Top Things To Do This Weekend: Sept 11–14

This weekend's rumbles: PICA's TBA Fest vs. XOXO Fest, Drake vs. Lil Wayne (vs. Katy Perry?), Béla Fleck and his banjo vs. the Oregon Symphony, the Breeders vs. "Cannonball," and Badass Theatre vs. South American revolutionaries.

Edited by Aaron Scott By Portland Monthly Staff and Matthew Schonfeld September 11, 2014


Sept 11–21, Various venues
Tomorrow night kicks off the Portland Institute for Contemporary Art’s 12th annual Time-Based Art Festival, which means brace yourself for a title wave of performance art, interactive installations, drag balls, concerts, dance parties, glitter bombs, and conversation about some of the least likely topics (see: the sex life of seniors). Need help navigating the citywide cavalcade of performance? Look no further than our field guide for top shows and up-to-date reviews.


Thursday, Wonder Ballroom 
After a successful world tour performing Last Splash in its entirety, Kim Deal and the rest of the Breeders are back touring with new material. Come see them work out songs that could very well end up on a new album. Our guess is that they'll still play "Cannonball," too, so you can come just for that, if you want.

Friday, Rose Garden Arena 
These two acts might seem like an odd pairing, but it makes plenty of sense: both created a devoted young fan base throughout their careers. While Tegan and Sara's themes of negotiating one's sexuality have never manifested themselves quite so overtly as Perry's "I Kissed a Girl," the Canadian duo's newest record, Heartthrob, is their most unashamedly poppy yet.

Saturday, Sleep Country Amphitheater
Two of hip-hop's biggest stars have been battling it out on stages across the country and have finally made it to the Pacific Northwest. Drake's the sweet-talking "Started From The Bottom" lyricist with a hand in every high profile hip-hop release of the last year, while Wayne is the fire-spitting veteran looking to release his highly anticipated eleventh studio album, Tha Carter V. The two Cash Money rappers are sure to put on a lavish, powerful performance featuring everything from throwback hits like Wayne's "Lollipop" to Drake's most recent single, "0-100."

Classical & Jazz

Friday, Alberta Rose Theatre 
These fallen trees certainly make a sound: the boundary-pushing New Music ensemble opens its 30th anniversary season with a piece written for six amplified two-by-fours. Though it was written in 2009, this will somehow be its Oregon premiere.

Oregon Symphony: Béla Fleck 

Béla Fleck plucking away.

Saturday, Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall
A multi-Grammy-winning champion and virtuoso of the banjo, Fleck returns to the symphony with a new concerto for banjo and orchestra.

Sunday, Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall
Semi-local treasures conductor Carlos Kalmar and pianist Arnaldo Cohen present classics from the Russian composer like his Piano Concerto no. 1 and Symphony no. 4.



Thursday-Sunday, Portland Actors Conservatory 
Having delighted audiences and made critics' year-end lists with its debut performance, Invasion, Badass Theatre Company returns with Johnna Adams' story of two women—one the victim of an ambush by South American revolutionaries, the other the mother of someone who died in the same ambush—looking to each other to make some sense of their grief. Portland audiences will know her work from Third Rail's stellar recent performance of Gidion's Knot.

Wednesday-Sunday, Artist Repertory Theatre
In Pulitzer-winner Lynn Nottage's most celebrated play, a young African American woman in 1905 New York works as a seamstress, sewing lingerie for both midtown shops and downtown brothels. She hopes to make enough money to open a beauty shop, but her search for love threatens to derail her dream.
Thursday-Sunday, Lakewood Center for the Arts 
Sure, it doesn't really get old—but instead of rewatching the Mel Brooks classic for the 10th time, why not catch it live onstage in a Portland-area premiere? Brooks himself wrote the book and songs for this Broadway hit, so you can't go wrong.
Books & Talks 

Saturday, Alberta Abbey 
Portland Story Theater celebrates the start of their 10th season at their new home, the Alberta Abbey. Storytellers invited to share some of their poorest judgements and most profound insight include founding members Lawrence Howard, Lynne Duddy, and Penny Walter, alongside some tried-and-true audience favorites Kriya Kaping, Eric Stern, and Leigh Hancock.
Saturday, Powell's City of Books 
The novelist behind The Black Dahlia and LA Confidential returns with a new crime tale set amid the roundup of Japanese-Americans during World War II.

Special Events 

Saturday-Sunday, OMSI 
OMSI is hosting the third annual Portland Mini Maker Faire, welcoming DIY designers, inventors, and creatives alike to show off their work and celebrate Portland's community of makers. OMSI promises excitement and intrigue at the Maker Faire, with everything from "demonstrations of 3D printing and DIY kits for environmental monitoring, to the ancient techniques of sword forging and fire by friction."
Thursday-Sunday, The Redd 
XOXO’s lofty ambition: take the head-in-the-clouds ideation of TED Talks, the fun-loving party vibe of SXSW, and the intimate relationship-building of a company retreat and cram it all into Southeast Portland’s the Redd. Drawing artists, programmers, entrepreneurs, and writers from around the country, the “experimental” tech conference puts big ideas center stage. If you didn’t score a ticket, stream it live: 2014.xoxofest.com

Here are a couple of our recommendations:
  • Anita Sarkeesian
    Sarkeesian hosts a popular video web series, Feminist Frequency, that addresses the ways women are represented in pop culture—frequently focusing on video games, a medium often derided for misogyny and overly aggressive male sexuality.
  • Jonathan Mann
    The Brooklyn-based satirical musician wrote a song a day for 2000 days. Not all are hits, obviously, but his satirical lyrics have attracted the attention of Paul Krugman, Steve Jobs, and Rachel Maddow. He also wrote and produced a rock opera about the Super Mario Bros.
  • Darius Kazemi
    Programmer Kazemi “makes weird things”—that is, satirical and often hilarious web projects, from ClickBait, a tool that automatically generates a full-length Buzzfeed article (“The 19 Most Plasticine Ankles!”), to a start-up idea generator (“Zynga for grandmothers”) to an automated joke explainer.
  • Rachel Binx
    The language of the internet, it can be said, is not English but hieroglyphic. An art historian and mathematician, Binx’s work is fluent in this visual tongue, from visualizing data for the NY Times and Airbnb to letting people print (moving!) gifs onto special paper at her gifpop.io service.


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