Download your official 2008 Pride Guide event schedule Here


(Main Stage) Thanks to a certain god-given endowment, "3 Leg Torso" was my nickname in high school, but it looks like some band ripped it off for their name. (They ripped off my nickname, that is, not, you know... it.) According to their website, 3 Leg Torso performs an "eclectic synthesis of chamber music, tango, klezmer, Latin, and world music," and while I know what you're thinking ("Oh, fuck—'eclectic'? Oh, no! 'World music'? SHIT."), 3 Leg Torso isn't half bad—think of a jazzy sort of Gogol Bordello, minus Eugene Hütz and plus a few bottles of NyQuil, and you're pretty much there. ERIK HENRIKSEN


(Main Stage) If you're looking for a special invitation to open the Big Package—and grind yourself all over it—here it is. So pull that ribbon and tear it open! Jump, jive, and wail to the swing blues of this party band, who hustle and groove original material and cover songs. You'll hear Chicago blues, Latin salsa, vintage swing, and brassy jazz in a retro-minded set that's part sass, part swank, part faux, part fur, and all fabulous. NED LANNAMANN


(Café Stage) According to the internet, the Candy Strippers don't exist. (No MySpace page, guys? Come on!) So your guess is as good as ours. Naughty nurses handing out Red Vines and Kit Kat bars? A girl can dream! AH


(Main Stage Emcee) Congrats to the Pride Committee for making Portland's own Courtenay Hameister a main stage emcee. Why? Because she's packing the gay juice, baby! As the delightful host/associate producer/head writer of Live Wire!, she not only interviews world-famous guests with wit and aplomb (attributes which gay folk know are a must), but she's also an accomplished singer/performer, AND funnier than a dog running down the street with a ham in its mouth (which gay people think is the funniest thing in the world). WM. STEVEN HUMPHREY


(Main Stage) "A blissful union of three of the Pacific Northwest's finest singer/songwriters, Lara Michell, Stephanie Schneiderman, and McKinley," Dirty Martini is exactly the sort of band my mom would flip her shit over. A bit of background: My mom likes Billy Joel and Bonnie Raitt and I think I saw her with a Melissa Etheridge CD at one point, and god, I know that doesn't bode well—WHAT KIND OF UNHOLY TRINITY IS THAT—but when I say my mom would dig Dirty Martini, it's not really a slam. If you gave Aimee Mann a backbone, this is what she might sound like; the best tracks off of their latest album, 2006's Tea and Revenge (which was produced by Dave Allen), feel like punchy folk, with smart guitars and harmonized vocals that're at once pretty and intense. They also sell their CDs online, and... oh, shit. When's Mother's Day again? EH


(Café Stage) "Has Country Gone to Hell?" asks Emily Herring, attacking the bible-thumping conservatism that's afflicted not only the current state of country music but of the country in general. Herring twangs, plucks, and warbles like country singers of yore, gun-slingin' her guitar with a clear-headed progressive attitude and the "don't-mess-with-me" swagger of a true outlaw. Her brand of homegrown country pickin' defines America not just for the Red Staters, but for every single one of us. NL


(Main Stage) The delicate, gossamer folk of Eskimo and Sons offers more than initially meets the ear. Danielle Sullivan's vocals are even more crystalline than the Innocence Mission's Karen Peris, and the band's arrangements are inventively varied, allowing each song to gain muscle and potency as it progresses. Exploring emotional, physical, and musical landscapes with subtlety and confidence, Eskimo and Sons are one of Portland's best up-and-coming bands, and their gorgeous music possesses a true sense of hope and adventure—perfect for a celebration that embodies both of those qualities. NL


(Main Stage) This cover band's success depends on (a) how hot the Stevie Nicks impersonator is and (b) how hot the Stevie Nicks impersonator is. Also, I guess, (c) whether they'll be playing "Stand Back," "Dreams," "Go Your Own Way," "Say You Love Me," "Never Going Back Again," "Rhiannon," "Stop Draggin' My Heart Around," "Gold Dust Woman," and "Landslide." Since this band is more about musical tribute than it is about appearances, there's no actual Stevie Nicks impersonator, hence (a) and (b) are basically fucked. Let's just hope they can pull off (c) without acting like sourpusses. Seriously: No Stevie Nicks impersonator?! Sheesh. MATT DAVIS


(Café Stage) Dan Gaynor is a young'un—he's in his late 20s—but that hasn't stopped him from becoming one of the area's most notable jazz pianists. And Ken Ollis has an equally solid rep as a jazz drummer. Both play in the rhythm section of the Portland Jazz Orchestra, and both will be jazzing up (get it?) the Café Stage on Sunday morning, as folks flood in from the parade. Trust me, a little bit of jazz will be soothing after you went clubbing last night, and took that 'mo from out of town home with you (bonus: if that sleepover pal is still on your arm, and you'd rather they weren't, I bet feigning a profound love of jazz will take care of the problem). AMY J. RUIZ


(Main Stage) One of the best things about Pride is all that freaky barrier breaking. Queerness does not recognize fences, whether they are those of gender, sex, race, or genre. That's right—genre. Regard the proud, bombastic Kritik. Hailing from Boise, Idaho, she is a hard-drinkin', rhyme-flowin', lesbian emcee. You might think that would be enough to set Kritik apart, but add on the fact that she is a white emcee and you have a barrier-breaking performer to top all barrier-breaking performers. Her beats are phat, her rhymes are unapologetic, and she's an inspiration for you to break your own damn barriers. PATRICK ALAN COLEMAN


(Main Stage) See Official Pride Guide


(Café Stage) Malcolm Rollick is a wearer of silly hats and a player of folk ballads that are nice and un-boring. And she's cute in a way that only folk singers can be cute. DREW GEMMER


(Main Stage) The divine Miss Marcy Kraft may be a native of Portland, but she's taken her drag impersonation of the also divine Miss M (Bette Midler) around the world—and even had a seven-year residency in the famed "An Evening at La Cage" in Las Vegas' Riviera Casino. Now she's back in PDX, and knockin' 'em dead at Darcelle XV's on Friday and Saturday nights, but here's your chance to see the drag queen voted "Best Bette Midler Impersonator in Vegas" for free! For those who like their entertainment hot as a firecracker, Marcy will be the wind beneath your wings. WSH


(Café Stage) Nikki Jauron, AKA Majesty, has been attacking the stages of Portland's queer scene for some time now. Occasionally tearing up the boards, Tom Jones style, as Cayman Dahottness, and sometimes shredding though heartfelt and honest emo-tinted folk-rock, Jauron has everything you'd like to have in a queer performer. Her songs encompass politics, love, and identity with lyrical longing and tons of energy. There's no telling what her performance might entail, but it is sure to be a hell of a lot of fun for everyone. PAC


(Café Stage) Not to be confused with the Queens rap outfit that produced Bacdafucup, Onyx is in fact a 19-year-old drag performer from Beaverton, specializing in lip-synching and dancing around the place to Lil' Kim, Britney Spears, Shakira, and the like. Our Onyx also boasts flamboyant outfits and a "bob your heads to this, faggots" attitude that would probably make most hiphop artists proud (except, of course, they haven't "reclaimed" the f-word). Bacdafaggotup! Sorry...that doesn't really work. But I hope you can see where Onyx might well be going with it. MD


(Main Stage) Like Portland residents need another excuse to dress up their pets: Pets on Parade happens the day before the regular parade, and it was huge last year. So bring Fifi on down to the waterfront, where everybody can use that "What kind of dog is he?" line as an excuse to hit on you. DG


(Main Stage Emcee) One of the better known (or notorious if you're nasty) drag performers, Poison Waters is Kevin Cook by day, and at night glitters across the city juggling numerous emcee and hosting gigs with regular appearances at that local hallmark of drag cabaret, Darcelle XV, where she is known for being particularly exuberant in her costumes (if you're standing out for your exuberant costumes among drag queens, you are holding it down). A familiar fixture at Pride and Peacock in the Park, Poison Waters is said to be responsible for the origin of the old saying, "Everyone west of the Mississippi loves poison." MARJORIE SKINNER


(Main Stage) Founded in 1980 and still going strong, the Portland Gay Men's Chorus combines a foundation of social activism and outreach with the harmonious sounds of more than 100 sodomites singing in sweet, sweet unison. With a mission statement that pledges to "honor and uplift the gay community and affirm the worth of all people" (including women, who are welcome to participate in the organization), the PGMC is one local institution that well deserves all the love and support P-Town can spare. ALISON HALLETT


(Main Stage) Taiko drums have been revered and beloved in Japan for hundreds of years, and taiko ensembles have flourished worldwide since the 1950s. As to why Portland Taiko is part of this year's Pride festivities—as they were last year—one can only imagine it's because the exhilarating, epic beats that only synchronized taiko drumming can provide supply the requisite grandiose enthusiasm for the excitement of being queer! Right? Eh? Anyone? Ah, screw it. I'll be damned if I know what Portland Taiko's doing here. All I know is I saw a Reading Rainbow once about taiko, and LeVar? He totally seemed to dig it! And I wholeheartedly trust that guy. Hey, speaking of queer pride and LeVar Burton, there's gotta be some gay fanfic about Geordi La Forge out there somewhere, yeah? Excuse me for a moment. EH


(Main Stage) The Rose City Sirens are an all-female, all-queer local burlesque troupe who know how to move and aren't afraid to show a little skin. In fact, they're not afraid to show a lot of skin. For two years they've been heating up the E-Room with their popular choreographed burlesque/vaudeville routines, and tonight they'll slink, saunter, and strut their way across the Pride main stage. I'm pretty sure it's okay to stare. AH


(Café Stage) If Pride starts to get too crazy with all the partying and free love, and you're feeling like you need some quiet time, head to the café stage for Ryan Mintz, a singer/songwriter out of Boulder, Colorado, whose influences include Jewel, and whose record is titled Monkeys and Ice Cream. Awww... actually, some of his songs are quite funny, like my favorite, "Open Relationship" ("You and your open relationship/you're free and so modern and all that shit") and other slices of honesty delivered through a voice that is oft compared to that of folkie great Cat Stevens. MS


(Main Stage) If you frequent the local drag performance scene, there's a fairly good chance that you've come across Sabel Scities, who's performed frequently at spots like Embers, where her tastes run from Janet Jackson numbers to a particularly energetic routine set to Jimmy James' "Fashionista." With a giant plume of bright red hair and frenetic diva dance floor moves, Scities, who aspires to someday be crowned Miss Gay America, knows how to light up the night and get the party started—so if you're looking for a good time, get in Sabel Scities' zone. MS


(Main Stage) Sahara Dunes describes herself as a "burlesque performer," which means queer stripper, with more feathers and less clothes taken off than the girls at Sassy's. Dunes generally removes elaborate, Southern-style outfits to the likes of Shirley Bassey, Eartha Kitt, and Amy Winehouse, right down to a pair of nipple tassels. But fear not: She's crowd friendly, rather than wince inducing, unless you happen to be remarkably prudish. MD


(Main Stage) See Official Pride Guide


(Café Stage) Sophe Lux's lead singer Gwynneth Haynes has created a Tim Burtonesque stage persona that can't help but force people to compare her to the seminal female scarester vocalist, PJ Harvey. Except Haynes is more playful. Scratch that. She's younger. That's all I mean. And her band has embraced all the accordion-playing cabaret irony (with synthesizers) of our confused latter years, complete with Nietzsche references and reflections on God. Like PJ Harvey was in the '90s, it's music to stand in front of and smoke and look clever, yet sufficiently fun, fashion-conscious, and self-effacing to possibly have sex with afterward. What a difficult balance for Sophe Lux to strike. MD


(Main Stage Emcee) Sossity Chricuzio is on top of the scene when it comes to queer Portland. An outspoken lady who is very comfortable in leather, she likes to think of herself as a "Diesel Femme," which is also the name of her one-of-a-kind clothing line. She also hosts and produces an X-rated open mic called Dirty Queer—which should give you a sense of her emcee style. You've been warned! DG


(Main Stage) Northwest jazz and funk troupe Soul Vaccination are fronted by the awesome powerhouse voice of Jeannine "GiGi" Wiggins, who leads the brassy, swinging band through numbers that mine familiar subject matter ("Love Maker") as well as more serious modern crises ("Only So Much Oil"). It's the kind of easily danceable music that has a universal appeal whether you're busy getting down to the jams or pleasantly swaying to it over a glass of beer. Many of the band members have long resumes in the scene, and their confidence with the material translates to polished live performances that buzz with good vibes. MS


(Café Stage Emcee) Splendora was the anarchistic front-queen for the Sissyboys before they disbanded last year. But you know that. You also know that watching Splendora emcee is like watching a beautiful car crash: a Mary Kay cosmetics truck repeatedly rear-ending a cement mixer full of glitter. Yeah, something like that. I am equal parts terrified and elated by Splendora. Terrified because I don't want to fall under the wicked spell of her eyes and elated that I just might give in to her. With Splendora at the microphone, the stage will be on fire. PAC