Best Things To Do

The Top 32 Events in Portland This Week: Sept 18–24, 2023

Arctic Monkeys, Rose City Comic Con, and More Top Picks
September 18, 2023
Hop in your car and head to the Arctic Monkeys concert. (Arctic Monkeys via Facebook)
This week, we're counting down the days to the official start of fall with the best things to do, from Arctic Monkeys to Rose City Comic Con and from Amy Sedaris to Zadie Smith.

Jump to: Monday | Tuesday | Wednesday | Thursday | Friday | Saturday | Sunday | Multi-Day



Twin Peaks Mondays Remind List
Hosted by "trans femme drag enigma" Violet Hex, this weekly series screens two episodes of David Lynch and Mark Frost’s 1990 creepy, cult-favorite show Twin Peaks every Monday at Black Water Bar, accompanied by themed drag and burlesque performances with a different special guest each time. Appropriately, the event kicks off the pilot episode and an appearance from Baby Le’Strange of the Lynch-inspired cabaret show Black Lodge Burlesque. I don't know about you, but watching talented performers embody the likenesses of Audrey Horne, Laura Palmer, the Log Lady, and other fan favorites sounds like, excuse me, a damn fine time. JB
(Black Water Bar, Irvington)


Elizabeth Rush and Erica Berry Past Event List
Four years ago, a crew of scientists set out for Thwaites Glacier, an unusually broad Antarctic glacier that had never been visited by humans before. Their goal? To learn as much as possible about the ice formation, which was purported to be deteriorating and potentially contributing to catastrophic global sea-level rise. Elizabeth Rush, author of the Pulitzer Prize finalist Rising, documented the voyage in The Quickening, engaging with the unknown, the sublime, and the every day. Activites like ping-pong and lab work comingle with "staggering waves" and "unfamiliar contours" at sea, and the story is woven with more intimate questions: namely, what does parenthood mean in an era of "radical change?" Rush will be joined in conversation by Erica Berry, whose coming-of-age memoir Wolfish charts the trail of legendary wolf OR-7 in the Wallowa Mountains to "peel back the layers of what scares us." LC
(Powell's City of Books, Pearl District)



Herbie Hancock Past Event List
Throughout his six-decade-plus career, Herbie Hancock has reached all corners of the expansive jazz genre, along with pioneering electronic music and modern R&B. His trailblazing 1973 album Head Hunters has been such an inspiration to funk, soul, and hip-hop that the Library of Congress added it to the National Recording Registry (an archive of the most significant recordings of the 20th century). But all fancy accolades aside, Head Hunters is a delightfully timeless album that I keep in my back pocket for when I'm feeling musically fatigued. Plus, Hancock's 47th (!) studio album is currently in the works, which will reportedly include features from music royalty like Wayne Shorter, Kendrick Lamar, Kamasi Washington, Thundercat, Flying Lotus, Snoop Dogg, and more. AV
(McMenamins Grand Lodge, Forest Grove)



Amy Sedaris Past Event List
Referring to someone as "whimsical" feels vaguely off-putting, but I'm not sure there's a better word to describe Amy Sedaris—the host of the Emmy-nominated series At Home with Amy Sedaris was just as comfortable making raisin necklaces and popsicle stick buddies as she was gutting a fish. Although the series was canceled after three seasons, I look back on it fondly as a reflection of my early pandemic days, when making sense of the world meant baking a sourdough bread loaf shaped like a mermaid (true story). Find out what Sedaris is cooking up next at this live performance. LC
(Aladdin Theater, Brooklyn)


Mitchell S. Jackson in conversation with Tra’Renee Chambers Past Event List
NBA players are tall, in excellent shape, young, rich, and famous: This gives them everything they need to operate as models for bespoke clothing. Who cares if dressing well has little to do with the actual playing of the game of basketball? A survey of the style of NBA players from the post-war era until now still functions as a survey of fashionable-yet-highly-wearable clothing that might be otherwise overlooked and thus forgotten. PORTLAND MERCURY CONTRIBUTOR CORBIN SMITH
(Powell's City of Books, Pearl District)



Laser Mort Garson: Plantasia on the Moon Past Event List
With ticket prices for this laser light show starting at $35, you'd expect the pioneering Moog magician Mort Garson to be there in the flesh. Sadly, he died back in 2008, but hear me out—this trippy, one-of-a-kind spectacular is worth the bucks. Portland-based musicians Elrond and Pulse Emitter will play a live set of functional yet whimsical tunes from Garson's Mother Earth's Plantasia (an album that helps your plants grow) and Journey to the Moon and Beyond (a soundtrack to the 1969 moon landing). While the artists turn their shiny knobs, your mind will be melted by stunning laser projections that match the music. AV
(OMSI, Central Eastside)


Zadie Smith Past Event List
Even if you haven't read anything by Zadie Smith, you've probably seen her name splashed in gigantic letters across one of her brightly hued book covers. She's one of those authors who can hawk a tome based on her name alone, and it's for a good reason—her debut novel White Teeth won several awards, and she's since cemented herself as a major literary voice with a snappy, eccentric, and game-changing treatment of race, religion, and cultural identity. Smith's also a tenured creative writing professor at NYU and has twice been named one of Granta's 20 Best of Young British Novelists, so, ya know, maybe us lit nerds should listen to her. Her sixth novel, The Fraud, was released on September 5; I'm excited to hear more about the "kaleidoscopic work" based on a historic trial that divided Victorian England. LC
(Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, South Park Blocks)



Teton Gravity Research: Legend Has It Past Event List
Get stoked for sick powder (or whatever it is skiers and snowboarders say) at this celebration of all things winter sports. Extreme sports media experts Teton Gravity Research will present their 28th annual flick Legend Has It, which compiles ski and snowboard footage that'll have you itching to hit the slopes. Show up early with fellow shredders for athlete poster signings and prize giveaways from YETI, SierraNevada, Tincup Whiskey, and other companies; attendees can also enter to win an outdoorsy Nissan Pathfinder or a bougie trip to Jackson Hole Mountain Resort. LC
(Aladdin Theater, Brooklyn)


An Evening With Arooj Aftab, Vijay Iyer & Shahzad Ismaily Trio: Love In Exile Past Event List
New York-based Pakistani singer-songwriter Arooj Aftab blends traditional Sufi devotional poetry with gentle folk guitar and ambient elements that perfectly cradle her ethereal voice. On her newest project, Love in Exile, Aftab collaborated with multi-instrumentalists Vijay Iyer and Shahzad Ismaily for a haunting meditation about "self-exile, and the search for freedom and identity, and finding it through love and music" (per press materials). With the album's atmospheric electronics, neo-classical piano melodies, and heavenly vocals, it will surely sound just as magical live. AV
(Patricia Reser Center for the Arts, Beaverton)


2023 CoHo Clown Festival Remind List
Whether you're a literal clown or a simple clown appreciator, you'll want to honk your horn and slap on a gigantic pair of shoes for the second annual edition of this four-week fringe festival celebrating all things clownery. CoHo Clown Festival includes an absurdist mix of physical comedy, workshops, and movement performances, building community between artists and audiences with a wide range of jolly performances. It transforms CoHo's little black box theater into a central hub for circus artists across the country to engage in "playful whimsy," which sounds good for the soul. Go forth and get your clown on. LC
(CoHo Productions, Slabtown)



Demetri Martin: The Joke Machine Tour Past Event List
Your college boyfriend's favorite comedian will return to the stage for more sly, surreal observations. (In the words of Stranger critic Dave Segal, Martin's comedy "make you think, “Wow, I’ve never looked at it that way—but he’s totally right! Now I need to adopt this worldview in order to live a much more entertaining life.”") A cursory glance at Martin's Instagram page proves that he's still serving up perspective-shifting comedy—in fact, he thinks cupcakes are "sweaty-ass swamp ass desserts." Would I have ever come to that conclusion myself? No. But now, I have to agree. LC
(Revolution Hall, Buckman)


Indiana Jones: Raiders of the Lost Ark in Concert with the Oregon Symphony Past Event List
The Oregon Symphony will perform John Williams' epic film score from Steven Spielberg's Indiana Jones: Raiders of the Lost Ark, bringing the giant boulder, snakes, and tarantulas (yikes!) all to life on the big screen. AV
(Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, South Park Blocks)



Nimesh Patel: Fast and Loose Tour Past Event List
Emmy-nominated Saturday Night Live writer and funnyman Nimesh Patel has been a common face in NYC's comedy scene for the last decade—he's a regular at the famed Comedy Cellar, and has been the non-canceled opener for Chris Rock and Aziz Ansari. I'm hoping Patel serves up more chill, open-minded comedy for this performance. (Will his parents find out, though?) LC
(Newmark Theatre, South Park Blocks)


Arctic Monkeys Past Event List
The Arctic Monkeys are back in town for the first time since 2018 with tracks from their latest release, The Car. As the album's title (and cover) suggest, the lyrics are full of vehicular references—but make no mistake—this is not an automotive concept album! Rather, cars are used to set the scene for childhood tales, and later, the disillusionment of fame. The album is undeniably cozy and nostalgic with orchestral flourishes, neo-soul-inspired instrumentation, and jazzy croons; bringing to mind the CDs that Starbucks sold back in the day (you know, next to the sugar-free gum and vanilla almond biscottis?) AV
(Moda Center, Lloyd District)



Chapman Swift Watch Remind List
Because you live in Portland, you are surrounded by folks whose idea of a good time is gazing at Vaux's swifts—a species of dark, tiny-bodied aerialists that like to roost in hollow spaces—as they gracefully funnel into an elementary school chimney each sunset in September. Their numbers vary; sometimes you'll see 5,000, and in mid-September, up to 15,000, as they migrate to Mexico and Central America. Their evening ritual is nothing short of poetic, a visual display that would make Mary Oliver weep. Therefore, arrive early and anticipate fighting for parking. (If you're as lucky as I was last week, you might also witness a Cooper's hawk tucked to one side of the chimney, awaiting a teensy swift snack.) LC
(Chapman Elementary School, Northwest Portland, Monday-Sunday)


Cascade Equinox Festival Past Event List
The seasoned event organizers of Gem & Jam and 4 Peaks Presents concocted the cross-genre Cascade Equinox Festival with the goal of producing a music festival that’s as eclectic as the inhabitants of Central Oregon. Folks will sprawl out on Deschutes County Fairgrounds for three days in September to witness a diverse medley of jam, electronic, funk, soul, and bluegrass acts. Standouts from the lineup include electro-soul pioneer Pretty Lights, electronic producer Big Wild, electropop duo Phantogram, and jam-forward ensemble Goose. AV
(Deschutes County Fairgrounds & Expo Center, Redmond, Friday-Sunday)


The Cramps and The Mutants: The Napa State Tapes Past Event List
If you told me that legendary janglers The Cramps and The Mutants had once played a show in a Napa psychiatric hospital, rousing the patients with Carter-era art punk while a Bay Area collective captured the whole thing on one of the first video cameras available to the public, well...I'd believe you, and I'd be desperate to see the footage. Luckily, I'm telling you this, and you can see the footage while everyone else chooses teams between Barbie and Oppenheimer. The Cramps and The Mutants: The Napa State Tapes will screen at the Hollywood in an unedited, fully remastered edition. Let's get fucked up! LC
(Hollywood Theatre, Hollywood District, Monday-Thursday)

Hausu in 35mm Past Event List
Nobuhiko Obayashi's Hausu is a film that utterly defies description, but here goes: the 1977 cult classic is a psychedelic romp akin to Scooby-Doo on hallucinogens. It's also one of my all-time favorites, and the perfect apéritif for creepy season. When a squad of teenage girls travels to a creaky, cobwebby country manor, they discover that evil spirits have overtaken the house. (This is why I don't travel to creaky, cobwebby country manors.) Antics ensue with a possessed piano, floating heads, and the film's unsung hero: a bigass, fluffy house cat named Blanche. LC
(Hollywood Theatre, Hollywood District, Friday-Sunday)

Oppenheimer Past Event List
Whether or not you give a damn about the theoretical physicist who helped develop the first nuclear weaponry, Oppenheimer is kind of a must-see—people are going to be yapping about this flick all summer long. You don't want to miss out on the Twitter discourse, do you?! Christopher Nolan's latest stars Cillian Murphy as J. Robert Oppenheimer and Emily Blunt as his wife, Communist biologist and botanist Katherine “Kitty” Oppenheimer. (More info on Kitty, please!!) The film also features Florence Pugh, A24 darling Benny Safdie, and a bunch of other actors that'll make you whisper "Wait, they're in this?!" to your friend in the theater. LC
(Hollywood Theatre, Hollywood District, Monday-Thursday)

Sextember Remind List
If I asked you to describe September in one adjective, would you say "sexy?" If not, you'd be WRONG. September is EROTIC. Apparently, no one knows this better than the Hollywood. They're showcasing a heat wave of seductive flicks all month long; it's the perfect way to celebrate the final scantily clad days of the year before fall and winter come along to ruin the 'fit. The series will continue to advise viewer discretion this week with Body Double and Magic Mike XXL. LC
(Hollywood Theatre, Hollywood District, Monday-Sunday)


Fresh Hop Pop-Up Beer Fest Remind List
Just can't get enough fresh hops? This 17-day-long pop-up hop extravaganza will showcase the hyper-seasonal specialty in all its glory with special tappings every day from "some of the best and brightest breweries and regions." The programming includes freshies from Breakside on September 18, "Freshtoberfest" from September 22-24, and a spotlight on hops from Yakima (the hop capital of the world!) on September 28, among lots of other events. Scoop up some nosh from the Prost! Marketplace's 10 resident food trucks while you're at it. JB
(Prost! Marketplace, North Portland, Monday-Sunday)

32nd Annual Grape Stomp Past Event List
Have you ever wanted to channel your inner Lucille Ball and vigorously mash grapes with your bare feet? Here's your chance: Willamette Valley Vineyards will host this stomping extravaganza at their Salem Hills estate. Glug vino, partake in a special food menu, enter a costume contest, and enjoy live music. JB
(Willamette Valley Vineyards, Turner, Saturday-Sunday)


Rose City Comic Con 2023 Past Event List
It doesn't matter if you're a gamer, sci-fi nerd, anime fan, fantasy fairy, or cosplay artist, Rose City Comic Con is for you! Highlights this year include author signings at the book fair, a "Nerd Slam" poetry showcase, an immersive Star Wars fan experience, aspiring creator workshops, and even a lightsaber training session for kids. Try to keep your cool when you meet Zoe Saldana, a true science fiction film franchise superstar. Did you know her work in Avatar and The Avengers has earned her the sole designation of starring in four of the highest-grossing films of all time? She might just be the "deadliest woman in the whole galaxy." SL
(Oregon Convention Center, Lloyd District, Friday-Sunday)


The Oregon Burlesque Festival Past Event List
Save room for some va-va-voom: The eighth annual edition of the Oregon Burlesque Festival promises to bring together "burlesque icons from around the world," including legendary showgirl and Miss Nude Universe 1975 Tiffany Carter. The two-day fest will keep it weird with sexy performances that also include comedy and circus elements. La Dame Derrière, former opera singer and current "bisexual angst"-ridden diva, will headline alongside The Lady Chiffon, a fiery Leo who's previously performed with "British Columbia's pre-eminent geeky theatrical and performance troupe," Geekenders. LC
(Alberta Rose Theatre, Concordia, Friday-Saturday)


Amanda Ross-Ho: ICE TIME Remind List
I was lucky enough to catch Los Angeles-based artist and one-time competitive figure skater Amanda Ross-Ho's performance at the Lloyd Center ice rink on Converge 45's opening weekend. The performance, which felt inextricably linked to the legacy of a certain infamous Olympian who learned to skate at Lloyd, saw Ross-Ho skate in a meditative figure eight formation. Her solo exhibition ICE TIME expands on this meditation with a further developed sense of repetition and muscle memory. LC
(ILY2, Pearl District, Wednesday–Saturday)

Holding Fire: Fuel Ladder Remind List
It's getting warm in here: Eugene-based research collective Fuel Ladder pulls together artists, designers, and thinkers whose work explores climate crisis through wildfire. The collective's current exhibition at Well Well Projects, Holding Fire, digs into wildfire's "cycles of both destruction and renewal" through a diverse range of perspectives. William Bonner uses installation pieces to "highlight and communicate the importance and beauty of living processes," while David Buckley Borden’s place-based projects "use humorous combinations of visual art and landscape design to center environmental issues within everyday phenomena." I'm particularly intrigued by Sasha Michelle White’s practice, which centers fire-adapted plants, and Nancy Silvers' work, which explores identity and ecology at "scales that range from a single thread to acres of landscape" through textiles and other mediums. LC
(Well Well, Kenton, Saturday-Sunday)

Pat Boas: Idiom Remind List
Pat Boas, professor emerita of Art Practice in the School of Art + Design at Portland State University, will share new paintings in this solo exhibition that "push[es] the boundaries" of her signature abstract style. Frequently using letter forms and the written word as a conceptual starting point, Boas has built a word-as-image aesthetic that develops further in Idiom with layered paintings "akin to Cubist still-lifes." The geometric, yet atmospheric paintings bring together fragments of shape and color in pursuit of new meanings. LC
(Elizabeth Leach Gallery, Pearl District, Tuesday–Saturday)

Rebirth, Rememory Past Event List
While you're at PNCA for Converge 45, stopping by Rebirth, Rememory is a no-brainer. Curated by Morgan Rice, PNCA's Low Residency in Visual Studies MFA Curatorial Fellow, the show “investigates colonial strategies of erasure via incarceration and selective history” through tarot card imagery, digital video installations, and more. I was moved by the inclusion of a bench with inscriptions carved by detainees at 511 NW Broadway from 2003-2013. (The school's building was once a US Immigration and Customs Enforcement facility.) The bench offers clear-cut evidence of one of the exhibition's central points—that mark-making has the power to combat institutional erasure. LC
(PNCA, Pearl District, Monday-Wednesday; closing)

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, Wednesday-Sunday; closing)

Volver a ver / To see again Remind List
Mexico City-born, Santa Monica-based artist Georgina Reskala's silver gelatin prints on linen and silk have an ethereal, moody quality, depicting abstracted nature imagery and silhouetted figures in long exposures. In Volver a ver / To see again, each photograph is altered through physical manipulation—Reskala unthreads the weft of the linen or layers multiple images over each other. The results feel like eerie reflections on past memories and the mind's tendency to twist them at will. LC
(PDX CONTEMPORARY ART, Slabtown, Tuesday–Saturday)

Will Rawls: [siccer] Remind List
You might've seen Will Rawls's work recently—the New York-based artist has popped up with installations and exhibitions at Adams and Ollman and the Henry Art Gallery in Seattle over the last few years. As a choreographer, performance artist, curator, and writer, Rawls's work is wide-reaching, and [siccer] is no exception. It's part-live performance, part-stop-motion animation, and its title references the Latin adverb sic (you typically see it used in brackets to denote an “error” when quoting someone, underscoring the perceived inaccuracy of their speech). To Rawls, "[sic] is a useful metaphor for how the language and gestures of Black bodies are captured, quoted or misquoted, and circulated to appear strange in various media;" as a writer, I'm excited to see how Rawls interrogates the limits of citation. LC
(PICA, Eliot, Saturday-Sunday; opening)

Willy Heeks: Contours of Instinct and Nuance Remind List
Nationally renowned abstract expressionist Willy Heeks will showcase new works after taking a pause from painting during the pandemic. In Contours of Instinct and Nuance, Heeks maintains his familiar graffiti-like aesthetic and sweeping brushwork, but balances it with "fractal details" and geometric elements. The fresh approach makes it clear that Heeks, who was born in 1951, has no intention of stopping his complex, improvisational explorations in paint anytime soon. LC
(Elizabeth Leach Gallery, Pearl District, Tuesday–Saturday)

Report This

Please use this form to let us know about anything that violates our Terms of Use or is otherwise no good.
Thanks for helping us keep EverOut a nice place.

Please include links to specific policy violations if relevant.

Say something about this item. If you add it to multiple lists, the note will be added to all lists. You can always change it later!

Gotta catch 'em all?
Click below to be reminded about every instance of this event. (You can turn this off anytime of course.)
Remind Me