Here's a Sneak Peek at the Stumptown Improv Fest Lineup!

Hip.Bang Courtesy the Artists

If you haven't experienced the unbridled hilarity of the annual Stumptown Improv Fest, you really have some catching up to do! It's the fourth go-around for this fest (coming at ya August 3-5) which brings in some of the best local and national improv groups to strut their stuff in Portland, and this year's line up which has just been leaked to us is killer. Check it out!

Dasariski (LA)
Hip.Bang (Vancouver, BC)
Summerland (LA)
Orange Tuxedo (LA)
Broke Gravy (PDX)
Big Bang (East Coast)
Outside Dog (LA)
The Future (PHI)
Tunnel (PDX)
The Bloody Marys (Toronto)
Curious Comedy (PDX)
Brody Theater (PDX)
The Right Now (SF/LA)
Local Ensemble (PDX)
Peachy Chicken (PDX)

From the above list, we're most excited about seeing LA's Desariski (considered to be one of the best improv groups in the nation), Vancouver, BC's Hip.Bang (an award-winning duo that's whip-smart, fast on their feet, and absurd as all get out), and the return of the beloved Orange Tuxedo (Craig and Carla Cackowski) and Summerland who both killed it at last year's fest.

There's a ton to see and love from this list (plus a couple of secret additions that haven't been announced yet), so keep an eye on the Stumptown Improv site for more announcements and when you can start snapping up those tickets!

HousingNewsCity Hall$$$

City Council Allocates $800,000 to Prop Up Portland's Public Golf Courses

The City of Portlands RedTail Golf Course
The City of Portland's RedTail Golf Course City of Portland

Amid a litany of pressing needs that face this city, it was Portland's publicly owned golf courses getting a bailout from Portland City Council this morning.

It turns out that apart from bumming everyone out, the intense winter and spring rains further dampened revenue in Portland's typically self-sustaining fund for operating five golf facilities around town. With the city's current fiscal year set to end June 30, the Golf Fund required $800,000 to finish in the black, as required by law. City Council approved a transfer from the Parks Bureau's budget as part of a routine ordinance shoring up accounts at year's end.

The optics of the move—as Portland hosts a growing homeless population and ongoing housing crisis—were plainly not lost on officials at Portland Parks and Recreation, which runs the golf program.

Parks Commissioner Amanda Fritz took time at Wednesday morning's council meeting to acknowledge the bailout, and vowed it would never be repeated—even if she had to suspend the golf program to make that happen.

"The golf fund has in the past been completely self sustaining," Fritz said. "This is the first time general fund resources have been used for the golf program and it will be the last." Fritz said she and Parks Director Mike Abbaté would be taking a detailed look at the issue, and that "all options will be on the table, up to and including suspending the golf program."

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Living A Car-Light Lifestyle? This Is The App You’ve Been Missing In Your Life.

With only 1.46 cars per person many people in Portland are looking for alternative options that help get around town. If you haven’t heard of ReachNow yet, it’s time you met the car sharing service that gives you access to over 350 BMW and MINI vehicles through an app. It’s free to join and there are no membership fees. Drive for just $0.41/min and drop your car anywhere in the Home Area for free. So, now you’ve got wheels when you need them, where to first?


Savage Love Letter of the Day: It's Okay to Share Dick Pics at Work, Just Not His Dick Pics


I'm a 36-year-old homo in a large metropolitan city with a sizable gay community. I'm out, proud and being single. I'm also on the promiscuous side. Being that I'm a slut (a label I'm not afraid of) and that it's also 2017, there exists a number of photographs of me in a number of sexual positions. My face isn't clearly visible in any of them, but some photos show more of me than others, including tattoos.

I've sent these photos out over the gay hookup apps. Now, in my mild defense, I'm 36. I remember IRC chat rooms, which predate even AOL. When I used it took more than ten minutes to attach a photo to an email. I've sent and received dick pics thousands of times in 16 years.

So imagine my surprise when I was setting up work at my restaurant—where I've been employed for only three months—and I glance over and spot a busboy showing photos I recognize to a manager. I step closer and it's very obvious to me—having seen and sent this photo for over a year—that it's my mouth with a dick in it. I watch as he scrolls and it's a photo of me in a mask (my lower jaw visible) at IML, he scrolls again and it's me with another dick in my mouth.

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"Burn the Town Down": The Albina Riots of 1967

Portland police chase a Black protester during the 1967 Irving Park riot.
Portland police chase a Black protester during the 1967 Irving Park riot. OREGON HISTORICAL SOCIETY NO. BB005805

Tensions had been building for weeks.

Portland Police, emboldened by the newly established Intelligence Division, had become a regular presence in North/Northeast’s Albina neighborhood, monitoring civil rights activity and “agitators.” Police relations with Portland’s African American community had never been positive, but in the summer of 1967, two years after the devastating Watts Riots, distrust between the police and the Black community ratcheted to new heights. In the opinion of many local residents, in particular young Blacks, Albina had come to resemble a police state.

“Where else but in Albina do cops hang around the streets and parks all day like plantation overseers?” commented one young man to an Oregonian reporter. “Just their presence antagonizes us. We feel like we’re being watched all the time.”

In North Portland, as in the rest of the country, tensions between police and the Black community were at an all-time high, and the city was primed to explode.

The summer of 1967 was racked by nationwide uprisings. The “long hot summer” saw 159 racially motivated riots across the United States, beginning in June with violent events in Atlanta, Boston, Cincinnati, Buffalo, and Tampa, followed in July with more outbreaks in Birmingham, Chicago, New York, Minneapolis, and elsewhere. The largest and most extensive riots occurred in Newark, New Jersey (26 dead, 1,500 arrests) and Detroit, Michigan (43 dead, 7,200 arrests).

By the middle of July it seemed as though Portland would escape the violence sweeping the country, but 50 years ago next month, the city’s decades-long practice of discrimination and displacement had finally reached its boiling point.

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The High Cost of Inmate Healthcare

K. Marie

In America, the often-criticized criminal justice and health care systems are deeply intertwined.

And in Multnomah County, taxpayers are now on the hook for nearly $1 million more than budgeted this year to pay for jail inmates’ trips to the hospital for care beyond what the in-house staff can provide.

“A handful of people can make a big difference,” says Joanne Fuller, director of the Multnomah County Health Department (MCHD), which oversees inmate healthcare. “Hospitals are expensive!”

Last week, the Multnomah County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously to tack $900,000 of general fund money on to MCHD’s “corrections health” budget—a necessity in order to keep the department from closing out the fiscal year in the red.

The department expects to spend about $19.3 million this year for inmate healthcare-related expenses, including $2 million to compensate local hospitals that care for its inmates. That’s roughly double the amount budgeted for so-called “outsourced” care—and the reasons have reverberations in the ongoing national healthcare debate.

“This year we’ve seen an increase in inmates going to the hospital, and inmates who don’t have Medicaid coverage or are ineligible for Medicaid requiring hospitalization,” Wendy Lear, business services director for the health department, told the county board last week. “So we’ve spent more than we anticipated in outside medical costs.”

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Japanese Breakfast's New Record Is Outer Space Electro-Pop

JAPANESE BREAKFAST Thurs 6/22 Holocene
JAPANESE BREAKFAST Thurs 6/22 Holocene Ebru Yildiz

Last year, Philadelphia-based musician Michelle Zauner released her debut LP under the moniker Japanese Breakfast: Psychopomp, nine glittering pop songs that pass like an electric storm, with blinding flashes of nostalgia, grief, and momentary joy.

In 2014 Zauner’s mother was diagnosed with cancer, so she moved home to rural Oregon. Written in the wake of her death, it’s the product of all kinds of emptiness—the void her mother left, the strangeness of returning to your hometown, the people who let you down—but Zauner processes the pain freely, and lets light poke holes through the grayness. On opening track “In Heaven” she sings, “I came here for the long haul/Now I leave here as an empty fucking hole,” but she’s surrounded by gorgeous, crystalline swirls of twinkling piano and strings. This contrast between hollow anguish and striking beauty is what makes Psychopomp so great: It’s Zauner’s self-portrait from life’s darkest moments, but even there, she finds hope.

Next month she’s releasing another Japanese Breakfast record, Soft Sounds from Another Planet. True to the name, the new album sounds like it was recorded in outer space, with heavy synth and electro-pop beats. Zauner commands its gigantic, wildly expansive tracks with grace and power—just see the “Boyish,” an orchestral ode to romantic suffering and unrequited desire. “I can’t get you off my mind,” she croons, “I can’t get you off in general/So here we are, we’re just two losers/I want you and you want something more beautiful.” It’s shocking, that this mini-masterpiece fits into just three-and-a-half minutes. But that’s Soft Sounds from Another Planet—Zauner unfolds an entire universe, and for 12 songs, we get to visit.

Win Tickets to See La Luz at Mississippi Studios Wednesday, July 5!

LA LUZ Wednesday 7/5 Mississippi Studios
LA LUZ Wednesday 7/5 Mississippi Studios Andrew Imanaka

Seattle doesn't have much in the way of waves, but the city produced one of surf rock's all-time greatest bands: La Luz, the beloved quartet known for their twangy guitar riffs and doo-wop harmonies. They released their debut LP It's Alive in 2013, and shortly thereafter were in a near-fatal van accident that heavily influenced 2015's haunting Weirdo Shrine, which was produced by garage mastermind Ty Segall. They've since moved to Los Angeles, but fear not—La Luz returns to Portland Wednesday, July 5 to play Mississippi Studios with local psychedelic cumbia band Savila. And great news! The Mercury is giving away one pair of tickets.

This Week's Best All-Ages Shows



Hemingway w/Longclaw, Phantom Family, Chain Planet Damn; American Legion Post 134, 2104 NE Alberta

Tonight Hemingway celebrates the release of their long-awaited sophomore record, You Will Never Be Happy. The new album takes a step away from the pop-punk sound first established on the local emo band’s 2014 debut, Pretend to Care, but Hemingway’s latest displays their collective growth and development. Longclaw, Phantom Family, Chain, and Planet Damn—four of Portland’s most criminally underrated underground indie bands—will come above ground to join Hemingway for the release show at Post 134, one of the few remaining all-ages venues in town. A testament to the bountiful talent in Portland’s independent music community right now, this lineup is guaranteed to satisfy.

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The Prince of Darkness Returns to Portland After Releasing 2016's Skeleton Tree

NICK CAVE AND THE BAD SEEDS Wed 6/21 Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall
NICK CAVE AND THE BAD SEEDS Wed 6/21 Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall Kerry Brown

Throughout his four-decade career as a songwriter, poet, and novelist, Nick Cave has conjured up a long litany of fictitious serial killers, thieves, madmen, demons, ghosts, and ghouls. But none of these make-believe horrors could rival the very real and unimaginable terror that visited him on July 14, 2015, when his 15-year-old son Arthur fell to his death from a cliff near Brighton, England, after experimenting with LSD.

Cave and his band had already begun recording a new album, so he was confronted with two options: abandon the record or continue working, using the exercise as an outlet for his grief. Skeleton Tree, the 16th studio album from Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, continues the bleak minimalism of 2013’s Push the Sky Away, with Cave not singing so much as intoning and lamenting over Warren Ellis & Co.’s ambient dirges. It’s as though the band stripped these songs down to the bone, and then poured bleach over the bones. The 2016 documentary One More Time with Feeling follows the album’s recording process, and shows Cave as vulnerable, doubtful, and self-conscious about everything from his hair to his motivation to continue as a performing artist.

After being worshiped for years as the Prince of Darkness, Cave reveals that he is but a mere mortal like the rest of us, susceptible to the same hurt and loss, but burdened perhaps with a greater responsibility to keep the show going, for us just as much as for himself. Because, as he says toward the end of the film, “Someone’s got to sing the stars, and someone’s got to sing the rain, and someone’s got to sing the blood, and someone’s got to sing the pain.”

A New Bill Is Pitting Recreational Growers Against Medical Growers


Two weeks ago, I wrote a column about two Oregon legislative bills: one that had just been signed into law, and another that was imminent in passage. I looked at what these bills might mean for the medical and recreational communities, both the good and the bad.

A very small portion of the readership had a very big problem with one of my conclusions, which suggested that allowing medical growers to transfer up to 20 pounds into the recreational market would upend the industry, in a bad way. My hot take led to War and Peace-length responses in the comments section, a few rather ugly insults and accusations on social media, and one angry five-minute voicemail.

Although I’m missing the gene that makes me care about being cursed at by sad trolls on Facebook, I thought I should hear more from the other side. I don’t grow or retail cannabis in Oregon, so I sought input from those who do.

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One Day at a Time: Trump and the GOP’s Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Week

DONALD TRUMP  What, is it 4 am already? Well, time to write an unhinged tweet.
DONALD TRUMP "What, is it 4 am already? Well, time to write an unhinged tweet." Pool / Getty


Greetings, loved ones! You know, as Donald Trump—who lost the popular vote by 2,864,974 votes, don’tchaknow—continues to use the Constitution as his personal wet wipe, it’s easy to forget there are other terrible people in our government also doing terrible things... say, for example, the Senate GOP. Quick history lesson: Just last month, White House mouthpiece Sean Spicer told us that when the Senate GOP finally got the chance to rejigger Obamacare, it wouldn’t be in secret. “When it was done last time,” Spicer crowed, “it was jammed down people’s throats, and look what happened.” (What happened was millions of Americans finally got the life-saving coverage they needed... but we digress.) Anyway, the GOP was going to do their health care plan differently, right? Hahahahahaaaaa... NO. According to the Washington Post, not only are Senate Republicans writing their health care revision in absolute secrecy, today they also outlawed television cameras in the hallways of the Capitol in order to avoid taking questions about their shenanigans. When asked by a reporter why it was so important at this moment to deny television cameras in the hallways, GOP Sen. Tim Scott said, “Cameras could catch the pin numbers of Senators at ATM machines.” Wow. WOW. WOW. WOW. WOW. WOW. That’s it for today, dears. Excuse us while we submerge ourselves in a bathtub filled with martinis.


Look! In the distance! Atop a dark steed and shrouded in a haze of cigarette smoke, garbled tweets, and spray-tan mist is one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse—One Day veteran Lindsay Lohan. As the newest harbinger of our impending doom, LiLo has actually landed herself (wait for it...) an actual, paying acting gig. True, that’s a real jaw dropper, but careful! You don’t want spray-tan particulates in your mouth. According to Dlisted, “Lindsay has joined the second season of the British comedy series Sick Note.” The show—which we haven’t heard of either—“stars Rupert Grint as an insurance rep who is misdiagnosed with a terminal illness and decides to hide the misdiagnosis from everyone.” So Ron Weasley and Lindsay Lohan together? We always suspected LiLo was a Horcrux. MEANWHILE... On the one-year anniversary of the tragic Pulse nightclub shootings that left 49 dead, the Trace reports that an Orlando, Florida, cemetery caretaker named Don Price is a very, very good person. “About a week after the shooting... Price worried that the services might be picketed by the fervently anti-gay members of the Westboro Baptist Church. So he acquired a parade permit from the city, which allowed him to shut down a lane of the adjacent road. For further privacy, he overlaid a dark screen over the chain-link fence that separates the road from the graves.” Then this prince of a man “decorated the barrier’s interior with rainbow and American flags.” Now that’s a master lesson in decency. “I’ve met hundreds of people connected to Pulse,” he said. “And I’ve given out a lot of hugs.” Excuse us, I think we got some of Lindsay’s spray-tan mist in our eye.

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Timbers v. Minnesota Match Preview

Craig Mitchelldyer/Portland Timbers

The Portland Timbers are in the midst of their first trip north to Minnesota for an MLS game, where they'll play Minnesota United this evening at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis (5:00 pm, TV on KPDX).

It's a game that has taken on added importance for a Timbers team that blew a second half lead and was defeated 2-1 by the Colorado Rapids over the weekend in Commerce City. With Seattle looming on Sunday back at home, Portland will want to end its road trip with a positive result.

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Top Chef Buds Mei Lin and Doug Adams Will Make You Dinner Sunday

Courtesy Doug and Mei

Portland Chef Doug Adams is between gigs: he's finished up his legendary time at Imperial, and is in the process of opening his own restaurant downtown, Bullard.

In the meantime, Adams has been popping up all over town lately, pulling grill duty at Bit House Saloon, cooking up vittles at his friend William Oben's Park Avenue Fine Wines, and planning to man the coals at a Tournant oyster social.

But hot damn if I'm not stoked to see him cooking a spontaneous Sunday Supper with fellow Top Chef Season 12 contestant (and winner) Mei Lin. The two are serving up a six course meal this Sunday at 7 pm at the former Hamlet space in the Pearl (232 NW 12th).

Tix are $125 and include a boatload of rosè. They are available here and are sure to go fast, so if you've got the means, I highly recommend picking one up.

Peep the menu and get ready to eat:


Good Morning, News: Montavilla Steps Up for Homeless, the Attorney General's New Attorney, and Calm Down About Georgia Already

GOOD MORNING, BLOGTOWN! Can I get a little closer so I can get to know you, and exchange names and thangs before the night is over. LET'S GO TO PRESS.

Here's a switch: The Montavilla Neighborhood Association is asking the city to STOP doing homeless sweeps in their area, saying they are a waste of time, money, and violate the rights of the campers.

An ex-official for the Oregon Department of Energy has admitted that he took nearly $300,000 in bribes.

Georgia's Karen Handel wins her district's special election against Democrat Jon Ossoff, and of course the Democrats, Republicans, and media are overreacting BIG TIME. Republicans in these districts are not suddenly going to say, "Oh dear, I've been wrong this entire time! I better switch party affiliation quick!" Everybody calm down, grit your teeth, and realize we didn't get into this mess overnight, and it'll take much longer to get out of it. /END RANT

Dear President Dummy—You might want to read this: The wildly unpopular GOP healthcare bill is now more wildly unpopular than ever. Oh, and read the following as well.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions has hired his own attorney. No word yet on who will be the Attorney General's attorney's attorney. You know when you type a word like "attorney" enough times, it doesn't even look like a word anymore. Attorney. Attorney. Attorney.

Even though it was known that incoming national security adviser Mike Flynn was susceptible to Russian blackmail, new CIA director Mike Pompeo continued to pump him with secrets.

The CEO of Uber, Travis Kalanick, has stepped down from his position after the company's shareholders staged a revolt.

Dashcam video of a police officer shooting Black motorist Philando Castile to death has been released, adding more furor about the decision to acquit the officer of all charges.

The directors of the Star Wars Han Solo movie have left the film due to... you guessed it... "creative differences."

Now let's look outside, in the sky, at the WEATHER: The sky tells us it's going to be a nice, sunny day with a comfortable high of 77. But a HOT weekend lies ahead!

And finally, looks like a nice day, so let's go swimming! (Pause, watches video.) On second thought, MAYBE NOT.

The Montavilla Neighborhood Association Wants City Hall to Stop Homeless Sweeps On Its Turf

Dirk VanderHart

The Montavilla Neighborhood Association says it's sick of the camp sweeps that temporarily displace members of Portland's growing homeless population, only to see them return a short while later.

So on Monday, the association's board passed what might be a first-of-its-kind resolution for a Portland neighborhood. It's asking City Hall to stop the sweeps.

"The Montavilla Neighborhood Association Board of Directors has passed a resolution opposing further sweeps of homeless camps within the Montavilla Neighborhood Boundaries," reads an announcement posted earlier today on the neighborhood association's web page. "Our Board of Directors finds these sweeps to be an ineffective waste of taxpayer dollars that may violate the constitutional and human rights of the individuals who have their camps swept. Whether or not rights are violated, the sweeps are inhumane and do not result in positive outcomes for the homeless or for adjacent housed residents as the camps almost always return days, weeks, or months later or migrate to another neighborhood becoming another neighborhood’s problem."

The resolution, passed by the MNA's board in a not-quite-unanimous vote, asks the city to cease sweeping homeless camps in the Montavilla neighborhood, which sits between Mount Tabor and interstates 84 and 205.

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