Top Things to Do This Weekend: Dec 31–Jan 3

Kick out the old, ring in the new—there are plenty of ways to celebrate the dawning of 2016 this weekend. Calexico, comedy king Greg Fitzsimmons, and conga-dancing polar bears—go crazy, PDX!

By Fiona McCann December 30, 2015

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The Helio Sequence cap a kicking  year at Revolution Hall.


The Helio Sequence
Thursday at 8 pm, Revolution Hall
Portland’s the Helio Sequence round out their pretty awesome 2015 (Paste Magazine called their latest, eponymous album—released in May of this year—“a euphoric, career-defining album”) with a New Year's Eve homecoming, joined by Wild Ones. Read our full interview with the band’s lead vocalist Brandon Summers.

Calexico, Blind Pilot, and Ages and Ages
Thursday at 8.30 pm, the Crystall Ballroom

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Image: Calexico

Arizonans Calexico, and local musical heroes Blind Pilot AND Ages descend on the Crystal Ballroom for some foot stomping, fist pumping musical celebration to welcome 2016: It’s like an indie-rock group hug for maximum Auld Lang Syne.

Sallie Ford and Y La Bamba
Thursday at 8 pm, Mississippi Studios
South Carolinan-turned-Portlander Ford kicks up a garage rock rumpus with her all-female band, with support from the captivating crooners of Y La Bamba.


New Year's Eve With Greg Fitzsimmons
Thursday at 10.30 pm, Helium Comedy Club
Ring in the new year with a good belly laugh courtesy Greg Fitzsimmons, the king of caustic who also writes for Louis C.K.


Friday at 2pm, Sunday at 2pm, Imago Theater

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ZooZoo penguins keep it real. Ish.

Image: Imago Theater

Imago brings back its popular peripatetic production one more time, replete with conga-dancing polar bears and insomniac hippos. The New York Times says “just watch”—this will be your last chance to do so before ZooZoo zips off on a final national tour. 

The Miracle Worker
Friday–Sunday at 7.30 pm, Artists Repertory Theater
William Gibson’s 1959 drama follows teacher Anne Sullivan’s early education of the young Helen Keller: deaf, blind, and still decades away from claiming her place among the nation’s most inspirational figures.


Force of Nature: Emmet Gowin in the American West
Thursday and Friday from 10 am to 8pm, Saturday and Sunday from 10 am to 5 pm, Portland Art Museum
From 1980 to 1986, this celebrated photographer studied the “terrible beauty” of the Mount St. Helens eruption; while traveling the West, he also aerially documented the Hanford Nuclear Reservation and Nevada Test Site.

Abra Ancliffe
Friday–Sunday, 12 am to 5 pm, C3:Initiative

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Abra Ancliffe, "Les Etoiles, 64+65 (Flammarion)".

Image: Abra Ancliffe

The mystique of space is Ancliffe’s inspiration for When Looking Down Is Looking Up—a gallery show that also launches the art book The Secret Astronomy of Tristram Shandy.

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