Following WikiLeaks' release of diplomatic cables in November 2010, a media beast was born that's still rearing its head in the national news. Now the WikiLeaks circus is coming to Portland, but it isn't some NPR segment you're about to hear.
East Burnside watering hole Rontoms isn't the first place you think to go for topical, thought-provoking discussion, but that's where Oregon Humanities is hosting its Think & Drink WikiLeaks event Thursday, Feb. 24. University of Oregon journalism professor Peter Laufer takes a break from his research on butterfly trafficking and UC Berkeley African literature Ph.D. candidate Aaron Bady sets his dissertation aside to share with Portland all they know about the wild worlds of national security, transparency and new media. Journalist Laufer covered American soldiers in Iraq before his recent turn to butterflies on the black market. He calls WikiLeaks "a fascinating manifestation of the kinds of tools journalists have been using since they started drawing on cave walls." And when Bady's not teaching, he's posting his insight into current events on his blog zunguzungu.wordpress.com. His Nov. 29 post about WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange went viral and Bady was deemed "The Unknown Blogger Who Changed WikiLeaks Coverage" by The Atlantic. Their interests are eclectic, but they're ready to speak their mind about WikiLeaks and, with the help of the Rontoms' bartenders, make your head spin.
GO: Think & Drink at Rontoms, 600 E Burnside St., 236-4536. 6 pm Thursday, Feb. 24. Free. 21+. Info at oregonhum.org.
WEDNESDAY FEB. 23
Nobody raps faster than Chicago MC Twista, who for years has matched up his hyper-quick flow with lots of sped-up soul samples and sex jams. Mount Tabor Theater, 4811 SE Hawthorne Blvd., 360-1450. 9 pm. $22 advance, $25 day of show. 21+.
FRIDAY FEB. 25
Director Johnnie To's operatic Hong Kong gun fu is a tropical remake of Death Wish, if Charles Bronson woke up halfway through with his memory suddenly wiped of whom he was targeting, and whom he was avenging. Laurelhurst Theater, 2735 E Burnside St., 232-5511. Multiple showtimes. $3.
SATURDAY FEB. 26
[DANCE] THE STRAVINSKY PROJECT
Oregon Ballet Theatre's ode to Stravinsky opens with artistic director Christopher Stowell's stark, fascinating 2009 version of Rite of Spring, danced by, among others, Anne Mueller, whose retirement this June should be cause for a riot. Keller Auditorium, 222 SW Clay St., 800-745-3000. 7:30 pm Saturday, Feb. 26. 2 pm Sunday, Feb. 27. 7:30 pm Friday-Saturday, March 4-5. $10-$140. Tickets at obt.org.
SUNDAY FEB. 27
[MUSIC] MACEO PARKER
You know all those crazy saxophone lines that dotted James Brown's hits in the 1960s? They were played by this guy. Now a certifiable funk and jazz legend, Parker hits town for what might be the most fun show of Jazz Fest. Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside St., 225-0047. 9:30 pm. $25 all-ages balcony, $30-$40 seated 21+ section.
[SCREEN] BARNEY'S VERSION
Paul Giamatti plays Barney Panofsky, serial collector of whiskey and wives. The movie is based on Mordecai Richler's singular conception of hustling Canadian Jewishness, and Giamatti offers a lusty, avid personification of it. Regal Fox Tower Stadium 10. 846 SW Park Ave., 221-3280. Multiple showtimes. $10.50.
TUESDAY MARCH 1
[MUSIC] WILD NOTHING, ABE VIGODA
Nostalgia is back, kids! Wild Nothing and Age Vidoda don't really sound alike (one is a twee indie-pop outfit, the other sounds like the Cure circa 1984) but they share a love of the '80s, and that's the important thing here. Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison St., 239-7639. 8:30 pm. $10 advance, $12 day of show. 21+.