Top Things to Do This Weekend: Aug 27–30

Y La Bamba's triumphant rooftop return! A cross-city bike tour of Portland's sweet new murals! Norwegian electropop and Pink Martini! James Franco's nose hairs (ok, maybe)! All this weekend.

By Ramona DeNies August 27, 2015

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Image credit: Jenny Hval.


Jenny Hval
Thursday at 9 pm, Mississippi Studios
The sweet, moody lyricism of Hval’s latest album, Apocalypse, Girl, literally scores her challenge: the Norwegian singer freights her songs with provocative questions (e.g., “what is soft dick rock?”) and sarcastic observations made more surreal by the underlay of harps and gentle electropop beats.

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Image credit: Y La Bamba.

Y La Bamba
Friday at 7 pm, Revolution Hall
Back from a two year break, Portland-based Luz Elena Mendoza says she’s gained “greater self-awareness as a Mexican-American female”—now translating that to a new album (the band’s fourth) called Ojos del Sol. What’s even more exciting? The show plays on Revolution Hall’s rooftop—breathtaking tunes, breathtaking views!

Pink Martini
Saturday at 6:30 pm, McMenamin's Edgefield
Portland’s world-famous “urban musical travelogue” is known for blending a stunning array of genres—jazz, cabaret, bossa nova, French ballads à la Edith Piaf—into deliciously fruity, multilingual compositions. The band has collaborated with Phyllis Diller, August von Trapp, and Chavela Vargas, to name a few; catch them in their only Portland-area show on this six-month tour of North America.

The Lonesome Billies
Saturday at 9 pm, Mississippi Studios
The wry-whiskey (get it?) country Portland quartet release their first full-length album, It’s Good To Be Lonesome—produced by Brandon Eggleston (Modest Mouse, The Mountain Goats) and featuring sundry other "hired guns." Expect songs about lawmen, feuds, and buried hatchets.

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Back to the city: South African street artist Faith47 painted this four story mural at last year's Forest For the Trees (again taking over walls this week). Image credit: Michael Novak.


Forest For the Trees
Thursday–Sunday, various locations and times across town
The 29 artists painting the town red (among other colors) for this year's epic mural festival should be applying final touches by Thursday; join them for a "drink-n-draw" event at Union Pine, or Friday's courtyard happy hour at the Portland Art Museum, or (even better?) Saturday's cross-town bike tour of Stumptown's newest street art. First, brush up here with our festival backgrounder


My Brother, My Brother, and Me
Friday at 8 pm, Aladdin Theater
The McElroy brothers are D&D gamers, magazine editors, and stage carpenters. They’re also pretty damn funny when eviscerating a stack of Yahoo! Answers. For nearly five years now, the Maximum Fun podcasters, with the occasional “guestspert,” have taped live, weekly, rapidly digressive shows based on listener-submitted questions.

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Ellen Urbani and Cheryl Strayed make Landfall this Saturday at Powell's. Image credit: Ellen Urbani.


Ellen Urbani
Saturday at 4 pm, Powell's City of Books
The Oregon-by-way-of-Alabama author releases her second book, Landfall, in which the stories of two Southern teenagers converge in wrenching, even gruesome ways. Urbani is introduced by Wild author Cheryl Strayed.


NT Live Encore Festival
Thursday–Sunday, various times, Imago Theatre
Immerse yourself in the best of British theatre without ever leaving Stumptown. Third Rail presents these National Theatre blockbusters, captured live onstage with high-definition video (and big star close-ups that the original audience members could only dream of). From Ralph Fiennes to Bill Nighy and James Franco, we've got your guide here!

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Arboreal intensity: this Sunday at Hoyt Arboretum. Image credit: Heidi Duckler Dance Theatre/Northwest.


Heidi Duckler Dance Theatre/Northwest: Forest
Sunday at 5 pm and 6:15 pm, Hoyt Arboretum
This free "site-specific exploration" choreographed by Carla Mann—and backed by experimentally chill local jazz ensemble the Blue Cranes—brings original dance and acoustic accompaniment (saxophones, pump organs) to Portland's very own tree museum.


Art in the High Desert
Friday–Sunday from 10 am to 6 pm, Old Mill District, Bend
More than 100 nationally acclaimed artists and craftsfolk gather on the banks of the Deschutes River to display objets d’art from the fine to the quite curious. We’re talking pastel-enhanced black-and-white photographs, beautiful handbags made from plastic shopping bags and … IV tubes? Oregon’s “premier juried art and craft show” makes for a great reason to cross the Cascades.

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