Apr 25 2012

photoUnless you've been living under a moss-encrusted rock somewhere on the nether side of Mt. Tabor, you know that Portland's beloved Wild Flag will be gracing the Crystal Ballroom stage on May 4.

If you like rock 'n' roll even a little, teeny bit, go. Go to this show. Wild Flag puts on one of the best shows you'll ever see.

But today's blog post isn't about Wild Flag. Today's blog post is about one of the support acts -EMA-  who will be playing this show. 

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Apr 18 2012

photoI'll be honest: I'm not a big fan of Celilo's occasional new age driftings. But when the group corrals its inner Enya and sticks to its own brand of mellow California 70s rock, it's fun and groovy and gently rocking, in a Laurel Canyon kind of way. It's a sound as airy as sea foam, but rooted, too, like a sequoia. If that makes any sense. 

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Apr 18 2012

Meet the Growers
McMenamins Coffee Roasters (421 N.E. Knott St., Portland, Ore.)
Thursday, April 19, 4:30 p.m.
The event is free and all are welcome to attend.  Light refreshments will be provided.

waterfallLater this week, our department will have the opportunity to represent McMenamins at the Specialty Coffee Association of America's annual symposium being held in Portland this year. This is sure to be a highly informative event filled with the excitement that will come with having the year's largest coffee convention right down the street. As we gear up to attend workshops, see new products, and meet coffee professionals from all around the world, there is one event I am looking forward to above all else – our own Meet The Growers presentation...

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Apr 12 2012

photoLast week I wrote a blog post (here) with some preliminary thoughts about the nature of "Americana." I use quotes around that word because I mean the nature of "Americana" as a term -or at least that's how I intend to start the conversation -because it's a term that gets bandied about like a mofo and I wonder if it's lost some meaning in the process. It might be interesting to unpack it a bit.

Pinning down the definition of music genres is something I think about a lot (Seriously. I know, I'm a nerd. But I once wrote a 1,200-word piece on the true definition of "emo" and got all sorts of hate mail about it, so obviously I'm not the only nerd who cares.), and my interest was re-piqued by Frank Fairfield's recent stint at Al's Den.

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Apr 9 2012

Spring is in the air at Edgefield. The plants are blooming, scattering the property with beautiful colors. Come on out and have a look for yourself. Here are some of the plants you might come across...


Daphne odora 'Variegata' (Winter Flowering Daphne

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Apr 9 2012

photoI'm pretty astonished at how little has been published about coffee, and about coffee roasting. There are some all-you-need-to-know books out there, but they all seem to be pretty outdated. There is of course, plenty of info online, however this can prove to be challenging to compile and turn out to be an untidy read (considering all the copying you'll need to do to).

There are a few staple books that most coffee roasters and enthusiasts seem to give collective thumbs up to: Mark Pendergrast's Uncommon Grounds (Basic Books, 1999) is a sprawling, comprehensive account of the history of coffee and how the product achieved its global reach. I really enjoyed the pace of this book -- Pendergrast makes the reading of coffee history exciting and compelling, and although the historical content is dense, I found it a hard book to put down. I have found several other books on the subject of the history of coffee, most notably: Stewart Lee Allen's The Devil's Cup (Ballantine Books, 1999) and Bennet Alan WeinBerg and Bonnie K. Bealer's The World of Caffeine (Routledge, 2001).

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Apr 8 2012

photoAs you enjoy your coffee each morning, do you ever wonder where it comes from? Did you know that when coffee is first harvested it looks drastically different? The bean that helps millions of people wake up every day is actually the seed of a cherry. Right off the tree, coffee is a small, round, dark-red piece of fruit that resembles a grape. So how does this become a cup of coffee? After harvest, the cherry needs to be processed. The various processing methods that are used in the coffee industry each affect the taste of the bean in their own way.

In the wet or washed method, the fruit is removed from the seed which is then dried. This generally produces a clean, lightly bodied, acidic cup and is widely used in Central American nations such as El Salvador and Guatemala, among other regions. After harvest, the cherries are brought to the wet mill where they are sorted in tanks of water. The ripe fruit is dense and sinks to the bottom of the tanks while the unripe and defective cherries tend to float at the surface to be removed along with any other unwanted material.

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Apr 5 2012

*****
photoNote: Local artist and beloved McMenamins contributor Joe Cotter passed away on Saturday, March 31, 2012. This is the second post in honor of his lovely, magical artwork that can be found throughout McMenamins' establishments. We have lost a friend and one of the color masters of the company. Cheers, Joe.
*****
From McMenamins Artist Jenny Joyce:
Losing Joe is still something I am still having trouble believing. He is the reason I started working for McMenamins, and he was also a founding member of Artback, our artists' co-op in Estacada, Ore.

Did you know that he led the fight to reinstate community murals in Portland? That battle lasted almost 10 years, I believe, and Joe, being Joe, would not let it rest until the issue was resolved fairly. He put in untold hours hammering away at the legalities. He was tenacious in that battle. He was also such a hardworking artist. He never took a short cut, always did what needed to be done without compromise. He was also one of the smartest people I have ever met.

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Apr 4 2012

photoMaybe it's spring's slow, long drag into summer (which I'm choosing to view as romantically rainy, rather than what it really is), or maybe it's the lingering effects of Frank Fairfield's recent old-tyme revival in Al's Den -for some reason I've found myself drawn to dreamy, down-tempo, reverbed-vocal-laden tunes of late. We're talking the type of music that is very broadly termed "Americana "-which is lazy as hell, as far as I'm concerned, because what does that term even mean any more?

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Apr 3 2012

*****
photoNote: Local artist and beloved McMenamins contributor Joe Cotter passed away on Saturday, March 31, 2012. This is the first post in honor of his lovely, magical artwork that can be found throughout McMenamins' establishments. We have lost a friend and one of the color masters of the company. Cheers, Joe.
*****

Joe Cotter has long been at the fore of artistic pursuits in Oregon. And it's been McMenamins' good fortune that, for several decades, Joe and his wife, Kolieha Bush - also an artist of remarkable talents - have done exceptional pieces throughout the McMenamins' Kingdom. This mesmerizing painting by Joe celebrates the Oregon Country Fair, which rises every year outside of Eugene, in the rural town of Veneta.

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