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The kindness of strangeness

Author/musician Willy Vlautin checks into Motel Life.

Featured Stories
Sometimes I like to pretend Willy Vlautin invented me. Maybe that sounds weird. If you've ever heard his local country-punk band, Richmond Fontaine, you know the people Vlautin writes about tend to be ...   More
Wednesday, April 25, 2007 BECKY OHLSEN

The World's Most Astonishing Number

Live Review: Dr. Mario Livio, "The Golden Ratio"
Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, Thursday, April 17

by Patrick Leyshock & Becky Ohlsen

We got through almost the entire evening without anyone making a reference to the you-know-what.

T...   More
Saturday, April 21, 2007 by BECKY OHLSEN

HABITAT: The Final Frontier

Three local living spaces that redefine "home."

Special Section Stories
Not everyone dreams of a 1912 Craftsman bungalow or Pearl loft. Sometimes, the coolest domiciles are the product of a little creativity. Check out three of Portland's weirdest, most innovative "houses ...   More
Wednesday, April 11, 2007 BECKY OHLSEN

Hot Girl-On-Bike Action II: Miss Ohlsen's Race Diary

As promised yesterday, here's the full report from my first experience racing motorcycles with OMRRA at Portland International Raceway. For the record, I've never had more fun gathering writing material, ever! The Honda 160 racers are an awesome group. Thanks, guys!

Thursday night: Classroom ses...   More
Monday, April 2, 2007 by BECKY OHLSEN


"Start with the buttcrack." This is the kind of advice you hear when you begin learning how to race motorcycles—at least if you have the kind of friends I do. Other pieces of wisdom include not eating spicy food the night before, because when you crash you won't be able to tell if you're really injured o...   More
Sunday, April 1, 2007 by BECKY OHLSEN

The Thermals at Debaser in Stockholm, Dec. 14, 2006

A very tall handsome fellow approached me. I could tell he wasn't Swedish because he actually spoke to me. "We came here all the way from Germany to see the Thermals!" he said. "I have seen them maybe like five times!" I told him I was from Portland and he got all wide-eyed. "Did you ever run into this Stephen...   More
Sunday, December 17, 2006 by BECKY OHLSEN

Of Pirates And Pagans

There's more than one way to keep Portland weird.

Featured Stories
If you could peel the roof off Portland and get an unimpeded bird's-eye view, you'd see some odd goings-on. Subcultures spring up here like mushrooms. We live in a city of people with secret identitie ...   More
Wednesday, September 27, 2006 BECKY OHLSEN

PASSING THROUGH: Woven Hand, Sept. 20 at Berbati's Pan

Once upon a time, as a tiny kid in a little old town, I made a single, forced visit to church. It was uncomfortable, dressy, full of hypocrites and boring—a bad experience all around. I never went back, and now it's too late—I'm a lost cause. But if the preacher that day had had anything like the p...   More
Thursday, September 21, 2006 by BECKY OHLSEN

It's A Tough Job

Adapting Bukowski to film isn't easy, but Factotum succeeds.

Movie Reviews & Stories
There are two kinds of smokers: those who bring the cigarette to their lips like a normal person, and those who move their whole head over to where the cigarette is, perched at the end of their arm se ...   More
Wednesday, August 30, 2006 BECKY OHLSEN

Richmond Fontaine, Aug. 12 at the Doug Fir Lounge

Man, I love this band, but they are bad for my health. I'd give my liver to write songs like Willy Vlautin. But nobody wants my liver. So I tend to pummel it instead, whenever I go see his band or play the records - soak the poor old thing in beer and whiskey and hope for the best.

My fascinatio...   More
Monday, August 14, 2006 by BECKY OHLSEN
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