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The Top 39 Events in Portland This Week: Sept 11–17, 2023

Jungle, Modest Mouse and Pixies with Cat Power, and More Top Picks
September 11, 2023
A helluva bill is coming to Edgefield this week: It's Modest Mouse and Pixies with Cat Power! (Pixies via Facebook)
We're here to keep your schedule stacked with a fresh batch of top picks, from Modest Mouse and Pixies with Cat Power to Jungle and from Atsuko Okatsuka to Black Artists of Oregon. Headed up to Seattle to see Beyoncé's Renaissance World Tour?! Be sure to check out what else is going on in Seattle this week.

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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. 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)



Nosferatu with Invincible Czars Past Event List
Good news if you're looking to get the Halloween vibes rolling early this season: F.W. Murnau's eerie 1922 classic Nosferatu, which Werner Herzog once described as "the greatest German film," will screen at Alberta Rose Theatre, so prepare to gasp at the bald, spidery, and downright yucky Count Orlok. Austin music ensemble the Invincible Czars will perform their original, updated soundtrack for the screening, adding mysterious new layers of sonic depth to celebrate the centennial anniversary of the silent flick. LC
(Alberta Rose Theatre, Concordia)


U.S. Girls Past Event List
Meg Remy's experimental pop project U.S. Girls is criminally underrated. Her last three albums—Bless This Mess, Heavy Light, and In A Poem Unlimited—combine timeless funk, Y2K pop, and neo-disco that exists in the same universe as Gwen Stefani's Love Angel Music Baby, Kylie Minogue's Fever, and Madonna's Confessions on a Dance Floor (a holy trinity of sorts). I am waiting for the day for these songs get the Top 40 radio play that they deserve—just listen to her 2018 bop "M.A.H (Mad As Hell)" to see what I mean. AV
(Mississippi Studios, Boise)



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 special guest contestants—funnybones Neeraj Srinivasan and Milan Patel—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. LC
(Siren Theater, Boise)


Incite: Queer Writers Read Past Event List
This curated bimonthly reading series, which centers queer writers with a fresh, thought-provoking theme for each event, will return with featured readers Caitlin Delohery, Ash Good, and Dustin Hendrick sharing harmonious new works on a "balance" theme. LC
(Literary Arts, Southwest Portland)



Rory Scovel Past Event List
Rory Scovel's 2017 comedy special Tries Stand-Up for the First Time established the South Carolina native as one of the funniest stand-up comics working today—or, at least, the best one in a cropped Members Only jacket. It's still available to view on Netflix, so check it out, laugh a lot, then head to this show. Personally, I'm hoping to hear more from Scovel on shrimp scampi, aka "shrimp shrimp." LC
(Aladdin Theater, Brooklyn)


2023 HUMP! Film Festival Encore Screening Past Event List
If you didn’t catch HUMP! Film Festival’s 2023 offerings earlier this year, here’s your last chance to scope out Dan Savage's lineup of sexy films featuring all genders and orientations. Before these vids go in the vault, you can feast your eyeballs on a final screening of the sex-positive fest that's brought kinky inclusivity to the big screen since 2005. It's worth a venture outside of your sex dungeon, but you can still wear the latex catsuit. LC
(Clinton Street Theater, Hosford-Abernethy)


Common with the Oregon Symphony Past Event List
While Common with the Oregon Symphony might not seem like an obvious pairing at first, it doesn't take long to envision what the rapper's jazz-infused songs would sound like with a live orchestra. Some of his biggest hits, including "Invocation," "Be (Intro)," and "GO!" feature samples of glittering organs, fingerpicked guitars, and swirling orchestral strings. Now, imagine those samples performed live! Chills! AV
(Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, South Park Blocks)

Jungle Past Event List
The hook-laden British funk duo Jungle, whom former Stranger contributor Travis Ritter once described as a combination of "Massive Attack's warped perceptions, D'Angelo's seduction, and Hot Chip's dance-floor charm," is bringing their irresistible tunes back to Portland. They will urge you to "Keep Moving" with tracks off their silky, soulful new album, Volcano. It’s safe to say this show will be a sweaty one, so be sure to hydrate and wear comfy shoes! AV
(Edgefield, Troutdale)


Live Wire with Luke Burbank Remind List
Live Wire's 2023 offerings will continue on September 14 with another evening of honest, funny conversation. This time around, featured guests include podcast royalty Paul F. Tompkins, who has appeared on over two hundred episodes of Comedy Bang! Bang!, alongside Egyptian American astrophysicist, analog astronaut, and women’s health advocate Sarafina El-Badry Nance and funnyman and mental health advocate Gary Gulman. Nashville janglers Family Worship Center will set the mood with '70s-style rock 'n' roll. LC
(Alberta Rose Theatre, Concordia)


Why Make Comics? with Mark Russell Past Event List
If you've heard rumblings about the Northwest Museum of Cartoon Arts, a new nonprofit that "supports all aspects of cartoon art while focusing on the Pacific Northwest" and aims to eventually open a permanent museum and makerspace, here's a chance to learn more about their mission and support the cause. NWMOCA has teamed up with Eisner, GLAAD, and Ringo Award-winning comic book writer Mark Russell for this presentation, which will dig into comics in the digital age. (Turns out they're still an important medium in our freaky-deaky time of AI-generated imagery.) After the free talk, Russell will offer a Q&A session. LC
(Wacom Experience Center, Pearl District)



DREAMS: A Night of Fleetwood Mac and All Things Stevie with Glitterfox and Acoustic Minds Past Event List
Summoning the spirit of beloved good witch Stevie Nicks, local indie-folk bands Glitterfox and Acoustic Minds will bring you an evening of Fleetwood Mac covers. Whirl and twirl to classics like "Gold Dust Woman," "Rhiannon," and, of course, "Dreams." I hope they play some deeper cuts as well like the Bob Welch-era song "Emerald Eyes," or perhaps something from Tusk. AV
(Alberta Rose Theatre, Concordia)

Latin Independence Celebration 2023: Son de Cuba and Pura Vida Orquesta Past Event List
In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month and Mexico's Independence Day, local ensembles Son de Cuba and Pura Vida Orquesta will join forces for a celebratory evening of salsa, cumbia, bachata, bolero, Latin jazz, and other music made for dancing. DJ Osvaldo will keep your feet moving between sets—be sure to fuel up with Latin grub and cocktail specials. AV
(Alberta Abbey, King)


Taylor Rave: A Taylor Swift Rave Past Event List
Take Tay Tay's advice about "getting down to this sick beat" with a rave dedicated to the beloved pop princess. Expect a blend of Taylor Swift's beat-driven jams (think: Reputation- and 1989-era tracks) along with remixes, lasers, neon decor, and strobe lights that’ll keep you in a lavender haze. This will be an excellent place for Swifties to gather and cast spells on Scooter Braun, Jake Gyllenhaal, Ticketmaster, and John Mayer, so make sure to dress for revenge. AV
(Crystal Ballroom, West End)


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)

Ancient Aliens Live: Project Earth Past Event List
There is a special poodle in my life who, when I dogsit him, flatly demands to watch Ancient Aliens. He will not go to sleep without the soft hum of Ancient Aliens's resident weirdos yammering about Ancient Egypt in the background. In fact, he'll howl and whine if too many hours have passed without the show's main theorist, Giorgio A. Tsoukalos (yeah, this guy) appearing on a screen in front of him. Do with this knowledge what you will. I'm not calling you a poodle if you're into Ancient Aliens. But I'm also not not doing that. Anywho, Ancient Aliens LIVE: Project Earth acts as an "experiential extension of Ancient Aliens that explores the theory that extraterrestrials have visited Earth for millions of years." (Hate to break it to you, E.T., but most of us have bigger problems than your cosmic vacation.) LC
(Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, South Park Blocks)

The Tesla City Stories: Live Vintage Radio Theater Onstage, Season 8 Premiere Past Event List
Calling all ducky shincrackers—dust off your zoot suits and liquid stockings, 'cuz Tesla City Stories is offering up another ultra-unique night out featuring live "radio" drama straight from the '40s-era archives of the fictional Tesla City. Part performance art, part pop archeology, the shindig boasts live sound effects, prizes, and plenty of post-Prohibition era booze. The season premiere's gonna be a gas, with two episodes of "Harpy Squadron," a "corker of a tale about five female fighter pilots who take it to the Axis." LC
(The Old Church, Downtown)



Atsuko Okatsuka Past Event List
Stand-up showstopper and LA-based queen Atsuko Okatsuka, who was named one of Variety's "Top 10 Comics to Watch" last year, will pop by Portland, hopefully to share more pad-wearing pride and teach us about the viral, "how low can you go" drop challenge she started on TikTok with her grandmother. She had a mishap on a Lime scooter the last time she was in town, so let's make it a happier experience for her this time around, shall we? LC
(Aladdin Theater, Brooklyn)


Creature Feature in the Dark Remind List
You can get ghoulish a little early this year at Creature Feature in the Dark, a series of drive-in movies and live haunted house performances that'll freak your bean all September long. Take a spin out to scenic Mary S. Young Park in West Linn on Saturdays this month, where you can catch monster movies like Addams Family Values, Arachnophobia, and Night of the Living Dead screened beneath the moonlight. Watch your back, though—fearsome creatures will stage skits, performances, and a "full haunted house treatment," roaming among the cars to scare your pants off. Best part? Creatures of the Night hair-raises funds for Bloodworks Northwest, a nonprofit blood center supplying blood to 95% of hospitals in the Pacific Northwest. LC
(Mary S. Young Park, West Linn)


Fresh Hop & Friends Past Event List
Little Beast Brewing, which takes its name from the tiny little creatures that magically alchemize water, barley, and hops into beer, will maximize fresh hop season with a selection of freshies, with their own brews alongside offerings from Wayfinder, Ruse, Stombreaker, Block 15, Living Haüs, and Via. Kick back in the beer garden while enjoying live jazz from the David Barber Trio and inhaling succulent smoked meats from Lawless BBQ. JB
(Little Beast Beer Garden, Richmond)



Neal Brennan: Brand New Neal Past Event List
Neal Brennan may be an Emmy-nominated writer, correspondent on The Daily Show, producer, director, and all-around successful dude, but that doesn't mean he's not awkward, okay?? Brennan dug into his own "defects" on his last tour, Unacceptable, but it was still a fun time, as self-deprecating humor almost always is. In celebration of his new Netflix comedy special, Neal Brennan: Blocks, which drops on November 8, Brennan will head back to the stage with more of what the New York Times dubbed his “hip-hop and Frontline aesthetic.” LC
(Revolution Hall, Buckman)


Grand Opening Party Past Event List
The drinking destination of the summer is here: Mariah and Thomas Pisha-Duffly, the dynamic duo who brought you Gado Gado and Oma's Hideaway opened the Houston Blacklight, a cheeky vintage-inspired bar with "a mashup of Atomic Era fantasy and rough-edged elegance," in the former Night Light Lounge space on at the end of July, serving inspired menu items like French onion instant ramen, shrimp cocktail with sambal terasi, and Jell-O shot bundt cakes (!). Help them celebrate their official grand opening with DJ tunes, dancing, drink specials, fabulous drag performances, and even an ice luge. JB
(The Houston Blacklight, Hosford-Abernethy)



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)

MLK Dream Run Past Event List
Enjoy live music and tasty eats as you browse the Soul-Fun vendor market at the MLK Dream Run’s kick-off celebration on Saturday, or sign the kiddos up for a free kids’ race at 10:30 am. The actual run goes down on Sunday, with 5K, 10K, and 15K options. All racers will be greeted with a swag bag (Nike t-shirt included) and an energy-replenishing Tillamook grilled cheese at the finish line. Looking to win it all? The overall fastest times for each race will win a round-trip Alaska Airlines ticket. SL
(Portland Community College, Humboldt, Saturday-Sunday)


Bottoms Past Event List
Considering the glut of raunchy high school sex comedies that revolved around hetero teen boys attempting to pop their cherries in the '90s and early-aughts, it's about time we had a horny romp about queer girls trying to get laid. In this madcap dark comedy helmed by Emma Seligman (director of the nail-biter Shiva Baby), two hapless losers (played by Rachel Sennott and Ayo Edebiri) scheme to start a self-defense club for women in order to hook up with their cheerleader crushes (Havana Rose Liu and Kaia Gerber). Naturally, hilarity ensues. It's Book Smart meets Fight Club with acerbic shades of Heathers, and I for one can't wait to see Seligman's sapphic Gen-Z take on this campy genre, especially with the two leads' deadpan delivery. JB
(Cinema 21, Nob Hill, Monday-Thursday)

Godzillathon Past Event List
Godzilla, as far as I know, has never battled a giant centaur, but I also wouldn’t put it past the dude. Plus “sag season” sounds like what would happen to the suspension bridges of Tokyo during a Godzilla attack. The Hollywood Theater’s Godzillathon triumphantly returns in September after a few years on hiatus. It’s a great opportunity to see some golden-age kaiju fisticuffs on the big screen, and this time round the focus is on his swinging ‘60s oeuvre, including his battle with the much-maligned—yet still iconic—smog monster Hedorah. BC
(Hollywood Theatre, Hollywood District, Saturday-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 continues this weekend with Fatal Attraction, so guard your bunnies. Later in the month, Body Double, Magic Mike XXL, and Bound will advise viewer discretion. LC
(Hollywood Theatre, Hollywood District, Monday-Wednesday)


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 a kickoff party on September 15, brews from industry innovators Indie Hops on September 16, 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, Friday-Sunday)

Snack Fest Past Event List
The people who brought you the Portland Night Market have turned their eyes towards the very serious business of snacking, and Snack Fest is the result: a weekend's worth of local vendors dedicating their time and energy to sharing bite-sized deliciousness in a wide variety of forms and flavors. This year, you can look forward to an "urban asado" party with Tournant, a fried chicken throwdown curated by Gary the Foodie, a kaiseki tasting menu from acclaimed Los Angeles chef Nan Yimcharoen, and other festivities. JB
(100 SE Alder, Buckman, Thursday-Sunday)


Modest Mouse and Pixies with Cat Power Past Event List
Honestly, I don't know why Modest Mouse sits at the top of this bill. I mean, the Issaquah, WA-rockers are great and all, but the Pixies with Cat Power? C'mon! Despite going through some lineup changes over the years, Pixies founding members Black Francis, Joey Santiago, and David Lovering are still going strong, playing all the crowd-pleasing hits that you'd expect from the influential alt-rock band (if you're missing legendary bassist Kim Deal, catch her in Seattle with the Breeders later this fall!) And, an opening set from Cat Power (aka Chan Marshall) will surely make your trek to Troutdale worth it. Marshall has a way of making her concerts feel intimate, no matter how large the venue is. AV
(Edgefield, Troutdale, Tuesday-Wednesday)


Amanda Ross-Ho: ICE TIME Remind List
This new body of work by Amanda Ross-Ho pulls from her experience as a competitive and theatrical figure skater, while also creating space for considerations surrounding anthropology, sentimentality, and forensics. Works focus on repetition and the exploration of the innate muscle memory that develops as a result of it. MERCURY CONTRIBUTOR ASHLEY GIFFORD
(ILY2, Pearl District, Wednesday-Saturday)

A Question of Hu: The Narrative Art of Hung Liu Remind List
Hung Liu (1948–2021) grew up during one of the most tumultuous periods in Chinese history and her work provides a personal point of view of that time, even as it remains outside the lens of propaganda and official narratives. Her narrative portrait and prints of immigrants, refugees, and soldiers weave and intertwine traditional Chinese and Western artistic methods, earning the description of “weeping realism” by her art critic husband. Curated by Christian Viveros-Fauné, this exhibition draws entirely from the collections of Jordan D. Schnitzer and his Family Foundation. MERCURY CONTRIBUTOR ASHLEY GIFFORD
(Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art, South Park Blocks, Tuesday-Saturday)

Black Artists of Oregon Remind List
The first of its kind to "consider the work of Black artists collectively in Oregon," PAM's fresh exhibition will showcase Black artists in and outside its collection, with special attention paid to underrepresented regional artists. Black Artists of Oregon thinks carefully about the African American experience in the Pacific Northwest, with pieces spanning the last 100 years by heavy hitters like Carrie Mae Weems and professional puppeteer Ralph Chessé. I'm particularly stoked for the exhibition because it was guest curated by Portland-based artist Intisar Abioto, whose own practice fills gaps in our region's history with critical context on lived Black experience. LC
(Portland Art Museum, South Park Blocks, Wednesday-Sunday)

Imaginary Shelter Remind List
Merging half-remembered buildings and carefully observed vegetation from her past, the paintings in Heather Lee Birdsong's Imaginary Shelter depict long-gone scenes of her demolished childhood home, sites of wildfire, and former houses and apartments. The result feels like a carefully excavated reflection on modern living in the face of climate change, which often involves migration, rentals, displacement, disposable architecture, housing instability, and semi-nomadic lifestyles. Drawing from both Pacific Northwestern and Mojave Desert landscapes, Birdsong aims to understand home as both a physical place and a deeper feeling of belonging. LC
(Carnation Contemporary, Kenton, Saturday-Sunday)

Innerbloom Remind List
A new exhibition of paintings centered on transitions made during an intense period of grief fit surely into Nationale’s front room. In his signature loose and adaptive approach, Ty Ennis moves through this new series of portraits and still lifes with hues of pewter, steel, and charcoal alongside blushy rose quartz pinks, and pops of scarlet, azure, and mossy greens. MERCURY CONTRIBUTOR ASHLEY GIFFORD
(Nationale, Buckman, Monday/Thursday-Sunday)

Occidental Remind List
Celebrated photographer Richard Mosse will display a series of photographs documenting oil spills from an abandoned pipeline in the Kichwa Indigenous Territory in the forested area of northwest Peru. The poignant images depict the devastating effects of human development on Indigenous lands and communities. MERCURY CONTRIBUTOR ASHLEY GIFFORD
(Blue Sky Gallery, Pearl District, Wednesday-Sunday)

Rembrandt and The Jews Remind 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)

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)

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