Monday, December 29, 2008

Sports Spotlight

Tuesday, December 30
Portland Trail Blazers vs. Boston Celtics

The Blazers have not only survived, but thrived despite the toughest early season schedule in the NBA. With Brandon Roy, LaMarcus Aldridge and Rudy Fernandez all clicking and Greg Oden slowly but surely getting his legs back, it’s time for Blazer fans to start expecting to win every home game, even against the defending champs.

Where: Rose Garden
When: 7pm
Tickets: 797-9600,
Additional Home Dates: 12/9 vs. Orlando, 12/12 vs. LA Clippers, 12/16 vs. Sacramento, 12/18 vs. Phoenix, 12/23 vs. Denver, 12/25 vs. Dallas, 12/27 vs. Toronto

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Pink Martini at the Crystal Ballroom

December 28

Come join Portland’s own “little orchestra” for their last show in PDX this year, and get a sneak peak at what to expect from their fourth album which is coming out next year. Pink Martini takes music from all over the globe and turns it into a sound that is all their own—something you can dream to and dance to. The Crystal Ballroom provides the perfect venue for the immense talent that comes with this 12-person band. Lead singer China Forbes will whisk you away on a one-night world tour with her velvety voice and one-of-a-kind style. If you have not seen Pink Martini yet, you are missing out on one of Portland’s great gems. Another local band, The Stolen Sweets, will open for Pink Martini at this all ages show. The doors open at 7pm and the show starts at 8pm. Tickets are $27.50 if you buy them in advance and $30 on the day of the show. (225-0047,

–Shanon Emerson

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Sports Spotlight

Friday, December 26 – Tuesday, December 30
Les Schwab Invitational

Top local and national prep programs––and even some international teams––will be on display at Liberty High School this month for five days of high-quality hoops. This is a great opportunity to check out tomorrow’s stars today, with past participants including big time NBA ballers like Carmelo Anthony and Kevin Durant. Most days will offer a full slate of games from 9am to about 10pm, while Sunday will feature a slam dunk and three-point contest from 4–7pm.

Where: Liberty High School
When: Fri, Sat, Mon, Tues 9am; Sun 4pm

Friday, December 19, 2008

Sports Spotlight

Saturday, December 20
Portland State Vikings vs. Montana Grizzlies

The Vikings were picked to repeat as Big Sky champs in both the preseason media and coaches polls, but both polls also had Montana as a solid second-place contender. This should be a good indicator of where the Viks stand in their first conference game of the season.

Where: Stott Center
When: 7:05pm
Tickets: 888-VIK-TIKS,
Additional Home Dates: 12/6 vs. Seattle, 12/9 vs. Lewis & Clark

Thursday, December 18, 2008


Wonder Ballroom
December 19–20

Wonderball! has been described as a holiday variety show like none other. I don’t know how it’s going to beat the Dean Martin Show, but I’m willing to give it a shot. You should, too. During this two night entertainment extravaganza—December 19 and 20—at the Wonder Ballroom, you will witness an array of talent with performers such as Mayor-Elect Sam Adams, drag diva Darcelle, The Mercury’s Dan Savage and Mic Crenshaw, not to mention China Forbes and Thomas Lauderdale of Pink Martini. Of course, with headliners Storm and the Balls, the show promises to be a mishmash of “music, comedy, bawdiness, naughtiness and special surprises unlike any show you’ll see this holiday season.”

The proceeds from the silent auction and a friendly portion of the event’s profit will go to benefit both The Oregon Music Hall of Fame and Planned Parenthood. General Admission tickets are $20 per night. Limited VIP seated tickets are available for $30. This includes front seating, private bar and a meet and greet with Storm and the Balls!

–Dave McAlinden

Presidents of the United States of America

Crystal Ballroom
December 19

Remember the Presidents of the United States of America? You know, the guys who saved the Boggles from fading into one-hit-wonder oblivion. That’s right, I said it! Well, if you want to see them put on one hell of a good show, you can. Ticket prices are between $18 and $20; and I would suggest getting them early given the band’s popularity.

When the Seattle-born pop group formed in 1993, their pop-punk flare and catchy melodies caught the ears and captured the hearts of many happy fans. Fifteen years and five albums later they’ve come to Portland once again to bless us with new tracks from their latest album, These are the Good Times People. I don’t know how, but I feel this album is even more poppy than any previous. With that said, the Crystal Ballroom is the perfect setting for fans of this persuasion; the flexing floor is great for the I’m-a-white suburbanite-and-can’t-dance-so-I’m-just-going-to-hop-in-place-until-the-song-ends-and then-feel-awkward-between-sets dance style linked to the group’s central demographic. Suffice to say that it will be a good time. I really hope they play “Dune Buggy,” that’s a good one. I like that one.

–Dave McAlinden

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Portland Saturday Market’s Festival of the Last Minute

December 17–24

T’was the week before Christmas, and all through the city people were shopping at Portland Saturday Market’s Festival of the Last Minute, where they could find crafts, jewelry, baby gifts, candles, instruments, art, pottery, toys, games and so much more. They have it all, so if you are starting to worry that you won’t get all your shopping done or that you won’t find the right gift for everyone on your list, worry no more. Take a stroll down the rows of tents at the Festival of the Last Minute and the gift ideas will start flowing. You may even find the perfect gift; and when you do it will likely have been made by a local artist or craftsperson, which means you can give a homemade gift without having to make it yourself. Most booths take credit cards and there is an ATM machine at the market as well. So slow down, take a break and wait until the last minute. The Saturday Market will be open during the week starting on December 17 from 11am–6pm, on Saturday from 10am–5pm and on Sunday from 11am–4:30pm through Christmas Eve. Visit their website for a list of vendors. (

–Shanon Emerson

Monday, December 15, 2008

18th Annual Champagne Ball

December 31

Looking for that one right party to end 2008? Look no further and get ready to ring in the New Year at the 18th Annual Champagne Ball. This party has been going strong for 18 years and is now “one of the largest New Year’s Eve events on the West Coast,” according to the event’s official website. There will definitely be enough going on to keep you interested with six individually-themed rooms and a total of 32,000 square feet of party space, including four dance floors on two different levels. You could choose to see 5 Guys Named Moe playing Motown and ’70s dance music in the Boogie Wonderland or Hit Machine playing dance hits from the ’80s and ’90s in the Blue Moon Ballroom. The point is, there is plenty of music to get you moving and enough space to keep you moving. Plus there is a no-jeans dress code, and what better night than New Year’s Eve to kick it up a notch. Cocktail attire is a minimum just to get you in the door.

Check out the website to determine what package you want. They offer everything from general admission to your own VIP lounge. Choose your adventure and have a happy New Year. (

–Shanon Emerson

Friday, December 12, 2008

Sports Spotlight

Saturday, December 13
Pape’ Jam: Oregon Ducks vs. San Diego Toreros

The Ducks will make their annual visit to the Rose Garden this month, but it’ll be a very different Oregon team with Malik Hairston, Bryce Taylor and Maarty Leunen all having graduated. This year’s squad belongs to pint-sized gunner Tajuan Porter, dynamic forward Joevan Catron and a collection of intriguing young prospects like freshman center Michael Dunigan.

Where: Rose Garden
When: 5pm
Tickets: 877-789-ROSE,
Additional Home Dates (all at McArthur Court): 12/7 vs. Kansas State, 12/13 vs. San Diego, 12/17 vs. St Mary’s, 12/20 vs. Portland, 12/29 vs. Long Beach State

Thursday, December 11, 2008

The Pretenders & Amos Lee

Roseland Theater
December 12

Is it me or is going to a Pretenders and Amos Lee concert like going to see Cher and Ben Harper? Hmm. It is quite an odd pairing, isn’t it? On the one hand you have The Pretenders, a British group, formed in 1978, that has since developed into a blend of ’80s new wave and early ’90s rock ’n roll. Then, on the other hand, you have Amos Lee, a relatively new face when compared the Pretenders’ resume, whose sound stems from old-timey blues and folk story telling. Nevertheless, the abnormal coupling of the two artists might prove a complement to each other.

To their credit, they both put on involved, high-energy performances and each have a large fan base. Speaking of, both have had albums come out this year with a high degree of positive response. The Pretenders’ Break Up the Concrete debuted at number 32 on Billboard’s album chart in October; and Amos Lee’s Last Days at the Lodge received critical acclaim. The show will be happening at the Roseland Theater on December 12 with ticket prices slightly expensive at $40 a pop.

–Dave McAlinden

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Meshell Ndegeocello

Aladdin Theater
December 10

Despite the fact that I don’t particularly enjoy the musical stylings of Meshell Ndegeocello, I do possess a great deal of respect for the magnitude of her talent.

One would have no ear for music to say she is not good at what she does—she most certainly is. In fact, she’s good enough to merit nine Grammy nominations since the inception of her most impressive debut album, Plantation Lullabies, in 1993. And, oh, the woman can slap a bass—it’s like watching a fireworks display soaked in sweat. That is to say I don’t only appreciate her skills as a musician, but her wowing ability as a performer leaves me a little rapt regardless of my aural preferences.

Starting young in music, Ndegeocello attended The Duke Ellington School of the Arts in Washington, D.C. from which she hails. Her music incorporates soul, hip hop, reggae, R&B, acid jazz, rock and of course, FUNK. If you would like to hear this seamless cacophony of genre and style you can purchase tickets to see Ndegeocello perform on the 10th for only $25.

–Dave McAlinden

Friday, December 5, 2008

One Night in Frogtown

Bagdad Theater
December 6

Do you enjoy music? Do you embrace cultural diversity? If you do—and I hope you do—you will thoroughly enjoy Philip Pelletier’s One Night in Frogtown (One World Musical Books), a critically acclaimed story that was nominated for the 2008 Oregon Book Award for Children’s Literature. One Night in Frogtown tells the coming-of-age tale of a saxophone wailing tadpole which will be performed by Curtis Salgado, Linda Hornbuckle, Devin Phillips and Oregon Symphony soloists on Saturday, December 6 at the Bagdad Theater (3702 SE Hawthorne Blvd, 236-9234). At $5 a pop, the tickets are a pinch for the amount of fun you and your family will have. Get tickets at the Bagdad Theater, the Crystal Ballroom box office and

–Dave McAlinden

Thursday, December 4, 2008

“Maternal Legends”

23 Sandy Gallery

Merriam-Webster defines the word legend as “a person or thing that inspires.” The artists who are featured in this month’s exhibit at 23 Sandy Gallery have created art inspired by family—specifically the women in their family. The influence our mothers, grandmothers and sisters have had on our lives often derives from the way their own mothers and grandmothers shaped their lives. The books created by artists from around the world for “Maternal Legends” are born out of this inspiration.

This exhibit will feature artwork related to the book arts, which have been created in editions and as one-of-a-kind pieces of art. Artist books, sculptural books, book objects, altered books, zines and broadsides will all be included in this themed exhibit.

The show will be juried by Cara List, the art and art history librarian at the University of Oregon’s Architecture and Allied Arts Library. As the curator of the Artists’ Book Collection, she teaches extensively with artists’ books. List earned a master of fine arts degree in painting from the School of Visual Arts in New York, where she worked and exhibited for a number of years before she earned a second masters in information science at the University of Michigan.

There will be a reception for the artists on Friday, December 5 from 6pm–9pm, and the show will run from December 5–January 3. Gallery hours are Thursday–Saturday from 12pm–6pm. For more information, visit

–Shanon Emerson

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Blitzen Trapper

Wonder Ballroom
December 4

Imagine Neil Young and Stephen Malkmus (Pavement) were in a serious relationship. Now imagine Malkmus once cheated on Young with Jeff Tweedy (Wilco). Then suppose the Pavement lead got pregnant as a product of this affair and they both vowed to keep the true origin of the pregnancy a secret. In an attempt to eradicate his estranged guilt, Malkmus convinces Young to move to Oregon. Young, not knowing the baby is another musician’s love child, raises it with his partner to the best of his influence. That baby then grows into Blitzen Trapper, a Portland band on SubPop that can rival Beck in any contest of composition and lyricism.

Hypothetical situations aside, Blitzen Trapper is a well-coordinated group of solid musicians. They are what Dylan might have sounded like in the ’90s if he didn’t have his weird little breakdown in the ’70s. With clean Southwestern progressions—which aren’t country enough to be car-commercial annoying—coupled with the depth and cadence lyrics should possess, one can most certainly say that Blitzen Trapper pretty much rocks. They also fill that hollowness that seems to ache in the background of most folk songs with a fantastic electric ambience which sets them apart. It will be nice to welcome them home; all ages are welcome to do so.

Tickets are available either through the Wonder Ballroom or TicketMaster for about 10 bucks—well worth the show, if I may say. If you’ve never heard their music I would suggest checking out the tracks “Furr” from the album of the same name, and “Big Black Bird” from EP 3—they really kick ass.

–Dave McAlinden

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

OMSI After Dark

December 3

The Oregon Museum of Science and Industry is about to bring you science, sans kids. We all know OMSI is cool, but sometimes, whether you’re a parent or not, it’s hard to really enjoy the museum when the kid energy is so high. Fortunately, OMSI will be opening its doors to the 21-and-older crowd on December 3; no kids, just science. Did we mention that there will be food, beer and wine too? It’s all in the name of science, of course. You will be able to learn about the science behind food and beverages from local artisans from establishments such as Caffe Vita, Full Sail Brewing, Clear Creek Distillery and Moonstruck Chocolate. Don’t worry, there will also be appetizers and a cash bar if you want more that just a nibble or a sip. While you’re enjoying your beverage you can explore the entire museum and check out all the things those pesky kids would never let you near. The museum will be open from 6pm–10pm on December 3. Admission is free for members and is $10 for non-members. (

–Shanon Emerson