It’s cold, it's wet—Portland's holiday weather is now in full swing! Good thing we've got some hot shows to warm you up this week: For starters, the Thesis celebrates nine years of lit, local-focus hip-hop! And one of Portland’s favorite soul singers is throwing a birthday show / fashion pop-up for you—for her birthday! Also, here's your final warning about an unmissable annual extravaganza from two prolific Pacific Northwest drag queens. 


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

The Thesis 9th Anniversary Show!

How can it be that the Thesis has  been going on for nine years already!? It seems like just yesterday the showcase was celebrating year two and trying to maintain its following; I am officially old. Fast forward to today: The Thesis is no longer just Portland’s premiere monthly hip-hop night, it’s one of the only ones that survived COVID, and it’s known in the scene for being the most consistently lit hip-hop series in town. Since the Thesis just did an epic end-of-summer yacht party, the crew is celebrating nine years with business as usual—though Thesis' version of usual is still unusually good. Thursday's show will honor photographer-filmmaker Nate Ilebode, who regularly documents the showcase, with a photo and video display. The evening's lineup spotlights rappers Vary, Tiff2Icy,  Majik 9, and twOn. We’ll be looking forward to radio-ready melodic rap from DaRoyal, and (hopefully) hearing songs from Majik 9 and Briton M.’s latest project Coast 2 Coast. Recs for that record: the title track, the filthy, upbeat and bouncy “Dash Off,” and the pop and R&B-infused “In My Head.” (Kelly’s Olympian, 426 SW Washington, Thurs, Dec 7, 9:30 pm, $15-20, tickets here, 21+)

Arietta Ward

One of Portland’s most seasoned soul singers, Arietta Ward does a lot of things, including the children’s programming that many enjoyed at Pickathon. Commonly known as Ms. Etta, the Portland-based soul and funk singer will headline an epic and eccentric show, in celebration of her upcoming birthday. At ETTABRATION 23—the "Big Brim Birthday Bash"—attendees are strongly encouraged to wear a brimmed hat 🎩. Don't have one? You can get one at a very special pop-up of Mz. Etta’s Closet—where fans can shop Ms. Etta's fashion picks and help support the completion of her next album. Church Girl & Co (featuring Aléa Loréns) supports the Ettabration as opener. (Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi, Thurs, Dec 7, 8 pm, $18, tickets here, 21+)


Some upcoming music buzz to add to your radar.

The Jinkx & Dela Holiday Show

Any reasonable person who has seen Jinkx Monsoon in any capacity, knows she is a comedic genius with undeniable musical talent. After winning season five of RuPaul’s Drag Race, she's gone on to do amazing, hilarious things. Need a refresher? Check out the performer’s music-infused standup special, Red Head Redemption, which is still tearing up streaming services. It's so recommended. But about your holiday hilarity: Back in 2020, Jinkx joined forces with friend and fellow Drag Race star BenDeLaCreme to record their high-camp, COVID-safe holiday special (which you can still stream on Prime Video). Past installments of the duo’s winter holiday shenanigans have seen the two prolific Pacific Northwest drag queens argue about the how to throw a special, interspersed with comedic musical numbers, dance, and interactions with some sentient eggnog. Whatever annual traditions are on your list, this show should be added. (Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, 1037 SW Broadway, Wed, Dec 27, 8 pm, $49.50-99.50, tickets here, show may contain adult themes and language)