Portland Winter Light Festival
Thursday–Saturday from 5 pm to 10 pm, OMSI
Warming these dark nights, this inaugural waterfront color bath stretches from downtown to the Tilikum Crossing bridge, featuring free light shows dreamt up by a dozen-plus engineer/artists, from experiential glass artist Jen Fuller to Tyler Fuqua of Burning Man fame. Lights illuminate as darkness falls.
Thursday at 8 pm, Mississippi Studios
The Georgia band’s latest offering, Hotel Parties, plays a bit like twangier but still lush Stone Roses. Opening for Futurebirds is Charleston alt-rock band Susto, who describe the tracks off their latest (eponymous) album as sounding “like versions of mid-’60s Everly Brother records.”
Thursday at 8 pm, Wonder Ballroom
The Long Beach band has been a go-to opener for Black Sabbath; now they're the headliners, touring for hit 2014 album Great Western Valkyrie.
Friday at 9pm, Roseland Theatre
This seven-person band of Boston jam masters is still bringing it, after over two decades of funk. Last year saw the release of Crush, described by guitarist Adam “Shmeeans” Smirnof, as a continuation of their journey through the “funk universe”, via psychedelia, classic soul, and hip-hop.
Friday at 7:30 pm, Dolores Winningstad Theatre
The legendary Kansan wields a harp guitar (among other instruments) for virtuosic finger-styling that earned him a place as a soloist with Prince.
Friday–Sunday starting around 6 pm, Crystal Ballroom
Red Fang. YOB. Built to Spill. Super Furry Animals. The second annual “psychedelic stoner rock microfest” is a tribute to bitchin’ musical legacies forged, in part, by altered states.
BOOKS & TALKS
Thursday at 6:30 pm, Reed College
Sleep Donation—an innovative, if eerie, tale about stealing slumber from the cradles of babes—is the latest from the author of Swamplandia!. The Portland-based Pulitzer Prize finalist reads from her work as part of Reed’s annual Visiting Writer Series.
Friday at 7:30 pm, Powell's City of Books
Corin Tucker of Sleater-Kinney (talk about an opening act!) joins the music producer and author of the new industry-excoriating book How Music Dies (or Lives): Field Recording and the Battle for Democracy in the Arts.
Friday at 7 pm at the Aladdin Theater; Saturday at 8 pm at Revolution Hall
Attention, fans of Arrested Development: your favorite Never Nude stands up for “Making America Great Again!” In case you doubt his chops, recall that Comedy Central named this guy “one of the Top 100 Stand-Up Comedians of All Time.”
Sunday at 9 pm, Lovecraft Bar
Every first Sunday, the Lovecraft Bar throws an actual pity party. Rather than drink alone at home, go public for a head start on drowning those V-Day woes. Says Sad Day event creator Patrick Buckmaster, “Why not show it? It’s that strength we find that brings us together.” There will be onstage criers, live DJs, a legit dance party, and drag queens for good measure.
OPENING You For Me For You
Thursday–Saturday at 7:30 pm, Sunday at 2 pm, Portland Playhouse
Two sisters attempt to flee North Korea; just one makes it to the States. Playwright Mia Chung’s dual narratives draw on the real-world stories of recently captured sibling Asian American journalists as well as Jaycee Dugard, kidnapped in California and held for 18 years.
OPENING The Call
Saturday at 7:30 pm, Sunday at 2 pm, Artists Repertory Theatre
Things go awry when childless couple Annie and Peter attempt to adopt an orphan from Africa. Gemma Whelan directs Tanya Barfield’s 2013 drama for Profile Theatre. (Check out our recent chat with Tanya on race and writing.)
Thursday–Saturday from 10 am to 6 pm, Eutectic Gallery
Jeff Irwin’s scraffito-technique tilework evokes vintage sepia photography; Ted Vogel, a professor of art at Lewis and Clark College, works in clay, cast iron, and digital imagery.
Thursday–Saturday from 10:30 am to 5:30 pm, Froelick Gallery
A member of the Onondaga and Micmac tribes, Tremblay—a professor at the Evergreen State College—weaves metallic braids, red leather, and other mixed media into her powerful, elegant basketry.
OPENING Contemporary Native Photographers and the Edward Curtis Legacy
Saturday & Sunday from 10 am to 5 pm, Portland Art Museum
Wendy Red Star, Zig Jackson, and Will Wilson engage with the early-20th-century photogravurist’s groundbreaking collection The North American Indian.
CARPA: Craft Advanced Research Projects Agency
Thursday–Saturday from 11 am to 6 pm, Museum of Contemporary Craft
This (spoofy) state agency—featuring curators/officers Sara Clugage, Carole Lung, and Otto Von Busch—is dedicated to maintaining the “technological superiority of US artisans.”
OPENING 25th Cascade Festival of African Films
Thursday–Saturday at various times, Hollywood Theatre and PCC Cascade
From four films in 1991 to this year’s lineup of 36 shorts and features, this ambitious month-long undertaking spans the continent, from Lesotho to the Democratic Republic of the Congo. All films will screen at PCC Cascade with the exception of Opening Night and Centerpiece Films, which will play at the Hollywood Theatre.
Portland Kids' Film Festival
Sunday starting at 10 am, Hollywood Theatre
This first-ever children’s flick fest kicks off with a smorgasbord of screenings for young cinephiles. Expect two curated programs of animated and live-action shorts, with the heart-string-tugging story of the friendship between a mouse and a bear, Ernest and Celestine, as the festival’s main feature. Kids, get ready for some serious screentime.
Oregon Ballet Theatre 2016 Gala
Saturday at 7 pm, Leftbank Annex
OBT’s annual soiree returns. This year the fundraising gala, titled “Capulet’s Ball 2.0,” draws on themes from the company's forthcoming late-February production of James Canfield’s Romeo and Juliet.