September 7th, 2012 | by WW Arts & Culture Staff Features | Posted In: Willamette Weekend

Willamette Weekend

14 things to do in Portland, Sept. 7-9

     
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music-clublist_3751STAR THEATER - IMAGE: Inger Klekacz
Friday, Sept. 7

MusicfestNW Friday
[MUSIC] You can probably figure out which MFNW shows you’ll be attending Friday based on what you plan on drinking. Check it out: Pabst = The Pains of Being Pure at Heart at Star Theater. A 40 of Old English = Poison Idea at Dante's. Exploitatively priced white wine = Beirut at Pioneer Square. Craft IPA = Trampled by Turtles at Aladdin Theater. Rum smuggled inside a Pepsi bottle = Future Islands at Branx. Water (because this Ecstasy is making me dehydrated) = DJ Beyondadoubt at Holocene. Water (because this coke is making me dehydrated) = A-Trak at Wonder Ballroom. Water (because have you seen what beer costs in this place?!) = Unknown Mortal Orchestra at Crystal Ballroom. See musicfestnw.com for details.

KEXP at MusicfestNW
[MUSIC] Getting out of bed the day after MFNW is a challenge, but tapings hosted by Seattle radio station KEXP are a great motivator for braving the sunlight. Aside from being free and all-ages, these mini-concerts allow fans to see some of the festival’s biggest bands in an impossibly intimate setting. Saturday’s lineup has both Dinosaur Jr. and the Hives tearing up a club half the size of the venues they’ll play later that night. Doug Fir Lounge, 830 E Burnside St., 231-9668. 10:30 am-4:30 pm Thursday-Friday, Sept. 6-7, noon-4:30 pm Saturday, Sept. 8. Free. See full schedule at musicfestnw.com.

NW Hip Hop Fest
[MUSIC] Unimpressed by the number of hip-hop acts at this year’s MusicfestNW? No worries! A couple of local hip-hop fans-turned-promoters have got you covered. Northwest Hip-Hop Fest is back for its second year, spanning three days across some of Stumptown’s well-known open-mic haunts. Admittedly, the festival’s bill is a little daunting in the sheer volume of artists being presented—even the biggest local hip-hop fans will have trouble recognizing some of the acts—but there is plenty here to enjoy. Look out for performances by some of the scene’s veteran greats, like Cool Nutz and L Pro, and some of the scene’s most exciting acts, like rap oddball Cloudy October and fiery spitter Serge Severe. Don’t forget about some of the talented newcomers, too, like University of Oregon alums Chill Crew (watch for gifted MC Jon Belz) and live hip-hop band Speaker Minds. Friday, Sept. 7, Kelly's Olympian, 426 SW Washington St. 8:30 pm. Saturday, Sept. 8, Ash Street Saloon, 225 SW Ash St. 9 pm. $8 advance, $10 day of show. 21+.

Time-Based Art
[ART] PICA’s annual arts festival celebrates its 10th year putting weird art you don’t really understand on stages around the city. Here are three WW previews: one, two, three. Stay tuned to wweek.com for reviews. See pica.org/TBA for more info.

Samsara
[FILM] Samsara, the title of the new wordless, non-narrative documentary from the creators of 1992’s similarly structured Baraka, is a Sanskrit word referencing, more or less, the circle of life. If that doesn’t reek of patchouli enough for you, the film is also bookended by trips to a Buddhist temple, features a score that sounds taken from a CD purchased at the counter of an organic food co-op, and, through its juxtaposition of images, expresses a disapproving view of the modern industrialized world. Anyone allergic to New Age-isms will break out in hives. Put aside those aversions, however, and Samsara is, without question, the most visually intoxicating film of year. Shot in gleaming 70 mm by Ron Fricke and Mark Magidson, the movie travels  to 25 countries—from hurricaneravaged New Orleans to East Africa, from Egyptian apartment complexes built in view of the pyramids to a Bangkok strip club full of undulating “lady-boys”— and paints an astounding portrait of human existence. Fox Tower. Multiple showtimes.


Saturday, Sept. 8

Rose City Comic-Con
[COMICS] Stumptown, Kumoricon, Wonder Northwest, OryCon—does Portland really need another geek convention? Read our article about this new comic convention to find out. Rose City Comic-Con is at the DoubleTree Hotel, 1000 NE Multnomah St. 10 am-6 pm Saturday, 10 am-4 pm Sunday, Sept. 8-9. $12.50 for one day, $20 for a two-day pass; kids 12 and under free with paying adult. 

MusicfestNW Saturday
[MUSIC] The first two hours, anyway, are easy. Mathy shiny people Au and hometown-bred electropop heroes Starfucker start things off at Pioneer Courthouse Square, and the latter set, especially, represents a rare and special fruition for those of us who've geeked out over Portland music this past half-dozen years. Concertgoers' options get very tough very quickly later in the evening, especially at 11 pm, when Big Freedia bounces to an all-ages crowd at Branx, the legendary Dinosaur Jr. rocks Roseland and Portland heroes Hazel reunite at Star Theater. Redd Kross seems to be the consensus favorite at midnight, though Moonface's last visit to Doug Fir was a blast, and the ex-Wolf Parader is touring on a fine new record this time around. You may be exhausted by the end, but take solace: Some music festivals wrap up at 4 am, and you'll be home by last call. See musicfestnw.com for details.

Avenue Q
[THEATER] Triangle Productions stages the irreverent, Tony Award-winning adult puppet musical. Warning: raunchy scenarios, filthy language and explicit puppet nudity. Sanctuary at Sandy Plaza, 1785 NE Sandy Blvd., 239-5919. 7:30 pm Thursdays-Saturdays, 2 pm Sundays, Sept. 6-30. No show Sunday, Sept. 9. $15-$35.

Elise Wagner: Event Horizons
[VISUAL ART] An event horizon is the point at which escape from a black hole is impossible. For the past year or so, this idea has so captivated artist Elise Wagner that she created an entire series of encaustic (wax-based) paintings around the theme. In past work, Wagner has used motifs from star charts, runestonelike symbols, the sciences and pseudosciences such as alchemy, but this is the first time she has explored the concept of a black hole in such depth. It will be intriguing to see whether her concept and her technique sync up in the imagery. Through Sept. 29. Butters Gallery, 520 NW Davis St., 2nd floor. 

Anjali School of Dance: A Midsummer Night’s Dream
[DANCE, THEATER] Romeo and Juliet has already inspired a classical ballet and a full-length hip-hop piece, so why shouldn’t A Midsummer Night’s Dream be told through Indian dance? Anita Menon, founder of the Anjali School of Dance, is prepared to do just that: She held open auditions for local dancers, as well as musician and actors, to cast in her version of Shakespeare’s comedy, which will incorporate dance styles including bharatanatyam, kuchipudi, kathak and native folk dances, plus ballet, tap and hip-hop. The score that accompanies the work is equally eclectic; a little classic music here, a little Bollywood soundtrack there. Newmark Theatre, 1111 SW Broadway, 248-4335. 2 and 6 pm Saturday, Sept. 8. $17.25-$32.25.

LiveWire!: Helio Sequence, Corin Tucker Band
[MUSIC] Both Helio Sequence and the Corin Tucker Band have wooed Pacific Northwest audiophiles so assiduously that to snub the groups at this point would constitute a horrid breach of manners. Tucker formed her namesake group after the breakup of local godheads Sleater-Kinney, whereas Helio Sequence has spent a patient decade sanding even the most minute rough edges from its electronic-infused pop. Both groups have so thoroughly inculcated the Portland music game that it’s frankly more surprising when they’re not playing LiveWire! than when they are. Alberta Rose Theatre, 3000 NE Alberta St. 7:30 pm. $18 advance, $20 day of show. $34 reserved seating. Minors must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.


Sunday, Sept. 9

MusicfestNW Sunday

[MUSIC] It's Sunday. Your arm's chafed from the wristband sliding up and down your sweaty radius. You can't remember what you've seen in the past four days, but you're pretty sure you have tinnitus. Bed is your most anticipated venue. Well, wake the fuck up. It's go time. Three performances to go, and they're doozies—and luckily, they're all in Pioneer Courthouse Square. First up's Aussie indie-prog trio Atlas Genius, followed by sultry, tripped-out New York duo School of Seven Bells. But when L.A. grit popper Silversun Pickups—perhaps the most radio-played and popular band of this year's MFNW—hits the stage, the energy level's sure to explode back to the danger zone. When the smoke finally clears and the ringing in your ears subsides, well, consider your hibernation well earned. See musicfestnw.com for details.

A Steady Rain and The Detective’s Wife
[THEATER] Hellfire Productions stages a twin set of gritty, pulpy plays by Keith Huff. In A Steady Rain, directed by Pat Patton, two Chicago cops have their friendship tested when they end up on opposite sides of the law. JoAnn Johnson directs The Detective’s Wife, a hardboiled mystery about a woman searching for her husband’s killer. The plays run in repertory. Shoe Box Theater, 2110 SE 10th Ave., 757-6836. 7:30 pm Thursdays-Sundays, 4 pm Sundays. Closes Oct. 7. $20 each or $35 for both.

The Ambassador
[FILM] If nothing else, Danish filmmaker and provocateur Mads Brügger has extremely large testicles. In his new documentary, The Ambassador, Brügger goes undercover inside the highly corrupt and very dangerous African diamond trade. Brügger buys himself Liberian diplomatic papers, travels to the Central African Republic and assumes the identity of a grotesque and farcical colonial businessman, dressing in safari suits, spewing racist rhetoric, hiring an entourage of pygmies and bribing everyone around him with fat envelopes of cash. In The Ambassador, real money changes hands, real people die and real sleazy politicians and businesspeople are recorded on Brügger’s hidden cameras. But the attempted expose raises more questions than it answers: Just what is Brügger trying to achieve with his racist caricature? Does catching these crooks on camera justify Brügger funding them? Is Brügger really playing them, or is he ultimately just another victim? What is the impact of this business on the regular people of the CAR, who we almost never see? And in what appears to be such a overwhelmingly widespread and deeply entrenched problem, what can the viewer really do other than tut-tut and renew our Amnesty International membership? Hollywood Theatre, 4122 NE Sandy Blvd. Multiple showtimes.
 
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