Willie Nelson closes out July, and Pickathon kicks off August in a big way. This month used to be considered "the dog days of summer" but besides that not really making any sense as a derogatory (dogs are wonderful), it's flat-out unapplicable anymore—August is just as jam-packed with awesome as any other summer month, and its first few days are a great example: The Parson Red Heads return, Toto blesses the stage like it was rains in Africa, But I'm a Cheerleader puts the Top Down, the I, Anonymous Show gets way too real—and that's just the beginning. It's a busy week ahead; hit the links below and load your plate accordingly
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Monday, Jul 30
Teton, Pat Moon, Ben Stoller
Whether she’s pretending to be the ghost of Catherine Earnshaw pounding on Heathcliff’s windows or whispering “I don’t know why I’m crying” over a carnivalesque accordion melody, Kate Bush makes the strangest modes of artistic expression feel completely natural. She’s the reigning queen of art-pop and interpretive dance, and thusly deserves to have her followers celebrate the day of her birth. Thankfully, three Portland bands are doing just that at the Fixin’ To, with tunes inspired by the woman herself. CIARA DOLAN
8 pm, The Fixin' To, $7
It's Gonna Be Okay!
Barbara Holm's It's Gonna Be Okay is the only local showcase I've seen tout its lack of meanness as a selling point, which is next-level in a city KNOWN for its safe-space shows. It's the cheerful slumber party of Portland stand-up, which is exactly what's needed to reclaim comedy for those of us who aren't obnoxious ancient white dudes. MEGAN BURBANK
7:30 pm, EastBurn, free
The bestselling author and illustrator team behind Rad Women Worldwide and Rad American Women A-Z return with Rad Girls Can, a new collection of stories and art about inspiring girls who left a significant mark on the world before the age of 20.
7:30 pm, Powell's Books on Hawthorne, free
One of Portland's best improv troupes, Broke Gravy, host this evening of comedy, music, and storytelling, featuring performances from Chris Johnson and Jumblehead.
8 pm, The Secret Society, $10
Eat Pray Love, Beautiful Terribles, Great Red Shark
Newly-minted Portland quartet Beautiful Terribles bring their front-porch folk jamming to Turn! Turn! Turn! for a hometown performance.
8 pm, Turn! Turn! Turn!
Tuesday, Jul 31
Willie Nelson & Family, Alison Krauss
God bless Willie Nelson, the best goddamn thing that ever happened to this burning country. Willie’s shows on the Edgefield lawn have become one of the highlights of any Portland summer—there are few things better than relaxing outside with a beer (OR ANOTHER SUBSTANCE) and listing to one of country's truest and most righteous legends. This time around, Willie’s joined by Alison Krauss, which will make the whole thing that much better. The show's sold out, because of course it is, but I’m pretty sure Willie would approve of you begging, borrowing, or stealing to find your way in. ERIK HENRIKSEN
6:30 pm, Edgefield, Good luck at the ticket resale sites, all ages
Human Ottoman, Long Hallway, Volcanic Pinnacles
Portland's Human Ottoman craft industrial dance music with the unique instrumentation of cello, vibraphone, and drums. Tonight they join forces with the NW Post-Rock Orchestra for a special collaborative performance at the Doug Fir Lounge. The event doubles as a release show for Unveiling, the latest EP from local avant-garde and post rock duo Volcanic Pinnacles.
9 pm, Doug Fir, $10
Down by Law
Jim Jarmusch’s 1986 cult classic is less a noir than it is a black-and-white jailhouse fantasy carried by the ingratiating performances of Tom Waits, John Lurie, and Roberto Benigni. Sure, there’s a story here (kind of) but this is quintessential Jarmusch—you’re not really here for that. You’re here to soak up the the atmosphere, the scenery, and dialogue pouring out of characters effortlessly radiating pure cool at a level only Jarmusch seems equipped to capture. BOBBY ROBERTS
7:30 pm, Hollywood Theatre, $7-9
Soccer Made in Portland: Live
Fresh off calling the World Cup in Russia for FOX Sports, former Timbers play-by-play announcer John Strong returns to Portland to join the Oregonian's Jamie Goldberg and Timbers.com's Richard Farley for a special live taping of the Soccer Made in Portland podcast.
7 pm, The Civic Taproom & Bottleshop
Aroused: The History of Hormones and How They Control Just About Everything
Randi Hutter Epstein heads up the latest installment of Science on Tap with an in-depth look at the many functions of hormones and and the pioneering scientists who first discovered their profound impact on our bodies.
7 pm, Alberta Rose Theatre, $8-15
Wednesday, Aug 1
The I, Anonymous Show
If you like comedy and lots of ranty-rants, then you’ll love the monthly I, Anonymous Show—now at its new home at Curious Comedy Theater! Hilarious host Caitlin Weierhauser will present the weirdest and wildest rants from the Mercury’s long-running I, Anonymous column which will then be riffed upon by a panel of local comedic geniuses! Find out what happens when rants stop being polite, and start getting real. WM. STEVEN HUMPHREY
7:30 pm, Curious Comedy Theater, $10
Now Now, Wens
The Minneapolis-based indie rock and pop duo spearheaded by vocalist/guitarist/keyboardist Cacie Dalager and drummer Bradley Hale return to the Doug Fir for a headlining show supporting their 2018 full-length, Saved.
9 pm, Doug Fir, $15
Tales from The Long Con Launch Party
Oni Press presents the first issue of The Long Con, a new comic series about a post-apocalyptic Comic-Con that never ends, and the societal factions that coalesce inside the con—featuring art by EA Denich and Victoria Robado, and written by Dylan Meconis and Ben Coleman. Includes stories of surviving pre-apocalypse conventions by veterans Jeff Parker, Foley & Anne Moloney, Matt Fraction, and more.
7 pm, Books with Pictures, free
The up-and-coming Barcelona quartet spearheaded by Jazz Rodríguez Bueno and Carla Pérez Vas bring their charged indie rock and punk sounds through Bunk Bar for the Portland stop on a North American tour supporting their recently released full-length, Sorpresa Familia.
9:30 pm, Bunk Bar, $12-14
The renowned rock band out of Los Angeles (currently fronted by legendary composer John Williams' son, Joseph) celebrate 40 years of music with an intimate Portland show supporting their new anniversary album, 40 Trips Around the Sun. Maybe they'll cover a couple Weezer songs, who knows.
8 pm, Revolution Hall, $59.50-89.50
Mope Grooves, Lisa Prank, Supermoon, Dim Wit
Supermoon rips open carefully concealed truths and whispers sweet nothings to no-face ghosts lurking in shadowy corners. On their double 7-inch, Playland, they're masters of spooky pop, mercilessly flipping the switch between darkness and lightness. CIARA DOLAN
8 pm, The Fixin' To, $7
A free, friendly, feminist stand-up showcase featuring sets from Sonia Ruiz, Erin Dougherty, Shannon Sales, and a few surprise guess, as well as an open mic for underrepresented members of the community who are looking to maybe dip their toes in Portland's comedy scene. Hosted by Mel Heywood.
7 pm, Crush Bar, free
RingSide's 2nd Annual SHUCK OFF
The title may sound derogatory but it's not an angry command—it's a friendly invitation to join some seafood-inspired fun hosted by RingSide, as Director Park is transformed into an oyster-y wonderland, with some of the city's best chefs competing to see who can shuck a mollusk the fastest, who can create the best mignonette, and more, with live DJs, and drinks from Veuve Cliqot & Belvedere. Proceeds benefit New Avenues for Youth.
4 pm, Director Park, $7
Thursday, Aug 2
But I'm a Cheerleader
Jamie Babbit’s ahead-of-its-time satire tells the story of a teenage girl sent to rehab for being gay, only to discover that rehab for being gay is a giant load of bullshit. How ahead of its time was it? When it released in 1999, it was initially rated NC-17 until trims were made to limit the homosexual content in the film, and myopic, cynical film critics couldn’t process it as anything other than a labored John Waters knock-off. Now it’s considered one of the best examples of the late ‘90s teen comedy renaissance, a clever blend of cute, corny, and cutting, containing two of the best ever performances by both Clea DuVall and Natasha Lyonne. In other words, it’s the perfect choice for the Top Down: Rooftop Cinema series, and a perfect opportunity for newcomers to discover its gaudy charms, and for the already-converted to rediscover them on the big screen. BOBBY ROBERTS
7 pm, Portland State University Parking Structure 2, $7-10
There are so many reasons to love Pickathon—its location on Happy Valley’s gorgeous Pendarvis Farm, its postcard-worthy view of Mount Hood, its reusable silverware, its hammock village, but most of all, its music. This year’s lineup features veterans like Built to Spill and Broken Social Scene alongside promising artists like Colter Wall, making his Pickathon debut.
Thurs-Sun, Pendarvis Farm, Click here for a complete schedule of performances, $160-320, all ages
The Parson Red Heads, Mo Troper, Ryan T Jacobs
This may be a bold statement, but I think the Parson Red Heads are one of my favorite Portland bands. Their sound is just magic—honeyed harmonies fall together seamlessly, with slide guitars and organs stepping in at times to create sonic gems. The Parson Red Heads' music harkens back to nostalgic, '60s-era American folk pop—but not in the inauthentic, trendy style of late. CIARA DOLAN
9 pm, Mississippi Studios, $10-12
The Cool Kids Patio Show
Andie Main's Cool Kids Patio Show returns to the Doug Fir patio, pairing top-notch stand-up with music from some of the finest singer/songwriters in town. This time, Emily Overstreet provides the sounds, while Nariko Ott, Steven Wilber, and Adam Pasi bring the laughs.
6 pm, Doug Fir, free
Create Your Summer Tour
YouTube creators Karina Garcia, Wengie, and Natalies Outlet host an interactive workshop where they'll share some of their favorite DIY hacks, crafts, and tips for producing fun and fresh content that will help take your own channel to the next level.
6 pm, Revolution Hall, $35, all ages
The Robert Cray Band
Oregon doesn't get to lay claim to too many bonafide music legends. Robert Cray's technically from Georgia. But his blues got big here.
8 pm, Aladdin Theater, $45, all ages
Cody Andrews & Coco
Okay, maybe the parking lot at Village Square isn't technically a park, per se, but that doesn't mean the 2018 Concerts in the Park series isn't coming there anyway, with local hip-hop from Cody Andrews, and a free screening of Pixar's beautiful tearjerker Coco (with Spanish subtitles) on Portland Parks' portable big screen.
6:30 pm, Village Square Parking Lot, free, all ages
Don't forget to check out our Things To Do calendar for even more things to do!