Best Things To Do

The Top 30 Events in Portland This Week: June 5–11, 2023

Portland Rose Festival, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and More Top Picks
June 5, 2023
Portland Rose Festival's Grand Floral Parade will take to the streets this Saturday. (Portland Rose Festival via Facebook)
The first full week of June is coming in HOT, bringing equally hot events from Portland Rose Festival to the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and from Portland Mercury's Sandwich Week to Ocean Vuong and Anis Mojgani.

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Psychotronic Afterschool Special in 16mm Past Event List
Pop your edibles, people! This mind-bending 16mm collection from local film archivist and programmer Greg Hamilton is a thrilling addition to the mix of psychedelic film compilations that's been hitting the indie cinema scene lately. Psychotronic Afterschool Special is an all-new freaky mash-up of weirdo animations, commercials, processed ham slices, furry green menaces, and more. Cowabunga! (Wanna learn more about the man behind the madness? Check out this 2022 profile on Hamilton.) LC
(Hollywood Theatre, Hollywood District)


The Oregon Symphony: Holst’s The Planets Past Event List
The Oregon Symphony will guide you on a sonic road trip through our solar system with Gustav Holst's iconic piece, The Planets, in all its dazzling glory. Plus, double bass virtuoso Xavier Foley will perform his original piece For Justice and Peace, which meditates on the history of slavery in the US. AV
(Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, South Park Blocks)


Ocean Vuong and Anis Mojgani Past Event List
Ocean Vuong made major waves in the literary world in 2019 with On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous, an epistolary novel reflecting on loss, memory, and family; he's also an award-winning poet whose collection Night Sky With Exit Wounds won the T. S. Eliot Prize in 2017. Vuong will discuss his second poetry book, the New York Times-bestselling collection Time Is A Mother, during this visit to Portland. He'll be joined in conversation by Anis Mojgani, Oregon Poet Laureate, author of In the Pocket of Small Gods, and poetry hotline creator. Our tip: Before the event, listen to Vuong's tear-inducing March 2020 interview with journalist and podcaster Krista Tippett, in which he casually says things like "I want to take off the shoes of my voice, so that I can enter a place with care, so that I can do the work I need to," and “When the apocalypse comes, what will you put into the vessel for the future?” LC
(Powell's Books at Cedar Hills Crossing, Beaverton)



Science Pub Portland—Sea Otters: The Ghosts of the Oregon Coast Past Event List
Furry lil' sea otters: You’ll spot them at the Oregon Zoo and the Oregon Coast Aquarium, and they seem like they'd fit right in on Oregon's rocky coastline, but they've been gone for a long time, having been hunted to near extinction at the height of the fur trade. Boooooooo. There are stronger reasons for the coastal reintroduction of the critters than wanting to see them float cutely on their backs: their "outsized influence" on marine ecosystems expands biodiversity, enhances kelp and seagrass beds, and even increases carbon sequestration. The reintroduction of sea otters would have widespread cultural, economic, and ecological benefits, y'all! Learn more about the influential cuties at this edition of Science Pub, where biologist Michele Zwartjes will explain why sea otters are a keystone species in the nearshore marine world and chat about past recovery efforts. LC
(OMSI, Central Eastside)


Allie Crow Buckley Past Event List
If you're like me and can't stop listening to Weyes Blood's And in the Darkness, Hearts Aglow, then consider adding Allie Crow Buckley’s latest album, Utopian Fantasy, into your rotation. Both artists craft ethereal folk with witchy lyricism and Joni Mitchell-esque vocal chops. However, what sets Buckley apart is her addition of upbeat percussion (à la Haim), making the album optimal for summertime. My personal favorite track off the album is the other-worldly harpsichord-driven ballad "Cupid and Psyche." She will support the album alongside local folk-rock singer-songwriter Kendall Lujan. AV
(Doug Fir Lounge, Buckman)


Moe Bowstern, Mic Crenshaw & Erin Yanke in Conversation with Jonathan Mozzochi and China Past Event List
At a quiet intersection just west of Laurelhurst Park, Ethiopian immigrant Mulugeta Seraw was murdered by racist skinheads in 1988. You might have never heard about it, but the event shocked the city—groups quickly organized against white nationalist and neo-Nazi violence across the Pacific Northwest. It Did Happen Here tells the story, with interviews featuring immigrants, civil rights activists, militant youth, and queer organizers involved in the Portland chapters of Anti-Racist Action, Skinheads Against Racial Prejudice, and the Coalition for Human Dignity. The book offers unique insight into strategies that worked—brawls at punk shows, behind-the-scenes intelligence gathering, and more—to drive racism out of Portland. Obviously, the fight is far from over, but It Did Happen Here offers some suggestions for continued activism, too. Co-authors Moe Bowstern, Mic Crenshaw, and Erin Yanke will come together in conversation alongside Jonathan Mozzochi, founding member of the Portland-based Coalition for Human Dignity, and China, an activist, organizer, doula, and educator. LC
(Powell's City of Books, Pearl District)



A Birthday Celebration for Prince ft. Saeeda Wright Past Event List
Come out for a night of Prince-inspired songs and covers played by Portland-based musicians. It’s not hard to imagine that if Prince were alive he’d want us all to support hard working musicians with our money, time, and energy. And what better way to celebrate the late icon’s birthday than by sinking into some of the city’s blossoming talents. Vocalist Saeeda Wright headlines the night, which feels borderline perfect—she’s no stranger to tribute shows and actually sang back-up for Prince as a member of his New Power Generation(!). Wright has a reputation locally for her work as a soloist, often performing with the Oregon Symphony. The rest of the bill is packed with incredible talents, such as percussionist Tyrone Hendrix, trumpeter Farnell Newton, and more! PORTLAND MERCURY CONTRIBUTOR JENNI MOORE
(Alberta Street Pub, King)

Rodrigo Y Gabriela: In Between Thoughts...A New World Tour Past Event List
Renowned Mexican classical guitar shredders Rodrigo Sanchez and Gabriela Quintero will bring their flamenco-, rock-, and metal-inspired sounds back to Oregon to promote their first album in four years, In Between Thoughts...A New World. The self-produced album features a range of emotions, from reflective, uplifting tunes like "The Eye That Catches The Dream," to cathartic, angry jams like "Broken Rage." Canadian indie-folk artist Bahamas (akaAfie Jurvanen) will open. AV
(McMenamins Grand Lodge, Forest Grove)



Winter Waters Sea Veggie Cocktail Pop Up Past Event List
Seaweed might just be the ideal superfood: it's nutrient-dense, umami-rich, and good for the planet. The local group Winter Waters, which celebrates the marine plant as a culinary ingredient, will team up with Fracture Brewing and Wheyward Spirits to present this pop-up featuring carbon-neutral cocktails, made with regenerative sea vegetables farmed by Oregon Seaweed and Blue Evolution and Wheyward's spirit made from upcycled excess whey. If you're hungry, find sea veggie dishes from nearby Lil’ America food carts Speed-O Cappuccino and Hawker Station and seaweed specials from the new raw seafood bar Câche Câche. JB
(Fracture Brewing, Buckman)


Brandee Younger Past Event List
A first-call session musician in the '00s, NYC harpist Brandee Younger built her rep by playing with major figures such as Lauryn Hill, Ravi Coltrane, and BADBADNOTGOOD. Now Younger has blossomed into a jazz star in the 2020s, with her breakthrough coming via the collaborative LP with bassist Dezron Douglas, Force Majeure. Released during the pandemic's early days, it included life-giving covers of compositions by Kate Bush, Alice and John Coltrane, the Stylistics, and Sting, among others. The duo's rendition of Pharoah Sanders's holy “The Creator Has a Master Plan” compresses the 33-minute original to about three, distilling its most beautiful and hypnotic passage into a delicate tapestry of pure spiritual love. Younger's approach—making the harp the main engine of melody instead of its traditional role as ornamentation—also appears on her latest release, Brand New Life, a tribute album to the great post-bop harpist Dorothy Ashby. Whether with her own tunes or interpreting others', Younger's melodic gracefulness and supple soulfulness induce shivers. STRANGER CONTRIBUTOR DAVE SEGAL
(The Old Church, Downtown)

Holocene's 20 Year Anniversary: Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith, Ancient Heat, Shy Girls, and Genevieve D Past Event List
Cherished Portland venue Holocene is celebrating its 20th anniversary (they grow up so fast!) with three-night concert series featuring performances from folk singer-songwriter Alela Diane (night one), Detroit techno collective Inner City (night three), and plenty of others. Out of all the artists, I am most excited to see visionary electronic composer Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith (night two) who will play tracks from her latest release Let's Turn It Into Sound. This second night will also bring a performance from the psychedelic funk ensemble Ancient Heat and DJ sets from Shy Girls and Genevieve D. AV
(Holocene, Buckman)

Yeah Yeah Yeahs Past Event List
Back in 2010, when I was a mere 14 years old, I waited all day for a coveted front-row spot to see my favorite band, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, at Bumbershoot. The second that Karen O ran onto the stage in a colorful spandex ensemble, the crowd erupted into complete chaos and I was nearly trampled to death. The fact that I withstood three full songs before being pulled out by a security guard should attest to just how captivating they are as performers. Luckily, most of their fans are a little too old to initiate a mosh pit these days, but the band gives more energy than ever. Dance along (safely) to old favorites like "Maps," "Heads Will Roll," and "Gold Lion," along with newer material from their 2022 album, Cool It Down. And, you better not miss an opening set from art pop star Perfume Genius, who will be supporting his critically acclaimed album, Ugly Season. AV
(Edgefield, Troutdale)



Movie Madness Direct to Video Film Festival Past Event List
Creating a short film over the course of 48 hours that ends up on the shelves of one of the world’s biggest video stores has never really been an ambition of mine, but only because it never occurred to me. Movie Madness dreamed it up, though. Enter the Direct to Video Film Festival, which invites participants to create an original short film (on a secret theme) over the course of 48 hours in June. Films must feature a prompt and prop that will be revealed at the festival kickoff party on June 9; to sweeten the deal, there are also prizes and trophies involved. Registration is open until May 31, so if you want in, apply quickly—otherwise, you can catch the finished flicks when they screen at the Movie Madness Miniplex on June 16. LC
(Movie Madness, Sunnyside)


Matt Baume and Mary O'Hara Past Event List
Cultural critic, pop culture YouTuber, and former Stranger staff writer Matt Baume will head to Portland in celebration of the release of his new book, Honey, I'm Homo! Sitcoms, Specials, and the Queering of American Culture, a deep dive into the "subversive" queer comedy storylines that transformed the American sitcom and continue to shape cultural attitudes toward LGBTQ+ folks today. Baume will be joined in conversation by Mary O'Hara, LGBTQ+ journalist and Powell’s PR and communications manager. LC
(Powell's City of Books, Pearl District)



The Bloody Mary Festival - Portland Past Event List
With its savory vodka-spiked tomato juice base and garnishes ranging from the humble (celery) to outlandish (mini cheeseburgers), the bloody mary is a bona fide brunch classic. At this event, you’ll get to enjoy an unlimited supply of the umami-rich cocktail in a myriad of iterations from local bars and restaurants, not to mention coffee, food and drink samples, temporary tattoos, photo opportunities, and more. Plus, cast a vote for your favorite bloody mary to win the People’s Choice Award. JB (The Redd on Salmon, Buckman)


Seal Past Event List
Angel-voiced R&B icon Seal will celebrate 30 years of his eponymous albums Seal I and Seal II with a career retrospective, showcasing his smooth-as-hell vocals and distinctive fusion of soul, folk, pop, dance, and rock music. Just imagine hearing the sensual ballad "Kiss From a Rose" performed live...shivers! AV
(Keller Auditorium, Downtown)


Mortified Past Event List
A valiant roundup of Portlanders will air out their most shameful moments on stage for this edition of Mortified, a podcast and live event series that celebrates the utter embarrassment of childhood. Turns out the awkward moments you've shoved to the back of your mind might actually be clout-worthy—Newsweekdeemed the show a "cultural phenomenon” that's "better and cheaper than therapy." LC
(Alberta Rose Theatre, Concordia)


Rembrandt and The Jews Past Event List
This exhibition of 22 etchings by Dutch Golden Age master Rembrandt reveals the artist's unique relationship with Amsterdam-based Jews of the era, who were mostly Sephardic refugees fleeing the Inquisition. Rembrandt consulted with Jewish theologians to interpret Old Testament narratives, and even depicted these scholars in etchings and painted portraits. LC
(Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust Education, Pearl District; opening)



Portland Rose Festival 2023 Past Event List
The city's landmark festival will return to celebrate its 115-year legacy with petals, pistils, stamens, and a slew of much-loved events that "focus on fun." This week's festivities include the Grand Floral Parade (a botanical spectacular on wheels), the Queen's coronation, Fleet Week, dragon boat races (a thrilling Chinese tradition practiced in the Rose City since 1989), and the CityFairLC
(Various locations, Wednesday-Sunday)


Discovering del Toro Film Series Past Event List
Presented in conjunction with Guillermo del Toro: Crafting Pinocchio, an 8,000-square-foot show centering the cinema nonconformist's stop-motion process, del Toro's rarely seen flicks and crowd favorites will screen in 35mm. The Guadalajara-born Academy Award winner's distinctive style will be on full display across three weekends; the series starts on June 10 with screenings of Pinocchio. (If anything can be said of del Toro, it's that he knows his way around a weird puppet, so his interpretation of the old-school tale just makes sense.) Check it out to get pumped for del Toro's next stop-motion project, which is based on Nobel Prize-winning author Kazuo Ishiguro’s novel The Buried Giant. LC
(Whitsell Auditorium, South Park Blocks, Saturday-Sunday)

Portland Horror Film Festival Past Event List
Life itself might seem kinda frightening right now, but in our opinion, horror flicks offer the perfect catharsis. (At least you're not dodging a chainsaw-wielding maniac...right?) Channel that glad-it's-not-me spirit at the Portland Horror Film Festival, which will return this year, inviting attendees to get their spook on with "over 20 hours" of fresh shorts, indie haunts, and sleeper hits to die for. With in-person screenings and virtual options, it's a lil' like Halloween in June. Expect spooky offerings from BIPOC, women, and queer filmmakers, and pick your poison—you'll find folk horror, masked killers, and haunted houses in the festival lineup. LC
(Various locations and virtual, Wednesday-Sunday)


ilani BBQ Fest Past Event List
Co-hosted by Master Chef contestant Deanna Colón and Real Housewives of Dallas star D’Andra Simmons, this weekend-long barbecue bacchanalia will feature appearances from culinary luminaries like Bludso’s BBQ chef/owner Kevin Bludso, New York Times-bestselling cookbook author Rocco DiSpirito, Hi-Pointe Drive-In chef/owner Christina Fitzgerald, Bullseye Event Group executive chef and culinary director Aaron May, celebrity chef and Food Network host Damaris Phillips, American Barbeque Showdown star Rasheed Phillips, chef and television personality Michael Symon, and Food Network star Jet Tila. The lineup includes events like brunch, a pitmaster party, and a barbecue competition. Prepare to get the meat sweats. JB (ilani Casino Resort, Ridgefield, Thursday-Sunday)

Portland Mercury's Sandwich Week 2023 Past Event List
IT'S A FACT: The pinnacle of human ingenuity is undoubtedly THE SANDWICH. And at long last, it's time to celebrate humankind's greatest feat with Jim Beam presents the Portland Mercury's Sandwich Week! And if you love sandwiches, you are gonna lose your damn mind, because from Monday, June 5 to Sunday, June 11, Portlanders will be feasting on delectable, original sandwiches built by someof the city's most creative sandwich makers... and if that's not enough, each of those sammies can be had for a mere $8! Are you dreaming? NO, YOU ARE NOT! PORTLAND MERCURY EDITOR-IN-CHIEF WM. STEVEN HUMPHREY
(Various locations, Monday-Sunday)


The Full Monty Past Event List
Stumptown Stages will close out its 18th season with an '80s-era romp that tracks a gaggle of unemployed blue-collar workers in upstate New York as they start stripping out of financial desperation. It's got body consciousness! It's got anxiety! It's got toxic masculinity! It's got working-class inequality! In other words, The Full Monty, which was adapted from a '97 flick of the same name, is still uber-relevant today. (Can't get enough? The story will also continue in a fresh episodic format on FX later this month.) LC
(Winningstad Theatre, South Park Blocks, Thursday-Sunday)

The Pursuit of Happiness (or the Wacky Lesbian Adventures of Brillo Pad and Hula Hoop) Past Event List
Fuse Theatre Ensemble, a national leader in trans theater representation, will present a new meta-musical featuring characters across gender and sexuality spectrums. (Hint: if you loved American Girl or anything by local playwright Mikki Gillette, you'll dig this.) The Pursuit of Happiness (or the Wacky Lesbian Adventures of Brillo Pad and Hula Hoop) offers up an "absurd vortex" of nuclear bombs, transitioning pressures, and gender dysphoria, all set to a soundtrack of original earworms. The pay-what-ya-can performance was penned by Ernie Lijoi, winner of the Portland Drammy's Best Original Music Award in 2016, so sit back and enjoy the whirlwind of gender fuckery—you're in good hands. LC
(Reed College, Eastmoreland, Thursday-Sunday)

Road House: The Play Past Event List
One fateful Christmas day in the 2010s, I popped in a VHS of the '89 schlockfest Road House, and the rest was history: I was immediately awestruck by Patrick Swayze's Dalton, a peace-keeping bar bouncer with a Ph.D. whose proclivity for beating up corrupt henchmen lands him in a back alley of Trouble with a capital T. This movie's got khaki slacks, monster trucks, and lines like this. It is awesome. Road House: The Play parodies the trash classic with jaunty music and mockery added to the plot; the show debuted in 2010 to sold-out audiences and rave reviews, so head to a performance for sweaty, ass-kicking laughs courtesy of Portland's funniest (including the Merc's own Wm. Steven Humphrey). LC
(Siren Theater, Boise, Friday-Saturday)


Derek Franklin: Grief is on my calendar everyday at 2:00 p.m. Past Event List
Derek Franklin, a Portland-based artist and the founding director of SE Cooper Contemporary, will present a new series of paintings and sculptures reflecting on the theater of the everyday and the violence woven into all structures of society. Grief is on my calendar every day at 2:00 p.m. meditates on rituals of performance embedded in the minutiae of life—in Franklin's paintings, vases and plates serve as "objects that bear witness to the lives of their owners," and his distorted, stick-figure sculptures suggest the strange groundedness of common detritus. LC
(Elizabeth Leach Gallery, Pearl District, Thursday-Saturday; opening) 15 years of the hapa project Past Event List
Photographer Kip Fulbeck's ongoing Hapa Project is revisited in 15 years of the hapa project, which explores multiracial Asian American heritage through portraiture and handwritten responses to the question, "What are you?" The fresh exhibition showcases 15 years of Fulbeck's portraits, with participants’ updated photographs and statements, reflecting their changes in perspective and outlook, installed side-by-side with older ones. Coined by Native Hawaiians, the term "hapa" means "half" and is typically used to mean "half white;" the term has been embraced by multiracial Asian and Pacific Islander Americans. Fulbeck's Hapa Project began in 2001, when he photographed over 1,200 hapa-identifying volunteers. Since then, the project has expanded to give voice to multiracial people, dispel myths around exoticism, and more. LC
(Japanese American Museum of Oregon, Old Town-Chinatown, Thursday-Sunday)

home school: Omens of Capacity Past Event List
Victoria Anne Reis and manuel arturo abreu of home school will present the final exhibition of their curatorial residency at Oregon Contemporary. Omens of Capacity features Jackie Abhulimen's Hellenic-inspired contemplative space, Bridgette Hickey's floating prayer sculpture, Ariana Nuala's video on quilombo leader Malunguinho, and more to reflect on "omens of capacity that were latent, unrealized, within the clash of cultures and movements of peoples.” LC
(Oregon Contemporary, Kenton, Friday-Sunday; closing)

Subtle Intimacy: Here and There Past Event List
Japan Institute’s inaugural artist-in-residence, Rui Sasaki, whose glass art has been praised in the New York Times, shares her site-specific glass works in Subtle Intimacy: Here and There. Inspired by the elegant greenery of the Portland Japanese Garden, the moody, ethereal show invites visitors to "explore their own relationship with the natural world." LC
(Portland Japanese Garden, Washington Park, Monday, Wednesday-Sunday)

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