The Stranger's Silent Reading Party
Every Wednesday at 6 pm we're going to throw these parties, at least until stay-at-home is over. Attendees at the first Zoom silent-reading party included famous actors, writers, composers, artists, families, teenagers doing their homework, people staring into space listening to the music because it was just so beautiful, cats, and even one household on Orcas Island that was eating dinner and decided to broadcast the reading party as their background music. (What a brilliant idea!) It wasn't just a great party to be at. Behind the scenes, this was a roaring success as well. Our musician Paul Matthew Moore made ten times more on Venmo tips than he's ever made in the tip jar at the Sorrento (thank you for your generosity—he deserves it!), and hundreds of people at the party have written us emails, clamoring for more. CHRISTOPHER FRIZZELLE
Looking for something to read during the abovementioned party? This one's a gimme, since if you're true to type as a slightly alienated liberal currently residing in Portland, odds are good that Katherine Dunn's Geek Love (ebook avail at MultCo Library w/ card, physical copies at Powell's, $16.99) is already one of your favorite books. Dunn went to Reed College, and her account of a traveling family of circus freaks is one of the most beloved books ever written by a Portland author. ALISON HALLETT
The Northwest Film Center and Portland Art Museum present this special week-long virtual screening of Matt Wolf's documentary Spaceship Earth, about the 1991 science experiment where eight people voluntarily quarantined themselves from the rest of the world inside BIOSPHERE 2, a self-engineered replica of the Earth's ecosystem. Proceeds from each ticket sold benefit both the Northwest Film Center and Portland Art Museum.
In 1995, Rachel Talalay directed an adaptation of the cult comic Tank Girl, starring Lori Petty and Naomi Watts. Nobody in the film industry had carved out a space for something like Tank Girl to exist within, so when Talalay and Petty made that space, a lot of people (men) sneered at its loud, scattered, ridiculous indulgence and dismissed it. And it is those things! Most comic book adaptations are! But instead of starring roided-up hulkmen bleeding asinine catchphrases, Tank Girl centers on an irreverent feminist anti-hero who gives not one solitary fuck about protecting for any dude's limited conception of what "comic book" movies can be. Tank Girl, even in its compromised, misunderstood form, is still something of a minor miracle of the genre. It shouldn't exist. But there she is. Now streaming on Hulu, straddling a tank turret, laughing, and flying double birds at you from 1995.
Petals for Armor
It was never easy being an emo-punk vocalist in an almost all-male Active Rock world, and Hayley Williams became almost as well known for her vocals and her sharp, spiky songwriting in Paramore as she was known for her band's constant infighting and imploding, much of it (very unfairly) laid at her feet. Moving through adulthood at the center of like 30 different ridiculous rock 'n' roll controversies is bound to put you in an interesting headspace, and Williams' first ever solo album—really, a trilogy of EPs—is pretty much a big fat pop-music exhalation of pent-up frustration, fire, and maybe most surprisingly, kindness. There's an undercurrent of empathy in all of Petals for Armor's songs, and it shines clearly whether Hayley's compositions are roaring with guitars, or sliding around much smoother grooves.