Holy sunshine, Batman! Now that the weather is really heating up, it’s just another reminder to start preparing for summer concerts and festivals. Speaking of which, the Waterfront Blues Fest recently announced their 2023 lineup. This year they added some exciting, new family-friendly programming in partnership with “public joy” artist Mike Bennett. Plus, they’ve got a new Wellness on the Waterfront program, in collaboration with upscale inner-Eastside day spa Knot Springs.

In the Hear in Portland here and now, listen to the new project from Portland-based experimental artist Sqip, and attend an upcoming show at Lollipop Shoppe featuring the Shivas and Plastic Cactus. Plus, in late June, Oh, Rose headlines Mississippi Studios!


Upcoming local show(s) featuring local artist(s).

The Shivas, Plastic Cactus, Marni

In March, Pickathon announced stalwart Portland rock band the Shivas would grace its farm fest stages this August. However, fans can catch a Shivas set a little sooner than that, thanks to an upcoming Lollipop Shoppe show. Los Angeles act Marni open open the night with experimental folk and dream pop, before audiences can burrow into dark desert- and surf rock-inspired sounds of Plastic Cactus—who are still in the process of working on their next reverb-drenched record. We're hoping for a taste of the so-far unreleased material. The Shivas headline the show, surely performing the recent raucous new cover of “Perder (feat. Carrion Kids).” Originally released and performed by Mexico City band Las Pipas de La Paz and named after the Spanish verb meaning “to lose,” the collaboration is an homage to Las Pipas de La Paz member Rulo Pipa, who passed away in April 2021. As the Shivas have been performing together since 2006, they have seven full-length albums of material from which to create a killer setlist, including their most recent, Feels So Good/Feels So Bad, which dropped via local label Tender Loving Empire in 2021. (Lollipop Shoppe, 736 SE Grand, Fri May 26, 8:30 pm, $15 adv, $18 door, tickets here, 21+)


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

Boi, Sqip

In need of some ambient, alternative R&B-tinged tunes to zone out and get some shit done to? Look no further than experimental musician Sqip, AKA Chicago-to-Portland transplant Cole Mitchell Johnson, who released his sophomore album Boi last month, following up his excellent 2020 debut Battery. Pulling from singer-songwriter influences for its 15 tracks, there are no skips on Sqip’s Boi, which continues the artist’s streak of dreamy, synth-heavy ambient music that feels simultaneously loud and soft, at times freestyle and also deliberately designed. From the emotive project opener, “perfectheart,” to the romantic “gf,” and longest track, the sparkling “angelface,” the sounds here are delightfully abstract, energizing, and worthy of losing yourself in. 


Some upcoming music buzz to put on your radar.

Oh, Rose

Oh, Rose is one of our favorite Olympia-made, Portland-loving bands for their highly affecting live performances powered by front woman and creative driver, Olivia Rose. The band’s most recent album, While My Father Sleeps, tells a familial story of adversity, love and friendship, as well as serving as an homage to Rose’s mother, who died in 2017. Rose’s raw vocals, while guttural and shrill at times, contain pitch-perfect poignancy and self awareness as she leads the songs from quiet intimate moments (a la “Baby,” and “Harrypotterjuana,”) to more explosive forays (like on the intense “Politics” and “Phoenix”). The band returns to their frequent tour stop of Mississippi Studios on June 30, where they’ll no-doubt melt the faces off some blessed audience members and then (hopefully) sign autographs at Bar Bar after. (Mississippi Studios, 3939 N. Mississippi, Fri June 30, 9 pm, $15, tickets here, 21+)