With deepest sorrow we announce the passing of Derek Rieth, whose long struggle with bipolar disorder ended when he took his own life on Wednesday, August 20, 2014. Derek was a beloved son, brother, friend and colleague whose beautiful heart and passion for music touched thousands of lives. He will be deeply missed. A private memorial service for friends and family is planned for early September. Public tributes will be ongoing, and the family has also announced the creation of the Derek Rieth Foundation, to provide musical instruments and music education to underprivileged young people. Donations to the Derek Rieth Foundation can be sent care of Pink Martini.
Special Alert: Paige Powell, a fifth-generation Oregonian and longtime supporter of Pink Martini, first caused a sensational stir in Portland, Oregon in the mid 1970s when she stood outside the Multnomah Athletic Club and demanded that women be given full voting membership. As Public Information Director of the Washington Park Zoo, she taught chimpanzees sign language and ran the innovative and wildly successful “Zoo Doo” campaign, selling cans of elephant poop as garden fertilizer by the truckload.
In 1980, she moved to New York City and became Andy Warhol’s best friend and right-hand person at Interview Magazine. She worked closely with Warhol on commissioned art projects and ran the magazine’s advertising, marketing, media and public relations departments. She was instrumental in the careers of numerous artists, including Jean-Michel Basquiat, Julio Galan and Stephen Sprouse, among others.
Paige Powell with Jean-Michel Basquiat – courtesy of Paige Powell
Paige began taking photographs and videos of her friends in 1981. As a result, she has the best photo documentation of Andy Warhol’s final seven years, and arguably the best collection of photo documentation of the New York art world from 1982 to 1994. Read More…
Welcome back to Thomas Lauderdale’s Summer Reading List! This week’s selection is another nonfiction book all about our beloved hometown. The Portland Red Guide: Sites and Stories of Our Radical Past by Michael Munk is full of fascinating facts all about the history of social dissent in Portland, linking local radicals, organizations, and their activities to physical sites in the city. But enough from us — take it away, Thomas!
“I love this book! It has maps! It has pictures! it talks about how crazy and wonderful the history of Portland is. Whether it’s Emma Goldman—the pioneering lesbian and feminist–giving a lecture on lesbianism in 1915, two blocks away from my house at the Portland auditorium and getting arrested and hauled off to jail—to Woodie Guthrie living on SE 92 in the summer of 1941 and writing all the songs for the Bonneville Power Administration, to the internment of Japanese-Americans during the war. It also talks about writers like John Reed, the Oregonian journalist who is buried in Red Square:
Probably the best known of Portland radicals is the writer, poet, and revolutionary John Reed (1886-1920). Read More…
Welcome back to Thomas Lauderdale’s Summer Reading List! Thomas’ choice this week is Geek Love by Katherine Dunn, best-selling author, poet, and radio personality from our hometown of Portland. This book recommendation strays a bit off topic compared to some of Thomas’ other suggestions, but it does offer a fun glimpse into his life as a budding young wordsmith. We hope you enjoy it. Take it away, Thomas
“Katherine Dunn is such a fantastic writer. I was her assistant when I was in high school for about a year. She had a column in the Willamette Week called The Slice, in which people would write questions in and she would answer them. I remember one time someone wrote in and asked, “How many columns are in the parking garages at Lloyd Center?”. She threw that one to me. I now know why. What a stupid question! And at the time I thought, “Oh, what an interesting question! I want to know the answer to that!”. I was way off. Here’s the original question:
With all this talk of remodeling the Lloyd Center, I got nostalgic and wandered over to that great piece of Americana. Read More…
We’ve had such a great time touring this July, and not only because we’ve been able to visit some of the most beautiful cities in the world. It’s also been a month of birthdays! We celebrated Thomas’ birthday in Istanbul last week, and this week we’ve had the great opportunity of celebrating two von Trapp birthdays! Amanda von Trapp turned 23 on the 18th, and Sofi turned 26 today! We’ve been so lucky to collaborate with you so often the past few years, and look forward to many more years of songwriting, schnitzel nights, and singalongs. Happy birthday to the both of you!
Welcome back to Thomas Lauderdale’s Summer Reading List! We hope you’ve been enjoying Thomas’ selections so far. This week’s pick is from another Oregon author – Opal Whiteley. The Story of Opal is a beautifully written, highly controversial diary of a young girl from Cottage Grove, Oregon, who escapes her tedious life of poverty and abuse by befriending the plants and animals in the forests surrounding her home.
Take it away, Thomas!
“This is an incredible story of a woman who grew up in Cottage Grove, Oregon, who was clearly a genius and was very much involved in nature, and kind of had a crazy life. I think that there’s been renewed interest, because at the Multnomah County Library, an author by the name of Benjamin Hoff, who wrote The Tao of Pooh, found The Story of Opal on the shelves of the library and the whole thing was republished.
It’s basically the diary of a very advanced girl – I guess she was seven when she wrote it. It was declared a hoax at a certain point in the 1920s. Read More…