Cheap & Easy

The Best Bang for Your Buck Events in Portland This Weekend: July 7–9, 2023

Piano. Push. Play., Pride at the Museum, and More Cheap & Easy Events Under $15
July 7, 2023
Twelve elaborately designed pianos that could make Elton John jealous will be stationed at the Portland Art Museum for Piano. Push. Play.'s Kick Off Concert. (Piano Push Play via Facebook)
Taking advantage of peak Portland summer doesn't have to break the bank; we've got thrifty event suggestions from the Piano. Push. Play. Kick Off Concert to Pride at the Museum and from the Portland Indie Book and Art Fair to the Spectrum Art Market.

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Kickstand Comedy In The Park Past Event List
Kickstand Comedy's hugely popular Comedy in the Park series in Laurelhurst Park returns again this week, so grab your pals with a sense of humor and spread out your blankets early—the event has been known to draw crowds of 2,000 or more. This Friday, laugh along with familiar funnybones like OnlyFans king Zak Toscani, Bigfoot denier Kate Murphy, Seattle fave Monica Nevi, and others. Local laughers Jaren George and Julia Corral will get the crowd going. LC
(Laurelhurst Park, Laurelhurst, free)


Summer Film Screenings Past Event List
Whether you're in Oslo or the Pacific Northwest, no summer is complete without catching an outdoor movie screening (or four). Nordic Northwest agrees, and their hygge film programming offers a little something for everyone's cinema tastes, from historical dramas to cutesy folktales. On July 7, the series continues with The Girl King, which tells the story of the maybe-lesbian, definitely badass Kristina of Sweden. Attendees can sip on a range of Oregon wines, beers, and non-alcoholic options during each screening, and resident troll expert Britte Rasmussen Marsh will chat trolls before the films, offering a wide context of "discord and history" pulled from her ample troll research. LC
(Nordic Northwest, Metzger, $5-$15)


Blondshell Past Event List
This alt-rock project from Sabrina Teitelbaum (formerly of pop project BAUM) takes inspiration from the unrestrained feminine rage of '90s acts like Hole, Liz Phair, and L7. Her debut self-titled album presents an honest look at early adulthood with lyrics about murdering evil men ("Salad"), watching early aughts TV shows ("Veronica Mars"), and struggling with addiction ("Sober Together"). She will support the album alongside NYC-based grunge trio Hello Mary. AV
(Polaris Hall, Humboldt, $15)


XANADU! A Queer Celebration & Screening with Pre-Film Drag Show! Past Event List
Olivia Newton-John is a Greek muse, Gene Kelly's trying to build a roller disco, and Electric Light Orchestra provides the soundtrack (along with some classic tunes by Olivia herself. Rest in perfection, Olivia.) Seriously though, WTF else could you want from a movie?! We recommend this queer celebratory screening of Xanadu, which comes correct with a star-studded pre-flick drag show hosted by "trans femme drag enigma" and resident cinema queen Violet Hex. LC
(Clinton Street Theater, Hosford-Abernethy, $15)


Pride at the Museum Past Event List
Although it's sure to attract the science-loving gays like a neodymium magnet, OMSI's Pride celebration offers up a little something for everyone—attendees can trip out at a rainbow-drenched laser light show, check out a gender-affirming makeup demo, and explore the museum's featured exhibit, Orcas: Our Shared Future. Younger celebrators can hang in the science playground and the teen tech center; for those whose ideal Pride includes hard science, there'll also be demos and lectures on neurology, oceanography, big data, hydrogen balloons, and more. LC
(OMSI, Central Eastside, $8-$10)



Summer Movies at Oregon State Parks Past Event List
We live in Oregon, dammit, and if there's one thing Oregonians love more than watching movies, it's being in nature. ¿Por qué no los dos?! Hollywood Theater has teamed up with the Oregon State Parks Department to do just that, offering up a series of screenings in scenic state parks throughout the summer. The series will kick off with Poltergeist at Rooster Rock State Park on July 8, perfect for those of us who enjoy being frightened of both ghosts and mosquitoes at the same time. Throw on some DEET and have a blast. LC
(Rooster Rock State Park, Corbett, free)


Tropitaal Desi Latino Soundclash with DJ Anjali and The Incredible Kid Past Event List
Latin American tropical sounds blend with rhythms from India to create a unique sound that perfectly soundtracks this recurring dance party. This time around, resident DJs Anjali and The Incredible Kid will be joined by Portland-based selector DJ Black Daria for a genre-blending set of club jams specially chosen for the dance floor. AV
(Goodfoot, Kerns, $12)


Portland Indie Book and Art Fair Past Event List
Discerning literary types, this one's for you—the Portland Independent Book Fair will return to support resourceful small presses like Microcosm Publishing, University of Hell Press, and Fonograf Editions. You'll find everything from DIY bike zines to poetry chapbooks at the free event, plus tarot readings, raffles, and cute takeaways like stickers and prints. The fair has also expanded to include artists, so drop by to scope out works by Molly Lecko Herro (whose work is almost too cool!), eye-popping painter Seth Sypko, and tons of others. LC
(Honey Latte Cafe, Buckman, free)

Spectrum Art Market Past Event List
Show off your pride with some fresh duds and housewares at this LGBTQ2SIA+ pop-up market, where local artists hawking ceramics, art, textiles, apparel, jewelry, and accessories (perf for your Pride parties) will celebrate summer by keeping things rainbow-hued and sparkly. It'll all go down at Q Center, the largest LGBTQ+ community center in the Pacific Northwest. LC
(Q Center, Boise, free)



Waiting for Guffman Past Event List
I've been waiting my entire writing career to promote Waiting for Guffman, the '96 flick by mockumentary hero Christopher Guest, who you may know as that guy who directed the also-faultless, blue-ribbon comedy Best in Show. (RIP Busy Bee.) If you dig Asteroid City, or Wes Anderson's aesthetic in general, Guest's ensemble casts and steadfast devotion to earnestness, improvisation, and interpersonal comedy should make you all warm inside. Of Guest's whole oeuvre, this one might be my fave—Waiting for Guffman follows Corky St. Clair, a flawlessly weird theatre director who stages his masterpiece (a historical musical on Missouri history) with a ragtag gang of locals, including Parker Posey. Just trust me on this one. Speaking of local theater, this screening will benefit Portland's own Risk/Reward, which "empowers contemporary performance artists who live and work in our region." LC
(Hollywood Theatre, Hollywood District, $8-$10)


Garrett T Capps with Heavy Meddo Past Event List
Garrett T Capps kind of sounds like what would happen if Devo made a country album. His latest album, PEOPLE ARE BEAUTIFUL, blends classic country, modern indie rock, and a sharp, punchy quality reminiscent of '70s post-punk. He will be joined by fellow Texas natives Heavy Meddo and California-based singer-songwriter Austin Leonard Jones for a rootin' tootin' good time. AV
(Mississippi Studios, Boise, $13)

Karl Blau Past Event List
Stranger Culture Editor Megan Seling wrote: "Karl Blau's 2022 release Love & Harm is the perfect record for these not-quite-summer days. It's warm, nostalgic, and beaming with Jon Hyde's pedal steel, which sounds simultaneously bittersweet and hopeful, like a setting sun. Songs are layered with bells, horns, harmonica, a harpsichord—it's all so lush and orchestral, like summer itself, but Blau's candid vocal delivery still feels intimate, like he's telling you and only you a secret he's been keeping for years." The PNW-turned-Philly musician will return in support of the album alongside cosmic folk artist Half Shadow. AV
(Doug Fir Lounge, Buckman, $15)

We Are Parasols, Darkswoon, and DJ Wednesday Past Event List
Are you already looking forward to Halloween? Local electronic trio We Are Parasols will bring their dark shades of new wave, synth, industrial, and noise-pop to Holocene for a moody dance party fit for the month of October. Making things even spookier, post-punk trio Darkswoon will open along with goth extraordinaire DJ Wednesday. AV
(Holocene, Buckman, $10)


Pride Takeover at 10 Barrel Brewing hosted by Atlas! Past Event List
Sometimes, you just want to kiki with your friends over mimosas and take in dazzling drag performances. Your charismatic host, the local queen and trans activist Atlas, will lead a stacked lineup with Kharisma, Obsidian, Cody Jamez, and Silhouette. Meanwhile, 10 Barrel Brewing will provide a steady flow of cocktails, prizes, games, and a "chef-inspired" brunch menu. JB
(10 Barrel Brewing, Pearl District, $15-$45)



Piano. Push. Play. Kick Off Concert/Display + Play Past Event List
Piano. Push. Play. breathes new life into old pianos by restoring them into unique, functional art pieces to be enjoyed by the community. On Friday evening, pianists will tickle the ivories on instruments designed by Studio Abioto, Michael Stevenson, Jr., and more during a celebratory kickoff concert held at the Portland Art Museum's courtyard. Plus, audience members of all ages can put their names into a hat for the chance to play. The pianos will be on display at the museum's courtyard on Saturday and Sunday from 10 am-4:30 pm for public play and perusal. AV, JW
(Portland Art Museum, South Park Blocks, free, Friday-Sunday)


The Texas Chainsaw Massacre Past Event List
Hold on to your skin—Tobe Hooper's 1974 masterpiece will screen at the Hollywood in a fresh restoration, so audiences can catch Leatherface and his twisted pastimes in a brand new light. Gulp. Far from just another slasher flick, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre changed the whole game, bringing festering horror into the bright Texas sunshine and transforming it into something deeply impactful. Without this film, your new bestie undoubtedly wouldn't exist. (Don't believe us? Wait until you see the dinner table scene.) LC
(Hollywood Theatre, Hollywood District, $8-$10, Friday-Sunday)


Portland Mercury's Summer of Slushies 2023 Past Event List
You’ve probably known since you were a kid making layered “graveyard” Slurpee creations at 7-11 that there’s nothing better than a frosty, icy treat on a sweltering day, and the forward-thinking innovators who have added booze to the equation have only improved on that already glorious experience. The Portland Mercury will once again team up with bars throughout the Portland area to offer you exclusive alcoholic slushies for just $8 a pop. Let a bartender hand you something fruity and delightful with a little paper umbrella and a straw, close your eyes, and let yourself be transported to paradise. JB
(Various locations, $8, Friday-Sunday)


Portland Night Market Remind List
Stroll beneath twinkling lights while browsing over 175 vendor booths selling food, drink, clothing, accessories, flowers, home goods, beauty products, arts and crafts, and more. Hit up the bar and outdoor food carts for sustenance while you shop. JW
(100 SE Alder, Central Eastside, free, Friday-Saturday)


Amy Bay: They Always Have, and Still Do Past Event List
Amy Bay's They Always Have, and Still Do continues the Portland artist's conceptual thread of floral-painting-as-a-radical-act. Bay's textural floral paintings are both feminist critiques of art history's anti-flower stance and homages to all things decorative, domestic, patterned, and lush. The works typically have a zoomed-in quality, with flora exploding from all angles, occupying each painting’s entire frame. Drop by for a glimpse of Bay's sensory, ultra-thick paint application, which creates petals that beg to be touched. LC
(Nationale, Buckman, free, Friday-Sunday; closing)

And down below the earth shown bright Past Event List
Portland's newest forward-thinkin' art venue, which has lived past lives as a support hotline and a "glamour shots" pop-up, has settled down in its permanent home in PDX Contemporary's former Flanders Street space. ILY2's inaugural summer show features buzzy names like sidony o'neal, Paige Powell, Ido Radon, and six others; And down below the earth shown bright is a great chance to drop by the ultra-ultra-contemporary space (seriously, check out their website if you don't believe us) and learn more about the works, which are "delimited by their palette: monochrome, black and white, metallics and shades of gray." LC
(ILY2, Pearl District, free, Friday-Saturday)

Dan Lam: Cosmic Shake Past Event List
In college, Dan Lam was told by a professor that her work was "too pretty." Ruuuuude. The artist now explores the notion of excessive beauty through globular forms, vibrant bubbles and drips, and translucent embryos decked out in freaky squiggles, using foam, acrylic, and resin to bring her trippy vision to life. Like colorful aliens, Lam's sculptures are both alluring and repulsive at once, challenging the viewer's notions of desire and disgust. Promotional materials report that Lam has "launched a refreshing new bold visual language" and "pushed her personal boundaries to outer limits," so this show is a summer don't-miss—it's also an opportunity to peep Chefas Projects' new-ish gallery location. LC
(Chefas Projects, Central Eastside, free, Friday-Saturday; opening)

Emily Wise: Hands that Hold the Melting Rope Past Event List
While not much has been revealed about local painter Emily Wise's solo show, we're still jazzed to check out Hands that Hold the Melting Rope—Wise's surreal, neon-hued acrylic compositions are populated with dream-world cool girls, flowing flora, and mystical patterns, and the longer you look, the more you find. It's kind of what I'm going for when I do lucid dreaming meditations. What's not to love? LC
(Chefas Projects, Central Eastside, free, Friday-Saturday; opening)

Erik Östensson: Tjärnen Past Event List
Swedish photographer Erik Östensson's compositions are deceptively simple—you might, at first, look at an image of a figure reaching into a hole or a body submerged in water, but the longer you gaze at Östensson's work, the more surreal and complicated it becomes. Rooted in the woodsy darkness of northern Sweden, Östensson lugs his bulky large format camera through forests and lakes, finding reflective surfaces and eerie compositions that seem to symbolize an expanded sense of darkness and foreboding. LC
(Blue Sky Gallery, Pearl District, free, Friday-Saturday)

Friends of Dorothy Past Event List
For many, the term "queer" has undergone a transformation from a negative connotation to an empowering, declarative force. Uniting queer artists and regional drag queens, Friends of Dorothy celebrates queerness and the "many layers of diversity present in the LGBTQIA+ community" with multimedia works by (some of my favorite) local artists, like Molly Alloy, Willie Little, Pace Taylor, and Maya Vivas, alongside many others. Much of the show's programming took place in June, but we'd still recommend taking a close look in July—Friends of Dorothy is a great way to close out your Pride festivities, or keep 'em going. LC
(Patricia Reser Center for the Arts, Beaverton, free, Friday-Saturday)

NW Marine Art Works Open Studio Past Event List
Artistic magic has to happen somewhere, and more often than not, it's right under your nose—or in one of the industrial-buildings-turned-art-studio-spaces that dot the Portland landscape. NW Marine Art Works (NWMAW) is one such place, and the artists creating there will welcome us all to take a peek at their process at this weekend's open house. Creatives from North Coast Seed Building, Carton Service Building, and River Street Studios will share their work as well; in total, over 65 artists will post up throughout NWMAW with a selection of paintings, prints, ceramics, photography, sculpture, jewelry, apparel, and more. LC
(NW Marine Art Works, Northwest Industrial, free, Saturday-Sunday)

Rebecca Marimutu: Portraits Adhered Past Event List
Rebecca Marimutu's unique material approach (she mounts self-portraits on wooden boards with wheat paste, PVA glue, clear acrylic gesso, and staples) "embraces a departure" from traditional photography, challenging the status quo (and the viewer's expectations) to reflect on her own experiences of self-isolation. What happens when our own image is abstracted? Can the face in the mirror become a metaphor? There's much to think about in Portraits Adhered, and the show's tactility has me all excited about the sculptural possibilities of photography. LC
(Blue Sky Gallery, Pearl District, free, Friday-Saturday)

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