News & Notes on Beyonce, ‘Alien Planet,’ much more

News & Notes closes a busy week of arts business with a few items of general interest, assuming the “general interest” actually exists. How about: “a few items that aggregate various narrow interests”? You guys are SUCH sticklers for a Winter Solstice Weekend!

And off we go…

For the past several years I’ve been reading Dave Allen’s takes (these days mostly on his blog for North) on the intersection of the music business with digital technology and marketing. Allen (best known in post-punk circles for his work with Gang of Four) has argued that the internet and its various platform inventions doesn’t mean death for musicians, though it has had major negative repercussions for the big entertainment conglomerates that control them. In this latest story for Salon, he writes about Beyonce’s social media-based “marketing” of her new album, and notes that David Bowie got there first (Allen has convinced met that it’s often a safe bet that Bowie got there first!).

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Echo Theatre Co. begins life with "Tess on an Alien Planet"/  Photography of Russell J Young

Echo Theater Company begins life with “Tess on an Alien Planet”/ Photography of Russell J Young

ArtsWatch salutes Echo Theater Company on its first show, “Tess on an Alien Planet,” which opens tonight!

The company resulted from a division earlier this year of Do Jump! Extremely Physical Theater into two non-profit organizations: The Echo Theater Company (which continues to operate the Do Jump School and facilitates additional programming, performances and events created by its staff and community) and Robin Lane’s professional performance company Do Jump!

“Tess,” a “science fiction adventure,” will feature the humor, acrobatics and aerial work that we have come to expect from a Do Jump! aesthetic, and stars Sara Fay Goldman (Associate Artistic Director of Fuse Theatre Ensemble, Director of Education for Portland’s Original Practice Shakespeare Festival, and a performer with Jewish Theatre Collaborative) as Tess, a scientist “stranded in a surprising, lonely, and wondrous place.”

The all-ages show runs through December 30 at the Echo Theater, 1515 SE 37th Ave, Portland; $15-$22 with discounts for children, seniors, group sales of 10 or more tickets.

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If you’re interested at all in music with a classical inflection, Brett Campbell’s Weekend MusicWatch will steer you toward the best and the brightest. So what’s happening on Oregon music stages and spaces this weekend? Cellos, mandolins, fab fiddles, ugly sweaters, and beautiful voices.

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ArtsWatch is a fan of the Regional Arts & Culture Council’s Work for Art program, which gives companies and their employees a good way to donate to arts groups in the area. Now in its eighth year, Work for Art has raised $4.7 million for the arts, all of which goes to local organizations.

Sometimes corporations give directly to the program, and Cambia Health Solutions just made a $50,000 grant to Work for Art, the largest in the program’s history. It’s easy to enroll your company in Work for Art!

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I’m trying to imagine a Portland proposal for something similar to the Bezos Balls in Seattle, part of Amazon’s massive new Seattle HQ.

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Sticking with architecture, will Northwest Natural Gas cancel the wrecking balls scheduled to demolish the Portland Gas & Coke building? Maybe more likely: Will the company ever at least acknowledge that the building might have some value to the public and the architectural history of the city before it knocks it down?

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