PoMo Picks

Top Things to Do This Weekend: June 21–24

Naked cyclists swarm the city, the Decemberists play Edgefield, a new show riffs on the Donner Party, and Andrea Bocelli serenades the Moda Center.

By Rebecca Jacobson, Fiona McCann, and Natasha Tandler June 21, 2018

Brace yourselves: The Decemberists are ready to burn Edgefield down.

Books & Talks

IPRC's 20th Birthday Fundraiser

6:30 p.m. Fri, Independent Publishing Resource Center, $8
Somehow, despite multiple moves and funding threats, Portland's indie print mecca has made it to 20. Celebrate the scrappy institution at this birthday bash, featuring music, art, and stories, plus the requisite food and drink. Organizers will also assemble a time capsule (to be opened in another 20 years), and have asked attendees to bring an item that symbolizes independent publishing to them.


Road House: The Play

8 p.m. Fri–Sat, Siren Theater, $18–22
Bad Reputation Productions revives its ridiculously popular, very funny stage rendition of the 1989 action flick—you know, the one starring Patrick Swayze as a bouncer with feelings. 


CLOSING Jewish Film Festival

Various times Thu–Sun, Whitsell Auditorium, $6–10
What to catch during closing weekend of the 26th annual fest, a longtime collaboration between the Northwest Film Center and Institute of Judaic Studies? The Cakemaker, about a young German baker and an Israeli woman unexpectedly united by tragedy.



9 p.m. Thu, Holocene, $13–15
Fresh off the release of his debut full-length album, soil, the avant-garde performer with the ethereal voice and operatic R&B sounds returns to Portland. Sound designer-turned-musician Katie Gately, who collaborated on the LP, opens.

The Decemberists

6:30 p.m. Fri–Sat, McMenamins Edgefield, $45–50
Portland’s resident indie rock royals the Decemberists are back, with added synth. I’ll Be Your Girl, released in March, marks a sonic departure, with dance beats and distorted vocals rubbing shoulders with the familiar guitar strums and soaring balladry of yore.

Andrea Bocelli

8 p.m. Sat, Moda Center, $78–360
We’re indebted to Italy for introducing us to many wonders, including (but not limited to) espresso, cannoli, and Andrea Bocelli. The internationally famed tenor will make his Portland debut crooning multilingual love ballads at the Moda Center. Nosebleed seats will set you back close to 70 bucks, but being serenaded by the biggest-selling solo artist in the history of classical music might just be worth it.


Very Poorly Indeed

7:30 p.m. Fri–Sat, 5 p.m. Sun, CoHo Theater, $5–25
Think you know the story of the Donner Party? This isn’t the version you learned in grade school. Very Poorly Indeed tackles the iconic Wild West tale—the group of settlers who in 1846 succumbed to cannibalism to survive a snowbound winter on their journey to California—by fusing fairy tales, folklore, and dark humor. Created and performed by artists from a local incubator called the Institute for Contemporary Performance Cohort, this original theatrical production aims to challenge your notions about human morality and compassion. 


7:30 p.m. Thu–Fri, 2 and 7:30 p.m. Sat, 2 p.m. Sun, Portland Playhouse, $34
For Fences, the seventh August Wilson play staged by Portland Playhouse, the Northeast Portland theater company taps Obie-winning director Lou Bellamy to helm the story of a hardworking African-American family man in 1950s Pittsburgh. Denzel Washington tackled the lead role in the recent film adaptation; here it’s played by Lester Purry, a veteran of Wilson’s work.

Visual Art

Linoleum Flowers

Noon–6 p.m. Thu–Sun, Ori Gallery, FREE
For two weeks, Lo Smith and Nadia Wolff—both black queer artists living in Providence, Rhode Island—separately pondered the prompt: “How does a flower become a pattern?” The result of this botanic reflection: printed works that explore such themes as the transience of nature, the objectivity of beauty, and how black queer bodies disrupt institutional spaces.

Julie Green

11 a.m.–6 p.m. Thu–Sat, Upfor Gallery, FREE
The Oregon artist, known for her “Last Supper” series illustrating the meal requests of death row inmates, visits similar themes in her newest exhibit, In Food, Fashion and Capital Punishment. This time, the plates are disposable Chinet covered in plaster, the painting delicately reminiscent of antique china.

R. B. Kitaj

11 a.m.–5 p.m. Thu, 11 a.m.–4 p.m. Fri, noon–5 p.m. Sat–Sun, $8
Known for his strong figurative work as well as his role in the British Pop Art movement—he was good friends with David Hockney—Kitaj had a tumultuous career before his 2007 suicide at the age of 74. A Jew Etc., Etc. collects work from the last 20 years of his life, a time when Kitaj was exploring Jewish heritage and identity in his art.

Special Events

World Naked Bike Ride

8 p.m. Sat, Cathedral Park, FREE
If you've never stripped down to your birthday suit and joined thousands of other naked cyclists riding for safe road travel, clean energy, and positive body image, we have only one question for you: why the hell not?

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