PoMo Picks

Top Things to Do This Weekend: July 18–21

From PDX Pop Now to the Portland Queer Comedy Fest, highland dance to Dutch accordion divas, here's your weekend hit list.

By Rebecca Jacobson, Brendan Nagle, and Conner Reed July 17, 2019

Portland rapper ePP plays the always-free, always-all-ages PDX Pop Now festival this weekend.


Portland Queer Comedy Festival

Various times Thu–Sun, various venues, $25–125
Now in its third year, this fest bills itself as “the first multi-day, multi-venue queer-performer focused comedy festival in the United States.” Acts include Kids in the Hall’s Scott Thompson doing queer-ascot-icon Buddy Cole and Nico Santos of Crazy Rich Asians. Performance times and venues vary (the festival is spread across the Funhouse Lounge, Curious Comedy Theater, Kickstand, Rogue Brewing, and Ford Food & Drink), so check the website for details.



6:30 p.m. Thu–Fri, McMenamins Edgefield, SOLD OUT
Are there even words? The indomitable hip-hop artist serves up her rhymes with infectious energy and a take-no-prisoners message of body positivity and self-acceptance. This two-night Edgefield run, to zero surprise, is sold out.


8 p.m. Thu, 9 p.m. Fri, Hawthorne Theatre, $20–25
At just 20 years old, the bilingual bedroom-pop singer has already become something of an online sensation, with laidback synth grooves like “Lo Que Siento” and “Lover Is A Day” amassing huge streaming numbers. And this is all without a proper full-length album to his name. That’ll change July 26 with the release of Para , but you can catch the blossoming singer-songwriter a week in advance at the Hawthorne Theatre, where he’ll play two nights. 

Wild Hare Country Festival

5 p.m. Fri, 3 p.m. Sat, Pat's Acres, $59–198
Situated at Pat’s Acres Racing Complex in Canby, the saloon-sponsored festival focuses on outlaw and Red Dirt acts like Whitey Morgan and the Scooter Brown Band. This year, there’s a free-to-access stage showcasing up-and-coming acts, plus food carts galore. The yeehaw agenda lives. 

Cathedral Park Jazz Festival

5 p.m. Fri, 1 p.m. Sat–Sun, Cathedral Park, FREE
For three days every July, just below the St. Johns Bridge, you’ll find the longest-running jazz and blues festival west of the Mississippi. The fest, now in its 39th year, invites audiences to spread their picnic blankets and enjoy tunes from 15 bands, many of them local.

PDX Pop Now

Noon Sat–Sun, Audio Cinema, FREE
Sixteen years in, the mandate at this beloved music fest hasn’t changed: all ages, 100 percent local, entirely free. Highlights this time around include dynamic soul duo Brown Calculus, punk trio Cry Babe, and MC ePP, whose recent There’s a Place for People Like You comprises 13 tracks of powerful lyrics, swaggering melodic hooks, and smooth, windows-down grooves. 


CLOSING CoHo Summerfest

7: 30 p.m. Thu–Sun, CoHo Theatre, $25
The fourth and final weekend of this festival of new work brings Summerfest Ruckus, a variety show “free for all” that promises Dutch accordion divas, eye surgery, and contemporary dance.

Much Ado About Nothing

7:30 p.m. Thu–Sat, 2 p.m. Sun, Vault Theater, $27–32
Perhaps the greatest of Shakespeare’s comedies, Much Ado About Nothing is a twisty tale of love and deceit and an uproarious farce to boot. Hillsboro’s Bag & Baggage Productions offers a modern take on the classic source material, promising an exploration of “love and its many facets with a fluid approach to gender.” 

La Finta Giardiniera

7:30 p.m. Thu and Sat, Newmark Theatre, $35–200
Portland Opera’s penultimate production of the season is Mozart’s classic tale of lust and mistaken identity (which he wrote at 18). Complementary events include a starlit simulcast in the South Park Blocks on Wednesday, July 24

Visual Art

OPENING Brandi Kruse

10 a.m.–5 p.m. Sat–Sun, Fuller Rosen Gallery, FREE
The Portland-based visual artist brings a new solo show about dimension—temporal, personal, and visual—to Southeast Division’s Fuller Rosen Gallery. In the artist’s own words: “the work in flat out is simplified, undone, and made awkward.” Media include sculpture, poetry, and found objects.

Dear Lucy

11 a.m.–6 p.m. Thu–Sat, Upfor Gallery, FREE
In this group exhibit, five artists—April Bey, Bean Gilsdorf, Michelle Grabner, Faith Wilding (with feminist collective subRosa), and Wendy Red Star—take on what it means to depict women and their “domestic arts,” exploring where the political and intimate realms converge. Expect work in a wide range of media, from fiber arts to sculpture to photography.

Special Events

Portland Highland Games

8 a.m. Sat, Mt. Hood Community College, $8
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.

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