Archive for September, 2008

World Class Mixed Martial Arts in Portland – Sportfight 24 – 9/19 @ The Rose Garden

Sportfight XXIV 9/17 7pm

Sportfight XXIV 9/17 7pm

It always surprises me that more people aren’t buzzing about Sportfight. Portland is at the epicenter of MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) with internationally famous gyms Team Quest, Xtreme Couture and local buzz-worthy gyms Braveheart MMA and Impact Jiu Jitsu .

Portland has a very long history of being THE place for fighters & wrestlers. In the 1970’s Loprinzi’s Gym on Division was the home to many of the great wrestlers that helped define World Wrestling (including guys like Jesse “The Body” Ventura and “Rowdy” Roddy Piper).

Now a new generation of fighters call Portland home including UFC vets Matt Lindland and Randy Couture as well as next generation fighters Ryan Schultz and Enoch Wilson.

Then there’s notable Portland fighter Colt Toombs who has been using Sportfight to establish his career. In Sportfight 23 Toombs won his debut fighter with a TKO 1:38 in the first round. At Sportfight 24 he’ll kick things off with a bout against Washington fighter Colin Porter. How does Colt Toombs represent the history and future of MMA in Portland? His dad is none other than Rowdy Roddy Piper.

Given the caliber of entertainment presented at Sportfight I’d expect the stands to be packed. With 10 action packed fights and tickets starting as low as $20 it’s difficult to see why Portlanders wouldn’t turn out in force…That is if they knew about it! Sportfight wasn’t on my radar screen until Sportfight 23 back in June. I decided to check it out with fellow MMA fan David Walker and I had a blast. I think if more people knew that they had world class MMA in Portland they’d go. So… now you know!

Sportfight 24 is at the Rose Garden Arena, September 19th starting at 7pm.

Beer Connoisseurs – Not Beer Snobs.. Michelob Tasting 9/17

Belmont Station (4500 SE Stark St) is one of my very favorite spots for beer in Portland. It’s a great store and pub where the focus is on great tasting and unique beers.  In a move that shows the absolute difference between being a beer connoisseur and beer snob Belmont Station is having a Michelob Brewing Tasting on Wednesday September 17th from 6-8pm.

Here’s their blurb which speaks volumes:

We try real hard not to have an attitude. Sometimes it still creeps in, like when they told us the new line of Michelob beers are vastly improved and truly delicious. So we said bring it on. Let the people taste them. Here’s your chance to taste Michelob Porter, Pale Ale, Dunkelweisse, Amber Bock, Pumpkin Spice & maybe more. And take home 6 packs on sale.

Tastings are Free and open to all over 21.

Bad Religion Across the Ages

A few notes from last night’s fantastic Bad Religion show – I can’t decide which entertains me more…

  • a completely packed house at the Roseland for a punk band whose balding lead singer takes the stage in a salmon colored polo shirt
  • the fact that the crowd sang along enthusiastically for both the classics and the new songs
  • or the text message I saw the girl standing next to me send before the band took the stage

    “Seriously, a mom in front of me is arguing with her 14-year-old kids about how close they can get to the stage…. Yeah All Ages Shows!”

Totally Portland.

The Prids Benefit – Wonder Ballroom 9/13 @ 9pm

The Prids

The Prids

This summer Portland band The Prids were in a horrible auto accident while their band was on tour.

Here’s the account from their site:

“A tire blew and they lost control of the van and it rolled several times. David was airlifted from the scene of the crash, he suffered a broken collar bone, broken ribs and has 6 staples in his head. Chris broke his arm in two places. Maile has a broken vertebra and toe and a severe cut with stitches on her knee. Joey broke ribs, Mistina suffered a concussion, and Kristin has a snapped joint in her collar bone.”

Saturday night at the Wonder Ballroom there is a benefit show for the band to help with their medical bills (most of the band members did NOT have health insurance)

The show features: Super XX Man, Tea For Julie, Leigh Marble, The Online Romance, Saturna, Reporter, Go Fever, Days, Myrrh, Jon Garcia, Kacey Anderson

$5-10 sliding scale at door; 21+ show with full bar. Doors @8 show @9

Show your support for Local music and go to this show. It’s important that Portland take care of its own!!

Linus Pauling Memorial Lectures

It’s that time again!
The Institute for Science, Engineering, and Public Policy (ISEPP) and sponsors are bringing a variety of influential and interesting scientists and philosophers to the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall for the Linus Pauling Memorial Lectures. The Pauling memorial lectures include a wide range of subjects. This year we’ll hear from:
– Dr. Richard Leaky: Rethinking Human Origins
– Dr. Terence Love: Holistic Design
– Dr. Daniel Levitin: Evolving Music and Mind
– Dr. Susan Haack: Beyond the Science Wars
– Dr. Brian Greene: Cosmology at the Frontier
– Dr. Stuart Kaufmann: Reinventing the Sacred

In the past the lectures have been absolutely fascinating, and it looks like this year will be no different; I highly recommend all of these lectures. General admission for all 6 lectures is $192, tickets are also available for individual lectures.

For more information, visit or call 503-232-2300.

Have you ever had your fortune told?

I have once – many, many years ago. I was in New Orleans for a business conference. It was the early 90s when every trade show or conference event involved huge parties nightly for the attendees. This one was held on a casino riverboat and in addition to the free drinks, food and gambling – there was a tarot card reader, and I had her tell my fortune. What she said to me seemed pretty darned accurate at the time. Of course – what she said (and I don’t remember now exactly) had something to do with ‘my soul-mate, a man who was a friend and more than a friend…’ and probably was a pretty standard line for any single woman in their early-20s that showed up at her table. I’ll blame my gullibility on the free drinks.

So I’ve always seen fortune tellers, tarot card readers, palm readers – as just a fun party trick. But just recently I’ve noticed a number of signs all over Portland advertising palm reading or tarot cards…downtown, northeast, southeast – there are several on Broadway both in NE and over to SW. For a while there was a woman who regularly did readings at the New Old Lompoc over on trendy-third. Seeing the spaces in more downtrodden neighborhoods, places here rent is cheap and not many people go by doesn’t really surprise me. But to stay in some of the spaces I’ve seen – they have to be bringing in some decent business. Or they’re a front for some crazy gypsy scam.

I’m a bit of a cynic about this type of thing. Of course I also place hypnosis under that same cynical umbrella – and I have a friend who used to be terrified of fire – was hypnotized and says she no longer is – so who knows.

Portlanders always seems pretty intelligent to me – are there really that many out there who believe the lady with the scarves can really help them prepare for the future? Do they believe it’s actual ‘fortune telling’? Or is it treated more like a new age therapy session. ‘Cause that in Portland – I’d believe.

So my question is, have you ever had your fortune told? Did you do it just for fun, or were you truly looking for some guidance and enlightenment or hope for the future?

KNRK – It’s Absolutely Not Different Here

It was late, well past midnight and it was the last day I was going to spend in the San Francisco Bay Area before heading off to college. I had called in to Live 105 and was chatting with Big Rick Stuart who was jockeying between our phone call and the on air play. Rick came on the air and wished me a safe trip and played a song to send me off. That was the kind of radio station Live 105 was.

Mark Hamilton was a DJ at Live 105. He was the voice you’d also hear promoting the DJ’s spinning tunes down at One Step Beyond or The X nightclub. He was surrounded by great music and great people. So it was a fantastic revelation (Back in 1994) to find that he landed here in Portland at the very young KNRK. I met him at one of the early KNRK snowball shows, the one with Everclear and No Doubt. He seemed like a great guy.

Unfortunately it seems that Mark has forgotten what makes a great radio station. Over time he tweaked the playlist favoring retreading bands like Sublime over debuting new music and new artists. Sublime might be a slightly notable band but I doubt they should be continually haunting the airwaves of an alternative station.

Recently KNRK did a major revamp to their playlist, out was most of the new or truly alternative music (except for bands coming to town in KNRK sponsored events) and in were classics. KNRK effectively remade themselves into a Rock Mix station. The switch started gradually, with ‘classic alternative’ artists like David Bowie. Listen to KNRK for 2 hours and you’ll hear classic Bowie at least once….Then came bands like The Cars and Tom Petty. Tune in enough and you’ll wonder if KNRK hasn’t fused with KGON. At times even KUFO is more alternative… Which is sad.

Perhaps KNRK is a victim of its own success. Late last year their morning show with Greg Glover began to beat the competition. Perhaps that taste of popular success fueled them on to chase the popular audience. But what used to be a fairly descent alternative station is gone. Many of the good people are still there. Greg is smart guy, knows his music and takes risks (Listen to his Bottom Forty Sunday Nights). Gustav is still the friendliest face of the station, his perfect playlist and track 7 show he wants the station to be a good one. Tara is just plain great, she knows what’s going on, but she’s as powerless to fix it as anyone.

It all boils down to Mark Hamilton… Program director. Who has made a major misstep with the station by building a playlist that simply isn’t alternative. At my home office I’ve switched of KNRK and listen to KEXP online. KEXP, based in Seattle, ironically is the station supporting MusicFest NW (while local KNRK is notably absent). I hear new music via myspace and am more likely to fire up my mp3 player than my radio…

Next year Community Supported KZME 91.1 is set to launch. If KZME follows KEXP’s model it could give KRNK a serious run for its money. Until then fans of alternative music need to email Mark Hamilton and let him know that the playlist changes aren’t welcome, and remind them what ‘It’s Different Here’ really means. KNRK keeps saying it’s YOUR station… So tell them what YOU want.

Monotonix Redux – MusicFest NW

With Drum Kit on the dance floor this concert was unlike anything I've ever seen

Monotonix at MusicFest NW

It’s taken me a few days to process what happened at Satyricon on Friday night as part of MusicFest NW. It was one of those situations that was so outrageously amazing that after it’s over you begin to doubt if it actually happened.

Growing up in Northern California I was blessed by a phenomenal music scene. Concert promoter Bill Graham helped make San Francisco mecca for rock shows. With my varied interests in music I’ve seen a lot of very different shows in a wide variety of venues. Few shows have left me as mouth-open-awe-struck as the Monotonix show at Satyricon.

I had heard tales from friends who had seen Monotonix live: drummers body surfing, instruments set ablaze and all around insanity. It was my friend Ian Jane who most emphatically insisted I see them perform… I don’t know how I’ll ever thank him.

Many bands are known for their onstage antics. It’s the very showmanship which earns bands a following when they play live. You go to a U2 concert, not because the music is great (although it is), but for the amazing show that they put on. Some bands are all about show. Kiss rocks, but would you really go see them if they played without the grease paint and pyrotechnics? Would Hannah Montana be the same without the four story video screens? What Monotonix did in their Friday night show went far beyond antics or showmanship, it was a complete musical revolution.

From the first note of the show Monotonix declared their musical independence. Rather than setting up their instruments on stage they put them right in the middle of the show floor. Everyone encircled them as they assembled their drum kit and plugged in to their amps. Then it happened, like an explosion Monotonix filled every corner of the room with their music, the entire (and I do mean entire) club erupted in dance.

I’ve been in my fair share of mosh pits in my time (the most memorable was Pantera when they played in Watts/Los Angeles), but I’ve never been in a pit that included every single person in a club. Also the ‘pit’ at the Monotonix show was unlike any pit I’ve been in before. Rather than people pushing and shoving eachother, elbowing and flailing, the entire room bounced and danced together.

As Monotonix played you could see the sheer glee on the faces of everyone in the club. Monotonix somehow was re-capturing something that we all thought was lost – a real, honest to goodness punk rock show. True punk has become extremely rare, there are many bands out there trying to be punk rockers, emulating the bands which came before them, but so few simply ARE Punk. Monotonix is punk.

It’s impossible to capture what happened that night…This is the best I can do:

Flying through the air lead singer Ami Shalev crowd surfs as he sings, pausing only to climb up to a high ledge on the ceiling of the club. A trash can is bounced around, water is flying through the air. The high hat is kicked over and promptly reset. The guitarist leaps up onto the stage and then jumps back off. Nothing in the room is still. After a few songs the band picks up their instruments and moves them further to the back of the club and the circle of people follow.

“Sit Down”, “Everybody Sit Down!” yells Ami, and miraculously everyone listens. I am drenched in sweat, I am thirty seven years old and haven’t been in a pit in years. I am half leaning and half supporting the people around me as we sit on the floor of Satyricon. Ami thanks everyone for being at the show and then instructs everyone to wait till he counts to four till they jump up and dance. “One… Two… Seven…. Nine…. Five…. What comes after Three?!?!”, everyone yells “FOUR” He says, Wait for it!”… and then “FOUR”. Again Monotonix is an explosion of sound.

A few songs later they’re heading towards the door. Stretched way past the end of their amp cables, so they unplug, carry their instruments outside where Ami climbs a tree, moons everyone and makes a speech. The drum is lifted with the drummer on top and he bangs on it. The concert ends in a street side celebration of music.

Everyone stood, mouth agape looking at eachother… “Did this just really happen?” “Oh my fucking God!”

The Monotonix show was one that people will talk about for years, it’s the kind of show that you thank your lucky stars you were at or curse the sky that you missed. Monotonix returns to Portland at the end of the month with The Silver Jews at the Wonder Ballroom. They are not to be missed

Israeli Punk Band Tops MusicFest NW

Tonight’s Monotonix show at  MusicFest NW featured of the best shows on a stage in Portland. It was truly punk. It was crazy, wild wonderful and simply amazing.

I’ll have a complete report on the Monotonix Show soon. Here’s a gallery of pictures from the Monotonix show as well as video from David Walker of

Join the "Save ORblogs" Campaign

About 4 or 5 years ago when I first really began to read blogs I wanted to find some written by people in Portland. The first thing that came up in my search was ORblogs. From there I found Portland Metblogs, started reading, then started commenting and eventually started writing. I found blogs that I love and now subscribe to. I found others that amuse me and I pop into occasionally. I found ones that regularly piss me off – but I have to pop over and read to just to see what the crazies are saying. Everyday I read the blogs in my feeder – and I check ORblogs.

So I was stunned when I read it’s no longer going to be.

I really have no idea how the technical end of blogging works. I am not a tech person at all, I’m a marketer and a writer. I don’t think I’d have anything to contribute to trying to save ORblogs – but I know many of you out there do. And it looks like the gang at SiliconFlorist is leading the charge.

Lend a hand if you can. You’ve got my moral support!

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