Top Things to Do This Weekend: July 3–6
The Waterfront Blues Fest kicks off a Summer of Soul, Lauryn Hill never grows old, First Thursday brings the sun, and comedy's prodigal son Ian Karmel returns.
Waterfront Blues Festival
Thursday–Sunday, Tom McCall Waterfront Park
It’s going to be hard for the Blues Fest to top Robert Plant last year, but it’s going to try with the likes of Gregg Allman, Los Lobos, Maceo Parker, and local powerhouses Linda Hornbuckle and Ural Thomas. As a part of the Summer of Soul, test your knowledge of James Brown with our quiz in July's PoMo Picks.
Sharon Van Etten
Wednesday–Thursday, Doug Fir Lounge
The Brooklynite comes to the Doug Fir in support of her haunting new record, Are We There—her second on midwestern indie label Jagjaguwar (Bon Iver, Angel Olsen, Foxygen)—which expands on the blueprint of 2012’s lushly orchestrated, warmly produced Tramp. Read our story about Van Etten.
Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds
Saturday, Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall
Fifteen albums and over 30 years haven't softened Cave's songs, which continue to depict the beautifully dark side of love and loss in a way that audiences can't help but relate to. This US tour follows the release of Live from KCRW, the band's fourth live album.
Sunday, Crystal Ballroom
The hip-hop superstar-cum-recluse has served her time, both in the music industry as a multi-Grammy-winning solo artist and member of the Fugees and in the prison-industrial complex: last year she finished a three-month sentence for tax evasion. She’s taking to the road with a string of intimate shows she’s calling her Homecoming Concert Series; here’s hoping she files the right paperwork this time around.
Thursday, Across downtown Portland
PDX Contemporary Art - Mountain
This group show of fourteen artists, including Terry Toedtemeier, Heather Watkins, the French scientist-cum-monk (and "the happiest person in the world") Matthieu Ricard, and lauded Icelandic artist Ragnar Kjartansson, explores the use of mountains as metaphors for today's information age.
Elizabeth Leach Gallery - Joel Shapiro's Maquettes and Multiples and Sean Healy's Extroverts
Coinciding with his installation in the art museum, internationally renowned–sculptor Shapiro's shows prints and sculptures that use abstract color and shape to delve into our perception and understanding of spatial forms. Meanwhile, multimedia artist Healy has made art for the FBI’s field office in Houston. Does that make him an art narc?
Upfor Gallery - Katie Torn's The End of Flutter Valley
Torn transforms the cast-asides of consumer culture into fantastical three-dimensional worlds using computer graphics, photography, video, sculpture, and painting.
Charles Hartman Fine Art - Seven
Celebrating its seventh anniversary, Hartman showcases seven works a week for seven weeks, revolving 49 of its represented artists, along with classic masterworks, through its doors, including Corey Arnold, Hayley Barker, Mark Steinmetz, and more.
Blue Sky Gallery - David Pace's Sur La Route and selected work by Pentti Sammallahti
The San Francisco–based Pace lives two months of the year in a rural village in West Africa's Burkina Faso, where he photographs friends and neighbors as they commute by his doorstep, whether by bike, foot, or donkey. Meanwhile, the Finnish artist Sammallahti has traveled the world with his camera. These are but a few of the black and white images he's brought back.
Laura Russo Gallery - Betty Merken's Gravity and Whispersand new work by Geoffrey Pagen
Colorful linear paintings and monotypes from Seattle-based abstract artist Merken and bright ceramic wall works from the Portlander Pagen.
Cock Gallery - Cock Tease II
A group exhibition of "transgressive" artists. Just don't Google it at work...
Thursday–Saturday, Helium Comedy Club
The prodigal comedian returns! Ian Karmel ruled the roost when he lived in Portland (taking home Portland's Funniest Person prize in 2011 among other accolades), before disembarking for LA last year (read our exit interview with him). To no one's surprise, he quickly landed a gig writing for Chelsea Lately, and now he's coming home to be the first Portland comedian to headline at Helium Comedy Club. Welcome back, Mr. Karmel.
CoHo Summerfest: Lust and Marriage
Thursday, Saturday–Sunday, CoHo Theatre
CoHo Summerfest brings four Portland-based playwrights, of starkly differing styles, together for a month of solo shows. The festival opens with a weekend of Lust and Marriage. Written and performed by Eleanor O'Brien, the piece explores attempts to preserve the lust in marriage, or preserve marriage through unrestrained lust. Read our Q&A with O'Brien about her CoHo Summerfest play last year, Dominatrix for Dummies.
Dance + CLASSICAL
BodyVox: In Motion with Chamber Music Northwest
Friday–Sunday, Lincoln Performance Hall
As part of a collaboration with Chamber Music Northwest, bassist Edgar Meyers and string player Mike Marshall—both equally renowned for their virtuosity across genres—accompany a world-premiere dance from Emmy-winning choreographers Jamey Hampton and Ashley Roland, as well as the BodyVox suite “Leave the Light On.”
Oregon Bach Festival: Creation Triple Bill
Sunday, Newmark Theatre
Eugene's world-class celebration of Johann Sebastian's legacy and work is nice enough to save us a drive by bringing some of the best offerings through Portland, including Creation Triple Bill. This collaborative performance features pianist Gabriela Montero with the Eugene Ballet Company, pairing two musical takes on creation—Jean-Fery Rebels' Les elemens and Darius Milhaud's La creation—with dance.