This Week in the Mercury

The Oscars Are Old and Busted

Film

The Oscars Are Old and Busted

Of Racism, Sexism, and the Fast and the Furious


Savage Love

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Blazers vs. Wizards - Hot Live Blog Action

Posted by Rob Simonsen on Sat, Jan 24, 2015 at 6:50 PM

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Live from the Moda Center as the Portland Trail Blazers host the Washington Wizards.

It was announced on Thursday that LaMarcus Aldridge would miss six to eight weeks with a torn ligament in his thumb. Everything was awful—Portland lost in heartbreaking fashion to the Celtics, Nicolas Batum reaggravated his wrist injury, and after a promising start to the season the Blazers seemed in danger of missing the playoffs entirely. Here’s a look at every Blazers fan roughly forty-eight hours ago.

But then today happened and things, uh, escalated quickly. Maybe everyone is just drunk off of sunshine, or maybe it was a positive diagnosis from Dr. Spaceman, but LaMarcus Aldridge is suiting up and playing tonight. Really. He’s back.

So what the hell happened? Why the turn of events? Aldridge’s bum thumb is on his non-shooting hand. He apparently can’t hurt it any worse by playing on it, and the splint he’ll have should help minimize any long-term damage. Instead of opting for the surgery now and missing time, he asked the Blazers staff to let him play through it. Is that smart? No idea. But it’s not like the Blazers have a history with troublesome injuries, so what’s the worst that could go wrong?

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It's Happening Tonight!

Posted by Bobby Roberts on Sat, Jan 24, 2015 at 1:59 PM


GO-GO DANCE—Hope you've been polishing up your Batusi since last year's swinging '60s Batman-themed dance night Gotham a Go-Go. At the very least, you should be versed in the Batdance. Dress campy mod or as your favorite Catwoman (dibs on Julie Newmar!), watch the go-go dancers, and dance the night away to DJ Gregarious, the Hauer Things, and Batmania. Biff bang pow! COURTNEY FERGUSON
White Owl Social Club, 1305 SE 8th, 10 pm, $5


STORYTELLING—Back Fence PDX is having another one of its excellent "Russian Roulette" throwdowns—with returning quick-witted favorites, like the genius editor of the Mercury, Wm. Steven Humphrey (conflict? what conflict?), battling newcomers like comedian Bri Pruett and Blitzen Trapper drummer Brian Koch. Pick the winner! And win prizes! DENIS C. THERIAULT
Disjecta, 8371 N Interstate, 8 pm, $15

Tonight in Music: Gotham a Go Go, Appendixes, Brooke Fraser & More

Posted by Ned Lannamann on Sat, Jan 24, 2015 at 10:59 AM


GOTHAM A GO GO: BATMANIA, DJ MATT STANGER
(White Owl Social Club, 1305 SE 8th) See My, What a Busy Week!


APPENDIXES, COREY J. BREWER, FOG FATHER
(The Know, 2026 NE Alberta) It's time we came up with another word for shoegaze. Portland trio Appendixes—don't you dare say the word "appendices" in their presence, Frodo—make soaring, electric, misty, dense-yet-spacious rock that lives somewhere near that overused term, but the tunes on their fantastic new EP, Everyday Use, are closer to the dream-pop end of the spectrum. Still, that's an unhelpful distinction at best—these songs are wistful, wet with color, and full of gloaming half-light. Opener "Moonwalking" gives you a sense of Appendixes' immersive quality in its title alone; "Burn" is a cavernous pop gem that defies time and space. Everyday Use, which celebrates its release on Portland label Track and Field Records tonight, is good enough to deserve its own genre appellation. Lunarwave? Cumulus somnium-rock? Expansive-electric lo-NRG sounds? Eck. I should just call it "great" and be done with it. NED LANNAMANN


BROOKE FRASER, DARK WAVES
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Despite the Sleater-Kinneys and Bankses of the world, it still seems as though the music industry is male-dominated, with strong, likeable female singers hard to find. Brooke Fraser is a refreshing change from this trend, playing and writing her own material, and using her popularity to help charitable causes, such as clean water wells in Ethiopia. Fraser is one of the top-selling artists in her home country of New Zealand, and her most recent album, Brutal Romantic, is a nod to Tori Amos—a haunting, thundering journey through her relationships, her realizations about the world, and a call to save it. ROSE FINN

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Friday, January 23, 2015

Portland-Area Police Unions Now Have Their Own Lobbying Group

Posted by Dirk VanderHart on Fri, Jan 23, 2015 at 2:29 PM

A month after the head of Portland's rank-and-file police union described to his members a "culture of hatred toward law enforcement," Portland-area police and deputy unions are banding together, they say, to fight back.

The unions—Clackamas County Peace Officers Association, Multnomah County Deputy Sheriff's Association, Portland Police Association, Troutdale Police Officers' Association, and Washington County Police Officers' Association—announced a new lobbying group this afternoon, the Oregon Coalition of Police and Sheriffs (ORCOPS). But they're not offering many specifics about what they want to accomplish.

"ORCOPS will work on public policy issues that impact law enforcement officers in Oregon and will also connect Oregonians to the role law enforcement plays in keeping our communities safe," says a release from the organization's president, Daryl Turner. "The formation of ORCOPS comes at a time when law enforcement is under deeper scrutiny in the wake of national events."

Turner's the Portland Police Association president who used the "culture of hatred line" on December 22, shortly after two New York City police officers were murdered at random by a man suffering a mental health crisis. The statement, a letter sent to union membership, upset local activists who've been railing against police abuses for months.

When the Mercury called Turner today to ask what policy tweaks and actions his new group had in mind, he said he wouldn't comment beyond the news release. That stance didn't apply, apparently, when the Oregonian called (thought Turner didn't offer them much more).

The release says the new organization is happy to welcome any interested Oregon law enforcement officer association on board.

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This Week in Art: New Things to See, Victoria Haven's Latest, and That Lovable Goofball Miranda July Really Gets Us

Posted by Megan Burbank on Fri, Jan 23, 2015 at 2:14 PM

Tackling Miranda July's debut novel, performance art pigs, and abstract prints, we weren't intimidated by weirdness in the Mercury's arts section this week. Here are our field reports from our strange journeys into the unknown:

Victoria Haven: Jenna Lechner took on Victoria Haven's latest work, Subtitles, up now at PDX Contemporary Art, and points out that while it might seem opaque at first, Haven's long career as a Pacific Northwest artist gives it necessary context, in a review that covers Lawrence Weiner, a chainsaw artist named "Bear in a Box," and Gore-Tex, among other things:

Often, there are more handmade marks in Haven's work. In the case of Subtitles, the pieces look like digital images, but are actually prints made using laser-etched woodblocks. The words come in pairs—"hire / oracle," "toot / vortex," "omen / nope"—and line the wall, stacked above, below, and, to the left and to the right of one another. The words were plucked from Haven's personal text messages, and paired using an algorithm designed by an artist friend. The project was also shown in New York as a projection, where the words "continuously rotated in random order." From that show, some of the words were made into stills, and those freeze-frames are on display at PDX Contemporary.

New theater: I know you're already so ready to dive into Fertile Ground's new and thrilling theatrical offerings, right? I thought so. This is review for most of you, but just in case, I wrote a handy preview of a mere handful of some intriguing new work you can expect to see over the next two weeks. See you in the audience!

YOUVE PROBABLY SEEN THESE PIGS BEFORE But Ill keep putting them up on account of theyre a) so cute, and b) part of performance art!
  • Boom Arts
  • YOU'VE PROBABLY SEEN THESE PIGS BEFORE But I'll keep putting them up on account of they're a) so cute, and b) part of performance art!

Miranda July: Meanwhile, Suzette Smith read Miranda July's first novel, The First Bad Man, and reports that July's tendencies towards all things kooky and oddly emotionally resonant, and her particular brand of SoCal Gothic are alive and well in its pages. Per Suzette's review, it sounds like a raw, strange book that will tell you raw, strange things about yourself:

I read The First Bad Man in one four-hour sitting. I read through the all-caps text messages, the lyrics to the David Bowie song "Kooks," and the extended fight scenes between two women grappling alone in a small house in Los Angeles. I read through the creepy May-December relationship and a female narrator's ejaculation fantasies, in which she imagines herself as multiple men.

Around 2 am, July's anxious first-person narration began to seem normal, even appropriate. Cheryl Glickman—I am unable to separate her from July—is a 40-something LA professional suffering from globus hystericus, an imaginary ball in her throat brought on by stress. Sure, that would happen. Of course.

Haven's work is up through January 31, Fertile Ground goes through February, and Miranda July's prose is just-right for a dreary day—it's gross out, so I thought I'd just let you know. You have options!

It's Happening Tonight!

Posted by Bobby Roberts on Fri, Jan 23, 2015 at 1:59 PM


COMEDY—Portland's comedy explosion continues radiating outward and upward with the inclusion of Curious Comedy's new monthly show, Minority Retort. Throwing the spotlight on funny folks of color (both local and national), this month's comedy showcase debut features Katie Nguyen, Anthony Lopez, headliner Nathan Brannon, and more! WM. STEVEN HUMPHREY
Curious Comedy Theater, 5225 NE MLK, 9:30 pm, $7



MUSIC—Not that we're getting tired of Summer Cannibals' great 2013 album, No Makeup, but we're ready for more from the Portland four-piece. Good thing they have a new record to ring in spring. Hopefully, the new songs on Show Us Your Mind, due out on March 3, will be just as catchy and packed with punchy fuzz as their debut. Guess we'll see tonight, when we'll get a preview earful. COURTNEY FERGUSON
w/Hustle and Drone, Edna Vazquez and No Passengers; Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Missisippi, 9 pm, $10

Come Shudder At This Video of Damage on the Morrison Bridge

Posted by Dirk VanderHart on Fri, Jan 23, 2015 at 12:59 PM

Want to see something unsettling?

Check out this video, obtained via Oregon records law request, of Multnomah County engineers examining the crazy deterioration of the Morrison Bridge's three-year-old deck last week.

The money shot—accompanied by a low whistle from a member county's bridge team—starts about 22 seconds in, and continues until the 2 minute mark. The video, and background commentary, shows the mounting revulsion of county staff as they find piece after piece of the deck has come apart more seriously than we'd known.

It's not hard to see this isn't how you want one of your busiest bridges to look. The lane that the workers are examining—closed hurriedly after this footage was taken—is the Morrison's north-most lane. It takes people rushing from I-5 west into downtown.

What's most interesting, though, is just how the bridge is failing. We've known since 2013 that screws on the deck were coming loose. And we knew that the county found, and accepted, panels that appeared to have cracks. This is something else.

Here's a drawing of the type of piece you're looking at in the video. The red arrow indicates the area that's breaking:

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The piece is made of a material called fiber-reinforced polymer, and it's the central structural component that's supposed to give the Morrison's deck strength. In 2011 and 2012, contractors bolted dozens of these onto skeletal portions of the bridge, then screwed flat pieces of polymer over the top. And we've known, as I say, that those flat top pieces began coming undone almost as soon as cars drove on the new deck.

What the video above shows is that the bottom pieces—again, the central component of the deck—have started dramatically cracking apart. In a court hearing last week, an attorney for the county called this damage "the worst fear" for the Morrison Bridge, and it's not hard to see what he means.

The extent of the damage raises questions about how long the remainder of the deck panels will hold up, and county officials say they don't know. It also makes it harder to understand why the county would have accepted deck pieces that look like this for the project:

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Here's another video, for good measure.

Here Are This Week's Mercury Movie Reviews!

Posted by Erik Henriksen on Fri, Jan 23, 2015 at 12:44 PM

SHES BEAUTIFUL WHEN SHE’S ANGRY The patriarchy isn’t going to fuck itself.
  • SHE'S BEAUTIFUL WHEN SHE’S ANGRY The patriarchy isn’t going to fuck itself.

Welcome back to another Mercury Film section, where we figured out a way to talk about the Fast & Furious movies even when there isn't one out.

Before we get to the reviews, a friendly reminder that the Oscars are old and busted.

SHE'S BEAUTIFUL WHEN SHE'S ANGRY—Megan quite liked this documentary on the women's movement. "Too often, documentaries like this go crazy for Gloria Steinem (no shade, luv u, Gloria!) and other white/straight/privileged feminists, without acknowledging, you know, INTERSECTING MODES OF OPPRESSION," she writes. "She's Beautiful When She's Angry avoids this trap, mapping out the work of women of color, queer activists, and those who wouldn't be caught dead (or wouldn't have been safe) going "undercover" as a Playboy Bunny.

ALEC GUINNESS: THE EALING COMEDIES—"Decades before swinging a lightsaber," Ned writes, "Alec Guinness appeared in a number of charming post-war comedies for Britain's Ealing Studios. These are breezy, small, winning movies, and this week, the NW Film Center shows four of the best known, all starring Guinness in lighthearted roles that are miles away from the sagacity of Obi-Wan Kenobi and the grim steadfastness of The Bridge on the River Kwai's Colonel Nicholson."

THE BOY NEXT DOOR—January is a dumping ground for shitty movies, something Courtney was reminded of this week. "The Boy Next Door isn't for everyone," she writes, "just those rare few who enjoy being insulted and watching Jennifer Lopez demean herself for the blandest of psychopaths."

We've got more reviews, as ever, in Film Shorts, and here are your Movie Times. Choose wisely.

I spent like an hour finding the best Fast & Furious video to pair with this post. You're welcome.

Tonight in Music: Summer Cannibals, La Luz, Wimps & More

Posted by Ned Lannamann on Fri, Jan 23, 2015 at 10:59 AM


SUMMER CANNIBALS, HUSTLE AND DRONE, EDNA VAZQUEZ AND NO PASSENGERS
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) See My, What a Busy Week!


LA LUZ, PROM QUEEN, IS/IS
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) These wet and soggy winter weekends make it extremely easy to fall in love with the sun-drenched sounds of Seattle surf-rock quartet La Luz. Let's take a moment to treasure the band's commitment to letting Portland share the warmth of their live show in these crucial winter months. It was just a few short weeks ago that La Luz turned the dance floor at Rotture into an indoor beach party along with Shannon and the Clams; now they're back in town to headline a show at the Doug Fir and keep the good times rolling. Tonight they're joined by another excellent Seattle band, Prom Queen, who deliver dreamy lounge pop with a cinematic flair. For their latest release, Midnight Veil, frontwoman Celene Ramadan shot videos for each track to create a full-length film that accompanies the vivid scope of the album. CHIPP TERWILLIGER


THE WOOLEN MEN, WIMPS, G. GREEN
(Bunk Bar, 1028 SE Water) If there were a need for a trio of acts—one from each state—to represent the West Coast in a garage-punk summit, the bands playing tonight at Bunk Bar would be a perfect delegation. Seattle's Wimps have the snotty attitude covered with their short, spiky odes to getting ripped on canine meds, quitting dead-end jobs, and all the fun things you can do on a couch (sleep, sex, dig for loose change). The Sacramento outfit G. Green gives off more laidback vibes, as if the narrator of Parquet Courts' "Stoned and Starving" decided to make music instead of hunting for licorice whips. And our own Woolen Men split the difference between the two approaches with each barbed lyric and jangling guitar chord. ROBERT HAM

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The Decemberists Sing YouTube Comments on Jimmy Kimmel

Posted by Wm.™ Steven Humphrey on Fri, Jan 23, 2015 at 10:29 AM

Portland hometown hotties The Decemberists dropped by Jimmy Kimmel last night to debut their latest project—no, not their new album "What a Terrible World, What a Beautiful World"—I'm talking about their super new NEW project, "Singing YouTube Comments." Here they sing incisive, classy comments from videos about pandas, Justin Bieber, the State of the Union, and boring commencement speeches. And I have to admit... IT KINDA WORKS.

Pssst! For the real stuff, check out their rendition of "Make You Better."

SL Letter of the Day: Cheater and Cheated

Posted by Dan Savage on Fri, Jan 23, 2015 at 9:55 AM

I'm a 39-year-old woman in a seven year committed relationship. Two weeks before Christmas 2014, I find out from my boyfriend's best friend that he has been fucking five different women. I was shocked and heartbroken when I found out.

When I confronted my bf, he unravels this horrible nightmare for me. During the first year of our relationship—after we discussed wanting to be exclusive—he was fucking the ex that he left for me. Sometimes it would happen every week, sometimes every month. He honestly forgets all the times he fucked his ex. At some point, he convinced me that we need to have a baby. So we buy a townhouse, we have a baby, and he is still fucking his ex. We don't want our child to be an only child, so we have another baby. Around the time our second baby is two months old, my BF meets a 25-year-old woman and starts fucking her. He falls in love with this woman, and she wanted him to leave me for her. He said no. For a year, he is fucking me, his ex, and this 25-year-old woman. The 25-year-old woman cut off contact with him, and he feels rejected so he finds a 26-year-old woman and starts fucking her every week. Meanwhile, we've been trying to have another baby and now I'm two months pregnant.

And I still love this fucking lying asshole who has been cheating on me and fucking around on me the entire time we've been together.

I feel so fucked, I feel so angry. I feel like my life with him has been a farce. But I need help with my kids. I can't imagine being single with two toddlers and another baby on the way. I am so horny lately because of raging hormones as well. I am considering giving him another chance, but I feel weak and disappointed in myself for still loving him. On the other hand, I wonder if I can manage my pregnancy and kids by myself.

Help, I really need some guidance about what if I consider having this asshole back in my life.

Mind Fucked At Christmas

My unsatisfying, unhelpful response... after the jump.

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Good Morning, News!

Posted by Denis C. Theriault on Fri, Jan 23, 2015 at 9:26 AM

Snap to, vape fiends! Multnomah County commissioners are mulling over putting some new restrictions on your e-cigarette-type flavored tobacco juice vaporizers—maybe banning them in hospitals and certain outdoor spots—out of concern over findings (like in this study from Portland State turning up evidence of formaldehyde) that the vapor's not as healthy as devotees argue.

Another shakeup at Portland City Hall might be in the offing. Switching around city council bureau assignments after almost two years might be a good way for Mayor Charlie Hales to repair frayed relationships and change a certain subject whose name rhymes with beet pee.

It's cold and flu season, right? So wash your hands more than you think you should. This probably won't happen to you. But that's what everyone says.

The morning after Martin Luther King Jr. Day, staff at Lincoln High School found a swastika painted onto a classroom door and some broken windows. Oregon. Tolerant Oregon.

LaMarcus Aldridge has died. And the Trail Blazers are being folded and will never win or play another game again.

Saudi Arabia has a new boss. State media last night announced the increasingly expected death of 90-year-old King Abdullah, who took only limited steps to modernize a country dominated by oil politics and its stewardship of two of Islam's holiest sites. His 79-year-old half-brother, King Salman, has taken the throne, and he's even less of a reformer. Salman also won't change Saudi Arabia's scorched earth tack when it comes to oil, overseeing a glut of production to drive down global prices.

The abortion bill that House Republicans tabled after protests by the women who make up less than 10 percent of the party's caucus was quietly reintroduced with some revisions and muscled through with a narrow vote.

An experimental Ebola vaccine, using a chimpanzee cold virus, which actually sounds disturbing, has been shipped to Liberia for live trials. That slight hope comes as cases overall have begun dropping.

McDonald's has had its worst year in forever.

The investigation into 12-year-old Tamir Rice's shooting by Cleveland cops has turned up, unsurprisingly, "a series of miscommunications, tactical errors and institutional failures" that "cascaded into one irreversible mistake."

France has seen more anti-Muslim attacks in January, according to one of the country's top Muslim groups, than were reported in all of 2014.

The chinbeard on King Tut's mask has broken off. Someone tried to epoxy the thing back on. It wasn't terribly successful.

It's okay if Russians starve because of Western sanctions over Ukraine, Russian propagandists say. Russians will "eat less" for Vladimir Putin.

HOLY LORD WHO IS HUNGRY NOW YOU ALL?

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Blazers vs. Celtics - Hot Live Blog Action

Posted by Rob Simonsen on Thu, Jan 22, 2015 at 6:55 PM

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Live from the Moda Center as the Portland Trail Blazers host the Boston Celtics.

So this has to be the most traffic the Wikipedia page for thumbs has seen since, well, ever.
All that’s known at this point about LaMarcus Aldridge’s thumb injury is he’s wearing a cast, he needs to undergo further testing once the swelling finally subsides, and chances are he’ll be out for at least a few weeks, possibly a lot longer depending on the severity of the injury. Ugh.

On top of Aldridge’s absence, Neil Olshey confirmed that Robin Lopez will most likely be out until the All-Star break. Portland is holding its big man rotation together with duct tape and Axe Body Spray.

If there is any good news to be had, it’s that Nicolas Batum might have stopped playing like a pumpkin. His twenty-seven points (a season-high) nearly led the Blazers back from a twenty-five point deficit in Phoenix last night. The Blazers ultimately lost to the Suns, but if it means Batum rediscovered his stroke, that loss was worth it. How do you say “regression to the mean” in French?

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Making Infrastructure Sizzle? Fritz Sells Colleagues on New Plan to Spend City Surpluses

Posted by Denis C. Theriault on Thu, Jan 22, 2015 at 3:30 PM

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  • Illustration by Jess Smart Smiley
Portland City Council's oft-ignored policies on infrastructure spending and maintenance are about to be refreshed, and with great fanfare—another sign of the weird political times we're living in almost a year after Mayor Charlie Hales and Commissioner Steve Novick embarked on a troubled campaign to raise millions in new transportation revenue.

Commissioner Amanda Fritz, backed by Hales, Novick, and Commissioner Nick Fish, has proposed a sweeping resolution (pdf) that would begin diverting millions in city funding toward infrastructure fixes as soon this summer. Fritz, taking a bold step on an issue of citywide significance that might normally be fronted by the mayor, is planning a hearing January 28. (And, no, it's not yet clear why Commissioner Dan Saltzman wasn't included...)

First, Fritz's plan would double the share of unspent city cash, after each budget year, that council's required to invest in maintenance—up to 50 percent from 25 percent. It also would, for the first time, bind how the council spends "one-time" funding available in a given budget year, also requiring 50 percent for maintenance.

Most consequentially, her plan would require her colleagues focus that newly freed-up money on just three areas: transportation, parks, and emergency management (the bureau that handles earthquake and disaster preparations). That emphasis would sunset after four years, in 2019, with the council free to determine if other needs have since become more pressing.

The whole thing would rescind a little-regarded 1988 resolution that compelled transportation staffers to continue seeking new revenue (a la the street fee) while also merely suggesting council allocate 28 percent of the city's utility license revenue on transportation. Fritz's resolution, notably, doesn't include a call to seek new sources of revenue.

“The Council must show discipline in assigning resources to the most urgent capital repair needs, particularly in being good stewards of the buildings, streets, and other infrastructure owned by the people of Portland,” Fritz says in a statement. “Fiscal responsibility, basic services, and stewardship of our infrastructure must continue to be primary drivers of all budget decisions."

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Hannibal Season 3 Trailer

Posted by Wm.™ Steven Humphrey on Thu, Jan 22, 2015 at 2:29 PM

It's pretty apparent by now that NBC has LOST THEIR DAMN MIND, passing on Tina Fey's new comedy Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, and pushing one of their most interesting and gorgeous shows, Hannibal, to the summer season. (Are they TRYING to destroy the mood?) Anyhoo, at least they're smart enough to keep Hannibal around, which I've mentioned before is the best horror show on TV... perhaps ever? Check out the moody, atmospheric gorgeousness of the Hannibal season 3 trailer.

Big Haunt at Mississippi Studios, Sun Jan 18, 2015

Posted by Nicole Knutson on Thu, Jan 22, 2015 at 2:14 PM

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All photos by Nicole Knutson.

With haunting harmonies and strong melodies, Big Haunt is eerily beautiful just like their name describes. The band includes Lars Ballard's delicate guitar parts, Lily Breshears' elegant piano, and Jeff Evans' careful percussion with all three singing, and on Sunday night at Mississippi Studios, they brought all the pieces together. Their new EP, Immolations, was released as decks of five tarot-inspired cards, with each card depicting a song in its artwork.

More photos after the jump!

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It's Happening Tonight!

Posted by Bobby Roberts on Thu, Jan 22, 2015 at 1:59 PM


READING—When it comes to being an all-around artist, nobody beats Miranda July. Filmmaker, performance artist, and app developer (!!), July is also a writer of the highest order, and her debut novel, The First Bad Man, is already the talk of the literary world. The story revolves around a woman who gives birth to a baby created solely from sexual fantasies and past experiences. Weird, touching, and funny—everything you expect from July. WM. STEVEN HUMPHREY
Powell's City of Books, 1005 W Burnside, 7:30 pm, FREE


THEATER—It's the first day of Fertile Ground, Portland's annual festival of new theatrical works, which means you'll be able to find plays, performance art, and dance all over town. For a mere $50, you can see as much new work as you can handle, running the gamut from world premieres at big-name theaters to performances in tiny art galleries. Fertile Ground is many things, but boring it ain't. MEGAN BURBANK
At various theaters and venues, starts Thurs, through Feb 1, fest pass $50 (tickets for individual shows also available), fertilegroundpdx.org

Work That Pole: My Visit to a Pole Dancing Class

Posted by Wm.™ Steven Humphrey on Thu, Jan 22, 2015 at 1:44 PM

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  • Illustration: Olivia Storm
THERE ARE LIFE SKILLS important for day-to-day existence, and there are life skills developed solely to impress and amaze those around you. The "booty clap" belongs in the second category.

When I signed up for Ecdysiast's beginner pole dancing fitness class, I figured I'd learn a few of the basic acrobatic skills practiced by the many talented members of Portland's stripper community, but I HAD NO IDEA I'd also be taught the signature move of twerkers everywhere: the booty clap. For the sadly ignorant, a booty clap (actually called "The Dorothy" by those in the know) is where the practitioner sticks her/his bottom out in a seductive manner, and "claps" the cheeks together furiously for erotic effect. (Note: I realize my description sounds somewhat less than erotic.)

Once thought of as a fitness regimen practiced solely by erotic performers, pole dancing is gaining popularity at light speed among urban professionals, performing artists (dancers, aerialists, circus folk), and of course, those looking to add a bit more "sexy" to their lives. As for me, I grow quickly bored with most workout routines, and I'm always on the lookout for a new exercising experience, especially one that tests and challenges new muscle groups. But is pole dancing a good fit for non-strippers? And especially dude non-strippers?

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Get Weird: Your 2015 Fertile Ground Festival Starts Today!

Posted by Megan Burbank on Thu, Jan 22, 2015 at 1:14 PM

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  • Overunder Arts

In this week's paper, you'll find a preview of Fertile Ground, Portland's annual festival of new theatrical works, plus dance and performance art and folk operas and workshops of plays to come. And I'd recommend taking a look at it, because Fertile Ground starts today, and the giant lineup can be daunting to wait through. You can plan out your Fertile Ground schedule here—tickets and passes are still available, although I've heard than many performances are full-up, so act now. You can even see one of our picks, down, TONIGHT! Here's the description from our round-up:

The frowny-faced emojis on overunder arts' promotional materials speak the truth: down is a play about sadness, "aimed at exploring the lived experience of depression." Down also boasts what's arguably one of the festival's most experimental stage set-ups: simultaneous video projection and live performance, with a partial barrier between performance and viewing spaces, mimicking the bell jar isolation of depression.

You can see all of our picks for Fertile Ground here, running a broad, strange gamut from fully formed world premieres with continuing runs after the festival, to delightful glitter-bombs, to at least one performance involving Goya and pigs in an art gallery. Oh! You should definitely go see some of these performances, that is, unless you like your theater dull and predictable.

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The Single Wrongest I, Anonymous in the History of the Portland Mercury

Posted by Erik Henriksen on Thu, Jan 22, 2015 at 11:29 AM

Not to get all Francine about it, but there has never been a person who is more wrong than the wrong person who wrote this week's I, Anonymous:

Hey you! Asshole in the theater who always loves to SHHHHHUUUSH me. KILL YOURSELF. I know, I know: This movie is probably the highlight of the week of your boring little life—but come on! It's a f**king PG-13 soap opera in a second-run theater. And, guess what? I PAID THE SAME AMOUNT AS YOU, which makes us equals. I'm sorry you need to hang on to every little word as if your life depends on it. But I DON'T. I go to movies to have a good time. And if my partner and I want to Mystery Science Theater the shit out of any movie we see, then WE WILL. And, your pathetic shhhush won't stop me. It's the equivalent of honking at me in traffic. Yes, you have a horn. No, I do not care. So next time, moviegoer, if you're thinking of shhhusshhing a stranger, ask yourself if it's worth it? 'Cause chances are it just might be me, and you might just end up with "PIPE THE FUCK DOWN" keyed into the side of your car!—Anonymous

This person's financial investment makes them equal to no one; this person has failed to realize that many people in Portland can't afford to see movies at first-run theaters; this person does not comprehend how motion pictures function when viewed in a public venue; this person is probably lying about having a partner; this person will talk back to a movie screen but not directly engage multiple people who have repeatedly and quietly attempted to inform this person that they're acting like a self-absorbed asshole; this person has probably never keyed anything in their life and this person probably never will. This person is wrong, and every second-run theater in Portland should ban them forever, forthwith and in perpetuity.

Tonight in Music: Mates of State, Wale, the Super Saturated Sugar Strings & More

Posted by Ned Lannamann on Thu, Jan 22, 2015 at 10:59 AM


MATES OF STATE, FICTIONIST
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) As Mates of State, the husband-and-wife pair of keyboardist Kori Gardner and drummer Jason Hammel have been twisting harmonies and countermelodies into sugarcoated pop arrangements since the late '90s. While the band hasn't released an album since 2011's Mountaintops, they should have no shortage of material to play tonight, given their sprawling catalog—with high points like the trio of songs that open the band's 2003 album, Team Boo: "Ha Ha," "Whiner's Bio," and "Fluke." Gardner and Hammel weave their voices and instruments into enough distinct parts to fill an entire album. The result ends up sounding like a couple of high-energy school children, hopped up on sugar, defiantly refusing to let recess end without taking a final stand. You're guaranteed to be humming along in no time. CHIPP TERWILLIGER


WALE, AUDIO PUSH, BIZZY CROOK, RACHEL WEST
(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) Wale was once a streetwear-clad backpack rapper with a knack for go-go beats and strong ties to the DMV (DC, Maryland, Virginia). In 2007 he was producing Justice remixes with Mark Ronson. In 2008 he became Jerry Seinfeld's favorite rapper with his theme-heavy ode to the sitcom, A Mixtape About Nothing. In 2009 he landed cosigns from the Roots and Pharrell. Heady wordplay and poetic patience were his strong suits; he was a Roc Nation rookie with a laudable rap sheet. But in 2011, when Wale jumped ship to join Rick Ross & Co. at Maybach Music Group—the powerhouse home of gangster-indulgent rhymers like Meek Mills and French Montana—heads turned. It wasn't the literary club Wale seemed destined for. Now more aware than ever of his place in the rap game, the DC native gears for a sequel, tentatively titled The Album About Nothing. He's reaching back to the crafty one-liners (and steel drums) of his come-up, reminding fans why they caught on 10 years ago. MATTHEW B. SCHONFELD


THE SUPER SATURATED SUGAR STRINGS, EZRA BELL, BEVELERS
(The Secret Society, 116 NE Russell) Anchorage, Alaska's Super Saturated Sugar Strings (say that five times fast) turned their fair share of heads during a recent opening slot for a sold-out Doug Fir show with the Builders and the Butchers. During the set, the gypsy-folk, sermon-country collective vacillated between brassy parlor hoedowns and string-peppered, bawdy ballads. As healthy injections of '20s ragtime jazz mingled with the kind of gothic folk that the Builders have explored during the last decade, the crowd, summarily, lost their shit. The SSSS's two albums saddle tight vocal harmonies on a shape-shifting catalog of songs that'll be stuck in your head for longer than you'll be comfortable admitting. RYAN J. PRADO

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A Handsome Pop Up

Posted by MJ Skegg on Thu, Jan 22, 2015 at 10:29 AM

Good news for those who have been missing Handsome Pizza’s pies since they shut the door on their North Station space—firstly, they have started commandeering the wood-fired oven at Tabor Bread's SE Hawthorne location for a series of Sunday pop ups, offering live music and the following menu:

The Di Fara (tomato sauce, parmesan, fresh and aged mozzarella, basil, olive oil)–$24
The Sweet Chris Walas (mozzarella, sweet potato, kale, salsa verde)—$26
The Julie Sabatier (cauliflower, pickled pepper, shaved onions, mozzarella)—$26
The Amy Miller (tomato sauce, house smoked ham, braised greens, parmesan)—$25

Slices are also available for $3.50. Take out will be available but they won’t be taking phone orders.

And if SE Hawthorne is too far a trek and you want your Handsome to come back north, the second piece of good news (well, a rumor) is that they have scouted a new home on NE Killingsworth; said rumor also suggests the new place will involve Tabor as well. Updates to follow… Handsome Pizza at Tabor Bread, 5051 SE Hawthorne, January 25, February 1 & 8, 5–9 pm

Check Out the Trailer for Netflix' Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

Posted by Wm.™ Steven Humphrey on Thu, Jan 22, 2015 at 10:14 AM

One of the great things about living in the multi-platform age is that when old-timey broadcast networks pass on an unusual show, sometimes it's picked up by other cable or streaming services and BAM! It's a success and everybody wins (except the idiot network). I predict this will be the case for the upcoming Netflix show debuting in March, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. A Tina Fey pilot that was given the "mehhhh... no thanks!" by NBC (idiots), Unbreakable Kimmy is about a gal (played by The Office's adorable Ellie Kemper) who is rescued after living for 15 years in an apocalypse cult bomb shelter, and is learning to adjust to life in the Big Apple. It's sprinkled with 30 Rock alumni, Ellie Kemper is goddamn ADORBS, and from the looks of this trailer, it's gonna be funny, funny, funny. CHECK IT OUT.

SL Letter of the Day: Closure

Posted by Dan Savage on Thu, Jan 22, 2015 at 9:55 AM

Originally posted on May 22, 2013.

Twenty-one-year-old female here. When we were both 14, my first boyfriend took advantage of me. I wanted to explore my sexuality, but things went further than I wanted. One day, we were kissing with him on top of me. We were both fully clothed, and he started rubbing up against me. I didn't realize he was dry-humping me until after he had to leave to clean himself up. He never asked for my permission. Once I understood what had happened, I felt violated. He'd also groped my boobs on another occasion without asking. He broke up with me a couple months later. I haven't spoken to him in seven years.

For the most part, this hasn't scarred me too much. I'm comfortable with my sexuality. However, it's very painful for me to think about what happened. I also avoid having sex with someone on top of me, because it reminds me of what happened and I start panicking. I want some closure so I can move on with my life. I don't want to report him to the police because it's not necessary—it happened so long ago. As far as I'm concerned, it wasn't rape. But I do feel like I was exploited, and it was not consensual.

I want to contact him and ask him to apologize because I feel a sincere apology would help me get over this. The problem is that he lives on the other side of the country, and I have no way of contacting him besides looking him up on Facebook. I don't think FB is the right place to talk about this, but it's not possible to talk in person. How can I get in touch with him in a way that's appropriate without having to see him?

Would've Said No

My response after the jump...

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Good Morning, News: Presented by the Doomsday Clock, WASP Nicknames, and Human-Caused Climate Change

Posted by Denis C. Theriault on Thu, Jan 22, 2015 at 9:30 AM

The Doomsday Clock—a Cold War relic that's weirdly (and sadly) retained minor relevance) has hovered at five minutes to midnight for the past three years. Everyone expects that to change today—putting us closer to annihilation. Nuclear warheads, climate change, fanaticism, our continued heartless stupidity as a species... they can all take a bow, if they'd like.

But least your aging Subaru is probably safe now? After a spike in reported Subaru thefts in Portland, cops think they've got the guy behind 'em. He was found slumped over the wheel of a Toyota that had been reported stolen.

The police bureau's new equity manager—hired to sharpen the bureau's efforts on internal diversity, rooting out bias, and community outreach—is personally familiar with the challenges at hand. Her father was the bureau's first African American sergeant, one of her brothers also retired as a sergeant, and another brother is currently serving as a lieutenant.

Someone's having too much fun with the brewing intrigue over the mysterious University of Oregon professor who made off with thousands of internal emails and apparently has until today to give them up. Or else.

Sleep easier if you hate vaccines but also went to the Rose Bowl. The Lane County man who caught measles in connection with the senseless Disneyland outbreak didn't actually go watch the Oregon Ducks play in Pasadena, as had been feared. It's still not clear whether this fellow was ever vaccinated or not.

Willard Romney and John Ellis Bush are plotting a summit to see if they can avoid a fight for the right to serve as standard-bearer for establishment Republicans in 2016. Party rules allow only one otherwise grownup candidate still using a childish WASP nickname on any given primary ballot.

Hillary Clinton would probably trounce either of them, by the way. So there's that, too.

And yet? I feel like this sudden Republican appropriation of concerns over "income inequality" and about the middle class, by men who've built their political careers saying the opposite, might prove a winning stroke.

The Republican men who run the House of Representatives, meanwhile, wasted little time reaching way past their (gerrymandering-built) mandate—abruptly dropping a bill banning all abortions after 20 weeks after what was looming as a looming vote threatened to open a party schism.

Not to be outdone by the US Senate, of course. The chamber, save for one Republican, agreed in a vote that climate change is a real thing, and not some wacky scientific, New World Order hoax. But Republicans refused to support another vote that put the blame for said climate change on human activity.

A black man who had both of his hands up while trying to get out of his car and get on the ground after a traffic stop was shot and killed two minutes after police in New Jersey approached him. The encounter, caught on video, shows officers exclaiming that Jerame Reid was reaching for a gun, with Reid exclaiming that he wasn't. Again, with his hands up.

Barrett Brown, a writer followed closely by Anonymous, is facing a prison sentence for crimes that include, his lawyers say, posting publicly available data that had previously been stolen.

THE SOW TOOK THE MEASLES. THE SOW TOOK THE MEASLES. THE SOW TOOK THE MEASLES.

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