Books & Talks
7 p.m. Thu, She Bop SE, FREE
The sex-positive comics writers—Portland power duo and the real-life couple behind the long-running webcomic Oh Joy Sex Toy—are out with a new graphic tome called Drawn to Sex: The Basics. It’s the sex-ed book you probably wish you had 20 years ago (and it might still have something to teach you). For more, check out our story on the book.
7:30 p.m. Thu, Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, $32.50–57.50
America’s foremost chronicler of Macy’s Christmas elves and Costco shopping trips hits the Schnitz with his latest essay collection, Calypso, which he bills as “beach reading for people who detest beaches.”
7:30 p.m. Fri, Powell's City of Books, FREE
Based on her popular McSweeney’s column, Amongst the Liberal Elite is Lonon’s new graphic novel about a couple road-tripping across the US, attempting to answer one of the country’s most pressing questions: How in the world was Trump elected? Expect political satire in the vein of John Oliver and Samantha Bee, disappointing tourist attractions, and plenty of arguments about yoga.
7:30 p.m. Sun, Powell's City of Books, FREE
On January 2, 2016, armed militants led by Ammon Bundy took over southeastern Oregon’s Malheur National Wildlife Refuge for 41 days, attempting to seize control of federal lands. In his new book, Sagebrush Collaboration, Peter Walker draws upon two years of field work to explain why the takeover was always destined to fail.
8 p.m. Fri–Sat, Siren Theater, $10–15
Since 2013, Portland’s Lone Wolves sketch comedy group has worked in a pack. Up next: eight of the group's members, including Shelley McLendon, Erin Jean O’Regan, and Jason Rouse, return from the wilderness to perform at the Siren Theater.
7:30 p.m. Fri–Sat, Polaris Dance Theatre, $17.50–25
Polaris Dance Theatre’s new show comments on our tumultuous political climate, exploring how we move through a divisive reality. The show features work from longtime artistic director and Polaris cofounder Robert Guitron, as well as from Polaris’s new sister company, ELa FaLa Collective—an all-female dance company headed by Brazilian choreographer and dancer Barbara Lima.
8 p.m. Fri, The Old Church, $12
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 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.
8 p.m. Fri, Polaris Hall, $17–20
Proving the world would benefit from more period-positive surf tunes (sample line: “Sew a scarlet letter on my bathing suit, ’cause I’ve got sharks in hot pursuit”), the palindromic Seattle quartet brings irreverent lyrics and bubblegum glee to pop-punk tunes about mansplainers, Internet trolls, and seasonal affective disorder. Also on the bill: Portlander Katherine Paul, who makes aching, atmospheric music under the name Black Belt Eagle Scout. Her debut album, Mother of My Children, draws on post-rock, riot grrrl, and the rhythmic pulse of tribal drumming.
9 p.m. Fri, Doug Fir Lounge, $12–14
The Portland’s band darkly vampy, atmospheric anthems have found their way into films from Iranian noir A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night to The Lego Movie. It’s been 10 years since the band’s first record, La Rayar—which was recently remixed, remastered, and released on vinyl for the first time.
9 p.m. Sat, Crystal Ballroom, SOLD OUT
This three-piece band from Texas mixes different musical genres—including psychedelic rock, soul, dub, and ’60s & ’70s Thai funk—into ear-pleasing and laidback compositions, one of which even landed in a surf culture-themed Corona beer commercial a few years ago. Khruangbin (which translates to “Engine Fly” in Thai) brings its unique arrangements to the Crystal.
8 p.m. Sun, Roseland Theater, $32.50–45
Known for her concise, vulnerable lyrics and erratic live performances, Cat Powers (given name: Chan Marshall) comes to the Roseland with her newest album, Wanderer—her first in six years—which was released earlier this year. Addressing such deeply personal topics as parenthood, healing from addiction, and the endurance of the spirit, the album has received critical acclaim, with the New York Times declaring: “In 11 spare tracks, Ms. Marshall seems confident, at last, in her identity as a rootless seeker and storyteller, firm in the instability of her atypical existence.”
7:30 p.m. Thu–Sat, Shout House, $15–25
Two years ago, local writer and Write Around Portland cofounder Ben Moore presented a series of performance pieces based off suicide letters and research his grandfather obsessively collected for over a decade. Now, two new shows—complete with live music, projected images, and vocals—are set to premiere as Moore continues his own obsessive study of life’s value.
CLOSING The Taming
7:30 p.m. Thu–Sat, CoHo Theater, $25–32
Can a beauty queen revolutionize the American government—with some help from a conservative senator’s aide and a liberal blogger? If you’re in the world of popular playwright Lauren Gunderson, the answer is: maybe. Mariel Serra, a founding company member of the now-defunct Post5 Theatre, directs this CoHo show.
CLOSING A Map of Virtue
7:30 p.m. Thu–Sat, Shoebox Theater, $5–20
The scrappy Theatre Vertigo takes on Erin Courtney’s experimental, Obie Award-winning mystery, which begins with a Hitchcock-worthy bird attack and only gets more terrifying from there.
Noon–6 p.m. Thu–Sun, Ori Gallery, FREE
Curated by Ori co-founder Maya Vivas and featuring artists April Felipe, Habiba El-Sayed and Natalia Arbelaez, Inheritance uses ceramics to explore ideas of identity, belonging, power, and loss.
11 a.m.–5:30 p.m. Thu–Sat, Russo Lee Gallery, FREE
The Portland artist returns to Russo Lee with a new exhibit titled My Scars Are My Tattoos, her first solo since November 2016’s Why I Kept a Light Burning. Josephson’s paintings depict community, with people of different shapes, sizes, genders, ages, and races rendered with distinct folk art flair. Her style is expressive and colorful, and she often incorporates mosaic and embroidery work into her paintings.
10 a.m.–8 p.m. Thu–Fri, 10 a.m.–5:30 p.m. Sat–Sun, Portland Art Museum, $20
Curated by PAM’s Maribeth Graybill, this exhibit showcases Japanese poetry and the visual form it’s taken throughout the centuries. Expect to see a rare fragment of a Buddhist sutra, a painting of an immortal summoning his dragon, and countless meditations on nature.