PoMo Picks

Top Things to Do This Weekend: Oct 19–22

Courtney Barnett and Kurt Vile play the Schnitz, Shannon Wheeler illustrates Trump's tweets, and Doctors Without Borders attempts to re-create the refugee experience in downtown Portland.

By Rebecca Jacobson, Kayla Brock, Hannah Bonnie, Eleanor Van Buren, and Fiona McCann October 19, 2017

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Courtney Barnett and Kurt Vile storm the Schnitz on Friday.

Books & Talks

Nate Pedersen

7:30 p.m. Thu, Powell's Books on Hawthorne, FREE
In Quackery: A Brief History of the Worst Ways to Cure Everything, Oregon coauthor Nate Pedersen—a librarian from Bend with an abiding interest in questionable medicine—compiles an encyclopedia of bunkum that runs from strychnine energy drinks to mercury steam baths (for syphilis!) and the origin of the phrase “blow smoke up your arse.” The book aims to entertain, while also illuminating the vital role that snake oil can play in the development of better medicine. We've got more on the book here.

Shannon Wheeler

7:30 p.m. Sun, Powell's City of Books, FREE
The Portland-based, Eisner Award-winning cartoonist turns Donald Trump's tweets into a ferocious flutter of illustrations in his brand-new book, Sh*t My President Says. Best known for Too Much Coffee Man and his cartoons in the New Yorker, Wheeler depicts Trump as a tiny, childlike human, navigating his giant responsibilities one clumsy tweet at a time.


New Now Wow!

7:30 p.m. Thu–Sat, Lincoln Performance Hall, $34–58
The dynamos at Northwest Dance Project offer a triple bill: world-premiere works by Wen Wei Wang and Luca Signoretti (one of the winners of NWDP’s 2016 international choreography competition), plus Jirí Pokorny’s At Some Hour You Return, a stark and striking work from 2014.

Rejoice! Diaspora Dance Theater

7 p.m. Fri–Sat and 5 p.m. Sun, Reed College, $16
The dance ensemble presents UPRISE, a rhythmic performance of power, oppression, and community that incorporates different styles of the African diaspora. Touching on issues of current political relevance, the evening features choreography by artistic director Oluyinka Akinjiola, Michael Gale, and Jamie Minkus, with music by Amenta Abioto.


Ariel Pink

9 p.m. Thu, Revolution Hall, $26.75–31.75
The ever-iconoclastic musician just dropped Dedicated to Bobby Jameson, which Pitchfork praised as his “most humble, most insular work in years.”

Courtney Barnett and Kurt Vile

8 p.m. Fri, Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, $30–45
When news broke that wry Australian rocker Barnett was teaming up with America’s laid-back, smooth-toned fingerpicker Vile, lyrically attentive indie rock fans nigh on exploded with anticipation. The duo tours the resulting album this fall, with a pass through Portland for a Schnitz show. You’re gonna wish you’d been there.

Sallie Ford

9:30 p.m. Fri, Bunk Bar, $15
Earlier this year, Sallie Ford dropped her second solo effort, Soul Sickan ambitious ode to ’50s jukebox rock. Her menacing yowl glides over jangly guitar riffs in a transcendent collision of angst, whimsy, and rollicking melancholy—but you can still dance to it. We talked with the Portlander when the album dropped.

Zola Jesus

9 p.m. Fri, The Old Church, SOLD OUT
Nika Roza Danilova, aka Zola Jesus, just released Okovi, her fifth studio album. It's a showcase of her dark vocals and keyboards, with reflections on personal trauma and her roots in the Midwest.

Phantoms of the Orchestra

7:30 p.m. Sat and 2 p.m. Sun, Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, $23–110
The Schnitz is possessed—by eerie music and ghostly costumes. The Halloween Pops return to haunt the concert hall for this family-friendly concert, with assistance from the Magic Circle Theatre Company and conductor Jeff Tyzik.



7:30 p.m. Thu–Sat, 2 p.m. Sun, Artists Repertory Theatre, $50
A cross between live theater and visual art, Christopher Chen’s Caught explores America’s obsession with the intersection of fact and fiction as it relates to art. Chinese artist Lin Bo, whose work once offended his country’s government so severely that he was arrested and incarcerated for two years, will give an introduction prior to each performance. Plus, catch static components of Bo’s work on display in the theater lobby through October from noon–6 p.m., Tuesdays–Sundays.

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It's Alison times three! Aida Valentine, Allison Mickelson, and Sara Masterson star in Fun Home.


Noon and 7:30 p.m. Thu, 7:30 p.m. Fri–Sat, 2 and 7:30 p.m. Sun, Gerding Theater, $25–75
Portland Center Stage opens its season with a tight, moving production of the riotously popular, Tony-winning musical, based on Alison Bechdel’s graphic novel about coming out to her family as a lesbian.

Nesting Vacancy

8 p.m. Thu–Fri, 3:30 and 8 p.m. Sat, 8 p.m. Sun, Shoe Box Theater, $20
This semi-scripted play returns to Theatre Vertigo for a second season, transporting audiences to an abandoned house where two siblings are tormented by the past. Catch this four-episode show over the course of four weekends, with the option to binge-watch on Saturdays.

Visual Art

The Wyeths: Three Generations

10 a.m.–8 p.m. Thu–Fri, 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Sat–Sun, Portland Art Museum, $19.99 
PAM displays more than 80 paintings and drawings from one of the most artistically prolific families in the United States. Born in 1882, N.C. Wyeth was one of the nation’s premier illustrators. He passed his artistic talent onto his son Andrew, a painter. Also on show: work by Henriette Wyeth, N.C.’s daughter, and her husband, Peter Hurd, as well as paintings by Andrew’s son, Jamie.

Thomas Roma and Karolin Klüppel

Noon–5 p.m. Thu–Sun, Blue Sky Gallery, FREE
Photographer Karolin Kluppel’s Kingdom of Girls focuses on young girls from the Indian village Mawlynnong, a matriarchal society where the family’s land is passed to the youngest daughter. Thomas Roma’s photos, Plato’s Dogs, take inspiration from Plato’s Allegory of the Cave, in which the philosopher sees shadows on the wall as a misrepresentation of reality. Roma captures silhouettes in an attempt to convey each dog’s “essential self.” 

Special Events

Forced from Home

9 a.m.–5 p.m. Thu–Sun, Pioneer Courthouse Square, FREE
Can you re-create the refugee experience in downtown Portland? That’s what this free, interactive exhibit, created by Doctors Without Borders, aims to do, simulating a perilous boat trip and arrival in a crowded camp.

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