Archive for February 2012

Jay Farrar + Woody Guthrie = New Multitudes!

Beardos, take heed! All your dreams are about to come true!

photoSeems some of America’s most favorite be-whiskered gentle rockers have teamed up to tackle a very Americana-esque task. Going under the moniker “New Multitudes,” Jay Farrar (Son Volt, Gob Iron, Uncle Tupelo), Will Johnson (Centro-matic, South San Gabriel), Anders Parker (Varnaline, Gob Iron) and Yim Yames (My Morning Jacket, Monsters of Folk) have joined forces, gathered up some previously unpublished Woody Guthrie lyrics, and set them to their original compositions, on which they all collaborated.

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15 Minutes With: Fade to Light Fashion Show

photoLike clothes? Like supporting Portland’s finest designers? Like music, beer, and a fashion scene that’s fun but not snotty? Then you’ll dig the Fade to Light Fashion show at the Crystal on Wednesday, February 29.

We’ll be honest: When we first heard about this show, we weren’t quite sure what the deal was. A fashion show’s a fashion show, right? You know: Clothes. Runway. Models. Repeat until the drinking can start.

But Fade to Light…well, it’s much more than that. For one thing, DJ Gregarious will be holding down the musical fort, along with Brainstorm* and that, friends, equals fun. But more important, event producer Elizabeth Mollo promises it will bust the boundaries of your usual fashion show, in some very creative ways. We chatted with Mollo on the phone today to get her thoughts on things.

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The Dark Season in the Gardens

Our mild climate allows the transition toward a brighter season to begin early.  Spring in our gardens begins in January. There are a surprising array of flowers quite willing to bloom while pummeled by rain and sleet, buried by snow, whipped by dry east winds, and frozen solid.

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Specialty Coffee: What Is It?

photoThis year Portland will host the Specialty Coffee Association of America’s Annual Convention. As we at McMenamins Coffee Roasters are preparing to participate in this important and exciting event, an opportunity presents itself to discuss the label “specialty coffee.”

For a coffee to be designated “specialty,” it must be rated 80 or above on the Specialty Coffee of America’s scale of one to 100. This rating system looks for any defects as well evaluating the color, moisture content, aroma and a variety of other criteria that pertain to the overall quality of the bean. Beyond this however, the term refers to an entire industry focused on high-quality coffee where all aspects of production are constantly being improved upon.

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Naomi LaViolette’s New Jazz Standard

photoThere’s a certain brand of female singer-songwriter these days that’s hard to describe accurately. These ladies lilt about atop a cloud of influences -jazz, mainly, but also with attachments to ethereal acousto-rockers of yore like Joni Mitchell and Carol King. This new brand of lady musicians takes classic influences and spins them with originality and a personal touch. In a world that insists upon specific definition, such concoctions can be hard to pin down, genre-wise. Is it Norah Jones-like pop? Subtle, sophisticated songcraft? Jazz-based, piano-driven, sultry chanteuse-ery?

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