PoMo Picks: July 2014

Movies in the park, how to score tickets to The Book of Mormon, locals-only summer reading list, and more of the month's best bets for things to see and do in Portland

By Aaron Scott July 1, 2014 Published in the July 2014 issue of Portland Monthly

LocalS ONLY Summer Reading List

The Spark and the Drive by Wayne Harrison
(St. Martin’s Press, $25.99) On sale July 15; reading July 16 at Powell’s

Harrison was an auto mechanic before becoming an award-winning short-story author. His knowledge of the inner workings of a car is as clear as his expertise in the machinations of the human heart in this poetic debut novel about muscle cars, hero worship, love, and betrayal in working-class Connecticut. 

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot by David Shafer
(Mulholland Books, $26) On sale Aug 5; reading Aug 6 at Powell’s

In an outlandish story about a not too outlandish future, an online oligarchy is about to privatize all information. The only resistance is an idealistic set of rebels called Dear Diary and three friends struggling with thirtysomething problems. Hailed as a major debut, WTF is the technothriller Edward Snowden might have dreamed up if he had an absurd sense of humor.

Ride Around Shining by Chris Leslie-Hynan
(Harper, $25.99) On sale Aug 5; reading Aug 8 at Powell’s 

This rookie scores with a dark tale of a white, hipster chauffeur and the Portland Trail Blazer he works for—and fixates on. Rarely have the spheres of racial politics, Portlandia, and basketball collided with such uncomfortable intensity. Plus, you can play “Guess the Blazer” from the deadpan descriptions of off-court antics. 

One Kick by Chelsea Cain
(Simon & Schuster, $25.99) On sale Aug 19; reading Aug 18 at Powell’s

The queen of gore takes a hiatus from “Beauty Killer” Gretchen Lowell to introduce a new female star: Kick Lannigan. A kidnapping survivor, Kick trained in martial arts and weapons so she’d never again fall victim. But her past threatens to reemerge when a stranger asks her to find two missing kids.



Cinema Alfresco

If Pioneer Courthouse Square is the city’s living room, then the top floor of the Hotel deLuxe’s parking garage is its den. The Northwest Film Center’s Top Down: Rooftop Cinema series celebrates 10 years of transforming the structure into a movie theater beneath the stars, where strangers of all stripes gather to watch flicks of all types, as well as be serenaded by preshow bands. Of course, it’s not the only open-air summer movie series. Here’s a rundown, with a few highlights of their seasons:

Top Down: Rooftop Cinema
Thursdays, July 24–Aug 28 | Hotel deLuxe parking garage

  • July 24  Notorious  
  • Aug 21  Edward Scissorhands  
  • Aug 28  The King of Comedy  

Zidell Yards
July 18–Aug 20 | Zidell Yards

  • July 18  Purple Rain, Mean Streets
  • July 19  Dirty Dancing, Enter the Dragon
  • July 20  Stand by Me 


Flicks on the Bricks
Fridays, July 25–Aug 29 | Pioneer Courthouse Square

      • July 25  Ghostbusters
      • Aug 8  The Princess Bride

Movies in the Park
June 26–Sept 13 | Various Portland parks

      • July 18  Gravity | Irving Park
      • Aug 22  Frozen sing-along | Laurelhurst Park

Must-see Theater

How to score tickets to The Book of Mormon on the (very likely) chance it has sold out:

  1. As of July 1, there're limited seats available for some nights at Portland5's box office.
  2. There is a preshow lottery at the Keller Auditorium before each performance for 20 tickets. Entry begins two and a half hours before show time; winners are drawn randomly two hours before with the option to buy one or two tickets at $25 apiece.
  3. Sell your immortal soul on Craigslist.
  4. Convert to Mormonism; read the real book.

Read our review of The Book of Mormon when it came through town last year.

July 8–20 | Keller Auditorium

Image: Wikimedia


How well do you know your soul? Match these leading men headed our way this month with their connection to the Godfather of Soul himself, James Brown.

1. Maceo ParkerJuly 5 | Waterfront Blues Festival

2. Lee Fields and the ExpressionsJuly 5 & 6 | Waterfront Blues Festival

3. Charles Bradley and His ExtraordinairesJuly 25 | Oregon Zoo

4. James Brown: Any day of the week on your turntable or Spotify

A. Was discovered by Daptone Records while performing as a 
James Brown impersonator under the moniker “Black Velvet.”

B. Got his start playing saxophone in Brown’s band in 1964 and 
toured with him on and off until 1988. He’s also played an 
instrumental part in George Clinton’s Parliament Funkadelic 
and Prince’s New Power Generation.

C. Is actually James Brown.

D. The uncanny similarity of his voice, moves, and grooves 
to the real JB earned him the nickname “Little JB” early 
in his four-decade career.

See answers below!

James Brown Answers: 1B, 2D, 3A, 4C

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