My, What A Busy Week! 

WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 9

GEMS—Electronic label Dropping Gems is hosting a free showcase with 10 of their artists, proving just how creative and vital the collective is to Portland music. Find out for yourself as the likes of Natasha Kmeto, Devonwho, the Great Mundane, and a healthy host of others drop killer beats on the crowd. NL
Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison, 8:30 pm, FREE

THE WRATH OF ZAHN—After single-handedly bringing Star Wars back to life in the early '90s, fan-favorite author (and Oregonian) Timothy Zahn has earned a whole lot more respect than George Lucas. His latest, Scoundrels, is basically Ocean's Eleven... but starring Han Solo, Chewbacca, and Lando Calrissian. BONUS! Nerds will be here in Star Wars costumes! Probably. EH
Powell's Books at Cedar Hills Crossing, 3415 SW Cedar Hills, Beaverton, 7 pm, FREE

THURSDAY, JANUARY 10

BASEMENT NERDS—Comics Underground is Portland's most fun comics event—and I'd say that even if it weren't hosted by the Mercury's arts and film editors. This month, artists Colleen Coover, Jen Vaughn, and Jake Richmond will pack the place to read new work and partake of stiff drinks. Fun art, good people, and ready availability of delicious Reuben sandwiches! SM
Jack London Bar, 529 SW 4th, 8 pm, $3

ROCK OUT—If you went to punk rock shows in high school, but now have a day job, this show will bring you back to your punky roots. Local bands like Clorox Girls, Guantanamo Baywatch, and the Suicide Notes are all playing at Hovercraft Records' showcase, so slap on some black eyeliner and rock out. Plus the first 250 people in the door get the label's new compilation! RF
w/Boom!, Hey Lover, & more; Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside, 9 pm, $5

FRIDAY, JANUARY 11

THIS IS BIG—Take two things Portland excels at (music and literature), add four venues, and two days of free programming that include 40 bands and 15 writers, and you have the Big Ass Boombox festival. Revel in Pacific Northwest talents from authors like Martha Grover and Kevin Sampsell, and bands like Animal Eyes and No Kind of Rider. MS
Fri-Sat, various times & venues, bigassboombox.com, FREE

ACES—Back in March, whip-smart sketch comedy duo the Aces (AKA Michael Fetters and Shelley McLendon) debuted a hilarious new sketch show—and this weekend, they're dusting it off for two shows only to kick off a new series of comedy shows at Portland Center Stage. AH
Ellyn Bye Studio at the Gerding Theater, 128 NW 11th, Fri-Sat 8 pm, $18-20 (cash only at door)

SATURDAY, JANUARY 12

DO OVER—According to the Eastern Orthodox Church and its undying devotion to the Julian calendar, 2013 starts this weekend—and NOT on January 1 like all you heretics might believe. As such, Russian party band Chervona is gathering some friends at the Star Theater tonight for a proper, dance-filled (and religiously accurate) sendoff to 2012. DCT
Star Theater, 13 NW 6th, 9 pm, $15-20

INSTRU-MENTAL—Best known for building the theme song for Mad Men, RJD2 (real name Ramble John Krohn) also constructs sampled soundtracks for commercials, movies, and if you so wish, your life. Creating moody soundscapes layered atop hiphop beats, RJD2's artistry starts on the dance floor and quickly turns into head-nodding think pieces. WSH
w/Manic Focus, Medium Troy; Roseland, 8 NW 6th, 7 pm, $24.50, all ages

POW! BIFF! ZOK!—Why so serious, Batman? At Gotham a Go-Go, get back to campy bat-basics with some go-go dancing, trippy tunes from DJ Gregarious, and two sets from the Batmaniest band in town, Batarang. Practice your Batusi and channel your inner Julie Newmar—you're about to shake a bat feather, all at the new White Owl Social Club (formerly the digs of Plan B). CF
White Owl Social Club, 1305 SE 8th, 9 pm, $5

SUNDAY, JANUARY 13

FAN FIC—A staple of LA's Nerdist Theater, Competitive Erotic Fan Fiction invites comedians to write and perform filthy, on-the-spot parodies of such beloved properties as Gilligan's Island and Friday Night Lights. The brilliant Kyle Kinane handily won the last Portland show—he returns to defend his disreputable crown against comedians Ian Karmel, Shane Torres, and more. AH Brody Theater, 16 NW Broadway, 7 pm, $10, 18+

FATHER WAINWRIGHT—Loudon Wainwright III is a maker of folksy music, rich with humor and finely crafted songs. He's had a prolific career, and whether the witty musical legend is spouting sadly tinged songs from behind his guitar or popping forth talented musicians from his loins, he's a tour de force of thoughtful and self-deprecating charm. CF
w/Dar Williams; Aladdin Theater, 3017 SE Milwaukie, 8 pm, $30

MONDAY, JANUARY 14

LOVE IT TO DEATH—The swirling, psychedelic garage-noir of A Happy Death is aptly named: It's dark, sure, but also an exciting, damn fun time. The Portland-by-way-of-New York quartet's nasty, gnarly jams go from stoned dirges to frenzied freakouts, covering all the gleefully deranged territory in between. NL w/the Holy Child, Brain Capital; East End, 203 SE Grand, 9 pm

BIGELOW—The last time director Kathryn Bigelow and writer Mark Boal teamed up, the brilliant, adrenalin-charged The Hurt Locker was the result. Now they're back with the intense, searing Zero Dark Thirty—a nuanced, balls-out thriller about how we tracked down Osama bin Laden. This was the best film 2012 had to offer. See it. EH See our review and Film Times.

TUESDAY, JANUARY 15

GET SCHOOLED—Life has certain concrete rules: brush your teeth and always jump at the chance to see Cornel West speak in person. One of the smartest humans on earth, race and politics thought-leader West is in town for a Portland State University tribute to Martin Luther King Jr. The free event is "sold out," but you will likely have luck at the door if ticketholders don't show up. SM
PSU's Smith Memorial Student Union, 1825 SW Broadway, 7 pm, FREE

GAGA, OOH LA LA!—Spectacle, thy name is Gaga! Whether or not you're a fan of Lady Gaga's disco-drenched party pop anthems, her concerts are truly a thing of baroque magnificence. Insane dance numbers, copious costume changes, political grandstanding, and unbridled sex appeal, our Lady of Gaga puts on show that won't be forgotten easily. WSH
Rose Garden, 1 Winning Way, 7:30 pm, $49.50-175, all ages

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