For the past year and a half, Iris Porter has been organizing DIYinPDX, a book and CD documenting do-it-yourself culture in Portland. "I wanted to compile [it] as a sort of documentation of the inspiring people and projects in this town. I've spent a lot of time in Portland over the past 10 years, and I wanted a reminder of why [I shouldn't] take this town for granted. I wanted to share that reminder with other people in the community," says Porter.
With the amount of DIY zine and bookmakers, record labels, distros, small business owners, clothes designers, sewing circles, filmmakers, basement shows, letterpress artists, bike repair specialists, gardeners, and co-ops in this town, it's a wonder Portland needs to import anything. "Portland has been a relatively inexpensive place to live," explains Porter. "You don't have to spend every minute working or commuting to meet your basic needs. There is time for pursuing things that truly interest you. There are people in the community that share similar interests there are so many inspiring people to conspire with and learn from."
The book's contributors are a good example of that. DIYinPDX includes chapters such as "Punk Rock Economics," and articles such as "The Creative Process and Radical Potential of DIY," "Portland Center for Children's Book Arts," and "Gracie's Brunch, or How to Eat with Friends You Don't Know." Articles are mostly penned by active individuals in Portland's DIY community. Contributors include the Tiny Picture Club's Reed Harkness & Jeremy M. Sedita, Thermals/All-Girl Summer Fun Band bassist Kathy Foster, Reading Frenzy's Chloe Eudaly, and the Blackthorn Collective.
Porter herself is active in Portland DIY; she runs the Tin Can Sound record label, plays in The Culottes, and publishes excellent zines, which she often letterpresses herself. (She's currently attending Oregon College of Arts and Crafts for book arts.)
While DIYinPDX is an essential guide celebrating Portland DIY, however, Porter clarifies that "this project isn't about selling Portland to the rest of the world. It's about giving back to the community." There are more than 50 contributors, and each will receive two copies of the book (out of 1000 printed copies). Porter hopes the rest will remain in Portland.
"This project isn't about living off the land," concludes Porter. "It's more about rejecting a pre-packaged lifestyle." JULIANNE SHEPHERD
The release party for DIYinPDX will be held Fri Feb 28 at Nocturnal, 1800 E Burnside, at 8:30 pm. Cost is $4-10, and all proceeds will benefit S.C.R.A.P., a non-profit organization which "collects reuseable items from local businesses and distributes them to educators, artists, families, and kids. Amy Weiss will present her multimedia project, Eight. The evening will conclude with another Portland staple: karaoke.
Don't Pay For War!
What could be more ironic and distasteful for a law-abiding peacenik than knowing his taxes fund the very war he opposes? Probably not much. But the War Resisters League has a (mostly legal) solution: withholding a portion of your taxes.
Technically, one could hold back 50 percent of your owed taxes--the same amount the federal government devotes to the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines. But the War Resisters only asks that you hold back either $9.11 or $91.11. Send this money as a donation to the League (2000 NE 42nd, Suite 224), and in turn, they'll give the money to Voices in the Wilderness: an organization that delivers toys, food and various sundries to Iraq. Because the money is technically a donation, it's not taxable! (Also, it's unlikely the sprawling and bureaucratic cluster-fuck known as the IRS will ever audit your taxes.)
Just in time for tax season, the League is hosting a seminar to show you how to withhold your taxes as a form of civil disobedience. PHIL BUSSE
Laughing Horse Books, 3652 SE Division, 7 pm. For more info about the War Resisters call 238-0605 or check out www.axisofpeace.info. Also, after the seminar, there's a benefit DJ and beer party for the Black Cross Health Collective at Liberty Hall (311 N Ivy St., 7:30 pm, $5 donation). The BCHC are the ad hoc medics at demonstrations who wash out pepper-sprayed eyes and stitch up baton-split heads. (We may need them very soon.)
Monday Night Foosball
Say what you want about the Germans; at least they gave us foosball. Also known as "table soccer," foosball originated in 1930s Germany, and is so named because the krauts were incapable of calling "football" by its real name (soccer). They then mispronounced the name, calling it "fuss-ball," which of course led to its current pronunciation, "foosball," and ultimately the second world war.
But enough history! Popular local nightspot, DV8, is now sponsoring Monday Night Foosball Tournaments for everyone who has ever loved the game of table soccer. Here's how it works: A $10 entry fee gets you signed up, and your partner's name is pulled out of a hat (which keeps those crafty foosball sharks at bay). Teams play "a best three-out-of-five" double-elimination series, and the winning team is guaranteed at least $150 to split between themselves! Woo-hoo! That's sweet money for one night of playing foosball! (And it's almost enough to make one forget about that whole World War II thingy.) WM. Steven Humphrey
DV8, 5021 SE Powell, 772-2907, every Monday, 7 pm sign-up, $10 entry fee
Boobies and Beads
Eat a sturdy load of carbs, wear clean underwear, and call in sick, because it's Mardi Gras! Fat Tuesday evokes New Orleans' French Quarter, where the gutters run pink with hundreds of vomited Hurricanes. Where even ordinarily demure females are induced to public (and sometimes distributed on video tape) acts of exhibition in exchange for heaps of cheap plastic beads.
Depending on taste, you're either relieved or devastated at the prospect of celebrating Mardi Gras in sweet, sensible Portland. Either way, take your pick of these local events and binge on the fat of a Tuesday that used to have something to do with religion or something didn't it?
The Crystal Ballroom is delivering a wallop of festivity including performances from The Cherry Poppin' Daddies, Rubberneck, Pere Ubu (!), Menomena, The Punk Band, Higher Ground, DJs, and a marching band. As you scamper between the building's three stages, sampling all the stimulation, weighted with beads--consider the mezzanine. It's ladies only, and they didn't say nuthin', but I think we're all a little tired of our prudish reputations
The Bitter End's celebration will feature the Cajun/Zydeco dance music of the New Iberians, as well as time-honored Louisiana dishes like homemade gumbo and, naturally, beads! Visit the Gypsy Lounge for a little clown in your music, food, and dance. Their legendary annual bash also includes magicians, stilt walkers, and jugglers.
If you can't wait until Tuesday, the Kennedy School is kicking off the weekend early, with a Thursday night performance from The Black Swan Classic Jazz Band, New Orleans chow (think cornbread), drink specials, masks, and still more beads! MARJORIE SKINNER
Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside, $10-20; Bitter End, 1981 W Burnside, free; Gypsy Lounge, 625 NW 21st, $5-10; Kennedy School, 5736 NE 33rd, $7
High school girls' basketball is the most exciting sport in Portland. At these games it's not just the fans biting their nails; you will often see the girls crying when things are going poorly, or laughing gleefully when they're winning. One of the most exciting players this year is Oregon's scoring leader, Cicely Oaks, of the Grant Generals. She possesses the magical sports hero ability of becoming better when the game is on the line. She's supremely confident, but also humble. When asked who her inspirations were, she replied, "I wish I had Brittany Davis' (star of cross-town rival Jefferson H.S.) ball-handling skills." I am staking my entire reputation as a sports writer on the faith I have that the Generals will have defeated West Linn on Tuesday in the first round of the playoffs. Because that means you will have at least one more chance to see her play in a high school uniform. AARON BEAM
Southridge hosts Grant (if they win), Southridge High School, 9625 SW 125th Ave, Thurs, Feb 27, 5 pm, $6 adult/$4 student