J.C. Escudie
From Hottieamps.com

Your guitar might be hot, but your amp? Boring! J.C. makes amps that are anything but—they're modified vintage toasters! He's also got some shopping recommendations to ensure your gear is top-notch:

Reverend Guitars (www.reverenddirect.com): "Affordable electric guitars designed and built in Eastpoint, Michigan by Joe Naylor. These guitars sing like angels."

Steve McKinley Pedals (www.hottiemods.com): "Hi-fi guitar pedals for a low-fi price. Tone that moves through you, and stomp boxes that sizzle."

Guitar Crazy (3319 SE Division): "Bob has Portland's most coveted and unique selection of vintage guitars and amps."

Zinky Amplifiers (www.zinky.com): "Handmade, point-to-point wired, all tube amplifiers. Bruce Zinky's 'Blue Velvet' amp will ruin you for all other amplifiers."

Koll Guitars (www.kollguitars.com): "Portland's very own custom guitar shop. Saul Koll's work is exquisite. The Duo Glide is my favorite, a very sexy guitar."

Liza Stillhard and Elizabeth Artis
From The Lippman Co.
50 SE Yamhill

The holidays may be over, but the party season is forever. Take these tips from party pros Liza and Elizabeth at the Lippman, and party your way through the winter:

Use a "make your own banner" kit: "Forget 'Happy Birthday.' With this kit your banner can say 'Happy Birthday—Nobody Will Sleep With Your Girlfriend Tonight'!"

Don't ever use an iPod: "We guarantee you have a friend in a band. Invite them, even if they suck."

Have a fake bar: "Find a friend who will bartend for the fun of it. Get champagne and martini glasses at the Bins, and tell everyone to bring the booze—totally cheap."

Have a theme: "Like a Rubik's Cube party, where everybody has to come wearing the three primary colors, and leave wearing a mono-colored outfit."

Give assignments: "If it's a theme party, assign a costume. If it's BYOB, assign the booze."