DROPPING GEMS SHOWCASE: BONE ROCK, BREAK MODE, BROWNBEAR, CITYMOUTH, DJAO, GHOST FEET, NATASHA KMETO, PHILIP GRASS, RAP CLASS
(White Owl Social Club, 1305 SE 8th) In the last several years, Dropping Gems has gone from a small group of electronic producers and hiphop heads playing Evergreen State College dorm parties to an internationally recognized label and party crew based right here in Portland, Oregon. Their releases premiere on Spin and Fader, they get featured on Xlr8r and Impose, they make top 10 lists on Vibe, and they've created their own scene for electronic music in the Northwest. Dropping Gems' roster of artists extends from the underwater pitch-shifted ambience of Citymouth to the dancefloor-ready skewed R&B of Natasha Kmeto, all while maintaining a particular aesthetic—one that's more about textures than genres. Today's daytime party celebrates the release of their 21-track cassette compilation Gem Drops Four, showcasing the impressive community they've created over the years. JOSHUA JAMES AMBERSON Also see My, What a Busy Week!
PICKIN' ON SUNDAYS: BEVELERS, EZRA BELL, REBECCA MARIE MILLER
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Portland duo Bevelers are set to release a split EP with Boston-based band Erica Russo and the Good Sport. The Bevelers' half is fragile, unadorned, and beautiful, often just a single guitar and a pair of voices; the intertwined harmonies of Lee Aulson and Adria Ivanitsky are braided in vine-like ways, given a big sonic berth and plenty of ghostly echo. The recording's small details accentuate its pleasures, whether it's the sound of rainfall as a backdrop ("Tomorrow") or a low, even bellow from a cello ("Can't Seem to Smile"). Opening track "Cryptic Company" is a stunner, a gentle folk ballad holding hidden strength, like a young tree being battered by the wind but standing resolutely tall. Bevelers celebrate the release of the EP at this afternoon's free Pickin' on Sundays show before heading to the East Coast for a tour with Erica Russo and the Good Sport. NED LANNAMANN
SOULJA BOY, MALIK, YUNG MIL, GET IT SQUAD, DUBZ
(Alhambra Theatre, 4811 SE Hawthorne) Which Soulja Boy would you like to talk about? We could concentrate on the boastful, slow-burbling rapper who has, at the age of 24, released more than 40 mixtapes, four albums, and made guest appearances on Snoop Dogg and Nicki Minaj tracks. Or we could talk about the boastful shit stirrer who has spent the last few years making death threats and challenges toward fellow hiphop artists via social media. Whichever side of Soulja Boy you care to examine, there's no denying that the Atlanta rapper has had his creative batteries recharged, if the three mixtapes of wealth-obsessed, drank-addled jams he's put out this year are any indication. ROBERT HAM
SEX CRIME, THEE HEADLINERS, DARK/LIGHT
(The Know, 2026 NE Alberta) Dark/Light might not be immediately recognizable, but the members' former bands, the Triggers and Sleepwalkers RIP, go back a ways in Portland's punk scene. Dark/Light have put out a handful of singles that are twisted in all sorts of knotty directions, with an affinity for Ohio punk (early Devo, Pere Ubu, Deadboys) and new wave from New York. "Young Habits" is spaced-out and ramshackle—some perfectly noisy and otherworldly shit that bursts out of all molds. Dark/Light seem poised to make a serious racket locally; if anyone's going to keep Portland weird, it's gonna be these weirdos. MARK LORE