FRIDAY, NOV. 13

Redray Frazier

[R&B] On his new, six-song EP, Blood in the Water, Portland soul singer Redray Frazier thankfully avoids the fetishized classicism constraining many retro-R&B acts. The opening title song may kick off with a few bars of staccato piano that fleetingly recall Amy Winehouse's "Back to Black," but then an intruding DJ's scratch scuttles that impression, heralding the entrance of crunchy metal guitar. It's not like anyone should expect Frazier to adhere to genre conventions: His debut, 2007's Follow Me, artfully juggled soul and electronica, and Frazier toured as backing vocalist for David Byrne, who doesn't abide sticks in the mud. But Frazier doesn't shy away from the signifiers that make classic R&B compelling. Secret Society, 116 NE Russell St., with Goldfoot and DJ Klavical, on Friday, Nov. 13. 9 pm. $10. 21+.

Eugene Mirman

[COMEDY] From playing a character named Gene in Bob's Burgers to one named Eugene in Flight of the Conchords, Brooklyn comedian Eugene Mirman is as versatile as he is hilarious, as proved by his new album of poignant yet practical erotic sounds, I'm Sorry (You're Welcome). Newmark Theatre, 1111 SW Broadway, 274-6551. 8 pm. $24. All ages.

Tops, Puro Instinct, Is/Is

Photo from tops
Photo from tops

[AUTUMN SWEATER POP] Last fall, Montreal quartet Tops quietly released one of the decade's best indie-pop records—an album I didn't think too much of at first but find myself continually coming back to, especially as the air gets crisp and the days get shorter. Picture You Staring puts singer Jane Penny's smokey-cool voice front and center, ditching the reverb so many young bands favor and replacing it with bright, jangling guitars and cold synth presets. It's beguiling pop music, and the group's new single, "The Hollow Sound of the Morning Chimes" points in an even darker direction, with a waltzing beat and slow build that bubbles but never really boils over the course of seven seductive minutes. This is perfect fall music for people who miss the warm weather but aren't really that sad. MICHAEL MANNHEIMER. Doug Fir Lounge, 830 E Burnside St. 9 pm. $12. 21+.

Liz Vice, Pilgrim

[SONGS OF FAITH] If you can make it singing about Jesus in Portland, you can make it singing about Jesus anywhere. It won't be long until Liz Vice, Portland's reigning queen of gospel-soul, is everyone's queen of gospel-soul. Consider this your warning to see her in a relatively small place while you can. Mission Theater, 1624 NW Glisan St. 8 pm. $12 advance, $15 day of show. Under 21 permitted with legal guardian.

Gumbo Weekend

[EAT SEAFOOD] To commemorate the Tremé Gumbo festival, new Acadia chef-owner Seamus Foran will have his own: For one weekend, diners can have a "gumbo flight" with three versions of gumbo for $16: the classic house seafood gumbo, a Cajun gumbo with a thick tomato base, and a Lent-friendly vegetarian gumbo z'herbs. Acadia, 1303 NE Fremont St., 249-5001. Through Nov. 14.

The Sandwich Nazi

(Fan art by Nathaniel Taft)
(Fan art by Nathaniel Taft)

[MOVIE NIGHT] "Nazi" is not a term people usually like to apply to themselves. But perhaps it's a sign of how far the party has fallen that Salam Kahil—a deli owner in Vancouver, B.C., who constantly tells his customers that he loves them, goes to great lengths to make them happy and spends his free time distributing handmade sandwiches to homeless people—is called a Nazi. But he does get mad if you're on your phone while you're ordering. Just like the Nazis. The Sandwich Nazi documentary follows this Vancouver-famous sandwicheer through a few months of his life as he deals with family and health problems, but mostly just sexually harasses customers. He's constantly asking to "have you in the ass." Friday, Nov. 13, at NW Film Center's Whitsell Auditorium. 9 pm. $9.

The Tyranny of Hope

[PHOTOGRAPHY] These 54 aluminum prints of Detroit scenes—like four-way stops, old yearbook pages and kids on a playground—are all black and white, and decidedly grungy. The high-contrast squares with vignetted edges could easily seem bleak. But as a longtime Detroit resident, French photographer Romain Blanquart insists that this is his portrait of hope in the post-recession city. In one photo, "I Do Not Exist" is printed on the back of a sidewalk-dweller's coat; but in another, kids frolic in sprinklers on their street. There's no color here, but you can imagine the blue sky. Blue Sky Gallery, 122 NW 8th Ave., 225-0210. Through Nov. 29.

SATURDAY, NOV. 14

Jenny Lawson

Jenny Lawson – photo from Watermark Books
Jenny Lawson – photo from Watermark Books

[BOOKS] Jenny Lawson has endeared herself to thousands with her witty take on familial foibles in her blog The Blogess and a previous memoir. In her latest book, Furiously Happy, Lawson turns that wit on a new subject: her struggle with depression and anxiety. Powell's City of Books, 1005 W Burnside St., 228-4651. 4 pm. Free.

Danksgiving

[FOOD] Like Festivus…but for the rest of us. Danksgiving is a harvest celebration of a very particular kind. Less turkey, more greens, with goodie bags featuring organic Thanksgiving tapas and a social atmosphere. Attendees are encouraged to bring cannabis along with vapes, bongs or other preferred intake devices. Check givedanks.com for details. Service, 2319 NE Glisan St. 1 pm. $20.

Living Dead Con

[HORROR FILM FEST] In Portland, horror is always lurking. On any given week, you can find a slasher revival screening. Film festivals like The H.P. Lovecraft Fest and Zompire cater to niche markets. But there's never been an event offering the wider horror audience full immersion into the world of ax murderers. That all changes this weekend with the hugely ambitious, first-ever Living Dead Horror Convention, which already looks set to give veteran horror festivals a run for their money. Think of Living Dead Con as something akin to a comic con. The creators—Living Dead magazine founder Deanna Uutela and horror writer James R. Beach—have lined up nerd-centric panels, celebrities, after-parties and independent film screenings. Only in this case, the proceedings are soaked in viscera rather than ink. Friday-Sunday, Nov. 13-15, at the Oregon Convention Center, livingdeadcon.com.

Darrell Grant

[OREGON TERRITORY] One of Portland's most valuable musicians, pianist and composer Darrell Grant has long been recognized as one of the most appealing jazz pianists of his generation. The most ambitious work of the Oregon Music Hall of Fame member's career, a nine-movement concert suite that premiered at the 2014 Portland Jazz Festival called The Territory, drew inspiration from Oregon's history (Chief Joseph's surrender, Japanese internment camps), nature (Missoula floods, volcanic eruptions), historical events and people. Now, one of the essential Oregon compositions of the 21st century is being released on CD by PJCE records. It'll be performed by a mix of top Portland classical and jazz masters, including singer Marilyn Keller, trumpeter Thomas Barber, saxophonist-clarinetist Kirt Peterson, drummer Tyson Stubelek, bassist Eric Gruber, saxophonist John Nastos and vibraphonist Mike Horsfall. BRETT CAMPBELL. First Unitarian Church, 1211 SW Main St. 3:30 pm Saturday, Nov. 14. $10.

Sturgill Simpson, Billy Wayne Davis

[HEADY COUNTRY] If there's been a lot of talk about how Sturgill Simpson is the new savior of country music, it's because he just might be. The singer-songwriter's sophomore LP, Metamodern Sounds in Country Music, carries the aptitude of Waylon Jennings and Merle Haggard, yet addresses the kind of big questions religion and even Carl Sagan couldn't answer. The way he expertly melds acid-laced mellotron with traditional riffs straight out of Bakersfield is a sound for sore ears, as is the way his talented band channels familiar nuances against his deadpan baritone without ever becoming preservationists. BRANDON WIDDER. Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside St. 8:30 pm. Sold out. All ages.

Pray for Snow Block Party

[BEER] 10 Barrel is taking the name of its Pray for Snow winter ale very, very literally by shutting down its block and building a 70-foot mobile ski run using some screwed-up Mad Max-style truck. There will also be, like, a rail jam. And all proceeds go to fighting children's cancer. Go ahead, be mad at Budweiser for buying 10 Barrel, but the fact remains: There will be a ski ramp in the middle of Portland this week. 10 Barrel Brewing, 1411 NW Flanders St., 224-1700. 5 pm. Free entry. All ages.

[THEATER] A show titled Offending the Audience creates certain expectations. What's coming—sexist vitriol? Dead baby jokes? Two hours of blackfacing? But the title is also a weird sort of spoiler alert: If you ready yourself to be offended, how appalled will you actually be when the performers start pooping onstage? In Liminal Performance Group's adaptation of this seminal anti-play—written in 1966 by Austrian dramatist Peter Handke, when he was 23 years old with a Beatles coif and round sunglasses—the actors do remarkably little offending. (And they definitely don't drop trou and defecate.) On opening night, the audience members did a whole lot more to offend one another, including texting, singing, snapping selfies, talking back to performers and loudly departing for the restroom. Action/Adventure Theatre, 1050 SE Clinton St., liminalgroup.org, 567-8309. 7:30 pm Friday-Sunday and 2:30 pm Sunday. Through Nov. 22. $10-$25.

SUNDAY, NOV. 15

Nigella Lawson

[BOOKS] Look, I get it, there are too many gates to keep track of. Gamergate, deflategate, gated communities. But here's just one more. Avocadogate: British cooking show host and writer Nigella Lawson showed viewers of her latest show, Simply Nigella, how to put an avocado on toast as a recipe. Her latest book of the same name ostensibly includes the same things. Powell's City of Books, 1005 W Burnside St., 228-4651. 2 pm. Free.

Six @ PSU featuring Paul Dickow, Marcus Fischer, Ethernet, Gummi, WNDFRM

[SURROUND SOUND] Six is a live speaker showcase of multidirectional sound design presented in an open setting for an immersive and interactive experience. This iteration, brought to you by the PSU Time Arts Club and School of Art and Design, features many of Portland's luminaries of electronic composition, showcasing a wide range of modular synthesis, signal processing, field recordings and electro-acoustic performance through collaborative and individual talents. Expect a wide range of styles from minimal dub, hypnotic house and other improvisational and experimental sonic explorations. Pillows are highly encouraged. WYATT SCHAFFNER. Shattuck Hall at Portland State University, 1825 SW Broadway. 6 pm. Free.

Masters of the Musical Universe

[CARTOON ON STAGE] The 1980s children's cartoon gets the musical treatment from local producer John-Ryan Griggs (Showgirls the Musical). He-Man and his twin sister She-Ra partner up to defend their planet, Eternia, from the villainous Skeletor in this nostalgic show featuring Portlandia's Jaime Langton. Headwaters Theatre, 55 NE Farragut St., No. 9, 404-2350. 7:30 pm Friday-Saturday and 2 pm Sunday, Nov. 13-15. $12.

Ride, Cat Hoch

Cat Hoch
Cat Hoch

[VAPOUR TRAIL] Is Ride secretly the best guitar band of the past 30 years? If you're a fan of British music from the early '90s then you probably already know the narrative: Ride was great, sure, but couldn't touch that holy grail of feedback that is My Bloody Valentine. The Oxford quartet has been universally lauded by critics as history's second-best shoegazers, with 1990's near-perfect debut, Nowhere, as the inferior sister to Loveless' tower of influence. Yet Ride is a fantastic outfit in its own right, and one that did something MBV didn't do until a few years ago—follow up its seminal album with another masterpiece. Going Blank Again is filled with flat-out incredible guitar sounds, and the 1992 album is more varied than its predecessor (and also accepting of the burgeoning Brit-pop sound) while going hard in the hook department. MICHAEL MANNHEIMER. Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside St., 225-0047. 8 pm Sunday, Nov. 15. $32.50 advance, $37.50 day of show. All ages.

Broomstick

[THEATER] Witches have a bad rap—eating children, cursing livestock and seducing morally upstanding men. But Vana O'Brien's character at Artists Rep isn't necessarily a witch—she's just…misunderstood. Performed with transformative genius by the Artists Rep founding member, this old woman welcomes us into her cottage deep in the Southern woods. We're an acquaintance who's been gone long and now she's happy to regale us with a lifetime of stories. Playwright John Biguenet deftly employs iambic pentameter and rhyming couplets to give the old woman's tales a singsong quality. O'Brien gleefully embodies the complex character, who is in turn repulsive, sympathetic and awe-inspiring. As with listening to any elderly person tell a never-ending story, interest ebbs. But O'Brien fully realizes a woman living with a lifetime of pain. When she recounts the loss of her young love at sea—and how her grief was so tremendous that it became a tempest and sunk more ships—all subsequent actions seem justified. Its a lesson in humanity: people may or may not have been baked into casseroles, but wait until you hear her side of the story. PENELOPE BASS. Artists Repertory Theatre, 1515 SW Morrison St., 241-1278. 7:30 pm Wednesday-Sunday, 11 am Wednesday, Nov. 11, and 2 pm Sunday. Through Nov. 22. $48.