SKIN TIGHT—Try not to be distracted by Minden's glittery Spandex outfits or billowing facial hair—this Portland-by-way-of Kansas-City band peddles smooth, glowy dance-pop with confidence, humor, and a healthy dollop of funk. The ridiculous outfits are just gravy on one very enjoyable train. AH
w/Beisbol, Sama Dams, Micrasoft; Backspace, 115 NW 5th, 9 pm, $5, all ages

STRINGED THINGS—Now entering year 14, the Portland Old-Time Music Gathering is a multi-day, multi-venue affair with plenty of old-time music, workshops, square dancing, kids' stuff, and more for stringband and bluegrass lovers. Kicking off this year is a totally free party at the Spare Room with Mercury faves Caleb Klauder Country Band, along with Whiskey Puppy and Newt Payne. NL
The Spare Room, 4830 NE 42nd, 7:30 pm, FREE, fest schedule at


VHS—Seattle's beloved Scarecrow Video just keeps digging through their outdated stacks of VHS tapes—and finding cinematic gold in the process. Tonight, their program "VHS for President" offers up snippets of everything from music videos, TV movies, "pulpy propaganda, grotesque gasbags, and Buddy Ebsen." Buddy Ebsen! EH
Hollywood Theatre, 4122 NE Sandy, 7:30 pm, $7

GIRL TALK—In what sounds like a very intriguing reworking of Shakespeare's Richard III, R3 tells the story of the scheming king through the eyes of the women in the play, each trying to help their men capture the crown. Directed by Drama Desk-nominated Gisela Cardenas and brought to the stage by the highly respected local theatrical group PETE, this could be the play you're talking about all season. WSH
Headwaters Theatre, 55 NE Farragut, Thurs-Sun 7 pm, through Feb 3, $15


LORD OWL—If you're still a n00b, here's the perfect introduction to a new club whose Facebook profile claims its live music calendar is "arranged by special request from Baphomet himself." Clearly the Sabbatic Goat looks approvingly upon the punishing thrash and technical prowess of Lord Dying's powerful doom, and so must you. MS
w/Diesto, DJ Wroid Wrage; White Owl Social Club, 1305 SE 8th, 8 pm, $5-10

CHOCOLATE!—If you love chocolate (and unless your taste buds have been sandblasted off, you do), don't miss the annual ChocolateFest, featuring tons of delicious samples from such choco-luminaries as Moonstruck, Cupcake Jones, "best in show 2012" winner cocotutti, and tons more! Plus there will be wine to glug, educational presentations, and it's all benefiting the worthy World Forestry Center. WSH
Oregon Convention Center, Exhibit Hall A, 777 NE MLK, opening night party, 6 pm, $20-24; presentations through Sun, $12,


ROSE CITY ROLLERS—The Mercury recently had one critical member of our staff injured in the noble pursuit of roller derby, but we ain't mad at it. You should still totally check out the thrills and spills of this most hardcore (no, seriously, it's dangerous) and entertaining sport, beginning with home team the Rose City Rollers' season opener tonight! MS
Memorial Coliseum, 1 Center Ct, 5:45 pm, $14-24 (parking $10), all ages

SOMETHING OLD—If Black Sabbath were a little more folk-inflected—rumbling, loose guitar work with some sandpaper-coarsened twang—you'd have something pretty close to the winsome, rocking, soulful pair behind Two Gallants. Standing with arms clasped is fine, but head banging is encouraged. DCT
Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside, 9 pm, $15


DOGS WITH BAD HAIRCUTS—Skip your regular happy hour and head up to the Expo Center to gawk at the legions of carefully coiffed dogs that will strut their stuff for the Rose City Classic Dog Show. Bring a camera: Last year's best-in-show pooch looks like a Furby wearing a blow-dried mop. SM
Portland Expo Center, 2060 N Marine, Wed-Sun, 7:30 am-7 pm, $10

GONNA MAKE YOU SWEAT—Sexy, sexy soul singer Keith Sweat was not only a mainstay of the late '80s New Jack Swing movement, he also produced some of the hottest slow and dance jams of the decade. For a reminder, check out his 1987 R&B hit, "I Want Her" as well as my fave, the self-titled "Make You Sweat." 'Cuz you know what? He will. Tickets are sold out, so better scour the 'nets to find one. WSH
Spirit Mountain Casino, 27100 SW Salmon River Hwy, Grand Ronde, OR, 8 pm, scalper's price


HOME GROWN—Investigative reporter Trevor Aaronson arrives in Portland at an auspicious time—smack dab during the trial of Mohamed Mohamud, the young Muslim student who wanted to blow up Pioneer Courthouse Square back in 2010. Aaronson's book, The Terror Factory: Inside the FBI's Manufactured War on Terrorism, plainly reminds us that Mohamud, like scores of terror suspects before him, would never have been a threat if the FBI didn't make him one. DCT
Powell's City of Books, 1005 W Burnside, 7:30 pm, FREE

OF A FEATHER—The Mama Bird Recording Co. has been quietly putting out some of the loveliest folk and country music in town, and tonight a bill of the label's finest graces the cozy Valentine's stage, including Garett Brennan and the Great Salt Licks, W.C. Beck, plus one very special guest country band named after a city in Colorado. NL
Valentine's, 9 pm, 232 SW Ankeny, $3


ZINE QUEEN—Hallelujah! After years of sketching diary zines, Portland artist and queer-animal-awareness-advocate Nicole Georges has finally published a full-length graphic novel. Calling Doctor Laura, Georges' personal exploration of her family's weirdness, officially launches into the world tonight. Now the rest of the country can gobble up Georges' endearing art and insightful storytelling. SM
Powell's City of Books, 1005 W Burnside, 7:30 pm, FREE

ROSE IN BLOOM—Portland singer/songwriter Ezza Rose hosts a residency at Al's Den, playing free sets all week long with special guests each night. Tonight, Rose joins Mike Apinyakul of Shoeshine Blue for a night of classic duet covers, but any night you stop by, expect warming folk to soothe your rain-stiff bones. NL
Al's Den at the Crystal Hotel, 303 SW 12th, Sun Jan 20-Sat Jan 26, 7 pm, FREE