(Dante's, 1 SW 3rd) From out of the endlessly tangled web of Pacific Northwestern hardcore comes the formidable duo of Jared Warren (Karp, Tight Bros from Way Back When, the Whip) and Coady Willis (Murder City Devils, Dead Low Tide), heretofore referred to as simply Big Business. For anyone familiar with their mutual lineage, the sounds of the Business' skull-crushing symphony shouldn't come as much of a surprise, regardless of the fact that they manage to muster it all with merely two bodies. Also along for the ride tonight are Portland's own proponents of the fantastically loud hardcore/metal-hybrid, the fearsome foursome of Black Elk. Believe me, this stuff just sounds better through wadded up toilet paper stuffed in your ears—a high compliment, of course. ZAC PEN­NINGTON See also My, What a Busy Week! pg 13.

FRIDAY 12/23


(Dunes, 1905 NE MLK) If the Christmas season is indeed about generosity and kinship, I can think of few better places to soak in the festivities than with the Rollerball/Sloth/Narwhal extended family. True, a holiday with these escapees from the Montana party nexus is more likely to end with a red-level hangover than visions of sugarplum fairies, but they're a family all the same. Six Foot Sloth has recently returned from a touring sojourn in Italy, so welcome the stalwart popsters back in style. JOSH BLANCHARD


(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Folk thrives on intimacy, with sparsely accompanied artists baring their emotional tribulations in cozy venues. Laura Gibson extends this personal connection beyond her performances, recording lo-fi Christmas carols and sending them with cards to fans (for a small donation) and sharing soup recipes with her online audience. She hasn't announced plans to ladle her beer-and-cheese broth to concertgoers from a community cauldron, but Gibson will decorate her set list with festive holiday fare. Whether interpreting seasonal material or playing her usual folk-rock tunes, Gibson uses her clear, confident vocals to keep listeners riveted while she experiments with subtle, slightly askew strums. ANDREW MILLER

SUNDAY 12/25


(Katie O'Brien's, 2809 NE Sandy) The sign outside of Katie O'Brien's at the intersection of NE 28th and Sandy says "Birthday Party for Jesus Dec 25." I can't tell you what that birthday party will entail... not so much because it is a secret so much as it is a complete mystery to both the bartender and cook I asked. They have no idea who changed the sign, but the bartender said he guessed he "could buy a cake or something." One thing is for sure, they will be OPEN with their 34 beers on tap and said bartender is eager to spread Happy-Birthday-Jesus-Joy to anyone who enters the Irish pub during his shift—which lasts 'til 2:30 am. Sure, it feels more like St. Patty's Day inside, but they do have a Christmas Tree (with random creepy dolls beneath it; one a cowgirl and one a girl/tiger mix) and a snowman holding a birdbath full of Irish mints by the cash register. If that doesn't say Happy Birthday, Jesus, I just don't know what does. TONYA HISE

MONDAY 12/26


(Edgefield, 2126 SW Halsey) If you're like me, December 26 finds you with a jackhammering post-Christmas hangover and a weapons-grade need for nerve soothing. New Year's Eve is just a few days away, but goddamnit we need some respite, some solace, some calm and quiet before the storm. Beliss could very well be our savior. Belinda and Melissa Underwood, two Portland sisters, make soothing ukulele, bass, and guitar music, dipping back and forth between jazz, folk, and electronic. I can feel the screws untightening as we speak. ADAM GNADE


(Towne Lounge, 714 SW 20th Pl.) Lazy writers (you won't find 'em here!) often rely on the old "it's like (blank) meets (blank)" formula in describing musical acts. New Orleans poet/musician/performance artist Bernard Pearce, AKA One Man Machine, has been described as a conflated meet-and-greet between the following individuals: John Coltrane, Iggy Pop, Fats Domino, Frank Black, Sun Ra, and Lightning Bolt. So from this, we can deduce that he'll be freaky, visionary, and eclectic. We also have on record that Pearce rocks it with a tuba, turntables, drums, voice, bass guitar, and footstomps. As our picture of Mr. Machine's steez becomes slightly clearer, we learn that he was once a member of Frigg-a-Go-Go, a kickass Louisiana band from the '90s that still gets Cajun kids all nuts in the nether regions. By now, you may have deduced that I haven't gotten my hands on any of One Man Machine's solo work yet, but hopefully you've also deduced that this'll be a kickass show to exorcise the icky spirit of Christmas. CHAS BOWIE



(Towne Lounge, 714 SW 20th Pl.) Truly Me Club's new record, Popstar on the Lam, sounds like O.C. soundtrack music made by Smile-era Beach Boys. (It's no coincidence that they have a song called "Californ-i-aye.") It's soft, gooey, sunny stuff with ample amounts of Ben Gibbardian vocals, fey little toy pianos, and purring Rhoades keyboards. But there are also lyrics about breakdancing, sudden killer-bee attacks of sampled strings, and crackly, kinda clumsy (in a good way) laptop beats. So, it's a little of the expected, and some of the not so. This is the best thing going on Tuesday, December 27, 2005, EVER. That's a pretty huge distinction. Go to this show. Or stay home and be laaame. And for $3?! What the fuck, dude? Get off the couch, you lazy fucking hippie. AG



(Mississippi Pizza Pub, 3553 North Mississippi)

Sneakin' Out, an acoustic trio who plays both original material and classic rock covers—imagine Pink Floyd reinterpreted with a mandolin, percussion, and bass—are lending their earthy, laidback, crunchy tunes to the soundtrack for a local documentary. Tonight's show is a benefit for that film, Austin Unbound—about a deaf female-to-male transsexual, in the months before and after chest reconstruction surgery. The band will be on hand, utilizing their busking background to raise dough for the work-in-progress film, which will also be screened. AMY JENNIGES