IMAGE: Hawk Krall

The Portland Highland Games promises it is "so authentic, you'll think you're in Scotland!" And because the casual American observer considers Sean Connery's gravelly brogue or Mel Gibson screaming for freedom as Scottish as it gets, the PHGA probably thinks it is getting off unchallenged. Not so! WW offers a handy chart—Real Scotland vs. Fantasy PHGA Scotland—for Albaphiles everywhere.

Portland Scotland
Overeager fifth-generation Scottish-Americans: Obscure genealogical facts give these folks a sense of belonging Beaverton cannot possibly provide. The women will probably wear kilts—a violation of tradition—but can anyone argue the flattering effects of a good tartan? vs Neds: The Scottish trailer trash. Velour tracksuits, gold chains and baseball caps. For lady Neds, manicured nails are a must. Generally found under any bus shelter; their nasal falsettos and incomprehensible lexicon will clue you in if the general aura of petty criminality doesn’t do it.
Tea: The Portland Highland Games gets this one right on the money, so long as PG Tips is involved and no one is caught putting half-and-half in that cuppa…. vs Tennent’s: Tennent’s was first brewed in Scotland in 1885; today it is the country’s best-selling lager—its watery taste and low price make it akin to a MacPabst.
Caber toss: If you’ve ever thought a telephone pole might make for good sport, you’ll love the caber toss. One man (the manliest of men) tosses a wooden pole at least 20 feet high and 120 pounds heavy into the air. vs Shinty: A rough-and-tumble version of field hockey, mainly played in the Highlands. Players can use their sticks to block and tackle, because the Scottish are nothing if not badasses unafraid of a few grass stains.
Braveheart-esque lingo: “Aye my wee lassie, our clan MacClannough is frae the bonnie banks o’ Scotland.” vs Glaswegian Scots: “Ah widnae dae that if ah were yis, ye mingin coont.”
SEE IT: 57th Annual Portland Highland Games. Mt. Hood Community College, 26000 SE Stark St., Gresham, 8 am-5:30 pm Saturday, July 18. $20 adult, $10 kids 6-17, 5 and under free. Free parking.

Headout Picks




Merrill Garbus released one of the year's best (and most overlooked) albums as Tune-Yards, and tonight she shares the stage with local faves Explode Into Colors and the sepia-toned, sorta-country leanings of Drakkar Sauna.

Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison St., 239-7639. 8:30 pm. $7. 21+.



Tin House 10th Anniversary

The much-talked-about and award-winning Colson Whitehead (

John Henry Days,
Sag Harbor

) tops a list of literary bigwigs at

Tin House’s

10th-anniversary celebration. Among others, Aimee Bender, Matthew Dickman and Charles D'Ambrosio will read; all proceeds go to Literary Arts' Writers in the Schools program.

Newmark Theatre, Portland Center for the Performing Arts, 1111 SW Broadway., 248-4335. 7:30 pm. $12-$15. All ages. See for tickets and info.



Portland International Beerfest

Pounding international beer samples and getting plastered in the Park Blocks is about as culturally competent as a booze hound can get in the U.S. The Portland International Beerfest offers over 150 beers from more than 15 countries. Drinkers pay $20 for 10 beer tickets and an official PIB glass.

All weekend at North Park Blocks, Northwest 8th Avenue between Burnside and Glisan streets. For info, visit




Haven't seen

The Hurt Locker

yet? Shame on you. At least now you can watch it in the presence of the director, and hear her discuss how she made the year's best movie.

Hollywood Theatre, 4122 NE Sandy Blvd., 493-1128. Silent auction at 6 pm, screening at 7 pm. $12-$20. 21+.




Brett and Rennie Sparks might be a married couple, but they write about life's trials (love, sex, death) like few bands do. This is one family we can stand behind.

Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside St., 231-9663. 9 pm. $11 advance, $12 day of show. 21+.

Succumb to zine fever, already! Participants at Shuffleupagus—be they expert, amateur or hack—will join Slow Wave's Jesse Reklaw and Cryptozoa's Androo Robinson for an evening of comic-strip exquisite corpse. Central Library, 801 SW 10th Ave., 988-5123. 6-7:30 pm. Free. All ages.