Archive for September, 2008

Calexico & Bar Avignon

Had very fine salami, cheese, hot pepper & tomato plates at Bar Avignon on Division. Then off to see Calexico at the Crystal Ballroom, a Arizona-based Yo Lo Tango style band. I’m a sucker for live trumpets! And many parking spaces near the venue, which just rocks.

Memories from the 90s

guest blogging from SF
I just arrived here for a short conference at my old school- Reed- and thought I’d write my 90s-to-00s observations.

– There’s nothing quite like seeing a new public system transit at work- that aerial tram (does anyone call it a gondolier?) is intense!
– Driving in Portland seems more of an inside game than I remember, with signs leaping up at you at the last moment and only printed one direction.
– Cold Stone Creamery on Hawthorne Street! That’s like the Gap on Haight street. Wow.
– I know it’s cliche, I know I expected it, but I still couldn’t stop myself from drooling at the houses my friends have managed to buy and live in on their salaries. me: shoebox, them: adorable bungalows.
– Lots of neat bars and restaurants that I wish, wish, wish were around when I lived here, not that a college kid had any cash to spend on things, but I would have found a way. I have a special place for old-school Bistro Montage which a friend said is all played out.

Having said that, some nice landmarks that are still there-
Mortuary place on Hawthorne, just a landmark to me, I didn’t realize it until I drove past
Tuan Thao (sp?), which we loved to get spicy thai noodles
The Baghdad, such a brilliant beer & movie combo
The Space Room, just reminds me of underage drinking fun

It’s not the same when it’s not raining, and I’m not on a bike, and I’m not dreading homework.

Nader Protesters

Riding the bus home today, I was surprised to see a row of people waving Nader/Gonzalez signs right in front of the Obama and Merkley campaign office.

A group of Nader supporters in front of the Obama/Merkley campaign office

A group of Nader supporters in front of the Obama/Merkley campaign office

Many Nader supporters held signs criticizing Nader’s exclusion from the debates, saying “Open the debates,” and “Nader Debates, America Wins.”

One sign read \"Nader Debates, America Wins. Step Up, Barack\"

One sign read Nader Debates, America Wins. Step Up, Barack

The recent economic news was also a concern. One protester held a sign reading “$700 billion out of my cold, bare hands.”

Their chances aren’t good: polls by the American Research Group show Obama ahead in Oregon 52% to 41%. 6% were unsure, and the Nader supporters were included in “other”, with just 1%.

Cans Film Festival for Oregon Food Bank – Today!

I’d forgotten about this annual event until a co-worker mentioned to me that he was taking his whole family to see a movie and eat popcorn for the meager price of 3 canned goods each.

So DVR the season premiere of The Office, Survivor or whatever your TV vice is (it’s better when you can skip the commercials anyhow) and head to any participating Regal Cinemas to support the food bank.

As our economy continues to plunge into the sh*&ter we’re all going to have to help each other out even more whenever we can. Thanks for lending a hand.

Shiny Toy Guns, Part the Deuce

Funny thing is, I was coming on here to post about the Shiny Toy Guns when I see Geoff’s post! Too little too late?
Eh, maybe…

Here’s the thing, unlike Mr. G, I was going to come here and confess about my guilty pleasure, Shiny Toy Guns.

You see… I’m that girl. I worked at a record store for all of college and a few years after to supplement my income. I was that girl who gave you that look when you couldn’t figure out what you were looking to buy… or when you bought that certain album. I still remember the day I first heard about the Spice Girls. *shudders* I was the girl who gave Fairuza Balk that look when she couldn’t find the Fugazi CDs *but don’t think I harbor any notions that she cared/paid attention*.

Ok, I can still sometimes be that girl…

SO! When I found myself seriously liking We Are Pilots (well… half of it) despite the videos, I had to come out of the closet to my best friend… who assured me it was all ok. … and who wondered why everyone keeps saying that?!

ANYWAY… I’ve heard from a few people that they are one of the hardest working bands around… When I kept seeing them in that LA Weekly, I just figured, well they’re an LA band! I mean… Incubus used to play all the time back when… and WAY before you could find Jane’s Addiction all over the place! … Ok so MAYBE that should have given me a clue *author’s aside: please don’t think I’m placing them in the same categories as the aforementioned bands… or most importantly Jane’s Addiction* I have to say that I had not had the pleasure (seriously! After all those chances in LA…) of seeing them live, and the old job sorter made it difficult for me on the off night that there was a possibility. Still, I’ve heard a good bit about the show they put on… and Geoff is one who apparently knows first hand.

So, yeah… for any closet fans, I’ll be there in the back with a martini… singing along under my breath.

Seriously, though, I’ve heard great things and I only hope that they can continue to surprise me and keep this …for now… well, I guess not anymore… “closet fan” for ever.

Shiny Toy Guns 9/25 @ Berbati’s Pan

The New Shiny Toy Guns

The New Shiny Toy Guns

I’ve been a fan of Shiny Toy Guns for quite some time. Back in 2006 the band played a show at the Aladdin Theater for a crowd of about 10 people. They played their hearts out.

They’ve come back to Portland several times over the past few years promoting their break out debut album We Are Pilots.

Now the band has re-organized. Lead singer Carah Faye Charnow has been booted from the band and replaced by Sisely Treasure (one of the contestants from The Pussycat Dolls Present: The Search For The Next Doll). The band has a new album on the horizon called Season of Poison (out this November) and is coming to portland on Thursday, September 25th at Berbati’s Pan @ 8:00pm.

Shiny Toy Guns has two songs from their upcoming album up on their Myspace page and they sound really good.  I’m planning on going to the show and so I’ll post my complete report here, later in the week.

Buy tickets to the Shiny Toy Guns Show here.

Oregon Farmers not McCain fans?

As anyone who has driven I-5 south out of Portland during an election season can tell you, from the look of the highway you would never know that Portland and Eugene are overwhelmingly liberal. Typically, nearly every farm along the drive has political signs for the Republican candidates and the conservative ballot measures.

As my husband and I headed to Bandon last Friday morning, driving south all the way to Roseburg, we noticed a very pleasant change. Not a single McCain sign anywhere. Not a single Gordon Smith sign. There were a handful or Erickson signs.. but, not the overload we’ve seen in the past. I didn’t have to grumble to my husband about the ridiculousness of trying to stop people from marrying or giving women the right to make their own medical decisions. It was wonderful!

Now – there weren’t an overwhelming number of Obama signs either, although we did see a few. And quite a few for Jeff Merkely. So I wonder, are the more typically rural and conservative Oregonians just not excited enough about McCain and their other candidates to bother with signs this year? Or has this Zauner guy just gotten old and given up?


So for those of you who didn’t know… or didn’t remember, Friday was International Talk Like a Pirate Day. Oddly enough, the boyo and I had learned at Guardian Games the night before where he learned how to play a large scale game of the Pirates Constructable Strategy Game that the Portland Pirate Festival was this weekend.

So we went to check it out today. I like to think of it as… the Ren Faire for pirates… with all sorts of pirate gear, pirate people, and yes… even pirate bands! If you’re going to go, take some cash! There are beautiful hand made things like clothing, pouches, and even leather tankards! Seriously, I could have spent a good amount of money. ANNDDD what’s a pirate festival without beer? The good people of Rogue Brewery were there providing good eats and great beer, as usual. If you stick around/ get there at the right time, you can even see a battle involving canons and a pirate ship.

Seriously, it’s at Cathedral Park, which is the perfect setting for this festival, and it’s on tomorrow from 10am to 6pm. Tickets are $15 at the gate and $8 for kids, with those 2 and under in for free. Yes, there’s a TON of stuff for kids to do and even a puppet show (which the boyo and I had to stop and watch).

So if you can, go! Take the kids, take yourself, just GO… and have a great time pretending to be a pirate. I DO warn you, though, there are a lot of neat things to buy there, so either be prepared to go and spend, or lock up your ATM card and go just to drool.

I’d go again but I’m trying NOT to buy a new coat, leather pouch and other odds and ends….

Sportfight 24 – Blood on the Canvas

Sportfight 24 - Photos by David Lawrence

It’s beyond me why the Rose Garden Arena isn’t completely packed for SportFight 24. For four and a half hours fighters pounded it out in an evening filled with action, sport and blood. What more could you ask for from a Friday night out!? It’s hard to imagine what kept the Rose Garden from being as full as a match up between the Winterhawks and The Seattle Thunderbirds. Is it the expensive $8 a cup Rose Garden beer that kept people away? The 7pm Friday night early start time? Or the fact that it was broadcast live on HDNet? Whatever the reason, many Portlanders missed out on a fantastic, unmediated top class sporting event that can be experienced by watching it on TV. Fans who opted to watch the matches at home on HDNet missed some of the best action of the night as the untelevised under card fights proved to be stronger and more exciting than some of the main bouts.

Sportfight 24 started with a bang with two extremely strong under card fights. Marques Daniels made quick work out of Joshuah Lagrange with a rain of punches that caused the ref to jump in and stop the fight (one of the few fights of the night stopped this way). That fight was followed by the much hyped Colt Toombs and Colin Porter bout. Toombs is “Rowdy” Roddy Piper’s son and he clearly had the support of the crowd (who chanted “Piper, Piper”). Early on in the fight Toombs got into trouble, taking a number of hard shots, his face began to well early. Toombs then got caught in a rear naked choke that looked it was going to end the match and put a damper on some of the the hype surrounding Toombs. Choke well set Toombs gave the ref a thumbs up and then proceeded to find his way out of the choke, he then reverse it into a dramatic choke of his own to win the fight. It was one of the more explosive moments of the evening and it kept the buzz turned way up for Toombs.

After the first two solid fights things stayed on the ground for several of the middle matches. After an arm bar win by crowd favorite Tyson Jeffries, four of the next bouts went the full three rounds and almost all of them ended by decision. It wasn’t until the fight between DJ Linderman and Mychael Clark that things started to heat up. Clark displayed flamboyant martial arts styling with spin kicks, supermans and other ‘showy’ moves, but it was Linderman’s consistent strength both on his feet and on the ground that made him a clear contender for the win. Linderman looks pudgy, but after three rounds he barley seemed winded. Taking a solid unanimous decision Linderman showed he’s a fighter not to be underestimated.

My favorite fight of the evening was the Mark Miller, Mike Pierce bout. Mike Pierce, who fights out of the Braveheart Gym didn’t find much support in the pro Team Quest crowd, but even his harshest critics couldn’t help but notice the absolute precision in Pierce’s fight. I saw Pierce fight in a previous Sportfight and it’s clear he’s put his time in training and refining his skills. Like a surgeon Pierce took Miller apart. One blow opened a huge cut on the top of Miller’s head and blood streamed out in a flow that made Miller look like something out of a Rob Zombie movie. The fight was stopped so that they could assess Miller’s injury and much to the surprise and delight of the crowd they let the fight continue. Step by step Pierce pushed the fight in the direction he wanted it to go, with control of almost every position on the mat Pierce showed that he was clearly the better trained fighter. In the end Pierce won by TKO and Miller’s cuts became too severe for him to continue. Of all the fighters who fought at SportFight 24, it’s Pierce who showed the most promise and his fight was worth the price of admission.

The feature title bout between Enoch Wilson and Brian Gearahty wasn’t as exciting as the Pierce/Miller bout. Gearahty gave Wilson a lot to handle for four rounds, locking him up and pressing submission attempt after submission attempt. Four rounds into the fight it was clear that Gearahty had done just enough to win a few rounds but not enough to take Wilson’s title away from him. Ultimately Wilson prevailed with an earth shattering, late fourth round, punch that left Wilson dazed in the corner. Wilson gave a gladiator roar as he pounced around the ring, sticking around long after the bout was finished to celebrate.

It’s exceptional to live in an area with such easy access to high quality Mixed Martial Arts and a shame more people aren’t taking advantage of it. The athletes fighting out of Team Quest and Braveheart gyms have the foundation to carry them to national attention, and for just a few bucks you can catch them live and in person. I look forward to more great MMA in Portland including Rumble at The Roseland.

See photos from Sportfight 24 courtesy of Photographer David Lawrence at On Portland.

Damaged Goods – (un)Romantic Comedy DVD Release Party Sunday @ 5pm

Damaged Goods

Damaged Goods

This Sunday (9/21) at 5pm, David Walker (former film critic of the WWeek and editor of Bad Azz Mofo) is throwing a DVD Release party for his ‘tribute’ to messed up, complicated and completely insane relationships: Damaged Goods.

Shot in and around Portland and featuring music by The Gracious Living of Adam Mackintosh, Barry Hampton, King Black Acid, Baggage-Man, and Drunk At Abi’s, Damaged Goods has been described as Clerks meets Carnal Knowledge

In addition to screening the film, the DVD will be on sale for a discounted price. Check out the Damaged Goods Trailer.

Here’s all the info on the party:

5 pm Sunday, Sept. 21 @ the Clinton Street Theater, 2522 SE Clinton St.; Portland, OR
$5 at the door (21 and over only)

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