1. Let's just get this out of the way now: In 2012, you can't not see Portland through the lens of Portlandia. This moment to them--and it's funny how long this has been coming; slightly lower profile media like Burn Collector were musing about Portland's irrevocable hipsterization as far back as like 2000--well, it must be what grunge felt like for Seattle: a distortion, a caricature based on truths that nonetheless comes to replace those truths in people's perceptions. The city has become like the "Most Photographed Barn in America" from Don Delilo's White Noise: it's become impossible to see it for itself, unmediated. (Oh, you *haven't read* White Noise?)
You can't tell, but tie-dyed dude is playing a mandolin.
So, when you're out on a brewery tour and every stop sounds like the Bard's College from Skyrim, whether via live band or piped in madrigals on the PA, it's "The Dream of the 1890s." When one of your buddies almost ditches home for the weekend because his allergies are flaring up, it's the "Allergy Pride Parade." Probably the self-parody-parodying "time becomes a loop" moment of this was driving around actually listening to Washed Out on our host's car stereo (his car, his tunes)--it was, sadly, not as quirky as I thought it'd be.
So anyway, if everything else on this list reads like pitches for new sketches it's because our mental environments are totally corrupted by media. (Oh, you *don't read* Adbusters?) And because of course, I'm available to write for the show, or even just run for coffee or whatever. Okay, here we go. Sorry in advance.
2. My new Tumblr idea: Ambiguous Bathroom Signs of Portland.
3. Songs about strip clubs are almost always going to make them seem more fun/exciting/interesting than they actually are. (This is probably true with more songs in hip hop than in any other genre, but the one that came to mind for me was "Worked Up So Sexual" by the Faint, which doesn't make them sound fun exactly, but which at least presents a pretty lively, dancey synth-pop examination of the economics, gender inequality, male gaze, etc at play in them. The Faint's songs about car accidents and hospitals are also more fun than are either of those things actually IRL.)
4. Related: "Everything Counts" makes waaaay more sense in a strip club than does "Anthem for a 17 Year Old Girl." (Further related: has Portlandia ever addressed the fact that the city basically runs on a stripper-based economy? Why or why not?)
5. Nobody loves an orderly queue like the Pacific Northwest. Fact.
6. Never trust a hippie or punk with bright white teeth.
7. The more beers you drink, the fewer syllables there are in "brewery."
8. The thing about Best in Show is that it's not *really* about dogs. Taking a brewery tour or two led by some homebrew buffs reminds you that what it's really about is fanaticism.
10. If you're singing and dancing in a record store on a Sunday afternoon and loudly trainspotting old soul songs on the store's PA (from artist and label on down to the string arrangers), then you, sir are DOING. IT. RIGHT. Keep on keeping it #weird.