Portland’s Best Biker Jacket

From Willamette Week’s “Best of Portland” issue, 7/23/08:

Mark Allyn has an unconventional relationship with 115-volt Christmas lights. In the 1960s he started lighting his clothing using strings of the yuletide decorations. He even showed up to a high-school dance with an illuminated necktie. Continue reading

“Great Ancient China Projects” in the news

A profile on myself and Steven Weinberg about our new book, “Great Ancient China Projects,” in this week’s Bethesda Gazette (our hometown newspaper). Give it a read if ya get a sec!

From the Entertainment Section, The Gazette, 7/16/08, by Brooke Kenny:

Bethesda native Steven Weinberg remembers his first day of second grade at Bethesda Elementary, when his teacher showed the class a picture of herself bungee jumping. Classmate Lance Kramer was apparently equally impressed, and when the two bonded over how cool they thought it was, a friendship was born. Continue reading

MUSIC: “The Cowboy Junkies”

From Willamette Week, 6/25/08:

[SMOOTH COUNTRY POP] Last year, the Cowboy Junkies returned to Toronto’s Holy Trinity Church to record Trinity Revisited—playing the exact set they performed 20 years earlier at said venue when recording the original, seminalTrinity Session. Continue reading

MUSIC: “HOME for Duane Jarvis: Frank Black, Willy Vlautin, Billy Rancher’s Unreal Gods, NvrSayNvr, Jon Koonce and One More Mile, The Odds Reunion”

[ROCK FOR A CAUSE] HOME stands for “Help Offset Medical Expenses,” and right now Duane Jarvis needs some major help to sort out medical expenses from his recent shitty cancer diagnosis and treatment. Though he eventually left Portland for Nashville (where he recorded with fellas like Frank Black, Dwight Yoakam and John Prine), locals should remember how Jarvis and his bro Kevin rocked Portland back in the day with their group the Odds. Continue reading

BARS: “The Cave”

From Willamette Week, 6/11/08:

SUBTERRANEAN BLISS: With the hominess of a house show, the covert charm of a speakeasy, a menu filled with delicious-sounding cheap Persian vegetarian specialties and bric-a-brac décor recalling a ’50s beatnik cafe, The Cave (636 SW Jackson St., 274-4294) is an unpretentious blessing to Portland jazz. Continue reading

FILM REVIEW: “The Promotion”

From Willamette Week, 6/11/08:

Director Steve Conrad has essentially remade the 2005 filmThe Weather Man (which he wrote for Gore Verbinski) but swapped a TV station for the supermarket and replaced the existentially whacked-out Nicholas Cage with two aspiring grocers, Seann William Scott and John C. Reilly. Continue reading

BARS: “Yen-Ha”

From Willamette Week’s “DRINK GUIDE 2008”:

Entering Yen Ha is like going to a Saigon speakeasy: Walk through the often-empty storefront dining area, through the back door, and discover the wonders of this dingy-ass, smells-like-shit time warp filled with good people, loads of booze and cheap Vietnamese eats. Continue reading

BARS: “Scandals”

From Willamette Week’s “DRINK GUIDE 2008”:

The nouveau-styled, airport-loungy Scandals is an all-boys stronghold, where there’s no door to the men’s room and flat-screen televisions regularly show scantily clad, sculpted gentlemen walking down runways. Continue reading

FOOD: “Pause Kitchen”

From Willamette Week’s “DRINK GUIDE 2008”:

Belly grumbling for tasty grub and good drink? It’s almost worth pulling the emergency alarm on the MAX, so the conductor will screetch to a stop and let you off right in front of Pause. With a picnic table-laden, homey fenced-in backyard patio and a tasteful, TV-less dining room, it’s hard not to enjoy the no-frills, clean-air atmosphere at Pause. Continue reading

BARS: “Imbibe”

From Willamette Week’s “DRINK GUIDE 2008”:

If Imbibe’s “take it in” tagline were applied to any neighboring bar along Southeast Hawthorne, it’d probably refer to inhaling the thick cloud of cigarette smoke. But at Imbibe, the air’s a little cleaner—so we assume they’d like us to soak up the bar’s carefully crafted atmosphere. Continue reading