The It List: The Top 10 Things in Portland and the World
it list - casey jarman
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. Camper Van Beethoven's new album. Not necessarily for the music, which is the same sleepy country-rock the pioneering indie band's been playing for years, but as we discovered this week, the CD case itself is a great tool for scraping frost off a windshield. Thanks, David Lowery!
2. Robots playing “Ace of Spades.” Confirming what we've always known: that men will soon be obsolete, but Lemmy will live forever.
3. Salt & Straw backlash.
Y'all threw a fit last year when we averred the upscale ice cream shop was less than amaze-balls, but folks are finally starting to agree with us, at least on Twitter: "ice cream is supposed to taste good, not like side dishes from a Wes Anderson set," writes @KNNYFRSH. "If I wanted wheat grass and essence of elderberry in my milkshake, I'd just go ahead with the seppuku," opines @docadam.
5. The ultimate triumph of Deadspin over Grantland.
WW news reporter Aaron Mesh burst breathlessly into an Arts and Culture meeting last Wednesday afternoon to announce not that Manti Te’o’s girlfriend was a fake, but that Deadspin had thereby definitively asserted its place as best-sports-website-freaking-ever over the often beautifully written Grantland. (We exempt the now-defunct, but irreproachable Fire Joe Morgan from consideration, for no particular reason.) Best print-edition sports paper ever, by the way? The National! (As eulogized by Grantland, the briefly reigning best website. Oh, this world is confusing.)
6. The Cadillacs.
Since seeing "The Huntsmen" at Portland Playhouse this weekend (look for a review in Wednesday's paper), we've been singing the production's catchy doo-wop tunes to ourselves (and to whatever unfortunate friends or strangers happen to be around). Many of the play's songs are original, but it's "Speedo" by The Cadillacs that has lodged itself especially firmly in our heads. And know what? We want it to stay put.
7. Marc Ribot filmed live at the Northwest Film Center.
We’ve discovered that somebody was nice enough to record one of the best live shows we expect to see this year, a 1/11 solo performance by jazz/new music/rock/whatever guitarist Marc Ribot—best known for his work with John Zorn, Tom Waits and John Lurie’s Lounge Lizards. Ribot provided a live score for Charlie Chaplin’s The Kid, but was nice enough to play a solo show first to showcase his idiosyncratic blend of emotion-laden virtuosity and pratfalling instrumental slapstick. Living legend, live (recorded).
8. Goodbye and good luck to Sarah Mirk. It seems like only yesterday that the Portland Mercury's Sarah Mirk bemoaned the fact that two Willamette Week editors left to have children, something she called "a sad sign of the times"; she wanted to "wish them the best in finding jobs that make them happy." Mirk also said that she was suffering from burnout and called herself "crazy for sticking with" journalism. This week, Sarah leaves newspaper journalism, an industry she said she could not discuss without feeling "either gloomy or frantic." It List wishes Sarah good luck and hopes her new post at Bitch will bring her some joy.
9. Operation Desert Fox.
A little girl and her pet fennec. Because sometimes life is a Miyazaki movie. And because wonderful.