Each week our culture scientists rank their 10 favorite things in the universe. The resulting list is infallible. The list is perfect. If you don't agree with the list, you are wrong. Some items may stay atop the list for weeks, others may only make a brief appearance. Some items are Portland-centric, but only because Portland is at the center of the universe. Please do not write to us, asking for the metrics behind the list. We will not provide source material. We will not be swayed. Bow down to the list. Love the list, as the list loves all things. Let the list move through you. (And, you know, if you have suggestions for the list, stick them in the comments section below.)
1. David Byrne's dance moves
Loath are we to quote Oregonian reporters, but the O's music editor, Ryan White—Tweeting from last week's (fucking amazing) David Byrne-St. Vincent collaborative concert at the Schnitz—pretty much nailed the ex-Talking Head's sweet soft-shoeing when he described it as an exact cross between Fred Astaire and a Jazzercise instructor. And you thought your drunk uncle at your cousin's wedding was embarrassing.
2. Schisandra berry
Pop in your local herb shop for a few of these dried berries, pop a few in your mouth and chew, don't eat. Enjoy the bitter, complex flavor of schisandra, alias "five flavor berry." Strap on those felt boots and don your feathered cap, because you, sir or madam, can now go sable hunting all day and night without eating or sleeping! Worried about turning into Harry's mother from Requiem? Rest assured that schisandra ranks with pickled rat fetuses and centipede juice as anciently verified (verifiably ancient?) Chinese remedies.
3. The press release for Backspace's Halloween show
And we quote: "The show is all ages. High school kids now have something to do other than throw eggs, cover each other in Barbasol, and drunk fuck in the rain under the Thurman Bridge. In fact, Backspace happens to be the only venue in Portland where a 15-year-old dressed as a ninja can timidly sip a spiced cider whilst ogling a -40-year-old dominatrix attempting to drink a microbrew through her gag-ball." Also worth noting, the show features cover bands performing tributes to, respectively, the Ramones, the Go Go's, Devo, White Stripes and, curiously, a combination of Dinosaur Jr and Billy Bragg.
6. Stella Ehrhart
It's always Halloween for this kick-ass 8-year-old, who dresses up as a different historical figure for school each day. Seriously, flip through the photos. Girl's got style and smarts.
7. Roasted sweet potatoes
Because they taste like all that is wholesome and heartening about fall. Try putting them in a sandwich. No, really. Try.
9. Pulling tax exemption for conservative churches
Sure, ya'll can have yourselves a church. And ya'll can have yourself some political opinions. But if ya'll go on a-mixin' em' you gotta pay Uncle Sam his due.
They've had a hell of a week, haven't they?