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The Top 56 Events in Portland This Week: Nov 21-27, 2022

David Sedaris, Modest Mouse, and More Top Picks
November 21, 2022
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Modest Mouse is touring in celebration of the 25th anniversary of their sophomore album, The Lonesome Crowded West. (Modest Mouse via Facebook)
There's a lot to be thankful for this week—before (and after) Turkey Day rolls around, get your fill of fun with events from An Evening with David Sedaris to Modest Mouse and from Portland Tofurky Trot to the 38th Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony.


Holiday hours may vary and venues may have health guidelines in place—we advise directly checking event websites before heading out.


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


MONDAY

FILM

Daisies Add to a List
Once banned in the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic, the gleeful, surrealist '66 flick Daisies is chock-full of hedonistic splendor, revolving around two young women who shirk stereotypes in pursuit of debauchery and pleasure. Who says anti-patriarchal antics can't be fun?
(Hollywood Theatre, Hollywood District)

TUESDAY

LIVE MUSIC

AFI Add to a List
If there were ever a band made for Guitar Hero™, it’s mid-’00s post-hardcore/emo powerhouse AFI (which stands for A Fire Inside, for those who don’t make stops at Hot Topic and Spencer’s on mall excursions). Take their 2006 mega-hit “Miss Murder,” a song that begins boldly, diving straight into its unremarkable pop-punk chorus before Davey Havok goes full screamo at the metalcore look-at-my-guitar-chops bridge. (I’m not going to comment on the track’s “alternate” long version that begins with some boring Nightmare Before Christmas melody rip-off.) Now, some will point out that AFI was active in the reputable ’90s East Bay hardcore scene, but the band’s pop-screamo sounds like a semi-content, semi-spiteful marriage between the Offspring and System of a Down. CAMERON CROWELL
(Roseland Theater, Old Town-Chinatown)

READINGS & TALKS

An Evening with David Sedaris Add to a List
David Sedaris, quintessential humorist and beloved icon of NPR fans everywhere, presents his latest book, Happy-Go-Lucky, at this talk. The book compiles Sedaris's notes on his pre- and mid-pandemic life—when once he learned to shoot guns and hung out in Serbian flea markets, he's now shifted to solitary walks and reflections on a battle-scarred country marked by empty storefronts and political graffiti.
(Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, South Park Blocks)

WEDNESDAY

COMEDY

Nigel Ng: The Haiyaa World Tour Add to a List
With 345 million views on YouTube, Nigel Ng's portrayal of discerning rice critic Uncle Roger basically broke the internet. The promising Malaysian comic quit his data science job to tell jokes full-time in 2019 (pretty comedic timing, if you ask us). Since then, Ng's character parodies and cultural comedy have led to sold-out shows in the UK and Europe.
(Newmark Theatre, South Park Blocks)

FALL

2022 Harvest Festival Add to a List
This annual harvest festival will help you embrace autumn with live music, art activities, tastings, and "other surprises."
(Portland Farmers Market at Shemanski Park, South Park Blocks)

FILM

Church of Film: Mannequin in Red Add to a List
Murder, mid-century fashion houses, homoerotic nuance—honestly, what else could you want from a film?! Swedish director Arne Mattsson's splashy '58 flick The Mannequin in Red, which won the praise of Alfred Hitchcock, follows a model's unfortunate demise and set the scene for its giallo successors.
(Clinton Street Theater, Hosford-Abernethy)

LIVE MUSIC

beabadoobee Add to a List
Claw your way through droves of zoomers to see Filipino British singer-songwriter Beabadoobee sing brightly over jangle-pop riffs inspired by early 2000s radio hits and childhood daydreams. She'll support her latest album, Beatopia, alongside experimental indie rock duo Lowertown.
(Roseland Theater, Old Town-Chinatown)

Built To Spill Add to a List
Built to Spill was the band that all my dude friends in junior high said they listened to before they started a band of their own. In that way, maybe Built to Spill is the West Coast's answer to the Velvet Underground. Okay, I'm mostly kidding about that one, but now that I'm thinking about it, 1999's Keep It Like a Secret seems to be the progenitor of so much of modern indie rock's sound, that it's almost like I've seen the band live before. But I haven't. Go and luxuriate in the sounds of flannel, beanies, and earnest angst. STRANGER STAFF WRITER JAS KEIMIG
(Revolution Hall, Buckman)

Sol with SUS and Mal London Add to a List
In the mood to hear some energizing, well-seasoned hip-hop from the PNW region? Seattle emcee Sol will embark on a brief Northwest tour in November, gracing the Doug Fir’s stage on the holiest bar night of the year—the one before Thanksgiving. His most recent project, Supply Pack, is available only in the physical form—it’s not on streaming; you have to have it on CD to listen to it. So this seems like a major opportunity to score a copy. Portland five-piece hip-hop and soul band SUS opens the bill, along, along with Rose City-based rapper/singer Mal London. PORTLAND MERCURY CONTRIBUTOR JENNI MOORE
(Doug Fir Lounge, Buckman)

THURSDAY

SPORTS & RECREATION

Portland Tofurky Trot 2022 Add to a List
This family-friendly 5K benefit for Oregon farm sanctuaries invites attendees to trot at their own speed and get their steps in before gorging on Thanksgiving dinner. 
(Oaks Park Dance Pavilion, Sellwood)

FRIDAY

LIVE MUSIC

A Black Friday Holiday Special: Urban Rhythm & Blues Summit ft. Lady A Add to a List
This Black Friday, get yourself the gift of comforting Creole Cajun soul food (courtesy of Southern Grill Catering) and lively blues, soul, and funk tunes from PNW queen Lady A and R&B heavyweights The Gold Experience, who have individually backed icons like Aretha Franklin, Anita Baker, and Buddy Guy. Proceeds will benefit Elevate Unit, a nonprofit that supports and advocates for the local music industry.
(Alberta Abbey, King)

Joe Bonamassa Add to a List
Grammy-nominated blues-rock guitarist and genre icon Joe Bonamassa, who has been hailed as one of the greatest guitar players of his generation, will stop by in support of his latest release, Time Clocks.
(Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, South Park Blocks)

Modest Mouse: The Lonesome Crowded West Tour Add to a List
Portland-via-Issaquah indie rockers Modest Mouse will go back to their roots with a local show in honor of the 25th anniversary of their sophomore album The Lonesome Crowded West, by playing the album in its entirety. Although the band's lineup has fluctuated through the years, founding members Isaac Brock and Jeremiah Green will be present alongside recent additions Russell Higbee and Simon O'Connor. Local psych-rock outfit Sun Atoms will get the night started.
(Crystal Ballroom, West End)

Night Tales with Modera Add to a List
Australian electronic duo Night Tales, whom Forbes described as bridging "the gap between urban culture and electronic music," will get you dancing with the infectious tracks off of their debut album, Proof, alongside like-minded project Modera.
(Doug Fir Lounge, Buckman)

The Happy Fits Add to a List
On their new album, Under the Shade of Green, indie-rock trio The Happy Fits searches for "hope, love, and acceptance" in post-pandemic life through pop hooks and folk instrumentation. They will support the album alongside Brooklyn-based indie-pop duo Daisy The Great.
(Wonder Ballroom, Eliot)

The Murlocs with Shannon Lay Add to a List
Australian ensemble The Murlocs, who share members with psych-rock entity King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard, will bring their blues-tinged garage rock and soulful R&B to Portland with support from folk singer-songwriter Shannon Lay.
(Star Theater, Old Town-Chinatown)

The Storm Large Holiday Ordeal Add to a List
Renowned singer-songwriter, Pink Martini member, and former America’s Got Talent contestant Storm Large returns with her annual Christmas concert, promising music, gags, gifts, and some special surprise guests. 
(Aladdin Theater, Brooklyn)

Tony Furtado Acoustic Band: 11th Annual Post Thanksgiving Bash Add to a List
Local Americana singer-songwriter Tony Furtado, known for his banjo and slide guitar mastery, will help cure your turkey hangover with what's become a long-running post-Thanksgiving tradition.
(Mississippi Studios, Boise)

WINTER HOLIDAYS

38th Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony Add to a List
Join in on a Portland tradition at the 38th annual tree lighting ceremony, where Santa himself will do the honor and flip the switch, illuminating Pioneer Courthouse Square in the twinkly glow of over 14,000 lights adorning a massive Douglas fir. Thomas Lauderdale of Pink Martini will lead a sing-along—we dare ya not to feel a faint glimmer of holiday spirit.
(Pioneer Courthouse Square, Downtown)

SATURDAY

COMEDY

Brincos Dieras Add to a List
Catch “the most irreverent clown in all of Latin America” at this Spanish language show, where the fantastically flamboyant Brincos Dieras will hit the stage with larger-than-his-clown-shoes showmanship.
(Keller Auditorium, Downtown)

FILM

Nosferatu Add to a List
Halloween might be over, but this one's for the goths—F.W. Murnau's eerie 1922 classic Nosferatu, which Werner Herzog once described as "the greatest German film," will screen in all its batty, unsettling glory in celebration of its centennial. Dean Lemire will perform the bone-tingling flick's original score on the Hollywood's Mighty Wurlitzer organ.
(Hollywood Theatre, Hollywood District)

FOOD & DRINK

Black Saturday Dark Beer Fest Add to a List
Dark days call for dark beers. Seek solace from the cold with over 20 dark, wintry beers on tap, including rare and aged beers and offerings from Fremont, pFriem, Ex Novo, Loowit, LEVEL, and more. Plus, Uptown Brewing will debut a new bottle aging program called Beer Jail, which will let customers purchase rare bottles and cans that have been lingering in the depths of the cellar for years, and MidCity Smashburgers will sling its signature burgers. Your ticket includes a commemorative pint glass, stickers, and five taster tickets.
(Uptown Beer Co., Raleigh West)

LIVE MUSIC

The Lemonheads: It’s a Shame About Ray 30th Anniversary Tour Add to a List
You'll find members of Dinosaur Jr., Fuzzy, Blank Babies, and the Descendents on the ever-evolving Lemonheads' family tree. Lately, Evan Dando (the indie-rock band's founder) is holding down the fort. Join him and whoever else is currently sharing the stage with him (last month it was Courtney Love!) on this tour celebrating the 30th anniversary of their beloved album, It's a Shame About Ray. Garage-punk outfit Bass Drum of Death and Texas-based indie rock band On Being an Angel will open.
(Revolution Hall, Buckman)

Turnover Add to a List
Back in 2019, Mercury writer Ben Coleman wrote:"On Good Nature, Turnover completes its transition into a dreamy indie pop band, with chiming guitars, laid-back vocals, and gauzy vibes. Often when this kind of thing happens, the artist stays tight-lipped on the reasons, but Turnover is open and honest about the stylistic shift, which it attributes to a wider palette of influences over the past few years: vintage soul and blues, Frank Ocean, electronic, the Beach Boys, bossa nova music, and jazz." They will return to Portland supporting their new album, Myself in the Way, alongside New Zealand alt-pop band Yumi Zouma, slowcore trio Horse Jumper of Love, and future lounge project Reptaliens.
(Wonder Ballroom, Eliot)

Warner Bros. Presents Bugs Bunny At The Symphony 30th Anniversary Edition Add to a List
What's up, doc? George Daugherty will conduct the Oregon Symphony for a recreation of the classical music-infused score from Looney Tunes, accompanied by classic episodes and newly-created shorts projected on a giant screen.
(Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, South Park Blocks)

SUNDAY

FILM

Les Blank Celebration Add to a List
Returning for the ninth time, this year's Les Blank Celebration will herald the late documentarian's 86th birthday with a funky "musical explosion" that promises to shake off the Thanksgiving leftovers. Hosted by film curator Greg Hamilton, the shindig will include a screening of Blank's '74 doc A Poem is A Naked Person, a feature-length flick that captures the kaleidoscopic grooviness of multi-instrumentalist Leon Russell's Oklahoma recording studio. 
(Hollywood Theatre, Hollywood District)

LIVE MUSIC

A Canadian Brass Christmas Add to a List
The longtime brass quintet will get you in the holiday spirit with a set of classic Christmas tunes in their trademark Baroque and Dixieland style.
(Newmark Theatre, South Park Blocks)

The Garden Add to a List
Experimental rock duo The Garden, led by twin brothers Wyatt and Fletcher Shears, will support their fifth album Horseshit on Route 66, which The Needle Drop called their "punchiest record so far," with its blend of punk, indie rock, and humor. Don't miss an opening set from the New York-based electronic project Machine Girl.
(Crystal Ballroom, West End)

MULTI-DAY

COMEDY

2022 Ha Ha Harvest Comedy Festival Add to a List
Back for its fourth year, the Ha Ha Harvest Comedy Festival promises a three-day cornucopia of comedy, complete with stand-up sets, satirical games, live podcast recordings, movie roasts, and more. Attendees can purchase individual tickets for each show or score a $25 festival wristband.
(Various locations, Friday-Sunday)

EXHIBIT

Marvel: Universe of Super Heroes Add to a List
With life-sized superheroes, costumes and props, and hundreds of other Marvel artifacts (including original comic book pages), this exhibit is a run-don't-walk for Marvel enthusiasts big and small. The publishing company's 80-year history is about more than just the big-budget flicks we've been inundated with lately—Marvel: Universe of Super Heroes offers the complete story.
(OMSI, Central Eastside, Tuesday-Sunday)

Oregon Chinese Diaspora Project Add to a List
Created to serve underprivileged communities in southern and eastern Oregon, the award-winning grassroots initiative Oregon Chinese Diaspora Project (OCDP) is celebrated in this pop-up exhibition. Blending public education, archaeological research, and local partnerships, OCDP does invaluable work to help preserve rural Chinese American history—learn more about it at the exhibit, which includes videos, project artifacts, and more.
(Portland Chinatown Museum, Old Town-Chinatown, Friday-Sunday; closing)

Symbiosis Add to a List
Inspired by ecofeminist scholar Donna Haraway’s Staying with the Trouble, Symbiosis is quite possibly the most immersive—and coolest—art experience to hit Portland in a long time. The "performative, multiuser, and multisensory installation" outfits visitors in specially designed, soft robotic suits, transforming both physical and sensory perceptions with VR sensors. The experience engages all five senses, and even includes vegetarian snacks designed by master chefs. Created by Dutch collective Polymorf and deemed "one of the first fully sensory Extended Reality (XR) storytelling experiences," Symbiosis imagines a futuristic biosphere of human-animal hybrids.
(PAM CUT, Downtown, Wednesday-Sunday)

FILM

The Banshees of Inisherin Add to a List
Martin McDonagh (who also directed In Bruges and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri) continues to develop his thoughtful, darkly comedic style in this tale of two lifelong friends on an isolated island off the coast of Ireland (played by Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson) who experience a startling rift in their relationship.
(Hollywood Theatre, Hollywood District, Monday-Sunday)

Bardo, False Chronicle of A Handful of Truths Add to a List
When a Mexican documentarian returns to his native country, he begins to have an existential crisis triggered by strange visions. Bardo, False Chronicle of A Handful of Truths is the latest film from Alejandro Iñárritu, the lauded director and lover of interwoven narratives whose past heavy hitters include The Revenant and Birdman.
(Hollywood Theatre, Hollywood District, Monday-Sunday)

Guillermo del Toro's Pinocchio in 35mm Add to a List
If anything can be said of Guillermo del Toro, it's that he knows his way around a weird puppet, so his interpretation of Pinocchio just makes sense. Predictably, del Toro's alchemical twist on the classic tale is a dark cabinet of curiosities—see for yourself at this magical 35mm screening.
(Hollywood Theatre, Hollywood District, Wednesday-Sunday)

The Menu Add to a List
Anya Taylor-Joy and Ralph Fiennes bump heads in this horror satire of gastronomic proportions. The Menu roasts the hoity-toity culture of haute cuisine while folding in some unexpected ingredients.
(Cinema 21, Nob Hill, Monday-Thursday)

Tár Add to a List
Some have described the journey Tár takes us on as one about cancel culture: a phrase that can mean whatever one wants it to mean at this point, though this easy categorization feels far too neat and Internet-brained. A more apt comparison would be to 2014’s Whiplash, a film that explores ambition and power—though Tár contains more humor and a willingness to poke fun at its central subject. Without tipping off exactly what happens, those who stick out the two and a half hour film are treated to a final, fraught, and unexpected punchline. It cements. Field's tragicomedy uncovers the full picture of a unique figure in all her grim glory. PORTLAND MERCURY WRITER CHASE HUTCHINSON
(Cinema 21, Nob Hill, Monday-Thursday)

FOOD & DRINK

Wine Country Thanksgiving Add to a List
Wineries scattered across Willamette Valley will offer special tastings, food pairings, live music, holiday discounts, and other wine country experiences.
(Various locations, Willamette Valley, Friday-Sunday)

PERFORMANCE

A Christmas Carol Add to a List
This Dickensian feast of holiday theatrics offers a contemporary interpretation of Ebenezer Scrooge's ghostly journey, adapted with original lyrics by award-winning playwright and director Rick Lombardo.
(Portland Playhouse, King, Friday-Sunday; opening)

Die Hard - The Musical Add to a List
Yippee-ki-yay! If your Christmas wishes involve foiling the plans of a few pesky terrorists, this Die Hard musical parody should be just your speed. The show invites audiences to revisit John McClane's festive world, this time with 13 original songs, for an action-packed twist on Christmas spirit.
(Funhouse Lounge, Hosford-Abernethy, Friday-Saturday)

The Enchanted Toyshop Add to a List
When two children find themselves left alone in a toyshop, a fairy brings dolls, playing cards, and stuffed poodles to life. If The Enchanted Toyshop sounds magical, that's because it is—this interpretation of the holiday hit will be performed by The Portland Ballet.
(PSU Lincoln Performance Hall, South Park Blocks, Saturday-Sunday)

Good Country Add to a List
If you're anything like us, you don't typically associate opera with the Wild West—but Good Country, created by composer Keith Allegretti and librettist Cecelia Raker, might change your mind. Performed by students in PSU's lauded opera program, the performance spins the yarn of Charley Parkhurst, a California gold rush-era stagecoach driver who was assigned female at birth, but lived life as a man. Good Country is one of the first contemporary operas to craft a lead role for a trans singer.
(Lincoln Hall, South Park Blocks, Saturday-Sunday)

Home for the Holidays Add to a List
In this cheery musical revue, a bus full of passengers headed home for the holidays find themselves stranded in Iowa, where they wrangle up some Yuletide spirit with stories and songs to ward off the snow storm.
(Broadway Rose New Stage Theatre, Tigard, Tuesday-Sunday; opening)

It's a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play Add to a List
In this production, classic Christmas tale It's a Wonderful Life heads to the stage as a reimagined '40s-era radio broadcast, complete with period costumes and immersive music.
(Portland Center Stage, Pearl District, Wednesday-Sunday)

Kristina Wong, Sweatshop Overlord Add to a List
Inspired by her early pandemic days of sewing masks from bedsheets and bra straps, Chinese American feminist comedian and performance artist Kristina Wong shares the story of "The Auntie Sewing Squad" in Kristina Wong, Sweatshop Overlord. Offering an autobiographical look at the early days of COVID with a side of razor-sharp humor and insights into community building, Time Out deemed the play "endearingly boisterous."
(Portland Center Stage, Pearl District, Wednesday-Sunday)

TrueAnon Presents: The Year of the Smile :) Add to a List
Brace Belden and Liz Franczak's leftist analysis podcast, which they describe as a "blind grope through the sphincter of today into the wet dirt of tomorrow," has attained a major cult following across the internet. Though sometimes associated with the "dirtbag left," they're a duo worth lending your ear—Belden, also known as "PissPigGranddad," actually abandoned his life in San Francisco to volunteer with the People's Protection Units, a Kurdish militia, in the Syrian Civil War.
(Mississippi Studios, Boise, Monday-Tuesday)

SHOPPING

Ceramics Northwest Gallery Add to a List
Featuring work by over 40 Oregon Potters Association members, the Ceramics Northwest gallery will set up shop downtown for the holidays, offering unique handmade gifts for all the clay appreciators on your list.
(300 SW Yamhill St, Portland Downtown, Monday-Sunday)

Geek the Halls 2022 Add to a List
The long-running craft fair presented by PDX Guild of Geeks is back with 80+ local artists hawking gifts for each and every nerd in your life. Find wares from Flame and Fable Candle Co, GeekKraft, DokiBunny, and more on Small Business Saturday (and Sunday)!
(Doubletree Hotel, Lloyd District, Saturday-Sunday)

SPORTS & RECREATION

Phil Knight Invitational Add to a List
This celebration of college basketball hosted by ESPN Events will span three days, bringing together eight of the country's top men's basketball programs and four of the the country's top women's basketball programs (the University of Oregon's men's and women's team will both participate) in a bracketed event of exciting young talent.
(Moda Center, Lloyd District, Thursday-Friday & Sunday)

VISUAL ART

Emily Counts: Field Studies Add to a List
Emily Counts's ceramic style is always a little mystical, reflecting on nature and the fragility of life through curious sculptural busts and wall pieces that are sometimes lit from within. In Field Studies, Counts casts her gaze toward growth, decomposition, and transformation, exploring aging through flowers, matriarchs, insects, fruit, and other sensory oddities.
(Nationale, Buckman, Monday & Friday-Sunday; closing)

Emma Gerigscott: For The Love of Duck Add to a List
Emma Gerigscott, whose previous paintings often focused on four-legged friends, takes a dip into a duck pond for this solo exhibition. For The Love of Duck also includes playful textile works made from hand-dyed linen and fabric paint.
(Froelick Gallery, Pearl District, Tuesday-Saturday; closing)

Laurie Danial: I'm This, I'm That Add to a List
Laurie Danial describes her bright abstractions as "unscripted and process-driven," inspired by a stream-of-consciousness practice she's employed since childhood. I'm This, I'm That reflects on her "hopscotch" approach, embodying a multitude of styles, palettes, and inspirations (including this Moondog song). 
(Froelick Gallery, Pearl District, Tuesday-Saturday; closing)

Like Liquid, Cut Loose Add to a List
In Like Liquid, Cut Loose, a new exhibition at Well Well Projects featuring works by Morgan Rosskopf and a sound installation by Ashlin Aronin, the art is submerged in a simulated grotto of undulating ultraviolet light and swirling, trippy sounds. For anybody prone to sensory overload, spending a long period of time in the space could be exhausting, but if you're up for it, the reward is a labyrinth of hidden treasures, appropriated images, and glowing interstices that feels like a theme park for inhabitants of a warming ocean. MARTHA DAGHLIAN
(Well Well, Kenton, Saturday-Sunday; closing)

Smolder: Carolyn Hopkins and M Acuff Add to a List
Carolyn Hopkins and M Acuff's Smolder looks closely at the simmering anxieties of the current zeitgeist through video and sculpture. Hopkins zeroes in on the climate crisis in Slow Burn, a video piece that also examines the patriarchy of the American West; Acuff's A Thing Burnt in its Entirety contains nods to sacrifice, alchemy, and the concept of nigredo, a Latin term referencing material that was burned in order to initiate transformation.
(Carnation Contemporary, Kenton, Saturday-Sunday; closing)

WINTER HOLIDAYS

The Holiday Express 2022 Add to a List
Hop aboard a vintage rail car on the historic Polson #2 1912 steam locomotive for a cheery dream ride along the Willamette River with Santa Claus and his elves.
(Oregon Rail Heritage Center, Hosford-Abernethy, Friday-Sunday)

ZooLights Add to a List
What do wild animals, elephant ears, hot cocoa, and over half a million lights have in common? You can find 'em all at ZooLights, a Portland holiday requisite that includes a drive-through option on select dates again this year.
(Oregon Zoo, Washington Park, Wednesday-Sunday)

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