Sometimes you’re toast before the green flag falls.
We couldn’t compete with the swell of creative force fueling the Stumptown 40 adult Pinewood Derby. Past races have seen models made to look like a pierced cock (complete with hairy balls), a whiskey bottle and Optimus Prime. One year, three turd-shaped race cars rolled down the ramp—one in the shape of South Park’s Mr. Hankey, the other two with corn kernels.
But when someone is reprising the most exciting day on the Cub Scout calendar—with booze and without homophobia—it’s worth whittling up something.
So WW turned our little block of wood into Portland’s flagship car, a Subaru Outback wagon just like the one your neighbor drives. There’s a miniature rack to hold a tiny mountain bike or windsurf board. You’ll find plenty of cargo space to haul native plants, recycled lumber, a craft keg or several sweaty yoga mats. And, of course, it’s covered in bumper stickers hitting all the right notes: preachy, nerdy and provincial.
We’re pretty pleased with ourselves. Just like every other Outback owner.
THURSDAY MAY 17THE MAN WHO QUIT MONEY
[CASHED OUT] Who hasn’t dreamed of quitting society and going to live in a cave? Author Mark Sundeen tells the story of Daniel Suelo, a guy who actually did just that. Powell’s on Hawthorne, 3723 SE Hawthorne Blvd., 228-4651. 7:30 pm. Free.
[POWERPOINT] Portland’s only dedicated presenter of satirical PowerPoint presentations returns with another evening of funny lectures on subjects such as “Where Babies Come From, Where They Go When They Die, and Why This All is Your Fault.” The Jack London Bar, 529 SW 4th Ave., 228-7605. 8 pm. $5-$10.
FRIDAY MAY 18HAPPY BIRTHDAY, JACKPOTS
[MUSIC] Dual record-store/recording-studio businesses Jackpot and Jackpot! celebrate their respective 15th birthdays in style, with an epic show headlined by the local heros of Quasi and legendary Northwest rock outfit the Minus 5 (plus System and Station, the Alialujah Choir, Blue Skies for Black Hearts and more). You’d be hard-pressed to find a more fitting tribute to the Portland experience than this one. Bagdad Theater, 3702 Hawthorne Blvd. 8 pm. $10. 21+.
SATURDAY MAY 19MAIFEST
[BAVARIAN PARTY] Maifest? Oh, yeah, you know her—Octoberfest’s shy kid sister. For the first time, new German cultural group Zeitgeist Northwest will welcome spring with a yodeling workshop, music from Bodacious, and a maypole dance. Oh, and beer, which is how big sis got popular at parties. Oaks Park, 7805 SE Oaks Park Way. Free. 10 am-7 pm. zeitgeistnorthwest.org.
HARRY SMITH TRIBUTE
[MUSIC] The release 60 years ago of Harry Smith’s epochal Anthology of American Folk Music series was one of the most consequential acts of musicology ever perpetrated. Tonight, Portland bluesman Joe McMurrian has curated an ambitious tribute to that achievement, in which some 14 local acts will perform material from the still-unmatched collection. Alberta Rose Theatre, 3000 NE Alberta St. 7 pm. $15 advance, $18 day of show. All ages (minors must be accompanied by a parent).
MONDAY MAY 21HARI KONDABOLU
[COMEDY] A font of bile spewing in the direction of America’s culture of idiocy, the Queens-born comic is cut from the same scabrous cloth as Bill Hicks, aiming pointed broadsides at society’s most hateful and hypocritical. That said, he seems like a pretty chill dude. Hollywood Theatre, 4122 NE Sandy Blvd., 281-4215. 9 pm. $10.