From Bridgetown Comedy Fest to PDX Supergroup Eyelids, May's Pop Culture Hot List
You blink, and all of a sudden your baby is 10 years old. Bridgetown Comedy Festival (May 4–7), as beloved by Portland audiences as it is by the comedians who return year on year, is back with a lineup that includes (above, clockwise from top left) Ian Karmel, Karen Kilgariff, Baron Vaughan, Janeane Garofalo, Jackie Kashian, and Eugene Mirman, among the 100-plus performers. Promoters intimate this “might be” the festival’s last year, so find your laughs while you can, Portland.
Get your comedic game on early with a bonus Bridgetown show from Patton Oswalt ahead of the main event (Arlene Schnitzer Hall, May 2). Oswalt, who headlined the festival’s inaugural year, returns with the self-effacing, politically outspoken stand-up that made him a hit the first time around, and arguably much more material to work with.
The Decemberists, Boston Spaceships, Guided by Voices, Elliott Smith: they’re all part of the lineage that led to Portland supergroup Eyelids whose debut album, 854, revealed a jangly, guitar-driven sound with Teenage Fanclub-esque vocal lines and solid melodic hooks. They’re back, fresh from a UK tour supporting Drive-By Truckers, with Or (May 5), produced by R.E.M. guitarist Peter Buck.
The 2009 debut of Sheila Callaghan’s That Pretty Pretty; or The Rape Play in the West Village had the New Yorker gushing about the “sass and sarcasm” and “high-energy punk writing.” Now Portland’s Defunkt—no stranger to politically charged work—takes on this raucous examination of objectification and male violence (May 5–June 14). Bonus: Jane Fonda appears as a character. In leg warmers.