- L.A. AS FUCK: Few things are as typically Portlandian as moving to Los Angeles to make it big, so perhaps it shouldâve been expected that Ian Karmel, the cityâs most visible standup comic, would eventually relocate to the land of development deals and Lakers car flags. Karmel announced on Facebook that he will be departing in early August. âI hate leaving, but the tangible opportunities are in New York and L.A.,â Karmel tells Scoop. âItâs the sad truth. Itâs the payback for getting to wake up at noon every day.â The Beaverton native follows in the footsteps of Ron Funches, who left for L.A. last year and landed on a new NBC sitcom, Undateable. No word on who will replace Karmel on the last page of The Portland Mercury, on Comcastâs Talkinâ Ball or as the opener for every touring comic performing in Portland.
- ALMOST R.E.M.: Portland nearly played host to a significant moment in rock history last week, though only a select few wouldâve been around to witness it. On June 1, R.E.M. guitarist and part-time Portlander Peter Buck married fiancee Chloe Johnson at Wonder Ballroom. According to the blog Slicing Up Eyeballs, all three of Buckâs former bandmatesâincluding drummer Bill Berry, who retired from the group in 1997 after suffering a brain aneurysmâwere in attendance, performing in various combinations at the reception. The foursome avoided taking the stage at the same time. If they had, it wouldâve been the first time with the original lineup assembled since the 2007 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony.
- STRUNG UP: The Oregon Symphony is in financial troubleâagain. After announcing last October that the organization would be canceling its return to Carnegie Hall, cutting administrative positions and reducing staff salaries, the symphonyâs musicians have now agreed to waive their annual end-of-season payment (about 2 1/2 weeks of salary). That will save $315,000, still not enough to close the undisclosed budget gap. Itâs typical for arts organizations to face budget gaps at the ends of seasons, but violinist Greg Ewer says that does little to lessen the sting. âThe writing has been on the wall for a long time,â he says. âThe musicians are looking to have a more active role in oversight.â
- CAKE WAR STORIES: Last week, WW reporters asked two Oregon bakeries who refused to make gay wedding cakes for quotes on cakes to celebrate divorce, pagan holidays and a successful stem-cell project. The story, âCake Wars,â had more than 100,000 online readers and 600-plus comments. Not everyone was happy. The most eloquent complaint came in an email from Edwin Crowther (email@example.com): âYou worthless piece of shit!! Typical rat bastard dumocrat!! Leave those bakeryâs alone, dirtbag!! I am a contractor and very PROUDLY refuse service to you faggots!!! FUCK YOU!!!â