June is starting off all kinds of strong, and not just because the potency of Nuggets Night is such that it's Nuggets Nights now—quality comedy in the form of both Middleditch & Schwartz and a Live Wire guest appearance by Paul F. Tompkins is on the schedule, the beloved Dolly Parton Hoot Night raises spirits (and money for Siren Nation), the Starlight Parade illuminates Portland's sparkly ingenuity, and if all of that sounds just a mite too cheerful for your tastes, it's okay: Godspeed You, Black Emperor! is here to drop a sonic apocalypse on your noggin. That's only the tiniest drop of what's on tap for the week; hit the links below and fill your cup accordingly
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Friday, Jun 1
Middleditch & Schwartz
Get ready for an evening of wild-yet-intimate improv comedy with Jean Ralphio from Parks and Recreation and Richard Hendricks from Silicon Valley—except they won’t be playing those characters because that was TV and this is real life. IRL, Ben Schwartz and Thomas Middleditch are maybe even funnier than their fictional counterparts! These two mumbly, bumbly comic geniuses share a hilarious history of playing off one another via longform improv and tender full-body spooning. SUZETTE SMITH
7:30 pm, Newmark Theatre, $39.50
Nuggets Night 2018
Every year, bands come together for Nuggets Night, and every year it just gets bigger and better. Nuggets Night—now stretched out to an entire nuggety weekend—is a celebration of those noisy, junky, far-out, fuzzed-out, adrenalized shots of garage rock and proto-punk, typically performed by obscure ’60s bands and pressed onto 7-inch singles by fly-by-night record labels. Lenny Kaye first famously collected a crop of them on the 1972 Nuggets double album, and copycat versions like Pebbles followed suit, with Rhino Records legitimizing the brand name with three masterfully done Nuggets box sets. You’ll hear plenty of those choice “nuggets” covered by terrific local bands like the Pynnacles, Hurry Up, the Bugs, the Reverberations, and others, but there’s more: On Saturday, Love Revisited—featuring former members of the legendary LA band Love—will perform Love’s 1967 psychedelic masterpiece Forever Changes in full. After two nights of rockin’, the weekend closes with a screening of the 1967 mondo documentary Something’s Happening - The Hippie Revolt. Plus, the entire affair benefits the Queer Rock Camp Portland, a summer program for LGBTQ youth promoting inclusivity and self-expression! There’s a nugget under the sun for everyone. NED LANNAMANN
Fri-Sat 8 pm, Mission Theater, $10-60
Godspeed You! Black Emperor
Since emerging from an indefinite hiatus that saw Godspeed You! Black Emperor’s members focusing on their side projects, the colossal post-rock outfit—named after a Japanese biker gang—has released three albums: 2012’s ‘Allelujah! Don’t Bend! Ascend!, 2015’s Asunder, Sweet and Other Distress, and 2017’s Luciferian Towers. Despite themes of tragedy and class inequality that recall last summer’s Grenfell Tower fire in London, Luciferian Towers contains some of the experimental Canadian group’s most uplifting melodies to date. In the Constellation Records one sheet about the album, Godspeed provides a list of “grand demands,” which range from “an end to borders” to “the expert fuckers who broke this world never get to speak again.” Although Luciferian Towers includes much less droning doom-and-gloom, it’s proof that Godspeed You! Black Emperor is still ruminating on humanity’s ills and searching for a way out. CERVANTE POPE
8:30 pm, Wonder Ballroom, $30-32
Damien Jurado, Naomi Wachira
Raise your hand if you thought Damien Jurado’s best albums were behind him. That’d be understandable, and it wouldn’t be an insult, because the supremely skilled Washington singer/songwriter has released a whole bunch of terrific records over the past couple of decades. But somehow, Jurado’s new album The Horizon Just Laughed might be his best yet. It’s also his first-ever self-produced album, and it’s a downcast travelogue of sorts, packed with hazy recollections of people, places, and feelings. (Eight of the 11 songs have names in their titles.) Sonically, Horizon takes Jurado’s easygoing, melodic folk and dresses it up ever so slightly with pretty strings, warm horns, gleaming keys, occasional samba beats, and old soul. Jurado has always been one of the best craftsmen going; to hear him pull it all together yet again is very welcome and utterly inspiring. BEN SALMON
9 pm, Doug Fir, $16-18
Live Wire! Radio
The latest installment of Portland's own nationally-syndicated variety show features appearances from comedian Paul F. Tompkins, writer Ijeoma Oluo, and hip-hop artist Open Mike Eagle. Hosted by Luke Burbank.
7:30 pm, Alberta Rose Theatre, $20-35
Los Feliz-based singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Mark Oliver Everett brings his shape-shifting indie rock outfit back up the West Coast for a headlining show supporting the band's 12th studio album, The Deconstruction.
8 pm, Crystal Ballroom, $37.50-40, all ages
Aja Gabel, Leni Zumas
Aja Gabel reads from The Ensemble, her new novel about four young friends navigating the competitive world of classical music. Gabel will be joined in conversation by Leni Zumas, author of Red Clocks.
7:30 pm, Powell's City of Books, free
The Estranged, Dark/Light, Arteries, Ad-Noids
The Estranged's 2014 self-titled LP was one of the best local punk records released that year. It's a dark album that, like the best dark albums, never renounces its poppier essence and draws from a breadth of influences—lead singer Mark Herman's post-punk-inspired vocals, the slide guitar that unexpectedly adorns the intro to first track "Forever Been Erased," the '77 pure punk velocity—without ever feeling calculated. MORGAN TROPER
9 pm, The Fixin' To, $7
In the Cooky Jar
Of all the dance nights in town, In the Cooky Jar is likely the only one where you can dance to Rufus Thomas and Little Johnny Taylor underneath black-and-white photos of old dead white dudes. SANTI ELIJAH HOLLEY
9 pm, Eagles Lodge (F.O.E.#3256), $5 w/ food donation, $7 w/out
The charming comedian, writer, and storyteller out of New Orleans returns to Portland for a two-night stand at Helium.
Fri-Sat 7:30 pm & 10 pm, Helium Comedy Club, $22-30
The modern-day troubadour out of Santa Monica, California follows up last year's Sgt. Pepper’s tribute with a solo performance of The White Album, featuring an opening set of solo Beatles' songs from some surprise guests.
Fri-Sat 8:30 pm, The Secret Society, $15
Suing Trump: AG Rosenblum on Oregon's National Role
Suing the Cheeto Administration is a seemingly never ending, grueling job, but somebody’s got to do it. Oregon Attorney General AG Ellen Rosenblum is stepping up to (and beyond) the plate with ten major lawsuits currently active against the administration, including the Muslim ban, DACA, and the Affordable Care Act. Get an update on her work and learn about other protections the Justice Department enforces for Oregonians. For $15 more, you can add lunch to your experience. EMILLY PRADO
noon, Sentinel, $15
Saturday, Jun 2
Dolly Parton Hoot Night
Dolly Parton is the reigning queen of Earth, and as her minions, it’s our duty—nay, our privilege—to celebrate her existence regularly. Thankfully, the 14th annual Dolly Parton Hoot Night provides the perfect opportunity to hear local singers cover the Backwoods Barbie’s greatest hits while raising funds for the Siren Nation Women’s Music and Arts Festival. CIARA DOLAN
8 pm, Alberta Rose Theatre, $15-18
As a new Portlander, I’m stoked to finally go to the coolest parade in the state: the beautifully lit Starlight Parade. Glowing floats will roll through downtown Portland at dusk, lighting and delighting the streets of adoring fans. Over 100 groups are set to participate, so get ready to cheer till your voice is hoarse. KELLY KENOYER
9 pm, Downtown, free, all ages
Portland Timbers vs. LA Galaxy
After roaring onto the MLS scene with a mesmerizing performance against the LA Galaxy’s new crosstown rivals, Swedish superstar Zlatan Ibrahimović has shown signs of building frustration after a string of recent losses. If the lion wants to get back on the highlight reel this afternoon, he’ll need to find a way past a surging Timbers side who have been perfect at home thus far.
2 pm, Providence Park, $42-175, all ages
Yo La Tengo
For as long as I’ve been conscious of the changing seasons, the beginning of June has marked the beginning of summer. Astronomical purists may swear by the solstice, but once April’s showers have passed and May’s flowers are gasping for water, I relinquish myself to the coming months of sweaty days and peaceful evenings. Soundtracking the former can take shape in any number of ways: looping A Tribe Called Quest albums, making yet another chillwave playlist, acquiring every Burger Records release available. When it comes to hushed summer nights, however, nothing feels quite as fitting as Hoboken, New Jersey, indie rock lifers Yo La Tengo—who, in some heatstroke of luck, will be playing back-to-back nights at the Wonder the first weekend of June. The upcoming setlists are sure to span everything from Ira Kaplan’s roaring guitar epics (“And the Glitter Is Gone,” “The Story of Yo La Tango”) to the ambient leanings of their latest album There’s a Riot Going On. Beyond that, it’s hard to say what to expect from these shows; Yo La Tengo have always hated the habitual. BEN WEINSTEIN
Sat-Sun 9 pm, $20-22, all ages
Stop Making Sense: A Talking Heads Celebration
Ben Tactic and Nathan Detroit spearhead a Saturday night dance party celebrating the music and influence of the Talking Heads.
9 pm, Holocene, $5-10
Don't call it a comeback, and don't call it a one-off. From the ashes of local legends The 3rd Floor has arisen the sketch comedy phoenix that is Nacho Gold, with a brand new set of ridiculous situations to luxuriate in, written and performed by Portland veterans Jordi Barnes, Lori Ferraro, Jason Keller, Jason Rouse, Tony Marcellino, and Ted Douglass.
8 pm, Siren Theater, $12-15
Todd Rundgren's Utopia
Todd Rundgren’s talent as a producer, songwriter, and musician cannot be overstated, but it’s hard to tell when he really means it. Like David Bowie and other chameleonic artists cut from a similar cloth, Rundgren skates the fine line between creative mutability and dilettantism. Even his masterstroke, the 1972 double LP Something/Anything?, is essentially a 90-minute riff on pop song sentimentality and the popular musical idioms of its day, making it something of a weird, distant uncle to the Magnetic Fields’ 69 Love Songs. Rundgren found the perfect vehicle for his peacocking when he formed the progressive rock band Utopia in 1974, whose debut, Todd Rundgren’s Utopia, proved that he could write hits and shred. But viewed through a contemporary lens, Utopia’s most entertaining album is 1980’s Deface the Music, an homage to Mersey Beat that might be the last truly earnest thing Rundgren’s done.
7 pm, Revolution Hall, $49.50-89.50
Puddles Pity Party
Need more proof of the power of the internet: In 2013, an unknown seven-foot-tall clown set down his lantern (?), looked disdainfully into a camera, and boomed out a Lorde cover. Then reflect on how Puddles the Clown and his Puddles' Pity Party are headlining the Newmark Theatre. The guy’s talented as hell, but INTERNET. DIRK VANDERHART
8 pm, Newmark Theatre, $35-100
Sugar Town: Fruit Cocktail
Do the twist at this all-vinyl dance party with sounds curated by DJ Larsupreme and DJ Action Slacks. This “flaming, furious queerious dance party” will kick off Pride month by raising money for Ori Gallery, a radical art space amplifying the voices of queer and trans artists of color. And be sure to “dress in your candy-color best.”
9 pm, The Spare Room, $10
Cold Cave, Black Marble, Choir Boy
At its worst, Wesley Eisold’s work as Cold Cave rips the embarrassing high school poetry and outlandish synth-pop from Music for the Masses-era Depeche Mode to fashion a joyless nostalgia trip rife with gimcrack nihilism and melodramatic self-absorption. At its best, Eisold’s work as Cold Cave rips the embarrassing high school poetry and outlandish synth-pop from Music for the Masses-era Depeche Mode to fashion an ecstatic and thrilling nostalgia trip rife with gimcrack nihilism and melodramatic self-absorption. The latter brand of trip reached shimmering heights on 2011’s Cherish the Light Years, a brash blast of dark energy evoking graveyard dance parties and malevolent underground rituals. It is a loud and silly and truly pretty album. The singles Eisold has released since then have tended toward the wan and ponderous end of Cold Cave’s black spectrum, as if the life-loathing goth shtick has finally swallowed him whole. It still makes for pretty great wallowing wallpaper, though. CHRIS STAMM
8 pm, Hawthorne Theatre, $18, all ages
Shadowlands, North by North, There Is No Mountain
As Portland continues to transform into a wasteland of sparkly high-rises, it’s comforting to know there are still a few dark corners left where mutants gather to perform black-clad musical rituals. Shadowlands deftly navigates the new wave and post-punk undergrounds of yore to create something equally compelling. MARK LORE
9 pm, The Fixin' To, free
DJ Nu-Mark, DJ Wicked, DJ Nature
The acclaimed DJ and hip-hop producer known for holding down the tables in Jurassic 5 brings his latest solo stuff through the No Vacancy Lounge for a Saturday night performance.
9 pm, No Vacancy Lounge, $10-15
Sunday, Jun 3
King Tuff, Cut Worms, Sasami
Though he’s become beloved for his blistering guitar solos and anthems about wild desire, demons from hell, and breaking all the rules, earlier this year garage freak King Tuff debuted a new side to his personality with The Other, an album of existential psychedelic rock that contemplates life on this “Psycho Star.” CIARA DOLAN
7 pm, Star Theater, $16
2001: A Space Odyssey
Every once in a while, the Hollywood Theatre busts out a shockingly pristine 70mm print of 2001: A Space Odyssey—and for cinephiles, seeing Stanley Kubrick’s masterpiece on the big screen, sitting in a sold-out and awed audience, is about as good as moviegoing gets. Now the Hollywood is showing 2001 again, but this time with a brand new print—one that’s been photochemically restored by none other than celluloid fanatic Christopher Nolan, who’ll start pontificating about how much better film is than digital given the slightest provocation. (Seriously. Across the pond, his ears probably just pricked up, somehow knowing we mentioned it.) Rather than discuss the extensive restoration process, Nolan’s using this spruced-up 2001 to remind people how much better movies can look when projected from actual film. “[The restoration discussion] tends to obfuscate the greater truth, which is that photochemical is a much higher-quality image format,” Nolan recently told Variety. “Showing people prints in the cinema is the way you best make that point, and if you could choose one movie to try to show that to people, it would be 2001.” ERIK HENRIKSEN
2 pm, 7 pm, Hollywood Theatre
Old Town Music Showcase
Portland's music scene would be a hell of a lot quieter if it wasn't for Old Town Music providing its artists with all their equipment, and to celebrate turning 22, Rontoms hosts this free showcase for the many bands whose members are/were also employees.
8 pm, Rontoms, free
Weeed, Abronia, Dolphin Midwives
Bainbridge Island psych-freaks Weeed head down to the Doug Fir to celebrate the release of their brand-new album, This. Portland experimental scene staples Abronia and Dolphin Midwives round out the proceedings.
9 pm, Doug Fir, $10-12
Call to Resist Rally
Downtown Portland will once again see a series of rallies one year after the ugly June 4th clashes between alt-right group Patriot Prayer and counter protestors. The ACLU of Oregon analyzed and developed a report based on police activity during the incident and outlined patterns, including “bias and appearance of bias through selective enforcement based on political affiliation, excessive use of force, and use of arrests and detentions as crowd control.” The counter protests will be led by a lengthy list of groups including Rose City Antifa, Direct Action Alliance, and RASH NW. EMILLY PRADO
4 pm, Terry Schrunk Plaza, free
Ufomammut, White Hills, Usnea
Italian trio Ufomammut have been laying waste to regions around the world for nearly two decades, seamlessly combining doom, space rock, and a work ethic that should be the envy of all bands. To illustrate the group’s airtight velocity, they’ve performed the basic tracks of their 2017 record 8 with only synth and vocals overdubbed. It’s no surprise that tonight’s bill includes a couple of fellow space travelers: White Hills deliver controlled chaos on a silver platter (with a side of ’shrooms), offering plenty of otherworldly thrills and heavy psych that’s actually psychedelic. Portland’s own Usnea plays thinking person’s doom, combining elements of punk rock with lyrics that nod to the almighty Sagan (hail Sagan!). There are plenty of dynamic twists and turns to pull Usnea out of the doom sludge—it’s no wonder they’ve toured with Ufomammut all over the country and in Europe. MARK LORE
9 pm, Mississippi Studios, $12-15
Ron Artis II & the Truth
The Hawaii-hailing band and Pickathon 2017 stand-out brings their soul, funk, blues, and jazz sounds back through town for a headlining show at the Jack London Revue.
9 pm, Jack London Revue, $10
Another installment of Portland's preeminent all-day queer dance party, with headliner DJ Jordee from San Francisco, and support from resident jocks Orographic, Troubled Youth, Pocket Rock-It, Casual Aztec, and Hold My Hand.
3 pm, Produce Row Cafe, $10
Rose Festival CityFair
If you’re a Portland newbie, then allow me to introduce you to one of the biggest Portland shebangs of the year: the annual Rose Festival and CityFair. The Rose Fest features nearly a month’s worth of special events including parades, fun runs, concerts, and dragon boat races—all to celebrate the awesomeness of Portland. And CityFair is the hub around which all this bacchanalia revolves. In a way, it’s the way Portland ushers in summer—oh, AND THEY SERVE ELEPHANT EARS. (Jeez, way to bury the lede!) There’s going to be a lot of fun to be had in the next few months, and CityFair is Portland’s welcome wagon. WM. STEVEN HUMPHREY
11 am, Tom McCall Waterfront Park, $7, all ages
Don't forget to check out our Things To Do calendar for even more things to do!