Category Archives: Festivals

Sunday at the Bridgetown Comedy Festival 2011

My god, this was so much fun and so exhausting. Again, how did the comics do it? We were really looking forward to the Killer Shrews, but had an important date with Dungeons & Dragons involving a were-fox, snow monsters, and the undead.

This American Wife Podcast, Bagdad

We made it to this show a bit late, but we did get to see Moshe Kasher again. Yay! We also both really enjoyed Pete Holmes and his story of Amsterdam. There but for the grace of a pot cake… The spoof of All Things Considered was a bit scary — they were spot on and Nikki Glaser was great. I was sorry to have missed her earlier in the festival.

Iron Comic, Bagdad

I’m not usually one for competitions or television show knock-offs, so I wasn’t sure what to think for this one. But I was really excited to sit in a comfy chair. This was so popular we ended up in the balcony (we had a leisurely dinner at Chez Machin) but there are couches up there. Kickass!

In any case, the show itself ended up being super funny! All the comics participating were awesome. Kyle Kinane had a surprise win, but I think this was due to his excellent riffs in the sudden death(?) final round. I would have voted for Hannibal Buress winning, but what the hell. The whole thing was pretty damn silly and I had a great time!

I wanted to go to a third show. But I am old and tired and have to go to work. Oh well. Next year!

Saturday at the Bridgetown Comedy Festival 2011

Hawthorne Theatre Lounge at 7pm

I like this space. It’s small with really silly performance area in the corner. As the comics discussed, it’s like a little diorama or perhaps the room that Anne Frank hid in. Nice drinks and bartender. We went early and hung out in the sun at SE 39th & Hawthorne in the patio behind the bushes. This is spectacular people watching territory. I would highly recommend it.

The comics were funny too. They sort of blurred together in retrospect. But I liked hanging out in a small space watching the comedy. It had some discomfort b/c the comics are RIGHT THERE and I have to refrain from either engaging too much (and becoming my parents?) or making rude faces (becoming my brother?). But it makes it very real. I am super impressed with folks who do this. Jeez. Looks really hard.

Laughter Against the Machine at the Bagdad

We have now reached the portion of the weekend where I selected shows based on the comfort of the seats. I wasn’t sure about this show since political humor can be a bit heavy handed and we’d already been to Pop & Politics. But it was great! I had an excellent time!

I would go see Janine Brito anytime. I was super bummed that this was her last show at Bridgetown. Hopefully she will come back through Portland soon. She was also rocking the bowtie, which is always an awesome choice. W. Kamau Bell was super funny, and I was bummed he had missed Pop & Politics. In fact, I think this was the most solid group of stand up comedians we saw all weekend. Nato Green kicked butt and knew his Portland shit. Aparna Nancherla was delightfully funny — I always like the sweet ladies with a wicked sense of humor. Hari Kondabolu was pretty darn funny, but I had seen too many of his bits on TV. Next year, I’ll just come and watch and spend less time on the blogs beforehand. Jimmy Dore did a pretty similar set to Pop & Politics, but it was interesting to see how little things would shift with timing and word choice. Margaret Cho was the final set, and I quite enjoyed her bit about asshole hair, but I am a fan of humor around all things poop related. I could tell the people around me were not on the poop train. Their loss!

And then I was excited for a third show but I was too tired. How were the comics still going?

Bridgetown Comedy Festival 2011: Thursday

Ben & I got passes to the 2011 Bridgetown Comedy Festival and had a great time, although I did feel a bit like I had binged on too much chocolate and was ready to just eat salad for a while. But I’m looking forward to watching more comedy in Portland and probably getting a pass again next year. This post is intended to the flag the comics we saw who I’ll track down again and try to document the packed 4 days before I forget everything.

Thursday, April 21 is my mother’s birthday. Fortunately my brother was out of town so I seem somewhat less douchy for not spending her birthday with her. On the upside, she seemed to have made plans without me just fine!

Pop & Politics with Jimmy Dore at the Mt. Tabor Theater

I don’t think I’d been in this venue for a very long time. We showed up about 6:45 and were ready to purchase a drink, but no alcohol until 7pm! We ended up drinking no alcohol, but enjoyed the show none the less.

The general idea of Pop & Politics (I’m pretty sure) is that Jimmy Dore riffs on video clips focusing on popular culture or politics, and is eventually accompanied by a panel that also riffs. When he hit his stride, things were pretty funny. Before the panel came out, one of them spoofed a mid-western Republican representative and did a lovely job. I think his outfit really brought it all together. Maybe played by Paul Glimartin, but I’m not sure now!

W. Kamau Bell was going to be part of this, which didn’t mean anything at the time but made me sad later as he was pretty damn funny. I think Andy Wood (the organizer and a comic) subbed for him. I particularly liked Kyle Kinane and Auggie Smith. I’m pretty sure Auggie is based in Portland so hopefully we’ll see him again (Auggie’s website).

A collection of comics at Bagdad Theater at 10pm

We then walked down the street to the Bagdad to watch a collection of comics. We were sort of interested in seeing Andy Dick, and Thursday night seemed like a calmer time to see him. On the way we stopped at Toji Korean Grill House somewhat randomly and had a unexpectedly good meal of noodles.

We then crammed into the front lobby of the Bagdad with a bunch of other passholders thinking we were not going to get a seat. But then they let us in and there was a ton of room. Oh well. Comfy chairs are good, and the drinks are remarkably cheap.

This must not have been the most memorable show, because I’m managed to forget most of it in retrospect. Or maybe just the perils of having been the late show at the Bagdad on Thursday. I do remember thinking Andy Dick was remarkably normal seeming and somewhat self-aware, but apparently this was not true of the whole weekend.

Ah, with a little reviewing of names on the Bridgetown Comedy Festival: I really enjoyed Ron Lynch’s magician character but Ben was not sure he was following the humor. There was something so lovely and gentle about the extraordinarily ordinary magic that seemed just right to me! Ben really liked Adam Burke, a Brit who now lives in Chicago. I can’t remember the details of his set, but I remember thinking the whole set of riffs were really tightly put together. Erin Lennox came out and had some very funny riffs about WNBA, relationships, and an amazing vagina of truth. I don’t think the folks around us fully appreciated her. Andrew Overdahl seemed like he would be a very cool dad.

I think one of the best things about this show was the host, Karl Hess. He shared with many of the California performers a fine appreciation of the medical marijuana card, and was still funny about it. He managed to do a great job of setting up the performers and keeping things moving along. I believe Karl was the performer who talked about feeling productive when he spent time cleaning up his Facebook feed by hiding friends who were sharing really boring things. I thought this was excellent. The older guy in front of me seemed confused and left shortly thereafter. Probably because he didn’t realize he could hide people in his Facebook feed and had some urgent cleaning to do.

And that was Thursday night. I think things ended around midnight which was very late for me.

The Night Ride, 2009

I celebrated my 32 (or 2 to the 5th) birthday by taking part in the annual Portland Night Ride, a very goofy night time bike ride with 1,500 of my newest friends. I’m not particularly keen about riding my bike after dark, but we started around 9am with plenty of light and then gradually drifted into darkness. I thought my costume was pretty silly, but my favorite costumes were a crew of pirates who decorated their bicycles to look like ships, a banana, and the Three Musketeers.

The ride started at the train station, and then took us across the Broadway bridge into North Portland. I somehow managed to be in the first handful of riders out of the gate, which meant the first stretch was remarkably solitary. I had been counting on following the pirates, but it was not to be. We went up Interstate and onto Mississippi, and then smack into the Mississippi street fair. While waiting for my brother, we got to watch a fairly hilarious collision between the two events. But everyone was mostly pretty chill, and the bottleneck meant that we got to inspect the other riders and locate other favorites (low rider bicycle and bicycle with lanterns were great).

Once the brother was located, we plunged onwards, ringing our bells, hollering, and being offered beer. Out to Willamette Boulevard, we enjoyed some bagpipers and reckless bicycles as we entered darkness.

The bicycle short movies at a park near N. Carey were excellent, particularly this PSA:

And we were then off to the Columbia Slough (gorgeous ribbon of bike lights through the dark), past the racetrack and then the disco party (pumpin’ tunes, but too crowded). We shot back towards the train station trailing the Three Musketeers (who didn’t seem to find my witticisms as funny as I did — “”where was D’Artagnan? One for All and All for One! Oh, no, you’re split by the traffic light!”” Good thing I wasn’t drinking…). The final donuts at the train station were bypassed for a goodnight birthday drink at the Rose and Thistle, and then to a well-earned sleep.

All in all, a great time! Similar to wandering through the streets in large crowds of happy people, there is something delightful about cheery bike riders taking over the streets (at least for those of us on bikes). I can’t wait for the next Sunday Parkway.

Talk Like a Pirate, Sept. 19

Well, it’s been over a month since I went to work as a pirate to celebrate Talk Like a Pirate day.  On that fine day back in September, I walked through downtown to get lunch and no one batted an eye.  In fact, I even spotted a few other pirates.  Arrr!  Portland be ever friendly to those pirate-y folks.

Now I’m feeling pressure to dress as something besides a pirate for Halloween.  Perhaps a viking will do…

Rose Festival

Well, we have survived another Rose Festival.

A few things of note this year:

  1. lots more ships again
  2. annoyance with parade spot taping came to a head
  3. boy, did it dump on the Grand Floral Parade!