Top Things to Do This Weekend: April 12–14

A pair of killer music fests—Soul'd Out and the Bender—anchor this weekend's cultural calendar.

Photography by John Chandler April 11, 2013

The Holmes Brothers are a crucial part of the Soul'd Out Music Festival.


Monica Drake
Powell's, Apr 12
To conceive or not to conceive? That is the question at the heart of The Stud Book, the funny, sad, and irreverent second novel by Monica Drake, whose 2007 debut, Clown Girl, was a finalist for the Oregon Book Awards. Read our review of The Stud Book.           


Jon Lovitz
Helium Comedy Club, Apr 12–13 at 7:30 & 10
He's best known for his 5 years spent on Saturday Night Live (1985–90; he did a great Michael Dukakis impression!) and numerous voices on The Simpsons (Marge's prom date Artie Ziff, for one), but this veteran comic has plenty of schtick leftover for an evening of reliable standup comedy. 


Soul'd Out Music Festival
Thru Apr 21
The Soul’d Out Festival is in full swing this weekend with the kings and queens of hip-hop, soul, funk and jazz. Venues across town will be showcasing eclectic talent from Brooklyn to Detroit to New Orleans. At its core, the festival aims to create a community of musicians and music fans across generations caught by its power and passion. This weekend, dig Snarky Puppy, the Holmes Brothers (pictured), and legendary organist Booker T

The Bender
Star Theatre, Apr 12–14 
Formerly known as the Slabtown Bender, this three-day festival of raucous garage, psych, and punk groups has outgrown its original home and is now presented at the downtown Star Theatre. The roster of stellar bands includes the likes of the Cynics (they don't play here too often, so don't miss 'em!), Cheater Slicks, White Mystery, Black Bananas (featuring Jennifer Herrema of Royal Trux), M.O.T.O., and a slew of worthy locals (Satin Chaps, Pynnacles, Paradise, No Tomorrow Boys, and lots more). On Saturday and Sunday there are matinee shows starting at noon, followed by evening performances at 5:30. To avoid seperate admission fees, we recommend the all-weekend wristband. 


Newmark Theatre, Apr 10–13
Combine the joyful freedom of a circus clown’s falls, the nail-biting suspense of an acrobat’s stunts, and the aesthetics and emotions of a modern dance company, and you’ll get Circa, a small but wondrous troupe from Brisbane that’s taking world audiences by storm. The Guardian calls this program of the company’s greatest hits “knee-tremblingly sexy, beautiful and moving.” (Read our profile of White Bird Dance, the company presenting Circa as part of its 15th anniversary season.)

Dance Party

Bollywood Dance Party
Branx, Apr 12 at 9
Not even raves are usually this colorful. Catch the bhangra beat and twirl your brains out at this culturally stimulating dance night that encourages Indian authenticity in your wardrobe selection. Wear white and then become a piece of art when the powdered color bombs explode. 


Manos: The Hands of Fate
IFCC, Apr 11–May 5
Usually found in the same sentence alongside the phrase, "one of the worst films ever made," this grade-Z horror stinker got the Mystery Science Theater 3000 treatment in the 1990s, which bestowed upon Manos a richly deserved cult status. Capital I Productions is staging a live adaptation of the film, with cameos by Storm Large, Jason Rouse (who starred in Portland Playhouse's Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson), and Sean McGrath (from LiveWire's Faces for Radio Theater). But the real brainchild behind the operation is Brian Adrian Koch, the drummer for Blitzen Trapper, who wrote, directed, and starred in this goofy adaptation. Read our Q&A with Koch.


Race for the Roses
Oregon Convention Center, Apr 14 at 7 am
For philanthropists in need of a cardio fix, this 5k and 10k dash through downtown and along the waterfront will stimulate your heart rate and raise needed funds for the Albertina Kerr Center, a local nonprofit whose programs support those with mental health challenges and developmental disabilities.




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