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August 5th, 2009 KELLY CLARKE | Headout
 

Red Letter Day

The movable-type crowd gets festive.

     
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IMAGES: Mike Perrault

“We like paper. We tend to be quiet...and a lot of us play Scrabble.” That’s how Red Bat Press’ Carye Bye describes her fellow letterpress lovers. They’re a loose cadre of professional Luddite printers, movable-type collectors, zine and poster makers and elderly garage hobbyists—many originally inspired by Portland’s Independent Publishing Resource Center—who eschew laser printers, computers or even electricity to work on antique printing equipment all over this city. They’re a sizable crowd. Portland plays home to more than a dozen professional letterpress companies and print collectives, from CD-packaging aces Stumptown Printers and Bye’s hand-woodcut and -typeset Red Bat greeting card biz to the Collective of Geniuses, a group of activists who use letterpress to highlight minority, women’s and transgender issues. This Saturday, the anti-inkjet set joins together for Portland’s Letterpress Printers’ Fair, a one-day event at Liberty Hall that seeks to bring together print shops and suppliers for press demos and eclectic equipment, card and overstock sales, as well as some good old-fashioned gawking at their meticulous, hand-worked art. The fair will also serve as a sneak peek at the C.C. Stern Type Foundry, a new museum of metal type and casting equipment IPRC co-founder Rebecca Gilbert plans to launch in Portland later this fall. “You never have to plug a letterpress in; never have to upgrade,” muses Bye, who works on a 1940s tabletop press made by Portland mortuary company Bede - Hibbitt Inc. she found for sale online for $50 last year. “The tricky part is finding one. They just don’t make ’em anymore.”


GO: The Letterpress Printers’ Fair takes place at Liberty Hall, 311 N Ivy St. 11 am-4 pm Saturday, Aug. 8. $2 11 am-2 pm; free after 2 pm. More info at redbatpress.com/printersfair.

Headout Picks

THURSDAY AUG. 6


[STAND-UP] KEEP PORTLAND FUNNY
Local comics perform the funny stuff to raise money for Transition Projects Inc., an agency that helps homeless Portlanders get work and housing. Kelly’s Olympian, 426 SW Washington St., 228-3669. 8 pm. $5.

[MUSIC] NURSES
With its sophomore album more than a year in the making, local whimsical pop band Nurses finally releases Apple’s Acre, complete with stage designs and costumes by Heather Treadway of Explode Into Colors. Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison St., 239-7639. 8:30 pm. $7. 21+.

[VIS ARTS] MUSICFESTNW POSTER SHOW
For the third year, the coolest posters from WW’s own MusicfestNW are collected together in one spot for some first-rate graphic goodness. Backspace, 115 NW 5th Ave., 248-2900. Opening reception 6 pm. Show runs through Sept. 3.

FRIDAY AUG. 7


[SCREEN] THE COVE
Everybody loves dolphins. Unfortunately, several Japanese fishing villages love dolphins in their school lunches. Could this deplorable situation call for...documentary filmmakers? Yep. Regal Fox Tower Stadium 10, 846 SW Park Ave., 221-3280. $10.50. See review here.

SATURDAY AUG. 8


[CLASSICAL] PORTLAND FESTIVAL SYMPHONY
Lajos Balogh conducts Haydn’s final symphony, plus one of his gorgeous cello concertos, an early string quartet and a Mendelssohn nocturne. Sunday’s show features another late Haydn masterpiece, his Symphony No. 88, PDQ Bach’s typically loony Octoot and Hubert Parry’s An English Suite. Both concerts feature Beethoven’s mighty Symphony No. 3 and the Toy Symphony that Balogh believes Haydn, not Leopold Mozart, composed. Grant Park, Northeast 33rd Avenue and U.S. Grant Place, 6 pm Saturday, Aug. 8. Peninsula Park, 700 N Rosa Parks Way, 6 pm Sunday, Aug. 9. Free.

[MUSIC] BOAT
Is anything more fun in the summertime than bopping along to the super catchy pop of Seattle’s BOAT? And this time, it’s all ages! Backspace, 115 NW 5th Ave., 248-2900. 9 pm. Cover. All ages.

TUESDAY AUG. 11


[MUSIC] PETER BJORN AND JOHN
Kanye’s a fan, and everybody (and their mom) can whistle “Young Folks.” Still, PBJ put on quite a show, and its other songs aren’t too shabby, either. Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell St., 284-8686. 8 pm. $20 advance, $23 day of show. All ages.
 
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