Friday, April 11
It has been more than 15 years since Lorrie Moore released her best-selling collection of stories, Birds of America. Now in a slim volume of eight stories, Moore returns with Bark and proves that her love of language (as well as her dark sense of humor) is still fully intact. Powell’s City of Books, 1005 W Burnside St., 228-4651. 7:30 pm. Free.
Toast Spirits Festival
[BOOZE] Toeing that gentle line between industry trade show and public bazaar, the Oregon Distillers Guide’s Toast spirits fest is back, with 30 distillers showing off 120 versions of whatever pickling substances they cooked up this year, while you try desperately to slow the spread of alcohol by hanging out in their food-cart court. But it won’t matter what you do. Absinthe always wins in the end. Two World Trade Center, 121 SW Salmon St., oregondistillerytrail.com. 5-10 pm Friday and 4-10 pm Saturday, April 11-12. $20-$25. 21+.
The Shook Twins
The Shook Twins’ latest release, What We Do, doesn’t capture the hazy pleasantness between wakefulness and sleep so much as the emotional instability of the dream. It rises and falls in and out of different moods—from bright and energetic one moment to dark and dangerous the next. “Toll Free” shows the group’s poppier side, with a bouncy groove alternating between a plucky banjo, fiddle and mandolin, while the album’s first single, “Shake,” goes heavier, with swiftly intertwining strings weaving among stomps and Katelyn and Laurie Shook’s haunting harmonies. Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi Ave., with Steve Poltz, on Friday, April 11. 9 pm. $15 general admission, $30 VIP. 21+.
[CHORAL REDISCOVERY] Early 20th-century Russian composer Maximilian Steinberg had it all. He was a student and son-in-law of the country’s greatest composer, Rimsky Korsakov; a teacher of Shostakovich, director of the Russian Conservatory; and a colleague of Stravinsky. In 1927, Steinberg wrote his ambitious Passion Week, based on medieval chant melodies—but by the time he finished it, the increasingly repressive communist government prevented its performance. The score then lay virtually unknown until 2012, when one of his descendants shared it with choral music scholar Alexander Lingas, founder and artistic director of Portland’s superb choir Cappella Romana, which specializes in Orthodox choral works. Now, eight decades after it was composed in St. Petersburg, the last major sacred choral work composed in the Soviet Union receives its world premiere in Portland. BRETT CAMPBELL. St. Mary’s Cathedral, 1739 NW Couch St. 8:30 pm Friday, April 11. $22-$45.
Alexander Robotnick, Soft Metals
[ITALO DISCO] An electronic producer as classically cultish as Maurizio Dami, a.k.a. Alexander Robotnick, requires a good deal of translation. “Robotnik” is Russian for a person who likes working on robots—fitting, because the thing that set Dami apart in the ocean of mid-’80s Italo-disco producers was his use of unnaturally tuned melodic synths. His wildly popular sound was increasingly described as “electro,” especially in regards to the 1983 underground hit “Problèmes d’Amour” (French for “problems of love”). The Third Planet, of course, is a reference to Earth, but it’s also the name of one of Dami’s forays into world music. Perhaps he was searching for the origins of disco. Perhaps he was kind of stoned. Or perhaps he’s just an exploratory visionary from a style undergoing a long and much-needed comeback. MITCH LILLIE. Blue Monk, 3341 SE Belmont St., 595-0575. $12. 21+.
Aan, Ghost to Falco
[EXPERIMENTAL POP] Quiet as it’s kept, over the last decade Portland’s Ghost to Falco has a rich discography of avant-pop explorations almost totally under the city’s radar. Soft Shield, songwriter Eric Crespo’s latest batch of evocative, enigmatic folk dirges, is the project’s first release in four years, and it exudes the carefully constructed mystery of those that have come before. Will it finally expose Ghost to Falco to the Portland music scene writ large? Stranger things have happened. Just ask former member Bud Wilson, now of Aan: It took him eight years to put out a proper album, and when Amor Ad Nauseum finally dropped in January, it was rightfully heralded as one of the finest local releases in some time. MATTHEW SINGER. Bunk Bar, 2017 NE Alberta St., 328-2865. 9:30 pm. $5 advance, $7 day of show. 21+.
Saturday, April 12
Portland Urban Golf
It is what it sounds like: golf in the streets, in close proximity to bars. Bring cash to facilitate quick booze stopovers. Meet outside Montage, 301 SE Morrison St. Tee time is 1 pm.
[WINE] This massive to-do at McMenamins Edgefield involves people from out of town shelling out $200 to $365 for a Syrah tasting, dinner and lodging package. But you lucky dogs, you live in Portland. So just wander down for the main event, drop a mere $45, and use the extra money to pay your teetotaler friend to come along and drive. There will be 70 Syrahs and Rhones! All in one place! McMenamins Edgefield, 2126 SW Halsey St., Troutdale, 669-8610. 4-7 pm. $45 per person. 21+.
Pool (no water)
[THEATER] In Mark Ravenhill’s play, a group of young artists gathers at a friend’s posh digs. But when a terrible accident lands the host in the hospital, the others try to turn her suffering into art. It’s an ambitious, somewhat experimental piece of movement theater, so it’ll be intriguing to see how the Theatre Vertigo cast makes it work in the tiny black-box space. Shoebox Theater, 2110 SE 10th Ave., 306-0870. 7:30 pm. $20.
[COMEDY] Chelsea Peretti’s sardonic standup might be abrasive were it not so razor-sharp—and, perhaps, if the Brooklyn Nine-Nine star didn’t also turn the knife on herself. She likes to stoke discomfort among her audience, but the payoff is as savage as the jokes themselves. Hawthorne Theatre, 1507 SE 39th Ave., 233-7100. 8 pm. $15-$20.
[BUNNYCON] What do you do with those bunny ears and matching fluffy-tailed thong from Halloween? How about a bunny-themed pub crawl along Burnside? The third annual Bunnycon encourages bunny, spring or Easter costumes and ends with an egg hunt and pizza in the North Park Blocks. Ringlers Pub, 1332 W Burnside St., RSVP stumptownbunnycon2014.splashthat.com. 3 pm. Free. 21+.
Nike Hoop Summit
[BASKETBALL] Freaking out over how to satiate your basketball jones in the week between the end of March Madness and the start of the NBA playoffs? Why not scout the future of the sport by watching America’s best high-school players face off against a squad of pimply all-stars from around the world? It’s sure to be better than the All-Star Game, for sure. Moda Center, 1 N Center Court St., 797-9619. 4 pm. $5-$50.
[HIP HOP] A decade out from his first release, lllmaculate is nothing if not present on his latest collection, Clay Pigeons, jumping wildly between topics—weed, radical politics, star-gazing and the usual healthy dose of self-examination—and stylistic approaches throughout the album’s whopping 20 songs. The St. Johns-built rapper has described the album as somewhat of a stopgap effort, a “momentum-builder” between more focused releases. But it also features technically brilliant rapping that will thrill the heads, and tracks that bluntly address the anxiety of becoming an overnight veteran who hasn’t yet hit his stride. Alhambra Theatre, 4811 SE Hawthorne Blvd., with Nacho Picasso, on Saturday, April 12. 8 pm. $12 advance, $15 day of show. 21+.
Sunday, April 13
The Studio Series
Monthly poetry reading and open-mic night the Studio Series will bring together four contributing authors of the new collection Motionless From the Iron Bridge: A Northwest Anthology of Bridge Poems. Sharing their perspective on what makes Portland Bridgetown will be A. Molotkov, Sam Roderick Roxas-Chua, Coleman Stevenson and John Sibley Williams. Stonehenge Studios, 3508 SW Corbett Ave., 224-3640. 7-9 pm. Free.
Southeast Wine Collective Supper
[FOOD] Well, this is really nice: the first paella of the season. Crown Paella will be making a big ol’ pan of the stuff, along with cheese, tapas and dessert, while the Wine Collective wineries will serve up wine pairings for all four courses, in whites and rosés. Southeast Wine Collective, 2425 SE 35th Place, 208-2061.
5 pm. $65.
Schoolboy Q, Isaiah Rashad & Vince Staples
[HIP HOP] It’s not a big stretch that Los Angeles rapper Schoolboy Q decided to title his major-label debut Oxymoron. Schoolboy, who rolls as part of the Top Dawg Entertainment empire with fellow Black Hippy members Kendrick Lamar, Jay Rock and Ab-Soul, lays out a seemingly never-ending series of contradictions—one minute he’s the life of the party, the next he’s contemplative and bashful, lost in a cloud of marijuana smoke and riding the shuffling beat of the slow-burning single “Collard Greens.” His flow is a wondrous, twisting thing, able to volley off an impressive list of collaborators, from Tyler the Creator to Raekwon to the ever-ubiquitous Pharrell, who gives “Los Awesome” the type of spare, futuristic bounce he usually reserves for a Clipse joint. “Hell of a Night” is even a convincing facsimile of Kanye’s “Hell of a Life.” Despite Oxymoron’s juxtaposition of current trends and cloud-rap leanings (“Man of the Year” samples Chromatics’ end-of-the-party anthem “Cherry”), it’s still a weird, pill-fueled beast that never forgets its place in L.A.’s gangsta rap hierarchy. You know the drill: I am a sinner, who’s probably going to sin again. MICHAEL MANNHEIMER. Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside St., 225-0047. 5 and 9 pm Sunday, April 13. $25 advance, $30 day of show, $100 meet and greet package. Late show sold out. All ages.