Well, I can’t believe I’m saying this but we are already halfway through summer! So now’s the time to make some damn summer plans if you haven’t already. With Pickathon and Lose Yr Mind coming up soon, as well as Knot Springs' new concert series, there’s still time to get some summer music events on the calendar. This week we’re also talking new releases from rapper Milc and R&B artist Zyah Belle, and a show at Kelly’s Olympian celebrating AAPI artists.
Two can’t miss upcoming shows.
Five rising pop artists will take to the little showroom at Kelly’s Olympian this Friday for Pop Fever, AKA a night of live music that celebrates Asian or Pacific Islander artists from the Portland area. Headlining is excellent genre-fluid pop singer Alana Rich, right after singer/songwriter Rain Ezra—who will no doubt be performing tracks from her recent debut full-length, Responsibilities. Hip-hop artist Victoria Yabut, who just dropped an EP called Overdue, along with rappers Jai Baby and Jayme Fortune will provide solid reinforcements for the bill. Come for the super dope live tunes, stay for the better than average chicken strips.
(Fri July 29, 8 pm, Kelly’s Olympian, 426 SW Washington, $10 adv, $15 door, tickets here)
Lose Yr Mind Presents – Bodega, Wave Action, Buddy Wynkoop @ Holocene
Presented by Lose Yr Mind Fest—which officially kicks off September 2 at venues like Vitalidad, Bunk Bar, The Getdown, and Lollipop Shoppe (FKA Dig A Pony)—this event offers a tease of the rock music fest’s energy with a mid-summer show at Holocene. The evening showcases NYC punk band Bodega as the headliner, who continue to tour in support of their 2022 EP Broken Equipment. Portland-based punk rockers Wave Action will also perform, along with Portland’s art punk four-piece Buddy Wynkoop. Please note: Proof of vaccination or negative COVID test required for all Holocene shows.
(Mon Aug 8, 9 pm, Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison, $13, tickets here)
Two great new releases from locally relevant artists.
Windbreaker XL, Milc
Portland-based rapper Milc has been on a roll the last couple years, releasing album after quality album, including 2021’s Tiger Milc and 2022’s Mr Blanco’s Opus with producer OPVS Sound. On July 21, Milc put out Windbreaker XL, an extended version of his other 2022 project Windbreaker, made in collaboration with beatmaker Andy Savoie and featuring lots of guest stars throughout. The deluxe version adds five new tracks, upping the tracklist from eight to 13. Of the newly added music, highlights include “992’s” which features Portland artist Soop Dread and C’est La, as well as “37th and Killingsworth” featuring Devin “Brill” Boss (who’s part of the group Load B with Milc). Listen to the entire extended release below.
“Not the One,” Zyah Belle
Last week I spent a lot of energy refraining from writing about Zyah Belle’s new single and I hated every minute of it. Zyah has been delivering a slew of catchy music as of late, including her 2021 EP Who’s Listening ANyway and the house music-inspired “DND,” from her forthcoming album Yam Grier. Her latest single, “Not the One” is a collaboration with pop artist Tempest, and sees Belle delivering a new, intensely electronic sound than we’re used to hearing from her.
Released via Guin Records, the song packs eerie, crisp production that’ll fit in well on any Halloween playlist this fall. The two artists make it known they’re fear-worthy bad bitches and not to be fucked with. “I’ve been a bad bitch since the day I was born,” the song begins. Zyah also released an episode on YouTube called “The Road to Yam Grier”; watch it below.
ADDED TO THE QUEUE:
Some upcoming music buzz to put on your radar.
Knot Springs—the spa and wellness-themed social club sharing a building with the Yard Luxury Apartments (better known as the “Death Star” on East Burnside)—has launched a new summer concert series. The somewhat exclusive shows will go down on the outdoor patio each Wednesday in August from 6 to 8 pm by the adjacent soaking pools. The schedule of shows includes folk rock artist Ben Larson, ethereal indie rock project AC Sapphire, musician/songwriter Ron Artis II (who plays everything from blues, rock, jazz, and soul to flamenco), Portland-based neo-soul singer/songwriter Blossom, and DJ Nature. While Knot Springs members will automatically have access to the shows, there are also a limited number of tickets available to the public for a whopping $79 a pop… but! A ticket also gets you some spa access, so there’s that. Guests will watch the show from the soaking pools or the patio, while simultaneously enjoying views of the Willamette River, Portland Skyline, and the West Hills. It all sounds very swanky and dreamy! Even better: Ten percent of all sales will benefit the Jeremy Wilson Foundation, a relief organization supporting working musicians.
(Wednesdays: Aug 3, Aug 10, Aug 17, Aug 24, & Aug 31, 6 pm, Knot Springs, 33 NE 3rd Ave Suite 365, $79, tickets here)