Siren Nation Festival
Nov 7–10, various venues
The seventh year of the Siren Nation Festival celebrates women in arts with a killer musical lineup, a showcase of the best female comedians in the Northwest, a visual art show with fantastic Northwest artists, and an arts and crafts sale. The full schedule of not-to-be-missed performances includes THEESatisfaction on Friday night and The Shook Twins on Saturday, both at the Alberta Rose Theatre.
MusicBill Frisell's Big Sur Quintet
Nov 9, Aladdin Theater
Well known as one of the best guitar improvisers of his generation, Frisell has also used music to probe the soul of Americana, blending jazz with blues, country, rock, and folk. With the Big Sur project, he turns this signature style to sonically paint the sun-drenched stretch of California coast. Check out our interview with the legendary innovator about how he turned ten days of seclusion on the iconic stretch of coastline into the new album.
Neo Boys Presents: A Benefit Concert for Rock and Roll Camp for Girls
Nov 10, Crystal Ballroom
In celebration of their new release, Sooner or Later, a double-LP of songs recorded between 1978 and 1982, pioneering all-female Portland punk band Neo Boys presents a benefit concert for Rock and Roll Camp for Girls. The concert will also feature Cold Beat, the Ghost Ease, and the Vandies, among many others. Read members of Neo Boys’ musings on Portland vintage style on our Look Book blog, excerpted from a longer interview for an upcoming print feature on Portland’s history to no shortage of controversy...
Nov 8–24, Studio Two
This new production from the Portland Experimental Theater Ensemble takes on the form of a classical Greek tragedy—including a chorus of 45 women—to explore our contemporary relationship to death and grieving, as well as the relationship between our personal struggles with mortality and global patterns of extinction and environmental degradation in the modern world. Somewhere in that Herculean-sounding project, someone drinks blood, apparently.
The Outgoing Tide
Through Nov 9, CoHo Theatre
It's closing weekend for CoHo Theatre's production of Bruce Graham's The Outgoing Tide, a play about a family grappling the issues presented as their patriarch slips into dementia. "Although the contemporary end-of-life issues which The Outgoing Tide deals with may not resonate with some viewers, the play's timeless story of family—and CoHo's superb staging—make this a tide worth catching before it goes out for good," says our reviewer Jonathan Frochtzwajg. Read his full review.
Northwest Filmmaker's Festival
Nov 8–17, Whitsell Auditorium
NWFC’s annual showcase of our region’s best new cinematic work celebrates its 40th anniversary this year. More than 400 filmmakers asked to screen their films at the fest, but guest judge Mike Plante, Sundance’s senior shorts programmer, winnowed the invite list to just the finest 40 or so films. For more, check out his awards and our picks for the fest.
Books and Talks
Nov 7–8, Mission Theater
This weekend brings us another edition of Mortified, the performance phenomenon begun in LA in 2002 that invites participants to share writings and other deeply embarassing documents from their past before a live audience. It's a celebration of the pain of adolescence and its retrospective comedy that has spread to eight U.S. cities as well as Sweden, and has spawned a documentary that had its world premiere last week at the same venue which hosts its Portland chapter.
Joe Sacco and Randy Gragg
Nov 10, Powell's
Cartoonist/journalist Joe Sacco is no stranger to stories of war and violence, but his new “book” is his most ambitious yet. The Great War, a single, 24-foot-long illustration, depicts the first day of World War I’s bloody Battle of the Somme. Sacco talks here to Portland Monthly’s very own Randy Gragg.
Cappella Romana: A Patriarch's Chants
Nov 8, St. Mary's Cathedral
Forget those regular world premieres; how about a modern-world premiere? That is, the Athenian virtuoso cantor Achilleas Chaldaiakis will return to lead Cappella Romana in a program of recently unearthed Byzantine chants by the early-18th-century Archbishop of Constantinople that have never been heard by modern ears. You could be among the first!
Academy of St. Martin in the Fields Chamber Ensemble
Nov 8, Kaul Auditorium at Reed College
A select group of principals from London’s Academy of St. Martin in the Fields—the most recorded orchestra in history—saws through sextets and octets by Dvorák and Mendelssohn at the invitation of Friends of Chamber Music.
Garfunkel and Oates
Nov 8–9, Helium Lounge
This deceptively charming duo, comprised of Riki Lindhome and Kate Micucci, wages guerilla warfare in barbed comic pop songs with absurd quips like “Pat Robertson once said it’s a long downward slide that will lead to legalizing sex with ducks. God, I hope he’s right!” and "I wanna be a nun, so I can marry a priest and we’ll have a baby and call it Jesus." Fortunately, when you’re singing twee-style tunes behind smooth ukulele riffs, you can get away with a lot. Check out our collection of Garfunkel and Oates quotes to see what else the cheeky twosome gets away with.
November Gallery Guide
Whether you’re heading out to the monthly First Thursday gallery crawl tonight (the weather can’t decide if it’s going to rain like a carwash or be sunny) or looking for an art fix later this month, here’re some shows to see:
Rarely do two unrelated shows play so well together in one gallery. Eschewing his past text-focused work, Tad Savinor creates small, tongue-in-cheek sculptures where dainty bronze castings, like a tree sprouting from a spoon called “Sustainability,” sit on lacquered displays, heirlooms of industrial-state absurdity. Anna Grey and Ryan Wilson Paulson also skewer the modern industrial world with photos, cement cairns, graphite drawings like “Inside the Totalitarian Onion,” and a Rapunzel style towel printed with “We Already Quit” over and over that hangs in the gallery, as well as out of the third floor of an office building into a dumpster in a photo.
Elizabeth Leach Gallery
As its title suggests, the MacArthur “genius” Ann Hamilton’s The Reading investigates the relationship between reading and writing, text and textile, using videos, prints, and sculpture.
Wander Benny Fountain’s monochromatic still life explorations in oil paint, from washes to furrows, to Rick Bartow’s bewitching pastels and paintings of spirits part human/part animal—a flurry of teeth, eyes, beaks, and hair—that are so vibrantly colored they sear into your brain like a dream half understood. Unsurprisingly for the Newport-based Native American artist, whose sculpture We Were Always Here was recently commissioned by the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian, almost all are already sold.
Sally Cleveland’s collages are postcard-sized studies in color that stand in contrast to Anne Hirondelle’s stoneware studies of shape. If you missed his show last month, make sure to honor Jim Riswold’s “Fairy Godmother of Medical Research (Portrait of Mary Lasker)”—a pop painting of cancer scourge Lasker as a doll in a commemorative postcard. If only!
Hartman Fine Art
Harry Callahan was one of the most influential photographers of the twentieth century. Don’t miss these silver prints of some of his best known work.
For this ceramics gallery’s show, Art Out Of War, four military veterans capture their combat experiences in clay—or at least try to. “I would like my work to vindicate the principles of peace and justice in the world,” says artist and Gulf War vet Ethran Tool. “That’s a lot to ask of a cup.”
Portland Museum of Modern Art
Never heard of the great midcentury artist Mr. Otis? Label yourself a newcomer. His satirical riffs on modernism earned him infamy—at least among the wryer Portland cognoscenti who knew him as the alter ego of notorious journalist Stewart Holbrook. To get the maximum tongue-in-cheek, consider pairing with a trip to Portland Art Museum’s modern galleries.
This internationally exhibited artist Fernanda D’Agostino remakes the Art Gym into a multimedia, interactive video and sculpture installation looking back over her three-decade career.
The homegrown painter and printmaker Stephen Hayes gets and gives his due with 30 years of evocations of people and landscape, aptly titled Figure/Ground. The evolution in his landscapes are particular gripping, from bare, obscured representations to thick, rich abstractions.