- IT’S A STRANGE WORLD: Among the tidbits to emerge from a miniature press junket on the set of Portlandia, the improvisational sketch comedy starring Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein: When the Independent Film Channel series shot a skit in Mayor Sam Adams’ office, Adams played an assistant to the mayor, who was played by Kyle MacLachlan. (Yes, Yakima’s MacLachlan, a.k.a. Special Agent Dale Cooper.) While shooting his episode several weeks ago, MacLachlan envisioned his mayoral character as “jealous that Portland doesn’t have a baseball team and Seattle has a baseball team, so he asks Fred and Carrie to help him get a baseball team,” according to a series producer. John Canzano imitates art! Meanwhile, Portlandia has also themed an episode around a rock festival that looks suspiciously like MusicfestNW, and shot some incidental footage there. The episode will include a touring indie-rock supergroup played by the Shins’ James Mercer, the Decemberists’ Colin Meloy, and Brownstein’s old Sleater-Kinney bandmate Corin Tucker.
- OLD GROWTH: Fluff up that full beard, shine up those sideburns, clip those whiskers and trim that chinstrap—it’s time to put that facial fuzz in the spotlight. Stumptown Stash and Beard Collective, Portland’s fledgling chapter of Beard Team USA, is teaming up with PDXYAR to bring Portland its first-ever beard competition this Saturday at the Portland Pirate Festival (see here). The categories are full beard, mustache, chops or partial beard and freestyle (where women, children and the otherwise facially follicularly challenged can get creative with props, maybe even knitting a yarn beard). Two-time reigning World Mustache Champion Keith Haubrich and Beard Team USA President Phil Olsen will be present to judge. They’ll be looking at shape, fullness, shininess, grooming, creativity and showmanship. The competition will be held between 1:30 and 7:30 pm Saturday, Sept. 18.
- TIME IS ON OUR SIDE: While you were busy with MusicfestNW (see here), PICA’s eighth annual Time-Based Art Festival got off to a roaring start last weekend too, with thousands of arty revelers packing into the festival’s makeshift headquarters at Washington High School for Japanther and Night Shade’s noise rock vs. puppetry throwdown. Read about the fest’s highlights, lowlights and general weirdness, from bloody iPhones to ice-cream art installations, every day at wweek.com.
- BACK AGAIN: An organization named “Therapy Group LLC” has applied for a liquor license to reopen Element Restaurant and Lounge, the garishly decorated former Thai restaurant on Southwest Morrison Street that opened in July and abruptly closed just three weeks later. On the east side of the river, Hungarian restaurant Two Stefans is slated to open at Southeast 47th Avenue and Division Street.