FRI DEC 4
Toucan Sam and the Fruitloops w/DJ Santa; AFRU Gallery, 534 SE Oak
Toucan Sam and the Fruitloops, the city's premier ukulele cover band, is less a stable ensemble and more a way of doing things. Its membership has changed dramatically since forming in 2011, but its essence has remained tried and true. With a seemingly endless repertoire of songs that range from Le Tigre to Fleetwood Mac—all expertly, implausibly rearranged for a batshit 10-ukulele mini-orchestra—the Fruitloops are a beacon for quintessential Portland weirdness (just like our official motto or whatever). Tonight they perform at the gallery opening for the Naughty and/or Nice group show.
SAT DEC 5
Fred and Toody Cole; the Old Church, 1422 SW 11th
Portland's most inspiring punk power couple, Fred and Toody Cole—the flannel-clad creative nucleus in Pierced Arrows and Dead Moon (you know, the band from the cool T-shirt)—grace the Old Church tonight in rare "unplugged" format, an arrangement that's befitting their material's deeply traditional crux.
Public Eye w/Night Birds, Piss Test, Andy Place and the Coolheads; Black Water Bar, 835 NE Broadway
Autistic Youth's last LP, Nonage, was one of the best local releases of 2013. Self-assertive without being obnoxious, simple without being stupid, and reverent without being derivative, it was a rapid-fire crash course in honest, classic punk rock done well. While it's unclear if Autistic Youth has formally called it quits, the members of that band have a new project called Public Eye. Their debut EP, Mood Change Party, is more tuneful than Autistic Youth, though every bit as urgent. The highlight is "The Hours," a post-punk/rock 'n' roll love letter and potential harbinger for a garage-rock-revival revival. It's about time!