Friday, Aug. 22
Tequila Fest PDX
[BOOZE] Portland will get its first huge-ass tequila festival, at the World Trade Center, where they hold all those readiness drills for FBI agents, with representation from 35 tequila companies. Music by Cabo Wabo, Espolon and the Aquiles Latin Quartet. Should you like, there's a $60 tequila dinner Aug. 20 that includes VIP passes. World Trade Center Plaza, 121 SW Salmon St., tequilafestpdx.com. 5-10 pm Friday and 4-10 pm Saturday, Aug. 22-23. $15 or $25 for seven or 10 tastings, respectively.
[BIKES] You know that big hill in Northeast Portland? Past the Cully neighborhood? Where XRAY.FM has its one terrestrial transmitter? You're pedaling up it tonight, accompanied by sound system-equipped cargo bikes. It's a hefty climb, but the views are worth it. Bring a potluck dish to share, as well as bike lights and whatever libations you favor. Meet at Irving Park, Northeast 11th Avenue and Klickitat Street. 6:30 pm. Free.
Bedtime Stories for Adults
[WORDS] Everyone likes a bedtime story, but at an age where you file your own tax returns, "Once upon a time" doesn't really cut it anymore. That's why infamous Portland author Chuck Palahniuk is back with the reading event Bedtime Stories for Adults, and we're not just talking about supernatural erotica. Joining Palahniuk for story time will be local literary peers Chelsea Cain (promoting her newest book, One Kick), Lidia Yuknavitch (Dora: A Headcase) and Monica Drake (The Stud Book), along with a few surprise guests. So put on your sauciest jammies (seriously, PJs are encouraged) and grab a cocktail. And if someone wants to include a little erotica, we're not going to complain. Aladdin Theater, 3017 SE Milwaukie Ave., 234-9694. 8 pm. $29 advance, $32 day of event. 21kknd.
Vancouver Wine and Jazz Festival
[DRUNK JAZZ] As is becoming the case with so many modern festivals, there's not really that much exciting jazz on the bill at this year's Vancouver festival other than the usual local standbys. That is, unless you're a guitar fan: Portland luminary Dan Balmer will be warming the stage for virtuosos Lee Ritenour and Stanley Jordan, who may not be innovators but can certainly both rip a searing solo. With classic gospel from the Blind Boys of Alabama and the Grammy-nominated Heritage Blues Orchestra, the non-jazz side of things is looking pretty good as well, especially if you've always wanted to hear Don McLean sing "American Pie" live while downing 1-ounce tastes of West Coast wine for a dollar apiece. TREE PALMEDO. Esther Short Park, 801 W 8th St., Vancouver, Wash., 360-487-8630. 11:15 am Friday-Sunday, Aug. 21-24. $18-$60.
Black Lodge Burlesque
[BURLESQUE] David Lynch-inspired cabaret is, to the surprise of no one, a big deal in the Pacific Northwest. Host Vera Mysteria plays the Log Lady as other burlesque and aerial performers bring Lynch to life—before stripping down to wire-framed glasses and cherry pie-shaped pasties. Star Theater, 13 NW 6th Ave., 248-4700. 8 and 10:30 pm. $15. 21kknd.
Amanda X, Beach Day, Is/Is, the Chanterelles
[SURF'S UP] Best Coast, meet the other coast: Florida's Beach Day play girl-group-inspired garage rock with song titles like "BFF's," "Don't Call Me On the Phone" and "All My Friends Were Punks," all with a hazy lilt and handclap-happy rhythms. Though Philly noise-gazer Amanda X headlines here, expect Beach Day to be the band playing somewhere much bigger next time through. The Know, 2026 NE Alberta St., 473-8729. 8 pm. Call venue for ticket information. 21kknd.
[IMAGINATIVE INDIE] Liam Finn has quietly produced some of the most underrated dream rock of the past five years. The New Zealand-raised New York songsmith played as many as 67 instruments in the creation of his newest solo record, The Nihilist. Expectedly, Finn's current sound is richly textured, at times busy like St. Vincent's while cool and chilly, composed and near-symphonic at others. 2011's FOMO was a solid effort, but Finn's present, highly enriched form is tough to beat. MARK STOCK. White Eagle Saloon, 836 N Russell St., 282-6810. 9:30 pm. $10 advance, $12 day of show. 21kknd.
Saturday, Aug. 23
Hoverfest: YOB, Danava, Acid King, Witch Mountain, Eight Bells, Wounded Giant, Holy Grove, Mountain God
[AMPS OF DESTRUCTION] Four years ago, Nial McGaughey (pictured) sat down on his couch and, for no particular reason, decided to build an amplifi er. It wasnât a totally left-fi eld decision: He went to school for electrical engineering and designed amps for boutique retailers in L.A. But this personal project would lead McGaughey, who returned to Portland in 2010 after a few years working in the tech industry, down a new career path. Today, the bearded musician is the proprietor of Hovercraft Amps, producing highly regarded, specialized equipment made from all-recycled material. And now, he even has his own festival: The fi rst-ever Hoverfest will feature regional skull-crushers like YOB, Danava, Witch Mountain and moreâbands all in debt to the customized, vintage sound of McGaugheyâs products. âMy ear gravitates toward that sound,â says McGaughey, whoâs played in everything from industrial bands to alt-country acts. In four years, Hovercraft has built over 500 amps using reclaimed bits and pieces. âIt can be just raw parts that go together or something thatâs been rotting in a warehouse for 10 years and I buy the whole shipping container,â he says. âI treat it like a chef who goes to the farmers market and goes, âWhatâs on special? Whatâs available?â And that kind of drives the design and the price.â Though his amps have been used by everyone from Interpol to Keith Urbanâs touring band, those on the heavier end of the spectrum have taken a particular liking to themâhence the elephantine Hoverfest lineup. âThe bands that play the stuff, I love the sound of their music anyway,â McGaughey says, âand when I get to hear, âWe were using this amp, then we used yours and all of a sudden the sound became three-dimensional,â I know thereâs more than just the sum-of-the-parts thing happening.â MATTHEW SINGER. In the alley behind Cravedog Inc., 2119 N Kerby St. Noon Saturday, Aug. 23. $15. All ages.
Drop Dead, Bell Witch
[(MORE) EXTREME METAL] The outer edges of tempo will be explored at this show, which the promoter has dubbed, âFast vs. Slow.â Really, this is a mini-festival of epic proportions, with a touring cadre of leaden sludge colliding with grind extremists. Topping the bill is Providence, R.I., legend Drop Dead. The group formed in 1991 and is still going strong, standing pat on its political hardcore stance, delivering short bursts of intense speed and vitriol. The penultimate slot tonight is filled by Bell Witch, a duo from Seattle that bemoans these end times with melodic anguish, sung from a sinking tar pit of doom. The whole bill crushes and should take listeners on a trip to heavy frontiers with no middle ground. NATHAN CARSON. Slabtown, 1033 NW 16th Ave., 223-0099. 8 pm. $12.
[COMEDY] Emo Philips gets a lot of attention for his wispy falsetto, black pageboy 'do and oddball wisecracks, but his comedy is also weirdly and affectingly humane. Bossanova Ballroom, 722 E Burnside St., 206-7630. 8 pm. $20. 21kknd.
Midnight Mass One-Year Anniversary Show
[COMEDY] In its inaugural year, Amy Miller's witching-hour standup showcase has become one of the city's best spots for catching both top Portland comedians and out-of-town guests, who've often trundled over to the clown-filled Funhouse Lounge after doing sets at Helium. Tonight, Miller promises standup from—among others—Kristine Levine, Bri Pruett, Shane Torres and Bryan Cook, as well as surprise guests, prizes and popcorn. Repent tomorrow. Funhouse Lounge, 2432 SE 11th Ave., 841-6734. Midnight Saturday, Aug. 23. Free.
Crate Diggers Portland
[RECORD FAIR] The online album database Discogs hosts a pop-up vinyl marketplace, featuring 30 vendors and a DJ set from L.A. boogie-funk master Dam-Funk. White Owl Social Club, 1305 SE 8th Ave., 236-9672. Record fair is noon-6 pm, after-party is 8 pm-2 am. 21kknd.
Ganesh Rajagopalan, Dafnis Prieto, Osam Ezzeldin
[CARNATIC JAZZ] In this multicultural, multimedia extravaganza, the Indian violin virtuoso Ganesh Rajagopalan, recently named artistic adviser by the Rasika organization that's presenting this concert, starts with classical South Indian ragas and other Carnatic compositions, accompanied by traditional clay-pot percussion. Then he transcends tradition, inviting rising Egyptian-American pianist Osam Ezzeldin (who, like Rajagopalan, has played with Zakir Hussain) and masterful Cuban drummer (and 2011 MacArthur "genius" grantee) Dafnis Prieto to weave jazzy lines from a very different improvisatory tradition into the expanding musical fabric. To top it off, Portland choreographer Jayanthi Raman incorporates a new dance work. BRETT CAMPBELL. Winningstad Theatre, 1111 SW Broadway, 248-4335. 7 pm Saturday, Aug. 23. $22-$34.
MUSA Soul Fest: Liz Vice, Speaker Minds, Brownish Black, The Get Ahead, Nicole Berke, Dean
[PDX-GROWN SOUL] MUSA, the just-established brainchild of local musicians Jeni Wren and Juliet Howard, aims to showcase the Portland soul and R&B scene through promotions and event planning. While their long-term vision involves incorporating the entire Northwest region, the collective's first major event focuses on all that is fantastic in our immediate surroundings. The MUSA Soul Fest is stacked with local soul and R&B talent, most notably up-and-coming gospel darling Liz Vice, whose stirring vocals—more empowering than preachy—have attracted international interest. GRACE STAINBACK. Hawthorne Theatre, 1507 SE 39th Ave., 233-7100. 7:30 pm. $10 advance, $12 day of show. 21kknd.
Sunday, Aug. 24
Nomad PDX Pop-Up Dinner
[FOOD] A pack of Castagna alums, plus a pottery artist who (no kidding) makes a new plate for each dish, will make a bunch of food inspired by art and such, at Ned Luddâs brand-new Elder Hall space. Previous dishes have included spring lamb garnished with the very same food it eats (barley, wheatgrass), and âmeditationsâ on almonds. Elder Hall, 3929 NE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., 5:30 pm and 8 pm seatings. $120. Reservations at nomadpdx.com.
[BOOKS] Relationship rule books have long been a staple of the bookshelf, often spouting contradictory or straight-up ludicrous advice. But is any of it relevant in a society with constantly shifting dynamics of love, sex, dating and relationships? Longtime Portland journalist Sarah Mirk didn't think so, and so she wrote her own book compiling the real-life wisdom of couples from all sexualities, genders and situations. The result is Sex from Scratch: Making Your Own Relationship Rules. Powell's City of Books, 1005 W Burnside St., 228-4651. 7:30 pm. Free.
A-WOL Dance Collective
[DANCE] Picture a tree-surrounded clearing and in the middle, dancers dressed like wood nymphs suspended in the air, illuminated by theater lights as they perform an aerial ballet. This is A-WOL's annual Art in the Dark show, now in its 11th year. The show is the company's most popular, drawing about 1,600 people to Mary S. Young Park in West Linn, where they sit on blankets and risers, eat picnic dinners and watch dancers dangle from trees (well, cables tied to trees). This year's theme is Ten Laws, based on a song by yoga studio favorite East Forest. The song is a practical list of tips for survival in the wilderness: "Always see the dangers first," "Always protect your feet," "Always know where good water or source is." The dancers interpret these rules as they navigate silks, a triple trapeze and water features. East Forest performs live with a keyboard, mixed tracks and a cellist. Mary S. Young Park, 19900 Willamette Drive, West Linn. 8:30 pm Friday-Sunday. $12-$33.
[MUSIC] The Cruelest Month, Monica Metzler's first full-length release under pseudonym Moniker, is an homage to the cycle of hibernation and rejuvenation she experienced in the throes of an Oregon winter. The compilation of whispery, experimental folk songs is Metzler's tribute to overcoming internal struggles, which often tend to manifest themselves most prominently during the coldest months. Metzler has accrued a band of current and former collaborators to play the material live (members of Otis Heat, Brainstorm, Unicorn Domination and Mount Mazama are on the roster), but touring isn't her main focus for The Cruelest Month. Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison St., with the Tamed West and Lynnae Gryffin, on Sunday, Aug. 24. 8:30 pm. $6. 21kknd.
Luz Elena Mendoza
[ONE-WOMAN FOLK] There's a good deal to be said for someone who can command a room whether alone or with a band. Singer-songwriter Luz Elena Mendoza, frontwoman of local outfits Tiburones and the on-hiatus Y La Bamba, is such a rare performer. On the surface, her latest work doesn't seem as steeped in her Mexican heritage as her previous efforts, but it still shines with her tumbling guitar and unmistakable vibrato. Her songs are entrancingly whimsical as they are haunting, filled with lore and an undeniable sense of spirit. BRANDON WIDDER. White Eagle Saloon, 836 N Russell St., 282-6810. 7 pm. Free. 21kknd.