Mercury Music Series presents Blossom!

Rejoice! America's Sexiest Film Fest HUMP! Starts This Saturday!

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You are in desperate need of sexy fun... and help is on the way! The brand new 2021 edition of HUMP!—America's sweetest li'l porn fest—debuts THIS SATURDAY, Jan 30!

As you undoubtedly know, HUMP! is the annual film festival where sexy amateur filmmakers share their lustiest five-minute dirty movies with the world. This delightfully sex-positive fest features all sorts of horny fun, including hardcore, softcore, live action, stop action, animated, musical, kinky, vanilla, straight, gay, lez, bi, trans, and genderqueer flicks that are guaranteed to have you squirming in glee!

This year's festival will start online (though could move to theaters later, pandemic willing) and will run from this Saturday, January 30 to March 6 with screenings suitable for all time zones (including Australia and Europe/West Africa)!

OH, BUT IT GETS BETTER! Because along with regular screenings, you can also choose a viewing party with lots of extra entertainment value, such as...

Watch opening night with Dan Savage!
Watch live with other HUMP fans!
Watch with drag dolls Betty Wetter & Cookie Couture!
Watch with HUMP filmmakers and performers!
• and an... ALL NUDE VIEWING PARTY(!!)(??)(!!) Yes, yes, a thousand times YES!

WANT A TASTE OF WHAT YOU'LL SEE AT THIS YEAR'S HUMP? Check out the sexy, NSFW trailer!

2021 HUMP! Trailer from Index Media on Vimeo.

Yum. SO WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR? Get your tickets for HUMP! 2021 now and here starting this Saturday, January 30! (After the 2020 we've had? You need this!)


Weed Streams: A List of My Fave Shows to Watch While High

Danger 5
Danger 5 SBS

[The following article is from our "High-Brr-Nation Cannabis Guide" which is packed with fun, interesting stories about surviving the winter with weed. Check 'em out here!—eds.]

While I am a person of varied tastes, especially when it comes to movies and TV, when I’m rolling on weed, these same tastes become much more particular. I tend to enjoy shows and docs that are either smart (but not too smart), fun (but not abundantly clever), or a bit weird (but not wildly weird like that piece of junk Yellow Submarine—I’M NOT ON ACID, OKAY?). In any case, here are a few of my fave streams to watch while high—which may or may not include Bridgerton… I’ll decide that later.

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Danger 5


Some people LOVE trippy comedy like The Eric Andre Show, Aqua Teen Hunger Force, and anything with Tim & Eric, but honestly? That stuff makes my head hurt. But I do like a moderate amount of weird/clever, and the 2012 Australian comedy Danger 5 hits all my mental sweet spots. A rich parody of the marionette adventure show Thunderbirds (ooh… I should add this to my list!) and spy flicks of the ‘60s, Danger 5 is a live-action comedy about a super team of adventurers who tackle various assignments during World War II, which always includes killing Hitler, who barely escapes at the end of each episode—usually by diving out of a window. They also fight various jerks of the Third Reich, whose plots to take over the world include Nazi dinosaurs, Japanese robot pilots, and… the kidnapping of the Statue of Liberty?? Bastards!! (Anyway, this show is very funny.)


Streaming on Amazon Prime and Tubi

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Good Morning, News: Tragic Hit and Run in SE Portland, Deciding Which Oregonians Get the Vaccine Next, and Shit's Getting Weird at McMenamin's

We need your help. The economic fallout of the coronavirus crisis is threatening our ability to keep producing the quality reporting you've come to love. If you’re able, please consider making a monthly contribution to the Mercury.

Mayor Ted Wheeler, shortly after being tear gassed in July.
Mayor Ted Wheeler, shortly after being tear gassed in July. MATHIEU LEWIS-ROLLAND

Good morning, Portland! And welcome to another viciously weird Portland news cycle—but first, let's get baked:

• Okay, so... it appears that Mayor Ted Wheeler... pepper sprayed a guy outside a McMenamin's in Southwest Portland?? According to a police report, the spraying occurred after the unknown person approached Wheeler unmasked and heckled him about eating in a tent outside the restaurant during the COVID-19 pandemic. Oh, and former Portland mayor Sam Adams was there!

• In less fascinating but nonetheless consequential Portland mayor news, Wheeler also announced the appointment of a new chief of staff yesterday.

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The Best Things To Do from Home This Week: COVID-Safe Portland Events for January 25–31, 2021

Got your tickets for Dan Savages HUMP! yet? This years virtual edition of the sexy festival starts Saturday!
Got your tickets for Dan Savage's HUMP! yet? This year's virtual edition of the sexy festival starts Saturday!

EverOut is The Mercury's new website devoted to things to do in Portland and across the Pacific Northwest. It has all the same things you're used to seeing from Mercury EverOut, just in a new spot!

If your quarantine routine is getting stale, see below for our picks for virtual events this week, from the kickoff of the Fertile Ground Festival to a conversation with Circe author Madeline Miller, and from HUMP! to the first edition of the Mercury Music Series. Plus, check out our StreamLocal events hub, and stay tuned for a roundup of the best socially distanced things to do this weekend. 

MONDAY
FILM
Collide-O-Scope: Morning in America
The trippy video series Collide-O-Scope will provide a much-needed jolt to your Monday routine with their "deliriously free-wheelin' phantasia of ephemeral footage fun."

Read on EverOut »


Good Afternoon, News: Mayor Pepper Sprays Critic, Another Busy Biden Day, and Did Anybody Here Order an Article of Impeachment?

House delivers article of impeachment for second time (so they should know their way by now).
House delivers article of impeachment for second time (so they should know their way by now). Pool / Getty Images

Here's your daily roundup of all the latest local and national news. (Like our coverage? Please consider making a recurring contribution to the Mercury to keep it comin'!)

• The inspector general for the Justice Department is launching an investigation into top DOJ officials to ascertain whether they made any attempts to overturn the election for their dark lord and master Donald Trump (and it appears they almost certainly did).

• Meanwhile, as the article of impeachment makes its slooooow walk from the House to the Senate, it was announced that their longest-serving Democrat, Sen. Patrick Leahy, will preside over the trial instead of Chief Justice Roberts (who would've been in charge had Trump still been in office).

• Busy Bee Biden has had another very busy day kicking ass and taking names that includes (but is not limited to) the following: Pushing to get Harriet Tubman on the $20 bill! (A full-throated "fuck you" to Trump.) Overturning the military's transgender ban! (Again... eff YOU, Trump!) Signed a "Buy American" executive order! (A much better plan than fucking Trump's.) Replaces Trump's shady doc with a new White House physician! (No shade here... fuck you, Trump!) Replaced Trump's ZERO White House pets with two very good boys, Champ & Major! (Awww... super cute. Also Trump can go fuck himself.)

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Mayor Wheeler Pepper Sprays a Member of the Public During a Confrontation

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Mathieu Lewis-Rolland

Mayor Ted Wheeler used pepper spray on a member of the public who confronted him while out to dinner Sunday evening.

According to a police report, Wheeler was leaving the Hillsdale McMenamins with former mayor Sam Adams—the latest hire to Wheeler's team—when he was allegedly confronted by a middle-aged white man.

In the report given to a Portland Police Bureau (PPB) officer, Wheeler described being stopped by the unfamiliar man after leaving the restaurant around 8 pm. Wheeler said the man was filming him and accused him of violating COVID-19 restrictions by taking his mask off while seated at an outdoor tented restaurant table.

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Mayor Wheeler Appoints Economic Development Veteran Bobby Lee as Chief of Staff

Bobby Lee
Bobby Lee Prosper Portland

Mayor Ted Wheeler has selected Bobby Lee, a recent Prosper Portland director, to serve as his newest chief of staff.

Lee currently heads Seattle's Office of Economic Development, a department that oversees local development projects and small business loans—Seattle's Prosper Portland equivalent. He's served in this position since 2019.

Prior to taking the job in Seattle, Lee worked as the director of economic development for Prosper Portland. According to Wheeler's office, Lee was involved in rolling out "Portland Means Progress," an initiative to make the local economy more equitable.

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Cannabis: The Unsung Hero of the Lockdown

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VLADYSLAV DANILIN / GETTY IMAGES

[The following article is from our "High-Brr-Nation Cannabis Guide" which is packed with fun, interesting stories about surviving the winter with weed. Check 'em out here!—eds.]

This pandemic has taught us at least three things:

• Teachers deserve twice what we pay them.


• Americans have, at best, a rudimentary understanding of how to properly wash their hands.


• Oregonians found the lockdown to be far more bearable with the addition of cannabis. TONS of cannabis, literally.

It also may have served as a tipping point in legalization, gaining support for both its ability to relax and soothe the savage homebound beast, while raising revenue for programs that help those with addiction issues, many of whom found their challenges exacerbated by the virus.


Pacific Wonderlandians have always enjoyed their weed. We were the first to decriminalize small amounts back in 1973, legalized medical cannabis in 1998, and passed recreational cannabis in 2014. The sales from that program grew modestly, until March of 2020.


That’s when Governor Brown announced that Oregonians needed to keep their damn asses at home. Faced with the numerous challenges of doing so, people began purchasing cannabis in earnest, the process of which was eased by a loosening of rules to allow curbside pick up and numerous dispensaries offering delivery.


In March 2020, regulated cannabis sales jumped 20 percent. In April 2020, those sales increased to $89 million, a 45 percent increase from April 2019. May 2020 gave us the first month of sales ever to top $100 million, which continued throughout the summer, hitting a record high of $106 million in July. 2020 recreational cannabis sales were up 38 percent to more than $1 billion, up from $795 million in 2019, and the first time the state sold that much cannabis in a year. Way to toke up, team.

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This Thursday: Don't Miss the Debut of the Mercury Music Series Featuring BLOSSOM!

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To say that Portlanders are severely missing live music opportunities is quite an understatement. It majorly sucks to not be able to safely gather with friends, celebrate, and imbibe while experiencing an artist in one of Portland’s unique live settings. Though one thing to be grateful for during this time is that we have technology to keep us connected and entertained—particularly video streaming capabilities! Which brings me to an exciting announcement:

Introducing the Mercury Music Series, DEBUTING THIS THURSDAY, JAN 28—a new virtual streaming showcase featuring locally-based artists, providing a rare chance to experience live performance (in some form) during the continuing pandemic. The series, curated by yours truly, will also provide our featured Portland-based artists an opportunity to earn cash from performing, while simultaneously raising much needed funds for the Mercury. And because we know that times are tough, ticket prices are available on a sliding scale. Through your support, the Merc hopes to continue producing this series until live venues are able to open again, while also supporting artists during this difficult time. (Psst: If you’re a locally-based artist interested in performing in a future installment of the Mercury Music Series, please let us know by emailing music@portlandmercury.com.)

We're excited to announce that our first edition of the Mercury Music Series features the illustrious singer/songwriter from Trinidad and Tobago, Blossom (AKA Keisha Chiddick).

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Cocktail To-Go Club: Let’s Raise a Glass to Democracy!

Deceptively cute stubby mason jars contain a strong cocktail with a message—Let Freedom Ring!
Deceptively cute stubby mason jars contain a strong cocktail with a message—Let Freedom Ring! Janey Wong

Listen, I’m a sucker for themed food and drinks, so when I saw that the following bars were slangin’ some Inauguration Day specials, I was in faster than you can say Biden. I can’t think of a more delicious way to mark the departure of a fascist than with some celebratory adult bevvies. Unfortunately for you, dear reader, these specials were available for one-day only, but fear not… these notable date night spots (remember when those were a thing?) are having fun flexing their creative chops and have more in the works.

Noble Rot


Noble Rot went all in on the presidential theme, creating two prix fixe meal kits aptly called “The Joe” and “The Kamala.” Cooking instruction sheets were provided in the kits and included some fun inauguration trivia and playlists to occupy downtime while the food heated up in the oven.

“Joe doesn’t have a wild palette per se, he’s really into Italian food. And it’s pretty well-known that Kamala loves to cook. So we thought it’d be fun to do one of her classics, roasted chicken… and then we picked the sides based on one of her favorite cookbooks that she’s talked about—The Art of Simple Food,” said bartender Allison Smith.

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High-Brr-Nation Cannabis Guide 2021: Hunker Down and Stay Sane This Winter with Weed

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Welcome to your winter quarantine! While the cold and rainy drenches (along with stay-at-home orders) are keeping us inside, there's no reason to go off the deep end. As it turns out, we humans are remarkably resilient and great at thinking of new, creative ways to stay in a positive head-space... especially when cannabis is around!


Hence we bring you the Mercury's "High-Brr-Nation Cannabis Guide" which is chock-full of stories about creative (high) people doing creative (high) things to keep their shit together during this verrrrry challenging time.


Included in our "High-Brr-Nation Guide" is a report about how cannabis is (unsurprisingly) booming during the pandemic, but its sudden surge in popularity is also pushing us closer to national legalization. We also have some very fun profiles of local weed leaders who are expanding horizons in bong-making as well as the cannabis culinary arts, such as the makers of sweet and savory edibles, and delightful CBD-infused teas and chocolates.


But that ain't all!

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Good Morning, News: Russia Arrests 3,000 Protesters, Tacoma Cop Runs Over People, and Lessons from Portland's Hazelnut Grove

We need your help. The economic fallout of the coronavirus crisis is threatening our ability to keep producing the quality reporting you've come to love. If you’re able, please consider making a monthly contribution to the Mercury.

Russian police responding to a Moscow protest Saturday.
Russian police responding to a Moscow protest Saturday. Getty Images / Stringer

Good morning, Portland! Hope you're bundled up: We're starting off the week with a balmy high of 43 degrees and (potentially empty) promises of snow for Tuesday. If you have the means, consider donating warm clothing to people without a house this week. That can be as simple as dropping off wool socks at a neighbor's tent or donating items directly to a homeless service provider. Now, the news:

- Russian police arrested more than 3,000 people protesting the detention of anti-corruption opposition leader Alexei Navalny on seemingly bogus charges. The outdoor protests spanned the country, including cities with temperatures as low as -58 F (!!!), signaling how eager Russians are to move past Putin.

- Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador—a COVID-19 skeptic—has tested positive for COVID-19. In previous interviews, López Obrador has said he won't wear a mask until Mexico had eliminated corruption, which means now the country just has corruption AND nearly 150,000 dead due to COVID-19. Cool flex, guy.

- New Zealand, which has all but forgotten about the global pandemic due to tight border controls, has reported its first case of COVD-19 since November. The 56-year-old woman traveled to Europe for work late last year and tested negative for the coronavirus after a 14-day quarantine. Days after leaving quarantine, she began showing symptoms of COVID-19, and received a positive test, meaning others in the community may now be exposed.

- Even if you're a This American Life skeptic, this episode is worth tuning in to:

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Your Guide to a Socially Distanced Weekend in Portland: An IRL Bernie Meme, Post-Inauguration Reading, Fried Chicken Pop-Ups, and More

The internet is flooded with memes of Bernie Sanders waiting in line at the DMV at Bidens inauguration, but Portland artist Mike Bennetts handpainted cardboard cut-out version definitely takes the cake. Go see it in the Alberta Arts District while you can.
The internet is flooded with memes of Bernie Sanders waiting in line at the DMV at Biden's inauguration, but Portland artist Mike Bennett's handpainted cardboard cut-out version definitely takes the cake. Go see it in the Alberta Arts District while you can. Mike Bennett via Instagram

EverOut is The Mercury's new website devoted to things to do in Portland and across the Pacific Northwest. It has all the same things you're used to seeing from Mercury EverOut, just in a new spot!

It's the first weekend without Trump stinkin' up the White House, but the pandemic rages on. If you're out of ideas for ways to stay entertained in these activity-restricted times, read on for our latest batch of suggestions, from a post-Inauguration reading list curated by Powell's to Mike Bennett's real-life Bernie Sanders meme on Alberta, and from fried chicken pop-ups like Prey + Tell to Crystal Ballroom's 107th Birthday. For even more options, read our guides to the best online events this week and the best movies to watch this week.

SHOP LOCAL
Stack up a post-inauguration reading list. The sighs of relief are palpable now that Trump is no longer the president, but the vastly improved Biden-Harris administration is no reason to let individual social justice work fall to the wayside—especially after witnessing the impact of such work over these chaotic past four years. In addition to keeping up with the events on our activism & social justice (FKA protests & resistance) calendar, start by educating yourself about the policy reform Biden has planned for his first 100 days in office with books that address everything from the ongoing pandemic to immigration to climate change. Powell's has put together a reading list that includes Evan Osnos's biography Joe Biden: The Life, the Run, and What Matters Now, Anthony P. Carnevale's The Merit Myth (which argues for top-to-bottom public education reform), Jason Stanley's How Fascism Works, Zach Norris's We Keep Us Safe (which deals with criminal justice reform), Michael E. Mann's The New Climate War, and other essential tomes.

Read on EverOut »


Good Afternoon, News: Scary New COVID Variant, Busy Bee Biden, and Got a Date for the Pre-Valentine Impeachment Trial?

Okay... thirty executive orders... my hands cramping up.
"Okay... thirty executive orders... my hand's cramping up." Alex Wong / Getty News

Here's your daily roundup of all the latest local and national news. (Like our coverage? Please consider making a recurring contribution to the Mercury to keep it comin'!)

• Wooo-wooo, here comes the IMPEACHMENT TRAIN: Nancy Pelosi says the articles of impeachment against our wildly corrupt former president will be delivered to the Senate on MONDAY, but don't pop the champagne just yet—the actual trial will be delayed until February 8 to allow Trump time to mount his indefensible defense. However, sneaky Dems are already talking about the possibility of invoking the 14th Amendment to make sure Trump never holds public office again!

• It was another busy day for Busy Bee Biden (hope he doesn't mind that nickname) who, after launching a long-overdue (but scientist approved) COVID prevention plan yesterday, today brought forth a much-needed financial relief plan for Americans that includes expanding food stamps, boosting unemployment, and clearing a path for federal workers to make a $15 minimum wage. Tomorrow I'd like him to declare the Philly Cheesesteak the "national sandwich." FIGHT ME!

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This Week In Portland Food News: A New Restaurant from the Owners of Han Oak Arrives, Burrasca Says Goodbye, and Two New Breweries Are In the Works

Han Oaks famous Korean fried chicken, coated in spices like essence of ramen, is now available at the restaurants new downtown sibling Toki.
Han Oak's famous Korean fried chicken, coated in spices like "essence of ramen," is now available at the restaurant's new downtown sibling Toki. Han Oak

EverOut is The Mercury's new website devoted to things to do in Portland and across the Pacific Northwest. It has all the same things you're used to seeing from Mercury EverOut, just in a new spot!

This week, the team behind Han Oak opens an exciting new restaurant, Burrasca says goodbye after seven years, and a chef beloved by NBA stars prepares to launch a pop-up in Portland. Plus, read about two upcoming breweries on the horizon and more essential food updates. For more ideas, check out our food and drink guide.

NEW OPENINGS AND RETURNS
Killer Burger
The local chain, known for its over-the-top burgers like the "Peanut Butter Pickle Bacon" (bacon, peanut butter sauce, house sauce, mayo, grilled onion, and pickle) and the "Red Molly" (bacon, Philly steak, brined red peppers, provolone, mayo, house sauce, and grilled onion) has opened its 10th Oregon location in the former space of Russell Street BBQ. For now, the outpost is focused on takeout and delivery, but walk-ins will be allowed as well starting January 25.
Northeast
Pickup or delivery

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