PoMo Picks

Top Things to Do This Weekend: Sept 8–11

The inaugural Portland Black Music Festival, a slew of new plays, the return of comedian Shane Torres, and a pop-up art museum at Pioneer Courthouse Square—put your weekend pants on.

By Rebecca Jacobson, Kailla Coomes, Michelle Porter, and Fiona McCann September 8, 2016

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Rapper Mic Capes performs at the inaugural Portland Black Music Festival on Sunday.


Dave Dictor
7:30 p.m. Friday, Powell's City of Books, FREE
The founding member of American punk band MDC shares his memories of rebellion in his new book, Memoir from a Damaged Civilization.

Daniel Levitin
7:30 p.m. Sunday, Powell's City of Books, FREE
Levitin's new book—A Field Guide to Lies: Critical Thinking in the Information Age—promises to help us "catch some lying weasels in their tracks." Seems timely, we'd say.


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Why'd you leave us, Shane?

Shane Torres
8 and 10 p.m. Thursday, The Liquor Store
The onetime Portlander—whose underachiever persona belies a whip-smart comedic zing—returns to town for a double-stacked night of shows.

TJ Miller
7:30 p.m. Friday, Aladdin Theater
From his stoner-ish voice to his appearances in Dead Pool and Silicon Valley, Miller is brash in the best kind of way. 


Low Culture
8 p.m. Thursday, The Know
Think guitar-driven punk rock with serious garage and a liberal dose of bright pop melody, and you’ve some idea of what’s in store with Low Culture. The Portland foursome—OK, three out of the four have relocated here from Las Cruces, New Mexico, with the fourth reportedly on his way—had critics fired up back in 2013 with their first LP, Screens, and is set to release follow-up Places to Hide on September 9. Plus, check out brand-new track, “Evil.”

8 p.m. Friday, Wonder Ballroom
Three 20-something Portland siblings—big sis Natalie and twins Allison and Meegan—make sweet harmonies on their sophomore release, I’m Alone, No You’re Not, bringing energy and attitude to bear on their folk-pop sensibilities.

Loch Lomond
9 p.m. Friday, Mississippi Studios
The veteran Portland indie folk-rock band, known for bittersweet harmonies and instrumental intricacy, celebrates their just-released album, Pens From Spain.

Renée Fleming
7:30 p.m. Saturday, Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall
Conductor Carlos Kalmar kicks off the Oregon Symphony’s 120th season with a concert featuring the star soprano, who last performed in Portland in 2012.

St. Johns No Fest
Noon Saturday, St. Johns Neighborhood, FREE
Back for the 10th year, No Fest brings free music and arts events to St. Johns. Expect a micro-film showcase, all genres of music, and various artsy things, all kicking off at noon in the historic town square.

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Some kids just get all the luck.

Joey Alexander
7:30 p.m. Sunday, Newmark Theatre
Not many 12-year-olds—hell, not many people, period—have been nominated for a Grammy Award. But Indonesian piano prodigy Joey Alexander is in a class apart. Tonight, he’ll bring a beyond-his-years, soulful, delicate touch to original renditions of many classics.

Portland Black Music Festival
4 p.m. Sunday, Mission Theater
Local trumpeter Farnell Newton and musician/producer Tony Ozier launch a new festival devoted to black Portland musicians across genres, including rapper Mic Capes, basketballer-turned-reggae-hip-hop artist Madgesdiq, and R&B singer Kimberly Monique.


Time-Based Art Festival
Various times and locations, Thursday–Sunday
Every year, for 10 or so nights, the Portland Institute for Contemporary Art imports heady companies and creators from around the world and showcases some of the city’s most challenging contemporary artists. For this 14th annual installment, running Sept. 8–18, PICA finally has a home of its own—more on that here. Plus, check out our picks for this year's fest, from meditative juggling to masked avant-porn. 

Antigone Project: A Play in Five Parts
7:30 p.m. Thursday–Friday and 2 p.m. Saturday–Sunday, Artists Repertory Theatre
Amid the toxic tumult of this election season, Sophocles’s tragedy—about a woman who defies unjust laws to give her brother a proper burial—feels extra fitting. Here, five leading female playwrights, including Pulitzer winner Lynn Nottage and Portland-raised Tanya Barfield, have written short works riffing on the Greek myth. Dawn Monique Williams directs for Profile Theatre.

7:30 p.m. Saturday and 2 and 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Artists Repertory Theatre
Remember Travis the chimp? Back in 2009, the pet primate—who’d starred in Coke and Old Navy commercials and could sip wine from a stemmed glass—mauled and blinded his owner’s friend. Nick Jones’s absurdist play, presented by Artists Rep, leaps from that gory incident into an exploration of fame, fear, and the frustrations of communication.

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"Mrs. Robinson, you're trying to seduce me."

OPENING The Graduate
7:30 p.m. Thursday–Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday, Venetian Theatre
Hillsboro’s Bag & Baggage takes on a stage adaptation of the classic ’60s tale of seduction and alienation.

OPENING The Gun Show
7:30 p.m. Friday–Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday, CoHo Theater
Newtown. San Bernardino. Orlando. As we continue to reel, this play by the Oregon-raised E. M. Lewis about her experiences with guns is particularly (and tragically) timely. For this CoHo show, Lewis sits in the audience as Portland actor Vin Shambry performs onstage. For more, check out our Q&A with Lewis.

OPENING Little Shop of Horrors
7:30 p.m. Saturday and 2 and 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Gerding Theater
As usual, Portland Center Stage kicks off its season with a big ol’ musical, this year the beloved tale of a timid flower shop worker and a crazy carnivorous plant.


Carol Benson and Michael Knutson
11 a.m.–5 p.m. Thursday–Saturday, Blackfish Gallery, FREE
For Sewn Constructions, Benson finds inspiration in quilting, weaving, and knitting. She uses canvas leftovers to create variations on the traditional handicrafts. Knutson, meanwhile, fills his geometric paintings with spiraling circles and eye-catching neon. 

OPENING Conny Purtill
11 a.m.–5 p.m. Thursday–Saturday, Adams and Ollman, FREE
The Boston-based creator shines the spotlight on fellow artists in The Ground. Purtill prepares a canvas—the titular ground—with 11 alternating layers of gesso and a tinted gesso and India ink mixture, and then passes off these slates to fellow artists to do with as they wish.

Potency of Process
11 a.m.–5 p.m. Thursday–Saturday, PNCA Swigert Commons, FREE
Breast cancer survivors Martha Banyas and Deborah Horrell use art to tell their story, from diagnosis to treatment to recovery. Banyas has created a dozen wall structures, while Horrell has crafted glass vessels and abstract bird images.


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Glamour guaranteed.

Image: Holly Andres

Critical Mascara
10:30 p.m. Saturday, PICA at Hancock
This drag-themed showdown shines as the Time Based Art Festival's wildest late night, with drag queens and dazzling divas throwing down in full costumed finery for a panel of judges, in categories such as Next Level Femme, Glamor Gore, Power Word: Protest!, and Haaaaiiirrr. For more, check out our preview (and amazing photos, snapped inside the Pittock Mansion). 

Rose City Comic Con
10 a.m.–7 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Sunday, Oregon Convention Center
Lovers of comics, gaming, anime, and fantasy gather for this annual celebration all things nerdy. Celebrity guests include Marvel legend Stan Lee, actor siblings Joan and John Cusack, and Brian Herring, the voice of BB-8 from Star Wars.

Houseguest: Libby Werbel, Portland Museum of Modern Art
11 a.m.–7 p.m. Saturday–Sunday, Pioneer Courthouse Square, FREE
Portland doesn't have a modern art museum. Why not? That's the question at the heart of artist Libby Werbel's free, build-it-yourself, temporary, alfresco pop-up, which will feature both visual art and live performance.

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