Arts and Culture

Features on our favorites in books, music, film, and comedy.

Quick Spin: Comedian Matt Braunger

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.

The Head and the Heart at Portland’s Musicfest NW

On a random weekday evening, as I was flipping through the channels, I came across a showing of Austin City Limits, a grand performance series on PBS showcasing some of the finest musicians in the country. The episode featured a Seattle ensemble named The Head and the Heart, and with their stunning ACL studio performance, I was instantly a fan. Formed in 2009 thanks to an open-mic night at a local bar, the folky, heartfelt tunes from Josiah Johnson, Jonathan Russell, and Charity Rose Thielen are touching but not overwrought, detailing the universal struggles between the head and the heart.