The Mercury provides news and fun every single day—but your help is essential. If you believe Portland benefits from smart, local journalism and arts coverage, please consider making a small monthly contribution, because without you, there is no us. Thanks for your support!

GOOD MORNING, PORTLAND! Rain returns to the area today with a chilly high of 42. And, hello... that sounds like the perfect time to partake in the Mercury's Holiday Drink Week, which runs now through December 3, and offers 26 specially-crafted, festive cocktails from Portland's best bartenders... and they're only $8 each! That should warm your cockles! And now let's warm them a bit more with some NEWS.


• While teachers and PPS have ratified the newest contract for educators, lingering questions and concerns are still hanging about... for example, will winter break be cut short for the kids in order to make up for missed time? Our Taylor Griggs dig into these thorny issues. Meanwhile, other employees of the school system—such as cafeteria workers, secretaries, and paraeducators—are rightly annoyed they weren't consulted about the newly agreed upon make-up days.

• Portland City Council has voted in favor of forking over $2.6 million to Axon Enterprise, Inc. to outfit Portland Police with 800 body cameras and expand the program city-wide following a two-month pilot program. As usual, Commissioner Rene Gonzalez brought unnecessary drama and grandstanding to the meeting when he scolded a police activist for daring to ask for more transparency in regards to the results of the pilot program, saying, “(I) continue to be concerned about a small segment of the city that lets the perfect be the opposite of good.” WOW, that's a coincidence, because I continue to be concerned about a small segment of the city—namely wealthy business owners and their conservative puppets—that thinks transparency and rules don't apply to them.

Continue reading »
News Nov 29 3:28 PM

PPS and the Teachers' Union Ratified a Contract Agreement. Now What?

While the teachers' strike is officially over, questions remain over calendar changes, and students are frustrated after being left out of decision making.

Portland Public Schools (PPS) educators and students returned to the classroom on Monday, November 27, after a nearly month-long teachers’ strike. But before the contract agreement between PPS and the Portland Association of Teachers (PAT) union could be called a done deal, the union and school board had to vote to ratify it.

On Tuesday, November 28, educators and the PPS Board of Education voted “aye” on the three-year labor contract for PPS teachers, capping off almost a year of bargaining and a lengthy, historic strike. After an extensive, eventful bargaining process, district and union leaders are relieved to have a contract inked. But educators, district leaders, and students have lingering questions and concerns.

Continue reading »
Hear In Portland Nov 29 12:30 PM

Hear in Portland: A New Jazz Night at Keys Lounge Draws Fans of the 1905

The new Covi. and Drae Slapz joint EP is addictively fun, and a New Year's Eve Cowboy Prom? We're There.

Hanukkah starts next week and Christmas is just around the corner, so we know that readers are weighing the costliness of music shows against the price tag of holiday prep, but we’ve got the scoop on a new free jazz night at Keys Lounge, a new hip-hop collab from Covi. and Drae Slapz, and a New Year's Eve cowboy prom, starring Jenny Don’t and the Spurs. Get all the music tea that’s right Hear in Portland. 


Upcoming local event(s) featuring local artist(s).

The Session at Keys Lounge

With the recent news that jazz-focused bar and pizza joint the 1905 went out of business, it’s time to count our blessings and keep track of the bars and venues that are hosting jazz on a regular basis. Local jazz trumpet player Pablo Rivarola recently launched a new weekly jazz series at Keys Lounge, a vintage-inspired cocktail restaurant-bar in an old locksmith building (with brand-defining signage). Since late September, you can find Rivarola at Keys every Tuesday hosting the Session and jamming with a revolving door of local jazz musicians. Even better: The bar offers all-day happy hour on that day and don't charge a cover. Upcoming installments will feature appearances from experimental jazz guitarist Mike Gamble and drummer Machado Mijiga. (Keys Lounge, 533 NE Killingsworth, every Tuesday, 8 pm-late, FREE)

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Keys Lounge (@keyspdx)


New release(s) from a Portland-relevant artist.

Just Have Fun!, Covi. & Drae Slapz 

We love a good local music collaboration, especially when hip-hop is involved! Portland based rapper Covi. teamed up with producer-rapper Drae Slapz to drop a listen-worthy new joint EP at the top of November called Just Have Fun! The first proper Covi. project since his 2018 debut Escalate With Me, the lighthearted title of the project ends up being spot-on, because the five tracks are all quite fun(!) to listen to. The EP represents the best work we've heard from Covi. to date, kicking off with three hyper-lit club-ready bangers—“Bout It,” “Donald Duck Orange Juice” and the twerk-worthy “Scoring Title.” My personal favorites are “Agent Covi Banks,” which features a quieter delivery from Covi. and “Tell Me Something” where we learn that the artist's euphonious and melodic approach can create addictive listening.


Some upcoming music buzz to add to your radar.

New Year's Eve Cowboy Prom: Jenny Don't and the Spurs, Jame Jones and the Chupacabras

Jenny Don’t and the Spurs, Portland’s longtime purveyors of cowpunk and outlaw country, have been carrying on in honor of their beloved former drummer, Sam Henry, who passed in 2022. (Henry also performed with Jenny in her previous band DON’T, and was best known for his work with punk rock group the Wipers.) There’s a lot to love about Jenny Don’t and the Spurs’ sound, even to someone who wouldn't consider themself a country-western music fan. Over a foundation of cinematic strumming, the twangy vocals of Jenny Don’t feel nostalgic and pitch-perfect. She demonstrates a mastery over vibrato that, at times, strikes us as reminiscent of Dolly Parton. Look forward to this upbeat desert rock to kick in the new year. (Polaris Hall, 635 N Killingsworth Ct, Sun Dec 31, 9 pm, $30, tickets here, 21+

— Advertisement —

The Mercury provides news and fun every single day—but your help is essential. If you believe Portland benefits from smart, local journalism and arts coverage, please consider making a small monthly contribution, because without you, there is no us. Thanks for your support!

GOOD MORNING, PORTLAND! Have you had an $8 holiday drink yet, courtesy of the Portland Mercury's Holiday Drink Week? Here's where you can get one. These holiday beverages are perfect for warming up your cold bones in these frigid temps we've been experiencing lately. ANDDDD...onto the news.

Continue reading »
Savage Love Nov 28 10:01 AM

Savage Love: What Was Lost

She can't get over losing her ex—what's an out-and-proud goddess to do?

About ten years ago, I was in a serious relationship with someone I loved more than I had ever loved anyone before. I hoped to spend my life with her. But I was deep in the closet, and the process of coming out annihilated large parts of my life, including our relationship. I dumped her and tried to tell myself she wouldn’t understand. In the years that followed, I came into my own as a proud and potent goddess, but I felt haunted by how I’d pushed my ex away. The regret that marked her absence tinged all my emerging triumphs.

In the chaos of the early pandemic, I sent a simple email, curtailed into a modest how-are-you, and she sent a brief-but-cordial reply. I didn’t take offense. It was kind of her to reply at all. But some months later, she reached out, asking to meet. Apparently, her boyfriend had dumped her, and it reminded her of how I’d dumped her. Despite my nerves, we had a simple afternoon in a park gabbing about poetry and ethics, laughing easily. I didn’t make any overtures. Regarding the past, I said only that I regretted how I’d left things. She replied quickly, “Oh, don’t worry about it. It’s not like our relationship really had a future.” Yikes!

It’s been a few years and she’s become a close friend. We go hiking, drinking, we go on double dates with our partners — me and my wife, her and her new boyfriend. And yet… I still think about her every day. Even my wife knows I’m crazy about her! (We’re poly, it’s not an issue.) I’m writing because I don’t know what to do. For almost ten years I’ve tried to get over her, but I have proven stubbornly head-over-heels. I’ve tried separation, several types of therapy, even fiery rituals, but I still wake up with her name on my lips. I worry that if I were to broach the totality of my feelings, it would alienate her all over again. What’s a gal to do?

Confounded Heartfelt Amorous Damsel

You mention coming out, you mention transitioning, you mention being an out-and-proud goddess now — so, you’re a trans woman who had to end what the world perceived to be a cis-het relationship before you embarked on your transition.

And based on your ex’s reaction when you reconnected and apologized for dumping her (“It’s not like our relationship really had a future!”), CHAD, along with the fact that your ex has only ever dated men (or people she had every reason to believe were men), it sounds like your ex is a straight cis woman. Which means you couldn’t be the goddess you are now — you couldn’t have the life you have now (to say nothing of the wife you have now) — if you were still with your ex, CHAD, because you couldn’t be her partner and yourself at the same time.

I’m going to crawl out on a limb and guess that however bumpy your transition may have been, the trade-off was worth it. You lost some things — including a romantic relationship with your ex — but you gained so much more.

Continue reading »

The Mercury provides news and fun every single day—but your help is essential. If you believe Portland benefits from smart, local journalism and arts coverage, please consider making a small monthly contribution, because without you, there is no us. Thanks for your support!

GOOD MORNING, PORTLAND! It’s Tuesday, November 28, which is now Giving Tuesday, for those of you tracking the new(ish) traditions we've adopted to support small businesses (Small Business Saturday) and be kind and philanthropic (Giving Tuesday) amid the deluge of capitalism that surrounds the holidays. If the onset of the holiday season has you stressed, or you just need a good excuse to meet with friends and sip on somethin’ fun, more than two dozen restaurants and cocktail bars are offering festive, sexy drinks for Holiday Drink Week.

Let’s get into the headlines!

In Local News:

  • The Portland City Council will meet virtually this week. On the agenda is a $2.6 million contract with Axon for body cameras for Portland Police Bureau (PPB). Earlier this year, PPB wrapped up a pilot program to test out the body cameras. Now, it’s time to implement the use of the cameras across the bureau, full-time, as part of the requirements of a settlement agreement with the Department of Justice. Continue reading »
— Advertisement —
Music Nov 27 12:00 PM

MusicOregon Awards $57,000 in Grants to 18 Portland- and Vancouver-Area Musicians

The Echo Fund supports a historically overlooked creative pursuit: popular music.

MusicOregon announced Monday that it has awarded $57,000 in grant funding to 18 local musicians and bands to help pay for non-performance endeavors such as recording, production of vinyl records and music videos, promotional efforts, and more.

This is the second round of grants from the nonprofit's Echo Fund. While MusicOregon is focused on empowering independent professional music creators across the state, the Echo Fund drew applications from just Portland Metro and Vancouver areas.

Continue reading »
EverOut Nov 27 11:00 AM

The Top 44 Events in Portland This Week: Nov 27–Dec 3, 2023

Brett Goldstein, Holiday Drink Week, and More Top Picks

You won't regret taking the time to plan out your week with our top picks guide. We're taking the time to shout-out happenings from Depeche Mode: Memento Mori Tour to Jenny Lewis, from Brett Goldstein: The Second Best Night of Your Life to The Portland Mercury's Holiday Drink Week, and so much more.



Beyond Walls: Five Films for Prison Industrial Complex Abolition
Are you prison abolition-curious? This collection of short films should answer your pressing questions by "defining and amplifying what prison industrial complex (PIC) abolition means." Organized by Don’t Shoot Portland and Working Films, a nonprofit that "uses documentaries to advance social justice and environmental protection," the free screening also aims to empower viewers with the tools and actions needed to envision a world beyond policing. LINDSAY COSTELLO
(Clinton Street Theater, Hosford-Abernethy)

Read on EverOut »
The Trash Report Nov 27 10:00 AM

THE TRASH REPORT: School is Back, Beyonce's Here, Cher Came to Party, and Hall Still Loves Oates

Rubber gloves on—it's time to dig through this week's most garbage-y gossip.

Good morning, sweet angels of garbage! Welcome to another round of silliness in this Trash Report. I'm the blob of leftover mashed potatoes formerly known as Elinor Jones. Thanksgiving is over and now it is Christmas for a month. Hey, why is it everyone is quick to make fun of people who celebrate "birthday month," yet this one dumb holiday gets basically a quarter of the year? Christmas probably celebrates her half-birthday. She's a basic bitch, and you can quote me on that. 

Want some more hot takes upon which to warm your frosty but dexterous paws? Let's go!

Thankful, Pt. 1

I said it last week and I'll say it again: Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. I already had plenty to be thankful for, and now there's one more thing to put on the list, which is Cher blowing the fucking roof off the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade at the ripe old age of 77. "But Elinor," you say, "she could not blow the roof off; it is a parade, and they are already outside." You sure about that? Or maybe Cher is just tricking you into believing that there was never a roof because that's how hard she blew that roof clean out of there. She performed a song called "DJ Play a Christmas Song," a life-changing ditty wherein she asks a DJ to play a Christmas song so that she can dance all night long. Simply listening to three minutes and 29 seconds of this holiday insanity was enough to have me begging for some nog and a nap; I certainly couldn't dance all night long! But I'll be the first to admit that, sadly, I am no Cher. This song is going to become my entire personality for the next four weeks so get ready. Mariah Who?? 

The other best thing that happened at the parade is Beyonce released a trailer for her Renaissance movie. We all got cute with the red lipstick for Taylor Swift's concert movie, but now we get to dress up like disco balls and I am here. For. It. DJ Play a Christmas Song, sure, but DJ, also play this entire album, because I may not be religious for Jesus but the transition from "Cuff It" to "Energy" absolutely makes me believe in a higher power. 

Continue reading »
— Advertisement —

The Mercury provides news and fun every single day—but your help is essential. If you believe Portland benefits from smart, local journalism and arts coverage, please consider making a small monthly contribution, because without you, there is no us. Thanks for your support!

GOOD MORNING, PORTLAND! It's gonna be a sunny, cool day with a high of 49—which I would say is PERFECT weather to kick off the Mercury's Holiday Drink Week, which runs now through December 3, and offers 26 specially-crafted, holly-jolly cocktails from Portland's best bartenders... and they're only $8 each! Do not miss a single one! And now let's kick off with some at least partially holly-jolly NEWS.


TOP STORY: PPS and the teachers' union have reached a tentative agreement, and kids are going back to school starting TODAY. Of course, the finalization of the deal depends on both sides voting in favor of the agreement on Tuesday, and if they do, it will bring the nearly month-long strike to an end. Our Taylor Griggs has the story with all the details, but there are still some VERY BIG QUESTIONS TO BE ANSWERED. For example:

1) The district had to be dragged kicking and screaming to the table, and avoided giving teachers some very basic humanitarian needs for 11 months, sooooo... why did they think this would end well for them or anyone?

2) We would've never reached this sorry point if state legislators had been doing their job and properly funding education. Query: Why do state Democrats vote and spend money like Republicans when it comes to supplying the basic educational needs of kids?

3) Speaking of kids, the Oregonian Editorial Board published no less than five screeching, anti-union rants masked in that tired old conservative refrain, "But... WHAT ABOUT THE CHILDREN?" Do they really think that publicly shitting on the labor movement is going to work out fine-and-dandy for them when (god forbid, of course) their own employees start asking for what they deserve? Oh, well... I guess they'll fuck around and find out!

Continue reading »
Teachers Strike Nov 26 6:47 PM

With a Tentative Agreement Reached Between PPS and Teachers' Union, Students Will Return To School

If the union and school board approve the tentative agreement, the historic Portland Public Schools strike will officially come to an end.

After a lengthy and historic strike, Portland Public Schools (PPS) administration and its teachers' union reached a tentative contract agreement. Though the agreement has yet to be ratified by members of the Portland Association of Teachers (PAT) union or the PPS school board— both will need to sign off on the terms of the contract before it's finalized— students are set to return to school on a two-hour delay Monday, November 27, after nearly a month away.

The tentative agreement, which the district and union's bargaining teams agreed to the weekend after Thanksgiving, offers educators a pay raise, beefed up mental health support for students, a new protocol for addressing class size concerns, and more. PPS and the union also agreed on 11 make-up days to balance instructional time lost during the strike. Notably, winter break is set to be a week shorter than previously planned, and the school year is set to be three days longer. 

Continue reading »

GOOD MORNING, SUNDAY! It's the perfect time to catch up on some of the great reporting and stories the Mercury churned out this week! (PRO TIP: If you despise being "the last to know," then be one of the first to know by signing up for Mercury newsletters! All the latest stories shipped directly to your email's in-box... and then... YOUR HEAD.)

Meet Your 2024 City Council Candidates

To date, 36 candidates have filed for next November's Portland City Council race, which will see the mayor and 12 new council seats up for election. Get to know the background of each candidate, with our district-by-district guide.



Wake up, brain! It's time to play another super fun POP QUIZ PDX, this week featuring sassy ass trivia about terrible judges, cougars under cover, and YOUR CHOICE for the worst "White Elephant" present ever! See how well YOU score!


Disagreement About Class Size Decisions Fueling Teachers’ Strike Stalemate

As the PPS teachers' strike continues, union and district leaders are hopeful a resolution is on the horizon. One final sticking point? Whether or not parents should be involved in decisions about class size.

Taylor Griggs
Continue reading »
Comics Nov 24 1:00 PM

New Thing in the Lloyd Center: Secret Room Workshop Pop-Up

Through December 23, the little gallery will host art shows, present workshops, and sell riso-printer art.

At one time, long ago, people went to malls to have their many consumerist, social, and aesthetic needs met—for a price—and also, sometimes, there was a hot pretzel stand. Nowadays the work of fulfilling those needs has mostly been overtaken by the internet. It has all the mall offered, and you don't even need to wear pants to access it.

Portland's Lloyd Center has been in the mall game for going on six decades now, and has undergone a number of reinventions to stay relevant (they added the roof in the '90s, for example). Recently that’s meant welcoming refugees from Portland’s arts scene, who find themselves increasingly displaced by the city’s deeply unhinged real estate market.

Secret Room Workshop is the latest, albeit brief, addition of the art world into Lloyd’s well-trod halls. Occupying a small gallery space—across from an empty storefront that appears to have, somewhat confusingly, once sold both “R/C cars” and “jeans”—it looks stately enough to be a boutique with a couple of rumpus room touches, like a pair of colorful rugs and some combo TV VCRs playing artsy bootleg tapes on repeat. A few shelves of Secret Room’s in-house published comics and zines are displayed for sale, along with a row of vivid comics-influenced prints, bootleg VHS tapes, and micro-label cassettes. 

Continue reading »

BEHOLD! It's the Portland Mercury’s HOLIDAY DRINK WEEK! That's correct: It's time for an ENTIRE WEEK (November 27-December 3) of specially crafted, original holiday themed cocktails mixed by the best bartenders in town… and get this, they're only $8 each!

We’ve teamed up with the finest bars and restaurants in Portland—with support from our cocktail-lovin’ pals at Jim Beam—to bring you this one-of-a-kind booze-tacular! At each location, you’ll find $8 specially crafted cocktails, and even better? They'll be available ALL DAY (not just during happy hour)! TAKE A LOOK AT ALL 26 OF THE DELICIOUS BOOZY CONCOCTIONS HERE!

 Stay tuned to and the Mercury for announcements—and get ready set sail on a river of booze from now until December 3! (PSST! You'll get even more hot tips if you sign up for Mercury newsletters, and follow us on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook!)

Say, do you love the Mercury’s Food and Drink promotions (such as Highball, Burger Week, Pizza Week, and more)? Then please consider becoming a recurring contributor to the Mercury. We would never be able to do these fun things without you!

So, are you ready for HOLIDAY DRINK WEEK? Great! Just remember a few friendly rules:

Continue reading »
EverOut Nov 24 10:02 AM

The Best Bang for Your Buck Events in Portland This Weekend: Nov 24–26, 2023

Christmas Festival of Lights, Holiday Markets, and More Cheap & Easy Events Under $15

The holiday season is now officially in full swing, and as such, there's plenty to busy yourself with. Make merry at events like the 39th Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony or the Grotto's Christmas Festival of Lights, and take the opportunity to shop small this weekend at the Black Friday Indigenous Marketplace, Spectrum Art Market Presents HoliGAY Market, or Record Store Day: RSD Black Friday. For more ideas, check out our guide to the top events of the week.



Record Store Day: RSD Black Friday 2023
Whether you're looking for special RSD releases, or just want to support your local record store, drag yourself out of bed bright and early this Black Friday as shops around town fill up with vinyl-hungry shoppers. Participation varies store-to-store, but expect sales, exclusive merch, extended hours, in-store performances, and other special events. Highlights from this year's special releases include a 7" box set of De La Soul's long out-of-print opus 3 Feet High and Risingunheard demos from Joni Mitchell's Court and Spark, and PNW label Light in the Attic's compilation Light In The Attic & Friends, which features contemporary artists covering their favorite unsung heroes. Check out the RSD website for a full list of participating stores. AUDREY VANN
(Various locations)

Read on EverOut »