Fanfare: Fall 2008
Author: Kathryn Kirkland
Posted: September 25, 2008

The Lives of Famous MenStudent rock band wins the battle

SOON AFTER FRONTMAN Dan Hall (center) and guitarist Ari Katcher (back right) moved from Alaska to Portland to attend PSU, they hooked up with three other guys from Alaska—Jason Wahto (left) on keyboards, Andrew Totemoff (back left) on bass, and Dylan Mandel (right) on drums—to form The Lives of Famous Men, the band that swept MTV's 2008 Campus Invasion Battle of the Bands. The win earned the pop-rock band a coveted spot hosting MTV's Dean's List, a chance to play in front of the largest crowd of their young career, plus $10,000.

The fact that two of the group were enrolled in school made the The Lives of Famous Men eligible to compete in the MTV contest, but the band's growing Internet savvy really helped it take things to the next level. The band has a strong online fan base, and shares music, news, and tour info with fans through an online network that includes sites such as MySpace, purevolume,, and Buzznet. Dylan says, "I honestly don't understand how bands back in the day did it."

But whatever these talented young men are doing now, they seem to be doing it right. Hear the band October 3 at Portland's Satyricon, 125 NW Sixth Avenue. For other shows, music clips, and more, go to

Gaza, oil painting by Lisa ParsonsSee artists at work

BRIGHT ABSTRACT paintings lean against the walls of Lisa Parson's John's Landing home and studio. Parson's workspace and those of scores of other local artists, including eight Portland State alumni, will be on display during Portland Open Studios, October 11, 12, 18, and 19.

Parson '84 is a painter and photographer who often depicts her Iraqi heritage in her art. She graduated in art history from Portland State and holds fond memories of professors B.J. Gardner and Lisa Andrews.

This is Parson's first time participating in Portland Open Studios, an annual self-directed tour of artist's work spaces throughout the metropolitan region. This year's 98 artists include other painters as well as wood, metal, fiber, and glass artists.

For tour details see the Web site Other PSU alumni participating are: jeweler Debra Carus '87, painter Shelley Hershberger '80 and '07, jeweler and painter Madeline Meza Janovek '71, ceramist Gene Phillips '69, photographer Doug Richardson '84, printmaker Jan vonBergen '75, and mosaic artist Samyak Yamauchi '78, MS '80.

Off Campus

Love at the Artist Repertory Theatre

The University's venerable Lincoln Hall has closed for much-needed renovation. But not far away, the PSU Theater Arts Department is presenting its fall play, The Triumph of Love, at the Artists Repertory Theatre, Second Stage, 1515 SW Morrison.

The Triumph of Love, a romantic comedy of mistaken identity, was written by 18th-century French playwright and novelist Marivaux. The performance opens Friday, Nov. 21, and continues at 7:30 p.m. on Nov. 22 and Nov. 25-29. A 2 p.m. matinee is scheduled Sunday, Nov. 23. Tickets are available at the PSU Box Office, 503-725-3307, or at any Ticketmaster outlet. General admission is $9.50 plus a service fee.

The Triumph of Love is a labor of love by faculty members Karin Magaldi, director; Bruce Keller, set designer; and Glenn Gauer, lighting designer

New Works

The history of gay people in Alcoholics Anonymous
By Audrey Borden '79,
Haworth Press, 2007

42: A novel
By M. Thomas Cooper,
PSU's Ooligan Press, 2008

With grit and by grace42: A novel
By Betty Roberts '58,
Oregon State University Press, 2008

Bathroom book of Oregon trivia: Weird, wacky, and wild
By Mark Thorburn MA '93, and Lia Wojna,
Blue Bike Books, 2007

Be yourself
Music recording by David Hall MEd '01
Karenna Song, 2008

The hearts of horses
By Molly Gloss '66,
Houghton Mifflin, 2007

Season of flowersElephant Run
By Gregg Mosson '00,
Goose River Press, 2008

An inconvenient trout
By Jack Ohman '99
Headwater Books, 2008

Elephant Run
By Roland Smith (attended in the 1970s)
Hyerion, 2007

God laughs and plays
By David James Duncan '73,
Triad Books, 2007

ABOUT THIS PAGE: We want to hear about your books and recordings and your future exhibits, performances, and directing ventures. Contact the magazine by e-mailing, sending a fax to 503-725-4465, or mailing Portland State Magazine, Office of University Communications, PO Box 751, Portland OR 97207-0751.