Cheap, Free, & Fun: The 22 Best Bang For Your Buck Events in Portland, Dec 6-12

Best Microsoft Access Programmer Portland OR

by Mercury EverOut Staff

Karaoke With Elected Officials!
Singing “Islands in the Stream” with a Portland politician? No, this isn’t your recurring nightmare come to life, it’s a fundraiser for LGBTQ+ nonprofit Basic Rights Oregon! Come watch local electeds bumble their way through karaoke classics with host Atlas—a dang shining star in Portland’s drag scene—and donate to the nonprofit’s lobbying work while you’re at it. It’s still a mystery which politicians will be participating in the event, but we trust Basic Rights Oregon to deliver. (Thurs Dec 12, 6:30 pm, Mother’s Velvet Lounge, free) ALEX ZIELINSKI

Sugar Town Sno-Ball
We adore the semi-regular queer dance night, Sugar Town, which spins the most foot-stompingest classic soul. What could be better? The Sugar Town Sno-Ball: a semi-formal (or dress-to-impress) holiday party crammed with ’50s and ’60s R&B and ’70s soul, all spun by DJ Action Slacks with special guest DJs and Miss McCoy reading tarot cards! Ho-ho hit the floor! (Sat Dec 7, 9 pm, The Spare Room, $10) WM. STEVEN HUMPHREY

Jeff VanderMeer, Omar El Akkad
Best known for the trippy, eco-minded Southern Reach Trilogy—which later served as the inspiration for the excellent film Annihilation—author Jeff VanderMeer is back with Dead Astronauts, which envisions another mind-bending future. He’s visiting Powell’s to talk all about it, and if that wasn’t enough? He’ll be joined in conversation with Omar El Akkad, whose wildly acclaimed novel American War takes place in a climate-ravaged United States where southern states are attempting to secede, furious over the banning of fossil fuels. Want a glimpse into the future that’ll be surreal and challenging, with moments of unexpected beauty? Tonight’s your night. (Mon Dec 9, 7:30 pm, Powell’s City of Books, free) ERIK HENRIKSEN


Masonique, RLLRBLL, AV Futures
Portland’s own Masonique are becoming increasingly well-known for their sci-fi-tinged dream pop, so catch up with them tonight when they share the Kenton Club space with fellow sci-fi dream-pop aficionados AV Futures, and RLLRBLL (Fri Dec 6, 9 pm, The World Famous Kenton Club, $5)

Generifus, Layperson, Gillian Frances
Generifus, the recording project of Olympia singer/songwriter Spencer Sult, makes their way back down the I-5 to headline an intimate evening of pop-tinged indie-rock and folk alongside like-minded locals Layperson (AKA Julian Morris) and Gillian Frances. (Fri Dec 6, 8 pm, Turn! Turn! Turn!, $5-7)

Island Show: Deadpan Special
Sometimes the straightest of faces are the funniest of all, and tonight’s stand-up showcase is all about delivering laughs as drily as possible, with sets from David Kildal, Kate Murphy, Kelly Irwin, Sam Whitely, Ben Harkins, and Lee Cox. (Fri Dec 6, 8 pm, Comma Lounge, $5-10)

Da Vinci Arts Fair
The Da Vinci Arts Fair returns to aid your last minute Christmas gift search, with over 100 stalls featuring wares from artists, craft-makers, and students, a Krampus family photo booth, food, drinks, and more. All proceeds benefit arts education at the Da Vinci Arts Middle School. (Sat Dec 7, 10 am, Da Vinci Arts Middle School, free, all ages)

Blow the Whistle
The latest installment of Holocene’s monthly hip-hop party blesses the dance floor with an array of party jams from the Bay to the South and everywhere in between. (Sat Dec 7, 9 pm, Holocene, $5-10)

Wassail Holiday Party
Portland Cider releases three new specialty ciders, including Imperial Santa’s Sauce (wow), English Pub (it comes in pints!), and Royal Blackberry, with dancing, family-friendly activities, and music provided by Portland Revels to help the wassailing along. (Sat Dec 7, 5 pm, Portland Cider Company, free, all ages)

48th Annual Lewis & Clark Cat Show
Do you like kitties? How would you like the opportunity to spend 2 days looking at over 200 kitties, spanning over 30 breeds, as well as picking up all manner of stuff to take home to your own mangy, hairball-hacking crap machine. Kitties! Proceeds benefit the Cat Adoption Team. (Sat-Sun Dec 7-8, 9 am, Lloyd Doubletree Hotel, $7, all ages)

Savages: A Prestige Stand-Up Showcase
Portland comedy scene staples Adam Pasi, Amanda Arnold, and Nariko Ott head up this brand-new comedy showcase every first Saturday at the Kickstand space. The line-up is a secret, but you can always count on some top local and national talent to swing through. (Sat Dec 7, 9 pm, Kickstand Comedy Space, $10)

Portland Opera to Go: La Bohème
Portland Opera does its part to help spread the drama and art of opera to its audience with its Opera To Go series, condensing classics into fun, 50-minute blasts of melody, performance, and pure theater, and theater doesn’t get more theatrical than La Bohème. (Sat Dec 7, 1 pm, Hampton Opera Center, $10, all ages)

Joy of Cooking
Get your hands on a fully revised and updated edition of Irma S. Rombauer’s Joy of Cooking, and hear from Irma’s great-grandson John Becker and his wife, Megan Scott, who developed more than 600 new recipes and tweaked a few of the classics to tailor the beloved kitchen bible to a new generation of home cooks. (Sun Dec 8, 7:30 pm, Powell’s City of Books, free)

Jame Doe, Orkis
The first Sunday Session of December doubles down on electro-pop goodness in a platinum blonde shade, with sets by Jame Doe and Orkis. (Sun Dec 8, 8 pm, Rontoms, free)

Growing Pains, Phone Voice, DJ Yousef Hatlani
Portland’s newest video game/record store and all-ages show space celebrates its grand opening with an evening of live music from local bands Growing Pains and Phone Voice, along with a DJ set from Yousef Hatlani. (Mon Dec 9, 5 pm, Hawthorne Game Exchange, $5)

Fox Medicine
Portland duo Fox Medicine brings their self-described “bubblegum doom” out to Music Millennium for a free in-store performance celebrating the release of their latest album, Procédures Mystiques. (Tues Dec 10, 6 pm, Music Millennium, free, all ages)

Kung Fu Theater: Eastern Condors
In America, The Dirty Dozen threw a bunch of manly military men (and Donald Sutherland) together and had them caper like crazy. In Hong Kong, their Dirty Dozen is called Eastern Condors, featuring flat-out legends Sammo Hung, Yuen Biao, and Yuen Woo Ping, teamed up with a squad of female freedom fighters. It’s less caper and more kickass, and this screening features the only known 35mm print of the film in existence! (Tues Dec 10, 7:30 pm, Hollywood Theatre, $7-9)

Rare Monk, Bodies On The Beach, J. Graves
Portland’s Rare Monk link up with Seattle’s Bodies On The Beach to bring a night of dynamic and emotive indie-rock and psych to the stage at Mississippi Studios. (Wed Dec 11, 8 pm, Mississippi Studios, $8-10)

Cool World Pop-Up
Guaranteed to be a better, more rewarding experience than the terrible live-action/animation hybrid movie from the ’90s, this Cool World is a holiday pop-up offering a ton of handmade art, jewelry, records, zines, apparel and more, with music provided by Break Mode and Palm Pilot. (Wed Dec 11, 6:30 pm, The Permanent Space, free, all ages)

Queer Commons: Carol
“What a strange girl you are,” Carol (Cate Blanchett) tells Therese (Rooney Mara) in the major motion picture masterpiece Carol. “Flung out of space.” That’s kind of the way I feel about the film as a whole—but, as with Carol’s sexually-charged sizing-up of Therese, I mean it in a good way. This is a film about queer women that is exquisitely crafted, heartfully acted, nuanced about each character’s motives and morality, and can be watched by actual queer people without making us cringe. Shown in living, breathing 35mm as part of the Hollywood’s ongoing Queer Commons film series, Carol gets the red carpet treatment it deserves. (Wed Dec 11, 7 pm, Hollywood Theatre, $7-9) BLAIR STENVICK

Drae Slapz, Brown Calculus, Rasheed Jamal
For the last few years, Portland producer/engineer/DJ/artist Drae Slapz has been consistently making the local hip-hop scene more lit with his fun-loving energy and onstage charisma. On this particular mid-December evening, Slapz is headlining after a smooth and soulful set of space-age jazz by Brown Calculus. The show is also an opportunity to see a rare-ish performance from rapid-fire MC Rasheed Jamal, who’s been fairly quiet ever since releasing his latest full-length Messiah Complex, one of the best rap albums to come out of Portland this year. (Thurs Dec 12, 8 pm, Mississippi Studios, free) JENNI MOORE

Dear Diary: 1-Year Anniversary Show
The improv show dedicated to taking all those things you put in your diary during your tween years, and loosing them upon the stage in the most hilarrible ways is celebrating its first anniversary, and to commemorate the occasion, show creator Anne Zander will take the stage as this month’s guest diarist. The performers tasked with taking her mortification and turning it into comedy gold are Natalie Haddad (Show Ridiculous), Katie Kester (Show Ridiculous), Roland Mechanik (Cut and Run), Brianna Núñez-Webb (Cut and Run), Emily Shankman (Show Ridiculous), Lauren Sinner (Night Cheese), and Emilie Sites (Papa?). As part of the Comedy Really Cares holiday fundraiser, all profits from the December show will be donated to the Oregon Justice Resource Center. (Thurs Dec 12, 7:30 pm, Kickstand Comedy Space, $10)

There’s even more to do in our Cheap, Free, & Fun calendar, and don’t forget to check out our Comment on this story ]

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