Top Things to Do This Weekend: June 9–12

Funkmasters Ural Thomas and the Pain celebrate their debut LP, Caravan Palace brings electro-swing to the Crystal, Weekend at Bernie's returns to the stage, and Pedalpalooza kicks off a month of bike fun.

By Rebecca Jacobson, Ramona DeNies, Lisa Dunn, and Fiona McCann June 9, 2016

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Going up? Caravan Palace plays the Crystal on Saturday.


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"Having grown up in the Northwest, earthquakes were always looming," says Alexis Smith.

Image: Annie Beedy

Alexis Smith
7:30 p.m. Friday, Powell's City of Books
Portlander Alexis Smith debuted to acclaim with the quiet, introspective literary novel Glaciers. Now comes Marrow Island—an earthquake, climate change, and Malheur all wrapped up in a 256-page mystery. For more, read our Q&A with Smith.

Negin Farsad
4 p.m. Saturday, Powell's City of Books
Filmmaker. Stand-up comedian. Book writer. Dual master’s degree-holder. Public policy-maker. Iranian-American. Honey mustard lover. Red lipstick wearer. Farsad defies categorization, being one of those rare people who appears able to do just about everything. And now she has a new book, How To Make White People Laugh, which is part memoir, part social justice manifesto. For more, read our Q&A with Farsad.


Roseanne Barr
7 p.m. Saturday, Newmark Theatre
The famously cranky stand-up tours before the next season of Last Comic Standing. (She’s a judge with Norm McDonald and Keenen Ivory Wayans.)


North South East West
7:30 p.m. Thursday, Portland Art Museum's Whitsell Auditorium
Portlander Vanessa Renwick's work engages political, environmental, and often unpretty themes. But there's a humorous thrust, too, as in her current Portland Art Museum exhibit, Next Level Fucked Up, a video and sound installation that chronicles the way humans screw with the natural world, from neutered dogs to ghastly new apartment buildings to melting glaciers. (For more, read our story.) Tonight’s program begins with a viewing of that exhibit, followed by a career-spanning selection of Renwick’s films and a Q&A.


The Bad Plus
7:30 p.m. Thursday, Aladdin Theater
The New York–based jazz trio is prolific, beloved, and idiosyncratic—equally game playing the score to Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring and covering “Smells like Teen Spirit.”

The Last Artful, Dodgr
8:30 p.m. Thursday, Holocene
The Los Angeles–born MC-singer-songwriter sounds unlike any other musician in Portland. Or anywhere, for that matter. One minute she’s belting out smoky jazz-club hooks; the next, she’s rapping like a crazy person with the hiccups. Last November’s Fractures EP is a stunning, next-level release: dystopian hip-hop with an old-school work ethic that isn’t just weird for show. She’s joined by Pleasure Curses and Wine + Coffee.

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The debut full-length album from Ural Thomas and the Pain has been a long time coming.

Ural Thomas and the Pain
8 p.m. Saturday, Aladdin Theater
Everyone loves a comeback story, and that of North Portland’s veteran R&B funkmaster is a doozy. Once sharing stages with the likes of Otis Redding and James Brown, Thomas slipped into obscurity in the ’70s. A few years ago, a clutch of young Portland musicians convinced the septuagenarian to reclaim the mic. The group has since won over new generations of soul fans, and now they've finally released a full-length album.

Caravan Palace
9 p.m. Saturday, Crystal Ballroom
These Parisians are guaranteed to make the Crystal’s floor bounce with their tirelessly infectious combination of gypsy jazz and electro-swing.

9 p.m. Sunday, Mississippi Studios
It’s slow-fi, say Alex and Sierra Haager of bed., whose EP Klickitat is out June 10. Their brand of chipper darkness brings the Breeders, the Delgados, and a sprinkling of the Pixies into close quarters, fuzzy Fender sounds overlaid with sweet harmonies that belie occasionally bleak pronouncements.


CLOSING The Udmurts
7:30 p.m. Thursday–Saturday, Defunkt Theatre
In a Portland premiere from David Zellnik, a castoff of religious fundamentalism meets a strange and vanishing culture in a Queens flat.

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Mmm, flesh-filled pies.

Image: Cory Weaver

CLOSING Sweeney Todd
7:30 p.m. Friday–Saturday, Keller Auditorium
Stephen Sondheim’s demon barber dishes up savory revenge in this musical thriller, presented by Portland Opera. David Pittsinger stars alongside Susannah Mars as Mrs. Lovett.

The Skin of Our Teeth
7:30 p.m. Thursday–Saturday and 2 and 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Artists Repertory Theatre
Thornton Wilder’s millennium-spanning family saga starts with all-American Cain throwing rocks, then lasts a few ice ages.

OPENING Our New Girl
7:30 p.m. Friday–Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday, CoHo Theatre
Corrib Theatre, the small-but-mighty company that features productions both by Irish writers and about the Irish experience, stages Nancy Harris’s Our New Girl. According to Corrib, it’s a “startling psychological drama about the darker side of modern parenthood.”

OPENING Weekend at Bernie's
8 p.m. Friday–Saturday, Siren Theater
A point will come, we presume, when Portland performers will have created a stage version for every '80s cult classic out there (Road House? Check! The Lost Boys? Check!). This adaptation of 1989's slapstick fave—in which two numbskulls carry around their dead boss' body, trying to convince everyone he's still alive—first hit the stage in 2013, to gleeful reviews, and now it's back for a summertime run.


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Inspired—really!—by aerial views of Wisconsin farmland.

Case Work: Studies in Form, Space, and Construction
10 a.m.–8 p.m. Thursday–Friday and 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Saturday–Saturday, Portland Art Museum
Allied Works Architecture—the local firm behind such spaces as Denver’s Clyfford Still Museum and PNCA’s light-bathed new digs—displays 15 years of scale models and drawings.

Reactive Matters
10 a.m.–10:30 p.m. Thursday and 10 a.m.–6 p.m. Friday–Saturday, Newspace Center for Photography, FREE
Photographers Jeremy Bolen, Abbey Hepner, and Shimpei Takeda dig into all things nuclear: nuclear energy, nuclear weapons, nuclear disasters.

Blake Andrews and Andrea Diefenbach
12–5 p.m. Thursday–Sunday, Blue Sky Gallery, FREE
In Pictures of the Gone World, Andrews shows black-and-white photos of his wife and kids, while Land Ohne Eltern is Diefenbach’s photo essay of Moldovan migrant workers who’ve left home to find work. For more, check out our slideshow of Andrews's work.

12–6 p.m. Thursday–Saturday, Nationale, FREE
For Stupid Man, his second solo show at Nationale, Ennis has painted a series of small, casually composed black-and-white works commenting on his daily life as an artist and young father. 


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Do we really have to choose sides?

Thursday–Sunday, various times and locations. Kickoff ride starts at 6 p.m. Thursday at the Salmon Street fountain.
Sure, the World Naked Bike Ride (June 25) is the cornerstone event of this monthlong velostravaganza. But things don’t stop there. Name your obsession—tweed? Organic produce? Freddie Mercury? Wine? Mamma Mia? Coffee at sunrise? Potlucks and dance parties at sunset? High heels? Solar panels? Lube your chain, lucky cyclist: Pedalpalooza has a ride for you. And you can be certain that the final Bowie vs. Prince ride, happening on Saturday—Team Bowie starts from Holladay Park, and Team Prince from Sewallcrest Park—will be epic.

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