My, What a Busy Week! 

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 15

FUNNY GUY—While he may not be the best-known comedian on the block, Steve Byrne is nevertheless a hilarious workhorse. He's toured the world, been featured in his own Comedy Central Presents special, and consistently constructs solid, smart laffs. See him once, and you'll join his fan club. WSH
Helium Comedy Club, 1510 SE 9th, Thurs 8 pm, Fri-Sat 7:30 & 10 pm, $15-25

INSIDE VOICES—It's time to come in from the cold and curl up with some of the most comforting songwriters this little burg can offer: Justin Power's Rememory will ease you into the mood, Sean Flinn & the Royal We will make you comfortable, and Y La Bamba will be haunting your dreams for the rest of the night. MS
Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison, 8:30 pm, $7

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 16

FREAK SCENE—Oh man, this is gonna be special: For this super-short West Coast tour, Dinosaur Jr. performs their 1988 classic album Bug in its entirety. And if that were not enough—good heavens, you are greedy—before they play they're going to be interviewed about the album live, on stage, by none other than Henry Rollins. All that plus a Scratch Acid reunion? There isn't a "YES!" big enough for this awesomeness. NL
w/Pierced Arrows; Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside, 8 pm, $25-30, all ages

STRINGS ATTACHED—Nobody does holiday cheer like the Portland Cello Project—their aptly named Holiday Showdown features a special VIP section for anyone who shows up in a sufficiently gaudy holiday sweater. Joining Portland's favorite string ensemble for the holiday blowout are the Alialujah Choir and members of Blind Pilot. AH
Aladdin Theater, 3017 SE Milwaukie, Fri & Sat, 8 pm, $15, all ages

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 17

HARD TIMES!—In case current events haven't already sucked you into a inescapable morass of despair, local director Kelly Reichardt and local writer Jon Raymond aim to depress you even further! Presenting a soul-slaughtering double feature of John Ford's The Grapes of Wrath (1940) and their Portland-set mope-fest Wendy and Lucy (2008), tonight Reichardt and Raymond will ensure that you will never feel joy again. EH
Hollywood Theatre, 4122 NE Sandy, 7 pm, $10

QUTE—All those elves slaving away at the North Pole (wearing those adorable tights, chugging nog), and you think they never cut loose for a Saturday night drag show? Then you are WRONG, my friend, because Portland's Queer Quistmas variety show is back for its fifth year of sexy Santas, high-heeled boots, and phallic use of candy canes. SM
Q Center, 4115 N Mississippi, 8 pm, $8-10, all ages

SUNDAY, DECEMBER 18

SMALL PRESS—Portland's small-press scene is absolutely thriving these days—for evidence, look no further than Publication Studio's Third Annual Publication Fair. Participating organizations include the IPRC, Poor Claudia, Plazm, Pinball Publishing, and plenty more—promising a diversity of talent that's always unique and frequently quite beautiful. AH
The Cleaners at the Ace Hotel, 403 SW 10th, 11 am-7 pm, FREE

COCK OF THE WALK—It's December, which means three things: stress, depression, and loneliness! Oh, and also beautiful, elaborate Christmas lights, courtesy of the hardcore denizens of Peacock Lane, who live for this time of year. Even the grinchiest among us (hello!) can't help but have their cold cold heart warmed by the sight of so much Xmas joy on one street. EH
Peacock Lane (between SE Stark & Belmont, one block east of SE 39th), through Dec 31, pedestrian-only nights Dec 15-16, FREE

MONDAY, DECEMBER 19

METAL MEDAL—Don't miss the second installment of the Portland Metal Winter Olympics, a 16-band, winter-long competition in which up-and-coming local metal bands (tonight's competitors: Taurus and Foal) face off in a battle of metalosity. No curling, no luge, no biathalon, just pure heaviness. And tonight, the Mercury's metal writer Aris Wales is a guest judge! (Hey bands, a bribe tip for ya: Aris just loves Eskimo kisses.) NL
w/DJ Nate C; East End, 203 SE Grand, 9:30 pm, $2

SANTAGATE!—Christmas is all about tradition—doing the same whimsical rigmarole every year. Change the tradition and children will burst into tears. Macy's opened up the tearful floodgates this year by booting the Portland Santa who'd run Santaland for 28 years, opting for an East Coast contractor who uses—gasp!—fake beards! Catch the real Portland Santa in his new home in Pioneer Courthouse Square. SM
Pioneer Courthouse Square, SW 6th & Morrison, 9 am-9 pm, through Dec 24

TUESDAY, DECEMBER 20

WELL WELL WELL—Let's have deep thoughts and drink absinthe. The members of Blouse and Houndstooth that make up WL (or Well) are ready to show off their shoegaze. I can't get enough of either of those bands or the fact that Valentine's is heated like a little, experimental volcano all winter long. SS
w/Tom Blood, Jordan Dykstra, Bird Costumes; Valentine's, 232 SW Ankeny, 9 pm

FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS—The holiday season is upon us, and you know what that means: menorah lighting! Yep, all the dancing and free latkes you could dream of are in Director Park this evening for the first night of Hanukkah. And remember, there are eight days, so if you miss the first one... MJ
Director Park, 815 SW Park, 5:30 pm, through Dec 28, FREE

WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 21

DAVID LYNCH HOLIDAY—Dress up as your favorite David Lynch character at Christmas at the Black Lodge to celebrate all that is spooky-sexy about the music of his films. Expect Twin Peaks songs from Rachael Jensen and Matt Carlson, and tribute sets from White Hinterland and others. Plus, the halls will be decked with red curtains and blue lighting. Just beware of Bob. CF
Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison, 8:30 pm, $5

SPIRITED—Jealous Butcher Records hosts a release party for Laura Gibson's newest 7-inch single, "La Grande," at Valentine's this eve. Swing by for quick, 15-minute sets of Gibson's sweet, acoustic melodies and Fruit Bats' main man Eric D. Johnson. The artists will also bring a few of their favorite records to spin between sets and Valentine's promises "festive holiday concoctions"—what could be merrier? AZ
w/Duover; Valentine's, 232 SW Ankeny, 9 pm, FREE

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