Archive for March 2012

Gabriel de Clieu: The man who brought coffee to the new world

Throughout history, courageous explorers and adventurers have introduced rare and exotic foods that over time have become commonplace staples of our modern-day diet and culinary acumen. 

Famous men such as Marco Polo, Christopher Columbus, and Sir Francis Drake each returned from their adventures in Asia and the new world to their homes in Europe bringing plants and vegetables that would later transform western cuisine; their names are eternally secure, framed in our national conscience-synonymous with having changed the globe for better or for worse. Tangentially, Gabriel De Clieu is not well known; his name is not commonly found amongst the roster of monolithic characters that are recognized as great men, and yet De Clieu is the man who brought coffee to the new world. 

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What Music Pairs With Ruby?

photoPerhaps you’re thinking, Hey, I should go out and celebrate Ruby’s birthday tonight. After all, pints of Ruby are a mere $2.50 all across McMenamins-land. You would be thinking correctly, friend. Ruby’s big day is one of the most popular we have. The air around us carries with it the same zingy crackle as Ruby’s raspberry infusion. The beer’s a-flowin’, the smiles are…smiling, and the music’s jinglin’, janglin’, rippin’, and roarin’.

Music? You say. Why, of course! What’s a birthday without music? And you would be right. You’re a smart person, friend, and don’t ever let anyone tell you otherwise.

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Coffee and Revolutions

photoCoffee has often played a part in revolutionary activity. It was the drink of choice for the great intellectual minds of the Enlightenment period. Coffee fueled the feverish discourse of 18th-century philosophers and thinkers who were bent on casting off tyranny and the burdens of old-world superstitions. Voltaire practically lived on caffeine, and Isaac Newton was known to haunt London’s coffee houses. The royal establishments of Europe looked askance as the great minds of the day started to question the authority of the old order, their cups brimming over with the thinkers drink, their minds sharpened, wide awake and poised for the promise of the future.

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The Decemberists’ Chris Funk talks Pogues, KMRIA

KMRIAI have spent the last 8 hours wracking my brain, trying to figure out how to tell you exactly how awesome KMRIA – Portland’s Pogues tribute band – is. The band, which consists of some of the best musicians the Pacific Northwest has to offer, will kick off the Saint Patrick’s Day weekend festivities tomorrow (Thursday, March 15) at the Olympic Club.

The Pogues are not your normal band, and this not your normal tribute band (after all, what tribute band can boast members of the Decemberists, the Eels, and Dr. Theopolis, among others?), and so I feel compelled to get the message out. And the message has gone through all sorts of fancy permutations in my head, borne of panicky questions: Do people know who the Pogues are anymore? Do people know what an amazing band they were? Do people understand the level of talent that’s in KMRIA? Do people know what “KMRIA” stands for?

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Sarah Jaffe: Beyond a Singer-Songwriter

Sarah JaffeThe first time I heard Sarah Jaffe (who is opening for the New Multitudes boys at the Crystal Ballroom this Friday, March 9.) she was maybe 20 years old. It was 2007. I had just moved to Dallas to take the music editor position at the alt-weekly Dallas Observer, and one of the first things I heard out of the mouths of those in the know was, “You gotta go hear this girl, Sarah Jaffe. Singer-songwriter. She’ll blow you away.”

I was doubtful. I had already spent four years covering music elsewhere, and I had grown cynical about the genre. The words “singer-songwriter” to me equated “bore you to tears,” not “blow you away.”

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And the Winner Is…

photoThe 19th Annual Hillsdale Brewfest was held last Saturday, February 25, 2012, with great fanfare and loads of merriment. After a long, raucous day of sampling each of the 22 ales on offer, the ballots were tallied and the results are in.

This year’s battle was the closet finish yet with the winner edging out the second-place finisher by a mere 3 points! That’s just ONE first-place vote that made the difference! (Never let it be said that your votes don’t matter at this affair.)

Without further ado:

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