LOVE ACROSS THE POND: Richmond Fontaine’s eighth (!) full-length, We Used to Think the Freeway Sounded Like a River, won’t be out in the U.S. for another month, but in the U.K. it came out Aug. 17 and was met with rave reviews.Uncut magazine’s five-star lovefest is the highest-profile praise, but Q magazine and the Sunday Times of London were similarly gushy. The hype isn’t unfounded—the new disc is RF at the height of its powers. Frontman/author Willy Vlautin and company, ever underrated in their hometown of Portland, play the World Famous Kenton Club Friday, Aug. 28, before hitting the skies for some of Europe’s coolest clubs and festivals. When the group returns Oct. 9 to play a CD-release show at Dante’s, perhaps Portland (and, you know, America) will have caught on.
ART CONNECTION: Apparently it’s not enough to sit and stare at works of art these days—the Portland Art Museum has persuaded local beer-makers to brew suds in art’s honor and PDX musicians to serenade it. It’s all part of Shine a Light, a huge multimedia party PAM is throwing with PSU’s Art and Social Practice MFA Program on Saturday, Sept. 19, to celebrate looking at art from new angles. Details aren’t finalized, but organizers let it slip that both E*Rock and Tu Fawning are scheduled to play live at the event and New Old Lompoc, Laurelwood and Lucky Lab have signed on to unveil kegs of arty beer based on paintings from PAM’s permanent collection. We hear Rough Rider—the huge Theodore Roosevelt sculpture in the Park Blocks in front of PAM—is the focus of one of the projects.
RESTAURANT ROUNDUP: Beloved Sellwood restaurant Caprial’s Bistro closed this week after 17 years in business. Owners Caprial and John Pence declared bankruptcy in 2006. Beloved Old Town gay bar the Dirty Duck will close Sunday, Aug. 23. A proposal is pending to demolish the building, which is owned by the City of Portland, and replace it with a homeless shelter and soup kitchen. Beloved downtown restaurant Brasserie Montmartre, closed since 2006, has applied for an OLCC liquor license under new ownership.
KINKY KUDOS: Theresa Reed, known to the public as “Darklady”—PDX Masturbate-a-Thon creator and former Oregon state rep candidate—accepted the Community Choice Award at the eighth annual Rose Thorn Awards on Sunday at My Father’s Place. The Awards, which also include “Leatherwoman and Leatherman of the year,” are organized by Blackout Leather Productions, a nonprofit that raises awareness for the “Gay Lesbian Leather/SM/fetish community.” Darklady, who first won the award (the only one decided by community voters, not BLP board members) in 2007, hosts a radio show and regular events embracing all things sexy.