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Mixed Martial Arts Tonight in Portland at Rumble at the Roseland

December 6, 2008 Comments off
Jake Morris in his Debut

High School Wrestler Jake Morris in his Debut

Portland is a huge city for Mixed Martial Arts, with Team Quest in town, some of the best world class fighters fight out of Portland. One of those great fighters Chael Sonnen, gives back to the Mixed Martial Arts community in Portland by putting on Rumble at The Roseland (along with Kevin Keeney). This regular showcase of up and coming fighters gives local fighters a chance to start their careers and make a run at professional careers in MMA.

Tonight’s rumble proves to be an exciting night of fights with two significant title bouts:  Kress Matijacic vs. Crae Basset and Tom Matijacic vs. Pro Escobedo, the second of which matches up two undefeated fighters.

Perhaps the most compelling story of tonight is the debut of Jake Morris, a highly ranked state wrestler…in high school at Oregon City.  Morris turned eighteen just three days ago and has his MMA debut at Rumble at the Roseland.

Morris a two time state collegiate wrestling champion is planning to show off his stand up game in his MMA debut, “I want to keep the fight on my feet as much as I can, I have the wrestling background but I only want to use that if I have to. I want to make a show on my feet, see what I can do.” Morris will take on Brandon Alderman who is 23 and is also making his MMA debut.

Rumble at the Roseland 40 starts tonight (12/6) at the Roseland Theater (8 NW Sixth Ave). Doors open at 6pm and Fights start at 7.  The Rumble is offten packed to capacity, often with standing room only for latecomers.

On Portland plans to twitter live from tonight’s Rumble at the Roseland. Follow us on Twitter.

Categories: MMA Tags: ,

A Little Historical Perspective on Portland Tech

December 5, 2008 Comments off

I was fortunate enough to catch Bram Pitoyo‘s live broadcast of the Portland Web Innovators meeting. While I enjoyed watching Rick Turoczy give an effective ‘State of the Portland Tech Union Address‘ I couldn’t help but think back to another point in Portland’s Tech History.

Back in 1995, Portland was abuzz with the Internet. Since the web was relatively new (think Web 1.0, or maybe 0.95b1), the excitement over it and opportunities created by it connected people from traditional Portland tech, software engineering universe, and non-tech entrepreneurs who saw the opportunity to use the new technology to fuel business.

It was out of this unique mix that the Portland Internet community was born. In this space a few factions existed: The SAO (The Software Association of Oregon), which existed prior to the web, consisted mainly of hardcore technologists and engineers;  Netogether, run by Lenny Charnoff, it existed as a local business networking and discussion forum designed to bridge the gap between the technology and the local businesses who could benefit from it.; Internet Professionals Northwest (aka Internet Entrepreneurs Association) which flourished under the leadership of Mike Pritchard and provided a mixing point between technologists and entrepreneurs. Read more…

Categories: Technology Tags:

Robin Williams is Extremely Funny in His Portland Performance

Robin Williams Plays Portland

Robin Williams Plays Portland

It was a rare opportunity to see one of the best stand-up comedians alive today. Robin Williams hadn’t toured in six years and luckily his “Weapons of Self Destruction Tour” stopped in Portland

For an hour and a half Robin Williams ran at a spitfire pace, telling about three hours worth of jokes. Starting with a series of local jokes “I see you’re drinking a Sam Adams, that isn’t the only Sam that enjoys a little head in this town” to his trademark penis jokes (as he reenacted a committee meeting to design the penis), Robin Williams hit a home run every time he went up to bat.

I’ve been to my fair share of stand-up performances (most recently Eddie Izzard and Henry Rollins) and no-one comes even close to landing so many extremely funny jokes as Williams.

What struck me the most about Williams was just how energetic and youthful he is.  Fighting a cold his horse voice never stopped him in his explosive comedy and he bounded around the stage like a man half his age.

Some of the funniest jokes of the night came between Williams a woman who was signing for some deaf audience members. Williams often uses faux sign language in his act, and his interplay with the interpreter was  Williams at his absolute best.

After Williams finished his set everyone in the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall rose to their feet in a complete unanimous standing ovation. Williams returned to the stage and continued his set for another half hour. “It feels great, my regular routine is over and now I get to play!” What followed was pure, raw unadulterated Robin Williams and perhaps the best case made that Robin Williams in the funniest man alive.

Telling jokes like John Coltrane played the sax, William bounced and riffed like no other comedian can.  Robbins did an entire riff on porn, including celebrity porn with impersonations of Jimmy Stewart, Betty Davis and Katherine Hepburn all doing porn. The capper was an impersonation of Christopher Walken doing porn!

The evening’s finale was an impromptu country western song that was inspired by an audience member’s t-shirt. It showed off the sheer genius comedy of Williams and was a perfect cap to an amazing night.

Hopefully it won’t be another six years until Williams goes on tour again, no matter how long it is, I can tell you it will be worth the wait.

Categories: Comedy Tags: ,

Children’s Healing Art Project Holiday Bizarre

December 3, 2008 Comments off
Childhood Healing Art Project Holiday Bazarre

Children's Healing Art Project Holiday Bazarre

This past weekend we made our way down to The Pearl for ‘The Big Reveal‘. The idea was a great one, several Pearl merchants would reveal special holiday windows all at once in a grand event. The unfortunate thing was it was a complete non-event. The only real saving grace was that we stumbled upon CHAP’s (Children’s Healing Art Project) Holiday Bizarre (which runs till the 24th of December).

Located at 937 NW Glisan St, this special holiday bizarre features a number of DIY crafts and activities for kids. While we were there they had a woman working with the kids to make little pocket pals for $1.50! Talk about a great stalking stuffer.   In addition to pocket plas there are worskops for: animation, screen printing, clay critters, orgami, collage and more (see the complete schedule of workshops).

The Holiday Bizarre also features a huge collection of samples from Columbia Sportswear. Many of the samples are one of a kind. Prices ranged from $5 to $40 with some incredibly good bargains for quality clothing (some of the clothes has ‘sample’ written on them, so pick carefully).

The bizarre is not only a great spot for kids activities and an opportunity to pick up a steal of a deal on some sportswear, the CHAP’s Holiday Bizarre supports a very good cause. So if for no other reason than to support a fantastic local cause, I recommend visiting this bizarre!

Here’s another picture from the bizarre:

Columbia Sportswear at CHAP's Holiday Bizarre

Columbia Sportswear at CHAP

Categories: Family Tags:

Cool Tech at PDX

November 28, 2008 Comments off
Columbia Sportswear's Interactive Display Window

Columbia Sportswear's Interactive Display Window

On Wednesday I went down to PDX to pick up family vising in Portland for the Thanksgiving holiday. As I waited for them to get off the plane and clear the security checkpoint I played around with the window display at the new Columbia Sportswear store (which is right before the security checkpoint at the A, B and C gates).

The Columbia Sportswear store has an interactive display window. You can touch the various icons on the window itself to get information about Columbia Sportswear and to play videos of their products in use. Most people standing around the window didn’t realize that you could interact with it, but the reception to it was pretty good when my daughter stepped up and started playing Warren Miller snowboarding videos on the full display window.

The opportunities for a rich interactive retail experiences are so vast and it’s nice to see a non-technology company like Columbia Sportswear embrace new technologies for one of their keystone stores. Who knows maybe Microsoft will start promoting this technology as “Windows for Display Windows”.

Categories: Politics, Portland, Vegan Tags:

Twilight – Pure Romance

November 20, 2008 Comments off
Twilight - Pure Romance

Twilight - Pure Romance

If you are a teenage girl, in love with the romance genre, then Twilight is your Citizen Kane. Not since Stanley Kubrick locked Nicole Kidman and Tom Cruise in a room together for hours and hours in Eyes Wide Shut have we seen more screen time devoted to the relationship of just two people.

Based on the best selling novel by Stephanie Meyer, Twilight tells the story of the deep attraction and constantly unconsummated relationship between two high school students, Bella and Edward. These two star crossed lovers would have little standing in their way were it not for the unavoidable fact that Edward is a vampire.

This conflict, “Will he lover her or will he eat her?” is the core of Twilight, everything else feels tacked on to fill out the movie. On paper this makes Twilight a fairly superficial and thin film. Ancillary characters, like Bella’s father, are thinly drawn and only exist to bridge the gaps between scenes with Bella and Edward. Sub plots involving rival vampires and mysterious murders are completely throw away and again, only serve to connect us to scenes between the two lovers. What Twilight lacks in depth it more than makes up with passion. There’s enough passion in Twilight to fill up an entire series of films. So much so, I fully expect teenage girls to literally swoon after seeing this film.

Robert Pattinson, who is sure to become a ‘teen idol’, plays Edward as a wonderfully pained and brooding character. Pattison’s performance seems to be inspired more by Hamlet and Romeo than Dracula and Angel and his character feels oddly un-vampiric. Kristen Stewart does a solid job playing Bella, the every girl grappling with the attention of a boy so captivating she can’t help but become obsessed with him.

If there’s a third star to Twilight it’s the Pacific Northwest. I can’t recall a film that has celebrated the overcast rainy weather more than Twilight. Oregon and Washington come off stunningly with key scenes shot from tree tops looking across wooded valleys. The Viewpoint Inn, the setting for the finale of the film is also stunning and is sure to become a hot destination for fans of the film.

In many teen oriented romantic films issues of high school politics, popularity, social circles and just ‘fitting in’ tend to dominate.. With Twilight the issues are much more internal. Bella is less concerned with fitting in and more concerned over whether or not she’s done something to keep Edward from loving her. This internal struggle of self confidence in relationships is sure to strike a deep chord with the intended audience especially combined with the deep level of complex and unconsummated teen love.

As a vampire movie, Twilight reinterprets the traditional vampire myth through almost superhero eyes. In the Twilight universe vampires don’t have fangs, aren’t effected by garlic (even a golden one) and don’t burst into flames in the sunlight. The Twilight vampires have more in common with The X-Men than they do with Buffy The Vampire Slayer. At times Edward seems almost celestial despite his constant proclamations to the contrary.

But summing all this into a recommendation is extremely difficult. Twilight is one of those movies where film criticism really doesn’t matter all that much. Odds are audiences are going to make up their minds to see this film based on the novels or at least the popularity of the novels. It’s just one of those movies so connected to the book series there’s no way to really un-teather it.

For my part, I feel that Twilight does one thing well, it captures a passionate romance between teenagers and embodies the highs and lows of that experience. Beyond that I think the film is a little weak. But for the target audience I think it’s going to be more than enough.

I’ve seen much worse than Twilight, but as a parent bringing my pre-teen to a movie I found that it was engaging enough not to be a miserable moving going experience (something I can’t say for many of the films aimed at her demographic).

Categories: Movies Tags:

Coraline Full Theatrical Trailer

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While there’s been a lot of buzz this week over the locally shot film Twilight, the buzz is just getting started for another film shot in Portland: Coraline. Directed by Henry Selick (who directed The Nightmare Before Christmas),  based on a book by Neil Gaiman, and shot at Laika studios in Portland, Coraline could be another huge notch in Portland’s belt as a top destination for filmmaking.

While Coraline doesn’t hit theaters till early 2009, the full trailer has been released, and it looks fantastic!

Categories: Movies Tags:

Portland Radar Screen: Super Project Lab with Storm Large, The Super XX Man and Melissa Ferrick

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Storm Large Joins Super Project Lab 11/22

Storm Large Joins Super Project Lab 11/22

Some of the best stuff going on in Portland this weekend could easily be under most people’s radar screen… but not ours!

Friday 11/21: Twilight Prom – Dance under the stars at the View Point Inn and pretend you and your date are Edward and Bella. This kicks off what will sure to be an absolute frenzy over all things Twilight. (The Viewpoint Inn is located at 40301 East Larch Mountain Road in Corbett, Oregon.)

Saturday 11/22 Super Project Lab: Meet Your Force of Nature (8pm @ Portland Center for Performing Arts – 1111 SW Broadway). Storm Large is the special guest for Super Project Lab, whose run at PCPA has been a smash hit. Super Project Lab will be joined by one of my (other) favorite improv groups The Liberators. This is a not to be missed show!

Melissa Ferrick (8pm @ Wonder Ballroom -128 NE Russell) if improv isn’t your thing, don’t miss the extraordinarily talented Melissa Ferrick. Indie inspired acoustic folk, Ferrick falls soundly between Ani DiFranco and Patty Griffin. Check out her cover of Bush’s Glycerine and you’ll understand why she’s on our radar screen.

Sunday 11/23: OPB Music presents: Super XX Man Record Release party (7pm @ Someday Lounge – 125 NW 5th) featuring works by comic illustrator and album cover artist Brian Oaster and Chad Crouch.  The evening will feature a rare performance from Team Evil, (featuring members of both>Point Juncture, WA and Blind Pilot) and Super XX Man performing songs from Vol. XII “There’ll Be Diamonds” which was inspired by his work as a musical therapist at an Oregon State hospital. Tickets are $6. Also check out the Super XX Man video on Youtube for Collecting Rocks – it’s a trip!

Got an event you’d like us to cover? Be sure to let us know about it so it’s on our radar screen!

Categories: Events Tags:

Twilight Prom at The Viewpoint Inn

November 18, 2008 6 comments
Twilight Prom in Corbett, Oregon

Twilight Prom in Corbett, Oregon

Twilight is one of the most anticipated movies of the holiday season. Based on a run away best selling series Twilight is the first installment in what looks to be a new major movie franchise (and the launch of Summit Entertainment).

Interest in all things Twilight are so high that one of the locations, Viewpoint Inn has been beseiged by series fans, who want to see where one of the film’s climatic scenes was filmed.

To celebrate the film’s release Viewpoint Inn is throwing a Twilight Prom to give fans a chance to relive Edward and Bella’s prom date.

The Twilight prom runs November 20th and 21st. Admission is $47 and includes:

  • Admission to The Prom
  • A Movie ticket to a midnight showing of Twilight
  • Food and non-alcoholic beverage
  • A Twilight T-shirt
  • A Twilight Poster
  • Pictures from the filming of Twilight

Given the success of the Twilight series it’s possible that not only will Twilight break the Oregon box office curse, but it will more than likely supplant The Goonies as Oregon’s premiere film destination for fans.

Twilight Prom tickets are are on sale now and reservations can be made via phone at 503-695-5811 or email [email protected]  The Viewpoint Inn is located at 40301 East Larch Mountain Road in Corbett, Oregon. Twilight opens in theaters on November 21st.

Categories: Events Tags: , ,

Don’t Miss The Abyss Beer from Deschutes Brewery

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Deschutes Abyss Bear

Deschutes Abyss Bear

Great news for Portland beer fans, it’s time again for Deschutes Abyss Beer. If you somehow missed this gold medal winning Imperial Stout last year you absolutely do not want to make the same mistake again.

Considered by many to be one of the top Oregon Stouts, The Abyss comes in a wax dripped bottle containing one of the deepest and most satisfying beers of it’s kind. At 11% alcohol by volume it’s one you’ll sip, savor and enjoy!

The Abyss beer is only available in limited quantities and it tends to sell out quickly. Belmont Station (one of my absolute favorite Portland beer stores) is going to be selling The Abyss starting at 5pm Tuesday November 18. They are limiting sales to just 2 bottles per person and they expect to run out fast.  Belmont Station is located at 4500 SE Stark.

The Deschutes Brew Pub (210 NW 11th) also has an extremely limited number of cases of the Abyss (and they expect to sell out of them by the end of today).

Take our advice and simply do not miss The Abyss!  (Read some great coverage on this beer at Brewpublic)

Update: The Abyss is selling for $9.99 at Belmont Station and there was quite a line at 5:00.

Here are some pictures from The Abyss beer release:

The Line for The Abyss Beer at Belmont Station
The Line for The Abyss Beer at Belmont Station
My 2 Bottles of The Abyss Beer
My 2 Bottles of The Abyss Beer
Categories: Beer Tags: ,