Friday, Jan. 18

Denver, Widower, What Hearts
[COUNTRY] If you enjoy dusty country music with howling harmonica solos and twangy allusions to dancing with the moon, then this evening will be a good night to see Portland’s Denver perform some wandering cowboy songs. The rest of the lineup will be worth a watch, too. Seattle’s Widower, highlighted by the melancholy country-folk musings of frontman Kevin Large, celebrates the release of its longawaited new album, Fool Moon, this week. With the addition of fellow Seattle singer-songwriter Kaylee Cole, the group turns out some gorgeous vocal pairings. Opening the night will be the cast of lovely local women known as What Hearts. Fronted by Julie Vitells, the quintet plays instrumentally understated songs full of quirky, descriptive lyrics and subtle multi-part harmonies. EMILEE BOOHER. Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi Ave., 288-3895. 9 pm. $8. 21kknd. 

The Road to Mecca
[THEATER] It’s a simple story, really—a snapshot of one evening in the lives of two women. But much can be revealed in a conversation fueled by trust and desperation. South African playwright Athol Fugard’s The Road to Mecca explores faith and freedom on the most personal levels, while also establishing a clear backdrop of the era’s political climate. Set in 1974 in South Africa, a country still heavily under the rule of apartheid, an evening passes in the home of the elderly Miss Helen (based on Afrikaner Helen Martins and her Owl House, which is well worth a Google search). She receives a visit from her only friend Elsa Barlow, and though separated by four decades in age, both women find themselves in places of darkness and turning to the other for guidance. The stunning performances by Amanda Soden as Elsa and Eileen DeSandre as Helen are the reason to see this production, the local directorial debut of Profile Theatre’s new artistic director Adriana Baer. Both women infuse each moment with such heartrending authenticity that you might need hankies. In the face of suffocating darkness, Elsa and Helen find the strength to make choices—whether to stay or to move on—and a freedom that casts a beautiful, glittering light. PENELOPE BASS. Theater! Theatre!, 3430 SE Belmont St., 242-0080. 7:30 pm Wednesdays-Saturdays, 2 pm Sundays through Feb. 3. $16-$30.

Gray Matters, Luck-One, the Flu
[HIP-HOP] Last year was another big year for local MC Luck-One. He released two new projects, both of which saw him teaming with a local producer to create fiercely meditative music. Luck was also as contentious as ever: He threatened retirement, made harsh comments about touchy situations like the Clackamas Town Center shooting and got into a well-publicized spat with Portland hip-hop scene flag-holder DJ Chill. Part of the rapper’s appeal, though, is his willingness to speak his mind in a poignant manner, so his actions hardly came as a surprise to his true fans. They welcomed the candor. REED JACKSON. Hawthorne Theatre, 3862 SE Hawthorne Blvd., 233-7100. 8 pm. $7 advance, $10 day of show. All ages.

Parquet Courts
[MUSIC] Light Up Gold, the debut album from these buzzing New York rockers, is 33 minutes of pure, shitshakin’ garage-pop glory. Bunk Bar, 1028 SE Water Ave., 894-9708. 9 pm. $8. 21kknd.

Saturday, Jan. 19

[BEER] This year, 19 vintage beers, conditioned for up to eight years in kegs, will make up Bailey’s fourth annual CellarFest. As any hophead will tell you, the older the beer, the less sharp the alcohol flavor, and the more subtler flavors can bloom. VIP tickets allow attendees entry two hours early, a guaranteed seat at the bar and six tasters, though 4-ounce tasters can be had for a few dollars apiece without a ticket. Foamy highlights include a 2008 Russian River Consecration, a 2010 Block 15 Figgy Pudding and a 2005 Rogue Russian Imperial Stout. It’s all the good parts of a cellar without the cobwebs. Bailey’s Taproom, 213 SW Broadway, 295-1004. 4 pm. VIP tickets $25. 21kknd.

Robert Rauschenberg, Christopher Rauschenberg
[VISUAL ARTS] In Hollywood, this is what you call dream casting. To mount a show featuring the late, great artist Robert Rauschenberg and his son, Portland-based photographer Christopher Rauschenberg, is a formidable, delicious challenge, which Elizabeth Leach and her team must surely have relished. The late Rauschenberg’s mixed-media prints will rub elbows with photographer Rauschenberg’s travelogue tableaux of a recent visit to St. Petersburg, Russia. This is a January must-see. Through Feb. 2. Elizabeth Leach Gallery, 417 NW 9th Ave., 224-0521.

[FILM] In this darker version of Alice in Wonderland, Czech Jan Svankmajer accurately reads Lewis Carroll’s classic as a dream, not a fairy tale. Shot largely in stop-motion, the animals are all taxidermied, some with skulls for heads, and Alice, while at first played by a real girl (Kristýna Kohoutová), shrinks to become a stop-motion doll. The rabbit hole is a series of drawers, the White Rabbit is quite a bit more violent, and there’s no hookah or pepper soup. A roomful of worms made of socks bores holes in the floor. The cut-out croquet flamingoes turn into live chickens. Watching Alice has the same effect as accidentally inhaling fungal spores alone at an abandoned foreign museum. MITCH LILLIE. NW Film Center’s Whitsell Auditorium. 7:30 pm Saturday and 5 pm Sunday, Jan. 19-20.

Jackson Browne
[MUSIC] I don’t think I’m alone in saying Jackson Browne’s rendition of “Stay,” a tune originally written by Maurice Williams in 1953, exemplifies that universal nostalgia for youthful nights conjured by Browne’s classic 1977 record, Running on Empty. Particularly the part of the song when multi-instrumentalist David Lindley sings with his unmistakably high-pitched vibrato, “Oh won’t you stay just a little bit longer?” Continuing their collaboration 20 years later, Browne and Lindley joined forces for a 2006 tour across Spain, which was compiled on Browne’s 16th official album and latest release, Love Is Strange: En Vivo Con Tino. Released in 2010, the live recordings clearly demonstrate Browne’s ongoing maturation as a songwriter and performer, as his voice and vision haven’t missed a beat. EMILEE BOOHER. Keller Auditorium, 222 SW Clay St., 800-745-3000. 8 pm. $42.50-$96. All ages.

Palm Tree Ride
[BIKES] Because nothing says January like tropical vegetation, the Urban Adventure League guides a leisurely bike tour of Portland’s best exotic flora. Meet at Velo Cult Bike Shop, 1969 NE 42nd Ave., urbanadventureleague.blogspot. com. 11 am-3 pm. Free.

National Pigeon Association Grand National  
[BIRDS] The country’s largest pigeon show judges old cocks, young hens and rare breeds on a “standard of perfection,” which we assume to include accuracy of projectile defecation and elegance of pigeon toe. Hilton Vancouver, 301 W 6th St., Vancouver, Wash., 360-993- 4500, Jan. 17-19. Free.

Camp Lo
[MUSIC] Camp Lo’s Uptown Saturday Night is a minimal, ultrastylish and underrated ’90s hip-hop masterpiece. A full 15 years after the album’s release, MCs Sonny Cheeba and Geechi Suede are hitting Portland—on a Saturday night, no less—to perform their greatest heist in its entirety. Refuge, 116 SE Yamhill St. 9 pm. $12 advance, $15 day of show. 21kknd.

Sunday, Jan. 20

Every Sunday Square Dance
Play the gent or play the lady, but whatever you do don't sit out the first dance. It's rude as shit. Village Ballroom, 700 NE Dekum St. 7-9 pm. $7 sliding scale.

Sun Angle
[MUSIC] Sun Angle, the heat-scorched psych band many-band impresario Papi Fimbres he started in 2011 with fellow restless genius Charlie Salas Humara, releases its debut album, Diamond Junk, in May. Produced by Menomena’s Danny Seim, the record has the approval of one of Portland’s most influential bands and a possible international distribution deal. It could end up being the most widely successful project Fimbres has ever been involved with. Rontoms, 600 E Burnside St., with Summer Cannibals, on Sunday, Jan. 20. 9 pm. Free. 21kknd.

Beasts of the Southern Wild
[FILM] In the Bathtub—the fictional Louisiana bayou settlement that forms the backdrop and lifeblood of the enchanting Beasts of the Southern Wild—the price of existing off the grid is living in waterlogged squalor. Shot among the ravages of post-Katrina New Orleans but set on the eve of the hurricane’s arrival, the film is a clear allegory for the Ninth Ward, an area certain authorities were seemingly happy to see drowned out of existence. Although showered with festival accolades, some have labeled the movie’s director and co-writer, a white Wesleyan graduate named Benh Zeitlin, a “cultural tourist.” It’s a dubious criticism, considering that where #Beasts# really takes us is on a tour of a child’s imagination. As far as we know, the Bathtub we experience only exists in the mind of Hushpuppy (dynamo first-timer Quvenzhané Wallis, already the subject of Oscar handicapping). And it’s got giant, mythical horned pigs in it, for crying out loud. Accusing Zeitlin of making—in the words of one critic—an “art-house minstrel show” is like accusing Maurice Sendak of misrepresenting imaginary monsters. The movie is a fable, not a documentary. It’s like Southern-fried, live-action Miyazaki. Is it messy? A bit. But like the Bathtub, that’s part of the film’s charm and power. It manipulates waterworks at its emotional climax, which isn’t necessary. Beasts clamps its jaws down on you long before then. MATTHEW SINGER. Laurelhurst Theater, 2735 E. Burnside St., 232-5511

Cadence Fest
[JAZZ] Spanning improvisatory styles from Dixieland to avant-garde, Cadence Fest features Portland jazz vets like pianist Gordon Lee and saxophonists Rich Halley and Mary- Sue Tobin, plus national stars Bernard Purdie and Julian Priester, as well as Cadence magazine owner/editor David Haney himself. BRETT CAMPBELL. Ivories Jazz Lounge and Restaurant, 1435 NW Flanders St., on Sunday-Tuesday, Jan. 20-22. See for a complete schedule.