Sun Ra Arkestra
A few weeks before the Portland Art Museum's Sun Ra exhibit closes, the cosmic jazz legend's famed Arkestra will play sets at the museum on Wednesday, and also perform at the Hollywood Theatre on Thursday. Even if it wasn't the Arkestra's first time in Portland in more than 30 years, their two-night stint would be a big deal—the band's onstage outfits are as inspired as their genre-defying music. Portland Art Museum, 1219 SW Park Ave., portlandartmuseum.org. 8 pm Wednesday, Jan. 2. Sold out. All ages.
Last May, Portland artist Julia Oldham went to the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone to take pictures of the stray dogs living among the remnants of one of history's most catastrophic nuclear disasters. When the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant began to break down in 1986, the entire city of Pripyat was evacuated, and residents had to leave behind most of what they owned, including their pets. Oldham displayed photos from the trip in an exhibit back in September, but her primary project is a film about the dogs that is getting its premiere this First Thursday. Even if it ends up being merely another "life amid rubble" metaphor, it will be one with striking imagery and adorable critters. Portland Pataphysical Society, 625 NW Everett St., No. 104, patapdx.com. Reception 6-8 pm Thursday, Jan. 3. Exhibit runs through Feb. 17.
Slang's openers for their Doug Fir show are Deathlist and Roseblood, which is basically a family tree of lo-fi Portland rock. The collective résumé of musicians in each band reads like a list of Portland punk royalty, and almost all of them have played together in some configuration—Kathy Foster and Elly Swope are in two different bands in this lineup alone. Most importantly, the show is a showcase of carefully crafted, hard-rocking songwriting. Doug Fir Lounge, 830 E Burnside St., dougfirlounge.com. 9 pm Friday, Jan. 4. $10 advance, $12 day of show. 21+.
Curious about homebrewing but want to avoid the mess? Zoiglhaus Brewing will make the process easy by sharing its wort—all you need to do is bring a carboy to hold the liquid and an airlock. Then sit back, relax and let fermentation happen. On Feb. 16, all of the amateur beer makers will meet back at the brewery to sample everyone's batches and compare. The participation fee includes 5 gallons of helles wort, a pitch of yeast, a commemorative glass and a free pint of Zoiglhaus' version at the tasting party. Zoiglhaus Brewing Company, 5716 SE 92nd Ave., zoiglhaus.com. 4 pm Friday, Jan. 4. $35.
Blazers vs. Rockets
So far, it's been an up-and-down season for the Blazers—so, par for the course, really—but it could be worse: They could be like the Rockets, who were a game away from the NBA Finals last year then spent the first part of the current campaign trying to crawl out of the Western Conference basement. The bad news for Portland is, they're starting to do just that. The good news is, the Blazers always heat up as the second half approaches. Either way, just make sure you're not holding any blunt objects when a stiff breeze manages to send James Harden to the free-throw line again. Moda Center, 1 N Center Court St., rosequarter.com. 7 pm Saturday, Jan. 5. Ticket prices vary.
Grand Lodge Winter Scotch Dinner
Best known for beer and refurbishing old buildings with zany art, McMenamins also happens to know its way around a distillery. It frequently hosts some fantastic dinners, highlighting spirits instead of ales. Tonight, scotch expert Stuart Ramsay will lead guests through each selection, which includes everything from Glenfiddich 12 Year and the Balvenie 14 Year Caribbean Cask, paired with a five-course menu. McMenamins Grand Lodge, 3505 Pacific Ave., Forest Grove, mcmenamins.com/grand-lodge. 7 pm Saturday, Jan. 5. $90. 21+.
The only way to hear Holland Andrews' music is to go to one of their shows—they've released only one album, and their music is entirely improvised. Andrews, who usually performs under the stage name Like a Villain, creates dark, ominous soundscapes with delicate vocals and layers of haunting, ambient sounds. Their homecoming show will include an opening set by S1 founder and experimental electronic musician Felisha Ledesma. Mississippi Studios 3939 N Mississippi Ave., mississippistudios.com. 8 pm Saturday, Jan. 6. $8 advance,
$10 day of show. 21+.
Elder Romeo & Juliet
What if the star-crossed lovers in Shakespeare's well-known tragedy weren't teenagers, but instead old enough to qualify for Medicare? There probably would've been a lot less dueling and more dialogue devoted to comparing arthritic joints. It's the story you know told like you've never seen it before in Original Practice Shakespeare Festival's version of Romeo and Juliet. This is a one-and-done performance, so don't miss your chance to see the elderly profess their love. Mission Theater, 1624 NW Glisan St., opsfest.org. 6:30 pm Monday, Jan. 7. Free. Under 21 permitted with legal guardian.
The King and I
Another wealthy, powerful man gets lucky after hiring a governess to take care of his brood—that's one way to sum up The King and I. It's a Rodgers and Hammerstein classic that sounds a lot like another one of the duo's collaborations, The Sound of Music, but this production has a different setting (1860s Bangkok) and its own iconic score. In this touring show, Portland native and Sunset High graduate DeAnna Choi sings some of the play's most challenging songs as Lady Thiang. Keller Auditorium, 222 SW Clay St., broadwayinportland.com. 7:30 pm Tuesday-Friday, 2 and 7:30 pm Saturday, 1 and 6:30 pm Sunday, Jan. 8-13. $35-$120.
Cook and Eat: Jansson's Temptation
Legend has it the dish known as Jansson's Temptation was named after a 19th-century Swedish religious leader who brought his flock to America and preached against flesh- and food-based pleasures. Erik Jansson, however, was said to have a weakness for a potato-and-anchovy casserole he was eventually caught inhaling, leaving his reputation in ruins. Learn how to make the entree that supposedly led to his downfall with chef James Drinkward of Broder Söder and then devour it without guilt. Nordia House, 8800 SW Oleson Road, nordicnorthwest.org. 6:30 pm Tuesday, Jan. 8. $25-$30.
Old Newgate Road
As is, at this point, a time-honored tradition, Cole escapes the Eastern United States, where he grew up, and flees to Portland. But when the pressures of midlife start to build, Cole returns to Connecticut—ostensibly to dismantle a barn, but maybe also to intentionally ignore his father. In Old Newgate Road, Keith Scribner tells a tale of generations, abuse and redemption with subtle grace. The Pittsburgh-born novelist—who's also a professor at Oregon State University—will read from his fourth novel. Powell's City of Books, 1005 W Burnside St., powells.com. 7:30 pm Tuesday, Jan. 8. Free.