Friday, May 31, 2013

oregon wine month : meet alchemy

While today may be the last day of Oregon Wine Month, I featured one final urban winemaker yesterday on Neighborhood Notes' Local Agenda: Alchemy Wine Productions. The husband-and-wife team along with their sustainably minded neighbors (Stone Barn Brandyworks, Marigold Coffee, Nell & Mary, and Make It Good) are hosting another Producers Portland event at the Green Warehouse on June 8, so that'd be a good time to visit the winery and "take a peek behind the scenes of some of SE PDX's boutique manufactures."

Check out the other urban winemakers featured earlier this month.

Friday, May 24, 2013

what to do if someone steals your logo online

Imagine opening your email in the morning to find two messages—one from a designer in Denmark and another from South Africa—and both friends have inadvertently similar warnings for you: They’ve each just seen your logo—or one that’s unmistakably similar to yours.

Whether an unauthorized reproduction of your brand’s identity is spotted in two continents on one day, or a child from a village in Kenya is wearing your local balloon company’s logo embroidered on his shorts, you should understand the importance of protecting your business or product name with a trademark.

You've likely invested time and money to generate an identity for your brand and to trademark it, but the reality is, no one is going to protect it for you. You are required to police the use of your trademark and that means being proactive and on the lookout for rip-offs of your logo online.

This might sound like an impossible task so we’re going to provide you with a few tips to help you protect your brand in a digital world.

Finding Infringing Trademarks Online

Graphic designer Jeff Fisher of LogoMotives is a model of vigilance. And, he’s very open about publicly sharing appropriations of his design work in a gallery he dubs “Rip-offs and Unauthorized Usage.” Continually updated, the Facebook album contains some 150 photos and stories. The detailed examples illustrate his process to protect his designs and clients and are an invaluable resource where others can learn how to protect their brand.

So, how does Fisher discover infringing content on the web?

Subscribe to Neighborhood Notes' small business education center, Local U, to read the rest of this article, and once you're a member, you can read up on the rest of NN's trademark resources.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

oregon wine month : meet the winemakers

Oregon Wine Month has barely more than a week left, but every Thursday throughout May, I've been featuring a new urban winemaker on Neighborhood Notes' Local Agenda. So far, we've met the wine aficionados and received tasting recommendations from Hip Chicks Do Wine, Jan-Marc Wine Cellars, ENSO Winery, and the Southeast Wine Collective, which features four wineries (Helioterra Wines, Vincent Wine Company, Division Winemaking Company, and Bow & Arrow Wines) under one roof.

Learn about these Portland vintners and then go visit a few this Memorial Day weekend because all of them are hosting events.

get out! 'city baby' — portland film premiere

My contribution to this week's edition of Get Out!

Written by locals David F. Morgan and Cora Benesh and directed by Morgan, City Baby—showing one night only—is "a Portland-centric coming-of-age story about a group of meandering 20-somethings trying to find meaning in the new world of adulthood." It’s also a fictitious Portland band. Love and friendship and… self-absorption—sound like someone you already know in Portland (or someone you encounter at the coffee shop every day)? What's notable here is the stacked musical lineup the film features and intertwines into its story. With live performances from Glass Candy and Starfucker and cameo appearances by Stephen Malkmus (Pavement), Rocky Tinder (Wampire), and Jake Morris (Joggers, Street Nights, Stephen Malkmus & the Jicks), the soundtrack also features several Johnny Jewel composed songs (Glass Candy, Desire, Chromatics and tracks from Symmetry), plus music from past and present (as well as active and inactive) PDXers like Red Fang, The Helio Sequence, Lovers, Explode Into Colors, Mattress, The Reservations, Reporter, Angelo Spencer, Jeffrey Jerusalem, Okay Colour, Aan, Guidance Counselor, Marius Libman (as well as Copy), The Miracles Club, Charlie Salas Humara (Sun Angle, Grapefruit, Panther), and Jay Winebrenner (Street Nights, 31 Knots). All this means you can now enjoy some of your favorite local tracks on the big screen!

Thursday, May 23, Cinema 21, 7:30pm, $8 advance / $10 door, not rated (but there is nudity and strong language—so I’m not exactly sure that will dissuade adolescent audiences)

Watch the trailer for City Baby:

Check out the rest of OMN's Get Out! picks for May 23-29.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

about face : the pulse of patrick dewitt

A personal account from the inventive mind of a lauded yet self-effacing author.

Patrick deWitt is the last person to tell you that his most recent novel, 2011's The Sisters Brothers, is award winning—let alone that it was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, one of the most prestigious fiction awards in the world.

In fact, he's the first to tell you that he doesn't really care to discuss The Sisters Brothers. But, he will mention that "I'm working on a new novel. It's like a fable without a moral."

With two successful, yet forcefully dark and divergent books under his belt, the ever-modest deWitt currently has a noteworthy literary career going for himself, including writing the screenplay for Terri, a 2011 film starring John C. Reilly, while Reilly's production company also bought up the film rights to The Sisters Brothers.

Born on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, in 1975, deWitt is a high-school dropout who has bounced around between Canada, Washington and Southern California, ultimately settling in Oregon. 

His time working the bars of Los Angeles informed his debut novel, Ablutions, in which deWitt documents and embellishes upon drunken and drug-addled experiences of alcoholics and addicts tossed by the Hollywood wayside. But when pressed for what egregious details might actually be based on his own life, deWitt cagily pleads the Fifth, contending, "I was actually asked by the publisher’s legal department not to discuss this, sorry."

And the work that inspired his biggest success came not from his own past but that of another century entirely when deWitt stumbled on a Time-Life book about the California Gold Rush at a yard sale in Northeast Portland. Readily mentioning that The Sisters Brothers "is a departure from Ablutions," or vice versa, deWitt's Wild West tale of two murderous brothers—dubbed "cowboy noir" by The New York Times—has earned the writer local and international notoriety as he took home the Ken Kesey Award for Fiction at the Oregon Book Awards in 2012 as well as two Canadian literary awards in 2011.

That said, deWitt hardly thinks "my body of work is sizable enough for a highlights reel, frankly."

Making his home in Portland for the last five years, deWitt is engaged in growing his body of work by writing his next novel, which is set to be delivered to publishers before the end of the year. But in the interim, he spent some time composing emails back and forth with About Face Magazine “because, like most writers, socializing is something I've never quite mastered.”

You seem to be a steadfast West Coaster. From Vancouver Island to California and Washington, now you're smack dab in the middle. What brought you to Portland in the first place?

I’d been living on an island for two years and the idea of moving to a larger town was appealing. We zeroed in on Portland for all the reasons everyone else zeroes in on Portland. Also, we didn’t know anyone here, and I liked the idea of starting over as a perfect stranger.

I’m listening to Rye Coalition’s “Jimmy Walkover” as I type this. 

I've read that you were a high-school dropout, didn't go to college, and you've never taken a writing course. How did you find writing to be your calling? Or, did it find you?

I started reading when I was a very young chicken, and I bought into the sanctity of the novel in a way that almost embarrasses me. It’s the only thing I’ve ever really been interested in, to tell you the truth. I was a terrible student. I still can’t do long division. I literally can’t do it.

What is it about the novel that's so alluring and important to you? What “embarrasses” you?

Well, the endlessness of language and storytelling, I guess. The musicality and beauty of a well-crafted sentence. (See? Embarrassing.) As a young reader, it just seemed to me that the authors I responded to were having so much fun, and this was appealing to me. I had anxiety about becoming an adult, specifically relating to the looming threat of drudge work, and so when the notion of writing fiction (both for a living and as a way to live) came to me, I was hugely relieved.

Tell me about your average work day.

This is boring, but you asked for it: I wake up and work for a couple hours, then there’s the afternoon which consists of: reading, listening to records, book/record shopping, bike riding, press stuff, hands-off socializing, eating, erranding, movie-going, etc. I’ve been drinking at the Red Fox a few nights a week lately.

Does your afternoon routine provide inspiration or help you rejuvenate for the next morning of writing?

It provides distance from the work on the one hand, but then also, it’s from this distance that a good many of the breakthroughs take place. When I’m working on a long-term piece like a novel, it’s day in, day out.

What are you listening to now? 

Trio’s “Broken Hearts For You and Me.”

You mentioned that you're working on a new novel and that "it's like a fable without a moral." What else can you tell me about it?

It’s still coming together but I think it’s going to be like Moby-Dick on land with a love story pushed through its chest.

I can’t say where the ideas come from. One minute they’re not there, and then suddenly they are. It seems unwise to try to guess at their point of origin, actually. The process is so blurry; best to give it a wide berth and hope whatever’s happening keeps happening.

Is love a new frontier for you? In your writing, that is.

I’ve never tried to re-create the feeling of love before, I don’t think. Not easy, currently.

How have you attempted to inspire this re-creation?

I’m relying on imperfect memory.

Any clue when the novel will be completed?

If all goes well, I imagine I’ll have a rough draft in a year, year and a half. 

Now I’m listening to The Everly Brothers’ “I Wonder If I Care As Much.” 

In the past, you reported that you were writing a story about a corrupt New York investment banker who discovers that he’s about to be arrested so he skips the country to start a new life in France. This obviously isn’t the same book then, is it?

No, it’s a different novel. Here’s what happened with the banker story: I started it a few months before The Sisters Brothers came out, thinking I’d have time to work on it in addition to doing press and travel stuff, which with Ablutions hadn’t been particularly grueling. Well, The Sisters Brothers kept me busy to the point that I didn’t have time to write for a year, almost a year and a half, and by the time I revisited the banker story, I’d lost my affection for it. I fought against this for a few months, but finally I had to recognize there wasn’t anything I could do to save it.

If what you’re working on now is a completely different story, what happened to the previous effort? 

It’s in the failure graveyard, with the others. I could probably pull a short story or two out of it, but right now I can’t look at it because it’s too painful.

What else can you tell me about this “next” novel then? I know you spent three months in Paris this last year for a residency and the previous book idea had involved France as a setting. Did your time abroad have any influential inspiration on the setting of the book?

It’s set in a vaguely Central European location, in a vaguely distant time. I’ll point to the fable as the primary inspiration, but also certain other novels, such as Italo Calvino’s If on a Winter’s Night a Traveler, with bits of Moby-Dick or Frankenstein or Dracula or Robert Walser’s Jakob Von Gunten.

Your first two novels have been vastly different in terms of setting—and this next one seems to chart new territory as well—but both have been somewhat dark, exposing the seedier elements of life in a captivating way. There's also been humor amongst the murkiness, and characters that may seem "bad" or "misguided" on the surface but are relatable and understandable. Where have these characters come from?

This sounds like a question for my therapist.

Well then, are any parts of your novels based on yourself and your own experiences? Are they based on observation or invention?

There’s a bunch of autobiographical stuff in Ablutions. With The Sisters Brothers, I tried to step away from that type of thing but wound up siphoning all my pseudo-philosophical heart-garbage into the character of Eli. 

But, yes, there’s also lots of room for invention.

The Sisters Brothers is also set to become a film as John C. Reilly's production company optioned it and I hear he intends to star as narrator Eli Sisters, yes?

This is true, and I’m pig-in-shit happy about it.

Is there any other news about the upcoming film or your involvement in the making of it?

I’m involved to the degree that I wrote the screenplay, but from here on out there’s not much for me to do other than cross my fingers and cheer the others on.

At one point, you described The Sisters Brothers as a departure from Ablutions. Is your new book a departure from The Sisters Brothers and back to Ablutions? Or somewhere new altogether?

It feels different than either of those but I don’t know that I can verbalize how, because it’s a shade on the early side, and because I’m not all that cognizant of my own process. Something is either functioning or not functioning, and right now it’s functioning, so all other concerns are irrelevant.

I tend to not look back at or consider what I’ve already done, but of course, there must be some overarching tone or attitude, as it’s all manufactured in the same location.  

What are you listening to now?

Ford Eaglin, “That Certain Door.”

Your first and second novels were dedicated to your father and mother, respectively, but Ablutions says for "the last of the old, bold pilots." What did your dad, and mom, do?

To clarify: They’re not dead. They live in Portland, too. My mother is a photographer and recovering shit-disturber. My father is a contractor. The dedication you mention stems from the saying, “There are old pilots and there are bold pilots, but there are no old, bold pilots.” I heard that and thought, “Not true.”

Who'll get the next dedication?

It’s still up for grabs at this point. 

What else besides writing keeps you busy in Portland?

I’m not by nature an outdoorsy type but it feels obscene to live here and not take part, so I do a bit of fly fishing and skiing and camping, etc. It’s a great drinking town. And the food is incredible. I was in Paris for a residency earlier this year, and time after time, I’d sit down to a 200 euro meal that just wasn’t nearly as good as the food here. 

Where would you go to spend the equivalent of 200 euro on a meal in Portland?

The Laurelhurst Market’s steak frites have been a favorite for a few years now, and the drinks are excellent there.

What other old favorites around town do you keep coming back to?

Again, the Red Fox. I love Liberty Glass. I’ve been eating breakfast at Sweedeedee on Albina. My favorite drink is Redbreast Irish with ginger beer and a lemon wedge. I need a new drink but I can’t seem to make the change.

What do you listen to your music on? And what's playing now? 

I have a record player. I’m not listening to anything, now. I’m listening to the heater pushing air.

Although you said, “I don’t think my body of work is sizable enough for a highlights reel,” what moments of your career or professional recognition that you’ve received would you put on your resume?

As far as resumes go: I bid them a bitter farewell on the day I started writing full-time, and I pray to God I’ll never have to compose another for the rest of my life. In moving houses recently, I unearthed an old resume from my early 20s, actually. Under “qualifications” I wrote: “Pleasant disposition.” That was it. My lone selling point. The sad part is, it wasn’t even true.

And, what are you listening to now?

The B-side of the Eaglin 45, “By The Water.”

Bonus! A discarded sidebar idea that AFM chose not to use

Patrick’s Picks: Although deWitt thinks his daily routine may sound boring, who wouldn’t want to spend their afternoons reading, listening to records and watching films? Here are a few of his recent and all-time favorites:

Spielt Eigene Kompositionen, Tsege Mariam Gebru
Michael Hurley, all records
Looks Like Rain, Mickey Newbury
Bach: Toccatas, Vol. 1, Glenn Gould
Bo Diddley is a Gunslinger, Bo Diddley
Venus in Cancer, Robbie Basho

The Big Why, Michael Winter
What’s for Dinner?, James Schuyler
Manservant and Maidservant, Ivy Compton-Burnett
Morte D’Urban, J.F. Powers
Jakob Von Gunten, Robert Walser
Impossible Object, Nicholas Mosley

The Servant, Joseph Losey
Il Posto, Ermanno Olmi
The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser, Werner Herzog
A Prophet, Jacques Audiard

Read this interview in About Face Magazine.

Monday, May 20, 2013

omn’s guide to the 2013 sasquatch! music festival

We all know there's way more happening here than you can possibly witness. The 12th annual Sasquatch! Music Festival at the Gorge Amphitheatre features some 120+ artists and bands performing this Memorial Day weekend (Friday, May 24th through Monday, May 27th) on five stages (although one—Cthulhu—with only three acts per day hardly counts).

So, disregarding some the biggest billed names in popular culture right now—those who you either love or you hate, those you're either sure not to miss (insert: Mumford & Sons, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Vampire Weekend, The xx, The Lumineers) or sure to miss—OMN will attempt to distill each day down to three must-see acts (as well as a few honorable mentions) and then we'll make an effort to follow our own advice come Friday. Feel free to join if you fancy.

Friday, May 24th

ONE: The worst thing in the whole entire world is knowing Portland's RED FANG is melting faces on the Bigfoot stage (from 5-5:45pm) while you're stuck in a never-ending line of cars trying to get into the campground. Don't let that be you. Arrive early—that means early enough to polish off the six pack holstered in your Red Fang-branded, leather beer holder. Then, forget about setting up your tent and get your ass to the venue because there'll be lines there too. Until Sasquatch kicks off, get your air guitars warmed up with "Hank Is Dead"—a metal ode to a deceased cat:

TWO: The disparate MATTHEW DEAR will bring an hour of his dark-yet-dapper dance music to El Chupacabra (from 9:45-10:45pm). Full of murky emotions and beats that are both grinding and grindworthy, find someone to put your smell on because Dear's gonna make the tent sweat.

THREE: No stranger to the Northwest, FATHER JOHN MISTY's J. Tillman is a former member of Fleet Foxes and friend of mainstay, singin'/songwritin' Seattleites Damien Jurado and David Bazan. His indie folk and candid stage presence is sure to draw a crowd to the Bigfoot stage (from 7:30-8:30pm). Get spiritual with "Hollywood Forever Cemetery Sings":


You'll have to choose between the rapid, garage-y riffs of the Arctic Monkeys (Sasquatch at 8:30pm) or the psychedelic spirituality of Youth Lagoon (Yeti at 8:30pm).

Get the rest of our picks on OMN.

Friday, May 17, 2013

resources for your ride — it's national bike to work day

It's National Bike to Work Day today, which means it's National Bike Month, which, in turn, means it's PDX Bike Month. Got it?

In honor of all of the above, I've written a Local Agenda for today as well as one the other week on some Portland-made biking accessories like bags from Black Star and Queen Bee, caps from Double Darn, and more really cool stuff from PDW and others.

Then, there's the behemoth of a list, featuring classes, co-ops and maps to guide you, dubbed:

Greenest city, best coffee, hottest indie music scene. In the eyes of others (read: national media outlets), Portland is constantly competing for top listicle honors.

In 2012, Travel + Leisure liberally bestowed upon Portland "the best" titles for environmental friendliness, street food and food trucks, public transportation and pedestrian friendliness, pet-friendly vacation, and microbrewed beer (as well as "the worst" weather, naturally). Plus, CNN just named us the best beer town in the USA.

While the recognition is appreciated (and delivers a little ego boost), the measures are, honestly, completely arbitrary. Most Portlanders aren’t striving to be acknowledged—they’re just doing these things because they have a passion for the ideas, ideals and tastes (and to, hopefully, make a living).

As we continually vie with Minneapolis for the crown of America’s #1 bike city, one thing is official: The month of May is National Bike Month, which means the city has also declared it PDX Bike Month. With morning ride bike breakfasts and a free bike summit (the meeting kind, not a hill ride), May is an opportunity for Portlanders to celebrate the thriving bike community and culture that lives here. (Points of pride: Portland has the highest percentage of bike commuters for a large American city and is the only large American city awarded a platinum rating for bicycle friendliness by the League of American Bicyclists—plus more fast facts.)

But if you’re a little intimidated by the scene or simply don’t know where to start, we hope the following list of resources will show you that Portlanders love spreading the bike gospel through activities, education and affordable access to information for riders of all skill levels and ages.

Where To Learn: Hands-On Bike Maintenance and Safety

Tori Bortman, owner of Gracie's Wrench
Depending on what you aim to do with your developing bike knowledge, Portland offers a multitude of opportunities to learn in a variety of environments.

A good place to start is the Portland Bureau of Transportation’s (PBOT) Portland By Cycle program, which hosts spring and summer classes and rides (all are free but some classes require registration). You can learn basic bike maintenance and safety in interactive clinics or discover new cycling routes while practicing these skills during group rides—and maybe you’ll make some two-wheeled friends along the way. Find the 2013 schedule for upcoming dates of interest.

While Portland By Cycle has several dates specifically for seniors, Women on Bikes is a female-only series of free clinics and rides. With activities from now until September, find one that works for you and join in.

For those determined DIYers desiring more advanced training, become a bike mechanic under the tutelage of Tori Bortman at Gracie's Wrench where she offers everything from beginning to intensive tune-up classes and individual tutoring, or learn wheel building from the experts at Sugar Wheel Works.

And if you’re really serious about being official, get professionally certified at the United Bicycle Institute, “the industry's leading technical school offering courses in repair, frame building, and mechanic certification for beginner to advanced technicians.” That’s right, you can literally build your own bike from scratch. Fire up your torch and start brazing that chromoly. (And if you have no clue what that even means, just start hanging out at the adjacent Hopworks BikeBar and maybe you’ll learn through inebriated osmosis.)

Find out where to learn safty tips, how to self-service your ride, and discover a plethora of riding routes inside and out of the city on Neighborhood Notes.

Friday, May 10, 2013

atl invasion : big boi + killer mike running the roseland

Although Three Stacks just released a cover of Amy Winehouse ("Back to Black," in which he splits time with Beyoncé, for The Great Gatsby soundtrack), it's unlikely his musical output is going to increase any more than the smattering of songs he's infrequently released over the last five or so years.

Meanwhile, the other half of Outkast—Big Boi—dropped his second solo album, Vicious Lies and Dangerous Rumors, six months ago, a release that saw him mashing genres by collaborating with rising rappers (A$AP Rocky, B.o.B., Kid Cudi), longtime ATL homies (Ludacris, Sleepy Brown, T.I., Killer Mike), and indie darlings (Phantogram, Little Dragon, Wavves). While not as universally solid as his debut, the maximalist effort that blends indie rock (like production by Phantogram on "Objectum Sexuality"), Dirty South rap (the bumping "In The A"), and soulful, electronic funk (provided by guest Kelly Rowland on "Mama Told Me"), and proves Big Boi is still the master of the hook.

Compatriot and recurrent collaborator Killer Mike also released his sixth record in 2012, the critically acclaimed R.A.P. Music (an acronym for Rebellious African People), that was co-produced by El-P. (Since, the two have officially formed a group, Run The Jewels, together, and a free, self-titled LP will be out on Fool's Gold in June.) While the powerful, political album already has a sequel planned (with El-P again) for 2014 (as does part four of his Pledge series), there's another record you should be ecstatic about.

Big Boi on the mainstage at Seattle’s Bumbershoot in 2011. Photo by Alex Crick.
Prior to the official release of VLDR, Big Boi revealed that he already had another 10 songs recorded for a third solo album. And in the months leading up to VLDR, he spread some rumors of his own posting two fully realized tracks typical of his style ("Gossip" with southern guests UGK and Big K.R.I.T. and the explicitly erotic "She Said OK" featuring Theophilus London and Tre Luce), neither of which appeared on the record.

As demonstrated by the aforementioned, it seems both of these artists look to be entering a prolific stage in their careers.

So, is that what you should be you excited for? Nope.

It's the big news the two drop on Shoes For Running mixtape (below) in advance of their joint tour. In the intro to "A.D.I.D.A.S.," Killer Mike tells us to enjoy this mixtape "while me and Big Boi get a whole brand new album ready for y'all. That's right, me and Big Boi. Album. Heads are exploding now."

And during his freestyle to the beat from 50 Cent's "Wanksta" on the final track, Daddy Fat Sax adds, "We got a brand new record coming out—two CDs, not one." Boom.

Read the rest on OMN.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

get out! : kisses + trails and ways

My contribution to this week's edition of Get Out!

Here's to a Sunday night of warm, California-hued, unabashed electro-pop. Headliners Kisses look like they live inside an Instagram filter. One look at their Tumblr or the wood-paneled album art of their upcoming sophomore release (Kids in LA due out May 14th on Cascine), reveals a decade-spanning, sun-soaked sensibility for fashionable kitsch. It's an appealing style—full of palm trees and Aloha shirts (including one they designed themselves) as well as something fabulous we'll dub the disco pineapple—and a retro mood which is definitely carried onto the inviting analog keys and danceable drum machines of the new record.

Mixing Latin influences with dreamy pop and Brazilian jazz, the Spanish- and Portuguese-infused "bossa nova dream pop" of Oakland-based Trails and Ways is a pleasant complement to open the night. Set to release their debut EP on June 6th, Trilingual is presumably named for lead singers Emma Oppen and Keith Brower Brown's escapades in Spain and Brazil following studies at UC Berkeley. With these two on the bill, it'll be a summery night that fans of Portland's Pure Bathing Culture can enjoy.

Sunday, May 12, Holocene, 8pm, $8 advance / day of show, 21+

Listen to four tracks from Kisses upcoming record Kids in LA:

Check out the rest of OMN's Get Out! picks for May 9-15.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

¡salud! — it's cinco de mayo

In honor of Cinco de Mayo, today's Local Agenda features tacos, cervezas, margaritas made with aguas frescas, tamales and homemade salsa from several of my favorite spots around town. (We're talking Robo Taco, ¿Por Que No? and suggestions for several tamale spots.)

Every. Single. One of those things is literally my favorite thing in the whole wide world. ¡Qué rico!

Saturday, May 4, 2013

just brew it — it's national homebrew day!

It's National Homebrew Day so naturally we planned accordingly for today's Local Agenda as well. Find out where to meet up with some homebrewing comrades and how to spend your sunny Saturday afternoon.