Ciara Dolan, Portland Mercury

Ciara Dolan

Portland Mercury

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Past articles by Ciara:

Dissolving the Dead: A Look Inside Portland’s First Aqua Cremation Machine

In Oregon, there are five legal ways to lay the dead to rest. Bodies can be embalmed and shipped out of state; donated to scientific research facilities; cremated; buried; or dissolved. Yes, you read that correctly: When you die, the flesh can literally be dissolved from your bones. The scientific name of the process is alkaline hydrolysis, though it’s more commonly known as aquamation or aqua… → Read More

It’s Dumb That It’s Still Illegal to Consume Weed at Concerts—But That’s Not Changing Anytime Soon

A primer on why it’s still illegal to consume weed at concerts. → Read More

What We're Listening To: Aldous Harding, Girlpool, and More!

Behold: a sampling of the music we're listening to right now at Mercury HQ! Ciara Dolan, Senior Editor & Music EditorAldous Harding, "The Barrel": Aldous Harding is a freak genius. Right now I can't stop listening to "The Barrel," the first single from her new album Designer (out April 26 on 4AD). Strike that, actually—I can't stop watching the absolutely bonkers music video for "The Barrel," in… → Read More

Cher—My Real Mom—Is Coming to Portland

I don't need to tell you why Cher is amazing, but I will anyway: She has spent the past five decades bestowing her incredible pop music unto the ears of the world, singing sweet songs of hope and love with a voice that contains more power than a thousand blue whales. She truly is the Goddess of Pop, and I love her. Just last year Cher carried the otherwise nonsensical Mama Mia sequel on her... → Read More

What We're Listening To: Lizzo, Weyes Blood, Jenny Lewis, and More

Behold: a sampling of the music we're listening to right now at Mercury HQ! Blair Stenvick, News ReporterThis week I've been revisiting Liz Phair's Exile in Guyville, mostly because the first day of spring made me think of that line in "Dance of the Seven Veils" where she sings, "I only ask because/I'm a real cunt in spring." Rock on, Liz!... → Read More

Us Review: Jordan Peele Has Created the Ultimate Anxiety Nightmare

The first thing that flashes onscreen in Us, the latest from Get Out writer/director/producer Jordan Peele, is a creepy little tidbit of information: There are thousands of miles of tunnels beneath the US with “no known purpose at all.” The anxiety that line triggers—that anything could be happening right under our feet—courses throughout Us. Us is a movie about doppelgängers—our evil twins… → Read More

After Months of Uncertainty, KMHD Will Remain at OPB

The past few months have been an emotional roller coaster for fans of KMHD, Portland's only jazz radio station. In January, the board of education at Mount Hood Community College (MHCC) voted to end its partnership with Oregon Public Broadcasting (OPB)—which has operated the station from its Southwest Portland headquarters since 2009, though the school retains control of its broadcasting… → Read More

I Got My Skull Rattled at Monster Jam, and Learned the Monster Truck Known As Grave Digger Is America's True Sweetheart

Between the bright lights, billowing clouds of dirt, nostril-burning exhaust fumes, and engines loud enough to rattle your teeth and crack a filling, attending Monster Jam means surrendering yourself to an incredibly visceral experience. Every year, the monster truck show crosses the US to perform for arenas of adoring fans. And every year, I have wondered what actually happens at such an event.… → Read More

Listen to the Mercury's March Playlist, featuring Chai, Better Oblivion Community Center, and More!

Feast your ears on the Mercury's March playlist, a collection of 31 songs from artists playing in Portland this month. There's a boatload of shows worth prying your butt off the couch for this March: extremely badass Japanese punk band CHAI, LA rapper Vince Staples and his tour opener JPEGMAFIA, whose album Veteran was one of my most-played of 2018, country singer-turned-pop-star Maren Morris,… → Read More

The Portland Raging Grannies Seek Justice Through Street Theater

The Portland Raging Grannies seek justice through street theater. → Read More

Portland Trombonist and DREAMer Denzel Mendoza Is a Grammy Winner

You might not be familiar with his name yet, but last weekend, Denzel Mendoza won a Grammy. It all began one day last March, when Mendoza—a Portland-based trombonist who plays with local acts like Kulululu, Haley Heynderickx, and Joshua Thomas—received a call from music attorney Doug Davis while he was in a recording session with the Portland Jazz Composers' Ensemble. Davis wanted Mendoza to be… → Read More

Heart's Hiatus Is Over and This Summer, They're Headed to the Pacific Northwest

Heart—sisters, rock 'n' roll icons, and shag haircut pioneers—are reuniting after a three-year break. This morning the band announced their 39-date "Love Alive Tour," which will stop at the Sunlight Supply Amphitheater in Ridgefield on Tuesday, September 3 with Elle King and Joan Jett and the Blackhearts. Ann and Nancy Wilson decided to put Heart on hiatus in 2016 after Ann's husband was… → Read More

It’s Bleak Out There! Beat Your Winter Blues with Happy TV

Everything isn’t terrible! → Read More

A Guide to Dipping a Reluctant Toe into the World of Budgeting Apps

How to dip a reluctant toe into the world of budgeting apps. → Read More

Pickathon Announces Its 2019 Lineup: Lucius, Yob, Khruangbin, and More!

Pickathon kicked off its 21st year tonight with a lineup announcement party at Revolution Hall that included performances from Black Belt Eagle Scout (whose debut LP Mother of My Children was one of Portland's best albums of 2018), Eric Johnson of Fruit Bats, and Laura Veirs, who will all play at this year's festival August 2-4 at Pendarvis Farm in Happy Valley. Big names on the lineup include… → Read More

Grace and Frankie Returns with a Wedding, RuPaul, and 50,000 Vibrators

The premise of Netflix dramedy Grace and Frankie is incredible: After their husbands (who are business partners at a law firm) reveal their decades-long affair and their plans to come out to the world as romantic partners, frenemies Grace (Jane Fonda) and Frankie (Lily Tomlin) move into a beach house in La Jolla, California, and begin to navigate their new lives as roommates, septuagenarian… → Read More

Doll Party Is Spreading the Gospel of Dolly Parton

Local cover band Doll Party is spreading the good word of Dolly Parton. → Read More

Pickathon Starlight Series, Episode 2: Hailu Mergia

Just in time for the shortest day of the year, when daylight's scarce and the sun's warmth is but a distant memory, we've got the second installment of the Mercury's ongoing Starlight Series, where we post a video of an artist playing that after-hours stage at last summer's Pickathon. This month's edition features Ethiopian jazz legend Hailu Mergia performing his song "Yetewat Hilm." An abridged… → Read More

Millions of People Are Watching Netflix's Shit Christmas Movies. I Am One of Them.

While attending a recent conference in New York, Netflix's Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos reported that, in the week since it debuted, the streaming giant's new original film The Christmas Chronicles—which stars Kurt Russell as a roguish but tenderhearted Santa—has exceeded 20 million views. "If every one of those [20 million streams] was a movie ticket purchase, that's a $200 million… → Read More

Win Tickets to Iron Maiden's First Portland Show in 32 Years

Next fall, Iron Maiden will touch down in Portland for the first time since 1987—the year when the Simpsons first debuted on national television and Alf reigned supreme. A lot has changed since those days, but the pioneering British metalheads haven't stopped howling to packed arenas around the world. Iron Maiden's "Legacy of the Beast" tour—which supports the release of the band's mobile game,… → Read More