News about coronavirus is coming hard and fast, and the Portland Monthly staff is working to bring you up-to-date information about how the crisis is affecting Portlanders. It’s vital we all stay informed and figure out how to help each other through this surreal, challenging moment.
It’s also vital that we take some breaths. Every week, in lieu of a “top things to do this weekend” post, we’re going to pause and share the pandemic-free content that’s keeping us grounded.
This week in proof that God is reading my diary: Emily Nussbaum, the New Yorker’s patron saint of TV criticism, has been working on a profile of Fiona Apple since last July. The finished piece, which dropped on Monday, is full of buzzy details—Apple’s massively anticipated new record is called Fetch the Bolt Cutters, after a line in BBC’s The Fall; she quit doing cocaine after a bender with Quentin Tarantino and Paul Thomas Anderson annoyed her into sobriety—but its greatest strength is unexpected timeliness.
Apple rarely leaves her house and has been inching forward with new music for nearly nine years, and Nussbaum captures the beauty and the frustration of that process with real clarity. (She also, thank God, doesn’t skimp on lyric snippets or song titles.) Who knew how badly we’d need such a nimbly written, well-researched document of creativity in solitude this week? —Conner Reed, Arts & Culture Editor
Will someone think of the children? Thankfully, Pineapple Street Studios has, and they’ve hatched a cunning plan to get them to make their own entertainment. It’s a podcast for kids stuck at home—by kids stuck at home. The idea is that kids record their own podcasts—interviews, movie reviews, advice, news, music, whatever floats your bored-out-of-your-brains boat!—and email it to the good folks at Pineapple Street Studios, who promise to make something “really fun” from what they receive. —Fiona McCann, Senior Editor-at-Large
Also, keeping it real, on this morning’s run I listened to the Ringer Network’s delightful Bachelor Party podcast, hosted by Juliet Litman, who shares my distaste for pets and intense interest in the British royal family, and got to hear the lowdown on how coronavirus has disrupted my favorite guilty pleasure. STREAM THE BACK CATALOG, ABC. Bachelor Nation demands it. —Julia Silverman, News Editor
This yakuza film noir series jumps between Tokyo and London, while making room for complicated love stories, high family drama, witty dialogue, stylized action and rich, inventive cinematography. Surprises keep coming. You might see a finger cut off (did I say the yakuza was involved?) or an interpretive dance scene. The story centers on a Tokyo detective searching for his mob-assassin younger brother (say hello to my new husband, “Yuto”). But the entire multigenerational cast is carefully etched, with a star turn by the great Kelly Macdonald (Trainspotting, Boardwalk Empire) as a complicated London detective. I’m officially obsessed. —Karen Brooks, Food Editor & Critic
Thorns 2013 Opener vs. Seattle Reign
With live sports on hiatus, the local Fox affiliate will air Portland soccer matches of yore, starting this weekend. The Thorns–Seattle Reign game will feature some familiar faces, including OG Thorn Christine Sinclair (still a Thorn, this year the Canadian set a new record for the most international goals), tea-sipper Alex Morgan (now with Orlando and expecting her first child next month—hope you’re planning a home birth, Alex!), retired Canada national team goalkeeper and 2019 World Cup commentator Karina LeBlanc (expecting her first child any minute now, too), and Seattle keeper Michelle Betos (who spent some time as a Thorn and is now back with Seattle, and who once scored a goal so incredible a Thorns fan had to re-create it in Lego). Catch the match at 3 p.m. Saturday, March 21, on KPTV/FOX12. —Margaret Seiler, Managing Editor
The awful mix of feelings when you stumble on a performer with a rabid following who you had no idea existed: elation at the discovery and deep sadness for the fact that you’ve been missing out on something vital for a long time. That’s what I felt earlier this week when I randomly stumbled on Marc Ribellet’s Facebook profile. Maybe everyone already knows except me (gah!), but here’s the rundown: he’s a mustachioed singer and keyboardist with a penchant for robes and kimonos who makes up songs based on audience suggestions. Sounds goofy, sure, but wait until you hear this guy sing, rap, and set his keyboard on fire with sweet, sweet melodies.
Because of the pandemic, he’s missing a bunch of Australian tour dates—but the good news for us non-Aussies is he’s doing the dates as live-streamed concerts from his NYC apartment, complete with audience call-ins. They’re all available on Facebook and Twitch at anytime, but the next live performance starts Thursday, March 19, at 5 a.m. I can’t think of better work-from-home music right now.
—Marty Patail, Editor in Chief