Friday, Oct. 4
The IPRC Text Ball
[BOOK PARTY] The Independent Publishing Resource Center holds its eighth annual Text Ball, where guests are encouraged to include text in their attire. A.C. Dickson hosts the event, which will include a live auction, dirty limerick contest, giant crossword puzzles and a costume contest based on this year’s theme of “literary devices.” All proceeds benefit the IPRC. Independent Publishing Resource Center, 1001 SE Division St., Suite 2, 827-0249. 7-11 pm. $15 advance, $20 door.
Gary Clark Jr.
[MUSIC] On Blak and Blu, the 29-year-old guitarist spins through alternating shades of the blues— reverb-flooded slow burners, fervent R&B crooners, woozy hip-hop laments—but the grab bag works, because he possesses the scorching chops to back it up. Roseland Theater, 8 NW 6th Ave., 224-2038. 8:30 pm. $39.50 reserved balcony, $27.50 general admission. All ages.
Great American Distillers Festival
[LIQUOR] Your chance to sip fine craft spirits from Portland and beyond. The responsible move is to go in with a little list of things you’ve never been willing to buy a bottle of. Tiffany Center, 1410 SW Morrison St., distillersfestival.com. $25. 5-10 pm. Continues 1-10 pm Saturday.
Beer-O-Lympics Pub Crawl
[DRINKING] On the day you aren’t attending the Great American Distillers Festival (or the Portland Fresh Hops Festival), you can punch your liver in the kidneys at Beer-O-Lympics Pub Crawl, put on by the fine folks at Beer Quest PDX. This month’s event hinges on Alberta. The street, not the province. Alberta Street Public House, 1036 NE Alberta St., 284-7665. 7:30 pm Friday and Saturday, Oct. 4-5. $25.
Saturday, Oct. 5
Fresh Hop Beer Festival
[BEER] The Willamette Valley is one of the country’s two major growing regions for hops, the bitter little flower cones that make beer taste not like sugar piss. Here, they’re fresh from the fields and into the brew kettles. Oaks Amusement Park, 7805 SE Oaks Park Way. Noon-8 pm. Also 5:30-8:30 pm Friday. $15.
Bibliophiles rejoice! The annual celebration of all things literary hosts two (official) days of author readings, book signings, panel discussions, workshops and more. Oregon Convention Center, 777 NE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., 235-7575. 9 am-6:30 pm Saturday and 9 am-5 pm Sunday, Oct. 5-6. $9 per day in advance, $11 per day at the door, $5 children under 13.
Port of Shadows
The NW Film Center presents Port of Shadows, a 1938 French thriller that you will either see or skip based just on the words “1938 French thriller.” NW Film Center’s Whitsell Auditorium. 7 pm Friday-Saturday, Oct 4-5.
Louie Louie Day
[MUSIC] The Kingsmen’s incoherent, definitive version of “Louie Louie” took on a life of its own almost immediately after it was spawned in a downtown Portland recording studio in 1963. This daylong 50th-birthday party for the ultimate garage-rock nugget coincides with the Oregon Music Hall of Fame induction ceremony. Aladdin Theater, 3017 SE Milwaukie Ave. 7 pm. $25 advance, $30 day of show for general admission. $100 advance, $110 day of show for VIP seating. Under 21 permitted with guardian.
Varsity Cheerleader Werewolves Live From Outer Space
Varsity Cheerleader Werewolves Live From Outer Space started out as a movie, with a passably professional trailer starring Daniel Baldwin. That surviving video holds almost no trace of the rollicking charms or improvisatory swagger currently being reprised at Milepost 5. By shoehorning a feature-length screenplay into little more than an hour and making the most of an effects budget likely below two digits—laser pointer, Silly String and a moth-eaten cat puppet inventively serving as our cabaret CGI—Steve Coker sidesteps both the deadening rhythms of dated sci-fi pastiche and the high-camp artifice ordinarily infecting modern musical comedy. With successive blink-and-you’ll-missthem scenes, the continually engaging and mobile performers stick each wry aside and own every cornball bit of exposition. There’s a two-fisted physicality empowering slapstick set pieces and heightening the violent flourish or eroticized assault. Punches connect, stripteases arouse and Bananarama synth riffs impart a genuinely disturbing malevolence. The project couldn’t possibly have achieved such heights as a motion picture, but that doesn’t mean a sequel’s not deserved. JAY HORTON. Milepost 5, 850 NE 81st Ave., 729-3223. 7 pm Thursdays-Saturdays through Oct. 12 and 2 pm Sunday, Oct. 6. $10-$12.
Dark Descent Records Showcase: Insanity, Mitochondrion, Anhedonist, Gravehill, Weregoat, Dire Omen
[EXTREME-METAL FESTIVAL] While diehard music fans will want to catch both dates of this brutal record-label showcase—Vassafor from New Zealand performs Friday night—the Saturday bill is stacked like bodies to the ceiling. Bay Area death-metal act Insanity formed back in 1985, unearthing its blurring, thrash-cum-death assault a full two years prior to Portland’s own innovators, Dead Conspiracy. The whole West Coast is fairly represented here, with the grinding Mitochondrian from Vancouver, British Columbia, Seattle deathdoomster Anhedonist and oldschool hella death-metal revivalists Gravehill. By the witching hour, thou wilt be soaked in blood, sweat and beers. Hail Satan. NATHAN CARSON. Ash Street Saloon, 225 SW Ash St., 226-0430. 9:30 pm. $15. 21+.
DJ Quik, Suga Free, Cool Nutz, Chillest Illest
[G-FUNK] Compton-bred MC DJ Quik is often viewed as a little brother to West Coast hip-hop greats like Snoop, Dre and Cube, but his early albums, which mixed street lyricism with Roger Troutman-esque production, helped define the genre of gangsta funk. Over the years, as his peers have veered into pop territory, Quik has stayed mostly consistent (ignore that Fixxers mess), releasing a variety of quality albums that crackle with funky synth lines and witty lyrics. His last record, 2011’s Book of David , is also one of his best yet—it features Quik going for a smoother, more refined sound that mixes elements of disco, R&B and 1970s soul. REED JACKSON. Roseland Theater, 8 NW 6th Ave., 224-2038. 8 pm. $27. All ages.
Sunday, Oct. 6
Northwest Art Awards
[ART!] Expansive, thoughtful and dramatically installed, the biannual Contemporary Northwest Art Awards didn’t disappoint this year. Curator Bonnie Laing-Malcolmson has created a spectacular survey of artwork across a diverse field of practices, filling—but not overfilling—a generous exhibition space with work by artists from Oregon (Karl Burkheimer), Washington (Isaac Layman, Nicholas Nyland and the single-monikered Trimpin), Montana (Anne Appleby) and Wyoming (Abbie Miller). As heterogeneous as these artists’ works are, somehow Laing-Malcolmson makes them cohere spatially and thematically. At the show’s opening gala, Trimpin took home the $10,000 Arlene Schnitzer Prize. Through Jan. 1. Portland Art Museum, 1219 SW Park Ave., 226-0973.
The Big Meal
[THEATER] How much time do we spend around the dining-room table? Can the entire scope of a life—from first dates and holiday gatherings to engagements and pregnancies and grief—be depicted at the table? With beautiful and deceptive simplicity, Dan LeFranc’s The Big Meal, directed by Dámaso Rodriguez, proves it can. As the play begins, the young Sam and Nicole meet at the restaurant where she works. From there, five generations of a family navigate life’s joys and dramas as if in a time-lapse photograph, launching ahead weeks or years but always coming back together at the table. The eight actors play family members of a range of ages, gliding between roles. As a young Nicole, Britt Harris is neurotic and angry, while middle-aged Nicole (played by a delightful Val Landrum) develops a sharp-tongued wit and perpetually clutches a glass of wine. The character of Sam remains naive and good-humored but gains a noticeable weariness. When Vana O’Brien, playing a now-elderly Nicole, wonders aloud and mostly to herself “Where does the time go?” it is with a heartbreaking poignancy. Everyone we know and love will pass through our lives, often too quickly, and we ourselves will one day finish our last meal and leave the table. PENELOPE BASS. Artists Repertory Theatre, 1515 SW Morrison St., 241-1278. 7:30 pm Wednesdays- Sundays, 2 pm Sundays through Oct. 6. $25-$55.
[THEATER] Portland Playhouse opens its sixth season with Lisa D’Amour’s 2010 Pulitzer Prize finalist, a dark comedy about two couples facing financial insecurity in a nameless suburb. Over barbecue and too much cheap beer, sunny chitchat turns into something much bleaker. Portland Playhouse, 602 NE Prescott St., 488-5822. 2 pm. $30.75-$38.75.