Cheap & Easy

The Best Bang for Your Buck Events in Portland This Weekend: Mar 29–31, 2024

Lydia Lunch, Reed Zine Fest, and More Cheap & Easy Events Under $15
March 29, 2024
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Catch a performance by counterculture icon Lydia Lunch at Star Theater this weekend. (Star Theater)
Spring is in the air! Save your pennies for allergy meds and frolic on the cheap with our list of frugal yet fun activities, from Reed Zine Fest to Portland Winterhawks Toyota Fan Fest and from Lydia Lunch, Joseph Keckler, and Jerry Lang to The Gospel of Eureka with Danny Grody Performance and Filmmaker Q&A. For more ideas, check out our guide to the top events of the week.

Jump to: Friday | Saturday | Sunday | Multi-Day


FRIDAY

LIVE MUSIC

Hurray For The Riff Raff In-Store Performance and Signing Past Event List
Described by press materials as a "modern Huck Finn," Alynda Segarra (aka Hurray for the Riff Raff) adventurously travels through vocal runs and Americana music on her new album, The Past Is Still Alive. Pitchfork praised the album in their coveted "best new music" feature, with critic Anna Gaca writing, "Segarra’s fantastic new album revives the folky textures of previous records to grapple with American myths and tragedies. It’s part folk-punk memoir, part spiritual invocation." This Friday, Segarra will stop by the long-running record shop for a free in-store performance and signing. AV
(Music Millennium, Kerns, free)

VISUAL ART

THE ZODIAC SHOW Past Event List
If you live for your daily Co-Star messages, this art gallery is for you. The Zodiac Show features works celebrating the characters, lore, and magic of astrology. Over 25 local artists have pieces on display, with a section of the gallery featuring new work by students in the Art4Life program. SL
(Splendorporium Gallery, Brooklyn, free)

SATURDAY

COMMUNITY

Easter Family Celebration Past Event List
Sip strong coffee and munch on Nordic and German baked goods while your kids run around screaming (or "hunting for eggs") at Nordic Northwest's Easter celebration, organized in partnership with Finlandia Foundation, Zeitgeist, Sophie Scholl Schule, and  Portland Finnish School. Tickets include participation in the egg hunt and traditional craft-making, too. It's a great time to celebrate the coming of warmer days—"For many, Easter also means a break from the hectic life in the middle of the spring," Nordic Northwest explains. LC
(Nordic Northwest, Metzger, $10-$20)

FILM

Stop Making Sense Remind List
Calling it now: If you've seen Stop Making Sense, it's probably your favorite concert film. It's jangly and arty and all of the other words one might use to describe Talking Heads's catalog, and David wears the suit. Not feeling the Byrne? Listen, I know watching a concert movie for a band you don't listen to sounds like hell, but this one might be an exception. If you haven't seen it yet, anticipate looking back on the experience with a funny fondness later, like a good birthday party or the first time you smoked weed. Jonathan Demme (yes, the guy who went on to make The Silence of the Lambs) recorded all of the concert footage over the course of three days at Hollywood's Pantages Theatre in 1983, during the height of the Heads' visionary fame. It's screening in a new restoration, so prep for a "once in a lifetime" experience. LC
(Hollywood Theatre, Hollywood District, $10-$12)

PARTIES & NIGHTLIFE

Opal Underground: Celebrating 2 Years of Queer House, Techno, Club, and Beyond Past Event List
Symbolically named after the colorful multi-faceted gemstone, Opal is a tribute to Portland's queer underground nightlife. This weekend, drag queen extraordinaire Lala Bénet will host an evening of dance-forward house music and queer club bops from DJs BABY SP!T, Mauve Decade, Sappho, and Veruca. AV (The Get Down, Buckman, $15)

PERFORMANCE

The Gospel of Eureka with Danny Grody Performance and Filmmaker Q&A Past Event List
PAM CUT's Easter screening of The Gospel of Eureka says glory hallelujah to the drag queens of Eureka Springs, Arkansas. Michael Palmieri and Donal Mosher’s documentary follows evangelical Christians and drag divas in the town as they unite to explore and dismantle stereotypes. Guitarist Danny Grody, whose tunes are featured on the film's soundtrack, will perform a special pre-screening set, and the directors will stick around after the film for a live Q&A and a gospel disco boogie-down at Aalto Lounge. LC
(Tomorrow Theater, Richmond, $15)

SPORTS & RECREATION

Portland Winterhawks Toyota Fan Fest Past Event List
The Portland Winterhawks are playing in the first round of the 2024 WHL Playoffs, and you can join in on the celebrations before the Saturday game for free! Starting at 3 pm outside of the Veterans Memorial Coliseum, fans can cheer on the team as they arrive, get hype with the Rosebuds Dance Team, and grab snacks from local food trucks like Poblano Pepper and Koi Fusion. For the truly committed, the Ink Bus will be giving out Winterhawks tattoos that will earn you free entry into a playoff game of your choice. SL (Veterans Memorial Coliseum, Lloyd District, free)

FOOD & DRINK

Springy Easter Treats Pastry Pop-Up with Bubblegum Bakery Past Event List
The writer Iris Murdoch once said, "One of the secrets of a happy life is continuous small treats," which is a philosophy I share. We've made it through the long, treacherous Pacific Northwest winter, and it's time for a little reward. In celebration of Easter, the bakery pop-up Bubblegum Bakery will sling delicately flavored springtime baked goods like rhubarb and pistachio maritozzi (Roman brioche buns), chocolate nest pies, lemon and olive oil layer cakes, and frosted cookie sandwiches at the Montavilla cafe and market Zuckercreme. JB
(Zuckercreme, Montavilla)

VISUAL ART

Reed Zine Fest Past Event List
If there's one thing I'm sure of, it's that Reed students know their way around a zine. The college library's first-ever zine fest will celebrate all things DIY publishing with local community and Reedie zinesters—attendees can join workshops and hear a keynote talk with The High Desert creator and Afropunk Festival co-founder James Spooner. (He'll share "his experience as a Black punk navigating the scene and finding his voice.") Cool! LC
(Kaul Auditorium, Reed College, Southeast Portland, free)

SUNDAY

COMMUNITY

Easter Sunday at The Grotto Past Event List
I am tempted to joke about the TikTok-borne trad cath aesthetic in this blurb, but really, the Grotto is too beautiful and woodsy and tranquil to insult with such nonsense. Visitors of all spiritual backgrounds can celebrate Easter Sunday in the serenity, surrounded by 62 acres of botanical gardens and a marble replica of Michelangelo’s Pietà. Mass will be held at 8 am, 10 am, and noon, and the Grotto's special Easter procession starts at 6:30 am. Rise and shine! (By the way, did you know that phrase is from the Bible?) LC (The Grotto (the National Sanctuary of Our Sorrowful Mother), Sumner, free)

Easter Bingo Past Event List
I have loved bingo from a young age (that is, until those automatic machines came in and took away the fun of manually monitoring 9+ cards and stamping them yourself). This Easter celebration takes it back to basics with the holy trinity of old school bingo, day-drinking, and comedy. Bring your granny, bring your friends dressed up as grannies, and even bring your kids! Keep an eye out for special guests and, of course, prizes. SL
(Siren Theater, Boise, $10-$20)

FILM

SOCIAL CINEMA // Midsommar with Flower Crown Making Past Event List
When we meet college student Dani (Florence Pugh), she's isolated, enduring a nerve-shredding family crisis behind a mask of feminine selflessness and apparently afraid to reveal her emotions to her distant and manipulative boyfriend, Christian. But once an affection-starved Dani, along with Christian and his bros, follow their friend Pelle to his cultish village in rural Sweden for a mysterious pagan festival, Midsommar blossoms into a flower of a different color. The Americans respond to their surroundings in varying ways: Christian and fellow PhD student Josh try to probe the village's secrets for academic glory, while douchey Mark ogles long-tressed local girls. Dani, meanwhile, wavers between unease with the cult's weird rituals and attraction to its sense of unshakable fellowship. Soon, they're all swept up in rites involving dancing, feasting, and tripping out, unaware that far more transgressive acts are being prepared. The ensuing narrative is expansive, a bit funny, full of elaborate invented culture, and overall less exhausting (and exhilarating) than Ari Aster's Hereditary. Where Hereditary is about losing a family, Midsommar is about gaining one, a process that's a lot less wholesome than it sounds. FORMER EVEROUT ARTS CALENDAR EDITOR JOULE ZELMAN
(Tomorrow Theater, Richmond, $15)

LIVE MUSIC

Alexandra Spence, Matt Carlson, Patricia Wolf Past Event List
Expand your mind with an evening of avant-electronic music from three experimental artists. Aussie artist Alexandra Spence will headline with her signature blend of field recordings, analog instruments, and improvisations that explore the "intricate relationships between the listener, the object, and the surrounding environment." She will be joined by Matt Carlson (of the neoclassical duo Golden Retriever) and electronic wiz Patricia Wolf. There will be tea provided on-site to get extra cozy, but BYOP&B (bring your own pillows and blankets). Portland's pop-up record store Tone Poem also will set up shop with records and other ephemera. AV
(Leaven Community Center, Vernon, $15-$20)

Lydia Lunch, Joseph Keckler, and Jerry Lang Past Event List
Here's your chance to see a living legend in the flesh! Counterculture icon Lydia Lunch is best known for her '70s no wave band Teenage Jesus and the Jerks, as well as her later collaboration with Sonic Youth (their song "Death Valley '69" was named one of the "50 Most Evil Songs Ever" by Kerrang!). Nowadays, Lunch spends the bulk of her time leading self-empowerment workshops and performing spoken-word poetry. For this performance, she will be joined by fellow New Yorker and multi-hyphenate Joseph Keckler and iconic Portland punk Jerry Lang (of Poison Idea). AV
(Star Theater, Old Town-Chinatown, $15)

MULTI-DAY

LIVE MUSIC

Friends of Noise Presents: Spring BreakFest ‘24 Past Event List
This weekend, local nonprofit Friends of Noise will kick off their first ever Spring BreakFest—a two-day, all-ages event music festival featuring a multi-genre lineup of teenage and adult bands. While you might not recognize these upcoming bands (Dry Socket, Machine Country, and Public Pleasure, just to name a few), this is the perfect opportunity to discover new music while supporting the local music community. AV (Oregon Contemporary, Kenton, $8-$14, Friday-Sunday)

FILM

Ennio Past Event List
If you dug The Hateful Eight, Once Upon a Time in The West, The Thing, Cinema Paradiso, and/or The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly, you owe Ennio Morricone your thanks. Giuseppe Tornatore (Cinema Paradiso) digs into Morricone's musical genius in this documentary, which includes interviews with Dario Argento, Quentin Tarantino, and other cinema collaborators. Here's a little something to pregame with before you watch. LC
(Hollywood Theatre, Hollywood District, $10-$12, Friday-Sunday)

Love Lies Bleeding Past Event List
In sophomore director Rose Glass’s queer melodrama Love Lies Bleeding, Kristen Stewart plays Lou, a chain-smoking dirtbag dyke and gym manager who splits her time between unclogging toilets, fending off the unwanted advances of her overzealous admirer Daisy (Anna Baryshnikov), worrying about her sister Beth (Jena Malone), reheating frozen dinners in a drab apartment, and masturbating on a faded couch in full view of her cat. When she meets ambitious muscle mommy Jackie (Katy O’Brian), who’s passing through town on her way to a bodybuilding competition in Las Vegas, the star-crossed sapphic lovers immediately fall into a spiral of toxic U-haul infatuation. Glass, who directed the 2019 psychological horror flick Saint Maud, brings a startlingly singular and stylish vision to life. She’s cited David Cronenberg’s Crash and Paul Verhoeven’s Showgirls as influences for Love Lies Bleeding, and the carnal obsession of those films shines through in her work. The result is a seedy, sexy, high-octane ride that holds its own amongst the erotic thriller canon. JB
(Hollywood Theatre, Hollywood District, $10-$12, 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)

Feminist March 2024 Past Event List
Happy Women's History Month! Hollywood Theatre's Feminist March program will once again offer up a full month of screenings celebrating women in film. Programmed by Hollywood Theatre community programmer Anthony Hudson and Hollywood staff members Destynee Norwood and Cable Wells, this year's lineup "delves unflinchingly into the dark and seedy depths of female experience" (oOoO!) with 19 films. The wide-reaching festival continues this weekend with Poison Ivy and Birds of Prey. LC
(Hollywood Theatre, Hollywood District, Friday-Sunday)

VISUAL ARTS

California: Ido Radon Past Event List
Modern technology collides with the natural realm, all across Ido Radon’s solo exhibition. Using materials such as solar panels, recycled PC cases, and cabinets, Radon forged sculptures intertwined with organic substances like rabbit fur. There's a sculpture dangling from the gallery ceiling above a mirror, like an inverted city of Kandor or a miniature Castle Said to Hold Eternity. Is the mirror the way to view "Server," stuck starkly above? An installation of nylon ropes, wires, and bamboo beads intermingle and dangle suspiciously on the wall nearby as if you're invited to climb up there for a closer look. PORTLAND MERCURY CONTRIBUTOR ASHLEY GIFFORD PETERSON
(ILY2, Pearl District, free, Friday-Saturday; closing)

MÉLANGE curated by Jeremy Okai Davis Past Event List
You might have seen Jeremy Okai Davis's work in his 2022 solo exhibition A Good Sport, which saw the painter investigate the experiences of Black Americans in traditional sportsmanship roles within the rigid confines of athleticism and academia. This time around, Davis has taken on a curatorial role—Mélange pulls together an "array of voices and creative expressions" from printmaker Rebecca Boraz, North Carolina-based artist Maria Britton (who uses used bedsheets, dry permanent markers, and newspapers as artistic material), Bronx-born collage artist Anthony R. Grant, and Chris Lael Larson, who "culls riches from the everyday absurd." LC
(Nationale, Buckman, free, Friday-Sunday; closing)

Work After Work: PDX Staff Show Past Event List
Too often we shy away from the reality that artists have day jobs or work in the art sector behind the scenes. Between shifts and sleep, many employees who work in the arts are also artists themselves. This group show brings together past and current gallery workers at PDX Contemporary—showcasing their talent, vision, and creativity, via painting, photography, and sculpture. PORTLAND MERCURY CONTRIBUTOR ASHLEY GIFFORD PETERSON
(PDX CONTEMPORARY ART, Slabtown, free, Friday-Saturday; closing)

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; closing)

Joseph Past Event List
Curated by Jeroen Smeets of The Jaunt, this group exhibition spotlights five artists who took part in the organization's "summer camp" program: painters Tim Biskup, Jillian Evelyn, and William LaChance, multimedia artist Macarena Luzi, and folk art-inspired artist Stevie Shao. The artists converged in Joseph, Oregon, a small town at the base of the Wallowa Mountains, to create amid the scenic atmosphere. Joseph showcases the "collective fruits of their creativity" and includes a limited edition silkscreen print. LC
(Chefas Projects, Central Eastside, free, Friday-Saturday; closing)

Lee Materazzi: ¢a$h&¢arry Past Event List
Lee Materazzi's inaugural show at Nationale is also a traveling exhibition—it was previously presented at San Francisco's 1599fdT, and will be shown at San Diego's Quint Contemporary in the future. ¢a$h&¢arry compiles 250 archival images that chronicle the last five years of Materazzi's practice, including portraiture and reflections on the precarity of the human body. Materazzi shares her studio space and practice with her children, Mia and Brook, so the works on view in this show were "completed between the ages of 37 and 41 and 3 and 11, respectively." LC
(Nationale, Buckman, free, Friday-Sunday; closing)

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; closing)

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; closing)

Meteorite Mama: Jessie Rosa Vala Past Event List
Jessie Rose Vala's latest installation pulls from mythic storytelling to erect a stoneware and neon "effigy" to hybridity and connectivity across the ages. The work includes glass pomegranates and is surrounded by sound and video elements that amplify Vala's focus on ancient histories and "future ways of being." Meteorite Mama also offers an opportunity to make your own talisman on March 9—effigies, beads, and string will be provided. The exhibition will conclude with a ritual event on March 30, which will include an acapella performance by devotional artist Willow Gibbons and a natural arrangement workshop led by floral designer Hilary Horvath. LC
(Well Well, Kenton, free, Saturday-Sunday; closing)

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