention and the mundane things that make up our lives, for better or worse. I ask Green, via email, if she’s ever had a job. She says, “Yes.” One can guess from this answer that she doesn’t like her job, but she doesn’t hate it, either. It’s just something there, in the day, that pays a little money so the pantry can be stocked. I understand, Colleen. I think most people do. Many millennials have a hard time coming to terms with adulthood. Perhaps it’s because at 19 we don’t have kids, or maybe it’s due to the formless nihilism we’ve learned from watching the older generation’s violent decline. Who doesn’t desperately want to grow up, leave behind the slacker bullshit and make a mark on this quickly vanishing world? But it’s hard. In fact, it seems actually impossible at times. Much easier to try and be happy. Listen, I understand the appeal of the familiar. In such a weird and violent world, who can be blamed for wanting to crawl into a cocoon? Wrapping oneself in the blankets of the past feels good. When I ask Green what the point of growing up is, she answers: “Well, you don’t want to be a fucktard forever.” I think I understand, I really do. I ask her if she’s ever been on fire. She says she set her hair on fire once, while lighting a bong. “I think we’ve all been there,” she says. It’s true, Colleen, we have. Some of us are still there, burning to death. BRACE BELDEN. It’s kind of easy being Green, actually.
SEE IT: Colleen Green plays Analog Cafe, 720 SE Hawthorne Blvd., with Pity Sex, on Sunday, Dec. 20. 7 pm. $12 advance, $14 day of show. All ages.
Willamette Week DECEMBER 16, 2015 wweek.com
dates here C O U R T E S Y O F H A I L E Y N I S WA N G E R
Hailey Niswanger plays Dante’s on Saturday, Dec. 19. Craigie. He’s got that gnarled, folksy voice, and tells stories in that Dylanish, half-talking, halfrapping kind of way. And he kills it at finger-picking, which is no surprise, considering he’s been around for over a decade. Basically, he’s a folk traditionalist’s dream. SHANNON GORMLEY. Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi Ave., 288-3895. 8 pm. $12 advance, $15 day of show. 21+.
THURSDAY, DEC. 17 Beat Connection, Phantoms, Coco Columbia
[SEEING SOUNDS] Though Beat Connection began in earnest as a party-starting DJ duo at the University of Washington, Reed Juenger’s dorm-bound project has since blossomed into a four-piece that’s all but left the house-party scene behind. It still brings the beats, obviously, but the orchestration of its incandescent, sample-heavy tropicalia has quickly evolved from laptops churning out four-on-the-floor grooves to a rock fan’s fantasy of exactly what a live electronic show should be— namely, dudes with instruments sweating it out in real time. It helps that Juenger—who grew up in Vancouver, Wash.—daylights as a graphic designer, a skill that has catapulted Beat Connection’s live set from modest collegiate beginnings to a mesmerizing multimedia experience. PETE COTTELL. Doug Fir Lounge, 830 E Burnside St. 9 pm. $10 advance, $12 day of show. 21+.
Grandparents, Is/Is, Helvetia
[KALEIDOSCOPIC POP] Of all the psych-pop bands in Portland—and there a lot of them these days— Grandparents are the most likely to have recorded inside a carnival funhouse. Sincerely, Bagman, the sextet’s first true full-length after a series of EPs, is grounded in classic ‘60s pop melodies and garage-rock guitars, except it’s all been stretched out, distorted and pulled apart like cotton candy. Opener “YYOOUU” begins as a misremembered cover of Pink Floyd’s “Us and Them” before the pills kick in and the whole thing gets tossed into a bouncy castle, while “Kids in the Alley” plinks and plops like “Two Weeks” meets “Sugar, Sugar,” and the fluorescent rush is as addicting as taking a bump of Pixy Stix powder straight to the head. MATTHEW SINGER. Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison St. 8:30 pm. $7. 21+.
Willamette Week DECEMBER 16, 2015 wweek.com
FRIDAY, DEC. 18 H20, Noise Brigade, Brass
[SCARY HARDCORE] If you’re an adult in your mid-40s reading this listing, there should be three things that are important to you: your Madball basketball jersey, your job as a shop boy at a tattoo parlor with a dumb name, and your crew. You wear a fitted cap and purchase expensive sneakers on the Internet. There’s a reasonable chance you own a pit bull. You are the very model of a modern mosh-pit animal. You will go to see H20, the Rancid of lateperiod Agnostic Front-style hardcore, and I, for one, bet $1,000 you can do a hell of a spin kick. God love you. BRACE BELDEN. Analog Cafe & Theater, 720 SE Hawthorne Blvd., 206-7439. 7 pm. $13. All ages.
Disenchanter, Year of the Cobra
[POSI-DOOM] It’s been a year since local doom-rock trio Disenchanter successfully Kickstarted a recording budget for its first professional album. Strange Creations’ seven songs comprise nearly an hour of Dungeons and Dragons-infused riffs and grooves. The rhythm section is rock-solid and fully in focus, thanks greatly to the treatment provided by Portland’s best midpriced metal studio, Haywire, and mastering legend Brad Boatright. The star of this show is, of course, singer-guitarist Sabine Stangenberg. Her vocals are soulful, and her leads don’t disappoint. The band recently played its first Bay Area show, and is poised to go even further thanks to a recently inked vinyl deal with the Netherlands’ Dark Hedonistic Union Records. NATHAN CARSON. Ash Street Saloon, 225 SW Ash St., 226-0430. 8 pm. $5. 21+.
Creative Music Guild Benefit featuring Modern Kin, the Crenshaw, Dragging an Ox Through Water
[FUNDRAISER] For 20 years, the non-profit Creative Music Guild has promoted the advancement of improvisational music via concerts and workshops. Tonight’s fundraiser features gospelized rockers Modern Kin, folk mad scientist Dragging an Ox Through Water and acoustic-electronic duo the Crenshaw. Bunk Bar, 1028 SE Water Ave. 9:30 pm. $8 advance, $10 day show. 21+.
The California Honeydrops
[FEEL GooD Inc.] With the california Honeydrops, blue-eyed soul manifests as a five-piece ensemble led by the charismatic son of Polish immigrants. Each of its albums represents a melting pot of Southern sounds and expression, meshing Delta blues, swinging R&B and new orleans second-line brass. Frontman Lech Wierzynski doesn’t change the tune on the band’s latest release, A River’s Invitation. the album brilliantly balances a constellation of horns and complex key changes, which always uplifts, even when Wierzynski’s blaring falsetto and trumpet begin to hit the more somber notes midway through. BRAnDon WIDDER. Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi Ave., 288-3895. 9 pm. Through Dec. 19. $17 advance, $20 day of show. 21+.
Tender Loving Empire’s Winter Formal Dance Party featuring Chanti Darling, Thanks, DJ LL Trill
[HoLIDAY PARtY] they’re calling it a formal, but don’t expect staid decorum. Venerable Portland label tender Loving Empire celebrates the holiday season with performances from local R&B supergroup chanti Darling and soul rockers thanks. And, yes, formal wear is encouraged. Secret Society, 116 NE Russell St. 9 pm. $10, two for $15 day of show. 21+.
SATURDAY, DEC. 19 X, Mike Watt & the Secondmen
[L.A. IconS] As a Southern california kid with a deep love for the classic punk and post-punk of the region, this is a dream bill aimed right at my teenage heart. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still kind of amazing for me even in 2015. But the members of X—whose four-album run from 1980’s Los Angeles to 1986’s More Fun in the New World produced some of the best rock music of the decade— have been fairly transparent that shows are essentially just easy paychecks for them. on the other hand, I’ve never seen Mike Watt— the bass virtuoso of Minutemen and latter-day Stooges fame—give a half-assed performance. And X’s paychecks these days are going to help guitarist Billy Zoom fight cancer. So why be cynical? this is the show of the year, and you can’t tell my 33-year-old heart otherwise. MAttHEW SInGER. Star Theater, 13 NW 6th Ave. 9 pm. Through Dec. 20. $25. 21+.
SUNDAY, DEC. 20 Rock for a Reason Toy Drive, featuring Denver, the Lonesome Billies
A Greener Christmas Hip-Hop Toy Drive, featuring Devin the Dude, Potluck, Chillest Illest, Stevo the Weirdo, Prince Hyph
[WEED WRAPS] Devin the Dude might be taking a dump on the cover of his 1998 debut, but his raps aren’t doo-doo. they are, however, frequently about getting really high (the Dude even had a signature vaporizer worked up to coincide with the release of One for the Road in 2013), or women. You know, normal stuff. And while his material has expanded a bit over the past decade to reflect on the human condition, there’s not a tremendous difference between what he released in 1994 as a member of odd Squad and his newer fare. there just might be a better chance of hearing him croon now. Devin comes to town at part of Portland rap ambassador cool nutz’s annual holiday toy drive. DAVE cAntoR. Peter’s Room at Roseland Theater, 8 NW 6th Ave. 8 pm. $10 with toy donation, $18 without. All ages.
TUESDAY, DEC. 22 Snoop Dogg and Friends, Kokane
[HoLIDAY cELEBRItY] Just like you, Snoop Dogg has been putting in major work in 2015, and now its time to kick back and be entertained with this allages crystal Ballroom gala, with seasons greetings in the key of G-funk. Ever the roots revivalist these days, Snoop brings along the former n.W.A. producer Kokane in celebrating the comedown of his future-forward concept release, Bush, featuring the disco-EDM smash-up “Peaches n cream” and flyinglowrider classic “california Roll.” Even though you’re getting Scrooged on the ticket price, it’s a rare chance to catch the 45-year-old legend up close. WYAtt ScHAFFnER. Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside St. 8 pm. $40-$80. All ages.
cont. on page 34
A n D I E L L o WAY J A c o B
[coUntRY FoR A cAUSE] there
is still time to change your Ebenezer ways, and Rock for a Reason is one of the most enjoyable ways to do so. Donate cash or toys to kids in need to the tune of the bands Denver and the Lonesome Billies. the two have the local country scene by the scruff of the neck, having turned out two of the best albums of the genre in successive years. Denver’s 2014 release, Rowdy Love, is a beautiful, sorrow-filled drinking game that matches the city’s dark and lonely winter. Meanwhile, the Lonesome Billies’ high-octane outlaw sound is perfectly encapsulated in its latest self-titled effort. MARK StocK. Doug Fir Lounge, 830 E Burnside St. 8 pm. $10. 21+.
The Dears play Doug Fir Lounge on Wednesday, Dec. 16. Willamette Week DECEMBER 16, 2015 wweek.com
MUSIC CLASSICAL, JAZZ & WORLD John Vergin
[ONE MAN SHOW] For many years, veteran Portland actor-singerkeyboardist John Vergin demonstrated his wide range of artistic interests and talents in intimate performances in his home, just for friends—actual friends, not the Facebook kind—and acquaintances. Word spread, popularity grew, and Vergin was forced to book an actual performing venue lest he offend the throngs who couldn’t squeeze in. This year’s December’s Tale portrays a 24-hour span in the life of a young musician, beginning at midnight on Christmas Eve. Using prose, poetry, traditional seasonal carols and medieval music as well as his own original compositions (including settings of the poetry of John Clare), this singular Portland artist examines the spirit of Christmas. BRETT CAMPBELL. Eliot Hall Chapel at Reed College, 3203 SE Woodstock Blvd., 7711112. 7:30 pm Wednesday, Dec. 16. $5-$10. All ages.
[CHRISTMAS JAZZ TRADITION] In 1975, Portland jazz bassist David Friesen and singer-pianist Jeannie Hoffman decided to give a Christmas concert, and they had so much fun they just kept doing it every holiday season. Even after Hoffman died a few years ago, Friesen—who in the meantime became an internationally lauded composer and bandleader—decided to maintain the tradition. He even released a lovely Christmas album a couple of years ago that contains rearranged, reharmonized and otherwise jazzified traditional Christmas music, the same kind he’ll play with his crack quartet. BRETT CAMPBELL. O’Connor’s Vault, 7850 SW Capital Highway, 244-1690. 8 pm Wednesday, Dec. 16. $12. East bank of Tilikum Crossing. 6 pm Thursday, Dec. 17. Free. 21+.
Home Alone with the Oregon Symphony
[SILENT MOVIE] It’s hard to keep track of all the films legendary composer John Williams has scored, but Home Alone certainly falls on his list of canonic compositions. The movie itself has become a holiday and family classic, and a young Macaulay Culkin played a career-defining role, forever immortalized in Internet memes. Like the days of silent-movie yore, the Oregon Symphony performs the score live to the picture. Constantine Kitsopoulos, music director of the Queens Symphony Orchestra in New York, guest leads the symphony and the Oregon Repertory Singers in performing the music of this beloved film. HILARY SAUNDERS. Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, 1037 SW Broadway, 228-1353. 7 pm Saturday, Dec. 19. $30-$115. All ages.
Hailey Niswanger and PDX Soul
[LOCAL SOUL, NATIONAL SOUND] Saxophonist Hailey Niswanger may be one of the most talented upand-coming jazz musicians in the country, but she is also a West Linn native. Presently residing for most of the year in New York, she is home for the holidays, bringing the majority of the band she used for her latest release, PDX Soul, to Dante’s for an evening of homecoming celebration. A quickjabbing alto player with a big, clean-cut sound, Niswanger’s horn is just as suited to fast bop as it is soaring soul serenades, a powerful combination no matter which side of the continent her stage is located. PARKER HALL. Dante’s, 350 W Burnside St., 226-6630. 9 pm Saturday, Dec. 19. $10. 21+.
For more Music listings, visit
Willamette Week DECEMBER 16, 2015 wweek.com
TRICKS OF LIFE (PJCE) [BIG BAND] Jessika Smith wears a lot of hats. A Eugene saxophonist and composer with a master’s degree in jazz studies from the University of Oregon, she spends her days teaching grade-school music and her free time playing and composing for her own large ensemble. And it’s not that simple. Her debut record, Tricks of Light, is a heavily layered modern jazz album with a sharp, forward-thinking edge. A mixture of classic big-band swing, bossa nova and emotive, odd-meter Rhodes music, the record varies immensely from song to song. It’s something closer to a portfolio than a cohesive album. That said, Smith hits most of the styles dead center, with a flair for memorable melody lines and slowly building musical tension. Complex songs like “Lights” begin with small groups of instruments, with the weight of the full ensemble allowed to slowly surround the initial voices, adding harmonies as a form of musical mist. That track, and other more harmonically modern offerings like “Gray Monster” and “If I Loved You” give the best glimpses of the young composer’s massive potential. The first large-group release from the prolific Portland Jazz Composers’ Ensemble, Tricks of Light is one to look out for—an interesting new gem that shifts in the light with each listen. PARKER HALL. SEE IT: Jessika Smith plays Jimmy Mak’s, 221 NW 10th Ave., on Monday, Dec. 21. 6:30 pm. $10. Under 21 permitted until 9:30 pm.
Box Set Duo Trio
ONE NIGHT LIVE (SELF-RELEASED) [TWO BECOMES THREE] You read the name right. San Francisco songwriters Jim Brunberg and Jeff Pehrson formed a band in 1991, waggishly dubbing it Box Set. When B r u n b e r g ’s e v e n t u a l move to Portland—where he founded Mississippi Studios—meant that the core pair could only infrequently play together, they called that configuration Box Set Duo. Having now added a third member, Ben Landsverk—a longtime associate of Holcombe Waller, who played alongside Brunberg in the great, short-lived A Year Afar—they’ve adopted the convoluted handle Box Set Duo Trio. On new release One Night Live, they demonstrate that whatever the name, they remain a winning combination. The reedy purity of Brunberg’s voice recalls James Taylor, while Pehrson, who sang backup with Grateful Dead survivors Furthur, has a somewhat more roughhewn instrument, but their voices have always blended exquisitely. Landsverk’s fine singing makes the mix all the sweeter, while his stunning prowess on viola and mandolin sparks great playing from the others, elevating otherwise ordinary acoustic arrangements and Pehrson’s and Brunberg ’s workmanlike songs. “We’ve never had a guy between us,” Pehrson jokes at one point, to which Brunberg replies, “You’re forgetting that night in Eugene.” JEFF ROSENBERG. SEE IT: Box Set Duo Trio plays Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi Ave., with Ed Haynes, on Sunday, Dec. 20. 8 pm. $15 advance, $18 day of show. 21+.
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LAST WEEK LIVE E M I LY J O A N G R E E N E
= 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 wweek.com/ submitevents. 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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
WED. DEC. 16 Aladdin Theater
3017 SE Milwaukie Ave Nick Lowe’s Quality Holiday Revue featuring Los Straightjackets
600 E Burnside St Mimicking Birds, Boone Howard
13 NW 6th Ave X, Mike Watt and the Secondmen
2026 NE Alberta St. The Stops
Alberta Rose Theatre 3000 NE Alberta St Magical Strings Celtic Yuletide Concert
The White Eagle 836 N Russell St. Redwood Son
1028 SE Water Ave. J Fernandez, Us Lights, Arlo Indigo
Trinity Episcopal Cathedral
147 NW 19th Ave Pacific Youth Choir Holiday Concert
Doug Fir Lounge
830 E Burnside St. The Dears, Dear Boy; Patterson Hood, Thayer Sarrano (early show)
MON. DEC. 21
2530 NE 82nd Ave Arthur Moore; Blues Jam
350 West Burnside Karaoke From Hell
Eliot Hall Chapel at Reed College
2126 S. W. Halsey ST. Groovy Wallpaper with Uncle Fester
3203 SE Woodstock Blvd. John Vergin
2845 SE Stark St Sonic Forum
1001 SE Morrison St XRAY Holiday Party and Benefit Show featuring Hurry Up, the Woolen Men, Blesst Chest, Rasheed Jama, XRAY DJsl
2348 SE Ankeny Caleb Paul, Michael Conley
221 NW 10th Ave PJCE presents: Jessika Smith
2348 SE Ankeny Happy Whisky Funtime Artist Showcase w/ Joel Medina Hosts
PLAYING TRIBUTE: On Dec. 12, Portland musicians gathered at Doug Fir Lounge to remember 44 Long’s Brian Berg, who died in October. See more photos at wweek.com.
1336 NW 19th Ave Anson Wright Duo
426 SW Washington St Yeezazee, Fallow, Keeper Keeper, Garanzuay
McMenamins Al’s Den 303 SW 12th Ave. Left Coast Country
3939 N Mississippi Ave. John Craigie, Margret Gibson Wehr
O’Connor’s Vault 7850 SW Capital Highway David Friesen
St. Henry Catholic Church
346 NW First St. A Holiday Postcard -An All Baroque Holiday concert with Handel’s “Messiah”
Streetcar Bistro and Taproom 1101 NW Northrup Avenue Old School Charlie
The Triple Nickel Pub
315 SE 3rd Ave DETOUR THURSDAYS: KILL PARIS & FRIENDS TOUR
Goodfoot Pub & Lounge 2845 SE Stark St POPGOJI
1001 SE Morrison St Grandparents, Is/Is, Helveita
2348 SE Ankeny The Rubatos present Global Shoegaze
7850 SW Capitol Hwy True North
4260 SE Hawthorne Blvd Open Mic hosted by Dave Kelsay
Streetcar Bistro and Taproom
3646 SE Belmont St Radio Gumbo
1101 NW Northrup Avenue The Alkis
The White Eagle
The Firkin Tavern
836 N Russell St Wild Rumpus
THURS. DEC. 17 Alberta Rose Theatre
3000 NE Alberta St 3rd Annual Keepin’-It-InThe-Fam Holiday Show with Darol Anger, Emy Phelps and Fam
Alberta Street Pub 1036 NE Alberta St Dove Driver
Corkscrew Wine Bar
1665 SE Bybee Blvd Jonathan Smith Trio Soul Jazz and Boogaloo
Doug Fir Lounge
830 E. Burnside St Beat Connection
1937 SE 11th Ave Steph Infection & the Heebie Jeebies (duo) + Hot Mess NW + TBA
The Liquor Store
3341 SE Belmont Premier of the Johnny Scotch Vignettes
The White Eagle 836 N Russell St Polar Echo
6008 SE 49th Avenue The Children’s Music Show
FRI. DEC. 18 Alberta Rose Theatre 3000 NE Alberta St. A Circus Carol
Analog Cafe & Theater
720 SE Hawthorne Blvd. H20, Noise Brigade, Brass
Ash Street Saloon
225 SW Ash St. Disenchanter, Year of the Cobra
Blackwell’s 1815 NE 41st Lisa Mann
1028 SE Water Ave CMG presents Modern Kin, the Crenshaw, Dragging
Camellia Lounge 510 NW 11th Anandi
Doug Fir Lounge
830 E Burnside St The Hill Dogs, Lewi Longmire and the Left Coast Roasters at Doug Fir Lounge
2126 S. W. Halsey ST. Dickens Carolers
315 SE 3rd Ave Mija Sick.AF World Tour
Goodfoot Pub & Lounge 2845 SE Stark St SOUL STEW with DJ AQUAMAN AND FRIENDS @ 9:00pm
Twilight Bar and Cafe
426 SW Washington St Old Junior, Hot Won’t Quit, & This Fair City
1420 SE Powell the Good Sons/King Ghidora/The Sensory Level
Willamette Week DECEMBER 16, 2015 wweek.com
LaurelThirst Public House 2958 NE Glisan St Dusu Mali Band
1410 SW Morrison Street Ceremony of the Whirling Dervishes with a Turkish Sacred Music Concert
2530 NE 82nd Ave
4847 SE Division St JT Wise Band
3939 N Mississippi Ave. The California Honeydrops
New Thought Center For Spiritual Living
1040 C Ave. 4 Stories High Christmas Concert
Rose City Park Presbyterian Church
Home Alone with the Oregon Symphony
Ash Street Saloon
1300 SE Stark St #110 Live Wire! with Luke Burbank at Revolution Hall
Clinton Street Theater
225 SW Ash Strength Keeper
2522 SE Clinton St The Clinton Street Stomp: The Crow Quill Night Owls, Caleb Klauder and Reeb Willms, Miller & Sasser, The High Water Jazz Band, Zach Bryson
8 NW 6th Ave The 1975
St David of Wales Episcopal Church
2800 SE Harrison St A Christmas in Wales
St. Andrew Catholic Church
350 W Burnside St. Hailey Niswanger and PDX Soul
806 NE Alberta Ave. A Holiday Postcard -An All Baroque Holiday concert with Handel’s “Messiah”
Streetcar Bistro and Taproom
13 NW 6th Ave X, Mike Watt and the Secondmen
1907 NE 45th Ave Bach Cantata Choir Baroque Holiday Concert
13 NW 6th Ave the Epic Winter Formal
1101 NW Northrup Avenue Tim Snider
The Firkin Tavern 1937 SE 11th Ave Seance Crasher + Brakemouth + TBA
The Secret Society
116 NE Russell St Tender Loving Empire’s Winter Formal Dance Party featuring Chanti Darling, Thanks, DJ ll Trill
Turn Turn Turn
8 NE Killingsworth St Dirty Whips’ last show w/ Kululu & Leroy Jerome and the Professionals
Walters Cultural Arts Center 527 East Main St. Oregon Mandolin Orchestra Holiday Concert
SAT. DEC. 19 Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall
1037 SW Broadway
350 West Burnside Hailey Niswanger & PDX Soul
2530 NE 82nd Ave Holiday Spectacular; Kris Deelane and the Hurt
2126 S. W. Halsey ST. Vicki Porter and Wil Kinky
Goodfoot Pub & Lounge
2845 SE Stark St Garcia Birthday Band
1507 SE 39th Mission Rock 3: “That Rocking Christmas Show”
Jimmy Mak’s 221 NW 10th Ave The Ty Curtis Band
Killingsworth Dynasty 832 N Killingsworth Ho Ho Ho a Go-Go!
Living Room Realty
2625 SE 26th Ave. Live! At Living Room with Snowblind Traveler and Grand Lake Islands
1111 SW Broadway Celebration of Christmas
Streetcar Bistro and Taproom 1101 NW Northrup Avenue The Jackalope Saints
The Firkin Tavern
1937 SE 11th Ave Trick Sensei + The Wild War + TBA
The Secret Society 116 NE Russell St Everything’s Jake
Twilight Cafe and Bar
1410 SE Powell Blvd Punk Drunk Christmas 5: Santa Strikes Back
Westside Community Church 18390 SW Farmington Rd Compassion First Christmas Concert with Nate Botsford
SUN. DEC. 20 Analog Cafe 720 SE Hawthorne Blvd. Colleen Green, Pity Sex Ash Street Saloon 225 SW Ash
Crossroads Community Church
Crossroads Community Church 7708 Northeast 78th Street “Christmas Comes Alive” with Jay “Bird” Koder and Friends
Kennedy School Theater
5736 N.E. 33rd Ave. Vintage Christmas with Michele Van Kleef and Tim Ellis
Saint David of Wales Church
2800 SE Harrison Street Everyone Welcome Community Choir
The Blue Room Bar
Doug Fir Lounge
8145 Se 82nd Ave Earl and The Healers
Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall
830 E Burnside St. Rock For A Reason Toy Drive Featuring Denver, the Lonesome Billies 2126 S. W. Halsey ST. Kris Deelane’s Sun Celebration: Winter Solstice 30800 NE Cedar Green Lane Away in a Manger: A Vocal Chamber Music Recital
2348 SE Ankeny JD Dawson’s Songwriters Showcase
McMenamins Al’s Den 303 SW 12th Ave Scott Fisher
3939 N Mississippi Ave Box Set Duo Trio
3100 NE Sandy Blvd WOLVHAMMER / ATRIARCH / TBA
Peter’s Room at Roseland Theater
8 NW 6th Ave. A Greener Christmas HipHop Toy Drive featuring Devin the Dude, Potluck, Chillest Illest, Stevo the Weirdo, Prince Hyph
1300 SE Stark St #110 Typhoon’s 10th Anniversary Concert at Revolution Hall
17917 SE Stark Street Hip Hop Camp
TUES. DEC. 22 1037 SW Broadway Mark O’Connor & Friends - An Appalachian Christmas 1332 W Burnside St. Snoop Dogg and Friends, Kokane
2530 NE 82nd Ave Golden Handcuffs
2126 S. W. Halsey ST. Caleb Klauder and Reeb Wilama
2348 SE Ankeny Fourth Tuesdays with Edward Cohen & Friends
221 NW 10th Ave The Lauren Kinhan Band
426 SW Washington St Rose City Round
LaurelThirst Public House 2958 NE Glisan St Jackstraw
Streetcar Bistro and Taproom 1101 NW Northrup Avenue Lance Kinnaird
232 SW Ankeny St Grease Envelope, Twin Braids, Dr. Burtrum, & DaVideo Tape
The Golden draGon
Where to drink this week.
PRIVATE VIP ROOMS OVER 30 DANCERS DAILY
1. The Slammer
500 SE 8th Ave., 232-6504. The Slammer is a Portland Christmas tradition—a dive bar so packed with a blinking rainbow of holiday lights that it’s like Peacock Lane for drunk adults, except with cheap drinks and skee ball instead of cars and children.
FOOD CARTS OPEN LATE NIGHT ALWAYS HIRING ENTERTAINERS
2. Skyline Tavern
3. The Spare Room
4. Hawthorne Strip
3532 SE Powell Blvd., 232-9516, hawthornestrip.com. Joining the illustrious ranks of Apizza Scholls and Belmont Station, this strip club has an old name and new digs—on Powell. It’s pretty classy, as far as strip clubs on busy roads go.
5. La Moule
2500 SE Clinton St., 971-339-2822, lamoulepdx.com. St. Jack’s cross-river companion bar is a ﬁne place to drink and eat mussels beneath a portrait of black-eyed Serge Gainsbourg, while Television plays in a bar without a television.
18 AND over TAPPED IN: When Travis Preece took over the onetime Coalition Brewing taproom on Southeast Ankeny Street in July, he had a problem. The name. The interim owners had left behind a sign calling the place “Tap That!”—a none-too-subtle double entendre comparing beer kegs to attractive women. So Preece announced a community naming contest. The bar is now, humbly, Ankeny Tap & Table (2724 SE Ankeny St., 946-1898, ankenypdx.com). And that’s precisely what the place is: a deeply wholesome bare-bones beerhouse with a tiny bar space no bigger than a studio apartment, but with a huge kitchen in the back. The wall art is sparse save for whatever staffers draw with chalk. On a blackboard taking up one wall, they’ve drawn a dramatically intricate tree. And behind the bar, with impressive speed, we watched a bartender freestyle the logo of beers on the tap list as kegs swapped out. And Ankeny digs deep for those beers: Recently, the bartender told me she’d procured the only Portland tap from Vancouver’s new Fortside Brewing, a pleasant, malty imperial IPA ringing in at 9 percent ABV. At Ankeny, I also had my first-ever beer brewed by beer cart Scout, which tasted exactly like an oatmeal-raisin cookie, and my first from Portland’s brand-new Rosenstadt, an excellent Kölsch. The kitchen, meanwhile, serves a flat-iron steak with potatoes and carrots ($18) and about seven different burgers on brioche ($10-$12) but announces Brussels sprouts ($8) as a specialty, and serves a different kind of hummus every day. After a year, the tiny bar seems always at least half full with regulars, and there are no seats open on packed Tuesday Trivia nights. Having stopped announcing the intention to tap whoever walks by, Ankeny has tapped the neighborhood instead. MATTHEW KORFHAGE.
After HourS pArty tiLL 6Am 324 SW 3rd Avenue • LocAted doWntoWn 503-274-1900 • goLdendrAgonpdx.com
4830 NE 42nd Ave, 287-5800, spareroomrestaurantandlounge.com. This converted Cully bowling alley—now an iconic barn of a bar with live-sax karaoke and meatloaf specials—contains as much Christmas as one could ever ﬁt in a single room, with big-ass lights on the ceiling and a mess of fake snow. Oh, and a “mystery shot” that amounts to a wrapped present under a tree.
8031 NW Skyline Blvd., 286-4788, skytav.com. The 90-year-old Skyline Tavern, freshened up recently by new owners, looks like it’d be in a movie starring Burt Reynolds, and has a clientele that goes like this: millionaire, millionaire, poor person, construction worker, millionaire.
639 SE Morrison St ROCK & RULE with DJ Sean
SUN. DEC. 20 WED. DEC. 16 Lovecraft Bar
421 SE Grand Ave Event Horizon with DJs Straylight and Miss Q (goth dance)
THURS. DEC. 17 Moloko
3967 N Mississippi Ave Brazilian Night with Nik Nice & Brother Charlie
1400 SE Morrison St. Death of Glitter: Dance Night and GenderFuck Cabaret
421 SE Grand Ave Shadowplay (EBM, goth, dance)
FRI. DEC. 18 The Whiskey Bar 31 NW 1ST Brett Johnson
421 SE Grand Ave Electronomicon with DJ Straylight and friends (dark dance)
421 SE Grand Ave COSPLAY/J-POP/VOCALOID/ANIME DANCE PARTY SUPER FUN!!
MON. DEC. 21 Lovecraft Bar
421 SE Grand Ave DJ Cory (metal & new wave)
Goodfoot Pub & Lounge
225 SW Ash DJ D Train
3967 N Mississippi Ave Montel Spinozza 2845 SE Stark St SOUL STEW with DJ AQUAMAN AND FRIENDS
SAT. DEC. 19
Ash Street Saloon
TUES. DEC. 22 Lovecraft Bar
421 SE Grand Ave Bones - DJ Aurora (goth dance)
3967 N. Mississippi The Central Experience with Gulls & Mr. Peepers
Willamette Week DECEMBER 16, 2015 wweek.com
Willamette Week DECEMBER 16, 2015 wweek.com
COURTESY OF COSMO
PERFORMANCE = 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 (email@example.com). Comedy: MIKE ACKER (firstname.lastname@example.org). Dance: ENID SPITZ (email@example.com). TO BE CONSIDERED FOR LISTINGS, submit information at least two weeks in advance to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
OPENINGS & PREVIEWS
A Christmas Carol
Portland Brass Quintet and festive troupe Revels are going Celtic for the holidays. Turning from the California/ Oregon discussion to the late 19thcentury migration of Irish to New York, they’ll perform a traditional American Wake, the send-off travelers held on their ship while crossing the Atlantic. Celtic Crossing is a dance, poetry and musical story time, with a children’s choir and traditional Sean-nós Irish dancing. Sláinte. St. Mary’s Academy, 1615 NW 5th Ave., 274-4654. 7:30 pm Thursday-Monday, Dec. 17-21; 1 pm Saturday-Sunday, Dec. 19-20; 5 pm Tuesday, Dec. 22. $9-$41.
A Circus Carol
Hot off its Beatles-themed White Album Christmas show, Wanderlust Circus and 3 Leg Torso turns to Dickens. Juggling, exuberant accordion accompaniment and a shirtless man doing aerial contortions from hanging chains makes this the most avant-garde Carol on Portland’s stages. The nostalgic should head to Bag & Baggage in Hillsboro, and traditionalists to Portland Playhouse. Anyone who wants to see bowler hat tricks and high kicks, wander to this circus. Alberta Rose Theatre, 3000 NE Alberta St., 7196055. 8 pm Friday-Sunday, Dec. 18-20. $20-$40.
The Eight: Reindeer Monologues
Twilight Theater does dark, and weird, well. Adding an addled Mrs. Claus, reindeer off their rockers and thinly-veiled political commentary to Christmas, this is the holidays as told by its favorite enslaved animals. The adult comedy stars Portland regulars like Russell Owens and Rob Harris, but it’s a 20-year-old play by Jeff Goode, the writer behind American Dragon and MTV’s Undressed, giving it strong legs Twilight Theater, 7515 N Brandon Ave., 847-9838. 8 pm Thursday-Saturday and 3 pm Sunday, Dec. 17-20. $15. 21+.
Goldilocks and the Three Bears
Kim Bogus’ Jane Theater Company puts on family shows like the Princess and the Pea and Frankenstein that are big and showy, despite a small budget. Goldilocks at the Post5 space is free, and the bad guy throws out candy. Post 5 Theatre, 1666 SE Lambert St., 971-258-8584. 7 pm Friday, 2 and 4 pm Saturday-Sunday, Dec. 18-20. Free.
A Midsummer Night’s Dream
The young Portland Actors Conservatory puts on an impressively pro show. Moving Shakespeare’s Midsummer to the Arctic in 1867, this Christmas version of the classic has sprites in what looks like North Face hoods with neon fur cuffs. The story line is the same, just with Russians and a cute dog. Portland Actors Conservatory, 1436 SW Montgomery St., 274-1717. 7:30 pm Thursday-Saturday and 2 pm Sunday, Dec. 17-20. $10-$15.
The expected neon colors, large ensembles and fart-off gags are all here, but like a good Disney movie, parents can find a few things to snicker at too. Multilevel sets and a huge closet of professional costumes are impressive, but maybe not quite enough to mitigate a nearly three-hour show time. No shows Dec. 16. Extra show noon Thursday, Dec. 31. Northwest Children’s Theater, 1819 NW Everett St., 222-4480. Noon and 4:30 pm Saturday-Wednesday, through Jan. 3. $17-$23.
Portland Playhouse is fully steeped in the season’s spirit, transporting you to Victorian England when you step inside the converted church, where child actors, barmen and box-office staff all put on British accents to match their waistcoats and petticoats for Rick Lombardo’s adaptations of Charles Dickens’ holiday classic. Reprising its popular production Playhouse avoids doldrums by making the play an experience. As Scrooge transforms into a generous, lovable gentleman, Playhouse adds creative lighting tricks, like making the shadow of Drew Harper’s Scrooge into the Ghost of Christmas Future. Each of the 13 performers also take up an instrument— there’s piano, organ, at least two guitars, ukulele, floor tom drum, sleigh bells and a tambourine. It’s impossible not to feel your heart grow a few sizes as 6-yearold Serelle Simone Strickland sings Tiny Tim’s solo. HILARY SAUNDERS. Portland Playhouse, 602 NE Prescott St., 4885822. 7 pm Wednesday-Saturday and 2 pm and 5 pm Sunday, through Dec. 24, with no 4 pm show Saturday, Dec. 19. Extra show 4 pm Saturday, Dec. 19. Shows at 1, 4 and 7 pm TuesdayWednesday, Dec. 22-23, and 11 am and 2 pm Thursday, Dec. 24. $20-$36.
The Book of Merman
Triangle Production’s latest play begins with a ringing doorbell and two bickering Mormons, Elder Shumway (Collin Carver) and Elder Braithwaite (William Schindler), who are six months into their mission and aren’t having much luck saving souls. Until they meet Ethel (Amy Jo Halliday), an older, dramatic woman who likes to drink, swear and write hefty checks to people who come to her door selling magazine subscriptions. That’s Ethel Merman, a diamond-clad songstress with a booming voice, whom The New York Times called “the Queen of Musicals” in the 1930s. Through a series of jaunty show tunes and slowly revealed secrets—like Shumway’s secret love for musical theater—the show unfolds in Ethel’s living room, as the former starlet teaches the Mormons the value of being true to themselves. Occasional awkward blocking and lackluster dancing is saved by impressive three-part harmonies and an entertaining cast—Halliday amusingly hams up her over-the-top character; Carver brings dry wit and shy vulnerability; and Shindler deftly alternates between being giddy and on the brink of tears. Like any Triangle show, the audience gets involved, so beware if you’re shy. KAITIE TODD. Triangle Productions, 1785 NE Sandy Blvd., 239-5919. 7:30 pm Thursday-Saturday and 2 pm Sunday, Dec. 17-20. $15-$35.
The Dissenter’s Handbook
Dario Fo’s irreverent redos of Italian folklore make for a show that’s more comedy than pure theater. It’s like bawdy story time and traditional clowning with a side of slapstick. Matthew Kerrigan stars again, following up this summer’s staging at CoHo. Shaking the Tree’s main name, director Samantha Van Der Merwe (who just finished staging Sarah Ruhl’s Passion Play all around town), is adding an extra Fo kicker to this show: The Tale of a Tiger. It’s a short story about a tiger nursing a Chinese revolutionary back to health after he gets gangrene. It’s rare to hear a show promise to be subversive, hilarious and spiritual...and actually believe it. Shaking the Tree Theatre, 823 SE Grant St., 235-0635. 7:30 pm Thursday-Saturday and 5 pm Sunday, through Dec. 26; extra shows 7:30 pm Tuesday-Wednesday, Dec. 22-23; no shows Thursday-Friday, Dec. 24-25. $25.
TIPS AND LIPS: Panelists are anonymous at the Talk shows.
Peep Show GET ALL YOUR BURNING QUESTIONS ANSWERED, BY A PENIS OR VAGINA. Imagine The Dating Game, without pants. That’s more or less what you’ll find in a pair of shows hitting the Clinton Street Theater this weekend. Unfussily titled The Vagina Talk Show and The Penis Talk Show, both feature local panelists with their torsos concealed behind a curtain, lower halves unclothed and ready for interrogation as the audience submits anonymous questions. Part peep show, part story time and 100 percent sex-positive celebration, the touring shows come from Southern California producer Paula Richer and playwright Ronnie Larsen. Richer was inspired by an episode of Real Sex—the ’90s HBO show that taught white-bread America about butt plugs and Cherokee sex rituals—in which a woman let people take a close look at her nether regions. A couple of years ago, Richer pitched the idea to Larsen, who’s in the sex-party business, and the two created a beta version where Richer sat inside a peep-show-style box. “We charged a dollar a peep,” Richer says. “Ronnie was a barker, encouraging people to go under the curtain and take a look. All of a sudden people started talking to me. One guy asked a question, I answered and we started bantering back and forth. It just got funnier and funnier.” Larsen—taking the call while managing a sex party in San Diego—interjects: “I remember one person asked, ‘What do you do on the weekend?’” The Vagina Talk Show was born. The first performance was July 2014 in Long Beach, Calif., (The Penis Talk Show launched in November that year, due to
The Great American Trailer Park Christmas Musical
Winning for both longest name and Winnebagos, this two-year-old version adds Keg Nog to the longtime running, regular old Trailer Park Musical. When a Scroogey resident of North Florida’s Armadillo Acres starts tripping about amnesia, Betty and someone named Pickles decide that the best cure for forgetfulness is more holiday cheer, and chair throwin’. Brunish Theatre, 1111 SW Broadway, 248-4335. 7:30 ThursdaySaturday, 2 pm Saturday-Sunday, through Dec. 27. $25-$40.
A K.B.N.B. Kristmas Karol
Slapstick antics and pratfalls are second only to boob grabs in Bag & Baggage’s holiday offering, about radio actors and their studio’s final night before it’s destroyed to make way for a greedy media tycoon’s new TV sound stage. As the cast struggles to produce a passable adaptation of what they call “Dickles Charleston,” using a single microphone in
popular demand) and Richer and Larsen have since taken the tour to San Diego, San Francisco and Fort Lauderdale. The format is simple: Audience members scribble questions on index cards, and Larsen acts as the host, interviewing the genitalia onstage while occasionally scrapping clichéd submissions. “Everyone wants to know about squirting,” he says. When selecting panelists, Richer aims for variety in age, race, sexual orientation and—among the men—size. “We’ve had porn stars, nudists and a woman who enjoyed being sexual with her anaconda,” she says. “The youngest was a 19-year-old cross-dressing pansexual, and we’ve had a couple post-menopausal women in their late 50s. We had a post-op trans woman—she looked exactly like women who have little or no labia.” It doesn’t take long before audience members start spilling their own stories. Larsen recalls one show that verged on couple’s therapy: “I turned to a couple and asked if there was something they wanted from their partner,” he says. “She said she wanted him to slow down when he was eating her out. And he says, ‘I wish you would lick my ass.’ She was like, ‘I didn’t know you were into that! I will do that for you!’ The audience started applauding.” As for whose naughty bits will grace the stage in Portland, Richer and Larsen are mum. But know that Richer still appears in most Vagina performances. “If you hear a woman talk about being turned on by sitting on a basketball when she was young,” Larsen says, “that’s Paula.” REBECCA JACOBSON. SEE IT: The Vagina Talk Show is at 7 pm and The Penis Talk Show is at 9 pm Friday, Dec. 18, at the Clinton Street Theater, 2522 SE Clinton St., cstpdx. com. $12. 21+.
a near-empty studio, they are forced to contend with the agenda of the zealous television producer. The Hillsboro cast of eight tempers the verbose, extremely fast-paced farce with nonstop visual interplay and innuendo in a Karol that boasts dropped pants aplenty, a threegirl nipple-twisting routine and at least six pelvic thrusts in the first act. They manage to sing a few Christmas songs, too! MIKE GALLUCCI. The Venetian Theatre, 253 E Main St., Hillsboro, 6933953. 7:30 Thursday-Saturday and 2 pm Sunday, through Dec. 23. $27-$32.
The Santaland Diaries
Like the immortal Kris Kringle, Portland Center Stage’s Crumpet the elf seems destined to revisit us year after year. This stage adaptation of David Sedaris’ beloved/despised diary of working as a Macy’s holiday elf is far beyond cult classic at this point. Reprising his role as the jaded and self-deprecating elf, local stage and screen mainstay Darius Pierce dons his crushed velvet suit again, for the stalwarts who are comparing annual
notes. Newbies, spike your nog. Gerding Theater, Ellen Bye Studio, 128 NW 11th Ave., 445-3700. 7:30 pm Tuesday-Sunday and 2 pm Saturday-Sunday, through Dec. 27. Extra show 2 pm Thursday, Dec. 24, no show Friday, Dec. 25. $35-$55.
Twist Your Dickens
The Second City is back for more than the second time, doing Dickens improv that combines sketch comedy and audience input. Last year, WW pointed out that the show “left an aftertaste worse than that of spoiled eggnog,” and we’re not holding out for a Christmas miracle this year. Special show 2 pm Thursday, Dec. 24. US Bank Main Stage at the Armory, 128 NW 11th Ave., 445-3700. 7:30 pm Tuesday-Sunday, 2 pm SaturdaySunday and noon Thursday, through Dec. 31. $25-$53.
First went Frogz, now goes ZooZoo. Imago is good at having final shows of
CONT. on page 40
Willamette Week DECEMBER 16, 2015 wweek.com
PERFORMANCE REVIEW OWEN CAREY
childrens’ theater...many times. But really, this truly is the very last time ever in the entire existence of the world that you can watch insomniac hippos, bitchy anteaters and sneaky penguins in mask. Imago Theatre, 17 SE 8th Ave., 231-9581. 7 pm Friday, 12 and 3 pm Saturday and 2 pm Sunday, through Jan. 3. Shows Dec. 20 and 22-24 are at noon and 3 pm, and Dec. 28-30 at 2 pm. $34.50.
COMEDY & VARIETY The 3rd Floor XXXIII: The Final Chapter
Thirty-three shows and 20 years after it started as a group of recent college grads who thought that they were pretty funny, one of Portland’s oldest comedy troupes is retiring. Boasting over 50 company members and alumni, the group’s farewell is a show of quick-turn sketches and plenty of Easter eggs for longtime groupies. Milagro Theatre, 525 SE Stark St., 236-7253. 8 pm FridaySaturday, Dec. 18-19. $16-$19.
ELEMENTS GLASS GALLERY PRESENTS
BLOW YOUR OWN
C H R I S T M A S ORNAMENTS All ages, bring family and friends
Weekends in December & the full week leading up to Christmas Day 10am - 6pm $40 PER ORNAMENT Advance payment and registration required. Register at elementsglass.com
Aries Spears served as a principal cast member on MADtv from the third to 10th season of the hit sketch comedy show. He has appeared on Def Comedy Jam and Showtime at the Apollo, two of the most iconic comedy shows of all time, and is a practitioner of a number of spot-on impressions including James Brown, Shaquille O’Neal, Al Pacino and Eddie Murphy. Helium Comedy Club, 1510 SE 9th Ave., 888-643-8669. 8 pm Thursday, Dec. 17; 7:30 and 10 pm Friday-Saturday, Dec. 18-19; 7:30 pm Sunday, Dec. 20. $18-$33. 21+.
Earthquake Hurricane 1-Year Anniversary Show
1979 NW Vaughn Street, North of Lovejoy (NOLO) www.elementsglass.com - 503-228-0575 Portland’s Hot Spot!
Portland’s four-star comedy showcase is turning one. Come join Anthony Lopez, Bri Pruett, Curtis Cook and Alex Falcone as they welcome special guests to celebrate one full year of comedy at a bike shop. Velo Cult Bike Shop, 1969 NE 42nd Ave., 922-2012. 9 pm Wednesday, Dec. 16. Free ($5 suggested donation). 21+.
It’s Gonna Be OK
Showcasing some of the best and most unique comedic talents in Portland, It’s Gonna Be OK is a fun, smart and progressive alternative comedy showcase. Hosted by Barbara Holm, this week’s installment features local standup standouts Kristine Levine, Robbie Pankow, Jen Tam and Nathan Brannon. EastBurn, 1800 E Burnside St., 236-2876. 7 pm Monday, Dec. 21. Free. 21+.
No Pun Intendo
This is the only comedy showcase in town that also features video game competitions. Coming from Ground Kontrol, Portland’s favorite classic arcade, and hosted by Nariko Ott, this installment of No Pun Intendo features the hilarious comedy of local favorites Ed Black, Dinah Foley, Milan Patel, Zak Toscani and Bri Pruett. Come for the laughs, stay for the opportunity to win fabulous prizes playing classic video games with other audience members. Ground Kontrol Classic Arcade, 511 NW Couch St., 796-9364. 9 pm Thursday, Dec. 17. $3. 21+.
Todd Armstrong Variety Hour
Todd Armstrong is one of Portland’s funniest and hardest-working comics. He hosts his own web series, Permanent Comedy; he’s opened for Bill Burr, Marc Maron, Chelsea Peretti and Tommy Chong; and he’s appeared in comedy competitions and festivals across the country. Todd is back on his home turf to host a variety show that features comedy from Adam Pasi, Bri Pruett, Scott Losse, Mitch Mitchell and Billy Anderson. Helium Comedy Club, 1510 SE 9th Ave., 888-643-8669. 8 pm Wednesday, Dec. 16. $8-$16. 21+.
DANCE Death of Glitter: Dance Night and GenderFuck Cabaret
Crush’s monthly performance and
Willamette Week DECEMBER 16, 2015 wweek.com
HELEN KELLER WINS: (From left) Amy Newman, Agatha Olson, Don Alder and Val Landrum.
A Christmas Miracle?
There’s nothing miraculous about it. Staging The Miracle Worker alongside Crumpet the elf and multiple Christmas Carols could have ruined Artists Repertory Theatre’s Christmas, but artistic director Dámaso Rodriguez knew what he was doing before the first casting call. “I don’t think I would’ve chosen it if I didn’t know she existed,” he says. He means 12-year-old Agatha Olson, who stuns as the deaf-blind lead. She’s never taken a theater class, but when a young actor in Third Rail’s 2011 The Pain and the Itch dropped out, Olson was recommended by a family friend because she was the same age. Going on to act with the likes of Portland Playhouse and CoHo Theater, she’s never done a kids’ show but is a veteran of adult performances like The Big Meal, where she met Rodriguez. This is her first lead role. “At any given moment, there are only maybe 10 kids in the country who could play Helen Keller,” Rodriguez says. Early in the play, Anagnos (Michael Mendelson) says to Annie Sullivan (Val Landrum): “She is like a little safe, locked, that no one can open. Perhaps there is a treasure inside.” “Maybe it’s empty, too?” Sullivan counters, with the stinging cheek that Landrum delivers perfectly. This Miracle Worker to grabs your insides long before Sullivan cracks her tempestuous charge, though. The veteran cast riffs on Gibson’s minimal dialogue, adding brawls and well-timed comedy for a surprisingly gripping ride. Flashbacks add a ghostly effect, staged behind a curtain that only turns translucent when it’s backlit. And just before the break, we get a chase scene that rivals Bond. Only this one involves a ceramic water pitcher and Sullivan wearing a bustle as she fields blows from the egg-spattered, explosive Helen. Make no mistake, this is a family show. It fits the Christmas bill because it’s a story of redemption and family love, Rodriguez says. “People want to see something with spirit of the season,” he says. “You feel better about the world when the play is over.” “They should install tissue boxes on every row,” half-joked a millennial on opening night. “The Miracle Worker: brought to you by Kleenex.” ENID SPITZ. Artists Rep risks an old classic with a fresh face.
SEE IT: The Miracle Worker is at Artists Repertory Theatre, 1516 SW Alder St., 241-1278. 7:30 pm Tuesday-Sunday and 2 pm Sunday, through Jan. 10. No shows Dec. 24-25; extra shows 11 am Wed., Dec. 23, and 2 pm Saturday-Sunday, Jan. 2-3. $25-$48. dance fundraiser does drag for a cause. Queens including Mars, Darcy Blows, Anastasia Euthanasia, Judy Precious and emcee Delta Flyer start the show, then DJ Aurora spins goth and glam music till close. Crush, 1400 SE Morrison St., 503-235-8150. 9 pm Thursday Dec. 17. $5-$10.
If you’ve ever experienced the artistry and wonder of a Cirque du Soleil performance, you are in no way prepared for the mindfuck that is Spiegelworld. Alternately astounding, hilarious and truly fucking bizarre, the Spiegelworld cast will push you to the absolute limit of what you’re comfortable with—and well fucking beyond. The performance really begins well before showtime, when the performers wander through the crowd catching projectiles in their pants, taking photos with patrons’ faces pressed to their asses and softening the thresholds of humiliation before things get really vulgar. This is
all possible—and effective—thanks to the intimate venue. The acrobatics and contortion acts become jaw-droppingly real, with every quivering muscle, hyper-extended rib cage and sweat-slicked pectoral on full display. It’s every bit as erotic as it sounds and the performers are undeniably world-class. Empire will leave you titillated, amazed and horrified beyond all reason—in the best possible way. PENELOPE BASS. Rose Quarter Benton Lot, 542 N Broadway, 800-745-3000. 7 pm Tuesday-Sunday and 9 pm FridaySaturday, through Jan. 17. $25-$99.
In Good Company
With another Princess Grace award and a brand-new space in hand, Northwest Dance Project can pretty much do what it wants right now. And we like it when they do, like in this annual end-of-year show of new works that are created and performed by the dancers. With only two shows, it’s
too easy to miss, but it’s worth the higher ticket price as an almost guaranteed hit. Revolution Hall, 1300 SE Stark St., No. 110, 421-7434. 7:30 pm Thursday-Friday, Dec. 17-18. $40.
The Library at the End of the World
ing to stir up Portland’s dance scene. KAITIE TODD. CoHo Theater, 2257 NW Raleigh St., 220-2646. 7 pm Thursday- Saturday, 1 pm Sunday, Dec. 17-20. Extended director’s cut on Sunday. $25-$55.
The second-ever show from 11:Dance Co. features choreography from big local names like Northwest Dance Project’s Ching Ching Wong. Set in a post-apocalyptic library where each dance opens a diﬀerent chapter of social commentary, the hourlong show of nine dances covers serious topics like the male gaze and privilege. Co-produced by artistic director Bb DeLano and local breaker Huy Pham, they promise whimsical topics, too—like dinosaurs and burgers and fries. Though the company is too young to have much of a reputation, it’s already promis-
The most-watched ballet, and the largest-grossing all year for most dance companies, sweeps young Clara away to a fantastical wonderland where toys duke it out with rats. Keller Auditorium, 222 SW Clay St., 222-5538. 7:30 pm Thursday-Sunday and 2 pm FridaySunday, through Dec. 26. Extra shows 7:30 pm Tuesday, Dec. 22, 2 and 7:30 pm Wednesday, Dec. 23, noon Thursday, Dec. 24, no show Friday, Dec. 25. $29-$146.
For more Performance listings, visit
SPIN THEIR WHEELHOUSE: Jamey Hampton serves as host with BodyVox dancers.
“You spin the wheel. They dance.” When Jamey Hampton, artistic co-director of BodyVox, explains the modern company’s latest show, the premise seems simple. But with 25 dances on a big, game show-style wheel—and up to nine dancers onstage—The Spin is not at all simple. It is fun. “A study in controlled chaos,” is what Hampton, who serves as the show’s exuberant game show host, calls it. He calls audience volunteers onstage to spin the “wheel of chaos,” featuring shows from BodyVox’s 18-year repertoire. As dancers wearing only bathrobes huddle on either side on the wheel, they jump and wiggle, either out of anticipation or cold. The wheel spins. It stops. They scatter, running to get in costume and into position onstage. They danced seven pieces on opening night, 10 on Saturday, and every show promises something different. In the grab bag of BodyVox’s colorful, contemporary and even whimsical lineup, highlights include a tango and sheep—separately. In “Urban Meadow,” a playful piece with six dancers huddling like sheep, their shaky legs transform into bourree-style flutters and they “baaa” hilariously when the big bad wolf arrives. The tango-influenced number “Stop,” from BodyVox’s 2010 show Smoke Soup, epitomizes the company’s whimsy. Hampton is a mischievous puppeteer who hypnotizes a couple and makes them dance. Brent Luebbert and Katie Scherman—both newcomers— throw themselves around like rag dolls, spinning awkwardly and limply holding each other in a believably hypnotic trance. But not all the dances are so fun. Vital context seems missing from “Bollywood,” an all-group piece that poses the questions, “Why are these modern dancers trying to dance Bollywood?” and “Are they serious?” and “Why are two characters fighting?” After baa-ing sheep and Eric Skinner’s wonderful, ballet-influenced solo in “A Good Man Is Hard to Find,” sentimental and somber dances like “Intimate Yellow” fall flat. Very little else about The Spin can be called flat, though. There’s too much enthusiasm for that, and too many comic, memorable moments that make us all feel like winners. KAITIE TODD. Every show is an anomaly at BodyVox.
SEE IT: The Spin is at BodyVox, 1201 NW 17th Ave., 229-0627. 7:30 pm Thursday-Saturday and 2 pm Sat., Dec. 17-19. $25-$64. Willamette Week DECEMBER 16, 2015 wweek.com
= WW Pick. Highly recommended. By ENID SPITZ. 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: email@example.com.
Three rooms. Three artists. Three weeks. White Box’s Cris Moss has put together an exhibition featuring the conceptual photography of Todd Johnson, the figurative paintings of Elizabeth Malaska and the subversive video work of Stephen Slappe, which shows the impact of climate change in stills from footage shot around Portland. Each local artist gets their own gallery, so with juxtaposition being what it is, we not only get to see what the artists have to say to us, but what they have to say to each other. JENNIFER RABIN. Through Dec. 19. White Box, 24 NW 1st Ave., 412-3689. Free.
360 Square Meters & The Hundred-Acre Wood
Canadian artist Troy Coulterman returns to Hellion Gallery with his newest exhibition of resin and steel sculptures that depict recognizable human features. The forms are painted with acrylics in bright, unnatural colors, making the body parts seem inspired by graphic novels or Broadway productions. Faces on his sculptures are often engulfed in geometric shapes or sprouting spikes. Attuned, maybe—to an alternate reality. KYLA FOSTER. Through Dec. 31. Hellion Gallery, 19 NW 5th Ave., Suite 208, 851-6163. Free.
Frank Hyder’s solo show boils down to faces and fish: an odd pairing, for sure. But the dreamlike quality and psychedelic colors of these acrylic works give them an irresistible pull. Dense clusters of fleshy, exotic fish in pieces like “Blue Fandango” break up the canvas, making your eye wander from one focal point to the next. The circular arrangement in “Tahitian Circle,” on the other hand, draws you to meditate on the center. Hyder’s “Frontier Group” series renders the human face in a shamanic style with alternating streaks of earthy reds and bright blue-greens. Distressed texture on some pieces lends an air of mysticism, and alongside the fish this evokes both the animal and spiritual sides of humanity. HILARY TSAI. Through Dec. 19. Butters Gallery, 157 NE Grand Ave., 248-9378. Free.
Material Evolution: Urban Coyotes, Past and Present
What do a coyote, a metal gate and a Moroccan bird have in common? That’s what Mary C. Hinckley investigates in this collection of eye-popping glass and enamel works, now on display at Augen through end of December. Inspired by mosaic traditions and stained glass techniques, these mesmerizing portraits blur the line between collage and sculpture, while the intricate patterns and wild colors hinge on optical illusion. Hinckley’s process of fusing bits of glass together into a cohesive image mirrors her attempt at reconciling seemingly disparate objects—a gate and a bird, for example—in order to forge new relationships. HILARY TSAI. Through Dec. 30. Augen Gallery, 716 NW Davis St., 546-5056. Free.
Fourteen artists tackle the mystique of motherhood through sculpture, installation and performance. There’s an oppressive polarity, this group show says—society that both idolizes and disparages the mother. Rosemarie Trockel’s sonogram-like photogravures (copper prints) of spider webs comment on the deceit new mothers face when trying to conform to an impossible ideal. Cathy Wilkes’ sculptures combine domestic materials to represent the mother in her natural habitat. Her figures, though suggestively female, are featureless; their poses reticent and unreadable. The phallic and yonic (the opposite of phallic) glazed rock formations strip men and women to the sum of their reproductive parts—expressing, perhaps, the need to be recognized as more. HILARY TSAI. Through Dec. 20. Yale Union, 800 SE 10th Ave., 236-7996. Free.
Rough, crudely-etched shapes and uneven patches of color make Gina Wilson’s pieces look like unfinished, preliminary sketches. But Wilson’s aim of deconstructing the creative process is an undeniable success. Abstract human figures in pieces like “Gage” demonstrate how breaking formal rules has a freeing effect on the artist, allowing for fearless experimentation. Wilson’s unconventional designs evoke the impossible geometry of Picasso while displaying a unique whimsy that is all her own. Glazed sculptures beside the paintings are delightful, 3-D iterations of the concepts explored on canvas. HILARY TSAI. Through Dec. 24. Laura Russo Gallery, 805 NW 21st Ave., 226-2754. Free.
Palmarin Merges’ small square paints weave dreamy pastels with warm earth tones in abstract patterns. Inspired by traditional Australian quests and native art, she investigates the primal notion of home by sketching places that feel like home to her on top of the brightly-colored squares. She’s sketched spider webs in the yard and chickens in her coop in stylized patterns of white lines and dots. It’s sentimental—even though these are specific to Merges, they evoke a fondness for home that’s universal. HILARY TSAI. Through Jan. 2. Blackfish Gallery, 420 NW 9th Ave., 224-2634. Free.
CHILD AND RAM BY ANNE SIEMS
Not What It Siems At first glance, the large-scale paintings in Anne Siems’ Dream Lessons appear to be fantastical whimsy, like the illustrations of a Victorian-era children’s book come to life. On one canvas, an owl perches in a fair young girl’s antlers while a hare rests at her feet. In another, a woman holds a duck in her arms while eggs rain from the sky. Look closer, and you’ll see that all of the figures are semitransparent. Their clothes—gossamer white petticoats, corseted hoop dresses, floral pantaloons—show through to the moody black-and-blue gradients of the background, making the figures seem like beautiful figments. They’re here but not here, visiting from an imagined place. This weirdness makes sense, given Siems’ intention. The series is essentially her dream diary, an attempt to pay closer attention to her dreams and spill their contents into her work. While the subconscious is a popular mine for artists—a place of unfiltered ideas that haven’t been molded or marred by rational thought—it’s rare for the veil between the subconscious and conscious mind to be as obvious as in Dream Lessons. Siems’ figures are a straight allegory for her in-between state, dissolving into the ethereal Eve Dreams of a Wolf from chest to ankle, while their feet, hands and heads are always opaque and rooted in the physical world. These are creatures from both places at once. Around them, things like crystals, eggs and flames rain from the sky. The dangerous projectiles are “keepers of time”—clearly a dream offering—according to Siems. But their otherworldliness is balanced by earthly still lifes arranged at each figure’s feet. Scattered nests, pottery, stones and woodland animals—squirrels, ferrets, rams, hedgehogs and butterflies—act as tethers to real life. Sounding ethereal herself, Siems said, “working with dreams has solidified my trust in the well of my unconscious...what must come forth shall make its decisive and deliberate appearance to me.” But you don’t need to cross over to fall headfirst into this aesthetic experience. Girl and Duck and Child and Ram can be appreciated on many levels, some of this world. JENNIFER RABIN. What would your dreams look like on canvas?
SEE IT: Dream Lessons is at Laura Russo Gallery, 805 NW 21st Ave., 226-2754. Through Dec. 24.
The Silk Road
Five artists from the collaborative group DLS (Downtown Light and Sound Solution) will Palmarin Merges’ show Blackfish Gallery. create an immersive audiovisual experience that continually changes as the artists explore new possibilities afforded by 3-D projection mapping, innovative speaker Honoring a local youth’s mark on the rise arrangements, circuit-based technolof punk rock in Portland circa 1990, Molly ogy and more. This six-week-long exhibi16’s Rock n Roll Fantasy is a multimetion, curated by Chiara Giovando, is part dia sidecar to PNCA’s Alien She exhibit, of Disjecta’s Season 5 curator-in-resiwhich centers on Bikini Kill. Molly 16 grew dence program, Sound is Matter. HILARY up in group homes in Portland in the TSAI. Through Jan. 17. Disjecta, 8371 N ‘90s, singing in an all-girl band and criInterstate Ave., 286-9449. Free. tiquing society in her Rock n Roll Fantasy
Molly 16’s Rock n Roll Fantasy
zine. She did the cover art for Bikini Kill’s debut album, but later took her own life. This exhibit of archival videos, animations and music—curated by Molly’s best friend, filmmaker Amber Dawn—is an homage to Molly and her Fantasy. ENID SPITZ. Through Jan. 29. Collection Studies Lab, 511 NW Broadway, 917-324-3179. Free.
This series of new etchings and woodcuts by Oregon-based printmaker Tallmadge Doyle exists at the crux between science and nature. Bold, luminous silhouettes of Pacific Northwest flora draw the eye in, then lead it out to where patterns of delicate line work hint at the unseen energy that connects all living things. Some etchings are heavily abstracted, while others have the true-to-life, drawn quality of a botanist’s illustration. Each piece speaks as much for Doyle’s thoughtful and meditative process as it does for the finished product. HILARY TSAI. Through Dec. 30. Augen Gallery, 716 NW Davis St., 546-5056. Free.
New York-based artist Didier William’s prints, collages and cutouts combine to create colorful layers of paper, panel and wood. He gauges, strikes and stains the surfaces of his paintings of human forms twisted around their environments. It’s an exceptional show, asking how painting and printmaking can deal with space, movement and figure/ground relationships. It’s up for interpretation whether William’s characters are dissolving into or absorbing their backgrounds. Each one is sneakily unnerving, but strong blocks of color make them bold, too. KYLA FOSTER. Through Jan. 2. Hap Gallery, 916 NW Flanders St., 444-7101. Free.
PDX Contemporary invited six artists to explore color for its own sake. Anne Appleby, Tina Beebe, Peter Gronquist, Joe Rudko, Storm Tharp and Molly Vidor fill the gallery with vast gradient fields, sharp planes of pigment and subtle washes of tint. It’s a glimpse into different techniques, but, more importantly, into the ways color can do everything from whisper something in your ear to knock you over the head. JENNIFER RABIN. Through Jan. 9. PDX Contemporary, 925 NW Flanders St., 2275111. Free.
Using vintage and contemporary imagery inspired by fairytales and fables, artist Melody Owen’s pieces are collages of prints that look stolen from Gray’s Anatomy (the book), vintage aeronautical reports and diagrams of sea creatures. She says the point of her minimalist, abstract cutaways and collages, is that every action is like a ripple in a pond. These are her visual interpretations of the wildly different results each action creates. “We are all connected,” her treeclock-egg-eyeball mash up seems to say. KYLA FOSTER. Through Jan. 2. Elizabeth Leach Gallery, 417 NW 9th Ave., 224-0521. Free.
Both of Blue Sky’s exhibitions this month center on obsession. In The HundredAcre Wood, Ken Ragsdale painstakingly translates his own drawings of Pacific NW wilderness into 3-D paper models, which he then lights and photographs. Pedro David’s 360 Square Meters is a reference to the area of his family’s home and everything inside it, all captured by his large format camera, monumentalizing even the tiniest objects. JENNIFER RABIN. Through Jan. 3. Blue Sky Gallery, 122 NW 8th Ave., 225-0210. Free.
Everything Is Water
COURTESY OF LAURA RUSSO GALLERY
Willamette Week DECEMBER 16, 2015 wweek.com
Vibrant, colorful, geometric shapes monopolize this show, which consists of large textile collages and small lasercut prints by artist Mark R. Smith. His intent to build labyrinthine imagery that suggest the pathways of the historic silk trade route and the online black market comes through in these paintings—most obviously in “Spiritual” and “Practice,” where Smith juxtaposes what appears to be a continuous circuit of digital wiring with elaborate embroidered fabric. Smith’s work references pixelated images, but combined with his laborious process and tactile materials, the outcome is more than two-dimensional. Similar to the intrigue and pull of the Internet, I left the gallery wanting to see more. KYLA FOSTER. Through Jan. 2. Elizabeth Leach Gallery, 417 NW 9th Ave., 224-0521. Free.
Dense and elaborate designs of tropical leaves and foliage are the result of Tori Bryer’s twenty years of artistic experimentation. She runs live plant samples through her press and layers the prints in gentle pastels, tropical blues, yellows and metallic silvers. Blocky, smooth base layers of solid color serve to balance out the more organic shapes in a compelling blend of textures that intrigues and plays with your eyes. HILARY TSAI. Through Jan. 2. Blackfish Gallery, 420 NW 9th Ave., 224-2634. Free.
Winter Group is mostly large prints from artists who have recently shown at the Hartman Gallery, this collection’s central theme is the interplay between
nature and human civilization. Some portray nature as a sublime force, like the ocean front that dwarfs the tiny figure on the shoreline in Jeffrey Conley’s “Figure and Tide.” Others, like Holly Andres’ “Summer of the Hornets #5” are glimpses into the bittersweet moments of everyday domestic life. It’s a small collection, but these artists cover a range of subjects, from outdoor recreation to racial tension and the balance between man-made structures and natural formations. HILARY TSAI. Through Jan. 30. Charles A. Hartman Fine Art, 134 NW 8th Ave., 287-3886. Free.
For more Visual Arts listings, visit
Pulp for the Tree Forget to buy gifts? Here are some of our favorite Portland books of 2015. BY JAM E S H E L M SWO RTH , M ATTH EW KO RF HAG E A N D M AT T H E W S I NGE R
is uniquely qualified to tell this Oregonian tale about his journey across the trail in a covered wagon with his brother. He’s a veteran journalist, capable of conveying his excitement about history to readers. He also grew up riding around in a covered wagon with his dad.
Portlandness: A Cultural Atlas,
BY DAVID BANIS AND HUNTER SHOBE
Are you a chicken-cooper worried about urban coyotes? Want to find the best path through the city to avoid surveillance cameras? There’s a map for that. Students in the geography program at Portland State University have mapped Portland as cultural topography, with charts of varying credibility and usefulness but unending curiosity—from the plight of the Portland honeybee to the ghosts of former ethnic enclaves.
BY KELLY SUE DECONNICK
New Construction, BY SAM ALDEN
Veritable seas of ink have been spilled about millennials, primarily concerning whether they deserve to exist or not. Thankfully, Portland native Sam Alden, who daylights as a storyboarder on Adventure Time, has concerned himself with what this existence is actually like. Alden’s characters are idealistic, self-absorbed millennial idiots. But Alden brings their foibles to life with a hyper-detailed, cinematic drawing style, showing them for what they really are: just the next batch of humans, flailing their way through the world.
Turtleface and Beyond, BY ARTHUR BRADFORD
Arthur Bradford is a master of the shaggy dog, tales whose logic is driven by drunken stumble. In these short stories, a man might dive painfully face-first into the shell of a tortoise just underwater. Characters might stick their feet in woodchippers or let their babies eat poisonous berries while doing drugs. But as with Denis Johnson’s Jesus’ Son— which this linked collection sometimes resembles—Bradford has made goofball anecdote into an art of concision, with painful truth that sneaks up as if from behind.
Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl, BY CARRIE BROWNSTEIN
Yes, we know Carrie Brownstein is the sole reason your favorite bar got replaced by condos. But if you can overlook Brownstein’s repeated use of words like “jocose” and “interlocutor,” Hunger is an unexpectedly engrossing memoir, covering Brownstein’s nerdy childhood, her musical radicalization and rise to feminist punk idol with dry wit, sharp self-criticism and, best of all, only one passing reference to Fred Armisen.
The Oregon Trail: A New American Journey, BY RINKER BUCK
To attend elementary school in Oregon is to be inundated with everything Oregon Trail, from making wax candles to getting dysentery on the video game. Though New Jersey native Rinker Buck is the only non-Portlander on this list, he
As nerd culture has made its scrabbling rise from damp basements, the light of day has exposed its deeply messed-up treatment of women. The antidote: Bitch P l a n e t . O ve r t h e course of five issues starting in January, Eisner Award winner Kelly Sue DeConnick brought us a story that’s equal parts Orange Is the New Black and The Handmaid’s Tale. In a dystopian future, a group of “fathers” calls all the shots, and women who don’t fit the mold are exiled to a prison planet. It’s the overtly feminist sci-fi we need right now. And, somehow, it’s really funny.
Undermajordomo Minor, BY PATRICK DEWITT
The newest book by the author of Ablutions and The Sisters Brothers is a fairy tale without a moral, a deadpan picaresque that turns the folk story inside out. Its main character is an amoral weakling and cheerful liar named Lucien Minor, who flees a village of dimwitted giants to work at a gloomy castle with nobles who have orgies and eat rats. The book is both oddly affecting and absurdly funny, a ribald vision of old Europe that falls somewhere between Twin Peaks and Kafka.
Steering the Craft, BY URSULA K. LE GUIN
Ostensibly a book of exercises for would-be writers, Ursula Le Guin’s book on the craft of fiction feels like something much more valuable: a warm, intelligent conversation with one of Oregon literature’s great masters. She rails politely against old writing dogma while asserting equally strongly that one must know the rules one’s breaking. But as with Strunk and White’s famous handbook, much of the instruction comes from example: Le Guin’s prose is almost moving in its clarity.
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Willamette Week DECEMBER 16, 2015 wweek.com
MOVIES = WW Pick. Highly recommended. Editor: ENID SPITZ. TO BE CONSIDERED FOR LISTINGS, send screening information at least two weeks in advance to Screen, WW, WW 2220 NW Quimby St., Portland, OR 97210.. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Fax: 243-1115.
OPENING THIS WEEK The Danish Girl
A In director Tom Hooper’s first film since
Les Miserables,, Eddie Redmayne plays Einar Wegener, one of the first people to undergo gender reassignment surgery, in the story from David Ebershoff’s novel of the same name. Wegener and his wife, Gerda (Alicia Vikander), a fellow artist and his best friend, make the perfect, hip art couple of 1920s Copenhagen. But the camera immediately drops hints of Einar’s internal conflict, pausing to catch him ogle Gerda’s rouge and face powder. When he stands in for one of Gerda’s models for a painting, Einar dons the name “Lili,” quivering with electricity at the touch of stockings on his skin and exuding Old World femininity with every flick of his eyelashes. When confronted with his male body, the pain in his face is nothing short of torture. As Einar sheds his masculine shell for longer periods, Lili becomes more than a game of dress-up between him and Gerda, and Hooper’s film drives it home as they prepare to say goodbye to the man who was Einar. R. LAUREN TERRY. Fox Tower.
B- The trailer is stunning—interviews with top filmmakers like Martin Scorsese and David Fincher come one right after another, and we’re promised an inside look at the iconic director, as told through interviews with an admirer half his age. The talking heads and the premise are there, but this documentary is more about a nonfiction book than anything else, and that can’t live up to the hype. When the French filmmaker François Truffaut wrote to Alfred Hitchcock, he didn’t expect a response. But he got one, and an interview, and the series of recorded sessions that followed both bonded the men in a close friendship and mined details that Hitchcock never told anyone else. The titular book that Truffaut published in 1966 is a filmmaker’s bible now—“I had a paperback. It’s not even a book anymore. It’s like a stack of papers,” says Wes Anderson. But for all the memorable one-liners from Hitchcock and praise piled on him, Hitchcock/Truffaut does the opposite of the director’s own films. It shows its cards too soon. NR. ENID SPITZ. Cinema 21.
Amy Poehler and Tina Fey add to their empire with this comedy about two sisters with opposite personalities (and who look nothing alike) hosting one final rager in their parents’ house before they sell it. Directed by Jason Moore of Pitch Perfect fame. Screened after deadline. See wweek. com for James Helmsworth’s review. PG-13. Cedar Hills, Eastport, Clackamas, Mill Plain, Cornelius, Oak Grove, Cinema 99, Bridgeport, City Center, Division, Evergreen, Hilltop, Lloyd Center, Movies on TV, Sherwood, Tigard, Wilsonville, Sandy.
STILL SHOWING Ant-Man
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. Ex-con Scott Lang (a beefed-up Paul Rudd) invades the home of Dr. Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) and finds a weird-looking suit that can shrink its wearer to insect size while granting super strength and the ability to control ants telepathically. He’s nobody’s favorite superhero, but director Peyton Reed is fully aware of this dopiness, and just runs with it. If it were a comic book, it
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WE WATCHED THE FIRST SIX STAR WARS MOVIES WITH BUBBLE HASH MADE FROM SIX STAR WARS-THEMED CANNABIS STRAINS. HERE’S WHAT WE LEARNED. BY TYLER H URST a n d K.C. SWA IN
The Phantom Menace
Jedi OG with Platinum OG Kush bubble hash
The plot: Two Jedi, padawan and master, are assigned to investigate a trade dispute on Naboo, discover a plot to invade the planet, and escape to a desert planet where they recruit a young, Force-strong Anakin Skywalker to join their mission. Takeaway: The Jedi are incredibly unobservant. Even Keyser Soze had a better disguise than Palpatine’s hood and no one noticed? We’re pretty sure Darth Plagueis impregnated Shmi. Is Force-rape a criminal offense?
Attack of the Clones
Yoda OG with Platinum OG Kush bubble hash
The plot: A grown-up and somehow whinier Anakin Skywalker, along with his master, Obi-Wan Kenobi, help start an unjust war while routinely endangering those they’re assigned to protect. Takeaway: Padmé has a Mary Kay Letourneau vibe here, wearing increasingly sexy outfits while saying out loud how terribly bad it would be for her to get it on with young Anakin. Also, would this movie be harmed by making Anakin mute?
Revenge of the Sith
Skywalker OG with Platinum OG Kush bubble hash The plot: The ever more powerful Jedi
Knight Anakin Skywalker turns against everything he claims to love and dooms the galaxy to a 20-year war. Takeaway: Anakin reminds one of a whitetrash country singer in no way capable of handling fame or “deserving” of his innate talent. Also, his alter ego Darth Vader is the most prolific serial killer of all time. Oh, and the Jedi are even dumber in this movie.
A New Hope
Death Star OG with Platinum OG Kush bubble hash
The plot: Rebel forces in droid form team up with a farm boy, a senile Jedi master, and a pair of scoundrels to save the princess and destroy the Death Star. Takeaway: First, Sensi Star crossed with Sour Diesel is one helluva roller-coaster high. Second, Obi-Wan Kenobi displays a deep sadness in this episode, sounding like a defeated old man resigned to his eventual fate. Also, we agree that the droids must have had their memories wiped, right?
The Empire Strikes Back
We’re still not sure how the wampa froze Luke’s feet into the ice cave ceiling.
Return of the Jedi
Ewok OG and Skywalker OG with Platinum OG Kush bubble hash
The plot: A team of Rebels free their ally from a well-known crime lord and then work together to take on the Emperor and his under-construction Death Star. Takeaway: Leia is one helluva fighter and one of the strongest female characters who isn’t touted as “just” a soldier. She took out speeder bikes, made nice with the natives, and defeated Stormtroopers while being assaulted, after being captured, and while injured. And, unlike the rest of the Skywalker clan, never lost her hand.
The Force Awakens
Starkiller OG with Platinum OG Kush bubble hash
The plot: Force users wake up. Takeaway: We’ll let you know after we see it at 2 am.
Master Yoda with Platinum OG Kush bubble hash
The plot: Not-quite Jedi Master Luke helps the Rebels escape an invasion, abandons his friends as they flee, and then has to be saved after he fails to prevent them from falling into a trap set for him. Takeaway: If Luke kills Darth Vader, he becomes him. What a pity Kenobi didn’t have a cave like that to show Anakin, right? Willamette Week DECEMBER 16, 2015 wweek.com
Willamette Week DECEMBER 16, 2015 wweek.com
MOVIES Black Mass
A- Much like the city’s other exports, Boston’s gangster flicks vary in quality from genre-shattering genius (The Departed, most ‘90s bands, the people who invented America) to mind-numbing pantomimes of misogyny (The Boondock Saints, Boston sports fans, Mark Wahlberg). Scott Cooper’s Black Mass is the latest cinematic try. It tells the story of Boston’s most notorious criminal, James “Whitey” Bulger (Johnny Depp) and the deal he made with the FBI’s John Connolly (Joel Edgerton) that ensured he could do whatever he wanted for decades. For those doubting Depp’s acting since he just spent a decade doing a Keith Richards impression for Disney, Black Mass should put those doubts to rest. Depp captures Bulger as an affable family man, then a sociopathic murderer. He’s tortured by grief, then tortures someone ruthlessly. Yet all of Bulger’s turns are grounded in the same animal intensity, and when he appears at the door to Connolly’s bedroom, he’s every bit as scary as Freddy Krueger. Edgerton excels too, allowing Connolly to build up a clumsy swagger as Whitey builds power. Make no mistake: Within the canon of Boston gangster movies, this one is decidedly of the first order. R. JAMES HELMSWORTH. Laurelhurst.
Bridge of Spies
B- Steven Spielberg was born to convey viewers through weird and wonderful alternate realities. Even though history is nearly as illusory as a dinosaur theme park, the director’s gift just doesn’t shine as brightly when he contends with humanity’s past. Bridge of Spies, starring Tom Hanks as an insurance lawyer recruited by the U.S. government to negotiate a spy-for-spy trade with the Soviet Union, benefits from a caustic screenplay by the Coen brothers. While Spielberg is pretty good even when he’s on auto-pilot, there is little here that doesn’t feel perfunctory. PG-13. CHRIS STAMM. Clackamas, Lake Theater, Moreland, Bridgeport, City Center, Movies on TV, Tigard.
A- Based on the title alone, you’d
assume that Brooklyn is about a group of artists opening a boutique that sells only dog hoodies. It’s not—Brooklyn is a lovely period romance about a young Irish woman trying to make her way in 1950s New York—but since it’s set in the ’50s, everybody’s dressed exactly like they are now and listens to music the same way. Based on the novel by Irish author Colm Tóibín and adapted by Nick Hornby (High Fidelty, About a Boy), Brooklyn is just the sweetest thing. Saoirse Ronan (Atonement) makes an adorable couple with Emory Cohen (Smash), and I could watch them court for hours, especially their awkward dinners with Cohen’s Italian family. Portlanders will especially love the more subtle message: Untold wonders await you if you leave your shitty small town and move to New York’s coolest borough. PG-13. ALEX FALCONE. Cedar Hills, Eastport, Clackamas, CineMagic, Cinema 21, Bridgeport, Movies on TV.
B+ If you’re a fan of modern interpretations of classic Greek drama or showmanship in the style of Baz Luhrman, then this is the Spike Lee joint you’ve been waiting for. Based on Aristophanes’ comedy Lysistrata, Lee tells the tale of an indomitable heroine rallying women from both sides of the Peloponnesian War to withhold sex in order to force the armies to negotiate peace. Through the lens of modern, vibrant, Spike Lee-styled Chicago, the classic takes on a gritty texture. In an unsuccessful homage to its Grecian roots, much of Chi-Raq’s dialogue rhymes, resembling a draft of “Dr. Seuss Goes to Englewood.” But the story is grounded by Teyonah Parris’ tremendous performance as the modern-day Lysistrata, serving up enough diva to match Lee’s brazen tone. She struts the Chicago streets in time to thumping basslines from the soundtrack. Though slight gun-violence rhetoric snowballs into a discussion of the military industrial complex, low wages, and unem-
ployment—this unabashed, glittering spectacle is still absolutely riveting. To quote Spike Lee’s Lysistrata, “Peace, peace, and hair grease.” R. LAUREN TERRY. Cinema 21, Hollywood.
REVIEW C O U R T E S Y O F WA LT D I S N E Y S T U D I O S
wouldn’t be the kind you put in a Mylar bag. It’d be one that you read with greasy fingers and childlike relish. PG-13. AP KRYZA. Vancouver.
A- Rocky is almost entirely a good
movie. Most of the sequels are mostly good, while some of them are almost not bad. Creed—the seventh movie in the Rocky franchise—is more like the original Rocky than its sequels because it’s mostly good, but also because it’s almost entirely the same movie as Rocky. It feels more like an apology for the mediocre Rocky movies we’ve endured, more like a series reboot than a sequel, featuring a stronger young actor in Michael B. Jordan. And it does all this while still paying respect to its predecessors, even the bad ones. Sylvester Stallone’s aging Rocky holds his own, returning the character to his charming, steak-faced mumblecore roots that went missing for a couple of decades. PG-13. ALEX FALCONE. Cedar Hills, Eastport, Clackamas, Mill Plain, Cornelius, Oak Grove, Cinema 99, Bridgeport, City Center, Division, Evergreen, Hilltop, Lloyd Center, Movies on TV, Pioneer Place, Sherwood, Tigard, Wilsonville, Sandy, St. Johns Cinemas.
B+ “It’s not a ghost story. It’s a story
with ghosts in it,” says heroine Edith Cushing (Mia Wasikowska) early on in Guillermo del Toro’s macabre gothic romance Crimson Peak. She’s describing the novel she’s just submitted to a condescending publisher, but she might as well be describing Crimson Peak itself. Yes, there is all manner of ghosts in this gorgeous, tragic tale—some floating above twisted stairwells, others soaking in blood-filled bathtubs or skittering down dark hallways to deliver foreboding warnings—but to call Crimson Peak a horror film is to completely mislabel what del Toro has meticulously crafted: an oldfashioned tale of twisted souls and timeless longing in which spirits guide us through the central mystery. It’s certainly creepy, but scary isn’t really the point. As with del Toro’s essential Pan’s Labyrinth and The Devil’s Backbone—the latter of which gets some chilling visual callbacks here—Crimson Peak is a film in which the things that go bump in the night are not nearly as terrifying as the people who walk the earth. And while Peak is lacking in the deep allegorical content and emotional heft that defined those films, it represents the director at the height of his visual game, resulting in a film so immersive and gorgeous, the plot is almost secondary, allowing the actors to chew the rather delicious scenery. R. AP KRYZA. Academy, Kennedy School, Laurelhurst, Valley.
B+ In this film, there is no question about life and death; your body is dying as you summit Mt. Everest. The question is whether you can survive long enough to get back down. In 1996 a stranded group of climbers met a massive storm at the top of the world. Led by New Zealand mountaineer Rob Hall (Jason Clarke), the team included writer Jon Krakauer (Michael Kelly), who later wrote the book Into Thin Air about the experience. Today’s CGI and 3D technology puts the viewer on the mountain in a visceral way. One can’t help but shiver as the characters ease across staggering crevasses on narrow ladders. The competitive tension between Hall and hotshot American climber Scott Fischer (Jake Gyllenhaal) moves the plot along quickly as each man is driven to test the boundaries of safe practices for the sake of pride. PG-13. LAUREN TERRY. Academy, Laurelhurst, Vancouver, Valley.
The Good Dinosaur
B- Set among the breathtaking landscapes of the American frontier, The Good Dinosaur is a Little House on the Prairiestyle rendering of pioneer life, except, of course, all the characters are talking dinosaurs living in an alternate reality where a certain fateful asteroid never made impact. It’s a movie we’ve all seen before, particularly from Disney, though its predictability doesn’t hamper its charm. The runt among his siblings, Arlo is a young
CONT. on page 48
THE NEW GUARD: Daisy Ridley, BB8 and John Boyega.
ter news is that he’s not in awe of it. Yes, the line “Chewie, we’re home” will cause 30-somethings to clutch their limited-edition wookiee action figOne does not simply reboot Star Wars. Sorry, wrong franchise. But for real, though. If ures to their chest, but the nostalgia filters to the there’s one thing we know about Star Wars fans, it’s film’s edges. This is the first installment of a new that they’re as resistant to change as any religious trilogy, which means developing new heroes and zealot, even when it’s coming from their bearded, villains for a generation that doesn’t know Dooku bullfrog-necked god himself. You couldn’t change the from Lando. John Boyega excels as Finn, the Bowe damn credits font without risking a message-board Bergdahl of Stormtroopers, as does Daisy Ridley, lynching. And so, the best thing that can be said about playing a desert-planet scavenger who…well, better not to go into more detail than The Force Awakens—J.J. Abrams’ that. As Darth Vader fanboy first crack at repairing the damKylo Ren, Adam Driver spends age done by the useless prequels Some guys in the movie speaking through a and the revisionist tinkering of fast-food microphone, yet conOur Father Who Shall Not Be helmets are veys more conflicted emotion Named—is that it’s classicist in than all the sentient planks of threatening the way of a well-executed neowood that starred in Episodes soul record, crackling with familpeace in the I through III combined. By the iarity without bowing to the altar end, none is yet fully formed— of history. galaxy, and with the exception of the droid In form, it’s almost oldBB8, the illegitimate son of fashioned. There’s no Dark it’s up to, WALL-E and a yoga ball—but Knight-style brooding, no ringagain, this is only the beginwell, youa-ding-ding dialogue a la The ning. Avengers or Guardians of the
“CHEWIE, WE’RE HOME.”
know-who to Galaxy. The action is fairly nonAnd that’s mostly the feelstop, but not shot up with meth ing you’ll have leaving the stop them. and Red Bull like Mad Max: theater—that all you’ve really Fury Road. Unlike the Jar-Jar seen is the first third of a series Years, which bogged down in intergalactic bureau- that’s going to take the next half-decade to climax. cracy, the story here is pretty simple: Some guys in All you can ask of Abrams is that he leave you in helmets are threatening peace in the galaxy, and it’s anticipation. It’d be difficult for even the most hardup to, well, you-know-who to stop them. It’s broad core Star Wars evangelical to argue that he hasn’t. and sometimes corny, and hardly a line is spoken MATTHEW SINGER. that isn’t expository. In other words, it’s friggin’ Star A- SEE IT: Star Wars: The Force Awakens is rated Wars, dude. PG-13. It opens Friday at most Portland-area theaters. But while Abrams embraces tradition, the betWillamette Week DECEMBER 16, 2015 wweek.com
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A- It’s easy to be skeptical about a
2015 Goosebumps ﬁlm in 3-D. Jack Black plays R.L. Stine, who joins forces with a couple of cute kids to ﬁght every monster he’s ever written about and save the town. PG. ALEX FALCONE. Academy, Avalon, Laurelhurst, Mt. Hood, Movies on TV.
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 2
Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens (XD-3D) (PG-13) 9:00AM 12:20PM 3:40PM 7:00PM 10:20PM Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens (3D) (PG13) 9:40AM 9:40AM ® 10:00AM 11:00AM 1:00PM 1:00PM ® 1:30PM 2:20PM 4:20PM 4:20PM ® 5:00PM 5:40PM 7:40PM 7:40PM ® 8:30PM 9:00PM 11:00PM 11:00PM ® Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens (PG-13) 9:15AM 10:20AM 11:40AM 12:45PM 1:40PM 3:00PM 4:00PM 5:00PM 6:20PM 7:20PM 8:20PM 9:40PM 10:45PM 11:30PM Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens (PG-13) 11:40AM ® 3:00PM ® 6:20PM ® 9:40PM ® Sisters (R) 9:10AM 10:40AM 12:10PM 1:40PM 3:10PM 4:40PM 6:10PM 7:40PM 9:10PM 10:40PM Spectre (PG-13) 11:55AM 3:30PM 7:00PM 10:25PM Night Before, The (R) 9:15AM 12:00PM 2:40PM 5:15PM 7:55PM 10:40PM
Spotlight (R) 12:35PM 7:05PM Love The Coopers (PG-13) 9:50AM 4:05PM 10:35PM Brooklyn (PG-13) 12:35PM 7:05PM Creed (PG-13) 10:00AM 1:10PM 4:20PM 7:30PM 10:40PM Martian, The (PG-13) 9:10AM 3:35PM 10:20PM Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip (PG) 9:55AM 11:15AM 12:25PM 1:45PM 2:55PM 4:15PM 5:30PM 6:45PM 8:00PM 9:15PM 10:30PM In The Heart Of The Sea (PG-13) 10:05AM 1:05PM 4:10PM 7:15PM 10:25PM Krampus (PG-13) 10:00AM 12:30PM 3:05PM 5:35PM 8:05PM 10:35PM Good Dinosaur, The (PG) 11:10AM 1:50PM 4:25PM 7:10PM 9:45PM Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2, The (PG-13) 9:45AM 12:55PM 4:10PM 7:20PM 10:30PM
Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens (3D) (PG-13) 9:00AM 10:20AM 11:30AM 11:40AM 1:00PM 2:20PM 3:40PM 5:00PM 7:40PM 9:00PM 10:00PM 10:20PM 11:40PM Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens (PG-13) 9:40AM 11:00AM 12:20PM 1:30PM 3:20PM 4:20PM 5:00PM 5:40PM 6:40PM 7:00PM 8:20PM 8:40PM 11:00PM Krampus (PG-13) 9:45AM 12:20PM 2:55PM 5:25PM 7:55PM 10:25PM Martian, The (PG-13) 10:20PM In The Heart Of The Sea (PG-13) 1:30PM 4:30PM 7:30PM Spotlight (R) 10:00AM 4:15PM 10:35PM Sisters (R) 10:30AM 1:30PM 4:30PM 7:40PM 10:30PM Spectre (PG-13) 1:00PM 7:15PM
Bajirao Mastani (Eros International) (NR) 10:40AM 6:00PM
Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens (PG-13) 9:50AM 10:10AM 12:00PM 1:10PM 1:30PM 2:50PM 3:15PM 5:20PM 6:35PM 7:00PM 8:40PM 9:55PM 10:20PM 11:35PM Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens (3D) (PG-13) 8:45AM 10:40AM 11:30AM 12:20PM 2:00PM 3:40PM 4:30PM 4:55PM 6:10PM 7:50PM 8:10PM 9:30PM 11:10PM 12:01AM Night Before, The (R) 2:00PM 7:45PM Martian, The (PG-13) 6:55PM 10:10PM Peanuts Movie, The (G) 11:15AM 1:40PM 4:15PM Spectre (PG-13) 11:40AM 3:10PM 6:50PM 10:10PM Sisters (R) 11:05AM 1:55PM 4:45PM 7:35PM 10:25PM
In The Heart Of The Sea (PG-13) 10:45AM 4:35PM 10:40PM Brooklyn (PG-13) 10:55AM 4:50PM 10:30PM Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip (PG) 9:15AM 11:50AM 2:20PM 4:50PM 7:15PM 9:45PM Krampus (PG-13) 11:45AM 2:30PM 5:10PM 8:00PM 10:40PM Creed (PG-13) 10:00AM 1:05PM 4:15PM 7:25PM 10:30PM In The Heart Of The Sea (3D) (PG-13) 1:40PM 7:30PM Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2, The (PG-13) 9:10AM 12:20PM 3:45PM 7:00PM 10:15PM Good Dinosaur, The (PG) 11:00AM 1:35PM 4:20PM 7:05PM 9:40PM
Brooklyn (PG-13) 11:15AM 2:05PM 4:50PM 7:35PM In The Heart Of The Sea (3D) (PG-13) 10:30AM 10:30PM Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip (PG) 10:00AM 12:25PM 2:50PM 5:15PM 7:40PM 10:05PM Good Dinosaur, The (PG) 10:00AM 12:30PM 3:00PM 5:30PM 8:00PM 10:30PM Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2, The (PG-13) 10:00AM 1:05PM 4:15PM 7:25PM 10:35PM Creed (PG-13) 10:10AM 1:20PM 4:25PM 7:30PM 10:35PM Dilwali (UTV Communications) (NR) 2:10PM 9:30PM
Willamette Week DECEMBER 16, 2015 wweek.com
B Mockingjay Part 2, the conclusion of the Hunger Games series, looks spectacular. The burned-out shells of future mega-city the Capitol set a perfect mood, the costumes are inventive and cool, and the acting is almost too good since it results in many great actors having only a couple lines. And yet, all that solid artistic work almost, but not entirely, distracts from the fact that MJP2 is a supremely goofy movie. Set during the conclusion of the revolution started in Catching Fire, Katniss Everdeen leads a group of rebels against the Capitol, which has been booby trapped with hot oil, lasers, and an army of lizard people. It’s…silly. If you’re on the fence about seeing Mockingjay 2, you’ll just need to decide if you like great acting more than you hate lizard people. PG-13. ALEX FALCONE. Bagdad, Cedar Hills, Eastport, Clackamas, Mill Plain, Cornelius, Milwaukie, Oak Grove, Cinema 99, Bridgeport, City Center, Division, Evergreen, Hilltop, Lloyd Center, Movies on TV, Pioneer Place, Sherwood, Tigard, Wilsonville, Sandy, St. Johns Cinemas.
In the Heart of the Sea
C In the Heart of the Sea is not Moby Dick: The Movie. It’s based on a 2000 nonﬁction book by Nathaniel Philbrick about the crew of the Essex, a whaling vessel that sank in 1820. But director Ron Howard knows people want it to be Moby Dick: The Movie, so Philbrick’s book is mashed up with scenes of a ﬁctionalized Herman Melville researching his famous novel. While the ﬁrst half is a marvelous, swashbuckling adventure about the Essex as it leaves Nantucket, crewed by the handsome but mealy-mouthed Chris Hemsworth and the newest Spider-Man (ﬁnally, a new Spider-Man!), Tom Holland, its second half is just a group of shipwrecked men slowly starving to death. It’s boring. Even when they start eating each other. PG-13. ALEX FALCONE. Cedar Hills, Eastport, Clackamas, Mill Plain, Cornelius, Oak Grove, Cinema 99, Bridgeport, City Center, Division, Evergreen, Fox Tower, Hilltop, Lloyd Center, Movies on TV, Sherwood, Tigard, Wilsonville, Sandy, St. Johns Theater.
A- Pretty much everybody in the
theater was sobbing at some point during Inside Out. It’s sad. Crushingly, relentlessly sad. And absolutely brilliant from writer-director Pete Docter (Up). It’s not about depression per se. It’s about young Riley, who has to move across the country for her dad’s job, and the tiny people in her head who represent her emotions. The main story seems aimed more at parents and, to a lesser extent, older kids. There’s a talking elephant made of cotton candy to help occupy the littles, but you will
REVIEW GIANNI FIORITO
apatosaurus fearful of everything. When his father tries to teach him a lesson in bravery, things go foreseeably tragic in a scene ripped straight from The Lion King. Arlo ﬁnds himself far from home and all alone when he befriends a young Neanderthal boy named Spot who becomes both his pet and protector. Hijinks ensue, life lessons are learned, and a gonzo acid trip is thrown in for laughs (of which there are many). The reason to see this movie whether or not you have kids in tow (and to spring the extra cash for 3-D) is the truly stunning visuals, with landscapes so realistically rendered by Pixar’s wizard technology that you could just as easily be watching a Planet Earth documentary, with dinosaurs. PG. PENELOPE BASS. Cedar Hills, Eastport, Clackamas, Mill Plain, Cornelius, Edgeﬁeld, Milwaukie, Oak Grove, Cinema 99, Bridgeport, City Center, Division, Evergreen, Hilltop, Lloyd Center, Movies on TV, Pioneer Place, Sherwood, Tigard, Wilsonville, Sandy.
CAINE AND ABLE: Michael Caine.
Your Youth Is Showing I spent the bulk of Youth feeling like I must be missing an important metaphor, or 20, because I’m too young. Or American. Or just dumb. Or it’s possible the emperor is just buck naked, despite being a well-respected filmmaker working with an all-star cast. That wouldn’t surprise me, because Italian filmmaker and Oscar-winner Paolo Sorrentino’s film is full of nudity. Some is fun, like when old-guy best friends Michael Caine and Harvey Keitel are sitting in a pool and Miss Universe joins them. But most of it feels incidental and almost rude, as if the camera crew kept showing up while minor characters were changing and just started shooting. This could be artistically important—a visual differentiator between the old and young, fake and real. Or maybe Italians just like butts in films. As Caine and Keitel (Caintel) pal around a five-star resort in the Swiss Alps, the stunning setting turns out to be a double-edged sword. In swordplay, that would actually be useful, unless one blade is on the handle. So, let’s assume we mean “a sword with a blade on the handle for some reason.” Edge No. 1: It’s beautiful. Every frame of the movie looks like an indie-rock album cover, with amazing shots of steaming pools, fields of Swiss cows and outdoor concerts on a rotating stage. Edge No. 2 (the one that cuts you): It feels like a prison. There’s nothing to do but sit around in your album cover and talk and talk. Caintel sit around talking about the past and how much they piss, which doesn’t sound cute or important, even from Michael Caine. Then they make profound pronouncements: “You say emotions don’t matter. Emotions are all we have.” Then a naked person or a cow walks by, and it might mean something. A lot of stuff might—like, why does Caine’s daughter make out with the ugly mountaineer? Why is Paul Dano dressed like Hitler? After a masseuse gives Caine a hand job, why do we watch her play Dance Dance Revolution, like, eight times? It really looks like I can see the emperor’s dick. But I’m probably just dumb. ALEX FALCONE.
Does watching Michael Caine ever get old?
C SEE IT: Youth is rated PG-13. It opens Friday at most Portland-area theaters.
love it, because it’s great. And since you’re paying for it, screw them. PG. ALEX FALCONE. Academy, Avalon, Mt. Hood.
B+ Nancy Meyers’ latest ﬁlm successfully tells a funny, intergenerational story without relying on health scare or a youthful makeover for Ben (Robert De Niro). As an active widower and retiree in need of something to keep himself busy, Ben applies to a senior internship program at “About the Fit,” a Topshop-like online clothing site founded by the dedicated Jules Ostin (Anne Hathaway). Besides taking place in a squeaky-clean, caucasian version of Brooklyn, this movie doesn’t shy away from the less-glamorous details of being a female CEO in a society that is still playing catch-up, at one point showing condescending glances from Jules’ fellow mothers at her daughter’s school. De Niro does a terriﬁc job embodying the amused patience his generation must adopt to survive
in a millennial’s world. He wears a suit every day out of habit, but his unquestioning admiration of Jules’ tenacity is a refreshingly modern concept, serving as a reminder that the timeless art of being a gentleman begins with respect. PG-13. LAUREN TERRY. Academy, Kennedy School, Lake Theater, Laurelhurst, Mt. Hood, Vancouver, Joy, Valley.
B- They used to say a cup of tea could ﬁx anything in England back in the 1960s, which is when racketeering brothers Ronnie and Reggie Kray (both played by Tom Hardy, who is hard not to enjoy) started ruling London’s criminal underworld. Unfortunately, Earl Grey can’t ﬁx the scattered scenes and haphazard plot of the new feature written and directed by Academy Award winner Brian Helgeland (L.A. Conﬁdential, A Knight’s Tale). Hardy is its saving grace, valiantly dual acting in the roles of the very diﬀerent twin brothers. He’s perfectly conﬂicted as Ronnie
B- Take the buzz surrounding The Martian with a boulder of salt. It’s just a pretty good sci-ﬁ yarn based on Andy Weir’s book that stumbles on its own ambition. When a massive storm hits the Martian exploration project and Watney’s team leaves him for dead, the skilled botanist realizes that the only way to avoid starvation and space madness is to “science the shit” out of his situation. Evoking Ron Howard’s Apollo 13 more than Scott’s own (unfairly) maligned Prometheus, The Martian is nowhere near as grim as a space survivalist ﬁlm could be. As always, Scott’s direction is spot-on. Alas, Scott’s hand is almost always too cold when it comes to working with a human touch. As a result, The Martian feels like the two Ridley Scotts—one a gifted craftsman and one who made fucking Robin Hood— clashed in the writing room and compromised by splicing together two very diﬀerent ﬁlms. PG-13. AP KRYZA. Cedar Hills, Eastport, Clackamas, Cornelius, Bridgeport, City Center, Division, Evergreen, Lloyd Center, Movies on TV, Pioneer Place, Sherwood.
Mission: Impossible: Rogue Nation
A The newest installment in the Tom Cruise-led series is top-of-class for the genre. Sure, James Bond had his Walther P99 pistol-equipped surfboard, but Rogue Nation uses cool spy gadgets to perfection, like the sniper riﬂe built into a bassoon for all your opera-hall assassination needs. And Tom’s aging actually plays well in the movie without becoming a huge deal. The only thing missing is the mushy, romancy stuﬀ. But that’s another appeal of the franchise. It’s not sappy. 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. Vancouver.
ﬁlmmaker and fashion addict Lisa Immordino Vreeland throws viewers into the closeted, batshit world of the woman who imagined London’s ﬁrst modern art museum, slept with Samuel Beckett, commissioned Jackson Pollock’s largest-ever work for her front entry, and once had an original Dalí delivered to her in bed. A black sheep of the world’s most famous family of curators, Peggy Guggenheim was an oddball—she shaved her eyebrows at school just for the hell of it, chats nonchalantly in interviews about her dozens of abortions and was so notoriously cheap that she served shitty wine and old pasta to Picasso at her art parties. But the ﬁlm captures her insanity with sympathy (and a bigger budget than most arthouse biopics have). Even the most casual art users could easily be hooked by the story of this enfant terrible. NR. ENID SPITZ. Living Room Theaters.
The Peanuts Movie
A bald child named Charlie battles questionable fashion choices, impossible odds and burgeoning hormones. G. Cedar Hills, Eastport, Clackamas, Forest Theatre, Oak Grove, Cinema 99, Bridgeport, City Center, Division, Evergreen, Hilltop, Lloyd Center, Movies on TV, Sherwood, Tigard, Wilsonville.
B+ In this riveting adaptation of Emma Donoghue’s novel, an abducted woman must raise her son in a conﬁned space, To maintain a stimulating setting, Ma (Brie Larson) creates a social environment with anthropomorphized characters named Bed and Lamp. R. LAUREN TERRY. Fox Tower.
Secret in Their Eyes
C Ray (Chiwetel Ejiofor) is an earnest FBI investigator determined to convict the man who murdered the daughter of his colleague Jess (Julia Roberts). After initially failing to arrest the killer, Ray has spent the past 13 years poring through hundreds of mug shots in hopes of building a case, and he may have just found the killer. PG-13. LAUREN TERRY. Cedar Hills, Eastport, Oak Grove, City Center, Division, Fox Tower, Hilltop, Wilsonville, Sandy.
A How do you like your tension?
Relentless? Then you’re in luck, my friend, because Sicario is like a broken elevator; it never lets up. OK, that joke doesn’t work, but the crime thriller starring Emily Blunt (The Devil Wears Prada) does. She’s a talented FBI agent specially recruited into a task force ﬁghting a brutal (and questionably legal) war against Mexican drug cartels. She spends the whole movie confused and on edge
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Director Joe Wright (Atonement, Hanna) remakes the iconic children’s story as a modern-day action ﬂick with Hugh Jackman and Rooney Mara. Screened after deadline. PG. Avalon, Kennedy School, Vancouver.
Peggy Guggenheim: Art Addict
A In the tradition of Grey Gardens,
and charming as Reggie. Helgeland might be known for building suspense, sure, but the two-hour wait for something climactic turns this movie into a ramble of thick East End accents and too many unrealized plotlines. We get Reggie’s wife, Frances (Emily Browning), pushing him to drop the gangster act, the drama of Ronnie Kray being gay, the twins ﬁghting to rule the London underworld while struggling to run multiple booze-ﬁlled nightclubs—it all oﬀers some vibrant action, like when Reggie stabs a gangster repeatedly with a butter knife. But it’s mainly loose ends the movie tries to tie up with some good old gangster violence. Sorry, Hardy. R. AMY WOLFE. Fox Tower.
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SISTERS Willamette Week DECEMBER 16, 2015 wweek.com
C+ How do you like your James Bond? Brooding and brutal, or breezily throwing out quips? Should he drink craft cocktails or Heineken? Spectre—the 26th Bond ﬁlm—has it all, and more. The one thing it doesn’t have is the ability to leave a lasting impression. We walk out of the theater neither shaken nor stirred. Following the impressive Skyfall, director Sam Mendes returns to the director’s chair. Buildings crumble, helicopters do barrel rolls, and Daniel Craig nonchalantly causes millions in property damage. But from the minute Sam Smith’s grating theme music starts, the movie slides downhill. Most disappointing is Christoph Waltz—so perfect in Inglourious Basterds and Django Unchained—who just sneers, cackles and hunches. Sure, there’s fun to be had— Bond drives a tricked-out ride through Rome’s narrow streets and engages in an Alpine plane chase before the anticlimactic conclusion (extremely uncommon for the series) lands with a dull thud. Considering everybody who’s involved in Spectre, the very last reaction anybody expected was “meh.” PG-13. AP KRYZA. Cedar Hills, Eastport, Clackamas, Mill Plain, Cornelius, Oak Grove, Cinema 99, Bridgeport, City Center, Division, Evergreen, Hilltop, Lloyd Center, Movies on TV, Pioneer Place, Sherwood, Tigard, Wilsonville, Sandy.
A- Spotlight inverts the usual comparison: It’s a movie that feels like prestige television. Speciﬁcally, it feels like The Wire. (Director Tom McCarthy played the fabricating reporter Scott Templeton in season 5 of the HBO series.) An Oscar favorite recounting how a Boston Globe investigative team uncovered an epidemic of pederast priests abetted by the Archdiocese, Spotlight borrows the rhythms of a propulsive TV procedural. It resists the temptation for selfcongratulation. Instead, there’s a pall of communal guilt (much of it Catholic), an acknowledgement that a Pulitzer Prize won’t erase decades of conniving at rape. Spotlight is endurable because the actors, a White Guys in Khakis hall of fame including Liev Schreiber, Michael Keaton and Mark Ruﬀalo, decline to grandstand. They convey through small gestures—a twitch, a sigh, a pause in scribbling notes—how each revelation presents both a horror and another puzzle to solve. The highest compliment I can pay Spotlight: I would watch this on TV. R. AARON MESH. Cedar Hills, Clackamas, Hollywood, Bridgeport, Evergreen, Fox Tower, Sherwood.
A- Working tirelessly in a laundry since the age of 7, Maud Watts (Carey Mulligan) ﬁnally puts her iron down and takes up political activism in Suﬀragette. It’s a “pull yourself up by the silk stockings” story, and the ﬁlm’s own sisterhood is heavy with female star power. Meryl Streep as the stoic leader Emmeline Pankhurst can almost pull oﬀ saying, “I’d rather be a rebel than a slave.” And Helena Bonham Carter is perfectly at home in her steampunk rendition of a pharmacist’s wife who joins the movement. It’s a period piece, to be sure— all cotton blouses, large overcoats and the oxford shoes of 19th-century British women on the go. But Streep and Mulligan’s ﬁre when their characters protest against the prime minister or go on a hunger strike in jail makes you want to hoist the ﬂag. Watching Watts stand up against her perverted laundry boss, it seems like the good ﬁght is still raging. As the end credits roll, Suﬀragette lists every country that’s awarded women the right to vote so far. PG-13. AMY WOLFE. Fox Tower.
C Trainwreck feels like a two-hourplus sitcom in which the plot advances
only so Amy can rattle oﬀ some more standup. Not only does Amy Schumer sound like she’s just quoting her standup, all the characters sound like they’re quoting Amy Schumer’s standup. Even a screen full of funny people—Trainwreck is packed with Amy’s comedian friends—is more cringe- than laugh-worthy. Dave Attell plays a wacky homeless man, which probably shouldn’t happen in 2015, and Colin Quinn plays Amy’s racist dad. Even if it’s a character telling racist jokes, you’re still using racist jokes to get laughs. Even Schu’s acting is questionable. With her experience (theater degree, studied Meisner, worked oﬀ Broadway), I have to assume it was a choice for her character to wear a slight smirk for the entire movie. It’s the athletes who actually win. John Cena is charmingly terrible as a shortterm boyfriend unwilling to come out of the closet, and LeBron James has a big role as himself. Save your time, save your money, and most importantly, save your little heart from breaking. R. ALEX FALCONE. Laurelhurst.
AP FILM STUDIES W W S TA F F
while taking orders from the mysterious Benicio Del Toro (Snatch), who manages to act without ever fully opening his eyes or mouth. As the real mission of the task force slowly takes shape, so do beautiful sweeping helicopter shots of the border zone and heartbreaking vignettes of all the people aﬀected by drug war. It’s a powerful ﬁlm even if you never have anybody to root for. R. ALEX FALCONE. Academy, Kennedy School, Laurelhurst, Vancouver.
C+ Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad) is cooking up something other than meth in Trumbo. Cranston delivers a stellar performance as Dalton Trumbo, a rebellious screenwriter who despite being the highest-paid in the business in 1947, can’t stay out of trouble. He and nine other artists are blacklisted and jailed for refusing to testify before the House Un-American Activities Committee while conniving gossip columnist Hedda Hopper (Helen Mirren) fuels the media ﬁre. With the glowing Diane Lane looking better than ever as Trumbo’s wife, Cleo, and John Goodman adding comedy to the role of a questionable ﬁlm producer, the pronounced cast tries their best through the sometimes vague, sometimes triumphant events that played out in big-screen history. Viewers will spend the majority of the movie wanting to like the ﬁlm, with the acting far surpassing the storyline that fails to deliver a memorable message. This may be all the right ingredients, but just a bad batch. R. AMY WOLFE. Clackamas, Hollywood, Bridgeport, City Center, Fox Tower, Movies on TV.
C- Any time you watch a “reimagining” of a story in the public domain, you do so at your own peril. This retelling of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein answers the question, what if the main character was Igor, but with a straightened back, pretty hair and a girlfriend, and played by Daniel Radcliﬀ? Harry Potter does a herculean job of making Igor interesting, and the steampunk world is fun to look at, but neither of these can overcome the absolutely bonkers plot. There are too many villains and conﬂicting themes, and the ﬁnale takes place over a ﬁve-story ﬁre pit, for no apparent reason. It’s almost as if (I’m sorry, I can’t help it) the movie were a bunch of bad ideas sewn together so it can walk and talk but is never truly alive. Just remember, Frankenstein isn’t the monster; 20th Century Fox making another movie about Frankenstein is the monster. PG-13. ALEX FALCONE. Cedar Hills, Clackamas, Division.
B- M. Night Shyamalamadingdong has lost the luster of his early career, so it’s no surprise he’s making little $5 million found-footage horror movies. But this entry into cheap-shaky horror movies doesn’t add much to the genre. The Visit is told from the points of view of an unbelievably precocious 15-year-old who’s making a documentary about her ﬁrst trip to meet her estranged grandparents, and her 12-year-old brother, whose rapping is so bad it makes me want bad things to happen to him much faster than they do. The movie is packed full of jump scares and grossouts (vomit, poop, old people naked) and a cast of people you’ve probably never heard of. The ﬁlm’s got some tense scenes, but the humor, even though it’s unintentional, makes it hard to stay in the moment. “Little kid, will you climb into the oven please?” We’ll give it to M. Night, he does make us feel trapped in an uncomfortable spot. PG-13. ALEX FALCONE. Vancouver.
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Willamette Week DECEMBER 16, 2015 wweek.com
Where’s Walken? WALKEN-SPOTTING IN THE WEIRDEST PLACES. BY A P KRYZA
The Prophecy is a film steeped in weird. That’ll happen when you cast Christopher Walken as an evil Archangel Gabriel who comes to earth to win a civil war and destroy normal speech patterns. In the self-serious 1995 film, he perches on gravestones like a crow, gouges eyes, rages against the Almighty, shit-talks Satan and sports jet-black eyes—just in case Walken alone weren’t creepy enough. He’s played everything from a Russian roulette-addicted war veteran to a precognizant soothsayer, Batman and Bond villains, an LSD addled hit man and more mob bosses than De Niro, Pacino and Gandolfini combined. These films feature Walken where you’d least expect him. Pennies From Heaven (1981) Until this Steve Martin musical, he was an actor steeped in tragic roles in The Deer Hunter and Heaven’s Gate. Then he performed this elaborate and downright delightful striptease in heart boxers, revealing himself as a talented song-and-dance man and a goof. The world would never be the same. Wayne’s World 2 (1992) While the sleazy record producer is fairly standard in terms of rich, handsome villain roles, the decision to let Walken take the part—seducing Tia Carrere, speaking perfect Cantonese, sparring with Mike Myers and, of course, dancing— was the most inspired thing in this recycled sequel. The role called for a subtle sliminess. Walken came in dripping. Mousehunt (1997) Before the Pirates of the Caribbean movies, Gore Verbinski was a visionary director whose keen knack for turning live-action sets into cacophonous cartoons was matched only by fellow auteurturned-hack (and Walken collaborator) Tim Burton. Here, he casts Walken as a largely wordless, steampunk-outfitted exterminator who goes Wile E. Coyote on a smart mouse in a mansion.
The Country Bears (2002) Why Disney made a film out of the Country Bears Jamboree attraction is incomprehensible, but it happened, and was full of terrifying anthropomorphic bears that sang country music. The bears are the stuff of nightmares, seemingly made of rusty robot parts, but none of them holds a flame to Walken as an evil, tic-driven banker. It’s as if somebody dosed you with acid at the Magic Kingdom and hired Walken to pop in every time you started to mellow out. Balls of Fury (2007) In this rancid pingpong parody, Walken plays a Chinese mobster in a silken robe and a hairdo straight out of The Phantom Menace—and actually kinda pulls it off. It’s worth a hate-watch, if only to see how far Walken’s bizarro charm can carry a turd. “Indoor Gardening Tips From a Man Who’s Very Scared of Plants” (2008) Walken is one of the greatest—and most unlikely—hosts in SNL history. And while his rapey “The Continental” is more famous, he’s at his weirdest in this sketch as an indoor gardener whose tips for horticulture include gluing googly eyes to plants because he doesn’t trust them: “The eyes are the window to the face.” Whatever’s going on inside Walken’s face here—or anywhere—is pure, demented gold. GO: The Prophecy screens at the Hollywood Theatre. 9:30 pm Friday, Dec. 18. ALSO SHOWING:
Church of Film goes Grimm with The Feather Fairy, the story of the immortal child raised by Mother Winter. Clinton Street Theater. 9:30 pm Wednesday, Dec. 16. Is Die Hard a Christmas movie or a movie that takes place at Christmas? Watch closely, and it’s basically It’s a Wonderful Life. Kennedy School, 10:20 pm Wednesday-Thursday, Dec. 16-17; Mission Theater, Dec. 20-21. Elf is the rare modern holiday ﬁlm without an ounce of cynicism in its heart. Laurelhurst Theater. Dec. 18-23. How the Grinch Stole Christmas—a ﬁlm guaranteed to make your heart shrink three sizes. Hollywood Theatre. 4:30 pm Saturday-Sunday, Dec. 19-20.
Avalon Theatre & Wunderland
3451 SE Belmont St., 503-238-1617 GOOSEBUMPS Wed-Thu 3:00, 7:00, 9:00 PAN Wed-Thu 12:10, 5:10 MAZE RUNNER: THE SCORCH TRIALS Wed -Thu 2:30, 7:10, 9:35 INSIDE OUT Wed-Thu 1:00, 5:00
3702 SE Hawthorne Blvd., 503-249-7474 THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY, PART 2 Wed Thu 11:45 STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS Thu-FriSat-Sun-Mon-Tue 11:30, 3:00, 7:00, 10:45
616 NW 21st Ave., 503-223-4515 BROOKLYN Wed-Thu-FriSat-Sun-Mon-Tue 4:15, 6:45, 9:00 CHI-RAQ Wed-Thu-FriSat-Sun-Mon-Tue 3:45, 7:45 HEART OF A DOG Wed Thu-Fri-Sat-Sun-Mon-Tue 6:15 HITCHCOCK/TRUFFAUT Fri-Sat-Sun-Mon-Tue 4:45, 7:00, 8:55
Mission Theater and Pub
1624 NW Glisan St. NATIONAL LAMPOON’S CHRISTMAS VACATION Wed Thu 8:30 ELF Thu-Fri 8:30 JINGLE ALL THE WAY SatSun 2:30 DIE HARD Sun-Mon 5:30 IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE Tue 4:30
St. Johns Cinemas
8704 N Lombard St., 503-286-1768 THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY, PART 2 Wed Thu 4:00, 7:00 CREED Wed Thu 4:30, 7:30 STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS ThuFri-Sat-Sun-Mon-Tue 3:50, 4:30, 7:00, 7:30, 10:05, 10:30
CineMagic Theatre 2021 SE Hawthorne Blvd., 503-231-7919
5th Avenue Cinema
510 SW Hall St., 503-725-3551 NO FILMS SHOWING TODAY Wed -Thu
1911 Paciﬁc Ave., 503-844-8732 THE PEANUTS MOVIE Wed 7:30 WARREN MILLER’S CHASING SHADOWS Thu 7:30 KRAMPUS Fri-Sat-SunMon-Tue 7:30
4122 NE Sandy Blvd., 503-281-4215 CHI-RAQ Wed-Thu 6:45, 9:15 TRUMBO Wed-ThuFri-Sat-Sun-Mon-Tue 6:45, 9:20 GOP DEBATE IN HECKLEVISION Wed 5:00 SHOCK TREATMENT Thu 7:00 THE PRINCESS BRIDE Fri 7:00 SPOTLIGHT Fri-SatSun-Mon-Tue 6:30, 9:05 THE
Clinton Street Theater
2522 SE Clinton St., 503-238-8899 SPACEBALLS Wed 7:00 THE FEATHER FAIRY Wed 9:30 ORNETTE: MADE IN AMERICA Thu 7:00 NO FILMS SHOWING TODAY Fri THE AMAZING BUBBLE MAN SatSun-Mon-Tue 11:00, 2:00 THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW Sat 12:00 HERO OF THE UNDERWORLD Sun-Mon 7:00 LOVE STORY Tue 7:00
Joy Cinema and Pub
11959 SW Paciﬁc Highway, 971-245-6467 THE INTERN Wed-Thu 7:00 THE NIGHT EVELYN CAME OUT OF THE GRAVE Wed 9:15
Lake Theater & Cafe
106 N State St., 503-482-2135 BRIDGE OF SPIES Wed -Thu 1:00, 4:00 THE INTERN Wed Thu 12:00, 2:30 STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS Thu 10:00
Laurelhurst Theatre & Pub
2735 E. Burnside St., 503-232-5511 RARE EXPORTS Wed -Thu 9:40 CRIMSON PEAK Wed Thu-Fri-Sat-Sun-Mon-Tue 9:30 TRAINWRECK Wed-Thu-FriSat-Sun-Mon-Tue 6:45 MERU Wed-Thu-Fri-Sat-Sun-Mon-Tue 7:15 SICARIO Wed-Thu-FriSat-Sun-Mon-Tue 9:15 THE INTERN Wed-Thu-Fri-SatSun-Mon-Tue 7:00 EVEREST Wed-Thu-Fri-Sat-Sun-Mon-Tue 6:30 BLACK MASS Wed-ThuFri-Sat-Sun-Mon-Tue 9:00 ELF Fri-Sat-Sun-Mon-Tue 9:40 HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA 2 Sat-Sun 1:45 GOOSEBUMPS Sat-Sun 1:15
Thu 7:00 JANE EYRE Fri 7:00 THE THIRD MAN Sat-Mon 7:00 THE LADY FROM SHANGHAI Sat 4:30 MACBETH Sat 7:00 BLACK MAGIC Sun 4:30 OTHELLO Sun 7:00 THE STRANGER Tue 7:00
Regal Pioneer Place Stadium 6
340 SW Morrison St. KRAMPUS Wed-Thu 1:00, 3:45, 6:30, 9:00 CREED Wed-Thu 11:30, 2:45, 6:00, 9:15 THE GOOD DINOSAUR Wed-Thu 1:15, 6:40 THE GOOD DINOSAUR 3D Wed -Thu 4:00, 9:30 THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY, PART 2 Wed-Thu 11:45, 3:00, 6:15, 9:45 SPECTRE Wed-Thu 11:30, 3:00 THE MARTIAN Wed -Thu 12:15 THE MARTIAN 3D Wed Thu 3:30 STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS Thu-FriSat-Sun-Mon-Tue 10:00, 3:50, 7:10, 10:00 STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS 3D ThuFri-Sat-Sun-Mon-Tue 12:00, 12:30, 1:20, 3:20, 4:40, 6:40, 8:00, 10:30 ALVIN AND THE CHIPMUNKS: THE ROAD CHIP Fri-Sat-Sun-Mon-Tue 11:45, 2:15, 4:50, 7:30, 10:15
St. Johns Theater BROOKLYN Wed-Thu-Fri-SatSun-Mon-Tue 4:40, 7:00, 9:20
Kennedy School Theater
5736 NE 33rd Ave., 503-249-7474 DIE HARD Wed-Thu 10:20 THE INTERN Wed-Thu 2:40 SICARIO Wed -Thu 7:45 PAN Wed -Thu 5:15 NATIONAL LAMPOON’S CHRISTMAS VACATION Fri-Sat-Sun-Mon 12:00 HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA 2 Fri-Sat-Sun-Mon-Tue 5:15 CRIMSON PEAK Fri-Sat-SunMon-Tue 7:40
Empirical Theatre at OMSI
1945 SE Water Ave., 503-797-4000 WALKING WITH DINOSAURS 3D Wed-Fri-Sat-Sun 1:00 SECRET OCEAN Wed Thu-Fri-Sat-Sun 11:00, 3:00 JOURNEY TO SPACE Wed Thu-Fri-Sat-Sun 2:00 WILD AFRICA 3D Wed-Thu-FriSat-Sun 12:00 FLIGHT OF THE BUTTERFLIES 3D Wed Sat-Sun 10:00 JERUSALEM Wed -Thu 5:00 MYSTERIES OF THE UNSEEN WORLD Thu 1:00 ADRENALINE RUSH: THE SCIENCE OF RISK ThuFri 10:00 LEWIS & CLARK: GREAT JOURNEY WEST Thu 12:00
PROPHECY Fri 9:30 IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE Sat-Sun 7:00 ANIMATED CHRISTMAS 4 Sat 2:00 HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS Sat-Sun 4:30 SILENT NIGHT, DEADLY NIGHT Sat 7:30 VHSXMAS 3 Sat 9:30 DENNIS NYBACK’S CHRISTMAS SPECIAL Mon 7:30 THE MOVIE QUIZMAS Mon 9:30
Regal Fox Tower Stadium 10
846 SW Park Ave. IN THE HEART OF THE SEA Wed-Thu 12:20, 6:50 IN THE HEART OF THE SEA 3D Wed-Thu 3:40, 9:40 A ROYAL NIGHT OUT Wed-Thu 1:20, 6:50, 9:30 THE WONDERS Wed-Thu 4:10, 9:50 LEGEND Wed-Thu 12:15, 3:45, 6:45, 9:45 THE NIGHT BEFORE Wed -Thu 1:10, 3:50, 7:10, 10:00 SECRET IN THEIR EYES Wed-Thu 9:10 LOVE THE COOPERS Wed Thu 1:15, 7:20 SPOTLIGHT Wed-Thu 12:00, 3:20, 4:20, 6:20, 7:00, 9:20 TRUMBO Wed-Thu 12:10, 3:00, 6:30, 9:15 ROOM Wed-Thu 12:30, 3:30, 6:40, 9:20 SUFFRAGETTE Wed-Thu 12:45, 4:15, 7:15, 9:40
NW Film Center’s Whitsell Auditorium
1219 SW Park Ave., 503-221-1156 NO FILMS SHOWING TODAY Wed JOURNEY INTO FEAR
8203 N Ivanhoe St., 503-249-7474-6 IN THE HEART OF THE SEA Wed-Thu-Fri-Sat-Sun-Mon-Tue 12:00, 3:30, 7:00, 10:00
7818 SE Stark St., 503-252-0500 CRIMSON PEAK Wed-ThuFri-Sat-Sun-Mon-Tue 4:45, 9:45 GOOSEBUMPS Wed -Thu 5:00 SICARIO Wed-Thu-FriSat-Sun-Mon-Tue 2:20, 7:00, 9:30 EVEREST Wed-Thu-FriSat-Sun-Mon-Tue 11:40 THE INTERN Wed-Thu-Fri-Sat-SunMon-Tue 2:10, 6:45 INSIDE OUT Wed -Thu 11:35 WHITE CHRISTMAS Wed-Thu 1:45, 6:45 HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA 2 Fri-Sat-Sun-Mon-Tue 12:30, 2:30, 5:00 HOME ALONE Fri-Sat-Sun-Mon-Tue 12:05, 4:30, 9:15
9360 SW Beaverton-Hillsdale Highway, 503-296-6843 THE INTERN Wed-Thu-Fri-SatSun-Mon-Tue 9:00 CRIMSON PEAK Wed-Thu-Fri-Sat-SunMon-Tue 9:30 EVEREST Wed Thu-Fri-Sat-Sun-Mon-Tue 8:50 MAZE RUNNER: THE SCORCH TRIALS Wed-Thu-Fri-Sat 6:15 HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA 2 Fri 4:00 SUBJECT TO CHANGE. CALL THEATERS OR VISIT WWEEK.COM/MOVIETIMES FOR THE MOST UP-TO-DATE INFORMATION FRIDAY-THURSDAY, DEC. 18-24, UNLESS OTHERWISE INDICATED
Street P.19 Willamette Week DECEMBER 16, 2015 wweek.com
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A Weedy Week BY TYLER HU R ST @tdhurst
Festival season is over. After six months in which nearly every week seemed to have a big cannabis event or competition, the big events are taking a holiday break. That doesn’t mean you need to stay home to smoke. Rather, it’s a good time to check out more intimate recurring events. Here’s something to do pretty much every night this week. Wednesday Bingo at World Famous Cannabis Cafe Madeline Martinez’s hangout opens early at 1 pm every Wednesday with a special $5 cover until 3 pm. Bingo runs for three hours, with dinner served soon after. Its weekday afternoon time doesn’t make it accessible for everyone, but it’s nice to hang out with retirees and late-shift workers. 7958 SE Foster Road, usaworldfamouscannabiscafe.com. Cottonmouth Comedy Night at NW Cannabis Club NW Cannabis Club’s first comedy show (8 pm Thursday, Dec. 17; $10) had a huge upside, with five comedians and an entertaining open-mic chap who threatened to take the stage hostage. Expect lots of jokes about contact highs, and be sure to bring your properly dressed, non-toking friends—they’ll be called out for a few “are you sure you’re not a narc?” laughs. 1195 SE Powell Blvd., 206-4594. Puﬀ, Pass & Paint at Portland Hydroponics & Organics Get artsy at Puff, Pass & Paint’s Portland-area debut (7 pm Friday, Dec. 18; $50). The twohour class taught by Denver artist Heidi Keyes
Willamette Week DECEMBER 16, 2015 wweek.com
includes step-by-step instructions for even novice painters, and opportunities to vape, dab or smoke cannabis brought and shared by attendees. Friday’s 20 spots are expected to sell out quickly, but weekly classes start Dec. 26. Portland Hydroponics & Organics, 11564 SW Pacific Highway, Tigard, puffpassandpaint.com. Rick Jones Brotherhood at WFCC Portland’s oldest indoor cannabis lounge has events nearly every night, with revolving comedy and local stage acts every Saturday. With the fall harvest over, expect plenty of cannabis-industry professionals to share samples at Steve Shumate’s full-service dab bar as the Rick Jones Brotherhood performs (8 pm Saturday, Dec. 19; $10). 7958 SE Foster Road, usaworldfamouscannabiscafe.com. Ganja Meditation at Prism House PDX The holidays are always stressful, so get prepared with a relaxing sesh led by Reiki master Becky Lerner. The guided meditation includes medicinal massages and healing vibes. The winter solsticethemed “Into the Void” event (7 pm Sunday, Dec. 20; $27-$30) features vape products from Titrate and flower from HiFi Farms, with a Reiki-infused joint from HiFi as a parting gift. 4105 NE 112th Ave., 971-319-4105, prismhousepdx.com. Monday Night Sesh at NWCC NW Cannabis Club’s plan of regularly bringing in a few cannabis producers has turned into a weekly Monday-night party featuring companies such as Franco’s Finest and Wax City Extracts, and local glass blowers. Last week’s sesh coincided with a private extractor meeting in the basement, meaning a bevy of high-end samples were available to share. This is the closest thing to a cannabis industry night (8 pm Monday, Dec. 21; $10). 1195 SE Powell Blvd., 206-4594.
53 54 55
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Week of December 17
ARIES (March 21-April 19) The Neanderthals were a different human species that co-existed with our ancestors, homo sapiens, for at least 5,000 years. But they eventually died out while our people thrived. Why? One reason, says science writer Marcus Chown, is that we alone invented sewing needles. Our newborn babies had well-made clothes to keep them warm and healthy through frigid winters. Neanderthal infants, covered with ill-fitting animal skins, had a lower survival rate. Chown suggests that although this provided us with a mere one percent survival advantage, that turned out to be significant. I think you’re ready to find and use a small yet ultimately crucial edge like that over your competitors, Aries. TAURUS (April 20-May 20) Artist Robert Barry created “30 Pieces,” an installation that consisted of pieces of paper on which he had typed the following statement: “Something which is very near in place and time, but not yet known to me.” According to my reading of the astrological omens, this theme captures the spirit of the phase you’re now entering. But I think it will evolve in the coming weeks. First it’ll be “Something which is very near in place and time, and is becoming known to me.” By mid-January it could turn into “Something which is very near and dear, and has become known to me.” GEMINI (May 21-June 20) “There is in every one of us, even those who seem to be most moderate, a type of desire that is uncanny, wild, and lawless.” Greek philosopher Plato wrote that in his book The Republic, and I’m bringing it to your attention just in time for your Season of Awakening and Deepening Desire. The coming days will be a time when you can, if you choose, more fully tune in to the uncanny, wild, and lawless aspects of your primal yearnings. But wait a minute! I’m not suggesting you should immediately take action to gratify them. For now, just feel them and observe them. Find out what they have to teach you. Wait until the new year before you consider the possibility of expressing them. CANCER (June 21-July 22) Congratulations! You have broken all your previous records for doing boring tasks that are good for you. In behalf of the other eleven signs, I thank you for your heroic, if unexciting, campaign of self-improvement. You have not only purified your emotional resources and cleared out some breathing room for yourself, but you have also made it easier for people to help you and feel close to you. Your duty has not yet been completed, however. There are a few more details to take care of before the gods of healthy tedium will be finished with you. But start looking for signs of your big chance to make a break for freedom. They’ll arrive soon. LEO (July 23-Aug. 22) The English word “fluke” means “lucky stroke.” It was originally used in the game of billiards when a player made a good shot that he or she wasn’t even trying to accomplish. Later its definition expanded to include any fortuitous event that happens by chance rather than because of skill: good fortune generated accidentally. I suspect that you are about to be the beneficiary of what may seem to be a series of flukes, Leo. In at least one case, though, your lucky break will have been earned by the steady work you’ve done without any fanfare. VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22) You may not have to use a literal crowbar in the coming weeks, but this rough tool will serve you well as a metaphor. Wherever you go, imagine that you’ve got one with you. Why? It’s time to jimmy open glued-shut portals . . . to pry loose mental blocks . . . to coax unyielding influences to budge . . . to nudge intransigent people free of their fixations. Anything that is stuck or jammed needs to get unstuck or unjammed through the power of your willful intervention. LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22) The coming weeks will be a favorable time for you to consort with hidden depths and unknown riches. In every way you can imagine, I urge you to go deeper down and further in. Cultivate a more conscious connection with the core resources you sometimes take for granted. This is one time when delving into the darkness
can lead you to pleasure and treasure. As you explore, keep in mind this advice from author T. Harv Eker: “In every forest, on every farm, in every orchard on earth, what’s under the ground creates what’s above the ground. That’s why placing your attention on the fruits you have already grown is futile. You can’t change the fruits that are already hanging on the tree. But you can change tomorrow’s fruits. To do so, you will have to dig below the ground and strengthen the roots.” SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21) In the coming weeks, the pursuit of pleasure could drain your creative powers, diminish your collaborative possibilities, and wear you out. But it’s also possible that the pursuit of pleasure will enhance your creative powers, synergize your alliances, and lead you to new opportunities. Which way will you go? It all depends on the kinds of pleasures you pursue. The dumb, numbing, mediocre type will shrink your soul. The smart, intriguing, invigorating variety will expand your mind. Got all that? Say “hell, no” to trivializing decadence so you can say “wow, yes” to uplifting bliss. SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21) Garnets are considered less valuable than diamonds. But out in the wild, there’s an intimate connection between these two gemstones. Wherever you find garnets near the surface of the earth, you can be reasonably sure that diamonds are buried deeper down in the same location. Let’s use this relationship as a metaphor for your life, Sagittarius. I suspect you have recently chanced upon a metaphorical version of garnets, or will do so soon. Maybe you should make plans to search for the bigger treasure towards which they point the way. CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19) Ready for the Cool Anger Contest? You can earn maximum points by expressing your dissatisfaction in ways that generate the most constructive transformations. Bonus points will be awarded for your ability to tactfully articulate complicated feelings, as well as for your emotionally intelligent analyses that inspire people to respond empathetically rather than defensively. What are the prizes? First prize is a breakthrough in your relationship with an ally who could be crucial to your expansion in 2016. Second prize is a liberation from one of your limiting beliefs. AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18) A fourth-century monk named Martin was a pioneer wine-maker in France. He founded the Marmoutier Abbey and planted vineyards on the surrounding land. According to legend, Martin’s donkey had a crucial role in lifting viticulture out of its primitive state. Midway through one growing season, the beast escaped its tether and nibbled on a lot of the grapevines. All the monks freaked out, fearing that the crop was wrecked. But ultimately the grapes grew better than they had in previous years, and the wine they produced was fabulous. Thus was born the practice of pruning, which became de rigueur for all grape-growers. What’s your equivalent of Martin’s donkey, Aquarius? I bet it’ll exert its influence very soon. PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20 “The deepest urge in human nature is the desire to be important,” said educator John Dewey. If that’s true, Pisces, you are on the verge of having your deepest urge fulfilled more than it has in a long time. The astrological alignments suggest that you are reaching the peak of your value to other people. You’re unusually likely to be seen and appreciated and acknowledged for who you really are. If you have been underestimating your worth, I doubt you will be able to continue doing so. Here’s your homework: Take a realistic inventory of the ways your life has had a positive impact on the lives of people you have known.
Homework Make a guess about what you will be most proud of 15 years from today. Testify at FreeWillAstrology.com.
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Published on Mar 12, 2018