Head, shoulders, knees, toes: we've got your weekend itinerary below—plus twelve more picks!— courtesy of Portland Monthly’s 2015 Summer Guide:
Ease into this high-energy weekend at Pioneer Courthouse Square, with Friday night's Flicks on the Bricks—an alfresco silver-screen session in Portland’s downtown “living room." Saturday, scoot out into the Gorge and take a wild ride down the twisting white water of Washington's White Salmon River—then pair a pint with a Cuban pork sandwich on the sun-soaked patio at nearby Everybody’s Brewing. For Sunday, with your arms in post-kayak fettle, get your legs up to speed with Bridge Pedal, the annual group spin that lets bikes on Portland’s normally forbidden Fremont and Marquam Bridges. (This year there’s the bonus of traversing our newest bridge, Tilikum Crossing, before its official opening.) On Sunday, reclaim hard-burned calories at the bountiful King Market off Alberta Street. Load up your basket, find a spot in the adjacent King School Park, and go horizontal. You’ve earned it.
Orquestra Pacifico Tropical and Mimicking Birds
Thursday at 5:30 pm, Ecotrust
The third summer Sundown at Ecotrust concert (called "forests and water") features local rhythm royalty Orquestra Pacifico Tropical (think vintage cumbia tunes from the Andes) and indie rock warriors Mimicking Birds.
Opera in the Park
Saturday at 6 pm, Washington Park
There’s no place more fragrant to hear New York Met soprano Angela Meade than the amphitheater abutting Portland’s International Rose Test Garden. This free concert—part of Washington Park’s weeklong Summerfest—promises “opera’s greatest arias,” special guests, and more.
Jason Isbell and Damien Jurado
Saturday at 8 pm, Aladdin Theater
Alabama guitarist Isbell swept the 2014 Americana Awards; he’s on record promising that new album Something More Than Free will be his best yet. The tender compositions of Seattle songwriter Jurado are usually experienced lo-fi. (One stunning exception: his guest vocals on Moby’s 2013 megasampled “space folk” track “Almost Home.”)
Sunday at 8 pm, Holocene
What could possibly make Shostakovich even better? How about a rock star light show? That’s the idea behind the Amplified Repertory Chamber Orchestra of Portland, a five-piece classical ensemble featuring two violins, a viola, a cello and a massive double bass that takes classical music out of its usual concert halls digs. Discordia will include the U.S. premiere of Russian composer Andrei Eshpai’s “Lamento” and “Toccata” (as well as lots of ’tude).
Sunday at 6:30 pm, McMenamin's Edgefield
The beloved alt-rockers just released the documentary Every Other Summer, chronicling the rise of the band’s “utopian” Solid Sound Festival. Meanwhile, front man Jeff Tweedy keeps with his artistic fever pace: recently producing solo album Still for Brit guitarist Richard Thompson, kick-starting an arts lecture series with Pitchfork, and touring nonstop (occasionally with his son Spencer, a drummer).
BOOKS & TALKS
Shane Koyczan and the Short Story Long
Friday at 9 pm, Doug Fir Lounge
The original members of this Canadian spoken-word poetry act came together for one show in 2006, never intending to make more than a night of it. (They’ve now been together for nearly ten years, give or take a few members). Critical reception for the band’s larger-than-life message of collectivism, ecological responsibility, and sustainability has been overwhelmingly positive, while front man Shane Koyczan also made waves in 2013 with his anti-bullying TED talk.
Thursday–Saturday, Director Park
Dance companies like Whyteberg, Circus Project, NW Conservatory of Dance, Skylark Tappers, and PDX Dance Collective will be taking over Director Park for three days straight, and there’s something for everyone. Tap dancing routines, aerial acrobatics, and even circus arts will all take to the stage—er, park—alongside traditional and modern performances. Performances will be family-friendly and you can join in on free classes to boot!
Alley 33 Fashion Show
Saturday at 6 pm, Alley 33
The city’s only fashion show that takes place on a side street. Two dozen lines strut the makeshift runway in a show that eschews fanciful fashion creations, opting instead for real-world, everyday clothing made for locals, by locals. See new ready-to-wear collections from familiar names like Amelia Boutique and Altar.
US Air Guitar National Finals
Saturday at 8 pm, Hawthorne Theatre
A mighty wind gathers as regional qualifiers from across this great nation compete for the chance to join the likes of Airistotle, Björn Türoque, Lieutenant Facemelter, and Airisol in the US Air Guitar Hall of Fame. This year’s national championships, held right here in the City of Poses, pivot on criteria including technical merit and “airness.”
Thursday–Saturday at 7:30 pm, Saturday at 2 pm, Sunday at 1 and 6:30 pm, Keller Auditorium
This musical reimagining takes on two of the most famous characters in the Land of Oz: Glinda the Good, and the Wicked Witch of the West (known, in Winnie Holzman’s adaptation of Gregory Maguire’s novel, as Elphaba). Stephen Schwartz’s Grammy-winning score has helped keep this box-office blockbuster flying since its 2003 premiere.
OPENING Dear Galileo
Saturday & Sunday at 7:30 pm, Sunday at 2 pm, CoHo Theatre
This world premiere from Playwrights West, penned by local writer Claire Willett, centers on a young girl’s letter to the astronomer Galileo, but encompasses generations. The plot navigates between the relationship of three women with their respective famous fathers—in the process touching on issues of faith, time, and science. First produced at the 2012 Fertile Ground Festival in 2012, this staging has actor Chris Porter reprising his role as Galileo.
OPENING Ryan Woodring: Decimate Mesh
Thursday & Friday from 9 am to 5 pm, Duplex Gallery
When a friend sent visual effects artist Ryan Woodring an article claiming that the terrorist group ISIS was digitally manipulating propaganda videos to appear taller than their captives (inserting backgrounds via green screen, and adding stock ocean sound effects, etc.), he responded artfully: by feeding the footage into a 3D printing program and turning ISIS’s communications into dark, ambiguous 3D models.