In addition to momentous, nationally televised music events—like the 66th Annual Grammy Awards on February 2, and the Super Bowl LVIII Halftime Show starring Usher’s (Ursher Baby!!!) on February 11—we’ve got more than enough on our plates to keep us satisfied for the next week or two. Still, there’s always plenty to keep us entertained in the local scene as well. In this week’s column, we’re stoked to about a new single, show, and music video from Jakki and the Pink Smudge, a free Bocha and Covi. show, and a chance to see Jon Batiste, courtesy of PDX Jazz Festival.


MUST LISTEN: 

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

“I Go On Walks,” Jakki and the Pink Smudge

Named after frontperson Jakki Wise’s lipstick (that always ends up on her mic), Jakki and the Pink Smudge is an indie fuzz-rock band based in Portland who made their debut in 2020, with eight-track EP GingerBroad.  Now gearing up to release a new single called “I Go On Walks,” on January 31, Wise explained the extremely literal song title and some process behind the song in a release that accompanied the announcement. "I take daily long walks to relax and reflect on my thoughts and current events," she wrote. Wise often draws lyrics from the walks, and with “I Go On Walks,” recorded instrumentals after one such jaunt. When the band played a fashion show the following day, Wise "recorded the models' footsteps on gravel and crowd clapping," for the track. Wise also mixed and mastered it, along with making a stop-motion video. On February 24, the band will play a show at Swan Dive, giving fans a chance to come hear 2020 single “Precious,” and 2023 singles “Hold My Bag,” the “Shutup Fuckup,” and “Hugh Glue”—a song about falling in love with the boy who eats glue. If you’re lucky, you’ll catch their wonderful ongoing shtick, Jakki Wise playing guitar and singing lead from atop her bandmates’ shoulders. (Swan Dive, 727 SE Grand, Sat Feb 24, 9 pm, $10 door, 21+) 


ADDED TO THE QUEUE: 

Some upcoming music buzz to add to your radar.

Jon Batiste 

Jon Batiste is one of those artists that many may not know by name, but they likely love something that he majorly contributed to. A member of the Batiste family, a New Orleans musical dynasty, the artist began his career as a child prodigy, and went on to earn both a bachelors and a masters from Juilliard School. For seven years he appeared as the exceedingly hip bandleader and music director on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, fronting his band Stay Human. Following up his acclaimed 2021 album We Are—a jubilant mix of soul, funk, jazz, R&B, and hip-hop—which won five Grammy Awards including Album of the Year, Jon Batiste’s latest effort, a concept album, World Music Radio, was nominated for six Grammys this year (once again including Album of the Year). Across the album’s 21 wide-ranging tracks, Batiste pulls inspiration from every corner of the globe, making the case for a fluid album that is for everyone and no one all at once. Setting out on his “Uneasy Tour,” Batiste will perform an unmissable set at the Schnitz as part of the 2024 Biamp Portland Jazz Festival on February 16. Fans should expect the unexpected, but look forward to hearing live versions of album highlights like “Boom For Real,” “Butterfly,” (written for his wife Suleika Jaouad), the tour namesake track “Uneasy,” as well as deeper jazz-soul cuts from past works. (Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, 1037 SW Broadway, Fri, Feb 16, 8 pm, $59.75-99.75, tickets here, all ages)

Sunday Sessions: Bocha, Covi.

We recently raved about an installment of Sunday Sessions that headlined neo-soul singer and multi-talented extraordinaire Blossom, but let’s face it, we don’t really need an excuse to attend one of Rontoms’ free weekly shows. During the summer, you'll find the lounge's patio packed with music minglers, but the sessions are cozy and charming this time of year too—held inside the dimly lit hipster bar. This week we’re jazzed to see a more rap-happy lineup, showcasing the respective talents of Portland-based emcees Bocha and Covi. Produce Organics-affiliated rapper Bocha will no-doubt be spitting rhymes from his project Everything Must Go, from September, and Covi. also released a new album recentlyJust Have Fun!, a fun project that’s fully produced by Drae Slapz. And pssst! Don’t be surprised if either artist brings a special guest for their set, as Bocha has strong connections to Donte Thomas and other Produce Organics artists such as R&B singer Scooty, while Covi. is in a romantic relationship with rising singer/songwriter/DJ extraordinaire Zyah Belle. (Rontoms, 600 E. Burnside, Sun, Feb 18, 8 pm, FREE, 21+)