For 2014, read "Top Things to Do Labor Day Weekend 2014."
Portland Film Festival
Tue–Mon; various locations and times
Debuting this year, the first ever Portland Film Festival feels like it came out of nowhere. The ambitious fest includes 83 films—many Portland and even world premieres. Proving that if you screen it, they will come, the fest has sold out so many of its screenings that it's adding an extra day on Monday to re-screen films that were fan favorites and award winners (Mon at noon; Mission Theater). Some highlights:
- Free screenings under the stars in the Pearl District’s new Fields Park with cast and crew in attendance, a beer garden, food carts, and live music (Fri–Sun; music at 5, movies at sunset—approximately 8:20).
- Chuck Palahniuk will read from his new story, "Zombies," before a Portland premiere of a new short based on his story "Romance," with cast and local director Andy Mingo in attendance (Thu at 6; Bagdad Theater).
- A behind-the-scenes look with the Emmy- and Oscar-winning makeup masters behind the likes of Freddy Krueger and Grimm (Sat at 6; World Trade Center)
- A night with Randall, the creator of the YouTube animal phenom the Honey Badger! Because in Portland, honey badger do care! (Sat at noon; Cinema 21)
- And, of course, films. Lots of films.
2013 Summer Documentary Series
Thru Fri; Mission Theater
POWFest and NW Documentary collaborative documentary series wraps up this weekend with renowned documentarian Ondi Timoner, who won the Sundance Film Festival's Grand Jury Prize not once, but twice. First for her 2004 doc, DIG!—about the infamous rivalry between hometown bands the Dandy Warhols and the Brian Jonestown Massacre—and then for her 2009 doc about Internet visionary Josh Harris, We Live in Public (Fri at 7).
Thu at 8; Alberta Rose Theatre
Stereognosis is a collaboration of world-class musicians from seemingly disparate worlds: upright bass prodigy Miles Jay (who is just as likely to play Coachella as the Met), master percussionist Abbos Kosimov (he's recorded with Stevie Wonder), Turkish string virtuoso Sinan Ayyildiz, and Belgian beatboxers Fatty K and Roxorloops. They recorded their fittingly titled album, Hybrid, all over the world, but this is their first live concert.
Sun at 6; McMenamins' Edgefield
This vaunted two-man Brooklyn psych-dance band who hit it big with the single "Kids" in 2011 has returned with a brand-new, self-titled album. The MGMT concert experience will feature "unique visual elements to accompany and illustrate the new music" via "the Optimizer," which "provides listeners of the album with a simultaneous aural and optical listening experience featuring video and CGI work," according to a wordy band press release. Didn't we used to just call that a "good light show"?
Sun at 8:30; Wonder Ballroom
His biggest hit may have come 34 years ago with the synth-pop song “Cars,” but Numan has continued to thrive and win fans the old-fashioned way, namely with a consistently riveting stage show. Numan is touring on the back of his brand-new album, Splinter.
Cyclepedia: A Century of Iconic Bicycle Design
Tue–Sun 10–5; Portland Art Museum; Closes Sept 7
Drawing from the one-of-a-kind collection of Viennese designer Michael Embacher, this exhibition promises something pure and simple: bike porn. From landmark racing models and vintage cruisers to folding bikes, a parachute bike, and even an ice bike (with a skate for its front wheel), the collection showcases not only the engineering behind the simple, sweat-powered vehicle of locomotion, but the sheer artistry that has elevated it from a tool to an obsession. Read our review of the Cyclepedia exhibition during the art museum's raciest cross-promotion ever: a partnership with the World Naked Bike Ride in which riders paid one dollar per item of clothing they wore in.
Art in the Pearl
Sat–Sun 10–6; Mon 10–5; Northwest Park Blocks
More than 130 selected artisans set up makeshift galleries en plein air under the North Park Blocks’ trees, alongside live music and hands-on activities for the whole family. It's the end of summer arts extravaganza—a feast for the eyes for both art newbies and collectors alike. And when you're done, head to the Pearl District’s new Fields Park for a free outdoor movie at the Portland Film Festival (see above).
Russell Brand: Messiah Complex
Sat at 8; Newmark Theatre
He’s the hirsute Brit who broke Katy Perry’s heart and costars in Judd Apatow comedies like Forgetting Sarah Marshall and Get Him to the Greek. For his current stage performance, Messiah Complex, Brand will be comparing and contrasting religious and spiritual figureheads in characteristically cheeky fashion. Featured guests allegedly include: Jesus Christ, Che Guevara, Gandhi, Malcolm X, and Hitler (who is in parentheses for some reason).
LPGA Safeway Classic
Thu–Sun at 9am; Columbia Edgewater Country Club
This year, many of the top female golfers in the world—including defending champion Mika Miyazato, world number one Inbee Park, and American favorites Stacy Lewis, Paula Creamer, Natalie Gulbis, and Michelle Wie—compete for a $1.3 million prize purse without losing sight of their common objective: to improve the lives of kids, families, and budding scholars. Join the gallery for some high-level driving and putting with proceeds going to assorted local charities, including Trillium Family Services, Oregon Junior Golf Foundation, and Evans Scholars Foundation.
Salsa en la Calle
Sun 11am–11pm; East Bank Festival Plaza, SE Main at the Esplanade (next to the Hawthorne Bridge)
Now in its ninth year, this salsa fest is the largest outdoor celebration of Latin music and culture in the Pacific Northwest. It's a Portland tradition featuring salsa lessons, dance performances, traditional latin foods, a children’s percussion tent, and a beer garden, as well as appearances by popular Portland and Seattle salsa bands, Cambalache and Guaschara, and headliner Oscar D’Leon, who sings, dances, and plays bass at the same time while also conducting his 17-piece orchestra.
Oregon State Fair
Aug 23–Sep 2; Oregon Exposition Center, Salem
Baby tigers! Mini horses dressed as mini cows! Ventriloquist dummies impersonating Lady Gaga! “X-treme Air Dogs”! Country singer Brantley Gilbert and throw-back rockers REO Speedwagon and Loverboy! Go for the spectacle, stay for the funnel cake. If you need more convincing, check out our eight reasons to brave the State Fair.
For more on Portland arts and culture, sign up for our weekly On The Town newsletter, subscribe to our RSS feed, and follow us on Twitter @aarondavidscott. Visit our Arts & Entertainment Calendar for our editors’ event picks.