The Best Things to Do in Portland This Week: July 6-9 2020

July 6, 2020

Now the Fourth of July is in the rearview, you'd think the ungodly cacophony of (air-polluting, brush-fire starting, PTSD-triggering, pet-frightening-and-person-maiming) fireworks would have stopped too, right? Unfortunately, that's not going to be the case! Because a lot of people are selfish, incosiderate rubes! BUT: if you're looking to distract yourself from the weeks-long fireworks hangover the city is about to undergo, we've got plenty of Things to Do in Portland this week, from live music, movies, livestreams, and more. And as our Editor-In-Chief likes to say: If you're going to go out, Wash Ya Damn Hands, Wear Ya Damn Mask, hit the links below, and plan your week accordingly!

Jump to: Monday | Tuesday | Wednesday | Thursday

Monday, July 6

2020 Ain't Cancelled
PDXWOC and B.Her present this ongoing livestream conversation series aimed at "shifting your mindset, becoming the best version of yourself, and game planning."

Grace Potter's Twilight Hour
The renowned Vermont-hailing singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist livestreams a stirring set of her bluesy rock straight from her childhood home at 6 pm.

Arianna Bradford
Ms. Bradford invites you to hang out with her the day before her book launch to talk about what went into making Shame On You: Big Truths from a Bad Mom, including a reading from the book, some conversation with friends, some questions from the crowd, and prize giveaways, too.

John Lewis: Good Trouble
The late civil rights activist and Georgia congressman John Lewis fought for voting rights, gun control, healthcare reform, and immigration over the course of his long career. Using archival footage and interviews from his late years, Dawn Porter's documentary explores Lewis's childhood, his 1957 meeting with Martin Luther King, Jr., and his lasting legacy on social justice movements of the present.

Hannibal Buress: Miami Nights
Did you miss the premiere party last Friday for Hannibal's latest special? That's alright, it's easy to get a late pass: Mr. Buress (whom you've seen on Broad City, The Eric Andre Show, and Saturday Night Live) put the new special—all about his arrest in Miami in 2017—up for free at YouTube. The Stranger's Jasmyne Keimig says he's "a masterly storyteller whose anecdotes keep accruing layers of hilarity as they go."

Tuesday, July 7

Femi Kuti, DJ Rich Medina
Although he does not blaze the trails of his famous father Fela so much as follow their established path, his music is brimming with a contemporary urgency. Transposed against the pure, near-rapturous physicality of his Afrobeat music—again, a shadow of his father's, but we'll take it—this show will be a fiery dance party, ignited by a call to activism. NED LANNAMANN

Trixie Mattel
The beloved Los Angeles-based drag queen, comedian, and singer known for winning the third season of third season of RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars brings an arsenal of music, comedy, and costume changes to Twitch (Tues July 7, 6 pm) for another night of absolute fabulousness.

Virtual Drag Queen Storytime: Be Amazing
Teen Drag superstar Desmond goes online to pick up where the regular summer Drag Queen Storytime series had to be put on pause due to COVID, with a reading from his debut picture book Be Amazing: A History of Pride. This storytime (Tues July 7, 11 am, free) promises to introduce viewers to a lot of amazing history and the people who made it.

Sugaray Rayford
Fresh off the release of his Grammy-nominated 2019 album, Somebody Save Me, the Texas-hailing blues artist takes to Facebook for a livestreamed set.

Paige McKenzie, Nancy Ohlin
For reasons that don't really need to be gone into too deeply, many people are looking for some Young Adult fantasy fiction to replace a certain seven-book series that's been pretty tainted by its creator. And if you enjoy stories of young witches coming together, becoming friends, and fighting evil (hey, this also sorta sounds like a better version of Buffy, too), you might want to tune into this livestream (Tues July 7, 5 pm ,free) for Paige McKenzie and Nancy Ohlin's newest novel, B*Witch.

Fox & Bones
Sarah Vitort and Scott Gilmore's musical partnership tells the story of two people exploring the modern world through a folk music soundscape. (Tues July 7, 5 pm, free)

Waiting for Guffman
Looking at the stats, it seems like basically everybody who had Disney Plus didn't throw away their shot to watch Hamilton over the weekend. But not every theater production goes so smoothly. If you're looking for a chaser for that strong shot of stage excellence, why not fire up Hulu and stream 1997's Waiting for Guffman. Because honestly: Is there anything in the world of film more reliably entertaining than a Christopher Guest mockumentary?

Wednesday, July 8

The Stranger Presents: Silent Reading Party
A lot of people are taking the opportunity to turn the online version of The Stranger's super-successful words 'n' vibes experience into a weekly online destination, a respite from (waves hands exasperatedly at basically everything) and an opportunity to simply... slow up, sit down, and just listen to live piano music while sinking into a good book. If you haven't tried it out yet, tonight's the night, and we'll see you at 6pm. If you have tried it out before? Welcome back. It's a damn nice oasis of low-key bliss, isn't it?

Write Around Portland's Weekly Writing Workshops
Write Around Portland's creative writing workshops were a great investment in developing your imagination muscles even before there was a stay-at-home order. But now that you're home pretty much all the time, why not combat that sense of restlessness by learning how to channel your creativity as creatively as you can? Weekly registration for the workshops opens Mondays at noon and closes one hour before the workshops begin.

Jackie Fabulous
A night of livestreamed stand-up from Club Nowhere starring America's Got Talent Season 14 semifinalist Jackie Fabulous, a "self-proclaimed ambassador of Girls Night Out" looking to pull comedy and pathos out of life's most embarrassing moments tonight (Wed July 8, 6 pm, $10-15)

Pickathon Presents: A Concert a Day - Perservation Hall Jazz Band
New Orleans’ Preservation Hall is one of the longest-standing outposts of traditional jazz in the world, and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band has taken on the mission to bring the sounds of New Orleans jazz and Dixieland to the people. This is music ingrained in the fabric of our country, in moments both celebratory and sorrowful. The PHJB is committed to upholding the legacy of a uniquely American art form.

Perry Mason
HBO's latest high-quality, buzzworthy series is pretty damned unlikely: A sort of prequel/re-adaptation of Perry Mason, set in the early 1930s, when Perry wasn't a noble defense attorney getting every single one of his clients off through detective work and nimble courtroom wordplay. This Perry runs a dying dairy farm in Los Angeles and works as a detective for the kind of lawyer he'll grow to be, and instead of Raymond Burr's stern eyebrows and gravitas carrying the day, this Perry is played by The Americans' Matthew Rhys. The atmosphere of the show is pitch-perfect, the performances fit that atmosphere perfectly, and the story—despite being set in the 30s—feels very of the moment when everyone sane is looking at the police and going "how is this fundamentally corrupt and borderline useless institution the one we're stuck with?"

The self-taught YouTube star knows her way around a camera and an intimate setting, and so this livestream concert (Wed July 8, 5 pm) is guaranteed to be a good time full of electro-pop goodness that blends well-crafted hooks with a twinge of melancholy.

Baby Gramps
The Seattle legend lends this livestream concert his unique mix of traditional blues, throat-singing, and freak-folk (Wed July 8, 7 pm, $20). If you live in the Northwest and still haven't seen Baby Gramps, here's your latest chance to get with it.

Thursday, July 9

Movie Madness University Online: A Hard Day's Night with Shawn Levy
Movie Madness University is back with the perfect summer assignment: Join author and film critic Shawn Levy on July 9 at 7:30pm for a seminar on the breezy 1964 Beatles vehicle A Hard Day's Night! The film follows the Fab Four on a high-velocity romp through London on the day of a concert as the clock ticks down to showtime. Director Richard Lester’s snapshot of the exuberant young Beatles is part music video, part mockumentary, and pure, life-affirming fun to watch. In this MMU Online seminar (Thurs July 9, 7:30 pm, $10), Shawn will explore the cultural and historical context of the film, dig into what it tells us about the Beatles themselves, and examine how director Richard Lester’s stylistic innovations would influence music videos and filmmaking for years to come.

LeAnn Rimes
LeAnn Rimes got her start at the tender age of 13, and in 1996 she became the youngest country star since Tanya Tucker more than two decades before. While I knew Rimes had been around a while, I had no idea she had been so prolific—at age 30, she already has 15 albums under her belt. Over the past two decades Rimes has veered from her country roots in favor of more traditional pop, but whichever style she adopts, her voice is always up to the task. That and her sense of adventure with each release is what has always set Rimes apart from the Faith Hills and Shania Twains. (Thurs July 9, 5 pm)MARK LORE

The Empire Strikes Back and Black Panther
Drive-ins are probably the only way to get any sort of big-screen action back in your life without, you know, trapping yourself inside a dark box with other people while no vaccine exists and air conditioning is just circulating everyone's coughs, sneezes, and spittle into as many rooms as possible. Instead, you can pull up in your car, turn up your speakers, and let the 99w Drive-In in Newberg fill your windshield with a double-feature of pop-fantasy excellence: A special 40th anniversary screening of The Empire Strikes Back, followed by Ryan Coogler's world-altering entry into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Black Panther. Screenings start at 7 pm every night from Thurs-Sun, July 9-12.

Lush Laughs with Ophira Eisenberg & Bethany Van Delft
This online episode of Lush Laughs (Thurs July 9, 6 pm, $10-30), co-hosted by NPR's Ophira Eisenberg (Ask Me Another) and The Moth's Bethany Van Delft, features special guest Nori Reed.

Kassi Valazza
The latest in the Crystal Ballroom's livestreaming "Dance on Air" series (Thurs July 9, 6 pm, free) features a set from Kassi Valazza, serving up strong shots of country gold from her LP Dear Dead Days.

Julia Alvarez, Samantha Mabry
The author of In the Time of the Butterflies and How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents returns with her first adult novel in almost 15 years with Afterlife, and to mark the occasion she'll be reading from the new book (Thurs July 9, 5 pm, free), and discussing it with Samantha Mabry, author of Tigers, Not Daughters and A Fierce and Subtle Poison.