Tuesday Tease: Russell Bruner, The King of Burlesque

5388867_origWith so many people walking around with handlebar moustaches and tweed vests, one can easily get annoyed with the current wave of retro-enthusiasm. Bars calling themselves “speakeasies” are popping up everywhere and every 20-something seems to be learning to play the banjo, riding a penny-farthing or waxing poetic about rye whiskey. Surely, this trend will pass and the hipsters will find another by-gone era to emulate, but for hardcore retro-enthusiasts like Russell Bruner, this is more than a trend, it’s a lifestyle!

I first met Russell on a trip to Portland back in October, where I checked out one of his swing dance nights at Kelly’s Olympian. I’d been meeting with burlesque performers that whole weekend and all of them had nothing but great things to say about Russell. When I saw him in action that night at Kelly’s, I could see why. I was blown away by his pleasant demeanour, his style and, most of all, his dance moves.

Russell is the founder of the Portland, Oregon-based production company Swing Time PDX. He started Swing Time “as a project to provide and create more opportunities for swing bands and swing musicians to encourage and help them to provide dance events to the public.” Over the better part of the last decade, he has incorporated more than just swing bands and dancers into the mix. He now hosts circus events, vaudeville shows and, of course, burlesque. All with his decided old-time flair.


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Rose City Comic-Con: Portland Enters the Fold

[Pro tip: if you just want to go straight to winning tickets, scroll to the bottom of this post for instructions.]

Can you believe that before this year, Portland, Oregon was lacking a Comic-Con? From the Emerald City to New York to, of course, San Diego, Comic-Cons have been cropping up the world over. Originally a niched convention for dedicated fans, Comic-Cons have become events of national appeal and acclaim; they’re an overall celebration of what it means to be a fan. In under two weeks — September 8 and 9 — Portland gets their own.

Comic-Cons, traditionally, feature tables full of comic vendors where you can meet artists and presses (often with specials!), panels of industry greats, and incredible workshops, and the Rose City’s is no exception. We got a chance to speak with intrepid Rose City Comic-Con organizer Ron Brister about some of the geeky staples in his own backyard, comics in Portland, and taking on the incredible feat of organizing a festival while still having a day job.

Describe the Portland comix scene and why you felt you needed to bring it a Comic-Con.

The comic scene in Portland is pretty vibrant. We have many artist and writers that live in the area, Dark Horse Comics is head-quartered here, and the largest independent studio, Periscope, are all located in the metro area. Based on all that, we felt that Portland was missing something, a more mainstream convention that celebrated all things Pop Culture. The events that we had in town either were stagnant, catered to a small subset, or where narrowly focused on one subject. Plus, we travelled to the conventions up and down the west coast only to run into all the same people from Portland. It was then that we said, “Hey, why don’t we do something like this in Portland?”

Of course, there’s a wider scope of pop culture than just comics — as is the nature of the modern comic-con. Is there still an emphasis of comics themselves, or is this about a wider landscape?

Rose City Comic-Con is a comic convention at heart. With that in mind we have focused our efforts on comic artist, writers, and vendors. However, comics these days have a massive crossover into other genres such as sci-fi and fantasy. Many of our guest are not only comic folks but they are also novelists, screen writers, musicians and actors. But I think the foundation for all those other creative mediums is comics.
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Foodie Friday: Hooray for Chocolate Chip Cookies!

 

 

 

 

 

Here is a chocolate chip cookie recipe I have been using for years. It’s near and dear to me so I would like to share it with you! Even during these sweltering summer months, there is nothing like a chocolate chip cookie. Try eating them with some vanilla ice cream at your next summer barbecue.
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The FCC Demonstrates There’s Room for More LPFMs on the Airwaves in New Report

On Thursday, January 5th, The Federal Communications Commission released a report confirming that the presence of low power FM stations (LPFM) do not impact the advertising or audience of full power FM radio stations.

Currently there are 838 LPFM stations in the country operating at 100 watts or less and reaching a radius of three to ten miles. In 2007, bipartisan legislation was introduced to increase the number of available LPFMs. It was then that the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) came out strongly against the introduction of what they called “thousands of micro-radio stations to the FM band”. It is possible that several hundred nonprofits will apply for new LPFM licenses when the application window opens in fall 2012 and the NAB has been concerned that they will interfere with full power stations.
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