November's Pop Culture Hot List

The show, the book, the band, and the comic book that you can’t miss this month.

By Fiona McCann October 19, 2015 Published in the November 2015 issue of Portland Monthly

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 The Book

From a fifth-grade Madonna concert to the rise of Sleater-Kinney, Carrie Brownstein’s memoir of a musical journey is as political as it is personal. Telling in detail, Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl (Riverhead Books, October 27) falls short of tell-all. Rather, it’s a rangy, jagged reckoning of the band from the inside, bad hair days and pubic-hair-infested mattresses included.

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 The Comic

If you haven’t been paying attention to Portlander David F. Walker’s new Cyborg series for DC Comics, now’s the time: the fifth in the new series, out at the end of November, sees things heating up in our hero Victor Stone’s struggle against alien Technosapiens. Walker’s been behind the comic since its July release.

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Image: Chris Thile

The Show

J. S. Bach may not have written for the mandolin, but Chris Thile can make it sound like he did. Spend an evening with the Portland-based MacArthur “genius grant” winner and Punch Brothers member at the Newmark Theatre on November 16, hosted by Chamber Music NW, and find out why the New Yorker says his playing is “laced with sadness but also with a wild, delirious pleasure, a piercing happiness, even a joy.”

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Image: El Vy

The Band

Another month, another supergroup, this time the heady combination of the National front man Matt Berninger with Brent Knopf from Menomena and Ramona Falls. This new Venn overlap is El Vy—pronounced, according to its Facebook page, “like ‘hell pie’ or the plural of Elvis”—with a new album, Return to the Moon, dropping October 30 ahead of two sold-out Doug Fir shows (November 2 & 3).


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