Archive for the ‘Arts & Culture’ Category

New Kids on the Block Concert – CANCELED

I’m sure this will break many hearts (probably not as many as when they canceled the Kelly Clarkson Tour last summer) but…

Due to an unavoidable scheduling conflict the New Kids on the Block concert, originally scheduled for Rose Garden Arena on Sunday, November 23, 2008 has been canceled.

Refunds are available at point of purchase.

Sorry NKOTB fans.

Perhaps you can get your swooning fix by watching Twilight or going to the Twilight Prom.

Henry Rollins – An Aging Punk Rocker Tells All

Henry Rollins is almost 50, and that’s both exciting and frightening. No longer an ‘angry young man’ Rollins performed a two hour and forty five minute set that was much more self confessional than angry, much more story telling then rant and a little bit more stand up than political commentary. Although the tour was billed as the “Recountdown” tour, Rollins spent less than a quarter of his show dealing with political topics, instead the focus fell squarely on Rollins’ own travels and attempts to keep busy when not touring. When talking politics Rollins pulled his punches and often repeated his wish for people not to be divided by the issues which often seem to divide us. Rather than shake his fists at the establishment, Rollins spoke about his work with the H for Hunger foundation and his efforts to document things like Aids in Africa and the aftermath of war in Ireland.

Rollins may have chilled a bit, but he’s still filled to brim with excitement, enthusiasm and energy. Rollins’ set had its high points and low points but his frenetic pace and screaming punctuation marks moved it right along. What struck me the most about his set was just how self confessional Rollins is, from processing existential statements from drivers in Laos to dealing with his personal space being compromised by airport security, the Recountdown show was much more the tales of a punk rocker hitting a mid life crisis than anything else.

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.

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.


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….

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.

A Tale of Two Festivals – MusicFest NW and TBA

The Battles at MusicFest NW

The Battles at MusicFest NW

Tonight two major arts and entertainment festivals had their kick-off events. Both showed that Portland is big enough to support two huge festivals, even when they run at the same time.

I started the evening at MusicFest NW, their kick off party was an outdoor cocktail party in the lot next to the Wonder Ballroom. Less of a scene than a gathering, the party was most notable for the extremely long line for the open bar. The bar line was almost as long as the line of people waiting to get in to see the bands. Did I really wait fifteen minutes for a shot of Soco?!?

I caught the Battles whose set was well received. As I listened to their mostly instrumental music, I couldn’t help but think “Music Geeks”. The Battles play with passion and energy but their music often is over-thought and muddled. I enjoyed some of their songs but wasn’t ever pulled out of my ‘hey I’m watching a music show’ space and so my aside from some toe tapping and light head bobbing the set left me a little cold. I was surprised at how many people brought kids to the show. Maybe mathrock is something that appeals to kids.

TBA at The Left Bank Project

TBA at The Left Bank Project

Just a hop skip and jump away at the new Left Bank Building PICA launched their Time Based Art festival with a warm and welcoming party. The party was open to anyone and everyone and the scene was a nice mix of people. The Left Bank Project (which is dubbed ‘The Works’ for the TBA Festival) is a very cool venue with so much space that there were tons of nook’s and crannies to explore. One area’s tenant was a version of Backspace Cafe just for the fest. Also a nice patio area featured a work in progress by Justin Gorman whose large format graphic painting was fantastic to see in progress.

Some of the other art, including Big Skin by Lizzie Fitch, Anna Halprin’s Blank Placard Happening and the Flash Choir were solid misses. (Perhaps the Flash Choir would have done better performing in the outdoor space).

A solid start though to two landmark Portland festivals

This First Thursday Make Time for Morgan Cole Pasinski

There’s way too much going on this week. The activity gods have aligned MusicFest NW, TBA and First Thursday into a head spinning, no-way-you-can-do-it-all night. If you want to get your First Thursday fix while dashing between bands or performances I highly recommend you make your way to 20 NW 5th. Right upstairs from Floating World Comics (which if you are remotely a fan of comics mandates a stop) is a group of gallery lofts that are often overlooked on many peoples First Thursday Crawl.

On the 4th Floor, (#412) is Morgan Cole Pasinski. Morgan is an extremely talented local artist who combines pattern, texture and objects into stunningly simple yet intricate paintings. She works in a wide range of sizes and so she often has some extremely well priced pieces. Also any fans of Trish Grantham and Amy Ruppel should absolutely check out Morgan.

This Thursday Morgan is joined by Misty Ray as well as Bill Dash who will have some metal work on display. The gallery/loft is open 6pm-9pm.

On moving and Old 97’s

Thanks to keepin’ on with the keepin’ on, we’ve finally got our own little place to call home and it’s FINALLY fully moved in and put together (also, thanks to those that offered advice about stalking/calling/harassing future landlords in order to get a place)!

The problem with moving is that it’s not only a time drain, but a money drain. Generally I suck it up and take it but we’ve got MFNW here and this means that no matter how cheap it is… I’m going to have to REALLY justify going vs. food.

The one I don’t want to miss? Old 97’s tonight at Berbati’s Pan. This means that I have to come up with a good plan and fast!

Still, I figured I’d put the word out there that they were playing tonight so that others might enjoy them. They put on a good show and I figured, maybe the good people of Portland are better with checking out bands than the people in LA. Some friends of mine filmed a show they went to and sent the footage, which was, I thought, very very nice of them.

You know, in case you want to check out something new, and you have the means and the wherewithal to do so…

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