Archive | April, 2012

Getaround Launches Peer-to-peer Car Sharing in Portland

Posted on 19 April 2012 by Jason

A federally-funded study is offering cash incentives to car owners and renters. The Federal Highway Administration selected Getaround to participate in a joint initiative with the city to use $1,725,000 in federal funding to launch and study peer­to­peer car sharing in the greater Portland metropolitan area.
“As a city that has long championed alternative modes of transportation, we are excited to officially launch this first of its kind car sharing partnership with Getaround,” Portland Mayor Sam Adams said. “Peer-to-peer car sharing will not only help Oregon reduce car overpopulation but Getaround’s service will also help connect Portlanders, while reducing our carbon footprint.”
“This launch marks the beginning of an exciting new trend of eco‐friendly, collaborative and market-based solutions to everyday challenges,” said U.S. Representative Earl Blumenauer. “Peer‐to‐peer car sharing has proven to be a creative and successful trend that will continue to grow and help shape the future of environmentally‐friendly legislation.”
Getaround enables car owners to ‘un­idle’ their cars and offset the cost of vehicle ownership by sharing with friends, co‐workers and neighbors, while people seeking cars are provided easy, affordable access to vehicles everywhere.

For more information and to begin sharing, visit

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Denderah Offers April Discounts

Posted on 19 April 2012 by Jason

Brenda Carolan is a highly trained intuitive and healer who specializes in Akashic Record Readings, Energy Healing, Transmissions, Intuitive Bodywork, and Spiritual Awakening. When people enter the healing space at her Studio, Denderah Healing Arts, they witness the energy of intent, of divine presence and beauty.
Her offerings range from a basic Intuitive Bodywork session, involving energetic healing and clearing, to a channeled and guided session that assists with one’s personal evolutionary process. Carolan is a catalyst that stimulates change in the consciousness as well as the energy field.
Ensouled, Carolan’s handcrafted line of energetically infused aromatherapy products, help with raising one’s vibration, grounding, clearing. Each session is a customized blend of crystals, energy, psychic healing, sound, and Ensouled oils. For those who would like to deepen their connection to their soul, she now offers Personal Power Pieces painted from one’s Akashic Records. Each painting comes with a reading and a customized Ensouled oil blend.
Denderah offers a unique selection of classes that includes Reiki, Vibrational Aromatherapy, Ensouled Healing Oils and Creative Expressions of the Soul. Ensouled Parties are available for free at Denderah‑just provide friends and refreshments.
For the month of April, Carolan is offering a $20 discount on all services and a $5 discount on all Ensouled oil blends.

Denderah Healing Arts is located in the Hollywood District at 4313 NE Tillamook (by appointment only). Call 503-799-7677 or email For more information, visit

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Naturopathic Physicians and Therapeutic Yogis Celebrate Ayurveda

Posted on 19 April 2012 by Jason

Northwest Yoga Therapy Collaborative (NWYTC), along with its host site, National College of Natural Medicine (NCNM), welcomes Dr. Vivek Shanbhag, N.D., MD (Ayu), BAMS, CYEd., on Sunday, April 29, for a seminar offered to health care practitioners and yoga therapists. This renowned naturopathic and Ayurvedic physician from India will discuss Ayurvedic doshas and strategies to customize diet, herbs and health routines for specific body types.
“Through an Ayurvedic diet, I have been able to prevent the recurrence of cancer,” says Ann Wagoner, a certified Ayurvedic Practitioner in Portland. “Ayurveda is a complete approach to health that balances mind, body and spirit.”
Dr. Shanbhag’s inspiring and informative lectures have led to the formation of several schools of Ayurveda in this country, Japan and India. For 17 years, he served as the founder and director of the Ayurvedic Wellness Center—an academy, clinic and spa in Seattle.
Popularity of Ayurveda is increasing in Oregon. Just as yoga’s popularity has increased over the last decades, Ayurveda has become more of a household term. Dr. Shanbhag will discuss the science of Ayurveda at NCNM on April 29, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The day’s program features a pre-seminar yoga class from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m., as well as an Ayurvedic lunch. Open to physicians, healthcare practitioners and yoga instructors. Naturopathic doctors earn 7.0 CEUs for attendance.

Physicians and health practitioners register at or call 503-552-1517. Yoga instructors register at

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Earth Day Conference and Celebration PDX- PCC

Posted on 19 April 2012 by Jason

The Earth Day Conference 2012: The Next Seven Generations, co-sponsored by the Earth and Spirit Council and Portland Community College (PCC), will be held April 20-21 at PCC’s Sylvania Campus.
This regional conference unites youth, elders and all those in between around a common vision for our planet. The educational focus will be enhanced by ceremony and artistic contributions to help achieve the international goal of registering A Billion Acts of Green.
On Friday night, April 20, noted elders will respond to the central conference question, “What gives us hope and heart to keep working on what is best for our Earth in the face of difficult changes?” Friday evening’s free opening ceremony includes the lighting of an outdoor ceremonial fire and Native American and African drumming.
Guest panelists will conduct three-hour intensive workshops on Saturday exploring issues of sustainability and how indigenous wisdom is relevant to the problems and solutions of today. Saturday’s schedule will also feature over twenty 75-minute workshops hosted by environmental, tribal and spiritual leaders offering a wide variety of educational, hands-on activities that focus on the connections between environmental and spiritual challenges. Sessions will be interactive and participatory, with an emphasis on bringing together the wisdom of elders with the enthusiastic energy of youth. The free closing ceremony will include a student-led Pacific Northwest version of the Council of All Beings with local artists and Elders.

A full list of workshops, registration and membership information is available at

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Wasting Away OR Waste Not, Want Not 10 Ways to Reduce Costly Food Waste by Amber Lanier Nagle

Posted on 19 April 2012 by Jason

Most of us regularly discard food items—week-old cooked pasta, stale cereal, half a loaf of moldy bread, suspicious leftovers and other foods we fail to eat before they perish. But consider that the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) reports that 40 percent of all edible food products in the United States—comprising 34 million tons—is wasted each year.


Food waste occurs at all levels of the supply chain. Farm fresh fruits and vegetables are often left unharvested because their appearance does not meet aesthetic standards imposed by grocery stores, and pieces bruised or marred during shipping and handling are routinely discarded. Many restaurants serve supersized portions of food, even though much of it is left on plates when customers leave, and thrown into dumpsters. Plus, many shoppers buy more than they need.


With a little care and a more enlightened system, we could help prevent much of the waste and better address hunger in the United States. Researchers estimate that Americans could feed 25 million people if we collectively reduced our commercial and consumer food waste by just 20 percent.


From an environmental standpoint, wasted food equals wasted water, energy and chemicals. Producing, packaging and transporting these food items generate pollution—all for nothing: a zero percent return on our dollars. Food waste represents the single largest component of all municipal solid waste now going into landfills. Although it is biodegradable when properly exposed to sunlight, air and moisture, decomposing food releases significant amounts of methane, a heat-trapping greenhouse gas that is more than 20 times more potent than carbon dioxide (CO2).


Ten tips make it possible to reduce our “food print”.


Shop smarter. Preplan meals for the week, including non-cooking days and leftover days. Make a shopping list and stick to it after inventorying the pantry, fridge and freezer. Buy produce in smaller quantities to use within a few days. Because we tend to overbuy when we’re hungry, don’t walk the aisles with a growling stomach.


Organize the refrigerator. Place leftovers at eye level in the fridge, so they are front-and-center anytime someone opens it. When stowing groceries, slide older items to the front. Pay attention to use-by dates and understand that food is good for several days beyond a sell-by date.


Freeze foods. Many food items will last for months in the freezer in appropriate storage bags and containers.


Share surplus food. For larger dishes such as casseroles and crockpot meals, invite a friend over for supper, deliver a plate to an elderly neighbor or pack leftovers to share with co-workers. Donate extra nonperishable or unspoiled food items to a local soup kitchen, food bank or pantry or homeless shelter.


Store food properly. To maximize food’s edible life, set the fridge between 35 and 38 degrees Fahrenheit and arrange containers so that air circulates around items; the coldest areas are near the back and bottom of the unit. For fruits and vegetables stored in plastic bags or designated bins or containers, squeeze out air and close tightly to reduce the damaging effects of exposure to oxygen.


Buy ugly fruits and veggies. Grocery stores and markets throw out a substantial volume of vegetables and fruits because their size, shape or color is deemed less than ideal. Purchase produce with cosmetic blemishes to save perfectly good, overlooked food from being discarded as waste.


Use soft fruits and wilted vegetables. Soft, overripe fruits can be converted to jellies, jams, pies, cobblers, milkshakes and smoothies. Wilted carrots, limp celery, soft tomatoes and droopy broccoli can be chopped up and blended into soups, stews, juices and vegetable stocks.


Dish up smaller portions. Smaller portions are healthier and allow leftovers for another meal.


Take home a doggie bag. Only about half of restaurant diners take leftovers home. Ask to have unfinished food boxed, and then enjoy it for lunch or dinner within two days.


Compost routinely. If, despite daily best efforts, food waste still occurs, recycle it with meal preparation scraps into a nutrient-rich soil amendment. Create an outdoor compost heap, or compost cooked and uncooked meats, food scraps and small bones quickly and without odor in an indoor bokashi bin.


“Earth Day—April 22nd—serves as a reminder that each of us must exercise personal responsibility to think globally and act locally as environmental stewards of Earth,” says Kathleen Rogers, president of Earth Day Network. “Reducing food waste is another way of being part of the solution.”


Amber Lanier Nagle is a freelance writer specializing in how-to articles pertaining to Southern culture, healthy living and the environment.


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Every Drop Counts Reusing Rainwater Saves Money and is Better for Plants by Brita Belli

Posted on 19 April 2012 by Jason

Doug Pushard, an expert in rainwater catchment systems who shares his know-how at, believes that homeowners capture rainfall for two reasons—either to make the most of a precious water resource in states with low seasonal precipitation or to control stormwater runoff in states with high precipitation.


It’s also an easy way to make a dent in household water and sewer bills. Capturing and managing rainwater provides an environmentally sound alternative to wasting precious tap water pulled from diminishing underground reservoirs, and can replace some or all of a home’s water needs, depending on the system. Rainwater is also better for nourishing lawns, plants and gardens. “People want to use rainwater instead of city water in their yards because they understand that city water carries chlorine, which is not great for plants,” Pushard explains.


The amount of water used by residential irrigation is significant. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Water Sense Program, an American family of four uses 400 gallons of water a day, including 30 percent of it outside. More than half of that outdoor water is used for lawns and gardens, with the rest sprayed on cars, in swimming pools and on sidewalks and driveways. Collectively, nationwide landscape irrigation totals more than 7 billion gallons per day.


Water Calculations


In its simplest form, rainwater harvesting involves little more than placing rain barrels—with capacities from 55 gallons to several hundred gallons— under a home’s downspouts. Popular models can be purchased from home improvement stores, or county extension classes teach how to make one from inexpensive parts. Online research shows the various styles available; most have a spigot at the base for attaching a hose or filling a watering can.


The larger capacity, more sophisticated systems use storage cisterns than can hold thousands of gallons of water below ground. These employ pumps that move the water to sprinkler systems or other points of use.


For these more complicated setups, Pushard recommends engaging professional help, adding that below-ground systems will capture excess water year-round, even in climates where temperatures drop. “In northern New Mexico, where I live, we get almost one-third of our precipitation in the winter,” he says. “If you have a below-ground system, you can capture that; with an above-ground one, you can’t, because the tank or fittings would freeze and burst.”


The formula for determining the maximum amount of water available to capture is related to roof size. Multiply the square footage of the roof times the local annual rainfall (found at, and then multiply the result by .623 gallons. That .623 factor is “how many gallons are in an area of one square foot by one inch deep of rainwater,” according to one of Pushard’s online tutorials.


Not all roof materials are created equal. On the high end, tile, metal, concrete or asphalt roofs have a 95 percent runoff efficiency; gravel roofs, 70 percent; and grass roofs, 17 percent, so factor that in, too. Pushard recommends always going with a bigger tank, if possible, to avoid having to add more water storage later.


Think Big


Rainwater harvesting works as an effective irrigation device, but it needn’t be limited to outdoor use. One of the easiest—and most useful—places to direct captured rainwater is toilets. Citing bathrooms as a home’s biggest water user, the EPA notes that a single toilet can use 27 percent of household water. “It’s ludicrous that we use drinking water to flush toilets,” says Pushard. To use stored rainwater instead, run a new plumbing line to the rainwater storage tank and install a pump that activates when the toilet flushes.


Rainwater can supply sink faucets, as well, but counting on rainwater to be the sole source of all household water requires a substantial investment and a filtration, purification and UV light system to make the water drinkable. When capturing rain for potable uses, roofing material becomes more important: Unpainted metal and tile are preferred, because these will not leach chemicals into the water that are difficult to remove.


In terms of overall cost, the simplest rainwater collection systems will cost a few hundred dollars (less than $100 per barrel), while a whole-house system will cost tens of thousands. However, Pushard points out, rainwater harvesting can be a lifesaver with water shortages becoming a new norm in many states.


Brita Belli is the editor of E-The Environmental Magazine and the author of The Autism Puzzle: Connecting the Dots Between Environmental Toxins and Rising Autism Rates.


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Green Home Checklist Room-by-Room Steps We Can Take Starting Right Now by Crissy Trask

Posted on 19 April 2012 by Jason

Green living is being embraced by more folks than ever, in ways both large and small, giving the Earth some much-needed kindness. If you’re interested in some good ideas that fall between a total home solar installation and basic recycling—many delivering big impacts—check out Natural Awakenings’ room-by-room green checklist. You’ll find inspired practical changes that are doable starting right now.




The kitchen can be a hot spot for waste. Eileen Green, with, says that reducing waste, conserving water and increasing energy efficiency are all important considerations within an environmentally friendly kitchen.


Eat up food. Each year, a typical household discards an estimated 474 pounds of food waste, according to University of Arizona research—at large economic and environmental cost. Buying more fresh food than we can eat before the expiration date is up and allowing leftovers to expire in the fridge are culprits. “Drawing up menus and avoiding buying on impulse can help,” advises Green.


Compost food scraps at home or sign up for curbside composting, if it’s offered locally. Disposing of food in garbage disposals or landfills is not environmentally sound.


Dispense with disposables. Replace disposable paper and plastic products with durable, lasting alternatives: cloth napkins instead of paper, dishwasher-safe serving ware instead of single-use paper or plastic, glass or recycled food storage containers in place of throwaway plastic bags and wrap, and natural fiber dishcloths to replace paper towels and plastic sponges.


Clean naturally. Chemical cleaning power has become the norm when it comes to household products, but they are not essential. Non-toxic cleaners are up to the task, from cleaning a sink to an oven.


Shop for the Energy Star logo. Appliances bearing the blue Energy Star logo are up to 50 percent more energy efficient than standard ones. This translates to significant savings in annual operating costs.


Filter water with less waste. Bottled water is expensive and wasteful. Instead, purchase a home-filtering system that uses recycled or reusable filters. On the road, carry tasty filtered water in a reusable glass bottle.


Conserve water. Run dishwashers only when fully loaded and fill the sink with water, rather than running it down the drain when washing by hand. Use water only to wet and rinse; otherwise turn it off.


Phase out non-stick skillets. Teflon coatings can leach toxins when damaged or overheated. Play it safe and begin assembling a set of cookware that includes properly seasoned cast iron, which is naturally non-stick.


Avoid cheap reusable shopping bags. Flimsy reusable bags end up as trash within a few months under normal use. Buy a set of high quality reusable bags that will give years of use.




“Most people spend more time in the bedroom than in any other room of the house,” remarks Huffington Post Eco Etiquette columnist Jennifer Grayson. “So it’s important to focus on making bedrooms as green and healthy as possible.”  She advocates paying special attention to sleepwear, bedding and furniture people sleep on.


Start with a good foundation. Box springs can be constructed of plywood or particleboard, which commonly contain formaldehyde, classified as a probable human carcinogen by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and a toxic air contaminant by the state of California. Choose those that have been certified as formaldehyde-free or with low emissions. A platform bed made of Forest Stewardship Council-certified wood, sourced from sustainably managed forests, is a healthy alternative.


Don’t sleep on a cloud of chemicals. “If your face is pressed up against a conventional mattress for seven hours a night, then you’re going to be breathing in whatever chemicals are off-gassing from that mattress for seven hours a night,” warns Grayson.


Mattresses are commonly treated with fire-retardant chemicals to comply with U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission rules. To avoid toxic chemicals like the hydrocarbon toluene, emitted from mattresses stuffed with polyurethane foam, instead look for untreated, wool-covered mattresses (wool is a natural fire retardant) filled with natural latex or containing a spring system wrapped with organic cotton batting.


Non-organic cotton production relies on lots of hazardous synthetic chemicals in its production. Organic cotton, linen and wool bedding are safer bets, especially when certified to meet strict environmental standards.


Block the afternoon sun. During the day, shut off air conditioning vents inside bedrooms and block the afternoon sun with interior or exterior solar shades. By day’s end, even in warm climates, bedrooms should be cool enough for sleeping with the addition of a slight breeze from an open window or a slow-running floor or ceiling fan.


Go wireless. It’s impossible to completely avoid electromagnetic radiation from today’s technologies, so lower exposure in the bedroom by removing electronic devices and placing electrical items at least five feet away from the bed.


Forget fabric softeners. Most fabric softeners contain highly toxic chemicals that latch onto sheets and can be inhaled or absorbed directly into the bloodstream through skin. Instead, add a quarter-cup of baking soda to the wash cycle to soften sheets and other laundry.


Leave the lights off. Motion-detecting nightlights save energy while allowing safe passage in the wee hours.


Laundry Room


In a typical U.S. home, the washing machine accounts for 21 percent of home water use and combined, the washer and dryer comprise 5 to 8 percent of home energy demands. Diane MacEachern, founder of and author of Big Green Purse: Use Your Spending Power to Create a Cleaner, Greener World, explains that a good way to conserve key resources is to use these appliances less—reducing the number of loads and drying items on outdoor clotheslines or indoor racks.


MacEachern says, “You can probably wash things like sweatshirts and blue jeans less frequently without much consequence, and a clothesline requires no energy other than the sun.” Also, make sure that whatever goes into the washer or dryer with clothes is non-toxic, or else you’ll be wearing toxic chemical residues next to your skin all day, cautions MacEachern.


Select cold water. On average, only 10 percent of the energy used by a clothes washer runs the machine; the other 90 percent goes to heat the water. The typical American household does about 400 loads of laundry each year, resulting in much energy squandered on hot water. With the exception of laundering greasy spots or stubborn stains, routinely wash in cold water, using a cold-water eco-detergent.


Install a clothesline. Running a dryer for just 40 minutes can use the energy equivalent of a 15- watt, compact fluorescent bulb lit for a week. Stretch out a line and hang clothes outside to dry in the fresh air to save about $100 a year on electric bills. The sun imparts a disinfectant benefit as a bonus.


Replace an old machine. A washer or dryer that is older than 10 years has hidden costs. notes that an older machine uses more energy and can cost from 10 to 75 percent more to operate than a new, high-efficiency appliance.


Choose eco-friendly laundry products. Conventional laundry soaps contain chemicals that can be problematic for us and wreak havoc on marine ecosystems. Look for cold-water brands that are fragrance- and phosphate-free.


Switch to concentrates. Concentrated detergents translate to less energy used in shipping, less waste and more value.


Stop static cling without dryer sheets. Never over-dry clothes and always dry natural fibers separately from synthetics to prevent static cling.




The smallest room in the house is a disproportionately large contributor to household environmental impacts. In an average non-conservation-minded American home, 38,000 gallons of water annually go down the drains and toilet. “Along with that water,” says MacEachern, “You’ll be washing lots of personal care and cleaning products down the drain, as well, where they could get into local natural water supplies and make life difficult for birds, frogs and fish.”


Sara Snow, television host and author of Sara Snow’s Fresh Living: The Essential Room-by-Room Guide to a Greener, Healthier Family and Home, cautions against personal skin care products with questionable chemical ingredients. “A good percentage of them are being absorbed right into our bloodstream, so focus on ingredients that do no harm; ones that help our bodies instead, such as nourishing and healing botanicals.”


Slow the flow. Ultra-efficient showerheads use as little as 1 gallon per minute (gpm); aerated types that mix air into the water stream to enhance pressure provide a good soak and rinse using less than half the water than some other low-flow showerheads. At the sink, aerators should flow between one-half and 1 gpm—plenty of pressure for brushing teeth and washing hands.


Flush responsibly. According to the EPA, the toilet alone can use 27 percent of household water. Replace older toilets (pre-1994) with new, higher efficiency models for savings of two to six gallons per flush.


Heat water wisely. A tankless water heater supplies instantaneous hot water only as needed. Or, install a timer on a traditional water heater to cut warming time to a few hours a day at most.


Shun a plastic shower curtain. Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) has been called ‘the poison plastic” for its highly toxic lifecycle, which includes the release of dioxins into the air and water. These toxic chemicals persist in ecosystems and can cause cancer.


PVC shower curtains are also a short-life product that cannot be recycled, so switch to a PVC-free alternative. Organic hemp is the eco-shower curtain gold standard.


Ban antibacterial products. Triclosan is a popular antibacterial agent found in many household cleaners, hand soaps, cosmetics and even toothpaste. It’s also a registered pesticide and probable human carcinogen that’s showing up in the environment and children’s urine. The Mayo Clinic suggests that triclosan may contribute to the development of antibiotic-resistant germs and harm the immune system, making us more susceptible to bacteria.


Install a shower filter that removes chlorine. Chlorine, which is increasingly being linked to some cancers, is used by many municipalities to disinfect water supplies. People absorb more chlorine through the skin and by inhaling chlorine vapors when bathing and showering than from drinking it.


Use recycled and unbleached paper products. Using recycled bath tissue helps close the recycling loop on all the paper we dutifully recycle at the curb. Unbleached varieties keep chlorine byproducts like dioxins out of the environment.


Remove bad odors instead of covering them up. In a University of California study, chemical air fresheners were found to have higher concentrations of polluting volatile organic compounds (VOCs) than any other household cleaning product. Long-term exposure to some VOCs have been linked with adverse health effects.



This Natural Awakenings checklist suggests steps that are possible in making any home healthier, safer and more enjoyable. Start checking off items today and begin shrinking the family’s ecological footprint right away.


Crissy Trask is the founder of and author of the bestselling, It’s Easy Being Green: A Handbook for Earth-Friendly Living. Follow her on Twitter @greenmatters.

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Posted on 05 April 2012 by Jason

April showers may very well bring May flowers but in Portland, April is also showering us with music. There are so many fabulous concerts this month (and every month, for that matter) that we created a new music column! Welcome to Local Beats, a monthly collection of musical highlights in our fair city. Hear here!

Put a Bird On It (your calendar that is)
Gifted multi-instrumentalist Andrew Bird brings his eclectic mix of genre-bending indie-folk-pop-rock to the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, Wednesday, April 11.
Known for improvising and reworking his songs during live performances, expect a sonically sublime mix of melodic orchestral pop peppered with looped guitar, violin, and an occasional glockenspiel (isn’t it always an occasion when you bust out the glockenspiel?) and Bird’s trademark whistling.
Bird is touring in support of his latest album, Break It Yourself, which he recorded in his barn near the banks of the Mississippi River in Western Illinois. Joining Bird on tour is the equally talented English troubadour Laura Marling.
Wed., April 11, Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, 8pm

Additional shows of note:

The Barr Brothers
Listening to the Montreal quartet known as The Barr Brothers, you’ll hear everything from beautifully intricate folk melodies to raw rock n’ blues. Rumored for their stunning live sets, this show is your chance to say, “I saw them when…”

Sat., April 7, Bunk Bar, 10pm

Portland Cello Project
One new album equals a two-night album release party for local favorites the Portland Cello Project. Comprised of a rotating group of classically trained cellists, covers include everything from Pantera to Beethoven, and even a little Kanye.

Fri., April 13, and Sat., April 14, Doug Fir, 9pm (w/all ages matinee at 12pm, Sat.)

Allen Stone
It may seem strange at first to see a kid with thick reading glasses and long blonde hair singing soul music, but you won’t care once you hear Allen Stone’s smooth, Al Green-like vocals. In town as part of the Soul’d Out Music Festival, this is an awesome chance to see this rising star in an intimate setting.

Sun., April 22, Wonder Ballroom, 8pm

To contact Molly King, go to

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