By Daniel Borgen, PQ Monthly
Halloween in this town sometimes feels bigger than Pride — the costumes, the soirees, the energy. (Perhaps it’s the SAD and/or the wine talking, but I stand by my declaration.) All Hallow’s Eve brings out the best — and most creative — Portland has to offer, and the events and parties are usually more than equal to the creative task.
As per usual, the day of falls on a weekday, so there’s all manner of party going in the moments leading up to game day. (But do save yourself for the 31st, because Laid Out is lucky enough to fall on Halloween itself.) Here’s a smattering of our best Halloween bets:
Thursday, October 24: A full week ahead of the big day, Totes Hilars returns for its latest incarnation. Totes Hilars is a queer comedy variety show featuring all manner of homo — and allies — hosted by our August cover model, Melody Awesomazing. This night typically includes stand-up comedy, musical acts, burlesque, ventriloquism (really), clowning, and drag. (That’s a lot of things.) Aside from the hostess with the most-ess, acts include (but are not limited to) Carla Rossi, Sally Mulligan, Jen Tam, Manuel Hall, Monsoon royalty Nick Sahoyah, and many more. 7pm, Old Town Floyd’s, 118 NW Couch. $5-10, sliding scale.
Friday, October 25: Wicked Awesome, Big Homo Halloween Party and Cover Bands Show. Can you believe this party is in its fifth year? What, you’ve never been? Shame on you, and clear your Friday night agenda. (You can DVR those TV shows, lezzie.) Along with a slew of the city’s most beloved disc jockeys (Roy G Biv, Bruce LaBruiser, Goss’p Cat), the following “cover bands” are on tap: the Deceptacons perform Le Tigre, Katie O and the No No Nos do Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Fist Shaped Box takes on Nirvana, and the Bomb Ass Phugees (guess who that is) cover the Fugees, Wyclef, and Lauryn Hill. (Yes!) In addition to that musical bounty, your MC for the evening is Carla Rossi, there’ll be a costume contest, and basically all of your queer dreams will come true. “Stay tuned, stay freaky, and we’ll see you when the veil is thin.” 8pm, White Owl Social Club, 1305 SE 8. $8.
Saturday, October 26: Gula’s House of Whores. (See what she did with “horrors” there?) Gula has moved her beloved annual bash from her home to a bar (it’s for the best), and she’s invited all her favorite queens to join her. I’ll leave the talking to her: “Rattle your bones all night with DJ Up Above, wear your costume, get your soul captured by our photo booth. Brothel doors open at 9pm and the harlots of the house hit the stage at the stroke of midnight.” She adds, “This is my house party, but I’m tired of cleaning.” So let Crush staff do it for you. In addition to being a fundraiser for Shorty Shorts, the following “whores” will take the stage: Dieana Dae, Carla Rossi, Shitney Houston, Asia Ho Jackson, and Margarine Powers. (And more, but we ran out of room.) All the love from the grave. 9pm, Crush, 1400 SE Morrison. $2. $2!
Blow Pony’s Night of the Living Homos: You’re not going to believe who the Blow Pony kids rustled up for this year’s Halloween extravaganza! Raja. It’s true, that Raja. If you remember her from her last BP visit, you know she’s all your queer dreams and more. In addition to that drag coup, the Pony welcomes Blow Pony is the evening’s special guest music-maker, and all your BP faves will be on hand as well. Michael Horwitz will be drawing your portraits. (If you’re somehow unfamiliar with him, get familiar.) Sounds like all of the things to me. 9pm, Rotture, 315 SE Third. $5.
Wednesday, October 30 brings Wicked Wednesday, the all-ages Halloween party and queer cover bands show. This year, Freedie Says Relax and Wicked Awesome are doing a special second show, an all-ages edition of Wicked Awesome. Deejays are a bit different — Bitchslap and II Trill — but the cover bands are mostly the same. Fist Shaped Box, Katie O and the No No Nos, Bomb Ass Phugees. There will be a costume contest, pinball, air hockey, music, and even a bar for those of legal drinking age. From the promoters: “this is a party of all ‘with-it’ human beings who are LGBTQI or allies, of all ages.” 7pm, Slabtown, 1033 NW 16. $5, but no one turned away for lack of funds.
Thursday, October 31: The big day has arrived and Laid Out has all the blessings from beyond. Laid Out’s Turn a Look is “calling all fags, qweens, queers, gay boiz, gay grrlz, gay peoplez, baby dykes and their daddies, dudebabes, twinks, bears, otters and wolves, models, self-identified sexy people, homos (no homo), fiercers, partiers, and anybody who wants to get sweaty to the damn dance floor.” That’s a quote. Anyway, the city’s newest homo dance party knows how to bring it, so we can’t wait to see what this queer institution brings on the night of Halloween. Costume contest, cash prizes, go-go ghouls (DieAna Dae, Shitney Houston, Stacy Stl Lisa), guest deejays — Ill Camino and Orographic, along with your usual resident (and party architect), Bridge Club’s Gossip Cat. There’s much more, but you’re going to have to show up to find out. 9pm, Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison. $5.