Wednesday, December 30, 2020

So, So... So Far (?0?0 edition)

Big winds of change continue barreling down, causing us to brace, to wake up to the inevitable that is confronting us; it's in our face. What will you do, to do what's right? Challenges are ominous yet able to be overcome. Together is how we bring love and awareness into the light. Obvious injustices and loss have rendered this year a depressed point on history's calendar, and perhaps on our own as well. Let's do our best to stay up. 

This year has changed us. If the world gets too heavy, remember to also care for yourself. Place yourself in sound and listen to the vibrations that will heal, inspire, or cause you to think. Music is constant and relentless in its abilities, so much so, that it can soothe our souls and even guide us into action.

Below is a short list of the music I've found captivating throughout the last five months. Back in August I dropped my first half list of favorites. Checkout these artists, maybe they'll catch your ear. Support live arts and performance venues if at all possible. Who doesn't long for concerts or a play? I'll stop rambling, here are the best tune makers of the 2nd half. Those with an * are my top picks. 

So, So... So Far 2020 \\\\

Jeff Tweedy - Love is the King \ These Songs: "Gwendolyn," "Bad Day Lately"

* Marika Hackman - Covers \ A favorite album from the year. "Playground Love," "All Night"

* Adrianne Lenker - Instrumentals \ Sharp, delicate, room for thought, all in two songs

Emily A. Sprague - Hill, Flower, Fog \ Imagery, coherent, portal-like, deeper than

Ana Roxanne - Because of a Flower \ Soft, induces listening, atmospheric, lucid, thematic

Leslie Mendelson - If You Can't Say Anything Nice... \ Talented, unheralded, capable, range

Nels Cline - Share the Wealth \ Depth, a willingness to go, frenzied yet measured

Justin Bieber - Changes \ He can sing, does Drake better than Drake, "Yummy"

Tobe Nwigwe - Cincoriginals \ Vision, purpose, immense creativity, timely, "Cujo," "Wildlings"

Best EP's \\\\

Yo La Tengo - Sleepless Night \ "It Takes A lot to Laugh, It Takes a Train to Cry"

* Tobe Nwigwe - Pandemic Project \ "I Need You To," "Try Jesus"

Experiencing music can be an outlet, here's to finding yours. Maybe some reflection will show that this year wasn't entirely terrible, and that some good was gleaned from the last twelve months. Have fun, stay safe, and be good to one another. There's only one way to go in the New Year — ahead.



Saturday, December 26, 2020

Xmas & O's... Ho Ho Ho

The NBA is back in what has been the fastest turnaround in pro sports history. Aside from early training camps, only the Rockets were inept while returning to their home market. A small group of Houston players got together for haircuts, prompting contact tracing protocols. James Harden disregarded most forms of professionalism, respect and safety. He may be a walking playoff birth, but I will no longer be cheering for him. Houston was the only team reckless enough to cause a cancellation during the first slate of games. The Association will hopefully deal with less boneheaded moves down the road. 

I wish all the teams good health and sound bodies. I'll begin to dive into some hoops thoughts with the 20-21 season underway. I watched the battle for LA on opening night and then caught the Blazers on night two. I obviously tuned in again for the Christmas day bonanza. Whether or not I was fully compelled to watch, games were beaming onto my screen all day. I'm glad to see it back. Let's touch on some topics from an assortment of games...

Brooklyn looked good, like really good, on both nights of action. KD was back and Kyrie had it going. Nash's vibes are all over this team. If team play and the extra pass mentality are truly pillars, this team will be the best in the east. The Nets defense was also frisky. Often times their scheme on that side of the ball resulted in the opposition being forced to act with the least offensive-minded player stuck with the ball, or a last second bailout (seen time and time again in the Boston game). Golden State was no match for this team from the Borough of Brooklyn. More on the Warriors later.

It's good to see Durant back. In the third quarter of their second game against Boston he totally took over. His jumper is as pure as ever and there's no hesitation on his part to go by people. The threat of his wet jumper causes not only his man, but the entire defense to have him in focus. With Kyrie sizzle'n and KD unassailably looking like KD, a healthy Nets team is the team in the east. 

Golden State is in trouble, on a Yikes level. Curry hasn't shot the ball well, perhaps the result of defensive schemes that have no one else to worry about. Sure Oubre plays with fire and grit, but he and the Andrew Wiggins experience are shooting like 2 for 100. They don't make shots. Curry alone with this roster hasn't the same gravitational pull. This year is going to be a rough one for dubs fans. 

On a positive note, Wiseman belongs. He's springy and has the athletic abilities to overcome inexperience. It'd be nice to see Steph create some on-court chemistry with the young big man. The rook has potential to be a rim-running monster. Curry and Wiseman should be running some defense-wrecking screen and rolls. That two man game could serve up some mismatches in a hurry, both directly and on the backside.

The Lakers are a decidedly different team, as such they will need time to iron out any newly packaged wrinkles. In the opening night battle for LA the championship team looked unfamiliar on defense, a calling card that I'm sure will be renewed. Remember calling cards? Overall their speed didn't feel right. The Lake Show came out for big rings, while the Clippers came out with a huge, playoff-blunder-sized-chip on their collective shoulders. The Clip joint had a longer offseason and bye-bye P actually hit shots instead of clipping backboards

With that being said, LeBron didn't play particularly well when compared to his own lofty standards. He missed a few bunnies at the rim and had some serial turnovers. LBJ also mildly rolled an ankle. Wise to manage his minutes in a year so condensed. After all, the Lakers are playing for Championships. 

AD didn't play a ton on ring night either, but did flash some of his Finals mojo. He's tough to stop, sky's the limit for Davis. Other bright spots in the loss were the flashes Schröder showed and how well Trez seems to fit in while producing. Gasol was a step slow and in constant foul trouble. As the season wears on he'll be tasked to bang bigger bodies and be up to speed come playoff time. There will be a future time and place when we sing his praise. The Lakers aren't overly concerned with their December record.

When Dallas played LA on Christmas we began to see how potent this Lakers team could be; mind you the Mavericks are not known for their defensive prowess. LeBron showed out a little, AD is unstoppable in those gotta get a bucket moments, and both Schröder and Harrell are shot makers who ain't scared. Los Angeles has a lot to be thankful for this basketball season. 

Rip City got ripped. Utah looked every bit the team that could be dangerous come playoff time, Portland on the other hand has some work to do. As a Blazers fan, and Dame believer, the upgraded parts need to be properly used. In an ugly loss Lillard was taken away by the Jazz defense. Whether Dame should've been more assertive is a valid point, yet I don't think that his change of demeanor would have rendered Utah's precision any less damaging. He did perform terribly however scoring only 9 points. Covington and Jones Jr., the two new forwards brought in, combined for 10 points. Those type of performances are not going to get it done. CJ was the only Blazer who showed up. 

Portland looked out of sorts on both ends and they cannot take a step back offensively as they try out new tactics to improve their defense. I'm worried that Stotts is overthinking things a bit; Nurkic and Kanter are not fleet footed. Giles, and perhaps Collins when he returns to action, could be the type of bigs ready to contribute to a more aggressive approach on defense as it pertains to the perimeter. Realistically they should aspire to rank somewhere between 10-17 on defense. The Trail Blazers gotta muster something from within, something more than the norm, which I believe they are capable of. 

If Dame is going to get singled out, the playbook has to diversify on offense too. Mix in some actions where Lillard is moving without the ball. Spring him free without him dribbling the ball. Dame might be the best in the league out top with the ball in his hands, but you can't do that all the time. This team is built to score and Portland needs to be elite offensively. With ten fewer games in an über competitive west, implementing new schemes and players is an even tougher ask this year. I'm intrigued to see how the Blazers play tonight against a haphazard Houston team. Let's go Rip City. 

With so much to process in the world right now I understand how minuscule this post is. I also have an obvious affinity for hoops; there are worst things to be sidetracked by than basketball. Thanks for checking in. Soon I'll be dropping the year-end roundup of my favorite music. Cheers to all during the holiday season, have a happy new year too.

Stay safe and be kind to one another, 


Thursday, November 19, 2020


Mood Music |
Tobe Nwigwe, Olu & Duckworth | "Wildlings" |

You cannot come up, till you get down. On every level this is ART.


Saturday, November 14, 2020


Mood Music |
Lucinda Williams | "Joy" | Car Wheels on a Gravel Road |

An all-time Lucinda song from one of the best records. "I don't want you anymore, cause you took my joy... you took my joy, I want it back."


Thursday, November 5, 2020

Brew Detective: Fresh Hops / 2020

OR Fresh Hopped Beers / O-R they?

Brew Detective | Fresh Hop Eliot IPA | Ex Novo 
    I believe Goschie Farms provided the Centennial Hops for this particular Eliot, which was canned on 08.31.20. The first thing I noticed was a wet, dank, earthy presence up front in the nose, which I enjoy. A doughy head formed. Surprisingly, the first good gulp showcased subtlety I didn't expect. Carbonation playfully added to the somewhat clear ale. Well placed notes of bitterness hit early, then eased off while still providing finishing flavor. 

Fresh Hop Eliot went down with ease (6.6%). This delicious beer pairs well with Little Creatures, by The Talking Heads. Ex Novo is one of my faves, and in my hood. Sorry for the hiatus. Hope you dig the tasting notes...

Brew Detective | Fresh IPA | Fort George 
    Strata Hops are front and center on this wet hopped and unfiltered IPA from Fort George, perhaps my favorite Oregon brewery. The can created a good 'popping' sound and a tropical nose pushed itself out. Guava and late summer blooms blended with the warm air. The clarity is crazy, an awesome cap of foam insulates the wood and pine aromas. Slight trickles of carbonation stream upward, this beer pours great.    

More bitterness is present in the tasting than the nose suggests, plus I smell a damp forest, and I like it. This fresh hop IPA was canned on 09.08.20 and registered in at 6.4%. Most of these tasting notes were hand written in a journal during the Oregon fires of 2020. Sorry for the late takes.

Brew Detective | Green Keeper | Little Beast 
    A crushable, fresh hopped American pale ale, thanks Little Beast. The smell of rained on veggies filled my snout. Once poured I noticed a much lighter hue than the aromas had crafted images of. It looks unlike any pale ale I've seen. The Centennial Hops offer some funkier aromas once poured. Clarity is almost pilsner-like as a fluffy head forms atop the ale. Crispness wins out, but there is a slight bitterness late. This was unique at 5.2% and approachable for those looking for a change of pace.

I'll be sleuthing craft suds a bit more regularly, with some additional fresh hop reviews too, as I sprinkle in some music along the way. Enjoy the seasonal transition as changes occur, fall has arrived in the PNW. Change is on the horizon in more ways than one. Be safe out there and try to be kind (it can be hard sometimes). Thanks for checking in. Consume craft beer responsibly. 


Tuesday, November 3, 2020

Election Day / Live 2020

Mood Music |

Jack White Trio | "Don't Hurt Yourself, Ball n Biscuit, Jesus is Coming" |

The medley of songs was fueled by a rock'n and powerful three-piece. Jack White reminded everyone why live music is so infectious. Make no mistake, live music is something we long for, it's vital to our souls. 

His squealing guitar was an onslaught of arrows, every squall piercing with inflection. The drummer added force and measure, remaining constant and attached to White's timings. Bass players do as bass players do, their job, holding it down, yet full of capacity. Their collective sound was minimal yet cavernous and banging. Though there were abrasive elements, welcomed by this listener, it was approachable, understandable. 

The lyrical change-ups during "Jesus..." were dutifully scripted for the here and now. Different segments showcased the band's abilities, energy, timing, power and emotion. Raw, dripping in talent and hard work, shredding, they were just what I needed. Thanks Jack White. Long Live Live Music.


Thursday, October 29, 2020

Big Barrel of... | Brew Detective Best of 2020

Jackie Treehorn Presents:

The pandemic, police killing minorities, social unrest and protests, increased homelessness, the closure of far too many small businesses, and catastrophic fires along the west coast, were all tossed into one big barrel of WTF, better known as Portland, Oregon. To hell with an emotional state. My mind feels as though it's been overwritten. Things look fucked because they are. Time feels off, askew, now is a time for reflection, an opportunity to reconsider. 

Let's look inward to ensure a more positive direction moving forward. If we take action, if we prove that we care about one another, about the natural world, we will reap a more fruitful benefit. There's only one spaceship fit to fly us around the sun. We've been mistreating Mother Earth for far too long. Future generations are being dealt drastic doses of environmental deterioration. Reactive policies, tactics, and practices, have never been good enough. We have to do better.

Nature continues on, complete and perfect in its organic chaos, despite human influence. Time will not stop for us. We can make changes to give us new chances. There is so much to consider and I'm sorry if this was too sermon-like. I often use this platform as more of a digital journal, so as always, thanks for checking in. If you're still reading, hopefully my rambling reinforces the idea of, Do the Right Thing. Below is the positivity portion of this post. 


I've assembled, for the first time in many moons, the best of Brew Detective. The list below showcases my favorite beers of 2020. Most selections were new beers released this calendar year, others were new to me. Having a tasty craft beer is one of life's pleasures — tastebuds need love too. Let's promote good energy through the rest of the year and beyond. Hopefully autumn feels kind, be safe out there. Enjoy these libations responsibly.

Best of Brew Detective | 2020

Dynamic Duo IPA | Ex Novo

Fanzine IPA | Fort George

Maiden West IPA | Little Beast

Eureka Pale Ale | Buoy

Panacea Pale Ale | Ex Novo

Pliny the Younger | Russian River

Jealous Butcher: Side A Pilsner | Fort George & Von Ebert

Farmers Annuary | Fort George \ Crosby Hops

Fields of Green | Fort George  \ Coleman Farms Citra Hops (canned: 9.25.20) \ 7.6% 

Shout-out to: Amalgamator IPA | BeachWood & Space Danger IPA | Fremont

Pale Ale | Beachcrest Brewing Co. 


Monday, October 26, 2020

It Takes a Lot to Laugh, It Takes a Train to Cry

Mood Music |
Yo La Tengo | "It Takes a Lot to Laugh..." | Sleepless Night EP

Exciting new-old music from an underrated American band. It never hurts when covering one of the greatest songs of all time, while also delivering it beautifully new. Thanks YLT.


Friday, October 23, 2020


Mood Music |
Linda Ronstadt | Willin | Heart Like A Wheel


Thursday, September 17, 2020

Brew Detective | From Astoria With Love

From Astoria with love, a place where happy can be had. No really, Astoria's awesome, don't tell anyone as the world gets hotter and dryer. Before tragic fires had engulfed the west coast in a haze of scorched earth, we booked a physically distant reservation outdoors in the sun with a shade structure.

Remember the sun? Clear Skies? Or just taking a big breath of fresh air? Our memories do, but I'm sure as shit longing for some outdoor time. Hopefully the heroic fire fighters can combat the destruction, and perhaps Mother Earth and Her climate we lend their aid. This time around I'm becoming more changed, almost too hyper aware. The west is ablaze and there's no going back. Perhaps for me as well. Below I'll reminisce about lighter times, different times.

Our late lunch was tasty. First up was mixed garden greens and veg, before moving on to wood fired pizza and another pint. We finished with a glorious slice of carrot cake, oh the cream cheese frosting. Way to go Fort George. Our early evening Pilsners along the river at Buoy were assisted by a friendly marine mammal. The frequent visits were so cool, as was the personality of this amazing sea lion. I'm super thankful for this day. Now to the beers... 

Fort George
Jealous Butcher - Side A - Pilsner - 4.5%
Their new "45 Series" aims to spotlight local musicians, while also assisting local vinyl pressing plants. Awesome! Seriously. I was all in on this idea, not-to-mention doing the same beer twice, but different — Side A and the B side. Both offerings were brewed in 45BBl fermenters. As unfiltered Germanic Pilsners go, this was boss. Brewed in collaboration with Von Ebert Brewing and Jealous Butcher Records in Portland, the Jealous Butcher Pilsner was not playing around. Of course I scored a four pack and a 45.

Jealous Butcher - Side B - Pilsner - 4.5%
The B side is a different version of the aforementioned Side A. This Jealous Butcher was dry hopped with Simcoe and Citra hops. The added spice was nice, real nice, but I'm gonna keep dropping the needle on Side A. By the way, Califone playing "Crazy as a Loon" is also boss. Who doesn't like John Prine songs? Side A wins on both accounts.

Song Bird - Sour Blonde - 6.5%
I wanted Song Bird on draft rather than out of the bottle. This sour blonde is brewed in collaboration with Alesong Brewing. Agent M's initial reaction, "real tart." This mixed culture blonde was conditioned on a thousand pounds of peaches and aged in wine barrels for 7 months. Timely to say the least. I was glad I was able to enjoy it fresh from the source.

Sunrise - OPA - 5.2%
Some seriously herbaceous vibes were emanating from this pale ale. The bitterness, which was almost resinous, sacrificed some of the traditional smoothness other pale ales possess. Sunrise OPA is based on the first beer ever brewed at Fort George, pretty cool.

Czech Pils - 6.2% | 35 IBU
A classic take on a standard, Buoy's Czech-style Pilsner never disappoints, especially in person along the Columbia. Saaz hops bring this beer to life. Clarity is unmistakeable, so too is the beauty of the surrounding nature. It's best to enjoy beer while allowing oneself to soak it in, to not be in a hurry. Thanks for checking in. I hope everyone's being safe, sensible and kind. Do the right thing.


Saturday, September 12, 2020

Brew Detective | Beachwood | Amalgamator IPA

The name may be a mouthful but the proof is in there. Beechwood's Amalgamator is an IPA for those of us who want transparency in body. The blending of ingredients inside of this ale, is an artistic path to the notes we smell and taste. Doughy foam sits noticeably atop the ale. Carbonation is initially hidden, but apparent in mouth feel. Earthy garden vibes are at the forefront of tasting, reminiscent of leafy greens. Amalgamator IPA is light enough to crush and refreshing, a great summer beer. I recommend picking some up if given the opportunity. Enjoy craft beer responsibly.

This post was written before the disastrous fires were raging along the west coast. As a Pacific resident my heart aches. I'm saddened and nervous. Thoughts and blessings to all who are dealing with these catastrophic events. Human induced climate change has to be taken seriously. So too does our collective interaction with Mother Earth and our treatment of the natural world. She doesn't need us, but we sure as shit need Her. A global pandemic, social and civil unrest (everywhere, but especially in Portland), and the most destructive fires perhaps of all time, are an almost fictional narrative of an impending apocalypse. This 2020 layer cake of stress is very real and it has me thinking about a lot of things. Be KIND and Stay Safe!

Do The Right Thing (Spike Lee),

Thursday, September 10, 2020

No More Trouble

Current Mood |

Bob Marley and The Wailers | Catch A Fire | "No More Trouble" | 

Play it Loud,

Saturday, August 29, 2020

Brew Detective | Saul Fruitman | Ex Novo

Saul Fruitman is a Hazy IPA moseying in from Corrales, New Mexico. Fruitman's in cahoots with the good people over at Ex Novo, who happen to have a watering hole in the southwest as well. This tall drink is brewed with Citra and Vic Secret hops, pineapple and mango was added for good measure. 

The liquid straw yeller ale smelled of pineapple fruit juice, go reckon. Even though this oat soda is hazy, it somehow carries a light body. Flavor profiles were more muted than expected considering the aroma. Also, it's not too fruity, which I liked. Saul was a good diversion from my usual go-to. Thanks Ex Novo. Drink craft suds respectfully. 


Sunday, August 23, 2020

So Far / So Good... ??? 2020

This year, whew, worst year ever probably, just a crusher. At least there's been some music to consume, with the art of listening required for involvement. Ah, listening. Anyhow, hopefully you've been opening your ears and minds to some good vibrations. The list below is the 2020 installment of So Far / So Good. I wish everyone a safe and productive next couple of months. The last few have been personally brutal. I realize summer's moving toward autumn. I want more summer warmth but let's put this year in the rearview, while never forgetting that progress is still needed. Music can soothe the soul, we're gonna need it.

So Far So Good has been a long running account of the records that've grabbed my ear through the first half of each year. Later on I complete the list as we travel around the sun (So Good So Far). Thank you musicians for sharing your music. Here's to the future... 

Best Records So Far:
* Enemy Radio - Loud Is Not Enough - "Food As a Machine Gun", "Lock Your Wheels"
* Margaret Glaspy - Devotion - "Killing What Keeps Us Alive", "Stay With Me", "Devotion"
* MMJ - Waterfall II - Still Thinking, Climbing the Ladder, Run It, Wasted, Welcome Home
~ Courtney Marie Andrew - Old Flowers - "Burlap Strings"
~ The Jayhawks - XOXO

Honorable Mention:
~ Gillian Welch & David Rawlings - All the Good Times
~ Lucinda Williams - Good Souls Better Angels
~ Thao & The Get Down Stay Down - Temple
~ Bob Dylan - Rough and Rowdy Ways
~ Perfume Genuis - Set My Heart on Fire Immediately
~ Caroline Rose - Superstar - "Feel the Way I Want" - synth-pop, dance music, Beck-like
~ Ben Seretan - Youth Pastoral - "Power Zone"
~ Ray Lamontagne - Monovision

Amazing EP's: 
~ Rubio - La Perdida - EP - edgy, electro-drip, lush vocals, strings, hypnotic, Sade-like, "Nudo"
~ Skull Crusher - EP - "Places / Plans" - one of the best songs of the year
~ Zsela - EP - "Ache of Victory"
~ Kaash Paige - EP - "Frank Ocean"

Thanks for checking in. Be kind out there.


Thursday, August 20, 2020

Brew Detective | Hen House | Stoked

I'm saddened to know what's happening in County Paradiso, as well as the surrounding counties I know and love. We know first hand the havoc being wrought. Big thoughts and much love goes out to all of California as it again deals with raging wild fires. The entire state is in flames. My heart is heavy and I will write this quick review as a reminder to the people, places and beauty that I love. I give my thoughts to the mastery and bravery of Cal Fire as they combat this breathing monster. I hope they remain safe as they pursue the safety of others. I love you California.

Hen House | Stoked | Single Hop Pale Ale

Some of the tastiest beer in Sonoma County is brewed by Hen House. Centennial Hops were used to brew this delicious pale ale. The pale, murky-yellow ale has a strong nose. Good carbonation and a lasting head combine to enhance aromas of hops and malt.  Taste and aromatics match up well. I was Stoked to score a four pack from a local bottle shop here in PDX. I hadn't seen a Hen House can in a minute. It made me nostalgic. I was glad to grab some. Now I'm just hoping for the best, for one of the best places on earth. Be safe California.

drink craft beer responsibly,

Monday, August 17, 2020

Blue Monday

Mood Music |

Bob Seger | "Blue Monday" | Road House Soundtrack |


Tuesday, August 11, 2020

What Time Is It?

There are many thoughts that race around as I gleefully watch The NBA bubble at The Magic Kingdom, aka the Association's campus. Ah, campus life. NBA fans can only hope that this North American sports bubble will continue to showcase success, so far the protocols have been stellar.

Sadly I now expect more from the NBA than I do our federal leaders. The NBA is global, worth billions of dollars, and is operated by smart and sensitive professionals. As tricky as this restart has been, or will continue to be, the resources and diligence of the NBA has shown a path to coherent plans and policies. Those planning tactics and implementations are something our nation does not yet possess, nor do they seem to be stressing.

There are other topics and ideas swirling as it relates to basketball. I'll focus some attention to the on-court product. The who, what, where and why moments will always matter when the post season is looming. Storylines will continue to be written. Below are some thoughts on the intrigue of the NBA.

Who? There's only one who. Dame, that's who. He served up 51 and 61 in consecutive games, a 112 points in 81 minutes on 55% shooting from the field and 45% shooting from three. He's literally on fire, consuming flames and then emitting them. A human flamethrower who walks the walk and can talk the talk. He's an assassin who keeps it real, respects opponents, and remains humble. He's a Capital G Gamer. Lillard joins Wilt Chamberlain as the second player to register multiple 60 point games in a season. Damian has three such games this season. Dame time all the time!

Every game matters to the Blazers. Lillard epitomizes their workman-like mantra while also wielding incredibly fiery talents. This team is on a mission. They didn't come to the bubble to play for nothing. By competing as if every game were do or die, Portland is priming themselves for a run. Dame time is ticking, the Association is on watch.


Devin Booker deserves a little love too. Make no mistake, Booker is a shot maker. The Suns have shown up looking interested and prepared. They know their roles and their schemes. Phoenix has surprised, proving they belong. Good job Suns.

Both the Blazers and Suns have been playing for something more. Are there two hotter teams inside the bubble? Portland Phoenix would be fire. I mentioned above who may or may not consume and emit flames. Please, more Dame Time.

What happened to the Lakers offense? Are they rope-a-doping their competition? Are they just not good at scoring the ball right now? Will they continue to be the worst team offensively once the playoffs begin? What's up with AD? LeBron? Their collective talent hasn't matched the output from early March. They're not manufacturing many buckets and the rest of the team hasn't been shooting the lights out either. Maybe it won't matter if the two superstars do what they're capable of.

Where do the top teams rank now? The Bucks and Lakers are trending down. The Clippers are even keeled. And the Raptor are trending up. Which team prefers which matchup? Sometimes the Raptors look amazing. The Clippers are trying to prove that the regular season doesn't matter. Milwaukee fans probably have some cause for concern. Will the Bucks represent the east? Boston, Miami, and Toronto could burst Milwaukee's bubble. I've already noted the Lakers lack of production. Maybe the playoffs will show us something different.

Thursday is When we'll know who qualifies for the play-in game. The Blazers control their own destiny after Dame's relentless 61. A win on Thursday earns Portland the 8-seed. Then the Trailblazers would need one win over the 9-seed to advance into the playoffs, where they would face the Lakers. DAME! BRON! DAVIS! NURK! MELO! CJ! GT Jr.! Gimme some of that series. I might spontaneously combust. We all know who's on fire.

Why does basketball feel so good? Thank you NBA. Why does the Western Conference feel like Beyond Thunderdome? Why does the Eastern Conference feel weak outside of Toronto? Who will advance? Who knows? Only time will tell. Only in the NBA.


Sunday, August 9, 2020

Feel The Way I Want

Best New Music |

Caroline Rose | Superstar | "Feel the Way I Want" |


Saturday, August 8, 2020

Killing What Keeps Us Alive

Best New Music |

Margaret Glaspy | Devotion | "Killing What Keeps Us Alive" |


Friday, July 24, 2020

Born at the Beach

Pelican Brewing was born at the beach. Tasty beer and outlandish scenery await those fortunate enough to frequent Pacific City. A sandy beach, Cape Kiwanda, tame sets of waves, coastal breeze and warm sun, all triggering the senses as the day drifts away. A different level of ease washes over me at the ocean. It's the type of setting that allows my mind freedom, somehow affording me the chance to not be consumed by all that is going on. I actually decompress and feel unencumbered by thoughts.

On a recent voyage to the ocean, celebrating another trip around the sun, I remembered why I love the Pacific coast so much. It changes me, influencing me in ways I wish were more the norm. Pelican was merely a variable in the equation for what it was I was trying to obtain; relaxation and the ability to calm my mind. The unquestionable supremacy of nature is wonderful and constant, reminding us we're part of something bigger.

A huge thanks to the person who loves me the most. Sometimes I forget how lucky I am. Hello four oh — Yikes! Any reason to be at the beach is a good one. After enjoying the Pacific it was time to knock back some cold-ones. My first pint was the summery and crushable Updrift IPA. Illuminated by the sun, the hay-yellow body held brilliant color. A noticeable yet light head covering the top was aided by carbonation that had been dialed-in just right. Updrift IPA is a worthy summer beer.

Pelicano Extra Lager is a Mexican-style cerveza with eye-catching clarity. This ale is a summer's best contender. Bubbles stream continuously as wafts of Germanic lager mix with aromas often associated with Mexican lagers. Great beers are the ones you never tire of, those that you can have more than one of. Pelicano hits that sweet spot.

Next up was Our Dankest Hour IPA, which was being brewed again now that patrons could enjoy it. Originally brewed in March, this IPA is not playing around. Dank is in the name, but resinous is its game. The bold amber glow doesn't hide the punch this beer packs. Malt be damned, too many of these and your afternoon or early evening is askew. Strong color and a lingering head cannot mask the bold aromas and flavor. Think of Our Dankest Hour as a big fish story, fun to tell, just not all the time. Enjoy craft beer responsibly with fish and chips. 


Saturday, July 18, 2020

Ache of Victory

Best New Music |

Zsela | Ache of Victory EP | "Drinking" |


Monday, July 13, 2020

Brew Detective: Returning to the Fold | Ex Novo

Ex Novo is a ritual at this point, they're my go-to, thanks Ex Novo. On my last visit to Flint Street they rewarded me with a newly canned single hop hazy IPA, sorry that was a mouthful. Anyhow, this hazy was good, better than most of the hazy's out there. I prefer west coast-style IPA's, but this offering was a nice surprise. Nelson hops run alone in Returning to the Fold.

Muted guava moves across the nose as quality carbonation feeds the doughy head, lasting longer than is typical. The mouthfeel was earthy yet light enough to gulp. Dank golden hues illuminated the glass. Aromas opened into notes of early orchard blooms. Returning to the Fold (7.2%) is a single hop IPA originally canned on 06.16.20, I enjoyed mine a few days later. Drink craft beer respectfully.


Saturday, July 11, 2020

Simon Says

Mood Music |

Carly Simon | "You're So Vain" | No Secrets |


Monday, July 6, 2020

Brew Detective: ALL TOGETHER | Ex Novo

I find great solace in the care, craft and kindness exhibited by the good people at Ex Novo, who routinely achieve no matter the obstacle. I will remain loyal to them for as long as we can coexist. The worst year ever is causing now, more than ever, to be a crucial time to support local businesses. I reward myself with tasty libations. That's where Ex Novo comes in.

ALL TOGETHER is an IPA reg'n at 6.5% — the best thing about buying ALL TOGETHER is that the money from sales goes to staff. Awesome. Because the people at Ex Novo are good people. I'm so thankful to share a neighborhood with them. 

A mix of bitterness and pineapple juice swirled as I popped open a pint. Substantial head forms over the opaque juice-like ale, there's an almost green tint to the glow. The mouth feel was much lighter than expected, it assuaged some of the bitterness which resurfaces late in tasting. Fruit characteristics that were present early faded once poured. Visible carbonation helps to move the nectar. Support local brewers if you're able to. Enjoy craft beer respectfully.


Friday, July 3, 2020

Stir It Up


Bob Marley and The Wailers | "Stir It Up" | Catch A Fire |

The funkiest stank, so smooth, deep, rough, clean, one-in-a-zillion, raw, elemental, off this rock, outer space, Planet Earth, planet Jamaica, planet Marley, planet Tosh, Catch A Fire, Fire, Stir It Up ...

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Brew Detective: Cult Classic Pale Ale | Ex Novo

Hollywood theatre is, er was, and will be again, the place to observe cinema in all it's splendor and excess. Ex Novo has brewed Cult Classic Pale Ale for Hollywood theatre much prior to this review, but recently I scored a four pack of pint cans, which supports both my favorite brewery and the best cinematic palace this side of the Williamette (honorable mention Bagdad Theater). Hopefully we'll get to satiate our souls through the small joys of interactive and participatory arts and activities.

Strong hop aroma is a bit biting and spicy. Beautiful amounts of carbonation drive upward, replenishing the fluffy head. Subtle bitterness is apparent early. The amber-gold pale ale glimmers with agricultural bounty. It's liquid art in honor of "Movie Madness." Rated 5.6% / Cult Classic Pale Ale is an easy choice indoors or out. Enjoy craft beer respectfully.


Friday, June 19, 2020

Big Thief

Mood Music |

Big Thief | Masterpiece | "Masterpiece, Paul, Lorraine" |

Paul   /   4:49...
And then he showed me what is love

I'll be your morning bright goodnight shadow machine

I'll be record player baby if ya know what I mean
I'll be a real tough cookie with the whiskey breath
I'll be a killer and a thriller and the cause of our death
     - Adrianne Lenker


Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Take Me Home

Best New Music |

Whitney feat. Waxahatchee | "Take Me Home, Country Roads" |


Friday, May 29, 2020

The Boxer

Mood Music |

Paul Simon | "The Boxer" | Bridge Over Troubled Water |

I am just a poor boy though my story's seldom told
I have squandered my resistance for a pocket full of mumbles
Such are promises, all lies and jest,
Still a man hears what he wants to hear
And disregards the rest, hmmm


In the clearing stands a boxer, and a fighter by his trade
And he carries the reminders of every glove that laid him down or cut him
'Til he cried out in his anger and his shame
I am leaving, I am leaving, but the fighter stills remains


Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Burlap String

Best New Music |

Courtney Marie Andrews | Old Flowers | "Burlap String" |


Friday, May 22, 2020

Brew Detective: Volatile Substance | Von Ebert

Another Portland brewery doing their best to maintain business during such otherworldly times is Von Ebert, makers of tasty beer. My Partner in crime swooped in for curbside pickup. Our order included fried chicken and potatoes, a bottle of Bouquet Blanc (review coming when I crack that rarity), and a four pack of Volatile Substance. It's nice to remember how lucky I am.

Volatile Substance is a NW IPA brewed with Mosaic and Simcoe hops (65 IBU | 6.9%). Prior to scoring these pint cans I'd only had it on draught. The can experience does not disappoint. As is our routine when the weather's nice Agent M and I took an extended neighborhood walk. We sipped a Volatile Substance while admiring the tree lined streets and beautiful homes.

Good bounce occurred when cracking open the pint. Notes of pineapple and grapefruit hit early and disappear from there. This IPA has some bite to it. Agent M noted that it was bitter and tingly, not for beginners. She also mentioned piney characteristics, hoppy and strong. I couldn't be more proud and stoked to take walks with someone.

Be safe during this time of physical distancing and try to support local businesses whenever possible. Keep on keeping on. Enjoy independent beer responsibly.


Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Real Love

Mood Music | 

Big Thief | Masterpiece | "Real Love"

Having a bad week
Let me touch your cheek
I will always love you

Real love, real love
Real love makes your lungs black
Real love is a heart attack

     - Adrianne Lenker


Saturday, May 16, 2020

Skull Crusher

Best New Music |

Skull Crusher | "Places/Plans" |


Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Brew Detective: Ex Novo | Panacea Pale

Ex Novo has us Jones'n for fresh cans. My partner in crime and I have been stoked on the heady releases we're able to still enjoy while physically distancing. Hitting up Ex Novo for Detroit-style pizza and some oat sodas is rewarding. We're all about the delicious Panacea Pale Ale (6%). Recently we enjoyed a cold pint and recorded our tasting notes at the community garden as we strolled with the sun as our guide. 

A bubbly carnival with light fruity indulgence kicked off Agent M's senses. She noted how drinkable it was without being too hoppy. "Delicious" and "new spring favorite," high praise from a formidable beer fan.

Whiffs of apricot and subtle malt hit my nose first. Good foam rises to the top creating lasting legs drink after drink. A slipperiness mingles with the effervescent body. Slight bitterness registers late in tasting, however it's absent in the aroma. Panacea Pale Ale goes beyond taste, it involves all of your senses.

This single hop pale ale is brewed with HBC 692, an experimental hop that the brewer calls, "pretty awesome." I'd have to agree, this beer is too legit to quit. Ex Novo will deliver craft beer to your door if you live in Portland, how cool is that? We could all use some good libations. Support local brewers during these difficult times if possible. Helping independent businesses is more important than ever. Enjoy craft beer respectfully.

Be safe,

Saturday, May 9, 2020

Kaash Paige | "Frank Ocean"

Best New Music |

Kaash Paige | "Frank Ocean" |


Sunday, May 3, 2020

NBA Resurrection ???

Feelings of being unsure and worrying about unknowns is becoming all too common, it's hard with so many cultural norms having shifted. Uncertainty is bubbling up everywhere — public health and health care systems are shattering, financial markets nearing collapse and federal government appearing useless — there's so much heavy in the world right now. I need to remember to take a breath, to not be in a hurry.

Maybe this write-up can act as a brief escape from the news, statistics and daily press briefings. Creativity, reading, good music, puzzles, long walks, nature, delicious food, loving your loved ones, and preparing for whatever comes next will help us to focus on what truly matters. Because as O-Ren Ishii so boldly stated, "now's the fxcking time!"

Sports may not be the answer but it can be an elixir, even if we're all watching from home. I miss my favorite soap opera. Will basketball exist in 2020? Plenty of rumors swirl about the NBA returning. I hope there's a way to safely bring games back to life. Below are my thoughts on regular season awards and such. Thanks for checking in. Be safe and do your best.

1st Team: Giannis Antetokounmpo, LeBron James, Nikola Jokic, Luka Doncic, James Harden

2nd Team: Anthony Davis, Kawhi Leonard, Bam Adebayo, Damian Lillard, Chris Paul

3rd Team: Pascal Siakam, Jayson Tatum, Domantas Sabonis, Russell Westbrook, Kyle Lowry

The NBA stipulates that each team be comprised of two forwards, a center, and two guards. Thus my selections may not reflect the 15 "best" guys, but it does reward deserving players while assuaging the positional hooey. Prerequisites aside I favored winning over stats. For instance, a case could be made for Bradley Beal on third team with his robust numbers. I chose leadership and winning by selecting Kyle Lowry for the last guard spot. Lowry's numbers are solid on a Raptor's team with the third most wins. Another close call was whether or not to select Jimmy Butler (20.2pts 6.6rbs 6.1ast). I went with Jayson Tatum (23.6pts 7.1rbs 2.9ast). Tatum played in five more games than Butler plus the Celtics were ahead of the Heat in the standings. Gobert could easily be one of the centers; I rewarded Bam and Sabonis, assuming I can slot Sabonis in at center. I also think it's refreshing to see new names on this list.

1. Nurse (TOR) 2. Donovan (OKC) 3. Jenkins (MEM) 4. Spoelstra (MIA) 5. Vogel (LAL)

This category was tough. My initial notes had eight viable choices. The five above plus Carlisle, Snyder and Stevens. Honestly a case could be made for any of these tacticians. I believe my top two coaches did the most with their rosters, especially when factoring in outside expectations versus on-court results. There was some masterful coaching this year and the talent of those calling the shots goes deeper than my list.

1. Ja Morant 2. Kendrick Nunn 3. Zion Williamson

Ja Morant as Rookie of the Year was the easiest award to give out. Memphis had the eighth spot out west. Morant draws most of the opposition's attention and Memphis relies on him to produce. I enjoy watching him attack, he's fearless. As amazing as he is athletically he also dissects defenses with his IQ. Ja's ability to make the right reads allows him to hunt opportunities and facilitate simultaneously. Speaking of playoffs, I put Nunn ahead of Zion because he started in 62 games for a Heat team that would have had home court in the first round.

6th Man
1. Dennis Schroder 2. Montrezl Harrell 3. Lou Williams

Schroder played in 63 games this year but started only once. He was on the closing unit that was clutch as hell. The Thunder had five winning basketball players and three of them were point guards. Their crunch-time lineup was winning games, OKC held the five seed. Schroder's numbers are equally impressive to that of the two Clippers and the Thunder have a lot less to work with. Hell, the Clipper's bench could probably grab a playoff spot in the east. This award goes to Dennis Schroder among a deserving list of elite reserves. 

1. Bam Adebayo 2. Brandon Ingram 3. Luka Doncic 4. Pascal Siakam 5. Malcolm Brogdon

Any one of the top four could win this award. I lean toward Bam and Ingram mostly due to the dramatic leap they took. Not to say that Luka didn't grow by leaps and bounds, he's an MVP threat. Siakam continues to grow his game year after year. How many times can a player win this award? Bam gets most improved in my book. Who had him on an all-NBA team at the start of the year? Adebayo took charge of his own destiny and in doing so he may have become Draymond 2.0. Should anyone doubt Bam's motor, defensive versatility, or play making skills, he'll be the first to shut that shit down. He's a glimpse into the future of the five.

1. Anthony Davis (2.4b 1.5s) 2. Giannis 3. Gobert

Davis was the best defender I watched this season. He's a defensive cheat code who excels at erasing mishaps on that side of the ball. Not only is he athletically gifted with size, speed and strength, his instincts are uncanny as well. The economy of motion with which he wreaks havoc is unprecedented at his position. Steals, blocks, rebounds, clamping fools straight up, deterring shots, or being a help defender, the Brow is as good as anyone on the gritty side of the floor. Somehow Davis makes it look pretty.

In my mind there were eight worthy candidates for MVP

Giannis - 29.6pts 13.7rbs 5.8ast 31.71 PER (1)

Harden - *34.4pts 6.4rbs 7.4ast 28.39 PER (2)

Davis - 26.7pts 9.4rbs 3.1ast 28.25 PER (3)

Luka - 28.7pts 9.3rbs 8.7ast 27.75 PER (4)

Kawhi - 26.9pts 7.3rbs 5.0ast 26.76 PER (5)

Dame - 28.9pts 4.3rbs 7.8ast 26.25 PER (6)

LeBron - 25.7pts 7.9rbs *10.6ast 26.08 PER (7)

Jokic - 20.2pts 10.2rbs 6.9ast 25.08 PER (8)

You may have noticed these players have the eight highest PER's (a cool coincidence realized after compiling stats). Harden led the NBA in *scoring, LeBron in *assists. I can safely say that these were/are the eight best players this year. Opinions will vary. Valuable became the key word in trimming my list down to five. The five players on my MVP ballot: LeBron, Giannis, Luka, Jokic, Dame.

There's an obvious and valid WTF no Harden argument to be made. His numbers continue to be video game-like. But is his team still his team? Kawhi's omission is due to two factors. First, he played in too few games (51). And second, the Clippers have perhaps the deepest roster and are really good even without him. Leaving Davis off was also difficult. AD leads the Lakers in every major statistical category except assists and is their leader on defense. LeBron's the engine that makes LA go — maybe they poach votes from each other — I went with LeBron.

Let's examine the finalists.

LeBron, Giannis, Luka, Jokic & Dame 

Luka's the most unassailable choice other than the top two guys on everyone's list. His numbers are insane as the linchpin of the most potent offense (28.7pts 9.3rbs 8.7ast 27.75 PER). At 21 he's already proven himself to be a gift from the basketball gods. Face it Luka's an assassin, there's no telling how deadly Lone-star will become.

Jokic and the Nuggets had the third best record in the west. Who else takes Denver to these heights, the list would be small? Their roster is nice but it doesn't wow. The Nuggets without Jokic don't make the playoffs, period. That counts for something in my book.

Dame was on fire, as in, he was a human flamethrower unable to be extinguished by opponents. Lillard is probably the single most valuable guy to his team. The Blazers were mired by injuries all season and yet he kept them afloat and only three games out in the win column from the eighth seed. I relish watching Dame unload 35 footers in the face of his defender. He's a leader on and off the court, a good example for youngsters and adults. I was hoping he'd will this team into the playoffs. The Blazers could be mean next year when fully healthy.

Let's be real, the battle for MVP is a two man race. Giannis and LeBron are the only options. Giannis  is a deserving recipient, he had the best numbers on the winningest team.

How many less wins would Milwaukee have if they played in the west? A few things would happen; Milwaukee's point differential would go down, as would their winning percentage, and Giannis would play more minutes to account for a tougher schedule. His numbers could potentially go up in that scenario. It's perfectly fine if Antetokounmpo wins his second straight MVP.

How many more wins would the Lakers have in the east? LeBron's already doing what Giannis is trying to grow into. James controls entire games facilitating offense with maestro-like precision. The Lakers suffer far more when James is on the bench than when Giannis sits for the Bucks. LeBron had the Lakers in prime position to advance through the west. Maybe they'll meet in The Finals. Or maybe not. We might already have all that the NBA is capable of giving us this year. Crown the king. LeBron deserves MVP.


Friday, May 1, 2020


Best New Music |

Margaret Glaspy | Devotion | "Devotion" |


Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Dynamic Duo | Ex Novo

Ex Novo is adapting during these crazy times. I'm thankful to neighbor such a business, keep on keep'n on. Independent businesses make Portland cool and I'm pulling for you. We support our local brewers, comic shop, and of course grocer, as much as is reasonable. We recently walked home with Ex Novo's  Perle Haggard Pils and Dynamic Duo, an imperial IPA (7.6%).

First of all the artwork is awesome. Freshness pops as you crack open a pint. Warm weather fruit pushes through to create aromas of nectarine and mango, carbonation races upward. The clarity is next level, showing off its soft golden hues. I like the interaction between smell and taste; contrasting traits work to enhance the senses. Bitterness is noticeable but well rounded, reminiscent of Pliny.

If you live in Portland and are interested in supporting Ex Novo, they're open for business and also deliver! It doesn't get much better than that considering what we're all going through. Enjoy craft beer responsibly.

Be safe,

Monday, April 27, 2020

Loud Is Not Enough

Best New Music |

Enemy Radio | Loud Is Not Enough | "Lock Your Wheels" |


Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Ode To George Carlin | National Poetry Month

Ode to George Carlin |

Value's been destabilized.
Value's become Orwellian.

Who's getting good value?
Wealthy elites lacking elite qualities, wall street hacks, new tech industries, old dirty energy, outdated mass-passenger transportation, unneeded military-industrial complexes and DC politicians, that's who. Silver spoons getting repeatedly bailed out by tax money for financial failures and environmental atrocities is also good value.

This capitalism is false, a false god.
More, more, more, growth, growth, growth...
survival of the richest.
So rich. Too rich to fail.
Rich inheritance, but no inherent risk.

Money is not math.
Money is generated, printed and unequally distributed. 
Money hoards and monopolizes.
Math is proven.
Math has truth.
Values are being pummeled by profit.
Real hustle is losing to getting hustled.

What do you value?
Do you care?
Care? Who cares?
Do you do good work?
Is there give and take?
Or do you only take?

Value's not Salary.
Salary's just a figure.
A byproduct.
A finished product.
Clock in. Clocked out.
Out of time.
Collecting a paycheck —

Where's the value in that?

- J.J.H.

Monday, April 20, 2020

John Prine | Sweet Revenge

Rest In Peace |

John Prine | Sweet Revenge | "Sweet Revenge" |

I got kicked off Noah's Ark
I turned my cheek to unkind remarks
There was two of everything but one of me
And when the rains came tumbling down
I held my breath and I stood my ground
And I watched that ship go sailing out to sea

Take it back, take it back, oh no, you can't say that

- John Prine


Saturday, April 18, 2020

Stay With Me

Best New Music |

Margaret Glaspy | Devotion | "Stay With Me" |


Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Confluence Lite IPA | Baerlic & Fort George

To celebrate the anniversaries of Bridge & Tunnel and Bridgetown Beerhouse, two area taprooms/bottle shops, Baerlic Brewing and Fort George collaborated to create Confluence Lite IPA. Brewed with Comet, El Dorado and Sultana hops this unique offering registers in at 4.6%. Portland and Astoria are sharing the the love with this beer.

Soft fruity notes liven your nose before a hoppy bitterness is revealed. These subtleties make it very drinkable, hence the Lite. Slight murkiness dances in an otherwise transparent body as bubbly action triggers a noticeable effervescence. If able to, try and support local breweries during this challenging time. If you live in the PNW, might I recommend Confluence Lite IPA. Enjoy craft beer responsibly.

Be well, 

Monday, April 13, 2020

Bill Withers | Use Me

Rest In Peace |

Bill Withers | Still Bill | "Use Me" |


Saturday, April 11, 2020

Food As A Machine Gun

Best New Music |

Enemy Radio | Loud Is Not Enough | "Food As A Machine Gun" |


Thursday, April 9, 2020

John Prine | Spanish Pipedream

Rest In Peace |

John Prine | Self Titled | "Spanish Pipedream" |

Blow up your TV
Throw away your paper
Go to the country
Build you a home
Plant a little garden
Eat a lot of peaches
Try an find Jesus
On your own

- John Prine


Tuesday, April 7, 2020

PRECIOUS METTLE | National Poetry Month

Precious Mettle

That silver piece,

polished sun,
gleaming and pretty.
A gray light.

Dandelion linen.
Blue roses
red, black and blue.

Pink white mountain
distant and glowing.
The moon never larger.

and barley hanging on.
remember this number.

St. John 
gone for the weekend.

Great blue herons,
wood ducks, egrets,
a brown heron atop the docks.
The hawk puffing its chest;
my admiration.

Warm afternoon sun
and the wind quick.
Long Beach
Giant kites
Another life

precious and noble.
Blue moon eyes.

A river town (near the mouth)
blue and gray.

- J.J.H.