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March 2nd, 2011 RICHARD SPEER | Headout
 

Road Trip

Matt McCormick takes a look in Oregon’s rear-view mirror.

headout_McCormick_3717 Photos by Matt McCormick courtesy of the Elizabeth Leach Gallery
     
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These are golden days for local filmmaker and artist Matt McCormick. His first feature film, Some Days Are Better Than Others, debuted last week at the Portland International Film Festival, and thanks to a distribution deal with Palisades Tartan, will go into extended release March 25 at the Hollywood Theatre. Meantime, visual arts fans can take in McCormick’s deeply moving 76-minute art project, The Great Northwest, at Elizabeth Leach Gallery. The film retraces a 3,400-mile road trip taken by four single thirtysomething women back in 1958—think On the Road meets an Eisenhower-era Sex and the City. McCormick found the women’s hyper-detailed travel journal at a thrift store and set off in their footsteps and tire tracks 53 years later, juxtaposing shots of the journal (photos, motel receipts, national and state park passes) with present-day shots of the same sweeping vistas. There’s a melancholy tinge to the installation: Where kitschy, old-school motor lodges once stood, a U.S. Bank branch now crowds alongside a supermarket and parking lot. And you wonder what happened to the women themselves. (McCormick says at least two are dead; the other two, if alive, are in their 90s.) These emotional undercurrents, along with spectacular cinematography and wisely restrained storytelling, make The Great Northwest a film that will awe—and quite possibly choke up—anyone who loves the green-tinted paradise we call home.

GO: The Great Northwest at Elizabeth Leach Gallery, 417 NW 9th Ave., 224-0521. Show opens Thursday, March 3. Closes April 2. Free.


Headout Picks

THURSDAY MARCH 3

[COMEDY] MICHAEL IAN BLACK

The prolific actor, writer and comedian of The State and Stella hits town for a stand-up gig one week before his frequent collaborator Michael Showalter. Too bad—we’d commit a number of felonies to see a Captain Monterey Jack/Doug reunion. Helium Comedy Club, 1510 SE 9th Ave., portland.heliumcomedy.com. 8 pm Thursday, 7:30 and 10 pm Friday-Saturday. $20-$30. 21+.


FRIDAY MARCH 4

[MUSIC] KISSES

Though bedroom synth-pop duo Kisses hails from Los Angeles, its sun-kissed Balearic beats and deadpan vocals owe more to Jens Lekman and weird disco than Southern California. Peter’s Room (below the Roseland), 8 NW 6th Ave. 8 pm. $10. All ages.


SATURDAY MARCH 5

[MUSIC] PORTLAND YOUTH PHILHARMONIC

Stravinsky’s great ballet score Petrushka turns 100 this year—only 13 years older than the Philharmonic itself. The program also includes Brahms’ “Tragic Overture” and Tchaikovsky’s “Rococo Variations,” starring PYP’s concerto competition winner Jinn Shin. Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, 1037 SW Broadway, 223-5939, portlandyouthphil.org. 7:30 pm. $11-$32.


SUNDAY MARCH 6

[MUSIC] CRYSTAL CASTLES

Pitchfork and Hipster Runoff jokes aside, Toronto’s Crystal Castles is making some of the most dreamy dance music since New Order’s heyday. Now, if only Robert Smith would appear for his version of “Not in Love,” then we’d have something for the ages. Roseland, 8 NW 6th Ave., 224-2038. 8 pm. SOLD OUT. All ages.


TUESDAY MARCH 8

[WHOOO!] IRVING KITCHEN
MARDI GRAS

For a Mardi Gras party where you can keep your shirt on, head to Irving Street Kitchen for all-you-can-eat roasted piggies, jambalaya, sticky rice and the traditional NOLA dessert—a purple, gold and green cake with a toy baby baked inside. Plus, classic Hurricanes and Sazeracs. Irving Street Kitchen, 701 NW 13th Ave., 343-9440. 6 pm-midnight. $40. Call for reservations.

[MUSIC] WEEDEATER

North Carolina is known for many things—barbecue, college basketball, indie rock—but few people think of sludge metal. Weedeater thinks that’s bullshit, and it wants to scream at you. Rotture, 315 SE 3rd Ave., 234-5683. 9 pm. $10 advance, $12 at the door. 21+.

 
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