Monday, December 28, 2009

Vic Chesnutt

I have listened to his songs, off one record in particular (West of Rome), probably once a week since my friend Jason gave it to me in college in 1992. Of all the musicians I love, he was the most poetic and hard working on his songcraft. Very sorry to hear he died.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Xmas Adventures

I am having a very Christmasy Christmas so far, albeit without family or any religious observation whatsoever. Somehow not longing for my Texas childhood of having to sit at the feet of a gasbag to hear the book of Matthew read aloud so that the next morning I could open gifts purchased at the Christian bookstore at the mall.

No, this holiday season is something altogether different. I got to go to a cabin up on Mt. Hood for a the solstice and hang out in a hot tub surrounded by spectacularly tall Douglas Fir trees. I got my scrabble on. I went snowshoeing around Trillium Lake. I nearly missed my train to Seattle to see my friends but re-arranged my ticket (I love Amtrak) and got to go to Wilf's for excellent old-school holiday drinks. The train to Seattle was significantly delayed. The conductor came on the loud speaker midway in Kelso to apologize for the late hour, but that "we had to stop to eject an intoxicated passenger" and in case anyone else got any ideas "we do notice when intoxication levels are bothering other riders."

I arrived safely, eventually, at the destination.

And on that note, here's a vintage clip of a very intoxicated Judy Garland pleading that you not break up with her despite the fact that she can't stay away from booze and pills, or get out of her chair to sing while on Johnny Carson. Ho Ho Ho.

Not to be missed bonus feature. Judy Garland drunken tirade:

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Bowling Night

When I was 16 years old, my most prized possession was a vintage black bowling shirt that I got on a trip to New York City at the Antique Boutique. The name "Stan" is stitched above the pocket, it identifies the wearer as an "alley master" and I have kept it with me over the course of about 27 different closets. On Thursday night, it saw the light of day again. I'm pretty sure I hadn't worn it in 10 years. But dammit, I had an occasion. My upstairs neighbor is in a bowling league and a few of the members were tragically unable to attend that night's match. I was the filler. The ringer. The right girl at the right place in the right shirt.

I am not much of a bowler and I'm pretty sure I have never scored more than 100 in a game. That's okay though because the people watching was ON FIRE at the bowling alley! How about guys in denim shorts? (it is really cold out). What if those same guys had their cellphones attached to special carrying cases on the belts of those jean shorts? That's great because you know that those guys are reachable, even if they are bowling. The phone is right there. You can call whenever. They might say yellow instead of hello when they answer.

One of the players on my team was nicknamed The Heat (so stated on the computerized bowling scorecard). He had bright red hair and threw the ball down the lane with insane velocity. Each time he did this I screamed, "THE HEAT!!!" whether he guttered or not. Another guy in the league was bowling in a viking helmet but I did not get to talk to him.

The particular team I was playing on was said to be the goat of the league: last place, the Montreal Expos of thursday night bowling teams. This meant that we were not able to earn enough strikes to get a coupon for free tater tots at the snack bar. We had to buy our own, which was humiliating. None the less, we had spirit. Over the course of the evening, I got the impression that this bowling league wasn't so much about becoming the next Dick Weber. The bowling was a thin charade masking a heterosexual mating ritual and hence the reason the teams needed the right ratios of men and women. So I hope I wasn't annoying anyone when I pointed out that everyone was just talking and people forgot to go when it was their turn.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


My fun and exciting weekend included traveling to Bend, OR to see the National Cyclocross championships. Here, pictured above, is a photo I took of the women's collegiate race. I think this rider is Ashley James. And that's the Last Regiment of Syncopated Drummers behind her, playing their hearts out in the cold and keeping the beat for all the racers.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Staying tuned...

There's something stirring in Yellow Springs. Hoping it isn't a psych out.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009


This is what the Willamette River looks like right now. This is waiting-for-the-L-in-Chicago cold. Bitter, windy where-is-my-hat-dammit cold. And so I am hibernating and planning to cook stew and just not doing a lot of the exciting things that you may have come to expect from me. Because it is too dark and blustery for that.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Honey, I'm home.

Okay well sorry for that extended absence. A whole hell of a lot has been going on, a little travel to the midwest, and this and that. Okay, well, then let's sally forth.

Monday, November 16, 2009


I'm in trial and away from this blog for the time being. Send magical justice vibes to the Federal Courthouse please.

Thursday, November 12, 2009


"If we aren't supposed to eat animals, then why are they made of meat?" This is scrawled on the back wall of Beast, which I have wanted to check out ever since I moved to Portland. Finally got the chance last night for a little Veteran's Day special somethingorother. So here's the deal: The chef, Naomi Pomeroy, decides what she'll be cooking. It's two big tables and one big prix fixe, no substitutions and big on the creative use of meats. And then with very well thought out vegetables too. Paired with wine if you'd like. We did. The menu went something like this: delicata squash soup with something, maybe fried prosciutto in the middle and a green herbed olive oil bit of float on top and then this very amazing charcuterie plate with all manner of little meat treats and a gummy bear looking sauterne gel square atop foie gras. Then a little sorbet, and then a beet salad of some variety and then slow cooked pork with spicy russian kale greens. And then a cheese course. And then dessert. Something with quince. Between the wine and the good music and then nice company I was delirious in foodie heaven and everything after the sauce that came with the pork is a bit of a glazed over fuzzy/happy/faulty recollection. It was the late seating on a Wednesday night and we seemed to be surrounded by people in the food business: a pastry chef to the left, a sommelier across. Carnivore dividends.

P.S. The great picture above was taken by Alicia J. Rose, who let me gank this image of Naomi and pig. Thanks.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Siren Nation

This weekend was the Siren Nation music festival here in town, which mostly involved staking out the under appreciated Someday Lounge. The line up was through-and-through amazing. My highlights were Emily Wells and Y La Bamba. And everyone else.

Emily Wells - Symphony 6: Fair Thee Well & The Requiem Mix

Y La Bamba - Fasting in San Francisco

I did a wee bit of helping out to put this thing on and it is right up my alley in terms of the lady-centric music scene. There was also a craft fair and a film festival as part of it. The festival hosts events all year long to raise money to pay the musicians. That is most of the budget for the festival since it is produced purely as a volunteer effort to promote women making music and art. Who doesn't like that? I know I do.

Monday, November 2, 2009

How to Make Grape Jelly

1. Put Etta James on your car stereo.
2. Drive to the Willamette Valley
3. Stop for pork stomach tacos at La Estrella in Forest Grove.
4. Get to Gaston. Slow down because it is a speed trap.
5. Park the car and walk into the vineyard (having ingratiated yourself with the owners).
6. Fill a big Trader Joe's bag with pinot noir grapes from the unusually robust second growth this year.
7. Go home. Find some pectin and jars.
8. Smash the grapes with your bare hands and strain off the juice.
9. Swipe rosemary from a neighbor's yard. Put big sprigs in the juice to steep.
10. Boil a habanero pepper and put some of the liquid in the pectin.
11. Follow the directions on the pectin box for grape jelly.
12. Get distracted. Forget the sugar. Repeat step 11.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Favorite Things

So yeah, I am behind on the updates here. Rest assured dear reader, I promise I am having an ungodly good time. Last Friday, in fact, a friend swooped me up to the tippy-top of Portland, known as Council Crest. I had no idea that is was up there, or that it is so close to my house, or that if you stand in the middle of the circular platform and your friend whispers "Millennium Crystal" in your ear, that everything reverberates and echoes in a very specific way. So now I know. And if the lights of Portland are twinkling down the hill just so, then you really believe that there is a millennium crystal laying about somewhere up on the hill. There used to be an amusement park up there way back in the day.

The next day I went to a Portland/Amsterdam printing event and then an epic hike on foot way up the hill above my house and discovered fancy Portland Heights, which I did not know existed. I eventually found Council Crest again.

Sons of an Illustrious Father - Born Too Late

Sunday, October 25, 2009

That's What I Heard

Saw the Gossip the other night and it was like a big gay homecoming dance. I have zero time to blog right now my lovelies. See entry below about suggestive photo arrays. Dig?

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Upon having gotten down and stayed down...

Last night I saw Thao and the Get Down Stay Down play at the Doug Fir. My is that a great band. And Thao is such and effortless guitar player. She does all of this complicated, emotional playing and it just pours out of her hands like nothing. Its like she's not even paying attention, because she's busy singing and doing this little dance, and it is just about the most entertainment that I can stand. Certainly a feast for a measly Wednesday night in Portland. So the band is in the middle of a busy busy busy tour and they may be coming to a venue near you, in which case you should make a point to go.

Thao and the Get Down Stay Down - When We Swam


Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Send coffee.

It is going to be one of those go-to-work-in-the-dark/come-home-in-the-dark kinds of work weeks.

Woven Bones - If You're Gold I'm Gone


Sunday, October 18, 2009


But I don't even like clowns. Not even a little bit. And despite this, I went to something called Circus Artemis with a friend last night and found myself actually chuckling at the clowns and the comedic acrobats and so forth. It was an all-female circus performance, totally packed, and held in an industrial warehouse with huge ceilings. There were a lot of trapeze acts but the most impressive thing I saw was a woman who hoisted herself around on a platform with posts on it, sort of like a pommel horse without the horse. She was incredibly strong and at the end, shot a bow and arrow with her feet while doing a handstand on top of the posts. Hard to explain, amazing to see. I hope they take their show in the road. Wow.

Saturday, October 17, 2009


This is what I am doing right now, except it is raining and gray in Portland, and the show is in a dirty dark dive bar at 3pm in the afternoon. Everything else is exactly as you see it here:

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Art in Chelsea

On tuesday I walked around Chelsea looking at a whole lot of art. And the winners are:

1. For worst pictures to see after lunch, the award goes to Manabu Yamanaka! (Applause). His work supposedly deals with his Buddhism, according to the flyer at Stux Gallery. The flyer also emphasized that Yamanaka does not digitally manipulate his photos. This made the work more unnerving to look at. Mr. Stefan Stux was there giving a gallery lecture and answered a question for a tour group, explaining that these works were so disturbing as to not be commercially viable. And he obviously loves this photographer and you could tell by the way he talked about it.

2. Best use of 2x4s and romex and particle board goes to Maya Lin. Give it up for Maya! Her show at Pace Wildenstein had three different landscape sculptures and geez, what can I say. Her work is really simple and really startling at the same time.

3. The award for the most jarring commentary on the horror of misogyny goes to Kara Walker for her piece about a 13 year old Somali girl who was stoned to death for being raped. Turns out that Artforum wrote something about it, which I would rather have you read yourself instead of going through the trauma of detailing this intense and scary piece of art. Glad I saw it. Can't stop thinking about it. Ready to stop now.

4. And best drug addled free love retrospective goes to Dennis Hopper for his black and white photographs from the 1960s and 70s of all manner of counterculture fun. I was struck by how many interesting men he happened to be friends with to photograph and how soulful and stunning they looked through his viewfinder. Not sure how free the love was, but he sure knew how to make a fella gaze into his camera.

Monday, October 12, 2009


So here's what I can report: it's open house weekend at a lot of the New York landmarks, just in time for my visit. And so I went up to the Apollo Theater for a look around. The historian for the theater was there and gave a lecture all about the background, what Amateur Night is all about (since 1934!) and all the famous performers who have graced the stage. I got to rub the lucky stump, which is like the blarney stone of soul music.

I also did some shopping, and thank you, I talked myself out of getting the purple skinny jeans. Bought some great shoes instead. Had dinner at Bar Boulud. Walked and walked and walked. Checked out the Highline, which is a park built on an old elevated railroad track. It offers a comprehensive view of the meatpacking district, which is no longer the gritty foul smelling puddle that I remember from my stint living here in the early 90's. And today, I get to go up to Inwood to see my friend's cafe. Less blogging, more travel, starting now...

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Suggestive Photo Arrays

I have spent the better part of the last two days writing a motion to suppress an "improperly suggestive photo array." That is actually not as pornographic as one might think. In a nutshell, it is the problem that witnesses have picking out the right criminal from a photo line up when they say they think the guy had a mohawk, and then they are shown a photographic array with six mugshots that includes only one guy with a mohawk. The other five guys have other haircuts. So that's suggestive because it prompts the witness to pick the guy with the mohawk based on that distinguishing feature rather than whether she can actually identify and distinguish the face of the person she saw. That's unconstitutional, a violation of due process, and in English: Unfair. There are a lot of false identifications made using this method such as problems with witnesses who feel compelled to make a choice among the six pictures in the array even if they aren't sure. And the problems are greater when you have something akin to the one-mohawk-issue. Anyways, that's what I'm working on.

Pictures of Matchstick Men - Camper Van Beethoven

The Evidence, The Proof - The Movers and Shakers



I am on a cooking tear and have the following revelation to report: making vegetable stock is the best thing ever and it is delicious. I think Mark Bittman is kind of snobbish or something, or maybe I am sore about him slagging on the Portland food scene when he visited recently. But in any case, I very generally (not really) followed his simple vegetable stock recipe and I now I have an unexpected zeal for this humble liquid. Here's what I did:

Vegetable Stock

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 carrots, peeled and sliced
1 onion, roughly cubed
1 celery stalk, chopped
3 peeled cloves garlic
10 or 20 flat-leaf parsley leaves and stems
Kosher Salt and pepper
6 cups of water

1. So I put everything except the parsley onto a baking sheet. I drizzled it all with the olive oil. I put the veggies into the oven on high heat for about 20 minutes until it was getting a little browned and carmelized on the edges of the carrots.

2. I took the veggies out of the oven and dumped them into a stock pot. Added the water, added the parsley, added 6 cups water and some pepper.

3. Brought it to a boil and then simmered for about 45 minutes.

4. I strained off the soggy vegetables and Ta-Da! Amazingly tasty!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

and also there is Rat Tail to consider

Found a new Canadian band from Canada. Rat Tail!!!! They drone along in a way that I like.

Keeper - Rat Tail

Update: I found Rat Tail on which is out of California and muses on good music, among other things.


sweet sixteen

Sweet Sixteen - Think About Life This song is stuck in my head. That is all.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Definitely Fall

They are picking the grapes in the Willamette Valley this week. I know because I had to drive down to the federal prison on the first really truly gray and windy day. The September segue is finished. And so tonight is all about walking home from work while the sun was long gone, wishing I had a heavier jacket, roasting a chicken in my apartment, and listening to Mount Eerie in one ear, and calling my friends with the other.

Flaming Home - Mount Eerie, Julie Dorion, Fred Squire

Stone's Ode - Mount Eerie


Saturday, September 26, 2009


My mother is in town and so I have not had much time to write this week. What I can tell you is that my parade of fun continues, I finished another brief for the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in a habeas case, and a huge plastic horse now keeps watch over my apartment from atop the china cabinet. And I went to a bunch of benefits this weekend for P:ear, Siren Nation, and Ecotrust's Farm to Schools program. More later, I swear.

Friday, September 25, 2009

This is your government

Arresting a protester at Pittsburg G20.

Monday, September 21, 2009

and the rock did not stop

Wow! So much excitement! I was clearly overstimulated, such that I dropped my phone into pieces while running across MLK. I was trying to catch the bus to see Mariachi El Bronx, but sadly, missed them because I was standing in the middle of MLK looking for parts of my blackberry. I heard the car horns instead of the mariachis. I eventually gave up and made my way to see Sallie Ford and Sean Flinn play at Rontoms in separate, respective and outstanding sets. And there was just enough time to scarf down some noodles at Biwa before we went rushing off to Slabtown for Rachel Blumberg playing as Arch Cape. I wasn't dressed for just any rock show though. No, I was in a purple plaid shirt because Team Dresch and Erase Errata were playing at Rotture later and I pretty much had the best time ever. First off, Erase Errata is One Tight Band. I just got their record because it is never too late. As for Donna's team, it's not so often that I can sing along to all the songs and it is even more fun when done at the top of one's lungs at a punk show. I can still holler out the lyrics to #1 Chance Pirate T.V. like a baby dyke in 1995. That's how it was.

Erase Errata - Tax Dollar

Sunday, September 20, 2009

and then at MFNW

and on Friday night, the cavalcade of great music kept rolling: I saw Tara Jane O'Neil do a very fine set at Back Space then popped next door to hear Jared Mees and The Grown Children. Exceptionally entertaining. Wish I could have stayed. But I had to take the bus across the river to see Explode into Colors. And then Pink Mountaintops. And then to a late-night party at 17th NW and Overton where The Thermals played a special set and Dj Safi played my favorite song about sandwiches. Way fun.

Jared Mees & The Grown Children - The Tallest Building in Hell

Detroit Grand Pubahs - Sandwiches

Friday, September 18, 2009

MFNW continuing

So I made my decisions like so: I went to the shows that I thought were the toughest tickets. So if the band was from a foreign land (like Austrailia or Scotland) or otherwise too crazy for me to want to go to another time, then that's what I picked. SO MUCH DAMN FUN. Girl Talk first. Was definitely one of the oldest people in the room and watched a guy climb all over a table with laptops taped to it while girls weilded leaf blowers rigged to shoot toilet paper into the audience. Absolute dance party mayhem.

Then I went and saw Dirty Three. They are a dirge-y sort of instrumental band from Austrailia who make you want to take a quart of whiskey onto a sailboat on a cloudy day. Just super emotive, soaring stuff. A friend recently saw them perform with Nick Cave at All Tomorrow's Parties in New York but it was just the three of them this time.

THEN I got to see Frightened Rabbit, a dear bunch of Scottish guys. I can't explain why I go so bonkers for Frightened Rabbit but they are so great and unassuming live. (and sweaty).

I'm going to post some music later on this evening to go with this post, but I suppose I should practice law just now.

Update: Here's the first batch...

Dirty Three - Distant Shore

Girl Talk - Bounce That

Frightened Rabbit - The Modern Leper

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Too Much Rock Thursday

MusicFestNorthWest is on, my people. I am running from show to show all weekend (or probably riding my bike if you must know). Tonight I have to PICK, I can't believe I have to PICK between Dirty Three, Girltalk, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, Explosions in the Sky, Frightened Rabbit and The Pains of Being Pure at Heart. They are all playing at the same damn time in different clubs.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Idiocy on Parade

For those of you who could not make it to the tea-bagger march on Washington this weekend, here are some protest signs to make your head explode.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Road Trip to the Mountains

Went on a little roadtrip to a wedding yesterday and got to see a new part of Oregon. West of Corvallis in the Coastal Range, down that way. My friends Heidi and Stephen got married and so a buddy and I loaded mix cds and a change of clothes and hit the road for the three hour drive to Alsea, Oregon. Because we would be passing through Oregon wine country and because my friend is a genius, she made reservations for a private tasting at Natalie's Estate, a small little winery near Newburg. After viognier, tasty cheeses, nerdy talk of the char on new oak, and purchasing a couple of bottles for safekeeping, and we were back on the road. The trip down 99W was a pretty extraordinary who's who of Oregon wine production, but no more stopping because The Thyme Garden in Alsea, Oregon beckoned. It was a lovely little herb farm in a high mountain valley far away from the world. Everything about it was perfect and I met a lot of Alaskans and smarty-pants scientists that do things with the atomic clock and radar and pharmaceuticals and so forth. Fun.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Kids today

So I'm hanging out at this resale shop on E. Burnside called Rad Summer. They have what the kids want today and I fear my tastes haven't caught up just yet to the cutting edge of Portland fashion. I'm not saying it isn't cool. It's cool, okay? It's just that I haven't figured out how to rock a yellow neon hoodie and wedgie nurse shoes yet. Yes, it is funny to watch me try.

So I'm going through a carousel rack of clothing that reminded me of what Shaun Cassidy might have worn to a charity bicycle race to raise money for the band Cameo. Two very skinny 20ish guys with long beards and head bands are sitting in the back near the shop's vinyl selection which includes Kay Gardner records on prominent display. The albums hover in the shop like a life preserver of Something I Can Understand. Kay Gardner is an old school lez feminist musician who's been associated with the Michfest that I go to. I cannot be considered a fan, but I know my music herstory and know she's a crystal-lifting, moon goddess gown wearing new age music composer. So I walk over and pick up the record and the two bearded dudes start talking to me about it. Because that's the kind of vinyl that the kids today seek. That's where we are at right now. Whoa.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

My crush on Hot Lava continues unabated.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Awesome New Band Alert

I get to say they are new because I just heard them. It's my blog and I make the rules. Anyways, WHERE in the world is there a cuter band than this??? Hot Lava!

Hot Lava - Mummy Beach


Time Based Art

Sure did see a neat show last night. It was everything I like: contemporary dance, excellent understated costuming, video and super interesting rock and roll. Explode into Colors collaborated with a very interesting dancer/choreographer who goes by the name Janet Pants. It is impossible for me to aptly describe the show, but there was a lot of moving around and it sounded good.

I also ate grasshoppers! No, really.

I plan to spend the next several days slogging between all the great Time Based Art performances. Tonight is Ten Tiny Dances. I love Portland.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Monday, August 31, 2009

Did you see that?

I hear that Burning Man started today, which explains what all those freaky ass cars and buses were doing on I-5 southbound for the past several days. Mystery solved.


I'm not sure what it is about getting to visit the ocean, but I am feeling just right this morning. This past weekend I drove out to Westport, WA and met up with my dear ol' pals, walked on the beach, slept under the stars, played guitars, and otherwise looked like an ad for an aging hipster summer camp. What an ideal situation.

The next morning, we went over to the nearby commercial fishing docks, lured in by hand painted sign for the fresh catch of the day. After visiting a coast guard museum that displayed huge sea mammal skeletons, we walked around on the docks to check out all the boats and crab rings. Salty dog type fisherman guys and their twenty-ish sons washed fish guts off of decks, messed around with marine engines, and otherwise got all nautical. On Dock #3 we found another family operation that was selling fish off of their boat. Check it out: the hold was full of salmon and tuna. There was a scale on deck and a bunch of plastic bags. The tuna (weighed whole) was $2.25 per pound as is and $2.50 a pound if they fileted it. We split the cost on a $30.00 fish and each walked away with about 6 pounds of just-caught-this-morning albacore filets. Bargain! I made ceviche when I got home and it was delicious. If anyone has any tuna recipes I'll be at it all week so don't be shy.

The Waterboys - Fisherman's Blues

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Picking on Sculptures

My schedule has worked out for the past couple of weeks so that I could walk to work almost every day. I don't live too far away from my office and can hustle down there in about 14 or 15 minutes if I go fast. The weather has been exceptional and I've been taking alternating routes, passing all manner of public sculptures. I like to tease Portland because I think that a great many of the public sculptures are god awful. Maybe that is true in most cities, but it seems to me that in a place like this where you'd think the taste level is at least above average, there would be fewer stinkers. I am not the only one who ridicules the public art around here. Anyways, click through to see a few of these, and of course, because it is art and you are very contrary, you may disagree:

1. Han Solo with an Umbrella

2. Portlandia (pictured above). Yikes.

3. Scary giant face made of tape sculpture. And there are TWO of them, on either side of the ballpark.

I think it is safe to say that I could do a whole other blog just about public art in Portland. I think several people have already done so and they know more about art so can be truly scathing and bitchy. But I'm not like that. In fact, I think I might be a crusty old man because my favorite Portland sculpture is the Abe Lincoln in the South Park Blocks.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Don't Get Me Wrong

This week I added another year to my age and my, my, had a fun time with that. A bunch of especially smart and good looking Portland friends gathered at Alu, a great little wine bar on MLK. I got cake, a happy birthday song, and then the hardy remainder bundled me off to The Alibi. It is an old tiki lounge with a reliable karaoke scene and lots of charm. And in case I was not already overstimulated enough, Juliette Lewis was there with a bunch of her friends and she sang a song (does anyone remember what that was?) and I got my picture taken with her. I butchered Shirley Bassey's Goldfinger and went on home. I did not linger with the hollywood actress or get her number or anything because I knew I would be seeing her again.

Indeed, my birthday present to myself was tickets to The Pretenders last night. Catpower and Juliette Lewis were the openers. They were both fine but the Pretenders were so rock and roll excellent as not to be believed. And if there is something to quickly put the aging process into vivid perspective it would be watching 58 year old Chrissie Hynde wailing out Precious in her little rubber boots and just bringing the house down. It was as impressive a show by anyone that I have probably ever seen and I got to see it outside on the McMenamin's Edgefield lawn and that made things even better.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Art 21

Perhaps I am the last person to know about this because I so very rarely watch TV these days. It's not that I've become a bookish curmudgeon. It's just that I am not home all that much and when I am I have to wash the dishes or sleep. That's all. But anyways, on a tip from Ricky Lee's netflix queue, I decided to start watching the PBS Art 21 series.

It is sort of like a video magazine that rolls through all sorts of contemporary artists, many of which I hadn't heard of or did not know much about. What a treat to see an interview with Sally Mann at her farm, or to see Ann Hamilton put an installation together. And oh my gosh there are so many seasons of this show. So many artists and ideas showcased. It just keeps going and going and you see so much stuff and when you come across a blowhard jerkwad you can just hit fast forward.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Thursday, August 20, 2009


I have stumbled into some fun stage performance situations this summer. First off, I saw Storm Large to her one-woman show and that was okay but I think I'm a little tough to impress/shock/move when it comes to hardscrabble stories because I hear it all day. The music was nice and now I can say I know who Storm Large is. Okay. The more exciting piece was back over at Milepost 5 which is AWESOME and you should hurry your ass over to this weekend because The Manor of Art show is coming down on Sunday. And last night that show included theatrical pieces in conjunction with the Hand2Mouth Theater group. Angela Fair blew me away with a funny, tragic, pitch perfect monologue sort of number that incorporated costume, video, a karaoke bar nervous breakdown, and an ethereal technical support call from the cosmos. I could get really into going to see performance art stuff all the time if it was all this good. Note to self: go see more theater.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Ed Sharpe

While trying on a sweater in the dressing room of a downtown Portland clothes shop, I discovered this band playing, asked the clerk who they were, and went and got the album. And, as luck would have it, they are going to be playing in Portland in a few weeks. New band to like!

Ed Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros - Up From Below

Ed Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros - Home


Sunday, August 16, 2009

And We're Back

Sorry for the long absence. Between my vacation from the grid and a computer repair, its been a long time. But enough about me, how have you been? During this radio silence, the following occurred:

1). Michfest. My annual pilgrimage was so totally worth it once again. I visited my dear ones in Kalamazoo on the way in and borrowed a little kid-sized $10 guitar. I made my way on to The Land out in the middle-of-nowhere Michigan on Monday and played music all week. Harry Nilsson, David Bowie, Jo Carol Pierce, Freakwater, etc etc. I haven't sat down and played and played like that in about ten years but my fingers remembered the way eventually, and I was real happy to get home and try out all my new mad skills on my Takamine. As far as the festival goes, Sia was AMAZING.

2). Manor of Art! I'm not exactly sure what the deal is, but there's an old nursing home in NE portland that has been taken over by artists and bands. Every room is an installation or an artist specific gallery. Even the toilets were bedazzled by the art pranksters with action figures, paint and whatnot. HURRY. It's only going to be up for another 8 days or so. My favorite part was watching jack ass Portlanders run through the labyrinthine space playing laser tag. Perfect.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Back to the Midwest

I'll be spending the next week in the middle-of-nowhere camping and not listening to Guided by Voices. See you then.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

It was so hot out...

...that I reserved the cabin at the end of this road for a weekend in January. I'll have to remember how unbearably hot it was while I am chattering my teeth in that cabin.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Very Hot Out

The lady on 10th Avenue used her most diplomatic voice when she asked, "Are you a robot or a real person?" But it is extremely hot out right now in Portland. Almost no one has air conditioning. It was hot all night long and no one slept very well. Whereas normally the woman on the corner might have patiently replied that she was human and not humanoid, today is no day for niceties. So she screamed, very loudly, "I AM A HUMAN BEING NOT A ROBOT! NOW LEAVE ME ALONE!" The startled questioner was perplexed by all the hostility. (Was this robot programmed to attack when confronted?) She kept looking back over her shoulder and made her sweaty way on up the street. This is all true and I saw it on my way to work.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Sallie Ford

I have been running my most recent Portland visitor through an obstacle course of musical performances this weekend. We went over to PDX POP NOW this afternoon and happened upon Sallie Ford and the Sound Outside's set. Wow wow wow. I think she's going to be a star.

Sallie Ford and the Sound Outside - Not an Animal

Friday, July 24, 2009

Musical July

I am continually preoccupied with music, but this July has been especially tuneful, and a lot has been going on at work, and I have fallen off a bit in my posting frequency. But please let me tell you about these three things:

1. Free shows downtown. I look a bit funny in my suit down there with the bands but that's okay. This week I saw Mirah and the Portland Cello Project play together and that was so pretty to see outdoors. The thing I like about Mirah is seeing her live and how much control she has over that amazing voice of hers. And a bunch of cellos backing her up, all the better. Earlier in the week was the PDX POP NOW kickoff show at city hall featuring Y La Bamba, Point Juncture, WA, and Yacht. The voodoo doughnut truck was there along with a whole mess of scenesters. I am way looking forward to taking full advantage of that POP NOW fest because last year it was an amazing cavalcade of great bands and this year's lineup is even better. Yes, it is like heaven.

2. Walking down Ainsworth Ave. on a Sunday morning and happening upon a full-on gospel service in full glorious swing at a tiny little store-front church. Not enough to witness me away from atheism, but the most persuasive reason I can think of.

3. Hosted a fundraiser for Siren Nation at Every Day Wine on Alberta. It was SO FUN and I hope I can do it again. We made a little money for the festival but more importantly, I got to hang out with a bunch of great ladies and Ashleigh Flynn played us a little set and all the wine that was featured came from women-owned vineyards.

More later... must go see more shows...

Mirah - Generosity

The Portland Cello Project - Travel (featuring Justin Powers)

Y La Bamba - Fasting in San Francisco

Monday, July 20, 2009


Tomorrow I am doing something at my office that we call a staffing. I have a tricky case and so I am hoping all the brilliant minds will descend into the large conference room on the 16th floor and read over some memos about the facts and brainstorm with me about how I am going to work it all out. Because it is a hot week here in Portland, in the 90's, I'm going to serve Texas-style limeade. I am hoping if the exciting subject matter does not bring in the crowd, limeade will do the trick. Wish me luck.

Also, I should probably get a fan for my apartment.


So this is why people like summer in Portland

I didn't plan too much for this weekend. I had some great birthday parties to go to, and I did a big giant hike up and down to Pittock Mansion. And then I got this unexpected invitation to go sit on the beach at Sauvie Island and eat sandwiches and watch the Columbia River roll by. I put on my best sunscreen and floppy straw hat and had a jolly afternoon. But then, it was time to go. But we COULDN'T. There was a brush fire somewhere and they closed the road. There's only one road and one bridge off the island. No escape. I'll tell you, this Pacific Northwest does not mess around when it comes to outdoor adventures... people get lost in the woods, fall off trails to their doom, all sorts of things. Since Sauvie Island is a bucolic slice of midwestern berry picking farm country, I thought it would be alright, what could happen so long as I did not go swimming? BRUSHFIRE! So instead of sitting on a two lane road of crabby traffic, we just went back to the beach until the fire went out or something. I am dirty with sand and sunblock and happy not to have been consumed by the flames and glad I spent the whole day outside.

WAVVES - Beach Demon

Goldfrapp - Happiness