Cheap & Easy

The Best Bang for Your Buck Events in Portland This Weekend: Mar 15–17, 2024

St. Patrick's Day Celebrations, Secret Room's Opening, and More Cheap & Easy Events Under $15
March 15, 2024
The pipes, the pipes are calling you to a St. Patrick's Day Celebration at Kennedy School. (Courtesy of McMenamins)
It's your lucky day—you've found your way to the corner of the internet that's gonna give you the best intel on how to spend your weekend. Peruse solid gold events from All-Ireland Cultural Society of Oregon's 83rd Annual St. Patrick's Day Celebration to a weekend-long St. Patrick's Day Celebration at Kennedy School and from Jenny Don't & the Spurs with Jacob Weldon to Secret Room's Opening.

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Secret Room Opening Past Event List
Fans of local comic haunts like Floating World and Books with Pictures will dig Secret Room Press’s new shop wedged between Bollywood Theater and Salt & Straw on SE Division. The team is taking over the lease from Little Otsu, who will transition their sales of my favorite fancy notebooks to an online format. (Secret Room Press will also serve as a pick-up location for Little Otsu orders.) You might have spied Secret Room Press during their Lloyd Center pop-up last year—they hawk very cool risograph-printed books and zines. Their new space will have a rotating RISO art gallery and a “curated selection of books, creative tools, notebooks, handmade toys, cassettes, vinyl, VHS, and more.” Stop by their opening to scope out Creature Comforts, the first RISO art show. LC
(Secret Room, Richmond, free)


Jenny Don't & the Spurs with Jacob Weldon Past Event List
Playing vintage country and western straight out of the lonesomest corners of mid-20th century America, Jenny Don't and her cohorts sound nothing like a museum piece; rather, there's grit, sadness, and an edge of danger to these rumbling-boxcar country songs. The ensemble will be joined by fellow country troubadour Jacob Weldon. AV
(The Fixin' To, St. Johns, $15)

Jun Iida: Evergreen Tour Past Event List
Brooklyn-based trumpeter Jun Iida is known for his unique modern jazz compositions that effortlessly incorporate improvisation with traditional Japanese elements. The result is lush, warm, and delightfully listenable. He will swing through town to support his new album, Evergreen, which includes reimagined songs from his childhood like the famed Japanese children's song "Akatombo" and the J-pop anime song “Shiki no Uta." AV
(Jack London Revue, Downtown, $15)

Yuvees Past Event List
The absurdist punk outfit Yuvees have yet to release a full-length album, but singles like "PENNY FARM" and "Human Dance" have showcased their knack for off-beat percussion, amusing lyricism, and warbly guitars, cementing themselves into Portland's rich post-punk tradition alongside bands like Neo Boys, Collate, and Lithics. The quartet, which has opened for indie-rock phenoms Quasi, the Avengers, and the Bush Tetras, will headline alongside kindred spirits Ogre and Guitar. AV
(Mississippi Studios, Boise, $12)


GLEAN Annual Artist-in-Residence Exhibition Past Event List
You know where you can find cool art supplies? The dump. At least, so say Metro and waste management company Recology—their yearly GLEAN program challenges artists-in-residence to create with materials gathered at the Metro Central Transfer Station. Yup, that's the dump! This year's participating artists Arielle Brackett, Santigie Fofana-Dura and Sapata Fofana-Dura, Adia Gibbs, Diego Morales-Portillo, and Nathaniel C. Praska will share their new works inspired by consumption, waste, consumerism, and more. LC
(Parallax Art Center, Pearl District, free; closing)



SOCIAL CINEMA // Dune (1984) Past Event List
Steer clear of grotesquely sexual popcorn buckets at this screening of David Lynch's Dune, which Roger Ebert dubbed “the worst film of the year” upon its 1984 release. Is it known for being good? No...more like messy and misunderstood. But Kyle MacLachlan, the original swooshy-haired king, stars as Paul Atreides, and Tomorrow Theater will set you up with the supplies to design your own sand art creation while you're there. (No worms included.) LC
(Tomorrow Theater, Richmond, $15)


Asian Flavors Unite: A Potluck Celebration of Asian American Heritage Past Event List
Bring your favorite dish, be it homemade or store-bought, to share at this free outdoor celebration of culture, community, and the diversity of Asian American cuisine. The gathering will feature a traditional lion dance, a gigantic roast pig, and a potluck feast comprised of dishes brought by guests. JB
(Wilshire Park, Northeast Portland, free)

Coffee Beer Six-Year Anniversary Past Event List
We love a comeback: The quirky neighborhood fixture Coffee Beer, known for its beloved pug mascot A$AP Douglas, narrowly escaped going out of business this year, so they've got plenty to celebrate. Fittingly, they're going all out for their sixth anniversary this week with a party that will include drink specials featuring Oatly and Liquid Death, cupcakes from local bakery KAKAIBA, small-batch treats from Viridescence Candy Co., handmade gear from Pink Tag Bags, an appearance from "darkadelic" artist Trbo B Lazr, and a photo booth from Happymatic. JB
(Coffee Beer, Creston-Kenilworth)


Foamboy Past Event List
Portland-based post-disco duo Foamboy, which consists of producer Wil Bakula and vocalist Katy Ohsiek, will play tracks from their debut album My Sober Daydream, which Saint Audio called a "succinct yet satisfying romp overflowing with danceable grooves and dazzlingly saturated soundscapes." New Body Electric will get the party started with their funk-infused electropop. AV
(Mississippi Studios, Boise, $15)


Frankenstein's Comicbook Swap! Out of the Shadows... Past Event List
It's back! Frankenstein’s comic book swap only happens twice a year, so grab your totes and your collection and head over to Lloyd Center for a day of ephemera-swapping. Meet local comic enthusiasts and dig through crates to find graphic novels, well-loved paperbacks, and that one VHS you're missing. It costs $5 to get first dibs on the goods at 11 am, or only $1 if you wait until general admission at noon. SL
(Lloyd Center, Lloyd District, $0-$5)

Midtowners Market March Mania Past Event List
Vintage spot Midtowners Market is getting in on the St. Patrick's Day celebrations with a day of deals, drinks, and delight. Search the store for hidden pots o' gold filled with coupons, gift cards, and a chance to win a "mystery bag." In my universe, a bag of super cute vintage clothing is definitely at the end of the rainbow. SL
(Midtowners Market, Ladd's Addition, free)



Cyane, Meroitic, and Cha Cha Past Event List
Cyane (fka Dolphin Midwives) is a solo project of Portland-based artist Sage Fisher, who is known for combining classical instruments like the harp and zither with electronic technology that results in an experimental explosion of ethereal bliss. Don't miss opening performances from fellow multimedia/sound artists Meroitic and Cha Cha. AV
(Holocene, Buckman, $12)


83rd Annual St. Patrick's Day Celebration
If borderline culturally appropriative celebrations put you off, we recommend heading over to the All-Ireland Cultural Society of Oregon's St. Patrick's Day festivities. The nonprofit has shared Irish culture and history throughout its 80-year-plus existence, most notably at its annual family-friendly St. Pat's party. Check out traditional Irish music from Na Rósaí and Tualatin Valley Firefighter's Pipes & Drums Band, and catch performances from local Irish dance academies. There will be food, drink, and loads of activities, including face painting, raffles, and a "musical petting zoo" where you can interact with a variety of Irish instruments. SL
(Aquinas Hall, Lloyd District, $0-$12)

Portland St. Paddy's Day Parade
The luck of the Irish is sure to rub off on you at this parade, a Grant Park neighborhood tradition celebrating 35 years in 2024. The green procession will kick off at Beverly Cleary Elementary School at 1 pm sharp for a roughly one-hour circuitous route.
(Beverly Cleary Elementary School, Grant Park, free)



St. Patrick's Day Celebration at Kennedy School
Because one day of St. Patrick's Day festivities apparently isn't enough, McMenamins' Kennedy School will throw a two-day bash with performances by the Murray Irish Dancers, Two Rivers Céilí Band, the Stomptowners, and more. Festive specials like lamb stew with soda bread, corned beef and cabbage, and Irish stout ice cream floats will fuel your merriment. Plus, snag a bottle of McMenamins' limited-edition Devils Bit Whiskey to tide you over 'til next St. Paddy's Day. Depending on how hard you party, you might end up crashing in one of the Kennedy School's hotel rooms. JW
(Kennedy School, Concordia, free)


Dune: Part Two Past Event List
A sweeping sci-fi film with origins right here in the Pacific NorthwestDune: Part Two is a sequel that surpasses the first by leaps and bounds as it transports us back to the world first created by the late local author Frank Herbert. Picking up where its predecessor left off, it follows the young Paul Atreides (Timothée Chalamet) as he aligns himself with Chani (Zendaya) and the rest of the Fremen who have found a way to survive in the harsh desert climate of Arrakis. As they battle against the forces of the galaxy looking to mine the valuable resources that the planet holds, there is soon a growing sense that the greatest dangers are only just beginning. The film also digs into fears Herbert explored about the hazards of giving power to leaders who talk a big game even as they may be the villains of their own stories. Readers of said books know how this ends, but the film offers just as much to those who are going in blissfully unaware, and its stunning visuals deserve to be seen on the big screen. In all of 2024, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a film as immense and well-crafted as Dune: Part TwoSTRANGER CONTRIBUTOR CHASE HUTCHINSON
(Cinema 21, Nob Hill, Friday-Sunday)

Perfect Days Past Event List
New German Cinema pioneer Wim Wenders, who directed Wings of Desire and a mysterious terrain of canyons and neon in Paris, Texas, is known for his deliciously "slow" cinema and emphasis on desolation. Interestingly, this film (which was shortlisted for Best International Feature at this year's Oscars) feels a little more lighthearted, but I suspect that I will still come away feeling somehow devastated. Perfect Days follows a Tokyo toilet scrubber, Hirayama, whose days are filled with contentment, cassette tapes, books, and photos of trees. May we all be so blessed. LC
(Cinema 21, Nob Hill, $9-$11, Friday-Sunday)

Problemista Past Event List
If you count yourself among the ever-expanding subset of movie-goers whose ideal flick features Tilda Swinton and a side of surreal quirk, then Julio Torres's Problemista (an A24 film, obviously) has your back. The film follows a Salvadoran toy designer in NYC whose work visa runs out as he works as an assistant for an art-world weirdo. Expect something freaky and wonderful that also grapples with the broken US immigration system. LC
(Hollywood Theatre, Hollywood District, $10-$12, Friday-Sunday)

Sisters with Transistors Past Event List
Directed by French American filmmaker Lisa Rovner, this 2020 documentary probes the lives of women pioneers in electronic music. The too-cool lineup of featured musicians includes Doctor Who theme composer Delia Derbyshire, "deep listener" Pauline Oliveros, theremin virtuoso Clara Rockmore, and Wendy Carlos, the first trans woman to win a Grammy. Show up to the beep-boop film for archival footage and a sense of wonder. LC
(Fifth Avenue Cinema, Downtown, $0-$7, Friday-Sunday)

Your Fat Friend Past Event List
Jeanie Finlay's Your Fat Friend documents the rise of writer and self-described "very fat person" Aubrey Gordon, who cut her teeth as an anonymous blogger and has since become a bestselling author. I'm a big fan of the loud-laughing, Portland-based fat acceptance activist, whose podcast Maintenance Phase pokes fun at Goop-driven garbaggio and widens my perspective on what it means to be healthy. "It is a real paradigm shift to look at someone my size and think...that person may have put in a great deal of effort, and that may have been what got them here," says Gordon in the film. LC
(Hollywood Theatre, Hollywood District, $10-$12, Friday-Sunday)


Fazilat Soukhakian: Queer in Utah Past Event List
In Fazilat Soukhakian's native Iran, same-sex sexual activity is still punishable by death. Before moving to the US, Soukhakian witnessed this discrimination and the fear it induced in the LGBTQ+ community, but after moving to Utah, she found a remarkably similar atmosphere. Her Queer in Utah project, begun in 2019, includes intimate portraits of a new generation of LGBTQ+ Mormons and residents of Utah who are challenging the constraints of their religious beliefs and the conservative heterosexual image. LC
(Blue Sky Gallery, Pearl District, free, Friday-Saturday)

The Fullness of the Seeming Void Past Event List
What is art for if not to explore the unknown? Frankly, I'm always seeking a little bit of spiritual enlightenment when I duck into a gallery. Adams and Ollman gets it—this cross-generational group exhibition manifests the mystical through a "lineage of personal and sensory investigations" from the '60s to the present. We're talking cosmologies, voids, and world-building, people! We're diving into the magic of the mundane and the enormity of everyday minutiae. Get into it. The Fullness of the Seeming Void (which pulls its title from a Helena Blavatsky quote—sick) includes works by supernova-conjuring art pioneer Lee Bontecou, iconoclastic painter Cynthia Carlson, Heidi Lau, whose work pulls from ancient Taoist mythologies, and Bettina, who lived at the Chelsea Hotel from the '70s until her death, among several others. LC
(Adams and Ollman, Northwest Portland, free, Friday-Saturday)

Hours After Winter Past Event List
Rachael Zur calls her sculptural works "expanded paintings"—they merge physicality with traditional painting techniques, and the pieces have been previously featured in New American Paintings. In Hours After Winter, Zur's latest solo exhibition, the artist ponders life cycles, renewal, and the "curious capacity domestic spaces have for holding the echoes of lives lived." If your interest in art about domestic spaces is piqued, I recommend heading to Blue Sky Gallery afterward for Sarah Malakoff's Personal History. LC
(Carnation Contemporary, Kenton, free, Saturday-Sunday)

Sarah Malakoff: Personal History Past Event List
Large-scale color photographer Sarah Malakoff has been preoccupied by domestic interiors for as long as she can recall. Her long-term documentation project Personal History looks closely at how we arrange our spaces and how décor communicates our "tastes, personalities, quirks, and culture." (What would Malakoff think about the dishes in my sink?) This exhibition highlights objects arranged in American homes, including teapots, pinball machines, Obama pillows, Egyptian pseudo-artifacts, and lots of other odds and ends that might surprise you. Malakoff wonders how these objects "underscore the privilege and power implicit in the act of collecting." LC
(Blue Sky Gallery, Pearl District, free, Friday-Saturday)

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