May 18th, 2012 | by WW Staff Features | Posted In: Willamette Weekend

Willamette Weekend

8 things to do in Portland, May 18-20

     
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Friday, May 18

Jackpot Records/Studio 15th Birthday

[MUSIC] Dual record-store/recording-studio businesses Jackpot and Jackpot! celebrate their respective 15th birthdays in style, with an epic show headlined by the local heros of Quasi and legendary Northwest rock outfit the Minus 5 (plus System and Station, the Alialujah Choir, Blue Skies for Black Hearts and more). You’d be hard-pressed to find a more fitting tribute to the Portland experience than this one. Bagdad Theater, 3702 Hawthorne Blvd. 8 pm. $10. 21+.

Portland Queer Documentary Film Festival
[FILM] It’s fitting that the flagship offering of the sixth annual Portland Queer Documentary Film Festival is Jeffrey Schwarz’s Vito (7 pm Sunday, May 20), a eulogy for the man who documented the depiction of gays and lesbians in cinema. GLAAD co-founder Vito Russo took more than a decade to pen The Celluloid Closet, outlining the devolution of queer characters on the silver screen. It isn’t simply that Russo’s subject matter was so apropos: It’s his unapologetic and beautifully outraged spirit, recalled in footage of the man himself and in interviews with contemporaries Lily Tomlin and Armistead Maupin, that makes Vito so symbolic of this year’s lineup... [read our full Q-Doc write-up here]. The Kennedy School, 5736 NE 33rd Ave. Through May 20.


Saturday, May 19

Rvivr, Dogjaw, Chin Up, Meriwether, Divers
[MUSIC] Olympia’s Rumbletowne Records specializes in an exuberant class of punk rock that marries indomitable optimism to world-weary compassion, and tonight’s all-ages label showcase gathers four beautiful bands bent on lifting spirits and breaking hearts. Rvivr’s bike-punk poetry recalls the wide-eyed, half-drunk soulfulness of early Avail, and the Olympia band’s headlining set will surely send a few kids out into the night with dreams of the perfect Dumpster dive. Speaking of which, show up early for Divers. This Portland quartet, fronted by ex-Drunken Boat dude Harrison Rapp, adds punk grime to Boss-worthy grandiosity, and it is gorgeous. CHRISS STAMM.
Backspace,115 NW 5th Ave. 9 pm. $6. All ages.

Maifest
[BEER] Maifest? Oh, yeah, you know her—Octoberfest’s shy kid sister. For the first time, new German cultural group Zeitgeist Northwest will welcome spring with a yodeling workshop, music from Bodacious, and a maypole dance. Oh, and beer, which is how big sis got popular at parties. Oaks Park, 7805 SE Oaks Park Way. Free. 10 am-7 pm. zeitgeistnorthwest.org.


PGC3 Geek Olympathon
[GEEK] The Portland Geek Council of Commerce's Geek Olympathon returns: a day of challenges including an Internet alleycat bike race, "psychic pinball," a Rock Band Weezer challenge, trivia, scavenger hunts, costume contests and other challenges set by Portland's premiere geeky business and organizations, like Ground Kontrol, the Alter Egos Society, Billy Galaxy, PDX Browncoats and others. Teams of up to five members can compete for prizes like tickets and accommodation to Seattle gaming festival PAXPrime, gift certificates, comics and concert tickets. 9 am-8 pm. $25 per team, $5 per individual. Online registration here. Registration also available at opening ceremony at Backspace, 115 NW 5th Ave.

Steve Jobs: The Lost Interview
[FILM] Steve Jobs speaks from beyond the grave in this long-lost interview rediscovered in the back of someone’s garage. The interview was recorded in 1995, toward the end of Jobs’ 12-year hiatus from Apple— pre-OS X, pre-iMac, pre-iPod and pre-Applemania—and at this point, a slightly bitter, visibly saddened Jobs seems to have thrown in the towel to Microsoft. There are patches that lag as Jobs pontificates about how to run a business, but his oral history of the Apple I, the early days of software and the Macintosh, and his speculating (accurately) on the future of the Web are worth it for any respectable geek. Clocking in at 70 minutes, it’s just short enough to hold the minuscule attention spans that Jobs’ products have helped destroy. Hollywood Theatre, 4122 NW Sandy Blvd. Multiple showtimes.


Sunday, May 20

Harry Smith Tribute
[MUSIC] “I’m glad to say my dreams came true,” said beatnik shaman and Portland native Harry Smith in 1991, upon receiving a special Grammy Award. “I saw America changed by music.” Indeed, the release 60 years ago of Smith’s epochal Anthology of American Folk Music series was one of the most consequential acts of musicology ever perpetrated. Smith—also an experimental filmmaker, photographer and archivist—culled 84 tracks of traditional roots music from his trove of obscure old 78’s, effectively salvaging American folk culture, in the nick of time, from electronic media’s usurpation of oral and regional tradition. The six-LP set, which helped spark the ’60s folk revival, also fostered interracial solidarity by juxtaposing white and black artists on vinyl for the first time. Portland bluesman Joe McMurrian has curated tonight’s ambitious tribute to Smith’s—and the original artists’—achievement, in which some 14 acts will perform material from the still-unmatched collection. JEFF ROSENBERG. Alberta Rose Theater, 3000 NE Alberta St. 719-6055. 7 pm. $15 advance, $18 day of show. Minors must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

The Dictator
[FILM] The most notable thing about the new Sacha Baron Cohen movie is how quaint it seems. In The Dictator, Cohen is a North African despot named Admiral General Aladeen who loses his signature beard and unintentionally goes into hiding in New York as, well, Sacha Baron Cohen. It’s an obvious riff on Chaplin’s The Great Dictator, though it scans like a screwball comedy from an even earlier era—albeit one in which the balls are smashed more than screwed. So, yes, while the film is Cohen’s first scripted effort since 2002’s near-unwatchable Ali G Indahouse, it features the same kind of scatological shocks found in the confrontational situationism of Borat and Bruno. Those bits, however, feel more strained in this context than the conventional gags based in wordplay, satire and misunderstanding. Where does a provocateur go when he’s all out of provocation? In the case of a talent like Cohen, anywhere he wants, though hopefully it’s down the road with less dick shots. Mulitple locations and showtimes.
 
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