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March 30th, 2011 12:06 am BEN WATERHOUSE | Headout

Ball Busters

Art-golf and cocktails combine to fill a gaping cultural hole.

Headout_smashputt_JonSperry_3721ILLUSTRATION: Jon Sperry

Portland! We lead the world in pinball bars, artery-clogging street food and impractical bicycles. Our dominance in childish pursuits for adults is so universally renowned that it’s generated dozens of New York Times stories, an IFC miniseries, and multiple New York Times stories about that miniseries. And yet, in one crucial area, we lag behind. How can a city this dedicated to combining fond memories of preadolescent birthday parties with liquor have only one adult miniature golf course? I mean no disrespect to Glowing Greens, but where’s the variety? Seattle, apparently: Last year, Smash Putt golf, the lunatic creation of artists/rogue roboticists Jeremy Franklin-Ross and Mike McCracken, took over the bottom floor of the Acropolis Hotel. Putt-putt-deprived Portlanders showed up in droves to down cocktails and test their skills on 14 next-generation holes, incorporating catapults, an enormous pachinko machine, air cannons and power tools.

This week, Smash Putt is back for another six weeks of art-golf hijinks and new holes including an “experimental Scratch ’n’ Sniff Hole.” Say what? “The basic concept behind that one is going to be a sort of roulette wheel with scratch ’n’ sniff,” says Smash Putt’s local coordinator, Ken Brotherton. “You’ll spin that and try to identify the smell and then shoot for the hole of the scent you think it is. If you guess right you get an easy route, if you’re wrong it’s harder.” So bring decongestant.

HIT IT: Smash Putt, 1719 W Burnside St., smashputt.com. 6 pm-2 am Fridays-Saturdays, 6 pm-midnight Saturdays through May 8. $10-$15. 21+.

Headout Picks



Last fall, Brooklyn singer-songwriter Sharon Van Etten was such a hit that the Doug Fir filled up an hour before her 9 pm opening slot. Now back as a headliner, Van Etten brings another highly touted opener, Little Scream, fresh off tons of SXSW love. Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside St., 231-9663.
9 pm. $12. 21+.



Authentic blues music played on weird, mutated guitars called “Three-String Trance Wonder” and “One-String Diddley Bow” and that has Jack White’s stamp of approval? Yes, please. Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell St., 284-8686. 9 pm. $12 advance, $13 day of show. 21+.


The touring branch of Upright Citizens Brigade—the comedy troupe that launched the careers of Amy Poehler, Rob Corddry, Ed Helms, et al.—hits town for one night at Curious Comedy. Curious Comedy, 5225 NE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. 9 pm. $15.



The most visually arresting dispatch from Canada’s young, beautiful and prowling since Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, the second feature from 21-year-old director Xavier Dolan is a slow-motion plunge into a flood of pheromones. Living Room Theaters, 341 SW 10th Ave., 971-222-2010. Multiple showtimes. $6-$9.



For the latest installment of its National Theatre Live series, Third Rail presents a screening of a new adaptation of Mary Shelley’s novel, written by Nick Dear and directed by Danny Boyle, starring Benedict Cumberbatch (of the BBC series Sherlock) and Jonny Lee Miller (Eli Stone) as the doctor and the monster. World Trade Center Theater, 121 SW Salmon St., 235-1101. 2 and
7 pm Saturday-Sunday. $15-$20.


Amateur and professional bakers come together at Ristretto Roasters and Barista to sell delicious doughy treats to raise money for those affected by the Japanese earthquake. Guilt-free gluttony from the likes of Alma Chocolate, the Sugar Cube and Little T American Baker. Ristretto Roasters, 3808 N Williams Ave., 288-8667, and Barista Pearl, 539 NW 13th Ave., 579-6678.
10 am-2 pm.

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