Thank the Internet gods for the free encyclopedia Wikipedia.

When we decided we'd honor this year's crop of "Best of Portlanders" with a cool rock-and-roll hand gesture, we thought we'd also find out what that gesture meant in other countries, since the entire world seems to be so touchy lately.

And man, were we ever surprised!

Although it's originally linked to the legend of the Minotaur, in ancient Greece, according to Wikipedia the corna (Italian for "horns") is an another way of saying you're sleeping with someone's wife. This meaning also works in Spain and the Czech Republic. In Israel it has something to do with a snail and a popular children's television show. And in the Netherlands "Bokkegroet" has to do with the worship of Satan. It also has that meaning in the United States—but that's only with metal-heads rocking out to Iron Maiden.

So what does it signify for WW's Best of Portland?

We took our cue from the most common usage in the subculture that is the American independent music scene: These bests friggin' rock!

Whether it's our big-time annual Readers' Poll—which more than 3,000 of you contributed to, thank you very much—or just the coolest place to see grumpy strippers, we salute all of our bests with the "horns."

As I said before, I like to think of each one of our bests as a peek at a Portland that may not always be recognized—the people, places and things that don't always demand front-page recognition but are worthy of at least 100 words of attention.

And, not to toot our own horn or anything, but we know what we are talking about—especially when it comes to rock and picking our bests. In what easily has to be our "Best We Told You So" of 2006, way back in 2004 we put a little-known chanteuse on the cover of that year's Best Of Portland issue. Now Storm Large (right) is living large on a little television show called Rock Star: Supernova. If you want to read what we said about her back then, may we suggest a six-letter word: Google.

All my bests,

Byron Beck


Best of Portland 2006 MENU:


The best EDITOR: Byron Beck

The best ASSISTANT EDITOR: Ben Waterhouse

The best CONTRIBUTORS: Elianna Bar-El, James Bash, Craig Beebe, Andra Brosy, Michael Byrne, Adrian Chen, Bill Chenevert, Mary Christmas, Kelly Clarke, Devan Cook, Ian Demsky, Tim DuRoche, Taraneh Foster, Nigel Jaquiss, AP Kryza, Rain Lynham, Amy McCullough, Richard Meeker, Carin Moonin, Becky Ohlsen, Laura Shinn, Josh Silverman, Jason Simms, Ethan Smith, Karla Starr, Henry Stern, Angela Valdez, Toby Van Fleet, Jacques Von Lunen, David Walker, Ben Waterhouse, Jonathan Weatherford, Mark Zusman

The best COPY EDITORS: Kelly M. Bryan, Matt Buckingham, Katie Feuer, Ian Gillingham

The best ART DIRECTOR: Thomas Cobb

The best PRODUCTION STAFF: In Baek, Renee Bielawski, Erik Blad, Brian Brown, Joe Davis, Maggie Gardner, Tom Humphrey, Matt Wong, Cari Vander Yacht

The best Photographers: Lenca Bekvar, Jenna Biggs, Eleena Fikhman, Tom Oliver, Amy Ouellette