Here at DB, we talk a lot about festivals. Many of them involve standing in line holding plates of minuscule sandwiches or doll-sized fried chicken while of course sipping (sometimes batch) cocktails in every corner of the country. And we’re not complaining.
Between Ian Karmel and Ron Funches appearing on WTF with Marc Maron’s podcast, and Shane Torres’ Farewell Show before he heads off to NY…
Bret Anthony Johnston’s outward appearance oozes fiction writer. You see his thick-rimmed glasses and often solemn photos and you think, Yup, this is what they’re all like. But Johnston (whose name sounds a little like a member of a boy band, doesn’t it?) is so much more than the scarf-wearing stereotype you might associate with the typical writer.
If the name of a comic’s album gives us any insight into what to expect in his comedy, then Myq Kaplan’s albums titles are supremely helpful. There’s his most recent album – “Small, Dork, and Handsome” – along with “Meat Robot,” and “Vegan Mind Meld”, to name a few.
I’ll admit when Ian Karmel announced he was leaving Portland, a part of me panicked. It’s not that Portland doesn’t have other great comics – we certainly do (Sean Jordan, Curtis Cook, Jen Tam, Barbra Holm, to name a few) – but Ian was my surefire indication that a show would be funny. If he was on the bill, it was almost definite that other awesome funny people would be in the line-up, too. What would I do without that reassurance?
The fact that we even have Bridgetown Comedy Festival today can be owed to comedian Matt Braunger (and co-founder, Andy Wood). Braunger, who was born and raised in northeast Portland, describes himself as “…a lightning-rod of awkwardness…” in one of his specials. His humor is grab-a-beer-with-a-friend relatable, and he bursts with energy on stage.
Food and wine festivals can often feel like a Catch-22. On one hand, they’re an awesome way to showcase chefs and restaurants from across the country, drawing higher tourism numbers to a city perhaps lower on the radar. On the other hand, however, tickets for festival events are often unreasonably expensive, asking for hundreds of dollars per person for high-end dinners, and thousands of dollars for an all-access pass, making them feel unrealistic for the average food fan to attend.
I blame Kevin Sandri for my appreciation of the food cart. My first year in Portland, his cart, Garden State, was selling sandwiches at…