SWEDE SHOP: HM, the Sweden-based, designer-y retailer that promises fashion and quality at a cheap price, is coming to Portland.WW’sRetail Therapist received confirmation from a Seattle HM employee and broke the news on wweek.com last week that a store will open in the fall of 2010, location to be determined. Make that locations—RT’s source says the company may open two stores. Find more fashion gossip and sartorial self-help at blogs.wweek.com/retailtherapist.
PRAY OR SUE: Note to Portland bands: Changing your name is the new reunion tour. Two months after Starfucker became Pyramiddd, local avant-pop quartet Church will change its name to Ape Cave by the time it plays a show at Slabtown on Saturday, Jan. 9. The band was contacted by Australian act the Church—whom you might know from its 1988 hit “Under the Milky Way.” The message? Change your name or get ready for a lawsuit. “They sent us a letter saying we had better change it by 2010 or else, ” singer Brandon Laws says. “At least this will make it easier for people to find our music online.”
TYPECASTING: Portland Center Stage went looking for an actor to play the boss in Adam Bock’s play The Receptionist and found one in its own IT department. Database administrator Bob Thomas beat out all other applicants for the role of a man crushed by his soulless employment. In other news: After more than five years of reviewing Portland’s theatrical efforts in exactly 50 words, Followspot has ceased publication. The blog, known as much for the catty vitriol of its comments section as for the concision of its reviews, was started in 2004 by Tim Krause. It’s been run since 2007 by pseudonymous writer Peanutduck, who explained its closure: “the site wasn’t serving as the forum for constructive discussion it had in its early years,” she told WW, adding that a site devoted to artist profiles may be in the pipeline.
SPARKLED, FADED: The music world is abuzz with its annual end-of-year-list madness, but we found few lists as entertaining as the Onion AV Club’s “Least Essential Albums of 2009,” wherein the site roasts Billy Bob Thornton’s honky-tonk band, the Boxmasters, and Clay Aiken’s premature Greatest Hits collection. But for the actual Least Essential Album of 2009, the Onion wisely picks Everclear’s In A Different Light, the new disc where Portlander Art Alexakis and a trio of hired guns re-record hits from Everclear’s past—making them sound almost identical to the originals. “Why? Did the originals get lost?” AV Club asks before deciding the release “just has no compelling reason to exist.” We were thinking exactly the same thing (see “Sparkle and Fade,” WW, Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2009).
DEPARTMENT OF SHAMELESS SHAMING YOU INTO GIVING: Thanks, Portland! Since Wednesday, Nov. 18, you’ve given more than $467,000 to the 79 awesome local nonprofits featured in WW’s Give!Guide 2009. Now we’ve got a little perk to sweeten the deal. Donate $25 or more to your favorite Give!Guide nonprofit before midnight Dec. 31 and you’ll score a free ticket to a very special Deelay Ceelay dance party at Berbati’s on Friday, Jan. 15. Get busy givin’ at giveguide.oaktree.com.