PoMo Picks

Top Things to Do This Weekend: July 13–16

Comedy galore, Tacocat, jazz under the St. Johns Bridge, bagpipe competitions, Bastille Day, and the Big Float. Bring it, weekend.

By Rebecca Jacobson, Meagan Nolan, and Anyi Wong-Lifton July 12, 2017

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Tacocat bring their period-positive surf tunes to Mississippi Studios.

Books & Talks

Tin House Summer Readings

8 p.m. Thu–Sun, Reed College Amphitheater, FREE
There are few better spots to hear authors hold forth than Reed College’s leafy amphitheater, which this year hosts 21 writers as part of Tin House’s Summer Workshop. Highlights include Pulitzer-winning novelist Anthony Doerr, Loving Day author Mat Johnson, poetry dynamo Morgan Parker, and journalist Emily Witt. 


Portland Queer Comedy Festival

Various times and locations Thu–Sun, prices vary
Five venues. Four days. More than 40 comics. Welcome to the first multiday festival in the country wholly dedicated to queer comics and their friends and fans. The inaugural lineup will feature established names like Ant (the mononymous, manic, wide-eyed comic who made a name for himself on Best Week Ever and Celebrity Fit Club), Guy Branum of Billy on the Street fame, Maggie Maye, and Danielle Radford, plus plenty more national and local funny people. For more, check out our festival preview.

Portland Sketchfest

Various times Thu–Sat, Siren Theater, $12–85
Siren Theater founder and comic virtuoso Shelley McLendon launches a brand-new sketch comedy festival. The inaugural year boasts a strong slate of both locals (including McLendon’s own group, the Aces) and those from farther afield, such as legendary Los Angeles troupe the Groundlings and Canadian duo Brunch, which has been described as an “apocalyptic ’90s Julia Roberts movie without the Richard Gere.” We've got a Q&A with festival cofounder Ted Douglass.


Northwest String Summit

Thu–Sun, Horning's Hideout, $75–260
Horning’s Hideout hosts the 16th annual Northwest String Summit, with a lineup featuring Yonder Mountain String Band, Greensky Bluegrass, Del McCoury Band, Elephant Revival, and more string-plucking artists. And no bluegrass fest is complete without glamping and yoga opportunities, activities for kids, and plenty of kombucha and beer on tap.


9 p.m. Thu, Mississippi Studios, $15
Proving the world would benefit from more period-positive surf tunes (sample line: “Sew a scarlet letter on my bathing suit, ’cause I’ve got sharks in hot pursuit”), the palindromic Seattle quartet brings irreverent lyrics and bubblegum glee to pop-punk tunes about mansplainers, Internet trolls, and seasonal affective disorder.

Cathedral Park Jazz Festival

Fri–Sun, Cathedral Park, FREE
For the 37th year, the festival dishes up a weekend of jazz and blues concerts—all free—in the shadow of the St. Johns Bridge. Up this summer: Latin jazz from the Manuel Valera Trio, the revival of local funk-soul group Pleasure, and harmonica hotshot Joe Powers.

Perfume Genius

8 p.m. Sun, Revolution Hall, SOLD OUT
“No one is safe when I sashay,” wailed Mike Hadreas in 2014. Now the brilliant singer-songwriter, with his inimitable, opulent sound and defiant lyrics, returns with No Shape. Pitchfork called it “a tender and transcendental protest record of love and devotion.” Plus, check out our Q&A with the chamber-pop sensation.


Così Fan Tutte

7:30 p.m. Fri and 2 p.m. Sat, Newmark Theatre, $35–110
Director Roy Rallo revamps Mozart’s couple-swapping comic opera for the relatively cozy confines of the Newmark.

Visual Art

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Wheeeee, wookiees!

Mako Miyamoto

1–6 p.m. Thu–Sat, Stephanie Chefas Projects, FREE
Do you think fine art is missing something? Not enough Wookiees, for example? Mako Miyamoto agrees, which is why the Portland photographer stages portraits of people in Chewbacca masks, shot against lush, dreamy landscapes. In this series, Further West, Miyamoto for the first time also reveals (gasp!) human faces. 

Connecting Lines

10 a.m.–8 p.m. Thu–Fri, 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Sat–Sun, Portland Art Museum, $19.99
PAM’s Center for Contemporary Native Art showcases work by two artists: Luzene Hill (Eastern Band Cherokee) examines sexual violence against Native women via large-scale silk hangings, while an installation by Portlander Brenda Mallory (Cherokee Nation) “addresses ideas of disruption, repair, and renewal.”

Special Events

Bastille Day

Noon–6 p.m. Sat, Jamison Square, FREE
The Alliance Française de Portland celebrates French independence with the 15th annual Bastille Day Festival. The Pearl District’s Jamison Square will host live music, French speakers, and vendors selling the nation’s favorite sweet and savory delights.

Portland Highland Games

All day Sat, Mt. Hood Community College, $10–20
From the caber toss to the kilted mile, highland dance to bagpipe competitions, this long-running affair is the area’s premier celebration of all things Scottish.

The Big Float

11 a.m.–7 p.m. Sat, Tom McCall Bowl, $10
Yes, you can swim in that river that runs through Portland. This annual event, which supports the Willamette’s preservation and sustainable development, invites floaters to get wet for a good cause, complete with food carts, live music, a beer and wine garden, and kids’ activities. Arrive early for a beach cleanup event, plus free admission to the later festivities.

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