Caleb Porter Out As Timbers Manager

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Craig Mitchelldyer/Portland Timbers

In a stunning turn of events, Paul Tenorio of Four Four Two is reporting this evening that the Portland Timbers and manager Caleb Porter have mutually agreed to part ways. An announcement is expected on Friday.

Tenorio's reporting suggested that Porter's departure was the result of a "power struggle" within the club, while Stumptown Footy is reporting that the decision was ultimately Porter's and surprised the club's front office.

Porter, who led the Timbers to their first championship in 2015, exits as the longest-tenured and most decorated manager in club history. His accomplishments include leading the club to the 2015 MLS Cup, two regular season Western Conference championships, and the 2017 Cascadia Cup.


Report: Radar, Air Traffic Control, Fighter Jets Couldn't Track "Mystery Aircraft" Flying Over Oregon Last Month

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screencap via flightradar24

Was it a drug smuggler en route to Canada? Was it a top-secret military plane? Something else? Who the fuck knows.

The Warzone's Tyler Rodgoway, an aviation wonk, has an intense story of a regionally coordinated effort last month to try to figure out what the hell a plane was doing flying through Oregon. It didn't show up on radar, and commercial airline crews could only track it, temporarily, visually. Fighter jets, which took off from Portland International Airport, couldn't find it.

"Something quite out of the ordinary occurred in the skies over Oregon on October 25th, 2017," Rogoway's story starts. "A mystery aircraft was flying in daylight hours among the steady stream of airliners that traverse from south to north, between locales in California and Nevada and cities like Portland and Seattle and beyond."

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Rotating Repertory Makes Quiara Alegría Hudes’ Work Sing

Water By The Spoonful
Water By The Spoonful David Kinder

Rotating repertory—when a theater puts on two different plays on an alternating schedule—is no joke, and Profile Theatre’s latest approach, pairing Quiara Alegría Hudes’ Water by the Spoonful and The Happiest Song Plays Last, is commendably ambitious—actors are double-cast in both plays, and there’s even a dual-purpose set.

Last February, Profile introduced us to Hudes’ Puerto Rican military family in Elliot, A Soldier’s Fugue, and their story continues in these final two installments of her play cycle. Anthony Lam reprises his role as the bubbly, boyish Elliot, a marine who’s returned from Iraq and is now seeking television work. Crystal Ann Muñoz is a new addition to the cast as Yaz, Elliot’s disciplined music professor cousin. Their incongruous dynamic is one of Hudes’ most delightful inventions, and it’s most effective in Water by the Spoonful.

If you can only make it to one play, it should be that one. It’s a Pulitzer winner and a surprisingly touching, tightly focused piece that both fleshes out Elliot’s earlier story and stands on its own. It also stars Julana Torres, one of those actors who can bring warmth and humanity to even the most complex, unlikable characters. Here she’s Odessa, a recovering drug addict who’s been clean for years and now works a menial job and moderates an online forum for fellow addicts. Hudes takes her time with Odessa, positioning her forum participants’ lives as a foil to the main storyline about Elliot and Yaz until both cohere in a way that’s both heartbreaking and narratively satisfying.

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This Weekend's Style Events

West Daily
West Daily

Creative Capital Design will host a Pre-Holiday Pop-up Shop & Sample Sale, where you can start your holiday shopping early with the likes of West Daily, Heather Treadway, Alyson Clair, Becky Ross Design, and more. You'll be sure to run into some industry folks, and wine will be on hand to help you kick off the weekend.
Creative Capital Design, 1231 NW Hoyt, Fri Nov 17, 4-8 pm

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And... if you’re shopping for the people in your life that tend toward the darker side of things, Black Sunday: Gifts and Riffs is the holiday shopping event for you. On its third year and hosted by Altar PDX co-owners Amy Fox and Cassie Morgan, this event is full of apparel, jewelry, art, and accessories from some of Portland’s greatest alternative brands, including Iron Oxide Designs, Morgaine Faye, Wolf Child, Theeth Jewelry, Rogue:Minx, VAVA Lingerie, and MANY more. This year sees a change of venue for the event to The Alibi Tiki Lounge, so instead of live music there will be karaoke afterward, which will most likely skew toward rock and metal rather than whatever annoying songs people usually sing. More info can be found here. (Full disclosure, I am employed by Altar and Cassie is a Portland Mercury contributor.)
The Alibi Tiki Lounge, Sunday Nov 19, 3-8 pm, 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.


Guess Who Could Save a Billion Dollars Under the GOP Tax Plan?

Raise your hand if youre guilty.
Raise your hand if your party's tax plan is about to hurt the middle class. Alex Wong/Getty Images

Although Donald Trump has repeatedly refused to disclose his taxes (hmm, why could that be?), NBC News commissioned an analysis of Trump's leaked 2005 tax returns and found that Trump and his heirs could stand to save over a BILLION DOLLARS if the GOP's plan to overhaul the tax system goes through. This includes over $20 million in savings just for Trump himself. Not that that is why he is pushing it or anything—I mean, just look at his public statements, like in September, when a reporter asked if Trump would benefit from this plan:

"No, I don't benefit. I don't benefit," Trump said. "In fact, very very strongly, as you see, I think there's very little benefit for people of wealth."

And then, earlier this month: "My accountant called me and said 'you're going to get killed in this bill.’”

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TV

Review Roundup: The Punisher on Netflix

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Netflix

Tonight marks the debut of the latest Marvel joint to make the jump to Netflix, The Punisher, starring Jon Bernthal as a vengeance-filled dude that loves him some punishin'! To be fair, I never enjoyed the Punisher comics, because it always played into that macho narrative about it taking yet another white dude to fix a broken system... and of course, violence is the only way. But maybe you enjoy such things! And after the Punisher's lackluster appearance in season two of Daredevil, I'm pretty surprised Netflix would think anyone is clamoring for a spinoff.. but again, maybe you enjoy such things! Season one of The Punisher debuts tonight at midnight on Netflix, and let's check in with the nation's critics to see what they thought!

From the Hollywood Reporter:

Bernthal's Punisher is a perfect character for a four- to six-hour miniseries and then maybe to occasionally weave into other parts of Netflix's Marvel Universe. Unfortunately, whether the fault lies with Marvel or Netflix, this is a partnership that violates all of Netflix's "Tell your story the way it needs to be told" rules for other shows. With the exception of The Defenders, which was always announced as a miniseries, each and every one of the Marvel/Netflix shows has been 13 episodes and they've all had comparable lags in pacing and stumbles in storytelling to reach that number. But Marvel's The Punisher is the first one that feels at least twice the length it should be.

From the New York Times:

The action picks up as the season progresses, but “The Punisher” never quite gets in touch with the visceral roots of its material, something that all of the other Netflix-Marvel series do, no matter how much they distance themselves from their comic-book sources.

From Vulture:

Bernthal’s Punisher was the best thing in season two of Daredevil, a sad and scary question mark. Putting him at the center of his own series almost immediately feels like a mistake. Frank is, to put it mildly, not a varied or exciting personality. During the first half of this series, he mostly has two modes, macho loneliness and methodical sadism. He doesn’t show new emotional colorations until fairly deep into the season, after hours of watching him putter and brood and insist that he isn’t going to get involved.

From USA Today:

Perhaps the series’ biggest problem is that it doesn’t use its relentless violence, or its story of a moody vigilante, to make any larger point. Creator Steve Lightfoot also worked on the uber-violent Hannibal, which applied a more deft hand to graphic visuals. The Punisher feints at asking bigger questions — about whether you can trust authority, how soldiers handle re-entry into the civilian population, how people deal with trauma — but never really answers them, and ultimately returns to a more conventional narrative of a haunted man violently righting wrongs.

And from Wired:

Less than two weeks ago, a mass shooting in Sutherland Springs, Texas left 26 dead and another 20 wounded. Five people were killed by a gunman in Northern California earlier this week, and the US has averaged about one mass shooting incident per day in 2017. All of which is to say, if it wasn't appropriate to promote Netflix's latest Marvel adaptation at a comic book convention because it was in the wake of a horrific incident of gun violence, is it right to release the show itself after another one? Moreover, if there are always mass shootings in America, will there ever be a suitable time to release The Punisher?

Still interested? No? Welp, here's the trailer anyway:


Tickets for the Mercury's Chili Jamboree are Close to Selling Out! Hurry, Hungry People!

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It’s jamboree time again! Chili Jamboree time, that is—when Portland’s best chefs get together and concoct their finest chili for a chance at winning the much-vaunted Chili Jamboree belt! And that’s no metaphor: the winner will take home the custom-made, one-of-a-kind Portland Mercury Chili Jamboree belt buckle, which is larger and heavier than all get out. And you get to decide who deserves it most!

This marks year five of the Chili Jamboree, and if you’ve already got your ticket in hand, you’ve got some spicy, savory, slow-cooked goodness in store. (Don’t have a ticket yet? What are you waiting for? Head to chilijampdx.com right now and get yours before they’re all gone.) Get ready to taste some of the best, most creative chili you’ve ever had, and vote for your favorite.

The Chili Jamboree is brought to you from our good friends at Nicky USA, and since no self-respecting chili cookoff would be complete without whiskey and beer, we’re also sponsored by the fine folks at Jim Beam and Rainier. We’ve also teamed up with Amberlight Cannabis House to make this year’s event extra celebratory.

Of course, every chili cookoff requires a stellar soundtrack, too, and to that end we’ve got great tunes provided by Mike Coykendall and Kory Quinn and the Quintessentials.

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Ibeyi's Songs Come Full Circle

IBEYI Thurs 11/16 Revolution Hall
IBEYI Thurs 11/16 Revolution Hall DAVID UZOCHUKWU

French-Cuban sisters Lisa-Kaindé and Naomi Díaz perform under the moniker Ibeyi, which comes from the Yoruba term for “twins.” In September the experimental duo released Ash, an excellent sophomore effort that melds folk with electronica, piano and cajón (a Peruvian percussion instrument) with Auto-Tune, and lyrics in English, Yoruba, Spanish, and French.

Ash bears witness to injustice—Naomi sings about her own experience being racially profiled by police—and tragedy, as the twins’ father, Miguel “Angá” Díaz of Buena Vista Social Club, died when they were 11, and their older sister died several years later. But it’s also full of rousing sing-along choruses and testaments to strength and rebirth, like on “Deathless,” which features saxophonist Kamasi Washington as the sisters sing, “Whatever happens, whatever happened, we are deathless.”

If you’re listening to Ibeyi for the first time, also be sure to check out their videos, which are as poetic and well-executed as the music itself. In the surreal video for “Deathless,” a miniature version of Naomi emerges from Lisa-Kaindé’s dress. On opening track “I Carried This for Years,” the twins sing over a haunting, looped sample of a Bulgarian women’s choir. By remixing the folk song, they situate the sample firmly in the present and reimagine traditional music with contemporary tools. Like ashes into dust, Ibeyi’s songs come full circle.


Plastic Cactus' Debut EP, Pricks, Sounds Sun-Drunk and Hallucinatory

PLASTIC CACTUS Tues 11/21 Mississippi Studios
PLASTIC CACTUS Tues 11/21 Mississippi Studios Clifford King

Plastic Cactus is just about as far removed from the desert as its name suggests. Brooke Metropulos (guitar/vocals), Michaela Gradstein (guitar/vocals), Bill Willson (bass), and Tyler Brown (drums) formed in Portland in 2016 and released their debut EP, Pricks, last April. Despite the group’s Pacific Northwest roots, its music is a collision of surf rock, spaghetti western soundtracks, outlaw country, and the dusty, rockabilly punk of the Gun Club. That’s well-trodden territory by now, but the wry lyrics, too-cool vocals, and tight melodies of Pricks make Plastic Cactus stand out in a sea of lesser bands.

Opening track “Pink Void” sounds dazed, sun-drunk, and hallucinatory, while funereal “Dark and Moody” and “Ghost” feature twangy guitar riffs, skittering percussion, rumbling bass lines, and the Vivian Girls-esque harmonies of Metropulos and Gradstein. The EP’s standout, “Mum’s the Word”—which was included on this year’s PDX Pop Now! compilation—kind of sounds like the Bonanza theme song at first, but its galloping guitar riff melts into psychedelic slime as they sing, “Couldn’t speak, be heard/Keep quiet, ’cause mum’s the word/Don’t say I play well for a girl.”

Pricks is a promising start for Plastic Cactus; it’s catchy, haunting, surreal, and fun. I bet they’d fit right in on bills with bigger surf bands like La Luz and Guantanamo Baywatch. Plastic Cactus is currently working on a full-length debut that’s set to come out in 2018—if they stay prickly, it could be one of the best local releases of next year.


Anna Tivel, Obsessive Storyteller

ANNA TIVEL Tues 11/21 White Eagle
ANNA TIVEL Tues 11/21 White Eagle Jeffrey Martin

Few musicians observe life with as much acuity and depth of feeling as Anna Tivel. While she performs regularly around Portland and tours as much as she can, the singer/songwriter says she’s more introverted—the perfect quality for sitting back and soaking up what’s happening around her.

“I’d much rather sit in the corner and watch people do life than join them,” Tivel says. “I go on tour taking in the world and then come home, after being really open to people, and try to process it all.”

When the dust has settled from that processing, she winds up with a batch of new songs, each one adding little details and heartrending images that speak volumes in just a few finely chosen words. Tivel’s released her latest collection of musical observations, Small Believer, earlier this year via local imprint Fluff and Gravy Records.

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Ilana Glazer and Phoebe Robinson's "Yaaas Queen Yaaas" Comedy Tour Comes to Portland

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YQY Comedy Tour
There aren’t enough column inches to accommodate all the adoring words I have for comediennes (and BFFs) Ilana Glazer and Phoebe Robinson. Glazer is the co-creator and co-star of my favorite TV comedy Broad City, and Robinson hosts two of my most-listened WNYC podcasts: 2 Dope Queens and Sooo Many White Guys. Like their separate projects, the 11-city “YQY” (“Yaaas Queen Yaaas”) tour is built around their longtime friendship and signature acronym. On the tour’s youthfully styled flyer, the two hold hands, demonstrating their now-flourishing careers have become intertwined by constant mutual support. Robinson had a cameo on the very first episode of Broad City and was a consultant for the show; Glazer is the executive producer of Sooo Many White Guys.

Portland is the tour’s second-to-last stop before a Seattle finale, and by now we know the format: The two dance onto the stage, warm up the crowd, and then flip a coin to decide who performs first. While they had no trouble selling out two nights at Revolution Hall, both comics are less known for their stand-up than their successes as comedy writers, actors, and influencers.

After Glazer and Abbi Jacobson’s sketch comedy web series Broad City got picked up by Comedy Central and renewed for five seasons, Glazer got her start in film with the Hangover-esque Rough Night. Broad City fans are no doubt well acquainted with Glazer’s hilarious portrayal of sexually liberated stoner/fierce intersectional feminist Ilana Wexler, but perhaps not as many are aware of Phoebe “I like to speak in abbrevs” Robinson, who’s written a book (You Can’t Touch My Hair: And Other Things I Still Have to Explain), and teamed up with her friend Jessica Williams (The Daily Show, The Incredible Jessica James) for the geeky, stand-up focused podcast, 2 Dope Queens.

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Justice League Review: AQUAMAN SWIMS IN JEANS??

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Before I can give Justice League a fair critical assessment, one thing must be said: For the first third of the movie, Aquaman swims in JEANS. That alone is an abomination that can never be forgiven—because I can accept an Aquaman that doesn’t have gills, or even fins... but if you expect me to accept an Aquaman that swims in jeans, you are eternally fucked in the head.

Thanks for that aside. Now, despite the previously mentioned abomination, Justice League is not all bad. However, it is mostly not good.

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Al Franken Should Step Down

Hes a smart interrogator and a potential candidate in 2020, but he also apparently a shitty dude.
I bet there's plenty of politicians in Minnesota who haven't allegedly sexually harassed a colleague. Drew Angerer / Getty

As you may have read this morning, today radio anchor Leeann Tweeden accused Sen. Al Franken of groping her in her sleep and of sticking his tongue down her throat without permission on a USO tour in 2006. He became a senator three years later.

Tweeden provides a photo as proof of the groping (or at least of the pantomime of groping—I can't tell if his hands are actually touching her flak jacket or if they're hovering, but I'm finding it hard to care. In the photo its clear he wants the viewer to think he's groping her.)

And then here comes Franken's woefully unserious and incomplete apology:

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Blazers Recap: No Magic for Orlando

Don't look now but the Blazers have won two in row. Shabazz Napier provided the unexpected spark off the bench and Portland overcame a slow start to take down Orlando, one of the better teams in the Eastern conference. Napier, who saw little playing time last season, appears to be breaking out this season. It was a career night for him, scoring 19 points on the team that traded him away for a mere $75,000 few years back. The Blazers won 99-94.

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Bruce Ely/Trailblazers.com

Now, take a close look at the hair of the Orlando player in the picture above. That's Elfrid Payton's 'do and it's the talk of the league. How does he pull it off? Is this practical? I spoke with him and his other impressively coifed teammate, Johnathan Issac, after the game, but you'll have to read on in this recap to find out what they had to say.

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New Column: Ask Aquaman!

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Greetings, surface dwellers! It is I, Aquaman—King of Atlantis and proud member of the Justice League! Drawing from my rich experience as Ruler of the Seven Seas, I am here to answer your romantic, professional, and ethical queries. Let us begin!


Dear Aquaman: How come you don’t have any superpowers?—Devin Roberts, Southwest Portland


Okay, not the kind of question I was expecting, but sure. I actually have a bunch of powers, for your information, which include being able to breathe underwater, swim REALLY good, and telepathically command sea life to obey my every whim! I’m also a very good advice columnist, so....


Dear Aquaman: Do you have gills? Are you a weird merman? Are you half fish?—Sarah DeWitt, Gresham


Obviously I do not have gills, Sarah. Obviously I have legs. Obviously I am neither a “weird merman” nor “half fish.” Again, if you have questions about your job or your love life, then I, Aquaman, will be happy to assist you.

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