It’s a big weekend for the smug and
self-congratulatory. Saturday is Record Store Day, a celebration of
crass consumerism and the fetishization of impractical and outdated
technology. Sunday is Earth Day, when big-money corporate marketers will
exploit our best intentions and smiling children in face paint to gin
up interest in their products. Which is better? Let’s review the facts.
The first EARTH DAY was founded by U.S. Sen. Gaylord Nelson in 1970. Nelson is also known for presiding over politicized hearings about the “danger” of birth-control pills. Only men testified at his hearings, feminist activists disrupted them, and the pill stayed on shelves.
Metallica kicked off the first RECORD STORE DAY in 2008 with a concert at a Northern California record shop. The band’s drummer, Lars Ulrich, would like you to give him your money and will sue someone if you don’t.
Celebrating two decades in 1990, EARTH DAY organizers split into two rival groups, each sniping at the other’s corporate sponsors. The more honorable group set its big party in Washington state and tapped noted environmentalist John Ratzenberger (Cliff from Cheers) to emcee.
By 2010, RECORD STORE DAY was both a cultural touchstone and a cash cow as stores doubled profits from a typical Saturday. Sensing opportunity, organizers launched a spinoff, “Black Friday Record Store Day,” to get a piece of holiday shoppers too cool to wait in line for $49 Blu-Ray players.
Bridgestone, one of the world’s largest tire makers, is sponsoring a big EARTH DAY party on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. The company operates rubber plantations all over the world and manufactures tires primarily for gasoline-powered automobiles.
Katy Perry will release a special remix of “Part of Me” on pink vinyl for RECORD STORE DAY. It will be delivered on a big truck and will never decompose. (It is also available on iTunes for 99 cents.)
GO: Earth Day events are listed throughout this week’s paper. Record Store Day events are here.
THURSDAY, APRIL 19MARC MARON
[COMEDY] America’s leading podcaster and confessional poet is in town for three nights. Helium Comedy Club, 1510 SE 9th Ave., 888-643-8669. 8 pm Thursday, 7 and 9:30 pm Friday-Saturday, April 19-21. $20-$25. 21+.
U.S. BARISTA CHAMPIONSHIP
[COFFEE] Finally, a sport Portland can win at! The U.S. Barista Championship and Brewers Cup are being held on home turf this year. Oregon Convention Center, 777 NE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., 235-7575. Thursday 9 am-5 pm, Friday 9 am-6:30 pm, Saturday 10 am-6 pm, Sunday noon-5 pm, April 19-22. $10.
FRIDAY, APRIL 20REBOOTING DEMOCRACY
[POLITICS] American politics are so fucked that a KBOO host recently made a pretty convincing argument for scrapping our constitution for the parliamentary system. Most ideas floated at the Rebooting Democracy festival will be comparatively mild. Kickoff party at Union/Pine, 525 SE Pine St., 6 pm Friday, continues Saturday-Sunday. rebootingdemocracy.org. $99 for a three-day pass.
[PUPPETS] The latest iteration of Beady Little Eyes’ semiannual showcase of adult puppet theater has a “heroes and villains” theme. Dress as either for $1 off. Funhouse Lounge, 2432 SE 11th Ave. 8 pm. $8. 21+.
SATURDAY, APRIL 21CHEERS TO BELGIAN BEERS
[BEER] Fifty Oregon breweries make one-off Belgian-style beers from the same strains of yeast—and you drink them! Metalcraft Fabrication, 723 N Tillamook St. oregonbeer.org/pctbb. Noon-9 pm. $15 for five drink tickets and a tasting glass, $20 for 10 tickets and a tasting glass. $1 for additional tastes. 21+.
[MOVIES] Even with its cheeky April 20 release date, a 2½-hour Bob Marley documentary clearly isn’t aimed at the ganja-smoking frat boys for whom Marley is little more than a High Times Hall of Famer. For hardcore Bobology majors Kevin Macdonald’s film offers a bongload of rare recordings, candid home movies and electrifying live footage. Hollywood Theatre, 4122 NE Sandy Blvd., 481-4215. Multiple showtimes.
SUNDAY, APRIL 22EARTH DAY
[EARTHY] A bunch of do-gooder organizations set up booths (native plant creation station!) and host workshops and classes! Ride your bike and enjoy the valet bike parking! Bring your old batteries, because they’re recycling them! PCC Cascade Campus, 705 N Killingsworth St., earthday.cityrepair.org. 11 am-6 pm. Free.