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Bits & Pieces: Beatlemania anniversary approaches

by: TRIBUNE FILE PHOTO: JIM CLARK - Music Millennium hosts a big Beatles event on Jan. 21, when the groups U.S. albums will be released on CD. One of Music Millennium owner Terry Curriers prized possesions is rare version of a Beatles album signed by Paul McCartney.It’s been 50 years since “Beatlemania” hit the United States, with the Fab Four’s arrival at New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport on Feb. 7, 1964, and their appearance on “The Ed Sullivan Show” two nights later.

So expect plenty of Beatle-inspired happenings in the next month or so. (Yes, a Paul McCartney/Ringo Star reunion on “The Late Show with David Letterman” would be, well, fabulous).

The big highlight will be the release of the collection of The Beatles’ U.S. albums on CD for the first time. The 13-CD collection, spanning 1964’s “Meet The Beatles!” to 1970’s “Hey Jude,” will come out in this country Tuesday, Jan. 21. Music Millennium, 3158 E. Burnside St., helps celebrate the day with free muffins and coffee starting at 9 a.m.

The 13 CDs are accompanied by a 64-page booklet with Beatles photos and promotional art from the time.

The U.S. albums were different than United Kingdom albums in many ways, including track lists, song mixes, album titles and art.

Beatles musical

Meanwhile, an award-winning Beatles musical, “In My Life — A Musical Theatre Tribute to the Beatles,” comes to Portland, June 6, at the Newmark Theatre. Tickets, ranging from $40 to $60, go on sale Jan. 21 at portland5.com. It’s a musical retelling of the Beatles by late manager Brian Epstein, who serves as narrator through actor Alxander Jon, and features tribute band Abbey Road.

Portland Comic Con

Remember, the second Wizard World Portland Comic Con will be held Jan. 24 to 26 at the Oregon Convention Center, and it’ll feature a stellar lineup: Stan Lee, comics legend; Norman Reedus, “The Walking Dead”; William Shatner, Captain Kirk from “Star Trek”; CM Punk, WWE superstar; Ron Perlman, “Hellboy”; Robert Englund, Freddy Kruger from “A Nightmare on Elm Street”; Bruce Campbell, “Evil Dead”; Billy Dee Williams, “The Empire Strikes Back”; Adam West, “Batman.” There are scores more celebrities and comics types.

For info: http://www.wizardworld.com/home-portland.html.

Standout songwriter

Portland singer/songwriter Tyler Stenson has been named one of 10 finalists in Guitar Center’s National Songwriter Search, featuring Don Was. Stenson has been invited to Los Angeles for a live competition March 1 for the chance to win $25,000 and to record a new EP with the producer Was himself. Stenson finished third in fan voting.

Stenson, who writes “elegant folk” music, has twice been named Songwriter of the Year by the Portland Songwriters Association (2007, 2008), and Best Male Artist at the 2011 Portland Music Awards. Last year, Stenson was selected to play at the SXSW Music Festival in Austin, Texas.

A new bar!

A new wine bar has taken up residence right near Portland Courthouse Square.

The Portland Wine Bar, a wine bar, winery tasting room and wine bottle shop at 526 S.W. Yamhill St., showcases unique wines from the Willamette Valley and Columbia Gorge — small production, limited quantity and local wines you will not find in grocery stores, such as Bodhichitta Winery of Salem and Island Mana Wines (originally from Hawaii but made locally).

For info: http://www.bestportlandwinebar.com.

Whitney Houston tribute

A heads-up about an interesting upcoming show: “The Greatest Love Of All — The Whitney Houston Show,” celebrating the late diva’s music, starring Belinda Davids. It’ll stop in Portland on May 28 at Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall. For info: http://www.portland5.com.

New trail

A beautiful new trail has been opened — the Columbia Slough Trail — for cyclists, walkers and runners, and is accessible at entry points on north Vancouver and Denver avenues. It allows safe passage under Interstate 5 and for mountain and wildlife habitat viewing.

Built by the Oregon Department of Transportation and Portland Parks & Recreation, it’s part of the 40-mile-loop trail and cost an estimated $610,000.

Prized pastries

Little Bird Bistro, 219 S.W. Sixth Ave., will play host to the Chocolate for the Congo benefit event, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Jan. 25, that features the city’s top pastry chefs and their diverse selection of sweet and savory chocolate dishes. Proceeds go to the U.S.-based Eastern Congo Initiative.

The lineup of chefs: Sarah Hart, Alma; Emily Kohlhepp, Gruner; Helena Root, Irving Street Kitchen; Nora Antene, Le Pigeon; Lauren Fortgang, Little Bird Bistro; Jessica Woods, Pie Spot; Alissa Frice, St. Jack; Kir Jensen, Sugar Cube; Mindy L. Keith, Xico.

Tickets are $30 per person; for info, go to http://www.LittleBirdBistro.com.

Powell’s remodel

Work on the green and blue rooms at Powell’s City of Books has begun. They’ll be closed as work continues for six months. Books usually housed in the green and blue rooms will be moved elsewhere. The remodeled rooms at 1005 W. Burnside St. will feature a new layout, a new entrance, a new roof, energy-efficient windows, skylights and fresh paint.

Movie time

Upcoming new releases:

Jan. 16 — “Devil’s Due;” “The Nut Job;” “Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit”

Jan. 24 — “I, Frankenstein”

Jan. 31 — “Labor Day;” “That Awkward Moment”

Feb. 7 — “The Lego Movie”

Feb. 14 — “Winter’s Tale;” “Vampire Academy: Blood Sisters”

Feb. 21 — “Pompeii”