Rainy season is here. And like the springtime heat waves, it's also gonna take a bit for our bodies to adjust to the cold, gray days. We will! But that's why it's so important to get cozy in the fall and hot toddy / cider our way through the transition. In this week's Hear in Portland music column, we're excited about two shows at the Doug Fir—a snug basement lounge where even the lighting is warm—and a new single from House of Ada's Janae.
Can’t miss upcoming events.
Major slow jam vibes and chill bedtime sounds abound on 2021’s delightful Instructions for the Night, the most recent project from synth pop / neo soul group Night Heron. In fact, their setlist of grooves might just be encouraging enough to bring fans in from the cold night to the Doug Fir’s cozy basement. Composed of synth player Andy Lawson, bassist Grace Bugbee, drummer Tyler Vergin, and guitarist Cameron Spies, one of Night Heron's coolest qualities is undoubtably that almost all of them also offer soft and airy, simply sung harmony vocals to the tracks. (Doug Fir Lounge, 830 E Burnside, Sun Nov 13, 8:30 pm, $13, tickets here, 21+ w/ Raincult, Mink Shoals)
Sol, SUS, Mal London
In the mood to hear some energizing, well-seasoned hip-hop from the PNW region? Seattle emcee Sol will embark on a brief Northwest tour in November, gracing the Doug Fir's stage on the holiest bar night of the year—the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. His most recent project, Supply Pack, is available only in the physical form—it’s not on streaming, so you have to have it on CD to listen to it. This seems like a major opportunity to score a copy. Portland five-piece hip-hop and soul band SUS opens the bill, along with Rose City-based rapper/singer Mal London. (Doug Fir Lounge, 830 E Burnside, Wed Nov 23, 8 pm, $17, tickets here, 21+)
New release from a Portland-relevant artist.
“Quit Playin,” Janae
Though she's a member of the ballroom scene’s House of Ada—which recently represented the Pacific Northwest on season three of HBO’s Legendary—the multi-talented Janae is perhaps best known locally as a back-up vocalist for neo soul singer Blossom. So we're very excited to have a second single from her, as a solo artist, after “Jezebel” dropped last year. "Quit Playin" occupies a similar vein to Beyoncé’s Renaissance, in that it pulls from '90s house-inspired pop songs that you wish would go on forever. The new single is so enjoyable, it could actually benefit from being about four minutes longer, if you ask me, but that’s what the repeat button is for.
ADDED TO THE QUEUE:
Some upcoming music buzz to put on your radar.
Brandi Carlile’s New Year’s Eve Party
Progressive country fans rejoice! Your holiday plans are set: Grammy-award winning singer/songwriter Brandi Carlile is rocking out at the Moda Center for New Year’s Eve, blessing the masses with her raspy, expertly-wielded, soul-influenced vocals. While her most recent album, In The Canyon Haze—a deluxe acoustic version of In These Silent Days—didn’t turn up any Grammys, the album’s stripped down renditions of Carlile-written gems like lead single “Right On Time,” fierce rock track “Broken Horses,” and the emotive “When You’re Wrong,” are worth every penny to hear live. (Moda Center, 1 N Center Ct, Sat Dec 31, 9 pm, $36 and up, tickets here, all ages)