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EW! A Blog.

July 26, 2010 04:07 PM

Hot on the heels of last weekend's Bite of Eugene — at which we hear Rabbit Bistro chef Gabriel Gil won the Iron Chef competition — comes a smaller but still charming way to try a variety of Eugene eats: Ninkasi's Carts & Cold One Cookoff. All we know is what's on that flyer, but as frequent consumers of Eugene's food cart offerings, we can't help but be intrigued by the chance to eat from lots of carts at once while sipping pints on Ninkasi's shiny new patio. It's kind of like the super Kesey Plaza food cart pod — but, y'know, with beer.

Snack on stuff from Devour, Chick'n Shack, Eddo Buger, Casa de Dilla, The Nosh Pit, Bianacala Pork Growers and more from 5-8 pm Sunday, Aug. 1, at Ninkasi Brewing (272 Van Buren). Proceeds benefit the School Garden Project, Farm to School and the Terra Madre Network.

June 17, 2010 04:58 PM

The really, really, good (via everyone and their mother on Twitter):



The iffy, shiny, what-the-fuck-is-going-on-here? bad (via Cinematical):

(Can someone please put my annoyed mind at ease by identifying the unnecessarily epic and swoopy music toward the end?)


... and the ever so aptly named weird. If this looks like your kind of thing? It probably is.



The Good the Bad the Weird opens tomorrow at the Bijou. Voyage of the Dawn Treader comes out December 10. And Scott Pilgrim, which I've been looking forward to for two years, is out Aug. 13. Please don't disappoint me, Edgar Wright.

June 11, 2010 04:36 PM

Sam Bond's has made Esquire's list of best bars in America again.

Here's the magazine's write up:

"As you stretch out on the split-timber benches under the old barn's bare rafters, you slowly realize you're in the family room of one of the weirdest neighborhoods in America -- a shady, overgrown co-op of artists, ecoanarchists, spirit healers, drug dealers, and permanently circling vagabonds. And the living couldn't be better: Couples play cribbage on the rough-hewn communal tables, kids loll on the modest stage until the sun goes down, and the strong-limbed waitresses circulate the beers in mason jars and smile, but only if they really mean it. It's like a frontier dance hall in a mining town where the vein's gone dry. The dreams are alive, but appealingly bruised."

Hmmm. Could be a new motto: "Eugene, the Word's Greatest City for the Appealingly Bruised"

June 3, 2010 10:50 AM

Why does the weather suck? Eugene is at the nozzle end of a 6,000-mile long plume of wetness jetting all the way across the Pacific. We're hosed.

May 26, 2010 02:45 PM

Have you got a few ideas about how this country ought to be run? Maybe a notion as to what "American values" really means, or how the government can work toward American prosperity?

The Republicans would like to hear from you. Just as soon as they can get their website sorted out. At the moment, it tells me that many Americans are speaking out. Can I wait a moment, then try again?

You bet I can. Because America is speaking out, and it has a sense of humor.

Let's have the Washington Post's Dana Milbank explain what America Speaking Out, the Repubbers' new website, is all about:

Republicans want to take over the House in the fall, but there's a problem: They don't have an agenda.

So on Tuesday, they set out to resolve that shortcoming. They announced that they would solicit suggestions on the Internet, then have members of the public give the ideas a thumbs-up or a thumbs-down. Call it the "Dancing With the Stars" model of public policy.

Later in Millbank's piece — which you really should read; his carefully sustained tone is a thing of sly beauty — Rep. Peter Roskam (Ill.) explains that his party's shiny new site "has cutting-edge technology" and "a winsome design that is easy for people to interact with." And sure, some of those folks interacting with the site are very sincere in their suggestions. Make Congress have the same health care as the rest of us. Don't let politicians vote to give themselves raises. Stop bickering. "I have two words for you: Palin/Beck 2012."

I'm still not sure whether to take that one seriously. But what do the less predictable posters want from this great country?

"Pomegranates are a trend whose time has past," says a poster whose suggestion is currently getting more thumbs-up than thumbs-down votes.

"TAX EXCLAMATION MARKS!!! AND CAPITAL LETTERS!!! AND SENTENCE FRAGMENTS!!!" suggests a person with a creative idea about how to deal with budget issues. Some posters get down to truly pressing questions ("Jelly or jam? I like jelly cause of no seeds") and important details ("Make it illegal for your friend to send you a Facebook message about that brown cow, holy clap, I've seen that thing like fifty times, no exaggeration, no one cares about your farm, Jennifer").

America Speaking Out is currently crashing again, meaning I can't pull more choice quotes for you — but the thing is, fellow Americans, I trust you can find some beauts yourself. Do tell us what you turn up. But let me leave you with one last pearl of wisdom:

"Dolphins are not good role models because they live in groups, just like communists."

May 26, 2010 11:19 AM

The department that brought you "officer blow job" is now testing a new police "muscle car" made famous by a Superbowl ad criticized as misogynist:

Here's the ad:

Here's "Officer Blow Job," aka Roger Magaña, the Eugene cop convicted of raping or sexually abusing more than a dozen women over six years while other EPD officers ignored their complaints:

Here's a spoof of the ad:

Rather than "a man's last stand," maybe the EPD should test a car that emphasizes use of a smarter muscle:

Or maybe Eugene's cops need a new ride that goes Dutch:

May 26, 2010 03:33 PM

Via Portland Mercury via Towleroad via Buzzfeed via OH PLEASE MAKE IT STOP.

May 24, 2010 12:27 PM

At the Oregon and Washington Society of Professional Journalists' annual awards banquet on Saturday, EW picked up a handful of nifty certificates. While SPJ has the year's award recipients listed on a nifty PDF, we thought it might be helpful — or at least potentially interesting to one or two people — to give a quick rundown with handy-dandy links.

Second place, special section
The State of Suds

Third place, special section
Oregon Bach Festival 2009

Second place, criticism
"A Red Hot Mess: 'China Design Now' at the Portland Art Museum mostly fails to charm" by Suzi Steffen

Third place, criticism
"Defining Her Future: Carey Mulligan shines in an unsentimental film" by Molly Templeton

Second place, education reporting
"Retaliation? Did the UO fire a professor for alleging racism?" by Camilla Mortensen

Yeah, yeah, we didn't get any firsties. We'll try harder. And maybe shake our puny fists in admiration at Willamette Week's impressive restaurant guide in the meantime.

May 19, 2010 03:12 PM

A rash of cancellations came in after deadline this week. Here's a quick rundown of what's NOT happening:

Shooter Jennings is NOT playing the WOW Hall tonight.

Bitch is NOT playing the OUT/LOUD Queer Music Festival on Friday, May 21, at the WOW Hall, though the festival will otherwise go on as planned.

UPDATE: The OUT/LOUD planning committee just issued a statement explaining that Bitch was "disinvited" from playing at the event due to "her transphobic remarks and ongoing conflict with the trans community." The statement outlines the remarks in question and apologizes to "those who were excluded or hurt by our decision to invite Bitch to play at OUT/LOUD this year."

• The Random Acts of Funnness event at Petersen Barn Community Center will NOT take place on Friday, May 21.

In other, somewhat tangentially related concert news, the band Isis is calling it quits; their current tour, which includes a WOW Hall show on May 29, is their last. The full text of the announcement is on the band's blog.

I need something happy to end this post. Or at least something cheerfully random. So here: An Oregon kid wrote a song inspired by Laurie Halse Anderson's young adult novel Chains. Then he made a video for it. Would you like your dose of earnest charm for the day? Then watch this.

May 18, 2010 03:55 PM

Photobucket

Just yesterday, I mentioned Eugene filmmaker Henry Weintraub while joking about the various occasions on which zombies have roamed Eugene. Today, in a nice bit of timing, a press release arrrived announcing the premiere of Weintraub's newest feature film, the promisingly titled The Darkest Corner of Paradise.

Paradise is a change of pace for Weintraub, whose previous films include the not-quite-a-zombie-movie Melvin and the revenge short Depraved. Now, as the release says, he's "finally trying his hand at drama." The film, which was shot in Eugene and Portland, stars Patrick O'Driscoll, Richard Leebrick, John Schmor and Kato Buss; Sawyer Family bassist Zac Sawyer provides the score.

So what's it about, you ask?

When college graduate Peter Landsman moves to the city to pursue a career in professional accounting, he finds himself in a situation far less predictable. With the disappearance of a mysterious woman, Landsman is lured into an underworld of black market traders and killers.

The Darkest Corner of Paradise premieres Friday, June 19, at the Bijou. For more info, see 531 Productions.

May 17, 2010 02:36 PM

The first words on the page in the new Vertigo comic I, Zombie are "Eugene, Oregon." The setting is awfully familiar: Hello, Pioneer Cemetery! (To the best of my knowledge, until now, the only zombies roaming the cemetery have been those taking part in one of the zombie walks — or perhaps starring in a Henry Weintraub movie.)

I, Zombie takes its time getting to the messier part of its zombie heroine's existence. Writer Chris Roberson and illustrator (and Oregonian) Mike Allred spend most of the issue setting the scene: Gwen, who's slightly on the sarcastic and cranky side, works in an ecologically friendly graveyard and pals around with a ’60s ghost and a were-terrier. Elsewhere in town, a hot paintball ref has more than the game on her mind when she stops to chat up a lost fella in the woods, and a pair of detectives aren't just keeping their eyes out for misbehaving punk kids downtown.

Gwen looks a little off. Her skin tone doesn't match anyone else's, as is most apparent under the brighter lights of Dixie's Firehouse (another local landmark, renamed). The book's Oregonian palette is appropriately muted and, yes, of course it rains. It's the first issue. Precedent must be set. Allred's art is clean and readable, almost a little spare, but like the issue as a whole, it builds satisfyingly; Gwen's reveal (which isn't much of a reveal, given the name of the book), with rain pouring down into an open grave and an unpleasant meal in our heroine's hands, is set against a page that illustrates the divide in her life: Girl, zombie; self, other self; what she does and what it means.

I, Zombie is a speedy, easygoing intro to a new series; it's light on plot and feels like it's trying to be a little more quippily clever than it is. But the last few pages, as Roberson gets to the real crux of Gwen's complicated existence, have quite a bit of promise. Gwen has to eat one brain each month to keep from going "all mindless and shambling," as she explains — lack of brains is bad for a zombie lass's complexion — but there's a catch.

There's always a catch.

I, Zombie #1 came out May 5. It's a buck at your friendly local comics-purveying establishment.

May 14, 2010 04:02 PM

The New York Times writes today on how a city — "usually seen as an enclave of hippies, marijuana dispensaries and rock climbers — has become a hotbed of capitalism."

No, unfortunately, it's not Eugene, it's Boulder that's become a hot place for high-tech start ups. Could Eugene follow the model?

The NYT notes some key ingredients to success:

• Author Richard Florida's recipe for "talented people and a high quality of life that keeps them around, technological expertise, and an open-mindedness about new ways of doing things, which often comes from a strong counterculture."

• "the mix of money, universities, a high-tech talent pool and appealing lifestyle needed to hatch tech start-ups."

• "allows for lunch-break hikes"

• A University of Colorado "center makes sure that those veterans cross paths with young entrepreneurs. It hosts meet-ups, a campuswide business plan competition and a law clinic, where entrepreneurs get free legal help on things like intellectual property protection."

• "a three-month mentorship program that has taken place in an old gym in Boulder since 2007, has spurred the start-up community’s growth."

• "Several of them share space — tiny offices and a big common room, kitchen and deck — above Aji, a Latin American restaurant downtown."

Interesting. There's nothing about the big corporate tax breaks, chain stores, urban sprawl, big box retail, call centers, filling wetlands, bulldozing riverfront natural areas, reducing regulations, freeways or groveling for exportable factory jobs that has been and remains the focus of Eugene's failed economic development strategy. Maybe Eugene needs a stronger counterculture.

May 7, 2010 04:29 PM

This well-ordered and wisely chosen selection of shorts from Portland's Northwest Film and Video Festival is a promising overview of Northwest short film. Most of the selections are smart, spry and inventive — and a surprising number are animated, all in different styles and with wildly varying subject matter. "The Mouse That Soared," which opens the program, is a playful, vividly colored short that aspires to be one of the brief, wordless pieces that preface Pixar films. The animation is a little high-gloss, but the characters are charming. "Nature On Its Course" is exactly the opposite — a rough-hewn, interestingly textured short about a man, a mountain, a gun and an avalanche.

The dense, shifting imagery of "Endless Tunnel" and the succinct, amusingly dark "Stick" supply even more animated appeal. And then there's "Missed Aches," Joanna Priestly's animated vision of Taylor Mali's "The the impotence of proofreading," a poem about spellcheck, word choice and double entendres, which doubles its humor quotient about every 12 seconds. (The red pen is your friend, indeed.)

Among the live-action shorts, "Damian and Ende" is an appealingly atmospheric, gently mournful piece about the divulgent paths of two close friends. The two-minute "Eros" builds a lushly threatening mood via the careful preparation of an intensely decadent meal. As Rod McKuen narrates his poem "Eros," Sean Nelson (of Harvey Danger, and easily identifiable by his hair) slices, fries and grates a tableful of indulgence, then dips into the medicine cabinet before going out.

“Nous Deux Encore,” a 16-minute piece by Portland’s Heather Harlow, is an effectively pitched love story that tells its end first; using photos and voiceover, Harlow traces a romance that ended too soon. The short, though, feels as if it’s about to end several times before its actual ending, which makes it feel drawn-out.

“Don’t Worry, It’s a New Century” starts slowly, but builds up its idea of “idea recycling” through dryly delivered voiceover that comes from a fuzzy TV screen traveling Portland’s streets by car. Creating new ideas, the voice says, is bad for the environment. So why not just reuse others’ ideas, like, say, recreating a famous car chase with your bearded pals? Watching low-key dudes in nondescript modern cars intercut with scenes from Bullitt is funnier than you might expect.

The Best of the Northwest Film and Video Festival shows at 10:30 am Saturday, May 8, at DIVA. Festival director Bill Foster, filmmaker Jay Rosenblatt and Cinema Pacific director Richard Herskowitz will discuss festival programming following the screening. See cinemapacific.uoregon.edu for more.

May 5, 2010 12:55 PM

After Kip Kinkel shot up Thurston High School a dozen years ago, Springfield never got ongoing funding for more school counselors or better gun laws. But this week, the city got a big new gun store.

Here's a sampling of what you can buy at Cabela's:

"Each model is chambered in 5.56mm NATO/.223 Remington and has a six-position collapsible stock, chrome-lined 4140 steel barrel, 7075 T6 aluminum receiver, hard-coat black anodized finish and comes with a 30-round magazine," according to Cabella's website. A reviewer said he's shot "well over 1,000 rounds" with the assault rifle. "This gun shoots very smooth and is very accurate."

If you're looking for the latest in "home defense" ammunition, Cabella's offers a wide selection, including:

"Extreme Shock" ammo "was engineered for applications where greater penetration is a must. The EPR has greater terminal success when fired through glass or wood. This round has the ability to penetrate heavy skin and dense bone and then fragment once inside the softer tissue of the target." The big box store offers the "advanced" ammunition's "increased terminal success" for as little as $1.45 a pop.