If you're trying to pinch pennies but still want to have fun this weekend, keep reading for a quality assemblage of $15-and-under events around town, from Urban Craft Uprising's Thanksgiving specialty food market Gobble Up to a birthday show by drag icon Darcelle XV, and from the winter-sport jubilee Snowvana to a Nordic Vintage & Treasure Sale. For even more options, check out our top picks for the week.
Seasoned LA comic Atsuko Okatsuka (who, in addition to her stand-up, hosts the popular podcast Let's Go, Atsuko!) will grace the stage at this popular live comedy series highlighting Black and brown talent.
Siren Theater, Old Town-Chinatown ($15)
Delta Space Mission
Designed to establish a dialogue between intergalactic civilizations, an advanced spaceship operated by a powerful computer brain heads out on a research mission to a newly discovered galaxy in the year 3084.
Clinton Street Theater, Hosford-Abernethy ($6)
Hedwig & the Angry Inch
With its charming pop-art magical realism, cinematic flashbacks, and the ability to present intimate documentary-style footage of Hedwig's misfit band on tour with their charlatan business manager, the movie version of Hedwig is able to emphasize the rich plot far better than the stage version did. Although, admittedly, the movie ending—a Christ-like nude walk across a city street with a close-up on Mitchell's ass—is still wildly obscure.
Clinton Street Theater, Hosford-Abernethy ($7-$10)
Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song
In the 1980s, my film professor assigned us Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song, auteur Melvin Van Peebles’s low-budget, avant-garde, proto-blaxploitation film. My main memory is of Van Peebles running away from the “pigs” to the extraordinary, kinetic funk of pre-hit-making Earth, Wind & Fire while wearing gold velvet trousers. It’s a motif that sticks with you. The plot—wherein Sweetback (MVP), a brothel sex show performer who gets trapped in a convoluted scheme involving a Black Panther, tries to escape US authorities by crossing into Mexico—is less important than the fantastic soundtrack, the sex and fight scenes, and the sensation of black men beating the system while looking fly. DAVE SEGAL
Hollywood Theatre, Hollywood ($10)
Mic Capes feat. Milc & Sxlxmxn
St. Johns native and longtime MC Mic Capes works social commentary into rhymes laid over bouncy beats. Catch the hometown hero's set after openers Milc and Sxlxmxn.
Jack London Revue, Downtown ($15)
Monty Vega & the Sittin' Shivas, Ghost Bomber!, Punchers
Loyal Ramones fandom rings through clear as day with old-school punks Monty Vega & The Sittin' Shivas, who will set up shop after Halloween-y circus-pop act Ghost Bomber and power-pop boys The Punchers.
No Fun, Buckman ($8)
Ohtis and Johanna Samuels
Semi-nomadic alt-folk trio Ohtis will lay their weary heads in Portland after this early-evening gig with Johanna Samuels.
Holocene, Buckman ($12)
HOT MIC Drag & Karaoke w/ XXXY Feat. Sugarpill
Can't choose between a night of drag or karaoke? Get the best of both worlds by singing your heart out and enjoying performances by XXXY and Sugarpill.
Curious Comedy Theater, King ($5)
The weekend-long celebration of all the things that make winter fun returns, courtesy of 10 Barrel Brewing and Toyota. This year's events include "largest ski swap in the Northwest," film premieres from snow-sport production companies like Teton Gravity Research, kids' dog-sled rides with Cascade Dog Sledding, ski pass raffles, live music, and more.
Oregon Convention Center, Lloyd District ($10+)
Portland Coin Show
The Willamette Coin Club is back for all your numismatic needs, baybee. Stop by to admire a large variety of US and world currencies, ancient coins, tokens, medals, and much more. Got some rare coins of your own? You can try selling them.
Doubletree Hotel, Lloyd District (free)
READINGS & TALKS
Portland Book Festival
Offering something for readers of all ages, the Portland Book Festival stacks a lineup of author talks by Lauren Groff, Brandon Taylor, Maggie Nelson, in-person writing workshops, and more. The bulk of this year's festival will be virtual, leading up to an in-person day at the Portland Art Museum with a book fair and food trucks to cap off the week.
Portland Art Museum, South Park Blocks (sliding scale)
Nordic Vintage & Treasure Sale
Get into the thrill of the hunt at this annual sale which offers gently used and new wares such as vintage Scandinavian collectibles, apparel, dish- and glassware, linens, artwork, and more. All items are donated with all proceeds benefitting Nordic Northwest.
Nordic Northwest, Metzger (free)
FOOD & DRINK
Shot and Beer Week 2021
If you've had a challenging year (and… hello! Who hasn't?), we've got just the thing to make life a little more fun: It's the Portland Mercury's Shot & Beer Week! That's correct: For one glorious week, your favorite local bars and restaurants will be serving up a one-of-a-kind, creative "shot & a beer" pairing-and all for the low price of $8!
Various locations ($8)
Professor Jekyll and Miss Hyde: A Modern Adaptation
Robert Louis Stevenson's Gothic novella gets a gender-flipped refresh, swapping out the original story for one that comments on the moral hangups and hypocrisies of the #MeToo era.
Twilight Theater Company, Arbor Lodge ($15)
A Vintage Christmas Show 2021
Charm the socks off your gift recipients or housemates by picking up antique Christmas bits and baubles.
Monticello Antique Marketplace, Montavilla (free)
The Longest Leg
"Does trauma take a singular point of view, like a monologue? Or does it stretch beyond the silo of the psyche, skulking into narrative environments, social interactions, and even conceptions of a fragmented selfhood?" These are the questions at the center of Emmanuela Soria Ruiz's new and recent work, which is largely composed of video installations.
Fuller Rosen Gallery, Nob Hill (free); opening
Dennis Foster: Spiritual Good Time
Inspired heavily by his Los Angeles surroundings, this series of new and recent paintings by Dennis Foster was largely created after dark, with evening sunsets fresh in his mind.
Ampersand Gallery & Fine Books, Concordia (free); closing
Mary Mack Stand Up Comedy Hour
Billed as a "hybrid of Minnesota and Wisconsin (with a severe cheese dependency)," Mary Mack has appeared on Marc Maron's WTF Podcast, The Grand Ole Opry, the Hulu cartoon Solar Opposites, and much more. See her do her thing.
Siren Theater, Old Town-Chinatown ($10)
That's What She Said: Be-leaf It Or Not We're Back?!
Your favorite queer feminist comedy collective is back after a loooong hiatus.
Siren Theater, Old Town-Chinatown ($10)
Akira Kurosawa Film Festival
Renowned modern Japanese filmmaker Akira Kurosawa imparts a distinctly Western twist on his postwar tales. Whether you're a longtime fan or you're new to his work, check out a career-spanning sampler at this monthlong film fest, from Stray Dog (1949) to Hidden Fortress (1958).
Clinton Street Theater, Hosford-Abernethy ($10)
FOOD & DRINK
Alden's Organic World Kindness Day Art Pop Up
Since there are few things more delightful than ice cream, Local artist Mike Bennett will channel his skills toward custom ice cream artworks "to inspire Portlanders to spread kindness and find joy in unexpected places" on World Kindness Day. Stop by to check them out, plus enter giveaways.
New Seasons Market, Slabtown (free)
Kaiju Comic Show 2-Revenge of the Kaiju!
Buy, sell, or swap comics and toys at this show hosted by Things From Another World.
2916 NE Broadway, Irvington ($2-$5)
Clarke Allen Rose
Pull on your boots and get twangy with local rootsy rocker Clarke Allen Rose.
LaurelThirst Public House, Kerns ($10)
The Filthy Skillets Bluegrass Band
Tap your piggly wigglies to bluegrass standards from this local quintet.
Tomorrow's Verse Taproom, Beaumont-Wilshire ($10)
Nine:Forty:PM, Koalra, Dream Date
Get your fix of messy-in-a-good way shoegaze from moody dreamers Nine:Forty:PM, and don't forget to show up on time for support sets from contained noise-rock outfit Koalra and Battle Ground-bred duo Dream Date, composed of "a couple of hard-working and tender-loving moms."
No Fun, Buckman ($8)
Versatile electronic artist Spencer Brown will toggle between melodic house and stripped-back techno.
45 East, Central Eastside ($10-$15)
This Party is Killing You: A Night of All Robyn Everything
Sweden! We don’t talk enough about Sweden. Well… actually, we probably do talk enough about Sweden. But we don’t talk enough about Sweden’s favorite daughter, Robyn, whose high-energy electropop has been some of the world’s finest since the late ’90s. (2005’s Robyn is still 10,000 percent perfect.) This Party Is Killing You is A Night of All Robyn Everything, which is exactly what it sounds like: All Robyn, all night. It will make all other dance nights sound like garbage. ERIK HENRIKSEN
Holocene, Buckman ($13-$15)
Years pass and fold in Valley Maker's "cosmic American songs," which you can hear tonight right after opening tunes from Brooklyn trio Wilsen.
Mississippi Studios, Mississippi ($13)
Barter Fair on Tha Moon
Shop everything from honey to candles to jewelry while sipping beer, mead, or coffee.
13th Moon Gravity Well, Creston-Kenilworth (free)
Just in time for Thanksgiving (and the subsequent holidays), Urban Craft Uprising will host this specialty food show for the fifth year in a row, promising over 75 local vendors slinging everything from craft spirits to CBD gummies to nut butters.
Alder Block, Central Eastside (free)
Mystic Made Market
Struggling to find a gift for your aunt who's obsessed with the occult? Find all sorts of mystic goods, from candles to herbcraft art to jewelry, at this market. You can even get a tarot reading and a tintype photograph.
The Midnight Society, Sunnyside (free)
Pop Up Handmade Market
Check out art by Jen LaMastra in a mini mobile art gallery before scooping up some fun zines, bath goods, botanicals, ceramics, and more.
The People's Yoga, Concordia (free)
2021 Annual Model Train Show
The Columbia Gorge Railroad Club will host their annual model train show once again so kids and adults alike can marvel over the largest model train layouts in the Pacific Northwest. It's never been easier to see sights from the Columbia River Gorge to Portland's historic Union Station to Wishram, WA.
Columbia Gorge Model Railroad Club, Eliot ($10)
FOOD & DRINK
Gastro Obscura Presents: The World's Most Unusual Vending Machine
Visit Gastro Obscura's "World's Most Unusual Vending Machine," stocked with oddities and wonders ranging from miracle berries to color-changing flower powder, at the Portland Art Museum's sculpture garden. The machine is part of a promotional tour for Gastro Obscura's new book Gastro Obscura: A Food Adventurer's Guide, which details everything from a beer made from fog in Chile to the 2000-year-old egg ovens of Egypt, by Portland-based co-author Cecily Wong, who will be onsite for a meet-and-greet from 2-5 pm, followed by an intriguing-sounding "fruit and vegetable synth performance."
Portland Art Museum, South Park Blocks (free)
Comics from Vietnam, Israel, Scotland, Taiwan (hi, Mercury Genius Eddie Su!), and beyond will enter the chat while stateside comics (Bernice Ye, Dahlia Belle, Ryan Danley) grace you with their presence IRL.
Local Lounge, King ($12)
Holiday Card Making
Use the blank cards, rubber stamps, collage materials, and other provided art supplies to craft cute holiday missives at this donation-based event.
SCRAP, Goose Hollow ($5+)
Winner of the Grand Jury Prize at the 1990 Sundance Film Festival, this underrated classic tells the true story of Michigan con man Douglas Street, the titular "chameleon" who successfully impersonated his way up the socioeconomic ladder by posing as a magazine reporter, an Ivy League student, a respected surgeon, and a corporate lawyer. Deemed a "lost masterpiece of Black American cinema" by the British Film Institute, the film comes from actor-writer-director Wendell B. Harris Jr.
Hollywood Theatre, Hollywood ($7)
FOOD & DRINK
Toast to Ten Years of Aquavit Week
Raise a glass to a full decade of Aquavit Week, Portland's annual event dedicated to the Scandinavian distilled spirit. Try aquavit flights and cocktails, and nosh on Nordic fare from Dóttir. The night will conclude with a group toast, the Swedish drinking song "Helan Går," and shots served on a ski.
Dóttir, East Burnside (free)
Wind down your weekend with some soothing and nutritious beats from Spectrelm, Technicolor Difficulties, Free Tillman, Slurgeon, and Luvjonez.
No Fun, Buckman (free)
"Whisky-soaked honky-tonks" comprise singer-songwriter Jaime Wyatt's new album Neon Cross, which she'll pick from tonight with support from Margo Cilker and The Saying and The Said.
Polaris Hall, Humboldt ($15)
In Love Will Be Reborn, her first album in five years, the unsung dynamo of the bountiful Wainwright family tree sings about love, grief, and motherhood through a bright and hopeful lens, but not without that signature grit you know and love. We might not get another album for yet another five years (or maybe this is the last one, just look at Rihanna), so don't miss this tour stop.
Doug Fir Lounge, East Burnside ($15)
Open Jam at The Big Legrowlski
Bring your instrument of choice or choose from what's on stage at this free-for-all jam sesh.
The Big Legrowlski, North Park Blocks (free)
Chicago's Slow Pulp lays down breathable indie-rock under a bubbly pop sheen. Their full-length debut, Moveys, fits right in with the best of Alex G and George Clanton, meaning you should come to this show with the intention of dancing.
Mississippi Studios, North Portland ($14)
Broadway Bears "Fusion" Cabaret Concert
Get ready for a night of mashups and medleys of iconic show tunes, performed by Portland's "furriest singers."
Funhouse Lounge, Hosford-Abernethy ($10-$15)
Darcelle XV is Turning 91!
Help Portland drag legend Darcelle XV (the world's oldest drag queen per Guinness World Records) ring in her 91st birthday and celebrate the induction of her Old Town-Chinatown landmark venue Darcelle XV Showplace into the National Register of Historic Places. Instead of gifting the queen, new and unwrapped toys will be accepted for the children of Camp KC.
Darcelle XV Showplace, Old Town-Chinatown (free)
Highland Fields Farm Holiday Market
The women-owned farm will host a slew of small businesses and makers to help you get a jump on finding gifts for your loved ones.
Highland Fields, Forest Grove (free)