The Essentials

Blind Pilot + Weird Portland Stories: October’s Pop Culture Hot List

The book, gallery show, and concerts you can’t miss this month

By Fiona McCann September 13, 2016 Published in the October 2016 issue of Portland Monthly

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Blind Pilot play the Crystal Ballroom October 20.

The Show

Indie rock outfit Blind Pilot released its first record in five years this summer to the delight of fans and critics. And Then Like Lions is front man Israel Nebeker processing his father’s death and the end of a 13-year relationship in a melodic, layered meditation on loss produced by our hometown master, Tucker Martine. To hear sweeping tracks such as “Umpqua Rushing” and “What Is Yet” live, catch Nebeker & Co at the Crystal Ballroom this month (October 20). 

The Book

Weird. You may be tired of exhortations to keep Portland thus, but the well-trodden adjective gets some fresh new life in Forest Avenue Press’s City of Weird. Edited by writer and illustrator Gigi Little, the stories are culled from the city’s robust writing community, with the likes of Leni Zumas, Justin Hocking, Rene Denfeld, and Kevin Sampsell among the 30 authors involved. Their contributions range from tales of alien invasion to volcanic eruption, through murderous river creatures and otherworldly teenage rites of passage, all set right here in the Rose City. Yeah, weird doesn’t even cover it.

The Gallery

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Thirty years is a long time—maybe even longer in gallery years. But that’s how long Laura Russo Gallery has served the region’s artists and art audiences in its Northwest space. This month the gallery celebrates its 30th birthday with a new name—the Russo-Lee Gallery, after proprietor Martha Lee—and a 30th-anniversary group show, featuring work from all the contemporary artists the gallery represents, among them Samantha Wall, Michael Brophy, and Mel Katz. 

The Symphony

On October 30, 1896, W.H. Kinross conducted the Oregon Symphony’s inaugural concert. This month the symphony hosts trumpeter Wynton Marsalis, crooner Tony Bennett, and violinist Itzhak Perlman among others. Not a bad way to celebrate 120 years. Happy birthday, y’all! 

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