It would get a bit boring if the annual Waterfront Blues
Festival enlisted only aging Delta guitar players and sad-eyed Chicago
harmonica blowers to grace its riverside stages every year. Instead, the
fest—celebrating its 25th year—plays with variations on a relatively
family-friendly theme that this year will bring everything from funk act
Galactic to soul icon Bettye LaVette. And while we wouldn’t have it any
other way, we also can’t resist putting some of this year’s acts and
experiences to a bluesiness and hipness litmus test.
Click on the image below for a larger version. Illustrations by Adam Krueger:
SEE IT: The 25th Annual Waterfront Blues Festival is at Tom McCall Waterfront Park, just north and south of the Hawthorne Bridge, on Wednesday-Sunday, July 4-8. See music calendar, pages 33-34, for complete day-by-day festival lineups. Suggested donation of $10 and two cans of nonperishable food for each day. Five-day passes are $50 and up. All ages. Information at waterfrontbluesfest.com.
WEDNESDAY JULY 4FIREWORKS
[EXPLOSIVES] Don’t blow your fingers off, kids. Everywhere.
THURSDAY JULY 5LOGAN’S RUN
[MOVIES] One of the greatest and strangest sci-fi films of all-time in glorious HD. But don’t take our word for it, here’s Box the Robot: “It’s all here, ready. Fish and sea greens, plankton and protein from the sea. And then it stopped coming. And they came instead. So I store them here. I’m ready. And you’re ready. It’s my job—to freeze you.” Laurelhurst Theater, 2735 E Burnside St. 9:30 pm. 21+.
THE NEW JIM CROW
[BOOKS] Based on the best-selling book by Michelle Alexander, The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, the NE New Jim Crow Study Group hosts a forum to discuss the issues facing African-Americans today. Speakers include sociology professor Ricci Franks and former convict and prisoner-rights activist Nabeeh Mustafa. Portland Community College Cascade Campus, Moriarty Arts and Humanities Building, 705 N Killingsworth St. 6:30 pm.
[MUSIC] Portland orchestral-rock powerhouse Typhoon returns after a long hiatus to play old favorites and to preview new, recently recorded tracks from its forthcoming full-length. This outdoor concert is becoming an annual tradition for the band, which last year had more than 600 people packed in to see it. Ecotrust, 721 NW 9th Ave. 5:30 pm. Free. All ages.
SATURDAY JULY 7BRIDGE FESTIVAL BLOCK PARTY
[MUSIC] Celebrate Portland’s bridges with music from Solovox, Excellent Gentlemen, the Quick & Easy Boys and more. The Slate, 2001 NW 19th Ave. 5 pm. pdxbridgefestival.org. Free.
LIARS, CADENCE WEAPON
[MUSIC] The beloved New York dance/punk/noise trio returns to Portland on the back of one of its most accessible records, this summer’s WIXIW. Pay special attention to Canadian MC Cadence Weapon, who visited Doug Fir less than a month ago with Japandroids and pretty much killed it. Doug Fir Lounge, 830 E Burnside St. 9 pm. $15 advance, $17 day of show. 21+.
SUNDAY JULY 8WOODEN BOAT FESTIVAL
[BOATS] According to the Willamette Sailing Club, “No carpentry skills, tools, or materials are needed” to build your own full-scale boat at its annual celebration of water and wood. They’ve got enough of all three to make sure your raft is yar enough to fulfill your childhood sailing fantasies. Willamette Sailing Club, 6336 SW Beaver Ave. Noon-6 pm. Free.