Reason # 1,234 why Portland is the best town I’ve ever lived in. On the way back from coffee this morning (I know, I know, walking to get joe in the morning is rudimentary, not some epic vision quest, but still…) out of nowhere this all-in-black couple that looked like they’d just crawled out of the Thunder Dome came strolling up the block. I wish I could remember more about their appearance but I was hypnotized by the giant, three-foot long boom box that looked like it had been recently spit-shined and polished that the dude was carrying. And they were absolutely BLASTING Cinderella’s “Nobody’s Fool” at what had to be top volume. As Lloyd Dobler taught us, boom boxes are always a powerful tool for good.

Random. And absolutely awesome. Of course, now I have Cinderella stuck in my head and I have a craving to plaster my hair with Aqua-Net.

FRIDAY

Here’s reason #1,235: Slabtown’s Bender. In a city with a handful of great music festivals, Bender—a three-day, nearly nonstop onslaught of gut-punch rock n’ roll—usually gets lost in the shuffle. But this year the showcase of underground rock gets a boost of name-recognition from the likes of Mudhoney, Hank IV, and Pierced Arrows (formerly Dead Moon). Best of all, the afternoon shows are totally free. Check the Slabtown site for a full lineup. [Friday-Sunday/Prices and times vary]

SATURDAY

As part of the 32nd annual Portland International Film Festival, the Broadway theater is hosting an afternoon showing of the North Korean hit, The Chaser. The website describes it as an “unconventional, sometimes violently graphic thriller focuses on cop-turned-pimp Joong-ho’s probe into the recent disappearances of his prostitutes.” The rest of the film evolves into a showdown between police, a deranged killer, and our off-kilter anti-hero. Of course, you had us at “cop-turned-pimp.” [Broadway Theater/1:15 p.m./$10]

SUNDAY

Weather says it’s going to rain this weekend, but the temperature should be in the 40s. And considering all the football we’ve watched these past few months (and, oh yeah, something about getting in shape for a wedding), frankly, we could use the exercise. So we’re taking our colleague Brian Barker’s advice and hitting a trail. In the March issue (out later this month) he writes about the Cape Lookout Trail in Cape Lookout State Park, a jaunt near Tillamook, where you can not only knock out a challenging five mile hike over rocky crags and towering pines, but once you reach the top you can do a little whale watching. [Free, not counting gas] Find-a-Trail