Keeping the holidays indie

Again it’s the stupid holiday season. It’s time to try to balance a much-needed break from the "academic rigors" of our esteemed university and the oblique duties of the holiday season. Be it family, your shortie or extra hours at the Starbucks, winter break can be just as stressful as finals – leaving little time for the obligatory gift selections. What’s going to be your excuse for giving Safeway giftcards again this year?

Why not take the easy way out and read another gift guide compiled by someone just as incompetent as you are. Then you can run out to the stores and discover for yourself that I have terrible taste. Sweet.


Reading Frenzy
921 S.W. Oak St.

There is nothing more Portland than Reading Frenzy. The ‘zine boutique has been a Portland landmark since before most of you graduated high school, and is home to some of the best reading around. Stop by the Half and Half next door and get a cup of Stumptown and a homemade Oreo to really get jolly.


Best cheap ticket: "King Cat Comics"

John Porcellino’s simple stories and sparse drawings mask a baroque world of self-examination and natural balance. As funny as they are sad, as flippant as they are profound, there’s a reason this little $2 comic is 64-issues old.


Best present for your new shortie: "Doris: An Anthology 1991-2001"

This landmark ‘zine is more than a personal narrative about group houses, scenes, relationships and politics. Cindy writes about everything from cooking to sex to anarchy, all smattered with an honest dialogue about the meaning of being progressive. This shows new shortie you’re about more than just sex but without letting him/her get the impression you’re only into cuddling. Warning: new shortie may leave you and search out the elusive Doris author and sit at her feet like a disciple. God knows I’d like to.


Best present for ex-shortie: "Dirty Found"

Many know Jason Bitner’s collection of found letters, art, and scrap from the exhaustingly twee NPR program "This American Life." His ability to hunt down and collect the remnants of people’s lives is both moving and hilarious. Giving ex-shortie this new "adults only" version will show him/her how disposable your relationship really was, and how in the end it was only about sex. Damn.


Fabulous Jackpot Records
203 S.W. Ninth Ave.
3736 S.E. Hawthorne Blvd.

Oh, Jackpot. You don’t purport fabulousness if you can’t back it and this is one record store that does. We’ve all paid out more than we could afford here, so it seems only reasonable to shell out the holiday bucks too. Besides, maybe you’ll find something for yourself – or me.


Best cheap ticket: M.I.A. Arular

There has to be a million used copies of this album out there right now. The only thing the internet can do faster than hyping a new album is kill it off. M.I.A. was the hottest shit ever in April, but give her one Honda ad and every knee-jerk blogger’ll be calling "sell-out." I say fuck those guys, buy this banger of an album for everyone you know and we’ll be dancing on New Years while they’re at home jerking it to SuicideGirls.


Best present for your new shortie: Piano Overlord The Singles Collection ’03-’05

Scott Heron, aka Prefuse 73, aka Delarosa and Asora, aka Savath and Savalas, is back as Piano Overlord and the glitch-hop master has made his sexiest album ever. This collection of hard-to-find singles is the perfect gift for your new shortie as it is the perfect gift to get live to with a glass of Louis XIV and a bear skin rug.


Best present for your ex-shortie: Anything by Bright Eyes.

This is an easy one. Imagine ex-shortie crying his/her eyes out, alone, on Christmas morning, Conor Oberst’s eye-gouging vocals echoing in your (now) empty apartment. Ho Ho.


Compound/Just Be
107 N.W. Fifth Ave.

Compound is more than a gallery, and Just Be is more than a boutique and toy store. Together they are the dopest ticket in Portland. It’s easy to get distracted by the toys, DVDs and limited-edition dunks, but do your best because Compound’s collection of artist’s prints and posters is the shit.


Best cheap ticket: Umm-

OK, there’s nothing that cheap here, but every penny is well spent. Try going for a Kubrick toy. They’re generally under 10 bucks, and each little doll is designed to the extreme. From Kaws to Futura to Kid Robot and beyond these little guys are as unique as they are d-o-p-e.


Best present for your new shortie: "Uprising" poster by Kozyndan.

This poster takes the classic Japanese ukiyo-e motif and turns Tsunami foam into thousands of falling bunnies. Cute, engaging and romantic. Just like you. Plus, you can drop the fact that Kozyndan did those Postal Service single covers. Shorties love that.


Best present for your ex-shortie: Some limited-edition Nike dunks.

I know, these are expensive shoes, but giving your ex a pair of shoes too limited to wear is as funny as it is wasteful. Buy them in your size and see how quickly they get returned through your bedroom window at two in the morning.