Upon arrival at Providence Park before the Timbers' marquee meeting with the Los Angeles Galaxy on Saturday afternoon, Nat Borchers' delivered a six-pack of Widmer to a Timbers fan celebrating her 21st birthday at the stadium.
It was a gesture typical of one of the most gracious, big-hearted athletes this city has ever seen. Last year, it was Borchers who embraced the story of Lynda Rose — a Timbers fan dying of cancer, whose last wish was to see her club lift MLS Cup. Thanks in large part to the center back, that wish was fulfilled.
Nat Borchers, over his entire career, has made a mockery of the thesis that there are no true role models in sports. On the field, he's played his position just about as well as it can be played. Competitive, consistent, and clean.
In 57 MLS games with the Timbers, Borchers had only been booked one time. He always marked the opposing team's most dangerous attacker on set pieces, usually holding his own despite giving up a handful of inches and more than a handful of pounds.
There was also this: In his time with the Timbers, and more broadly throughout his MLS career, Nat Borchers had never gotten hurt.Continue reading »
Organizations advocating for homeless people on the Springwater Corridor say they'll establish an "economic refugee camp" for people displaced in a planned sweep of the multi-use trail beginning August 1—and unlike a previous, similar camp, they say they'll refuse to budge if the city asks.
At a meeting of volunteer advocates and homeless this morning near a large encampment on the Springwater, Ree Kaarhus announced her organization, Boots on the Ground PDX, had identified a piece of land where tents and RVs can set up beginning July 31. The organized encampment would include security and a code of conduct that prohibits substances.
"This is going to look like a UN refugee camp," Kaarhus said. "If we can make it work, the city may open more organized camps."
Kaarhus and her allies have proven they can get efforts like this off the ground. In May, they set up a small encampment for homeless women on a vacant plot of city land in Lents. They moved on shortly after, when Mayor Charlie Hales vowed to find them a more appropriate plot of land. That promise has so far gone unfulfilled, and some of the women who were in the camp are once again facing abuse on the Springwater, advocates say.
Kaarhus is refusing to say where the plot of land is located until the camp is actually established, but she suggested this morning it wouldn't be in the Lents neighborhood, where tensions over entrenched homeless camping along the Springwater have led to outrage.
"I think Lents has been pushed to a breaking point," she said. Unlike the women's camp, Kaarhus says that the community being planned won't move because of the city's assurances. And she cautioned that the camp won't accept anyone who can't abide the rules. "If you cannot be personally responsible, please do not come to the gate."
Kaarhus's announcement came as advocates and homeless residents met to strategize how to react to the planned sweep, which Hales announced July 15. Among decisions the group made this morning: Demanding that he not carry out the sweep, and that he meet with people living off the trail. Activists with Portland Tenants United were also on hand, offering to help homeless people "stand their ground" during a sweep.
Fight Club was never a movie you wanted to grow old with. Not that it hasn’t aged well since it came out in 1999—David Fincher’s audacious filmmaking techniques are still as striking as ever, and the impact of its final-act twist can still be felt in psychological thrillers today. But through its depiction of a particular variety of adolescent-male wish fulfillment, Fight Club’s ostensible critique doubles as a revel.
It’s screening this Saturday at the Hollywood Theater to commemorate the release of a hardcover collection of Fight Club 2, a comic book sequel originally published in 10 issues by Dark Horse Comics. Written by Chuck Palahniuk—who, of course, wrote the 1996 novel Fincher’s film is based on—and illustrated by Cameron Stewart, it continues the adventures of Tyler Durden, Marla Singer, and Fight Club’s nameless narrator (here, he’s called Sebastian).Read article »
This new commercial for Mirth Provisions' brand of cannabis beverages—which slyly bear the name "Legal"—is being touted as the world's first-ever TV commercial for a weed edible. Is it? I'm inclined to take them at their word, but there's a comments section here in case you have proof otherwise.
The ad was made by a Portland ad agency called Sockeye with director James Westby (Rid of Me, The Auteur) and was filmed with quite a few recognizable Portlanders making up the crowd. (Spot yer pals!)
It's a better commercial than I was expecting, avoiding the standard stoner tropes and throwing in some inventive jokes, with the band changing the tempo of the song to mimic the beverage's effects. Most importantly, it makes me want to try some of the Washington-based tonic maker's stuff, which is available at a bunch of places around town. Is it the weekend yet?
The Bureau of Environmental Services put its 14.5-acre Terminal 1 property up for sale nearly a month ago. And due to the strictures of the city's surplus property process, it'll finally get to receive bids for the land beginning Monday.
The only problem? It appears the majority of Portland City Council wants to keep Terminal 1 around.
As first reported by the Oregonian, Housing Commissioner Dan Saltzman is ready to put forward a proposal to house hundreds of homeless people on the plot, an old Port of Portland property at NW 21st and Front consisting of a 100,000-square-foot warehouse and a crumbling dock.
Saltzman's interested enough in a proposal for a massive campus for the homeless being pushed by developers Homer Williams and Dike Dame that he reportedly plans to put something before Portland City Council early next month to enshrine Terminal 1 as the site. Saltzman's office hasn't responded to our inquiries about specifics.
News of the plan came as a surprise to Commissioner Nick Fish, who oversees BES, and put out a statement this morning saying "I have not been presented with any proposal and can’t comment on the substance of the media report until I have been briefed on the specifics...I am frankly shocked that any consideration would be given to concentrating vulnerable members of our community in an aging warehouse on the river."
Just six days removed from their biggest win of the season against the Seattle Sounders, the Portland Timbers are back in action with another marquee match at Providence Park — as the Los Angeles Galaxy make their first and only visit of 2016 to the Rose City (12:30 PM, TV on ESPN).
SportsCenter on the Road will broadcast a one-hour show from Providence Park in the buildup to the match, marking the first time that ESPN's flagship program has originated from the sight of a Major League Soccer game. After that celebration of Portland soccer, the Timbers will look to keep their foot on the gas against one of MLS' best teams.Continue reading »
PDX POP NOW!'S 2016 lineup gives us all a lot of reasons to be stoked. As usual, Portland’s premier all-ages festival is treating the audience to a handful of genres. Here are a few bands I’m excited to see, but regardless of music preference, come ready to jam—all three days are stacked with sweet tunes for everybody.
OLD GRAPE GOD
Old Grape God’s slithering, drawling vocals exist somewhere between the more traditional DJ Screw rap formula and a fresh-faced warbling style that favors rhythmic onomatopoeias. Like the heavyweights of the latter genre (Young Thug, Future), OGG uses his voice as a melodic instrument that hypnotizes. But unlike Thugger, OGG has a slam-poet-like articulation that vibes prophetic. With each unexpected pregnant pause we become further enveloped in the words of Old Grape God. Like a slowed-down, vaped-out Gil Scott-Heron equipped with a King Krule vocal range and the charismatic cadence of a hip-hop cult leader, it’s easy to drink the Old Grape God Kool-Aid. Sat 4:40 pm
For a city filled with minimalist coffee shops and rad women who don’t give a fuck, I’m shocked there aren’t more Portland bands like Lithics. Their twangy, blunt guitar playing has a clean-cut neuroticism that, paired with lead singer Aubrey Hornor’s deadpan and disassociated vocals, is uptight but still way cooler than most of us will ever hope to be. Taking a chic approach to art-punk, Hornor sounds like she could be the demure younger sister of one of the Delta 5 girls. Lithics is less angry, tidier, and more focused on simplicity than their proto-punk predecessors—but their sterile, new-new wave is intriguing. Sat 4 pm
The International Pinot Noir Celebration is now in its 30th year and has established itself as the event for lovers of Pinot. It’s spendy for sure, but then again, they are pouring some serious wines from Burgundy and Oregon, and it always sells out.
There are a number of pre-IPNC dinners which still have places available—and one of the more intriguing, and one that breaks the mold of simply plying diners with Pinot after Pinot, is being hosted by Ransom.
John Taboada (Navarre, Luce, Angel Face) is the chef, while dinner, an intimate affair with just 20 places, is being held in the home of Ransom winemaker Tad Seestedt in the Eola Hills. The wines include some Pinots, but to match the food they are focused on Iberian varietals, including Albariño, Tempranillo, Tinta Cao, and Grenache, and Ransom’s vermouths are the aperitifs.
It’s a blow-out at $120, but something of a bargain compared to the Archery Summit Vitaly Paley dinner at $250 a seat.
Ransom Wine Dinner, July 28, 7pm, ransomspirits.com, 879-5022
If you were a fan of alternative rock in the ’80s, the Replacements were a source of many delights. There was the Minneapolis-based band’s impassioned music: Fast and loose with punk and power pop tropes, it also served as a platform for frontman Paul Westerberg’s withered yet hopeful romanticism. And there were the quartet’s drug-and-alcohol-fueled antics: An infamous 1987 tour stop in Portland resulted in a torn-down chandelier and a couch pushed out the window of the Pine Street Theater.
The full story is deeper and more nuanced. But it hadn’t been meaningfully revealed until the recent publication of Bob Mehr’s Trouble Boys: The True Story of the Replacements.
Packing six years of research and over 200 interviews into 500 pages, Mehr reveals a group of young men driven to escape desperate circumstances through music, only to implode under the weight of industry expectations and their own self-aware yet self-destructive behavior.Read article »
CITY SUN EATER in the River of Light is Woods’ Graceland. This is the prolific band’s ninth album, but their first to explore East African rhythms—an odd but intriguing choice for a psych-folk group from Brooklyn. This introduction echoes Paul Simon’s incorporation of South African isicathamiya and mbaqanga on his 1986 masterpiece.
It’s an unexpected turn for the band, whose last record, 2014’s With Light and with Love, was a distillation of their most enduring qualities: meandering, kaleidoscopic riffs, bucolic melodies, and Jeremy Earl’s endearingly nasal voice. Woods’ Jarvis Taveniere tells me over the phone it was a sort of “best-of” album for the band. It wasn’t groundbreaking—in retrospect With Light and with Love was like a tune-up, a chance for them to perfect their mechanics before off-roading on City Sun Eater in the River of Light.
“For a lot of it we just wanted to go back to our earlier days, when we would just jam and have a few mics up,” he says. “We would put vocals on top of it and chop it up.”
Woods opens this newest effort with “Sun City Creeps,” a lush six-minute tableau of unease. It begins with ominous horns that loom overhead throughout the song like dark storm clouds. The band hasn’t abandoned psychedelia, but embroidered it with beats and instrumental elements inspired by Ethiopian jazz. The effect is a sinister grooviness, as Woods navigates complex interchanges between anxiety and solace.Read article »
Of the many, many horrible things we learned last night during the speech that refused to end, perhaps the most poignant was the proof that no one will ever invent a time machine. If there were to be a point in the future when someone could pull off that technology, surely they'd have come back to last night and found a way to prevent that speech, that nomination, that mythological white supremacist American Berserk from ever taking place. Alas.
There was one tiny glimmer of happiness, though: Jon Stewart combed the "I'm through with showbiz" cobwebs out of his serious man beard, and dropped in to his old colleague Stephen Colbert's show last night to do what he does best: Rail against bigoted idiots for the edification of people who agree with him in advance. But guess what: He was fucking hilarious, he was fucking right, and I was fucking grateful. No more hand-wringing, no more fear. Trump is the bastard of the century, and must be stopped. Thank you, Mr. Stewart.
Paramount didn't screen Star Trek Beyond for Portland press—which, yeah, gave me an opportunity to write more generally about why Star Trek matters, but also meant that last night, a friend and I hit the first showing of Beyond in Portland, whooping and cheering along with a crowd that was fucking delighted. As they should have been: As Star Trek movies go, Beyond is just about perfect.
Thanks to Justin Lin's nimble direction, a pitch-perfect cast, and an adventurous script from Simon Pegg and Doug Jung, Star Trek Beyond nails the fun, goofy tone of the original series—and works so well in its own right that it ends up being one of the best entries in the 50-year-old franchise. It's smart, too, touching on themes that other blockbusters don't dare engage with—asymmetrical warfare, isolationism, idealism in the face of cynicism. (In 2016, this stuff feels more than a little topical.) Lin—yet again proving to be one of the sharpest directors working today—keeps Beyond balanced between smarts and spectacle, and also, god bless him, figures out how to shoehorn in a space motorcycle. More than anything else, though, Beyond is fun: a fast-paced, heartfelt, funny blockbuster that promises a bold future for Trek. Plus, it's the first Star Trek movie that actually gives Bones something to do! Bones! Bones is the best.
Our weeklong immersion in Trump's America is coming to an end today. Thank fucking god. But before we got ready to head out of town, Oregon Public Broadcasting caught up with Sydney to talk about what she's been seeing here in Cleveland, ranging from an anti-poverty protest to the disappointing lack of lesbian Republicans.
It's grim out there. With the world seeming like it’s thiiiis close to imploding into chaos, it’s worth considering what art should do: add insight to, or distract from, humanity’s mounting troubles. When the latter impulse calls, Michel Gondry’s latest, Microbe and Gasoline, seems to step out of better times. It may not be all that monumental, but the small, eccentric tale of teenage friendship offers much-needed optimism.Read article »
This weekend, the city orbits a three-day explosion of free local music known as PDX Pop Now!, and while the white-hot genius of our music scene will no doubt draw you under the Hawthorne Bridge more than a few times, make sure to flit away every now and again so as not to miss all the quality entertainment radiating outward in concentric circles of fun, landing in places like the Southeast, having themselves the thickest of summers; Outer Southwest getting a visit from Willie Nelson; the North side balancing local love for Laura Gibson with some crazy love for Beyoncé-themed burlesque; Downtown getting goofy with a pair of Martins, going out of their minds for Darlington Nagbe and the Timbers, and everyone going where no one's gone before...inside their local theater, that is. A universe of things to do awaits you. Plot your course below.