Folks, we made it through the first big weekend of Black History Month, Grammy season is officially over, and now we can look forward to another massive music thing happening on a national stage this February: Rihanna’s Super Bowl Halftime Show! (As a new mom, these televised events have become way too important in my music diet.) But on the local front, Portland-based producer Sxlxmxn (FKA Stewart Villain) just released a new beat tape, and there's some serious star power headed our way.


New release(s) from a Portland-relevant artist.   

University Park II, Sxlxmxn

Want to get into some fresh new flips from Sxlxmxn, one of Portland’s most hardworking producers? Sxlxmxn just released the second installment in his gospel sample series: a new EP of remixes titled University Park II. The seven-track project sees the artist putting his own spin on well-known gospel-infused hits like UGK and Andre 3000’s “Int'l Players Anthem,” Towkio and Chance the Rapper’s “Heaven Only Knows,” and the Rihanna/Kanye/Paul McCartney single “FourFiveSeconds.” It feels like an appropriate refresher ahead of RiRi’s forthcoming SuperBowl Halftime Show debut. Don't overlook the cover art by mixed media digital artist Micro.


Some upcoming music buzz to put on your radar.

Carrie Underwood

While I’m not typically one to go up for the country music genre as a whole, when someone slays, they simply slay; Carrie Underwood is one such someone. The former American Idol is currently on the second leg of her Denim & Rhinestones Tour, named for her 2022 album. The powerhouse singer has been in her storytelling bag as of late, releasing short film-like treatments for her music videos, like the haunting pre-breakup track “Ghost Story,” (there’s also an alternate version) and the lovesick “Hate My Heart.” That one comes with a hilarious chick flick video that sees Underwood working out a little too hard as she gets over a relationship, and then eventually going to a… Carrie Underwood concert with her girlfriends, where she’s invited to sing on stage with herself. It all makes sense somehow. For a teaser of what audiences are in for, make sure to revisit Underwood’s performance of “Hate My Heart” at the Grammy’s. (Moda Center, 1 N Center Ct, Thurs March 16, $55.50+, tickets here, all ages)


Looking to extend the sexy-romantic vibes well after Valentine’s Day has come and gone? R&B fans will want to pencil in Jamaican American musician Masego, the performing name of Micah Davis, who’s coming to Portland in March to perform his self-described “TrapHouseJazz.” Perhaps best known for incorporating saxophone into songs, like the smooth and jazzy single “Tadow” with FKJ, Masego puts on one hell of a show. The Roseland will be swaying and losing themselves in live versions of newer Masego bops like “Say You Want Me,” and “You Never Visit Me,” from his 2020 EP Studying Abroad: Extended Stay. The whole record is appropriately packed with vacation vibes—and there's a new music video for “You Never Visit Me." If his recent live performance video of the single in Brazil is any indication, the show will transport you to a nightclub in island paradise that you won’t want to leave. (Sat March 18, 8 pm, Roseland Theater, 8 NW 6th, SOLD OUT, all ages)