Sunday, November 30, 2008

Small Works Show

Waterstone Gallery

Susan Johnson and her oil-bar drawings are the feature of Waterstone Gallery’s small works show, which starts in December and runs through January.

Johnson’s images have the strength of oil paintings, but they are drawn with layers of lines using oil-paint sticks referred to as oil bars. To create these bars, pigments are fused with waxes and refined linseed oil to create the quality of oil paint with the convenience of a crayon-like utensil. The drawings are created on acid-free mat board framed behind glass or drawn on paneled clay or gesso board.

The artist describes her art as “contemplations on the incidents and scenes of my personal experience. Abstracted to their basic shapes, they become bold color-blocked landscapes, shadowy patterns suggesting a human presence, or vibrant and rhythmic still lifes. Trees, images ‘windowed’ within images, shadows and colors are used to go beyond a simple landscape to suggest human interactions, emotions, and reactions. Pathways, the passage of time, human relations are common themes.”

About the small works, she says, “The little pictures quite effectively transcend their size with surfaces of layered, soft hues that seem capable of moving beyond their edges.”

Waterstone Gallery is located at 424 NW 12th Ave and hours are Wednesday–Saturday from 12pm–6pm and Sunday from 12pm–4pm. For information, visit

–Shanon Emerson

The PDX Celebrity Gift Guide

The gifts we'd give Portland's movers and shakers.
read full article

High Steaks, Low Cost

You’ve probably passed one of them while driving down Broadway or Burnside. You may have even paused for a moment and stared longingly, imagining the taste, the smell, the experience. But you know you can’t afford it, so you drive away, left only with the lingering fantasy of what could have been... read full article

Let It Show

They were stacking up the Christmas candy mere days after Halloween, and while it seems like it sneaks up on us every year, there’s no denying that the holidays are now upon us. If you’re tired of watching It’s a Wonderful Life and can’t bear the idea of sitting through Drake & Josh: Best Christmas Ever, perhaps it’s time to get out and see some theatre. Whether or not you’re in the Christmas spirit, chances are there’s a holiday show that will cater to your needs... read full article

Neighborhood Profile: Pearl Diving

The Pearl is one of the most tempting neighborhoods in town. Packed to the gills with art and entertainment, some of our favorite restaurants and that certain trendy nip to the air, there is something for everyone tucked neatly into its confines. What else is there, you ask? Shopping, and plenty of it, with more shops and stores than you would dare shake any sort of stick at. So let us highlight just a handful of the browse-worthy spots that call our beloved district home... read full article

Catch Him If You Can

Jeremiah Dominguez freezes his defender with a nasty crossover dribble, creates space and drains a three-pointer. Prior to that shot his Portland State Vikings were down by seven points early in the second half, but on this night, Dominguez doesn’t look like he plans on losing. Not on his home court. Not against his former team and current crosstown rival, the Portland Pilots. And especially not with all the lofty expectations his Vikings have to live up to this season. read full article

Holiday Haven

With more than 156 million visits last year, going to the spa has become more of a basic lifestyle than just an occasional luxury. The popularity of spa treatments and retreats continues to grow as both women and men find themselves relaxing with the help of today’s spa experience—from medical and spiritual programs to outdoor adventures and exotic travel. So whether you’re a seasoned spa connoisseur or a stunned spa virgin, Portland offers affordable gift packages and personalized “spa-cations” that will leave your skin smelling like, well, roses... read full article

Island Renaissance

The first time I visited Oahu, I was on a FAM (familiarization) trip with my mom, a travel agent. That was, of course, before the internet age, a time when travel agents were most often the only connection between a getaway spot and an inexperienced traveler. In the three days that we spent on the island, we were bombarded with hotel tours, luau shows and an unhealthy amount of pineapple. I expected as much when I returned recently, but discovered that the island has a pulse oftentimes overlooked by the average tourist... read full article

Thursday, November 20, 2008

of Montreal

November 20

This Georgia band makes indie pop music. Kevin Barnes, the band’s leading man, has always been one to keep your eye on, and on their latest and ninth album, Skeletal Lamping — which was released last month—a little something has changed. In the past, their content has been a mash-up of autobiographical loner teen angst and personal growth. Now, in a schizophrenic frenzy of alter egos, Barnes seems to be emerging with a different sound. While the band is both narrative and personal in lyrical content and style, their juxtaposition of gloomy themes overridden by positive and upbeat hooks and melodies is one that sets the band apart from their other contemporaries. Listen closely and you will hear stories of loneliness, apathy and death, but by the melodies you would never guess such darkness is riding just beneath the surface. They are masters at this craft and are proven musical geniuses, continuing to reinvent themselves with each new album.

–Jenny Rapf

By the Book

Annie Leibovitz
November 20

For those of you who are not familiar with the name Annie Leibovitz, shame on you. She is possibly the most famous, not to mention talented, contemporary photographer in the United States. From 1973–83 she was the head photographer for Rolling Stone Magazine; her work—largely responsible for shaping the publication’s iconographic veneer—has graced the cover numerous times, and to great effect.

If the name Leibovitz still isn’t ringing any bells, she’s also the one who took the last professional photograph of John and Yoko hours before Lennon’s unfortunate death. And, more recently, you might recognize her work via Vanity Fair, for which she photographed Demi Moore’s controversial nudes that twice graced the cover. The Leibovitz canon is a staple of Americana, providing valuable insight into the dichotomy of public and private life in American culture. If you’d really like to experience the range of her talent then I would recommend picking up her newest collection, A Photographer’s Life 1990–2005, at your local bookstore. If a book isn’t enough to appease your intellectual desires, you will have the opportunity of attend a lecture at the Schnitzer Concert Hall, which will be presented by Portland Arts & Lectures, on November 20. Tickets can be purchased through the Portland Center for Performing Arts ( or Ticketmaster (224-4400, for $12–28.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The Mighty Underdogs

November 18

This is a new hip hop super group that I was unaware of until their publicist recently came a knocking at my door. What sparked my interest is the fact that two of my favorite emcees are part of this so-called “super group”: Lateef The Truth Speaker (formerly of Latyrx) and Gift of Gab, most well known for his genius with another NoCal hip hop super group, Blackalicious. But where does the third member, Headnodic, come from? That was nothing a quick Google search couldn’t uncover, and sure enough, I found GOLD. Headonic is a producer formerly of the Crown City Rockers (said to still be working on an album) who was lured into The Underdogs by Lateef when he came to the conclusion that since he liked so many of Headonic’s own tracks, why not invite him to be a part of the group. Gift of Gab was already in the mix as a planned collaborator, and the rest is pure hip hop. If you like Latyrx and Blackalicious, this show is for you; they sound like a quality mish-mash of both. Their official, unofficial first album, released on Definitive Jux last month, is titled Droppin Science Fiction. It boasts a confirmed guest list that is pretty impressive, with names like DJ Shadow, Damian Marley, Mr. Lif and Tash from the Alkoholiks, just to name a few. This is hip hop, ya’ll.

–Jenny Rapf

Saturday, November 15, 2008

2008 Northwest Food and Wine Festival

Memorial Coliseum
November 15

Fall is a time for harvest celebrations, and what better way to celebrate the earth’s gifts than with gourmet food and wine. The third annual Northwest Food and Wine Festival will give you a chance to see, smell and savor the bounty of the Northwest. The main floor of the exhibit hall will feature over 600 wines to taste and gourmet food samples from 50 restaurants, including a raw oyster and seafood bar, a chocolate fountain and offerings from locally-recognized chefs. In the exhibit hall, wineries and restaurants will be intermingled to provide you with the chance to try a wide array of gourmet pairings. Music on several stages will add to the epicurean atmosphere, and throughout the evening, sommeliers and chefs will be available to answer questions.

If you’re looking for a great wine buy, you’ll be able to take advantage of the bottle and case discount and free shipping offered by many of the wineries. This should be a rich and rewarding experience for wine lovers and food enthusiasts alike. Tickets, which include all wine and food samples, are $75 for admission from 5–9pm, or you can start at 4pm and get an extra hour of eating and drinking with the $95 “preferred” ticket. (

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Mickey Avalon

November 14–15

Calling all the single fellas lookin for an easy score—this is your night my friends! This show will be littered with drunk, sweaty semi-unconscious young ladies. You may have seen Mickey gracing those Boost Mobile ads on TV with the likes of Young Jeezy and Jermaine Dupri, but you probably had no idea who this heavy on the eye make-up, Hollywood heroine addict look-a-like is. It’s the notoriously raunchy Mickey Avalon, and the chicks LOVE him. He’s the ultimate dirt-bag rock star and I say that in the nicest way possible. Avalon is no stranger to the dark side of life; by his early 20’s he was already married with a child, living in Portland and prostituting to support his heroine addiction. He’s got the rode hard, put away wet look down solid and it’s no surprise with a life like his. His lyrics really spell out his own best intentions and they take shape in the form of big booty girls sporting tramp stamps and pants that slide off at the drop of a hat. His hooks and songs are no doubt some of the best cuts to get any dance floor hoppin’. This show will be dirty, loud and quite the scene. Oh, and keep your eyes peeled for topless men and women because there will be A LOT of them.

–Jenny Rapf

Monday, November 10, 2008

Ingrid Michaelson

Wonder Ballroom
November 11

Ingrid Michaelson is from Staten Island, New York. She makes indie pop music for the masses and reminds me of a more modern version of Lisa Loeb — but maybe that’s just the glasses. Her latest album, BE OK, hit stores last month and—bless her little philanthropic heart—some of the proceeds of her album sales go to Stand Up To Cancer. I must say, I LOVE Michaelson’s single, “As I Am,” but I HATE the video. Ingrid, baby, didn’t anyone ever tell you scary/sad clowns are actually really scary? They are, and you shouldn’t have a whole video dedicated to them, scaring the crap out of your poor unbeknownst viewers. Just a thought.

–Jenny Rapf

Wild Beauty: Photographs of the Columbia River Gorge

Through January 11

If a picture is worth a thousand words, then I’m going to need a lot more room. For what is about to be discussed contains 200 of them—pictures, that is. And I should know, my lovely artist companion and I counted them…twice.

As we strolled, wide-eyed, through the corridors of the Portland Art Museum ( passing baroque oils, Picasso prints and motley lithographs, the faint sound of a pleased crowd softly echoed between the walls and open space of the second floor passageways. We followed this sound, which, to our surprising delight, led to the Wild Beauty exhibit — a 90 year photo-survey of the Columbia River Gorge, spanning from 1867–1957.

The work of photographers such as landscape genius Carlton Watkins and railway pioneer Frank J. Haynes display the magnificence etched in the ever-changing face of the Columbia River. As you’ll learn from the exhibition, their work was quite innovative in the field of photography, from their choice in camera and developing methods to the contextual fabric of the photos themselves. By combining nature and industry, creation and destruction, and the vast scope of extraordinary land, the photographs render an impact on their observers that leave them rapt in the overwhelming power of time.

The show runs until January 11th of next year. General admission to the museum is $10 for adults, $9 if you are a student or senior and free if you are under the age of 17. But keep in mind, given all the fantastic works that can be found in our beloved Museum, the Wild Beauty exhibit alone is worth the price of admission.

Northwest Film and Video Festival

Whitsell Auditorium
November 7–15

Yes, it’s true. There is so much talent in the Northwest that we need our own film festival just to behold a portion of it. Now in its 35th year, the Northwest Film and Video Festival will present feature, short and documentary films. This year’s judge, Kelly Reichardt, filmed her last two features — Old Joy (2006) and Wendy and Lucy (2008) — in Oregon. Her most recent film, Wendy and Lucy, will be screened on closing night at this year’s festival. Fifty films will be shown over the course of eight days, all of them made by artists from Oregon, Washington, British Columbia, Montana or Idaho. More than 30 filmmakers will attend the festival and many will be available to take questions after their films, so come see what’s on the minds of our Northwest neighbors. The Northwest Film Center, which hosts the festival and is part of the Portland Art Museum, was established as a resource for media arts in our region. It offers a variety of film and video exhibitions in addition to education and information programs throughout the year. Tickets can be purchased online or at the door. (221-1156,

High Culture Calendar


Dance Gatherer – An Abstract Portrait of Two Lives. Nov 4–12. Back Door Theater. $10–$15, 230-2090,

Oslund+Co – Bête Perdue. Nov 21–23, 8pm. Imago Theater. $14–$16, 234-3557,

The Portland Ballet – La Boutique Fatasque. Nov 28–29, Sat 2:30pm & 7pm, Sun 1pm & 4pm. Newmark Theater. $TBA, 452-8448,

tEEth – Grub. Nov 13–15, 7pm & 9pm. Interstate Firehouse Cultural Center. $15, 806-6423,

White Bird – Uncaged: Kidd Pivot. Nov 12–15, 8pm. Kaul Auditorium. $26, 245-1600,

Classical Music

Oregon Symphony – Brahms Violin Concerto. Nov 22–24, Sat–Sun 7:30pm, Mon 8pm. Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall. $19.75–$107.50, 228-1353,

Oregon Symphony – Lauderdale Plays Gershwin. Nov 15–17, Sat–Sun 7:30pm, Mon 8pm. Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall. $19.75–$136, 228-1353,

Oregon Symphony – Von Trapp Family Christmas. Nov 29–30, Sat 7:30pm, Sun 3pm. Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall. $19.75–$97.50, 228-1353,

Portland Baroque Orchestra – Pergolesi, Naples, and Julius Caesar. Nov 21–22, Fri–Sat 7:30pm. First Baptist Church. $25–$43, 222-6000,


Artists Repertory Theater – Speech & Debate. Through Nov 23, Thu–Sat 7:30pm, Sun 2pm. $25–$30, 241-1278,

Artists Repertory Theater – Holidazed. Nov 18–Dec 28, Thu–Sat 7:30pm, Sun 2pm. $20–$47, 241-1278,

Coho Productions – The Receptionist. Through Nov 22, Thu–Sat 8pm, Sun 2pm. $20–$25, 220-2646,

Oregon’s Children Theater – James and the Giant Peach. Nov 1–23, Sat 2pm & 5pm, Sun 2pm, Fri 21, 7pm. Newmark Theater. $17–$29, 228-9571,

Oregon Repertory Theater – The Lady with All the Answers. Nov 13–Dec 7, Thu–Sun 2pm & 7:30pm. Brunish Hall. $29.25–$35, 224-4400,

Portland Center Stage – R. Buckminster Fuller: THE HISTORY (and Mystery) OF THE UNIVERSE. Through Dec 7, Tues–Sun 12pm, 2pm, 7:30pm. Ellen Bye Studio. $15–$45, 445-3700,

Portland Center Stage – Guys and Dolls. Through Nov 15, Tues–Sun 12pm, 2pm, 7:30pm. Gerding Theater. $17–$72, 445-3700,

Portland Opera – Fidelio. Nov 7–15, Fri 7:30pm, Sun 2pm, Thu 7:30pm, Sat 7:30pm. Keller Auditorium. $39–$162, 241-1802,

Profile Theater – Lost in Yonkers. Nov 20–23, Thu–Fri 7:30pm, Sat 2pm & 7:30pm, Sun 2pm. Profile Theater. Call for price, 242-0080,

Super Project Lab Improv – Meet Your ______! Through Nov 22, Sat 8pm. Winningstad Hall. $14, 230-9061,


Keith Lee Morris – The Dart League King. Nov 10, Mon 7:30pm. Powell’s City of Books. 228-4651,

Rolf Potts – Marco Polo Didn’t Go There. Nov 11, Tue 7:30pm. Powell’s City of Books. 228-4651,

Lee Woodruff – Life Changes in an Instant. Nov 12, Wed 7:30pm. First Congressional Church. $139, 243-3440,

Laura Foster – Portland City Walks. Nov 13, Thu 7:30pm. Annie Bloom’s Books. 246-0053,

Amitay Ghosh – Sea of Poppies. Nov 13, Thu 7:30pm. Powell’s City of Books. 228-4651,

Benjamin Parzybok – Couch: A Novel. Nov 14, Fri 7:30pm. Powell’s City of Books. 228-4651,

Alicia Paulson – Stitched in Time: Memory-Keeping Projects to Sew and Share from the Creator of Posie Gets Cozy. Nov 16, Sun 7:30pm. Powell’s City of Books. 228-4651,

Henry Ownings – The Rock Bible. Nov 17, Mon 7:30pm. Powell’s City of Books. 228-4651,

Ingrid Newkirk – One Can Make a Difference. Nov 19, Wed 7:30pm. Powell’s City of Books. 228-4651,

Annie Leibovitz – Portland Arts & Lectures Series. Nov 20, Thu 7:30pm. Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, 248-4335,

Peter N. Carroll & Peter Glazer – Editors of War Is Beautiful: An American Ambulance Driver in the Spanish Civil War. Nov 21, Fri 7:30pm. Powell’s City of Books. 228-4651,

Donald Worster – A Passion for Nature: The Life of John Muir. Nov 23, Sun 7:30pm. Powell’s City of Books. 228-4651,

Jeff Kaliss – I Want to Take You Higher: The Life and Times of Sly and the Family Stone. Nov 24, Mon 7:30pm. Powell’s on Hawthorne. 228-4651,

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Northwestern Comfort

We all know that times are tough. Just take a look at your dwindling 401K, or fill up at the gas station, or turn on a presidential debate and listen to our politicians promise the world to the middle class, then turn around and help Wall Street pull the biggest dine-and-dash in history, leaving taxpayers to foot the bill. What? $700 billion?! But I only ordered a salad! read full article

An Affair to Remember

Holiday parties can run the gambit: a chic socialite soriee, a family affair or a catered kegger all seem well within the rollicking realm. Being the capable person that you are, you’re most likely plenty able to class up your joint with festive décor, put on some old records or pop playlists and plan a tailor-made fete de résistance. So how can we help? How about a few wonderfully mouth watering DIY catering suggestions from a pro and a solid pointing in the direction of some excellent December decorations? Okay, food first... read full article

Raising the Home Bar

With holiday parties rapidly approaching, a bit of panic can set in for those of us hosting. But if you can lock down a few key elements, others will tend to fall nicely into place. On the subject of elements, and considering the nip in the air, a warm and cozy party will fit the bill to a T. And what welcomes people in from the cold better than a well stocked bar? read full article

Neighborhood Profile: The Cultured Pearl

Nothing divides Portlanders’ opinions as hotly as the Pearl District. Many of us love wandering around its boutique-lined streets, coffee in hand, window-shopping for antique furniture and peeping into the storefronts of its many art galleries. Others, however, bemoan its rapid development, calling for a return to the bleakly romantic, ivy-coated warehouse district of years past. Love it or hate it, the Pearl is where we all end up on the first Thursday of every month, sipping free wine out of plastic cups and marveling at the bewildering creative energy of our town... read full article

Touch & G.O.

It’s early October, and just five minutes into his first preseason game in a Trail Blazer uniform, Greg Oden is already gassed. His teammates have quickly made the transition from offense to defense, but all eyes in the Rose Garden remain fixed on the lumbering big man as he deliberately crosses halfcourt and makes his way to the post... read full article

Hypnotic Help

Anxious over the elections? Feeling the stress of the economic crunch? Maybe your fears are a bit closer to home and you’re already dreading the 2009 smoking ban or the looming New Year and its resolutions? Hypnotherapy may be able to help ease your stress, overcome your fears and a make a fresh start out of those old bad habits... read full article

Secret Gardens II

Midway through my Kauai adventure, I am already enamored with the island. My speculations about its appeal to the average adventure-seeking, nature-loving Portlander were proven true (see "Secret Gardens," October 2008), and I was only three days into the trip. But as my cab driver/tour guide Ante drove me to my next destination (the much-touted North Shore) I was feeling just a bit overwhelmed... read full article