The Helio Sequence, Empty Space Orchestra
thursday 3Before heading off on a month-long tour of Europe, the Portland power pop duo makes a stop at the Tower for the second installment of the PDXchange Program. If you don't know The Helio Sequence, you really should because the duo - comprised of Brandon Summer and Benjamin Weikel - has been playing some of the Northwest's best indie rock for about a decade now. And could there be a collaboration between The Helio Sequence and our own Empty Space Orchestra? We don't know, but that would be awesome. $15 + service fee. PDXchangeprogram.com. 7pm. Tower Theatre, 835 NW Wall St.
Last Band Standing
The contest rages on and the crowds haven't gotten any smaller with several hundred partying peeps heading out each week to cheer on their local favorites. This week, the qualifiers include Stillfear, Thorns of Creation, Gebular, Group Therapy, Warm Gadget perform. $3/adv, $5/door. 8pm. Boondock's Bar and Grill, 70 NW Greenwood Ave.
Beard Team USA National Beard and Moustache Championships
Are your whiskers tingling? That's your beard and/or moustache telling you that the National Beard and Moustache Championships are finally here. The event kicks off on Friday night with a party at the Old Stone Church (8pm) featuring music from As the Devil Dances, a band that features former world-beard champ Burke Kenny. Saturday is the big day, beginning at 1pm with a procession through downtown to the Les Schwab Amphitheater with the competition beginning at the LSA at 2pm. $10/adults, children 12 and under are free.
Balloons Over Bend
Beards aren't the only thing popping up in the Old Mill this weekend - there are also Balloons Over Bend, the longstanding hot air balloon event and plenty of community events down on the ground. See balloonsoverbend.com for a complete schedule.
The Laramie Project
The Rever Theatre Project is taking over the 2nd Street Theatre for the weekend to present the emotional and impactful play about the 1998 killing of a young gay man in Wyoming. The play was created from a couple hundred interviews, which are relayed by the characters in the production. 7pm Friday-Sunday and 2pm Saturday and Sunday. 2nd Street Theater, 220 NE Lafayette Ave.
One of the best things to come out of Spokane other than point guards and cheap Chinese food is Tyrone Wells, a bubbly, poppy songwriter in the vein of Jason Mraz or that one guy who said all those awful things about Jessica Simpson. He's playing this cozy show at the Annex where he'll be joined by local crooner Eric Tollefson. Tickets available for $10/adv at www.bendticket.com or $12/door. 9pm. The Annex, 51 NW Greenwood Ave.
A CD entitled This Love Is Fleeting from this young Eugene songwriter came through the office a few weeks ago and we ended up giving it a stellar review because, well, it was a stellar record. The Brett Dennen-ish musician plays this solo show as part of his Northwest tour. 7pm. The Wine Shop and Tasting Bar, 55 NW Minnesota Ave.
The Madhappy Freak Show
For starters, the name of this event is worth the price of admission alone just so when someone asks you what you're doing, you can say, "Oh, just going to the Madhappy Freak Show." The lineup features local favorites like Jukebot! and Mindscape in addition to the goofy hip-hoppers of The Chicharones and Chase the Dragon. Wear a costume - win a prize! There's also live art and tattoos going on to light up your other senses. All ages. 8pm-1:30am. Domino Room, 51 NW Greenwood Ave.
This trio of honky tonk rockers from South Carolina is like the Avett Brothers, except they're a lot quirkier in their approach to writing solid Americana tunes. Free, all ages. 7pm. McMenamins Old St. Francis School, 700 NW Bond St.
Tommy Gaffney and Suzanne Burns
Tommy Gaffney is a poet from Kentucky (but now lives in Portland) who writes about topics that are best served with whiskey rather than wine. The author, who just released another collection of poems entitled, appropriately, Whiskey Days, is joined by locals Suzanne Burns, Jonathan Ludwig and Cassie Moore. Free. Camalli Books, 1288 SW Simpson Ave.
Terry Tempest Williams
Williams, an award-winning writer and environmental activist, arrives in Bend to answer a question she herself posed: "How do you find beauty in a broken world?" She'll be joined by other Central Oregon authors who will also take a stab at answering the question. $20. 7pm Thursday, Jun 10. Summit High School, 2855 NW Clearwater Dr.