December 14th, 2012 | by WW Culture Staff Features | Posted In: Willamette Weekend

Willamette Weekend

16 things to do in Portland, Dec. 14-16

music.clublist.thetrap_3730 IMAGE: cameronbrowne.com
Friday, Dec. 14

Arms and the Man
[THEATER] Northwest Classical Theatre Company stages George Bernard Shaw’s frenzied farce about a young woman who tries to climb society’s metaphorical ladders and a man who climbs into her actual window. Shoe Box Theater, 2110 SE 10th Ave., 971-244-3740. 7:30 pm. $18-$20. 

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
[FILM] It's freaking everywhere! Your mom's even playing it behind her eyelids! Full review here.

Sunn 0)))
[METAL] The live performances by this long-running extreme metal outfit are known for two things: an abundant use of smoke machines and volume levels that will reduce your poor eardrums to useless flaps of skin. Roseland Theater, 8 NW 6th Ave., 971-230-0033. 9 pm. $20. All ages. 

St. Johns Winter Beer Fest 
[BEER!] By this point, Portland’s blood should be running black with a light, nutty head—unless we’ve picked up a new liver. Well, here’s another fantastic celebration of all things strong, ale-y or defrosting. Beers from Oakshire, Stone, Uinta, 10 Barrel, Lucky Lab and St. Bernardus will be poured. Other than Tim, the sausage guy, parked outside, this event is beer or bust. Plew’s Brews, 8409 N Lombard St., 283-2243. Noon-midnight Friday-Sunday, Dec. 14-16. $1 tasting tickets, $5 commemorative glasses. 21+.

Aranya
[METALLLLLL] “Epic” is an overused adjective in the rock-crit lexicon, but applying any other word to the mountainous, prog-y, European folk-metal of Portland’s Aranya would be inaccurate. Just look at the band’s latest release: It manages to pack enough mythology into 18 dense minutes to power several hours worth of Tolkien film adaptations. Shit, the group even invented its own deity, for crying out loud! Club 21, 2035 NE Glisan St., with Order of the Gash and Creature Guts on Friday, Dec. 14. 9 pm. Free. 21+.

David Bazan Band, Stagnant Pools

[MUSIC] He wouldn’t make the transformation explicit until years later, on 2009 solo debut Curse Your Branches, but Control was the dog-eared page in David Bazan’s songbook where he crossed the line from thinking man’s evangelist to outspoken critic of the American Jesus. Bazan’s band Pedro the Lion had once been a staple of the Christian music-festival circuit. Control, with its tongue-in-cheek hymns and bitter disdain for consumer culture, found the group cruising along a few miles past the last exit to salvation. A decade after its release, Control stands up as a masterful rock record— even before one fully absorbs the gut-wrenching lyrics—and shines brightly as the pivotal moment in Bazan’s career when he realized stark emotional honesty was more powerful than parable. He and his current band will play the album in its entirety tonight. Rejoice! CASEY JARMAN. Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi Ave., 288-3895. 9 pm. Sold out. 21+.


Saturday, Dec. 15


King Hedley II 
[THEATER] An apocalyptic threat simmers throughout August Wilson’s play, the ninth in his 10-play Pittsburgh Cycle. Set in 1985 in a black Pittsburgh neighborhood ravaged by socioeconomic decline, violence and spiritual blight—evocatively rendered with the set’s chain-link fence, dirt floor and wind chime made of weather-beaten forks and spoons—a sense of decay pervades the play’s proceedings. But while King may seek spiritual and economic redemption, the bitter temptations of crime, vengeance and self-destruction tick around him, like bombs ready to blast. Much damage has already been wrought, but outright devastation looms at the squeaky screen door. Portland Playhouse, 602 NE Prescott St., 488-5822. 7:30 pm Thursdays-Fridays, 2 and 7:30 pm Saturdays, 2 pm Sundays, Dec. 13-30. $23-$32.

Mike Mignola

[COMICS] Comics fans may have been devastated when paranormal investigator and crime fighter Hellboy died in 2011. But Hellboy creator Mike Mignola has resurrected the character for the new series Hellboy in Hell, following his adventures in the afterlife. Mignola will be signing comics as well as displaying his own original artwork. So go to hell; it’ll be fun. Things From Another World, 2916 NE Broadway, 284-4693, tfaw.com. 7 pm. Free.

Breakside Winter Formal
[BEER] Between the wintry brews from Breakside Brewery, the Commons and Burnside Brewing, the invitation to dress “Portland formal” and DJ Anjali and the Incredible Kid’s steamy rainforest beats, this might as well be held in a gently heated sub-Saharan nightclub. As if the see-and-be-seen vibe weren’t enough, prizes will be awarded for best dressed and best dancer, and a king and queen will be chosen. Melody Ballroom, 615 SE Alder St., 232-2759. 7:30 pm. $12, $20.

Nuggets Night
[MUSIC] Nuggets—as you should know if you don't—is a now nearly legendary box-comp of obscure '60s, and '70s garage, psyche, pop, soul and freakout returned to light from dusty '45 bins. For six years now Slabtown's been resurrecting the resurrection with a series of benefit cover shows by local garage bands digging into the Nuggets repertoire. This time around it's a 13-band pile-up (Pynnacles, Suicide Notes, Satin Chaps, et al.), with proceeds going to the Oregon Music Hall of Fame and to two indie-garage entities hit hard by Hurricane Sandy: record label Norton Records and radio station WFMU, the oldest independent radio station in the country. Slabtown, 1033 NW 16th Ave., on Saturday, Dec. 15. 9 pm. $8. 21+. Listen to DJ HWY 7's top five Nuggets tracks here.

MellowHype, Trash Talk, Cassow, Raw Nerves
[MUSIC] The connecting thread between this show’s coheadliners is that MellowHype and Trash Talk are both signed to Odd Future Records, the label run by the hip-hop collective of the same name. But it is hopefully a harbinger for more daring pairings, as both of the above bands diverge wildly in musical approaches. MellowHype is the Odd Future offshoot that highlights the oily, playful rhymes of Hodgy Beats and producer Left Brain’s whip-smart sound collages. Trash Talk, on the other hand, is a hardcore politico-punk band with dozens of big-ticket targets in its collective cross hairs, including crooked cops, PR flacks and the government. What keeps these two groups together (this is their second joint tour) is an anarchic spirit that places a premium on illegal substances and youthful braggadocio. ROBERT HAM. Branx, 320 SE 2nd Ave., 234-5683. 8 pm. $13. All ages.

Whitey Morgan
[MUSIC] There isn’t a better place in Portland to host Whitey Morgan and his 78s than the Landmark Saloon. The Division Street tavern is one of the metro area’s only legit country bars, and Morgan is one of the few legit country singers who ever passes through town. Like the best revivalists in any genre, the Michigan songwriter really doesn’t seem to know what decade it is. His self-titled 2010 debut is full of twangy guitars, twinkling pedal steel and drawling vocals telling tales of booze, jukeboxes and Buicks. There ain’t nothing “alternative” about this dude: It’s pure outlaw country so authentic you’d think he’d been trapped in the storage room of an abandoned Midwest honky-tonk since the 1970s. Come to think of it, who’s to say that isn’t the case? Landmark Saloon, 4847 SE Division St., 894-8132. 9:30 pm. $5. 21+.


Sunday, Dec. 16


Publication Fair
[BOOKS] Look, people. In a world where "local writer" is often worth a shudder, Portland has a terrific wealth of local writers and publishing houses and specialty bookstores with work worth bunkering in for; much of this will all be gathered together all in the same place, from Division Leap micro-bookstore to Tin House to Floating World Comics to Perfect Day Publishing. Don't be surprised if the girl in the pumpkin scarf just plain explodes from the excitement. The Cleaners at the Ace Hotel, 1022 SW Stark St, 228-2277. 12-6 pm. Free.

Choral Arts Ensemble of Portland
[CLASSICAL] The choir performs what’s likely the finest holiday music of the 20th century: Benjamin Britten’s glorious A Ceremony of Carols , plus close runner-up Francis Poulenc’s Christmas motets. Also included are some 21st-century carol settings by rising contemporary choral composer Ola Gjeilo and more, like Tomas Luis de Victoria’s Renaissance masterpiece, O Magnum Mysterium , and associated Mass settings. First Unitarian Church, 1011 SW 13th Ave., 488-3834. 3 pm. $10-$18.

The Mountain Goats
[MUSIC] On the band’s latest album, Transcendental Youth, head Goat John Darnielle recaptures that pissed-off, over-caffeinated and twitchy teenage fire he is such a master at crystallizing in a cutting turn-of-phrase. Aladdin Theater, 3017 SE Milwaukie Ave., 234-9694. 8 pm. $22.50. Under 21 permitted with legal guardian.

Until the Music Stops: Optimo DJs, Nathan Detroit, Phone Call 
[DJ DANCING] Despite all our naughty deeds committed while clubbing over the past year, Holocene is being nice this holiday season and looks to revel in a night of debauchery by importing Glasgow DJs Optimo. The trancey house duo spun in famed dance club Sub Club for nearly 15 years before taking their renowned and unpredictable mixes on the road. Joining them is Nathan Detroit of Holocene’s Booty Bassment to crank the bass and make Santa’s ass cheeks rumble with a thick and heavy rap playlist. A third dancepop stocking stuffer, Phone Call, will play a live set and rage until the wee hours, or until you find a sugar-plum fairy. DREW LENIHAN. Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison St.,239-7639. 9 pm. Free. 21+.

 
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