Holy February, there’s new developments all over the place! Snuggle in and listen up, children!
This week we're excited (and pleasantly surprised) to consume two new releases involving Portland’s music scene: a film series starring Portland hip-hop artists, and a new song and performance video from indie pop band Small Million. Further down the road, Rico Nasty will pay the Roseland a much-needed visit this spring.
Can’t miss upcoming events.
Newly signed to Portland’s Tender Loving Empire, Portland-based indie pop band Small Million just released its first single under the label on February 7, titled “The Overkill.” What’s more? The band is playing a headliner show at Polaris Hall on March 4—that’s right around the corner. The creative merging of Ryan Linder and lead vocalist Malachi Graham is known for making deeply stirring, cinematic backdrops that are both epic and intimate (making the band’s oxymoron moniker make sense), and the two are fleshed out by drummer Ben Tyler (Small Skies), and Kale Chesney (Lo Pony) on bass and harmonies. A single liner note on BandCamp explains the song “is not about your fun night out but about stumbling home afterwards relentlessly churning on everything you overshared.” At the song’s peak, Graham emotively sings: “I’m drowning myself in the overkill, overkill/ Overnight at the club/ Overserved, sobered up/ Overcoat, in the cab/ Overplayed my own hand/ Overthought what I said/ It's a drug I regret/I regret I regret I regret.” For a tease of what that audience is in for, check out this stunning live performance video for “The Overkill” that dropped today, and was filmed and recorded at Portland recording studio The Rye Room.
(Sat March 4, 8 pm, Polaris Hall, 635 N Killingsworth Ct, $13, w/ Les Gold & New Body Electric, tickets here)
New release(s) from a Portland-relevant artist.
Doors at 8
The trend of rappers having acting careers (Ice Cube, Ice Tea, Will Smith, Drake) should be ongoing thing, and we're glad whenever it happens on a local level. (Especially following the sad, sudden end of Seena Haddad’s fictional web series X-RAY—which starred Portland emcee/producer Michael “Fountaine” Stewart in the role of X-Ray, an aspiring rapper living in Portland, along with rapper Epp and Mac Smiff of We Out Here Magazine.) Thankfully, we don’t have to wait any longer to see hip-hop artists in Portland as the protagonists in a series: Presented by his own Cloudboy Productions, Ryan Feigh is the brains (writer/director) behind Doors at 8, a new film series that utilizes local creatives both behind and in front of the camera—everyone from the boom mic operator (Mat Randol) to the director of photography (Devin Boss) is a local artist, musician, or DJ. There’s one episode out so far, and it’s only 11 minutes—but oh, it is good. Starring producers Sir Nai (Nainoa Slaughter) and Blang lang lang (Bryce Lang), and rapper Shirty (AKA Youngshirtmayne/Daelonz Motley), who all appear backstage in a greenroom before their respective sets; Shirty is hilariously patronizing in his conversation with High Jinx's (Lucas Dix) character. In real life, Shirty has become beloved in the Portland hip-hop scene for his spirited, carefree, and rambunctious live performances—whether or not a shirt is involved is always up in the air, and sometimes it’s sort of present, but not quite acting as a shirt. To contrast, Shirty’s material output only clocks two EPs and one full-length between 2018-2021. This is the exact opposite of his Doors at 8 character's argument, but he sells it well. “Episode two will have Shirty meeting with a degenerate bookie played by local rapper Milc (Ben Johnson),” Feigh says in an email, adding that Johnson is also currently acting as Trip in Welcome To Arroyo's at Profile Theatre!
ADDED TO THE QUEUE:
Some upcoming music buzz to put on your radar.
Your favorite rowdy and raspy-voiced rapper is coming to Portland this spring, providing fans a chance to hear her acclaimed 2022 album Las Ruinas live. Ever since her studio debut, Nasty, the rapper’s career has been built on a foundation of genre bending—from sugary pop production to boom bap, to hardcore metal, and pop punk, Rico’s been heard on it all. On Las Ruinas, the artist pulls from an even wider range of influences and sounds, incorporating everything from tender singing to her signature rage-fueled raps. But the artist is perhaps best known for her rollicking live shows. Her Portland date was originally slated to go down at the Hawthorne Theater, but unsurprisingly, it outgrew that all-ages venue, and has been thankfully moved to the Roseland. There will definitely be time set aside for deeper cuts like her earliest most recognizable hits like “Bitch I’m Nasty,” “Smack a Bitch,” and newer bops like her latest weed-fired banger “Gotsta Get Paid.” Oh, and if you’ve got $99 bones to spare, you can still score a meet and greet with Rico, otherwise grab some of those $25 GA tickets and get ready to (avoid the) mosh.
(Wed May 17, 8 pm, Roseland Theater, 8 NW 6th, $25, all ages, tickets here)