Jul 4, 2012

America

Vanessa & Erica @ Lloyd Center

The strange and ethereal American light in it's natural habitat. 

Jun 5, 2011

Authenticity

Mike Midlo @ LaurelThirst Pub

Mike Midlo is a busy man.  He is currently working on a "folk-opera", fronting the (awesome & authentic) roots-rock American band, Pancake Breakfast, and delving into his id through his newfound interest in writing heavy rock songs.  The cards he chose (3 of Pentacles, 10 of Swords, and The High Priestess) suggested that the onset of new challenges & expectations is conflicting with his creative process perpetuating the eternally frustrating condition of "writer's block".  Fortunately, respite, and ultimately inspiration, could be achieved by giving himself over to silence, to mystery, and to nature.  "I don't believe in Tarot cards," he confided, "But that's pretty accurate.  I'm heading up to Wallula in a few weeks to get away from everything and work on new songs."  For a folkie like Mike, the muse is revealed in nature's cadence.  It is evident that the songs he sings were heard in the absence of machinery, an expression of truth that undercuts the myth of progress and reminds us of the world's songs, the authenticity that is so rare to find in the monotony of urban life.         

May 24, 2011

The Room

 Duncan @ Cinema 21

Have you ever seen The Room?  It's trash of the highest caliber.  Within the first few minutes of the film, the very concept of "taste" collapses upon itself like a dying star, leaving the audience to gaze in wonder at the cinematic black hole unfolding before their very eyes, crushing all preconceptions of what makes a "good" movie.  In this stuttered disruption of space/time, up is down and bad is good and people throw spoons at the screen in a vain attempt to repel the onslaught of insanity. Underwear is lost and by the time a group of tuxedo-clad movie buffs start tossing around a football in solidarity with the characters, it becomes apparent that this absolutely horrendous, incompetent film, a film that may very well have been made to launder drug money, has become one of the most beloved movies of it's time.

 Tommy Wiseau @ Cinema 21

This is Tommy.  He's the director, writer, producer, executive producer, and star of this terrible, terrible movie.  At a recent screening of The Room, he signed numerous body parts (faces included), head-locked some poor schmo, and almost got hit by a car while playing football in the middle of a busy intersection.  This was all within ten minutes of his arrival; the man wastes no time!  By the twelth minute a cop was hassling him.  By the thirteenth minute he was back in the street trying to explain the proper way to throw a football.  The highlight of the night, however, came later during the Q & A when he made a shocking revelation of his recent discovery of bisexuality and claimed that the only difference between dating a man or a woman is "the sounds they make when they go to the bathroom".   

   
Kimi (as "Lisa") & Celso (as "Johnny")

Tommy is a cult of personality.  He is a bit deranged, but a total chaos angel.  The man's certainly a far cry from the wooden characters he unleashed onto the big screen.  The couple pictured above have adapted the look of The Room's main characters "Johnny" (the doting, tortured boyfriend) and "Lisa" (Johnny's sociopathic "future wife").  It's a sordid affair that ultimately destroys them both in the most hackneyed way possible, while invoking the age old cliche:  Love is blind.  It truly is a trainwreck for the ages.     

May 22, 2011

Runaway

Devin @ 4th & Burnside

Each year roughly two million teenagers run away from home.  Motives vary, but often times it's due to unhealthy family dynamics.  Devin told me that he left home because he was sick of dealing with his parents' drug addiction.  He is now living on the streets and struggling to find a job.  There's no upside here, but should anyone in a similar position come across this post, please know that there's help out there.       

May 18, 2011

Ground Kontrol vs. Avalon

Ann @ Ground Kontrol

T-Lo @ Avalon

2011 has been a firecracker of a year, folks.  To take upon the burden of explaining the travails of these times is a futile endeavor.  So many difficult questions:  What is the role of U.S Middle Eastern policy now that Bin Laden has been executed?  What is the true cost of the ongoing nuclear catastrophe of Fukushima?  Climate change:  Irreversible?  Politics: Irreconcilable?  Most importantly,  where can I go to avoid thinking about all these scary things?

Portland has two mind-numbing options to fulfill my craving for apathy.  The eclectic & future-chic Ground Kontrol and the seizure-inducing nickel arcade Avalon.  Both are nostalgic portals into the games of yesteryear; Ground Kontrol features just about any arcade game you've ever played EVER, whereas Avalon features games you may have once played at a deranged clown's estate sale or possibly a haunted carnival.  Hence, another impossible question emerges:  If Ground Kontrol and Avalon were to get into a fight, who would win?

Ground Kontrol  

Pros:  Classic selection, no cover, beer.

Cons:  They have shows, but they're either usually math rock, 8-bit disco, or nerdcore.  

Good place for a fellow to bring a date?  Sure, guy.  If she doesn't ditch you, you'll have found your nerd queen.    

Ground Kontrol is where hip nerds shove quarters into all their childhood faves while drinking beer and listening to DJs.  It is where Master Control Program parties.  In sheer variety and acclaim it decimates Avalon.  Although...

Avalon

Pros:  A dollars worth of nickels goes a long way, admission includes a movie, sky high WTF value.

Cons:  Brats, tweakers, seizures, and a terrifying animatronic lizard.   

Good place for a fellow to bring a date?  If by date, you mean ditch the baby mama and try to pick up high scool girls while the kids pump your hard earned nickels into some incomprehensible animatronic lizard.      

Avalon is a skeezy, yet loveable place, and it's cheap too; $2.50 gets you into a movie and a nickel gobbling bizarro world.  There is no better place to hide from the world.  Plus you can win giant inflatable hammers and those snap popper things!

And the winner is....

While Ground Kontrol is clearly the superior arcade, Avalon wins in a fight because it is blasted on 4Loco and has nothing to lose.  Plus it has that god damn lizard, which is totally unfuckable with.  


           

May 16, 2011

1.2.3 T.V's

Maxwell @ The Treehouse

Maxwell has a weird obsession with broken televisions because he was raised by television.  He even has an psychedelic/industrial (psychedustrial?) hip-hop band of the same name.  In his spare time, Max sniffs toxic sticker glue and watches static turn into language.  The voices tell him to throw far-out parties on the second Saturday of each month.  They're different shows, but the same story:  "The only limits we have are the ones we create for ourselves".  The TV said it so it must be true.         

May 15, 2011

Speakeasy

Dean Pottle @ Dean's Scene

At Dean's, beer takes on the grace of art.  The man is a connoisseur; a craft brewer par excellence and collector of beer glasses and brewing paraphernalia.  So dedicated is he to beer culture that he converted his basement into a speakeasy, a juice joint highlighted by Dean's personal recipes and rare crafts from around the world.  No password is needed to enter into Dean's abode, just a personable demeanor, friendly attitude, and perhaps a few bucks for a donation.  Warning!  Dean's Scene is not for the faint of heart nor is it a place for frat boy machismo.  Dean's microbrews are deceptively potent and will hit you like a freight train after one glass too many (Dean's Vaccine, I'm looking at you!).  Dean's Scene is a taster's venue; a place for appreciating the art of brewing and the art of banter.  The vibe is more Al Franken than Al Capone, but as the dark horse of Portland's bar scene, Dean's Scene puts them all to shame.   

May 8, 2011

Mom

My Mom @ Cannon Beach

I don't get to see my mom that often:  She lives in England, I live in Portland; it's not the most  convenient day trip.  The distance, however, makes every visit from her extra special and I try to set aside as much time for her as I possibly can (especially since she usually pays for dinner).  When she visited in February, however, I was seriously ill; I had a really bad chest cold replete with splitting headaches and exhaustion.  "That's no excuse not to see your mother," she lectured when she arrived.  No way was my poor health going to ruin her vacation!   Hence, a weekend of forced marches commenced.  Day 1:  A barely coherent traipse to The Gorge; Day 2:   A hallucinatory excursion to the beach.  Both were fine adventures, save for the fact I could barely breathe, think, talk, much less walk however many miles my crazed parent demanded.  Despite the complete disregard mom has for my "walking pneumonia", I love her anyway.  Happy Mother's Day, mom. 

May 5, 2011

In Gloom

Luna, Spooky, and Ghosty @ Rose Quarter Transit Center

And just like that it rains again!  I swear, Portland is so funky, yet so gloomy.  You gotta wonder what effect that has on "the kids today", what with their impressionable minds and all.  Take this gang for instance:  Spooky, Ghosty, and Luna (and they're ferret, Pip).  You can see the harsh toll this gloomy, yet funky, industrial wasteland has taken on them.  They're a bit dejected but of the chillest sort; they're holding down the jaded streets with a style that is part visual kei and part lurking goth.  If they were a band, they'd probably call themselves BauHausu.  They are Portland's rain personified.       


May 3, 2011

In Bloom

Ruth under a Japanese Snowbell @ SE 33rd & Stark

Portland is famous for two things:  Hipsters and rain.  Both can be a drag, but the latter at least serves a purpose.  When spring finally arrives, the city is overtaken with blooms nourished by the unceasing, soul-crushing rainy season.  Colors explode in eye-popping arrays, accented by the light of the evasive sun.  The flourishing plant life is our little reward for cruel winter, it is a truly spectacular display that also yields a wide variety of berries, fruits, and veggies in the later months.  So yeah, I'll wait out the rain, but up next comes allergy season... yuck, that hipster of seasons:  snotty, whiney, and totally in your face.  Damn, I better enjoy all these flowers before they pollinate.