FRIDAY, MAY 5

Bridgetown Comedy Festival

(courtesy of Bridgetown Comedy Festival)
(courtesy of Bridgetown Comedy Festival)

Bridgetown celebrates its 10th year with a lineup packed with national big names and Portland comedy scene graduates, including the Curtis Cook, whose sincere take on the importance of the festival can be read hereVarious venues; see bridgetowncomedy.com for a full schedule and lineup. 

 

Gigantic Brewing 5th Anniversary

Considering its labels look like rock posters, it's appropriate that Southeast Portland brewery Gigantic is celebrating its fifth anniversary with a stellar lineup of local bands, including in-the-red garage-rockers Wooden Indian Burial Ground, shoegazers Bed and, appropriately for Cinco de Mayo, Latin-folk institution Y La Bamba. Star Theater, 13 NW 6th Ave., startheaterportland.com. 8 pm. $15. 21+.

System Fucker

SystemFucker

You like your punk fast? System Fucker is faster. You like your punk distorted? System Fucker is more distorted. You like your Mohawks big? System Fucker's hair can dust the upper corners of your loft. Seemingly every punk signifier is pushed into and beyond the red, and the result is a spectacle ripped from adolescent visions of what punk rock might be. It is perfect. Black Water Bar, 835 NE Broadway, 503-281-0439. 7 pm. $10. All ages.

T9 Cinco de Mayo

Cinco de Mayo is pretty much a Mexican-themed gringo party. Celebrate with some of the city's finest gringo tacos, out on a DJ-equipped patio with gallons of killer margaritas, plus carnitas and spicy chicken tacos. Also, there will be festive Jell-O shots. Because America! Or Mexico! Or because you like tequila Jell-O shots! Taqueria Nueve, 727 SE Washington St., taquerianueve.com. 1-10 pm.   

Point Break Live

Illustration by Rick Vodicka
Illustration by Rick Vodicka

For 14 years, Point Break Live has celebrated the amazing and ridiculous nature of the seminal 1991 tale of Keanu Reeves as an ex-college football hero tasked with taking down Patrick Swayze and a gang of surfer-bro bank robbers. See our tips for playing Reeves' character, Johnny Utah, hereCrystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside St., crystalballroompdx.com . 7:30 pm. $20 advance, $25 day of show. 21+.

15th Annual Filmed by Bike Festival

Just a little too late for WW's bike issue, Filmed by Bike returns for its 15th iteration with 80 jury-selected films from around the world celebrating the two-wheeled future of transportation. An opening-night street party hosted by Base Camp Brewing kicks off the weekend at 5 pm Friday outside Velo Cult. Hollywood Theatre, 4122 NE Sandy Blvd. May 5-7. See filmedbybike.org for a full schedule and tickets.

Miss Julie

(Meg Nanna)
(Meg Nanna)

Late-1800s Sweden was not prepared for the attitude toward sex in Miss Julie: After it premiered, August Strindberg's play was promptly banned throughout most of Europe. About an aristocratic woman who has an affair with a married servant, it portrayed a relationship based on lust with a man from a lower social class—both things that Victorian audiences weren't really cool with. But Shaking the Tree's production is less interested in the play's formerly lascivious reputation than its currently apt portrayal of class and power structures. So far this season, Shaking the Tree's ensemble-devised plays have been contemporary in a fragmented, wonderfully poetic way. So it will be interesting to see how the theater decides to handle a more traditional play with a pre-existing script like Miss Julie. Shaking the Tree Warehouse, 823 SE Grant St., shaking-the-tree.com. 7:30 pm Thursday-Sunday, May 4-June 10. No show Sunday, May 7 or June 4. $25.

James Beard: America's First Foodie

James Beard (Dan Wynn)
James Beard (Dan Wynn)

James Beard: America's First Foodie, by Portland director-producer Beth Federici and producer Kathleen Squires, aims to extend the Beard brand outside the world of Instagrammed tweezer food. The new doc, airing May 21 at 7 pm on PBS as part of the American Masters series, explains how a cook from Portland revolutionized American home cooking and fine dining alike. See our interview with Federici here. James Beard: America's First Foodie screens at NW Film Center's Whitsell Auditorium on Friday, May 5. 8 pm. Director Beth Federici will attend.

 

SATURDAY, MAY 6

Stammtisch Maifest

(Joe Riedl)
(Joe Riedl)

Every year in the month of Mai—which is the German word for communism—we shut the street and dance around the Maypole and drink light alcoholic maibock biers and sweet wines, and stuff ourselves with white asparagus and flame cakes that are like German pizza. When we are done, we are fat and happy, and the young ladies compliment us because we really fill out our lederhosen. Stammtisch, 401 NE 28th Ave., stammtischpdx.com. 11 am-1:30 am.

Lil Peep

Pitchfork has called 20-year-old rapper Lil Peep "the future of emo," rapping about cocaine ("Cobain"), suicide ("OMFG"), depression ("Kiss") and romantic shortcomings ("White Wine"). Those who grew up plagued with teen angst can relate to the dark nature of the L.A. transplant's music, and maybe even think he's a genius for throwing a half-rap, half-singing cadence over trap beats laced with alternative-rock samples. Others might question why anyone over the age of 25 would listen to this. But polarization in the SoundCloud age breeds a following in 2017. Hate him or love him, the Hellboy wants to cause havoc. Hawthorne Theatre, 1507 SE Cesar E. Chavez Blvd., hawthornetheatre.com. 9 pm. $15. All ages.

Kentucky Derby Party

Horse racing has no great traditions in the Pacific Northwest, which makes Derby Day something of a dandified costume party of bow ties and floppy hats that pretty much turn Portland Meadows into Jay Gatsby's front lawn. But if you must place a $6 bet based on nothing but the horse's name to have an excuse to drink a mint julep in the bright sun—bookending two minutes of racing with six hours of drinking—so be it. Portland Meadows, 1001 N Schmeer Road, portlandmeadows.com. Noon-6 pm, race is at 3:34 pm.

The Builders and the Butchers, Loch Lomond

The Builders and The Butchers at Valentine’s
The Builders and The Butchers at Valentine’s

For their fifth LP, the Builders and the Butchers, WW's Best New Band of 2008, attempt to strip back the dense jamboree feel of their previous output. The brawny, roadhouse-blues vibe of The Spark was, according to the band, inspired by the White Stripes' White Blood Cells and the king of brawling bar music, Tom Waits. The influence of the former is particularly palpable in the eclectic mix of musical styles from track to track. There's the outright rocker ("No Grave"), the amped-up punk track ("Older Than Sin"), the folky campfire lullaby ("Let It Shine"), the doomsday blues-rock anthem ("Casket Lands") and the stripped-down a cappella spiritual ("Let the Wind Carry Me Home"). It's nothing to call a copyright lawyer over, but for a guy who brazenly employs the same hollow vibrato made so famous by another local frontman, Colin Meloy, you can't help but wonder if singer-songwriter Ryan Sollee is an especially impressionable sort. Though easily sourced, The Spark still features all the earthy, bucolic appeal of its predecessors. The Builders are adept enough to evolve through the variety of sonic signatures deftly, and the kinetic energy so present in their live show is apparent in each track. Even the downtempo crooners retain a slow-burn, high-drama appeal that feels more like intentional respites—breathing room for the explosion that's always sure to follow. The Old Church, 1422 SW 11th Ave., theoldchurch.org. 9 pm. $13 advance, $15 day of show. All ages.

High School Records Prom 2017: Hollow Sidewalks, You Said Strange, Sweeping Exits, Volturz, DJ Joseph Hopper

Prom may not have been the most pleasant memory for the non-jock types who flood the Portland music scene, but new local label High School Records is putting a funner spin on the tradition. The event calls for glitzy fashion, advertising an inclusivity—and probably drug-induced trippiness—along with performances from lo-fi shoegazers Hollow Sidewalks, glam punks Sweeping Exits, and French psych group You Said Strange. All proceeds go to social and medical service nonprofit Outside In. If dances aren't your thing, there's also the High School Records After Prom, which is occurring the next night for free at the Liquor Store with Devy Metal headlining. Republic Cafe, 222 NW 4th Ave., republiccafeportland.com. 8 pm. $10. 21+.

 

Yaa Gyasi

Garnering the National Book Critics Circle Award's John Leonard First Book Prize, and then being called "an inspiration" by Ta-Nehisi Coates, Homegoing was one of 2016's standout literary achievements. Yaa Gyasi's epic debut tracks two black lineages starting in 17th-century Ghana, and follows them through 20th-century Harlem. Powell's City of Books, 1005 W Burnside St., 800-878-7323. 4 pm.   

Free Comic Book Day

We're lousy with comic books here in Portland. On Free Comic Book Day at Things From Another World, you'll be able to choose up to 10 free comic books from a selection of 40 titles. Comic book artists David Walker, Brian Michael Bendis, and David Marquez will also be on site for signings. Things From Another World, 2916 NE Broadway, 503-284-4693. 9 am.   

 

SUNDAY, MAY 7

Heritage After-party

Chesa is hosting an all-star chef dinner called Heritage with tons of local celebuchefs. It costs $170 and you can't go. But you can totally bag in for the after-party, with free snacks from Maya Lovelace (Mae) and Doug Adams (Imperial)—plus collabo churros from chefs Gregory Gourdet (Departure), Naomi Pomeroy (Beast), and Nora Antene (Le Pigeon, Tusk), and a hosted bar of select beer, wine and cocktails. Hooo! Free, but only with a reservation at eventbrite.com. Chesa PDX, 2218 NE Broadway, 503-477-9521. 10 pm.   

Louder Than Words: A Benefit for DJ OG One

In March, David "DJ OG One" Jackson—a longtime Portland hip-hop booster and the official DJ for the Blazers—went in for surgery Stage 3 colorectal surgery. While the surgery was successful, he came out of it with some unexpected after-effects: He lost his sight and feeling in his right arm. Tonight, the local rap and R&B scene rallies to his aid, with sets from singer Saeeda Wright, trumpeter Farnell Newton, rappers Vursatyl, Mic Capes and Jon Belz, and fellow DJ Juggernaut. Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison St., holocene.org. 8 pm. $8 advance, $10 day of show. 21+.

PJ Harvey

(Maria Mochnacz)
(Maria Mochnacz)

Polly Jean Harvey refuses to be typecast. Ever since she burst on the scene in 1992 with the raw and brutally intimate kiss-off Dry, Harvey has changed her sound and image with each project. Her discography is daunting and nearly impeccable. She can be both disarmingly loud and hauntingly quiet, often in the same song. She sings piano ballads ("When Under Ether," "The River") just as well as she delivers classic rock riffs like "This Is Love." And nobody, outside of perhaps former flame Nick Cave, does the dirge quite so well. Her voice can flutter, and it can destroy. After mostly sticking to her upper register on the previous two records, Harvey is back in siren mode on The Hope Six Demolition Project, her most rock-bound collection since 2004's Uh Huh Her. Recorded behind one-way glass in public sessions in London, the album is more of a heavy-handed political statement than an art experiment. Harvey documents trips to Afghanistan, Kosovo and the poorest sections of Washington, D.C., in vivid detail, creating investigative-journo songs full of droning guitars and folk instruments and marching-band drums. It's another left turn in a career full of weird and captivating moves. The most exciting thing is seeing what comes next. Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside St., crystalballroompdx.com. 8:30 pm Sunday, May 7. Sold out. 21+.

Writer, Sailor, Soldier, Spy

Historian Nicholas Reynolds' new book, Writer, Sailor, Soldier, Spy, suggests that in the mid-1940s, the Office of Strategic Services (precursor to the CIA) enlisted Ernest Hemingway as a clandestine intelligence man in the battle against Hitler. It's worth noting this was a period when Hemingway was bored with his third wife, living in a state of fury-in-perpetuity at not being given the Nobel Prize for literature, and had declining health due to years of chronic alcoholism, acute oyster consumption, and a concussion he'd received in a car crash. Imagine those field reports. Powell's City of Books, 1005 W Burnside St., 800-878-7323, powells.com. 7:30 pm.