PoMo Picks

Top Things to Do This Weekend: Aug 9–12

Shabazz Palaces play the Doug Fir, Barack Obama and Joe Biden do some bromantic sleuthing, massive murals pop up across town, and the Stumptown Improv Fest turns five.

By Rebecca Jacobson, Fiona McCann, and Natasha Tandler August 9, 2018

Shabazz Palaces bring their heterodox hip-hop to the Doug Fir this Friday.

Books & Talks

Courtenay Hameister

7:30 p.m. Thu, Alberta Rose Theatre, SOLD OUT
All-around funny person Courtenay Hameister—former host and head writer of radio’s Live Wire—has just dropped her debut book, Okay Fine Whatever, chronicling a year of queasy-making experiences: water aerobics (read an excerpt about her aquatic adventure), burrito night at Ron Jeremy’s sex club, and many OkCupid dates. It’s a heartfelt account of living with anxiety, dished up with plenty of lip.

Andrew Shaffer

7:30 p.m. Thu, Powell's Books on Hawthorne, FREE
In his newly released comedic thriller Hope Never Dies, bestselling author Andrew Shaffer—deemed “the pro of parodies” by the Associated Presstransforms Barack Obama and Joe Biden into a formidable crime-fighting duo. Lap up the bromantic details as the two take on serious sleuthing matters, from the mysterious death of a railroad conductor to uncovering the evil powers feeding America’s opioid addiction.


Eugene Mirman

8 p.m. Thu, Aladdin Theater, $25
Best known as the voice of Gene on Bob’s Burgers and as Eugene the landlord on Flight of the Conchords, the Russian-born Mirman is a prolific funnyman. In addition to his acting work, he also hosts Hold Ona podcast where he interviews other comediansand he founded a stand-up festival in Brooklyn. Catch him as he brings his absurdist act to the Aladdin stage.

Stumptown Improv Festival

7:30 p.m. Fri–Sun, Artists Repertory Theatre, $15–110
When this fest began four years ago, it seemed to arrive fully formed, booking top-notch shows from the get-go. It returns for the fifth go-around with another slam-bang lineup, including L.A.’s White Women (composed of six black dudes), Chicago’s Preach (which incorporates spoken word into its long-form improv), freestyle rappers North Coast, and hometown heroes Broke Gravy and J Names.

The Mystery Box Show

7 p.m. Sun, Alberta Rose Theatre, $22
Portlanders unleash their juiciest, kinkiest, and most scandalous sex stories. In other words, a great first Tinder date.


Art in the Dark

8:45 p.m. Thu–Sun, Mary S. Young Park, $17–37
Suspended from the trees of West Linn’s Mary S. Young Park, A-WOL’s aerial dancers twirl, flip, and contort above an illuminated stage. Ambient electro-pop act East Forest provides live musical accompaniment.


Beach House

8 p.m. Fri, Keller Auditorium, $37.50–45.25
The Baltimore-based dream-pop duo dropped its seventh record, simply titled 7, this past May. The album—which Rolling Stone called “a radical blast of psychedelic pop bliss”—pairs dark, pensive lyrics with synth-filled rhythms, with one song featuring lead vocalist Victoria Legrand chanting in French.

Shabazz Palaces

9 p.m. Fri, Doug Fir Lounge, $20
Seattle’s heterodox hip-hop duo has produced otherworldly grooves for nigh on a decade, a sound they doubled down on last summer with a pair of concept albums about an alien called Quazarz dispatched to “Amurderca.”

Hop Along

9 p.m. Fri, Wonder Ballroom, $16–20
With Frances Quinian’s tantalizing, raspy vocals fueling punk-rock/Americana-infused songs, Hop Along has created a unique sound in today’s crowded indie-rock scene. The Philly-based band’s latest album, Bark Your Head Off, Dog, features fiddles, a saloon piano, and synth beats.

Back Country Bash

3–11 p.m. Sat, Harley Tucker Rodeo Arena, Joseph, $50–60
The winning wilds of Joseph, Oregon, play host to this small-town alt-country event, headlined by rootsy rockers Reckless Kelly. Come for the twang, stay (in the 23-acre campground) for the breathtaking Eastern Oregon surrounds.

Strum Fest PDX

2 p.m.–1 a.m. Sun, The Evergreen, $30
Portland’s newest music fest focuses on bluegrass acts from here and afar, from Tennessee-based husband-and-wife duo Kenny and Amanda Smith to local five-piece Julie & The Wayves. The festival closer is Portland’s own party-starting funk act, Dirty Revival.


Guys and Dolls

7:30 p.m. Thu–Fri, 2 and 7:30 p.m. Sat, 2 p.m. Sun, Deb Fennell Auditorium, $20–58
The stakes are high as long-time gambler Sky Masterson makes a bet to woo Sarah Brown, an angelic “Save-A-Soul” missionary. Meanwhile, illegal crap game organizer Nathan Detroit feels pressure to wed Adelaide, his girlfriend of 14 years. See if these two gamester gents play their cards right in Broadway Rose’s production of the beloved romantic musical comedy.

Visual Art


Various times Thu–Sun, various locations, prices vary
For the past two years, art lovers, collectors, and creators have swarmed Portland for the city’s newest visual arts festival, Converge45, built around contemporary art. This year, expect exhibits from the likes of neo-conceptualist Jenny Holzer, a fine-arts-books presentation, an artists’ garden party, and a performance from acclaimed Alabama artist Lonnie Holley, among other events. The likely highlight? Our money’s on habitus, a giant installation by Ohio artist Ann Hamilton at the soon-to-be-demolished Centennial Mills building, which plays with themes of shelter and social connectivity through fabric hangings set spinning by bell rope pulleys. For more, check out our festival explainer.

Forest for the Trees

Thru Sun, various locations, FREE
The city is the canvas for this annual festival, which brings national and international artists to town to work alongside their Portland counterparts on large-scale public murals all over town. Check the website for a full list of locations.

Special Events

Pan African Festival

Noon–8:30 p.m. Sat, Pioneer Courthouse Square, FREE
This second annual celebration of Oregon’s Pan African community (which includes Africans, Caribbean, and African Americans) offers diverse foods, crafts, and live entertainment, including performances from Portland-based rapper I$$A, salsa orchestra Melao De Cuba, and Afro-folk singer-songwriter Naomi Wachira.

Filed under
Show Comments