FRIDAY, AUGUST 5
Gran Ritmos: Nicola Cruz, Natural Magic, 2TABS
[GLOBAL DOWNTEMPO] Born in France, Ecuadorian Nicola Cruz is a downtempo electronic artist specializing in acoustic sources and folk-music tropes. As a producer, his reverence for folklorica, self-described as "Andes Step," is evident from the hybrid house of his debut album, Prender el Alma. Recent DJ sets at premier festivals like Barcelona's Sónar hint at a subequatorial hybrid of Afro-Caribe percussion and sweeping ambience, taking the room through a sonic index of producers the world over. Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison St. 9 pm. $10 advance, $12 day of show. 21+.
Kacey Musgraves, Charlie Worsham
[FOLLOW THIS ARROW] Nashville star Kacey Musgraves isn't quite an outlaw, but she's definitely a rebel. Musgraves busted onto the scene in 2013 with Same Trailer Different Park, a paradigm-shifting set of gorgeous country-pop songs, full of delicate wordplay and undeniably clever lyrics that pushed progressive topics like gay rights and weed use. It won her a Grammy and the rights to make the more laidback Pageant Material, released last fall. Full of pedal-steel guitar and placing her voice front and center, it showcases the work of an artist who hasn't just elevated to the top of the country charts—she's also become one of the better songwriters in the world, full stop. Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside St. 7:30 pm. Sold out. All ages.
[POETRY] Reading Portlander Kelly Schirmann's poetry is a little like looking back on the transcript of a 3 am Gchat with a faraway art-school friend. Her writing is casual, fragmented, full of unexpected observation and imagery. "I can never be certain when I say the word music if the person I am speaking to is thinking of birdsong, or Beethoven…," she writes. "I have several theories…" Kelly Schirmann will read with poet Josh Fomon at Cardinal Club, 18 NE 28th Ave., 503-348-0763, cardinalclubportland.com. 7 pm. Free.
[GROUPER] After tying to kill himself, Bates traveled to Spain with a laptop, microphone and guitar, enrolling in a monthlong program in Zamora, where he worked with foster children and other at-risk youth as an English tutor and counselor. When he started trying to write again, he found himself too homesick to record. "It turned out pretty dark, because I was so isolated," he says. Once home, Bates began work on a more collaborative effort that would become his forthcoming EP, Memory Bed. It's an understated affair shrouded in a drone of organ, tinny acoustic strums and the alternating echo of their voices, before coming together with a squeal of feedback at the song's climax. Read the full article here. High Water Mark, 6800 NE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., with Sabonis and Dragging an Ox Through Water. 8 pm. $7. 21+.
[BE A PART OF HISTORY] When it launched in 1999 as a fundraiser for KBOO, Pickathon looked even less like a typical music festival than it does now—more like an under-attended wedding reception in the woods. Whether you're going or not, the history of how it got so fucking big is interesting. Pendarvis Farm, 16581 SE Hagen Road, Happy Valley, Thursday-Sunday, Aug. 4-7. Weekend tickets are $290. See pickathon.com for a complete schedule.
See Suicide Squad
SATURDAY, AUGUST 6
All the Cool Carts
[EAT] This summer, it's like the cart scene caught an adrenaline shot to the sternum, serving up Marseillaise ratatouille according to grandma's recipe, clams with squid-ink pasta by Bar Mingo's sous chef, and sustainable high-end nigiri in St. Johns. Try out one of our seven new favorite carts of the summer's bumper crop.
Disjecta's 2016 Biennial Salon
[SEE ART] For Portland's 2016 Biennial, some of Oregon's most high-profile contemporary artists are showing their work across the state, in venues as disparate as residential garages, hardware stores and hotel lobbies. Think of it as an Oregon-wide Easter egg hunt, where all the eggs are art installations. The jewel in the Biennial crown is the salon at Disjecta, where every inch of wall space in the cavernous warehouse is covered with sculptures, paintings, drawings, and video projections by artists who were handpicked to represent our fair state. Disjecta, 8371 N Interstate Ave., 503-286-9449. Through Sept. 18.
Heads & Tails Crawfish Boil
[CRAWDADS] Uptown Market has taken its annual crawfish boil a little bit…uptown. They're still throwing a literal boatload of snappers into boiling water, and it's still going to be messy. But this time around there will also be oysters from fancy schmancy Olympia Oyster Bar, veggie options, and a whole bunch of beer from Brewshed Alliance breweries like Baerlic, Fort George and Hopworks—in a crawdad-and-brew-fest that'll spill out into the parking lot. $20 nets a glass and 15 tokens good for either beer or food. Also—take note! You can only buy tickets online, at squareup.com. Uptown Market, 6620 SW Scholls Ferry Road, 503-336-4783. Noon-9 pm. $20.
Hot Sauce Expo
[BURN BABY] This weekend, the OMSI bridge parking lot will be taken over by a ring of fire sauces. The PDX Hot Sauce Expo will offer an overwhelming array of palate-destroying liquid capsaicin, and spicy-food eating contests that might include actual vomiting. It should be terrific. In honor of the event, we asked Mi Mero Mole owner and salsa scholar Nick Zukin to put together the ultimate hot sauce cabinet you should keep at home. OMSI bridge parking lot, 1945 SE Water Ave., 503-797-4000. 10 am-6pm Saturday-Sunday, Aug. 6-7. $10 advance, $15 day of event. VIP passes $50-$100.
The Italian Girl in Algiers
[OPERA] Love triangles—or love pentagons as seen here—are tailor-made for farce. Two people are going to find true love and one sad, sorry buffoon getting left out. It just happens here that the buffoon here happens to be an Algerian leader wearing a tan tracksuit with a pillow tied around his head. Oh, and another corner of the love pentagon spends most of the opera wearing a lampshade. There's more fitfully entertaining farce with physical comedy here than you'd ever expected to see in an opera. Newmark Theatre, 1111 SW Broadway, 503-248-4335. 7:30 pm. $35-$200.
[SNL] Jon Rudnitsky is a guy people call a rising star, a featured player on Saturday Night Live and one of the prestigious "New Faces of Comedy" at the Montreal Just For Laughs Comedy Festival. He also won something called The John Ritter Memorial Award for Outstanding Comic Performance. With five shows in three nights, he's giving Portland plenty of time to decide if he's our favorite new comedian. Helium Comedy Club, 1510 SE 9th Ave., 888-643-8669. 8 pm Thursday, Aug. 4, 7:30 and 10 pm, $15-$25. 21+.
[FUCK SHAKESPEARE] Portland's newest theater company is defying all the conventions of summer theater and staging Jean Genet's S&M murder mystery for its first-ever show. Come inside from your Shakespeares in the parks for this twisted mofo of a play. Read about why two 20-something actors decided to start Public Citizen Theater. Shaking the Tree Theatre, 823 SE Grant St., 503-235-0635. 2 pm. $15.
SUNDAY, AUGUST 7
Drive at the food carts
[SCREENING] Nicolas Winding Refn's existential anti-actioner Drive remains the polarizing director's best work, a bloody, patient exercise in cool that might just be the director's masterpiece. Cartopia. 9 pm.
[MOVIE IRL] Would you kiss a stranger on camera for $100? How about hang from a construction crane for internet fame? The new film Nerve asks what happens when you combine Periscope-like live video with a democratized game of truth or dare in which the consequences are life-threatening and the rewards are fame and fortune. With an EDM-tinged soundtrack, lots of desktop computer screen shares, and visuals that meet somewhere between Tron and Spring Breakers, this one was made for a younger generation. And yet, rarely is a teen movie built on such a stellar idea. Rated PG-13. Grade: B+. Read the full review and buy tickets.
Pfriem Beer Pairing Dinner
[TAKE TWO] Did you totally space out on the five-course, sumptuous Pfriem beer-pairing dinner at Hamlet last month, with five courses including seared octopus and roasted pork belly, plus five Pfriem beers (including the excellent Flanders blonde), all for a mere $50? Well, turns out you didn't miss it at all—they had some kind of emergency, and so here the dinner is again. Treat it like a belated birthday card: still appreciated. Hamlet, 232 NW 12th Ave., 503-241-4009. 5-10 pm. $50.
Rontom's Sunday Sessions: Hustle and Drone, Fanno Creek
[ELECTRIC BOOGIE] Seems it was only yesterday when Portland electronic trio Hustle and Drone released its Holyland album. The 2014 record was the band's second and its greatest statement of intent. The album dispelled any notions of the band being a side project or after-hours hobby. Instead, atop the requisite bounce, there is a fully wired, glitchy complexity that, at its height, reminds of a tempered Ghostland Observatory. The band has been debuting new material at live shows over the past few months, so the chances of an upcoming release—not to mention a new and intriguing setlist—are quite good. Rontoms, 600 E Burnside St. 8 pm. Free. 21+.