Championships – We Will All Have Been Brothers and Sisters – The Best East Portland Indie Album of the Decade and Probably the Century

The recent EP from Championships is a delight. It has six carefully crafted pop classics all written and sung by Cameron Heger, the Championships mastermind. Gifted as he undoubtedly is, Heger gets by with a lot of help from his talented friends. On his last recording, an eponymous debut in November of 2015, it . . . → Read More: Championships – We Will All Have Been Brothers and Sisters – The Best East Portland Indie Album of the Decade and Probably the Century

Sweet Spirit – The Power

Austin’s self-described “freak parade,” Sweet Spirit, harnesses the force of their eight-piece band to create a high-energy, soulful, gritty, and just-straight-up-fun soundscape. Sabrina Ellis’ (A Giant Dog) standout vocals provide the anchor for the array of pop, rock, glam, soul, and blues that blend together seamlessly. St. Mojo, the sophomore album, came out on . . . → Read More: Sweet Spirit – The Power

Freedom Isn’t Free: At the Writers Resist in Portland, by Chuck Strom

Last Sunday, writers and activists gathered at Writers Resist, an event held in over 100 venues in cities across the nation to commiserate and find ways to respond to the unthinkable turn of events from last November 8. In Portland, about 600 people came to the Aladdin Theater to see Cheryl Strayed and other . . . → Read More: Freedom Isn’t Free: At the Writers Resist in Portland, by Chuck Strom

Communist Daughter – Balboa Bridge, Balto – Born Astray

The recent video above from Communist Daughter features a great new song reminiscent of the best of The National. Titled, “Balboa Bridge,” the song is about the namesake bridge in Balboa Park in San Diego, a lovely, bittersweet spot where I used to jog for exercise in my younger days. Definitely worth a . . . → Read More: Communist Daughter – Balboa Bridge, Balto – Born Astray

A Little Nature Photography to Brighten Your Day, by Chuck Strom

The photos of Mt. Shasta were taken in the morning of Friday, November 11 on my way from California to Portland. Those of Multnomah Falls and the Columbia Gorge were taken on Saturday, November 12.

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Multnomah Falls

South view of Mt. Shasta

North view of Mt. Shasta

Mt. Shasta from Weed

Mt. Shasta from I-5

Columbia Gorge

A New Player on the Portland Microbrew Scene, by Chuck Strom

Welcome to the Labrewatory.

A new and imaginative microbrewery, the Labrewatory on NE Russell Street, has arrived on the scene in Portland. The owners, Chris Sears, Patrick Walsh, and Joe Watzig, invite larger brewers in the area to use their four-barrel system to experiment with recipes that would be more expensive to attempt on . . . → Read More: A New Player on the Portland Microbrew Scene, by Chuck Strom

The Posies – Unlikely Places

Dear Sugar Was Here In Portland, Speaking Straight Into Our Ears, by Chuck Strom

Cheryl Strayed, Sarah Hepola and Steve Almond

Cheryl Strayed, whose memoir, Wild, became a successful movie with Reese Witherspoon, is a good storyteller whose online talks and Q&As never contain a dull moment. It was during one of my searches for her talks that I learned that she had resurrected her advice column, Dear . . . → Read More: Dear Sugar Was Here In Portland, Speaking Straight Into Our Ears, by Chuck Strom

Just Next Door to Portland – The Willamette Valley Wine Country, by Chuck Strom

Oregon’s Willamette Valley has some of the best wine country on Earth, especially if you’re into the Pinot Noir variety that Rex Pickett made famous with his novels Sideways and Vertical, the latter of which is set in Oregon. For those who live in Portland or are just visiting, most of the wineries are . . . → Read More: Just Next Door to Portland – The Willamette Valley Wine Country, by Chuck Strom

Blazers-Warriors Game 5: Warriors Close It Out, by Chuck Strom

The Golden State Warriors ended their playoff series last night with a 125-121 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers. Though the Blazers won only one of the five games, the widespread consensus is that they gave the Warriors all they could handle. Game 5 was no different than most of the other games, with . . . → Read More: Blazers-Warriors Game 5: Warriors Close It Out, by Chuck Strom

Blazers-Warriors Game 4: He’s Baaaaaack! By Chuck Strom

The news that Stephen Curry would play in last night’s Game 4 between the Portland Trail Blazers and the Golden State Warriors seemed a significant but not earth-shaking development, and when I checked the first-half score and saw the Blazers up by ten, I figured the game was over and that Curry would need . . . → Read More: Blazers-Warriors Game 4: He’s Baaaaaack! By Chuck Strom

Blazers Torch the Warriors in Game 3, by Chuck Strom

In Game 3 of the NBA West Semifinals last night between the Portland Trail Blazers and the Golden State Warriors, the Blazers did to the Warriors what the Warriors have done to the NBA for two years. Every time the Warriors made a run at the Blazers in the second half, even closing the . . . → Read More: Blazers Torch the Warriors in Game 3, by Chuck Strom

The Smithsonian Has Nothing on This Place, by Chuck Strom

The Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum in McMinnville, OR, is about an hour off the beaten interstate track, but it’s well worth the trip. It is the home not only of Howard Hughes’s Spruce Goose, but also a remarkable collection of vintage airplanes and spacecraft, including V2 and Gemini Titan rockets. The Spruce Goose, . . . → Read More: The Smithsonian Has Nothing on This Place, by Chuck Strom

Game 1 to the Warriors, by Chuck Strom

One should never judge a series by its first game, but with their 118-106 victory, the Dubs took care of business with a 20-point lead in the first quarter, never allowing the score to get close after that. Lillard and McCollum shot a combined 30% from the floor—they and the Blazers may have been . . . → Read More: Game 1 to the Warriors, by Chuck Strom

Portland Trail Blazers vs. Golden State Warriors: Round 2 of the NBA Playoffs, by Chuck Strom

When I saw the Portland Trail Blazers beat the Los Angeles Clippers back in November, I wrote at the time that the Blazers looked better than expected, while the Clippers seemed to have more than their share of issues. I would have never predicted, though, that the Blazers would not only make the NBA . . . → Read More: Portland Trail Blazers vs. Golden State Warriors: Round 2 of the NBA Playoffs, by Chuck Strom

English (Underground?) Punk-Pop Trio, The Subways to Rock the Northwest, by Holly Homan

Attention all you fans of punk pop, have you heard of the Subways? They’re an English punk pop trio and they’re coming to the Northwest this next week.

Think New Found Glory meets the Runaways. They have a brand video out called Dirty Muddy Paws. Check it out here.

They’re playing Seattle . . . → Read More: English (Underground?) Punk-Pop Trio, The Subways to Rock the Northwest, by Holly Homan

Cameron Heger – Championships EP

Cameron Heger is a musician and dog lover from right here in our beloved Portlandia, Oregonia. After writing songs and playing drums in a few bands, this past year he decided to venture out on his own and see an entire musical project through from writing, to arranging, to performing. He enlisted his friend, . . . → Read More: Cameron Heger – Championships EP

Damien Lillard – Dame D.O.L.L.A. – Bigger Than Us feat. Paul Rey

Damien Lillard of the Portland Trailblazers is back with another song and video:

The Best Way to Keep Up With Your Team in Portland, by Michelle Peterman

Sometimes a town is a soccer town. Sometimes a town is a basketball town. Some towns are even hockey towns (though, admittedly, most of those are in Canada). What many people don’t realize is that even if your town doesn’t have a professional team, it is still also very much a football town. In . . . → Read More: The Best Way to Keep Up With Your Team in Portland, by Michelle Peterman

It’s November – Time Again for Rip City, by Chuck Strom

The Blazers celebrate a hard-earned victory.

In our NFL-focused society, it can be easy to forget that the NBA season actually starts in November. For those who haven’t paid attention, there already have been some interesting developments, including a fired coach (Kevin McHale of the Houston Rockets) and a Golden State Warriors team that . . . → Read More: It’s November – Time Again for Rip City, by Chuck Strom