The weather is reliably soggy, and the world is dark right now; I don’t know about y'all, but I am ready for some premature holiday cheer, chill beats, and “SOMETHING HUGE.” Get into these local music happenings, right Hear in Portland. 


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

A Beat Happening

We’re no stranger to singing the praises of producer- and DJ-centered showcase A Beat Happening. Last week we were stoked about Black Community Science Night—which is this Friday!—hosted by OMSI, which will feature sounds by ABH. Just a couple days later, on October 15, the free, all ages series will also host its regular showcase at swanky hostel Lolo Pass. The night will feature beats sets by local cumbia drummer Papi Fimbres (of Sávila, Orquestra Pacifico Tropical), Yuck, Phaded, Future Shock founder King Tim 33.3, as well as Lapaushi, VNPRT (who’s celebrating a birthday), and DJ Perreo Princess. (Lolo Pass, 1616 E Burnside, Sun Oct 15, 4 pm, FREE, all ages)


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

“Something Huge,” Izzy-Baba-Melo, Jachi

From I$$A to DJSolo to Izzy-Baba-Melo… who knew Portland had a bubbling Afrobeat scene? Adding to that trend is Portland-based Nigerian singer-songwriter and producer Izzy Baba Melo, who dropped a hype new single called “Something Huge,” last month.  (It’s stylized in all-caps because, obvi.) Produced by Eli DeGreat, the song embodies lively club energy, and is impossible to not move your body to, as the Afro-fusionist artist repeatedly sings “Ah, something huge / I’m expecting something huge / Oh baby wait make I burst your cruise” in the chorus. Heavily influenced by Burna Boy and genres ranging from Afrobeat to hip-hop, rap, reggae, and R&B, Izzy-Baba-Melo’s sound is infectious and distinct, and his lyrics are sung in a mix of Yoruba, Igbo, and Nigerian Pidgin. Those aboard the Portland Spirit for the Thesis last month got to experience the infectious track live. Listening to the speedy, delightfully intense, and invigorating single on repeat, it quickly became one of my new favorite songs. I want a translation, but we’re making out the meaning pretty well.


Some upcoming music buzz to put on your radar.

Brown Branch Big Band's Holiday Tribute to Count Basie

Brown Branch is one of the Portland music scene’s finest treasures and certainly worth boasting about. Its band members include Portlander-turned-New Yorker drummer and composer Domo Branch as well as local jazz pianist and producer Charlie Brown. Brown, who sometimes goes by Charlie 3rown or Charlie Brown III, has worked with artists like Aminé, Reva DeVito, and Blossom, and of late has supported Memphis-based bass guitar prodigy MonoNeon on the international tour circuit, including a couple of spectacular sets at Pickathon in August. Just a week before Christmas, the duo will perform a holiday show in tribute to jazz legend Count Basie, offering a modern twist to the great musician’s catalog. Anyone who attended last year’s Brown Branch Presents: Duke Ellington’s Nutcracker Suite is already looking for tickets. Branch on drums and Brown on the piano, the duo will play with the 17-piece Brown Branch Big Band, which includes acclaimed musicians like saxophonists Max Roark, Kevin Oliver, Mieke Bruggeman, Devin Phillips, and Hailey Niswanger; trombonists Kyle Molitor, James Powers, Adriana Wagner, Denzel Mendoza; trumpeters Noah Simpson, Abner Deltle, Cameron Formanczyk, Justin Copeland; Bassist Finn Jones, and guitarist Jack Radsliff. That's a lot of names and a lot of talent, right there. (Portland Center Stage, 128 NW 11th, Mon Dec 18 & Tues Dec 19, 7:30 pm, $40, tickets here, all ages)