PoMo Picks

Top Things to Do This Weekend: Sept 27–30

Send out September with Japanese Breakfast, steamy dance routines, musings on mortality, Haley Heynderickx, and the seventh annual All Jane Comedy Festival.

By Rebecca Jacobson and Fiona McCann September 26, 2018

Japanese Breakfast (a.k.a. the Eugene-raised Michelle Zauner) plays the Wonder Ballroom on Thursday.

Books & Talks

Jessica Hopper

8 p.m. Sat, Beacon Sound, FREE
The music critic's new memoirNight Moves, recounts her rough-and-tumble time in Chicago in the early 2000s—think DJ gigs, dilapidated punk houses, and filming rogue music videos in grocery stores. She'll be joined in conversation by Portland musician Laura Veirs.


All Jane Comedy Festival

7:30 and 9:30 p.m. Thu–Sat, 7 and 9 p.m. Sun, Curious Comedy Theater, prices vary
The all-women comedy fest returns for the seventh year, with standout stand-ups including Marlena Rodriguez, Riley Silverman, and Caitlin Weierhauser.

Throwing Shade Live

9 p.m. Fri, Revolution Hall, $20–24
Erin Gibson and Bryan Safi of long-running, queer-focused comedy podcast Throwing Shade (it now also exists as a late-night TV show) hit Portland with their sly, spirited riffs on women’s rights, pop culture, and LGBTQ issues.


Carmen + World Premiere

7:30 p.m. Thu–Sat, Newmark Theatre, $34–58
Portland’s NW Dance Project opens its 15th season with the reprisal of Ihsan Rustem’s Carmen, a sexy work that transports Bizet’s classic story to modern-day hair salons and barbershops, followed by a world premiere from artistic director Sarah Slipper that also promises dark flare.


Japanese Breakfast

8 p.m. Thu, Wonder Ballroom, $16–18
The Eugene-raised Michelle Zauner, who performs under the name Japanese Breakfast, makes melancholy, affecting indie-pop (she also recently wrote an emotional New Yorker essay about H Mart and grappling with grief after her mother’s death).

Haley Heynderickx

8 p.m. Thu, Revolution Hall, $15–18
aley Heynderickx sings of angry millipedes, sour milk and old olives, a god with thick hips and knockoff Coach bags. Fig trees and indigo skies, hornets’ nests and honeycomb—the images populating her songs could feel twee were they not so vivid, and were the Forest Grove-raised musician not so skilled, with resonant finger picking and a haunting, raw voice. 


9 p.m. Thu, Doug Fir Lounge, $12
The Portland post-punk band released a sophomore album, Mating Surfaces, in May, which doubled down on the arty, minimalist defiance of the quartet’s first record.

Eleanor Friedberger

9 p.m. Fri, Doug Fir Lounge, $15–18
Also known as one half of the Fiery Furnaces (alongside her brother, Matthew), Eleanor Friedberger dropped her fourth solo album last spring. Titled Rebound, it mused on Friedberger’s time in Greece after the 2016 U.S. election. The Guardian called it “warm, quirky electronic pop that’s more gently uplifting than melancholy.”

Ural Thomas & The Pain

8:30 p.m. Sat, Aladdin Theater, $17–20
The 78-year-old Ural Thomas leads a seven-man soul and funk band that seamlessly blends his own decades-old songs with new material in famously emotional, dance-packed live shows. The Portland-based band boasts drum, string, key, and horn players, with résumés including work with the Five Fingers of Funk and Cherry Poppin’ Daddies. This fall, they release their first full-length album after six years together—and we, for one, are stoked. (We also convinced Thomas to star in Fall Fashion 2018: check out those photos, and an accompanying story, here.)

Agnes Obel

8:30 p.m. Sun, Wonder Ballroom, $20–22
Composing her first songs as a teenager on a school hall piano, the Danish singer-songwriter’s eerie, intimate sound marries instrument and voice in melancholic harmony.


OPENING Wakey Wakey

7:30 p.m. Thu–Sat, 2 p.m. Sun, Portland Playhouse, $25–39
Portland Playhouse kicks off the season with Will Eno’s tragicomedy, in which a dying, wheelchair-bound man reflects on mortality. Bleak? Possibly. But the New York Times also called it “glowingly dark, profoundly moving.”

CLOSING Radiant Vermin

7:30 p.m. Thu–Sat, CoHo Theater, $25–32
Scott Yarbrough—Third Rail’s founding artistic director, who stepped down at the end of last season—helms Philip Ridley’s macabre comedy about the housing crisis, materialism, and morality. How far would you go for the perfect home?

CLOSING Skeleton Crew

7:30 p.m. Thu–Sun, 2 p.m. Sat–Sun, Artists Repertory Theatre, $30–60
Artists Rep opens its season with Dominique Morisseau’s Obie-winning play about the collapse of Detroit’s auto industry. Set in 2008 at one of the city’s last auto plants, the LA Times described it as “a powerful drama about workers, the value of their work and what happens to society when that work is taken away.”

Visual Art

CLOSING Samantha Wall

11 a.m.–5:30 p.m. Thu–Fri, 11 a.m.–5 p.m. Sat, Russo-Lee Gallery, FREE
In Phantom Limbs, Portland artist Samantha Wall—who was born in South Korea and came to the US as a child—explores “family identity, cultural history, and loss” via drawings that meld portraiture and Korean “ritual narratives.”


Noon–5 p.m. Thu–Sun, Blue Sky Gallery, FREE
The black-and-white photos in I Love You, I’m Leaving chronicle a challenging period for Matt Eich, including his parents’ separation, his move to a new city, and changes in his siblings’ lives. For Eich, the series reflects “the rhythm of my peripatetic life.”


11 a.m.–5 p.m. Thu, 11 a.m.–4 p.m. Fri, noon–5 p.m. Sat–Sun, Oregon Jewish Museum, $8
Known for his strong figurative work as well as his role in the British Pop Art movement—he was good friends with David Hockney—Kitaj had a tumultuous career before his 2007 suicide at the age of 74. A Jew Etc., Etc. collects work from the last 20 years of his life, a time when Kitaj was exploring Jewish heritage and identity in his art.

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