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Willamette Weekend

14 things to do in Portland, Oct. 19-21

Friday, Oct. 19

The Projects
The Projects is at IPRC, 1001 SE Division St., and other venues on Oct. 19-21. 
All Jane No Dick 
[COMEDY] Stand-up is a testosterone-swamped arena, but Curious Comedy gives the bro factor a break with this all-women festival, featuring heavy-hitting showcases, panels and workshops. See curiouscomedy.org for full lineup. Curious Comedy, 5225 NE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.., 477-9477. 7:30 pm Thursday; 7:30 and 10 pm Friday-Saturday; 6, 7:30 and 9 pm Sunday. $10-$25.

Reel Music Film Festival: Bad Brains: A Band in DC 
[FILM] If punk is a culture of outsiders, then Bad Brains is the definitive American punk band. Of course, that cannot be true: No other punk band, from this country or elsewhere, looked or sounded like Bad Brains, and none could ever hope to. As black Rastafarians playing virtuosic hyperspeed hardcore for angry, atheistic Caucasians whose other favorite musicians barely knew how to play their instruments, the group’s members were outcasts among outcasts. In the 1980s, they used sheer, bullet-train velocity to muscle their way to the forefront of a scene that would’ve otherwise excluded them. Mandy Stein and Ben Logan’s documentary gives the band its proper due, as an outfit of unprecedented instrumental power and a peerless live act, but it only nicks the surface of the Washington, D.C., quartet’s complicated legacy. Still, the electrified early live footage interspersed throughout is enough to power the film all on its own. NW Film Center’s Whitsell Auditorium, 1219 SW Park Ave. 8:45 pm.

Filmusik: Turkish Star Wars
[FILM] Dünyay Kurtaran Adam, the Turkish ersion of the space Western, stole footage from the original and has everything George Lucas’ version lacked, including fight scenes in mosques and Wookie carnage. Filmusik is performing the entire soundtrack live and in (mostly) intelligible English. Hollywood Theatre, 4122 NE Sandy Blvd. Multiple showtimes Friday, Oct. 19, to Saturday, Nov. 3.

Saturday, Oct. 20

Handmade Bicycle Show

[BIKES] As the rain starts falling, thousands of Portland bikes turn from reliable mode of transportation to gallery piece. See some bikes that actually deserve the tarp. Bonus points for braving Swan Island by cycle. Vigor Industrial Building, 5555 N Channel Ave. 10 am-5 pm Saturday, 11 am-4 pm Sunday, October 20-21, $10. ohbs.oregonframebuilders.org.

The Great American Distillers Festival
[BOOZE] Distillers from around the country make their annual pilgrimage to Portland to set up a folding table at the Tiffany Center and feed you their booze. There will be straight sips and cocktails to sample, plus bottles available for purchase. The press release also promised a man named Tito wearing a 10-gallon hat. Tiffany Center Crystal Ballroom, 1410 SW Morrison St. 5-10 pm Friday, Oct. 19; 1-10 pm Saturday, Oct. 20. $15-$25 for a one-day pass, $25-$40 for a two-day pass. distillersfestival.com.

Brother Ali with Blank Tape Beloved, Homeboy Sandman, DJ Sosa, the Reminders
[MUSIC] Everything you'll ever read about Brother Ali will lead with a few unavoidable facts about the artist, so let's get them out of the way right at the top and keep this listing moving: He is a 35-year-old legally blind albino Muslim rapper from the Midwest. OK, now let's talk about his music, beginning with his latest album. Actually, let's first mention its cover, because, well, using an American flag as a prayer rug is undeniably courting controversy. But Mourning in America and Dreaming in Color is not an Immortal Technique-style fusillade of vitriol and conspiracy theories. Over alternately heavy and soulful production from Seattle's Jake One, Ali spits rhymes that aren't so much enraged with the United States as disappointed, his critiques of the country aimed at making it better rather than burning it to the ground. In indie rap, heart and humanity are qualities rarer than albino Muslim emcees, and Ali's got tons of both. Hawthorne Theatre, 3862 SE Hawthorne Blvd. 8 pm. $15 advance, $18 day of show. All ages.

Marianne Wex: An Exhibition
[VISUAL ART] German artist Marianne Wex’s challenging show, An Exhibition, is a time capsule of the 1970s, but it retains the power to make us question assumptions about gender circa 2012. From 1972 to 1977, Wex cataloged the body language of men, women and children in the city of Hamburg, Germany, photographing people unawares, then counterposing the photos against images from art history, print ads and TV shows. Reproduced at YU Contemporary 35 years later, An Exhibition shows us how the sexes comport themselves in different settings.... read the full review. RICHARD SPEER. YU Contemporary, 800 SE 10th Ave., 236-7996, yucontemporary.org. 1-7 pm Thursdays-Saturdays through Dec. 15.

In Search of Blind Joe Death: The Saga of John Fahey
[FILM] In Search of Blind Joe Death: The Saga of John Fahey, director James Cullingham's hourlong look into the life and work of the master guitarist, gives the perfect amount of insight into Fahey’s 61 years on this planet (he passed away in 2001). You come to understand his obsession with blues and folk, the development of his finger-picking style, and how the sound of his music evolved over the years. Along the way, you come to meet friends, collaborators (including local legends Terry Robb and Dr. Demento) and fans. And you get to hear plenty of his incredible music via live footage and a wellchosen soundtrack. It’s as spare and intimate and engaging as some of Fahey’s finest recordings. ROBERT HAM. Hollywood Theatre, 4122 NE Sandy Blvd. 7 pm Saturday, Oct. 20.

Sunday, Oct. 21

Calexico, The Dodos
[MUSIC] Of all the phlegmatic folk-pop outfits that earned renown in the early aughts, Calexico has grown to the most satisfying artistic maturity. After turning out a decade’s worth of shuffling, moody Americana, the band has used its recent releases to take half-steps toward bombastic post-punk. It’s a smart move from a creative standpoint, and also somehow fitting with the group’s previous work. Algiers, released earlier this year, reiterates the sextet’s talent for composition, but keeps things fresh by adding cinematic scope to lead songwriter Joey Burns’ story-song arrangements. SHANE DANAHER. Aladdin Theater, 3017 SE Milwaukie Ave. 8 pm. $22.50. Under 21 permitted with legal guardian.

Nü Sensae, Sick Rats, Peace, Vicious Pleasures
[MUSIC] Sure, ’90s nostalgia is presently polluting various thoroughfares with sauntering, taut bodies draped in whatever the friends on Friends were wearing when Ross still had a monkey, but the glorious flipside to such fashion fuckery is throwback noise that shakes the soul. And while Vancouver, B.C.’s Nü Sensae taps into whatever passes for timelessness in the realm of punk rage, the trio’s dueling allegiances to distorted hell-raising and subtly ingratiating hooks are most definitely rooted in the year punk broke. That shit went down 21 years ago, which means we’ve all earned the right to revel in breaking punk all over again. I’m gonna let Nü Sensae have the first crack at it. CHRIS STAMM. The Know, 2026 NE Alberta St. 8 pm. 21 .

Wake in Fright
[FILM] Spiraling bombastically into a realm of degradation that few have captured so purely, Ted Kotcheff’s 1971 Aussie opus Wake in Fright is evidence of the wide reach of the era’s cinematic awakening. For nearly 40 years, the film was a forgotten artifact: It was never transferred to video, and the few known prints were in shoddy condition. Miraculously, Wake in Fright has been salvaged and restored in all its grimy glory. The bizarre relic tells the tale of John Grant (Gary Bond), a teacher in the outback who misses his train back to Sydney, loses all his money and is forced to rely on the charity of the dust-beaten inhabitants of the Yabba, a mining town populated by drunks and perverts who oversee Grant’s devolution from nebbish scholar into feral beast. Aesthetically, the film mirrors the hallucinogenic flashbacks of Midnight Cowboy, but its closest relative might be Hunter S. Thompson’s Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, published the same year and similar in its depiction of overlooked sociopolitical strata. Wake in Fright plays like a two-hour version of that book’s blurry finale, a boozesoaked odyssey into madness with a terrific Donald Pleasance playing Dr. Gonzo to Grant, guiding him through a nightmare of hazy memories, rote masculinity and wild-eyed savagery. The film never relents, and the result is a queasy, jarring and inarguably brilliant examination of isolationist fears. R. AP KRYZA. Cinema 21, 616 NW 21st Ave. Multiple showtimes.

Oregon Repertory Singers
[MUSIC] The choir opens its season with one of the most popular recent works by one of the planet’s hottest young choral composers: the eclectic Norwegian-born, Southern California-based composer Ola Gjeilo’s initially arresting (if ultimately somewhat saccharine) Dark Night of the Soul , a setting of a medieval poem by St. John of the Cross that incorporates driving, dramatic minimalist piano patterns, neo-romantic film-score textures (he studied film music at University of Southern California), lush “Carmina Burana” and jazz harmonies and a string quartet (courtesy of Classical Revolution PDX) to create a contemporary sounding crowd-pleaser that’s topped the classical charts. BRETT CAMPBELL. First United Methodist Church, 1838 SW Jefferson St., 230-0652. 7:30 pm Friday and 4 pm Sunday, Oct. 19 and 21. $15-$35.

Body Awareness
[THEATER] Young playwright Annie Baker is a writer of delicate-but-probing works, quiet plays that have a way of sneaking up on you. CoHo Productions stages her comedy about a Body Awareness Week at a fictional Vermont college, which explores sexuality and all its pain and humor. The CoHo Theater, 2257 NW Raleigh St., 231- 3959. 7:30 pm Thursdays-Saturdays, 2 pm Sundays. $20-$25.