Best Things To Do

The Top 24 Events in Portland This Week: July 3–9, 2023

Snoop Dogg, Waterfront Blues Festival, and More Top Picks
July 3, 2023
A spectacular Fourth of July fireworks show will put a cap on the Waterfront Blues Festival. (Jason Quigley/Waterfront Blues Festival)
July is starting off with a bang, with events from Snoop Dogg, Wiz Khalifa, Too $hort, and More: High School Reunion Tour to the Waterfront Blues Festival and from Druski: Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda Tour to Cameron Esposito. For more ideas, check out our full July guide.

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Blaxploitation Film Series: Superfly (1972) Past Event List
Oregon Black Pioneers' film series continues, centering the first flicks made by Black directors and starring Black actors. In the '70s, Blaxploitation films kicked open Hollywood's doors with productions that showcased Black talent, catering to Black audiences for the first time. Superfly is a solid example of the subgenre's proclivity for shock and excess—the film stars Ron O'Neal as dope dealer Youngblood Priest, who's caught in a bummer situation with narcotics cops and the mob as he chases after his final score. Perhaps the best part of the film is socially aware funk legend Curtis Mayfield's killer soundtrack. Can we get a hell yeah? LC
(Hollywood Theatre, Hollywood District)


Jonathan Richman Past Event List
When I first saw a clip of Jonathan Richman performing “The Girl Stands Up to Me Now” on an old Conan O’Brien show, something inside me clicked. Every single dude I grew up with who started their own quirky band with their own weird, faux-earnest personality was really just doing bad Jonathan Richman drag. Except Richman is truly earnest, truly strange, and truly funny. He’s a fucking legend. From his music with the Modern Lovers to his solo stuff, Richman’s career spans several decades, influencing punk and everything that came after it. He’ll be joined onstage by drummer Tommy Larkins. JAS KEIMIG
(Aladdin Theater, Brooklyn)



4th of July Crawfish Boil Past Event List
The specialty neighborhood grocer is throwing a down-home, Louisiana-style crawfish boil for the Fourth of July. Prepare to get messy and dig into a slew of crawfish, shrimp, andouille sausage, potatoes, and corn. The event will also feature drink specials and live music from the acoustic American roots ensemble Blue Flags & Black Grass. JB
(P's & Q's, Woodlawn)

Portland Pickles Fourth of July Past Event List
Because Dillon is my President, I highly recommend plopping your butt in a Walker Stadium seat for the July 4 game. (The Pickles will play against the Portland Gherkins, who self-describe as "the little pickles." We're rooting for the full-sized pickles, thank you very much!!) Not only is baseball America's favorite pastime, but the Pickles are promising some "big surprises in store that will blow your minds" for this game. What could it be? Free pickles? A giant inflatable pickle? Dillon fire-dancing to Dua Lipa?? Only one way to find out. LC
(Walker Stadium, Lents)



Church of Film: The Invention of Morel Past Event List
Church of Film will serve up another entrée of cinema style in the form of The Invention of Morel, a '74 Italian sci-fi set on a barren island and starring Anna Karina. If that somehow didn't convince you, the film follows a refugee's discovery of a strange Art Deco mansion on the island—it's dreamy and surreal in the way that only art made in the early '70s manages to be. Hallucinations and mysterious figures weave in and out of the narrative, which is adapted from an award-winning novel by Argentine writer Adolfo Bioy Casares. LC
(Clinton Street Theater, Hosford-Abernethy)


Satya Doyle Byock in Conversation With Evan P. Schneider Past Event List
Portland-based psychotherapist Satya Doyle Byock posits that "quarterlifers," folks aged 16-36, feel unfulfilled, unmoored, and unclear on their life purpose. Um, no, Byock!! I'm fine!! I totally have it all together. I can't relate to this at all. (Was that convincing enough?) Anyway, pop culture and psychology tend to ignore this weirdo stage of the developmental journey, but Byock is on the case, blending storytelling, mythology, Jungian psychology, client case studies, and more to offer a "compassionate roadmap" for people who are utterly confused at this stage of life. It can't hurt, right? Byock will be joined in conversation by Evan P. Schneider, author of reflective aughts-era recession tome A Simple Machine, Like the Lever. LC
(Powell's City of Books, Pearl District)



Portland Mercury Presents: Two Evils with Arlo & Kate—A Comedy Game Show! Past Event List
Portland Mercury Undisputed Geniuses of Comedy Arlo Weierhauser and Kate Murphy (noted Bigfoot skeptic) get straight-up diabolical in this live game show, which sees the chucklesome pair answer a series of "truly evil" questions on stage. The audience and a special guest contestant—stand-up fave Shain Brenden—will then decide which of the responses is less evil. It's kinda like a Catholic confessional, except FUN and non-judgy. Okay, maybe a little judgy. You'll have to go to find out. Plus, there'll be prizes—the perfect antidote for a little moral corruption.
(Siren Theater, Boise)



Hank Williams Jr. Past Event List
Here's your chance to see a living country legend in the flesh. Southern rock pioneer (and original nepo baby) Hank Williams Jr. began his career performing with his father, the late, great Hank Williams, before forging his own identity complete with aviator sunglasses and a gritty, rock-influenced sound. Now, nearly six decades and 54 studio albums (!!) into his career, Williams has collaborated with Dan Auerbach (of the Black Keys) for an album of blues covers entitled Rich White Honky Blues. He will play songs from the album along with old classics from his and his father's career. Trad-folk ensemble Old Crow Medicine Show will open. AV
(RV Inn Style Resorts Amphitheater, Ridgefield)

Le Tigre Past Event List
Post-riot grrrl progenitors Le Tigre (consisting of Bikini Kill frontwoman Kathleen Hanna, Johanna Fateman, and JD Samson) are embarking on their first tour in eighteen years, and my former teenage self is screaming. Their weirdo blend of dance-punk, doo-wop, and bubblegum pop is wonderfully fun and danceable with punchy feminist lyrics (personal favorites include "What's yr take on Cassavetes? Misogynist? Genius?" and "'You're getting old,' that's what they'll say, but don't give a damn I'm listening anyway.") Seattle-based indie rock band Who Is She?—who could be Le Tigre's musical offspring—will open. AV
(Roseland Theater, Old Town-Chinatown)



An Evening with Ron Lynch Past Event List
Alt-comedy hero Ron Lynch, who studied at Second City Chicago and has hosted the Tomorrow! variety show in LA for 17 years, will pop by Portland to get irreverent with us(If Lynch's voice sounds familiar, you're right—he's lent his chops to characters on Home MoviesBob's Burgers, and Tom Goes to the Mayor.) He'll stage two shows at the Siren Theater, starting the night with Crapshoot!, a "random show that happens in the order that the audience determines," and keeping the laughs rolling with a stand-up set featuring Seth Milstein, Dan Weber, Rachelle Cochran, and Sabrena Contreras. LC
(Siren Theater, Boise)

Cameron Esposito Past Event List
Queery podcast host, New York Times writer, and stand-up favorite Cameron Esposito will head to Portland with more thoughtful comedy that doesn't shy away from hard-hitting topics like feminism, social justice, and marginalization. LC
(Aladdin Theater, Brooklyn)

Druski: Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda Tour Past Event List
While debating which comedy shows to add to my best of July picks, one little factoid slapped me across the face: Druski, a dude who got his start pretending to be a frat bro named Kyle Rogger in low-budget internet skits, has six million followers on Instagram. Now he hangs out with Drake and rides in private jets. I'm not knocking it. Druski is objectively funny AF. There's just something about him, and either you get it (as six million people, apparently, do) or you don't. If you belong to the former group, this show is the place to be—there'll be live segments from his satirical record label, Coulda Been Records, which scouts unknowns to showcase their skills. (“I went into it [trying to] find good artists,” Druski explains. “But I came out with something better: a bunch of people with heart that suck.”) Is it mean-spirited? Maybe a little bit, or maybe he's shedding light on predatory musical labels and spotlighting occasional talents. Go forth and laugh your ass off either way. LC
(Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, South Park Blocks)


Snoop Dogg, Wiz Khalifa, Too $hort, and More: High School Reunion Tour Past Event List
West Coast rapper and national treasure Snoop Dogg, whom Mercury writer Leilani Polk once called "the smoke-hazed king of ganja love," will light up the RV Inn Style Resorts Amphitheater with his High School Reunion tour. The star-studded tour features a lineup pulled straight from your teenage CD collection, with hip-hop royalty like Wiz Khalifa, Too $hort, Warren G, Berner, and DJ Drama.
(RV Inn Style Resorts Amphitheater, Ridgefield)



Pacific Northwest Pen Show Past Event List
If you're anything like me, your love of the pen begins and ends with the retractable black Sharpie S-Gel pen, a near-perfect instrument that all other pens aspire to be. If you're like me but a little wackier, you might identify as a nibmeister, a word I'm delighted to report that I learned today. Either way, the Pacific Northwest Pen Show should be an inky time, promising that "surprises await pen enthusiasts and first-timers." Chat with penheads from across the West Coast and pick up some new stationery or a journal so nice you'll be afraid to use it. LC
(Embassy Suites, Downtown, Saturday-Sunday)

The Pixie Project Annual Pup Crawl Past Event List
If any of the Earth's creatures are worthy of a boozy toast, it's dogs. Nonprofit rescue The Pixie Project's annual Pup Crawl is the perfect opportunity to pay our canine overlords your respects—they'll pour "doggie-themed beers" from Maletis Distributing at beer hall Loyal Legion (Buckman location on Friday, Beaverton location on Saturday). Pup lovers can enter a raffle for a "seriously rad" goody basket and meet The Pixie Project's do-gooders. A dollar of every participating beer sold all weekend will be donated to the Portland Animal Welfare Team, so get buzzed for a bark-worthy cause. LC
(Loyal Legion, Friday-Saturday)


Asteroid City Past Event List
You've likely already seen your fair share of cheeky, smartly costumed Wes Anderson ensemble comedies. You probably want to see this one, too. Sure, Anderson's style is becoming a little more than formulaic, but it's because the formula works—a formalist approach, careful aesthetics, and a pop of color in the form of Jeff Goldblum always make sense. In Asteroid City, the itinerary of a space cadet convention ("organized to bring together students and parents from across the country for fellowship and scholarly competition") takes a nose dive when world-changing events rock a '50s-era desert town. (Is it aliens?) LC
(Hollywood Theatre, Hollywood District, Monday-Thursday)

Past Lives Past Event List
While Past Lives is very much not about cannibalism, it is a film that audiences far and wide have been eating up over its festival run. It tells the story of a decades-long relationship between two childhood friends, Nora (Greta Lee) and Hae Sung (Teo Yoo), who are separated after Nora’s family emigrated from South Korea. It is one of the best films of the year and one of the best debuts in recent memory. MERCURY CONTRIBUTOR CHASE HUTCHINSON
(Hollywood Theatre, Hollywood District, Monday-Thursday)


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, Monday-Sunday)


Waterfront Blues Festival 2023 Past Event List
The Waterfront Blues Festival will celebrate its 36th year as one of the Pacific Northwest's most beloved and anticipated music events with over 100 diverse and multigenerational musicians who carry on the traditions and various shades of the definitive genre. This year's headliners include Chicago blues legend Buddy Guy, Americana ensemble the Mavericks, Southern soul-rock band JJ Grey & Mofro, funk guitarist Cory Wong, and the self-identified "Texican rock 'n' roll" trio Los Lonely Boys. AV
(Tom McCall Waterfront Park, Downtown, Monday-Tuesday)


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, Thursday–Sunday; closing)

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, Friday-Saturday; opening)

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 will take 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, Wednesday–Saturday)

Hasani Sahlehe: We Recordin’ Tonight Past Event List
St. Thomas-born multidisciplinary artist Hasani Sahlehe's glowy, atmospheric shapes layer, collate, and blend into each other, forming ecstatic color fields that are just plain fun to look at. Deploying techniques used in improvisational music—"sequences, variations, [and] tonal shifts"—to think about life, death, and optical phenomena, Sahlehe's compositions evoke auras or energy fields. Tuck yourself into Adams and Ollman's back room to trip out on color and pattern possibilities. LC
(Adams and Ollman, Northwest Portland, Wednesday–Saturday)

Nikolay Koshelev: Silver Dust Past Event List
Paris-based, Moscow-born artist Nikolay Koshelev, who exudes an aura of coolness most can only dream of, will share a "monographic" exhibition of paintings that pay homage to his former life as a graffiti artist, the transcendental poet Walt Whitman, and William Burroughs's fragmented, non-linear Naked Lunch. Koshelev's work is dreamy, surreal, eerie, and a little disorienting—we suggest approaching the exhibition as a complete work and getting lost in its misty atmosphere. LC
(Oregon Contemporary, Kenton, Friday–Sunday)

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