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Watching a carboy of beer or a jar of kimchi gurgle with life or erupt from a blow-off tube is like peeking into an alternative universe. At the Fun with Fermentation Festival hosted by the Willamette Valley Sustainable Foods Alliance, you can learn all about that and more. 

When the GOP candidates for president poke fingers in each other’s eyes twice in 10 hours, it’s no longer a debate. It’s domestic violence. 

Bend, Oregon — known for ski bums, sprawling subdivisions, beautiful scenery and ... experimental prog-influenced post-rock? No, I wouldn’t have guessed that either, but Bend’s Empty Space Orchestra is beginning to make a big noise both east of the Cascades and up and down the Willamette Valley. 

Portland Cello Project (PCP) is an interlocking mass of classical and indie rock music that will make you stop and ponder just what else cellos are capable of when in the hands of incredibly talented and stylistically brave musicians. 

Dubstep has become synonymous with blunt-force bass and overproduced breakless anarchy. Vibesquad and Kraddy, however, retain the grimy bubbles and ethereal space in their music that originally defined the style without sacrificing the raw modern power that fans eat up.

‘CARVIN’ PARVIN’

They’re carvin’ away at Parvin Butte

They want to haul it away to sea.

By the time they get done 

with their disruptive fun,

Parvin Butt is all it will be.

McDougal & Demers see bucks in the Butte,

Laws of nature & man they don’t fear.

For all that they care we can all go to hell,

and if we can’t go they’ll bring it right here.

I moved out to Dexter for peace & some quiet,

The script — Steve Martin’s rewrite of a German sex farce. Droll and just a little bit naughty, it’s exactly the type of play that sells a heap of tickets.

I am writing to thank you. I remember reading your definition of “santorum” — “the frothy mix of lube and fecal matter that is sometimes the byproduct of anal sex” — when it first appeared. I remember thinking it was a cute way to make fun of a dickhead politician. I never thought it would go this far. But after Iowa, Rick Santorum is in the spotlight again. And so is that frothy mixture. And that’s fucking awesome.

Jeff In Wisconsin

 

I’m the first to admit that I am not totally up on the way this whole wedding thing works. I ducked out at the last minute on my own trip to the altar. And many of my friends are single; apparently the rest think my wedding unwillingness is contagious, and this has led to a pleasant dearth of bridesmaid gigs. 

A good wedding DJ might go unnoticed, so effectively and smoothly is he keeping things rolling. A bad wedding DJ, on the other hand, will ruin your night and, at worst, immortalize your shitty time by going viral on YouTube. But a great wedding DJ can make your dreams come true.

 

Eugene resident Bethany Coleman married her husband, Luke, in spring of 2010. The couple didn’t have a lot of money to spend on the wedding, but they wanted something authentic, pretty and vintage. In preparing for the ceremony, Coleman steeped her custom-fitted dress in a bathtub full of black tea.

If you’ve seen your fill of obnoxious-rich-white-people movies for the month, year, decade, eon, you may want to take a pass on Carnage. The posters bill the film as “a new comedy of no manners,” but the laughs are fewer than that tagline might suggest.

 

The art of photojournalism is an undertaking that many dabble in but few master, and even fewer are remembered for. The old saying of a picture being worth a thousand words is true almost always, but perhaps never more unerringly so than when attached to the work of Dorothea Lange.

Botanists have an advantage this time of year because they can sense spring coming. True, with the solstice just behind us, most of the official winter is yet ahead of us. 

 

Perry Graham sits at a small table at Espresso Roma at the edge of the UO campus with his brown dreadlocks pulled back into a frizzy ponytail. The 23-year-old scribbles in his notebook as he sips coffee out of a clear mug — all pretty normal for a college student on a gray fall afternoon. 

 

You could say that Graham is just another young hippie wannabe who probably thinks peace and freedom are achieved by smoking a lot of pot. What more could he be doing with his life? He’s only 23; he doesn’t care about politics or the community. He’s too young. 

Many of the nation’s Fortune 500 companies, including Intel, Oregon’s largest private employer, have paid little or no state income taxes in recent years despite reporting large profits to their shareholders, according to a report released in late December by the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP) and Citizens for Tax Justice (CTJ).

No Bike Lanes for Hazardous Willamette

A draft “Concept Plan for South Willamette” by city planning staff has left out one of the top safety priorities for the city’s bike plan — bike lanes on Willamette Street. 

“Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds,” is not the U.S. Post Office’s official creed, though most people think it is. And it turns out that it’s not the weather that could stop the mail from coming — or coming on time — it’s finances. 

Thinning Harms Flighty Rodents

Oregonians may not know it, but our state’s forests are riddled with wide-eyed, nocturnal, gliding mammals. The northern flying squirrel serves many ecological functions in Pacific Northwest forests, and is considered to be a “keystone species.” It is a vital part of the diet of the endangered species listed northern spotted owl, and a new study shows that flying squirrels are negatively affected by commercial thinning of timber.

Thanks to Oregon’s wandering wolf, California saw its first Canis lupus in the state since 1924. The young gray wolf known as OR-7, but now renamed “Journey” thanks to conservation group Oregon Wild’s naming contest, was confirmed in the Golden State via his GPS tracking collar on Dec. 29. 

According to Sean Stevens of Oregon Wild, “I’d be hard pressed to think of a more famous or accomplished wolf than OR-7.”

Great to watch the Ducks do their thing at the Rose Bowl game that left a lot of us without fingernails. One of the most entertaining moments was the fourth-quarter fumble recovery by Duck Michael Clay right in front of Chip Kelly on the sidelines. The excited coach was bouncing up and down like a Jack Russell terrier. The guy’s got legs. Congrats to the whole team for a memorable season.

Holiday Market vendors we talked to reported the best sales they’ve seen in recent years, and that was confirmed by Kim Still, manager of market promotions at Holiday Market and Saturday Market. Still tells us the reasons for the bump is sales are many, but the general consensus in that the economy is looking better and more people are now aware of how important it is to support the local economy.

When I hear the term “world music,” I reach for my revolver. That category ranks right up there with such fallacious and vaguely ethnocentric utterances as “reverse racism” and “primitive culture,” and the queasy phrase contains all the smug bourgeois self-abnegation of a middle-age white dude in a beret reading The Tibetan Book of the Dead over a non-fat vanilla latte at Café Sniff.