What a week to focus on reasons to leave the house! We’re currently looking at this will they or won't they weather and hoping the weekend's Sunday Sessions show, starring Blossom, still goes ahead. But all those flurries should be done in time for an album release show the following Saturday and a visit from hip-hop legend Too $hort in February. 


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

Sunday Sessions: Blossom

Portland-based soul singer Blossom is back in town after a short stint living in LA, and we’re so glad to see her name regularly appearing on local lineups again. This Sunday, Blossom headlines an ultra-cozy installment of Rontoms Sunday Sessions, giving Blossom fans a chance to come through in hopes of hearing new material, like a fresh travel-inspired single co-produced by Samuel Terrazzino and Jason Navarrete that she teased via an Instagram post on New Year’s Eve. The free show invites music fans to cuddle up by the lounge fireplace, warm up with one of the bar’s seasonal hot drinks, and settle in for a free night of local music that also includes tunes from BendreTheGiant AKA the music project of Ben Estrada. (Rontoms, 600 E Burnside, Sun, Jan 13, 8 pm, FREE, 21+)

Jay Si Proof Album Release Show

We’ve praised Portland-based band Jay Si Proof in recent months, and even named their silly and euphoric video for “IRL” one of the best Portland-made visuals of 2023. Now we’re recommending you go check out Jay Si Proof’s album release show for their forthcoming full-length Care About It. Happening next Saturday, at Mississippi Studios, the show also taps six-piece funk band Mr. Vale’s Mathclass for support, and folk/R&B Wren the Band as opener. “We’ve worked so hard on our 12-track release,” reads an Instagram post promoting Care About It and the release show. The album is “our response to that creeping millennial nihilism we’re all stuck with. Whatever it is you do, we hope you’ll care about it. For us, it meant spending uncounted hours in four different studios to craft a collection of songs that speaks our truth.” In keeping with that sentiment, costumes are encouraged at the show. (Mississippi Studios, 3939 N. Mississippi, Sat Jan 20, 9 pm, $16, tickets here, 21+)


Some upcoming music buzz to add to your radar.

Too $hort

In 2020, Saweetie’s hit single “Tap In” gave new life to Too $hort’s “Blow the Whistle,” which was the title track of the hip hop pioneer's 2006 album and one of his most popular songs. With her homage, Saweetie hit listeners with the traditional player energy of the original, including use of the word “bitch.” For what it’s worth, Too $hort (AKA Todd Anthony Shaw) has said that while he lives a player mentality and lifestyle, his rap persona is partly a character. Offstage he aims to be a gentleman. Still, his music has often been criticized for blatantly misogynistic content (see: disrespectful tracks like “Call Her A Bitch”). “Hip-hop is a gift, and bitch was my gift to the world,” Too $hort said with a laugh in an 2022 interview, on REVOLT’s Big Facts podcast. His debut album Don’t Stop Rappin’ was one of the first hip-hop albums to say “bitch” on a record, and after a collaboration with Ice Cube and members of Death Row, its use spread like wildfire. In my personal view, today's use of bitch is hyper-applicable and can transcend gender. It can be used by anyone to describe anyone. On Too $hort's '90s hits like “The Ghetto” and albums like Cocktails, the West Coast rapper's lyrics often described a lifestyle of running game, pimping, promiscuity, and the drug use he saw during his come-up in Oakland. All in all, I'm intrigued to see this pioneer perform in February. Plus, a slew of Portland-based talent is backing the bill: golden age rapper Cool Nutz with DJ Fatboy, rap trio Bad Habitat, and emcee Juma Blaq. It's too bad the show's 21 and over because this is rap history. (Roseland, 8 NW 6th, Fri Feb 9, 8 pm, $40, tickets here, 21+)