Two Upcoming Portland Films – Fighting Politics and The Waiting List

December 11, 2008 1 comment
  • As luck would have it, I got two emails this week almost back-to-back announcing new films with Portland roots. The first one Fighting Politics is a documentary on Matt “The Law” Lindland. Lindland, a former championship UFC Cagefighter, is the founder of Sport Fight (one of Portland’s biggest MMA Events). This year Lindland made a run at the Oregon House of Representatives where he was nearly defeated in the general election. Fighting Politics looks at the life of Matt Lindland, his MMA career and his epic battle with the UFC and owner Dan White.The trailer for Fighting Politics looks phenomenal, and as soon as we get word on when it’ll be playing in Portland we’ll let you know!

    More info on Fighting Politics and Matt “The Law” Lindland:

    Another film with Portland roots is The Waiting List, a film about parents who spend the night in a preschool in order to get their kids enrolled (based on a real experience). The Waiting List was shot this summer at Springwater Environmental School in Oregon City, as well as at Voodoo Doughnuts II. It is currently in contention for spots at a number of film festivals nationwide. We’ll let you know when The Waiting List has its first Portland showing!

    More info on The Waiting List:

  • Categories: MMA, Movies Tags: ,

    Nine Inch Nails Dazzles Portland Fans at The Rose Garden

    December 8, 2008 7 comments
    Trent Reznor at The Rose Garden in Portland (photo: David Lawrence)

    Trent Reznor at The Rose Garden in Portland (photo: David Lawrence)

    The Nine Inch Nails concert at The Rose Garden started like many hard rock/industrial concerts – with a ton of smoke and bright lights. The sea of strobes lit the Rose Garden in bursts of blinding lights as Nine Inch Nails belted out their first three songs in a full on sonic assault.

    Then it all changed. The stage went dark and the band moved to the front of the stage backed by a complex weaving of LCD lights and screens. At that point the show wasn’t just about the music anymore. Reznor and company danced and moved in conjunction with a sea of light and color in something akin to a post modern living digital painting.

    The rich tapestry of light and sound constantly evolved through out the show, taking the audience on a visual trip that probably could only have otherwise been achieved under the influence of some hallucinatory drug.

    With this amazing feast of the senses, Nine Inch Nails moved through their large breadth of music touching on almost every album and digital release. Bouncing around their musical time line, the band made each song sound as if it were new and fresh.

    The middle of the show was a quiet contemplative series of songs from NIN’s “Ghosts” release, which felt like it came from an entirely separate universe than the band’s opening numbers. The Ghosts block was surreal, meditative and beautiful.

    Every song thereafter had some sort of amazing visual surprise attached. On one Reznor moved around the stage interacting with a blanked of digital static that covered the stage, on another digital noise danced on the floor like snow and then flew to the heavens. (No description of these visuals could ever do them justice although I tried to capture the NIN Portland experience on Twitter).

    The final lap of the concert returned to the bright lights and strobe of the beginning, punctuating the complete journey the band had taken the audience through the show. Coming back for an encore Reznor did a rendition of “Hurt” which felt as fresh and emotionally immediate as ever.

    Reznor and NIN have taken a very different road musically. They’ve constantly foiled convention and defied confinement within the traditional music industry. Now on tour they’ve literally reinvented the concert going experience with an auditory and visual feast like none I’ve ever seen. There’s no way you can experience this Nine Inch Nails experience any other way than running out and seeing them live, no photo, youtube video, DVD or Blu-Ray of this show will ever have the impact of the unmediated experience. That experience makes Nine Inch Nails one of the preeminent bands to see live perhaps now even rivaling U2.

    Here are some photos of the concert (photos by David Lawrence)

    More info on NIN in Portland:


    Categories: Music Tags:

    Is Jake Morris the Next Urijah Faber – Rumble at The Roseland

    December 7, 2008 10 comments
    Is Jake Morris the Next Urija Faber?

    Is Jake Morris the Next Urijah Faber? photo: David Lawrence

    Of course it’s way too early in Jake Morris‘ career to start calling him the next Urijah Faber. Jake Morris turned eighteen three days before the fortieth installment of the Rumble at the Roseland and his fight against Brandon Alderman was his first amateur MMA bout. But as Morris leaps to his feet after pounding Alderman to a stoppage the resemblance was there.

    Morris is a two time high school collegiate wrestling state champion, but on Saturday night it was clear he was out to prove in his debut that he was an extremely strong stand up fighter. Exploding at the start Morris rained down punches on Alderman, so many that the action was stopped for a wild head shot blow that drew a warning for Morris. The stoppage did little to slow the tempo of the match with Morris dominating Alderman before quickly finishing him off in the first round.

    Time will tell if Jake Morris has what it takes to follow in the footsteps of a MMA giant like Urijah Faber, but under the careful eye of Chael Sonnen the potential is there. Watch video of the finish from the Jake Morris v. Brandon Alderman bout.

    Jody De Simone Takes Down Christa Shaffer

    Jody De Simone Takes Down Christa Shaffer photo: David Lawrence

    Morris wasn’t the only stand out at The Rumble at The Roseland. Female fighter Jody De Simone made an explosive debut against Christa Shaffer. Outweighed, out reached and far less experienced De Simone proved just how dangerous it is to underestimate her. Within moments of the start Jody De Simone was all over Christa Shaffer quickly taking her down to a choke that ended the match a mere forty seconds after it began and leaving Shaffer blacked out on the canvas.

    De Simone’s performance was a perfect example of just how exciting women’s MMA can be as this fight proved to be one of the 2 fights of the night (and far surpassed many of the men’s bouts).

    Other notable fights included:

    Justin Mark v Travis Sue – Travis Sue is an older fighter who fights out of Team Quest. Justin Martin didn’t seem to take Sue seriously enough and paid dearly when Sue took the bout by a dominating choke.

    John Bartlett v Ben Egli – Two younger undefeated fighters out on a solid fight with good exchanges with their stand up game in the first round, but Bartlett ended the round on top with a commanding ground and pound. The fight didn’t go much further with Bartlett working Egli to the ground and defeating the 3-0 Engli with a monster choke.
    Dan Gordon v Tony Sandbothe – Dyanmic punching by Dan Gordon almost puts Tony Sandboothe out on his feet, instead Sandboothe holds it together only to get a blood bath with power punches from Gordon. Gordon ends the extremely bloody match with a TKO that leaves Sandboothe bloody and on his back on the canvas.

    One of the fights I was really looking forward to Janna Piper v. Jessica Porter got scratched because of weight issues. This was going to be Jessica’s last fight before turning pro. Jessica faced Kim Coutoure in her MMA debut and looks to be an extremely promising professional fighter.

    Of fourteen fights at least ten of the fights at the Rumble at The Roseland were really good (a fantastic ratio for a MMA event). The only two really disappointing fights of the night were: Ryan Cribba v. Jake Richmon, with the two heavyweights looking gassed out after the first half of the first round and Tom Matijac v Pro Escobedo, while Tom Matijac literally looks like Superman he did nothing but tie up Pro Escobedo in a 3 round holding match that never got off the ground.

    But overall you really couldn’t ask for a better evening of Mixed Martial Arts.

    More Ruble at The Roseland Info:

    Categories: MMA Tags: ,

    Pictures of Portland – Santa Claus on a custom bike

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    Walking back from The Rumble at The Roseland late on Saturday night I encounted Mr. and Mrs. Claus riding custom bikes in Old Town. I tried to snap a picture of Mrs. Claus but she said she couldn’t stop her bike, the only way she wasn’t tipping over was if she kept moving. I did manage to snag this picture of a very Portland Santa Claus.

    Since I missed SantaCon this year, this is as close I’ll get to the wild and wonderful Portland Santas!

    Categories: Pictures of Portland Tags:

    Rumble at The Roseland Portland MMA Action on Twitter

    December 6, 2008 Comments off
    Full Contact Fighting Federation Ring Girl

    Full Contact Fighting Federation Ring Girl

    At the Rumble at The Roseland 40, On Portland ‘broadcast’ the Mixed Martial Arts action live on Twitter. Here’s a recap of that broadcast:

    Follow On Portland on Twitter for more Twittercasts.

    Categories: MMA Tags: ,

    Mixed Martial Arts Tonight in Portland at Rumble at the Roseland

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    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: