The joy with which drag kings and queens embrace changing their clothes is completely amazing. To me, the big morning switch from jammies to jeans and T-shirt requires at least three loud sighs of annoyance, and an extra loud sigh if I find anything with a stain on it. But to those drag kings and queens, changing clothes is one of life's greatest treats. They just can't get enough of putting on new skirts and dresses, jackets and slacks, shoes and socks, fake eyelashes, fake mustaches, and glitter. Example: tonight's Homos Go Yo Yo drag show, put on by four local gender benders. Troupe member Eva Ning brags, "between the four of us, we do ten numbersÉthere's an insane amount of costume changes." Besides the joy of witnessing 40 outfit modifications and skillful lip-synching, the gender fuckers will be having a contest. What kind of contest, you ask? Well, I have no idea, because it's a secret contest. Get to the club at 9 pm for his-and-her drinking and dancing; stay until 11 to see the drag show. KATE SHIMER
Nocturnal, 1800 E Burnside, 239-5900, 9 pm, Thursday September 11, show at 11 pm, $4
Street Fair Showdown
Pops don't trip, this time it's for realz, yo. Arch rivals the Eastside and the Westside are set for one more climactic brawl to finally determine once and for all which neighborhood is really the shiznit in this town. The weapons of choice: street fairs! Let's see how the two sides measure up.
The Eastside represents with the Sixth Annual Alberta Street Fair, a gnarly little shit-ripper loaded with live music from Gypsy Caravan, Shoehorn Trio, Cantaloupe Trio, and more. It's also got a free horse-drawn trolley, a parade loaded "with all manner of mobile spectacles" and a buttload of arts & crafts and food vendors hawking their wares.
Can the Westside roll with those Alberta Street punches? We'll see, at the Third Annual Oak Street Block Party! Shops'll be bustin' like Reading Frenzy's sidewalk sale and reading by rad indie publisher David Greenberger; Jackpot Records' two-hour DJ set from rock critic Richard Meltzer (noon-2 pm); AND IPRC's open house. Damn! Plus, store specials from Thai Peacock (mmm MM!), Retread Threads, and Billy Galaxy! Shit, dawg, this Saturday's gonna be vicious! JUSTIN WESCOAT SANDERS
The Oak St. Block Party is between SW Oak and Burnside, Ninth and 10th, 274-1449 for more info, Saturday September 13, 11 am-7 pm; The Alberta Street Fair runs between NE MLK and 31st Ave, www.albertastreetfair.com for info, Saturday September 13, 11 am-6 pm
It may not as punishing as "tough love," but the affection Sisters of the Road doles out to the city's homeless population is certainly some firm encouragement. "We won't do for other people what they should do for themselves," explains co-director Monica Beemer. For the past 24 years Sisters of the Road has been helping the homeless help themselves. Best known for their café and its bustling lunchtime crowd (133 NW Sixth Ave), Sisters serves hundreds of hot meals each week (in addition to other get-back-on-your-feet programs). But there are no free lunches here. Patrons must either pay a nominal $1.25 or work off their debt.
This weekend, the Sisters are hosting a talent-packed bluegrass festival to raise funds for their programs. The event starts Friday with the tireless square dance troupe, Foghorn String Band, and continues until a Sunday morning raise-your-soul gospel session. Saturday is the marquee event with Mike Seeger, Pete's brother and an equally talented musician. PHIL BUSSE
Hoe-down and Silent Auction featuring Foghorn String Band and Uncle Earl, 1829 NE Alberta, call for tickets, 222-5694, x. 19, Friday, Sept 12, 6 pm-midnight, $45; Mike Seeger and Sam Hill, Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W. Burnside, Saturday, Sept 13, 7:30 pm-midnight, $15; Gospel Music, Ecotrust Building, 721 NW 9th, Sunday, Sept 14, 11:30 am-4 pm, free
Need a cure for tapered pants and elastic waistbands? You're in luck! This week fall fashion arrives not a minute too soon in Portland. On Friday, Piper Ewan launches a new, unique line of clothing at Holocene; fine for the fall, and certain to last more than one season.
On Saturday, 18 local designers who express fashion through rock 'n' roll bravado--or vice versa--show off their wares at the Modern Zoo. (The show benefits Rock n' Roll Camp for Girls; girlsrockcamp.org). Karaoke From Hell provides the musical backdrop during the runway show and afterwards Electric Eye and Dead Moon play into the night.
Meanwhile, PDX Fashion Incubator brings fashion to the streets with a weeklong "Chix in the City" event. Monday through Thursday are free preview shows at Pioneer Square where you--yes, you the people--decide what's chic and vote for the winners. Awards and bragging rights will be handed out on Friday (September 19), with a full runway show and trunk show at a gala evening finale. LEA SANDERS-WILCOX
Piper Ewan's new line, Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison, Friday, 8pm; Rock 'n' Roll Fashion Show, Modern Zoo 6635 N. Baltimore, Saturday, 7pm, $12 general admission $20 VIP (next to the runway); Chix in the City, Pioneer Courthouse Square, 11am-2pm, previews Monday-Thursday, free; finale show, September 19, Portland Art Museum, 1219 SW Park, Friday, 7pm, advance, $18 floor or $12 balcony, Door: $20 floor or $14 balcony. For more info, pdxfashionincubator.org