As a parent, you’ve buried your ambitions, your social life and your dignity. You’ve put your own health and well-being on the back burner. But hey, once a year you might get brunch. Parent-child relationships are a complicated matter for us all. We started thinking about this when we heard our friend Erica Morrison’s story about Oregon state Rep. Janelle Bynum’s balancing act as legislator and mom. This week, artists talk about the things parents do. It’s all worth it. (Isn’t it???)
Record, Interrupted: bed. Makes Its Debut Album — 03:12
The Portland-based rock duo bed. might be described as shoe-gaze written at a jam session with the Pixies and Matt Sharp-era Weezer: hooks for days and it’s actually fun. Sierra and Alex Haager released some songs in 2015 that broke big, earning positive write-ups on NPR and platforms like Pitchfork. And just as they were about to release their much-anticipated debut album, the couple decided to get pregnant. The band effectively disappeared for almost three years, but they’re back with that debut record. Alex and Sierra talked to opbmusic’s Jerad Walker at a studio session at Kelly’s Olympian. Enjoy the video here.
Like A Mother: Angela Garbes on Maternity Science — 14:38
Angela Garbes covered the Seattle culinary scene for The Stranger, but in 2015 she wrote a feature on a food that you can’t buy in any restaurant: human breast milk. The story went viral and led Garbus further into the biology of pregnancy. She found a surprising lack of research and data for what could be the single biggest event of anyone’s life: their birth. OPB’s Aaron Scott spoke with Garbes at Portland Book Fest 2018 about her book, “Like a Mother: A Feminist Journey Through the Science and Culture of Pregnancy.” Equal parts gross and magic — just like motherhood.
Karen Russell Paints the World Orange — 24:22
Portland writer Karen Russell is a contemporary master of the short story, fusing speculative elements with humor and stunning emotional depth. The breadth of her imagination is pretty breathtaking — endangered plants fight back by taking over unsuspecting humans, a young mother makes a deal with a demon, and young women navigate a post-cataclysm Florida via echolocation. We talked with Russell about what’s drawn her imagination for her latest story collection, “Orange World” (the title is a reference to the would-be-funny-if-we-weren’t-completely-anxious lectures on potential safety hazards for new parents), and the counterfactuals of her story worlds.
Bill Oakley on the Food Your Parents Warned You About— 38:56
Bill Oakley, has been called “The Gordon Ramsay of Fast Food.” His Instagram channel has over 16,000 followers for his brief but hilarious videos on everything from Wendy’s burgers to Cheetos popcorn. Before breaking into the Instagram influencer scene, Oakley made his bones writing and producing for TV shows such as “The Simpsons,” “Futurama” and “Portlandia.” He even wrote what some consider to be one of the greatest comedy bits involving “steamed hams” of all time. You can say, he’s paid his dues. But what has led Oakley down this dark, junk food hole you might ask? His parents. Head this way for his full conversation on “Think Out Loud.”