There’s an overwhelming amount of national music news to peruse, upcoming albums and tours looming—from mega-stars like Beyoncé, not to mention all the other touring acts coming through Portland this year and the Portland Jazz Festival's solid 2024 curation. All these shows are drying out our bank accounts! But hey! It’s tax season. Use that kicker to support Portland’s independently owned venues. This week we’re recommending not one, but two leap day shows, and in April, we implore you to go see Sheer Mag. Let’s get into it!


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

Dreckig, Soul Day Exquisite, Chibia

It's a leap year! What are you going to do with an extra day? Well, if you're a Portland venue, you're apparently going to cram some incredible bands on a bill so good that folks have to leave their cozy homes over it. Dreckig headlines one such bill, which also offers an opportunity to see Seattle six-piece group Soul Day Exquisite. The project of husband and wife duo Papi Fimbres and Shana Lindbeck, Dreckig lays down Spanish, English, and German lyrics over Latin dance rhythms, krautrock, and electronic club music—yeah, you can dance to it. Arrive early to hear the bill’s alluring opener: alternative R&B artist Chibia, AKA Chibia Ulinwa, a raspy alto vocalist and violinist based in Portland. The artist dropped an absolutely lovely EP in August 2023, which included warm and shimmering 2020 single “Honey.” Check it out below. (High Water Mark, 6800 NE MLK, Thurs Feb 29, 9 pm, $12, Buy tickets here, 21+)

Roman Norfleet and Be Present Art Group, Yawa, Jacque Hammond

A different leap day show marks a very exciting headliner gig for new-ish band Roman Norfleet and Be Present Art Group. Those who get to catch this one are in for a treat every step of the way, from opener to headliner. It's a great chance to see various Black jazz, soul, improvisation-based artists who have roots right here in Portland. For his group's eponymous debut full length, released last May on Mississippi Records, Norfleet assembled a collective of artists in Portland to recreate improvisational drum circles that he had been a part of in Washington DC’s Malcolm X Park. One of those artists he tapped is vocalist Jacque Jammond, who is billed on this lineup as a solo artist. Yawa (FKA Amenta Abioto) is also on the bill, and there’s a good chance we’ll hear at least a little something from new supergroup trio WRK!, which comprises Abioto, Hammond, and Vaughn Kimmons (Brown Calculus), who, along with Hammond, is also a part of Be Present Art Group.  So it’s just a big happy family on this futuristic neo-soul lineup, and we’re loving it. I’ll be praying to hear album highlights like enchanting “Cosmic Forces” and the glorious, 11-minute-long “Future Ancestors/Awaken.”(Holocene, 1001 SW Morrison, Thurs Feb 29, 8:30 pm, $12, tickets here, 21+)


Some upcoming music buzz to add to your radar.

Sheer Mag

Philadelphia rock band Sheer Mag are coming on tour, and Hallelujah and god bless the fact that they’re playing Portland again. Their forthcoming third full-length, Playing Favorites, drops March 1 and marks Sheer Mag’s first with Third Man Records. With electrifying frontwoman Tina Halladay at the helm—Hart Seely on bass, Kyle Seely on lead guitar, and Matt Palmer, on rhythm guitar—Sheer Mag is one of the most distinct of their class of contemporary hard rock bands. Halladay’s voice can range from a delightfully gritty to beautifully searing. [See “Moonstruck” for example, or the very solid rager “Eat It and Beat It.”] And she can also wield it as a soulful, bubbly weapon, adding a sweetness and strong power pop melodies to the band’s '70s punk, hard rock sound. [Here see Playing Favorites single, “All Lined Up,” or the euphonic hook at the center of “Fan the Flames.” In a presser email the band explained: “‘Eat It and Beat It’ is a call to arms. Hard rock is overdue for a new vanguard to redefine the genre and ‘Eat and Beat It’ is an anthem for the next generation." One thing’s for sure: It would be absolutely wonderful to be blasted by hard rock entity Sheer Mag in such intimate space this spring. (Star Theater, 13 NW 6th, Wed April 17, 8 pm, $18, tickets here, all ages)