friday 24-saturday 25
No drunken heckling necessary, Patton Oswalt's standup is sharp and relevant. Sure, he is remembered for a kitsch role on "King of Queens," but he is also an original member of the Comedians of Comedy Tour, a vocal opponent of the George W. Bush administration and champion of geek culture. He has the ability to incorporate the light stuff, glam metal and comic books, into deeper issues like foreign policy and atheism. He also has the ability to improvise an eight-minute rant about the melding of the Star Wars, Disney and Marvel universes; see Patton Oswalt's Star Wars Filibuster on YouTube. 7:30 pm & 10 pm. Helium Comedy Club. $30-35.
saturday 25-sunday 26
KINK on the Waterfront
The first day of KINK on the Waterfront's lineup includes Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros, Fort Atlantic, Wake Owl and Sons of Fathers: Four bands that are redefining folk-pop music, and doing it well. KINK 101.9 FM in Portland puts on its yearly amalgamation of the most popular indie acts of the past year. A second night of big names will attempt to rival the first in a funk-fest on Sunday of Fitz and the Tantrums, little hurricane, Michael Kiwanuka and Milo Greene. 4:30 pm. Tom McCall Waterfront Park. $25-30.
MusicfestNW Launch Party: Chvrches
While the band name is a brainteaser (the U was changed to a V because 'Churches' is near impossible to google), what we can say about Chvrches is that it has shamelessly catchy pop hooks. All the way from Glasgow, Scotland, Chvrches has taken the U.S. by storm, and is freshly off tour with hip electro-poppers Passion Pit. The MusicfestNW (taking place Sept. 3-8) Launch will precede the release of the full festival lineup. Already announced are Deerhunter and Godspeed You! Black Emperor, so we expect the rest of the list to be equally worthy. 7:30 pm. Wonder Ballroom. $8-10.
The xx's music is less of a song presented to its audience, and more like two old friends having a conversation. Its stripped-down simplicity and sexy, lovelorn lyrics produce meandering soundscapes with just the right touch of production, drum machines and reverb-heavy dueling guitar riffs. The real kicker is the authenticity and sweetness in The xx's almost monotone vocals—listening to the London pair it feels like eavesdropping on a couple's pillow talk. 8 pm. McDonald Theater. $35.