Nuclear Photographs (and Other Non-Radioactive Art)

[WWeek Pick] Scapes/bulges 

Supplement by Emily Bixler. Photo courtesy of the artist.
Supplement by Emily Bixler. Photo courtesy of the artist.

You might have the urge to pull down Emily Bixler’s sculptures off the wall. Using substantial and utilitarian materials like sailing rope, and creating forms from wood and horsehair bristles that evoke hand tools, Bixler’s sculptures scream to be held and put to use. But the wood that might otherwise serve as a handle boasts a raw wood edge and a luminous finish. And the rope that could be used to hitch or heave or pull has been wrapped with cotton thread, obscuring its original purpose while retaining the braided undulations of its form, now purely decorative. Don’t be fooled into thinking that you have to go to a gallery to see well-curated art; this month, the best sculpture show in town is at a coffee shop. Stumptown Coffee Roasters, 4525 SE Division St., 503-230-7702. Through June 8.

Tooth & Claw
The front gallery of Jeffrey Thomas Fine Art is teeming with life. Cross sections of tree trucks hang on the far wall. Large steel carbon chains wait to be stepped over. A dark form on a white canvas could be a taproot or a dendrite. Artist and designer Brian Borrello uses wholly unnatural materials like fiberglass, epoxy and motor oil to create a series of sculptures and paintings that represent the building blocks of life and make a powerful statement about man’s relationship to and effect on the natural world. Jeffrey Thomas Fine Art, 2219 NW Raleigh St., 503-544-3449. Through June 18.

Optique
White Box is devoting its three galleries to three different video shows from artists Peter Campus, Julia Oldham and Suzanne Opton. Oldham uses four projections screens to create an immersive environment in which she takes us through a black hole and back out again. Peter Campus’ work is meditative in contrast: Two videos of boats tethered to docks depict such little movement that one of them appears, at first, to be a still photograph. But stand in front of it awhile and you will see the subtle movement of the water and the shifting of rope lines, reminding us that video can be quietly observational. Opton films factory workers in India performing the rote “empty gestures” of their jobs—knob turning, lever pulling—in a captivating video about how well our bodies remember. White Box, 24 NW 1st Ave., 503-412-3689. Through June 4.

Stupid Man
Ty Ennis’ series of grayscale paintings are rough and loose. Images of a heron, a cowboy in shadow and a man skinning a deer are rendered with few assertive brush strokes, conveying worlds with little gesture. With Stupid Man, Ennis set out to make a body of work that would return him to an earlier time—when he first started painting—with fewer materials, expectations and obligations. The simplicity, joy and freedom of that time are evident in the work, folded in with autobiographical references to his life as a new father (think Looney Tunes characters). He successfully uses the visual language and techniques of youth to question the expectations and obligations of adulthood. Nationale, 3360 SE Division St., 503-477-9786. Through June 18.

Land Ohne Eltern (Country Without Parents)
Due to economic hardship, it is a common practice for parents in the Republic of Moldova (formerly part of the Soviet Union) to leave their children behind while they seek work in other countries. Photographer Andrea Diefenbach follows some of these parents abroad to document their hard labor. Her series Land Ohne Eltern gives us both sides of the heartbreaking story, by showing images of parents alongside intimate portraits of the children back in Moldova who are being raised by family, friends or, in some cases, no one. Blue Sky Gallery, 122 NW 8th Ave., 503-225-0210. Through July 3.

[WWeek Pick] Reactive Matters

Trace #16 by Shimpei Takeda. Courtesy of the artist.
Trace #16 by Shimpei Takeda. Courtesy of the artist.

This might be the first time you see a photo show in which one of the photographers never touched a camera. Newspace’s thoughtful exhibition, Reactive Matters, features the work of three photographers about the effect of nuclear energy on our environment. Shimpei Takeda exposes photo-sensitive paper to soil samples from Fukushima, capturing latent images of radioactivity that look like the night sky—his camera nowhere in sight. Abbey Hepner photographs nuclear waste facilities using a vanished processing technique involving uranium that lends an acid-orange cast to her images. Jeremy Bolen buried his film near nuclear reactors before unearthing it to document the surrounding landscapes. The work of these three artists is a powerful testament to conceptual photography. Newspace Center for Photography, 1632 SE 10th Ave., 503-963-1935. Through July 23.

Or Fact a Formal Treatment
Artist Robert Schlegel and his son Rob Schlegel, a poet, collaborated on a series of visual and textual works on paper. Using dictionary pages as his canvas, the elder Schlegel drew acrylic and charcoal figures against a wordy background that his son scoured for the building blocks of his poems. The resulting work, shown as limited-edition archival prints, shows form interrupted by language and language obscured by form, causing us to look at both more critically and with greater curiosity. Roll-Up Photo Studio + Gallery, 1715 SE Spokane St., 503-267-5835. Through June 30.

Out There
Printmaker Alyson Provax is interested in “how we approach that which we do not know.” In Out There, Wolff Gallery’s second exhibition, Provax uses monotype, collage and the experimental letterpress techniques she is known for to explore the mysteries of the universe. In one piece, the artist prints the phrase “I felt the sound more than heard it,” and repeats it diagonally across the paper, like a mechanical glitch that conveys the faded echo of someone’s story about a UFO encounter. Wolff Gallery, 618 NW Glisan St., Suite R1, 971-413-1340. Through July 3.

Five Anti-Anxiety Cannabis Strains to Try

By Janelle Albukhari

If given the choice between a dose of Prozac and a well-rolled joint, I’ll pick the J every time.

When it’s in full swing, my anxiety can prohibit me from doing even the most basic of tasks. I lose the  ability to concentrate, and can’t  socialize, sleep or go outside.

Since I first became a medical marijuana patient back in California, I’ve been successfully using cannabis to combat my anxiety in lieu of traditional pharmaceuticals. It provides me with relief from things like panic attacks while also stimulating my creativity.

I’ve been keeping notes on the best strains for anxiety since I moved to Portland nearly two years ago. Here are my top five local strains for long-term anxiety management.

1. Chunky Crunch OG
21.61 percent THC, 0.7 percent CBD
Purchased at Happy Leaf, 1301 NE Broadway, 971-800-0420.

While I generally tend to be more of a sativa smoker, this Chunky Crunch is everything I want in an indica. It’s an earthy strain with floral notes that has a profound calming effect, effectively subduing the chest pain that’s a physical manifestation of my anxiety.

My notes on this strain include a drawing of a jar of peanut butter, with the words “smooth, so smooth” underlined beneath it. It’s one of the smoothest strains I’ve ever smoked, with nice, thick clouds of smoke that seem to never end. As an  indica-dominant hybrid, it’s also a wonderful bedtime strain because it will effectively render you an oozy couch blob.

2. Blue Shark
11 percent THC, 14 percent CBD
Purchased at Terpene Station, 1436 SE Powell Blvd., 503-477-8380, terpsstation.com.

Blue Shark is a rare strain that has a nearly 1-to-1 ratio of THC to CBD. Since CBD is effective in treating a variety of medical ailments, it’s no surprise that it works well at managing anxiety. Blue Shark does a fantastic job of putting you in a “wow, I can’t believe how cheerful I am” state without getting you overly high, making it a great everyday strain for functional smokers.

3. UK Cheese
28.77 percent THC, 0.1 percent CBD
Purchased at Happy Leaf, 1301 NE Broadway, 971-800-0420.

This UK Cheese from Happy Leaf is as its name implies: pungent. At a whopping 28.77 percent THC, it’s the strongest strain on this list. It’s a sativa lover’s dream: a very cerebral high that’s light-headed, amply creative, and pleasant with a lingering body buzz.

I find myself bursting into random fits of laughter about half a bowl in. It’s also much harder to get worked up about things, meaning that the endless racing thoughts in my head are blissfully dulled.

4. Bruce Banner
27.44 percent THC, 0.08 percent CBD
Purchased at Attis Trading Co., 2606 SE Gladstone St., 971-544-7685, attistrading.com.

Have you ever smoked a strain that made you want to do chores? If not, then pack yourself a fresh bowl of Bruce Banner. This sativa-dominant hybrid is a potent, soothing strain that’s ideal for those looking for mental clarity and focus. It doesn’t leave my brain too foggy like some other strong sativas, meaning I can clean without worrying about accidentally setting my apartment on fire.

5. Death Star
24.3 percent THC, 0.2 percent CBD
Purchased at Farma, 916 SE Hawthorne Blvd., 503-206-4357, farmapdx.com.

Another intoxicating indica that had me dazzled, Death Star works wonders at relieving physical pains and aches. With a sweet, skunky aroma, it’s got a nice body buzz that comes with a surprising note of mental clarity, leaving me happy and relieved without feeling too glued to my couch.

Underwood Canned Wine, From Union Wine Co.

Believe it or not, some people prefer flat wine. Personally, I like bubbles. So it’s nice to see the first canned sparkler from Oregon’s Union Wine Co. Part of a line that includes a cherry-heavy pinot noir and a sugary rosé, this new gold can contains big, hearty bubbles in a soft, sweet nectar that’s 11 percent ABV. The maker suggests it tastes like white peach, apple and lemon, but I only got one note, which I’d describe as hard cider made from Granny Smith apples. Each $7 can is the equivalent of a half-bottle of wine. It’s hyper-quaffable and perfect for Instagrammable beach fires and river trips.

Common Law’s Burger and Cocktails Rule at Pine Street Market

Pine Street Market, the new upscale downtown food hall, is a surprisingly bad place to get a drink. A 12-ounce bottle of Stiegl Radler is $5, while some truly bizarre cocktails command double-digit prices.

But Common Law (126 SW 2nd Ave.) is one mighty exception. At a little wood-topped bar tucked away behind the Pine Street entrance, the bar has six stools and a drink menu—created by Hat Yai’s Alan Akwai—with cocktails that stand up to any in town.

Common Law
(Henry Cromett)

The Turmeric Pick-Me-Up ($10) is a frothy alcoholic curry, mixing turmeric-infused gin with coconut milk and St. Germain for a drink that feels impossibly light—a good-natured joke told in liquid form. The Negative Cycle ($10) combines dry amontillado with German honey-liqueur Bärenjäger and herbal Bonal to make an ethereally boozy take on toffee-rich Werther’s Original. It’s ingenious.

(Related: How Pine Street Market Disappoints)

If you don’t want to pay more than $5 for a drink, there’s Rosenstadt and Pfriem on tap and a rotating liquor punch. And while the Euro-Asian fusion food from Paley’s alum Patrick McKee wasn’t designed as bar fare, that brioche-bunned burger ($10) is nonetheless the richest pub burger in town, with salty fried onions adding fat and texture to the rich, sweet spice of the green curry aioli. Top the medium-rare beef with pork ($2) and an egg ($1) and you’ll be dizzy with umami.

Common Law
(Henry Cromett)

The only shame is if you don’t catch one of those barstools, you’re stuck carting your drinks to the cramped picnic tables, drinking a lovely cocktail next to some ungrateful 8-year-old having sword fights with rotisserie chicken bones.

(Related: Five to try at Pine Street Market)

Five Things to Try at Portland’s Pine Street Market

Sundaes at Wiz Bang Bar

The best thing at Pine Street Market—and, indeed, the main reason I’d suggest you go—is Wiz Bang, the new soft-serve spot from the owners of Salt & Straw. Only suckers get the cones. The sundaes ($8.50), each made with a house-baked pastry as a base, and ingredients like fresh local strawberries and dried rhubarb, are beautifully constructed.

Philly cheese dog, or any other dog, at OP Wurst

Pine Street Market
(Henry Cromett)

Olympia Provisions serves what might be the world’s best wieners, and even the zany poutine dog and Elvis-inspired peanut butter, bacon and banana thing worked. If I owned Oaks Park, I’d offer free space to spinoffs of OP Wurst and Wiz Bang.

Miso ramen at Marukin

Marukin Ramen
(Emily Joan Greene)

We’ve already called the eastside location of this Tokyo institution the best ramen spot in town. Get the miso.


Whole pies,
but not slices, at Trifecta Annex

Ken Forkish won a James Beard Award for his baking book, and his Laurelhurst pizzeria is perpetually jammed. We had several very good pies.

The burger at Common Law

Common Law
(Henry Cromett)

It’s ultra-rich and pretty much perfect. See full review here.

(Related: How Pine Street Market disappoints.)

How Portland’s New Pine Street Market Is a Massive Disappointment

Judging by the crowds, Pine Street Market is already a smash hit. The month-old, high-end downtown food court has been jammed since it opened, and should only get busier as summer tourists arrive.

(Related: Five Things to Try at Pine Street Market)

But what will it look like in October, when the novelty wears off?

Hopefully, a very different place. After making a half-dozen visits to the market and sampling food from the ramen shop, pizza shop, Israeli street-food shop, cocktail bar and the rest—everywhere except the abandoned and possibly haunted Barista coffee kiosk staffed by ghostly apparitions who wander about aimlessly, fidgeting with mugs—I’m excited not to come back for a while. It might have been a good idea, but Pine Street Market is plagued by logistical issues and overly ambitious menus.

Here’s what it was like for me. Hopefully, your mileage varies.

It’s like something that should be in Pioneer Place…

Did you know that Sara Lee now makes something called Artesano Bread? Well, it does—part of the Great Fauxartisanalification of American commerce. Pine Street Market is the Artesano Bread version of a mall food court (it’s even playing the Eagles’ “Take It Easy”), except that people are crammed onto little metal stools and standing in lines that bulge into every walkway and entrance. The line at Salt & Straw’s soft-serve spot, Wiz Bang Bar, has to part every time workers carry out kitchen trash. There’s no place on the block to park your bike, let alone an automobile. The whole operation would fit much better inside an actual shopping mall.

Pine Street Market
(Henry Cromett)

It’s like using the restroom at an ill-kept gas station…

Pine Street is bright, busy and not open especially late, but in an apparent effort to thwart the downtown homeless population from brushing its teeth, the market has installed key-coded locks on its restroom doors. Personally, I feel that any establishment should either sell $2.50 bacon-wrapped dates and $4 cans of San Pellegrino or have locks on its restrooms. Oh well, hop back in line to ask for the code—and hope you’re not behind WW projects editor Matthew Korfhage, who incorrectly guessed the code too many times and locked out everyone.

It’s like a backyard cookout where the whole grill is being used to make some weird flatbread thing but you just want a burger or dog…

The menus at several Pine Street spots are overstuffed. John Gorham’s Pollo Bravo focuses on roast chicken, but its massive menu has 25 other food items, everything from canned mussels ($21) to salt cod fritters ($10) to garlic soup with a sous vide egg ($7), organized in a way that makes it hard to discern how much food you’ll be getting. It’s especially unfortunate given that the chicken itself isn’t dialed: On two of three visits, the skin was oversalted to the point that it tasted like grocery-store ham. Most of the sauces failed (the hot sauce is basically red-tinted liquid smoke), and a lump of flavorless, grease-saturated ciabatta prompted dining companions to spit it out. Meanwhile, there are excellent fancy hot dogs at the Olympia Provisions kiosk (see here), and a fabulous burger at Common Law (see here).

Pine Street Market
(Henry Cromett)

It’s like being a server on your first shift…

Every eating spot’s tablet offers you the chance to tip, and I always do. You should tip too, but do remember you’ll be the one running across the room to fetch water, forks and napkins, then more napkins, and then a knife. And when someone neglects to give you the beer you ordered and tipped for? Well, you’ll go back to the counter and wait in a long line to ask for it. Oh, and it’ll be back to the line when you’re done with your pizza—Trifecta Annex’s whole pies are dramatically better than its single slices, as Ken Forkish’s artisan crust fares poorly when reheated. “Did you buy a pizza?” asked the gentleman working the counter, eyeing us suspiciously. Why else would anyone want a pizza box? Are homeless people who are being thwarted by restroom security pooping in them?

It’s like being a raccoon…

I’m happy to bus my own table at a taqueria or burger joint, but I’d rather not paw through a half-gnawed chicken carcass ($23 with sauces) and cheese flan ($7, size of a cat-food container, consistency of Greek yogurt, flavor of diabetic cheesecake), trying to discern whether dairy and bones are meant for the compost bin.

Pine Street Market
(Henry Cromett)

It’s like a picnic planned by the Reed Philosophy Club…

Why do all the logistical problems persist? According to one insider I spoke with, it’s tough to change anything at Pine Street given the structure, which requires a consensus of the various busy and powerful restaurateurs who operate under the same roof.

It’s like watching a smart, shrimpy nerd trying to play linebacker…

John Gorham’s two Pine Street establishments, Pollo Bravo and Shalom Y’all, earn my harshest criticism. The restaurateur behind two past WW Restaurant of the Year winners, and a third top-five finisher, seems to have taken on too much by opening several fast-casual spots at once.

For starters, the service is a mess—Gorham does small plates and relies on servers to manage the flow of food to tables. The system is broken here: Dishes come at random. Early on, runners interrupted your conversation each time they came by to ask if you had everything, but lately they’ve been abandoning the marker entirely.

The food and cocktails are similarly plagued.

Pollo Bravo would do well to strip down its menu to chicken and potatoes, and dial them in. The small $5 Bravas platter works very well, but the oversauced “Papas Grande Fiesta” is a mess of competing flavors. The spot could also use new sauces and a tighter drink menu, maybe without vermouth, sangria, sherry and a $48 sparkler. We tried four $11 cocktails and found each of them severely flawed.

Shalom Y’all—there’s nothing even vaguely Southern, so the name is bewildering—fails in ways both big and small. Skip the hummus and shakshuka, priced as they are at Gorham’s Mediterranean Exploration Company in the Pearl, but lacking the same refinement. Instead, proceed cautiously to the pita sandwiches.

The fresh-baked bread rounds are perfect, and the grilled chicken shawarma ($12) was well-seasoned and perfectly cooked. But mine was also poorly constructed, with a huge pile of onions on the bottom and all the chicken on top—unacceptable at this price point. Meanwhile, the lamb pita ($12) is sopped in heavy sauce, with a few thin pickles unable to balance it. One of my companions described it as “eating a block of cream cheese.”

It’s like arguing about whether Pete Carroll or Russell Wilson is to blame for that interception…

To me, it’s clear that Gorham took on too much. Is that his fault, or the fault of Mike Thelin, the Feast Portland organizer who was charged with “curating” the collection of restaurants at Pine Street? Ask me again in October.

EAT: Pine Street Market, 126 SW 2nd St., 503-939-9449, pinestreetpdx.com.

Portland Schools With Elevated Lead Levels Between 2010 and 2012—Here’s the List

Today, WW reported that Portland Public Schools did extensive, undisclosed testing for lead in drinking water between 2010 and 2012.

Documents WW obtained through a public records request show that at least 47 buildings were found to have at least one source of drinking water from which the water tested above the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s “action level” for lead of 15 parts per billion.

It’s important to note that just because one drinking water source—whether a fountain or tap—produced samples with lead above the action level—doesn’t mean all sources tested above the action level at that school.

Here are the buildings in which at least one water sample exceeded the EPA guideline for lead. For specific results within each building, please see the link below.

Finally, PPS officials, including Superintendent Carole Smith, have said they were unaware of the testing done between 2010 and 2012, so it is unclear at this point whether the district took remedial action or not.

Here’s the list:

Abernethy
Ainsworth
Alameda
Applegate
Arleta
Astor
Beach
Bridlemile
Buckman
Capitol Hill
Chapman
Chief Joseph
Child Services Cetner
Cleveland
Columbia site
Creative Science
Creston Annex
Duniway
Edwards
Faubion
Franklin
George
Grant
Gray
Grout
Hayhurst
Jackson
Jefferson
Kelly
King
Markham
Marshall
Peninsula
Rice Site
Rieke
Roosevelt
Rosa Parks
Sabin
Scott
Sellwood
Sitton
Tubman
Vernon
Whitman
Wilson
Woodmere
Woodstock

The data was obtained through a public records request for documents. Here is the document.

 

 

 

 

 

Portland District Failed to Disclose Excessive Lead Levels at 47 School Buildings

Last week, Portlanders learned the Portland Public Schools had found elevated levels of lead in water at two schools in March, but failed to disclose this information for nearly two months.

In the past few days, WW has learned and confirmed that PPS did tests across the district from 2010 to 2012—at 90 buildings—finding elevated levels of lead in the water at 47 of them, including Jefferson and Cleveland high schools and Ainsworth Elementary School. In some cases, the levels were higher than those found at Creston and Rose City Park, the schools that were named last week.

This highly charged finding comes from a printout WW received from a district database of all water testing from 2001 through February 2015. The printout shows that 47 structures—schools, office buildings and others—tested for levels of lead from 2010 to 2012 that were above the federal standard of 15 parts per billion.

As extraordinary as these findings are, WW could not find any officials at PPS who say they knew of the testing or the results prior to learning of them from WW last Friday. Nor is it clear what was done in response to the tests.

Superintendent Carole Smith (who has led the school district since 2007), PPS chief operating officer Tony Magliano, and five members of the School Board all told WW that the 2010-2012 tests were news to them. Andy Fridley, the district’s environmental director, declined to answer questions.

On Friday, May 27, WW emailed the test results to district officials at 3:47 pm. Smith did not respond until Tuesday morning.

But that evening, four hours after they received the test results from WW, the district abruptly announced it was shutting off drinking water at all PPS schools for the rest of the school year and providing bottled water instead. At the time, local media assumed it was just a precautionary measure stemming from the findings at Creston and Rose City Park, not because of test results showing problems at other schools.

The district denied Tuesday there was a connection.

“No, it was a precautionary move,” says PPS spokeswoman Christine Miles.

Smith, reached by phone early Tuesday, says she knew nothing about any lead test results from 2010 to 2012, even though she was superintendent at the time.

“Was I aware of it? No,” Smith says.

Now, Smith wants a “third-party investigation” that she hopes will identify “lapses in judgment, protocol and communication.”

Gwen Sullivan, president of the Portland Association of Teachers, says teachers were never told of the results from 2010 to 2012.

“It’s shocking, and it’s scary not only as a parent but because of all the teachers in the buildings all the time,” she tells WW.

School Board member Mike Rosen, who, as former manager for the Portland Bureau of Environmental Services, is familiar with water testing, reviewed the documents provided to WW.

“It appears, based on a preliminary review of a portion of data from as recently as five years ago, there may have been reason for the district to suspect that further investigation of lead in drinking water was needed,” Rosen says. “The need for an objective, thorough and speedy investigation is, as the superintendent has said, urgent and a high priority.”

School Board Chairman Tom Koehler, who also said the results were news to him, is calling for a “thorough examination by an outside entity” of how PPS handles lead testing.

“We don’t know the answers to those questions, and we want to know them as soon as we can,” he says. “That’s unacceptable, and we need to get to the bottom of this.”

The Oregonian first reported last week that tests in March at Creston and Rose City Park schools found levels of lead above the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s “action level” of 15 parts per billion.

PPS belatedly turned off the water and began preparations to replace fixtures and retest them.

On Friday, May 27, Smith acknowledged she had failed to communicate this information for nearly two months.

Now Smith must face the charge that the district has known of problems at many, many more schools for at least four years—even though officials are claiming in essence that while the testing was done, no one knew it.

PPS COO Magliano said over the weekend that he is now reviewing the data WW provided him.

“I have my staff going through the database,” Magliano says. “I don’t have a specific answer at this time.”

The newly uncovered results show elevated lead levels at a number of buildings, including Kelly Elementary. On Jan. 16, 2012, a bubbler in the music room in a portable showed a level of 174 parts per billion, and in Room 7, which was labeled as a lounge, a fixture showed a reading of 140 ppb. At George Middle School, Room 303 showed a reading of 100 ppb on March 31, 2012.

Not all of the buildings with high levels of lead serve children. At one administrative building, called in documents “the Rice site,” the lead level hit 1,700 parts per billion.

In Flint, Mich., by comparison, 10 percent of the households had water at or above 27 parts per billion, though some readings were in the 30,000 ppb range.

The School Board held an emergency meeting Tuesday night.

99 West Wins Best in the US

Newberg’s 99 West Drive-In movie theater doesn’t exactly scream “up-and-comer.” But a few weeks ago, WW received an enthusiastic message from the theater’s manager, Brian Francis. The subject: “Big News!!”

99 Drive-In was nominated in USA Today’s 10 Best Drive-Ins competition.

After weeks of fierce competition, 99 West beat out Michigan’s Capri Drive-In and Harvest Moon Twin Drive-in Movie Theatre in Gibson City, Illinois to be crowned “The Best Drive-In Movie Theater in the U.S.A.”

Congratulations, 99 West!

screenshot from USA Today's 10best.com
screenshot from USA Today’s 10best.com

Sex Crime, “Sex Crime” (Danger)

[SYNTH PUNK] In terms of imagery, multilingual synth-punk foursome Sex Crime presents itself as a sort of politically incorrect carny horror show. On record, though, the theatrics are dialed down in favor of relentlessly precise, hook-heavy punk that never downshifts from top speed. Refreshingly brash, the band’s first album finds frontwoman and Parisian expat Cecilia Meneau in full freak-out mode for all of the album’s dozen tracks. Think Plastic Bertrand’s dance-floor-filler “Ca Plane Pour Moi” led by Poison Ivy and Lux Interior of the Cramps. “Ta Photo Sur Mon Frigo,” sung entirely in French, is an exemplar of the multicultural stomp Sex Crime does best, its one-note guitar lead and stop-start backbeat balancing the intentionally simplified delivery system of condensed, ultra-potent energy. The chug of church organ and guitar buzz on tracks like “All Systems No” and “People” lay a solid, spazzed-out foundation for Meneau and company to continue pushing the band’s adrenaline rush. By the end of its condensed runtime, the only controversy should be how exhausted you feel. 

SEE IT: Sex Crime plays Dante’s, 350 W Burnside St., with the Briefs, Lovesores, and Andy Place and the Coolheads, on Saturday, June 4. 9 pm. $13. 21+.