Cultural Calendar September

Welcome back, cultural dilettantes and devotees, and greetings to the new young freshfolk (who may not have even learned how to get off campus yet). I’m excited to be writing a cultural calendar again this year and encouraging you to get away from Reed for a night (or twelve) every month and enjoy some dope happenings around PDX. One major change: ’lil baby yours truly is celebrating a very important birthday next week, and y’all better believe that I’m gonna be hitting up that 21+ scene and perhaps even sampling some fine alcoholic drinks along the way. I know that in the past, I only focused on All-Ages events, but that’s because the draconian Oregon liquor laws made it impossible for me to experience a significant portion of Portland’s cultural life; but now that I can and I am vibrating with happiness. If you are still a youngin, though, never fear; there are tons of events for you to go to (plus you can always check out the recorded materials of bands playing those 21+ shows, which I concurrently endorse.) So let’s dig in, shall we?

September 14

Concert — Tim Hecker at PSU (AA)

God bless the PICA (Portland Institute for Contemporary Arts) and TBA (Time-Based Arts) Festival. They put together a killer lineup of visual arts and performance (and tons of other goodies) and Tim Hecker is one of their masterstrokes. The noise/ambient artist has never performed in Portland before, so this is a pretty special opportunity. Check it, and also listen to his album Virgins from last year, definitely one of the most evocative and atmospheric releases of 2013.

September 17

Reading — Charles Burns at Powells Downtown (AA)

 Charles Burns is the mind behind one of the most disturbing (and best) graphic novels ever, Black Hole , a work that you probably read in 10th grade and totally  knew was about STDs and what-have-you. His new trilogy is perhaps a bit more surreal and hard to follow, but no less excellent. I’m very intrigued to see what he’ll talk about in this reading.

September 18

Concert — Arca at The Works (21+)

 Another TBA show, Arca released the really dank mixtape, &&&&&& , which plays with the concept of club electronic music and brings it to a cerebral level rarely seen before. Also, he did producing work on Kanye’s Yeezus , so bonus.

September 19

Concert — Oneohtrix Point Never at The Works (21+)

 It makes sense that TBA would get Oneohtrix to perform in a roster with Tim Hecker, they’ve often been experimental electronic bedfellows, even sharing the stage before. Oneohtrix is fresh off of a series of dates opening for Nine Inch Nails and Soundgarden (replacing Death Grips [natch {also, RIP and have a sad cum bb :,( }]). I caught OPN early this summer, and his set was pretty darn good (and I livestreamed his Boilerroom set from a couple weeks ago, his live show has only gotten better). Better catch him now, he’s a once and future legend of bleep bloops.

September 21

Reading — Sean Wilsey at Powells Downtown (AA)

 Sean Wilsey has a new essay collection, More Curious , which examines various facets of America, from the Marfa TX artist compound to NASA to urban skateboarding, and it is brilliant. He’s hilarious, he’s interesting, and he made me want to start skateboarding (which, if you know me, is a terrible idea-- I’ve never broken a bone before but give me 5 minutes on a board and I can guarantee you something will be forever damaged). More Curious is one of my favorite books of the year, and I would recommend it if you have a passing interest in the weirder bits of American culture.

September 26–27

Concerts — Guided By Voices w/ Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks and Built to Spill at Crystal Ballroom (21+)

Like some beer-soaked messiah, Pabst has descended from the woods of Wisconsin to grant Portlanders a wonderful gift: a cheapass music festival with a pretty good lineup and absolutely insane night shows. Project Pabst, as it is so called, is PBR’s “love letter to Portland,” the city in which “Pabst was reborn” (I’m not even kidding, this is from their website). Of all the PBR-endorsed goings-ons, I’m recommending the two nights at the Crystal Ballroom, which brings together three legends from 90s indie rock royalty, GBV and Steve Malkmus (9/26) and Built to Spill (9/27) for a weekend that will promise to deliver at least one thing: me drunkenly singing “Carry the Zero.” You know, if PBR really loves us they’ll be supplying free tallboys acrossthe city all weekend as well….