FRIDAY, MAY 12
Divers, Paper Thin Youth, Longclaw, Puppy Breath
Divers have released just over a dozen songs in their five or so years of existence, but the quartet still has my vote for hardest-working rock band in Portland. While you might not see their hustle transformed into much purchasable media, Divers' live show is a thing of wild beauty that betrays a deep dedication to punk transcendence, as well as methodical self-improvement. It can be easy to miss in the sweaty hubbub of a set, but Divers are engaged in an ongoing conversation with their songs, and in the few months since you last saw the band, it will have discovered a handful of rousing new ways to make old sounds soar. Smart Collective, 6923 SE Foster Rd., smartcollectivepdx.com. 7 pm. $5. All ages.
The Flaming Lips
By now, you should know what to expect from a Flaming Lips show: confetti, glitter, blood, animal costumes, giant plastic balls and whatever other weird ideas pop into leader Wayne Coyne's acid-damaged skull. No matter how many times you see it, the spectacle never gets old—and tonight, it's happening in a much-smaller venue than the band has played in a while. See our feature on Portland's storied history with the Lips here. Roseland Theater, 8 NW 6th Ave., roselandpdx.com. 9 pm. Sold out. All ages.
Gritty Birds 2 Year Anniversary: Skull Diver, Coco Columbia
Local podcast Gritty Birds—hosted by singer and Mercury contributor Jeni Wren Stottrup—celebrates its second year of wide-ranging musician interviews with a dance party, featuring performances from psychedelic death-pop sister act Skull Diver and soul-jazz futuristic Coco Columbia, plus a secret headliner. Kelly's Olympian, 426 SW Washington St., kellysolympian.com. 9 pm. $5. 21+.
Portland Night Market
Portland Night Market is back with its quarterly bazaar of pretty much every Portland artisanal thing that has a marketing department—liquor, candy, jewelry, whatever. That's fine if you're shopping for Mom (see our handy guide here.) But more importantly? Sellwood bar Bible Club will have a speakeasy at the market, so you can get crazy-good cocktails without having to cab it home from deep Southeast. 100 SE Alder St., pdxnm.com. 4-11 pm. Also Saturday.
The Talented Ones
A new work by Seattle playwright Yussef El Guindi, The Talented Ones deals with subject matter that could potentially seem pretty heavy. Both first-generation U.S. citizens, protagonists Cindy and Omar feel an immense pressure to make up for their immigrant parents' sacrifices with their success. See our preview here. Artists Repertory Theatre, 1515 SW Morrison St., artistsrep.org. 7:30 pm Wednesday-Sunday, 2 pm Sunday, through May 21. Additional shows noon Wednesday, May 10, 7:30 pm Tuesday, May 16, and 2 pm Saturday, May 20. $25-$50.
Two years after it was on Broadway starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Portland Center Stage is producing Constellations with Grimm's Silas Weir Mitchell in Gyllenhaal's former role. The two-actor drama is an alternate-dimension-hopping love story between a quantum physicist and a beekeeper who meet at a barbeque and fall in love. But with the help of string theory, the play depicts a series of alternate timelines where things don't work out that way: In one timeline, they meet at the barbeque but one of them is married; in another, they don't really interact with each other, and so on. Portland Center Stage, 128 NW 11th Ave., pcs.org. 7:30 pm Tuesday-Sunday, 2 pm Saturday-Sunday, noon Thursday, May 13-June 11. No 2 pm show Saturday, May 13, 20 and June 3, no 2 pm show Sunday, May 14, no noon show Thursday, May 18, no 7:30 pm show Sunday, May 28 and June 11, no show Tuesday, May 30 and June 6.
Prismagic's next circus takes its narrative inspiration more from horror movies than big-top style antics. In Monsters!, two sisters navigate their haunted bedroom after monsters emerge from their wall. It's an unexpected storyline for a circus, but that's Prismagic's thing: its acrobatics- and contortionist-focused shows have been about depression, magic bunnies and space adventures. Curious Comedy Theater, 5225 NE Martin Luther King Blvd., prismagic.org. 7:30 pm Wednesday, May 10-24. $20 advance, $25 at the door.
After it was first performed in 1889 in Denmark, Miss Julie was promptly banned throughout most of Europe. But what made it so controversial when it debuted—a casual attitude toward sex and class boundaries—is hardly shocking to a modern audience. Shaking the Tree's production attempts to assert the play's relevance with contemporary staging. See our preview here. Shaking the Tree Warehouse, 823 SE Grant St., shaking-the-tree.com. 7:30 pm Thursday-Sunday, through June 10. No show Sunday, June 4. $25.
Yellow Terror: The Collections and Paintings of Roger Shimomura
In the spring of 1942, Roger Shimomura and his family were told to pack one suitcase and prepare to move from Washington state to the Minidoka internment camp in Idaho. Shimomura's family had only days to make arrangements to sell their home, business and possessions for pennies on the dollar. Influenced by his childhood in the camps, his service in the U.S. Army and his exposure to 1960s experimental art in the Bay Area, Shimomura has been a vibrant force interpreting the West Coast Asian-American diaspora for decades. See our preview for Yellow Terror here. Oregon Nikkei Legacy Center, 121 NW 2nd Ave., oregonnikkei.org, through July 16. 11 am-3 pm Tuesday-Saturday, noon-3 pm Sunday. $5, $3 seniors and students, free on First Thursday.
Directed by and starring Alexi Pappas, an American-born Greek Olympic long-distance runner, this coming-of-age dramedy in Oregon's track mecca, Eugene, offers an intimate look into the real world of lifelong runners. See our review here. Tracktown is unrated. It opens Thursday at Clinton Street Theater, 2522 SE Clinton St., cstpdx.com.
SATURDAY, MAY 13
Vampire Masquerade Ball
We thought a Vampire Masquerade Ball would be full of Draculas and Edward Cullen wannabes. We thought there'd be fangs and blood and no garlic welcome on the premises. It turns out, we were wrong. Vampires are actually quite…misunderstood. See our interview with Lady Raven, creator of the ball, here. The Vampire Masquerade Ball is at Melody Ballroom, 615 SE Alder St., melodyballroom.com on Saturday, May 13. 9 pm. $45 advance, $50 at the door. 21+.
After staging several performances last year, the August Wilson Red Door Project is bringing back its production of Hands Up for 2017. Created after the 2014 shooting death of Michael Brown, Hands Up presents seven visceral monologues by black playwrights about their experiences with institutionalized racial profiling. Friendly House, 2617 NW Savier St., reddoorproject.org. 2 and 7:30 pm. Free, donations accepted.
St. Johns Bizarre
For this year's installment of Portland's best street fair, organizers snared not only pop-punk institution the Thermals but Seattle's Dude York, who take the Thermals' melodic aggression in ecstatically noisy new directions—plus battle-rap vet Illmaculate, Latin folkies Y La Bamba and rising indie rockers Little Star, along with tons of local food and crafts. Summer isn't quite here yet, but consider this your official preview. St. Johns business district, stjohnsbizarre.com. 10 am-7 pm. Free.
Questlove, Rev Shines, Dev from Above
In case you weren't aware, Portland has a not-so-secret celebrity admirer, and his name is Questlove. The Roots drummer, Tonight Show bandleader and all-around music encyclopedia has gone on record multiple times proclaiming Portland his favorite city in the world. His regular gig keeps him from visiting as often as he'd probably like, so you imagine he's looking forward to this DJ gig as much as anyone. The dude has forgotten more about music than most of us will ever know, so expect to hear some stuff you never even knew existed. White Owl Social Club, 1305 SE 8th Ave., whiteowlsocialclub.com. 9 pm. $25. 21+.
For the past 20 years, Amy Goodman has fought the good fight with independent reporting through her Democracy Now! radio, TV and internet broadcast. Her credentials include pitbull-ish reporting on the 2008 Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minn., which led to her arrest, and more pitbull-ish reporting on the Dakota Access Pipeline protests, which led to a warrant for her arrest. Naturally, she was acquitted in both instances, but it's not crazy to think that someone didn't want her on the ground. Her new book is Democracy Now!: Twenty Years Covering the Movements Changing America. Powell's Books at Cedar Hills Crossing, 3415 SW Cedar Hills Blvd., Beaverton, powells.com. 5 pm.
SUNDAY, MAY 14
When international arts collective Source Material settled in Portland last year, it made its local debut with A Thousand Tongues, an avant-garde concert sung by a Danish performer in 10 languages. The group's follow-up project is just as ambitious: an immersive performance based on the Russian folklore of Baba Yaga told through Eastern European songs and physical theater. The Headwaters Theatre, 55 NE Farragut St., source-material.us. 2 and 7 pm. $18.
The sounds of silence have become increasingly important to the Antlers' Peter Silberman. Impermanence, his new solo record, is a subtle blend of guitar and voice full of natural emptiness, with beautiful melodies and softly delivered lyrics that feel like they could have been recorded by Jeff Buckley's ghost. Fremont Theater, 2393 NE Fremont St., fremonttheater.com. 9 pm. $15 advance, $18 day of show. All ages.
Turtlenecked, Surfer Rosie, Truck
Turtlenecked's follow-up to last year's gnarled and noisy Pure Plush Bone Cage will be released by Good Cheer Records next month, and if the three singles from the upcoming Vultures are any indication, Turtlenecked mastermind Harrison Smith has about a million tricks up his sleeve. "Boys Club" begins as a Suspiria soundtrack outtake before morphing into danceable post-punk, while "Meeting You in the Hospital" offers a mixtape-ready meditation on romance that peaks with this deadly succinct summation of collegiate melancholy: "I don't want to die alone or mean." Finally, on "Pangloss," Smith follows post-hardcore rage into sweet and perfect pop release. It's difficult to predict what the rest of Vultures will sound like, and that is a rare treat. The Know, 3728 NE Sandy Blvd., theknowpdx.com. 8 pm. $6. 21+.
Guamanian Mother's Day
Ed Sablan's Food of Guam pop-up is a family-positive love affair with the Asian and Latin influences of Guam's Chamorran cuisine. For Mother's Day, brined pork steak is mixed into eggs Benedict and sweetened up with some cherry cheesecake, along with tropical fruits and Chinese sausage and rice. Tournant, 920 NE Glisan St., tournantpdx.com. 11:30 am-1:30 pm. $35.