Earlier this week, the people behind PBR and the people behind Bonaroo announced a brand-spanking-new September music festival: Project Pabst, with a three-day lineup that includes Modest Mouse, Tears for Fears, Violent Femmes, and GZA, plus a wealth of local talend. It's crazy cheap, and advance tickets are already selling out. Read our post on Project Pabst to see the full lineup and get tickets. (Also, we can't believe no one's ever done the unicorn Oregon thing before...)
Friday–Sunday, Pendarvis Farm
It’s the 16th edition of Pickathon, an annual celebration of old-time country twang, roots music, and hillbilly hullabaloo (not to mention hip-hop, gospel, and whatever other sound catches the organizer's ears). This year’s lineup includes Nickle Creek, Blind Pilot, X, The War on Drugs, Warpaint, Jonathan Richmond, Foxygen, Shakey Graves, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Ages and Ages, Parquet Courts, and more—all set to pick and grin under the open sky. Read our story asking if Pickathon can survive it's own success—and reinvent the live concert video at the same time.
Friday, Roseland Theater
T-Pain gets a lot of grief. For a man who has over 50 hit singles, two Grammys, and 300 million YouTube views, the R&B superstar simply can't escape the dour judgement of critics, who delight in hanging the grim state of pop music around his neck. All this wailing and gnashing of teeth misses the point, of course, which is that music can be fun. (Remember?) And if T-Pain is anything, he's fun. Read our Q&A with T-Pain, in which he discusses strip clubs, why Auto-Tune isn't dead, and his hatred of hoppy beer.
Thursday, Crystal Ballroom
A lot of buzz surrounded the release of Tycho's new album, Awake, on March 18, owing to one of the biggest names in electronic music switching his emphasis from a solo laptop and keyboard project to a live band. Scott Hansen, the brains behind Tycho, will be backed by drums, bass, and guitar as he plays the Crystal Ballroom. Read our story about Hansen's switch to a full band.
The Flaming Lips
Sunday, Tom McCall Waterfront Park
Lovable weirdos the Flaming Lips perform a free show on the waterfront in conjunction with the Major League Soccer All-Star. Come down and enjoy the show, or stay at home and stream it online. Either way, you'll get to take in all the psychedelia a Flaming Lips show ensures. Locals Radiation City perform first. This'll be a great opportunity to knock out some squares on your MLS Bingo.
Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
Sunday, Mississippi Studios
The first songs on Clap Your Hands Say Yeah’s most recent album, Only Run, make one wonders if CYHSY has chosen to move on from the catchy, indie-pop style that made their self-titled, self-released debut an internet sensation back in 2005. We think it shows the band is trying to create something new without losing the essence from their initial creative spark. And it works. CYHSY brings their new material to Mississippi Studios this Sunday, and you can read our full album review here.
The Three Sisters
Thursday–Sunday, Reed College
Always found The Three Sisters dull? So did Lewis & Clark theater professor Stepan Simek. Then he teamed up with PETE (Portland Experimental Theatre Ensemble) for an edgy take on his new translation, which abandons the classic's traditional, ornamental English, trying instead for a direct, aggressive energy Simek finds in the original Russian. Read our story about Simek's quest to reinvigorate a play that had grown ostentatious and dull.
Great Horror Campout
Are you one of the people who yell at the stupid teens in slasher flicks? Think you can do better? You'll get your chance with the Great Horror Campout. This campout from hell features a night of horror-themed scavenger hunts, challenges, and scare actors. Reviews of the event, which tours the west coast all summer, have been mixed. While the actors have coaxed praise, some campers felt frustrated with organizational flaws and large crowds; it's hard to be truly scared when you're surrounded by dozens of other groups going through the same thing—and sometimes waiting in line to do it. Decide for yourself.
Top Down: Rooftop Cinema: Bottle Rocket
Thursday, Hotel deLuxe
This special screening is tied with another summer series from NW Film Center, Wes's World: Wes Anderson and His Influences (Check out our quiz testing your knowledge of Anderson's movies). Bottle Rocket is Anderson's first movie and features Owen and Luke Wilson as bumbling small-time thieves hoping to pull of a big heist. Pre-show music by the band Bubble Cats.
A Cosmic and Earthly History of Recorded Music According to Mississippi Studios
Thursday, Hollywood Theatre
Mississippi Record's Eric Isaacson leads the Hollywood Theatre through the history of recorded music, including a study of stars' life cycles as music, the earliest recorded sounds, and the rise of blues. The presentation will blend slide show and lecture with 45 minutes of archival footage, featuring music from Bo Diddley, Rosetta Tharpe, and more.
Books & Talks
Bright Lights: Discussions on the Future of Portland
Thursday, Whitsell Auditorium
Retiring baby boomers desiring outdoor recreation, foodies and wine connoisseurs coming for the comestibles, climate refugees fleeing soaring Southwest temperatures—the population of the Willamette Valley is near certain to soar. Can we welcome the hordes without losing what we treasure about the valley? Four visionary thinkers ponder the possibilities.
Portland Festival Symphony
Saturday at Laurelhurst Park and Sunday Peninsula Park
This annual summer tradition brings free classical music to five city parks: Laurelhurst, Cathedral, Grant, Peninsula, and Washington. Laurelhurst's concert will feature festive brass music, and selections from Jean Sibelius' Symphony #2, and the concert at Peninsula Park will include the Ethos String Ensemble, made up of students from Ethos Music Center. The local summer icon Lajos Balogh (pictured) conducts.