THE BUMS LOST: If recent events are any indication, Portlandâs 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, âNobodyâs really been in here for a month.â 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 rockâand says heâs landed two Federal Communications Commission licenses for it. The station will probably be located at 91.1 FM. Busse says heâs handling the âadministrative and financial foundationâ for a group of music aficionadosâincluding the owners of the Peoplesâ Sandwich of Portland and vinyl-spinning bar Tigaâcalled the Cascadia Education Broadcasting System. He began fundraising after a California-based nonprofit that owns a signal in Portland contacted him. Busseâs accomplishments include writing an effusive review of a restaurant that hadnât 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 heâs raised $4,042. âThe idea is to make a music station that sounds like Portland,â Busse tells WW. âI donât think that people want to listen to my iPod.â
ADIOS, AMERICA: Loch Lomond is breaking upâwith 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 isnât moving, but founder Ritchie Young says the group is âburned outâ on trying to push itself in this country. While it still plans to release its fourth album, Black Dresses, in 2013âand possibly moreâthe 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. âWeâre so thankful and impressed with how long people have supported us here, but I always hate it when a band slowly fizzles out and doesnât have that expiration date,â he tells WW. âI hate seeing bands I love turning into, yâknow, Monday night at the Ash Street Saloon.â