Two huge storytelling shows are coming up in Portland, and we were lucky enough to speak with some of the principals in this special two-part episode!
In Part 1, we talked with storyteller David Montgomery! David is a writer, comedian and storyteller based in Pittsburgh, PA, who will be performing on The Moth Mainstage storytelling show on Monday, Dec. 14th at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall in Portland. David has won multiple Moth StorySLAMs and has been a featured storyteller in such national storytelling shows such as RISK! with Kevin Allison, and True Story. He is also the host of his own podcast, “2 Gays, No Girls, At A Pizza Place,”.
We talked to David about what it was like growing up gay in Pittsburgh (for himself and possibly others), why he decided to start sharing his stories on stage and what harrowing addiction he and Jason have in common.
In Pt. 2, we talked with Eric Scheur and Stella Harris! Eric is the co-producer of The Mystery Box Show, Portland’s sex-centric storytelling show where performers share true tales of their epic erotic achievements and failures. Their next show is Sunday, December 13th at the Alberta Rose Theater.
Stella, a former storyteller on The Mystery Box Show, is a sex educator and intimacy coach, as well as an active volunteer and event organizer in the local kink and sex positive communities. Stella was gracious enough to answer all of Jason’s dumb sex questions. (Although he’s known to the world as Sexual Chocolate, his tastes are about as vanilla as it gets.)
Unfortunately, David’s show at The Moth is sold out, but you can check out 2 Gays, No Girls At a Pizza Place on iTunes and Stitcher, you can see some of his other stories on his website buymeahotdog.com and follow him on Twitter @buymeahotdog.
Black Laughs Matter is a special comedy show taking place Sunday, December 6th to raise funds for the St. Joseph’s Grand Lodge in North Portland, a key gathering place for the black community that is under threat of closing its doors due to tens of thousands of dollars in fines that have been imposed by the city. Black Laughs Matter will be hosted by Nathan Brannon and features comedians The Real Hyjinx, Jeremy Eli, Anthony Robinson, Alyssa Yeoman, Ed Black and Curtis Cook with musical guests Brannon Rockwell-Charland and Jabulani Leffall and Benjamin Evans of the band Free! Mason Jar.
We were pleased to be joined in this episode by Nathan Brannon and Ed Black, as well as one of the organizers of the Black Laughs Matter show, Donovan Smith of the apparel and lifestyle brand Ignorant/Reflections. We talked with Nathan, Ed and Donovan about the “weirdness” of gentrification, what effect it’s had on Portland’s black community and how if you think gentrification doesn’t affect you… you’re wrong.
Come check out Black Laughs Matter on Sunday, Dec. 6th at the St. Joseph’s Grand Lodge at 3503 N. Mississippi Ave. Tickets are $15 and you can get advance tickets here.
This episode features an interview from several years ago with small press comic book creator Wade Busby. In addition to being a very talented artist who created titles such as Mr. Emergency and Minky, Wade was also one of my best friends and inspired me to pursue creating comics.
Wade passed away in April. He was deeply loved by his friends and family and he will always be an inspiration to me.
We weren’t going to release this episode when it was originally recorded because a portion of the audio file was unfortunately lost, but we do so now as a tribute to Wade’s immense artistic talent and his unique brand of humor.
Rest in peace, Wade… you will never be forgotten.
Sisters Angela & Aubrey Webber certainly have made a name for themselves in the music industry as the band The Doubleclicks, but they are well overdue for a name change; as far as we’re concerned, they should start calling themselves “The Goddamn Delightful Doubleclicks”, because that’s exactly what they were in this interview.
While The Doubleclicks have garnered fans the world over with their light, peppy tunes with “geeky” topics such as cats, dinosaurs, D&D, Star Trek and superheroes, what shouldn’t be overlooked is that their lyrics are often driven by anger and frustration (as found in the song “Nothing to Prove“, a response to the current and historical dismissal of the female contribution to the geek community).
Andrea Angela & Aubrey joined us to talk about their musical background, why Angela is done with guitar-playing dudes and what possibilities electing a president made out of snakes would bring.
You can see The Doubleclicks performing in Portland with Molly Lewis and Jackie Kashian on Tuesday, November 10th at 8pm at the Doug Fir Lounge. For more info on The Doubleclicks and their music, check out their website and follow them on Instagram and on Twitter @thedoubleclicks.
Bob Suren’s lifelong love of punk rock music has provided with him a lot of memorable moments. He’s forged relationships with bands such as MDC, The Dead Kennedys, Minor Threat, Seven Seconds and more, he’s entertained throngs of people by playing in many different bands on many different stages and proselytized about punk rock all over the world. But it’s caused him to sacrifice a great deal as well.
That, in part, is what inspired his memoir Cratedigger: An Obsession with Punk Records, which chronicles his 30-year journey through the world of punk rock as a fan, musician, record store owner, record distributor, label owner, writer and historian.
Bob joined us to talk about what initially appealed to him about punk rock, how his passion got the better of him and what punk rock music fans can do to better protect themselves, physically and otherwise.
Bob also shared with us the most punk rock thing he’s ever done. It’s pretty damn epic.
You can hear Bob read excerpts from Cratedigger on Sunday, Oct 25th in Portland at Blackwater (835 NE Broadway) at 9pm. You can check out the rest of the dates of his book tour here.
The funk/soul duo Free! Mason Jar’s latest album Operation: Honeypot is all about the power of information, menace of disinformation and the threat of social apathy in the internet age. Pretty heady messages wrapped in the smooth-ass package of buttery vocals of lyricist Jabulani Leffall and shamanistic guitar work of musician Benjamin Evans.
We were so pleased to be joined once again by Jabulani and for the first time by Ben to talk about how they first integrated their individual skill sets to form F!MJ, what inspiration they drew from the evils of commercialism and the drug war and what the future might look like if their message audience truly penetrated the hearts and minds of their audience.
You can check out Free! Mason Jar performing live Sunday, October 25th at the Ash St. Saloon, and you can pick up Operation: Honeypot, as well as their previous album While Supplies Last, on iTunes, Bandcamp and SoundCloud.
We love people with the DIY spirit, but musician Tomasz Kordowski takes it to a whole ‘nother level. When you listen to his band, the Stas Duda Ensemble Assembly, you’re in fact listening to him: a one-man musical operation utilizing synthesizers, wood blocks, recorders, audio clips, spoken word pieces and whatever else he can think of to create one of a kind socially satirical songs.
It was a pleasure to talk with Tom about some of his early musical influences like Weird Al and Frank Zappa, the unique relationship he has with his audience and how he’s drawn inspiration from disparate sources such as actress Valerie Harper and 9/11.
A question we should’ve asked our guest Stacey Hallal in this episode is, “when do you sleep?” The answer to that could very well have been “never”, because in her world, there is no rest. She works tirelessly, not only as a comedian and improviser performing across the U.S., but also as the artistic director of Curious Comedy Theater, one of Portland’s most popular comedy venues. And, if that wasn’t enough, she is the founder of the All Jane Comedy Festival (formerly All Jane No Dick), which brings in female comedic talent from all over the country to Portland, being held Oct. 14th – 18th.
Performers at this year’s festival include Janet Varney, Ms. Pat, Karen Kilgariff, Page Hurwitz and Sarah Burns, as well as popular Portland comics Amy Miller, Bri Pruett, Kristine Levine, Whitney Streed, Barbara Holm and one of our personal favorites, Caitlin Weierhauser, who also joins us on this episode.
Caitlin has performed in the Bridgetown Comedy Festival and she’s also a member of Lez Stand Up, one of Portland’s most popular stand-up shows held monthly at Curious Comedy, which features performers from the LGBTQ community. She’s also the co-host of the YouTube show Video Game Bullies, which offers a comedic analysis of some of your favorite video games.
We were so pleased to speak with Stacey and Caitlin about their comedy origin stories, why All Jane is a necessary blessing in this day and age and why No Dick is no more.
We also talk with Stacey and Caitlin about how comedy and improv help us through tragic events, albeit in very different ways.
For more on the All Jane Comedy Festival and to pick up advance tickets and passes, check out their website alljanecomedy.org. To learn more about the fantastic goings on at Curious Comedy Theater, check out their website and follow them Instagram and Twitter @curiouscomedy.
Siblings Ibrahim & Nawwal Moustafa may have discovered their creative passions at different times in their lives, but both have risen from humble beginnings to achieve great things in their chosen fields.
Ibrahim is an amazingly talented comic book artist, who may be best known for the Eisner nominated graphic novel High Crimes, written Christopher Sebela. He’s also worked for DC Comics, Dark Horse Comics, IDW, and BOOM! Studios, and been a character designer for the animated shows Axe Cop, Major Lazer, and Golan The Insatiable.
Nawwal is an amazingly talented improviser who performs regularly at Portland’s Curious Comedy Theater with the groups Lady Parts, Fit to Print, and Black by Popular Demand. She’s appeared in the New Orleans Comedic Arts Festival, The Del Close Marathon in New York City, and the Vancouver International Improv Festival.
In Part 1, Nawwal co-hosted with us as we spoke to Ibrahim about how his drive to become a comic book artist started as a child, what it cost him along the way and what becoming an Eisner nominee for High Crimes meant to him professionally and personally. We also talk with Ibrahim about why he thinks differently about Superman IV than nearly every other person on the planet Earth.
In Part 2, Ibrahim co-hosted with us as we talked with Nawwal about how improv comedy helped her find her identity, why diversity in improv is so important and how a debilitating spinal injury wasn’t ever going to prevent her from performing comedy.
And Jason repeatedly screws up e’rybody’s names!
You can see Ibrahim at the release party for his latest comic Godzilla In Hell #4 at Bridge City Comics on Friday, Oct. 16th and at the Jet City Comic Con in Tacoma, WA on Oct. 31st – Nov. 1st.
Nawwal will be performing in the Vancouver International Improv Festival on Oct. 7 – Oct. 11.
And to find out more about Ibrahim and his art, check out his website and follow him on Twitter @Ibrahim_. For more on Nawwal on her comedy, you can follow her on Instagram and on Twitter @NawwalMoustafa.
This is a man’s world, and if you want to not only function, but thrive in it, you’re gonna need to be able to speak the language. Now, thanks to our friends at Microcosm Publishing, help has arrived. Manspressions: Decoding Men’s Behavior, written by Microcosm founder Joe Biel and principal partner Elly Blue and illustrated by Microcosm designer Meggyn Pomerleau, is a guidebook designed to assist readers through the confusing and often dangerous modern worlds of dating, the workplace, emotions and everyday conversation. With entries such as “mancouragement”, “manpire”, “manfatuation”, “manstake”, “manopolize”, and “manarchy”, Manspressions provides with the tools you need to communication on his level.
We talked with Joe and Elly about and why they felt this book was necessary, and with Meggyn about how her accompanying illustrations were inspired by real-life douchebags, then at a certain point, Jason’s self-discovery about his role in the patriarchy gets a little too real.
We also talk with Meggyn about the 21st Century male mating call that she experiences everyday. #yikes
To pick up Manspressions and to check out more of the Microcosm catalog, visit their website here. And you also can follow the crew on Twitter: @microcosmmm, Joe @joebiel_, Elly @ellyblue and Meggyn @Leg0Tron.
If you’re afraid of pursuing your artistic ambitions, maybe all you need is a little push. Look at Jamie Boyd; someone believed in her talent enough to push her onto the stand-up comedy stage. Now she’s left several other possible destinies in life’s rear view mirror, and is pushing herself to be the best comedian she can be.
Jamie joined us to talk about her early life growing up on a Native American reservation, why the props she wanted to use during her very first stand up set became very problematic and how her attempt to get revenge on ex-boyfriend ended up hurting her a heckuva lot more than it hurt him.
Jamie also shared with us why, in the long run, she’s going to be better off being known as a consistent headliner much more than becoming truly famous.
For more on Jamie and her comedy and to find out her upcoming dates, check out her Facebook page.