Long, bright days of music, drugs, art and love
• Open up the windows: Spring starts for real this weekend. Forecast: sunny and 75. I will finally (!) purchase the new Titus Andronicus album and proceed to spend all day Saturday and Sunday at full volume rocking my brains out of my head to epic Civil War-themed anthems with Jersey’s finest. Hear the hyper ones yank the cup from The Boss’s hand on “A More Perfect Union” (at myspace.com/titusandronicus): “’cause tramps like us/ baby we were born to die!”
(Side note: XL Recordings has become the most awesome new-music label on the planet, right? Titus Andronicus, Vampire Weekend, M.I.A., Radiohead and the White Stripes … Add Arcade Fire to the roster and I might faint.)
• Visit rice country: You knew there was an auditorium in Richvale, right? You know there’s a Richvale? This Sunday, March 21, at 4 p.m., the rice-growing community west of Oroville, with a population around 250, will play unlikely host to a group of world-class musicians for a concert at the Richvale Auditorium (corner of Church and Broadway). Headlining the afternoon performance (a benefit for the town’s nearly 100-year-old mission-style schoolhouse) is Eugene Friesen, a classical/jazz/world cellist who has won two Grammy awards as a member of the Paul Winters Consort. Friesen will be joined onstage by percussionist Doc Gibbs (who has played with everyone from Ricki Lee Jones to Wyclef Jean) and Lyle Lovett pianist Tim Ray. Tickets are $25. For more info call 868-5993.
• Stay inside: I can still hardly believe Breaking Bad exists. The premise of a high-school chemistry teacher (Bryan Cranston) dying of cancer who turns to making meth in order to pay medical bills and provide for his family’s future has produced more thrilling, hilarious and disturbing scenes in two seasons than would seem possible. (Example 1 of 1,000: A dead drug dealer is dissolved in a tub of acid, which in turn melts through the bathroom floor and sends liquefied drug dealer through the ceiling and all over the first-story hallway? That’s just No. 1.)
Cranston has won an Emmy two years in a row for his part as unlikely badass Walter White, and he and the rest of the cast and the insane writers have created something that really is too good for TV. Season three starts this Sunday, March 21, at 10 p.m., on AMC, and season two just came out on DVD.
• Note: J is for Jamie (not Julie): In the calendar section of last week’s CN&R, I gave the incorrect real name behind artist ArtGirl ColorMagnet. It is the artwork of Jamie Hughes on the walls of Café Flo through March 24. Go there now and buy back my credibility by buying some of her art.
• And last and definitely totally freaking BEST! A big congrats to Arts DEVO BFFF (and former CN&R Arts Editor) Mark Lore and his fairer half Alexis Harmon on getting engaged last week. The Lorax popped the question on a beach in Mexico, and now that the couple are back home in Portland it’s time to start planning: Will it be a KISS cover band or Old 97’s for the reception? (The 97’s might be cheaper.)