Cheap & Easy

46 Cheap & Easy Things To Do in Portland This MLK Day Weekend: Jan 14-17, 2022

A Betty White Dance Party, Portland Boat Show, and More Last-Minute Events Under $15
January 13, 2022
The immersive multimedia installation Walking the World with this Fire is a call for social transformation. (CoHo Productions)
There's plenty to watch, see, and do this long weekend—and better yet, there's plenty of things to do under $15. If we're speaking your language, read on for all of your options, from dance party Keep it Tight, Betty White to multimedia installation Walking the World with this Fire. For more weekend ideas, see yourself over to our guide to MLK Day events.

Stay safe out there, Portland! As always, get tested and stay home if you feel sick—and get your booster while it's hot. Speaking of omicron, we advise checking directly with venues for the latest updates—including health guidelines, postponements, and cancellations—before heading out.

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Blood Simple Add to a List
Blood Simple came out in 1984 and promptly reminded everybody why they liked film noir. Creepy and smart and dark and funny, it launched the career of the Coen Brothers, and featured fantastic performances from Frances McDormand and M. Emmet Walsh. ERIK HENRIKSEN
(Clinton Street Theater, Hosford-Abernethy, $6)


Dinosaur Dance Party, Falling Alice, and Strawberry Pickle Add to a List
Let your hair down with this sampling of Portland's eclectic producers, with EMD from Dinosaur Dance Party, underground hip-hop from Falling Alice, and beats by Rainbow City creator Strawberry Pickle.
(Rainbow City, Buckman, $5)

Elements Showcase Add to a List
This showcase of local talent flaunts a wide range of rap and hip-hop sounds, including Sincere God Magnetic, Shella Moon, A'Revolution, Tra4Duce, and Lyric Divine.
(The Big Legrowlski, Pearl District, $10)

Synthetic Slide, Joey Blind, and FO/PO Add to a List
Experimental punk and noise-rock will be brought to you by local artists Synthetic Slide, Joey Blind, and FO/PO.
(No Fun, Buckman, $8)

System Sessions 001 ft. Hobi, Blanck, Chahan, Glasseye, Rob Tichinel, and Yert Yert Add to a List
System Sessions 001 is a new series that focuses on showcasing PNW talent with high-fidelity sounds. Local music lovers can anticipate hearing a wide range of electronic music from dubstep to west coast bass, with this week bringing music from Hobi, Blanck, Chahan, Glasseye, Rob Tichinel, and Yert Yert.
(Mighty Moe's Tanker, Hawthorne, free)

The Quick & Easy Boys Duo Add to a List
Portland-based rockers The Quick & Easy Boys Duo draw inspiration from '80s bands like The Minutemen and The Police for an energetic and interactive stage performance.
(Tomorrow's Verse Taproom, Beaumont-Wilshire, $10)

Laryssa Birdseye Add to a List
Portland-based singer/songwriter Laryssa Birdseye will bring you an evening of emotional Americana influenced ballads and pop anthems.
(Alberta Street Pub, King, $10)

Mama Sam & The Jam, Eugenia Riot, and Annie Vergnetti Add to a List
Folk-pop group Mama Sam & The Jam draws inspiration from bands like Mazzy Star and Fleetwood Mac. Also playing will be indie folk singer Eugenia Riot and singer-songwriter Annie Vergnetti.
(Alberta Street Pub, King, $10)

Panthervision, Reverberations, and Creature Party Add to a List
Travel back in time for a night with retro-rockers Panthervision, the '60s psych influenced Reverberations, and danceable party pop band Creature Party.
(Kelly's Olympian, Downtown, $6-$8)

Spooky Boys, Deaf Telepathy, and Catfish & Sons Add to a List
Portland's own Spooky Boys are an indie-rock band known for their surf-infused sound. They will be joined by psych duo Deaf Telepathy and blues-rock outfit Catfish & Sons.
(McMenamins White Eagle Saloon, Eliot, $11)

The Get Ahead Add to a List
After a two-year hiatus, The Get Ahead, known for their emotionally moving lyricism and gritty soulful sound, are returning to the stage. Joining them will be garage rockers The Macks and neo-soul singer-songwriter Lo Steele.
(Mississippi Studios, Boise, $13)



Boy Smooches Add to a List
This long-form improv troupe trades in cheap laughs for storytelling, character-building, and setting the scene just right. Come with some suggestions in your back pocket, and show up on time for an opening musical set from Coldboulder. 
(Siren Theater, Old Town Chinatown, $10-$13)


Babette's Feast Add to a List
When a French exile shows up penniless in a village of god-fearing Danish farmers, two sisters take her in as their housekeeper. After winning their trust with a satisfactory pot of bread soup, she introduces them to her mysteriously vast arsenal of culinary treasures, all culminating in an epic dinner party for the whole town using the money she (small spoiler) wins in the lottery. Turtle sacrifices notwithstanding, Gabriel Axel's 1987 classic is an enchanting fixture of the food-movie canon. 
(Clinton Street Theater, Hosford-Abernethy, $6)

My Man Godfrey Add to a List
Carole Lombard stars as a dippy socialite whose world is upturned when she finds a drifter (William Powell) in a scavenger hunt and hires him as a butler. This 1936 Gregory La Cava film is regarded as one of the finest of the Depression-era comedies. 
(Hollywood Theatre, Hollywood District, $7)


Atomic Momma with Young, Planetary and Super Secret Band Add to a List
Enjoy a full night of music with swirling psychedelic rock from local band Atomic Momma. Joining them will be Boise-based emo group Young, Planetary and jam band rockers Super Secret Band.
(Honey Latte Cafe, Buckman, $10)

The Hot Lovin' Jazz Babies Add to a List
The Hot Lovin' Jazz Babies will transport you to a hot swing and jazz club straight out of the 1930s. Part of Portland Music Month Add to a List .
(Alberta Street Pub, King, $10)

Jeff and His Funky Donkey Add to a List
Jeff Chilton (Jay Si Proof) and Zac Allen (Talking Heads Tribute, LDW) come together as Jeff and His Funky Donkey for a special show of psych jazz and funk jams.
(Tomorrow's Verse Taproom, Beaumont-Wilshire, $5)

Jujuba - Afrobeat Dance Party at The Goodfoot Add to a List
Portland-based 10-piece ensemble Jujuba churns out Afrobeat tunes made for dancing. Their sound, which blends West African and Cuban percussion with an energetic rhythm section and passionate horns, will have you moving your feet in no time.
(Goodfoot, Kerns, $12)

Masonique and -ism Add to a List
Dance under black lights to the future sounds of “sci-fi synthpunks” Masonique, a Portland-based group that mixes krautrock-inspired sounds with the glittering style of glam rock. They will be joined by experimental electronic wizards -ism.
(Rainbow City, Buckman, $5)

Muddy Souls, Alder Street, and Fog Holler Add to a List
Formed in Eugene's acoustic music scene in the fall of 2019, the Muddy Souls make the trek up to Portland to share their bluegrass and roots sound along with folk-infused rock group Alder Street and old-time Americana trio Fog Holler. Part of Portland Music Month Add to a List .
(Alberta Street Pub, King, $15)

Norman Baker Add to a List
Seattle's own Americana "lumber rocker" Norman Baker will be performing ahead of his forthcoming album co-produced by Jim Roth of Built to Spill.
(T.C. O'Leary's, Concordia, free)

Orkis with So Lately + Lucia Luna Add to a List
Join this single release party for darkwave electropop artist Orkis with ethereal sounds by Lucia Luna and danceable grooves by producer So Lately.
(Vitalidad Movement Arts Center, Buckman, $10-$12)

Pandemonia with DJ Barbie Saint Add to a List
DJ Crankenstein and DJ Barbie Saint will be spinning goth and EDM for your dancing pleasure all night long.
(Mississippi Pizza Pub & Atlantis Lounge, Boise, $5)

Shaylee, Truck, and Exotic Physics Add to a List
Portland's own Shaylee is an indie rock project that creates dreamy lush music coined as "chamber rock." They will be playing just ahead of their forthcoming album, Short​-​Sighted Security, out in March. Also on the bill arelocal noise duo Truck and shoegazers Exotic Physics.
(Kelly's Olympian, Downtown, $8-$10)

The Latter Day Skanks, The Punchers, & Dagger Points Add to a List
Say a prayer with punk band The Latter Day Skanks who are self described as "three cross-dressing former Mormons that wanna blow your mind and rock your ass." Afterward, it’ll be time for high-energy rock bands The Punchers and Dagger Points to keep your spirits up.
(Lay Low Tavern, South Tabor, free)

Tigerbite, Utility, and Hot Won't Quit Add to a List
Portland-based indie-rock four-piece Tigerbite will bring you an evening of sweet hooks, fuzzy guitars, and emotional lyricism with support from local rock duo Utility and punk trio Hot Won't Quit.
(No Fun, Buckman, $8)

Tigers on Opium (Record Release) with Young Hunter, Sorcia, & Freebas Add to a List
Local hard-rock band Tigers on Opium will be playing to celebrate the release of their new album. They will be joined by doom metal bands Young Hunter and Sorcia along with psych-rock from Freebase Hyperspace.
(Star Theater, Old Town-Chinatown, $12-$15)


Keep it Tight, Betty White Add to a List
This 100th birthday celebration was planned before the showbiz titan's recent passing, but despite the bittersweet tone that the dance party will surely take on, we can think of no better way to honor America's golden girl. Beloved local retrofuturist Chanti Darling will headline with a special DJ set, with the party crew also including DJ Veruca, MCs Ruby Delish and Zander, and performers Cody James, Lala Benét, and Valerie DeVille. The event will be ASL interpreted.
(Shine Distillery & Grill, Boise, $12)

Solid Gold Dance Party Add to a List
Celebrating soul of the '80s-'90s, this dance party is brought to you by DJs Bnick and Heftober. Learn some new moves from era-appropriate go-go dancers and don't forget to wear a festive outfit from your decade of choice!
(Holocene, Buckman Neighborhood, $10-$15)



Buena Vista Social Club Add to a List
This documentary by lauded German filmmaker Wim Wenders follows renowned guitarist Ry Cooder and his son, Joachim, as they travel to Cuba and assemble a group of the country's finest musicians to record an album. Among the artists included in the project are singer Ibrahim Ferrer and pianist Rubén González, who are both interviewed and featured in-studio footage. Eventually, the ensemble travels to the United States to perform in front of rapt audiences.
(Clinton Street Theater, Hosford-Abernethy, $6)

Church of Film: The Snow Woman Add to a List
Taking cues from traditional Japanese ghost stories, Tokuzō Tanaka's 1968 film follows a master sculptor and his apprentice, who seek out a mystical tree with which to carve a statue commissioned by a local temple. This angers the ghostly witch of the woods, who takes her revenge on the master but spares the student, who goes on to marry the beautiful Yuki. Soak in winter's spooky vibes at this outdoor screening on the heated patio. 
(The Red Fox, Humboldt, free)

Iran Conference Add to a List
Influential public figures gather in Denmark for a symposium on the clash between modern Western liberal ideology and traditional religious ones in Igor Sergeev and Vladimir Kuznetsov's film. "Vyrypaev’s aim is, of course, not to deliberate on the East/West friction, but to present a true-to-life philosophical parable about humanity, faith, and love," write the organizers. 
(Clinton Street Theater, Hosford-Abernethy, $10)


Brown Suga Duo Add to a List
Drummer Brian Foxworth and guitarist Dante Zapata will come together as Brown Suga Duo for an afternoon of free music.
(Impala Bar & Grill, Northwest, free)

Diavol Strain + Vacuum Add to a List
Get a taste of Chile’s darkwave scene with '80s inspired “riot wave” duo Diavol Strain and goth duo Vacuum, who both hail from Valparaiso. Don’t miss the post-show dance afterparty with dark/industrial sets from onourdeathbed and DJ Wolfgang.
(Coffin Club, Buckman, $10)

Emotional Intelligence ft. Mirin Doja & lu. Add to a List
Get down to deep and dark grooves with DJs Mirin Doja & lu.
(No Fun, Buckman, free)

Ex Nashville Cats (John Bunzow & Denny Bixby) with Ben Rice Add to a List
The Portland-based Ex Nashville Cats consist of local veteran musicians bassist/vocalist Denny Bixby and guitarist/vocalist John Bunzow. For this performance, they will be joined by special guest Ben Rice, a guitarist known for his intuitive blues playing style.
(Artichoke Music, Richmond, $15)

Hopworks Sunday Night Music with Hushfire Add to a List
Portland folk-trio Hushfire will bring you lush harmonies that they hope will cure your winter blues.
(Hopworks Urban Brewery, Creston-Kenilworth, free)

Pool Boys, Twingle, and Monica Add to a List
Portland-based rock quartet Pool Boys are known for their noisy guitars and sparkling harmonies. They will be joined by local acts Twingle and Monica. Part of Portland Music Month Add to a List .
(Holocene, Buckman, $11)



17th Annual MLK Tribute: KING: A FILMED RECORD Add to a List
Join the Clinton Street Theater as they honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with their annual screening of the Oscar-nominated documentary King: A Filmed Record... Montgomery to Memphis (1971). You'll learn about the life and works of the influential figure through dramatic readings by Harry Belafonte, James Earl Jones, Paul Newman, and others, along with newsreel and archival footage.
(Clinton Street Theater, Hosford-Abernethy, free)

Keep Alive the Dream Add to a List
World Arts Foundation Inc., who have hosted an annual MLK tribute event since 1978, present this hour-long film of archival footage. The film documents four decades of arts and activism by Oregon's African-American communities, following MLK's doctrine. A Q&A with community members will follow the screening and the program will also include live music. Folks should note that while admission is free, you'll need to claim a ticket for entry.
(Hollywood Theatre, Hollywood District, free)

Reclaim MLK Annual Rally for Human Rights and Dignity Add to a List
Social justice organization Don’t Shoot PDX is centering and celebrating Black youth in this inclusive protest that aims to reclaim Martin Luther King Jr. Day for the Black community.
(Peninsula Park, Piedmont, free)


Swedish Cabins: The Legacy of Henry Steiner and Fogelbo Exhibit at Nordia House Add to a List
Log cabins may represent the American frontier, but the cozy structures are also tied to Swedish immigration and innovation in the U.S. Here in the Pacific Northwest, the story of the Swedish log cabin lives on through the legacy of craftsman Henry Steiner, who built nearly a hundred cabins in the region between the 1920s-50s. This exhibition will allow visitors to go inside one of the original cabins, Fogelbo.
(Nordic Northwest, Metzger, free; opening)



OSA and PAM Docents’ Group Show Add to a List
It shouldn't surprise you that many of the folks who lead museum tours for the Oregon Society of Artists and the Portland Art Museum are artists themselves. This exhibition features paintings, digital art, pastels, drawings, and more by PAM and OSA docents. 
(Oregon Society of Artists, Goose Hollow, free, Friday-Monday)

Walking the World with this Fire Add to a List
This immersive, multimedia installation (including short films, physical installations, large-scale paintings, light and sound design, and 3D fabrication) from Portland artist Samuel Eisen-Meyers walks visitors through the psychology and deception of United States domestic imperialism.
(CoHo Theater, Slabtown, free, Friday-Saturday)


USS Improvise: the Next Generation: the Musical Add to a List
See your favorite Star Trek characters in a new, unscripted light as a group of Portland's nerdiest musical comedians riffs on The Next Generation. 
(Funhouse Lounge, Hosford-Abernethy, $14, Friday-Saturday)


Portland Boat Show Add to a List
Are you and your loved ones thinking of becoming boat people? Get inspired (and maybe even buy a boat) at this showcase of fishing boats, ski boats, wakeboards and wake-surfing boats, yachts, cruisers, pontoons, and inflatables, baby.
(Portland Expo Center, North Portland, $15, Friday-Sunday)

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