Thrill Jockey’s 20th Anniversary Show
[MUSIC] Trans Am, Liturgy, Eternal Tapestry, Barn Owl, Mike Scheidt, Golden Retriever and Jason Urick round out a list of pioneers, experimental musicians and all-round head-wringers celebrating the 20th birthday of the luminary Chicago record label Thrill Jockey, which has newly picked up a capacious Portland wing. If the sound's this crazy now, imagine what it'll be like next year when the label's allowed to drink alcohol. Mississippi Studios
, 3939 N Mississippi Ave. Friday, Nov. 9. 7:30 pm. $12. 21+.
[MUSIC] It’s a shame Chicano-rock elder statesmen Los Lobos are mostly known for their version of Ritchie Valens’ “La Bamba.” If people knew anything, Kiko—the group’s brilliant, alternately dreamy and rollicking 1992 album, which it is playing
in full to celebrate the record’s 20th anniversary—would be thought of along the same lines as Pet Sounds: as a product of towering artistic vision, and a singular achievement in the history of American rock ’n’ roll.
, 3017 SE Milwaukie Ave., 234-9694. 8 pm. $40 advance, $45 day of show. Under 21 permitted with legal guardian.
Siren Nation Friday: Alela Diane, Jesse Sykes and Phil Wandscher, Antje Duvekot
[MUSIC] Singer-songwriter Alela Diane lives in Portland now—”with her cat,” according to Wikipedia—but as far as her music is concerned, the California native has never left her home state. Even though she was born in tiny Nevada City, in the northern part of the state, Diane’s indie-folk sound is steeped in the bittersweet warmth of ’70s Laurel Canyon. With last year’s Alela Diane and Wild Divine, the hushed and often solo 29-year-old went and got herself an honest-to-goodness backing band, muscling up her music with a strong, rootsy backbone, but the lovely coastal pastoralism that’s marked her previous work remains.
Alberta Rose Theatre
, 3000 NE Alberta St., 719-6055. 9 pm. $12 advance, $15 day of show. Under 21 permitted with legal guardian.
Saturday, Nov. 10
Third Angle: Reich-analia
[CLASSICAL] The city’s oldest new-music ensemble has been celebrating America’s greatest living composer, Pulitzer Prize winner Steve Reich, even before he worked with them here a few years ago. This performance features the most ecstatic and powerful work of contemporary classical music created in the second half of the 20th century: Reich’s 1976 epic, Music for 18 Musicians. The Atrium at Montgomery Park
, 2701 NW Vaughn St. 7:30. $5-$30.
Siren Nation Saturday: Jolie Holland, Edna Vazquez, Like a Villain
[MUSIC] Jolie Holland’s slow-burning career has allowed her to adopt as second nature the shorthand of country, jazz, folk and gallows swing. Even prior to 2011’s Pint of Blood, her lush, macabre songwriting was garnering comparisons to Tom Waits (some of which originated from Waits himself), and her subsequent work has proven she not only has Waits’ talent for Americana aberrations, but also does him one better by providing a depth of emotion comparable in scale to her auditory camp. SHANE DANAHER.
Alberta Rose Theatre
, 3000 NE Alberta St., 719-6055. 9
pm Saturday, Nov. 10. $15. All ages.
[VISUAL ART, THEATER] Kara Walker’s art explores slavery, racism and violence. Christina Anderson’s new one-woman play, Hollow Roots, investigates race, gender and the possibility of divorcing contemporary identity from historical legacy. In a fitting convergence, Boom Arts presents a staged reading of Anderson’s play inside an exhibition of Walker’s work. Cooley Memorial Art Gallery
, Reed College, 3203 SE Woodstock
Blvd., boom-arts.blogspot.com. 7 pm. Free, reservations required.
The Onion Book of Known Knowledge
BOOKS] One of the last trustworthy news sources in the country, The Onion
, is now sharing its insights with the world in the new, comprehensive book The Onion Book of Known Knowledge. Presented by The Onion
editor Will Tracy.
Powell’s City of Books
, 1005 W Burnside St., 228-4651. 2 pm. Free.
Sherrie Wolf: Looking Back
[VISUAL ARTS] It’s a rare artist who invigorates not one but two fusty tropes—landscapes and floral still lifes—with jolts of fresh spunk. Sherrie Wolf can, and in Looking Back: New Paintings, she proves anew that she is one of the Northwest’s finest, wittiest realist painters. Key to her success are her senses of anachronism, displacement and illusionism: combining pictorial elements that are chronologically and spatially incongruous. In pieces such as Still Life With Lake Lucerne, vases and silver cups in the foreground hold sprays of vibrant tulips, while the background recedes with reproduced landscapes by historical painters. The show’s pièce de résistance is Self Portrait, in which the artist reimagines herself as the protagonist of Gustave Courbet’s The Painter’s Studio (1855). RICHARD SPEER.
Laura Russo Gallery
, 805 NW 21st Ave., 226-2754. Through Dec. 11. Free.
Sunday, November 11
[MUSIC] They say, “Work like you don’t need the money.” Four years into an improbable, late-career reincarnation as a road warrior, Leonard Cohen must be doing it not just due to fiscal victimization at the hands of his former business manager but out of love. Once again, audiences can marvel not only at Cohen’s peerlessly poetic catalog, but also at how damn classy he is, not to mention amazingly spry, jogging on and off stage and dropping to his knees repeatedly (and, seemingly, effortlessly) throughout. Tonight’s show is sure to be sublime. JEFF ROSENBERG. Rose Garden
, 1401 N Wheeler Ave., 235-8771. 8 pm Sunday, Nov. 11. $39.50-$250. All ages.
[THEATER] People with Asperger’s syndrome are often said to lack empathy. But no matter how emphatically the play’s character Jared denies such a diagnosis, his social aptitude certainly comes up short. Playwright Annie Baker, however, has empathy in spades. That’s on full display in this engrossing and humorous production, which examines how we attempt to understand those around us—and how spectacularly we sometimes fail. Baker’s characters are idiosyncratic, flawed and instantly relatable. Deftly juggling emotion and reason, Body Awareness slyly tugs at the heartstrings but is too smart to pander to sappy sentiment.
The CoHo Theater
, 2257 NW Raleigh St., 205-0715. 7:30 pm Thursdays-Saturdays, 2 pm Sundays through Nov. 11. $20-$25.
Beauty Is Embarrassing
[FILM] The puppets and set for Pee-wee’s Playhouse. A music video for Peter Gabriel. Commercials for Old Spice. They all owe their creation to a bearded man in his 50s—the subject of this documentary—with a banjo under his arm. Growing up in Tennessee and coming into his art in 1980s New York, Wayne White makes more than just pictures, as he shows the audience on playful slides: a massive LBJ mask with an insane smile, for example, and a painting of white landing craft spelling the words “FUCK YOU” invading a coastline. But it’s White’s humorous immaturity that makes the film. Beauty Is Embarrassing balances his style of cult comedy and his creative significance to create a beautiful and (yes) embarrassing portrait of a modern pop-art icon. MITCH LILLIE.
Clinton Street Theater
. 7 pm Friday-Monday, Nov. 9-12; 7 pm Wednesday, Nov. 14.