SAVING SPACE: Our
great local nightmare is over, and it didn’t even take a dramatic
last-minute twist. Last month, Backspace—Portland’s only all-ages music
venue—appeared to be on the verge of eviction unless it could raise $10,000
to pay fees related to delinquent rent by Jan. 1. The club launched an
Indiegogo campaign and, bolstered by donations from local bands like
Typhoon, STRFKR, the Dandy Warhols and others, got the money together
with time to spare. So what happens now? Aside from co-hosting the free,
two-day Big Ass Boombox regional pop festival this week, owner Eric
Robison hopes this recent scare will act as a “wake-up call” to the
music community. “Then we can promote properly and do all these things
to strengthen what we do,” Robison told WW in December. “Short of that, we can always put in a couple stripper poles.”
STRAYED VS. STORM: The nominees for Literary Arts Oregon Book Awards are out and the most intriguing matchup is in creative nonfiction, where Dear Sugar advice columnist Cheryl Strayed faces reality-TV star Storm Large. Strayed’s book Wild,
about the time she hiked part of the Pacific Crest Trail after a
breakup, is an Oprah Book Club pick set to be a movie starring Reese
Witherspoon. Large’s book, Crazy Enough, discusses the craziness of her mother and the immense width of her vagina.
MEDIATHEQUE?: Coming in 2015, Portland theatergoers can expect a new black-box venue in the North Park Blocks.
Slated to be part of Pacific Northwest College of Art’s expansion into
the former post office building at 511 NW Broadway, the 200-seat
facility will have fully flexible seating for a mixture of college and
community programming. The venue—which PNCA cutely refers to as the “Mediatheque”—will
expand the college’s community partnerships. Though it’s too soon to
say which local performing arts organizations might use the space,
PNCA’s Lisa Radon predicts the venue will host experimental rather than traditional theater. “The space will be really conducive to that,” she says.
Cocktail haunt Central (220 SW Ankeny St.) might be closed, but it
looks like the frontage won’t go fallow for long. Central owner Dustin
Knox has told WW he’s planning to open a window-front eatery much
better suited to the sodden neighborhood. The deeply refined and
tasteful name? Uncle Dick’s Deep Fried Hot Dogs. Speaking of which, there’s a familiar name on an OLCC application for a new Southern food joint called Church
at 2600 NE Sandy Blvd. Listed as a minority investor is someone named
Scott Thomason. However, majority owner Brian Block confirmed that’s not the once-ubiquitous Scott Thomason who was pushed out as CEO of his own auto group in 2002, and who was recently involved in a failed bid to help former Blazers player Terry Porter buy his old team.