Friday, July 20
PDX Pop Now! Festival
[MUSIC] Every year, the PDX Pop Now! festival offers a glimpse into the music that’s moving Portland. And despite this city’s recent reputation as a haven for confessional, tattooed singer-songwriters and beardy folk-pop bands, the past few years of PDX Pop Now! have shown a music scene moving away from the gentle sounds of yesteryear and in an entirely new direction. OK, maybe a dozen entirely new directions. This year’s festival—all-ages, free and totally exhausting, as always—is devoid of local superstars but overflowing with genre diversity from house music to experimental skronk to hard-hitting hip-hop and smooth, ’80s-inspired electropop... read our full write-up here
. Refuge PDX, 116 SE Yamhill St., from 6 pm Friday to 1 am Monday, July 20-23. Free. All ages. See pdxpopnow.com for full schedule.
Cathedral Park Jazz Festival
[MUSIC] Now under new leadership after financial shakiness led to questions whether the 32-year-old Cathedral Park Jazz Festival
would survive, the annual event boasts a strong lineup of 26 performers, including such well-known local improvisers as Pink Martini’s Martin Zarzar (who has a new solo album out), his fellow Martini horn man Gavin Bondy’s Shanghai Woolies, PSU prof and former New York jazz pianist George Colligan, Andrew Oliver and Dan Duval’s trio the Ocular Concern, Rich Halley, Tim Willcox Quartet, Dan Balmer’s Go by Train, Trio Subtonic, Quadrophonnes sax quartet, singer-pianist Halie Loren, Krebsic Orkestar, Eugene’s sax man Joe Manis' trio, former Bill Evans sideman Chuck Israels’ jazz orchestra, and much more. Food and other vendors will be there, and it’s a great picnic opportunity. Cathedral Park, North Edison Street and Pittsburg Avenue. Friday 5 pm, Saturday-Sunday noon-11ish pm. Free. All ages.
The Ecstasy of
Order: The Tetris Masters
neatniks, rejoice: Somebody finally
made a Tetris movie! A documentary
about the grand masters of a game
that rewards a hyperactive impulse
toward tidiness would be expected to
play as a portrait of extreme obsessive-compulsive
disorder, but the film,
by Portland’s Adam Cornelius, gets by
on sheer congeniality. Tracking local
enthusiast Robin Mihara’s quest to
gather together the world’s highest
scorers and crown an undisputed
champ, The Ecstasy of Order
King of Kong
, but that’s only because
its subjects are too damn nice. (Of
course, they’re also exceptionally
geeky: One player wears retro videogame
shirts exclusively and claims
he learned to conquer the Rubik’s
cube in order to impress women.)
Although it lacks a strong anchoring
personality, the movie gets a dollop
of pathos from a former Nintendo
World Champion named—no shit—Thor Aackerlund. A shy, tortured soul
among affable nerds, he started entering
gaming competitions as a kid
after a fire consumed his childhood
home and his mother was diagnosed
with a heart ailment; for a time, his
family lived solely off his winnings.
The gulf of tragedy separating him
from the rest of the players brings out
the social autism of his gaming peers:
After learning of an accident in 1996
that crushed Aackerlund’s skull and
left him in a coma, Mihara’s reaction is
to ask, “Did that affect your game at
Theatre. Multiple showtimes.
Portland International Beerfest
[BEER] It’s that time of year again: 150 beers from all over the world (though it must be said a disproportionate number of those beers are from the U.S., and specifically the West coast) will be available during three days, alongside food from Koi Fusion, Potato Champion and others. The catch? You’ll have to pack into the North Park Blocks with some truly obnoxious people to drink it. If you can handle the bro factor, the ticket price gives you re-entry all weekend and the event helps raise money for animal charities. So that’s nice. North Park Blocks, Northwest 8th Avenue between Burnside and Glisan streets, portland-beerfest.com. 4-10 pm Friday, noon-10 pm Saturday and noon-7 pm Sunday, July 20-22. $25-$40.
Saturday, July 21
Kenny & Zuke's 2nd Annual Picklefest
[FOOD] Last year, Kenny & Zuke’s held a pickle-making contest among local chefs, and the amount of people who showed up to taste the fruits of their labor was insane. This year, the deli is turning it into a full-blown Picklestock. In addition to sampling the submissions from this year’s contestants, attendees can taste pickles from local companies, eat barbecue and listen to live music. Pickle on, Portland, pickle on. Wallace Park, Northwest 25th and Raleigh. Noon-6 pm Saturday, July 21. Free. $7 to taste the pickle samples, barbecue costs extra.Possession
cousin to the icky brain-meets-body
horror of early Cronenberg, 1981’s
depicts the psychological
ravages of divorce with such disorienting
intensity it makes the political and
emotional trauma of A Separation
like a celebrity anullment. A young,
wild-eyed Sam Neill plays Mark, a spy
of some sort (the details of his occupation
are vague) who returns home
to Berlin after a job to find his wife,
Anna (Isabelle Adjani), readying to
leave him. The reins of reality loosen
from there. Director Andrzej Zulawski
keeps the camera circling around the
disintegrating couple, conveying their
growing shared madness by entrapping
them in claustrophobic closeups. Neill is delightfully crazed, though
he’s nearly outdone in that department
by Heinz Bennent as Anna’s
kung-fu fighting, motorcycle riding
German lover. Both performances are
so oddly histrionic they become unintentionally
comedic. But Adjani legitimately
disturbs. Screeching, crying
and prone to hysterical fits, she’s like
Shelley Duvall in The Shining
Diamanda Galas. Hollywood Theatre, 4122 NE Sandy Blvd. 9:30 pm
Saturday-Sunday, July 21-22.
Theatre Without Animals
[THEATER] French absurdist playwright Jean-Michel Ribes’ work has been translated into 12 different languages—but until Brooke Budy came along, never into English. Now Factory Theatre stages Budy’s English-language premiere of Ribes’ series of eight short absurdist pieces, which examine ridiculousness in our relationships. CoHo Theater, 2257 NW Raleigh St., 7:30 pm Friday-Saturday. $10-$15.
[VISUAL ART] Australian artist Mel George uses kilnformed glass to guide viewers on a tour from the land down under to Istanbul to Venice, finally winding up right here in Portland. Inspired by the tiled mosaics she saw in Turkey and Italy, George created a mosaic of her own for Hazy, her thoughtful exhibition at Bullseye. The piece, Frame of Time, is made up of 366 small rectangles, one for each day of the year. The interior of each calendar entry is a different color, corresponding to the weather, mood, or activities of each day during the artist’s year of far-flung travels. The result is a virtuosic visual diary, chromatically and emotionally powerful. Other works in the show incorporate architectural elements, including a fond paean to Portland’s 11 bridges. Bullseye Gallery, 300 NW 13th Ave.
Sunday, July 22
The Dark Knight Rises
[FILM] Let’s keep this simple: The Dark Knight Rises
is the best entry in Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy. It’s tighter and better paced than its hyperbolically praised predecessor. It uses its actors better, including Christian Bale, who got shunted into the background of his own movie last time around. And it’s got one hell of a villain. Multiple theaters and showtimes.
BodyVox in Motion with Chamber Music Northwest
[DANCE, MUSIC] Igor Stravinsky’s music is well known in the dance world, although his opera “A Soldier’s Tale” might be less known than, say, “The Rite of Spring” or The Firebird. As the opening act to its 15th season, local contemporary dance company BodyVox
has taken up that score in its second collaboration with Chamber Music Northwest
. Company co-founders Jamey Hampton and Ashley Roland will debut the work, which is set to live music performed by CMNW festival and Protégé artists and based on a Russian folk tale about a traveling soldier who makes a deal with the devil. The program will also include the repertory works Moto Perpetuo
and Falling For Grace
and Roland’s suite Two for One…Three for All…Four for Nothing!
, set to Chopin. Lincoln Hall, Portland State University, 1620 SW Park Ave. 8 pm Friday-Saturday, July 20-21; 3 pm Sunday, July 22. $25-$50.
Portland Queer Music Festival
[MUSIC] While organizers of the second annual Portland Queer Music Festival
can't be faulted for their ambitions—splitting 24 bands between Someday Lounge and Backspace for one loooong Sunday—scheduling grand old Bay Area electro-poppers Imperial Teen as headliners of the all-ages stage seems a curious choice. Half the quartet has never shied away from embracing a queer sexuality (though they also never allowed LGBTQ issues to become a defining band motif), but a full 16 years after the band's critically acclaimed debut, would empirical teens have the slightest notion who they were? Backspace, 115 NW 5th Ave.; Someday Lounge, 125 NW 5th Ave. Starts 2 pm. All ages. $10-$15.