Archive for March, 2008

Win Free Tickets to the Submarines on Friday @ Dante’s – updated

As part of the Raiders of the Lost Ark: The Adaptation leadup, I got an email from Matt, one of the organizers.  One of their sponsors is giving away some free tickets for the Submarines show at Dante’s this Friday.  Read on:

Thanks to Metblogs for supporting the Raiders of the Lost Ark: The Adaptation / Submarines at Dante’s Ticket Giveaway.
Nettwerk Music Group’s (Ladytron, Junkie XL) own Submarines are playing Dante’s on Friday, March 28.
And Nettwerk is giving away two pairs of tickets to see The Submarines at Dante’s to help promote Portland’s non-profit event, Raiders of the Lost Ark: The Adaptation at the Hollywood Theatre on April 18 and 19. This event raises funds for the
Austin Miller Scholarship Fund at Film Action Oregon.

People have probably heard The Submarines’ version of “Little Boxes” on Showtime’s hilarious Weeds as well as in the Season Four finale of Nip/Tuck where the lead actors lip synced their song, “Brighter Discontent.”

And now The Submarines are touring in support of their upcoming release Honeysuckle Weeks which hits in May.
For those new to the Subs, the band’s core is duo John Dragonetti and Blake Hazard. After meeting in 2000, John and Blake were romantically involved while supporting each other’s bands until the couple broke up in 2004. They continued to write music together but found that their new songs all dealt with the sadness of being apart. And so after getting back together, they launched The Submarines as their new joint music venture.

We’ll be posting a micro-interview with John and Blake in the next day or so.

So if anyone is interested in winning a pair of tickets to see The Submarines at Dante’s on Friday, March 28, they can leave a comment with the answer to this little bit of Raiders of the Lost Ark trivia…

What deliciously mustachioed actor was originally cast as adventurer Indiana Jones before Harrison Ford eventually took over the role?” – tickets won!

“What pair of illicit, star-crossed lovers, whose amour could, sadly, never be, make a very brief and clandestine yet anachronistic appearance in Raiders of the Lost Ark?”


Anyone know?  If so, leave a comment and I’ll forward your answer on to Matt.  Also, remember, Dante’s is now non-smoking.

Raiders of the Lost Ark: The Adaptation – April 18 and 19 at The Hollywood Theatre to benefit the Austin Miller Scholarship Fund at Film Action Oregon

Hopworks Grand Opening

Made it up to Hopworks Urban Brewery (HUB) to partake in the grand opening. Arrived at about 5:30 and met up with some friends who (luckily) got a table in the packed to the gills brewpub. Seems like anybody who had any kind of interest at all in local beers was there. The servers were completely overwhelmed but still managed to get us our beers in a reasonable amount of time, which says a lot about the high caliber of service at this place.

So how is it? It’s pretty nice. Probably won’t replace my local watering hole in the immediate future, but once the crowds die down, I can see myself going here pretty regularly.

The Good:

1. A separate area for kids – I’ve given up trying to fight the fact that some people feel absolutely compelled to bring their children to the pub with them. But unlike some places (I’m looking at you Lucky Lab) you don’t have to worry about dodging children running around while their parents completely ignore them. There is an upstairs area where those with children can sit. The downstairs (and main room) is reserved for grown-ups. This is a huge plus.

2. The beer – in a word? Great. HUBs beers stand up with the best Portland has to offer. Their lager is crisp, malty, and tastes like something you’d get in Germany. I think that lager, as a style, has been ignored by too many Portland brewers, and I applaud a place that not only makes them, but makes them well. I didn’t try the pale, IPA, or ESB because, frankly, this town is awash in them. I did, however, try the “Seven Grain Survival Stout” and it was fantastic. It’s nice, malty, and has that slightly chalky mouth-feel that all great stouts have. HUB also adds Espresso to their Stout, which makes for a nice finish.

3. Happy Hour – the happy hour menu here is awesome. All kinds of stuff for less than two bucks, and a lot more for under four. Pizza, wings, all kinds of goodies to be noshed.

4. The service – as I mentioned before, this place was packed. Yet our server was continually fighting her way through the crowd to make sure our beer needs were met. She was awesome. As I was leaving, one of my buddies mentioned that he heard someone saying that the service was to slow. If that person is reading this – you sir (or ma’am), are a jackass. It’s opening freaking day. There will be snags. And, given the size of the crowd, I think that the people working there did an amazing job of getting everyone served in a reasonable amount of time. So cram it.

The Bad (and these complaints are minor):

1. Food can be a little spendy. It’s a small complaint, as I’m mostly coming for the beer, but $9.25 for a cheeseburger? Really? On the other hand, they have a great lunch special (a slice, a salad, and a beer for something like six bucks), and the prices for pizza are about in line with other local joints.

2. The location. SE Powell blows. It reminds me of my time spent in Vancouver. It’s like our own little Mill Plain Blvd. Traffic, fast-food chains, and noise. At least HUB is close-in, and inside it’s fairly well shielded against the outside road noise.

3. Crowds – did I mention this place was crowded? Granted, it’s opening day, but I might give it a week or two before you go sauntering in, or go during off-hours. And as time passes, this is certain to be only a temporary problem.

All in all
HUB has done a great job of appealing to a large cross section of Portland beer geeks. The selection is varied, the happy hour rocks, the service is prompt, and adults can be left alone for awhile if they so choose. They’re a welcome addition, and I wish them all the success in the world.

Check ’em out at 29th and SE Powell

Sail on, Pyrate Punx!

Tonight the Pyrate Punx sailed into Portland, just one stop of many on a tour consisting of music, attitude (and I mean that in the most positive sense of the word), and booze-fueled debauchery. The Pyrate Punx are a network of bands that currently has 25 chapters nation-wide. The bands help each other (as well as bands that are not involved in the organization) with shows, housing, and food.

Each year, some PP bands set sail on the “Pyrate Punx Crews Cruise”. That time is now. The stop was at Plan B, SE PDX’s marvelous watering hole that caters to punks, metal-heads, and fans of horror movies. I got there a bit late and missed most of the first band’s set (Cyanide Destruct from Seattle). I was, however, greeted with the sight of the travelling Pyrate Punx and locals there to see the fun. The crowd was full of spikes, patches, and multi-hued hair – punks from all walks of life. Not a hipster in sight – one more reason why I love Plan B.

I got to see the second band (Zabaleen – quality old-school NorCal politicopunk). The crowd was eating this stuff up. Some small pits (hard to do in the confined space), but everybody was respectful of others and their space, which is something I can’t say for 90% of the shows I see in Portland.

Anyway, the show was great, and everybody who came here from Oakland, Chico, and Seattle was super-cool. If you want to learn more about the Pyrate Punx, go here

Baseball, oh how I have waited for you!

Today is opening day for major league baseball and I can’t tell you how excited I am.  I read yesterday about the early morning (3am) opening game between the Red Sox and the A’s in Japan, but forgot to set the alarm clock.  Also, I’m not really a fan of either team, so don’t have much invested.  Who I am a fan of is the Yankees and they begin play in a couple of hours.  The question is – do I go to work or stay home and watch a game….  hmmm.  What I have come to love about baseball in the past couple of years is the cadence.  As I have grown up, I have realized everything doesn’t have to go breakneck speads.  Baseball is one of those games one needs to have patience for and be willing to just sit back and enjoy.  It forces me to relax and to experience the event instead of wondering if I missed something.  Last year, I became a rabid fan watching games on Saturday afternoons instead of working on the garden.  I freaked out my friends and family with my obsession.  This year, it may be the same.  We’ll see. I have my Mariner’s tickets in hand for the Yankees series in September.

Can I wait until September though?  Nope.  So I’m really excited to see opening day for the Portland Beavers is just around the corner.  Granted, most of the early games will be in the cold wet of spring, but once the weather turns, PGE park is a great place to spend an afternoon or evening.  Oh, and Thirsty Thursdays are always a hoot.  The Beavers begin their home season against Fresno on April 3rd.

Baseball, an American pasttime.  Welcome back.

(on a side note, don’t the Timbers begin play sometime soon?)

King Corn, the movie @ St. Johns Twin – Free Wednesday

Portland Community Cinema will be screening King Corn, a documentary about a couple of recent college graduates who wanted to figure out where their food came from.  I listened to an interview of these two a couple of months ago and have been eagerly awaiting the release of this movie.  The main characters decided to farm a plot of land and then learn about the process of how their corn gets to the dinner table and in how many forms.  It was the first time I learned there were many different types of corn being grown in America – industrial corn and edible corn (i.e. corn on the cob.)

Portland Community Cinema, along with OPB is screening the documentary in St. Johns for free Wednesday evening and will be offering a panel discussion afterwards with Curt Ellis, filmmaker; Lisa Sedlar, President of New Seasons Market; Mike Moran, Food Resource Manager at the Oregon Food Bank; and a representative from Sauvie Island organics.

King Corn
St. Johns Twins
8704 North Lombard
Wednesday, March 26, 8pm

Are You On Spring Break? Me Neither!

I can admit it – I’m a little jealous. I’d love to get a week off every year in the spring, but honestly I think this whole week long spring break thing is pretty lame. I don’t know if the full week is a recent thing, or a West Coast thing – but where I grew up our spring break consisted of the Friday before and the Monday after Easter – just a long weekend. So I have a few – someone pissed in my Cheerios – gripes about this thing.

First off – it’s a real pain in the butt to those of us working regular jobs – both those who do and don’t have kids. People who have kids all have to make other arrangements for them during the day. They have to pay money to send them extra hours at their normal childcare place, a spring break camp, or some such place – or they have to take time off of work and burn their PTO hours. And when they do that – it increases the work for those of us who have to cover for them, ’cause it’s not just one parent gone, but several who take the week – or at least a part of it – off. And if you want a vacation day during that week but don’t have a kid…well no such luck getting that approved.

Secondly – The whole world does not revolve around the school calendar. Only about a quarter of the households in the Portland area have school age kids – yet suddenly everything in town is on a new “spring break” schedule and costs more than it did last week or will again the following week. And people will talk to you as if you’re supposed to know: “oh that beach house you wanted to rent – I know that website says it’s $200 per night, but this weekend it’s $350. Why? Well it’s spring break of course!” Not for me it’s not!

Third – what the hell are high school kids doing taking trips to Mexico or Florida for anyhow? That is supposed to be a college experience. Enough said.

And finally, like I said, I can admit to being jealous – I’d love to have a teachers schedule. I whole heartedly feel that they deserve to be paid well, but when you consider all the time they get off – and how much they’ll all complain next Sunday about having to go back to work next Monday – it’s hard to listen to any whining about salaries that are pretty comparable to a lot of other professionals out there who do work more than eight months out of the year.

So happy spring break everyone! …. grumble grumble grumble….

James Beard Foundation Pretty Well Snubs PDX in Awards

Even though our local food scene garnered its fair share of national media attention in the last year or so, that apparently did not translate into much in the eyes of the James Beard Foundation. The foodie organization announced its 2008 James Beard Foundation awards today and Portland garnered what appears to be only two nominations:

  1. Rising Star Chef of the Year: Gabriel Rucker, Le Pigeon
  2. Best Chef: Northwest: Scott Dolich, Park Kitchen

You can view the entire list of nominees by category here. What’s up with this JBF? Seattle, San Francisco and others got way more than PDX, which is the hometown of your namesake. Maybe you didn’t like the fact we got such media spotlight as an under the radar kind of place? You nominate like four Washington chefs and only one Oregon person for Best Chef: Northwest, as an example.

Beard must be rolling right now…

Seen: Firemen take a coffee break

I was walking back from lunch when I saw a Portland Fire hook’n’ladder turn
onto SW Broadway by Starbucks across from Nordstroms. When they stopped in
front of Starbucks, I wondered if they were there for something related to a
rescue or something in Pioneer Square, but alas I was wrong. They were
taking a coffee break. All four firemen walked into Starbucks for a
coffee. I guess when you have a truck that large, you can’t park it in
traditional parking spots.

What will happen to p:ear?

As I wander around downtown, I am amazed by how many buildings there are that appear to be abandoned or left for dead. And some of these buildings have been this way for years. The one in the photo to the right is on the corner of SW Park and Alder and currently houses p:ear, a mentoring program for Portland’s homeless youth. The other day, I noticed a flyer on the window stating the building will be redeveloped into a boutique hotel. It is a cool building that does need redevelopment or just a good cleaning, but I’m not sure we need another boutique hotel. Honestly, it is too bad we can’t just turn the whole building into a place where homeless youth can stay and use it as a jumping off point for a future off the streets.
I really hope p:ear can get the funding they need to keep open and relocate to their new location. I for one plan on hitting the p:ear gallery soon to see what treasures they have these days. You never know, p:ear could be molding the next big star.

Boutique hotel

Originally uploaded by dieselboi

15,000 EGGS! Seriously?

Happy Easter. Yep, it is another Christian holiday that has been co-opted for the greater good of Hallmark and corporate candy makers. How did the whole Easter bunny thing come to fruition anyways? And the eggs? A bunny doesn’t lay an egg. Grrr. Well, some church out in Cornelius feels that instead of celebrating Christian Easter by celebrating Jesus rising from the grave, they went the corporate way and are having a good old Easter egg hunt. With 15,000 eggs no less. I can’t believe this number. How many children in Cornelius are going to be out looking for eggs. Even conservatively at 1000 children, that is 150 eggs per kid. I feel that is a bit irresponsible in this day and age to have soooooo many eggs out there being hidden. I’m just so torn on the whole idea that the only way to get people in church is to lure them with an activity that has nothing to do with why the day is being celebrated. Then again, this is America.

Oh, and not to forget the Holiday House. I wasn’t expecting Easter decorations.



Originally uploaded by dieselboi

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