Pride Up & Coming 



(Mainstage) Basic Fix's vocalist, Kelly Moe, sounds like Alison Goldfrapp, and would have you convinced he's a gorgeous woman if he didn't occasionally sport a beard. While Moe's gender identity, and that of the band's female/male bass-player, are a constant visual theme in Basic's stage shows, the tunes and lyrics—songs like "Bare Minimum" and "Heading West"—strive to go beyond these preoccupations, in a tripped-out way. MATT DAVIS


(Coffeehouse Stage) The gender benders of Caught in Candy move seamlessly from sweaty nightclub dancefloors, where they belt out rudimentary electroclash anthems, to the world of performance art, where their affinities for alter egos and theatricalities can shine. Comprised of Michael Pollizatto, who takes the stage in drag, and the slight Daniel Bidwell, who's fey enough in his penciled moustache to look like a drag king, Caught in Candy traffics in enough schmaltzy campiness to satisfy even the bitchiest queens. CHAS BOWIE


(Mainstage) Drag queens unite! Portland's divas—from Darcelle to La Perla, and Pebbles Campbell Stars to Kelly Johanna—unite for one totally fabulous show. Expect plenty of peroxide and flashy clothes... but hopefully not any Celine Dion like at that other Divas show. TEL


(Mainstage) Electro tribal rock, anyone? If you were preparing your iPod for a trip to the rainforest in the company of Kate Bush, the Pet Shop Boys, and Marc Almond, you might want to include a few tracks on there by Drumattica. Dark synth lines topped with the interplay of male/female vocals and a dose of lyrical sassitude should be enough to keep even the most complainey of '80s pop icons from whining too much about the mosquitoes. MD


(Mainstage) Part Burning Man fire-twirler, part Fischerspooner devotee, Dahlia has become a fixture on the Portland scene in recent years with a weekly gig at Ohm as well as recurrent shows at venues like the Doug Fir. Vocalist Jen Folker prowls the stage sort of like an electroclash version of Storm Large, with equally deep lyrics (You know you want it/Come on and get it/You know you want it/Come on and get it/You know you want it/Come on and get it...). But people don't flock to Dahlia concerts so that they can deconstruct lyrics—they come to party, and for that, they're rarely disappointed. CB


(Mainstage) Fronted by creative powerhouse Jayme Hanson, who sings, choreographs, and designs costumes for the raunchy good times that is Fleshtone, the provocative troupe is a must-see for any self-respecting proponent of the "Keep Portland Weird" credo, which makes them particularly suited as performers at a festival titled "Keep Portland Queer" (whimper). Birthed out of a desire to bring all types together from across gender and sexuality distinctions, the mixed bag of talents creates a sort of pan-sexual circus of synchronized booty dancing, dirty talk, outsider theater, and dance party. Be there or be square. MARJORIE SKINNER


(Mainstage) God-des & She is a Brooklyn-based rapper and vocalist duo with an R&B vibe, whose music's been featured on The L Word. Their sultry-and-saucy mix makes for a sexy, dynamic act that will really light up the crowd. Bonus: God-des & She's push-the-boundaries lyrics are nearly guaranteed to drive away the prudes (and anyone chaparoning kids). Take "Lick It," a song about "Pussy Eating 101." Let's just say it's very educational. After the two close out Saturday night at the waterfront, they're headed to the Wonder Ballroom to turn the ladies-only Girl4Girl party into what's sure to be a gigantic dancing orgy. AMY J. RUIZ


(Coffeehouse Stage) If you like dance parties in the United States, you will love dance parties in Latin America. But if a plane ticket isn't in your immediate future, you can whet your appetite with the Cuban Son of Lo Nuestro, which is fronted by native Chilean Freddy Vilches. The quartet blends traditional son with Chilean and Peruvian instrumentation, but it all serves the same end of getting you moving. MS


(Coffeehouse Stage) Listen, I'm all for a wide variety of musical acts taking place as part of this year's Pride events. But one has to draw the line somewhere—even at a discrimination-free event, one would hope the organizers would show some judgment when choosing musical acts. Which brings us to My Muse, a band that claims to offer "a smooth bluesy rock performance" and draws from "Joan Osborne, the Beatles, Patsy Cline, and Heart." The band—though it's been around since 2005—doesn't have a website or a MySpace, so for all we know they could be amazing, pulling together all the best parts of... well, I guess Heart's okay. My Muse could cover "Barracuda" and "Crazy on You." Then they could leave. That'd be okay. But let's be honest—they're not going to do that, and it's far more likely that this will be horribly, horribly excruciating. (Beatles! Joan Osborne!) Viva Pride Northwest's "Coffeehouse Stage!" ERIK HENRIKSEN


(Mainstage) Ah, taiko! The very soundtrack to gayness! Okay, honestly, we're not entirely sure what Portland Taiko is doing here, since nothing about them seems explicitly gay, per se—but hey, here they are nevertheless, pounding Japanese drums in unison! Gayness has never been so pan-Asian and percussive! EH


(Mainstage) Highly regarded as the West Coast's premier party band, you can expect some intense shakin' at Waterfront Park when the Retros hit the stage. Specializing solely in the rump-bumpin' sounds of the '80s, the Retros will have you doing that hilarious Molly Ringwald dance to spot-on covers originally performed by Depeche Mode, Madonna, Duran Duran, Adam Ant, the Go-Gos, the Smiths, Flock of Seagulls... and WOW! I'm totally out of breath. Let's save a little energy for dancing! WM. STEVEN HUMPHREY


(Coffeehouse Stage) This will sound cliché, but the words "smooth" and "sultry" are just about the most accurate way to describe the voice of Shelly Rudolph, which she uses to guide her band through jazz, R&B, blues, and pop. On paper, it sounds like something the young, hip things will want to avoid, but that'd be a shame, because Rudolph's set will undoubtedly get some, uhhh, juices flowing. Scott Moore


(Mainstage) Real life couple Kevin Hardy and Matthew Hermstad are behind the off-kilter pop duo that is SlowMo Erotic. While at times the flirtatious interplay of their simple piano and drums setup brings to mind the jittery drama of Dresden Dolls, SlowMo is at their best when they keep it cute and quirky. Very quirky. Lyrics like "Love is like my laptop/The battery always dies ever so quickly" are sweet enough to rot the teeth of even the most cynical listener. Plus, you have to admire any band who makes the honest lyrical plea of "Won't you please stop fucking with my head?/Won't you please just fuck me instead?" EZRA ACE CARAEFF


(Coffeehouse Stage) You know the sexy Splendora from the famed PDX gender-bending troupe Sissyboy. Now, imagine provocateur Splendora backed by a band of equally subversive queers, and you've got a performance that only a mother could hate. I can't wait to see how their song "Piss in a Bottle" ("Warm, yellow, salty, piss/In a bottle/Drink it Tina!") goes over on the decidedly more mellow Coffeehouse stage. Amy J. Ruiz


(Mainstage) If you haven't experienced the sheer power and unbridled sexuality that is Storm Large—what the hell are you waiting for?! Storm performs punked-out, powerhouse versions of classic rock tunes as well as her own original compositions, and with the help of her backing band (the Balls) really knows how to whip a crowd into an auditory frenzy. Don't miss this chance to prostrate yourself before her holy magnificence. WM. STEVEN HUMPHREY


(Mainstage) The Stolen Sweets will be the perfect way to wind down after catching Sunday's parade—featuring three-part vocal harmonies, Jen Bernard, Lara Michell, and Erin Sutherland (backed by another trio of string syncopators) croon '20s- and '30s-era swing jazz ditties. It's the kind of music that'll have you nostalgic for an era you didn't live through—an era that boasted musical legends the Boswell Sisters, a 1930s girl group the Stolen Sweets are out to play homage to. AJR


This "free-form" group mixes a whole world full of music into one act, from Mexican to Afro Cuban, and from Argentinean to Latin jazz. I'm quite curious how they're going to pull this all off—but I trust that the seasoned talent of Mehdi Farjami and Ricardo Ojeda, the two behind Toque Libre, can pull it off. AJR


(Mainstage) Klezmer bands are not as extraordinary as they were during the Clinton years. Lucky for those of us attending the Pride Festival's mainstage, Vagabond Opera—which is more than your run-of-the-mill Bush/Cheney klezmer ensemble—is playing. European cabaret meets Old World Yiddish theater (complete with a mustachioed frontman), Vagabond Opera embodies the literal definition (as opposed to the SE Portland meaning) of "Bohemian." WILL GARDNER

Community Acts


(Mainstage) HIV testing and STI screening onsite and maybe—just maybe—a little bit of bingo that the MWC is famous for on Fridays? WG


(Mainstage) Billed as "An International Adventure in Underwear," this fashion show promises oily pecs and proud packages. Hosted by the fabulous Sasha Scarlett. WG


(Mainstage) Nine voluptuous women swagger and slink. It's a spectacular mess of hips, cleavage, and silk! WG


(Mainstage) Who doesn't get all misty-eyed when PFLAG marches down the parade route, handing out stickers to every 'mo they can get their hands on? They love you even more than your own mom and dad. And for that, we adore PFLAG. AJR


(Mainstage) You voted, they listened! This year, the PGMC promises more harmony and less melody! WG


(Coffeehouse Stage) The Portland Lesbian Choir is a 20-years-running "non-auditioned community choir that meets weekly to sing, socialize and perform lesbian and gay positive music." Aww. AJR


(Mainstage) You gotta go to this. Where else are you going to hear someone scream, "No, it's Shih Tzu with a 'z'"? Even better, there are prizes for "gayest dog and pal" and "gayest pet and pal" (for those non-canine contestants). WG


(Mainstage) Portland's favorite bad girls on roller skates glide onto the mainstage Sunday afternoon, hopefully to showcase their rock 'em sock 'em brawling talent. AJR


(Mainstage) Meet the Rose City Sirens: This all-queer burlesque group has been together less than a year, but you'd never know it—the five hotties have clearly worked their butts off to pull together a polished act (an act that really gets the ladies going at the Egyptian Room). AJR


(Mavinstage) The Sexual Minority Youth Resource Center, on SE Belmont, is one of Portland's treasures, serving as a safe space for the Portland's queer youth. Every Friday, some of SMYRC's youth gather for a theater group, where they write, act, and direct their own plays. They'll show you what they've got on Saturday! AJR


(Coffeehouse Stage) Sadly, there are still some idiots in Portland who like to pick on gay people. As such, this class, led by representatives from the bureau's women's self-defense team, is all about how to avoid being the victim of a bias crime, and what to do if you're targeted. MD



(Mainstage) You know him from his weekly sex advice column, Savage Love. Or maybe you've read his books—like The Commitment: Love, Sex, Marriage, and My Family—heard his work on This American Life, checked out his editorials in the New York Times, or caught his work at The Stranger (our sister paper in Seattle), where he's the editor. No? What's wrong with you? AJR


(Mainstage) Darcelle does a number of things well—dress up like a lady, for one—but what she does best is take rickety one-liners and turn them into comedy gold. Since she's emceeing the main stage along with Miss Gay Pride Sasha Scarlett, expect some glamorous, between-act hilarity. SM


(Mainstage) What do you get when you team the man whose voice graces every MAX train with the Spanish translation of "doors to my right"—that's Enrique Andrade—with the local Madrid-born musician/dancer whose Copacabana shows make him Portland's Tito Puente? I don't know, but please don't make me say the words "muy picante" or "cojones." WG


(Mainstage) Miss Portland Gay Pride 2005 Jersey Scities—and current host of Boyz Nite every Tuesday at Embers—teams up with Darryl! Moch, director of Brother to Brother, Inc., an advocacy group for African American queer men. The two kick off the weekend on the mainstage. WG


(Coffeehouse Stage) A former Miss Gay Oregon, Juli Rose also lists involvement with the National Leather Association and the Portland Leather Alliance on her queer resume, right alongside custom jewelry making and hostessing at Embers on Thursday nights. AJR


(Mainstage) Radio darlings Mitch and Daria of 105.1 the Buzz—both reformed morning drive-time DJs, who are now doing time in the afternoons—pick up the mainstage mic on Sunday. AJR


(Coffeehouse Stage) Terrika St. James has rocked that little red dress all across the West Coast since the late '80s. Although she got her start in that dodgy place known as SoCal, she saw the light in 1996 and moved to a city that rewarded her talents with a cool title containing roman numerals. The current Miss Gay Oregon (number XXXV!) graces the Red Cap Garage on Wednesday nights as a host for the D-Word. TEL


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