I was asked to speak at my high-school graduation. Not because of my grades (which were abysmal) or because of my community service (which was ordered by a judge), but because I had made fewer enemies than most of my peers and had somewhat of a reputation as a class clown—though I realize now it had more to do with my goofy, gap-toothed face than my jokes. Anyway, I had about a month to prepare for the speech, and I knew it would be the biggest moment of my life up to that point. I thought about it every single day, but in the end I had so much fun imagining the endless possibilities (do I quote Ferris Bueller or Rage Against the Machine?) that I never got around to writing a speech. When graduation finally arrived, I read vague scrawls from a torn sheet of notebook paper mostly covered with cartoons.
I write this to you on my last day at Willamette Week. I've known for a month that I'd have this page to say goodbye on. I've had plenty of ideas for it. And when I think of all the people who have mentored and inspired me these past six years—four of them as music editor, my dream job—my eyes well up and I get a lump in my throat and I have to stop thinking about it or I'll cry at my stupid desk. So instead of telling you that "life moves fast and if you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it," I thought I'd show you some of the cartoons I'd scribbled in meetings over the years. Thank you for reading.
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[MUSIC] Yes, this time of year we have kind of a one-track mind. But what starts tonight and runs for a thrilling/grueling five days is nothing less than the craziest stretch on Portland music fansâ calendars all year long. From Against Me! to Beirut to Flying Lotus, there are some wild times ahead. We hope youâre game for it. Multiple venues. The official MFNW guide is online at wweek.com. All ages.
[MUSIC] The more the merrier, we say. The second annual Northwest Hip Hop fest gathers almost everybody whoâs anybody in Portland hip-hop, and a few new recruits to boot, and throws a three-day party with them. Expect to keep your hands in the air an awful lot to the likes of Cool Nutz, Sleep, Serge Severe and many more folks. Ash Street Saloon, 225 SW Ash St. 9 pm. $8 advance, $10 day of show. 21+. Continues through Saturday at Ash Street Saloon and Kellyâs Olympian.
[TIME] PICAâs annual arts festival celebrates its 10th year putting weird art you donât really understand on stages around the city. Through Sept. 16. See pages 49 and 51. Full details at pica.org/tba. [FASHION] Move to the leftâMacyâs, Sephora and Columbia Sportswear and two dozen other downtown retailers are having special events. Fashion shows at Director Park, Southwest Yamhill and Park Avenue. Downtown, 4-9 pm. downtownportland.org/fashions-night-out.
[MOVIES] Put aside any aversions to New Age-isms, and this new wordless, non-narrative documentary from the creators of Baraka is, without question, the most visually intoxicating film of the year. Fox Tower, 846 SW Park Ave., 221-3280. Multiple showtimes.
[MUSIC] Getting out of bed the day after MFNW is a challenge, but tapings hosted by Seattle radio station KEXP are a great motivator for braving the sunlight. Aside from being free and all-ages, these mini-concerts allow fans to see some of the festivalâs biggest bands in an impossibly intimate setting. Saturdayâs lineup has both Dinosaur Jr. and the Hives tearing up a club half the size of the venues theyâll play later that night. Doug Fir Lounge, 830 E Burnside St., 231-9668. 10:30 am-4:30 pm Thursday-Friday, Sept. 6-7, noon-4:30 pm Saturday, Sept. 8. Free. See full schedule at musicfestnw.com.