Now that everyone has basked in the glory of their individually curated Spotify Wrapped content… Portland music fans can enjoy the smattering of remaining local shows as we count down to the New Year. There’s not a ton of new music out of Portland—at least not that I’m at liberty to talk about, or haven’t already talked about—so this week we’re focusing on some live gems that will make you want to venture out into the comfort of a warm club.
Can’t miss upcoming events.
Formed in Portland in 1999, beloved indie rock band Dear Nora is the project of frontperson Katy Davidson, who has been playing with a rotating cast of musicians over the years. Davidson retired the Dear Nora moniker in 2008, going on to record under other names, but in 2017, the artist returned to the Dear Nora project, flanked by musicians Zach Burba (bass/synth/drums), Gregory Campanile (drums), and multi-instrumentalist Stephen Steinbrink. The band released Skulls Example the following year. This October, the band—which blends classic rock with ambient and folk music—released human futures via Orindal Records, which tackles feelings of existential anxiety over the course of 12 tracks. Expect them to pull from more than two decades’ worth of material for this upcoming show at the warm and welcoming Doug Fir Lounge. The bill is supported by Phull Collums, Canadian bedroom pop group Living Hour, and DJ Hot Air Balloon. (Doug Fir Lounge, 830 E Burnside, Wed, Dec 7, 8:30 pm, $15, tickets here, 21+)
Is there a better reason to get out of the house than to be entertained whilst also contributing to a good cause? This benefit concert celebrates Latinx music and culture—showcasing the emotive sounds and haunting vocalizations of singer/songwriter/guitarist Edna Vazquez, as well as Latin-influenced music duo Barrio Mestizo, and it includes the multi-talented DJ Papi Fimbres on the 1s and 2s. Proceeds from the show will benefit Bienestar, a nonprofit affordable housing developer that not only builds housing, but also provides bilingual and culturally specific services for the wellbeing of the Latinx community, immigrants, and anyone in need. (Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison, Thurs, Dec 8, 8 pm, $25, tickets here, 21+)
For many, Sunbathe's 2020 Somewhere In Between was the emotional record that got them through early portions of the pandemic, and the solo garage pop project of Maggie Morris (Genders, Youth) is still reliably holding our hearts together with relatable feels. Morris recently released a new single “Anything Anymore” which paints in shades of grief a visit to the beach after the death of a beloved dog. It just feels wrong. Over desert rock-infused production, she mournfully sings: “I'll see you run in the sand / I'll see you smiling again / But being here without you doesn't feel right / Even though it hurts I keep you on my mind.” We have our fingers crossed to also hear more upbeat gems like “Can’t Be Sure,” which has a cool, must-watch music video made with footage from old PSA videos like Girls Are Better Than Ever (1967) and Drug Are Like That (1979). Brooklyn, NY indie rock act Scout Gillett and the Mommys get the night started. (Doug Fir Lounge, 830 E Burnside, Thurs, Dec 15, 8:30 pm, $15, tickets here, 21+)
ADDED TO THE QUEUE:
Some upcoming music buzz to put on your radar.
With the big end-of-year holiday marathon still looming, March seems like it’s a world away, but the truth is that spring will be here before you know it. One unmissable show, coming through town, features powerhouse singers The War & Treaty. Michael Trotter Jr. and Tanya Trotter make an irresistible blend of roots, soul, gospel, and folk music. The married duo put on a phenomenal show at Pickathon’s Woods Stage back in 2018, and I have been hankering for a chance to hear them live again ever since. Even better: The show only cost $24! See them while tickets are still cheap because this couple is going places. (Doug Fir Lounge, 830 E Burnside, Thurs, March 30, 9 pm, $24, tickets here, 21+)