“DRAFT OUR NEW PRESIDENT FROM ALL HARD-LIQUOR BARTENDERS.”
SHOULD PUGS EXIST? SOME SAY NO. P. 19 WILLAMETTE WEEK PORTLAND’S NEWSWEEKLY
REMEMBERING KATHERINE DUNN. WWEEK.COM
VOL 42/29 5. 18. 2016
WE NEED TO MAKE WEED MORE LIKE WINE. P. 42
YOU BOUGHT SHERIFF STATON A SWEET DODGE CHARGER. P. 8
get active happy hours
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6:30PM–9PM Pilates / Yoga / Aerobics LIMITED SPACES STILL AVAILABLE. Following each class enjoy complimentary GLUTEN-FREE Coors Peak and raw, vegan, gluten-free snacks from a Portland catering company. 21+ First come, first served. MUST RSVP at wweek.com; click on the Get Active Get-Togethers link.
Willamette Week MAY 18, 2016 wweek.com
WHAT WE LEARNED FROM READING THIS WEEK’S PAPER VOL. 42, ISSUE 29.
One reader thinks buying ponies for cops should be the mayor’s top priority. 4
Katherine Dunn’s first Apple computer came from Harry Anderson of Night Court fame. 13
Amanda Fritz supports a sales tax
on cannabis. 6
Pét-nat is the saison of Champagne. 21
Baller Dan Staton is rollin’ on dubs with a 5.7-liter engine and a
Portland once had a concert venue called The Food Hole. 23
552-watt stereo. The haters are running wild. 8
There is no toﬀee at Toffee Club.
Katherine Dunn used to bring eggs and toast to Bill Walton. 11
ON THE COVER:
31 The gringos always complain about other people’s fun. 37
OUR MOST TRAFFICKED STORY ONLINE THIS WEEK:
Photos provided by the family of Katherine Dunn.
Katherine Dunn RIP.
STAFF Editor & Publisher Mark Zusman EDITORIAL News Editor Aaron Mesh Arts & Culture Editor Martin Cizmar Staff Writers Nigel Jaquiss, Rachel Monahan, Beth Slovic Copy Chief Rob Fernas Copy Editors Matt Buckingham, Maya McOmie, James Yu Stage & Screen Editor Enid Spitz Projects Editor Matthew Korfhage Music Editor Matthew Singer Web Editor Lizzy Acker Books James Helmsworth
Visual Arts Jennifer Rabin Editorial Interns Grace Culhane, Russell Hausfeld, Jenna Mulligan, Ben Stone CONTRIBUTORS Mike Acker, Dave Cantor, Nathan Carson, Peter D’Auria, Alex Falcone, Shannon Gormley, Jordan Green, Jay Horton, AP Kryza, John Locanthi, Mark Stock PRODUCTION Production Manager Dylan Serkin Art Director Julie Showers Special Sections Art Director Alyssa Walker Graphic Designers Rick Vodicka, Xel Moore Production Interns Henry Cromett, Clifford King, Gabi McKenzie, Skylar Nguyen
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Willamette Week MAY 18, 2016 wweek.com
IANNARONE’S MAYORAL RUN
I am aghast at Sarah Iannarone’s pseudointellectual, jargon-filled policy statements [“An Outside Shot,” WW, May 11, 2016]. She has said things that are absolutely incoherent. Furthermore, she seems to lack a basic grasp of civics and the job of mayor. Half-baked woo-woo is her brand. —“Neighbor98” I’m voting for Sarah. I’m not convinced she’ll be the best mayor, but I am convinced that her voice and ideas should be heard in a runoff through November. Even if Ted Wheeler wins, we’ll be better off with the two of them campaigning together. —“SEPortlander”
Portland is run by one political party. Does it really matter who is elected mayor? —“Jake 101”
TRUMP SPEAKS IN EUGENE
You have to love WW for drawing a false equivalence between people standing up to a racist demagogue and that racist demagogue’s followers [“Trump in Town,” WW, May 11, 2016]. They’re both “yelling,” WW says, all the while ignoring that one group is threatening the lives and freedom of the other group. That’s not journalism. That’s not fair play. That’s supporting Trump’s agenda, period. —“SecludedCompound 721”
Now that the primary is over, does it matter that, once again, I didn’t vote for the precinct captains or whatever? They have separate categories for guys and girls, and you have to vote for nine of each, but there weren’t even nine people running. What’s the deal? Do I care? —Sarah
Sorry, Sarah; I didn’t see you there—I was just putting the finishing touches on my latest moneymaking scheme, a line of all-organic perineumcare products called “Taint Natural.” But you’re right—every two years, members of the major political parties open their ballots, Willamette Week MAY 18, 2016 wweek.com
FUTURE OF MURAL IN DOUBT
“Halfbaked woo-woo is her brand.”
So Iannarone moved to Portland after she “heard the buses were free.” I wonder how many occupants in the city’s vagrant camps were also drawn here by reports of free stuff in progressive Portland. —Pamela Fitzsimmons
How are Trump and his supporters racist? Because they want people to be judged on their character and not the color of their skin? —“CatNamedJava” This has been blown way out of proportion [Starters: “Pizza Pies vs. Black Lives,” WW, May 11, 2016]. It is about a mural that is only half there and needs a face-lift. There are two other small businesses in the building that have limited signage space, and if anything, the owner is trying to support his fellow small, local businesses by incorporating the names and logos into a new artistic mural. —“GDI” They are going after Michael Brown’s very memory and image. This is why the Black Lives Matter movement is so important. —“BetterOffDead”
IT MAKES HORSE SENSE
Portland Mounted Patrol officers told me, when we first met in 2012, that working with horses made them kinder. So I began extensive research. Here’s what I found out: Evidencebased university studies confirm that just being around horses increases oxytocin levels in humans while lowering stress hormones. This means the Mounted Patrol Unit should become the Portland Police Bureau’s top priority—and the mayor’s. By creating opportunities for city people to more frequently encounter horses, we will be reducing crime. So now you know. What are you going to do about it? —Adrian March 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.
wonder briefly what a precinct committee person (PCP) is, and then shrug and go back to either (a) picketing abortion clinics or (b) smoking pot, depending on which party they registered with. PCPs function as sort of uber-volunteers, canvassing, participating in party events and fundraisers, and representing their precinct at the county political party central committee. The position also affords people who aren’t incompetent or insane (and even some who are!) the opportunity to rise through the ranks and influence the direction of the party. There are almost always more positions than candidates, so just get a couple of friends to write you in (Oregon law does require a minimum of three votes to be elected), and boom, you’re a party insider with an ax to grind. All you Bernie bros bitching that the party is in the tank for Hillary? Just show up, and you can be the party. Sure, being a precinct committee person is so uncool it makes running for student council look like joining the Velvet Underground—but you could make it cool. Get people to actually pay attention to the democratic process, and you could save the planet. You hear that, popular girls? Influencer teens? Disdainful baristas? This is your moment. Pick a party, seize the reins of power, and rule the world! It’ll be just like high school. QUESTIONS? Send them to email@example.com
Willamette Week MAY 18, 2016 wweek.com
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Weed Sales Tax Probably Headed to Portland Voters
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Willamette Week MAY 18, 2016 wweek.com
Lardo Stakeholder Sues Partners for $9 Million
The ﬁght over the Lardo sandwich chain keeps getting hotter. Lardo stakeholder Ramzy Hattar ﬁled a $9 million lawsuit in Multnomah County Circuit Court on May 16, alleging business partners Kurt Huﬀman and Rick Gencarelli improperly diverted funds from Lardo’s Southeast Haw-
thorne Boulevard and westside locations to other enterprises. The lawsuit, which follows Hattar’s December attempt to wrest control of the chain in court, alleges breach of contract and—unusually—breach of federal racketeering laws, extending from the use of wire transfers and the U.S. Postal Service. “We really thought we were close to ﬁguring a way out of this,” Huﬀman tells WW. “Now it seems to have gone nuclear.”
Nigel Jaquiss Wins Bruce Baer Recognition
Luci Inflatable Solar Lantern
There’s another reverberation from an Oregon Department of Justice investigator’s use of a digital surveillance tool last year to track the Twitter activity of DOJ civil rights chief Erious Johnson. Portland lawyer Mark Cogan has ﬁled a bar complaint against Darin Tweedt, the DOJ lawyer who supervised the criminal justice section and the investigator who tracked Johnson’s tweets about the Black Lives Matter movement. An independent investigator found last month that the monitoring of Johnson’s tweets probably broke state and federal laws prohibiting the gathering of information about a person’s political activity without probable cause that a crime had been committed. The DOJ declined to comment. THOMAS TEAL
Bar Complaint Filed Over Black Lives Matter Surveillance
Want a tax with that pot? Portland voters probably will be asked in November to approve a sales tax on recreational marijuana. City Commissioner Amanda Fritz let slip the plan during a budget work session May 16. The City Council already ratiﬁed a Portland pot tax in 2014. But a 2015 switch in the Oregon Legislature means the tax—up to 3 percent on the retail price of pot—must get the thumbsup from voters. Fritz says the City Council hasn’t decided how it would spend the revenue. “We will have a full discussion,” she says.
Willamette Week reporter Nigel Jaquiss has won special recognition from the Bruce Baer Award committee for his 2015 reporting on the Portland foster care agency Give Us This Day. Jaquiss’ stories, beginning with “Home Sweet Hustle” in September, examined allegations that the agency had neglected and abused children while its director diverted public dollars for her personal use. The stories resulted in Gov. Kate Brown removing top oﬃcials in the Oregon Department of Human Services who knew for nearly two years about allegations of neglected children—and did nothing. The Bruce Baer Award recognizes the state’s best investigative reporting. This year’s top prize went to Matthew Kish of the Portland Business Journal for his reporting on shell companies.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW THIS WEEK
The amount of money set aside in Portland Mayor Charlie Hales’ proposed budget for “campsite services.” The budget includes supervising six sanctioned outdoor homeless camps, as well as conducting trash pickup for other, informal campsites as often as five times a week.
The Gospel of Bernie SIX LESSONS SANDERS’ CAMPAIGN TAUGHT DEMOCRATS. BY B ETH SLOVIC
By the time you read this, U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-Vt.) will have won Oregon. Or he will have lost Oregon. He might have dropped out of the race by now. We don’t know: Election results arrived after WW press deadlines. But we do know this: Sanders’ run against Hillary Rodham Clinton has forced the Democratic Party to remember its core values—a wake-up call that will echo long after his campaign concedes.
“Even if he doesn’t win, he’s still the Goldwater of the Left,” says Portland City Commissioner Steve Novick, “which means that his ideas will take over the party, and in 16 years we will have a democratic socialist president, just as the right got Reagan 16 years after Goldwater.” On May 15, WW spoke by telephone with Sanders. His comments—insistently onmessage—pressed six ideals that Democrats can carry forward into the November election and beyond.
Reform campaign finance laws.
“We have a corrupt campaign finance system in which billionaires are able to buy elections. And that is not what American democracy is about. Billionaires should not buy elections.”
End cannabis prohibition.
“When you talk about reforming the criminal justice system, we also have to talk about taking marijuana out of the federal Controlled Substance Act, where it’s now considered a Schedule I drug.”
End spying on U.S. citizens.
“I voted against the U.S. Patriot Act, and I voted against the reauthorization of the U.S. Patriot Act. And I think we need public policy to keep up with the incredible changes in technology which now give both the government and private corporations significant ability to know much more about us. We have got to be vigorous in protecting our privacy rights.”
Raise the minimum wage.
“The biggest difference [from Clinton] is that I believe we should raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour. She thinks it should be raised to $12 an hour.”
Trust that liberal ideas can win votes.
“If we tell the people of Oregon what we believe in—raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour, making public colleges and universities tuition-free, pay equity for women, making sure the wealthiest people and large corporations start paying their fair share of taxes, rebuilding our infrastructure—I think those are issues that resonate in Oregon.”
Remember the majesty of birds.
“If under duress I had to get a tattoo, what would it be? A bird. A Portland bird.”
The troubled history of a foster home on Northeast Rodney Avenue has taken a bizarre turn. The house was the principal location for the foster care provider Give Us This Day, although it was actually owned by an affiliated organization, the Alfred Yaun Child Care Centers. Both organizations were run by Mary Holden. Last year, following allegations in WW of Give Us This Day’s abuse and neglect of children, state authorities shut down both organizations. The state placed their assets with a receiver, Troubled Asset Solutions LLC. Somehow, that company managed to sell the property—a 5,500-squarefoot home on a 12,500-square-foot lot—for $570,000, a woefully undermarket price. The new owner fared better. NIGEL JAQUISS.
Give Us This House FREE
Multnomah County donated the property to the Alfred Yaun Child Care Centers on Feb. 22, 1996.
Troubled Asset Solutions sold the property to Wilde Properties Inc. on April 27, 2016. The property was never listed with a broker.
On May 5, 2016, Wilde flipped the property, selling it to Everett Custom Homes.
Willamette Week MAY 18, 2016 wweek.com
FREE RIDE: Sheriﬀ Dan Staton drives a fully loaded Dodge Charger. The only other Multnomah County elected oﬃcial who gets a take-home vehicle, District Attorney Rod Underhill, drives an $18,000 Ford Fusion.
The Sheriff Rides Again MULTNOMAH COUNTY SHERIFF DAN STATON IGNORED PURCHASING RULES TO BUY A NEW DODGE CHARGER. BY NIG E L JAQ UI SS
Last June, Multnomah County Sheriff Dan Staton ignored county purchasing procedures and the objections of a county vehicle manager to use public money to buy himself a new, $33,623 Dodge Charger to replace a car less than a year old. Emails WW obtained through a public records request show that Staton instructed a subordinate to proceed with the purchase even after the county’s vehicle fleet manager refused to buy the car Staton wanted—both because it was too expensive and because Staton did not have his old car long enough to qualify for a new one. The new information comes just a week after the Multnomah County Deputy Sheriff ’s Association and the American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees—which represents more than 100 civilian employees—both asked Staton to resign. “Sheriff Staton has lost sight of our community’s demands for transparency and accountability,” the deputies said in a May 9 statement. “We no longer have confidence in his ability to lead our agency.” Until now, the allegations against Staton—that he bullied subordinates, ridiculed fellow elected officials, sexually harassed his top female deputy and threatened various perceived enemies—could be lumped together as bad management. And an Oregon Department of Justice investigation completed earlier this month found no evidence of criminal conduct on his part. But the stakes are raised by behavior detailed in dozens of emails about Staton’s desire to replace his new, taxpayer-funded car with an even newer one, outfitted with pricey extras that had nothing to do with his job. By forcing taxpayers to foot the bill for an unnecessary vehicle equipped with luxuries like an electric sunroof, shiny oversized wheels and satellite radio, Staton not only flouted his duty to be a responsible steward of public funds, he did so in plain view of a staff of officers sworn to uphold the law. Multnomah County chief operating officer Marissa Madrigal says Staton’s purchase was an inappropriate use of taxpayer money. “This purchase by the sheriff is an 8
Willamette Week MAY 18, 2016 wweek.com
outlier and outside our policy, practice and standards,” Madrigal says. On the morning of Wednesday, June 24, 2015, Sgt. Bryan White, the head of logistics for the Multnomah County Sheriff ’s Office, emailed Garret Vanderzanden, who as the county’s fleet manager is responsible for purchasing and maintaining 700 county vehicles, with money set aside from the county’s general fund. White told Vanderzanden that Staton wanted to buy four vehicles for his department, but one—a top-of-theline Dodge Charger for the sheriff’s personal use—was a particular priority. The first car Staton wanted was a fullyloaded, all-wheel drive Charger SXT Plus, costing $37,880. “Attached is the sticker for the car the Sheriff wants to buy. He spent about an hour on the Gresham Dodge lot today looking at their Chargers and he has his heart set on this one,” White wrote to Vanderzanden at 3:31 pm on June 24. “The Sheriff would like to pick up the car from Dodge by Friday afternoon. I know you would normally take receipt of the car first, but he’s itching to get it.” Vanderzanden expressed concerns, so Staton looked for a less expensive vehicle. When Vanderzanden sought a price quote for the car Staton wanted, the fleet manager at Tonkin Dodge warned the car was expensive: “The trouble with going to a V8 [engine] is that you have to go to an R/T model (hence the very substantial price increase).” The car that Staton settled on, a Dodge Charger R/T, was loaded with extras: a 5.7-liter V8 engine, leather seats, a fiveyear subscription to SiriusXM satellite radio, a “wheels and tunes” package, including 10 speakers, a 552-watt amplifier and 20-by-8-inch polished aluminum wheels, and an extradark tint package for $599. Total cost of the vehicle: $33,623. That was significantly more than the $25,701 the county had paid just one year earlier for a 2014 Dodge Charger for Staton. But the 2014 model had a smaller engine, smaller wheels and no sunroof. There was another significant problem beyond the expense of the car. The county replaces its vehicles on a regular schedule, setting aside money each year toward the next scheduled purchase. White had asked Vanderzanden to purchase
replacements for four vehicles. For three of them, Vanzerzanden had set aside substantially all of the purchase price. But Vanderzanden, who typically replaces county cars every seven years, did not have any money reserved to buy a new car for Staton. “Dodge Charger for Sheriff Staton—no replacement funds available,” Vanderzanden wrote to White on June 24 at 4:35 pm. As an independently elected official, Staton has leeway over the funds the county commissioners allocate to him— $135 million last year. Although there was no money in the fleet department’s budget to replace his car, he could still use other discretionary funds left in his budget to buy his car outside normal procedures. But on Friday, June 26, at 8:11 am, emails show, Vanderzanden did something unusual—he refused to purchase the car for Staton. “For reasons that we discussed over the phone regarding the vehicle options on this unit, I respectfully request that if MCSO wants to move forward on this purchase that it be routed through your procurement arm,” Vanderzanden wrote June 26, 2015, at 8:11 am to White. “This is one I would prefer fleet not be involved in purchasing.” “I understand why you want us to purchase this vehicle internally,” White replied. So Staton got his car. Vanderzanden, who’s worked in fleet for four years, says “there has been no other situation where we’ve declined to buy a vehicle because of cost of the extra amenities.” He adds that there’s been no other instance in which a county agency has proceeded with a purchase over the objections of fleet officials. In response to written questions, Staton says he’s done nothing wrong. He claims he never knew Vanderzanden refused to buy the car, and he simply accepted the options the car came with. Staton insists the vehicle was purchased as part of a routine replacement cycle and is necessary for official business. “This vehicle is utilized in parades, public appearances, and at various other MCSO-sponsored events,” Staton said in a statement. Matt Ferguson, president of the deputy sheriff’s union, says deputies were puzzled when they saw Staton’s new rig. “It was really nice,” Ferguson says. “With those big wheels, it didn’t look like a police car at all.” He says the vehicle raised some eyebrows because nobody in the command staff drives anything like it and county patrol cars take a beating. “There were plenty of other things we could have spent that money on,” Ferguson says. “I’m not an expert on ethics law, but it certainly seems like he used his position to say, ‘Hey, get me this nice car.’”
Willamette Week MAY 18, 2016 wweek.com
Willamette Week MAY 18, 2016 wweek.com C O U R T E S T Y O F T H E K A T H E R I N E D U N N F A M I LY
BY AA R O N M E S H , M ATTH EW KO RFH AGE AND
BE T H S LOV I C
atherine Dunn saw broken and twisted things, wrapped them in her words, and made them beautiful. A b oxe r ’s b l e e d ing cuts. A nightclub crawling with slurring drunks. A boy born with flippers for arms and legs, who sweet-talks his cult followers into sawing off their own limbs. Dunn gained an adoring band of fans with Geek Love, the 1989 novel about a family of willfully mutated circus performers that will endure as her literary feat. The book became a phenomenon, taking Dunn from being a single mother working three jobs in Northwest Portland to the matriarch of Portland’s authors and poets. Yet her singular talent—for fearlessly probing what others wished to skirt—extended beyond a single book. “She believed the job of a writer is to tell the truth— not the truth that Aunt Mabel wants to hear, not the truth that will sell books,” says Portland author Rene Denfeld. “She always said she was waiting for a male writer to write a memoir that was not about all the women he’d slept with, but about having a problem with premature ejaculation.” She could, as the boxing trainers liked to say, write a bit. Essays, reportage, humor squibs, novels: Dunn moved fluidly from one to another. For a time, she became the nation’s only female sportswriter covering boxing. From 1984 to 1992, she wrote a column in Willamette Week, the Slice, that answered reader questions ranging from the size of Forest Park to the shape of an opossum’s penis. She never published another novel after Geek Love, yet never stopped writing its follow-up: She was working on her next book until earlier this year. Dunn’s death May 11 at age 70 from lung cancer robbed Portland of one of its finest writers and most inimitable characters. Those she left behind have been wistfully eager to describe her mettle, generosity and vitality—her ability to make life an adventure and take others along for the trip. Susan Orlean, The New Yorker writer and author of The Orchid Thief, who worked alongside Dunn at WW in the early 1980s, recalls Dunn wrangling the newsroom into attending boxing matches. “She finally convinced me to go,” Orlean says, “and I went imagining I would have my hands over my eyes most of the time and my fingers in my ears.” Instead, Dunn talked Orlean through each round, explaining the fighters’ jabs and footwork until the other writer grew fascinated, then entranced. “It was in real time, what her writing was like,” Orlean says now. “This pure conveyance of a really brilliant take on the world, on emotion, on human frailty, on striving and failure, and she really made it make sense and made it beautiful. “She was, I’m sure, punching me in the shoulder saying, ‘See, I told you. I told you you’d like it.’”
REMEMBERING KATHERINE DUNN.
SLICES OF LIFE: Katherine Dunn in her Reed College freshman photo (far left), and with her son, Eli, traveling through Europe.
By the time Geek Love made her a cult figure, Dunn was 43 years old. To her friends and fans, her past was a mystery, which she fiercely guarded. “She was such a private person,” says former WW reporter Susan Stanley, who remained a close friend. “I could tell you some raucous stories, but I won’t.” Dunn was born in Garden City, Kan., in 1945. Her mother, Velma, hailed from Velva, N.D., where she later returned to tend cattle until she was 98. Katherine’s father left before she turned 2, and Velma Dunn married a gentle giant of a car mechanic from Puget Sound. The family moved westward, picking fruit and eventually settling in the Portland suburb of Tigard. In her 2009 collection of boxing writing, One Ring Circus, Dunn recalled walking through baby boomer neighborhoods, listening to the sound of prize fights playing on so many radios she could “walk block after block and never miss a round.” She showed little nostalgia for her childhood. “That post WWII America was a rough place, as I recall,” Dunn wrote. “Racism and sexism were insistent and institutional. Spousal battery was condoned. The smacking and whipping of children in school and at home was expected. Gangs were common. Brawls boiled up in streets, playgrounds, taverns and workplaces.” Her youthful memories usually surfaced in jokes. Former WW contributor Mark Christensen says Dunn would joke she didn’t have money for booze or drugs as a young person, so she would float in Tigard’s Fanno Creek like Ophelia, hoping to catch a bug that would give her a high. “She had a good sense of humor,” Christensen says, “but I also think maybe she did that.” Dunn attended Portland State University for a semester, then received a full scholarship to Reed College. Her son, Eli Dapolonia, says Dunn was thrilled to attend an elite private school after her hardscrabble childhood. “Other kids in college would complain about the cafeteria food,” Dapolonia says. “She thought it was the best food she’d ever had.”
In 1967, she dropped out of Reed to travel the world with a man named Dante Dapolonia, whom she had met on Thanksgiving break in the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood of San Francisco. She wrote a novel, Truck, in Spain and a second, Attic, on the Greek island of Karpathos, and gave birth to Eli in Dublin in 1970. (In 2014, Dunn told Caitlin Roper of Wired that she wanted to make sure Eli was born outside the U.S. so he couldn’t be drafted: “Plus, Irish medicine is good, totally free, and the doctors speak English.”) Dunn returned to Portland as a single mother in 1975, lured by the prospect of enrolling her son at Metropolitan Learning Center. Dunn found a walk-up apartment along Northwest 22nd Avenue and looked for work in the Alphabet District. She began a typical day at 6 am, serving breakfast at Stepping Stone Cafe, where her customers included thenTrail Blazers center Bill Walton. She finished it at Northwest 21st Avenue dive bar the Earth, working until last call at 2:30 am. She later recalled having a female patron punch her in the face, and a biker nearly slashed her throat. “You can’t be a girl behind the bar,” Dunn told WW in 1983, “you gotta be a woman. When the guys come in there to get sloshed, you must—just by your demeanor—remind them that they are now a guest in your home. That’s one of the advantages, though, of being a woman in a situation like the Earth’s. Even most of the wildest roughnecks in town are inclined to behave themselves if a female is in charge.” Her other gigs included house painting, topless dancing, and hosting a radio show on KBOO-FM, where she read short stories aloud. (The latter two jobs made their way into Geek Love, where they became the professions of the mutated Binewski children.) Somehow, she still found time to write.
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REMEMBERING KATHERINE DUNN
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C O U R T E S T Y O F T H E K A T H E R I N E D U N N F A M I LY
n Nov. 24, 1981, Dunn’s byline first appeared in Willamette Week, a publication she would later describe as “a small alternative newspaper operating on one wing and a lot of elbow grease in a medium-sized town in the mildew zone.” Her first article was a book review of Stephen King’s Cujo. (She was a huge fan of King’s.) She soon turned to boxing, a sport she encountered through her first husband, Peter Fritsch. The ’80s were the golden age for boxing in Portland. The riverfront Marriott Hotel was the location of several high-profile matches featuring the likes of Charles “Machine Gun” Carter and Golden Gloves champion Andy Minsker. Boxing was largely shunned by The Oregonian, and Dunn seized the opportunity to fill the void in coverage. She even persuaded cash-strapped WW Editor Mark Zusman to send her to Las Vegas to cover “The War,” the world middleweight championship match between “Marvelous” Marvin Hagler and Thomas “Hitman” Hearns in 1985. Her coverage began: “The high-voltage zing of a big fight is legendary. No Hollywood premiere, no Broadway opening, no ticker-tape parade draws so widely and deeply from the glitter heart of America. Stars and pimps rub satin shoulders. Tycoons and bricklayers, high-priced hookers and righteous socialites, all flaunt their glad rags in identical excitement.” Dunn would later host parties at her home to watch pay-per-view boxing—a coveted ticket among Portland writers. “Her knowledge of the fight game is astronomical,” says Larry Colton, a former writer for WW and author of books who went on to found the literary festival Wordstock. “It was like getting to watch a baseball game with Vin Scully.” In 1984, Dunn started a weekly column called the Slice. She answered reader questions on such pressing topics as why men have nipples, who was scrawling “Jesus Saves” graffiti across Portland, and whether George H.W. Bush claimed to have had sex with Ronald Reagan. (Yes, but Bush had misspoken: He meant to say “successes.”) In the WW newsroom, then located at the west end of the Burnside Bridge, Dunn was a fixture and den mother—older than both the editor and publisher, she attended the weekly staff meetings even though she was a freelancer. (She later spent time as WW’s arts editor.) A former staffer recalls her carefully weighing how to approach the fallout of a political scandal, suggesting how to angle the story sensitively. “Or,” she concluded, “you could bury the bastard.” “She was not afraid of being against popular opinion,” Denfeld says. “If she were around in the era of social media, she might have gotten into trouble.” Dunn often sported a button reading, “Sluts From Hell” and another pin that read, “The Meek Shall Inherit Shit.” She announced herself with a loud, throaty laugh and a cloud of cigarette smoke. She rolled each cigarette herself. “She wore oversize glasses that seemed to magnify her gaze—you really felt like she could see through you,” says former WW reporter Chris Lydgate. “She smoked like a chimney and swore like a sailor. In print, she was devastating—the undisputed master of the sucker-punch sentence. I had never met anyone remotely like her, and never will again.” Christensen recalls walking in Washington Park with Dunn sometime in the 1980s, talking about her son. “Could you deal with kids the same way people at Washington Park deal with the roses?” she asked. That idea—which Dunn later told Wired she hatched in the late 1970s in the same Washington Park rose garden—became the biologically engineered Binewski children of Geek Love, whose
GEEKING OUT: The success of Geek Love allowed Dunn to buy a six-bedroom house in Northwest Portland.
“YOU CAN’T BE A GIRL BEHIND THE BAR, YOU GOTTA BE A WOMAN.”
parents breed circus freaks by ingesting cocaine and insecticides. Dunn told Stanley, her WW colleague, her idea and asked her to read a draft. Stanley was repulsed. “I thought, ‘Oh, God, no,’” she recalls. “But I got into the book and thought, ‘She’s writing literature, and it’s just absolutely stunning.’” Geek Love came into the world like many of the characters it describes—as a willful freak of a book. When it was published in 1989, it was like no other book that existed, with a boldly stark design by fledgling artist Chip Kidd whose font and logo were marred by “mutations.” The book’s plot was equally odd, centering on the rise and fall of the Binewskis, who bred their own children to become their circus’s deformed human attractions. But a quarter-century after its publication, Geek Love has evolved into a sort of Catcher in the Rye for much weirder kids—a morbidly funny tale of diabolical son Arty the Aquaboy and his messianic brother Chick, a soft-hearted kid born with both telekinesis and a fateful temper. “There’s quite a legend about Geek Love,” writes author Chuck Palahniuk in an email to WW. “The Knopf imprint had just hired [superstar editor] Sonny Mehta. The vibe was nothing less than the excitement over Orson Welles arriving at RKO with complete artistic control. Mehta dazzled everyone and cemented his legacy by breaking out a novel written by a nobody (Dunn) with a cover by a nobody (Chip Kidd). That book made three careers: Mehta’s, Dunn’s and Kidd’s.” Mehta recalls the preparations as exhilarating. “It was a very, very exciting book to publish,” he says. “We had a great time working on the jacket—at least I did. The jacket was iconic for a book that went on to be iconic in itself.” Dunn’s book seems uniquely suited to the ramshackle, almost deranged Portland of the ’80s. But its exuberantly lyric swirl of beauty and disgust, sadness and uncommon wisdom has resonated far beyond our city. The book was published in 13 languages, including Finnish and Hebrew, and has never been out of print. It has always inspired extreme reactions. The New York Times’ Steven Dobyns groused over the book’s “spectacle,” and the Orlando Sentinel publicly refused to review it, declaring that “the subject matter is too disturbing, the imagery too grotesque.” But The Seattle Times pronounced Geek Love “probably one of the most extraordinary novels of this decade.” It was a finalist for the 1989 National Book Award for Fiction alongside Amy Tan’s The Joy Luck Club (both lost to Spartina, by John Casey). Richard Pine, Dunn’s literary agent, says Geek Love went against all conventional wisdom in publishing. “You had some outliers in South American literature,” Pine says. “But Americans weren’t writing this kind of book.” Geek Love changed Dunn’s life. The book sold more than 400,000 copies, but it wasn’t the
acclaim, the awards or the sales that made a practical difference. It was the movie rights—sold over and over again, to such disparate figures as Tim Burton and Night Court star Harry Anderson. (Anderson, then a Macintosh pitchman, gave Dunn her first Apple computer as a gift.) “All of a sudden, Mom had money,” Dapolonia says. “More money than she’d ever seen before.” Dunn bought a six-bedroom house in the Alphabet District. She offered spare rooms to her son’s friends. She loaned money to colleagues, and mentored more Portland writers than we can list. She gave Palahniuk’s Fugitives and Refugees its title. The newfound celebrity did not tame her. Angie Jabine, a former WW staff writer who remained close to Dunn, organized a benefit reading in 1992 featuring Dunn, Jean Auel and Ken Kesey. Dunn canceled at the last minute—Jabine recalls Dunn’s appearance was a casualty of her interest in sideshows. “Supposedly, the fire marshal objected when she said she didn’t want to read but to demonstrate her firebreathing, which she’d been learning for several years from an expert,” Jabine says. “That’s one explanation. The other is that she’d burned herself, and was in no condition to read.” Dunn worked on a follow-up novel to Geek Love, a boxing saga called The Cut Man. The only portion that’s ever been seen is a short excerpt that ran in The Paris Review in 2010. “She made a lot of revisions,” Dapolonia says. “And when she died, as far as we know, she wasn’t finished.” Dunn made few public appearances in the past decade—partly because she hated being fawned over, and partly to avoid questions about that long-awaited fourth novel. “She knew she would be asked about The Cut Man,” Colton says. “She actually went to Wordstock, just as a spectator wearing shades and a hat.” In 2013, Dunn married her second husband, Paul Pomerantz—an old boyfriend from her days as a Reed College undergraduate. This April, the cigarettes caught up to Dunn. The bout with lung cancer lasted just five weeks. She told almost no one—even close friends—that she was dying. She still wanted her privacy. On May 13, Portland poet Walt Curtis mailed WW a letter, composed on a typewriter. “My Gawd, I just heard that Katherine Dunn died,” he wrote. “I am saddened, stunned. I always felt that she was indestructible.”
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In 1993, Dunn returned to the boxing ring. She started taking boxing lessons at Matt Dishman Community Center in North Portland. Those lessons proved useful in 2009, when a 25-year-old woman tried to snatch Dunn’s purse as she carried a bag of Trader Joe’s groceries under her left arm, heading back to her Northwest Portland apartment. Dunn didn’t let go of the purse. She didn’t drop the groceries. Instead, until store workers arrived, Dunn used her right fist to repeatedly punch her wouldbe mugger in the face. “She was quite happy about it,” Dapolonia says. “She was just mad she couldn’t use her left.” Willamette Week MAY 18, 2016 wweek.com
C O U R T E S T Y O F T H E K A T H E R I N E D U N N F A M I LY
REMEMBERING KATHERINE DUNN
THREE OF KATHERINE DUNN’S CLASSIC PIECES FOR WW. “The Fight: Our peripatetic pugilistic pundit makes a pilgrimage to the city of lights for the Hagler and Hearns fight,” April 25, 1985 WW flew Dunn, a freelance sportswriter, to Las Vegas to cover the third professional bout of Portland boxer Andy Minsker. She returned without seeing Minsker’s fight—and filed more than 3,000 words of copy. By 3 p.m. on fight day, a crisis has developed in the press section of Caesars Pavilion. All the soda pop is gone. The ice in the tubs has melted. The ham, turkey, ham and cheese, and tuna sandwiches normally spread profusely on trays are all gone. Only drab, dry cheese sandwiches remain. The caterers and the forklift driver have been busy supplying the dozens of concession stands set up around the arena. At 3:30 p.m. the forklift finally appears, honking its way through a crowd of parched reporters desperate enough to unload the cases themselves. 14
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By 4 p.m. all the ringside and pressroom phones have been checked and are functioning for direct reporting to dailies and wire services. Portable word processors have been plugged into ringside wiring. The pressroom crowd dwindles as the blue-card folk head for ringside and the green-card holders begin their climb of the bleachers. The yellow-card holders pull their chairs up close to the six high-resolution color monitors feeding directly off the ESPN broadcast. The TV crew is running final tests. An announcer does cruelly accurate Howard Cosell imitations to the delight of the pressroom. It’s time for the prelim fights. The ticket holders trickle in slowly. Typically the cheap bleacher seats fill up first. At 4:50 p.m. Daryl Chambers, the 22-2, 16 KO progeny of Detroit’s Kronk Gym, steps in for 8 rounds with 154pound slugger Luis Santana from Los Angeles. Halfway through the third round the corner men are debating whether to carry Chambers back to the dressing room or let him walk. A reporter wandering through the dim aisles in the dressing-room area gets caught in the winner’s celebration. The beaming, burly Santana
races through the shed door, grabs the reporter in a sweat-soaked hug and plants a kiss on the journalistic cheek before scampering off to the showers. Hours later the reporter finds a broad smear of dried blood coating jaw and neck and realizes it is the residue of Daryl Chambers’ cut. 5:30 p.m. Portland featherweight Andy Minsker fights John Watkins of Los Angeles in a six-rounder that frustrates the pressroom spectators because it’s not televised. Attempts to peer through the chain-link fence are obstructed by a view of legs and bleachers. Formerly cordial security women, now scrutinizing tickets for authenticity, aren’t joking any more. A nightstick rattling the wire mesh in front of investigative noses suffices to send the most ardent Minsker followers back to sulk in front of the uncommunicative tubes. The closed-circuit broadcast is set to begin at 6 p.m. and the green-card holders are drifting back into the pressroom. “You’d need a telescope to see anything from up there in the gods’ section of the bleachers. These TVs are definitely the way to cover this fight.” The green-card carriers say Minsker stopped
The Slice, Jan. 15, 1987 For almost six years, Dunn wrote a weekly column answering reader questions—and sometimes ignoring them to focus on her own hobbyhorses. Her answers remain relevant to our political discourse. Q: I am not a crook. I am not a gunrunner. Do you think that these will be President Reagan’s famous last words just before he leaves public office? Do you think that President Reagan thinks he’s the sovereign? —Moose A: “Ich bin ein Bimbo” seems more appropriate, somehow. We have to rethink the whole elective process anyway. It’s gone too far aglee. Anyone currently willing to run for president is obviously too deranged to handle the job. There ought to be some way to guarantee minimum diplomatic skills, equanimity under fire and an acute awareness of the true nature and sentiment of the American public in our chief exec. What if we alter the requisites for the office? Suppose
we declare a lottery in which every four years we draft (on a random basis) our new president from a name pool listing all hard-liquor bartenders with at least 10 consecutive years experience at the well. The only exemptions allowed would be for debilitating illness or possession of a degree in law.
“Wrestlemaniac: The rise and fall of Billy Jack Haynes and the Oregon Wrestling Federation,” Sept. 22, 1988 Oregon City professional wrestler Billy Jack Haynes left the World Wrestling Federation to launch his own circuit, the Oregon Wrestling Federation. He lured big names: Rip “The Crippler” Oliver, Coco Samoa, Tiger Chen Lee and Mr. Magnificent of Minneapolis. Six months later, Dunn examined what went wrong on the cover of WW. When the wrestlers arrived, Haynes asked them to work for half the money he had guaranteed them, “just until the promotion gets off the ground.” They agreed. Even half pay was more than many of them had been earning in their previous territory. After months of preparation, the great OWF kickoff came on Saturday night, May 7, at the 2,000-seat Oregon
his man in the fourth, but they don’t know how he looked doing it. 6 p.m. The closed-circuit broadcast begins and the Kronk Gym has a winner. Light heavyweight Ricky Womack decisions David Vedder. In the pressroom another load of soda pop arrives. On the TV screens the sky appears to darken with a rain menace. Hector Camacho appears at ringside in a shining blue-sequined suit. Larry Holmes arrives soon after and sits beside him. Announcer Curt Gowdy explains that the intrigue of Hagler vs. Hearns is in the evenness of the match, even though Marvelous Marv and the Hit Man lack personal charisma. Hisses spout from the pressroom assembly. “Charisma my royal Irish arse!” howls an indignant Bostonian. “Look into the deep, dark eyes of The Bald One and say that, you Dowdy Barstard!” The TV crew in the shed is poised, waiting for Hagler. “Is that him? Is he coming? Don’t step on those wires, please. Is that him?” Two false alarms later, a smallish figure trots around the corner, robed in black, a hood hiding his face. Hagler moves fast and is gone, sucked into the great shout from the arena. The folks in the pressroom gallop back to their TV sets. There they stand at last—Marvin Hagler and Thomas Hearns. They are as like as a pit bull and a greyhound. Their goatees are the only similarity. They are frighteningly beautiful. These two are the cause of all this fuss. They have drawn thousands from across the continent. The idea of this moment is earning millions of dollars for many people other than themselves. Through all the weeks of hype, they have become as familiar to us as the daily comic strips. We have talked them into easy patterns. Hagler is an intelligent counterpuncher and has a great chin. Hearns has one of the great long-distance jabs of all time, and his right hand is the hammer of god. They have duked it out already in the playful imaginations of the aficionados a thousand times, and everything that could be said or written about this samurai duel has already been spewed to the point of monotony. All that remains for the men themselves to do is enact one or the other of our projected scenarios proving one camp or the other as superior in prognostication. The fight itself has become, in the minds of many, a formality. It’s easy to be wise now. Now we can say Hearns was brilliant at 147 pounds, effective at 154 pounds, but has not been impressive at 160 pounds. Now we can remember that Hagler is the most consistent champion of the last decade, so far above every other middleweight in the world that he makes the whole division look shoddy by comparison. But somehow it isn’t that clear at 8:02 p.m. on April 15. It isn’t clear at all.
City Civic Center. A crew from KPDX taped the show for delayed broadcast the following Saturday afternoon and a repeat on Sunday morning. There were 1,800 people in the audience for the OWF debut, but it went downhill from there. Only 550 showed the following Saturday. Though the Saturday night shows hovered in the range of 300 to 600 ticket buyers, the crowds for the other six nights either never appeared or deteriorated rapidly. Haynes reacted by trying to save money on advertising and advance promotion. “We’d arrive in a town and nobody would know we were coming,” says wrestler J.T. “Rock and Roll” Southern. “There were no posters, no ads, no radio spots. Do you know what it’s like to wrestle in front of 30 people? The worst feeling in the world is when you’re in the dressing room lacing up your boots and you know there are only 30 people out there. But you’ve got to get up for it. They’ve paid their money, and they deserve a show. You say. ‘Oh lord, let me just get through this night.’” OWF wrestlers resorted to standing on street corners in small Oregon towns on the day of a match, handing out fliers to the passers-by. J.T. Southern says, “ I was com-
pletely humiliated. It was like we were begging people to come and see us wrestle.” Originally the real star of each event, Billy Jack soon stopped appearing at all in the roadshows, wrestling only on Saturday nights in Oregon City. The promised vans for wrestlers’ transportation never appeared. They drove their own cars or car-pooled as usual. Haynes began to abandon his armory bookings without bothering to cancel the dates. From a show every night, the schedule dropped to two shows a week, and sometimes one. Payments were also falling behind on utility and equipment bills and the lease on the Oregon City arena. The stress was playing havoc with Haynes’ sleep. “Billy let himself go,” says wrestler Brian Adams. “His hair was a mess. He didn’t shower. He was in the worst shape of his life. He didn’t even bother to put his teeth in anymore.” The wrestlers’ half pay soon started shrinking. “I was getting $400,” explains Coco Samoa. “Then one week he gave me $300 and told me he’d make up the difference the next week. The next week he’d give me $200 and say he’d make it all up in the next check. But the next week it was down to $150.” Several of the original crew, along with a referee, had already jumped ship, borrowing money or selling and pawning possessions to finance their escape from Oregon. Billy shocked his remaining crew when he told a local newspaper that the departing wrestlers had been dropped for failing to pass the drug test. On Friday, July 15, the strained trust between Billy Jack and his boys exploded. All the wrestlers got their $150 paychecks and then demanded a meeting with Haynes in the dark arena at Oregon City. A full dozen men looking, even in street clothes, like the riled cast of a Conan flick, aired their complaints. The dwindling pay was ruining them. Several wrestlers had already been evicted from their apartments. The lucky ones found a friend’s sofa or living-room floor to camp on, while the rest were sleeping in their cars. Those with families to support were desperate. Coco Samoa, the father of five, was reduced to tears. For the first time in his 18-year wrestling career, he couldn’t pay his rent. As in the rest of the entertainment industry, wrestling needs a promoter to lure ticket buyers into the seats and needs performers who make the audience happy once it’s there. The boys had done their part. Billy Jack had blown his end of the deal. Now Billy Jack, the promoter, was telling his remaining wrestlers that they would be paid $50 a show even if there was only one show a week. Coco Samoa says, “He told us, ‘If it comes down to you eating or me eating, I’m going to eat. If it’s a choice of your bills getting paid or mine, my bills get paid. If you don’t like it, there’s the door.’” They walked out. Two disastrous, patchwork shows later, the Oregon Boxing and Wrestling Commission shut down the operations of the Oregon Wrestling Federation on July 18. The business had survived less than three months. During the first mad weeks after the collapse of the wrestling promotion, a siege of creditors and furious wrestlers demanding back pay kept Billy Jack and Selena Haynes hidden at home in Oregon City, available only to those who had the phone code they would answer. Now, with the threat of bankruptcy temporarily on hold, they are struggling to save the last of their assets, the Billy Jack Haynes Gym. In keeping with his good-guy image, Haynes now accepts full responsibility for the failure of his promotion and the damage done to his employees. “I was the promoter, and it was my responsibility to make sure things got done. I didn’t do it. I’ve lost my dream and I feel lower than a midget. I thought I was cut out to be a promoter, but I was wrong. I’m not a big enough prick.” Despite his good intentions, there are those in wrestling now who disagree. Billy Jack’s promotional motto— and he repeated it often—was, “You can’t make chicken salad out of chicken shit.” Ironically, Billy Jack Haynes managed to reverse that process. Willamette Week MAY 18, 2016 wweek.com
Willamette Week MAY 18, 2016 wweek.com
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“Can you imagine what the world would be like if everyone was born to harp?” page 26
BITE-SIZED PORTLAND CULTURE NEWS.
VOODOO CREEP: The pink-boxed, cereal-encrusted buns that helped make Portland a theme park will ﬁnally be available at an actual theme park. During the traditional mayoral doughnut-eating contest at the downtown location, Voodoo Doughnut announced it will open a shop at Universal Studios Hollywood in Los Angeles. With most attractions along CityWalk closing between 9 and 11 pm, this could be the ﬁrst Voodoo not to stay open 24 hours a day. Voodoo co-owner Kenneth Pogson told The Oregonian the shop will probably open at Halloween, just in time to start serving doughnuts to attendees of Universal’s new Walking Dead attraction.
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Willamette Week MAY 18, 2016 wweek.com
NEW GUILDED AGE: The beloved Burger Guild food cart has found a new home just before the buzzer. The pod at Southeast 50th Avenue and Division Street is scheduled to close this month to become a mixed-use building with a Green Zebra grocery store. Burger Guild, which will reopen on Southeast Milwaukie Avenue in Sellwood, has applied for a beer license. If all goes well, according to the cart’s website, the changeover will happen by May 21. “Rumor has it there may be a small foodcart pod opening up next summer after all the apartments are built,” writes Burger Guild on its website. “ If this holds up, we will be one the ﬁrst carts to return.” ORBITING JUPITER: Two major Burnside Street institutions are getting major overhauls this summer. This month, the Jupiter Hotel received a thumbs-up from Portland’s design review board to build a six-story, sharp-geometric expansion of the storied motor lodge at the former site of Boogie’s Burgers & Brew. The ground ﬂoor will feature a restaurant and lounge, and the second ﬂoor will have a ballroom, another lounge with a balcony looking out to Burnside, and a 1,500-square-foot garden area hidden from the street. The expanded Jupiter is planned for summer or fall 2017. >> Michael’s Italian Beef and Sausage Co. will get the Up treatment, with a six-story, mixed-use apartment complex taking over the rest of its lot, built by Dennis Sackhoﬀ ’s Urban Development Group. “Dennis Sackhoﬀ has been eating at Michael’s for about 30 years,” says his development manager, David Mullens. “He has no intention of doing anything with that restaurant except eating there.” RUST IN PEACE: After two decades, celebrated Portland folk-metal band Agalloch announced last week it has either broken up or is being radically restructured. “What the future holds for the separate parties remains undetermined,” the band wrote on its Facebook page. Agalloch is among the 21st century’s most inﬂuential and universally praised metal bands. Its 2010 album, Marrow of the Spirit, was Stereogum and NPR’s top metal album of the year. After the initial Facebook announcement, founding member John Haughm attempted to clarify the situation, suggesting he dissolved the band’s current lineup and may or may not continue the project in a diﬀerent form. “I simply could not continue any further with the band as it was,” he wrote. “The band has simply been reduced back to its founding, visionary member for the ﬁrst time in 20 years. Beyond that, the future is unknown.”
WHAT TO DO THIS WEEK IN ARTS & CULTURE
GO: The Pug Crawl is at Portland Brewing Company Taproom, 2730 NW 31st Ave., oregonhumane. org/pugcrawl, on Sunday, May 22. Noon-4 pm; parade starts at 2 pm. $10, kids under 10 free.
WEDNESDAY MAY 18 Brewshed Brewfest
[BEER] Each year, brewers raise funds to keep their water clean. But for the beer geeks, take note: Much-hyped Wolves & People is on the list of brewers serving samples, making this the first Portland fest to host it. Kennedy School, 5736 NE 33rd Ave., oregonbrewshedalliance.org. 5:30 pm. $25 for a glass and 10 tastes.
[BAROQUE POP] Are You Serious? is Andrew Bird’s attempt to translate what he calls “the brutal pain” of his experiences into song. The versatile performer’s album blends classical, jazz, old-timey folk and the saddest whistling ever committed to tape, with contributions from Blake Mills and Fiona Apple. Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, 1037 SW Broadway, 503-248-4335. 8 pm. $32.50-$42.50. All ages.
THURSDAY MAY 19 Peter Brötzmann Quartet
[DEATH JAZZ] Peter Brötzmann has been pumping out aggressive, fractured free jazz since the late ’60s. It’s always hard to know exactly what to expect from him, but it’s sure to be a challenging, fearless, unsettling set full of Germanic passion. Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi Ave., 503-288-3895. 8 pm. $12 advance, $15 day of show. 21+.
THE PUG CRAWL IS A SERIES OF UNFORTUNATE EVENTS. firstname.lastname@example.org
Pugs are cute. The breed is awe-inspiringly helpless—saucer-eyed and slack-jawed in a way that always seems jolly or afraid. They are probably the only living creature that looks exactly like a Margaret Keane portrait, and we find it impossible not to like them. Each year for the past 16 years, the Oregon Humane Society has held a block-long parade of pugs as a fundraiser, as it will do again May 22—a tradition begun not by OHS but by the pug’s many fervent fans, whose ardor is legend. Your own pocketbook is likely also defenseless against a 100-strong army of the adorable. Viewed another way, though, a parade of pugs is an unspeakable cruelty. The big eyes and almost noseless face of the pug come from generations of selective breeding for qualities we find endearing. But as it turns out, those traits also make it very, very difficult to function as a dog. There’s at least one leading veterinary professor, a German named Dr. Gerhard Oechtering, who argues that all short-nosed dogs should be forcibly bred with long-nosed dogs to destroy their inferior genetics. Driven by demand for adorably wrinkled dogs with humanlike features, breeders flattened pugs’ faces until their sockets were too shallow for their big, round eyes—and until their palates were adorably compacted into
their nasal passages, which they would otherwise use to breathe. From a pug’s very first year, it may have to fight for every breath. That lovable snuffle? The poor dog is drowning in plain air, a lifelong snore that infects every breath. Some pugs are so hard up for oxygen they just fall over and faint sometimes. Meanwhile, their spines and hips are so weirded up that many of them lose the use of their rear legs late in life. Most can’t give birth naturally, so they have to do it like Caesar’s mom did—under the knife. Many pugs are born deaf. And their vision may be fleeting. When a pug sneezes or experiences a sudden impact, there’s also a chance their eyes will pop out of their sockets. Not to mention chronic dry-eye from exposure to the air, and irritating rashes amid the face wrinkles. The same exact qualities that make you love them also causes them to suffer—they’re like Kurt Cobain or something. But one cannot blame the pugs for their misfortune. They are adorable. And even though they have trouble recovering from exercise—which makes even a short march a bit like a suntan contest among the Irish—we will smile warmly when we see them pass by. After all, this year they’ll be dressed up as Star Wars characters.
FRIDAY MAY 20 Portland Night Market
[CRAFTY WONDERLAND] Where street markets start to all look the same, the Night Market is a different beast. Samples of top-shelf liquors, pork baos and pizzas go till late, with live bands, glitterspewing cabaret and artsy vendors inside the old Produce Row warehouse. Craft looks and tastes better after nightfall. Portland Night Market, 100 SE Alder St., pdxnm.com. 4 pm. Free.
SATURDAY MAY 21 Linework NW
[COMIC BOOKS] Linework NW is a gigantic gathering of comicbook makers, comic-book publishers and people who resent me for using the term “comic books.” Saturday includes Matt Furie and Ping Zhu. Sunday is Rilla Alexander and Rodney Alan Greenblat. Norse Hall, 111 NE 11th Ave., lineworknw.com. 1-8 pm. Free.
SUNDAY MAY 22 The Skin of Our Teeth I L L U S T R AT I O N S B Y V I N C Y C H E U N G
BY M AT T H E W KO RFH AGE
[THEATER] The history of planet Earth is retold as the story of the Astrobus family in this talent-packed reprisal of Thorton Wilder’s Pulitzerwinning comedy, Cain is a kid throwing rocks, and Mom herds the pets two by two like a suburbanite Noah. Artists Repertory Theatre, 1515 SW Morrison St., artistsrep.org. 2 and 7:30 pm. $48
Willamette Week MAY 18, 2016 wweek.com
FOOD & DRINK Highly recommended. By MATTHEW KORFHAGE. Editor: MARTIN CIZMAR. Email: email@example.com. See page 3 for submission instructions.
WEDNESDAY, MAY 18 Brewshed Brewfest
One of the unsung reasons brewers like to make beer in Portland? Just like you’ve read on Olympia beer cans since Zeus rained thunder from heaven, “It’s the Water.”™® The Brewshed Brewfest is a celebration of local beer and a fundraiser for the clean and beautiful water used to make it, with 20 local breweries pouring samples. For most of you, this will also be one of your ﬁrst chances to taste newly minted, intensely hyped brewery Wolves & People. The $25 admission nets 10 tasters and a glass. Kennedy School, 5736 NE 33rd Ave., oregonbrewshedalliance.org. 5:30 pm.
THURSDAY, MAY 19 SCRUMptious
Every year, local chefs donate their time for a Portland Boys & Girls Club and Portland Rugby Club fundraiser— and face oﬀ in a food-and-beer pairing competition. This year, it’s chefs from Lechon, Paciﬁc Pie Co. and Savor Soup House, plus chefs Lacey Jane MillerCahoj and Eric Gross, pairing oﬀ with Widmer beers, including a small-batch kumquat IPA. Admission includes two tickets in a pick-your-prize raﬄe. Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison St., 503-2397639. 5:30-10 pm. $50.
SATURDAY, MAY 21 Eats & Beats
White Owl will do what it does best: Throw down some soul and funk vinyl, Pabst Blue Ribbon and hard root beer onto its back patio and treat a picnic-table parking lot like it’s a daytime nightclub. But they’re giving the parking lot the Austin, Texas, treatment by adding food carts Koi Fusion, Pip’s Original Doughnuts, Ash Woodﬁred Pizza and the Hot Box BBQ, plus our cart of the year, Chicken and Guns. Expect slushies aplenty if it’s a hot day. White Owl Social Club. 1305 SE 8th Ave., 503-236-9672. 11 am-8 pm. Free entry.
TUESDAY, MAY 24 Royale with Chizu
Chizu wins for best event name of the month, although we’d be even more impressed if it came with a burger. Nonetheless, newish brewer Royale— whose taproom just opened in North Portland—will tap six of its beers at cheese guru Steve Jones’ westside Chizu bar, each paired with a cheese of Jones’ choosing. Tickets include the six beer and cheese pairings, and can be bought online at—sigh—Paypal. Chizu, 1126 SW Alder St., 503-7196889. 7 pm. $45.
Bang, They Got Me SALT & STRAW GETS SOFT SERVE RIGHT. BY MA RTIN CIZMA R
1. Basilisk 820 NE 27th Ave., 503-234-7151. Finally, a Portland fried chicken sandwich done right. This coop serves a towering fried chicken sandwich with a crisp crust and drippy, juicy ﬂesh. It gets a few bright pickled cucumbers made inhouse and a butter-kissed bun. The whole thing gets stabbed with a steak knife, and the ﬁnished thing is too tall to stand steadily on its own. $.
2. Wild Hunt
3303 SE 20th Ave., 971-282-2181, thewildhuntpdx.com. Why do wine bars have to be French and Italian? Answer: They don’t. Viking Soul Food cart spinoﬀ the Wild Hunt is in front of Germanstyle wine bar Teutonic, serving up lamb meatloaf with a side of lingonberries. It’s all pretty great. $-$$.
3. Little Bird
215 SW 6th Ave., 503-688-5952, littlebirdbistro.com. We’re still stoked about Little Bird’s all-day Sunday happy hour: $5 double-stacked brie burgers, $1.50 oysters, and $3 oﬀ wonderful cocktails, all damn day. $ at happy hour, otherwise $$$.
SUNDAY, MAY 22
2340 NE Sandy Blvd., 503-446-7373, pastaworks.com. Providore’s chicken spot is up and running, with juicy birds slathered in delicious Calabrian-chili sauce and potatoes slathered in drippings from the chicken. $$.
Thali Supper Club
Thali Supper Club’s venue may have changed hands, but the prix-ﬁxe thali Indian dinners continue unabated at the same spot. This month, chef Leena Ezekiel will host a nashta—brunch, Indian-style—a four-course meal that will include curried lamb and eggs, a friedbread course and idli and sambar, not to mention dessert. Tickets at brownpapertickets.com. Tournant, 920 NE Glisan St., 503-206-4463. 11 am. $45.
2218 NE Broadway, 503-477-9521, chesapdx.com. The paella is still sorting itself out, but the ibérico ribs’ copious marbled fat and oregano-pimentón rub have been torched into delicate crispness, with only moist and smoky tenderness within. The delicacy of texture recalls dessert—a savory creme brulee made only of pork conﬁt rib. $$$.
Suddenly, everybody hates Salt & Straw. “Fuck Salt And Straw” handbills are popping up on utility poles, and vegans aggrieved by foie gras ice cream are literally holding street protests outside the shop. My social-media streams are filled with derisive comments about the nonsensical flavors and the class of tourist drawn to wait in line for arugula ice cream. Things were very different in 2012, when the chain ramped up expansion across Portland and Los Angeles. In those simpler times, the people of this dewy land still blushed when Portland drew acclaim from afar. The food critics raved. The “snarky” other weekly wrote of recent culinary-school grad Tyler Malek that “one senses what it would’ve been like to speak with a young Thomas Keller, Wylie Dufresne, or Marco Pierre White. Greatness awaits him on his chosen path.” There was but one holdout—me. I never liked Salt & Straw. I wrote a review about the absurdity of the place, highlighting the under-sweetened base and the flawed flavor combinations. “Career suicide,” one of my colleagues called it, and he wasn’t joking. But believe me when I say this: Wiz Bang Bar, the new soft-serve spot from the owners of Salt & Straw, is really fucking good. There are some things that need improvement, and early inconsistencies could prove troubling if shortcuts are taken, but everyone hate-sharing the tone-deaf piece Malek wrote for Vice’s food site (“How I’m Reinventing Soft Serve in Portland”) owes it to themselves to queue up for one of the (gulp) $8.50 sundaes. What’s so good about it? Well, for starters, that super-creamy base, a pure and tastefully restrained thing. The vanilla tastes a lot like buttery Dairy Queen, the chocolate fudge tastes like the powder left behind in a Hershey’s wrapper, and the sea salt and caramel tastes like Marshmallow Fluff. My only disappointment was the ancho chili with no heat. My two favorite ice-cream places in town, Cool Moon and What’s the Scoop, have managed to create tasty flavors with a kiss of spice. And avoid Wiz Bang’s gross ham-flavored custard, a sop to its overthought Salty roots.
Roost “Side Door Chicken”
Tahini Fried Chicken Sandwich With Pickled Turnip & Chips
Tues-Fri 11:30-2pm • Cash Only Corner of SE Belmont and 14th @the Side Door 20
Willamette Week MAY 18, 2016 wweek.com
= WW Pick.
PEANUT BUTTER PERFECT: Wiz Bang’s PBJ sundae.
If you get a cone ($3.95, $4.95 dipped), you’ll be reasonably happy—especially if it’s basic vanilla dipped in chocolate. The sundaes steal the show, though. Each includes a different house-baked pastry, which gets ice cream and sweet toppings. And every single one I’ve had has been an outstanding blend. The best in four visits? It’s a tie between the Rhubarb Sour Straws and the PBJ. The rhubarb sundae starts with basic vanilla custard on top of butter mochi, a dense Hawaiian bread made with coconut milk, then gets lightened and brightened with strips of sour-candied rhubarb and lemon curd. The peanut butter and jelly has a slab of sweet toast on the bottom, with bright local marionberry jam and crumbled peanut butter cereal. There are some logistical problems—it takes about six minutes to get your sundae after ordering, and the shop doesn’t have Olive Garden-style buzzers like neighboring Olympia Provisions, so you’re expected to stand in a busy pathway, getting jostled by passersby. The vanilla machine has been on the fritz on a few visits, so the carefully balanced flavors in the sundaes had the wrong base ice cream. And the rest of Pine Street Market is something of a shitshow—but we’ll leave that for an another issue. Career suicide, Part II. EAT: Wiz Bang Bar is at Pine Street Market, 126 SW 2nd St., 503-384-2150, saltandstraw.com/ wizbangbar. 10 am-11 pm daily.
DRINK THESE GREAT PEASANT WINES We tasted several kinds of peasant ﬁzz for this article, in a group of enthusiastic but decidedly amateur wine drinkers. Here are ﬁve favorites, all purchased in Portland.
Camillo Donati “Malvasia Rosa,” $26 at Pastaworks at City Market.
WEIRD, DELICIOUS BUBBLY WINES, AND WHERE TO FIND THEM. BY JO R DA N M I C H E L M A N
Summer is sparkler season, sure. But it doesn’t have to be a choice between fussy luxuries and industrial mimosa fodder. There’s a new, exciting movement among young winemakers that has roots as old as wine itself. We’re talking peasant fizz—bottle-fermented, farmhouse sparklers capped like a beer bottle. They’re lower-cost artisan bubblers for which “weird” is meant as a compliment. As with many things, the French have a word for it: pétillant-naturel, often shortened to the two -syllable shorthand “pét-nat.” It’s made especially in the Loire Valley, far from the grand châteaux of Bordeaux or the prized plots of Burgundy. The best thing about these wines is their wonderfully distinctive flavors. Fizzy, refreshing, and a little different from bottle to bottle, these are wines for farmhouse beer lovers— people who aren’t afraid of a little funk. “These kinds of wines offer an entirely different experience from Champagne,” says Stephanie Sprinkle of E&R Wine Shop in John’s Landing. “These pét-nat wines are made on the farm. It’s an ancient method, probably even accidental in the beginning, and there’s no need for special equipment, which is great for winemakers who are naturally curious and love to play.” The n ext b est thing about these wines is that unlike Champagne—which can cost hundreds of dollars at the high end—even the finest bottle-fermented sparklers top out at about $30 a bottle, and often run closer to $20. “The process is less labor-intensive than a more formal sparkling wine,” says winemaker Kate Norris of Portland’s Gamine Wines and Southeast Wine Collective, whose grenache rosé pét-nat is one of Oregon’s best. “That’s part of why the price point is nice and approachable.”
Gamine’s 2014 pét-nat is tough to find, although there are bottles lurking around town if you know where to look. Norris’ 2015 pét-nat drops this summer. This style of fizzy peasant wine is gaining attention not only in Oregon but worldwide— especially in Italy, where there is a long and varied sparkling-winemaking tradition, whether “frizzante” or the delicious world of bottle-fermented lambrusco. “The closest equivalent of pét-nat in Italy would be ‘metodo ancestrale’” says Dana Frank, the award-winning sommelier responsible for the remarkable all-Italian wine list at Ava Gene’s in Southeast Portland. Frank will soon open a spot called Dame devoted to organic and biodynamic wines—including about 20 different sparkling wines—on Northeast Killingsworth Street in the former Cocotte. “These wines are about drinking something fun and wild and fresh,” Sprinkle says. “They’re not contemplative; they’re casual, juicy and delicious.” Here are some favorites from Oregon, Italy and France, and four good places to find them around town.
Pastaworks at City Market
735 NW 21st Ave., 503-221-3007, pastaworks.com. The small but mighty sparkling-wine selection at Pastaworks punches above its weight class, with some especially deep cuts at City Market. In a world of weird, delicious fizzy wine, the ones made by Camillo Donati in Emilia-Romagna (see sidebar) have earned a worldwide cult following. Other cool wines here include La Stoppa’s delicious, deeply strange sparkling Malvasia ($17, also from Italy). For a bit of comparison and contrast, pick up the La Stoppa along with a bottle of Oregon winemaker Brianne Day’s Mamacita ($25), another cloudy, beautiful wine made from the Malvasia grape.
This was the consensus favorite among the wines we tasted. Donati’s bottle-fermented Malvasia Rosa tastes like strawberry cream soda, white pepper, and brettanomyces ale. It can’t technically be called a lambrusco, but it’s from the same region. It’s as if lambrusco and farmhouse ale had a delicious, funky baby. I actively debated leaving this wine out of the article for my own hoarding purposes.
1610 NW Glisan St., 503-223-6002, vinopoliswineshop.com. Vinopolis, an endless holy temple of wine, is home to one of Portland’s best selections of peasant fizz. The shop stocks a regular supply of Johan Vineyards’ pét-nat of pinot noir ($21.90), a wine that defies any preconceived notions you might have about what Oregon pinot can be. Another smart buy is from Loire Valley producer Philippe Tessier, whose Phil’en Bulle pét-nat ($24) is a total food wine, able to hang with backyard barbecue but hold its own alongside pickles or fermented Korean fare.
3564 SE Division St., 503-234-7281. Already one of Portland’s best wine shops, Division Wines is gearing up to become a full-fledged bar this summer. In the meantime, the back wall (and the fridge) are stocked with awesome sparkling wines from near and far, some exceedingly hard to find. Three of Oregon’s best pét-nat wines are on the shelf here: sparkling biodynamic rosé of pinot noir from Maysara ($26); grenache rosé by Gamine ($28); and sparkling sauvignon blanc by Statera ($23), a buzzy new winemaker producing exceedingly small quantities of soughtafter Oregon wines. Local favorites aside, you should pick up a bottle of Prosecco “Col Fondo” by Casa Costa Piane ($24).
E&R Wine Shop
6141 SW Macadam Ave., 503-246-6101, erwineshop.com. Hidden in a strip mall off Macadam, E&R Wine Shop is home to a truly special Champagne and sparkling-wine selection, curated by wine buyer Stephanie Sprinkle. This is one of a few places in town you’ll find the “pet sec” from Les Capriades ($25), a winery in the Loire Valley that specializes in “methode ancestrale,” low-ABV sparkling wines. Pet sec is made from chenin blanc and cabernet franc, and will disappear as soon as the crown cap is popped—especially if you, say, open it at work on a Thursday afternoon. E&R also sells a crown-capped white bubbler from Agricola Menti Giovanni called “Roncaie sui Lieviti” ($15, see sidebar) that tastes like nothing else.
Johan Vineyards Pinot Noir Pétillant Naturel, $21.90 at Vinopolis.
Eﬀervescent, unctuous, peppery, glowing sunset orange in color and deceptively easy to drink, this wine is both a conversation piece for your next hang and an everyday chill-out drinker. Accessible, agreeable, perfect for beer geeks—Johan’s is not the only great Oregon pét-nat, but it is my favorite. This is another great wine for farmhouse beer fans, with layered ﬂavors like peach, white pepper and red fruits balanced by intriguing, fermenty funk.
Agricola Menti Giovanni “Roncaie sui Lieviti,” $15 at E&R Wine Shop.
Natural-yeast garganega grapes are pressed into stainless-steel tanks, then fermentation occurs in the bottle after adding grape resin, with no added sulﬁtes. The resulting wine is barnyard as fuck, spiritually close to farmhouse ale, and redolent with ﬂavors of pastry crust, honey and apple juice. Nothing else quite tastes like this, with diﬀerences from bottle to bottle and sip to sip. And you can drink it with anything from pizza to pork chops to popcorn, or just by itself. Also, holy shit, how is this only $15?
Maysara Sparkling Pinot Noir Rosé, $26 at Division Wines.
This is wine for a Nalgene bottle ﬂoating down the river. Our group tasting notes included Fruit by the Foot, umeboshi, Fruit Stripe gum, garam masala, and Smarties candy.
Domaine Belluard “Les Perles du Mont Blanc,” $25 at Division Wines.
This is really elegant and structured wine, made in the far southeast of France in the “methode traditionnelle” style, closer to Champagne production. Someone in our group called out “Sweedeedee honey pie” as a note, and that’s about right. It was one of our favorites.
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Willamette Week MAY 18, 2016 wweek.com
The Youth Are Getting Restless BY M AT T H E W S I N G E R
BY JAY HORTON MATTHEW SINGER
X-Ray Cafe (1990-94) Former location: 214 W Burnside St.
Somehow jury-rigging a venue through DIY ingenuity and tireless showmanship, Ben Ellis and future doughnut impresario Tres Shannon put together a vital outlet for bands both local (Hazel, Team Dresch) and national (Green Day, Bikini Kill).
A COALITION OF NONPROFITS HAS A PLAN FOR SAVING ALLAGES MUSIC IN PORTLAND. WILL IT WORK?
PORTLAND’S MOST MISSED ALL-AGES VENUES
It sucks being an underage music fan in Portland. Just ask one. “It’s definitely a frustrating thing on a couple different levels,” says Stella, 15. A volunteer for KBOO’s Youth Collective, the high-school sophomore helps record live studio sessions by local bands. But if she wants to see a show herself, her options are limited to big-ticket concerts at Moda Center or house parties her parents aren’t always keen on letting her attend. “I don’t play any instruments or sing or anything like that, but I have friends that are musicians, and it’s frustrating on the level of not being able to see those shows.” It’s a familiar complaint. As long as Portland has had a music scene, it seems like young people have been shut out of it. For a long time, the Oregon Liquor Control Commission, with its policies making it virtually impossible for minors and alcohol to exist in the same space, was a convenient scapegoat for the short shelf life of any club trying to serve an underage clientele. But even after those restrictions loosened eight years ago, allowing venues to come up with individualized plans for intermingling kids and booze sales, little has changed. In fact, the state of affairs for the under-21 demographic is more dismal now than it was a decade ago. It’s led some to an unavoidable conclusion: If you’re a midsized venue looking to stay open, the “allages, all the time” model just isn’t sustainable. For the members of Friends of Noise, a newly launched “all-ages advocacy group,” it’s time to try something else. The solution, they say, is going nonprofit. “I don’t think there’s enough money or enough drive in Portland for an all-ages venue to stay open just from ticket sales and selling sodas and water,” says board member Korey Schultz. “There has to be another component to it.” A coalition of youth-music advocates, music-related nonprofits and actual musicloving kids like Stella, Friends of Noise formed a year ago with the long-term goal of creating a multipurpose, communityrun concert and arts space funded in part by grants and public donations. It’s a model that’s worked elsewhere, most notably with Seattle’s Vera Project. It’s an idea that’s
La Luna (1992-99) Former location: 215 SE 9th Ave.
been kicking around in Portland music circles for years, too—but only recently has the situation gotten desperate enough to finally try implementing it. “We’ve never been at ‘total-options crisis mode,’” says Cary Clarke, founder of PDX Pop Now and executive director at Young Audiences Arts for Learning, two Friends of Noise partners. “There was always one or two places you could point to and say, ‘They’re still doing shows. Some have closed, but others have opened.’” But since the closure of Backspace in 2013 (see sidebar), Portland’s all-ages scene has lacked a clear center. Venues that could’ve filled the void—Slabtown, Laughing Horse Book and Film Collective, the Red & Black Cafe—evaporated in rapid succession. With MusicfestNW merging with Project Pabst, now even the city’s biggest music festival is off-limits to anyone under legal drinking age.
“WE PLAN ON SETTING UP THE SYSTEM THAT WILL ALLOW PEOPLE TO GROW THROUGH IT.” —Korey Schultz, Friends of Noise
Venues like the Hawthorne Theatre and Wonder Ballroom allow kids to see national acts on a regular basis, but the price of admission is often out of an average teenager’s budget. And while DIY spaces like Anarres Infoshop in North Portland play an important role in the music ecosystem, they typically have fleeting lifespans, which are only growing shorter as the city gets increasingly more expensive. “Real estate is a very valuable commodity and only becoming more valuable in Portland,” Clarke says. “We’re in a narrow window where it’s viable for grassroots community to lay a claim and say, ‘This is our place, and no matter how the neighborhood changes, this is a space where music is going to be made and everyone can be involved no matter how old they are.’” With Friends of Noise, the hope is to incubate successive generations of creativity— not just through performances but through
hands-on education in sound engineering, promotion and other disciplines. The next few months are dedicated to figuring out exactly where that should be. Through a grant from the Multnomah County Cultural Coalition, the group is planning to hold a series of pop-up concerts over the next year, beginning this week in St. Johns. It’s partly to build awareness, and advocate to city officials about the need for a safe, inclusive and sustainable all-ages venue in Portland, but also to survey the needs of those in neighborhoods largely underserved when it comes to cultural engagement. “We keep telling them, ‘You come down to the art museum, you come down to the Schnitz—community exists downtown,’” says board member Becky Miller. “You’re almost telling them community doesn’t exist where they live. We’re trying to change that [by asking], ‘What’s happening in your neighborhood that’s exciting?’” Involving the audience the venue is looking to serve—fostering a sense of ownership and creating a cycle of mentorship—will be crucial to the success of Friends of Noise. Because the quickest way for the project to fail would be to have a bunch of 30-year-olds dictating their tastes to kids half their age. “The goal of Friends of Noise is not to have an established, adult-led organization,” Schultz says. “Everyone involved in this conversation, everyone on the board, we’ve all said we don’t plan on doing this forever. We plan on setting up the system that will allow people to grow through it.” With any luck, that’ll mean people like Stella. She’s especially interested in learning the booking side of things. In her case, the potential in something like Friends of Noise isn’t just more opportunities to thrash around with her friends. It’s possible career training. “It’s really exciting to be involved with the beginning stages of it,” she says. “We’ve been talking about how maybe, 10 or 15 years from now, this is something that is nationally recognized, and we could hold shows for bands that are touring through Portland at our venue.” SEE IT: The Friends of Noise Launch Party, with Doo Doo Funk Allstars, Neo G Yo, Drex Porter and Gem Dynasty, is at Los Prados Event Hall, 10105 N Lombard St., on Sunday, May 22. 5:30 pm. $5 for youth or $8 for two tickets, $10 adults. All ages.
From the start of 1992, La Luna’s main stage brought the cream of Alternative Nation to Puddletown (Radiohead, Pavement, Weezer) while the more intimate balcony shows of local luminaries, including Elliott Smith, truly changed lives.
17 Nautical Miles (1998-99) Former location: 4609 SE Woodstock Blvd.
Existing for the briefest ﬂash of time, in the tiniest of spaces, 17 Nautical Miles galvanized an indie-rock scene that would blow up nationally in the years just after its closure. And they did it in Woodstock, of all places.
Meow Meow (2000-05) Former locations: 527 SE Pine St., 320 SE 2nd Ave.
Portland’s most valiant attempt at threading the OLCC rules that separate minors from alcohol, Meow Meow—which rebranded as Loveland, then became Rotture/ Branx and is now Euphoria—remains the peak of all-ages ambition through the ﬁrst half of the aughts. As the inaugural host of PDX Pop Now, the club launched the festival’s legacy.
Food Hole (mid-aughts) Former location: 20 NW 3rd Ave.
Before coming of age for louche nightspots Yes & No and Black Book, this tiny sliver of Old Town served as little more than an unadorned closet through which kids piled on top of themselves for heaping gobs of steamy, sweaty, face-melting rawk.
The Artistery (2003-11) Former location: 4315 SE Division St.
Splitting the diﬀerence between a club and house venue, the Artistery hosted the likes of Grouper and Tune-Yards in its basement and became a true second home for regulars. It is now apartments, of course.
Backspace (2003-13) Former location: 115 NW 5th Ave.
Founded as a sleepy little Old Town cyber-cafe in 2003, Backspace would host the odd acoustic set to soundtrack early-evening gaming before the Thermals decided to celebrate their ascendant 2007 with a free show—and thereafter birthed a vital all-ages hub.
Willamette Week MAY 18, 2016 wweek.com
Willamette Week MAY 18, 2016 wweek.com
MUSIC = WW Pick. Highly recommended. 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. 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: firstname.lastname@example.org. Fax: 243-1115.
Andrew Bird, John Grant
[BAROQUE POP] Andrew Bird was the source of one of the few instances in my life where another man’s whistling didn’t provoke a frenzy of eye-rolling. On the contrary: The multi-instrumentalist is one of the most versatile performers working today, with a 20-year career and influences ranging from classical to jazz and old-timey folk. His latest, Are You Serious, is Bird’s attempt to translate what he calls “the brutal pain” of his own experiences into song. It was recorded at the famous Sound City Studios in L.A. and features contributions from Blake Mills, Fiona Apple and the saddest whistling ever committed to tape. CRIS LANKENAU. Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, 1037 SW Broadway. 8 pm. $32.50$42.50. All ages.
Pentagram, Wax Idols, King Woman, Holochronics
[UR-METAL] Some bands are so foundational to a genre’s development that it is difficult to imagine what it would sound like without them. Pentagram is one of them. The Virginia group has been cranking along since the early ’70s, slowly releasing primordial doom metal that’s something like an American garage-rock and punkinflected foil to Black Sabbath, complete with its own eccentric frontman, Bobby Liebling,
whose drug abuse is so legendary it inspired its own documentary. Although the band’s members are less famous than their British coforebears, their impact on the development of metal matches Ozzy and the gang, pound for pound. WALKER MACMURDO. Dante’s, 350 W Burnside St. 8 pm. $20. 21+.
THURSDAY, MAY 19 Charles Bradley & His Extraordinaires
[SOUL] Nobody knows the trouble Charles Bradley has seen. Granted, his troubles are well-documented— how he endured poverty and poor jobs, how he handled tumultuous family relations, how he chased musical discovery well into his 60s. But now, at 67 years old, and with three albums on premier soul-revival label Daptone to his name—the latest being Changes—Bradley has become one of the most engaging and emotive performers in music today. His live shows assume an air of religiosity, and few things in life heal the soul quite as well as his music. HILARY SAUNDERS. Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside St. 9 pm. $28. All ages.
CONT. on page 26 J O S E P H C U LT I C E
WEDNESDAY, MAY 18
OTHER CONSPIRACY THEORIES B.O.B. SHOULD WRITE A SONG ABOUT Stevie Wonder isn’t really blind.
As with B.o.B.’s beloved flat-earth theory, it’s unclear what the sinister benefit of this conspiracy is supposed to be. Maybe the Illuminati runs the Braille industry?
2 Beyoncé was never actually pregnant.
Yes, it would poke the Beyhive, but at this point in B.oB.’s career, no attention is bad attention. Call him Bobby with the no-hair. 3 Chemtrails. Actually, this is probably coming any day now. 4 Neil deGrasse Tyson orchestrated 9/11. I just made this one up...or did I? Think about it. 5 The moon landings were faked. An oldie but goodie, in the sense that rapping about it would increase the likelihood of B.o.B. getting punched in the face by Buzz Aldrin, which is a good thing indeed. MATTHEW SINGER. SEE IT: B.o.B. plays Star Theater, 13 NW 6th Ave., with Scotty ATL and London Jae, on Sunday, May 22. 8 pm. $17.50. All ages. Willamette Week MAY 18, 2016 wweek.com
MUSIC [R&B] Jarle Bernhoft hails from Norway, a country famous for scenic fjords and a high quality of life. Fitting then that there’s an elevated, feelgood nature to his densely layered brand of R&B. The composer and multi-instrumentalist was nominated for a Grammy for his 2014 eﬀort, Islander, and his newest release is a Jamie Lidell-esque collection of funk and soul called Stop/Shutup/Shout It. Previously known for his own looping and instrument juggling, Bernhoft has been playing and touring with his band, the Shudderbugs, which complements his soulful ways. There’s just enough of a Prince element to his newest EP that those in mourning should feel slightly comforted. MARK STOCK. Doug Fir Lounge, 830 E Burnside St. 9 pm. $15. 21+.
[POWER-POP VETERANS] You’d think Matthew Caws would be over the whole heartbreak thing at this point, having set his romantic pitfalls to music with Nada Surf for 25-odd years. Still, there’s plenty of post-pubescent distress on the band’s latest release, You Know Who You Are, even with the frontman approaching 50. The album is anchored by the same shimmering guitars and rhythms that have served as the melodic bedrock for the group’s larger-than-life mantras since its ’90s heyday. Only now, it’s something to be expected rather than savored. Thankfully, the addition of Guided by Voices guitarist Doug Gillard gives the band an added level of ﬁnesse onstage. BRANDON WIDDER. Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell St. 9 pm. $22. All ages.
FRIDAY, MAY 20 Deep Sea Diver, Lost Lander, Hosannas
[INDIE POP] Jessica Dobson’s rock résumé includes stints on the road with Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Beck, Spoon and the Shins. When fronting her own outﬁt, Deep Sea Diver, she manages to incorporate the best traits of each of those previous employers into something just as accessible. Deep Sea Diver has the screech of Nick Zinner’s ever-swaying guitars, the inventive, upbeat groove of Spoon and the ethereal stumble of James Mercer’s best work, but delivered via Dobson’s unique, retro-ﬂecked interpretation. CRIS LANKENAU. Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi Ave. 9 pm. $12. 21+.
SATURDAY, MAY 21 Young Thug, Lil Yachty
[MIXTAPE MAESTRO] Young Thug’s Hy!£UN35 tour marks the Atlanta rap artist’s third trip to Portland after a string of high-proﬁle mixtapes of solo genius and AutoTuned melodic marvel, which makes sense. Flashback to two years ago, when his Black Portland project, featuring the low-key club hit “Stoner,” eﬀectively launched Thug’s career as a solo artist. Last time he graced the Roseland, the show lacked the yin-yang punch of his Portland debut with hype rapper Travis Scott, with more lean breaks and a clearly fatigued Thugga imploring the crowd to turn up at the close of a national tour. With the mystery of the Hy!£UN35 album in the background, this sold-out show guarantees the most eccentric persona in the rap game making good on his live promise, perhaps with some unheard of heat for his hungry fans. WYATT SCHAFFNER. Roseland Theater, 8 NW 6th Ave. 8 pm. Sold out. All ages.
SUNDAY, MAY 22 Barna Howard, Snowblind Traveler
[TIMELESS FOLK] The cover of Barna Howard’s Quite a Feelin’—like the music housed within it—feels hidden behind an Instagram ﬁlter. It’s essentially a modern take on the kind of minimalist folk Townes Van Zandt was kicking out in the early ’70s, pep-
Willamette Week MAY 18, 2016 wweek.com
pered with just the right amount of dobro and mandolin. That said, the local singer-songwriter is a solid guitarist and damn ﬁne storyteller who happens to ﬁnd humor in the gaping hole in his heart. The gentle acoustic arrangements and Howard’s polished croon simply make for easy listening, especially if there’s a patio involved. BRANDON WIDDER. Rontoms, 600 E Burnside St. 8 pm. Free. 21+.
MONDAY, MAY 23 Joseph Arthur, Matt the Electrician
[PERFORMANCE ART] Joseph Arthur’s output is a singular interpretation of the folky acoustic guitar and hyper-sincere lyrical combo that manages to come oﬀ fresh and original in one of the oldest American genres. In recent years, he’s used eﬀects and looping pedals to create
deep sonic tapestries that elevate an already stunning live show to a nearreligious experience. Arthur’s works as a visual artist have accompanied his musical output since his debut, and he’s been known to complete new pieces midsong during recent performances. His latest eﬀort is a familialthemed opus appropriately titled The Family. CRIS LANKENAU. Alberta Rose Theatre, 3000 NE Alberta St. 8 pm. $18-$22. Under 21 permitted with legal guardian.
[POWER POP-PUNK] Somewhat lacking the fashion, politics or selfdestructive allure of their 100 Club brethren, the Buzzcocks never ﬁgured to loom large in the overarching mythology that engulfed the ﬁrst wave of U.K. punk champions. From
CONT. on page 28
INTRODUCING COURTESY OF SAGE FISHER
Bernhoft and the Shudderbugs, Johnny P
Dolphin Midwives WHO: Sage Fisher (harp, vocals). FOR FANS OF: Alice Coltrane, Joanna Newsom, Grouper. SOUNDS LIKE: Encountering a unicorn in a medieval garden hedge maze, then cooling off in a lagoon surrounded by pangendered wood nymphs. Sage Fisher realizes the term “New Age music” has certain connotations, which she is happy to defy. “There’s something gross and visceral about the name Dolphin Midwives,” says the 26-year-old singer and harpist. “It comes from a book called The Ancient Secret of the Flower of Life, and the midwives are actual dolphins who are present in aiding a human water birth, which continues to this day.” Sage’s polyrhythmic harp compositions and vocal collages on Dolphin Midwives’ debut, Orchid Milk, are a far departure from her past musical life as Nadine Mooney, for which she played solo acoustic guitar and released an album on Tender Loving Empire in 2008. The 10 songs on Orchid Milk have an Enya-like quality, an artist’s call to the heavens and ancestors past through looping delay-drenched harp and Björk-style vocal manipulations. “When I write music, I’m thinking about the laws of physics and how I can counter them,” she says. “I come up with games like this when I’m composing, creating songs with different types of rhythm and tuning, exploring those in-between spaces between notes.” Sage is releasing the album at the Kenton Masonic Temple, which she sees as the perfect venue for illustrating the project’s themes of life, death and the occult: “The giant mural on the ceiling is of a star map, with sacred geometry painted on top of that,” Sage says. Despite her ephemeral inspirations, though, Dolphin Midwives remain grounded in tangible applications for what Sage sees as the gift of harp music. “I’ve been really interested in music-thanatology. Basically, playing harp for people on their deathbeds as a form of music therapy,” she says. “I want to develop something like that, but for birthing ceremonies. Can you imagine what the world would be like if everyone was born to harp?” WYATT SCHAFFNER. SEE IT: Dolphin Midwives plays Kenton Masonic Temple, 8130 N Denver Ave., with Venerable Showers of Beauty Gamelan Orchestra and Dead Death, on Saturday, May 21. 8 pm. $12. All ages.
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C O U R T E S Y O F P E N TA G R A M U S A . C O M
Pentagram plays Dante’s on Wednesday, May 18. the mid-’77 moment that founding frontman Howard Devoto abandoned the group for decidedly artier climes, Pete Shelley and Steve Diggle rattled off three sparkling collections of supra-distinct singles— caustic laments, less jaded than grumpy, rejiggering British Invasionera melodic hooks as whiplash gob-alongs. Prioritizing tunecraft above image may have dimmed the Mancunians’ cultural footprint, but it’s also kept the music flowing decades past their contemporaries. Since reforming in 1989, they’ve tripled their original discography, and if 2014’s The Way can’t quite compare to that early fusillade of insta-classics, only a band that started life complaining about “Fast Cars” could be trusted to lyrically bitch about Facebook, absent embarrassment. JAY HORTON. Revolution Hall, 1300 SE Stark St. 8 pm. $25. 21+.
TUESDAY, MAY 24 U.S. Girls, Fiver, Reptaliens
[EXPERIMENTAL POP] By now, you ought to be well aware of British independent record label 4AD. Its outstanding cast includes the likes of Ariel Pink, D.D Dumbo, Holly Herndon and Sohn. Meghan Remy’s solo act, U.S. Girls, is also a part of that esteemed cast, playing a lingering brand of experimental pop. Last year, the Illinois-born musician released Half Free, an extremely compelling collection of slightly twisted melodic pop that deals in subject matter that’s just as creative. Sometimes, U.S. Girls presents itself in a housey noir vein à la Glass Candy, at other times delivering eerie bedroom musings, and it’s that shape-shifting aesthetic that keeps Remy’s work so alluring. MARK STOCK. Doug Fir Lounge, 830 E Burnside St. 9 pm. $12. 21+.
Ahleuchatistas, Blue Cranes, Like a Villain
[SONIC EXPLORERS] This lineup initially looks like what happens when all the more categorizable bands were assigned to appropriate gigs, leaving the bookers to say, “Fuck it, let’s just throw these unclassifiable leftovers into a single show.”
Willamette Week MAY 18, 2016 wweek.com
But while shunning genre, they share some common aesthetic ground. Thanks to their melodic grooves, Portland’s Blue Cranes have long appealed as much to rock fans as to jazz heads. Holland Andrews’ Like a Villain uses jazzy instruments (tenor sax, clarinet), plus her voice and loops, in soundscapes inspired by avant-garde classical figures like Meredith Monk and avant-pop stars like Björk. And the Asheville, N.C., guitar-drum duo Ahleuchatistas’ very name—Charlie Parker’s “Ah-leucha” is an early-’50s bop classic— suggests a rocked-up 21st-century descendant of the speedy rhythmic permutations and angular melodies of bebop, though they’re sometimes tagged as “math rock.” BRETT CAMPBELL. Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi Ave. 8 pm. $12. 21+.
Mac DeMarco, James Ferraro
[CYPHER FUNK] After packing out the Crystal with the most sustained crowd-surf ever taken by a frontman, Mac DeMarco’s move to the Roseland seems natural. But one has to consider what playing in venues like this up and down the West Coast signifies for James Ferraro, once the golden child of experimental noise music and progenitor of a multiverse of electronic music subgenres. After decades of self-recording out of resourcefulness and computer plugins, Ferraro’s latest, Skid Row, shifts toward more acoustic production, narrating the seedy allure of the Los Angeles megalopolis as a brokendown R&B cowboy-beatnik. WYATT SCHAFFNER. Roseland Theater, 8 NW 6th Ave. 9 pm. Sold out. All ages. Through May 25.
CLASSICAL, JAZZ & WORLD Peter Brötzmann Quartet
[DEATHJAZZ] When multidisciplinary artist Peter Brötzmann comes to town, there’s no way to know what to expect. He’s been pumping out aggressive, fractured jazz since the late ’60s. While he still dabbles in painting and design, blowing horn is what he does best. This current quartet—reeds, vibes, double bass and drums—assembled for only 10 U.S. dates. Brötzmann,
DATES HERE now 75, is still improvising and constantly collaborating. Who knows how many more chances we’ll get to hear him? This is sure to be a challenging, fearless, unsettling set, full of Germanic passion. Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi Ave. 8 pm Thursday, May 19. $15. 21+.
Nu Shooz, BAGTOWN
[CLASSICAL] Gustav Mahler wrote epics. His Symphony No. 3 spans over 90 minutes and features a large orchestra accompanied by the Vox Femina women’s choral ensemble, the women of the Portland State Chamber Choir and, for good measure, the Pacific Youth Choir. This is musical drama writ large—the longest piece and the final symphony proper of the 2015-16 season. Conductor Carlos Kalmar has gifted us with so many fantastic selections this year, and this sprawling masterpiece is his finale. NATHAN CARSON. Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, 1037 SW Broadway. 7:30 pm Saturday, 8 pm Monday, May 21 and 23. $105. All ages.
[JAZZBO SOUL] As its mem bers wi ll be t he first to admit, Nu Shooz became pop stars almost entirely by accident. Before a Scandinavian remixer threw that unmistakable chokinggoose sound effect over a 2-year-old song called “I Can’t Wait” in 1986—propelling it to No. 3 on the dance charts and a cultural ubiquity that persists today—Valerie Day and John Smith were self-proclaimed “jazz hippies” with a serious R&B jones, drawing big crowds on Portland’s fledgling soul circuit. For the first true Nu Shooz album in 28 years, the band digs back into those roots with a set of pleasantly groovy, if innocuous, cocktail-lounge funk. It’s the stuff they know best, and while Bagtown isn’t likely to spark a comeback in national consciousness, it’s an enjoyable bookend to their career. Fluttery horns and vibes dance around Day’s porcelain voice on the title track, while “Soul Cushion” and “Way Outside” exude the playfulness of Tom Tom Club. The ’70s soul pastiche “Real Thing ” nicks the trumpet line from “Papa Was a Rolling Stone.” You’ll also find tributes to James Brown (“Crazy Thing”) and Zapp (“The Party’s Not Over”), and while a lot of it fades into hotel-lobby wallpaper, there are break-sized moments here and there you can imagine a skilled DJ transforming into something entirely different. Hey, it’s happened before. MATTHEW SINGER.
Cascadia Composers, the Mousai
SEE IT: Nu Shooz plays Star Theater, 13 NW 6th Ave., on Saturday, May 21. 8 pm. $20. 21+.
Lalgudi Krishnan and Shahid Parvez
[INDIAN CLASSICAL] Each descended from a long ancestral line of estimable musicians and recipients of numerous awards, Chennai violin virtuoso Lalgudi Krishnan and Mumbai-born sitar master Shahid Parvez are among the leading figures of their generation in Indian music’s two great traditions: the southern Carnatic style and the northern Hindustani. Both often infuse those traditional sounds with elements from the other tradition, making this Kalakendra concert a cross-classical collaboration. They’ll be accompanied on percussion instruments from the respective traditions: Amit Kavthekar (a student of Zakir Hussain) on tabla and Shriram Brahmanandan on mridangam drum. BRETT CAMPBELL First Baptist Church, 909 SW 11th Ave. 7 pm Saturday, May 21. $25. All ages.
Mahler’s Symphony No. 3
[NORTHWEST FAIRY TALE] This concert, part of the Celebration Works series, brings together two of Portland’s most potent new-music forces. Cascadia Composers provides a vehicle for Northwesterners who write fresh music for “classical” instruments, while winds and piano ensemble the Mousai specializes in energetic performances of contemporary classical music that go way beyond the “rusty door hinge” sounds of the experimentalist-modernist niche in appealing to a broad section of music fans. The group ties together the diverse works (by Matthew Kaminski, Liz Nedela, John Bilotta, Scott Shell and others who fall under the “no dead white guys” designation) with an original, fractured fairytale frame. BRETT CAMPBELL. First Presbyterian Church, 1200 SW Alder St., 503-228-7331. 2 pm Sunday, May 22. $15. All ages.
Portland State Chamber Choir
[CHORAL CORNUCOPIA] Portland State University’s select chamber choir won national and international acclaim a generation ago under renowned director Bruce Browne. When he retired, so did the choir’s award-winning ways, until current director Ethan Sperry recently came aboard to lead the student singers to starry summits again, with big competition wins in Europe and North America. Browne and Sperry co-conduct this 40th anniversary concert that features the U.S. premiere of a big new piece based on an Inuit myth by one of today’s most popular young choral composers, Latvia’s Eriks Esenvalds, plus music by other modern choral masters, including Estonia’s Veljo Tormis and California’s Eric Whitacre, along with the folk songs, spirituals and pop tunes that have long enlivened the choir’s repertoire. BRETT CAMPBELL. St. Mary’s Cathedral, 1716 NW Davis St. 2 pm Sunday, May 22. $25. All ages.
For more Music listings, visit
[DREAM SOUL] The P W R H AU S b a c k st o r y begins with 2011’s anonymous vanity project To My Long Lost Love exploding into (minor) ov e r n i g h t p o p u l a r i t y after Robin Pecknold of Fl e et Foxe s inc l ude d the LP in a list of his favorite albums from that year, crediting it to “an unknown Portland musician.” Since being ID’d and forced into the limelight, frontman Tonality Star—in voice and presence, a kind of a cross between Karen Carpenter, Stephin Merritt and Genesis P- Orridge—has added a backing band to churn out the misty, reverb-drenched soul balladry that pulled him out of obscurity. Like Merritt, Star’s single-minded topical choices could easily wear thin after even one LP, but the sincerity that shines through the fog keeps it from getting stale. On this new self-titled EP, Star’s soft and gorgeously vulnerable voice still sits comfortably in an intentionally clouded cushion of swirly echo and simplistic melody, set to a pace that makes Beach House seem like Donna Summer. This offering particularly recalls the downtempo aesthetic of schmaltzy ’70s-’80s piano men Ambrosia, or a “When Doves Cry” 45 played at 33 rpm. In all, the addition of an eight-piece band will fortify the melancholy fans have come to love, but the enigmatic frontman is still the…well, star. CRIS LANKENAU. SEE IT: PWRHAUS plays Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison St., with Cat Hoch, BRUMES and Radiation City DJs, on Wednesday, May 18. 8:30 pm. $6. 21+.
Willamette Week MAY 18, 2016 wweek.com
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: email@example.com. For more listings, check out wweek.com.
LAST WEEK LIVE
8 NW 6th Ave Young Thug, Lil Yachty
13 NW 6th Ave. Nu Shooz, DJ Bobby D
The Secret Society
116 NE Russell St Melao De Cuba Salsa Orchestra; Everything’s Jake
SUN. MAY 22 Doug Fir Lounge 830 E Burnside St. Big Black Delta
First Presbyterian Church
1200 SW Alder St. Cascadia Composers, the Mousai
LaurelThirst Public House 2958 NE Glisan St Freak Mountain Ramblers
Los Prados Event Hall
PREACHING TO THE CHOIR: In the middle of The Thermals’ husky but unhurried set at Wonder Ballroom on May 13, the latest Portland sighting since their gig at the Bernie Sanders rally, bassist Kathy Foster tallied the band’s existence as lasting more than 14 years, adding, that in that moment, onstage in Portland for the umpteenth time, they “[felt] the love.” It’s true, the city loves the Thermals, because in the Thermals the city sees something increasingly uncommon: They see a band that has never had to drastically change its DNA in order to stay alive. After an opening set with her main band, Summer Cannibals, guitarist-vocalist Jessica Boudreaux basically stayed onstage, joining the Thermals as an extra pair of nimble hands. Frontman Hutch Harris, freed from lead guitar duties, attacked each song with the fervor of a preacher building a congregation. This, he seemed to be saying as he randomly pointed at people’s faces or bits of empty air, is how you live forever. They must have played close to 25 songs. Their setlist was mostly built from their latest LP, We Disappear, and the majority of their most beloved album, 2006’s The Body, the Blood, the Machine, but the audience rallied the loudest around the title track of 2009’s Now We Can See—probably because it was a song delivered flawlessly, the chorus big and singable and known like the back of each audience member’s hand. It was infectious, all that familiarity. In so many ways, We Disappear proves that the current incarnation of the Thermals isn’t all that far removed from the band that released “No Culture Icons” in 2003. But when they played that song to kick off the encore, and when they sounded just as invigorated as they do on those first fuzzy recordings, it’s hard to believe there will ever come a time when going to see the Thermals won’t feel like it’s your first. DOM SINACOLA. = WW Pick. Highly recommended.
WED. MAY 18 Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall
1037 SW Broadway Andrew Bird, John Grant
350 West Burnside Pentagram, Wax Idols, King Woman, Holochronics
1001 SE Morrison St. PWRHAUS, Cat Hoch, Radiation City DJs
221 NW 10th Ave. Mel Brown Quartet; The Christopher Brown Quartet
426 SW Washington St. Adventure Galley, Oh Malo, Le Printemps
LaurelThirst Public House
2958 NE Glisan St City Pines, The Steiner Estate; Malachi Graham
3939 N Mississippi Ave. An Evening With James McCartney
THURS. MAY 19 Alberta Rose
3000 NE Alberta St Jeffrey Foucault
1332 W Burnside St Charles Bradley & His Extraordinaires
350 West Burnside Booze & Glory, The Reducers & Rum Rebellion
Doug Fir Lounge
830 E Burnside St. Bernhoft and the Shudderbugs, Johnny P
2530 NE 82nd Ave John Thayer Band
1507 SE César E. Chávez Blvd. Onry Ozzborn, Wool See, Graves33, Myke Bogan
221 NW 10th Ave. Mel Brown B3 Organ Group
426 SW Washington St. Sun Machine
LaurelThirst Public House
The Liquor Store
2958 NE Glisan St Joe Kaplow, King Columbia, Bridge City Sinners; Lewi Longmire & the Left Coast Roasters
3939 N Mississippi Ave. Peter Brötzmann Quartet
Roseland Theater 8 NW 6th Ave Amon Amarth
3341 SE Belmont St, Kalida 128 NE Russell St. Immortal Technique, Chino XL, Mic Crenshaw & Dj Ozroc
2845 SE Stark St Paa Kow, POPgoji
Willamette Week MAY 18, 2016 wweek.com
2026 NE Alberta St Lubec, Drunken Palms, Haste
The Secret Society
116 NE Russell St Thursday Swing: Trashcan Joe, Pink Lady & John Bennet Jazz Band
232 SW Ankeny St Monoclub with Oleada, Double Platinum Latinum
White Eagle Saloon 836 N Russell St Matt Andersen & the Bona Fide
Wonder Ballroom 128 NE Russell St. Nada Surf
FRI. MAY 20 Dante’s
350 West Burnside The Crosses, Toe Tag, Jagula, Mongoloid
Doug Fir Lounge 830 E Burnside St. Chris Pureka, S
2530 NE 82nd Ave Lloyd Jones
Small Places, Dan Tedesco
Steelhorse (Bon Jovi tribute), One From Many
LaurelThirst Public House
2958 NE Glisan St Michael Hurley & the Croakers; Libertine Belles
3939 N Mississippi Ave. Deep Sea Diver, Lost Lander, Hosannas
3100 NE Sandy Blvd Skinned, Genocide Method, Hyborian Rage, Devour
13 NW 6th Ave. Witch Mountain, Brothers of the Sonic Cloth, Batholith
2026 NE Alberta St John Wesley Coleman III, The Original Donald Trump, Bobby Peru
SAT. MAY 21 Al’s Den at Crystal Hotel
303 SW 12th Ave The American West, Mike Coykendall & Dead Men Talking
1507 SE César E. Chávez Blvd. Bob Wayne & The Outlaw Carnies
Ash Street Saloon
High Water Mark Lounge
1332 W Burnside St The Expendables
6800 NE MLK Ave The Ruminations, Bitch School, The Reverberations
426 SW Washington St.
225 SW Ash St Dayglo Abortions
350 West Burnside Diana Arbenina & The Night Snipers
Doug Fir Lounge 830 E Burnside St.
2530 NE 82nd Ave Pin & Hornits
First Baptist Church 909 SW 11th Ave. Lalgudi Krishnan and Shahid Parvez
1507 SE César E. Chávez Blvd. Blue Helix
221 NW 10th Ave. Andy Stokes
426 SW Washington St. Dream Parade, Sexy Julian
Kenton Masonic Temple
8130 N Denver Ave. Dolphin Midwives, Venerable Showers of Beauty Gamelan Orchestra, Death Death
4847 SE Division St, Petunia and the Vipers
LaurelThirst Public House
2958 NE Glisan St Billy Kennedy (all ages), Fernando, Big North Duo
10105 N Lombard St. Friends of Noise Launch Party: Doo Doo Funk Allstars, Neo G Yo, Drex Porter, Gem Dynasty
600 E Burnside St Barna Howard, Snowblind Traveler
13 NW 6th Ave. B.o.B, Scotty ATL, London Jae
St. Mary’s Cathedral
1716 NW Davis St. Portland State Chamber Choir
The Liquor Store
3341 SE Belmont St, Linear Downfall, Ali Muhareb, Strange Wool
The Secret Society 116 NE Russell St The Lowest Pair, The Pine Hearts
MON. MAY 23 Alberta Rose
3000 NE Alberta St Joseph Arthur
221 NW 10th Ave. Dan Balmer Trio
LaurelThirst Public House 2958 NE Glisan St Kung Pao Chickens; Portland Country Underground
1300 SE Stark St #110 Buzzcocks, Residuels
TUES. MAY 24 Alberta Rose
3000 NE Alberta St Kris Allen, Marie Miller
350 West Burnside Giuda
Doug Fir Lounge 830 E Burnside St. U.S. Girls, Fiver, Reptaliens
221 NW 10th Ave. Mel Brown Septet; Beaumont Middle School Fundraiser
3939 N Mississippi Ave. Ahleuchatistas, Blue Cranes, Like a Villain
3939 N Mississippi Ave. Eric Bachmann, Barton Carroll, Lenore 1300 SE Stark St #110 Soul Sensation featuring Soul Vaccination, Farnell Newton & The Othership Connection, Vinnie DeWayne
8 NW 6th Ave Mac DeMarco, James Ferraro
WED. MAY 18 Dig A Pony
736 SE Grand Ave. Deep Space (garage, soul)
Euphoria Nightclub 315 SE 3rd Ave FAK Wednesdays: Gangsigns
511 NW Couch St. TRONix (electronica)
1430 NE Sandy Blvd. DJ Blackhawk
639 Southeast Morrison St. DJ Suzanne Bummers
The Lovecraft Bar
421 SE Grand Ave Event Horizon (darkwave, industrial, EBM, synth)
THURS. MAY 19 Church
2600 NE Sandy Blvd. Emerson Lyon
Dig A Pony
2845 SE Stark St Soul Stew (funk, soul, disco) w/ DJ Aquaman
The Liquor Store
3341 SE Belmont St, Spend The Night w/ Marc Schneider & Chrissy
The Lovecraft Bar
421 SE Grand Ave Electronomicon (darkwave, EBM, electro)
SAT. MAY 21 Beech Street Parlor
412 NE Beech Street DDDJJJ666 & Magnolia Bouvier (eclectic vinyl)
2600 NE Sandy Blvd. Fritzwa (NY house & hip-hop)
2035 NE Glisan St. DJ Philadelphia Freedom
Dig A Pony
736 SE Grand Ave. Dirty Red (boogie)
736 SE Grand Ave. Battles & Lamar (freestyle, electro, boogie)
Double Barrel Tavern
Gold Dust Meridian
3267 SE Hawthorne Blvd. DJ Matt Stanger
3967 N. Mississippi Ave. Brazilian Night w/ Nik Nice & Brother Charlie
The Embers Avenue
100 NW Broadway Thursday Electronic w/ DJ Jens
The Lovecraft Bar
421 SE Grand Ave Shadowplay (goth, industrial, EBM)
FRI. MAY 20 Beech Street Parlor
412 NE Beech Street Kenya Night (Kenyan twist, benga, lingala) w/ DJ Elrond Hubbird
2002 SE Division St. DJ Daddy Issues 1800 E Burnside St. DJ Doc Rock
Gold Dust Meridian
3267 SE Hawthorne Blvd. DJ Major Sean
1001 SE Morrison St. 3 Kings: Prince, Michael and Stevie Wonder Tribute Night w/ Rev. Shines & Ronin Roc
3967 N. Mississippi Ave. DeeJay Ross Island
1430 NE Sandy Blvd. DJ Joel Jett
639 Southeast Morrison St. DJ Clovis
2845 SE Stark St Get On Up (Prince mix & mash) w/ Takimba & DJ Saucy
The Liquor Store
The Lovecraft Bar
20 NW 3rd Ave The Cave w/ Massacooramaan 2600 NE Sandy Blvd. DJ E*Rock vs. Anachronism 1332 W Burnside St 80s Video Dance Attack: Prince Tribute Night
Dig A Pony
736 SE Grand Ave. Jimbo (sweaty 80s)
Gold Dust Meridian
3267 SE Hawthorne Blvd. DJ VW Banger
1001 SE Morrison St. Act Right (dance), w/ DJ Nathan Detroit, Dimitri & Maxx Bass
832 N Killingsworth St Strange Babes (wave, synthpop, punk, underground)
3967 N. Mississippi Ave. Montel Spinoza
639 Southeast Morrison St. DJ Danava
The Embers Avenue
100 NW Broadway Friday Night 80’s & Top 40 w/ DJ Jens
3341 SE Belmont St, Saints of Bass (techno, house) 421 SE Grand Ave Sabbath (dark dance) w/ Miz Margo
SUN. MAY 22 Beech Street Parlor 412 NE Beech Street Jam The Controls w/ Selector Travi D.
The Embers Avenue
100 NW Broadway Latino night with DJ Leo
The Lovecraft Bar
421 SE Grand Ave SOFT-FUR MEOWTATIONS (benefit dance party for House of Dreams cat shelter) w/ DJ Acid Rick & DJ Daniel Slay Lewis
MON. MAY 23 Beech Street Parlor 412 NE Beech Street Count Lips
2035 NE Glisan St. DJ Danny Dodge
736 SE Grand Ave. Boom! (oldies, garage, R&B)
Dig A Pony
511 NW Couch St. Reagan-o-mix (new wave, hip-hop, soundtrack)
Where to drink this week.
1. Skyline Tavern
426 SW Washington St. Eye Candy VJs
639 Southeast Morrison St. Metal Monday w/ DJ Chainsaw
The Lovecraft Bar
421 SE Grand Ave Murder Mass (industrial, 80s, spooky)
TUES. MAY 24 Black Book
20 NW 3rd Ave Turnt Up Tuesdays
2600 NE Sandy Blvd. DJ Philadelphia Freedom (bubblegum, garage)
2035 NE Glisan St. DJ Colin Sic
Dig A Pony
736 SE Grand Ave. AM Gold (oldies)
639 Southeast Morrison St. DJ Wrestlerock
The Embers Avenue
100 NW Broadway Recycle (EBM, industrial, darkwave) w/ DJ Tibin
The Lovecraft Bar
421 SE Grand Ave BONES (dark dance) w/ DJ Aurora & DJ Acid Rick
18 NW 3rd Ave. Tubesdays w/ DJ Jack
8031 NW Skyline Blvd., 503-286-4788, skytav.com. Skyline Tavern, our 2016 Bar of the Year, is a singular mountain vacation within Portland city limits—an old roadhouse dive with a back patio looking out on trees and more trees, a barbecue out back and, lately, a credit-card reader and a great beer list.
4811 SE Hawthorne Blvd., 503-236-2454. Quarterworld is slowly coming together—after a start that seemed a little unﬁnished. The newest addition? A giant goddamn Tesla coil like the one in every supervillain’s lair. Except this one, named Tessie, apparently plays music?
3. Solae’s Lounge
1801 NE Alberta St., 503-206-8338, solaeslounge.com. The Rose City’s homage to the great jazz bars of New Orleans, Solae’s is a relaxed, multichambered haven with a long bar, a pooltable room, and a large patio for hotweather drinks.
4. Revolution Hall
1300 SE Stark St., No. 110, 503-288-3895, revolutionhallpdx. com. You notice it’s sunny out? Well, there’s a rooftop here as a topside adjunct to basement bar Marthas in the huge former Washington High School. And it’s ﬁnally open to the public, on sunny-day show nights. Git some.
5. Teutonic Wine Co. 3303 SE 20th Ave., 503-235-5053, teutonicwines.com. Some of the ﬁnest, most singular urban wine, from riesling to complex pinot noir, is now available in a handmade bar, and often served by its winemakers and owners to the soundtrack of ambient Stereolab or German butt rock.
TOFFEE MATE: There is no toffee at Toffee Club (1006 SE Hawthorne Blvd., 971-254-9518, toffeeclubpdx.com). Where the dank and cramped Hawthorne Strip once stood, there is now a convivial English soccer pub that serves up fish and chips, and an ungodly array of Samuel Smith beer bottles alongside Firestone Walker and Breakside taps. The new bar looks nothing like its strip-club predecessor—it’s hard to even remember where the stage once sat. The airy, sun-drenched space looks instead like postwar England. That is to say, one half looks like a domestic sports pub with leaf-patterned deco wallpaper, a burnished-wood bar and a dartboard in a specially made wall recess. And the other half looks like a mortar-shelled concrete bunker, with screens that pull down over windows and a loading gate looking out on the liquor store. The bar’s name, as it turns out, comes from the Toffees—fans of Liverpudlian club Everton. One such Toffee is the bar’s owner, Pete Hoppins, design director for all of Nike’s soccerwear. But the Toffee who’s actually in the Club is his brother Jack Hoppins, who puttered around during an epic Warriors-Blazers game trying to figure out the strange and foreign sport called “basketball” while his very American bartender laughed. The bar played host to a massive game projection in a tiny white-walled backroom, which opens up for a Timbers and English Premier League schedule posted on the website. But it was more pleasant to watch from the bar while eating a well-battered fish sandwich ($10) with surprisingly good bread, plus a pint of malty-pale Fuller’s. Much at the bar feels halffilled in—especially the bizarrely paltry liquor selection short on decent scotch and gin. But it’ll be a nice little bar, especially coming off the bridge during happy hour. MATTHEW KORFHAGE.
Willamette Week MAY 18, 2016 wweek.com
Willamette Week MAY 18, 2016 wweek.com
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 (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.
THEATER OPENINGS & PREVIEWS Annie
After the commercial success of the 2014 ﬁlm reboot starring Jamie Foxx and Quvenzhané Wallis, the popular Broadway musical comes to Portland. Set during the Great Depression, it tells the story of optimistic Little Orphan Annie and millionaire Oliver “Daddy” Warbucks, who takes her in. This iteration is directed by the original 1977 lyricist and director Martin Charnin, and will likely hew closely to the original storyline. Keller Auditorium, 222 SW Clay St., 503-2484335. 7:30 pm Wednesday-Friday, 2 and 7:30 pm Saturday, 1 and 6:30 pm Sunday. May 18-22. $35-$80.
TFW you’re sitting alone in a dimly lit bar, nursing a pint while rain glides sadly down the windows and streetlights glow amber, your eyes downcast, silent and still, but inside you’re twisted: haunted by the past, perplexed by the present, determined to solve the existential mystery of life before last call. Action/Adventure knows those noirish feelings, and spent the last year making a play about them with an impressive team of devisers and performers. JESS DRAKE. Action/Adventure Theatre, 1050 SE Clinton St., action-adventure. squarespace.com. 8 pm ThursdaySunday, May 19-June 4. $15 advance, $18 at the door.
Note to Self
This ensemble piece about talking to your future self mixes traditional theater with poetry, music and dance. Twelve actors from CoHo’s writing workshop, who range in age from 23 to 80, play 6 diﬀerent characters at various stages of life. The performance is the culmination of months of writing hundreds of “notes to self.” CoHo Theater, 2257 NW Raleigh St., 503-220-2646. 7:30 pm ThursdaySaturday, 2 pm Sunday. May 20-June 5. $21 advance, $25 at the door.
Now Then: A Prologue
It is not often that a theatrical piece comes in two parts, so Allie Hankins must have a lot to say in this ﬁrst part of her performance work. In this one-woman, dialogue-based show, Allie Hankins ponders the always-relevant topics of love and sex. Get in if you plan on following Hankins work: A Prologue has a short run and is necessary viewing to understand the second part, coming soon. The Siren Theatre, 315 NW Davis St., sirentheater.com. 8 pm Friday-Sunday, May 20-22. $15.
The Skin of Our Teeth
A ﬁrst grader plays a woolly mammoth is this reprise of Thornton Wilder’s Pulitzer Prize-winning comedy. In it, one ordinary American family in New Jersey does the impossible. The Antrobus family lives through the entire history of the planet. A huge ensemble cast— including some of Portland’s top talents such as Val Landrum, Michael Mendelson and the indomitable Vana O’Brien—acts out biblical stories and ancient myths, couching them all in the context of family life. Cain is a kid throwing rocks. Mom tries to herd animals two by two, like a domestic Noah. Dad’s busy inventing the wheel. Artists Repertory Theatre (Alder Stage), 1515 SW Morrison St.,
503-241-1278. 7:30 pm WednesdaySaturday, 2 and 7:30 pm Sunday. Through June 12. $25-$48.
A cast of kids takes on the classic fairy tale, but with an anime-inspired twist: Instead of waiting around for a kiss from a prince, Snow White must “unite the seven spirits and liberate a kingdom.” Girl power and staﬀ ﬁghting ensue. Northwest Children’s Theater, 1819 NW Everett St., 503-2224480. 7 pm Friday, noon and 4 pm Saturday-Sunday, May 20-22. $17-$21.
Improv is, by deﬁnition, an unwieldy dramatic form that veers in all directions. Symbolism is like that. Swastikas! Evil eyes! Dung beetles! Improvisers tell stories themed around “the signs” and making meaning out of “the chaos of the world” in this new long-form show from Brody Theater’s Domeka Parker. Shaking the Tree Theater, 823 SE Grant St., 503235-0635. 10 pm Friday-Saturday, May 20-21 and 27-28. $5.
NEW REVIEWS Almost, Maine
The most private moments in love are also the most fun to spy on. Audiences get to indulge their voyeuristic sides at Lyon Theatre’s Almost, Maine, where eight moments from relationships at totally diﬀerent stages come front and center. You can see the slow downturn of Ginette’s mouth when she tells Pete she loves him and he’s silent. It’s intimate, with only three rows of seating inside the tiny Shaking the Tree Theater and two actors on stage at any time. The tiny but impressive cast includes Portlandia veterans Katie O’Grady Field and Jaime Langton, who enthusiastically take the female roles, and John Zoller, who quadruple-turns as a bewildered boyfriend, a jaded husband, a man in love with his best male friend and a lost soul who reconnects with an old ﬂame at a bachelorette party. The other male roles are played by tall and lanky Jason Satterlund, making his theater debut here after 25 year directing in the ﬁlm industry. And it’s an impressive debut, where he assumes multiple roles with an ease that proves he’s been paying attention to the art of acting from behind the camera. Whether voyeurism makes a good date night is your prerogative. RUSSEL HAUSFELD. Shaking the Tree Warehouse, 823 SE Grant St., 503-2350635. 7:30 pm Thursday-Saturday. May 19-28. $17 online, $20 at the door.
Desdemona, a Play About a Handkerchief
The ﬁght scene in Post 5’s Desdemona, a play about a handkerchief (choreographed by Kristen Mun) follows a drunken, topless chillsesh and ends in an oﬀstage scream with a white cloth stained red. Why should Shakespeare’s dudes get all the violent outbursts? Playwright Paula Vogel imagined what Othello’s ladies were doing in their castle chambers. Just like the men, they are into betrayal and murder. Desdemona’s (Elizabeth Parker) weapon of choice is a wine bottle: she swings wide but pours generously to curb her privileged boredom. Emilia (Lucy Paschall) brandishes a cruciﬁx, aiming to strike the sin she sees in women’s free sexuality with the fervor of a wife regularly raped by her husband. Bianca (Shannon Mastel), Cyprus’s top sex
CONT. on page 34
FAR FROM FLORIDA: Samson Syharath and Jane Geesman.
Provincial Russian Turn-Ons
DEFUNKT THEATRE EXPLODES THE PATRIARCHY WITH SEX IN THE UDMURTS When a playwright and a theater click, you can feel it. David Zellnik and Defunkt met in 2014 with Let a Hundred Flowers Bloom, exploring the AIDS era, disability and Marxism together in a sweet and comedic way. The romance continues with Defunkt’s world premiere of The Udmurts at its tiny theater in the back room of Southeast Hawthorne Boulevard’s Common Grounds cafe. The coffee line at intermission was buzzing after a startling bit of bloody Udmurtian horse magic just before the break (Udmurtia is a region of Russia, if you were wondering). Then, a perky Southern lady says: “I’ve just never seen nothing like that before. Two boys kissing! But that’s just real life, even if it ain’t mine. That’s why I love Defunkt.” Me too, I think, pleased that someone was confronting internalized homophobia while I was g etting turned on. The magic of theater. It’s hard to resist enjoying the lazy seduction of a shining, virginal gay boy by a smooth-talking, trust-fund dude and his fierce, thieving girlfriend. They pass a joint around the pullout couch bed with rainbow afghan in the apartment filled with eclectic treasures, or junk, depending on your eye for Max Ward’s set design. Then the seduction turns sinister, to edgeplay with sexual violence and straight-up scams. This play elegantly shifts between vulnerability, violence, arousal and betrayal, raising the question ”Who can be trusted?”
Apartment owner Mrs. Huff (Jane Geesman) has a vaguely Russian accent and barbed wire on her windows, being “always pursued by thieves.” She’s a former actress and last of the Udmurts, pagan redheads whose land was stolen by the USSR for chemical warfare factories. She takes in a renter, Nate (Samson Syharath), who has fled his abusive Florida megachurch family. They bond as she teaches him the myths, language and cheap magic of Udmurtia, until Nate is pulled away by the influence of Clem (Steve Vanderzee) and Rain (Andrea White), spoiled Manhattanites who pick pockets at art galleries and fear the inevitable “Collapse.” R u s s i a n p aw n s h o p g u y B o r i s (William Wilson) delivers the takeaway: What’s rare is precious, and that applies to people, places and things. Outreach director Matthew Kern greeted the opening-night audience with stars in his eyes and closed with a Champagne toast to Zellnik and Defunkt’s 2016-17 season announcement. With Hir by Taylor Mac, Trifles by Susan Glaspell and That Pretty Pretty ; or, The Rape Play by Sheila Callaghan, next year’s threepunch season swings to dismantle the heteropatriarchy, distill America’s racist history and terminate pro-lifers and rape culture—all with good looks and a sense of humor. Defunkt is a hot date. JESS DRAKE.
UDMURTIA IS A REGION OF RUSSIA, IF YOU WERE WONDERING.
SEE IT: The Udmurts is at Defunkt Theatre, 4319 SE Hawthorne Blvd., 503-974-4938. 7:30 pm Thursday-Sunday, through June 18. Pay what you will Thursdays and Sundays, $15-$25 Fridays and Saturdays. Willamette Week MAY 18, 2016 wweek.com
PERFORMANCE worker, is the only one ready for a real ﬁght, pulling a curved dagger from her leather boot plus a hoof pick (once used to mockingly measure certain pricks.) No one wins in this ﬁght, or in this play, which proposes that friendship between women is impossible and proves its point as frustrated ambition, jealous mistrust and statusclimbing destroy any relationship that could have oﬀered Desdemona an escape from her fated death bed. JESS DRAKE. Post5 Theater, 1666 SE Lambert St. 971-333-1758. 7:30 pm Friday-Sunday, through May 28. $20.
ALSO PLAYING Grand Concourse
Working at a Bronx soup kitchen, Shelley is a nun in crisis and doubting her faith. When a renegade college drop out (played by newcomer Jahnavi Alyssa) shows up to volunteer, it gives Shelley hope. New Artists Rep resident Ayanna Berkshire plays Shelley in her ﬁrst show as a company member. Joining her are mainstays John San Nicolas, as a Dominican immigrant security guard, and Allen Nause, as a bumbling regular. Together, the motley crew navigates issues like race and faith that are as murky as soup kitchen fare. With tickets selling out, Artists Rep extended the show’s run before opening night. Artists Repertory Theater (Morrison Stage), 515 SW Morrison St., 503-241-1278. 7:30 pm TuesdaySaturday, 2 and 7:30 pm Sunday. Through June 5. $48.
The Heidi Chronicles
Throw out your tampons and pick up your picket signs. NoPo’s community theater relives the many waves of feminism from the past 50 years in this Pulitzer Prize winner from Wendy Wasserstein. Twilight Theater Company, 7515 N Brandon Ave., 503-847-9838. 7:30 ThursdaySaturday, 3 pm Sunday. May 19-22. $15.
James and the Giant Peach
Liza! Liza! Liza!
This musical ode to Liza Minnelli follows the legendary performer in three diﬀerent phases of life: her hopeful teen years, her Oscarwinning prime and the Liza of present day. Diﬀerent iterations of the same woman appear onstage together, reliving hits like “Cabaret,” “New York, New York” and “A Quiet Thing,” the Tonywinner she sang when she was 19. Triangle’s small, mostly female cast dances and also dishes on Judy Garland as a monstrous mother, Liza’s gay father and the star’s many marriages and addictions. Like a live E! exposé at Portland’s most ﬂamboyant theater, Liza! gives viewers a peek into the life of a great talent. GRACE CULHANE. The Sanctuary at Sandy Plaza, 1785 NE Sandy Blvd. 7:30 pm ThursdaySaturday, 2 pm Sunday, Through May 28. $15-$35.</em> Triangle productions, 1785 NE Sandy Blvd Portland OR 97232. Sunday. Free - $35.
Peter and the Starcatcher
This belly-laughing Broadway show traces Peter Pan’s origin story. It’s all pirates gags and mermaid coves, with the Playhouse decked out like the decks of two ships, the Neverland and the Wasp. We’d expect to gag on a “swashbuckling, family-friendly” show that’s “like a love song to the power of the imagination,” according to the co-director, until you read the credits. Co-directors Brian Weaver and Rebecca Lingafelter pilot a cast including Third Rail leader Isaac Lamb, Crumpet the Elf aka Darius Pierce, Duﬀy Epstein and the infallible Chip Sherman. Portland Playhouse, 602 NE Prescott St., 503-4885822. 7:30 pm WednesdaySaturday, 2 pm Sunday. Through May 29. $20-$36.
The Holding Project, a ﬂedgling Portland dance collective, promises
an “experimental” evening-length debut of dance mixed with ﬁlm and theatrical movement. After exploding onto the scene with ﬁve separate artistic dance ﬁlms within the past few months, their debut might be an experiment worth watching unfold. RUSSELL HAUSFELD. Performance Works Northwest, 4625 SE 67th Ave., 503-777-1907. 8 pm Friday-Saturday, May 20-21. $14. Performance Works Northwest, 4625 SE 67th Ave.,, 503-777-1907. Friday. $14.
The ﬁnal performance of BodyVox’s elite training program, the Junior Artist Generator (JAG), may technically be a student dance recital. But it is a student recital for individuals studying at one of the most well-known dance theaters in the area and is intended to highlight the lighter side of life, curiosity and joy in dance. RUSSELL HAUSFELD. BodyVox, 1201 NW 17th Ave., 503229-0627. 7:30 pm Friday, 2 and 7:30 pm Saturday, 4 pm Sunday, May 20-22. $20.
COMEDY & VARIETY The Brody Open Mic
Twice weekly, Portland’s most proliﬁc improv venue opens its stage to everyone for three-minute bits. Sign up online the day of the show, before 1 pm. Brody Theater, 16 NW Broadway, 503-224-2227. 8:30 pm Tuesday-Wednesday. Free.
Comedy Bang Bang! Live
Scott Aukerman is a new media tycoon. One of the founders of the Earwolf podcast network, Aukerman is also one of the masterminds behind Midroll, the advertising company that helps podcasters with the novel concept of getting paid. But it all started with Comedy Bang Bang! Auckerman brings his slightly odd, slight wacky, always hilarious, kind of talk show to Portland for two shows with special guests Paul F. Tompkins, Lauren Lapkus, and Neil Campbell. Revolution Hall, 1300 SE Stark St., (971) 808-5094, 7:30 pm & 10:30 pm Tuesday, May 24. $35. (Late show 21+)
Curious Comedy Open Mic
Sign-up start at 7:15, and every comic gets a tight three minutes onstage in this weekly show hosted C O U R T E S Y O F P O R T L A N D P L AY H O U S E
Oregon Children’s Theater stages a song-and-dance adventure with massive produce and plastic bug props that are larger than some of the cast members. Lucky for James and his bug friends, when a mutant peach falls from its tree, the fruit sweeps them away on a magical adventure instead of crushing
them. OCT is a sweet portal into the theater world for little actors and audiences. Newmark Theatre, 1111 SW Broadway, 503-828-8285. 2 and 5 pm Saturday, 11 am and 2 pm Sunday. Through May 29. 2 pm only shows May 28-29. $14-$32.
Peter and the Starcatcher 34
Willamette Week MAY 18, 2016 wweek.com
Ayanna Berkshire in Grand Concourse by Andie Main. Curious Comedy Theater, 5225 NE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., 477-9477. 8 pm Sundays. Free. Curious Comedy, 5225 NE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., 477-9477. Sunday. Free.
Curious Comedy Playground
It’s basically free time for comedians. Acts run the gamut from improv to video and musical comedy, and you never know who’s coming out to play. Curious Comedy Theater, 5225 NE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., 503-4779477. 9:30 pm every ﬁrst, third and ﬁfth Thursday. Free.
This week’s guests are Dax Jordan from L.A., Jordan Casner and Caitlin Weierhauser from Lez Stand Up. Some of WW’s favorite funny Portlanders showcase famous and not-so-famous, local and not-so-local comedians. Hosted by Curtis Cook, Alex Falcone, Anthony Lopez and Bri Pruett inside a pretty epic bike shop. Velo Cult Bike Shop, 1969 NE 42nd Ave., 503-922-2012. 9 pm every Wednesday. Free, $5 suggested donation. 21+.
Brodie Kelly’s weekly pizza party/ comedy showcase gives locals a tight 5 for standup, and coincides with happy hour: $2.50 pints. Hotlips Pizza, 2211 SE Hawthorne Blvd., 503-234-9999. 8 pm Mondays. Free.
Dan Cummins is the deﬁnition of a comedic journeyman. He was a cast member for three seasons of The World’s Dumbest on TruTV, he co-hosts The Playboy Morning Show on the Playboy Channel, and he’s toured the country as a club headliner and an opening act for big name theater-ﬁllers like Brian Regan. Cummins has a new album out called Chinese Aﬀection, and comes to Portland for a threenight, ﬁve-show engagement. MIKE ACKER. Helium Comedy Club, 1510 SE 9th Ave., 888-643-8669. 8 pm Thursday, 7:30 and 10 pm FridaySaturday, May 19-21. $15-$31.
Friday Night Fights
Curious’ twice-monthly improv competition pits teams that won the previous week’s Thursday Night Throwdown against one another. Curious Comedy Theater, 5225 NE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., 503-477-9477. 9:30 pm every ﬁrst and third Friday. $8.
Not many vegans do comedy. Not many comics are as funny as Myq Kaplan. The jokester who eschews meat and other animal byproducts is back in Portland. This time, he’ll be performing in his favorite part of town, next door to Portland’s vegan mini-mall. He’ll feel right at home. Revolution Hall, 1300 SE Stark St., (971) 808-5094, 9:30 pm Friday, May 20. $20.
This weekly, long-form improv show brings together performers from many Portland theaters and troupes. Newbies are welcome and teams are picked at random, then coached by an improv veteran before taking the stage. Curious Comedy Theater, 5225 NE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., 503477-9477. 7:30 pm Thursdays. $5. Curious Comedy, 5225 NE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., 477-9477. Thursday. Free.
Workshop students, veteran crews and groups that pre-register online perform long-form improv every Sunday. Curious Comedy Theater, 5225 NE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., 503-477-9477. 6 pm Sundays. $5 suggested donation.
Brody’s students showcase their improv, sketch and standup skills— a diﬀerent class each week. Brody Theater, 16 NW Broadway, 503224-2227. 7:30 pm Thursdays. $5.
For more Performance listings, visit Willamette Week MAY 18, 2016 wweek.com
VISUAL ARTS = WW Pick. Highly recommended. By JENNIFER RABIN. 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.
Four glass artists present work that combines printmaking techniques with kiln-glass, further pushing the boundaries of both processes. Michelle Murillo explores her ancestry and identity in a standout installation comprised of rows and rows of ghostlike pieces of identification—travel
White Box is devoting its three galleries to three different video shows from artists Peter Campus, Julia Oldham and Suzanne Opton. Oldham uses four projections screens to create an immersive environment in which she takes us through a
The International Center for Photography (ICP) presented the Lifetime Achievement Award for photojournalism to Ruth Gruber on her 100th birthday. Now approaching her 105th birthday, a retrospective of her work, curated by the ICP, has made its way to our fair city. The exhibition unfolds the story of her serendipitous career, from her assignment to shoot the then-unknown Alaskan frontier, to being sent by the Department of the Interior on a secret mission to bring back a thousand refugees from Europe. She photographed every-
Coalesce; Above and Beneath
If you only saw the world from an airplane window at 10,000 feet, it would look a lot like Ann Lindsay’s abstract paintings. Using limestone clay on panel, Lindsay captures the tight grids, the swirling circles, and the meanderingly wild landscapes that can only be appreciated from above. In contrast, sculptor Joseph Conrad’s rough and pitted stone carvings make us feel as though are feet are firmly planted on the ground. Taken together, their work in the two-artist show Coalesce; Above and Beneath gives us the land at opposites. Waterstone Gallery, 124 NW 9th Ave., 226-6196. Through May 29.
Lest we get too uppity in the art world, lest we concern ourselves too much with the commercial machine, the Pacific Northwest College of Art gives us an exhibition of work from 100 artists, ages 4 to 18. As part of its youth program, PNCA invited budding artists to produce works on paper that represent their ideas of community. So let’s check it out, be happy, and maybe get a couple of autographs. You never know who’s going to be a famous artist one day. Hammer Corridor Gallery at PNCA, 511 NW Broadway, 503-226-4391. Through May 31.
Artist Ben Killen Rosenberg started exploring the process of decay as a theme in his work when his mother and uncle were dying. Then in 2014, while walking along the beach, he came upon hundreds of dead birds washed ashore. Those birds—some in gentle repose, others farther along in their decomposition—became the subjects of his ink and watercolor series Continuum. Rosenberg asks us to look life and death in the eye and to recognize the beauty in both. Oranj Studio, 0726 SW Gaines St., 719-5338. Through June 30.
The Fallen Fawn
If you walk into Charles A. Hartman Fine Art this month, don’t be surprised if it takes you a couple tries to leave. Holly Andres’ narrative series of color photographs, about two sisters who find a mysterious suitcase that they hide from their parents, will keep you lost in an imaginary world of the artist’s creation. Each image feels like a still from a film, capturing a moment that suggests more than it reveals—like a pink stiletto drowning in a lake, two lipstick-ringed cigarette butts stamped out in an ashtray, or an old car abandoned along a forest trail. Andres uses mid-20th-century costumes and production design to stage a series that feels deeply reminiscent of the secrets and magic of
Surrounded by Feeling
Artist Ellen Goldschmidt’s series of graphite portraits on paper are like haiku. They are full but not busy, simple but always alluding to something greater and further beyond. Surrounded by Feeling is largely about Goldschmidt’s relationship with her older sister. The work conveys so much to the viewer—isolation, longing, otherness, playful antagonism—not by what she includes in her drawings, but by what she leaves out. It is the elliptical nature of her work that makes it so powerful because the viewer is left to fill in everything we can’t see. Goldschmidt says that the portraits “are created by inhabiting, rather than depicting, emotion,” and as such, she gives us a visceral window into the pains and rivalries of siblinghood. Blackfish Gallery, 420 NW 9th Ave., 503-224-2634. Through May 28.
Twin Feather Meditations
to use. But the wood that might otherwise serve as a handle boasts a raw wood edge and a luminous finish. And the rope that could be used to hitch or heave or pull has been wrapped with cotton thread, obscuring its original purpose while retaining the braided undulations of its form, now purely decorative. Don’t be fooled into thinking that you have to go to a gallery to see well-curated art; this month, the best sculpture show in town is at a coffee shop.Stumptown Coffee Roasters, 4525 SE Division St., 230-7702. Through June 8.
documents, driver’s licenses—that are missing the faces of the people to whom they belong. Each was made by screenprinting glass powder and then kiln-firing it, resulting in objects so fragile, they look like they might dissolve if you touched them. Bullseye Projects, 300 NW 13th Ave., 503-227-0222. Through June 18.
The Museum’s Ghosts
Photographer Andrés Wertheim uses consecutive in-camera exposures to merge images of museum visitors with the artworks they have come to see. The resulting photographs range from hilarious—like the image of a bored visitor sitting in the hallway inches away, it appears, from two peasants fighting to the death—to tender, as when Wertheim juxtaposes a teenage boy lying on a museum bench unknowingly mid-cuddle with a cherub who is sleeping in his lap. Sometimes it is hard to determine which parts of the final composition belong to which exposure, blending art and life in a way that makes us question if there is any separation between the two. Blue Sky Gallery, 122 NW 8th Ave., 503-225-0210. Through May 29.
Nothing Lasts Forever
Toronto artist Brian Donnelly paints photorealist portraits of disembodied heads against optimistic backgrounds of cloudless baby blue skies. Once
Willamette Week MAY 18, 2016 wweek.com
When an artist presents a series that is in stark contrast to the type of work he has produced before, it is important to pay attention and be curious about what has caused his practice to mature. Since coming out after a life of being closeted, Emilio Lobato’s sharp rectilinear and geometric compositions have given way to the soft, layered monotype prints in Twin Feather Meditations. The incorporation of organic forms and the act of freer markmaking represent a more intuitive way of working Amsterdam #1 by Andrés Wertheim, part of The Museum’s Ghosts for the artist. The feather imagery throughout the series serves as a personal totem for Lobato as he explores a belief in certain Native cosblack hole and back out again. Peter thing along the way, often sneaking mologies that transgender and homoCampus’ work is meditative in coninto places she wasn’t allowed. The sexual members of a community—so trast: Two videos of boats tethered most affecting photos from the exhicalled “two-spirit” people—are highly to docks depict such little movement bition are those that document the spiritual beings. Elizabeth Leach that one of them appears, at first, to unfathomable conditions that the Gallery, 417 NW 9th Ave., 224-0521. be a still photograph. But stand in refugees were subjected to on their Through May 28. front of it awhile and you will see the way to finding a permanent home. subtle movement of the water and Though the images were captured the shifting of rope lines, reminding 70 years ago, they are painfully releOn assignment from the Musée us that video can be quietly observant during the current refugee crisis. Carnavalet in Paris to educate the vational. Opton films factory workers Oregon Jewish Museum and Center public about the people who care in India performing the rote “empty for Holocaust Education, 1953 NW for the museum’s collection, photoggestures” of their jobs—knob turning, Kearney St., 503-226-3600. Through rapher Thomas Bilanges made porlever pulling—in a captivating video June 13. traits of each member of its staff. about how well our bodies rememHe then photographed each perber. White Box, 24 NW 1st Ave., 503son’s favorite work of art in the same 412-3689. Through June 4. style and with similar lighting that he had used for that person’s portrait. Displayed side by side as diptychs, Curator Pete Brook has put together it can be difficult to tell which is the a remarkable exhibition at Newspace commissioned portrait and which is Center for Photography that gives the work of art. And by allowing the us a rare peek into the prison-indusstyle of the sitter’s portrait to dictate trial complex. Using everything from the style in which the art is phosurveillance photography to pinhole tographed, Bilanges sends a clear cameras given to prisoners to take message that those who care for art photos in their cells, eight different are as important as the art itself. Blue Scapes/bulges by Emily Bixler photographers offer vastly different Sky Gallery, 122 NW 8th Ave., 503perspectives on a marginalized pop225-0210. Through May 29. ulation. Mark Strandquist’s ongoing series Some of Places We’ve Missed Emily Bixler’s sculptures off the wall. is a standout. He asks inmates, “If you Using substantial and utilitarian matehad a window in your cell, what place rials like sailing rope, and creating For more Visual Arts listings, from your past would it look out to?” forms from wood and horsehair brisvisit The places are then photographed tles that evoke hand tools, Bixler’s according to the inmates’ directions, sculptures scream to be held and put and the photos are mailed back to
W E N DY S WA R T z / S T U M P TO W N C O F F E E
There is no separation between artist Hayley Barker’s creative practice and her spiritual practice in the series The Ambassadors. Her paintings are explorations of the sacred and some of her amorphous unstretched canvases serve as prayer mats, inviting viewers to consider their own relationship to the divine. Before the exhibition begins, Barker will conduct a personal ritual to bless and complete the series, imbuing it with something that will never be seen but will perhaps be felt. Carl & Sloan, 8371 N Interstate Ave., No. 1, 360-608-9746. Through May 29.
childhood. Charles A. Hartman Fine Art, 134 NW 8th Ave., 503-287-3886. Through May 28.
them—an outside proxy for those on the inside. Newspace Center for Photography, 1632 SE 10th Ave., 503963-1935. Through May 28.
COURTESY OF ANDRéS WERTHEIM
completed, he applies corrosive materials, like turpentine or hand sanitizer, to his subjects’ faces so that their features melt down the canvas in dripping trails of color. He could easily paint them this way from the start, but in the act of destroying something perfect, his work talks to us about loss, letting go, mortality and the inevitability of time. Stephanie Chefas Projects, 305 SE 3rd Ave., Suite 202, 310-990-0702. Through June 4.
BOOKS = WW Pick. Highly recommended. By JAMES HELMSWORTH. TO BE CONSIDERED FOR LISTINGS, submit lecture or reading information at least two weeks in advance to: WORDS, WW, 2220 NW Quimby St., Portland, OR 97210. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Fax: 243-1115.
THURSDAY, MAY 19 Molly Gloss and Bette Husted
The Comma reading series takes place the third Thursday of each month and is hosted by In June songwriter Kirsten Rian. The May reading features Molly Gloss, who won a PEN Award for her book The Jump-Oﬀ Creek and an Oregon Book Award for The Hearts of Horses. Joining her will be Bette Husted, whose poetry collection, At This Distance, was nominated for an Oregon Book Award. Broadway Books, 1714 NE Broadway, 503-284-1726. 7 pm. Free.
Students will present their work with professional authors. Powell’s City of Books, 1005 W Burnside St., 800-878-7323. Sunday. Free.
MONDAY, MAY 23 Dmae Roberts
Public radio producer Dmae Roberts has garnered no shortage of critical acclaim for her exploration of the Asian-American experience, earning a Peabody Award for Mei Mei: A Daughter’s Song, about her mother’s childhood in Taiwan, and another Peabody for Crossing East, a documentary about immigration from Asia. Her new book, The Letting Go Trilogies: Stories of a Mixed-Race Family, is a collection of essays on identity, love and coping with regrets. Broadway Books, 1714 NE Broadway, 284-1726. 7 pm. Free.
TUESDAY, MAY 24 Nathaniel Philbrick
You probably know Benedict Arnold was a traitor, and virtually nothing else about him. Of course, the truth is more complicated: After a heroic halt of the British Navy at Lake Champlain, he grew disillusioned with the American architects of the war and eventually tried to give West Point to the Brits. Nathaniel Philbrick (In the Heart of the Sea) tells the story of Arnold’s war and his relationship with a general who’s viewed a little more favorably—George Washington—in his latest book, Valiant Ambition. Powell’s City of Books, 1005 W Burnside St., 800-878-7323. 7:30 pm. Free.
For more Books listings, visit
Becoming a Citizen Activist
As a politician and activist in Our Vastly Inferior Neighbor to the North, Seattle, Nick Licata has fought against redlining and using city resources for sports teams and for paid sick leave. In his new book, Becoming a Citizen Activist, he furnishes readers with instructions on how they can make changes in their own communities. Powell’s Books on Hawthorne, 3723 SE Hawthorne Blvd., 800-878-7323. 7:30 pm. Free.
FRIDAY, MAY 20 Linework NW Pre-Party
Get a start on comics and illustration festival Linework NW at Floating World’s pre-party. It will feature local authors Zachary Bizzarro (Wure Twenty Fifteen), Dylan Jones (The Longer You Stare the Fatter I’m Guilty), Sean Christensen (Q), Sophie Franz (The Experts), Lindsay Anne Watson (I Don’t Need Eyes), Tara Booth (Unwell), Andrice Arp (Further Reading) and Daria Tessler (Three Magical Recipes from the Book of Secrets of Albertus Magnus). Floating World, 400 NW Couch St., 503-241-0227. 5 pm. Free.
Throwing Rocks at the Google Bus
The Google bus is indicative of everything that’s wrong with the way digital technology works: The company uses city roads and bus stops for a service that’s only available to its elite. That’s according to digital-media expert Douglas Rushkoﬀ, who wrote the book on the internet—well, at least the ﬁrst one, Cyberia, in 1994—and played keyboard for Psychic TV. In his new book, Throwing Rocks at the Google Bus, he explains how companies went wrong and what they can do to rectify their business models to be more equitable. Among the suggestions? Get rid of Uber. Powell’s City of Books, 1005 W Burnside St., 800-878-7323. 7:30 pm. Free.
SATURDAY, MAY 21 Linework NW
Linework NW is a gigantic gathering of comic-book makers, comic-book publishers and people who resent me for using the term “comic books.” Headlining Saturday’s events will be comic-book guy Matt Furie (Boy’s Club, that fucking frog meme) and illustrator Ping Zhu (The New York Times, The New Yorker, while Sunday features illustrator Rilla Alexander (Her Idea, Neighbourhood) and Rodney Alan Greenblat of PaRappa the Rapper fame. Fantagraphics Books and Oni Press will anchor both days. Norse Hall, 111 NE 11th Ave, 236-3401. 1-8 pm. Free. Through Sunday.
SUNDAY, MAY 22 Honoring Our Rivers
For the last 16 years, Honoring Our Rivers has served as an anthology for student writing, poetry and artwork about the waterways of Oregon.
When Lina Meruane first sees red, she is angry at the gringos, because the gringos always complain about other people’s fun. The image of them eating breakfasts of cold milk “in their impeccable underwear and ironed faces” causes a firecracker to go off in her head, and she watches the “shockingly beautiful blood” gush and thicken in her eye. From that point forward, she is blind, and all she sees is not darkness but blood, a red gauze penetrated by light. Is this the story of Meruane, the author of Seeing Red (Deep Vellum, 170 pages, $14.95)? The author, like the novel’s narrator, is a Chilean writer named Lina (or Lucina) who lives in New York, and who suffered an episode of blindness after a stroke. But Meruane, in interviews, has pronounced herself unable to write a straight William Styron-like memoir of illness. And so instead, Meruane—whom author Roberto Bolaño has hailed as one of the most exciting writers in a new generation of Chilean authors—has bound up her fictional and real selves unreliably, intensely and inextricably on the page. This is her first book available in English, rendered by translator Megan McDowell as a propulsive slide down chutes of words. Meruane’s vision of blindness is, paradoxically a riot of sensory detail. At first, it even seems a form of freedom—because she no longer has to treat her life with constant panic of bursting the capillaries that coil around the humors of her eyes. “Stop smoking, first of all,” she is told, “and then don’t hold your breath, don’t cough, do not for any reason pick up packages, boxes, suitcases…” Even as she becomes more and more dependent on the people around her, especially her boyfriend, Ignacio, it seems that the lives of those close to her are the ones that become more constricted and defined by her new blindness. She begins referring to Ignacio as her “slave”—mocking and testing the limits of unconditional love. And she allows herself, often selfishly or cruelly, to redefine herself at will. It is a remarkable book, literally and figuratively blackhumored, separated into a series of dense miniatures, each with its own theme: “suicide techniques,” say, or “blackmail,” or “love is blind too.” This last section is, of course, the dominant theme of the book—and yet in writing it down she made it a joke. But it’s the sort that slips between your ribs. MATTHEW KORFHAGE.
Portland Nonprofits! It’s almost time to apply for the 2016 Give!Guide and nominate someone for the Skidmore Prize.
JUNE 1 AT GIVEGUIDE.ORG.
GO: Lina Meruane is at Powell’s Books on Hawthorne, 3723 SE Hawthorne Blvd., 800-878-7323, on Monday, May 23. 7:30 pm. Free. Willamette Week MAY 18, 2016 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, 2220 NW Quimby St., Portland, OR 97210. Email: email@example.com. Fax: 243-1115.
OPENING THIS WEEK
The Angry Birds Movie
10 Cloverfield Lane
Perhaps the greatest Finnish-American collaboration this decade is this movie based on a game based on anger management therapy and avian ﬂu. When green pigs take over Red’s island paradise, the vitriolic bird and his buddies take matters into their own hands. Birds don’t have hands, but these ones do have eyebrows to rival Scorsese. Screened after deadline. PG. Bridgeport, Cedar Hills, City Center, Clackamas, Division, Lloyd, Pioneer Place, Tigard, Vancouver.
B- Patience helps where ﬁne art is concerned, and Aleksandr Sokurov’s documentary about the Louvre is no diﬀerent. Feeding history and war through the lens of art, Sokurov gives us a platter of food for thought. After the ﬁrst 10 minutes, which is a slogging slideshow of low-quality images, we meet the men who saved Paris’ art from German occupation and learn about a period when the Louvre was Le Musée Napoléon to house Napoleon Bonaparte’s spoils of war. While the blurry slideshows recur, they are balanced with shots of Parisian architecture and the stunning halls of the Louvre. Don’t give up before the ﬁrst beautiful camera pan that climbs up the side of a Parisian apartment and crests with a view of the entire city. NR. RUSSELL HAUSFELD. Cinema 21.
Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising
Frenemies Seth Rogen and Zac Efron reprise their roles as a young dad and a college grad, joining forces to protect the block from Chloë Grace Moretz and her anti-sorority, which is out to prove it has just as much a right to party as the frats do. Screened after deadline. See wweek.com for Lauren Terry’s review. R. Bridgeport, Cedar Hills, City Center, Clackamas, Division, Lloyd, Pioneer Place, Tigard, Vancouver.
You’ve already watched Lemonade like 100 times. You’ve discussed it with your friends and your co-workers at length, three times a day. Now, take your theories and ideas out into the world and join other members of the Beyhive and a panel that includes Intisar Abioto, Hannah Abioto and Deena Bee for a viewing and discussion of the truly awesome visual album. NW Film Center’s Whitsell Auditorium. 6 pm Tuesday, May 24.
River of Grass
B Like many auteur debuts, Kelly Reichardt’s River of Grass feels personal. The 1994 foray is set among the director’s suburban Miami roots, transposing teenage angst onto an unmoored housewife caught up in a shooting accident. But unlike her louder-voiced, indie contemporaries, Reichardt arrived with nearclinical montage and silence, sharpened here by a 2015 digital restoration. Since, Reichardt has trekked darkly through the Oregon wilderness in Wendy and Lucy, Old Joy and Night Moves, but initially her stark minimalism felt aggressive and intentional. The act of framing any unsightly object in River of Grass—an overpass, a crime-scene photo, a broken TV—purposefully banishes a comedy bit in progress or a rapidly oncoming plot point. This style of omission can ﬂummox, and Reichardt herself once called River of Grass “a road movie without the road, a love story without the love, and a crime story without the crime.” What’s left is 75 profoundly blank minutes and a fearless camera creating and destroying with every single cut. NR. CHANCE SOLEM-PFEIFER. Hollywood Theatre. 7:30 pm Wednesday, May 18.
C+ The motto of J.J. Abrams’ latest thriller is, basically, don’t text and drive. Also, don’t break up with your ﬁance, or else you’ll get in a terrible car accident, be abducted by a Lolita-inspired murderer and watch your whole family die in the alien apocalypse—in one night. 10 Cloverﬁeld Lane falls victim to the usual thriller clichés: It doesn’t come close to passing the Bechdel test and contains numerous gratuitous shots of Michelle (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) in her underwear, a cheap thriller soundtrack and, of course, aliens. Despite the clichés, Abrams shows for the ﬁrst hour and 20 minutes that he’s almost capable of a smart psychological thriller. The last 10 minutes, however, conﬁrm he’s not. The majority of the ﬁlm creates a claustrophobic, paranoid world inside a bunker designed to survive the apocalypse, and Howard (John Goodman) is the seemingly friendly ringleader. The bunker is surprisingly homey, equipped with games, DVDs and enough food to last for years. For a second, you wonder: Is this really so bad? That’s a question Abrams makes sure to answer. PG-13. SOPHIA JUNE. Academy, Avalon, Fox Tower, Jubitz, Kennedy School, Laurelhurst, Valley, Vancouver.
Barbershop: The Next Cut
D It’s been 14 years since we ﬁrst
entered Calvin’s Barbershop in South Side Chicago, and along with shiny, bald additions like Common, J.B. Smoove and Nicki Minaj’s bosom, there’s a new “No Guns Allowed” sign on the wall. The writing is too childlike to make an impact or come close to the subtle wit that brought up themes of masculinity, black America and class conﬂict in the original Barbershop. I’m not sure which is less natural: hearing the characters exclaim, “#BarbershopSavesTheNeighborhood is trending on Twitter,” or Calvin calling a red bandanna “gang paraphernalia” when talking to his son about his new friends. LAUREN TERRY. PG-13. Academy, Clackamas, Laurelhurst
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice
D Batman and Superman are ﬁghting, and it’s hard to choose a side. The new Warner Bros. Superman is classically boring, overpowered and out of place in the 21st century. Batman, on the other hand, has been reinvented as a huge dickhead. Played by Ben Aﬄeck with a characteristic lack of gravitas, Batman walks around in a silly metal suit killing people. You know how Batman never kills people? He does now. Even when he doesn’t have to. He even assigns himself the task of killing Superman because, you know, “he might be bad later.” With nobody to root for, BvS:DoJ is just an unconscionably long slugfest simultaneously attempting too much and accomplishing almost nothing. Despite the rare bright spots—like Jesse Eisenberg’s intriguingly outlandish Lex Luthor and Amy Adams as a strong international war reporter version of Lois Lane—I left feeling bored and slightly concussed from giant men punching each other into buildings for no reason. PG-13. ALEX FALCONE. Academy, Avalon, Beaverton Wunderland, City Center, Clackamas, Division, Empirical, Kennedy School.
C+ Directed by Rob Reiner and co-written by his now-22-year-old son, Nick Reiner, who struggled with drug addiction as a teenager, Being Charlie follows the newly 18-year-old son of a movie star-turnedpolitician. David is cold, distant and more focused on his gubernatorial campaign than his family. Charlie, on the other hand, is a heroin addict. A smart, sardonic, oddly
Willamette Week MAY 18, 2016 wweek.com
ON FIVE: The Junglespaceship Ball at Holocene, October 2015.
Giving Us Life PORTLAND’S VOGUEING SCENE GROWS WITH KIKI AT THE QDOC FESTIVAL. BY LAU R EN TER RY
Twenty-six years ago, Jennie Livingston’s documentary Paris Is Burning introduced the world to Harlem’s ballroom scene. Men from across the sexual spectrum had come together to create their own realm of fashion, beauty and the creativity that they hid by day. Kiki, a film screening at the QDoc festival this weekend, documents how drag and ballroom events have evolved for today’s millennial generation, whose vernacular is hugely composed of RuPaul catchphrases. Portland’s own ball scene is a range from “high art drag concepts like Hydrangea Strangea to an expanding vogue scene by way of Kumari Suraj and the father of the House of Ada, Daniel Girón,” local queen Lolita Black says. Kiki centers on one particular sect of New York’s ballroom sphere: a socially —Lolita active junior league whose voguers do a lot more than dance. These modern balls, called “kikis,” have less pomp than their foremothers’ but include more free HIV testing. Voguer and co-creator Twiggy Pucci Garçon intimately guides the Swedish director, Sara Jordenö, through “houses,” families of likeminded voguers who are ruled by an elected house mother. They spend hours choreographing for the next kiki, like a dance troupe with heavy political discourse during cool-downs. At Kiki Coalition meetings, we sit in with Garçon discussing problems like homelessness, underemployment and voter registration. Although it’s hailed as an “unofficial sequel” to Paris Is Burning, Kiki differs in style by showing
each person as a unique journey. It’s not so much about teaching everyone else what the gays are up to, but a polished presentation of individuals within the black LGBT community. Kiki visits families in hometowns and shows video journal entries of voguers before their first ball. Jordenö zooms in for close-ups of chin stubble or an acrylic nail as her subjects narrate their hardships, from losing friends to police brutality, to faking a girlier look for better pay as sex workers. Some are transitioning into females while others vogue in do-rags and work boots, but all of them have found validation in this creative outlet. As one voguer puts it, “Someone who walks is telling you: ‘I am beautiful. This is who I am.’” The kikis themselves are the lifeblood of the film, making Jordenö perhaps too ambitious to touch on so many different socioeconomic issues when it’s impossible to compete with that buzz. One of the most memorable shots captures a makeshift dressing room between two parked cars, where guys in white tank tops rush to straighten their sisters’ feathered headdresses before the kiki Black begins. A raucous energy emanates from the screen. Your eyes dilate and your pulse quickens as the camera pans over the shouting crowd, everyone jumping over one another to wag their fingers at the technique, costumes and attitude that are giving us life down the runway. If you don’t know what that phrase means, you’re lucky to be living in a city with a kiki near you. Portland’s ball scene is like “if Alice dropped acid before she fell down the rabbit hole,” Lolita Black says. Head to Club Kai-Kai, Stranger Disco and Nostalgia PDX if you want a taste of the real deal. Go on, children, make your mamas proud.
“If Alice dropped acid before she fell down the rabbit hole.”
B+ SEE IT: Kiki screens as part of the QDoc ﬁlm festival at Hollywood Theatre, queerdocfest.org. 8:30 pm Saturday, May 21. $10.
good-looking heroin addict who does things like stand up to authority, listen to Moms Mabley albums and engage in a romantic ﬂing with another smart, sardonic, oddly good-looking heroin addict (Morgan Saylor). Complete with a long, pensive walk along the oceanfront, the ﬁlm falls into well-worn devices, but it’s not without charmed performances. Charlie’s drug-dealing BFF Adam oﬀers much-needed comic relief with his gallows humor. In a friendly eﬀort to encourage Charlie, Adam drops a Nazi slogan in casual conversation. The joke works in context, but it should be noted that if this type of humor oﬀends your PC sensibilities, maybe you shouldn’t be watching a movie about heroin addiction. NR. CURTIS COOK. Fox Tower.
Genetic Welfare uses a bunch of weirdo army shit to kidnap little kids and wipe their brains clean. If you are over 17, there is exactly zero reason for you to waste your money on this. PG-13. MIKE GALLUCCI. Jubitz, Valley, Vancouver.
A- In 1970, Elvis Presley showed up at the White House asking to meet President Richard Nixon. He had decided to become a federal agent for the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs. That meeting went better than expected. What’s great about this story is that it focuses on a very short period of time and manages to extrapolate from those few hours a completely diﬀerent version of these icons than you’re used to seeing. Kevin Spacey plays a Nixon who seems like he’d be fun to hang out with. Meanwhile, Michael
Born to Be Blue
B- This time, McCarthy stars as Michelle Darnell, a self-made tycoon whose conﬁdence is rivaled only by the height of her turtlenecks. Although crude in comparison to more polished McCarthy ﬁlms, it is fair to say it is her funniest project without Paul Feig at the wheel. R. LAUREN TERRY. Bridgeport, Clackamas.
A- Richard Linklater’s newest ﬁlm
doesn’t have a plot. But you’ll hardly realize it and you probably won’t care. The ﬁlmmaker who stunned the world with Boyhood’ brings his “fuck it” attitude to a ﬁlm about a college baseball team in 1980s Texas. R. SOPHIA JUNE. Fox Tower.
Eye in the Sky
C+ The year’s ﬁrst movie on the ethics of drones and the last ﬁlm featuring Alan Rickman, misses its
CONT. on page 40
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REVIEW DA N I E L M C FA D D E N
with black-and-white footage of Baker’s dark hallucinations and the temptations of sex and heroin, but those scenes are just the setup for a big f-you for anyone expecting another customary biopic. R. CURTIS COOK. Laurelhurst.
Everybody Wants Some!!
Elvis & Nixon
B+ This Chet Baker feature opens
Shannon (Boardwalk Empire) plays a brooding, gun-obsessed Elvis between his heyday and Fat Elvis phases. R. ALEX FALCONE. Living Room Theaters.
Captain America: Civil War
A- Captain America: Civil War, though, is proof you can jam pretty much every superhero in your roster into one ﬁlm and still let individuals shine. In pitting team Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) against Team Cap (Chris Evans) over a suspiciously fascist registration law for “enhanced humans,” directors Joe and Anthony Russo could have just put the heroes in a big-ass sandbox and let them duke it out. They do that, and it’s spectacular. But there’s nothing redundant in the action here, from a Bourne-esque opening chase to closecombat thrills reminiscent of The Raid to a surprisingly subdued and heartfelt ﬁnale. The Russos have heard your complaints about universe-building at the expense of story. Civil War is fun. It’s smart. It’s coherent. And, most importantly, it allows its heart to beat strongly amid the chaos. Your move, DC. PG-13. AP KRYZA. Bagdad, Bridgeport, Cedar Hills, City Center, Clackamas, Division, Eastport, Lloyd, Milwaukie, Moreland, Oak Grove, Pioneer Place, Roseway, St. Johns 1 & 2, Tigard, Vancouver.
D To be remotely successful, Criminal needs to realize the absurdity of its premise. A CIA agent’s memories are injected into the frontal lobe of a nothing-to-lose convict (Kevin Costner). Complete with the prisoner going rogue from government grasp, it’s a plot worthy of ’80s Stallone or Schwarzenegger face-lifted by an overqualiﬁed cast (Gary Oldman, Tommy Lee Jones, Gal Gadot) and updated with a few cybercrimes. R. CHANCE SOLEM-PFEIFER. Vancouver.
B Within the ﬁrst 10 minutes. the titular “merc with the mouth” slaughters a baker’s dozen of goons to a soundtrack of “Shoop,” breaks the fourth wall by talking to the audience, punches multiple scrotums, drops more f-bombs than Tony Montana and takes a bullet directly up the butthole while giggling about it. Deadpool doesn’t reinvent the wheel. But it does teabag it. And sometimes that’s enough. R. AP KRYZA. Fox Tower, Vancouver.
The Divergent Series: Allegiant, Part 1 D Undistinguishable from its counterparts, Part 1 ’s excessively dull proceedings are punctuated by generic action scenes in which the Bureau of
L.A. CONFIDENCE: Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe.
Eat Your Heart Out, Iron Man The Nice Guys exists in some weird, hyper-violent mirror image of Los Angeles, one that looks a lot like Atlanta. It’s a place where bodies either bounce off concrete or explode on impact, depending on that character’s importance to the story. Private dicks talk endlessly, and citizens talk endlessly about their own dicks. It’s a lot like Roger Rabbit’s Toontown, but populated with cartoons that bleed. “I think I’m invincible,” says one hero before bouncing like a Rube Goldberginspired pinball off every blunt object around him while baddies fall. It’s a wonderful place to spend two hours. You might not know writer-director Shane Black. But you know Shane Black. He’s the writer who perfected the buddy-cop patter of the ’80s and ’90s with Lethal Weapon and The Last Boy Scout. He brought that verbose mentality to Iron Man 3, but his true masterpiece is 2005’s Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, a winking landmark of selfaware grit that revitalized Robert Downey Jr.’s career. The Nice Guys plays like a 1970s spiritual sequel to KKBB, and it’s kind of perfect. The plot is inconsequential, much like in the Philip Marlowe stories and noir classics that Black apes. It involves a dead porn star, a bunch of gangsters, a missing student, some more gangsters and the auto industry. But all of that is just an excuse to get its perfectly cast stars lobbing insults. Showing comic chops that belie his fuckhead reputation, Russell Crowe is hilarious as a broad-bodied bruiser hired to pummel child molesters and rapists, like a low-rent version of his L.A. Confidential character. He’s paired with Ryan Gosling’s shrill, alcoholic PI, whose Buster Keaton-esque clumsiness adds “physical comedy” to the résumé of one of our generation’s biggest powerhouses. Investigating murder and missing persons, they fire off staccato quips as they rocket between scenes—including a crackerjack centerpiece at a mermaid-themed porn party. This movie starts at full speed and never stops. While there are flaws (Gosling’s omnipresent, precocious daughter), watching these actors let loose amid a collage of explosions, gunfire, drugs and filth is just too fun to slight Black for some clichés. Yes, Christmas makes a cameo, but this is the kind of movie many of us complain they just don’t make any more. Thanks to Black, we’ve been proven wrong. AP KRYZA.
Shane Black’s latest is basically Kiss Kiss Bang Bang 2. Thank God.
SOUL VACCINATION SUNDAY, MAY 22ND AT 3PM
Soul Vaccination remains at the top of the Portland charts, and is one of the tightest Funk & Soul Bands in the PNW. As the Rose City’s favorite, Soul Vax infuses the stage with the greatest soul standards, and has been a fixture in the Northwest music scene for over 20 years.
MATTHEW FOUNTAIN & THE WHEREABOUTS
WEDNESDAY, MAY 25TH AT 7PM
Matthew Fountain writes richly arranged chamber-pop that is equal parts Nick Cave, Rufus Wainwright, David Byrne, and Harry Nilsson. He and his 9-person band are releasing their debut album, “Born on the Hook”, in May.
BART BUDWIG FRIDAY, MAY 27TH AT 6PM
Bart Budwig doesn’t write the big songs. He writes the songs about the places between the hills, in the draws and hidden canyons where truth is a little more in focus, stories can take their time gettin’ told, heartbreak is a place of deep reflection, and melodies don’t have to wear rhinestone suits or drive new, shiny, cars to be beautiful.
The Monkees ‘Good Times’ Release Party FRIDAY, MAY 27TH AT 7PM Hear the new album, enjoy refreshments, win tickets to a performance at Chinook Winds Casino!
THE POSIES Saturday, May 28th at 3PM
Rock ‘n’ roll has rarely been as smart, soulful or satisfying than it has in the hands of The Posies. During an on/off career that’s spanned three decades, the Seattle-rooted outfit, led by musical polymaths Jon Auer and Ken Stringfellow, have shaped and re-shaped their muse, creating one of the more compelling catalogues in modern pop.
A- SEE IT: The Nice Guys is rated R. It opens Friday at Bridgeport, Cedar Hills, City Center, Clackamas, Division, Lloyd, Tigard, Vancouver. Willamette Week MAY 18, 2016 wweek.com
The Family Fang
B In this strange, challenging ﬁlm about art and family, Jason Bateman and Nicole Kidman are siblings whose parents used them as unwilling actors in public performance art and then dissapear, leaving signs of a bloody struggle. It’s a sometimes depressing and occasionally funny ﬁlm that takes it’s quirky story and characters seriously. Unfortunately, three time frames interspersed with documentary footage strain anyone’s attention. R. EZRA JOHNSON-GREENOUGH. Cinema 21.
ways and roasting dogs on a spit. If you’re willing to suspend your disbelief, forgo the luxury of a cohesive plot and stomach the heavy-handed metaphor for contemporary classism and urbanization, then director Ben Wheatley will take you on a visually captivating journey through an orgy of violence and mayhem. R. CURTIS COOK. Cinema 21, Kiggins.
A Hologram for the King
B You might’ve expected a ﬁlm aimed at politically centrist and optimistic parents from Tom Hanks’ production company (Larry Crowne, Charlie Wilson’s War). A ﬁsh-outof-water tale about an obsolete American salesman peddling IT to Saudi royalty, the ﬁlm’s telegraphed cultural clashes aren’t xenophobic or exploitative, just safe and sentimental. Quips about forbidden alcohol in the Kingdom here, a polite misunderstanding about the CIA there. If you can buy the tone—and Hanks is doing his everyman damndest to convince
you of this endeavor’s beating heart— it falls back on the clever ﬂourishes of Dave Eggers’ source material. R. CHANCE SOLEM-PFEIFER. Fox Tower, Tigard.
The Huntsman: Winter’s War
B It’s been called an unnecessary sequel. And it may be, but as a steadfast lover of swords and sorcery ﬁlms, I must steadfastly protect it like the Citadel Guards of Gondor. This sequel functions as both a prequel and sequel to the ﬁrst ﬁlm, and it actually does a competent job of completely leaving out Snow White. The thing is, Kristen Stewart as Snow White was the worst thing about the ﬁrst ﬁlm. She functioned almost solely as a lightly emoting MacGuﬃn with too much screen time. Snow White’s absence is more than made up for by a very game Jessica Chastain as the huntsman’s feisty partner, who is a lot of fun as a badass warrior, and Chris Hemsworth does Hemsworth
REVIEW COURTESY OF FOX SEARCHLIGHT PICTURES
mark. British Col. Katherine Powell (Helen Mirren) tracks infamous terrorists to a house in Nairobi, Kenya. The plot arc is more of a plot sine wave, with the withering Lt. Gen. Frank Benson (Rickman as a wandless Professor Snape in olive drab) throwing up his hands and staring down the people who just refuse to blow things up already. It’s not Rickman’s fault (RIP) that his dry humor is out of place in a movie about the ethics of vaporizing people with missiles. R. ZACH MIDDLETON. Bridgeport, Cedar Hills, Clackamas, Living Room Theaters.
Gods of Egypt
D It’s ancient Egypt like you’ve never seen it before: bigger, shinier and chock-full of deities punching each other. Shown but never explained: giant ﬂying beetles; a 3,000-foot waterfall; removing and putting back somebody’s glowing blue brain; a ﬂaming pyramid; ridable, giant ﬁrebreathing snakes; and why the characters are all so white. This is Egypt! PG-13. ALEX FALCONE. Vancouver.
B+ Patrick Stewart plays the big bad
leader of a backwoods gang of white supremacists. The punk-rock band that falls into his clutches is loosely led by Anton Yelchin (Scotty in the new Star Trek ﬁlms), and the band is on an unsuccessful tour, taking a detour to play a paying gig at a neo-Nazi compound. There, the band witnesses a murder that these guys won’t let them walk away from. The characters on both sides are loosely drawn but smart enough not to make stupid decisions, which makes the delay of action last longer than expected. Like Akira Kurosawa, Saulnier ﬁnds the anticipation of violence more cinematic than its outcome, which are brief but gratuitous acts that leave a stain. The outcomes are unpredictable, shocking, grisly and really fun. PG-13. EZRA JOHNSONGREENOUGH. Bridgeport, Cinema 21, Clackamas, Hollywood, Oak Grove.
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B+ The Coens’ funniest ﬁlm since The Big Lebowski combines a zany caper, a communist plot, ’50s studio politics and a touching story about one man’s calling in life into a cohesive, lighthearted and quip-heavy comedy. It’s a neat package like only the Coen brothers can tie up. PG-13. JOHN LOCANTHI. Laurelhurst.
Hello, My Name is Doris
B Enter the mind of Doris, where 20-something men with waxed chests rip oﬀ their shirts and slam her passionately against the wall. Until someone wakes her from the daydream. Doris is a whip-smart comedy that pokes fun at the ultra-curated youthful lifestyle, while avoiding the recent trope of seniors ﬁnding a place amid the nostalgic fascination of millennials. You can almost feel John trying not to laugh as he oﬀers custom-blended artisanal cocktails to Doris during Friendsgiving at his place. PG-13. LAUREN TERRY. Living Room Theaters, Tigard.
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B- Based on J.G. Ballard’s novel of the same name, High-Rise follows Dr. Robert Laing (Tom Hiddleston) as he adjusts to living in an all-inclusive apartment building designed by the Architect (Jeremy Irons). The luxuries of Dr. Laing’s new domicile rapidly deteriorate as his neighbors begin to wage a literal class war, succumbing to their animalistic instincts, until people are having sex in the hall-
HEAD FIRST: Ralph Fiennes and Tilda Swinton.
You may find yourself luxuriating in the sexiness of director Luca Guadagnino’s hypersensual images of island love in A Bigger Splash, before diving into the waves of its characters’ lives, fraught with regret and lies. A rock star (Tilda Swinton) and her boyfriend vacation on the idyllic volcanic island of Pantelleria, sunbathing and having sex in silence. Unexpectedly crashing the party is Ralph Fiennes as a wild, hard-living music producer intent on winning back the rock star he palmed off years ago on her current lover. While Guadagnino’s I Am Love (2009) established him as an auteur of visual decadence and Swinton his Pygmalion-like muse, in Splash, Fiennes is the life of the film. He delivers a performance of such energy that it threatens to overtake the meditative beauties Guadagnino offers. Swinton’s aging rock star, fresh from surgery to her vocal chords, is instructed not to speak. Conveniently, Fiennes never shuts up. He is the epitome of excess and the antithesis to Matthias Schoenaerts as Swinton’s younger, recovering-alcoholic lover. A Bigger Splash is a film basking in its locations, lifestyles and characters. The countryside settings filled with swimming pools, dinner parties and nude sunbathing are photographed with an atmospheric attention to detail that lends to the authenticity of being there. It is a film that relies on the actors to live in their characters. Playing Fiennes’ 22-year-old daughter, Dakota Johnson is sexier and more erotic here than she was in Fifty Shades of Grey. As Johnson teeters on the edge of Lolita-type sexuality, Swinton embodies the Bowie-like rock star in a believable performance that relies solely on facial expressions and body language. While the film is billed as a suspenseful, erotic thriller, it’s more of a character study that builds to a surprising climax. Then, the film dances around, like Fiennes frolicking to the Rolling Stones’ “Emotional Rescue” in one of the most memorable scenes. EZRA JOHNSON-GREENOUGH.
A Bigger Splash is seductively beautiful, with Tilda Swinton as a Bowie-like star.
B+ SEE IT: A Bigger Splash is rated R. It opens Friday at Fox Tower.
B- The most troubling things about Keanu are also the best things about it. The movie is named after the adorable escaped pet of a Mexican drug lord, and the poster is of said kitten, but the ﬁlm’s real draw is clear: Jordan Peele and Keegan-Michael Key, the comedy duo from the gone-too-soon sketch show Key and Peele and the not-gone-soonenough MADtv. Key (the bald, tall one) plays neurotic family man Clarence, while Peele plays Relle, his desperate, recently dumped cousin. Relle ﬁnds Keanu, only to have the cat stolen in a Lebowskian drug mixup. It’s essentially a movie extrapolation of that bit about “White Sounding Black Guys,” which leads to some hilarious moments. At the same time, it’s a skinny framework for carrying a movie. R. JAMES HELMSWORTH. Bridgeport, Cedar Hills, City Center, Clackamas, Division, Eastport, Fox Tower, Lloyd, Oak Grove.
Kung Fu Panda 3
A- It’s been ﬁve years since Kung Fu Panda 2, and Jack Black hasn’t been in anything even close to that good since. PG. Avalon, Kennedy School, Vancouver.
The Man Who Knew Infinity
C+ Indian mathematician and autodidact Srinivasa Ramanujan (Dev Patel) struggles through racism and cultural bigotry along his way to solving the secrets of fancy theorems with formally trained English mathematician G.H. Hardy (Jeremy Irons) in writer-director Matt Brown’s second feature ﬁlm. While math may be a glorious concept that binds us all to the fabric of the universe, chalkboards full of algorithms are not particularly cinematic. PG-13. CURTIS COOK. City Center, Fox Tower.
C Just as her thick eyeglasses turn her brown eyes into saucers, Susan Sarandon magniﬁes all angles of her worrywart mother character, the titular Meddler. In the long wake of her husband’s death, Sarandon’s Marnie is a boundary obliterator dogging her screenwriter daughter (Rose Byrne). The incessant voicemails are hard to take, but Sarandon’s unmistakable gentleness is a crucial obstruction to The Meddler, saving clueless Marnie from any harsh judgement. From writerdirector Lorene Scafaria (Nick & Norah’s Inﬁnite Playlist), the script’s bones are a meaningful reversal of mother-daughter grief and recovery, but they’re forced to support Blues Traveler cameos, a weedeating gag and a clique of Angeleno bridesmaids. Like a daughter to her prying mother, the ﬁlm should toss up a palm to broad comedy tropes and ask to live its life. PG-13. CHANCE SOLEMPFEIFER. Cedar Hills, Clackamas, Fox Tower.
B The premise of a magical boy running from the government sounds trite. But add a clever, light-handed screenplay, take away the kitschy magic, and include a dark take on the increasing ﬂow of data through satellites, and you’ve got a fresh, modern science-ﬁction ﬁlm. Writer-director Jeﬀ Nichols (Mud) uses sparse dialogue to maintain an air of mystery around the calm, young Alton (Jaeden Lieberher), carefully using every word and glance to tell a little more about this electromagnetically charged child. PG-13. LAUREN TERRY. Academy, Laurelhurst.
B Fans looking for a solely reverent
portrait of Miles Davis won’t get it in Miles Ahead, the new, loosely biographical ﬁlm on the jazz legend. Instead, Don Cheadle, who wrote, produced, directed and stars in the ﬁlm, delivers a more complete picture of Davis as a groundbreaking musician who was also an abusive drug addict. Whether
he’s snorting cocaine, shattering a glass table during a ﬁght with his wife or being arrested and beat up by a policeman for smoking in public, the audience is reminded of Davis’ best and worst moments all at once. R. SOPHIA JUNE. Cinema 21, Hollywood.
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well as the over-cocky, macho title character. Compared to similar genre entries recently, like The Last Witch Hunter, 47 Ronin and Seventh Son, it’s practically a masterpiece, and if I was 13 years old, it might be my favorite ﬁlm. PG-13. EZRA JOHNSON-GREENOUGH. Bridgeport, Cedar Hills, City Center, Clackamas, Division, Eastport, Lloyd, Oak Grove, Tigard, Vancouver.
C- George Clooney stars as a ﬁnancial TV show host in the vein of Mad Money’s Jim Cramer, with Julia Roberts as his capable director and Jack O’Connell as the gunman who takes the studio hostage during a live broadcast. The gunman, an average joe seeking revenge for the savings he lost when Clooney’s character promoted bad stocks, is fed up with the 1 percent screwing the little guy. Like a good Bernie Bro, he’s out to expose it all. But like Jon Snow, he knows nothing, and the plot devolves into an unbelievably absurd investigation into the nefarious management of a stock that went tits up, treating the audience like the same fools the rich and powerful think we are. R. EZRA JOHNSON-GREENOUGH. Bridgeport, Cedar Hills, City Center, Clackamas, Division, Eastport, Living Room Theaters, Lloyd, Oak Grove, St. Johns 1 & 2, Tigard, Vancouver, Tigard, Vancouver.
D Unless you’re anticipating something other than Garry Marshall’s recent soulless romcoms (Valentine’s Day, New Year’s Eve), this is exactly what you’d expect. The two-dimensional characters represent a range of maternal strife, from an orphaned young mother (Britt Robertson) seeking to reconnect with her birth mom, to the Home Shopping Network empress (Julia Roberts) hiding a predictable secret. It is too bad, because more laughter might’ve distracted from the awkward demographics in this caucasian version of Atlanta. PG-13. LAUREN TERRY. Bridgeport, Cedar Hills, City Center, Clackamas, Division, Fox Tower, Lloyd, Oak Grove, Tigard, Vancouver.
A- In terms of pure spectacle and cinematic beauty, Alejandro González Iñárritu’s The Revenant approaches masterpiece status. R. Valley, Vancouver.
B- A New Wave rock-’n’-roll fairy
tale set in early-’80s Dublin, for fans of quality nostalgia fare like Freaks & Geeks. A 15-year-old boy (Ferdia WalshPeelo) seeks to escape the harsh reality of his brutal schoolmasters and splintering home. Under the tutelage of his hash-smoking, dole-surﬁng older brother, he discovers Duran Duran videos and Cure albums. The story is about as believable as Almost Famous or School of Rock, but that’s not the point. This ﬁlm fondly recalls John Hughes, tips its hat to Wes Anderson, and repeatedly nods to Back to the Future and “Thriller.” PG-13. NATHAN CARSON. Bridgeport, Cedar Hills, Clackamas, Fox Tower, Vancouver.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens
A- If there’s one thing we know about Star Wars fans, it’s that they’re as resistant to change as any religious zealot. And so, the best thing that can be said about The Force Awakens is that it’s almost old-fashioned. PG-13. Empirical, Valley.
Whiskey Tango Foxtrot
C+ Tina Fey stars in this light comedy
about the war in Afghanistan. She’s funny for sure, but something just feels oﬀ with the 30 Rock-style humor interlaced with the horriﬁc violence of Kabul circa 2004. R. ALEX FALCONE. Laurelhurst, Vancouver.
B Every dynamic, doe-eyed character in this animated adventure brings laughs for the kids, and hope for adults that their children won’t adopt Donald Trump ideals. There’s a lesson under every hoof, inside every snout, and behind every bubbly buttocks. PG. AMY WOLFE. Bridgeport, Cedar Hills, City Center, Clackamas, Division, Lloyd, Oak Grove, Pioneer Place, Tigard, Vancouver.
IT’S SUMMER: National Lampoon’s Vacation.
Holiday Road NATIONAL LAMPOON’S VACATION AND THE CALL OF THE AMERICAN ROAD. BY A P KRYZA
For a while, the American road-trip film was steeped in cynicism and fear of the unknown frontiers of the nation. Sure, the open road was a thing of beauty and wonder. But take one wrong turn and you might find your free spirits blown to bits by a redneck with a double-barrel à la Easy Rider and end up hanging from a meat hook in some Texas slaughterhouse or a radioactive mutant’s cave. With the filmic revolution of the late ’60s and ’70s in the rearview and the world becoming more interconnected, the early ’80s demanded a new kind of road-trip flick, something that tamped down the regional paranoia to a punch line and turned the open road back to a celebration of the flawed modern American family. After The Muppet Movie and The Blues Brothers, road-trip comedies crested with National Lampoon’s Vacation. An R-rated studio comedy about the misadventures of a family on a cross-country trip was actually fresh back in 1983, before the Griswold clan turned into a multifilm franchise, complete with last year’s reboot. While the formula has been repeated ad nauseam since European Vacation, almost everything here still clicks, from the children’s angst at their parents’ near-psychotic drive for nostalgia to Lindsey Buckingham’s “Holiday Road” repeatedly blaring on the soundtrack. While many films of this ilk are dinged for being episodic, here it just feels like stops on the map. As the film bounds from Chicago to L.A., we get the sense of an actual, lived-in trip, including the long stretches of nothingness punctuated by cloying family idiocy and highway hypnosis. There is cringing racial insensitivity at an early
stop in the ghetto and Clark geeking out at a tourist-trap Western town. For those who have endured their own cross-country memory road, it all rings true for good or ill. Vacation laid the groundwork for everything from Pee-wee’s Big Adventure to We’re the Millers and Road Trip, but has never been bested for its sheer perfection in cramming an entire family’s dynamic into a station wagon and sending them down the highway. Road trips these days are modern affairs where tech takes over from games like “I Spy,” The Griswolds’ version of a family trip still hits home. Watching Vacation, like the road trip itself, is a summer tradition. GO: National Lampoon’s Vacation opens Tuesday, May 24, at Mission Theater. ALSO SHOWING:
Like “1999” at weddings and “Sexy MF” on fuck-buddy mixtapes, Purple Rain should henceforth have a permanent place on Portland theater schedules. Select screenings are sing-alongs during this run. Mission Theater. Opens Wednesday, May 18. Stand by Me gets its first resurrection of the summer, no doubt leading new parents to misremembering it as a kid-friendly coming-of-age movie and blushing for a full two hours. Mission Theater. Opens Wednesday, May 18. The Reel Cool jazz series does its monthly thing with As Time Goes by in Shanghai, which is essentially the Chinese jazz equivalent of Buena Vista Social Club. Clinton Street Theater. 7 pm Thursday, May 19. Back in 1973, some scrappy kids from New York named De Niro and Keitel and Scorsese made a microbudget movie about crime and thug life in New York. Mean Streets remains one of the most important and entertaining films of the era. Academy Theater. May 20-27. There are grimier, uglier, more misogynistic takes on the “women in prison” genre, but 1983’s Chained Heat is the ultimate, if only for legendary supporting douchebag John Vernon as a warden who installs a hot tub in his office. Hollywood Theatre. 7:30 pm Tuesday, May 24. Reel Science pairs Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory with a talk by Charley Wheelock of Woodblock Chocolate, who might be considered Portland’s Wonka, if he were a prolific child murderer and slaver. OMSI. 6:30 pm Tuesday, May 24. Willamette Week MAY 18, 2016 wweek.com
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In the mid-1960s, just as the majority of Oregon lumber mills began to bottom out, the state’s first grapes of pinot noir were being planted by David Lett in the Willamette Valley. A decade later, his wines placed in prestigious competitions in France, and today Oregon vineyards contribute $1.4 billion annually to the state’s economy. Our craft-beer industry, launched by a group of homebrewers who lobbied the state to allow brewpubs in 1985, provided about $2.8 billion last year. When it comes to cannabis, Oregon has a leg up as a pioneer of legalization with a reputation for agricultural excellence. Should federal legalization come to pass, our brands have the potential to be nationwide leaders. But first we have to transcend old ideas about marijuana and recognize that it’s a plant, and growing it is agriculture. Here’s what I mean:
Let go of pot culture, and focus on science.
When you drink different types of wine or beer, the end result is essentially the same: You get drunk. Tequila may have a more dynamic effect than Coors Light, but the variance doesn’t compare to the diverse cultivars of cannabis. Some strains will help certain people focus and cause others to feel anxious; your individual body chemistry determines how you’re affected. Dispensaries rely on the limited binary of mellow indica/uplifting sativa when categorizing strains on their shelves, but they should shift their explanations toward terpene concentrations when educating new customers. Terpenes give marijuana its aroma and subtle effects, like anti-inflammation and stress relief. People with a deeper understanding of terpenes will become the sommeliers of cannabis, sensing the floral hint of linalool and calming relaxation from myrcene.
Combine the best of indoor and outdoor growing methods.
If we want to grow the best marijuana Oregon can produce, we have to understand what marijuana likes about our climate. It’s a nutrient-hungry plant that thrives in moist air and lots of sun, and though longtime enthusiasts swear by the enduring potency of outdoor (“sun-grown”) flower, the consensus of most millennial smokers is that resinous indoor-grown buds are unrivaled. The best of modern indoor operations are contained, hospital-clean rooms. But if you’re shopping for fruits and vegetables to eat, you’d rather they weren’t grown in a windowless basement, right? “If I had the land, I’d be excited to grow outdoor,” says the master grower at Nelson & Company Organics, an indoor farm whose strains are available at some of Portland’s top dispensaries. Outdoor-grown flower tends to be hardier, he says, producing more potent and aromatic buds, but “laissez-faire curing and storage methods have given it a bad name.” “Growing indoor is not about total control,” 42
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Just North of the Pearl District.
he says, “it’s for removing the negative elements that are harder to control in nature, like rain and air pollutants.” Conscious outdoor growers have proved that careful curing periods in glass jars and occasional bursts of clean air can maintain potency better than indoor buds. When done right, greenhouses utilize the best of both worlds, combining powerful sunlight with climate control.
Find the right strains for the right regions.
Southern Oregon is known for massive outdoor grows, but that mainly has to do with sunny summers and privacy. No arrangement of indoor lighting can replicate the full spectrum of light emitted by the sun, but global warming will make more of Oregon prime for marijuana cultivation. As more growers incorporate sunlight across the state, desirable regions will become specialized, like AVAs in wine. Besides UV exposure, clean air near mountains or coastal wind currents may prove to bring out certain qualities in a particular strain. We won’t know until we get serious. David Lett studied pinot noir grapes and their native Burgundy until he understood everything about ideal soil type and climate when founding the Eyrie Vineyards in Dundee. Most importantly, we must establish environmentally sustainable practices founded in botany, not the fumbles of red-eyed heroes in stoner movies. We have the chance to replicate what pinot noir did for the Willamette Valley. We just need the next Papa Pinot. Or Mama Master Kush.
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“Freemium”–another freestyle display of words. 53 Comedian Notaro 54 2014 bio subtitled “Paul McCartney in the 1970s” 59 Ending for winter or weather 60 Assimilate a different way of life, perhaps 61 French possessive meaning “your” 62 Cinematographer’s option
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Across 1 Brake quickly and accurately 12 Zapp Brannigan’s timid, green assistant on “Futurama” 15 Interactive Twitter game on Comedy Central’s “@ midnight” 16 Eggy prefix 17 Part of a content warning, maybe 18 Columnist Savage 19 Palindromic “War on Poverty” agcy. 20 Providing funds for
22 Body part in a lot of cow puns 25 Kind of dye containing nitrogen 26 Without a stitch 27 Bob Ross ‘dos 28 Fault finder 31 Physicians’ medical gp. 32 “Cast Away” costar (in a way) 33 Clearance sale container 34 Herd of whales 35 Grass bought in rolls 36 Be the author 37 Greek vowel that
resembles an English consonant 38 Title for a Khan 39 “Thirteen at Dinner” detective 41 Bon ___ (cleanser brand) 42 Stuck trying to get somewhere, maybe 44 Aesopian conclusion 46 Drei squared 47 “M*A*S*H” soldier, briefly 48 Orgs. 49 Pull forcibly on 52 Hard ending?
Down 1 “___-La-La” (1974 Al Green hit) 2 One of Lincoln’s sons 3 Sch. for Cowboys, Buckeyes, or Beavers 4 Innermost layer of tree bark 5 Sleek, whiskered swimmers 6 Gp. with a phonetic alphabet 7 Comics outburst 8 Frank Zappa’s oldest son 9 1975 Leonard Nimoy autobiography (with an “opposite” 1995 follow-up) 10 “A horse is a horse” horse 11 Canadian (and former U.S.) fuel brand 12 Southern Alaskan omnivores (and the largest of their kind) 13 Director of “Ghostbusters” and “Ghostbusters II” 14 Bad things to use on a chalkboard
21 Pugilist’s org. 22 In a difficult situation 23 Render a credit card useless, e.g. 24 Theater consultants of sorts 25 Folk rocker with the 2014 album “Allergic to Water” 29 Jim Morrison, e.g. 30 Business off the highway 32 “Scratch me behind the ears!” 35 Place for some “me time” 40 Hilariously funny 43 “Messenger” molecule 44 Biz Markie vocals played over Metallica, say 45 Some blenders 50 Apple that debuted 18 years ago 51 It dissolves in H2O 52 Caesar’s “And you?” 55 Atlanta Braves’ MLB div. 56 “Go, old-timey baseball team!” 57 “Teach ___ Fly” (2009 single for Wiz Khalifa) 58 Make after expenses last week’s answers
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Week of May 19
TAURUS (April 20-May 20) The short attention span is now enshrined as the default mode of awareness. “We skim rather than absorb,” says author James Lough. “We read Sappho or Shakespeare the same way we glance over a tweet or a text message, scanning for the gist, impatient to move on.” There’s a problem with that approach, however. “You can’t skim Shakespeare,” says Lough. I propose that we make that your epigram to live by in the coming weeks, Taurus: You can’t skim Shakespeare. According to my analysis, you’re going to be offered a rich array of Shakespearelevel information and insights. To get the most out of these blessings, you must penetrate and marinate and ruminate. GEMINI (May 21-June 20) “There are situations in life when it is wisdom not to be too wise,” said Friedrich Schiller. The coming days may be one of those times for you. I therefore advise you to dodge any tendency you might have to be impressed with your sophisticated intelligence. Be suspicious of egotism masquerading as cleverness. You are most likely to make good decisions if you insist on honoring your raw instincts. Simple solutions and uncomplicated actions will give you access to beautiful truths and truthful beauty, especially if you anchor yourself in innocent compassion. CANCER (June 21-July 22) To prepare you for the coming weeks, I have gathered three quotes from the Bulgarian writer Elias Canetti. These gems, along with my commentary, will serve you well if you use them as seeds for your ongoing meditations. Seed #1: “He would like to start from scratch. Where is scratch?” Here’s my addendum: No later than your birthday, you’ll be ready to start from scratch. In the meantime, your task is to find out where scratch is, and clear a path to it. Seed #2: “All the things one has forgotten scream for help in dreams.” My addendum: Monitor your dreams closely. They will offer clues about what you need to remember. Seed #3: “Relearn astonishment, stop grasping for knowledge, lose the habit of the past.” My addendum: Go in search of the miraculous. LEO (July 23-Aug. 22) “There are friendships like circuses, waterfalls, libraries,” said writer Vladimir Nabokov. I hope you have at least one of each, Leo. And if you don’t, I encourage you to go out and look for some. It would be great if you could also get access to alliances that resemble dancing lessons, colorful sanctuaries, lion whisperers, prayer flags, and the northern lights. Right now you especially need the stimulation that synergistic collaborations can provide. The next chapter of your life story requires abundant contact with interesting people who have the power to surprise you and teach you. VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22) “Perfection is a stick with which to beat the possible,” says author Rebecca Solnit. She is of course implying that it might be better not to beat the possible, but rather to protect and nurture the possible as a viable option -- especially if perfection ultimately proves to have no value other than as a stick. This is always a truth worth honoring, but it will be crucial for you in the weeks to come. I hope you will cultivate a reverence and devotion to the possible. As messy or maddening as it might be, it will also groom your powers as a maker. LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22) An invigorating challenge is headed your way. To prepare you, I offer the wisdom of French author André Gide. “Through loyalty to the past,” he wrote, “our mind refuses to realize that tomorrow’s joy is possible only if today’s joy makes way for it.” What this means, Libra, is
that you will probably have to surrender your attachment to a well-honed delight if you want to make yourself available for a bright new delight that’s hovering on the frontier. An educational blessing will come your way if and only if you clear space for its arrival. As Gide concludes, “Each wave owes the beauty of its line only to the withdrawal of the preceding wave.” SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21) “How prompt we are to satisfy the hunger and thirst of our bodies; how slow to satisfy the hunger and thirst of our souls!” Henry David Thoreau wrote that, and now I’m passing it on to you just in time for a special phase of your long-term cycle. During this upcoming interlude, your main duty is to FEED YOUR SOUL in every way you can imagine. So please stuff it with unpredictable beauty and reverent emotions. Cram it with mysterious adventures and rambling treks in the frontier. Gorge it with intimate unpredictability and playful love and fierce devotions in behalf of your most crucial dreams. Warning: You will not be able to rely solely on the soul food that has sustained you in the past. Be eager to discover new forms of nourishment.
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SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21) “Here’s how every love letter can be summarized,” says Russell Dillon in his poem “Past-Perfect-Impersonal”: “What is it you’re unable to surrender and please may I have that?” I bring this tease to your attention because it may serve as a helpful riddle in the coming weeks. You’re entering a phase when you will have an enhanced ability to tinker with and refine and even revolutionize your best intimate relationships. I’m hoping Dillon’s provocation will unleash a series of inquiries that will inspire you as you imagine how you could supercharge togetherness and reinvent the ways you collaborate.
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CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19) Fifth-century Christian theologian St. Jerome wrote that “it requires infinite discretion to look for gold in the midst of dirt.” Ancient Roman poet Virgil on one occasion testified that he was “searching for gold in dung.” While addressing the angels, nineteenth-century French poet Charles Baudelaire bragged, “From each thing I extracted its quintessence. You gave me your mud, and I made gold out of it.” From what I can tell, Caprciorn, you have been engaged in similar work lately. The climax of your toil should come in the next two weeks. (Thanks to Michael Gilleland for the inspiration: tinyurl.com/mudgold.) AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18) “At this time in my life,” says singer Joni Mitchell, “I’ve confronted a lot of my devils. A lot of them were pretty silly, but they were incredibly real at the time.” According to my reading of the astrological omens, Aquarius, you are due to enjoy a similar grace period. It may be a humbling grace period, because you’ll be invited to decisively banish worn-out delusions that have filled you with needless fear. And it may be a grace period that requires you to make strenuous adjustments, since you’ll have to revise some of your old stories about who you are and how you got here. But it will also be a sweet grace period, because you’ll be blessed again and again with a visceral sense of liberation. PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20) More than halfway through her prose poem “A Settlement,” Mary Oliver abruptly stops her meandering meditation on the poignant joys of spring’s soft awakening. Suddenly she’s brave and forceful: “Therefore, dark past, I’m about to do it. I’m about to forgive you for everything.” Now would be a perfect moment to draw inspiration from her, Pisces. I dare you to say it. I dare you to mean it. Speak these words: “Therefore, dark past, I’m about to do it. I’m about to forgive you for everything.”
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