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January 14th, 2009 WW Editorial Staff | Scoop
 

Gossip Should Have No Friends

     
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SWEET CORALINE: If you’re wandering the South Park Blocks in February and run into a crowd dressed in tuxedos and 3-D glasses, don’t be alarmed. As first reported on wweek.com, next month’s Portland International Film Festival will start with a very local bang: Coraline, the big-budget stop-motion animated movie created by Phil Knight’s Portland cartoon empire, Laika, will make its world red-carpet premiere as PIFF’s opening-night film. Coraline was shot in stereoscopic 3-D, which means Laika and the NW Film Center are flying a team of technicians up from Los Angeles to equip the Schnitz with 3-D projection capability. Ticket sales will be announced Wednesday, Jan. 14, for the premiere, which will be held at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall at 7 pm Thursday, Feb. 5—one night before Coraline opens nationwide.

KING OF CAFFEINE: Last Thursday, with I-5 flooded at Centralia, Wash., Fresh Pot barista Alex Pond wasn’t even sure he’d make it to the Northwest Regional Barista Competition in Tacoma. But 12 hours and a 440-mile detour later, Pond made it to the event, which pits Oregon, Washington and Alaska coffee artists against one another for espresso supremacy. And then he won it. “[Pond’s] like a wonder kid; he’s only 22 years old,” marvels his boss, Michael Brooks. “This is only his second competition.” Although Portland’s had a strong showing in past NWRBCs, including former Albina Pressman Billy Wilson’s 2007 win, Pond’s the first barista to compete from Fresh Pot. He won over judges with drinks made from Panama Carmen Estate Single Origin Espresso from Stumptown Coffee Roasters. His signature drink incorporated Tanzanian salt and Balinese chocolate into the mix. What’s next? “The first order of business is making sure he gets a good couple of days off,” says Brooks. “We gave him a nice bottle of bourbon, too.” He doesn’t have long to relax. Pond will represent the Pacific Northwest at the U.S. Barista Championship right here in Portland March 5-8.

GLOBAL TICKET DOMINATION: It says something about Portland’s status as a bustling live-music town that three of our local concert promoters were among the top 100 in worldwide ticket sales for 2008. Yep, in the world. An annual tally, conducted by industry trade rag Pollstar, found regional powerhouse Mike Thrasher Presents atop the local heap at No. 58 overall, with 236,440 total tickets sold in ’08. Monqui and Double Tee made the list at 69 and 97, respectively. But before anyone gets too big a head about all this, they should take a look at No. 1: Touring monster-promoter Live Nation sold a startling 39 million tickets in ’08 (most of them to teenage girls—you go, Jonas Brothers!). If Portland ever gets that big, we hope someone hits us with a shovel. Update: Portland's Mark Adler, who owns the Aladdin Theater, also made that list at number 79.

 
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