Willamette Week, September 6 2023 - Volume 49, Issue 43 - "Fall Arts Guide 2023: Freak Yourself Out"

Page 1

a scary time for Oregon’s arts scene.
it just needs a little mayhem. Page 14 freak freak Yourself out! NEWS: Live Nation on the Waterfront. P. 10 WEED: Help When You’re Too Damn High. P. 30
INSIDE: Fall Arts Guide
2 Willamette Week SEPTEMBER 6, 2023 wweek.com


Only 607 students attended Jefferson High School last year. 8

State officials tried to create a dispensary manager apprenticeship even after learning it ran afoul of federal law. 9

Before the city bought it, a lot on Glisan Street housed a blacksmith , a service station and finally a bus depot. 9

Prosper Portland shifted its plans for Water Avenue from building office space to backing a Live Nation venue. 11

Sgt. Eric Stoneberg really wanted to chase Jason Sherriff. 12

Even vampires need an intimacy choreographer 16

Local sci-fi film Evil Babylon has a protagonist named Lucky Thundermax 19

An Oregon woman who dismembered victims and fed their bodies to her pigs inspired a team of Tennessee filmmakers. 22

’Tis the season to flee zombified farmers along uncertain maze routes. 24

An acting troupe known as the CoHo Clown CoHort has spun off a four-week-long festival. 26

Oracle Wellness founder Megon Dee accidentally got high for two days after licking a spoon 30

Resurfaced tweets led to the falling out between Drake and Portland rapper iLoveMakonnen. 31

Walt Curtis’ stories freaked out Ken Kesey 32

Kiggins Theatre owner Dan Wyatt dresses in a fedora and trench coat for film noir screenings. 36

Willamette Week welcomes freelance submissions. Send material to either News Editor or Arts Editor. Manuscripts will be returned if you include a selfaddressed, stamped envelope. To be considered for calendar listings, notice of events must be received in writing by noon Wednesday, two weeks before publication. Questions concerning circulation or subscription inquiries should be directed to Skye Anfield at Willamette Week. Postmaster: Send all address changes to Willamette Week, P.O. Box 10770, Portland, OR 97206. Subscription rates: One year $130, six months $70. Back issues $5 for walk-ins, $8 for mailed requests when available. Willamette Week is mailed at third-class rates. Association of Alternative Newsmedia. This newspaper is published on recycled newsprint using soy-based ink. JEFFERSON HIGH SCHOOL, PAGE 8 ON THE COVER: Setaraki Wainiqolo and Ashley Song put the bite on troubled times for Oregon’s art scene; photo by Allison Barr @alliisonder OUR MOST TRAFFICKED STORY ONLINE THIS WEEK: Readers respond to Oregon’s weed market crash. Masthead PUBLISHER Anna Zusman EDITORIAL Managing Editor Aaron Mesh Arts & Culture Editor Andi Prewitt Assistant A&C Editor Bennett Campbell Ferguson Staff Writers Anthony Effinger Nigel Jaquiss Lucas Manfield Sophie Peel Rachel Saslow Copy Editor Matt Buckingham Editor Mark Zusman ART DEPARTMENT Creative Director Mick Hangland-Skill Graphic Designer McKenzie Young-Roy ADVERTISING Advertising Media Coordinator Beans Flores Account Executives Michael Donhowe Maxx Hockenberry Content Marketing Manager Shannon Daehnke COMMUNITY OUTREACH Give!Guide & Friends of Willamette Week Executive Director Toni Tringolo G!G Campaign Assistant & FOWW Manager Josh Rentschler FOWW Membership Manager Madeleine Zusman Podcast Host Brianna Wheeler DISTRIBUTION Circulation Director Skye Anfield OPERATIONS Manager of Information Services Brian Panganiban OUR MISSION To provide Portlanders with an independent and irreverent understanding of how their worlds work so they can make a difference. Though Willamette Week is free, please take just one copy. Anyone removing papers in bulk from our distribution points will be prosecuted, as they say, to the full extent of the law.
WILLAMETTE WEEK IS PUBLISHED WEEKLY BY CITY OF ROSES MEDIA COMPANY P.O. Box 10770 Portland, OR 97296 Main line phone: (503) 243-2122 fax: (503) 296-2874 Classifieds phone: (503) 243-2122 fax: (503) 296-2874 3 Willamette Week SEPTEMBER 6, 2023 wweek.com FINDINGS

Celebrate a century of music with PYP!

Join us, the nation’s first youth orchestra, at the historic Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall in our centennial season! We proudly present a thrilling new season filled to the brim with fan-favorite classical masterworks, exciting premieres, and special guest artists including Portland Piano International 2023 Concerto Competition Winner Nolan Tu, Imani Winds, Thomas Lauderdale, Hunter Noack, and Huw Edwards! Experience the magic of this orchestra for yourself, starting in November.

Should you take it personally if we call you a tightwad? Of course not, because the second person is a grammatical device used to heighten the stakes of a rhetorical argument, and we aren’t actually talking to you. (Although you do have something in your teeth.) Nevertheless, many readers took personally Dr. Know’s rebuke last week of a tipping skeptic who protested that $15 an hour is plenty for service

part of the existing system, but it pisses me off that I need to.”


COM: “You can always get graband-go at the grocery store. That way you won’t be confronted with someone working for half the poverty-level wage (yes, that’s what our fancy ‘minimum’ wage comes to for part-time food-service employment, which is how employers dodge paying benefits). Cook your own food and do your own dishes, and give that some thought.”

bus your own table. You want to

NOV 11

DEC 26



MAY 31

Tickets: portlandyouthphil.org

“Let me say first that I am only slightly older than dirt. So, employer agreed to pay me that

minimum wage and come to my

Dr. Know

We’ve all heard that bacteria are becoming resistant to all our antibiotics and it’s a huge problem. That said, at my job we still sanitize surfaces with the same old chlorine bleach solution folks have been using for at least 50 years. How come bacteria never seem to evolve resistance to that?

—The Bleach Boys

Fifty years is an understatement, Boys. Pioneers like Dr. John Snow were using chlorine bleach to disinfect contaminated water as early as the 1850s. (Snow also invented epidemiology, discovered the cause of cholera, and hipped British surgeons to a radical new concept called “anesthesia”—not bad for a guy whose name is synonymous with knowing nothing.)

To explain the difference between antibiotics and bleach, let me tell you about my car. Old Hondas are notoriously easy to steal, so I’ve modified mine with a relay that interrupts a circuit the car needs to start. It’s a minor change, but it ensures that no one but me can start the car.

Antibiotics are like that relay: They’re

SHARON WILLIAMS, VIA TWITTER: “Honestly, can you live in Portland on $15 an hour?”


“I don’t have a problem tipping, usually generously, when I receive actual service. What I do object to is being expected to tip someone who simply works the cash register and points to where I can pick up my food, gather my silverware, and bus my dishes. “Don’t get me started on the places that give themselves a hefty ‘tip’ before any service has been provided. And then they expect a tip on top of that. If you want to charge $80 for a plate of fettuccine, then let’s dispense with the sham and call it $80 fettuccine.”

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: P.O. Box 10770, Portland, OR 97296 Email: mzusman@wweek.com

designed to attack one critical system very efficiently while leaving everything else intact. It’s a nice, targeted, non-invasive way of attacking the problem—but of course, if the bacteria (or the car thieves) figure out a way around your little stratagem, it’s back to square one.

Bleach works differently. If antibiotics are like keeping your car from getting stolen by using a secret kill switch, bleach is like keeping your car from getting stolen by blowing it up with a small nuclear bomb. Sure, your entire neighborhood may be a smoking pool of molten glass, but try getting that Honda now, you dirty tweakers!

In other words, bleach destroys cells— including yours—indiscriminately. This is great when you’re trying to sterilize an operating table, but not so hot when you’re trying to clear up a 6-year-old’s eye infection. (It’s also why curing COVID by injecting Clorox directly into your veins doesn’t work.)

Still, it’s precisely this “Kill ’em all; let Dr. Fauci sort ’em out” attitude that has made bleach so enduringly effective. It doesn’t need to focus on any particular system or process; it’s strong enough to chemically dismantle any protein or lipid structures the cell might be made of, essentially doing to bacteria what Jesse Pinkman did to that dead guy in the bathtub in Breaking Bad. Good luck evolving resistance to that.

Questions? Send them to dr.know@wweek.com.

Photography by Zachary Person, Shervin Lainez, and Chris Hornbecker. 4 Willamette Week SEPTEMBER 6, 2023 wweek.com


Join us for this anniversary season that celebrates world-class composers and features BOBBY MCFERRIN , a world premiere by DARRELL GRANT , and more! Subscribe and Save! resonance choral .org
5 Willamette Week SEPTEMBER 6, 2023 wweek.com

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QUITS: As candidates announce plans to run for the expanded Portland City Council in 2024, signs are the changeover could be a rocky one. Bill Farver, a member of the citizen committee charged with advising Portland’s transition to a new form of government by 2025, resigned Aug. 30. In a letter to his advisory committee colleagues, Farver wrote that the current City Council is “severely limiting the scope of our advisory work” and is using the committee as a “buffer” between Portlanders and elected officials during the transition. Farver’s resignation follows a letter last month from the Government Transition Advisory Committee to the City Council arguing that city leaders were using the committee as a political tool and not actually consulting the body. In response, the City Council wrote that the GTAC was “never intended to operate as an oversight body over the entire transition process.” Farver wrote in his Sept. 30 resignation that the council’s letter was a “carefully constructed, narrowly legalistic effort…to defuse a potentially embarrassing controversy with a citizen group.”


The sprawling Kmart on Northeast Sandy Boulevard, scene of a massive fire in July, will be torn down starting Sept. 5, according to a notice sent to neighbors by Prologis, the company that wants to build a shipping warehouse on the site. The demolition will take about six weeks, Prologis says. “Experienced, licensed professionals will be handling the demolition process and appropriate steps will be taken to minimize inconvenience to the community,” Prologis wrote in the notice. The 118,000-square-foot store opened in 1971 and closed in 2018, when Sears Holdings, the owner at the time, shuttered dozens of underperforming stores across the country. It became an ignominious landmark of sorts in August 2021 when the far-right Proud Boys gathered in the vast parking lot and fought anti-fascists with baseball bats and paintball guns. Now, Argay Terrace residents oppose Prologis’ plans to build a freight warehouse on the site. Neighbors amped up their dispute with Prologis after a fire gutted the building July 19, raining chunks of blackened insulation on lawns, parks and schoolyards. Environmental consultants are testing the remains of the building for asbestos, lead paint and PCBs, says the plaintiffs’ attorney Michael Fuller. Prologis didn’t return an email seeking more details about the demolition.


SEATS: Ricky Gomez, who owns the award-winning Cuban bar and restaurant Palomar on the inner eastside, is likely to run for one of the 12 Portland City Council seats up for grabs next year. “I haven’t officially declared yet and am still in the process of evaluating the position and election cycle,” Gomez says in an email to WW Another likely hopeful is Chad Lykins, founder of Rose City Chess, a well-known Portland chess club. Lykins would likely run in District 4, which

includes all of the westside and a sliver of Southeast Portland. Lykins holds a doctorate in leadership and policy studies from Vanderbilt University and is Oregon’s delegate to the United States Chess Federation. Lykins did not respond to a request for comment. More than 15 candidates so far have either filed for the city’s Small Donor Elections program, registered a political action committee with the state, or publicly declared their intent to run for City Council in one of four geographic voting districts next year.

DANIELLE OUTLAW RESIGNS FROM PHILLY FORCE: Danielle Outlaw, who served as Portland’s police chief for two years until leaving to lead the Philadelphia Police Department in 2019, has announced she’s leaving that job as well. She’ll become deputy chief security officer at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. Outlaw was the first Black woman to lead the Portland Police Bureau. Her two years in Portland were filled with rumors she was contemplating a career move to a bigger city, which she did in 2019: In Philadelphia, she was tasked with reforming the city’s scandal-ridden police force, the country’s fourth largest. Her tenure there was marked by familiar challenges: surging gun homicides, a violent police response to racial justice protests, staffing shortages, and tensions with the city’s progressive new prosecutor. “We continue to face the challenge of more guns on the streets than ever—but we’ve been able to decrease shootings and homicides, and I give the commissioner and her team credit for making that happen,” Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney said. Outlaw’s departure isn’t exactly a surprise. Kenney leaves office in a few months, and whoever succeeds him is expected to clean house.

JURY CONVICTS INSURRECTIONIST WHO SMOKED A JOINT IN MERKLEY’S OFFICE: A federal jury found Brandon Craig Fellows guilty last week of felony obstruction of an official proceeding for his role in the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. The press release from the FBI is an all-timer: “Defendant Illegally Entered Capitol, Smoked a Joint in a Senator’s Office,” it announced Aug. 31. Prosecutors said Fellows, now 29, scaled the Upper West Terrace and entered the Capitol through a broken window, “wearing a fake beard fashioned of red yarn, a hat in the shape of a knight’s helmet, sunglasses, and carrying a flag and a trash can lid that he held as a shield.” He then made his way to the offices of U.S. Sen. Jeffrey Merkley (D-Ore.), where he was photographed smoking a joint with his feet up on the senator’s desk. “I walked in and there’s just a whole bunch of people lighting up in some Oregon room…they were smoking a bunch of weed in there,” he would later tell a reporter. “I have no regrets.” He was arrested 10 days later in Albany, N.Y. The handyman lived in a converted school bus, according to the FBI, and represented himself at his trial. Merkley’s office declined to comment, due to a likely appeal.

7 Willamette Week SEPTEMBER 6, 2023 wweek.com



City land bankers have sat on this Old Town lot for nearly 40 years.

ADDRESS : Northwest 6th Avenue and Glisan Street

YEAR BUILT: It’s an empty lot.


MARKET VALUE : $7.5 million

OWNER : Prosper Portland


WHY IT’S EMPTY : Sluggish city planners

The Fine Arts and Crafts Festival took over the North Park Blocks on Labor Day weekend, bringing a touch of glitz to an area that’s seen better days. But as the crowds perused $400 prints amid the bigleaf maples, a different sort of market was operating two blocks east.

“You lookin’ for some fetty?” a man asked a passerby outside the empty lot at Northwest 6th Avenue and Glisan Street. He hurried away upon learning the passerby was a reporter.

Garlynn Woodsong, an urban planner who’s wondered about the empty lot since riding the bus by it as a child, pointed out the property to WW. “We have a homeless crisis,” he says. “There’s an obvious piece of real estate, but the government’s too dysfunctional to figure out how to operate it.”

The land is owned by the city’s economic development agency, Prosper Portland, which says ideas over the years to redevelop the property didn’t “prove feasible.” A review of the city’s plans for the site over the past decade offers some clues to its underuse.

Over the past century, the site has housed a blacksmith, a service station, a series of hotels, and finally a bus depot before being sold to the city in 1985, according to records at the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality. The depot was soon razed, and it’s been vacant since.

The city removed 220 tons of soil contaminated by leaking underground storage tanks in the early 2000s, in an apparent effort to prepare it for development.

But, a few years later, in 2006, Peter Englander, a director of what was then called the Portland Development Commission, told The Oregonian his agency had no “firm plans” for the lot and was investing its money elsewhere.

In 2016, the city purchased the old U.S. Postal Service building nearby for $88 million with plans to redevelop it. But “Block R,” as the Glisan lot is known in planning documents, appears once again to have been left by the wayside. Situated across Broadway from the former USPS site, it isn’t used in architects’ preliminary renderings. A Prosper Portland spokesman assures WW it still plans to put the block to use as “part of that phased development.”

It was used briefly as an emergency shelter during the early days of the pandemic, later morphing into a sleeping pod village. But those homes disappeared after the contractor running the site backed out, citing the “daily and nightly gunfire and gun activity,” WW reported at the time.

So the lot is, once again, empty. A man named Cody was camping out on the sidewalk on a recent Monday afternoon. He agrees the area is dangerous. He just got out of the hospital after his wrist was smashed by a man wielding a baton, and says it would probably be “quite a bit safer” if he could camp inside the fence.

It’s just a “rat sanctuary” now, he says. LUCAS MANFIELD.

Every week, WW examines one mysteriously vacant property in the city of Portland, explains why it’s empty, and considers what might arrive there next. Send addresses to newstips@wweek.com.

Jefferson in Exile

Is a contentious remodel a chance to boost Jefferson High School’s low enrollment?

News that the Jefferson High School campus will be closed to students from 2024 to 2027 has its North Portland community worried what will happen to enrollment during and after the $300 million renovation.

The school district assured families throughout the planning process that Jefferson students could stay on-site during the renovation. But that turned out to be prohibitively expensive and would add an extra year to the work. Last month, Portland Public Schools announced Jefferson students would have to bus to the Marshall High School campus during construction.

“The kids on the cusp are either going to transfer or drop out. That’s just the reality,” says Jenn Latu, president of Jefferson’s Parent Teacher Student Association.

Only 607 students attended Jefferson last year; the renovated Jefferson will hold up to 1,700. And the district contends a new building will draw more students to the least-attended neighborhood high school in Portland.

“All of the other schools have seen an increase in enrollment once the schools have been completed,” says district spokeswoman Valerie Feder. “It is likely that the same thing will happen with Jefferson.”

Enrollment numbers from PPS back her up. While some high school’s enrollments have dipped during renovation—such as Benson Polytechnic, which is currently under construction— student populations tend to flourish once the new buildings

are complete.

PPS has finished modernizing or rebuilding five high schools so far with money from a series of voter-approved bonds that started in 2012.

Grant went from around 1,500 students before and during its 2017-to-2019 renovation to a bustling 2,159 last year. Franklin, Roosevelt and Leodis V. McDaniel (formerly Madison) high schools are each up about 400 students.

Such numbers are of increasing urgency to Portland Public Schools. Enrollment in PPS has fallen by 7.5% post-pandemic, due to factors such as a declining birth rate, rising housing prices, safety fears, and the rise of home schooling and online schools (“Big Kid on Campus,” WW, April 12). This is of lesser concern in high schools, where numbers have held steadier than in elementary schools, which plunged by 17.3% from 2019 to 2021.

The enrollment issue came up at the beginning of a heated Aug. 23 meeting in the Jefferson cafeteria.

“We have one of the lowest enrollments of freshman classes the last three years, and it continues to trend that way,” Jefferson principal Drake Shelton said at the meeting. “So when we talk about keeping our Black babies here, what I want to figure out is, how do we get them to even walk through the door?”

Students in the Jefferson neighborhood have remarkable flexibility in choosing a high school, with many homes co-zoned for Grant, McDaniel or Roosevelt.

Sondra Cozart says her sophomore son and all his friends plan to transfer to one of those schools if PPS proceeds with the Marshall plan. “This move is going to be very traumatic to a lot of kids academically, especially in the BIPOC population,” says Cozart, who is Black.

Many Jefferson students struggle to get to class on time when school is right there in the community, let alone 11 miles away, Cozart says. The district provides school buses to and from the Marshall campus during renovations, but headaches from the continuing national bus driver shortage have left parents distrustful.

PPS considered using the Portland Community College-Cascade campus right across North Killingsworth Street for Jefferson students, but both school systems nixed that plan. (PCC cited capacity concerns and PPS blamed a zoning issue that “could take years” to resolve.)

When a rebuilt Jefferson reopens in four years, Cozart worries she will not recognize her alma mater.

“What will Jefferson look like, if it ever comes back?’” Cozart asks. “The school will still be called Jefferson High School but the population of students that are there now? They’re not going to be able to survive this move.”

Portland Public High School Enrollment

Source: Portland Public Schools

8 Willamette Week SEPTEMBER 6, 2023 wweek.com WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW THIS WEEK NEWS
2015-16 2016-17 2017-18 2018-19 2019-20 2020-21 2021-22 2022-23 Franklin 1,570 1,612 1,745 1,856 1,936 2,010 2,014 1,968 Grant 1,481 1,476 1,512 1,638 1,813 1,965 2,126 2,159 Roosevelt 940 881 859 994 1,195 1,292 1,376 1,488 Benson Polytechnic 914 994 1,026 1,035 1,055 1,005 895 827 Lincoln 1,696 1,703 1,705 1,698 1,588 1,481 1,462 1,528 Leodis V. McDaniel 1,134 1,070 1,146 1,157 1,079 1,173 1,369 1,443 Jefferson 524 590 677 656 641 620 588 607
Highlights denote enrollment while the schools were under renovation. Roosevelt and Lincoln students remained on-site during construction. All other schools bused students to Marshall High School.

Made to Order

A year before a nonprofit co-founded by La Mota CEO Rosa Cazares received a half-million dollar grant from the Oregon Bureau of Labor & Industries, records show the agency tried to create an apprenticeship program specifically for Cazares’ company. That’s important for two reasons. First, then-BOLI Commissioner and now U.S. Rep. Val Hoyle (D-Ore.) received major campaign contributions from Cazares and the co-owner of La Mota, Aaron Mitchell. Second, the cannabis apprenticeship La Mota pursued—and the grant its offshoot nonprofit would eventually receive in the fall of 2022—weren’t legally viable. Records newly obtained by WW show BOLI staff was aware of that in 2021 but pushed forward anyway for the better part of a year.

Here are some key dates that turn up in documents released by BOLI to WW in response to a public records request.

MARCH 24, 2021: La Mota’s traceable relationship with BOLI appears to have started here, when BOLI Commissioner Hoyle dined with Cazares at Portland City Grill to discuss a La Mota-specific apprenticeship. Hoyle was accompanied by Lisa Ransom, director of the apprenticeship and training division at BOLI.

Hoyle spokeswoman Marissa Sandgren says it wasn’t unusual for the state labor commissioner to discuss apprenticeship opportunities with individuals: “Val would talk to a lot of people about apprenticeships, and those could be at dinners, events, coffee, or meetings.” Sandgren says.

APRIL 1, 2021: Cazares’ assistant emailed Ransom, saying



Multnomah County is giving defense attorneys an earlier chance to confer with their clients.

For the past year, Multnomah County has been wrestling with a thorny problem. It takes months, if not years, for people suspected of crimes to face trial. In the meantime, who should be held in jail?

Some, including Mayor Ted Wheeler, have argued that the current system is too lenient. They cite news reports of people released following accusations of heinous crimes, and point to repeat offenders who commit new crimes while awaiting trial on old ones.

Others say the county holds too many people behind bars as it is. There’s been a string of deaths in the county’s understaffed jails, and countless people inside would certainly be better off getting treatment elsewhere for their severe mental illnesses and substance use disorders.

One thing both sides agree on: What we have

Cazares “wanted me to reach out to you regarding the apprenticeship that was discussed. She mentioned you would like to set up a white board meeting.” A meeting followed shortly thereafter.

Emails show the three state-aided apprenticeship positions La Mota wanted to create were Store Manager, Supply Chain Analyst and Horticulturist.

Records show Ransom then delegated the matter, primarily to a staffer in her division named Irene Aviles, who over the next eight months met multiple times with La Mota staff to discuss an apprenticeship for the company. Emails suggest La Mota representatives—including Cazares herself—were sporadic in their communication, failed to follow up with needed paperwork, and were the pursued, not the pursuers, in the relationship.

JUNE 2021: Aaron Mitchell, who owns La Mota, contributed $20,000 to Hoyle.

EARLY DECEMBER 2021: The conversation about the apprenticeship appeared to revive in earnest. Aviles wrote to Cazares: “We look forward to meeting with you and working with you to move along the pathway to create a successful apprenticeship program that assists you in meeting La Mota’s goals.”

This time, La Mota brought others onto the team. Included on a Dec. 9 meeting invite were Annie Ellison, executive director of the powerhouse political training academy Emerge Oregon, and Laura Vega, who would become Cazares’ co-founder of the nonprofit that eight months later would receive the $554,000 grant from BOLI. Vega for a time also worked for La Mota. (Ellison told WW previously that she never accepted any money from La Mota.)

DEC. 9, 2021: Another BOLI employee flagged an issue for Aviles: Because cannabis was federally illegal, and apprenticeship standards were set by the U.S. Department of Labor, a cannabis-based apprenticeship wasn’t viable.

The two appeared to have found a work-around, though.

“If we have to send it to USDOL for approval as a cannabis specific trade; we may have issues,” wrote Loren Burnham, an apprenticeship representative with BOLI. “But I know how to work around that as well. We approve it as a training program, let it run for a few years and work all the kinks out and then resubmit. In the end, they have a standardized method of training,

now needs fixing.

So the county has continued to tweak its pretrial detention system. It rolled out new guidelines that determine when a criminal defendant should be held in jail overnight prior to arraignment, and a new risk-assessment system to help a judge decide whether to release them.

Now, the county is reforming the arraignments themselves, which proponents say will reduce the number of people being held behind bars and detractors say will simply release more dangerous criminals to the streets.


Right now, arraignments happen weekdays in special courtrooms in the county’s Justice Center, which also houses the downtown jail. Defendants who spent the night in jail are led, shackled, by a sheriff’s deputy into a glass box facing a judge.

For most, this is their first time meeting a defense attorney—a contracted public defender who handles all of the day’s cases. They speak for a few minutes through a slit in the glass box, and then the defender and a prosecutor each make their cases to the judge who decides whether to set bail and for how much.

It’s often the most important moment in a criminal case, explains Grant Hartley, direc-

approved by a state agency.”

Aviles concurred: “I think we went through knowing we are not establishing standards that specifically state cannabis in them,” she wrote. “This was my understanding when management brought this to us back in April, hence why I mentioned it again. It was my understanding if we mentioned [cannabis], it could create issues.”

AUG. 26, 2022: It’s not clear why the La Mota apprenticeship never materialized. But eight months later, a nonprofit co-founded by Cazares called ENDVR received a $554,000 grant from BOLI for a cannabis pre-apprenticeship program. Hoyle personally vouched for ENDVR’s proposal, even though the nonprofit had no prior track record. (Additionally, more than half of its board members at the time worked for La Mota.)

Hoyle’s spokeswoman says that was above board. “In 20212022, Rosa was someone who had dozens of approved state licenses. Within the context at that time, there was no reason not to work with her in helping to create jobs for Oregon,” Sandgren says. “And like we’ve said before—knowing what we know now, she was never the right partner to work with, and we would do it differently. But at the root of this is really just Val fighting for jobs and apprenticeships so we can build more career pathways.”

MARCH 29, 2023: After WW reported on Cazares and Mitchell’s unpaid bills and tax liens, current BOLI Commissioner Christina Stephenson terminated the $554,000 grant. ENDVR was forced to return all unspent money; records provided by BOLI show the nonprofit had spent $97,000 at that point.

As for ENDVR, whose headquarters are listed as a storage unit in Beaverton, it would appear that some of its directors abandoned it after WW’s series of stories on La Mota. Ellison and Vega, the executive director when ENDVR received the grant, are no longer listed in business filings.

Those filings now list just two names: La Mota’s contracted bookkeeper, Mary Allen, and Cazares.

ENDVR pledged to train four apprentices during its first year of funding—specifically, people of color. A former La Mota employee, Kenny Bowman, when reached by WW, said he was one of two ENDVR apprentices. By all accounts, including his own, Bowman is white. So was the second apprentice, Bowman said. ENDVR did not respond to a request for comment. SOPHIE PEEL.

tor of Metropolitan Public Defenders, which employs the arraignment attorneys. He points to research showing that people who end up being held in jail are 25% more likely to plead guilty and twice as likely to receive a sentence of incarceration.

And yet, he argues, the deck is stacked against defendants arguing for their freedom. Prosecutors can simply read from police reports to decide whether to argue defendants are dangerous, while defense attorneys have only a few moments to hear the other side of the story from their clients.

“What you have is an imbalance in information,” Hartley says. “It really is an act of improvisation.”


A “meaningful first appearance.” That’s the name for the county’s new pilot program, in which arraignments are moved to the afternoon, giving public defenders time to confer with their clients in the morning.

To make this process easier, the jail is remodeling a special unit to hold suspects awaiting arraignment. It’ll speed up the process, Hartley says, and hopefully reduce the amount of time it takes to move people to and from the courtroom, which has been fraught with delays

amid short staffing at the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office.

The county ran a two-week pilot of the program back in March, and is targeting October for a full rollout. “The sheriff fully supports this plan,” Hartley tells WW. “It will not affect, or be affected by, staffing and will have no fiscal impact.”


When Portland City Commissioner Rene Gonzalez heard about the plan at a July meeting of the county’s Local Public Safety Coordinating Council, he expressed concern that the county was rolling over to demands of public defenders without considering the impact on public safety.

“It is incredibly frustrating to see repeat criminals quickly back on the street after arrest,” he said in a later statement to WW. “There is a massive disconnect between the region’s decision-makers and everyday Portlanders— the former seems more focused on restorative justice, accelerating the release of defendants and criminals, and experiments.”

For now, the county is pushing ahead anyway. And Gonzalez remains the lone voice of dissent at the public safety council’s monthly meetings. LUCAS MANFIELD.

9 Willamette Week SEPTEMBER 6, 2023 wweek.com
The state agency once led by Congresswoman Val Hoyle tried to create an apprenticeship with La Mota.

They Live

employment, payroll, spending with vendors on construction and operations, new tax revenue, and indirect and induced economic activity.”

So what’s the problem? Two words: Live Nation.

Many of Leiken’s assertions are easily confirmed by reporting from cities across the country where Live Nation operates.

At first glance, it looks like a great deal for a town that needs a jump-start.

A developer would build a new music venue seating almost 4,000. Building the ballroom would create 411 jobs paying out $35 million in wages. Once it’s complete, the owners would pay almost $600,000 in property taxes each year. Hotels, still hurting from the pandemic, would fill 5,000 rooms a year with those about to rock.

All of this would happen on a piece of vacant land on Southeast Water Avenue, just north of the Hawthorne Bridge, bringing more life to a neighborhood beset by blight. Best of all, maybe, when Wilco plays Bend, they might not skip Portland.

All of this is described in a draft study commissioned by Prosper Portland, the city’s economic development agency, which owns the land and is pushing the project. The developer is Beam Development. The builder is Colas Construction. Both are local, and Colas is Black-owned.

“As outlined in this report, the proposed development is projected to have a range of economic and fiscal impacts in the city of Portland and Multnomah County,” says the study, newly obtained by WW. “The impacts include new

The proposed venue would be run by Live Nation Entertainment, the largest live entertainment company in the world. Live Nation, based in Beverly Hills, Calif., owns or controls 338 music venues worldwide, including the Hayden Homes Amphitheater in Bend, the Gorge Amphitheatre in George, Wash., and Lumen Field in Seattle. It manages 410 bands, from U2 to Pitbull. It promotes concerts and, in 2010, bought Ticketmaster, giving it end-to-end control of the live music business.

Luring Live Nation to Portland, the only large American city without a Live Nation venue, is like baiting a bear into your camp on Mount Hood, according to local venue owners. It might be entertaining for a while, but what happens when the beast won’t leave?

As it happens, Portland is home to one of Live Nation’s fiercest critics: David Leiken, owner of the Roseland Theater. Until recently, Leiken owned Double Tee Concerts, founded in 1972, which promoted hundreds of bands from Foreigner and Styx to Bonnie Raitt and Whitney Houston. He had his own concert-ticketing operation until 1999, when he sold it to TicketsWest, so, like Live Nation, he knows the business from end to end.

Portland’s leaders, Leiken says, are making a grave mistake.

“I’m deeply disturbed that the city of Portland would choose to ally itself with a company intertwined with Ticketmaster, which has led to major Justice Department concerns, and has been propped up by massive infusions of capital from the Saudi Arabian government,” Leiken says in an email. “It makes LIV Golf look like child’s play.”

In order to complete the Ticketmaster purchase, Live Nation had to guarantee the U.S. Department of Justice that the company wouldn’t withhold Live Nation tours from independent venues that didn’t care to sell tickets through Ticketmaster. But three years later, Live Nation moved a Matchbox Twenty show from the popular Gwinnett Center in Atlanta because it had stopped using Ticketmaster, according to The New York Times. Live Nation appears to push ticketing for a reason. The company generates most of its revenue from promoting shows: $13.5 billion in 2022. But that business lost $158 million from operations last year. It had operating losses from 2017 through 2021, too. Ticketing, meantime, had revenue of just $2.2 billion in 2022 but made $623 million. In that sense, its shows are something of a loss leader, like milk in a (really big) grocery store (that sold mostly milk).

And it’s true that one of Live Nation’s biggest investors is Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund. The autocratic oil kingdom disclosed a $500 million stake in Live Nation in April 2020, just as COVID was raging and less than two years after Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi was murdered and cut to pieces in the Saudi embassy in Turkey in a plot the CIA says was directed by Saudi leader Mohammed bin Salman.

All of which makes Leiken wonder why the city would get into bed with the Saudis—rather than him.

In an interview, Leiken described how he went to Prosper Portland with a proposal for a similar venue in Old Town, using buildings that are becoming empty as the University of Oregon moves its Portland programs to the Concordia University campus, which it bought last year.

“It was a superior opportunity,”

Portland music promoters dread the city’s big plans for a Live Nation invasion.
BEACHHEAD: Live Nation wants to develop a concert venue on the east bank of the Willamette.
SALE PRICES GOOD THRU 10/3/23 10 Willamette Week SEPTEMBER 6, 2023 wweek.com NEWS

Leiken says, “and I got the runaround.”

Spokesman Shawn Uhlman says Prosper staff met with Leiken a year or so ago, but he asked for too much money. Nor was a venue a priority under the 2014 Old Town/Chinatown Action Plan.

“His requested amount would have required almost all remaining resources Prosper Portland has available” for the neighborhood, Uhlman says in an email. “Staff explained to him that a venue conversion was not a priority identified in the Old Town Action Plan and that district funds were already committed for other projects.”

Mayor Ted Wheeler supports the Live Nation project, says spokesman Cody Bowman.

“This investment in our community will positively impact workers, small businesses, and the Central Eastside neighborhood while requiring no public subsidy,” Bowman says in an email. “There’s a clear gap in the market for a venue of this size.”

work from home left the office. Building more office space would have been insane. Beam pivoted and last year said it would partner with Live Nation on a music venue instead.

Prosper’s draft report, prepared by local firm Johnson Economics, dismisses most of Leiken’s concerns about Live Nation. It would increase competition with local venues, especially the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall and Keller Auditorium, both of which hold about 3,000, but they don’t have the standing room that the new facility would, so there is a gap for it to fill, the report says.

“National booking data indicates that roughly 43% of shows have between 1,000 and 4,000 attendees,” the report says. “This show size accounts for an estimated 32% of tickets sold and 22% of revenues nationwide. The proposed facility addresses a critical gap in the City’s overall portfolio of venues, with limited overlap with existing facilities.”

As for anti-competitive behavior that would favor Ticketmaster, the report says that “all venue operators and promoters of scale have ticket sales operations (including locals).” And Live Nation would be an “open venue,” letting other promoters book acts there.


Jonathan Malsin, co-founder of Beam Development, defended his decision to partner with Live Nation. “A ground-up concert venue at this site is a viable project that will generate economic impact for the community,” Malsin says in an email. “Live Nation is a strong financial partner and is also investing in the design and construction. As a community asset, the venue will host a variety of events and will also be available to all local promoters to book.”

Live Nation did not respond to a request for comment.

The Live Nation project got started in 2015, when the Portland City Council adopted the Southeast Quadrant Plan. The area along Water Avenue was bustling, and the city wanted to keep the good times rolling.

As part of a 20-year plan, Prosper bought three square blocks in the area from the Oregon Department of Transportation, which had declared it “surplus.” Prosper asked for proposals for what to do with the land in late 2017. Beam Development pitched a series of office buildings with industrial space that would bring more jobs to the area. In May 2018, Prosper picked Beam to lead the project, working with Colas.

Two years later, the pandemic hit, and everyone who could

Jamie Dunphy knows the Live Nation project well. He worked for City Commissioner Nick Fish, who died in 2020, and in that capacity sat on the committee that selected Beam Development for the project. These days, Dunphy works in government relations for the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, but he volunteers with MusicPortland, a group that advocates for musicians and independent venues because he wants to keep Live Nation out of Portland.

Like others at MusicPortland, Dunphy fears that one Live Nation venue will lead to more, putting pressure on independent venues that don’t charge as much for tickets. And he hates the idea of subsidizing the construction of a venue for a corporate behemoth.

Mayor Wheeler says there are no subsidies, but Dunphy begs to differ. When Beam planned to build office space on an adjacent block, Prosper offered to charge Beam rent of $132,991 a year, or $11,083 a month, based on a land value of $3.3 million. Both figures were a bargain, Dunphy says. Prosper says it will use a similar methodology for rent on the Live Nation block.

“Live Nation can afford to build their own venue,” Dunphy says. “If they come into Portland unchecked, subsidized by a public entity, that’s the end of the Portland music scene.”

Let your imagination take flight! subscribe at obt.org George Balanchine’s DEC. 8 – 24, 2023 THE NUTCRACKER® SWAN LAKE OCT. 6 – 14, 2023 FEB. 17 – 25, 2024 PETER PAN
11 Willamette Week SEPTEMBER 6, 2023 wweek.com
“It was a superior opportunity, and I got the runaround.”

Fast, Furious

Washington County cops have long been on the lookout for a 42-year-old career criminal named, coincidentally enough, Jason Sherriff.

Sherriff has been eluding police in Washington County since at least 1997. When police pull him over, he has long favored a dubious strategy: speed off. Over the years, he’s crashed into a ditch, a house and even a police car that was boxing him in as he attempted to flee.

Sgt. Eric Stoneberg, 20-year veteran of the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, took pride in training deputies how to eventually catch criminals like Sherriff, who seems to enjoy leading cops on high-speed chases through quiet Hillsboro neighborhoods.

But car chases, long a staple of Hollywood thrillers and the nightly news, have gone out of fashion.

For one thing, they’re dangerous. Researchers estimate that around 300 people die from police pursuits nationwide every year. A third are innocent bystanders, including a 40-year-old Portland woman killed earlier this month by a silver Buick Regal driven by a suspected armed robber who was being pursued by a Gresham police officer.

For this reason, policymakers don’t like car chases. In recent years, law enforcement agencies across the country are having cops chase less, telling them to focus only on reckless and dangerous drivers. In 2021, the state of Washington banned cops outright from chasing drivers suspected of low-level crimes. (This year, legislators in Olympia rolled back some of the restrictions.)

This is the story of a prolific criminal—and the cop who quit his job after being told not to catch him.

Sherriff, 42, is what’s known among cops as a “frequent flyer.” He’s been in and out of Washington County Jail his entire adult life: DUIIs, criminal trespass, theft, gun charges, drug dealing. His jail file currently contains 36 different mug shots. He’s been convicted 17 times and served a three-year stint recently in an Oregon prison.

“ We know his history,” Washington County Sheriff’s Sgt. Danny DiPietro says. “We know he’s going to run, we know he’s going to fight, and we know he’s in possession of guns.”

Sherriff has been charged with fleeing police seven times, starting when he was 16.

The next time was in 2007, after he fled deputies in a stolen Land Rover and drove it into a drainage ditch. He then ran on foot. After police dogs failed to track him down, a SWAT team arrested him

A sheriff’s deputy quit the force after being told to stop pursuing a suspect in car chases.
ON THE LOOSE: Police say car chases are often not worth the danger. WESLEY LAPOINTE
12 Willamette Week SEPTEMBER 6, 2023 wweek.com NEWS

at a house a week later. He was convicted of reckless driving and sentenced to six months in jail.

In 2014, he slammed a black Nissan Pathfinder into a Hillsboro house after cops tried to pull him over. Someone was transported by ambulance to St. Vincent’s Hospital, according to dispatch records reviewed by WW. It’s not clear from those records who was hospitalized—Sherriff or someone in the house—but prosecutors later asked for a weightier sentence given that his behavior “posed a threat of actual violence toward a witness or victim.”

Sherriff was convicted on reckless endangerment charges and again sentenced to six months in jail.

Sometimes cops chase Sherriff and sometimes they don’t. It’s dangerous, explains Hillsboro Police Officer Zac Storm. And besides, officers know where he hangs out and can always arrest him later.

“People who run always get caught in the end,” Storm says.

still being investigated.

But a sheriff ’s spokesman did confirm that when deputies arrived at a known hideout Dec. 12, Sherriff fled. He rammed a vehicle into a patrol car after it attempted to box him in.

Three days later, Lt. Mitch Coley, who oversees westside patrol, told his deputies to back off, according to an email that surfaced in a subsequent legal case.

Deputies could respond to 911 calls involving Sherriff, Coley wrote, but should stop pursuing him.

“Given the repeated eludes by Jason Sherriff, and that he is known to carry firearms, please do not actively pursue him—this includes not developing missions to capture him,” Coley wrote.

One month after the order, Sgt. Eric Stoneberg wrote a message protesting the policy to the other on-duty sergeants on his in-car computer, according to a lawsuit later filed in Washington County on behalf of Stoneberg.

He sent the message as a dozen Washington County deputies were coordinating a mission in January to arrest Sherriff, says Dan Thenell, Stoneberg’s attorney.

Stoneberg wrote: “Jason Sherriff should not leave that street. Period. The end. And we should pursue him and get him into custody.”

In recent years, the Washington County Sheriff’s Office has decided to limit car chases “to drivers who pose an imminent threat of death or serious physical injury to another person,” according to the department’s annual report. Washington County followed a similar policy shift at the Portland Police Bureau, which allows pursuits only in limited circumstances: reckless drivers or felony suspects.

Meanwhile, the number of police car chases in Washington County plummeted. According to the sheriff’s annual reports, there were 43 in 2018 and, most recently, 26. (The Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office doesn’t publish similar reports. PPB says chases have dropped from 197 in 2016 to 23 in 2022.)

Sherriff continues to flee police. He’s been charged with “felony elude,” meaning he sped off in a vehicle, four times in the past two years. The final time, on Feb. 22 of this year, he was arrested.

Washington County wouldn’t tell WW exactly what happened in any of the four cases. They’re

It’s not clear the mission ever happened. Sherriff wasn’t arrested that day. But Stoneberg, the 20-year veteran, was charged with insubordination two months later, in March.

Stoneberg was demoted to corporal the following month. He resigned in July and is now a rank-and-file deputy in Yamhill County.

He’s suing the Washington County Sheriff’s Office but declined to comment for this story.

As recently as last month, Sherriff led Portland police on a wild chase.

Sherriff was seen swerving across lanes of oncoming traffic in deep Southeast Portland. Police flashed their lights to pull Sherriff over, but instead he sped off.

The cops, who believed his reckless driving was “likely to result in death or serious injury,” gave chase—but not by car. The bureau dispatched one of its aircraft.

The pilot reported that Sherriff had crashed his car a few blocks away near a church. Sherriff fled on foot, but a police dog helped track him down.

At the time of his arrest, Sherriff had outstanding warrants for seven different felony charges. Now, Portland police say, they’re adding an eighth: hit-and-run.


Tuesday, September 5

Shakti: 50th Anniversary Tour

| 7:30 pm

Saturday, September 16

Snarky Puppy Roseland Theater | 8 pm

Thursday, October 12

Gretchen Parlato and Lionel Loueke

The Old Church | 8 pm

Saturday, October 14 säje

The Old Church | 8 pm


“Jason Sherriff should not leave that street. Period. The end.”
The mission of PDX Jazz is to evolve the art of jazz by engaging our community, celebrating live performance, and enhancing arts education.
tickets at pdxjazz.org
PDX Jazz Members receive discounts to every show! Shakti Snarky Puppy
Gretchen Parlato & Lionel Loueke Feat. John McLaughlin, Zakir Hussain & Shankar Mahadevan Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall
13 Willamette Week SEPTEMBER 6, 2023 wweek.com
directing Dracula Page 16
18 In Southern Oregon, a Slasher Film Stranger than Fiction
22 14 Willamette Week SEPTEMBER 6, 2023 wweek.com
It’s a scary time for Oregon’s arts scene. Maybe it just needs a little mayhem.
freak Yourself out!


This fall, Portland stages and screens will be filled with vampires, zombies and pigs feasting upon dismembered human corpses. That’s probably less a sign of the times than a reminder of humanity’s endless fascination with dirty creepy things. Yet there’s no mistaking the grim mood that has slipped into Oregon’s arts scene like the Wallowa Lake Monster.

It ’s been sleepless nights ever since last April, when the Oregon Shakespeare Festival announced a $2.5 million fundraising campaign to save its 2023-24 season and avert layoffs. Still more chilling was Artists Repertory Theatre’s recent decision to suspend its new season, pending further examination of its financial situation (the company is in the midst of a costly renovation that began before the pandemic).

The twin threat of financial struggles at some of the state’s most influential artistic institutions and a predicted winter COVID variant surge (potentially leading to another round of canceled shows) will undoubtedly affect the fall arts season. It’s a scary time to be an artist, but there’s no better way to fight fear than by yanking out of the psyche and into the spotlight.

So then: Boo! Our fall arts guide focuses on an array of spooky creations, including Portland Center Stage’s feminist take on Dracula (page 16), a film about the murderous “pig lady” from Jackson County (page 22), the irresistibly titled Evil Babylon (page 18) and the region’s most shriek-worthy haunted houses (page 24). And if all that’s too terrifying, we have a palate cleanser: a preview of quasi-shoegaze Portland duo Phosphene’s sweeping new album (page 20).

Some of these projects promise to be genuinely terrifying, others will lace horror with laughter. All of them, however, represent the promise of innovation and imagination in difficulty. It’s the worst of times—and therefore also the best of times to get a little freaky.

Street of Screams! Page 24

OCTOBER 4 - NOVEMBER 5 BOOK DENNIS KELLY MUSIC & LYRICS TIM MINCHIN www.portlandplayhouse.org 15 Willamette Week SEPTEMBER 6, 2023 wweek.com
Page 20

Directing Dracula

Portland Center Stage’s Marissa Wolf reveals behind-the-scenes secrets of Dracula: A Feminist Revenge Fantasy, Really.

“No, no, no. We said no.” Those words, spoken by Mina Harker as she confronts Dracula, echo throughout Dracula: A Feminist Revenge Fantasy, Really, playwright Kate Hamill’s revisionist adaptation of Bram Stoker’s late 19th century vampire novel. No musty tale of a courtly bloodsucker, Hamill’s Dracula not only includes sexual violence and suicide, but rewrites traditionally male characters—like the vampire-hunting Dr. Van Helsing and the Dracula-adjacent Renfield—as women, bringing a post-#MeToo urgency to the original narrative (the first performance of the play was in 2020).

“There’s a lot of gruesomeness and death inside this play,” says Portland Center Stage artistic director Marissa Wolf, whose production of Hamill’s creation premieres in November. “And it’s not going to necessarily be in a campy style. We’re going to be theatrical…but it’s going to feel visceral.”

As Wolf’s vision began to take shape (she recently cast Cycerli Ash as Van Helsing, Setareki Wainiqolo as Dracula and Ashley Song as Mina), she spoke to WW about the power of vampiric metaphors, the nuances of intimacy choreography, and what blockbuster productions like Dracula mean to an embattled theater industry.

WW: Can you describe your vision for Dracula?

MARISSA WOLF: It wants to feel like a chilling production. It’s got elements of the seductive vampire who takes over people’s bodies and moves from Romania to the U.K. [Kate Hamill wrote] battles in the crypts and all of it. And this is not a comedy, but she does allow for genuine humor to ripple through, which is a really important device in this play.

In this version, Van Helsing is a woman and Renfield is a woman. You have women who are battling the patriarchy and women who are bolstering it.

The play is obviously set in the U.K., but Van Helsing is a female American cowboy. That feels really badass to me. Hamill’s framework is vampirism as misogyny, and the way it’s passed down century after century after century and you must put a stake in its heart and decapitate it. And even then, it will still lurk among us.

The full title of the play is Dracula: A Feminist Revenge Fantasy, Really. What do you think the “really” implies?

Oh, Bennett! I don’t know! You see Dracula, you think one thing—you think scary, men fighting each other, hypersexuality. [The title] is an invitation: “Hey, this world’s going to hold all things. It’s going to hold the creepy, it’s going to hold the horror, and it’s going to hold the humor.”

Tell me about the audition process. Some of the scenes I chose were some of the most physical moments in the play. They don’t involve fighting or anything like that, but they involve the push and pull of being occupied by Dracula—of having Dracula speak through you or use your body in some way without touching you. There’s a physicality to that.

Now in our field, we have this whole world of intimacy choreography. And part of it is not just kissing or sex scenes. The intimacy choreographer will come in on the first day and do an hourlong presentation and some exercises, creating a daily practice where every actor who’s in a scene together connects ahead of time at the top of the day, looking at what parts of their body are fine to touch that day. It can change day to day, hour to hour, and we really stay on our toes about that.

Intimacy choreography hasn’t been mainstream for that long. What has it been like to witness that become part of the process?

I think all the time about how it was only a few years ago that I was staging the kisses in plays myself, as a director. I think I was staging them thoughtfully. I was definitely treating them as choreography that we would build beat by beat together.

That said, I’m wholeheartedly all in on the role of

an intimacy choreographer being different than that of a director, because it breaks up the power dynamic. Sometimes as a director, you actually don’t know if an actor says yes to something because they want to please you or they feel they can’t say no—because you’re the director leading the room.

It’s a challenging time to create theater. Does that put the pressure on you to stage productions that are a shot in the arm for the industry?

The howling, cold wind of scarcity could easily drive all our decision making. That said, everything we do should be completely entertaining and on-the-edgeof-your-seat thrilling. At a time of serious pain in our field, the only way to be relevant is to come from a place of imagination.

SEE IT: Dracula: A Feminist Revenge Fantasy, Really plays at Portland Center Stage, Main Stage, 128 NW 11th Ave., 503445-3700, pcs.org. 7:30 pm WednesdaySunday, 2 pm Saturday-Sunday, 2 pm select Thursdays, Nov. 25-Dec. 24. $25+.

16 Willamette Week SEPTEMBER 6, 2023 wweek.com
YOU: Setareki Wainiqolo and Ashley Song.
17 Willamette Week SEPTEMBER 6, 2023 wweek.com
Downtown Astoria’s historic Liberty Theatre was made for music, dance, theatre, readings, film, comedy, children’s programs – and you! 1203 Commercial Street | Astoria, OR 97103 | 503.325.5922 | www.libertyastoria.org Make our historic Venetian theatre part of your next trip to the coast. Music • Dance • Theatre Children’s Programs • Film Comedy • Historic Tours For our current schedule and to buy tickets, visit: www.libertyastoria.org There’s Always Something Playing at The Liberty! You’ll Love It Inside! Life in the Fast Lane COURTESY OF BODY ACADEMICS 18 Willamette Week SEPTEMBER 6, 2023 wweek.com

An evangelical racecar driver seeks self-acceptance in the rock opera Evil Babylon.

Portland is no stranger to fabulous queer storytelling, but local artist collective Body Academics has definitely upped the ante with their latest film, Evil Babylon

The rock opera is billed as “a phantasmagorical, psychosexual science-fiction movie musical masterpiece: the story of a sexually repressed evangelical racecar driver and the kink-positive party planet that leads him on a journey towards self-acceptance.”

Essentially, it’s The Rocky Horror Picture Show on a monster dose of THC with an extra helping of queerness on the side. And the film has already become a success, thanks largely to the support of Anthony Hudson, aka Carla Rossi, who hosted its premiere as part of the Hollywood Theatre’s Queer Horror series.

Evil Babylon returns to the big screen Sept. 29 at the Clinton Street Theater, complete with a pre-show by Body Academics. WW sat down with filmmakers Jeffrey Ray Kieser and Tommy Spaghetteri to learn how the film came to life.

WW: What was the inspiration for Evil Babylon?

JEFFREY RAY KIESER: Well, in November of 2020, Tom and I ate like 300 milligrams of edibles, wrote the plot, then completely forgot that we had written it. Then I woke up the next morning and was like, “Holy shit!”

TOMMY SPAGHETTERIA: Then, musically, it all started at the beginning of the pandemic when we were both listening to a lot of goth rock, like a lot of Sisters of Mercy, Clan of Xymox, The Cure, Siouxsie and the Banshees. So I started making a whole bunch of instrumentals that kind of sounded like those bands without any kind of clear idea of what they were going to do and then gave them all to Jeff.

What made you all decide you wanted to combine animation and live action?

SPAGHETTERIA: I’ve always been a big animation fan, especially stop-motion animation, like weird Czech animation from the ’60s from Jan Švankmajer. We’ve both always wanted to do animation so we taught ourselves how to do it.

KIESER: I’m a really big Roger Rabbit and Space Jam fan, so I wanted to blend live action and animation just like they had. We had limited resources, so everything had to be shot on a green screen in the studio.

Was there an inspiration for the racecar driver, Lucky Thundermax (played by Kieser)?

KIESER: I was watching this reality show called Welcome to Plathville about this really weird Christian family who kept everything super insular, like their

kids weren’t allowed to do anything. There’s this one character called Micah Plath who, he’s not gay, but he’s a male model in L.A., and he always had these huge eyes just looking at the world like he had never seen anything. Everything was new to him.

With all of the different themes that you explore in Evil Babylon, like queerness, heteronormativity and religion, what made you all decide to play in this sandbox?

KIESER: I grew up in a really, really atheist family, and the way that I rebelled was by joining the Baptist church when I was 14. It was really fun and the guys were really cute. We had lock-ins at the church where we played basketball and Halo on the Xbox and it seemed like a really friendly and welcoming environment, until I realized I was gay. Then I began to realize that they didn’t want that part of me. But ever since I’ve been fascinated by Christianity, especially the energy of youth groups.

SPAGHETTERIA: I grew up as a halfhearted Christian. My parents never took me to church, but I went to Catholic schools and I hated that so much. I saw the hypocrisy of these so-called Catholics at school and became a hardened atheist in my preteen years.

Evil Babylon is as campy and kooky as they come, but it is also tethered to a reality that we can recognize in our dayto-day lives. What are your thoughts on portraying truth through such extreme hyperbole and insanity?

KIESER: I think that if you can laugh at something, especially something that is affecting you, then you can reflect on it and maybe heal from it a little bit. At the premiere, we had someone who used to be a pastor who’s now a drag queen, and they fucking lost it but were also very touched by it.

SPAGHETTERIA: I just feel like real life is already so absurd and surreal and gross that I guess portraying reality through insanity and campiness is kind of our natural defense mechanism.

What are your future plans for Evil Babylon?

KIESER: I think we’re gonna do a VHS release before we even put it online. I just want people to become obsessed with it and, so far, we’ve had people that want to keep seeing it. I think that’s a really good sign.

SEE IT: Evil Babylon screens at the Clinton Street Theater, 2522 SE Clinton St., 971808-3331, cstpdx.com. 7 pm Friday, Sept. 29. $10.

COURTESY OF BODY ACADEMICS 19 Willamette Week SEPTEMBER 6, 2023 wweek.com


Portland duo Phosphene unleashes their most expansive album yet, Transmute.

Portland duo Phosphene often gets pegged as shoegaze, that amorphous genre whose precise definition is as fuzzy as its distortion-drenched sound. But drummer and guitarist Matt Hemmerich is keen to stress a crucial distinction:

“You can always hear what the hell Rachel’s saying.”

Hemmerich and guitarist-vocalist Rachel Frankel have been playing under the name Phosphene since 2008, when they met at San Francisco State University. Transmute, which they’re self-releasing Sept. 15, is their third fulllength album and their most sonically expansive despite containing only eight tracks.

The arrangements sound bigger and fuller than ever, and it’s hard to tell what’s a guitar, a keyboard, a string section, or all at once. Meanwhile, Frankel’s vocals are crystal clear, reflecting her past as what she describes as a more conventional singer-songwriter performing at open mics. “I feel at this point distant from those early days,” she says, “but those roots are still a part of me.”

To record Transmute, the duo returned to the Bay Area to work with producer Greg Francis at Brothers Chinese Recording in Oakland. “He’s someone who happens to be a great friend, and when you have a great dynamic with a friend, you can have that really nice,

20 Willamette Week SEPTEMBER 6, 2023 wweek.com

sometimes-blunt-if-necessary honesty,” Frankel says. “There’s some stress to it, but the good kind.”

“ We’re not in the business of having someone come and just fluff our slippers and let us know that this is an incredible record,” Hemmerich says. “I’d rather someone just say, ‘Oh, I love the bones of it—let’s maybe tweak something.’”

“I think sonically we wanted to make it a little more eclectic,” Hemmerich adds. “We just wanted to buck the notion that something like ‘Black Sheep’ or ‘Borough’ can’t live on an album that has ‘Everyone Is Gone’ or ‘Wandering.’”

The sound of Transmute comes from a long history of collaboration and influence-sharing between the two musicians. After meeting, the two turned each other on to their respective inspirations: singer-songwriters like Elliott Smith and Damien Rice for Frankel, heavier guitar bands like Nirvana and Metallica for Hemmerich, with some common ground such as NYC post-punk band Interpol.

The two developed a collaborative songwriting practice that, with the occasional variation, has remained consistent across the band’s three full-lengths thus far.

“Rachel’s always gonna be the person who writes the vocal melody,” Hemmerich says. “When she has a melody done, she gets to huck it at me and I get to listen to it over and over again and then write lyrics. She throws me a great melody, and I get to sink my teeth in and write, and then she’ll edit from there.”

Though Phosphene’s sound could easily be described as a “wall of sound,” the music on Transmute specifically suggests the Wall of Sound production technique associated with ’60s girl groups like the Crystals and the Ronettes and designed to sound good on cheap car stereos and boomboxes. Part of this effect comes from the presence of digital string arrangements by Ryan Huff.

“I love the Ronettes and some of the sweeping string moments,” Frankel says. “Strings immediately evoke a sense of emotion, and I think we wanted to lean into that, see where we could go. As we kind of kept sharpening it, I just kind of started thinking of it in relation to some of the Wall of Sound-type music.”

The band hasn’t booked any gigs yet to celebrate the release of their new record, but they’ll be hosting a listening party for Transmute at the Decibel Sound & Drink in Milwaukie on Sept. 13 from 7 to 9 pm, with merch for sale.

“It feels like we’re only scratching the surface,” Frankel says of the new record. “I’m kind of curious to see where we’ll go from here. I think now that we’re not so bound to the shoegaze label anymore, I think the options are pretty endless.”

HEAR IT: The Transmute listening party is at Decibel Sound & Drink, 11380 SE 21st Ave., Milwaukie, 503-342-6764, decibel-pdx.com. 7-9 pm Wednesday, Sept. 13. Free.

See Common Perform Live with Your Oregon Symphony Tickets On Sale Now 503-228-1353 orsymphony.org September 14, 2023 COURTESY OF PHOSPHENE 21 Willamette Week SEPTEMBER 6, 2023 wweek.com
“We’re not in the business of having someone come and just fluff our slippers and let us know that this is an incredible record.”

In Southern Oregon, a Slasher Film Stranger than FictioN

Piglady is inspired by the true story of killer Susan Monica, who fed her victims to pigs.

In 2015, pig farmer Susan Monica was convicted of killing two men on her farm outside the community of Wimer in Jackson County, Ore. Monica, who also dismembered her victims and fed their bodies to her pigs, all but admitted to the crimes in court—and is currently serving 50 years at Coffee Creek Correctional Facility near Wilsonville.

This year, Tennessee director, writer and actor Adam Ray Fair transformed Monica’s story into his feature filmmaking debut, the indie horror movie Piglady, which is currently available on demand.

“A friend from Tennessee [Jess McPeak, who shares story credit] moved to Oregon, and every time I’d go up there, he’d tell me the story,” Fair tells WW. “It’s a small town. You start talking to people, saying you’re making a movie about the pig lady, everyone gets enthused. Everyone knew her, everyone had a story about her…[and McPeak] introduced us to Susan Monica’s neighbor. We had all the support from the locals, all the stars aligned.”

Most of Piglady is set and filmed in Jackson County,

in Wimer and Rogue River. The known facts of the case serve as the foundation for a slasher story in which a fictionalized Monica (Sandra Dee Tryon)—a monstrous figure on whom the camera never keeps focus—prowls the woods, waiting to strike her victims (usually with a machete) and leave them for the pigs to eat.

the time was living there,” Fair says. This scene introduces Brittany’s friends Tyler (Lazarus Tate) and Marcus (Shyvhan Storm), who come up to the cabin later with their pit bull Hurricane, played by McPeak’s own dog.

Production of Piglady was significantly delayed. “We were planning to shoot in March 2020,” says Johnson, “but then everything started shutting down. So we came back later to finish.”

“Almost three years later,” Fair adds. “We took a week, all hands on deck, got all the hard stuff done.” Fair and Johnson acknowledge the logistical difficulties of producing the film on a low budget. “Two girls got pregnant, the pandemic happened,” Fair says (in the film, it’s a low-key plot point that Brittany is pregnant). “When it’s low budget, everyone has other gigs and jobs. This one’s working at the hospital, that one has a gig…tough to coordinate everyone’s schedules.”

In addition, Johnson, who edited the film with Lyon Mitchell, faced unique challenges. “We had two 10-terabyte hard drives,” he says. “Lyon and I, we had to mail everything back and forth.” Adds Fair: “We had two computers. It took forever to make any changes.” On the other hand, the props—especially for the pigs and the remains of their human meals—worked well for the filmmakers.

“We found some pig props in L.A. that were crazy, outrageous, expensive,” Fair says. “Alex reached out to a guy online, I think from Michigan, named Billy Patterson. Very fair price, easy to work with.” When I spoke to them on a video call, Fair and Johnson had a Patterson-made pig head propped up on the table behind them.

In the movie, Fair and co-writer Alex C. Johnson play two brothers, Hunter and Caleb, whose unseen father is a fictional equivalent to the neighbor mentioned by McPeak. Caleb only appears in a newscast prologue, after which the timeline shifts back three months to show how Hunter, his girlfriend Brittany (Alicia Karami) and their friends fatefully came to stay at a cabin in Oregon for Christmas.

Introducing these travelers is another prologue scene set and filmed in San Diego. “My girlfriend at

Fair and Johnson plan to work with Patterson’s company, Gore Patch, again with their next project. “I’m in the creative process of the sequel to this,” Fair says. “Not based on a true story, but based on a pot farm.”

In other words, the gentlemen from Tennessee clearly know what Oregon has to offer—and are ready to leave more marks on the state’s indie horror scene.

SEE IT: Piglady, not rated, is currently available on demand on Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV+ and YouTube.

22 Willamette Week SEPTEMBER 6, 2023 wweek.com
“You start talking to people, saying you’re making a movie about the pig lady, everyone gets enthused.”
23 Willamette Week SEPTEMBER 6, 2023 wweek.com

Street of Screams!

The Fear PDX

This current haunted house market essentially ignores houses and no longer bothers with mere hauntings. Ever since Gresham’s House of Shadows allegedly broke three teeth of a litigious patron, area fear factories have shied away from full-contact spookings. Yet the local scaremongering industry still strives nonetheless to conjure each attendee’s preferred brand of terror.

Searching for the sheer adrenaline wrought from first-person shrieker gauntlets of FX-charged confrontations? Beguiled by the experiential alienation of psychological horror narratives steeped in potentially-salable-IP? Drawn toward the flopsweat-slackened nervousness of career ghouls fighting every instinct to keep family-friendly variants fear-free? Gaze upon the following listicle and beware!

Bella Organic Haunted Corn Maize

A decidedly backward-leaning alternative to the animatronic hordes of rival attractions, Bella Organic’s corn maize—see what they did there?—may advertise the bygone pleasures of trad craftsmanship cultivated for PDX appetites: the beer, the music, the maze designs honoring gender equality or (this year’s message) denouncing gun violence. Fleeing zombified farmers across uncertain routes is plenty scary, though. And, perhaps unique among rival haunts, navigating nearly 3 miles of passages within the 7-acre labyrinth all but guarantees entrants sufficient alone time for proper terror. 16205 NW Gillihan Road, bellaorganic.com/haunted-cornmaze. 7-10 pm Fridays and Saturdays, Sept. 30-Oct. 28. $30-$50, cash only at ticket booth; group rates available.

Creatures of the Night

Revisiting their popular workaround from COVID-era quarantine strictures, the Creatures of the Night veteran Halloween troupe invites audiences to attend their Haunted Drive-In. During performances of Arachnaphobia, Addams Family Values and Night of the Living Dead at West Linn’s Mary S. Young Park, a slew of monsters threaten their own take on grindhouse. 19900 Willamette Drive, West Linn, creaturesofthenighthalloween.com/2023. 7:45 pm Saturdays, Sept. 9-30. $40-$70.

Davis Graveyard

For more than two decades, the Davis family have steadily escalated the intricacies of their Halloween yard displays from a mere neighborhood quirk to a burgeoning cottage industry that fills summer workshops with faux-crypt craft tutorials and enlists civic grants to fund their most elaborate recreations. It takes a village to raise the dead. 8703 SE 43rd Ave., Milwaukie, davisgraveyard.com. Dusk-10 pm

Sunday-Thursday, dusk-11 pm Friday-Saturday, through October. Free.

A massacre for all seasons—The Fear’s yawning industrial-abattoir complex also hosts Yuletide Krampus, V Day-themed Love Bites, and not-quite-Hallmark-ready Halfway to Halloween haunts—these longtime local spookmasters have yet to announce the specific circumstances surrounding this year’s slaughter. But expect a sensory-overloaded hellscape fueled by killer clowns, urban alienation and mechanized despair. Now with a gift shop! 12219 NE Glisan St., thefearpdx.com. 8-11 pm Friday-Saturday, Sept. 29-30. 7-10 pm Sunday, Oct. 1, 8, 15 and 22; Wednesday, Oct. 18 and 25 and Nov. 1; Thursday, Oct. 12, 19 and 26; and Monday, Oct. 30. 7 pm-midnight Friday, Oct. 6, 13, 20 and 27; and Saturday, Oct. 7 and 14. 6 pm-midnight Saturday, Oct. 21 and 28. 7-11 pm Sunday and Tuesday, Oct. 29 and 31. Prices TBA.


For those long dreaming about a more intimate portrayal of torturous cabin fever, Beaverton’s Experience Theater Project is reviving Stephen King’s bestseller-turned-blockbuster yarn about a romance novelist trapped by his No. 1 fan to conjure up the immersive production always lurking below its black heart. 4690 SW Watson Ave., Beaverton, experiencetheatreproject.org.

7:30-9:30 pm Friday-Saturday, Sept. 29-30, and Thursday-Saturday, Oct. 12-28. 2-4 pm Saturday-Sunday, Sept. 30-Oct. 28. $5-$175.

Oaks Park ScareGrounds PDX

Nestled within the remains of a creakily maintained, ill-attended amusement park more than a decade past its centenary, Oaks Park’s Halloween attractions are never not scary. The lingering atmosphere of ramshackle whimsy, DIY mischief, and carny pride fully blossoms each autumn as the deceptively vast environs host three separate attractions: The Silver Scream warns of a demented projectionist run amok amid a crumbling movie palace; The Complex’s medical maelstrom writ expressionist claymation threatens the genuinely terrifying specter of Laika-rendered Dr. Caligari fever dreams; and The Slayers’ promotional art features an ax-wielding Abraham Lincoln, which neither offers nor requires further explanation. 7805 SE Oaks Park Way, scaregroundspdx.com. Haunts every half-hour 7-11 pm Friday-Sunday, Oct. 6-8; Friday-Sunday, Oct. 13-15; Friday-Tuesday, Oct. 20-24; Friday-Tuesday, Oct. 27-31; and 7-10 pm Friday-Saturday, Nov. 3-4. $25-$95.

Underhill Haunted House

Far from the most technically proficient or theatrically sleek of local shriek-outs, the Underhill Haunted House has weaponized the ghosts of Old Portland to chilling effect. But, bells and whistles aside, what’s spookier than searching for an escape through 40,000 square feet of unlit corridors below Memorial Coliseum as the low chuckle of PDX Elvis lumbers ever nearer? Veterans Memorial Coliseum, 300 N Winning Way, underhillpdx.com. Hourlong haunts 7-10 pm

Friday-Saturday, Sept. 29-30; Friday-Saturday, Oct. 13-14; Thursday (“Lights Out” special event)-Saturday, Oct. 19-21; Thursday-Sunday, Oct. 26-29; and Tuesday, Oct. 31. $30-$50. Kids Monster Fest family-friendly hourlong haunts noon-3 pm Saturday-Sunday, Oct. 21-22, and Saturday, Oct. 28. $9-$12.

WW ’s haunted house hunting guide: If you died here, you’d be home by now.
24 Willamette Week SEPTEMBER 6, 2023 wweek.com

Downtown Dreams

Inside Jordan Schnitzer’s plans to revitalize Portland through art.

Jordan Schnitzer—the legendary local philanthropist, director of the Jordan Schnitzer Family Foundation, and president of Schnitzer Properties—is no ordinary art collector.

As the owner of works by Jasper Johns, David Hockney and Andy Warhol, Schnitzer possesses one of the largest private collections of art and sculpture in the nation, with some 20,000 pieces. It’s no wonder that museums at the University of Oregon, Portland State and Washington State University bear his name.

Yet to Schnitzer, art is more than an array of objects to be owned and observed. It is a many-faced entity with the power to awaken a more spiritual understanding of the world and oneself—a power he believes must be shared in any community that values good citizenship.

“The art, for me, takes me on little journeys, raises my heart and soul, makes me feel inspired, lets me go back to my issues with more clarity and determination,” Schnitzer says. “So as much as I have passion for the art around me, I have even more passion for sharing the art.”

Lately, the Jordan Schnitzer and the Harold and Arlene Schnitzer CARE Foundation has been taking the sharing ethos to new heights. From Aug. 24 to 26, the organization presented the free Director Park Live Paint Off in conjunction with Converge 45, a citywide contemporary art biennial taking place at

over 17 museums, galleries and art centers across the city.

For Schnitzer, events like these are not just an opportunity for fans of all ages to watch ingenious artists at work. They are a cornerstone of his efforts to revitalize downtown Portland in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and continuing concerns regarding public safety.

“The only way we’re going to get our downtown back—both physically and attitudinally—is to stand up and show pride in our community, and be downtown,” Schnitzer says. The Paint Off certainly brought people downtown, with 32 Portland artists competing for more than $25,000 in cash prizes in a one-of-a-kind painting competition.

As the son of Arlene Schnitzer, who founded the Fountain Gallery of Art in Portland in 1961, Jordan Schnitzer is practically royalty in Portland’s art community. It’s a role that brings burdens that he shoulders with grace, fully conscious of the dark fate that can befall a city devoid of creativity and generosity.

“I think if we don’t turn downtown Portland around in the next 12 months, it could be another Detroit,” Schnitzer says. “Downtown could be a wasteland with buildings. So Converge 45 comes at just the right time.”

Even before the pandemic, Portland could have looked very different without Schnitzer’s stewardship. Over a decade ago, his funding helped make Director Park possible—and with the Paint Off, he manifested his dream of artistic creation not as a solitary act, but as a ritual to strengthen a community.

“A community is more than just buildings and jobs,” Schnitzer says. “What caused people to come to Portland is, yes, the beach, the mountains, hiking, the outdoors. But I think it was also the cultural vibe. And unless you have a vibrant downtown, it’s like an open wound in the metropolitan area.”

With Schnitzer’s help, that wound is beginning to heal.

SPONSORED CONTENT 25 Willamette Week SEPTEMBER 6, 2023 wweek.com
TO LEARN MORE about the Jordan Schnitzer Family Foundation and its newly opened Schnitzer Collection gallery, you can visit jordanschnitzer.org.



WATCH: Tina – The Tina Turner Musical

In the mood for a musical that will leave you feeling empowered, inspired and energized? Look no further than Tina – The Tina Turner Musical, which makes its local premiere. Broadway in Portland’s second show of the 2023-24 season tells the story of one of the most iconic and influential musical artists of our time. Turner overcame adversity to become the Queen of Rock ’n’ Roll, selling more than 200 million records and winning 12 Grammys during her career. Consider this series of performances (which are already selling quickly) a fitting tribute to the late artist, who died earlier this year at the age of 83. Keller Auditorium, 222 SW Clay St., 503-4170573, portland.broadway.com.

7:30 pm Wednesday-Friday, 2 and 7:30 pm Saturday, 1 and 6:30 pm Sunday, Sept. 6-10. $30-$144.75.

WATCH: Opening Follies: Clown Dance Ritual

The 2023 CoHo Clown Festival is a celebration of all things jesterlike as well as a tribute to the late Philip Cuomo, CoHo Productions’ beloved artistic director who died of lymphoma in 2021. The delightfully absurd acting troupe known as the CoHo Clown CoHort was spearheaded by Cuomo, and that project has spun off into a four-week event packed with performances by local and international artists. Kick things off with the Clown Dance Ritual, hosted by the hilarious Morgan Clark-Gaynor, who will help you unleash your inner jokester—and no skills or previous experience are needed to participate. Just choose a costume from CoHo’s amazing array of outfits, put

it on and get to moving. CoHo Theater, 2257 NW Raleigh St., 503-220-2646, cohoproductions.org. 7:30 pm Thursday, Sept. 7. Free.

WATCH: Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet

Portland Opera is celebrating the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s First Folio with a special program that combines his words and Charles Gounod’s 19th century musical score to Romeo and Juliet. From the courtship to the feuding, you’ll get to see all of the most famous scenes from this timeless tragedy in a tidy 1 hour and 15 minutes. The production is part of a larger project underway at Portland State University that honor’s the Bard’s legacy. Walters Cultural Arts Center, 527 E Main St., Hillsboro, 503-2411802, portlandopera.org. 7 pm

Thursday, Sept. 7. Free.

GO: 1st Annual Realms Unknown Festival

LARPers, unite! For three days only, a regular old golf course in Woodland, Wash., will be turned into Realms Unknown, a multigenre, all-ages fantasy festival centered on a largescale interactive gaming quest. The backstory: something about human conflict weakening imagination (not very imaginative on their part, we might add), which has caused a portal to form that connects the mortal world and the arenas of magic and history.

If you’re into solving puzzles and completing challenges (as well as Vikings, mermaids, unicorns, pirates and knights), you should have a good time.

Thankfully, three taverns at the festival welcome visitors who need to navigate Realms Unknown with a good buzz. Lewis River Golf Course, 3209

Old Lewis River Road, Woodland, Wash., therealmsunknown.com. 2-10 pm Friday, 10 am-midnight Saturday, 10 am-6 pm Sunday, Sept. 8-10. $15-$80.

GO: Portland Dog Boneanza

Are you ready for the most paw-some event of the year? (Sorry, we couldn’t help ourselves!) The Portland Dog Boneanza promises to be a fun-filled day for you and your furry friend, or at least provide a new activity for the both of you if the dog park is getting a bit old. The event starts off with a Doga session in Alberta Park, followed by a party at The Filling Station Pet Supplies, where you can expect a raffle, free pet portraits and— the highlight of the Boneanza—a dog-owner look-alike contest. The winner of that receives a custom, 10-by-10inch painting of their pooch, so make sure both you and your dog have put extra time into your grooming routine. Alberta Park, 1905 NE Killingsworth St., near the basketball courts. The Filling Station Pet Supplies, 2001 NE Alberta St., 503-3478551, yogabugrealestate.com/ portland-dog-boneanza. Doga at the park 9:30-10:30 am and Boneanza Party 11 am-1pm Saturday, Sept. 9. Doga $10; entry to the Boneanza Party is free.

GO: The Joy Project: Re-Envisioning

Portland With Love

This free arts festival and mutual aid fair showcases 100 ceramic sculptures of houses created by artist Thomas Orr that were then painted by 100 people experiencing homelessness in order to express what the concept of “home” means to them. The finished pieces now go up for auction,

••••••••• •••• albertarosetheatre.com 3000 NE Alberta • 503.764.4131 ••••• SEP 11 TAIMANE Nā Hōkū Hanohano Entertainer of the Year ••••••••••••• 9/12 - NOSFERATU: CLASSIC HORROR MOVIE W/ LIVE SOUNDTRACK 9/22-23 - OREGON BURLESQUE FESTIVAL 9/24 - TRACY GRAMMER UPCOMING SHOWS SEP 7 a gender-bending burlesque cabaret SEP 15 + 16 The Arcadian Wild SEP 8+9 ROSE CITY CIRCUS three for silver CIRCLES AND LINES SEP 6 Dare to be different. Dare to be desirous. Dare to be DAPPER. with live music from presents PAUL F. TOMPKINS SARAFINA EL-BADRY NANCE GARY GULMAN FAMILY WORSHIP CENTER NPR radio show live taping SEP 14 SEP 21 LOUIS MICHOT SEP 25 a tribute to PRINCE PRINCE AGAIN DEB TALAN NOVEMBER 7 ON SALE FRIDAY! 26 Willamette Week SEPTEMBER 6, 2023 wweek.com

with proceeds funneled to organizations that partner with event host Gather: Make: Shelter, a nonprofit that helps connect people in need to arts mentorships. In addition to the display of painted dwellings, there will be an artists mercantile, a poetry reading, live music as well as food and beverages. Pioneer Courthouse Square, 701 SW 6th Ave., gathermakeshelter. org. 11 am-4 pm Saturday, Sept. 9. Free.

GO: 6th Annual Brazilian Festival in PDX!

Last year, Brazil marked the bicentennial of its independence from more than three centuries of Portuguese rule. While celebrations may not be as big in 2023, you can take part in a local event honoring the occasion. The Brazilian Festival will feature plenty of traditional foods, vendor booths, live performances and more, all of which should help immerse you in Brazil’s rich history. It’s also free and family-friendly. Portland Mercado, 7238 SE Foster Road, allevents.in/portland/6th-annual-brazilian-festival-in-pdx. Noon-5 pm Sunday, Sept. 10.

EAT: Heritage Fire Willamette Valley

The Bite is long gone. Feast is a more recent loss. However, a growing number of food festivals look to fill the void left by those two behemoths, including Heritage Fire, a nationwide tour that—as you probably guessed—focuses on cuisine cooked over an open flame. Interestingly, the Oregon stop bypasses Portland and instead will set up alfresco kitchens in McMinnville—as great an excuse as any to make the day trip

to Willamette Valley wine country. You’ll still see plenty of Rose City chefs grilling heritage-breed proteins (livestock raised according to pre-industrial era practices) as well as heirloom produce.

After you’ve sampled a bit of everything, vote for the Best Bite of the Day, because eating barbecue and naming a grill master is also a civic duty.

Yamhill County Fair & Rodeo, 2070 NE Lafayette Ave., McMinnville, heritagefiretour. com/willamette. 4 pm VIP, 4:45 pm general admission Sunday, Sept. 10. $125 general admission, $175 VIP. 21+.

WATCH: Nosferatu: Classic Horror Movie With Live Soundtrack by Invincible Czars

Travel back in cinematic time at this screening of the 1922 classic silent film Nosferatu, which will feature a live score performed by Invincible Czars. The combination of the vampire masterpiece’s eerie aesthetics and the music by this experimental rock group, which blends traditional acoustic and modern electronic instrumentation, should deliver a chilling experience that will have you feeling all of the Halloween feels. Alberta Rose Theatre, 3000 NE Alberta St., 503-7196055, albertarosetheatre.com.

8 pm Tuesday, Sept. 12. $22 in advance, $27 at the door.

SIMPLY THE BEST: Tina – The Tina Turner Musical debuts at the Keller this week.
27 Willamette Week SEPTEMBER 6, 2023 wweek.com


Top 5 Buzz List



1800 NW 16th Ave., 503-241-6559, theemeraldline.com.

and 4-9 pm-ish Monday-Friday, 4-9 pm-ish Saturday.

11 am-2 pm

We knew this would be a standout spot for heirloom tomatoes thanks to the plate of fire engine-red orbs on the bar, viewed through the eyes of an heirloom fanatic as an altar to the fleeting fruit. In reality, the placement was purely functional, giving bartenders easy access to a critical component in the Tomatotini. Made with four or so pingpong ball-sized fruits that are then muddled, vodka or gin, a splash of simple syrup and a spritz of salt spray, the concoction is an elegantly simple ode to the heirloom. Cosmo pink early in the season—the Tomatotini could turn yellow or green later on depending on the color of the incoming harvest—it’s about as pure as you can get to the classic “slice, salt and devour with knife and fork” in beverage form.



2005 SE 8th Ave., 503-208-2061, divisionwineco.com.

11 am-5 pm daily.

After producing wine for nine years on Southeast Division Street, Division Winemaking has left its namesake stretch of pavement for larger digs. The newly dubbed Wine Yard not only gives the team more square footage for fermentation and packaging; customers also benefit thanks to a more spacious tasting room, 2,500-square-foot courtyard, and multiple event spaces. Now that we’re officially in the dog days of summer, cool off with the 2022 Polka Dots Pétillant Naturel, a sparkling rosé that can be enjoyed any time of day (Division claims it could take the place of a morning mimosa).


310 NW Davis St., 503-997-3261, taijiteahouse.com.

11 am-4 pm Monday-Saturday.

There is at least one entrepreneur who believes that peace and tranquility can be found in Old Town Chinatown. In mid-August, Eric Arthur opened Taiji in the space that used to house Pearl Zhang’s Red Robe Tea House, which we long praised for serving “one of the finest Chinese pots of tea on either side of the river.” Zhang retired in 2021, but before she did, Arthur broadened his knowledge of gongfu tea through her and the shop—and he’s essentially reviving the essence that she brought to the establishment along with her exceptional and detailed tea ritual.

4. JOE BROWN’S LOUNGE 5601 NE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., 503-206-5308, joebrownslounge.com. 1-10 pm Tuesday-Thursday and Sunday, 1 pm-midnight Friday-Saturday.

This year, the space that used to contain iconic barbershop and beauty salon Geneva’s Shear Perfection got two new occupants: Joe Brown’s Carmel Corn and Joe Brown’s Lounge. (Yes, we’re talking about the same Joe Brown’s that pioneered “Oregon-Style” popcorn at Lloyd Center.) If a stiff drink is what you seek, head to the bar, which has a straightforward cocktail menu with minimum mixological bluster and maximum “naming a drink for the regular who always orders it” spirit. Both a mango margarita and vodka lemonade ordered at the bartender’s suggestion were made with a heavy pour, so prepare accordingly.


1629 SE Hawthorne Blvd., 503-231-1492, mcmenamins.com/barleymill-pub. 11 am-10 pm Sunday-Thursday, 11 am-11 pm Friday-Saturday. McMenamins, the brewery that introduced countless drinkers in the Pacific Northwest to craft beer, turns 40 this year, and while the company isn’t throwing a big party, smaller celebrations are underway. While 1983 Lager will be on tap at multiple locations, you should go to the original McMenamins Barley Mill Pub to order a pint of this special-release birthday beer made with 2-row flaked corn malt and Tettnanger Cascade hops.

Tickets at WhiteBird.org 28 Willamette Week SEPTEMBER 6, 2023 wweek.com

Hot Plates



4336 SE Woodstock Blvd., 503-206-5495, doublemountainbrewery. com. Noon-9 pm daily. 1700 N Killingsworth St., 503-206-4405. 11 am-9 pm Sunday-Thursday, 11 am-10 pm Friday-Saturday. 8 4th St., Hood River, 541-387-0042. 11:30 am-10 pm Sunday-Thursday, 11:30 am11 pm Friday-Saturday.

Double Mountain Brewery has been dropping its seasonal heirloom tomato pesto pizzas since shortly after the original Hood River pub opened in 2007. Back then, Oregon was not known for pizza, and the New Haven style that co-founder Matt Swihart brought to the pub was almost as big of a draw as the hoppy ales. Double Mountain seems to know that all eyes are on these special pies—every single one comes out thin and crusty, yet they are stiff enough to withstand a heavy layer of ripe, circular tomatoes. Each pizza is also topped with a piping-hot layer of mozzarella and Fontal cheese and a dusting of pecorino and Parmigiano, filling the air with a scent that we would buy if it came as a candle.


7505 NE Glisan St., whitepepperpdx.com/burger-thursday.

5-9 pm Thursday.

Most of the week, the kitchen at this 10-year-old Northeast Portland catering company is a quiet prep space by day, while some evenings its tasting room hosts weddings and corporate dinners. But on Thursday nights, White Pepper transforms into a neighborhood hangout serving burgers. We’ve sampled them all, and the standout of the bunch is the Classic Burger. The stack is everything you want a Big Mac to be but never is: two housemade patties, American cheese, iceberg lettuce, mustard and mayo, with ketchup on the side. No one element stands out; it’s just a harmonious combination that makes for the perfect summer meal.


431 SW Harvey Milk St., we.are.expensify.com/midtown-beer-garden.

10 am-10 pm daily.

The large selection of food carts at Southwest 5th Avenue and Harvey Milk Street now officially has a brand that was rolled out in late August at a grand opening party in an effort to revive a beleaguered part of downtown. The naming and redevelopment of Midtown Beer Garden was a joint project between software company Expensify (which happens to sit across the street from the pod) and ChefStable. There are 25 carts, both old favorites and newcomers, but we’re most excited by the addition of permanent restrooms, a zhuzhed-up ambience and Fracture Brewing beer.


55660 NW Wilson River Highway, Gales Creek, 503-359-9452, smokehousecng.com. 9 am-9 pm Friday-Sunday.

When a beloved food cart finally goes brick-and-mortar, the opening is usually surrounded by a great deal of fanfare and a Christmas-like countdown clock. Not so for Chicken and Guns. The Cartopia pod staple very quietly launched its first full-service restaurant this past spring, and did so in Gales Creek—miles away from any of its regulars. The trek to the roadhouse-style diner is worth it. You’ll, of course, find the cart’s famed wood-fired birds and crispy potatoes (the guns), but also an expanded menu that includes burgers, locally grown vegetable-based sides, and weekend brunch.


7157 NE Prescott St., 971-340-8635, chaatwallah.com. 3-9 pm Monday-Friday, noon-9 pm Saturday-Sunday.

Deepak Saxena’s food cart has found a new home outside Upright Brewing’s second location in the Cully neighborhood. Chaat Wallah began operating out of 503 Distilling’s lounge inside the Iron Fireman Collective building, but that arrangement only lasted a few months. Thankfully, the business reemerged and is now offering a killer happy hour deal: $2 off all sandwiches and $1 discounts on Upright beer from 3 to 6 pm Monday through Thursday. Now you have a tough decision to make: masala pulled pork, tandoori tuna salad or lamb smash burger?

Top 5
717 SW 10th Ave Portland, OR 97205 503.223.4720 www.maloys.com For ne antique and custom jewelry, or for repair work, come visit us, or shop online at Maloys.com. We also buy. 29 Willamette Week SEPTEMBER 6, 2023 wweek.com DRINK

Safe Landing

Have you ever been too high?

That is the question Oracle Wellness founder (and former WW cover model) Megon Dee has been asking folks for a series of TikToks and reels promoting her new product, GreenOut, a tincture created to remedy unmanageable, accidental, and even cross-species, THC highs that are too intense. And since most cannathusiasts have at least one “the time I got too stoned” tale, as Dee’s bite-sized online interviews reveal, she believes GreenOut should be part of every stoner’s stash box. On top of that, it’s more likely than ever that someone’s auntie will mistake the medicated craft chocolate on the counter for plain old candy, and GreenOut may offer an exit plan for such incidents.

Following the product’s recent release, WW caught up with Dee to discuss the importance of intoxication erasure, the development of GreenOut itself, and the high that inspired its creation.

WW: What is GreenOut’s origin story?

Megon Dee: The first time I was too high, I was working R&D for Chalice Farms. I was new to distillate and I was making chocolate bars with it. At the end of cleanup, I did a little friendly licking of the spoon right before disposing of everything. I was high for two days after that. I didn’t understand how potent it

was, because we used a small little puck of coconut oil that had the medicine in it, and then that cup went into like 50 pounds of chocolate. That was probably the first time where I was just like, OK, this is too much and I don’t know how to get out of it.

So you developed the product because you got too high?

I had also witnessed this woman at the airport faint on the floor, and she told the paramedics she had consumed some sort of cannabis-infused beverage. I had a product that I knew would work to help suppress anxiety, and I carried it through the airport. I felt so bad for this woman. And I asked the man in front of me, I said, “I think I have something that I can help her, but I’m not sure if I should interfere or not.” He said, “No, don’t interfere.” So I didn’t. That stays in my heart that I had the potential to help this woman and I didn’t. I hope that kind of gives you some insight—just hearing ample stories of people who have suffered the same. I could redeem the experience.

How does it work?

People are told to chew black peppercorn in order to get some sort of relief in their elevation. So I said, “Well, what is it about black peppercorn that’s really doing the thing?” It’s the terpene beta-caryophyllene. So I revised the formula of a hemp CBD product I had already developed for Oracle, which helped with

anxiety, and I just focused on the terpene. I tested it out and it was like, “Eureka!”

Is GreenOut just for adults who’ve overconsumed? Or is it more family-friendly?

Oh, yeah, if you have an endocannabinoid system, it’s compatible with you.

Are there applications for GreenOut beyond cognitive relief from too-intense THC effects?

Yes. We have explored the comedown of Adderall with this product and also the comedown with mushrooms. Subjects have tried GreenOut in unison with the comedowns from these products and the feedback was that GreenOut neutralizes that jittery feeling being described from both substances.

Because it’s therapeutic, can we find it in grocery stores like Whole Foods and New Seasons?

I literally just picked up the bulk of production from my co-manufacturer earlier this week, so now is the big push to gain access to those stores. There’s still a huge learning curve with consumer packaged goods. I’m working through that now as we speak. For the time being, you can get a bottle of GreenOut from oraclewellnessco.com.

Oracle Wellness’ new product, GreenOut, may be a release valve for those occasions when your high is too extreme.
30 Willamette Week SEPTEMBER 6, 2023 wweek.com POTLANDER




Beauty and Pageantry

Once a Georgia cosmetologist, iLoveMakonnen now reigns as one of Portland’s most iconic rappers.

It’s 2:30 pm on a Tuesday, and iLoveMakonnen is sitting on the patio of Friendship Kitchen sipping on a long, tall cocktail as his friend, beatmaker and collaborator Rich Daytona sits across the table. He’s not the only one getting the party started early, but few of the chatty diners suspect that the man who wrote the greatest turning-up-ona-weekday anthem of all time is sitting in their midst.

2014’s “Tuesday” epitomizes the eccentric, creative, maddeningly catchy music that was coming out of Atlanta in the mid-2010s. Over a woozy synth lead, Makonnen belted affirmations to everyone partying outside of the normal 9-to-5 schedule, and his wobbly but heartfelt vocals thrillingly blurred the lines between singing and rapping.

A remix featuring Drake shot Makonnen’s career into the stratosphere. Yet in 2016, the rapper and singer born Makonnen Sheran left the city that was then rap’s epicenter and moved to Portland, which had always had a strong pull on his imagination.

“I always wondered about that part of Oregon,” says the 34-year-old. “It’s so far away from Georgia, you know. Where could I be somewhere that’s so far away from where everybody knows me?”

Since arriving, Makonnen’s been less interested in playing the part of a local celebrity than in building a community of local musicians and producers. Along with producer-singer-rapper Snugsworth, Makonnen is the co-founder of the Oregon Trail Sessions, a collaborative nature retreat for artists and musicians.

“ We go out to a nice little Airbnb with some nature to where we can have outside time, and we just create music and flow free and collaborate and have a supportive creative session for the community,” he says. “This is over three or four days, so you kind of get to work whenever you feel comfortable. You have some people up at 7 am making stuff, and you have people up at like 2 am.”

Many of the recordings and much of local talent from the Oregon Trail Sessions feature on Makonnen’s new album, Pink Nails, which celebrates his tight-knit Oregon community. Clocking in at 24 min-

utes of percussive, hard-hitting party rap infused with Makonnen’s flamboyant, funny, sincere personality, Pink Nails is one of the leanest and strongest releases he’s put out.

The title track revolves around the rallying cry of “pink nails on all my girls,” which Makonnen explains can be interpreted gender-neutrally in this context (I observe as he discusses the song that Daytona is wearing pink nails at that very moment). Makonnen studied as a cosmetologist before breaking through in his rap career—he’s licensed in Georgia, not yet in Oregon—and he speaks of his experience in beauty school in rapturous terms.

“I was around all these women and this nurturing love,” Makonnen says. “Seeing how they took care of each other and how the experience was to turn somebody’s day around and to lift them up no matter what they were going through. And so it started to help me, and then I started to be the guy who helped others [do] that.”

This caring environment contrasts with his less-than-comfortable experiences at the epicenter of rap. Makonnen fell out with Drake in 2016 after some old tweets clowning on Drake surfaced; fearing for his career and his safety, he left Drake’s OVO Sound label and is now self-releasing his music.

Not long after, Makonnen became one of the first mainstream rappers to come out as gay. The Atlanta rap community—often feted in the press for its purported progressivism due to the androgynous fashions and eccentric styles of its biggest artists—was far from supportive.

Popular Atlanta trio Migos (best known for “Bad and Boujee”) responded to Makonnen’s announcement in a Rolling Stone interview with baffling and clueless homophobia, and Makonnen was frequently threatened with physical violence.

“ You see that all those people couldn’t stand around me anymore,” Makonnen says. “The only thing that’s different is that I came out as gay, but everybody else is wearing dresses and stuff. Hip-hop likes to have a lot of secrets, you know, and so I guess a lot of people felt like their secret wasn’t safe around me.”

Makonnen lists a few rappers who were supportive of him after his coming out, namely NBA YoungBoy, Juice WRLD, and the late Lil Peep. Makonnen was good friends with the latter, and he’s planning to release a trove of unreleased collaborations between the two artists Sept. 8. Titled Diamonds, the album contains 21 songs Makonnen cut with the emo-rap pioneer in 2017, just months before his death from an overdose.

“That’s been one of the most exciting projects,” Makonnen says. “I feel like I put a lot into that project over the year, and I’ve been just waiting six years or so now for that one to come out. So that’s going to be a good release for me personally and emotionally, to finally get that music out.”

He’s also planning a 10th anniversary tour for his biggest hit, which he still feels good about despite his falling out with Drake.

“It’s good day,” he says. “I get free drinks. And then the lottery tonight for $1.5 billion. So I’m feeling lucky. Hopefully, my Tuesday powers work.”

It’s a match made in beach-party heaven: Kaytranada , the Haitian-Canadian master of woozy, sample-delic house music, and Aminé, Portland’s giggliest rapper, who slays on the mic even when he’s taking it slow. Their collaborative album Kaytraminé was destined to be the ultimate party record even before anyone had heard a note of music from it. And with the summer heat about to give way to a long and rainy fall, their show together at Edgefield is the perfect opportunity to give the summer one last hurrah. McMenamins Edgefield, 2126 SW Halsey St., Troutdale. 6:30 pm. $99. All ages.


From its humble house-show roots nearly a decade ago, Lose Yr Mind Fest has blossomed into one of Portland’s hottest block parties, with three venues across two blocks opening their doors to fantastic rock-’n’-roll bands. Performers this year include Dead Moon’s Toody Cole, all-star local ensemble Eyelids, Brooklyn classic-rock revivalists The Men, two “death cults” (Portland’s Hippie Death Cult and Holland’s Iguana Death Cult), and a plethora of other fantastic bands from Portland and beyond. Lollipop Shoppe, 736 SE Grand Ave.; The Get Down, 615 SE Alder St., Suite B; Swan Dive, 727 SE Grand Ave. $40-$135. All ages.


You haven’t lived until you’ve heard Richard Cheese finger-snap his way through Nine Inch Nails’ “Closer.” Backed by Lounge Against the Machine, Cheese has spent the past two decades interpreting the nastiest, heaviest, raunchiest chart hits in a cocktail-jazz style as effervescent as a flute of Champagne. And in an era when the likes of Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion are pushing the envelope even further, Cheese rejoices in the opportunity to sing “make his pullout game weak” with debonair charm. Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside St. 8 pm. $39+. 21+.

31 Willamette Week SEPTEMBER 6, 2023 wweek.com
MUSIC Editor: Bennett Campbell Ferguson | Contact: bennett@wweek.com

Walt Curtis, 1941-2023

The streets of Portland are a little less electric this week. On Aug. 25, Walt Curtis died at age 82, after decades spent beguiling and confronting the city from its undercarriage. Curtis was a poet, his Beat-inflected verse both pastoral and lewd. But that designation hardly captures the role he played in the twilight life of the city, where he could materialize like an ancient mariner in the back row of readings, mustache bristling and hair on end as he harangued the speaker. Curtis will always be intertwined with a fertile moment in Portland’s arts scene in the 1980s, when the city’s writers and filmmakers began producing work of national renown. Among those works: Gus Van Sant’s first movie, a doomed romance called Mala Noche, based on an autobiographical chapbook Curtis wrote. We asked a few of the people who were

there with Curtis to remember him. —Aaron Mesh, WW managing editor

Walt was the one of a few Portlanders who truly resembled the ancient Greek poets—Hipponax, Anacreon, Diogenes—roaming around the Portland streets sharing his lyrical poetry on love, wine and revelry, getting held up on street corners engaging in witty and sometimes controversial conversations with people.

I met Walt on Penny Allen’s film Property—he was playing a leading character but slowly backed down from being the lead because it was too much work for

JAMES REXROAD www.NorthPortlandAttorney.com (503) 286-1346 TheresaKohlhoff@gmail.com Theresa M. Kºhlhºff Attºrney At Law WILLS : : TRUSTS : : PROTECTIVE PROCEEDINGS FREE WILLS, TRUSTS & PROBATE SEMINAR Sunday Sept. 10, Oct. 15, Nov. 12, and Dec. 17 Noon to 2pm 7512 N. Berkeley Ave. 32 Willamette Week SEPTEMBER 6, 2023 wweek.com
In Memoriam

him. Walt and Ken Kesey would give co-readings at hippie gatherings, or poetry readings in bars. Walt’s poetry and his stories, always edgy and pornographic, would freak out Kesey at times, too gay maybe, or too far out.

Walt and Kesey both had soft whispery voices like one would use while calming down a horse, a voice familiar if you grew up in Central Oregon—a voice you would hear when Walt read his poetry. Walt’s little finger on his left hand was cut off at one of the joints from cutting wood in a logging company—he was also a logger.

I asked him whether I could make his story Mala Noche into a movie, which concerned him at first. But then he generously agreed and helped on the shoot, bringing posters of the Schlitz malt liquor bull to hang on a wall decorating an old grocery store, or offering us his apartment as a location. It was a movie that got me going in the film world.

Thanks, Walt—very sorry to see you go. —Gus Van Sant,

near the funky apartment building he lived in at 133 NW 18th Ave. called The Lawn, an old Victorian house that was converted into a maze of tiny apartments. What struck 20-year-old me about him was that he had a poetic engagement with Portland that transcended any particular poem or painting of his. He knew and understood its people and flowers and history, and he found beauty and dignity in some of its most vulnerable citizens. It deeply impressed me that Walt devoted himself to his artistic engagement with the city. It was his career, his family and his lover rolled into one. In many ways, his example gave me permission to devote myself to filmmaking.

Years later, I interviewed him for Alien Boy: The Death & Life of James Chasse. Walt told a moving story of Nils, a friend of his with Tourette’s syndrome, being stopped by the police. Walt interceded on Nils’ behalf to avoid the possibility of the police misinterpreting Nils’ verbal outbursts as aggression. That to me epitomized Walt: speaking truth to power and sticking up for the oppressed. —Brian

In about 1988, at age 17, I went to Cinema 21 to see Allen Ginsberg read. The scent of wet wool and patchouli was thick in the balcony that night, and the opening act, Walt Curtis, blew my mind.

Walt made an unforgettable impression onstage, constantly moving, a page of his poems clutched in his hand, speaking directly to someone in the front row then shouting insults at someone in the back, then talking to himself, questioning what he had just said, smiling, saying yes, no while laughing heartily, then rumpling his unkempt pile of hair as if to erase the whole episode and start over. He was so funny! So outrageous! Even though I didn’t know him, I met up with him and asked him to play the principal actor in my first movie, Property. To play pretty much himself as the character who needed to be a reluctant activist, somebody who felt injustice was descending on his neighborhood and community, but someone who was entirely unsuited to organize a communal counteraction. Two people in one, yes, that was Walt, a fascinating, conflicted original. Good at assembling rebels but then, when the going got rough, good at agony, revealing his frustration as he mumbled with his hand over his mouth. For me, he was always lovable.

Circa 1981: He drove a white 1960 Dodge Dart station wagon, the back jammed full of used books he’d sell to support himself. He’d do poetry readings at dive bars and taverns in Northwest Portland

I remember he read a poem about shopping at the grocery store that quickly went pornographic about fruit. “The bananas were like cocks!/The apples were like balls!” Something like that. But more so, I remember his wired patter. I remember so vividly him pausing between poems at one point and saying, “Look at us all in this room! We’re all sitting here so calmly! And it’s crazy, because we’re all gonna die! All of us in this room, we’re gonna die!” My teenage brain did the math and confirmed: It was true.

Allen Ginsberg came out soon after and played his harmonium and sang William Blake poems, which was lovely, but to me, that night belonged to Walt Curtis.

I never met Walt, though I saw him around for many decades after, and regarded him as an unapproachable celebrity. I remember seeing him at a Gary Indiana reading in the early ’90s once. Gary finished his reading and offered himself for questions, and Walt immediately rose and introduced himself as the author of Mala Noche. Gary ended the Q&A there. He walked into the audience and hugged Walt, and they went off together, who knows where. I remember watching them leave and thinking, man, that’s the conversation I want to be in.

Thank you, Walt Curtis, for treating this town and this land as a poem unfolding. —Jon Raymond, screenwriter

Dalí Quartet Tue, Nov 7, 2023 Harlem Quartet Sun, Feb 18, 2024 Time for Three Tue, Mar 12, 2024 Kronos Quartet Tue, Apr 9, 2024 2023 2024 season NOT SO CLASS C SER ES 17 SE 8th IMAGO THEATRE PRESENTS By
Oct. 6 to 22 Fri and Sat 7:30/Sun at 2:00 All Seats: $23 TICKETS: IMAGOTHEATRETICKETS.COM or call Imago: 503.231.9581 | imagotheatre.com Recommended for 16 years and older. A Pirandellian fantasia with a cameo by King Lear, My Bedroom is an Installation delves deep into the loopiest subconscious My Bedroo m i s an Installat ion
Jerry Mouawad & Drew Pisarra
MORE: READ a 1984 profile of Walt Curtis written by Katherine Dunn at wweek.com.
“He was so funny! So outrageous!”
33 Willamette Week SEPTEMBER 6, 2023 wweek.com
“I have always wanted to write pornographic and witty poetry,” Walt Curtis told WW in 1984.

Visions and Voices

Black Artists of Oregon, opening Sept. 9 at the Portland Art Museum, is an intergenerational exhibit featuring 67 Black artists all cut from remarkably unique cloths, creating a metaphorical (or spiritual) quilt that is as diverse as it is dynamic as it is impactful as it is stunning.

Curated by interdisciplinary artist Intisar Abioto, whose work is legacy in Portland’s Black community, Black Artists of Oregon revels in Abioto’s years of research, exploring the vast landscape of Black art in a state not known to be the most hospitable to Black people.

Since 2015, Abioto’s prolific photo series The Black Portlanders turned the notion that Portland was uniformly homogeneous on its hyperbolic head by featuring none but portraits of Black folks living, working, thriving and surviving in Portland. This exhibition exacerbates and partitions that energy into something just as culturally necessary, if slightly more accessible (and will be the first of its kind to consider the work of Black artists collectively in Oregon).

Black Artists of Oregon as an exhibition was born from Abioto’s personal exploration of Oregon’s Black art world, starting in earnest during the winter of 2018.

“I spent time in regional and national institutional archives,” Abioto says. “I’d been living here in Portland for eight years and realized that I didn’t have an understanding of the Black artists who’d lived here in eras before me.”

Spanning works from the 1800s to the present, Black Artists of Oregon features pieces from both radically contemporary creators and trailblazing modern ancestors, like those of Indigenous artist (and elected official of the Klamath Tribes Tribal Council) Natalie Ball, whose intricate, grandiose artworks cohere the singular experience of Black and Indigenous life in the U.S. through sumptuous mixed materials.

Also featured are the works of the late, great Thelma Johnson Streat, the first African American woman to exhibit her work at New York’s Museum of Modern Art.

And though most of the featured artists are Northwest natives, transplants are treated with commensurate

honor. The hypnotic portraits by Jeremy Okai Davis, who relocated to Portland from Charlotte, N.C., are a particular highlight—specifically, his tender rendering of the aforementioned Thelma Johnson Streat.

The exhibition and programming will also include the works of contemporary and younger artists, including sidony o’neal, damali ayo, Sharita Towne, Melanie Stevens, Lisa Jarrett, Tristan Irving, Ebin Lee and Jaleesa Johnston. However, express attention is given to works created during the Black Arts Movement of the late 1960s, ’70s and early ’80s, grounding the exhibit in the work of elder artists and the intergenerational conversations between their art and the art they may very well have inspired.

Additionally, there are ancillary, offsite multimedia layers in this exhibition that are intended to ripple throughout Portland’s art scene—namely a podcast series produced by The Numberz FM, the city’s premier rap and hip-hop radio station, that’s set to feature

With the Portland Art Museum exhibit Black Artists of Oregon, curator Intisar Abioto explores the state’s vast landscape of Black art.
CULTURE Editor: Bennett Campbell Ferguson | Contact: bennett@wweek.com

interviews and conversations hosted by Abioto and published both through The Numberz FM as well as PAM’s Art Unbound podcast in anticipation of the exhibit’s launch.

“Our programming seizes the opportunity to uplift Black and Brown voices to share their experiences with their own community,” says DJ Ambush, executive director of The Numberz FM. “Through our partnership with the Portland Art Museum, we’re cooking up and delivering liberated Black media.”

For fans of Abioto’s own works, expectations for this curatorial enterprise are high. For nearly decade, Abioto’s candid images have gracefully captured a Portland that few non-na-


tives experience (and have kept me and many others on our sartorial toes lest she be in the vicinity capturing the many shades of Black Portland). It stands to reason that this exhibition will be just as irrepressible, joyful, breathtaking and seismically transformative.

SEE IT: Black Artists of Oregon exhibits at the Portland Art Museum, 1219 SW Park Ave., 503-226-2811, portlandartmuseum.org. 10 am-5 pm Wednesday-Sunday, Sept. 9-March 17. $22-$25, members and children 17 and under free.


A week later and I’m still unsure whether Extreme, the Boston glam metal quartet best known for their 1990 unplugged hit “More Than Words,” were foolish or brilliant in their choice of Living Colour as the opening act for their current tour. But both bands do boast powerhouse vocalists (Gary Cherone and Corey Glover) and virtuosic guitarists (Vernon Reid and Nuno Bettencourt), and they ran in the same circles during their respective commercial peaks. A savvy pick to warm up an already excited crowd...unless you want to be overshadowed.

Living Colour’s 45-minute set was blistering in both volume and emotion. The quartet stuck mostly to the MTV favorites from their 1988 debut Vivid, but worked in tributes to Sinead O’Connor (with a cover of “Nothing Compares 2 U”) and the 50th birthday of hip-hop (with a medley led by bassist Doug Wimbish). Through it all, Glover attacked every song with humor or the zeal of a Pentecostal preacher, even climbing into the balcony and over many concertgoers while singing the still-acerbic “Cult of Personality.”

Extreme was somewhat forced to meet their tourmates’ level of inspiration and fire. And, to their credit, they just about succeeded. Cherone’s pipes may sound a bit cloudier these days, but he’s a commanding frontman. He was a whirl of activity and movement, constantly snaking his way around his bandmates and drawing even more enthusiasm out of the audience.

Judging by the number of smartphones that shot into the air whenever he played a solo, the bulk of the crowd was there to worship at the altar of Bettencourt. He dazzled from the jump, playing with speed and accuracy and the closed-eye intensity accessible to those musicians who are in full command of their instrument of choice.

SEP 9th | 7:30PM SEP 16th | 8:00PM SEP 22Nd | 8:00PM SEP 23Rd | 8:00PM SEP 27TH | 8:00PM albertaabbey.org albertaabbey.org SEP 8th | 5:00PM SON DE CUBA W/ PURA VIDA ORQUESTA ANIRUDH VARMA COLLECTIVE ALICE WALLACE SEP 29TH | 8:00PM SOUL VACCINATION W ANDY STOKES SEP 30TH | 8:00PM ART ABRAMS SWING MACHINE SEP 24th | 8:00PM Alex Jordan
35 Willamette Week SEPTEMBER 6, 2023 wweek.com



Sorcerer (1977)

In the late, great William Friedkin’s tenacious remake of The Wages of Fear (1953), four criminals truck nitroglycerin across a Central American jungle to stymie an oil field fire. True to Friedkin’s gripping, reality-devout style, the film is punctuated left and right with molten, sky-scorching columns of fire, like chemical reactions between heaven and hell.

Sorcerer was the director’s “anything you want, Mr. Friedkin” cash-in on the unparalleled success of The Exorcist. Nearly 50 years later, you can still feel the maniacal lack of compromise across the greasy, terrifying, transcendent two hours, as every character is one worn tire tread or loose pebble away from detonation.

With a Tangerine Dream score (their first for a Hollywood production) halfway between a classical fugue and a wound throb and a Roy Scheider performance that testifies to his undersung ’70s stardom, Sorcerer is one of Friedkin’s finest hours. And all that magnificent fire? It’s among the many things (sharks, dancing, youth) that contemporary CGI still cannot quite approximate. Hollywood, Sept. 10.


Academy: The Virgin Suicides (1999), Sept. 8-14. Scanners (1981), Sept. 8-14. Cinema 21: Sabrina (1954), Sept. 9. Cinemagic: Royal Warriors (1986), Sept. 7. Dog Day Afternoon (1975), Sept. 8, 9 and 12. Chinatown (1974), Sept. 9, 10 and 13. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969), Sept. 10 and 11. When Harry Met Sally... (1989), Sept. 8, 9 and 14. Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping (2016), Sept. 10. Clinton: Hedwig and the Angry Inch (2001), Sept. 8. Hollywood: Fatal Attraction (1987), Sept. 8-14. UHF (1989), Sept. 9. Body Heat (1981), Sept. 11-14.

Vancouver Confidential

Menacing husbands and the women they gaslight share the screen in the Kiggins Theatre’s latest film noir series.

For the past seven years, gun molls, gangsters, shamuses, gunsels, dames, and femmes fatales have visited the screen at the Kiggins Theatre on the second Monday of the month as part of its Noir Night series. It seems an appropriate home for these black-and-white films from the 1940s and ’50s, given that the Kiggins opened its doors in 1936.

For Noir Nights, this historic theater in downtown Vancouver transforms back to its early years. Kiggins owner Dan Wyatt dresses in a fedora and trench coat in the style of a noir hero, a handful of patrons regularly dress in period clothing, and film reels, cartoons and previews from that time proceed the films.

The series is curated by Richard Beer, who has been the programmer at the Kiggins for the past 11 years. Beer studied film at Columbia College, worked for the Chicago International Film Festival, and cataloged a large private collection of films for the University of North Carolina School of Arts, School of Filmmaking. In the early 1990s, he moved to Portland and programmed at the Hollywood Theatre, before being hired at the Kiggins in October 2012.

Beer chose to mastermind the series because of noir’s continuing relevance. “It’s not as dated as other types of films because it continued with neo-noir like L.A. Confidential and The Underneath,” he says. “Adultery, murder, and crime syndicates are themes that are still relevant. This is why big studio musicals haven’t endured in the same way. They feel like they’re from another time.”

in the films of Martin Scorcese, Quentin Tarantino and Spike Lee, whose early work reaffirmed that great noir can be done on the cheap.

After playing heavies, mobsters, a mad scientist, and Bette Davis’ stable boy, Humphrey Bogart emerged as an icon of the genre when he was cast as the world-weary detective Sam Spade in The Maltese Falcon. Film noir also gave actresses like Veronica Lake, Lana Turner and Rita Hayworth a chance to do something other than just sit around and look pretty; they skillfully moved the plot along as the “hero” tried to catch up.

Film noir proved equally invigorating for artists behind the camera. That includes cinematographers like James Wong Howe (who gave a lurid tabloid look to Sweet Smell of Success) and refugees from Europe, such as directors Fritz Lang, Billy Wilder, and Jacques Tourneur, who expressed the world weariness and fatalism that followed the war through their films.

Beer finds it encouraging that these films draw a varied audience. “When this series started off, it was mostly attended by senior citizens, but we’re starting to see younger people in their 30s and people bringing their 12-year-old kids so there’s another generation of viewers interested in these films,” he says.





Film noir hit its classic period after World War II, taking the large, stunning, shadowy visuals of German Expressionism and paring them down to sharp angles and lingering shadows. Novels by writers like Dashiell Hammett, James M. Cain, and Raymond Chandler were the backbone of these films in which the protagonist is often a detective who gets drawn into a web of crime by a beautiful woman.

Dismissed as low-budget B pictures, they endure because of an unsentimental sensibility that still resonates with audiences. This thrifty style of filmmaking lives on

The series revolves around themes, which can be either a star, a filmmaker or a motif. This season, menacing husbands and the women they gaslight are being highlighted, with screenings of Sudden Fear (Sept. 11) and Suspicion (Oct. 9) coming up. November’s film is uncertain, however, and the series will go on break in December, when the Kiggins’ schedule is filled with holiday classics like It’s a Wonderful Life and White Christmas

“This series is not going anywhere,” Beer says. “Fans of these films are always afraid that we’ll stop showing them, but it’s not going to stop.”

SEE IT: Sudden Fear, not rated, screens at the Kiggins Theatre, 1011 Main St., Vancouver, Wash., 360-816-0352, kigginstheatre.com. 7:30 pm Monday, Sept. 11. $10.

TURNER CLASSIC MOVIES 36 Willamette Week SEPTEMBER 6, 2023 wweek.com
FACES PLACES: Sudden Fear.


Donya (Anaita Wali Zada) is a refugee freshly relocated from Afghanistan to the Bay Area after working as a U.S. Army translator. Given the danger and alienation she’s experienced fleeing the Taliban and leaving her family, it’s curious at first that director Babak Jalali renders this hushed, black-and-white dramedy so placid on its surface. Donya is resolute, confident and privately contemplative, especially as she rises to the rank of “message writer” at the San Francisco fortune cookie factory where she works. Yet she is also an iceberg, silently and sometimes inscrutably tolerating the oddballs who attempt to connect with her largely through monologue. Donya’s therapist, for one— Gregg Turkington, eerily similar here to his On Cinema character—can’t stop yakking about White Fang, and her boss (Eddie Tang) constantly tries to impart how proper cookie fortunes straddle both meaning and meaninglessness. These one-sided interactions pile up a little bafflingly until Donya encounters a fellow iceberg, Daniel (The Bear star Jeremy Allen White), a mechanic who brings instant steadiness to the film’s sometimes head-scratching tone and harmony to Wali Zada’s proudly composed performance. In the film, as in life’s loneliest moments, it’s hard to decipher how ill-fitting new relationships can be until the fog lifts and the real thing appears. NR. CHANCE SOLEM-PFEIFER. Living Room.


At the start of Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer, raindrops fall; at the end, fire rages. You’ll feel it burn long after the end credits roll. Nolan has made violent movies before, but Oppenheimer is not just about physical devastation. It submerges you in the violence of a guilt-ravaged soul, leaving you feeling unsettled and unclean. With agitated charisma and vulnerability, Cillian Murphy embodies J. Robert Oppenheimer, the theoretical physicist whose mind birthed the atomic bomb. When we first meet him, he’s a curly-haired lad staring at a puddle, but he swiftly evolves into an excitable visionary leading a cadre of scientists into the deserts of New Mexico, where they will ultimately build and test a plutonium device (referred to as “the gadget”) on July 16, 1945. What saves the film from becoming a connect-the-dots biopic is Nolan’s ingenious chronicle of the post-World War II rivalry between Oppenheimer and Atomic Energy Commission chair Lewis Strauss (Robert Downey Jr.). The more Oppenheimer fights to put “the nuclear genie back in the bottle,” the more Strauss seethes and schemes, thrusting the movie into a maze of double-crosses that echo the exhilarating games of perception in Nolan’s 2001 breakout hit Memento Of course, the thrill can’t (and shouldn’t) last. As many as 226,000 people were killed when the U.S. bombed Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and they haunt the film like ghosts—especially when Oppenheimer imagines a charred corpse beneath his foot. A man dreamed; people died. All a work of art can do is evoke their absence.

Bridgeport, Cedar Hills, City Center, Clackamas, Division, Empirical, Fox Tower, Hollywood, Lake Theater, Laurelhurst, Living Room, Lloyd Center, Mill Plain, Studio One.


Once upon a time, Barbie dolls liberated all women from tyranny. The end… at least according to the first few minutes of Barbie, a sleek and satirical fantasia from director Greta Gerwig (Lady Bird, Little Women). Set in the utopian kingdom of Barbieland, the movie dramatizes the existential crises of the winkingly named Stereotypical Barbie. She’s played by Margot Robbie, who was last seen battling a rattlesnake in Damien Chazelle’s Babylon and her misadventures in Barbie are hardly less bizarre. Plagued by flat feet, cellulite and fears of death, Barbie seeks the source of her ailments in the real world, bringing along a beamingly inadequate Ken (Ryan Gosling) with catastrophic consequences: Awed by images of Bill Clinton and Ronald Reagan, Ken becomes a crusading men’s rights activist, leading a revolt against the government of Barbieland and instituting bros-first martial law. And they say originality is dead! With its absurdist wit, glitzy musical numbers, and earnest ruminations on whether matriarchy and patriarchy can coexist, Barbie is easily one of the most brazen movies released by a major studio. Yes, its tidy ending betrays its anarchic spirit—after insisting that empowerment can’t be neatly packaged in a doll box, the film seems to say, “No, wait! It can!”—but it would be churlish to deny the charm of Gerwig’s buoyant creation. In an age when genuine cinematic joy is rare, we’re all lucky

to be passengers in Barbie’s hot-pink plastic convertible. PG-13. BENNETT CAMPBELL FERGUSON. Academy, Bagdad, Cedar Hills, Cinema 21, Clackamas, Fox Tower, Lake Theater, Laurelhurst, Living Room, Lloyd Center, McMenamins St. Johns, Oak Grove, Pioneer Place, Studio One.


Instead of falling into the trap of big team-ups, multiverses, and turgid action scenes, Ángel Manuel Soto’s small-scale superhero film Blue Beetle keeps its focus on family, humor and Latino culture. The charming Xolo Maridueña plays Jaime Reyes, a college graduate who returns home to Palmera City and is tasked with protecting a device called “the Scarab,” a piece of tech that attaches itself to Jaime and forms a powerful exoskeleton around him. It isn’t long before military-minded baddies show up looking for the Scarab, with businesswoman Victoria Kord (Susan Sarandon) wanting to take her corporation to the next level by harnessing the device’s energy. Blue Beetle has formulaic plot elements and a C-grade villain in Kord, and some of the jokes fall flat (such as when a bug vehicle farts on Kord’s henchmen). It overcomes its weaknesses with well-rounded supporting characters (George Lopez is a hilarious standout as Uncle Rudy), heartfelt scenes of family bonding, and well-framed action sequences. Blue Beetle is one of the last films in the soon-to-be-defunct DC Extended Universe, which began a decade ago with Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel. It’s too late to salvage the series, but Soto deserves credit for creating one of the more charming entries in a mixed-bad franchise. PG-13. DANIEL RESTER. Bridgeport, Cascade, Cedar Hills, City Center, Clackamas, Division, Fox Tower, Lloyd Center, Mill Plain, Oak Grove, Pioneer Place, Progress Ridge, Studio One, Vancouver Plaza.


While cinematic canines have wagged their tails across the silver screen since Rin Tin Tin’s heyday, Strays stands out by recognizing that any “man’s best friend” sentiment does neither side any favors. Playing an adorably scrappy pup determined to view the repeated efforts at abandonment by his human (a loathsome Will Forte) as extreme fetch, Reggie (voiced by Will Ferrell) digs deep within an Elf-ish faux-naïfdom that soon becomes a perfect counterpoint to an eccentric ensemble of pooches, including anti-owner provocateur Bug (Jamie Foxx), a police hound turned therapy animal (Raymond

Park), and a binge-dieting collie of a certain age (Isla Fisher). They’re on an incredible journey to fulfill a dog’s purpose: to bite his owner’s dick off. Amid the film’s copious attempts at body humor, writer Dan Perrault’s brisk absurdities and director Josh Greenbaum’s graceful prowl between raunch and reflection offer just enough character development for an earned whiff of sentimentality lingering well beyond the crapshoot of barnyard gags. Uncovering the tragic misunderstanding that fueled Bug’s separatist agitprop seems no less sad (or, ultimately, hilarious) than Reggie’s reflexive defense of his owner’s unrelenting abuse (plot points that offer more perspective on modern relationships than any rom-com of recent memory). It’s all well and good counseling friends not to take any shit but, Strays bravely asks, what if they like the way it tastes? R. JAY HORTON. Bridgeport, Cascade, Cedar Hills, City Center, Clackamas, Division, Evergreen Parkway, Hilltop, Oak Grove, Pioneer Place, Progress Ridge, Studio One, Vancouver Mall, Vancouver Plaza.


Anyone attempting to imitate Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining has their work cut out for them. Stewart Thorndike’s sophomore film, Bad Things, is one such piece, playing like an LGBTQ response to Kubrick’s masterpiece. The story follows Ruthie (Gayle Rankin), who inherits a hotel and invites her friends for a winter vacation that grows thorny as past trauma is revealed and some of the women start seeing ghosts. Bad Things is a disappointment from Thorndike (who showed promise with her high-energy debut Lyle); although it gets points for representation, acting and a beautiful piano score by Jason Falkner, the film is a bit of a mess. Its mix of relationship drama and paranormal thriller never quite gels, the hotel setting lacks character, and Thorndike never establishes the brooding atmosphere the tale requires. The Overlook Hotel in The Shining is one of the most memorable settings in all of cinema. The Comely Suites in Bad Things are instantly forgettable, much like the film itself. NR. DANIEL RESTER. Shudder.


In the opening scene of Between Two Worlds, French acting icon Juliette Binoche is seen applying for low-level cleaning jobs. Her character, Marianne, is mannered, vulnerable and observant—almost the opposite of her often genuine, sometimes coarse, unself-conscious co-workers. Based on French journalist Florence Aubenas, Marianne is undercover to research a book on laborers who work tirelessly yet teeter on society’s edge. They’re paid minimum wage to perform herculean invisible tasks, like turning over 60 beds in 90 minutes on a ferry from Northern France to England. Visually, director Emmanuel Carrère strikes the right pose, a docu-realist style that puts the viewer in supply closets, break rooms, and even toilet bowls. But the need to manufacture drama often feels patronizing to the workers and ironically misfocused. At one point, Marianne announces in voice-over that her book is becoming a portrait of Chrystèle (Hélène Lambert)—a co-worker, friend and single mother to three boys—but that doesn’t remotely bear out in the film. Instead, it remains centered on the awkwardness of a journalist being found out by subjects with whom she’s behaving far too familiarly. In film and in life, the road to poserdom is paved with good intentions. NR. CHANCE SOLEM-PFEIFER. Living Room.

TOP PICK OF THE WEEK 37 Willamette Week SEPTEMBER 6, 2023 wweek.com
38 Willamette Week SEPTEMBER 6, 2023 wweek.com
by Jack Kent



ARIES (March 21-April 19): Aries chess grandmaster

Garry Kasparov says war is “more like a game of poker than chess. On a chess board, the pieces are face up, but poker is essentially a game of incomplete information, a game where you have to guess and act on those guesses.” I suspect that's helpful information for you these days, Aries. You may not be ensconced in an out-an-out conflict, but the complex situation you’re managing has resemblances to a game of poker. For best results, practice maintaining a poker face. Try to reduce your tells to near zero. Here's the definition of "tell" as I am using the term: Reflexive or unconscious behavior that reveals information you would rather withhold.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Raised in poverty, Taurus-born Eva Peron became a charismatic politician and actor who served as First Lady of Argentina for six years. The Argentine Congress ultimately gave her the title of "Spiritual Leader of the Nation.” How did she accomplish such a meteoric ascent? "Without fanaticism," she testified, "one cannot accomplish anything." But I don't think her strategy has to be yours in the coming months, Taurus. It will make sense for you to be highly devoted, intensely focused, and strongly motivated—even a bit obsessed in a healthy way. But you won’t need to be fanatical.

Do you criticize yourself for not being a perfect manifestation of your ideal self? Most of us indulge in these fruitless energy drains. One of the chief causes of unhappiness is the fantasy that we are not who we are supposed to be. In accordance with cosmic rhythms, I authorize you to be totally free of these feelings for the next four weeks. As an experiment, I invite you to treasure yourself exactly as you are right now. Congratulate yourself for all the heroic work you have done to be pretty damn good. Use your ingenuity to figure out how to give yourself big doses of sweet and festive love.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): Scorpio novelist Kurt Vonnegut testified, "I want to stay as close on the edge as I can without going over. Out on the edge, you see all kinds of things you can’t see from the center. Big, undreamed-of-things—the people on the edge see them first." I'm not definitively telling you that you should live like Vonnegut, dear Scorpio. To do so, you would have to summon extra courage and alertness. But if you are inclined to explore such a state, the coming weeks will offer you a chance to live on the edge with as much safety, reward, and enjoyment as possible.


1. "Highway to Hell" group

5. Palindromic formality

10. Fisherman's bucketful

14. "I've got it! I've got it!"

15. Landmark that thanked Pee-wee Herman in a July 2023 remembrance

16. ___ dixit (unproven assertion)

17. Singer Del Rey

18. Charged

19. "___ Turismo" (2023 movie)

20. Making waves, so to speak?

23. Radiohead lead singer Yorke

24. Vulgarity

25. Illustrations for "Capt. Storm" or "Corto Maltese," e.g.

30. "___ y Plata" (Montana motto)

31. Subtle glow

32. "Fields of Gold" singer

36. Hot rocks?

38. French fountain pen

40. "Peter Pan" henchman

41. Focused

43. Former "Wheel of Fortune" host Bob

44. Singer Janis

45. Alabama fishing village (Bubba's hometown from "Forrest Gump")

49. Beethoven symphony originally dedicated to Napoleon

52. Buckwheat noodles

53. December 1773 harborside taxation protest

58. Swordfight reminder

59. Pirates Hall-of-Famer


60. "Paris, Je T'___" (2006 film)

62. Clothing designer Marc (not the cookware company)

63. Toughen gradually

64. Faux

65. Tandoor-baked bread

66. "Platoon" and "Finding Dory" actor Willem

67. Bit of a hang-up


1. "You've got mail!" brand

2. Partially burn

3. Sign on a lawn chair before a parade, maybe

4. Joanie's boyfriend, in '70s TV

5. Xylophone-like instruments

6. Composer Menken

7. "Well, shoot!"

8. Part of a Latin conjugation

9. Flying foe of Godzilla

10. What Sir Mix-a-Lot famously likes (he cannot lie)

11. Kitchen wear

12. Oscar with other awards

13. Like J, sequentially

21. Catholic fraternal org. based in New Haven (not Ohio)

22. Disneyland souvenir

25. Fountain drink

26. Like some history

27. Expenditures

©2023 Jonesin’ Crosswords (editor@jonesincrosswords.com) For answers to this puzzle, call: 1-900-226-2800, 99 cents per minute. Must be 18+. Or to bill to your credit card, call: 1-800-655-6548. Reference puzzle #JNZ990.

28. "It's down to either me ___"

29. Clark Kent, on Krypton

33. Faux

34. Almost

35. "Match Game" host Rayburn

37. Radio ratings service (and competitor of Nielsen, until Nielsen bought them out)

39. Carousing

42. Early Doritos flavor

46. Pulled hard

47. Big snake

48. Author and former Georgia State Representative Stacey

49. "The Beverly Hillbillies" star Buddy

50. Comedian and journalist Mo

51. Kobe neighbor

54. Fey of "Only Murders in the Building"

55. "when the rainbow is ___" (last half of a long Ntozake Shange play title)

56. Prefix in rocket science

57. Song spelled with arm motions

61. Heart chart done in the ER, for short

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Gemini author Ben H. Winters has useful counsel. "Every choice forecloses on other choices," he says. "Each step forward leaves a thousand dead possible universes behind you." I don't think there are a thousand dead universes after each choice; the number’s more like two or three. But the point is, you must be fully committed to leaving the past behind. Making decisions requires resolve. Second-guessing your brave actions rarely yields constructive results. So are you ready to have fun being firm and determined, Gemini? The cosmic rhythms will be on your side if you do.

CANCER (June 21-July 22): Journalist Alexandra Robbins was addressing young people when she gave the following advice, but you will benefit from it regardless of your age: "There is nothing wrong with you just because you haven’t yet met people who share your interests or outlook on life. Know that you will eventually meet people who will appreciate you for being you." I offer this to you now, Cancerian, because the coming months will bring you into connection with an abundance of like-minded people who are working to create the same kind of world you are. Are you ready to enjoy the richest social life ever?

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): Author Kevin Kelly is a maverick visionary who has thought a lot about how to create the best possible future. He advocates that we give up hoping for the unrealistic concept of utopia. Instead, he suggests we empower our practical efforts with the term “protopia.” In this model, we “crawl toward betterment,” trying to improve the world by one percent each year. You would be wise to apply a variation on this approach to your personal life in the coming months, Leo. A mere one-percent enhancement is too modest a goal, though. By your birthday in 2024, a six-percent upgrade is realistic, and you could reach as high as 10 percent.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): In honor of the Virgo birthday season, I invite you to be exceptionally distinctive and singular in the coming weeks, even idiosyncratic and downright incomparable. That's not always a comfortable state for you Virgos to inhabit, but right now it's healthy to experiment with. Here's counsel from writer Christopher Morley: “Read, every day, something no one else is reading. Think, every day, something no one else is thinking. Do, every day, something no one else would be silly enough to do. It is bad for the mind to continually be part of unanimity.” Here's a bonus quote from Virgo poet Edith Sitwell: “I am not eccentric! It’s just that I am more alive than most people.”

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): Do you sometimes wish your life was different from what it actually is?

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): "Where there is great love, there are always miracles," wrote Sagittarian novelist Willa Cather (1873–1947). In accordance with upcoming astrological aspects, I encourage you to prepare the way for such miracles. If you don't have as much love as you would like, be imaginative as you offer more of the best love you have to give. If there is good but not great love in your life, figure out how you can make it even better. If you are blessed with great love, see if you can transform it into being even more extraordinary. For you Sagittarians, it is the season of generating miracles through the intimate power of marvelous love.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): Capricorn author Alexander Woollcott (1187–1943) could be rude and vulgar. He sometimes greeted cohorts by saying, "Hello, Repulsive." After he read the refined novelist Marcel Proust, he described the experience as "like lying in someone else's dirty bath water." But according to Woollcott's many close and enduring friends, he was often warm, generous, and humble. I bring this to your attention in the hope that you will address any discrepancies between your public persona and your authentic soul. Now is a good time to get your outer and inner selves into greater harmony.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): In 1963, Aquarian author Betty Friedan published The Feminine Mystique, a groundbreaking book that became a bestseller crucial in launching the feminist movement. She brought to wide cultural awareness “the problem that has no name”: millions of women's sense of invisibility, powerlessness, and depression. In a later book, Friedan reported on those early days of the awakening: "We couldn’t possibly know where it would lead, but we knew it had to be done." I encourage you to identify an equivalent quest in your personal life, Aquarius: a project that feels necessary to your future, even if you don't yet know what that future will turn out to be.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): "Among those whom I like or admire, I can find no common denominator, but among those whom I love, I can: All of them make me laugh." Piscean poet W. H. Auden said that. After analyzing the astrological omens, I conclude that laughing with those you love is an experience you should especially seek right now. It will be the medicine for anything that's bothering you. It will loosen obstructions that might be interfering with the arrival of your next valuable teachings. Use your imagination to dream up ways you can place yourself in situations where this magic will unfold.

Homework: What message has life been trying to send you but you have been ignoring? Newsletter.FreeWillAstrology.com

Point"--seas the day.
WEEK OF SEPTEMBER 7 © 2023 ROB BREZSNY FREE WILL last week’s answers ASTROLOGY CHECK OUT ROB BREZSNY’S EXPANDED WEEKLY AUDIO HOROSCOPES & DAILY TEXT MESSAGE HOROSCOPES freewillastrology.com The audio horoscopes are also available by phone at 1-877-873-4888 or 1-900-950-7700 39 Willamette Week SEPTEMBER 6, 2023 wweek.com


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