In Barrett Martin's The Singing Earth, Music is the Antidote to Isolationist Politics


Of all the aggravations and outright horrors to befall the United States in the Trump administration’s first year, one of the worst is the president’s dangerous belief that American exceptionalism means cutting our country off from the rest of the world. The border wall, the travel ban, the tightening of relations with Cuba, potential cuts to programs offering cultural-exchange visas—the list goes on.

No one understands this better than percussionist Barrett Martin. Known among grunge aficionados as the former drummer of Screaming Trees and the Pearl Jam/Alice In Chains-associated dark blues group Mad Season, 50-year-old Martin has spent the better part of his adult life traveling the globe, studying the world’s cultures through music. His curiosity and adventurous spirit have taken him to the Peruvian Amazon, where he participated in an ayahuasca ceremony; to the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge; and, in 1999, to the streets of Cuba, where, as a musical ambassador for the Music Bridge program, he jammed with locals and shook hands with Fidel Castro.

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Morrissey's Kicking Off His North American Tour at the Schnitz This Halloween

Celebrate Halloween with Morrissey
Celebrate Halloween with Morrissey Ian Gavan / Stringer / Getty Images

This morning Morrissey announced that he's touring North America this fall in support of his forthcoming album, Low in High School, and the first date is at Portland's Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall on Halloween (very spooky).

I wouldn't get too excited—he's somewhat notorious for canceling concerts, and his new record's first single, "Spent the Day in Bed," is not very good. I cannot force myself to listen to it again, because doing so caused me physical pain (those wah-wah pedals gave me a raging headache in less than 10 seconds).

The lyrics are even worse. "I recommend that you stop watching the news," he sings bombastically in the chorus, "Because the news contrives to frighten you/To make you feel small and alone/To make you feel that your mind isn't your own." Instead of paying attention, Morrissey—who caught some well-deserved flack for recent anti-immigration comments—thinks we should just stay in bed. Because that will definitely make things better.

But if you'd like to be celebrate Halloween with Morrissey this year, that is an option. Tickets go on sale next Friday, September 29.

Don’t Walk Out of An Octoroon Or You’ll Miss Branden Jacobs-Jenkins' Unsettling Brilliance


If you’re not familiar with the content of Artists Repertory Theatre’s An Octoroon, the spare set and opening monologue may have you convinced you’re in for a staid solo show. That couldn’t be further from the truth.

While at times a necessarily difficult performance to watch—it’s about slavery, and the racist history of theater, and drunk white playwrights stereotyping Native Americans, and some of the most racist shit you’ll see anywhere—An Octoroon is unfailingly smart and full of deceptive humor that doesn’t seem like it should work at all, but it does. Just when you think you’ve got a read on what the play is trying to do, it punches you in the face with an image you can’t unsee. There are moments from the performance I attended that were still burnt into my memory days later, which is how you know playwright Branden Jacobs-Jenkins succeeded in his aim of addressing the potential connection between “the illusion of suffering versus actual suffering.”

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Dreamdecay's Is One of the Most Accessible Heavy Records in Years

DREAMDECAY Heavily obscured.
DREAMDECAY Heavily obscured. Courtesy of the artist

The first thing you’ll notice about Seattle punks Dreamdecay is that they are very loud.

This was fully put into perspective earlier this month, when they played the Know with bands significantly less loud than them—historically a faux pas, especially in Portland. (See Portlandia’s “Battle of the Gentle Bands,” the series’ most accurate skit!) But nobody in the audience batted an eyelash. In fact, some people were even tapping their feet.

This makes sense, sort of—Dreamdecay’s new full-length, , is one of the most accessible heavy records released in recent memory. It’s also a far cry from the band’s last LP, 2013’s N V N V N V (pronounced “envy,” I think)—a lurching, noisy slow-burn characterized by guitars that sound like diving artillery shells and etherized, inscrutable vocals. N V N V N V is a frightening record.

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If You Like Your Superheroes on Dirt Bikes—Don't Miss Marvel Universe Live!

Eat a dirt bike, lizard!
"Eat a dirt bike, lizard!" Courtesy Marvel Universe Live!

Calling all superhero geeks who also love hilarity and dirt bikes: The wholly entertaining Marvel Universe Live! Age of Heroes is back in town this weekend at the Moda Center! For the uninitiated, this is one of those kid-friendly "Disney On Ice" style productions—EXCEPT! Instead of Mickey Mouse, ice, and annoying songs that make you want to claw your eyes out, its MARVEL SUPERHEROES! FIGHTING! SOMETIMES ON DIRT BIKES!

I went last year, and thought it was an absolute hoot. Here's a clip from my review:

What I primarily loved about this show was the simultaneous reverence and irreverence for the characters. One moment the show is slavishly devoted to over-explaining minutia about the Marvel Universe, the next, Bruce Banner (the Hulk's alter-ego) is doing sick front wheel stands on a dirtbike. Now, I never knew this... but Bruce Banner is wicked awesome on a dirtbike, as is Wolverine, and when the two are racing their bikes around the stage, popping wheelies, and jumping ramps, it's like we're being exposed to a glorious (and hilarious) new world.

More than anything else though, it's a SPECTACLE. And along with appearances from the Avengers, Doctor Strange, Black Panther (!!!), and Spider-Man, this year's show will also feature your faves from the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise. So if this type of hilarity (please let it feature Groot on a dirt bike!!) is up your alley, don't miss it!

Marvel Universe Live! Age of Heroes, Moda Center, 1 Center Court, Fri Sept 22 at 7 pm, Sat Sept 23 at 11 am, 3 pm, and 7 pm, Sun Sept 24 at 1 and 5 pm, $20-95

This Weekend's Style Events

PDX Collective Sale
PDX Collective Sale

One of the most anticipated group sales, the PDX Collective Sale, is back and bringing together 11 of Portland’s top boutiques to offer major savings to customers. Participating shops include Bridge & Burn, Adorn and its adjoining shoe store Gild, Radish Underground, Ecovibe Apparel, Parts + Labour, Cosube, Mercantile, Lizard Lounge, Lille Boutique, and Perican Bing. Also, do yourself a favor and check out the event page for some ADORABLE marketing photos of designers and shop owners promoting the event with the goods they will offer at the sale.
The Cleaners at Ace Hotel, 403 SW 10th, Sat Sept 23, 10 am-5 pm, Sun Sept 24, 11 am-5 pm

Paula Marineau, a seamstress and fabric artist that has created one-of-kind coats and bags, is selling off a massive collection of fabric, notions, and machines from her home studio in SW Portland. Over 1,000 cuts of fabric will be for sale, primarily fashion fabric including wools, silks, cottons, and knits. To see a selection of what will be offered pop on over to her Instagram here.
4120 SW 83rd, Fri Sept 22, 9 am- 4 pm, Sat Sept 23, 9 am- 4 pm, Sun Sept 24, 12- 4 pm

Knock Out
Knock Out Beth Olson Creative

Knock Out: A Plus Size Pop- Up and Fashion Show will return for its second year and feature designers and vendors from five states that make and sell clothing specifically for plus- size women and men. The show is produced by Copper Union designer Claire Doody, who for just the few years she’s been part of the Portland fashion scene has really made a mark. “It is really important to me to bring people together in our great community with brands they can normally only shop online,” she said, “It is also creating a safe space for discussion about body politics in the role that modern fashion plays in it.” Other designers include Allihalla, Bombsheller, Chubby Cartwheels, Hubris, Proud Mary, and Re/ Dress. Vendors include Make Good Choices, Copperhive Vintage, TomboyX, Fat Fancy, Archive Six, and Jes Baker. Rounding out the event will be guest speaker Anna OBrien, a plus- size Instagram influencer and fashion blogger.
Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell, Sun Sept 24, 11 am- 3 pm, $15- $20, 21+

As always, be sure to visit our fashion calendar to keep up to date on all things fashion event related here. Got a fashion event? Drop us a line here.

Go Inside the Malheur Refuge Takeover with No Man's Land


For residents of Oregon, the 2016 Malheur Refuge takeover by so-called patriot militants was a torturous affair that played out in slow motion. Lasting 41 days, the occupation made media stars of Ammon and Ryan Bundy and a martyr of Robert “LaVoy” Finicum, who was shot and killed by authorities. And while we heard occasional soundbites from the primary players about how their grazing land was being stolen by the government, little was known about what went on inside the refuge—until David Byars’ fly-on-the-wall documentary No Man’s Land.

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Timbers v. Orlando City Match Preview

Portland Timbers

For the first time in more than a month, the Portland Timbers will return home on Sunday to — with an assist from new goalkeeping signing Derrick Tellez — take on Orlando City SC (5:00 p.m., TV on FOX Sports 1).

With four games to go in the season — and three of those games at home — Portland sits just one point off of the Western Conference lead. Coming off of a hugely successful road-trip, facing an Orlando team all-but-eliminated from postseason contention, the Timbers should be licking their chops.

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Good Morning, News: The Arts Tax Survives, I-84 Nears Opening, and 'Melo to Portland?!

Getty Images

ICYMI, the arts tax is legal. That's the ruling from the Oregon Supreme Court, which yesterday agreed with the decisions of two lower courts that the $35 yearly fee is not an unconstitutional "head tax." So everyone's favorite tax to gripe about is here to stay, but as we report this week, it's still got problems.

Hey!!!! Is Portland getting a Major League Baseball team?! No. Almost certainly no.

BETTER SPORTING NEWS: There's apparently a real chance Carmelo Anthony might wind up on the Trail Blazers. This would be huge.

Sorry, PDX-philes. Our dear airport isn't top of the heap any longer. According to a new JD Power survey, it's been unseated by such unworthies as Dallas, Nashville, and *gulp* Orange County.

You ever wonder how Oregon became one of just two states to allow non-unanimous verdicts in felony cases? With a heaping helping of antisemitism and xenophobia! The O lays out the case that started it all, as the US Supreme Court decides whether to take up a challenge to the practice.

You should watch this Oregonian interview with the Washington County employee who was blatantly profiled by ICE:

I-84 Eastbound might re-open from Hood River to Troutdale this weekend! First workers have to clear out a BUNCH of trees.

Squabbling continues between the North Portland homeless camp Hazelnut Grove and the Overlook Neighborhood Association (which, remember, recently went so far as to attempt to prevent homeless people from participating at its meetings). Interestingly: Hazelnut Grove just got a resident installed on the neighborhood association's board.

So Tom Price, Trump's health and human services secretary, has burned through more than $300,000 being whisked by charter jet from place to place. Bad form. Politico reports: "Price’s use of private jets represents a sharp departure from his two immediate predecessors, Sylvia Mathews Burwell and Kathleen Sebelius, who flew commercially in the continental United States."

Today in Useless Endeavors: Trump is going to try to get North Korea to listen to reason by further expanding sanctions on the country.

Aaaaand Kim Jong Un is serving up some snappy retorts. "Dotard."

If you haven't primed yourself on the havoc that might be caused by the latest Obamacare "replacement" proposal—which would mean far, far less federal money to Oregon—read up on the Graham-Cassidy bill now. Republicans are trying to get a vote by September 30. “This is by far the most radical of any of the Republican health care bills that have been debated this year."

ALSO: Facebook is going to show a Congressional committee more than 3,000 ads linked to Russian propaganda operations that it ran in the run up to last year's election. " Facebook had previously shown Congressional staffers a sample of the ads — some of which attacked Hillary Clinton or praised Donald J. Trump — but had not shared the entire collection," the NYT reports.

An autumnal weekend ahead.


The Author of "It's Decorative Gourd Season, Motherfuckers" Does Not Get Residuals But He Did Get a Mug

Get ready to decorate, motherfuckers.
Get ready to decorate, motherfuckers. Oli Scarff/Getty Images

I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait to get my hands on some fucking gourds and arrange them in a horn-shaped basket on my dining room table. That shit is going to look so seasonal. I’m about to head up to the attic right now to find that wicker fucker, dust it off, and jam it with an insanely ornate assortment of shellacked vegetables. When my guests come over it’s gonna be like, BLAMMO! Check out my shellacked decorative vegetables, assholes. Guess what season it is—fucking fall. There’s a nip in the air and my house is full of mutant fucking squash.

Thus begins the infamous ode to fall, "It's Decorative Gourd Season, Motherfuckers," a 2009 McSweeney's piece that makes the rounds like clockwork every fall. To mark the beginning of this year's decorative gourd season, we bring you this Q&A with Colin Nissan, the author of the piece.

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Comedy Has a Diversity Problem. Take My Wife’s Cameron Esposito and Rhea Butcher Know How to Fix It


In a sea of white-guy-does-stand-up shows, Rhea Butcher and Cameron Esposito’s SeeSo series Take My Wife has been a welcome deviation—and the best depiction of gender in comedy I’ve ever seen. For the comedy power couple, that’s by design.

“Rhea and I had the chance to design our show so that it reflects our real life,” says Esposito. “Because we were writing a show that centered on two characters who were both women and both queer, we felt that there was enough diversity between just different women’s experiences.”

So Butcher and Esposito, who perform together at Revolution Hall this week, committed to filling their writers’ room with women—only women. In season two, 43 percent of those writers were also women of color.

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Disaster Relief Events This Weekend in RESISTANCE & SOLIDARITY


In the face of natural (and teenmade) disasters around the globe, these good citizens are coming together to host a variety of benefits over the weekend. From rebuilding efforts in light of the Eagle Creek fire, to the recent catastrophic earthquakes in Mexico and Hurricanes Maria, Irma, and Harvey, there are ways to give back to all causes. Plus, if you can’t show up IRL, you can pick from any of the vetted organizations to donate to.

Benefit Concert featuring Year of the Coyote, Hair Puller, Law Boss, and Diaspora
Headbang to the sounds of crusty hardcore and sludgy metal at this show in support of the victims and survivors of the 7.1 earthquake that shook Mexico earlier this week. Funds will be collected and distributed to Topos México and as an added bonus, the law office of Steve Seal (who drums in Hair Puller) will be matching all donations up to $500. Twilight Café and Bar, 1420 SE Powell, 9 pm–12 am, $7 suggested donation

Hurricane Maria Puerto Rico Donation Drive
Two local boricuas have teamed up to deliver supplies to the Caribbean in light of the tragic hurricanes that have left many of the islands destroyed and without power. A small fund will be set up to cover the shipping costs. Items needed include: first aid kids, canned food and non-perishable goods, toothpaste, deodorant, soap, clean clothing and shoes in good/new condition, blankets, candles, solar chargers, flashlights, and batteries. Broad Space, 425 SE 3rd, 11 am–6 pm, FREE


Hurricane Maria Puerto Rico Donation Drive
Two local boricuas have teamed up to deliver supplies to the Caribbean in light of the tragic hurricanes that have left many of the islands destroyed and without power. A small fund will be set up to cover the shipping costs. Items needed include: first aid kids, canned food and non-perishable goods, toothpaste, deodorant, soap, clean clothing and shoes in good/new condition, blankets, candles, solar chargers, flashlights, and batteries. Broad Space, 425 SE 3rd, 11 am–6 pm, FREE

Ninkasi Showcase/Firefighter Fundraiser
For every keg sold in Portland and surrounding areas during the month of September, Ninkasi Brewing is donating $5 of all sales to the Portland Fighterfighters Association (PFFA) charitable fund. The local 43 chapter has been instrumental in aiding during the Eagle Creek fire alongside other groups of firefighters and they’ll be using donations to support a coat drive, the PFFA fallen firefighters memorial platoon, and the PFFA pipes and drums band. While you can enjoy pints at any location that sells ‘em, Loyal Legion has purchased several Ninkasi beers for their tap and have invited folks to sample a taster tray at special prices. Loyal Legion, 70 SE 6th, 12 pm–12 am, FREE

Mississippi Ave Supports the Columbia River Gorge
You can shop, eat, and drink all along Mississippi Avenue in support of restoration efforts along the Columbia River Gorge. A portion of all sales on 9/25 will be donated to the Friends of the Columbia Gorge from the following businesses: Another Read Through, Beacon Sound, Black Wagon, Crow Bar, Ecliptic Brewing, Flex & Flow, Flutter, Gravy, Gumbo Gifts & Gallery, Gypsy Chic, The Herbe Shoppe, Interurban, Miss Delta, Mississippi Pizza Pub, Moloko, Paxton Gate, PDXchange, Pistils Nursery, ¿Por Que No?, Prost!, Radar Restaurant, The Rambler, ReBuilding Center, Samurai Blue, She Bop, Sunlan Lighting, Spin Laundry Lounge, Stash Tea, Stormbreaker Brewing, Trailhead Credit Union, Uchu, Verde Cocina, and Widmer Brothers Brewing. As No Bones Beach Club is closed Mondays, you can visit them on Tuesday 9/26 instead. Historic Mississippi District, N Mississippi, all day, FREE

The Spoiler Boys present Save the Last Dance for Me
Say goodbye to “Portland’s favorite good boy,” Sean Pierce, at this bon voyage that doubles as a benefit. The Spoiler Boys DJ crew will be spinning tunes and collecting donations to be distributed evenly amongst DACA protection funds and relief efforts for Oaxaca and Chiapas earthquakes, Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, and the Columbia Gorge wildfire. Beech St Parlor, 412 NE Beech, 9pm-2 am, FREE

• Brigada de Rescate Topos (via Paypal at
Catholic Charities
Dominica-American Relief & Development Association
Dominica Hurricane Relief
Friends of the Columbia Gorge
Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund
Maria & Irma Puerto Rico Recovery Fund
Portlight Inclusive Disaster Strategies
Puerto Rico Hurricane Relief
Trans Disaster Relief Fund for Hurricane Harvey
UNICEF Disaster Relief
Unidos por Puerto Rico
United Way (Fondo Unido Mexico)

For even more events see the Mercury's RESISTANCE & SOLIDARITY calendar.

Portland's Almost Certainly Not Getting an MLB Team, But Let's Speculate Anyway


It's time to bump up the likelihood that Portland will be home to a Major League Baseball team in the future from .0001 percent to .001 percent. Things are looking up!

"Portland would be on a list" said MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred on Wednesday at a press conference in Seattle, answering questions about potential cities that could get a franchise if the league somehow decided to expand from 30 to 32 teams. "Yeah, I think Portland's a possibility. We would need, if we were going to go to 32, we'd need a western time zone team. We'd need at least one more."

KGW is excited about this.

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Television Plays Portland for the First Time Since 1978

TELEVISION Sun 9/24 Aladdin Theater
TELEVISION Sun 9/24 Aladdin Theater High Road Touring

It’s mostly happenstance that Television got called a punk band, but while they were scene figureheads during the punk explosion in downtown Manhattan in the mid- to late ’70s, the music made by the virtuosic, jam-heavy quartet is even farther from the punk genre than that of their peers Blondie and Talking Heads. Television did share some roots with American punk, though, when guitarist Tom Verlaine, bassist Richard Hell, and drummer Billy Ficca first started as the Neon Boys in 1972. Hell departed, along with most of the band’s punk DNA, and newly added bassist Fred Smith and guitarist Richard Lloyd turned the renamed Television into an ambitious, interlocking machine centered on Verlaine’s lyrics, which were influenced by the Decadent and Symbolism movements (born Thomas Miller, Verlaine took his stage name from the 19th-century French poet).

Two remarkable albums followed—1977’s astonishing-to-this-day Marquee Moon, one of the best albums ever recorded by an American rock band, and 1978’s Adventure, a more than worthy effort that nevertheless falls in Marquee Moon’s impressive shadow. Songs like “See No Evil” and “Venus” are tightly constructed works that demonstrate the power of precisely composed lines of melody and counterpoint when transposed to a snarling rock format; the interplay of Lloyd and Verlaine’s guitars rarely lapses into slab-handed riffing but instead deliberately functions like a supercharged game of tennis. Ideas are shuttled back and forth, notes are cracked across the net, and fluid guitar runs move at varying velocities between the two.

And then there’s “Marquee Moon.” The epic title track from their tour de force debut is a total paradox—an indulgent, excessive meander through horror-movie imagery and stream-of-consciousness navel-gazing with multiple guitar solos that nevertheless is a breathtaking, edge-of-your-seat thriller, hooking you deeper and deeper with each one of its 10 crucial minutes. Television broke up in 1978, but have reunited intermittently in the ensuing decades; this visit to Portland—which, according to the internet, is their first since playing the Earth Tavern in 1978—sees guitarist Jimmy Rip (of Paul Collins and the Beat) taking Lloyd’s spot. With rumors of new songs and “Marquee Moon” all but guaranteed in the setlist, this is an unmissable event.


Savage Love Letter of the Day: Always the Rando, Never the Boyfriend


I am a 27-year-old gay male living in Seattle. I have been in the hookup scene basically since I was 18 years old. At that time I was hooking up with multiple partners never using a condom. In the year 2016 I decided to keep track of the number of different sexual partners I had, that number at the end of 2016 was 172 different sexual partners only using a condom once or twice. I contacted Gonorrhea and Chlamydia during that time. I used various sources to hook up, Grindr, Scruff, and BBRTS, BBRTS is a website that is for gay men that like BB sex. This year I decided not to keep track and found another website called Sniffies that is also for more of the public scene, however most men on there don’t use condoms.

I am HIV- and been on Prep since March 2016 and I got in every three months to make sure that my kidney and liver functions are all okay and since I am there I get tested for everything else. I just recently tested positive for Chlamydia and gonorrhea again and I find myself sick to my stomach with it all. I take full responsibility for my actions but I just don’t know why I am constantly having multiple partners, and using my extra time all on these hookup apps. I feel like I am broken, I want a bf—never had one and never even been close, the only thing I am apparently good at is hooking up.

Please tell me what I should do or what I can do to make myself feel less broken? Is there something wrong with me? I would love some advice on this. Please.

Sick Of Losing Out

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