Once again, for one evening only, the best venue to catch movers and shakers in the Portland indierock scene will be, yep, city hall.
Last July, the PDX Pop Now! festival kicked off with a free concert outside city hall featuring a couple of little known bands called Quasi and the Minders. It brought a ton of people out who otherwise might not have even known where city hall is.
This year, organizers are hoping for a repeat, with local luminaries Old Time Relijun and the Watery Graves confirmed for Wednesday, July 25. It all goes down at 5:30 pm right outside city hall, on SW 4th between Madison and Jefferson. It's a free gig, not to mention one of very few opportunities for minors to see local music.
Speaking of kids and local music! City council candidate (and Ethos Music founder) Charles Lewis made some waves last week during a press conference outside his house, where he filled potholes—and tried to poke holes in Commissioner Sam Adams' recent attempts to solicit public opinion for new ways to pay for road maintenance.
The day after Lewis held that press conference, he says, a crew from the Portland Department of Transportation (PDOT) showed up to make sure he hadn't damaged the street. An hour later, a PDOT car drove by, and sped off when he waved.
"In the eight years I've lived in this house, I've never seen a transportation vehicle on my street, but now I get two in more than an hour?" Lewis pondered, curiously.
On Friday, July 13, Lewis was the first candidate to file for the 2008 city council race under the public campaign fund, even though it's unclear if he'll be running for an open seat—or against Adams.
Even though he appears to be swinging against the incumbent, Lewis says he hopes he doesn't have to take on Adams.
"My hope is that he'll be running for a different office," Lewis says. "I'm not trying to attack him, but obviously on [transportation funding] we have a difference of opinion."
Like many other campaigns in the city, Lewis' is dependent on Mayor Tom Potter's decision about running again. No one knows how that's going to go, but here's some Windex for your crystal ball: Potter's chief of staff, Austin Raglione, has taken a month off this summer. That could mean that she's gearing up for a reelection campaign this fall—or it could mean that she knows she'll be looking for a new gig, one that doesn't have as great a vacation policy.
And still we wait.