Top Things To Do This Weekend: April 5–7
This weekend we're recommending a jazz interlude with the Oregon Symphony, a caustic comedienne, cavernous clay sculptures, and shiny psychedelic pop with Unknown Mortal Orchestra.
Fred Sandback & Julia Dault
Lumber Room, Fri & Sat 12–5
The Lumber Room’s open, spacious loft space will make a most gorgeous setting for the yarn, cord, and wire installation sculptures of the seminal minimalist artist Fred Sandback, who work uses but a few lines to transform the very experience of the room. Joining him in the exhibition will be Julia Dault, who makes paintings and sculptures on-site that play with materials like vinyl, pleather, spandex, and plastic. Additionally, there will be works by Al Taylor and other artists.
Brad Mildrexler: Monoliths & Megaliths
Eutectic Gallery, Fri & Sat 10–6; Sun noon–5
Clay mavens will find a groovy abundance of challenging ceramics exhibitions at this newish gallery. Currently on view is sculpture by local artist Brad Mildrexler, whose "Monoliths & Megaliths" appear as if they were excavated from a remote cavern rather than forged by the artist, who confesses that he has "clay on my mind every day."
Books & Talks
Back Fence PDX: Wait … It Gets Worse and Russian Roulette
Mission Theater, Apr 5 at 8; Disjecta, Apr 6 at 8
Improvised storytelling enthusiasts can get a double dose of Back Fence this weekend. On Friday, Derrick Brown, Jess Rohen, Leather Storrs, and Matt Brown, will kick around the topic of "But Wait … It Gets Worse," at Mission Theater. Saturday night at Disjecta, Brown, Rohen, Adam Arnold, and Arthur Bradford (among others) will spin a roulette wheel to determine their subject matter in a new installment of Back Fence calls "Russian Roulette." Dangerous!
Helium Comedy Club, Apr 4 at 8; Apr 5–6 at 7:30 & 10
If you’ve ever watched her promo videos from L.A. comedy club the Laugh Factory, or seen her expel a contestant with a slew of cringe-worthy insults on the syndicated comedy dating show Excused, then you’ll understand why we're so enthusiastic in our welcoming of Ms. Shlesinger to town. The youngest, not to mention the only, woman to win NBC’s Last Comic Standing, Shlesinger has established herself as a no-holds-barred comic whose realist reflections on adult life are as hilarious as they are painfully truthful.
Low, Thalia Zedek
Mississippi Studios, Apr 5 at 9
Quiet-core pioneer Low is the headliner, but don't miss influential Boston-based singer Thalia Zedek in the opening slot. She's an emotive and versatile vocalist who's fronted bands like Live Skull, Dangerous Birds, Come, and Uzi, and she's perfectly capable of bewitching ears and inspiring tears.
Unknown Mortal Orchestra
Aladdin Theater, Apr 5 at 8
Yes, UMO main man Ruban Nielson (formerly of the Mint Chicks) hails from Portland, but he spends much of his time out conquering the world. Here's a chance for the locals to get out and cheer for one of our own. I, for one, can never get enough funky, psychedelic pop songs with lonely, bummed-out lyrics.
Lady Sings the Blues: A Tribute to Billie Holiday
Alberta Rose Theater, Apr 6 at 8
This annual fundraiser for the Siren Nation Music & Arts Festival showcases a bevvy of local talents, including Ezza Rose, Michele Van Kleef, Sara Jackson-Holman, Edna Vazquez, and more, who will interpret classics from the songbook of the immortal Lady Day herself.
Oregon Symphony: Dave Frishberg & Patrick Lamb
Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, Apr 6 at 7:30; Apr 7 at 3
Two of Portland's most dependable jazz cats, pianist and ace songwriter Dave Frishberg and soulful sax man Patrick Lamb, join forces with the Oregon Symphony for a pair of swinging shows—with strings!
Tryon Creek State Park, Apr 6–7 at 10 am
Never mind those dark clouds, it's Spring and high time to get a noseful of nature. In addition to witnessing the lovely trilliums in bloom, this annual free fest offers opportunities to learn about a variety of plantlife, take guided tours, and perhaps purchase some flora for your own garden. Did we mention it's free?
Rain: A Tribute to the Beatles
Keller Auditorium, Apr 5 at 7:30; Apr 6 at 2 & 7:30
Watch the Fab Four evolve from brash Liverpudlian lads who just want to hold your hand to bearded psychedelic explorers aboard "The Magical Mystery Tour." A lively dose of the Beatles from this talented touring company is all you need for an uplifting nostalgia fest. Oh, and love. "All You Need is Love." That's important, too.