RZA Is Coming to Portland to Perform a Live Score for The 36th Chamber of Shaolin

RZA / Hollywood Theatre

Few kung fu movies are as rightfully revered as The 36th Chamber of Shaolin, the 1978 Shaw Brothers classic starring Gordon Liu. Even if you haven't seen it, you've seen and heard the movie's repercussions, in everything from the Wu-Tang Clan's Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) to Quentin Tarantino's Kill Bill. And on Sat April 27, Wu-Tang founder RZA will visit Portland's Hollywood Theatre to perform a live, original score for the action classic.

"The award-winning musician, film composer, and director will draw from a Wu-Tang catalog more than two decades deep, as he drops beats from opening scene to closing credits to amplify the action of Lau Kar Leung's martial arts classic," the Hollywood promises. RZA's well-documented love for 36th Chamber—and his history with and knowledge of martial arts movies in general, from appearing in Jim Jarmusch's Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai to writing, directing, scoring, and starring in The Man with the Iron Fists—should make for a remarkable screening.

Also remarkable: A ticket price of $75 for the event. But considering the passion of those who live in that Venn-diagram space where hip-hop and kung fu overlap, they could probably charge $750 a seat for this thing and still sell it out. Tickets go on sale via the Hollywood Theatre on Tues April 2 at noon for Hollywood Theatre members, and at noon on Wed April 3 for everybody else.

E-Scooters Return to Portland on April 26


After a five-month hiatus, e-scooters—those oft-debated, much-studied transportation devices—will return to Portland in April.

The Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) announced Monday morning that its year-long "Shared Electric Scooter Pilot Program" will kick off April 26. This pilot follows a 120-day trial run conducted by PBOT last year, during which e-scooter companies Bird, Lime, and Skip dropped a total of 2,043 pay-per-minute e-scooters accross the city.

PBOT expects up to 15,000 e-scooters to be on Portland streets by January 2020. We don't know which brand of e-scooters those will be yet—the city's still taking applications from companies interested in participating.

“E-scooters are unquestionably fun to ride,” said Transportation Commissioner Chloe Eudaly in a press release issued Monday. “The challenge of this second pilot will be to see if it’s possible to mitigate problems while demonstrating that e-scooters can benefit Portlanders left out of the economic mainstream and advance our city’s climate goals.”

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See Sesame Street's "Maria," Emmy Award-winning Actress Sonia Manzano, Speak About Her 40-Plus Years Spent on the Legendary Show

Sonia Manzano will deliver the keynote address at Children's Center Honors on April 4, at the World of Speed.

Children's Center, a non-profit child advocacy center, hosts Children's Center Honors each year to celebrate people who have made extraordinary contributions to the field of child abuse intervention and prevention.

See the Sesame Street legend speak, and support a worthy cause. Buy your ticket today.

No Fair/Fair Carries on the Fine Tradition of Upstart Small Press Festivals


Every year, enclaves of my most book-obsessed friends travel to AWP (Association of Writers and Writing Programs), the largest literary conference in North America. The conference pops up in a different city each time and this year that city is Portland! Hooray! All the book people are coming here!

The funny thing is, none of my book people are going to the actual AWP conference. Instead they’re all talking about a “shadow AWP” or—as it’s actually named—the No Fair/Fair, which is being organized by Octopus Books’ Zachary Schomburg and a team of literature-loving Portland-area volunteers.

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Portland’s AWP Conference On the Cheap: A Guide to AWP Offsite Events


This year, the annual gathering of the Association of Writers & Writing Programs (AWP), the largest writer’s conference in the country, lands in Portland—which is huge! If you have any creative writers in your life, chances are they’re freaking out—if not for the conference itself, for the fact that it’s bringing fellow writers, editors, publishers, teachers, and friends in from all over the country.

But why does this matter to you, dear Portland book lover? Because some of the best writers in the country will be here and they’ll be spending their nights away from the convention center, reading at your favorite bars, restaurants, bookstores, and performance venues. You can see more authors than you’ve ever dreamed of, play literary bingo, perform poetry karaoke, tour the William Stafford archives, and dance to writers night-lighting as DJs. And these offsite events are almost entirely free and open to the public.

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Good Morning, News: The Mueller Barr Report, Blazers Win, the Return of the E-Scooter

Stay up to date on Portland news and politics. Looking for fun? Here are the best Things to Do in Portland today.

Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

The Barr Report: The long-awaited Mueller report is finished and, according to Attorney General William Barr (who?) it shows that Donald Trump didn't help Russia tinker with the 2016 US election. It doesn't, however, exonerate Trump from obstructing justice. Do with that information what you will.

Ripple Effect: Two student survivors of last year's school shooting in Parkland, Florida have died from suicide in the past week. The tragedies have sent emergency responders to the state legislature demanding more mental health funding for the school's shooting survivors.

Upset in Algeria: Did you know that the president of Algeria has been paralyzed and mute for six years, leaving most of the country's decision-making up to big business leaders? I DID NOT. It's no wonder, then, that activists are calling for his resignation and a total facelift to the crumbling government.

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Blazers Recap: The Pistons Misfire In the Final Two Minutes, Blazers Win 117-112!!

Winning... Photo By Bruce Ely /

Not to jinx it, but the Trail Blazers have been pretty healthy this season. The only injuries they’ve dealt with have been anything but catastrophic. Maurice Harkless has been in and out with shoulder issues, Evan Turner has had a bum knee, and of course CJ McCollum had his knee strain last Saturday against the Spurs. When CJ succumbed to his injury on the court, it didn’t look like much happened, but more often than not the injuries that look like nothing are anything but. Thankfully, it has been reported that CJ’s knee is not too worse for ware, and his recovery time should be relatively swift.

Losing half of one of the best back courts in the NBA is scary, but the Blazers have had little trouble filling the void CJ’s absence created. The Blazers dropped a tough game to the Spurs when CJ had to leave the court, but they’ve handily won the last two without him. Damian Lillard has again proven he is the rigid backbone of the Blazers. Dame doled out 27 assists in the last two contests with an average that sits at just over six per game. Like a good team leader, Dame has kept all of his contributors well fed on the offensive side. Seth Curry stepped up against the Mavericks and went four for seven from beyond the arc, and Jusuf Nurkic logged his now standard double-double in both games.

Photo By Bruce Ely /

Per usual, the Blazers look like contenders in the tail end of the regular season. Whether or not that means anything in the final stretch remains to be seen. Las Vegas has the Blazers at 80/1 to win the Finals this season. Those aren’t great odds, but they’re not impossible.

Before the Blazers could get to said finals, they had to get through the Detroit Pistons last night. With Blake Griffin and Andre Drummond filling up the paint for the Pistons, the Blazers were gonna have to make sure their shooting game was on point.

Despite some struggles in the second half to retain a lead, the Blazers were able to wrap it up just in the nick of time, finishing off the Pistons 117 - 112.

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Unearthing Portland’s Spring Arts SECRETS

Meg Nanna

As I write this intro, snow is falling. The streets are a mess. I’m on the bus and we’ve moved two blocks in 15 minutes. But I promise that spring is on the way. You’re going to want to leave your house one day, Portland. And we’re READY FOR YOU. (I did not mean that to sound threatening.)

You see, all winter long the Mercury’s team of writers have been looking for SECRETS, buried in the Portland arts scene. And now it’s time to dig them up! For instance, you’ve probably heard that AWP (Association of Writers and Writing Programs), the largest literary conference in North America is happening in Portland this year—but do you know about the “shadow AWP” event No Fair/ Fair happening alongside? Or how to attend an expensive conference like AWP for free? We’ve got all that secret knowledge for you!

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Birds of Passage Is the Anti-Narcos: A Drugs ’n’ Crime Epic Like You’ve Never Seen

Whatever you’re expecting from a drug epic set in Colombia in the 1960s and ’70s, Birds of Passage isn’t it. There’s no villainous kingpin along the lines of Pablo Escobar, no seedily unshaven DEA operative, no bacchanalian celebration of massive wealth and mind-numbing white powder. How Birds of Passage plays with and against familiar drug-crime genre tropes are only part of what makes it one of the most fascinating, surprising, and complex movies of the year.

First of all, its characters are Wayúu, members of an indigenous tribe living in Colombia's northern Guajira Peninsula, and most of the dialogue is spoken in their language. The film—told in five parts, or “songs”—opens with a gorgeous portrayal of a traditional Wayúu coming-of-age ceremony, followed by a courtship and wedding, in which Rapayet (José Acosta) marries Zaida (Natalia Reyes), thus joining the esteemed, desert-dwelling clan of Úrsula (Carmiña Martínez), a matriarch who recognizes the desperate importance of preserving the Wayúu way of life, and trying to prevent the rest of the world from assaulting it with change.

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Judge Acquits Charles McGee and Aubré Dickson of Sexual Abuse Charges

Doug Brown

A Multnomah County Judge has found two former leaders in Portland's African American community not guilty of sexually assaulting a woman in 2012.

“I find I cannot conclude to a moral certainty that the defendants are guilty of the crimes they are charged with,"said Judge David Rees Friday afternoon, concluding the seven-day trial. The defendants had waived their right to a jury trial, leaving the verdict in Rees' hands.

Defendants Charles McGee, former director of the Black Parent Initiative and Multnomah County Commission candidate, and Aubré Dickson, former chair of the Oregon Housing Stability Council and a vice president at KeyBank, each faced a minimum of 8 years in prison for a spate of sexual abuse charges.

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The August Wilson Red Door Project Pushes Boundaries with a Purpose

The Red Door Project / Top Row, Left To Right: Kevin Jones, Lesli Mones, Christopher Hirsh. Second Row: Victoria Alvarez-Chacon, William Gebo, Jasmine Cottrell, Jonathan Thompson.  Bottom Row: La’tevin Alexander, Julana Torres, Joseph Gibson, Tyharra Cozier.
The Red Door Project / Top Row, Left To Right: Kevin Jones, Lesli Mones, Christopher Hirsh. Second Row: Victoria Alvarez-Chacon, William Gebo, Jasmine Cottrell, Jonathan Thompson. Bottom Row: La’tevin Alexander, Julana Torres, Joseph Gibson, Tyharra Cozier. Meg Nanna

"Pushing boundaries” is a goal shared by many in the arts community—though achieving that goal, along with attracting audiences and financial resources, is an eternal struggle.

Portland’s August Wilson Red Door Project is becoming widely recognized for creating powerful and deeply complicated theatrical experiences that attract sold-out audiences and lots of attention. And they’ve accomplished this feat with little to no marketing.

Helmed by co-founders Kevin Jones and Lesli Mones, the Red Door Project set out to “change the racial ecology of Portland through the arts,” with performances that represent and encourage those often ignored by the city’s theater scene—and in their latest, most challenging project yet, their goal is to create a path of accountability and healing for people of color and the police.

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What to Watch This Weekend: Jordan Peele's Us, Basically (And Some Other Stuff)

Us Universal

Welcome to What to Watch This Weekend™, a weekly post in which I tell you what to watch this weekend! I will continue doing this post until you have watched everything you should watch.

The big movie this weekend is, of course, Jordan Peele's eagerly anticipated follow-up to Get Out, Us, which is at a billion theaters, and which Senior Editor Ciara Dolan calls it "the ultimate anxiety nightmare"—an "exceedingly great slasher movie" with a whole lot going on just beneath the surface.

Also out is a darkly charming Icelandic selection from the just-finished Portland International Film Festival, Woman at War, which opens at Living Room Theaters. Senior Editor Ned Lannamann calls it a "fun, funny movie" about a chorus teacher (Halldóra Geirharðsdóttir) who's "also Iceland’s most notorious eco-terrorist."

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The 28 Best Things to Do in Portland This Weekend: March 22-24

Vince Staples, JPEGMAFIA, Channel Tres
After dropping 2017’s very well received album Big Fish Theory, landing his single “Bagbak” on the Black Panther soundtrack, and “Home” on the Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse soundtrack, Vince Staples’ reach as an artist has only continued to expand. In November he released his third full-length FM!, as well as a mesmerizing music video for “Fun,” which is edited to look like we’re watching Staples’ neighborhood activities via a Google maps street view. He’s even voicing Vinz in the anime film MFKZ, which is set in a dystopian LA-inspired metropolis, and sees its main characters discover their superpowers and fight crime. Judging by the last couple times Staples toured to Portland, his two upcoming shows at the Roseland will not disappoint. (Sat-Sun 9 pm, Rosealnd, $30, all ages) JENNI MOORE

Jump to: Friday | Saturday | Sunday
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Good Morning, News: Is the Mueller Report Ready to Drop?

Stay up to date on Portland news and politics. Looking for fun? Here are the best Things to Do in Portland today.

Hi! My report is almost done. Anybody interested?
"Hi! My report is almost done. Anybody interested?" T.J. Kirkpatrick / Getty News

GOOD MORNING, PORTLAND! She turns on TV, guess who she sees? Skater boy rockin' up MTV. LET'S GO TO PRESS.

Tensions are palpable and rising in Washington, DC (especially with Trump and his criminal cronies) regarding rumors that Attorney General William Barr is on the verge of announcing that the much-anticipated Mueller report might be dropping soon. (BUT CHILL! It could be weeks before the American public learns anything of value. Here's a helpful guide to lead you through what will probably be a nail-biting process.)

Former FBI Director James Comey says he doesn't know what the Mueller investigation will reveal, and he "doesn't care," citing the primary need that it needs to be an open and transparent process.

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An Oregon Bill Could Lift the State Ban on Rent Control. Why Aren't Pro-Renter Lawmakers Rooting For It?

Jesse Tise

Update, 3/22:

Rep. Alissa Keny-Guyer spoke with the Mercury after this story was published to emphasize her commitment to tenants' rights and the importance of SB 608's passage.

"[SB 608] did not go far enough, and I've always said that," Keny-Guyer said. "But we have to do things incrementally at the legislature."

She also confirmed that Rep. Paul Evans, the sponsor of HB 2540, formally asked her to withdraw his bill from committee, acknowledging that he didn't support the way tenants' rights advocates were pressuring legislators to address it.

Original Post:

In February, Oregon Democrats trumpeted the state's passage of the country's first statewide rent control bill, attracting national accolades for its novelty and necessity.

The bill, Senate Bill 608, will cap annual rent increases at 7 percent (plus inflation, raising it to around 10 percent) and ban no-cause evictions for tenants who've lived in a building for more than one year.

SB 608 is seen as the state legislature's response to housing advocates' call for stronger renter protections—in the form of rent control—during the 2017 legislative session.

However, those advocates for low-income renters weren't calling for state-controlled rent caps like SB 608 offers.

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She's Secretly Perving On the People She Serves


I’ve been reading Savage Love for years and think you are serving up exactly what people need not what they want to hear. In that vein, I have some questions if you have some time.

I’m 19, a college sophomore, and a cisgender straight woman. When I was 15, a girlfriend and I were walking to get ice cream and we took a shortcut through a wooded park type area and found a homeless person living there. My girlfriend dared me to make out with him and to both of our surprise I did. It wasn’t really anything amazing just some sloppy kissing and me feeling nervous that my friend was watching me. After that makeout session I started to fantasize about what would've happened if things had gone further in a consensual way and this was a common theme to help achieve release on many of my lonely high school nights.

In high school and now in college I volunteer at a soup kitchen and often times I will substitute the people I meet and serve into my fantasy to help get me where I need to go. My questions are:

1. Is there a community or a name for people like me, i.e. women that fantasize about sex with homeless men.

2. This may seem weird but am I predator? I feel strange having an attraction for a group of people and then engaging in activities that puts me in close proximity to them without their knowledge of my kind of ulterior motive. Sometimes I just feel strange when I’m chatting to patrons of the soup kitchen.

Better Understanding My Sexuality

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