It’s officially the holiday season, music nerds! This week we’re celebrating a co-headliner show for Federale and the Prids, another edition of RENAISSANCE//RENAIDDANCE at Holocene, and two Portland rap projects score a feature from underground New Jersey rapper Fatboi Sharif. Read up on these fresh and noteworthy music updates happening Hear in Portland.
Upcoming local event(s) featuring local artist(s).
Federale + the Prids
From stars like Sleater Kinney and Portugal. The Man, to local blues-informed bands like Hillstomp and Tango Alpha Tango, there’s lots of fabulous bills featuring locally-based bands headlining at Crystal Ballroom this month. Another notable local show to look out for is a co-headliner show featuring DIY indie punk rockers the Prids, and our favorite locally based Spaghetti Western-inspired band, Federale. The latter is the six-piece band spearheaded by bassist Collin Hegna (Brian Jonestown Massacre), known for a melancholy blend of psychedelic indie rock that's heavily influenced by dark European soundtracks from ’60s and ’70s Italian giallo and Spaghetti films. Let’s hope they’ll be slaying recent singles like “Blood Moon,” and “Mona Lisa,” tracks from their 2019 album No Justice, and deeper cuts from 2012’s The Blood Flowed Like Wine—such as the slow-building album opener “Juarez Wedding,” which climaxes with operatic vocals by Karlin’s soprano. Led by former couple David Frederickson and Mistina La Fave, the Prids have been around in many iterations since 1995, after initially establishing themselves in Missouri and relocating to Portland, in 1999. Currently, the band also comprises drummer Geordie Thompson and Cass Yates on keyboards and bass. The group makes an evolving mix of shoegazey post-punk and noise pop. The “limited capacity” show goes down on the big Saturday of Black Friday Weekend. (Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside, Sat Nov 25, 8 pm, $15-18, tickets here, all ages)
RENAISSANCE / RENAIDDANCE: Celebrating Beyoncé
Many Portlanders (me) are desperate for any kind of Beyoncé action here in town. In the meantime, we’re happy to see that Renaissance/Renaiddance has become a consistent recurring night at Holocene, and a temporary home for the Hive in close-in SE Portland. It’s worth peeling your body from that sofa to come twerk that booty with DJ Timothy Bee and DJ Troubled Youth, who will be spinning the original songs from the Renaissance album, some sickening remixes and edits, and other relevant tunes. The collection of disco-infused songs like “Virgo’s Groove,” “Cozy,” “Heated,” and “Cuff It,” “Church Girl”—AKA Beyoncé’s love letter to the queer, drag, ballroom, and dance culture—was made to be blasted in the club. So grab a ticket, grab a friend, grab a drink, and feel the “Break My Soul” lyrics resonate while dancing (and sweating) the night away: “Release ya anger! Release ya mind! Release ya job! Release the time! Release ya trade! Release the stress! Release the love, forget the rest!” Church girls, on the other hand, will be acting “loose” and “snotty,” and singing in unison: “I'm warning everybody, soon as I get in this party/I'm gon' let go of this body, I'm gonna love on me/Nobody can judge me but me, I was born free!” (Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison, Sat Nov 11, 9 pm, $16, tickets here, 21+)
New release(s) from a Portland-relevant artist.
KUMA, Bryson the Alien
I always love an opportunity to sing the praises of Portland-based rapper Bryson the Alien—who, full disclosure, is my future husband and baby daddy—and who consistently releases a high volume of music. An October article on Bandcamp highlighted Bryson’s new album KUMA as one of the best new hip-hop releases on the music platform. KUMA was almost entirely produced by Texas beatmaker Ghowste, who provides lots of gritty lo-fi scenes for Bryson to rhyme over with relaxed delivery. There’s previously released single “Shepherd,” which features Fatboi Sharif, highlights like “Rituals / Brotherhood,” and a hazy sample on final track “Angels?” The song “Pinto,” is written from the perspective of our titular boisterous and goofy 75-pound dog; “I don’t really care at all/ I just want to fetch, I just want to ball/ I just want to hang out the car with my tongue out/ I just want to take in the mother nature when the sun out.”
The Fish That Saved Portland, Milc
Speaking of the city’s hardest working emcees: Last month, Portland-based rapper Milc dropped a fresh new full-length with producer Televangel titled The Fish That Saved Portland. The release maintains Milc’s proclivity for releasing an entire album with a single producer, and The Fish follows up their 2022 project Neutral Milc Hotel. Production on The Fish by Televangel, (AKA Ian Taggart) is absolutely impeccable, with throwback vibes on songs like “Plus Sized Model” that interpolates a line from “Heart of the City (Ain’t No Love)” by Jay Z: “First the fat boys breakup/ now everyday I wake up…”—if I had it my way, the song would continue forever. Other highlights include “Pain & Leather,” which features New York rapper YL, dark and moody “Baby Bash,” which reuses the hook from “Suga Suga” by Baby Bash, and other notable guests like Portland’s Old Grape God (“Cappadonna”), Seattle’s Nacho Picasso (“Mankind”), and, like, the Bryson the Alien project we just mentioned. Milc also has a song in collaboration with Fatboi Sharif, “Hospice.” Your next chance to see Milc live is coming up! He's opening for Wynne’s upcoming show at Wonder Ballroom, along with Mic Capes!