Well, we made it to May, everybody! We've stayed safe, sheltered-in-place, resisted the calls to re-open prematurely and risk our health and the health of those we care about, and our reward is... another weekend in self-quarantine, couch-bound and truckin' through a dense layer of livestreams—a lasagna of entertainment, if you will, made up of movies, music, stories, games, and by the time we're done, an actual lasagna, too! Let's do this thing, shall we? Hit the links below and load your plates accordingly.

Jump to: Friday | Saturday | Sunday

Friday, May 1

The Alien Trilogy
There have been more than a few film recommendations made over the past two months, recommendations made with the intent of reflecting our current situation through a camera's lens, and a visionary's eyes. And really, is there any more appropriate trilogy to our current moment than the three-film story of Warrant Officer Ellen Ripley? The Alien trilogy (now streaming, HBO Now/HBO Go, and yes, it's only a trilogy, there was never a part 4 or prequels, you must be thinking of Star Wars, sorry) is ultimately the story of a no-nonsense, brilliant, hyper-capable woman whose correct instincts to keep quarantine and prevent infection are ignored and overruled by corporate toadies and distracted, ineffectual "leaders"—thus leading to a completely preventable biological catastrophe she has to clean up herself through increasingly powerful acts of heroism and self-sacrifice, often with no real help from the powers-that-be (who are supposed to be in charge but are really only concerned with protecting the status quo and covering their own ass while profiting off widespread misery). ALL WE HAD TO DO WAS LISTEN TO RIPLEY.

The Back to the Future Trilogy
...okay, maybe there's another beloved trilogy new to streaming this month (Now available on Netflix!) that speaks directly to our current moment in a fairly eye-opening and retroactively disturbing way. You see, Once upon the 1980s, a young Republican in a life-vest, with the help of a way-too-old-to-be-hanging-out-with-teenagers science friend, traveled back in time where he had to prevent his mother’s sexual advances and instead steer her toward Crispin Glover’s dick. He succeeded in this fraught scenario, but accidentally transformed the future into Planet Las Vegas, which sounds cool, but was actually kinda shitty, because the president of Planet Las Vegas was Donald Trump—but in what dystopian hellscape of nuclear distraction would a populace ever elect that asshole, right? So our heroic young Republican then went all the way back to the Wild West, where Mary Steenburgen lives, and managed to set the timeline back on track and everyone learned that it’s never really a good idea to steal plutonium from angry Libyans. Co-starring Huey Lewis and Flea.

Rabbit Hole
There are no lack of podcasts about The Internet being made right now—shows that cover the culture, politics, dark underbelly, and idiosyncrasies of being online are outnumbered only by mediocre true crime pods. Yet Rabbit Hole, the new weekly audio series from the New York Times (updates Thursdays) that explores the internet’s potential to radicalize its users, manages to stick out by pairing deep original reporting with a high degree of specificity. In the first two episodes alone, you will track the viewing history of a guy whose streaming habits went from Frozen parodies to right-wing YouTubers to outright white supremacists, and learn about the YouTube algorithm that favors the fringe. Episodes are kept at a succinct 30 minutes, leaving you wanting more each time. In a media landscape that’s oversaturated with hot takes about Twitter feuds and lacking in valuable reporting about the place where most Americans spend hours of their day, having a pod like Rabbit Hole is a good thing. BLAIR STENVICK

Take a Free OSU Class on Growing Vegetables
Oregon State University is looking to make education more delicious, and you can learn for yourself whether the food you grow and cook yourself really does taste better than any other food you'll eat by taking this free series of courses from the school's Master Gardener program, made up of 12 on-demand classes covering where to grow your food, how to grow your food, how to protect your food from pesky insects, and how to enact that protection without ruining your food or the soil its grown in.

There's more than a few alternate-history shows that have captured the pop-culture zeitgeist recently. Hulu had 11.22.63 (What if you could stop the Kennedy assasination?), Amazon had Man in the High Castle (what if the Axis won World War II?), and HBO had The Plot Against America (What if Charles Lindbergh ran for president in 1940, won, and America became openly fascist?). You'll note all these alternate histories are pretty serious and dark, almost like there's a rule that alternate histories have to be dystopias. Well, here comes Netflix, and Ryan Murphy, and Hollywood, an alternate history whose primary question is "What if the golden age of Hollywood wasn't so sexist, racist, 'phobic, and gross?" and whose primary answer seems to be "It'd be pretty fun and fabulous—look at all these amazingly pretty people swan around for a couple hours." Is there an important lesson to be learned here? Probably not. Is there an "important lesson" to be learned from drinking champagne 'til you're dizzy and making out with hot people all night? Who gives a shit! Hollywood!

WWOZ: Jazz-Festing in Place
Not to be outdone by Pickathon's throwing open the doors to their prized vault of amazing live performances, New Orleans' listener-supported radio station 90.7 WWOZ has dug into their own archive of amazing music and come up with "Jazz-Festing in Place," putting together a program spanning eight days made up of nothing but absolute classic performances from over 30 years of New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival concerts, starring legends like Aaron Neville, Roy Ayers, the Ohio Players, Charlie Musselwhite, Terence Blanchard, Bonnie Raitt, Toots & the Maytals, Ella Fitzgerald & Stevie Wonder from 1977, Hugh Masekela, Dr. John, Trombone Shorty, and many, many more. The streams start at 9am PST, stop at 5pm PST, and play every Thurs-Sun for the next two weeks.

Lady Day at Emerson's Bar & Grill
Speaking of bayou brilliance getting unearthed this weekend: Every streaming service has its fair share of shining diamonds that are buried underneath more popular, more easily algorithm'd titles, and that goes double (or quadruple, really) when the title isn't a competitive reality show, or a buzzed-about drama, but a filmed stage play from 2014. But when that play is the Tony Award-winning Lady Day at Emerson's Bar & Grill, filmed at the Cafe Brasil in New Orleans and streaming on HBO Now? When it's starring Audra McDonald as Billie Holiday, singing and telling stories at a dive bar? You should take the time to use that app's search bar for the betterment of your weekend.

The Hollywood Theatre presents: Rififi
The centerpiece of Jules Dassin’s 1955 pitch-black noir is perhaps the greatest heist ever filmed. Without a single line of dialogue or note of music, the immaculately detailed sequence takes up nearly a half-hour of screentime. The fallout after the robbery is nearly as suspenseful; even with a musical number and a cute little kid, Rififi remains a bleak, black, unforgettable crime film. The Hollywood Theatre is partnering with Film Movement to make this available: Buy a $6.99 ticket that makes the movie available for 72 hours, and a portion of those proceeds helps support the Hollywood. NED LANNAMANN

Drake just dropped a brand new mixtape late last night. It's called Dark Lane Demo Tapes. He appears to be clad in traditional ninja garb on the cover. Either you're clicking on that or you're not. And if you're not? You probably should. Here:

Saturday, May 2

Stay Home, Drink Beer
The Oregon Brewers Guild has figured out how to combine safe social distancing with satisfying beerfest practices, and so: Stay Home Drink Beer, a virtual festival (that's also very valuable life advice) starting at 1pm on May 2, featuring brewery tours, "meet the brewer" presentations, info on special releases, and a curated list of brewers providing direct delivery options so they can bring the pours to you. There's merch available, a raffle to win, and more, with participating breweries including Von Ebert, Wild Ride, Worthy, StormBreaker, Bent Shovel, Lucky Lab, Migration, and Ninkasi, among many others.

The First Saturday in May: Kentucky Derby at Home
The actual "horses run around a track at high speeds while a stadium full of drunks in seersucker suits and fancy hats hoot loudly" part of the Kentucky Derby has been tentatively postponed until September—but that's not stopping Churchill Downs from having something derby-related for you to day-drink to: From 3pm-6pm, NBC will broadcast the 2015 Derby, commemorating the 5 year anniversary of American Pharoah's Triple Crown run. And if you need something to bet on, they'll also be running a virtual Triple Crown Showdown, computer simulating a Derby where the past 13 Crown winners all compete at the same time. Proceeds from this plot point you first saw in Rocky Balboa will be matched by Churchill Downs in the hopes of donating up to $2 million to COVID-19 relief efforts.

The Princess Bride
This movie, finally made available on Disney+ this month, is 100 percent pure charm in film form. That’s not to say Rob Reiner’s adaptation of William Goldman’s bestselling novel isn’t also shot through with moments of real romance (“As you wish”) and cathartic satisfaction (“I want my father back you sonofabitch,”) but the reason this movie occupies such a precious place in so many hearts is the charm radiating off its styrofoamy sets, through a score that sounds like it’s coming out of a Casio keyboard’s single built-in-speaker, humming under dialogue written so beautifully the actors can’t help but smile at the magic flowing out of their mouths. It proves you don’t need $200 million and two years of post-production to realize pure imagination. Not when you’ve got a big heart and all the charm in the world.

Andre the Giant
One of the (literally) biggest components of Princess Bride's success is Fezzik, the one-man brute squad played by Andre Roussimoff, professionally known as Andre the Giant, maybe the first real worldwide superstar in the realm of professional wrestling. This HBO documentary (directed by The Last Dance's Jason Hehir) is a must-watch if you've ever smiled at anything Andre did in his way-too-short life of bestriding the globe like a friendly colossus—but it's not just a "greatest hits" recounting of his in-the-ring exploits, either. There's sadness, and pride, and frustration (you will likely want to slap your TV to death whenever Vince McMahon starts talking) throughout this documentary's runtime, but the overriding emotion is a joyful one. Which is as it should be.

The Goonies Cast Reunion
Okay, here's today's last hit of pure '80s nostalgia (get it while you can, everyone's about to push all in on that '90s nostalgia here in a sec). Josh Gad started a new YouTube series last week called "Reunited Apart," which seeks to get the casts from your favorite movies together for some online fun. The first (and probably last, according to Gad) episode of this series is centered on the Steven Spielberg produced, Richard Donner directed 1985 adventure The Goonies. There's been many partial cast reunions at many a "geek" event over the past 20 years, but nobody's gotten everyone in the cast (everyone who hasn't already passed that is—RIP Anne Ramsey) back together at the same time...until now. That's right: Samwise Gamgee, Thanos, that one Michael Jackson impersonator, Short Round, Chunk, Joey Pants, they're all here along with some extra-special guests, and they spend a very jovial half hour reminiscing, sharing stories, and celebrating the film they made 35 years ago. Proceeds from all donations benefit The Center for Disaster Philanthropy's COVID-19 Response Fund.

Post Malone + Travis Barker = Nirvana (!?!)
Okay, so, here's that '90s nostalgia we were talking about earlier. And not the sort of hypercolored, day-glo, biker-shorted, candy-flavored Space Jam-style '90s nostalgia. I don't know if the lockdown has anything to do with it, but there's a real taste right now for that other '90s nostalgia. The always-overcast, oversize leather-jacket, choker-and-baby-doll-dress, chunky-boots-and-clove-cigarettes, floppy-haired-and-angry '90s nostalgia. And so: Post Malone doing a live Nirvana concert in his house, with Travis Barker on drums (in a different room—everyone may be smoking, drinking, and wearing sundresses but they're still socially distanced). This concert streamed live last week, but it took until just now before the performance (Post Malone kinda... sorta... kills it?) could be processed. The concert benefits the Solidarity Response Fund for the World Health Organization.

Normal People
Hulu's latest miniseries aims to fill your quarantine hours with meaningful sweetness via their 12-episode adaptation of Sally Rooney's acclaimed best-seller, Normal People. And as the title hints, there are no superheroes involved in this narrative; no sci-fi hooks to grab onto, no world-threatening scenarios to conquer. It's just a love story. A regular, low-stakes, small-town love story set in Ireland. A love story that pretty quickly stops feeling low-stakes as its two principals meet, hook up, grow, break up, leave, come back, hook up again, regress, break up again, and come to exemplify the absolutely commonplace but never-not-terrifying tightrope that you have to walk if you want to be really intimate with someone, especially when you still don't quite know who you are yet.

Electric Streams
Another fresh 'n' direct DJ Gregarious-brand dance party, kicking off at 7pm and co-starring DJ Rescue (AKA Zia McCabe of the Dandy Warhols), packed full of extra-disco-breakin' goodness, featuring visuals by VJ Disorder. Special guests just might be popping up, the Psychic iPod (!) will wow and amaze, and the cable-access wondrousness (Corny games! Weird-as-hell-interviews! Sock puppets!) will keep your eyes satisfied while an explosion of rock solid beats and vibes keep your feet steadily cutting up the living room rug.

Supernova Saturday
XRAY.fm presents this dance party inspired by all the classic R&B and hip-hop jams that Zenon used to rock, hosted by PNWth0tS and starring DJ George the Mixologist on the decks. This isn't your basic Saturday night livestream jam, either. Supernova Saturday is for those who want their in-home dance experiences to reach for the stars—literally—and so they're requesting you suit up in your finest futuristic apparel, because it's not just a hip-hop party set in the year 2049 onboard a space station with an entire bulkhead of subwoofers where the engines should be—but it's also a costume contest. RSVP to join the party on Zoom, but if you want to just listen to George's selections, you can dance along (in plain regular modern-times clothes) at 8pm on Twitch. Proceeds donated during the party help benefit XRAY.fm.

Diet Cig
We seem to have entered a period where a lot of social art is—at least initially—valued based on its level of political consciousness. There are positives and negatives to this, of course, all of which should be plainly obvious. But what Diet Cig does to me, for better or worse, is make me briefly forget about this particularly difficult moment in time, reminding me of the shouty, sing-along pop and rock songs I loved as a teenager, and through my 20s, and even last year and last week. Make no mistake: There’s liberation in music like this. And while it’s not the end of the world if some choose not to share in it, it’s a shame to try and shackle it. NED LANNAMANN

Sunday, May 3

Samin Nosrat Wants Us to Make Lasagna Together
Samin Nosrat is, for many foodies, something like an angel, a culinary godsend who puts an amazing amount of time, thought, and love into everything she does, and it translates through her recipes, into her dishes, and finally onto your tastebuds, which is where heaven is discovered in this overlong and overwrought analogy/metaphor/thing I'm abandoning right here to get to the point: She's going to be on Instagram Live walking us through a lasagna, and damned if a lasagna-feast to close out the first weekend of May isn't a great idea. So read this New York Times post she wrote about why she's doing it, make sure you've got the ingredients you need via the recipes she's going to be using, and then let's all hang out in the kitchen with Samin on Sunday at 4pm, and treat ourselves right.

Do Good Drawrings - with Pixar!
Maybe you already know you can't hack it in the kitchen, and that's okay. While everyone else is off making spaghetti cake or whatever they call it, you can be hunkered down with a pen, some paper, and a screen nearby, a screen streaming the accumulated wisdom of Pixar Itself as they teach you how to draw. The "Draw with Pixar" series is ostensibly aimed at kids but like all things Pixar, even when they're directly aimed at kids they're just as good (and good for you) if you're a grown adult. So far they have lovely tutorials from animators who worked on Onward, Cars, and Toy Story 4, with more to come. You're probably not feeling very much like learning how to put Mater on the page, but you can make your own Duke Cabooms go cavorting across any drawable surface you can find, and if that's not a gift, the word no longer has meaning.

The Stay at Home Slam
The sports world, still reeling from the relatively bush-league nature of the NBA 2K tournament that was put on a couple weeks ago, is looking to the Williams sisters to save their rep, and they're sure to serve up some redemption (haha get it serve haha because tenn—) with the Stay at Home Slam, a celebrity tournament starting at 4pm Sunday, using the Nintendo Switch game Mario Tennis Aces as the weapon of choice, pairing tennis pros with celebrities (Serena & Gigi Hadid! Venus & DeAndre Hopkins! Kei Nishikori & Steve Aoki! Madison Keys & Seal! SEAL) and letting them go to town on each other, with John McEnroe and YouTube's iJustine on commentary.

Squad Up for Movie Night
The whole watch party phenomenon is sort of sliding out of "phenomenon" stage and into "this is just how we watch movies now" stage—and that transition would probably be moving even faster if there were better solutions than Zoom or Netflix Party available. Enter Squad, a browser-based solution to the many annoyances that come with trying to have an "it just works" sort of watch party. Don't want to install an extension? You don't have to! Would rather text chat instead of video chat? You're good. Do you want to stream content from anywhere, and not just one or two streaming platforms? That's this. So far it's completely free to use, so why not get in on that for your next watch party, which CBS is very much hoping will be...

Support The Portland Mercury

CBS Sunday Night at the Movies: Raiders of the Lost Ark
It's so bizarre to see the CBS Sunday Night Movie come back to brodcast TV after being made more-or-less obsolete by cable back in the '90s. And then cable was made obsolete in the '00s by the internet, and now because the movie industry doesn't know what it's going to be in the near future, media companies like Viacom/CBS are looking at all these watch parties, looking at their network programming, noticing their large back catalogs, and boom: The Sunday Night Movie returns with a slightly different name at 8pm tonight, presenting a perfect excuse for everyone to get together at the same time, in the same place, and watch 1981's Raiders of the Lost Ark, maybe the most perfectly constructed film in cinema history. Maybe. I’m sure someone out there has an argument on deck, but I’m betting their champion of choice doesn’t include a giant pit of snakes; a fight inside, on top of, and hanging off the front of a truck at 50 mph; a holy box that melts Nazi faces like Totino’s Party Pizza; and—most importantly—the presence of peak Harrison Ford in all his sweaty, smirky, silly-yet-sexy glory.

The Walking Dead
This isn't a recommendation for the tv show. The time for that has long since passed (although there are rumors the show has seen an uptick in quality the last season—but there's been what feels like 30 years of that same rumor happening every year, so buyer beware). This is a recommendation for the Image Comics series the show is based on! The comics are fairly different than the show in more than a few ways, not least of which being the comic has an ending. And now you can finally, in at least one way, say you've finished this series thanks to this Humble Bundle deal: Pay them $25 (proceeds benefitting the Book Industry Charitable Foundation) and get the full run, including specials and one-offs, DRM-free for your comics reader of choice.

The Meters
There was a moment in the middle of AppleTV+'s Beastie Boys Story, where Adam Horovitz is talking about the band picking their instruments back up in the '90s and asking themselves "Why not try to be The Meters?" It's a question more bands really should ask of themselves. Granted, the Beasties never got there (although their instrumental albums are really fun listens in their own way) but that's not really a knock: The Meters are less a band and more like an element on the periodic table. It's kinda weird how essential the Meters are, considering how consistently underrated they are, and have always been. But there is almost no more surefire way to make any cookout or backyard jam (even a socially-distanced and locked down one) exponentially better than to add the Meters to it.

Don't forget to check out our Things To Do calendar for even more things to stream while you stay home and stay safe!