Full disclosure that Habibi member Lenaya Lynch and the Mercurys arts and culture editor used to be roommates, but Jenni Moore didn't know that when she wrote this column. Lynch was a good roommate and has a terrific sense of humor.
Full disclosure that Habibi member Lenaya Lynch and the Mercurys arts and culture editor used to be roommates, but Jenni Moore didn't know that when she wrote this column. Lynch was a good roommate and has a terrific sense of deadpan humor. Four stars. Courtesy of the artist

We're continuing the tradition of Black History Month and ringing in Women’s History Month this week with a slew of recommendations of Black and women artists. From a showcase of two all-women bands that are killing it, to a hip-hop show on Alberta, a new Dodgr track, and beyond—the next several weeks are looking very promising.

MUST-SEE:
Two can’t miss upcoming shows.

Habibi, Plastic Cactus


Well, it looks like Mississippi Studios is kicking off Women’s History Month right, since March 10 will see two absolutely stellar all-female rock bands on the same show. Fronted by Iranian American singer/songwriter Rahill Jamalifard, Brooklyn rock four-piece Habibi brings their psychedelic girl-group vibes to the Mississippi stage for what’s sure to be a fantastic night of tunes. They’ll no-doubt be playing songs from their most recent full-length Anywhere But Here, and 2021’s disco-reminiscent two-track EP Somewhere They Can’t Find Us. Making this event completely irresistible, Portland-based five-piece Plastic Cactus will open the show, blasting their moody blend of desert-inspired surf rock right into our lucky faces.

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Thurs March 10, 8 pm, Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi, $13, tickets here.


Mic Crenshaw, Yawa, Jonny Cool


Chicago-to-Portland MC and poet Mic Crenshaw will headline a show at the lowkey Northeast Portland venue Alberta Abbey. Portland-based rapper Jonny Cool backs the bill, and Memphis-to-Portland singer-songwriter Yawa (AKA Amenta Abioto) is sure to unleash her mesmerizing vocals and creative songwriting, which she often makes with the use of loop pedal.

Alberta Abbey began in 1925 as the home of Mallory Avenue Church, and homed the YMCA in the ’70s. We've been pleased to see it making a comeback this fall, reinventing itself as a venue and performance space after being almost entirely shut down in 2020.

Sat March 19, 8 pm, Alberta Abbey, 126 Northeast Alberta, $10, tickets here.




MUST-LISTEN:
One great new release from a locally relevant artist.

The Last Artful, Dodgr, “Hullabaloo”


I’m not sure how, but rapper/singer and one-time Portlander’s The Last Artful, Dodgr’s February single “Hullabaloo” completely slipped my watchful gaze. But it should not slip yours.
Produced by Take A Daytrip—whose credits include Sheck Wes, Juice WRLD, Lil Nas X—, “Hullabaloo” is energetic... almost poppy, if it weren’t for its unique lyrics.

Taking its name from a word meaning “a commotion or “a fuss,” the song sounds right at home in Dodgr’s growing catalogue of TV and movie placements (like “Hot” in HBO’s Euphoria, and animated spy comedy Spies In Disgust). This one sounds like it belongs in the forthcoming season of Tuca & Bertie. Someone should make that happen.




ADDED TO THE QUEUE:
Some upcoming music buzz to put on your radar.

We Can Not Walk Alone


Ashland-based non-profit Anima Mundi Productions has joined forces with regional fine arts presenters like PSU, Seattle Opera, the Oregon Bach Festival, and Chamber Music Northwest to champion, commission, and showcase new works by BIPOC composers. They've planned a flurry of performances around Oregon, featuring renowned performers of color. Dubbed We Can Not Walk Alone, the series features artists like multi-talented opera soprano Takesha Meshé Kizart-Thomas, who’ll perform a mother-oriented program, Maternità, accompanied by Memphis-based concert pianist Artina McCain, in PSU's Lincoln Recital Hall on Sunday March 13. A less formal, free afternoon performance by Kizart-Thomas follows on Monday March 14.

Also part of the series, Grammy-nominated wind quintet Imani Winds will take the stage at Chamber Music Northwest on Thursday April 28.