What do you usually do to celebrate Presidents Day? Oh, that's right, nothing. Well, not this Monday, Feb. 21. Right now one patriotic Portlander is saluting our nation's leaders with pork and oil paint. Local artist Bijijoo's The Presidential Ham—meticulously over-the-top portraits of all 44 presidents, each of whom proudly embraces a large, pink leg of cured meat—is on display at Powell's City of Books' Basil Hallward Gallery throughout February. In honor of the U.S.'s head honchos (including President Obama, who will be in town on Friday, Feb. 18, to talk education at Intel) we asked Bijijoo to name his three favorite portraits.
Martin Van Buren: "He was distinguished by a crown of unruly white hair and great side whiskers. He spoke rapidly with crisp enunciation, but when he became excited, it is said, a touch of Dutch accent crept into his speech. His natty appearance often was the subject of scorn in the press."
(Source: Degregorio, William A. The Complete Book of U.S. Presidents. New York: Wings Books, 1993.)
(Source: Quoted from doctorzebra.com and Boller, Paul F. Jr. Presidential Anecdotes. New York: Oxford University Press, 1981.)
Rutherford B. Hayes: "I love his beard! He seemed like a very sweet man. His last words were: 'I know that I'm going where Lucy [his deceased wife] is.'"
(Source: Barnard, Harry (1954, 2005). Rutherford Hayes and His America. Newtown, Conn.: American Political Biography Press.)
GO: Presidential Ham at Powell's City of Books, Pearl Room, 1005 W Burnside St., 228-4651. Regular store hours. Free. More info and POTUS trivia at presidentialham.com.
THURSDAY FEB. 17
Whitney Streed hosts a showcase of stand-up comedians (Virginia Jones, Anthony Lopez, Iris Gorman), sketch performers (Tactics Ogre) and music (Annie Vergnetti). Weird Bar, 3701 SE Division St., weirdbar.com. 9 pm. $5. 21+.
FRIDAY FEB. 18
[VARIETY] LIVE WIRE!
The radio variety show has a particularly good lineup at this week's taping: Timbers owner Merritt Paulson, writer Karen Russell (Swamplandia!), Meadow owner and "sel-melier" Mark Bitterman, poet Moe Bowstern and music from Langhorne Slim and the Cave Singers. Alberta Rose Theatre, 3000 NE Alberta St., livewireradio.org. 7:30 pm. $18-$20.
[MOVIES] UNCLE BOONMEE WHO CAN RECALL HIS PAST LIVES
PIFF presents hot catfish love from Thailand. Also: ghost monkeys! CineMagic, 2021 SE Hawthorne Blvd., 276-4310. 9 pm. $9-$10.
[MUSIC] YO LA TENGO
Tired of seeing the same old indie-rock bands? Well, Yo La Tengo plays indie rock, and it's kinda old, but the band still rocks and it's bringing out the big guns for the "Spin the Wheel" tour. Cross your fingers and hope the wheel doesn't land on "Act out a Seinfeld episode"! Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell St., 284-8686. 9 pm. $17 advance, $20 day of show. 21+.
SATURDAY FEB. 19
[MUSIC] THE DECEMBERISTS
Portland's biggest band (a Billboard No. 1 don't lie, baby) finally plays a local release show for the lovely The King Is Dead. Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, 1037 SW Broadway, 248-4335. 8 pm. $39.50. All ages.
Cheers! More than 55 breweries will participate in this statewide open house and tour this year—29 of them in Portland proper, from Amnesia and Upright to Rogue and Hair of the Dog. And the Oregon Brewers Guild is even being kind enough to provide shuttle buses to help boozers reach many of the boozing points. 11 am-4 pm. Pay as you go. Plan your trip at oregonbeer.org/zwickelmania.
SUNDAY FEB. 20
[TRIVIA] CLASH OF THE TRIVIA TITANS
ShanRock's legion of trivia fiends go head to head in an epic tourney of boozing and knowledge. "Triviology virgins" welcome. The Spare Room, 4830 NE 42nd Ave., 287-5800. 5 pm registration. $5 per player, five people max per team. Info at shanrockstrivia.com.