There’s a little something for everyone this week, as this January feels MUCH more lively than those of the last couple years. We’re looking forward to local shows featuring country, hip-hop, and R&B: Night Heron and Seance Crasher collaborated on a vibey new song, Jenny Don’t and the Spurs hit the road once more—how are SZA tickets still available?! Read on for more of what you can Hear In Portland.
Can’t miss upcoming events.
Portland country rock band Jenny Don’t and the Spurs has been slaying stages around the state—and globe—for the last decade. In 2022, the group's drummer Sam Henry (also of the Wipers) tragically died, and Dean Miles briefly took up the post. Now, as the Spurs prepare to leap into a US and European tour, which kicks off at Lollipop Shoppe, the group has welcomed Buddy Weeks to keep the beat. Jenny Don’t and the Spurs are for music fans who want to feel like they're in a Spaghetti Western, scored with garage- and desert rock-infused tracks, like “Haunting Rhythm” from the band’s newly released EP, Lovesick Crawl. We're still tremendous fans of their 2021 Fire on the Ridge—listen to it below. Dreamy pop and psych-rock outfit Ezza Rose and eclectic singer-songwriter Lindsie Feathers open the show. (Sat Jan 28. 8:30 pm, Lollipop Shoppe, 736 SE Grand, $11-13, tickets here, 21+)
New release(s) from a Portland-relevant artist.
“Pitchfork Revue,” Night Heron, Seance Crasher
We sing the praises of Portland-based soul- and R&B-influenced groove band Night Heron on the regular—including earlier this month, when we recommended their Feb 17 show with Isabeau Waia'u Walker. However we'd be remiss if we didn't mention the group's brand new single (the first release since 2021's Instructions for the Night) with Seance Crasher, AKA "slack pop" singer-songwriter Kevin Rafn. Cheekily titled “Pitchfork Revue,” Night Heron describe the song as “in some ways about being your own harshest critic, but then learning how to love yourself despite it all.” Whatever it’s about, it certainly makes for a lovely, slightly moody wind-down at the end of the day. (Doug Fir Lounge, 830 E Burnside, Fri Feb 17, 8:30 pm, $15, tickets here)
ADDED TO THE QUEUE:
Some upcoming music buzz to put on your radar.
As part of the Lollipop Shoppe's reimagining—under the former owners it was Dig A Pony—the venue is expanding the shows audiences can expect at the corner of SE Belmont and Grand. So while, at opening, we saw a move from sweaty dance club to rock and roll hall, we're also delighted to spy more hip-hop on the calendar. This particular show focuses on locally based Latinx artists without necessarily saying it does. Portland-based rapper Karma Rivera is the main attraction, while fellow Portlander DJ Lapaushi and Seattle’s DJ Tremenda Diosa add even more strength, vibrancy, and party to the lineup. Rivera’s latest single, “To Rico,” is a collaboration with Lapaushi (also featuring bilingual rapper Julimar), so it’s possible (fingers crossed!) the evening will see them join forces onstage. We’re also hoping to hear Rivera’s new dance-centric house-informed single, “You So Nasty.” (Lollipop Shoppe, 736 SE Grand, Sat March 4, $12-15, tickets here, 21+)
Just when I thought no album could compete with Beyoncé’s Renaissance to hold my attention, another R&B trendsetter, confessional queen, and vocal icon, SZA, released a long awaited follow-up (to her exceptional 2017 studio debut CTRL). SOS is chill-inducing from the opening title track, wherein SZA begins her masterclass in stunning and soulful delivery. The eclectic album is almost as long as it is repeatable. And over the 23 songs, the influences are varied, and the highlights never end. Seriously, SOS is no-skips. Some of my personal favorite tracks include “Kill Bill”—the sped-up version is also a fav—as well as “Snooze,” and “Gone Girl.” The pop-punk realness on “FNF,” cannot be ignored and “Smoking On My Ex Pack” sees your girl spitting bars for the first time. Heartfelt ballads like “Nobody Gets Me,” and “Open Arms,” and the righteously toxic anthem "I Hate U” will be fun to belt out passionately while flanked by thousands of other SZA fans. Miraculously, there are still tickets to her long-awaited arena tour stop in Portland. (Moda Center, 1 N Center Ct, Sat March 18, 8 pm, $450-525 via Ticketmaster, but as low as $90 on Stubhub, all ages, w/ Omar Apollo)