Like indie bands playing a match of "Dueling Banjos," Portland's hoteliers keep upping the ante on rock 'n' roll accommodations. (You still must supply your own vomit to drown in.) McMenamins' White Eagle Saloon started the trend with rooms above a rock venue; the Jupiter Hotel modified that concept with a ski-lodge firepit; the Ace Hotel offers in-room turntables and vinyl rentals at the concierge desk. Next week, as McMenamins opens its downtown flagship, the Crystal Hotel, cater-corner to the Ace, it takes the music-geek specificity to a new level of detail: Every one of its 48 rooms is themed around a single song.
The 1911 hotel has been remodeled into a shrine to the history of the next-door Crystal Ballroom: "The criteria for having a room [named after your song] is that you have to have played the Crystal at some point in its history," says McMenamins director of music Jimi Biron. This week, construction workers and artists are rushing to finish the project. (Not without complications: A painting that gorgeously if literally visualized the Shins' "Sleeping Lessons" lyric "Eviscerate your fragile frame/ And spill it out in the ragged floor" was axed when company brass decided the sight of James Mercer being disemboweled might unsettle guests.) Check out the headboards as we preview three rooms that top the charts.
Song: "Paper Thin Walls"
Artist: Modest Mouse
Lyrics written above bed: "These walls are paper thin/ And everyone hears every little sound."
What you should do in this room: Have extremely loud sex.
Room 310 (pictured above)
Song: "I Think I'll Just Stay Here
Artist: Merle Haggard
Lyrics written above bed: "Could quit doing wrong, start doing right / You don't care about what I think."
What you should do in this room: Stay there and drink.
Artist: The Decemberists
Lyrics written above bed: "And I waited there for you."
What you should do in this room: Overdose on antidepressants.
THURSDAY, APRIL 28
[MUSIC] MAKE IT POP
PDX Pop Now! is the best local music event of the midsummer, but the free weekend festival doesn't pay for itself. Friday's benefit features killer local talent performing acoustically (Laura Veirs and Laura Gibson with Eric Earley of Blitzen Trapper and Israel Nebecker of Blind Pilot), hors d'oeuvres from Beast and desserts from Bakery Bar and Fifty Licks. That's a lotta musical and foodie goodness. The Cleaners at Ace Hotel, 403 SW 10th Ave. 6:30 pm. $35 GA, $70 VIP. All ages.
[TALK] ART SPIEGELMAN
Legendary former New Yorker cartoonist and the artist behind the Pulitzer Prize-winning graphic memoir Maus, Art Spiegelman, will be giving a talk and Q&A session on the history of comics. Not cheap, but well worth selling a few collector's editions for. Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, 1037 SW Broadway, 248-4335. 7:30 pm. $70kknd. Tickets through ticketmaster.com.
FRIDAY, APRIL 29
After spending two years as a correspondent for The Daily Show, comedian Lauren Weedman volunteered at a Southern California women's prison. She turned the experience into a successful one-woman show, which Portland Center Stage is importing to its downstairs-studio theater. Gerding Theater, 128 NW 11th Ave., 445-3700, pcs.org. 7:30 pm Tuesdays-Wednesdays and Fridays, 2 and 7:30 pm Saturdays and Sundays, noon and 7:30 pm Thursdays, through June 19. $18-$40.
SATURDAY, APRIL 30
[DRINK] CHEERS TO BELGIAN BEERS
Forty-two Oregon breweries take the same strain of yeast and produce different styles of Belgian beers. Alcohology is our favorite school of science. Metalcraft Fabrication 723 N Tillamook St., oregonbeer.org/pctbb. Admission is free, $15 for five drink tickets and a tasting glass, additional tastes $1.
[MOVIES] Phil Ochs: There But For Fortune
Ochs was the real-deal folk singer, if a complex individual, and the general fucked-upness of the '60s literally drove him insane. You don't need to know anything about the guy to appreciate this movie. NW Film Center's Whitsell Auditorium, 1219 SW Park Ave., 221-1156. 7 and
9 pm. $6-$9.
MONDAY, MAY 2
The Doug Fir has a capacity of, like 300, people! Don't miss this special chance to see a reconfigured version of one of Portland's best bands—down a Brent Knopf, but with an extra member—blow your mind at a relatively small club. Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside St., 231-9663. $15 advance, $18 day of show. 21kknd.