Friday, July 25
Oregon Brewers Fest
[BEER] The 27th annual installment of Oregon’s biggest, drunkest party. Here are our recommendations. Tom McCall Waterfront Park, main entrance at Southwest Oak Street and Naito Parkway, oregonbrewfest.com. Noon-9 pm Wednesday-Saturday, noon-7 pm Sunday, July 23-27. Free admission, taste tokens $1 after $7 glass purchase.
Jaw: A Playwrights Festival
[THEATER] Summer is a bleak time for theater, all Shakespeare in the parks and old chestnuts in the suburbs. This is an antidote: four brand spankin’ new plays by playwrights from across the country. Up this year: lesbian atheist muralists, custodians in Antarctica and D.B. Cooper. Gerding Theater, 128 NW 11th Ave., 445-3700, pcs.org. 4 and 8 pm today and Saturday. Free.
[BIKES] Teams from five cities, including Portland, have been laboring to build the ultimate bike for the urban rider. Tonight, you’ll get to see the Portland whip in person, plus photos and videos of the others. Then the voting begins, with the winner moving into production. Pacific Northwest College of the Arts, 1241 NW Johnson St., oregonmanifest.com. 6 pm. Free.
[MUSIC] The Moon Rang Like a Bell, the second release from the acclaimed L.A.-via-Florida band, is a sweeping saga of crushingly placid melancholia. It’s as if Björk and Aphex Twin got together, listened to a lot of jazz and Dirty Projectors, and decided to make a concept album. Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi Ave., 288-3895. 9 pm. $10 advance, $12 day of show. 21+.
Cannibals & Cannonballs: Living in The Late Now
[THEATRE] CoHo ends its summer series of solo performances with Leo Daedalus’ “avant-variety talk show,” an intellectually anarchic blend of interviews, music and comedy. CoHo Theater, 2257 NW Raleigh St., 220-2646. 7:30 pm Thursday-Saturday, July 24-26. $15.
Charles Bradley & His Extraordinaires, Pickwick
[SOUL] Referring to the music of Charles Bradley as “retro soul” isn’t really fair. Sure, the Florida-born, New York-raised singer owes his late-life discovery to the industrywide reinvigoration of the classic Motown sound that began in the late aughts. But the 55-year-old Bradley isn’t some new-jack trend-jumper. More than any other vintage-style crooner who’s popped up in recent years, Bradley legitimately sounds like an artist who was frozen in the 1960s and happened to thaw at the right time. While most R&B revivalists celebrate the form’s elegant romanticism, Bradley’s brand aches with genuine pain—on the appropriately titled “Heartaches and Pain,” for instance, Bradley recounts, in crushing detail, the day of his brother’s murdered—bringing soul music back to its blues roots. Now that’s a throwback. MATTHEW SINGER. Oregon Zoo, 4001 SW Canyon Rd., 226-1561. 7 pm. $11.25-$45.00. All ages.
Claude Young, Bryan Zentz, Andrew Boie b2b Jak, Graintable, Coast2c, Ben Tactic, Lincolnup
[DETROIT-ISH TECHNO] Forget the wine at New Seasons: Portland’s finest import is Claude Young Jr. The techno producer emerged from the fomenting political and musical tides of Detroit in 1995 and hasn’t looked back since, recently relocating to Portland of all places. Though perhaps most famous for his 1996 DJ Kicks mix, Young has averaged over a single per year since the early ’90s, culminating in last year’s ambient, time-warped full-length, Celestial Bodies. The spacefaring album isn’t always the most Detroit of techno, but then again, Young’s a Portlander now. MITCH LILLIE. Tonic Lounge, 3100 NE Sandy Blvd., 238-0543. 9 pm. $5 before 10:30 pm, $10 after. 21+.
Saturday, July 26
Cannibal! The Musical
[THEATER] Shut out of The Book of Mormon? Consider this a consolation prize: a live stage adaptation of South Park co-creator Trey Parker’s 1993 black comedy about a 19th-century prospector accused of cannibalism. Alberta Rose Theatre, 3000 NE Alberta St., 719-6055. 6 and 9:15 pm. $24-$29. Under 21 permitted with legal guardian.
Fire and Brimstone Beer Fest
Fire is for chili beer, brimstone is for smoked beer. This not only fills out an idiom, but one beer acts as antidote/complement to the other. Because, let’s be clear: You’ll want to alternate. Anyway, 16 total beers from Breakside, Alameda Oakshire and others at Saraveza and the Hop & Vine, just nine blocks apart on North Killingsworth Street. Those who want to avoid the frenzy of the Oregon Brewers Festival should be there. Saraveza Bottle Shop & Pasty Tavern, 1004 N Killingsworth St., 206-4252. 11 am-10 pm. $20 for a souvenir glass and 8 tastes. Additional tastes $2.
Big Big Wednesday
Focusing on prose, poetry and visual art contributed by writers and artists in all stages of their careers, the annual, Portland-based journal Big Big Wednesday will celebrate the release of its second issue. Featuring work from both local and national writers, the issue includes work from Kevin Sampsell, Mary Ruefle and Sven Birkerts. Reading for the release party will be contributors Bill Carty, Elizabeth Ferguson and Kit Schluter, with music by Mandarin Dynasty. Please note: This event is not on Wednesday. The Waypost, 3120 N Williams Ave., 367-3182. 8 pm. Free.
[ADULT CONTEMPORARY ROCKABILLY] Before seeing Chris Isaak live, all I knew about him was “Wicked Game.” Yes, that song is good enough to carry a whole career, especially when so many of us were introduced to that classic, sexy croon via David Lynch’s oft-misunderstood masterpiece, Wild At Heart. But catching him live at the zoo last summer, I was stunned at not only the strength of his material but his consummate showmanship. That doesn’t just go for Isaak, but his whole band. Singing, dancing, playing, telling jokes, choreographing routines and rolling with the punches, these guys put on a show that 99 percent of bands these days never had the inclination nor apprenticeship to even consider. NATHAN CARSON. Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, 1037 SW Broadway, 248-4335. 7:30 pm. $35-$90. All Ages.
[SWITCHED-ON BACH] Today’s classical music performances often feel as archaic as the music itself. Enter the Amplified Repertory Chamber Orchestra of Portland, spearheaded by Classical Revolution PDX, Cascadia Composers and Portland Columbia Symphony stalwart violinist Mike Hsu. The group aims to learn from rock and pop music and bring classical performance into the 21st century. Along with Portland Cello Project cellist Skip vonKuske and other musicians from Portland and Seattle, ARCO-PDX performs energetic music by C.P.E. Bach (Sebastian’s innovative son), vonKuske and Hsu, the latter of which is influenced by ’80s dance music. It’s classical music with a rock attitude. BRETT CAMPBELL. Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi Ave., 288-3895. 8 pm Saturday, July 26. $13 advance, $15 day of show. 21+.
Sunday, July 27
The Big Float
[SWIMMING] Swim that river you normally drive over at the fourth annual Big Float. The float once again begins under the Marquam Bridge and ends up just past the Hawthorne Bridge, where there will be food and live music on a barge. Tom McCall Bowl, Waterfront Park, thebigfloat.com. Noon. $9.
Shy Boys, Sculpture Gardens, Fog Father
[SURF POP] The natural arch-nemeses of Portland’s own Shy Girls, Kansas City’s Shy Boys make music that is a far cry from Dan Vidmar’s well-studied blue-eyed soul but nevertheless has similar bedroom origins. Describing the sound of its self-titled debut LP as “landlocked surf music,” the Boys—brothers Collin and Kyle Rausch plus Konnor Erwin, who, unlike their Stumptown rivals, at least get the pronoun right—play indie pop born of classic twee jangle, a little beachy twang and sweet, ghostly melodies. The trio formed in traditional garage-band fashion—start a band, learn instruments later—and while the amateurism at play is fairly obvious listening to the album, the group never overreaches instrumentally, and proves that technical facility is never a barrier to songwriting talent. Your move, Vidmar. MATTHEW SINGER. Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison St., 239-7639. 8:30 pm. Free. 21+.
Kate Rafter and her experimental group Automal present a work in progress about what it means to be human and not-so-human. In Tír fo Thuinn (the Old Irish name for the “Otherworld”), Rafter and three other women play characters, some human and some figments of the others’ imaginations—or maybe not; this is experimental theater. A bathtub is involved. So is lots of seaweed. Characters will speak and sing (or maybe they won’t—it depends on if a train goes by). The whole thing should last about 20 to 30 minutes, and it’s preceded by an aerialist opening act. One more thing: The venue is a speakeasy; you must RSVP on the Facebook page or bring a show flyer to be admitted. The Steep and Thorny Way to Heaven, SE 2nd Avenue and Madison Street. 8 pm. $12.
Pat Benatar & Neil Giraldo, Rick Springfield, William Beckett
[SHADOWS OF THE NIGHT] For a recording artist who hasn’t released a notable track for more than a quarter century (or anything at all the past decade), Pat Benatar does brisk business as a second-tier fixture on the nostalgia circuit. But she strode through the ’80s as an absolute phenomenon: seven successive platinum albums; four consecutive Best Female Rock Vocal Performance Grammys; first non-Buggles video shown on MTV. By rights, her legacy should be somewhere between recent tourmates Cheap Trick and Cher, but MOR hit machines require at least one era-defining tune while even the strongest diva credentials sink without survivor’s baggage. Her 2010 memoir only underlined the importance of artless ambitions alongside an untroubled personal-professional marriage to longtime guitarist Neil Giraldo, and that’s still the closest she’s come to press coverage since her heyday. JAY HORTON. Oregon Zoo, 4001 SW Canyon Road, 226-1561. 6:30 pm. Sold out. All ages.
Dream Team Presents: The Brothers Hines
[IMPROV] For its next installment, the fledgling improv showcase features brothers Will and Kevin Hines, two improvisers from the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre. Also expect standup from Kristine Levine and David Mascorro, plus improv from several local troupes. Funhouse Lounge, 2432 SE 11th Ave., 841-6734. 9 pm Saturday, July 26. $10-$15.
Hustle and Drone, Thanks
[SPIRITUAL MACHINES] Blue-eyed electro-pop is everywhere these days, and Hustle and Drone is no exception. After performing its impending debut LP, Holyland, from start to finish at Bunk Bar a few weeks back, the Portland trio may be outgrowing the rite of passage that is Rontoms Sunday Sessions. The sound system can withstand the fuzzed-out bass and dreamy synth plunking that marries Kid A-era Radiohead with the buttoned-up catharsis of How to Dress Well. It’s the AC unit I’ll be worried about when the celestial crooning of Ryan Neighbors renders the frontman shirtless and the lady-folk start foaming at the mouth. PETE COTTELL. Rontoms, 600 E Burnside St., 236-4536. 9 pm. Free. 21+.