11,000+ fans turn out for Bernie Sanders rally in Portland

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Even though Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders is trailing behind Hilary Clinton in the Democratic presidential primaries, one word could be used to describe his rally in Portland on March 25: optimistic. Sanders fans of all ages arrived at the Moda Center as early as four in the morning to hear him speak for the second time in Portland during this election cycle.

After waiting hours in the foggy, cold Portland weather, supporters gathered in the Moda to hear the Dandy Warhols’ keyboardist Zia McCabe welcome Sanders to Portland. An upbeat performance from Portland-based indie group the Thermals (you can tell there was a musical theme) warmed up the crowd before Sanders finally came on stage after a delay.

He gave a simple, but pointed speech highlighting his campaign’s key issues, namely a rigged economy in favor of the ultra-wealthy, the lack of proper mental health care in the country, raising the national minimum wage, the disproportionate number of incarcerated minorities and Hillary Clinton’s reluctance to release the transcripts for high-price-tag speeches for Wall St.

“I am prepared to release the transcripts of all the speeches I gave on Wall Street,” he offered. Then added, “There are no speeches I gave on Wall Street.”

Even though he might have lost some of the fiery ardor after casually dropping “Ore-gahn,” the Vermont Senator’s anti-corruption and middle class-focused platform resonated with the crowd. In a very Portlandia moment, a bird landed on Sanders’ podium in the middle of the speech (within minutes #BirdieSanders soon started trending). The audience and Sanders paused, before he made a metaphor referring to the bird as a symbol of world peace.

But in his no-nonsense style, Sanders ended by bringing the crowd back to reality. He practically walked them through how to register for the following day’s caucus in Washington. With David Bowie’s “Starman” booming throughout the arena, Sanders quickly greeted supporters before heading to another rally in Seattle. It was rather unceremonious, but for many audience members, it was more about being in a room of people fired up by Sanders presence than what he had to say.

“I already know what his platform is,” said attendee Elizabeth Price. “I’m not here to hear anything new. I’m just here to be part of the movement.”

The Drummer: multi-instrumentalist Adam Hendey finds a home in rock, jazz and Celtic music 

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When asked how many instruments he plays, University of Oregon junior Adam Hendey can’t give a straight answer.

“I'm a capable enough musician at this point that I can pick up anything and make a pleasing noise on it,” said Hendey. “But it's never going to be more than just a party trick. If you want to go anywhere with it or really impress anyone, you have to be intimately fluent with one or two particular things.”

Since learning to play the recorder in fifth grade, the 21-year-old’s musical repertoire has expanded to include the tin whistle, flute, saxophone, clarinet, oboe bassoon, guitar, mandolin, banjo, bass and drums. Hendey’s musical interests are just as diverse as his instruments, but his true passion is Celtic music.

In college, he has focused on playing rock music. But after being kicked out of the Nouns, a group that combined rap with live music, he was lost. He decided to spend last summer in the California Redwoods recording Forward, a solo album of Celtic-inspired music. While he said he was afraid of writing his own songs and playing most of the instruments on his own, the project motivated him to continue playing music.

“The album is about a tradition of music that is considered antiquated, but almost all the material is original,” he said. “So it’s looking forward… It’s my first foray into being a serious, professional musician.”

Another current musical focus of Hendey’s is drumming for Hostages, an up-and-coming alternative rock band that is in the process of recording its first album, Greenhouse Children. He said Hostages was at first a rebound from the Nouns, but he has since built a strong relationship with singer and guitar Johnny Gerson and bassist Matt Vaughn.

Hendey said, “I'm like a heroin addict, and when the music is good enough, I always get interested.”


Queerpocalypse 2016

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For many of the performers at the Queerpocalypse drag show, it was their first time not only doing drag, but also putting on clothes of the other gender. But the fundraiser, hosted by the LGBTQA3 on Feb. 21, was a safe space. People of all identities gathered for a night of dancing, lip-syncing and even a choreographed zombie number by Dominique Noel, a.k.a Francis Pastorelle. Pastorelle, who has wanted to do drag for years, spent all day preparing for his performance, which also featured his wife. Event organizer Sierra Jager said she wanted to make the event as inclusive and accessible as possible. Queerpocalypse’s host, drag queen Karess Ann Slaughter, highlighted the importance of performance for queer people and had no less than three outfit changes throughout the night. According to Max Jenner, the event’s other organizer, the organization is trying to save money to open a LGBTQA center, which would be only the second one in Oregon. “We put on the annual drag show to celebrate queer people in the community and on campus,” said Jenner.