THE BUMS LOST: If recent events are any indication, Portland’s ever-decadent Old Town is ceding its traditional claim as rocker-hipster territory,
in favor of the hard-boozing bridge-and-tunnelers and
greek-letter-keychain crowds that rule the center of almost every major
American city. Owner Dustin Knox has announced his speakeasy-style
cocktail venue Central (220 SW Ankeny St.) will be giving up its
downtown perch for eastside digs come the new year. And on Nov. 24, dim
train-car bar and musician haunt Yes and No (20 NW 3rd Ave.)
closed its doors for the final time. Quoth the Yes and No bartender on
its final night, “Nobody’s really been in here for a month.” This is
despite (or because of) neighborhood club-hopping crowds so large that
Portland police have proposed shutting down all car traffic in a
six-block area to avoid street fights and car accidents among revelers.
RADIO QUICKSILVER: Ex-Portland Mercury editor Phil Busse is coordinating the launch of a new FM radio station to play indie rock—and
says he’s landed two Federal Communications Commission licenses for it.
The station will probably be located at 91.1 FM. Busse says he’s
handling the “administrative and financial foundation” for a group of
music aficionados—including the owners of the Peoples’ Sandwich of
Portland and vinyl-spinning bar Tiga—called the Cascadia Education Broadcasting System.
He began fundraising after a California-based nonprofit that owns a
signal in Portland contacted him. Busse’s accomplishments include
writing an effusive review of a restaurant that hadn’t yet opened; being
wildly overpaid with public financing as a campaign manager for failed
City Council candidate John Branham; getting accused of plagiarism for a
Salon.com article on prison boxing; being fired from an adjunct
professor job in Minnesota after stealing John McCain yard signs in
2008; and, most recently, lasting six months as the first general
manager of dance powerhouse White Bird. An Indiegogo page says he’s
raised $4,042. “The idea is to make a music station that sounds like Portland,” Busse tells WW. “I don’t think that people want to listen to my iPod.”
ADIOS, AMERICA: Loch Lomond is breaking up—with America. The Portland indie-folk institution has announced its show at the Aladdin Theater on
Nov. 30 will be its last in the United States. The band isn’t moving,
but founder Ritchie Young says the group is “burned out” on trying to
push itself in this country. While it still plans to release its fourth
album, Black Dresses, in 2013—and possibly more—the band will only tour abroad from now on.
Young cites money as the prime motivation for that decision (the band
is much more profitable in Europe), but adds that, after almost a decade
together, he feels Loch Lomond has maxed out its Portland shelf life.
“We’re so thankful and impressed with how long people have supported us
here, but I always hate it when a band slowly fizzles out and doesn’t have that expiration date,” he tells WW. “I hate seeing bands I love turning into, y’know, Monday night at the Ash Street Saloon.”