The Shakedown

OK, What's the Deal with Pink Martini?

We size up Portland’s adult contemporary party band, 25 years in.

By Portland Monthly Staff July 24, 2019 Published in the August 2019 issue of Portland Monthly

Pink Martini's Thomas Lauderdale (image digitally modified by Portland Monthly)


At last! Something for the underserved middle-aged white NPR listener

Keeping the “world music” genre alive (also a downside?)

Protecting Oregonians from Lon Mabon* since 1994

Soon everyone in Portland will be in the band

Singlehandedly supporting the national hot air balloon industry

Keeps Storm Large busy between hit one-woman shows and reality-TV competitions

We’re pretty sure they’re not hipsters, at least

Makes any Starbucks anywhere feel like home

What else would Portland Monthly write about?


1997 album Sympathique not actually the same as a trip to Paris

Invitation to bandleader Thomas Lauderdale’s famous holiday party must have gotten lost in the mail again

Another popular export sure to be hit with retaliatory tariffs in Trump’s trade war

Entire Portland generation unaware the von Trapps aren’t just the band’s friends

Leads to disproportionate number of babies named Fernando and Eugene

Only sing in about 25 languages, which is kind of a small fraction

Can’t actually drink the band

*Conservative activist Mabon pressed for a series of anti-gay laws from the 1980s onward, including a ballot measure to have Oregon’s constitution declare homosexuality “abnormal, wrong, unnatural and perverse.” Pink Martini’s earliest shows rallied opposition to such efforts.

Pink Martini featuring China Forbes & Storm Large

Aug 16–17, McMenamins Edgefield, Starting at $45

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