Bridgetown Comedy Festival
Apr 18–21, SE Hawthorne Blvd
With a powerhouse lineup of comic titans such as Dana Gould, Reggie Watts, Peter Serafinowicz, local laugh-wrangler Nathan Brannon, and the ol' melon-smasher himself, Gallagher, this year's edition of the Bridgetown Comedy Festival is simply too good to pass up. It's all mostly located up and down SE Hawthorne, so make the trip and see extremely funny people cracking wise in their natural habitats.
Oregon Ballet Theatre: American Music Festival
Apr 18–27, Newmark Theatre
Is ballet a little too "powdered wig" for your strictly contemporary tastes? Then by all means secure a ticket for Oregon Ballet Theatre's American Music Festival and see beauty and grace set to the music of composers from right here in the U.S. of A. Former OBT dancer-made-good Trey McIntyre has choreographed a world premiere performance set to music by Seattle indie band, Fleet Foxes, while Portland composer Ryan Francis teams up with Swedish choreographer Pontus Lidberg for another world premiere.
Thru May 5, Gerding Theater
"Norris’s script is so smart, nimble, and ferociously funny that it’s easy to see why it won a Pulitzer, a Tony, and an Olivier (London's Tony). As in his play The Pain and the Itch, which Third Rail Rep mounted in 2011, dialogue unfolds like a war: multiple skirmishes take place at once, as characters’ overlapping conversations collide and align in the most amusing and often illustrative ways. And beautifully mirrored parallels in both acts work to emphasize the continuity of history while also dismantling its stereotypes …" Read full review
Photolucida’s Portland Photo Month
Thru Apr 30, various venues
This annual event has already plastered Portland’s finest galleries, museums, and unlikely spaces with the still image in all of its complex, two-dimensional glory, but it kicks into high gear this weekend. First, tonight marks the portfolio walk through the works of 160 photographers from around the globe at Castaway. Then tomorrow, keynote speaker Alec Soth speaks at the art museum’s Whitsell Auditorium at 7 pm. And then on Saturday, the Pearl galleries keep their doors open late with wine and good cheer for the Pearl Gallery Walk. Be sure to check out Hungarian photographer Tamas Dezso ghostly landscapes at Blue Sky Gallery, ID 5 photographer Joseph Sterling’s playful experimentation with light and exposure at Charles Hartman Fine Arts, Robert Lyons’ colorfully claustrophobic documentation of a hoarder at Elizabeth Leach Gallery, and an exhibition of photographers who stretch beyond traditional two-dimensional formats at Place Gallery.
Filmed By Bike
Apr 20–23, Clinton Street Theater
The annual Filmed By Bike festival gets rolling on Saturday, starting with the New Belgium Street Fair materializing right outside the Clinton Street Theater at 4 pm, and bicycle-themed movies starting at 5. One of the highlights of this year's fest will be the world premiere of Bare As You Dare, a 17-minute documentary about Portland's infamous Naked Bike Ride held during June's Pedalpalooza festivities. At this point there's no word on whether the naughty bits will be blurred out or if they're going with the Full Monty approach.
Record Store Day
Apr 20, various locations
Vinyl fanatics will be foaming at the mouth over all of the special discs being released on Record Store Day which falls on Saturday. In addition to rare records, Jackpot Records downtown will have Mudhoney guitarist Steve Turner spinning records until he drops over from exhaustion, while Music Millennium will have an in-store performance from the Thermals at 2 pm, as well as the chance to meet members of legendary Los Angeles pop band Sparks, who will be on hand to sign merch at 6:30. For more info, read our post.
Broadway Bridge Birthday Party
Apr 21 at 1 pm, Rose Quarter
This is Bridgetown, is it not? Join the PDX Bridge Festival festivities commemorating the 100th birthday of the Broadway Bridge, on Sunday at the Game restaurant located in the Rose Quarter. There's going to be live music, guest speakers, bridge walks, yummy food and drinks, as well as vendors hawking bridge-related trinkets and tchotchkees.
Apr 20 at 10 pm, Yale Union
Portland artist of note Michael Stirling, a student of minimalist composter Terry Riley and former didgeridoo recording artist for local label Tim/Kerr Records, has expanded his horizons into Indian music. He'll be singing three Indian ragas (improvised variations on a tonal framework) at Yale Union, beginning at 10 pm and stretching well into morning. If you miss this one, you'll be sari.
Soul'd Out Music Festival
Thru Apr 21, various locations
The Soul'd Out Music Festival finishes out its run with three excellent shows. Veteran R&B singer Lee Fields will hold court at Star Theatre on Friday. If you've been lamenting the lack of genuine sweet soul singers on the horizon, trust us, your worries are over: Fields is the real deal. Sunday night features a pair of crucial throwdowns; Hammond organ virtuoso Dr. Lonnie Smith is kicking down some monster grooves at the Star Theatre at 7, while dub/reggae pioneer Lee "Scratch" Perry gets the party started at Refuge at 8. Hopefully you have a reliable bike to handle the commute.
Apr 21 at 8, Aladdin Theater
If you haven't listened to wicked-smart L.A. pop band Sparks at some point during its 30-plus years of recording and touring, well, shame on you! With more than 20 albums under its belt, Sparks, comprised principally of brothers Ron and Russell Mael, probably achieved maximum exposure thanks to "Cool Places," a perky duet with the Go-Go's Jane Wiedlin that reached #49 on the Billboard Hot 100, from the 1983 album In Outer Space. But like most great bands, Sparks is far more popular in England and France (they're way ahead of us). Melodically intoxicating and lyrically deranged, should-have-been hits like "Thank God It's Not Christmas" and "Angst in My Pants" are just the tip of a very compelling iceberg.
Dave Longstreth of the Dirty Projectors
Apr 22 at 10 pm, Eagles Lodge on SE Hawthorne
It's not a weekend event per se, but the chance to see Dirty Projectors frontman Dave Longstreth play a solo set at the Eagles Lodge on Hawthorne on Monday night should not be missed. It's a benefit for Yale Union art center, a building in which Longstreth did some recording for his band's 2009 breakout album, Bitte Orca.