Archive for the ‘Happenings’ Category

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.

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.

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

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

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…

You know you’ve been eyeing it on the non-fiction rack for months now

Powell’s on Burnside doesn’t need any press from a lowly metblog private eye like me, but have you heard of this deal? Buy 2 books from their hip summer reading list, get a 3rd free! What! (And yes, Dreams From My Father is first on that list; it’s hip to hope!) Hurry! Summer wanes irreversibly! Stock up on hope now, while supplies last.

I leave you along Tenino Street in Sellwood with an earnest, Cheshire-like sunflower and my gazing self.

We're all mad here!

We're all mad here!

Three cheers for the Grindhouse Film Festival

For the past four years, the Grindhouse Film Festival has been presenting a wonderful assortment of good, wholesome exploitation flicks from the 70s and 80s. Their offerings have run the gamut from the deliciously cheeseball (“Alligator”, a film written by John Sayles – the best “killer Alligator” movie of all time), the gruesomely schlocky (“Zombie” and “The Beyond” – two gorefests from Italian hackmaster Lucio Fulci, a man who knew how to deliver the gory goods but is woefully overrated by his minions of fanboys), and downright notorious (“Cannibal Holocaust” – read about the entire sordid affair here).

The great thing about these movies (with the possible exception of “Cannibal Holocaust” – a movie that, due to its treatment of animals, I’ve never watched and probably never will) is that they are much more fun when viewed on a big screen, in a crowded theater full of people that laugh and scream in the right (and wrong) spots. They definitely play better as a communal experience, and we have the people at the Grindhouse Film Festival to thank for that opportunity

This Saturday, the fest is returning to the Hollywood Theater to present “Rolling Thunder” – a film written by “Taxi Driver” scribe Paul Schrader, concerning a hook-handed Vietnam vet seeking vengeance on the thugs that killed his family. It’s bound to be a rollicking good time.

Great Flying Flutag!

Last year we had Illume – this year the Flutag is BACK!

Teams from the all over the Northwest made up of Starbucks employees, dragon-boaters, Kells staff, computer geeks, and students built flying machines shaped like underwear, Chinese takeout boxes, a Winnebago, Godzilla…. and will launch themselves off a ramp into the Willamette tomorrow afternoon. And it appears that several of the teams also have “special moves” choreographed by members of the Blazers Dancers…hmmm…..

The first flight takes place at 1pm in Waterfront Park just south of the Hawthorne Bridge – but the gates open at 11am. The last time it was here in 2004 they say more than 50,000 people showed up – so go early if you want a good spot!

And after everyone has gotten wet – I’d recommend popping into Three Degrees – the bar in the Riverplace Hotel – for a drink and a snack – they have good stuff and a nice outdoor seating area – then you don’t have to fight traffic out of the area.


Tell the Tool Library How You Could Love Them More

We’ve raved here before about the North Portland Tool Library – a very cool place and an awesome concept – and this Sunday they’re having their second planning meeting to help them decide how they can improve their services, what YOU want from them, and how you – as a neighbor, member, volunteer, local business owner, or just interested person can help out.

We (and by we I mean my husband and our friends) have used the NPTL a few times in the last couple of years – doing a project in the house that required a very specialized piece of equipment that we didn’t have – and would probably never use again. Or something that we just didn’t have the room to store (I’d tell you what these things were, but I have no idea, I’m kind of construction dumb.)

And if you’re like me – they also offer some great classes to help you become less construction dumb!

From their Press Release – some subjects to consider for discussion:
• What can NPTL do better and how?
• What can NPTL do differently?
• How can we make the NPTL model more sustainable?
• How to best keep up with membership growth? Reduce lines? Keep costs low?
• Ideas about finding a new space to house the Tool Library?
• Sources of Stable funding (membership fees? Grant sources? Become a part of state bureaucracy like the library system? Funding drives, fundraising event ideas? Etc.)
• How can we better partner with other organizations in North Portland?
• Better and more: workshops, workshop leaders, tools, space?
• Other services you’d like to see?

When: Sun, Aug 3 – 9:30 am – 4:00 pm (but you don’t have to be there all day to participate – just as your schedule permits.) Coffee and bagels, then lunch are all provided.
Where: The Kenton Firehouse – 2209 N Schofield Street
RSVP at online or at 503-823-0209

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