July 5th, 2013 | by WW Culture Staff Features | Posted In: Willamette Weekend

Willamette Weekend: 15 Things to Do in Portland, July 5-7

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Friday, July 5

Waterfront Blues Festival
[BLUES] With $10 and some canned food you can listen to dozens of bands that sound like Canned Heat. Except on Sunday, when $50 buys you a view of the back of some dude's head and the chance to hear what's still left of Robert Plant's voice. Which is to say, go Friday or Saturday. Gov. Tom McCall Waterfront Park, Southwest Naito Parkway between Harrison and Glisan streets. 10:30 am. Friday-Sunday $10 suggested donation. $50 Sunday. All ages.

Greg Rucka
[BOOKS] In Greg Rucka’s dystopian future, government is a joke and possession is everything (so, kinda like today). His new comic, Lazarus No. 1, kicks off with the immediate death of its protagonist, with things going swiftly downhill from there. Portland-based Rucka, who has penned nearly a dozen novels and had the opportunity to write comics featuring Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman, will be on hand for the release party of Lazarus. Bridge City Comics, 3725 N Mississippi Ave., 282-5484. 6 pm. Free.

Wild Ones
[ELECTRO DREAM POP] This is music born of careful consideration, not freeform abandon. Golden-glow synths flutter with crystalline grace around subtly employed guitars and light dance beats, like Beach House shaken out of its love-buzzed haze. It’s starry-eyed, swollen-hearted and totally controlled. Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi Ave., with My Body and Genders, on Friday, July 5. 9 pm. $5. 21+.

The Ocular Concern, Andy Clausen
[ELECTRIC JAZZ] Soon-to-depart Portland jazz pianist and composer Andrew Oliver’s electric-jazz quintet may have its visual worries, but its ear is working just fine. With groovy pop hooks and toe-tapping rhythms, the Ocular Concern makes unapologetically fun, concise and original jazz. Meanwhile, on its new album, The Wishbone Suite, former Seattle trombonist and composer and current Juilliard student Andy Clausen’s chamberjazz quintet reveals remarkable range, from gentle, pensive accordion-enhanced moments to rhythmically robust, clarinet-charged escapades. One of jazz’s most promising young compositional talents, Clausen has worked with Benny Golson, Wynton Marsalis (who’s performed Clausen’s music), Bill Frisell, Joe Lovano and other jazz greats. Backspace, 115 NW 5th Ave., 248- 2900. 8 pm Friday, July 5. $10. All ages.

Till Death: The Six Wives of Henry VIII
[THEATER] Henry VIII had six wives, and Tara Travis plays them all (plus the gluttonous playboy himself) in this solo show, which takes place in the afterlife as the slain ladies spill secrets and hash it out with each other. Expect a game of keepaway with Anne Boleyn’s head. The CoHo Theater, 2257 NW Raleigh St., 715- 1114. 7:30 pm. $15.
 
Power of County, Bison Bison, Trask River Redemption
[COUNTRY] Unbridled by the ironic hipsterism that so pervades the Northwest’s alt-country scene, Portland quartet Power of County stands out precisely because it isn’t “alt-country” so much as it is pure country, and not in that mainstream, George Strait sense. Guitars riffing, fiddle screeching and vocals yowling, the band harks back to the days of true outlaws, bringing forth a rowdy-ass sound that simply demands drinking on the dance floor. As a result, PoC has spent the better part of the decade flying in the face of the new country movement, sticking to its guns and roots with a middle finger proudly raised. Tonight, the band celebrates the release of its self-titled fourth album. Dante’s, 350 W Burnside St., 226-6630. 9 pm. $5. 21+.


Saturday, July 6

Burnside Brewing: Brew Masterpiece Theater
Burnside Brewing kicks off its third annual Brew Masterpiece Theater, which continues on Aug. 3 and Sept. 7. Raiders of the Lost Ark will be projected on a 16-foot screen and supplemented with a hoppy, low-alcohol India Session Ale-style beer called the Henry Jones Jr. All proceeds benefit the nonprofit Hollywood Theatre. BYO chair or blanket. Burnside Brewing Co., 701 E Burnside St., 946-8151. Dusk. Free. 21+.

Wilder Schmaltz: Night Lands
[VISUAL ART] With their garishly colored foregrounds and inky backgrounds, Wilder Schmaltz’s drawings have the look of black-velvet paintings. The artist culls his imagery from old magazines, yearbooks and photos, isolating and recontextualizing pictures of people whose expressions he finds intriguing. These people become archetypes of repressed emotions, often covering their faces or glancing away in ways that seem rueful or self-conscious. Schmaltz then removes the figures from their settings and puts them into fantastical, sci-fi vignettes. July 5-28. Gallery 6 PDX, 131 NE 6th Ave., 206-7280.

Trapeze Safari Tour
[HIGH AS A KITE] This hybrid circus-burlesque show has scantily clad women flying through the air with the greatest of tease. San Francisco’s Big Bass Burlectro-Swing party pitches its big top in Portland with performers who look like modernday flappers. The neo-burlesque lineup includes Cleo Viper of Italy, Stilletta Maraschino of San Francisco, Mojo DeVille of New York and Portland’s own Miss Steak. DJs from Canada, San Francisco and Portland provide the bass-fueled, jazz-inspired soundtrack. Star Theater, 13 NW 6th Ave. 9 pm Saturday, July 6. $10. 21+.

Two Houses
[COMEDY] An improvised romance culminating in a wedding. Brody Theater, 16 NW Broadway, 224-2227. 8 pm Saturdays through July 6. $10-$12.

Ephemeros, Hail, Shadow of the Torturer, Druden
[FUNERAL DOOM] Each passing year, the limits of metal get pushed outward. Grind bands get faster, doom bands get slooooooower. Enter Ephemeros, a local group of funereal death doomsters who have collectively worked with other luminary acts from Portland’s underbelly, such as Elitist, Nux Vomica and Graves at Sea. Together with a few other acolytes of downtrodden vibes, the band has created a masterful debut album. Tonight, we celebrate the release of the nearly 40 minutes of death doom contained on All Hail Corrosion. Keep it local, keep it heavy.  Branx, 320 SE 2nd Ave., 234-5683. 8 pm. $6. 21+.

Say Anything, Eisley, HRVRD, I the Mighty
[EMO POP PUNK] Snarky meta-fiction has largely been absent from pop punk in the past decade, and it’s a damn shame. Max Bemis fronts Say Anything like an emo Woody Allen, making it all the more impressive that his freakouts and bloodletting can turn into such a smart, listenable product. Sure, your local record store may file the 2007 double LP In Defense of the Genre as “Hot Topic-core,” but writing Bemis and co. off as navel-gazing tween rock before listening to gems “Wow, I Get Sexual Too” and “Admit It!!!” is a serious mistake. PETE COTTELL. Hawthorne Theatre, 1507 SE 39th Ave., 233-7100. 7:30 pm. $17 advance, $20 day of show. All ages.


Sunday, July 7

Oregon Bach Festival
[MOSTLY BAROQUE] Based in Eugene since 1970, the annual month-long summer festival has been bringing some of its worldclass performers to Portland for the last few years. On Sunday, the nonpareil organist Paul Jacobs plays an all-J.S. Bach program on Trinity Cathedral’s great Rosales instrument. Monday’s choral concert features the festival’s youth choir academy singing Brahms, Britten, Bernstein and Belafonte (yes, that one). Tuesday’s Portland Baroque Orchestra concert has the hometown crew led by its music director, Monica Huggett, in two of Bach’s greatest hits: Brandenburg Concerto No. 5 (featuring harpsichordist Matthew Halls, who takes over as Bach Festival music director next year) and Orchestral Suite No. 3. BRETT CAMPBELL. Multiple venues. 5:30 pm Sunday-Monday, July 7-8 and 7:30 pm Tuesday, July 9. $10-$49. All ages.

Harvey
[THEATER] It’s not every day you come across a 6-foot, boozing, talking rabbit. But in Mary Chase’s 1944 play Harvey, that’s exactly who you’ll meet. Harvey is the (presumably) imaginary friend of Elwood P. Dowd (Jason Shanafelt), who is also unseen to the audience. Clackamas Repertory Theatre’s rendition of this slapstick comedy is lighthearted and very funny, despite the dated cheesiness. As Harvey opens, Elwood’s socialite sister Veta and her daughter are fed up with Elwood introducing Harvey to their friends and embarrassing them, so they decide to have him committed to a sanitarium. From here, chaos and confusion ensue at a steady clip, with the action dragging only at the beginning of the second act. The melodramatic Veta (Amanda Valley) believes her brother’s insanity is rubbing off on her, and between her hysterical weeping and madman cackling, Valley conjures the biggest laughs from the audience. Elwood, for his part, is eccentric and amiable. Constantly bowing and kissing women on the hand, he seems almost too lovable. But his unintentional humor keeps the character intriguing, with some of his slyest comments the funniest of the show. Though he’s constantly ostracized for his interactions with Harvey, there’s a sense Elwood may be more in control than those trying to tame him. “In this world, you must be oh so smart, or oh so pleasant,” Elwood says. “And I got tired of being smart.” HALEY MARTIN. Clackamas Community College, Osterman Theatre, 19600 S Molalla Ave., 657-6958 ext. 5351. 7:30 pm Thursdays-Saturdays and 2:30 pm Sundays through July 21. No show Thursday, July 4. $26.

20 Feet From Stardom
[MOVIES] Life is unfair, and the music industry is worse. If there were a rubric to figure out what makes one performer a household name and the other just another name in the liner notes, the history of pop would read much differently. Turning the spotlight on several career backup singers, Morgan Neville’s 20 Feet From Stardom shows, with great warmth and color, what it might sound like. These are voices and personalities every bit as big as Tina’s and Aretha’s but that, through the vagaries of fate more than anything else, never made what Bruce Springsteen calls “the long walk” from the back of the stage to the front. Only Sheryl Crow, it seems, fully shed the stigma of being a supporting player. Others have come frustratingly close: Lisa Fischer won a Grammy in 1992 but still has to wait in line at the post office. Merry Clayton helped make “Gimme Shelter” into the Stones’ finest moment but never had a major hit herself. Darlene Love, a protégée and plaything of Phil Spector, is the most recognizable, though that’s mostly because she played Danny Glover’s wife in the Lethal Weapon movies. She was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2011, but only after the surreal experience of hearing her voice wafting from the radio in a house she’d been hired to clean. Most are resigned to their roles in the musical ecosystem, content to have sacrificed their own aspirations for the sake of elevating the art itself. Whether that’s noble or a con, Neville never judges. He just lets them sing. And, in a more perfect universe, that would be enough. Living Room Theaters.

 
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