PoMo Picks

Top Things to Do This Weekend: Aug 16–19

Portland trio Sávila celebrates its debut album, soapbox cars scream down Mount Tabor, Crush Bar becomes a 'living dreamworld,' and Punch Brothers and Andrew Bird play the Oregon Zoo.

By Rebecca Jacobson, Fiona McCann, and Natasha Tandler August 16, 2018

Cumbia-inspired Portland trio Sávila plays Polaris Hall on Friday.

Books & Talks

Elizabeth Rush

7:30 p.m. Thu, Powell's Books on Hawthorne, FREE
In Rising: Dispatches From the New American Shore, Reed alum Elizabeth Rush investigates the wide-ranging, irreversible impacts of climate change on coastal communities. She speaks with climate change refugees, wildlife experts, and activists to document how different species are coping with ever-shifting shorelines. According to the Los Angeles Review of Books, “[Rush] informs the layperson about the imminent threat of climate change while grounding the massive scope of the problem on heartfelt human and interspecies connection.”

Ghostland: Rebirth

7 p.m. Sun, Crush Bar, $15–40
Launched in March, this bimonthly event calls itself a “living dreamworld”—part literary series, part performance-art salon, part multimedia experiment. This month’s theme is “Rebirth,” with corresponding costumes highly encouraged.


Neal Brennan

7 p.m. Sat, Aladdin Theater, SOLD OUT
The comic, best known for cowriting Chappelle’s Show and Half Baked, brings his deadpan yet emotionally candid stand-up to the Aladdin. The show's sold out, but you can get your Brennan fix via our Q&A with the comedian.


Kimya Dawson

8:30 p.m. Thu, Wonder Ballroom, $18–20
You probably know this anti-folk music legend for her acoustic songs (like the iconic and adorably sweet “Anyone Else But You”) from the Grammy-winning soundtrack for indie film Juno. But the platinum-selling artist has also created her own record label, released a children’s album called Alphabutt, and played at Carnegie Hall. Not too shabby.

Jessica Hernandez & The Deltas

9 p.m. Thu, Doug Fir Lounge, $13–15
This Motor City soul-pop band recently released its sophomore album, Telephone/Teléfono. The full-length bilingual double-LP celebrates lead singer Jessica Hernandez’s Cuban and Mexican-American heritages with versions of its high-energy, rhythmic songs in both English and Spanish.


8 p.m. Fri, Polaris Hall, $12–15
Since forming two years ago, the Portland trio has most often been labelled cumbia. But Fabi Reyna—who plays guitar, joined by Brisa Gonzalez on vocals and Papi Fimbres on drums—says that Colombian genre is a descriptor approximately as precise and meaningful as “rock.” Instead, Reyna considers their style a modern-punk take on Latin music that also draws on R&B, folk, and more experimental genres. Sávila’s brand-new, eponymous debut album adds synths and ’90s club vibes to the sonic stew. The result is atmospheric and hypnotic, insistently—but not aggressively—urging you to dance.

Punch Brothers and Andrew Bird

7 p.m. Sat, Oregon Zoo, $39.50–99.50
The zoo’s venerable alfresco series continues with an impressive double bill: bluegrass quintet Punch Brothers and Midwestern singer-violinist-whistler extraordinaire Andrew Bird.


CLOSING Guys and Dolls

7:30 p.m. Thu–Fri, 2 and 7:30 p.m. Sat, 2 p.m. Sun, Deb Fennell Auditorium, $20–58
The stakes are high as long-time gambler Sky Masterson makes a bet to woo Sarah Brown, an angelic “Save-A-Soul” missionary. Meanwhile, illegal crap game organizer Nathan Detroit feels pressure to wed Adelaide, his girlfriend of 14 years. See if these two gamester gents play their cards right in Broadway Rose’s production of the beloved romantic musical comedy.

Visual Art


Noon–5 p.m. Fri–Sun, Bison Building, FREE
Junk sculptures are an art-class staple, but this nine-year-old program levels up, granting five local artists access to pick through Metro’s massive central dump and create at least eight gallery-worthy pieces (also available for sale).

Leonard Ruder

11 a.m.–5:30 p.m. Thu–Fri, 11 a.m.–5 p.m. Sat, Augen Gallery, FREE
Outside his day job as a custodian in a local school district, the late Portland-based artist Leonard Ruder persistently pursued his passion for painting, creating artwork by night and exhibiting it in smaller galleries and museums around town. Throughout August, Augen features PAINTINGS 1970–1990, an exhibit highlighting approximately two decades’ worth of Ruder’s abstract and geometric paintings that reflect his appreciation for science, architecture, and philosophy.

Michael Abramson

Noon–5 p.m. Thu–Sun, Blue Sky Gallery, FREE
In a compilation of black-and-white gelatin silver prints known as Light: On the South Side, now up at Blue Sky, photographer Michael Abramson captured the effervescent spirit and styles of black nightclubs on Chicago’s South Side during the 1970s. The photo series helped launch his career as a professional photographer for publications like Time, the New York Times, and the Wall Street Journal.

Diverse Voices

10:30 a.m.–5:30 p.m. Thu–Sat, Elizabeth Leach Gallery, FREE
Seven mid-career artists, all hailing from Vancouver, British Columbia, present multimedia work in this new exhibit. From techno pop-inspired ceramic sculptures to crochet paintings, the pieces explore the notion of materiality through experimental artistic processes.

Special Events

Portland Adult Soapbox Derby

10 a.m.–4 p.m. Sat, Mount Tabor, FREE
Every year, the laws of gravity, aerodymanics, and creative whackery warp as homemade conveyances hurtle down the twisty slopes of Mount Tabor in an expletive-filled race to the bottom. High-velocity hijinks guaranteed. 

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