St. Patrick’s Lament

By Ross Blanchard St. Patrick sits at the edge of Heaven looking down at Earth. His bare legs stick out from his white, flowing robes and dangle over the edge of the cloud upon which he sits. It is March 17th and he watches the multitudes bedecked in green begin to gather as evening approaches. St. Peter wanders up. The head of security and Heaven’s main bouncer has just finished with his shift at the Pearly Gates. He’s holding a cigarette and a martini, wearing sleeveless robes to accentuate his muscles and to show-off his banded tattoos. His hair is pulled back in a ponytail. He leans over St. Patrick’s shoulder. “What’s happening down there, Paddy?” St. Peter asks, exhaling puffs of smoke into space. This startles St. Patrick slightly. He half looks over his shoulder frowning, grunts, and looks down at the little planet again. “Oh,” says St. Peter observing the mass of green spreading out into city streets. “It’s your day again, huh. That’s right. Your people took quite a liking to you. It’s pretty much only you and the big Junior who get celebrated down there anymore.” “Mmmph.” grunts St. Patrick, not taking his eyes away from…

Farewell to Green Mountain by Cedar Teeth — a Review

Portland has a plethora of amazing local music these days and as we gear up for the music festival season, fresh on the heels of a glorious memorial weekend full of sunshine, barbeques, and tune-infused campfires, PDX Magazine received what can only be described as an omen. Well… actually it was an email request for an album review from none other than Cedar Teeth. For those of you in the know this has been a greatly anticipated second arrival from the Portland natives who have been gaining national attention as they continue to tour with the likes of The Fruitions and Hillstomp…among others. For those of you yet unaware of the hypnotically folk-infused bluegrass sound of Cedar Teeth, this is the EP you’re going to want to introduce yourself to. This five-person mega-ensemble of Hill-Billy-Beethovens take the stage and studio with a sound that can only be compared to the invigorating aroma of old growth ferns lying decadently near a crackling creek of crystal clear water that’s only found in the dense foothills of the Mt. Hood National forest, also known as Cedar Teeth’s backyard. “Farewell to Green Mountain” is an evolutionary journey of Cedar Teeth utilizing complex song structures…

“CounterPoint” at Gallery 114

“Counterpoint” by Jon Gottshall Gallery 114, 1100 NW Glisan August 4-27, 2016 Opens Thursday, August 4th, with pre-opening artist’s talk Wednesday, August 3rd, from 7-9 pm The exhibit also features Megan Paetzhold’s multi-medua installation “Studies in: Amblyopia” in the south gallery Story by Jon Gottshall The Sellwood Bridge is Portland’s southernmost Willamette River crossing. The old span, built in 1925, was a narrow, industrial-era structure. High up on its piers, it nevertheless had an uncomplicated, slender beauty as it angled through the trees of the river’s west bank. We’ve known the old bridge was doomed for a long time now. It was never anchored to the bedrock when it was built, and as the western bank shifted, the bridge went dangerously out of plumb. In the time I’ve lived in Portland, the bridge went from handling trucks, buses and cars, to just buses and cars, and finally, only cars were allowed over. Plus, its narrow sidewalk was a terror to every cyclist and pedestrian who had to meet halfway across. Knowing its days were numbered, I began to photograph it. Working at my favorite time to think visually—after 10pm—I became intimately familiar with this broken giant. Today, the old bridge…

The Philosopher Gets His Hands Dirty

By Mike Allen Cover photo of Robert Izzat by Mike Allen Ideas ain’t worth shit. No one cares about ideas until they have some tangible value or physical manifestation to justify the brain weight. Case in point: I’ve been trying to give away this writing (just portable ideas really), and no one wants that bullshit. Maybe I’m a shit writer, or maybe I need to treat my words as a valuable commodity, with a commensurate price. Here’s a better case in point: Alexander Baretich, a guy who bursts at the seams with ideas. Like an itinerant philosopher, he discourses on a steady stream of things you probably heard about in critical theory classes: deconstructing colonialism, critiquing the nation-state, engagement with the disenfranchised, et cetera. Boring stuff mostly. But me, I’m rapt. I love this anti-imperialist, deconstructing Otherness crap. It helps that my critical studies professor was pretty hot. So what did Baretich do with these ideas? Why have I even heard of him? I don’t just read Jacques Derrida and Martin Buber for fun. He designed a symbol, a flag even. Personally, I’d prefer a kite. No one flies flags anymore. But now we’ve got something tangible, something we can…

Theatre Troupe Seizes Control of Art Salon, Hurls Offenses At Audience

By Ross Blanchard Photo by Reuben Broadfoot. Foreground: Corey O’Hara. Background: Evan Corcoran A few weeks ago at a Ford Gallery event in Southeast Portland, five actors slipped into the venue, seized the microphone from the event’s host during a presentation, and began to shout offenses at the startled and silented crowd. The art salon in PDX Magazine‘s Mechanical venuewas paying tribute to artist Olinka Broadfoot whose show had launched that evening in the Ford Gallery one floor above. Broadfoot had just delivered a talk about her exhibit and poet Dan Raphael had read, when a man in his early thirties, shaved head, and wearing a yellow nylon jacket burst onto the stage and wrested the microphone from the event’s host. “You are under review by us,” he shouted to the stunned crowd. Another man, dressed in a TSA-style uniform, walked through the audience and shone a flashlight in their faces as a third man pointed a video camera at them. “You don’t have to watch inactively any more,” the man on the stage continued. “You feel the discomfort of being watched and addressed, since you came prepared to watch and make yourselves comfortable in the shelter of the dark. Your presence…

The Kommie, the Yank, and the Holy Gose Ale

I am a former Soviet, smuggled over the Iron Curtain in my parent’s gonads like some Cold War technology and assembled in the USA. The other night, I was at the Alberta Street pub, listening to the musings of local Slavic rock band Chervona. I should have been drinking vodka. Instead, I was slowly nursing a New Belgium 1554 Black Lager for a period much shorter than my own gestation but surely a longer process than usual. It was like reading a fine book. Each sip was a page revealing another character. In a moment of emotional flavor, at only 5.6 ABV, I could feel the warmth of the beer moving slowly through me. Its nutty taste made me happy, and its chocolaty aftertaste gave me the feeling of being privileged, decadent, and pampered. Soon my bar stool buddy and I were having an intense discussion about the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917. You would think that when two former Soviets discuss history, things might turn crazy quickly. But, since we were drinking craft beer and not vodka, the conversation stayed nice and calm. It dawned on me that the craft beer I was drinking is revolutionary in itself and that drinking…

Dead Sara — Something Good

It’s not that often that we here at PDX Magazine cover bands or artists that aren’t, shall I say, home grown. Dead Sara, however, is an exception. This rock band from Los Angeles has proven to be a crowd pleasing spectacle of raw energy, emotion, and soul that you’ll not want to miss. With the gritty and passionate vocals of Emily Armstrong mixed with the aggressively solid hitting rock sound of Siouxsie Medly, this high-octane rock n’ roll duo will electrify you where you stand. During their 2013 U.S. tour with Muse, Chicago Music Monthly stated, “Dead Sara is an example of everything that is right with rock and roll. Their live show is one that will not be forgotten for hundreds of Muse fans seeing them for the first time.” Having just launched their first tour in support of their sophomore album, “The Airport Sessions,” Dead Sara is set to take the country by storm. As Dave Grohl (Foo Fighters, Nirvana) declared, “Dead Sara should be the next biggest rock band in the world.” And we think you should come out see why for yourself. When: July 14th, 2015 Where: The Star Theater (13 NW 6th Ave, Portland, OR 97209) Tickets:…

Dear Artists, Toss the Instructions and Forget the Critics

Discussed in this essay: – What Painting Is, by James Elkins, Routledge, 1999. – Out of Our Heads: Why You Are Not Your Brain, and Other Lessons from the Biology of Consciousness, by Alva Noë, Hill and Wang, 2009. – Ways of Seeing, by John Berger, et al, Copyright 1972; Penguin, 1977. This article focuses on painting, but if you’re into something else—music, dance, ceramics—these ideas probably apply to your creative endeavors, too. I’ve been working full-time as a painter for four years. Before that I earned a Ph.D. in Theory and Cultural Studies at Purdue University where I taught courses on an array of topics from film theory to ballet. In both of these lines of work I’ve found that the way we usually talk about painting blows right past the most important thing in painting: the paint, mixed and applied by hands that try and err and retry. What’s going through a painter’s head as she works? Let me put most answers to that question into two categories: “Art History” and “How-to.” This is an overgeneralization, but follow me. Under “Art History” we have critics and historians in coffee-table books, documentaries, classrooms, and museums. Their goal isn’t so…

Beer: Near and Dear

With over fifty microbreweries within PDX city limits and dozens more minutes away from the epicenter, Oregon has more craft breweries per capita than anywhere else in the U.S. These myriad choices can be dizzying. PDX Magazine is here to help our readers with semi-regular feature articles exploring some of the area’s greatest breweries. We start our adventure with Baerlic Brewing (pronounced bear-lick), which is located just up 11th Avenue from the PDX offices. They’re one of the newest breweries in town and they preach a mantra of keeping their beer “near and dear,” sourcing local ingredients whenever possible. And so, less than a football field away from our headquarters, we step into the world of Portland craft brewing. From the moment we walk through the door at Baerlic, our senses are bombarded with moist and mouthwatering aromas of mystical mash concoctions created by the bustling brewmasters and sud savants. The sudden departure from the typically crisp Portland night air as we enter the warm and tastefully barren establishment causes the palatable aromas, such as wheat, barley, and yeast, to be all-encompassing and tantalizing, leaving we patrons focused and determined. Approaching the spigot-forged wall of delicacies, we take in the colorful contrast between the chalk-lined reader…

Squirrel Benediction

By Mike Allen I finally took the leap and fried up a batch of squirrel—gray city squirrel harvested from my backyard. I’ve been halfheartedly killing them for a while now because I hate them and everything they stand for, except free lunch. It’s clear from the little bites taken from each and every piece of unripe fruit on the trees that the squirrels expect a free lunch. I’d been watching them from the kitchen, climbing up into the trees, eating all the figs and persimmons, digging their little walnut stashes all throughout my raised beds, where they might return sometime in the spring to dig their booty, carelessly tossing my seedlings aside. I was helpless as a baby in the sewer, since my .20 caliber Sheridan Blue Streak blew a gasket a few months ago. It sat impotent in the garage, as I stood at the window. But thanks to the good people at Ollie Damon’s (not the counter dude, he’s a dick), I got my long arm back, working better than new. It was time to rain hellfire on these vicious little rodentia. And I did. But after a few carcasses tossed carelessly into the city compost, guilt began…