Happy official spring, Portland! This week we’re honing in on the thrilling news that the Thesis has a new home base, indie rockers Jakki and The Pink Smudge have a new single out, and this summer, country music superstar Chris Stapleton is swinging pretty close—15 miles away 🙃 at RV Inn Style Resorts Amphitheater. Read all about these locally relevant music news that’s happening Hear in Portland. 


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

The Thesis' New Venue and Housewarming Party

Well, it’s official, folks: After leaving its longtime home at Kelly’s Olympian due to a misalignment of values, local hip-hop series the Thesis has decided on its new home at inner Southeast bar venue Lollipop Shoppe. Instant positives that come with this venue upgrade include a slightly larger capacity, a longstanding reputation for good shows, and—especially—the fact that no one needs to walk next door to get a drink anymore! On March 23, the venue will host a “housewarming” event, providing an opportunity for the Thesis crowd to get acclimated to its new digs. Comic and comedic rapper Shrista will perform and keep the crowd entertained, along with Jai Baby, as well as DJ sets from DJ Verbz and DJ Aspen. The series will return to its monthly, full-blown first-Thursday shows on April 4, with a lineup of Swiggle Mandela, Siah Tha Kid, Kmar Woods, Refugio, and DJ Verbz on the ones and twos, to kick off an all-new era of the Thesis. (The Thesis Homecoming, Lollipop Shoppe, 736 SE Grand, Sat March 23, 8:30 pm $10 at the door, 21+; The Thesis, Lollipop Shoppe, 736 SE Grand, Thurs April 4, 9 pm, $10-15, 21+)


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

“Going Up” Jakki and the Pink Smudge

At the end of January, Portland indie rock band Jakki and the Pink Smudge released “I Go On Walks,” along with a video animated by the group's singer—who leaves pink smudges of lipstick on her microphones, hence the name. At the time, Jakki Wise told the Mercury, “I Go On Walks” was "more of an experimental song," and said soon the group would have something a bit more indie-fuzz-rock-pop for listeners. On March 15, the group released the foretold single, “Going Up.” In an Instagram post promoting their new single, the band explained that “Going Up” is the first song recorded with all of its current members: Wise, bassist Oliver Lester, guitarist Caleb Ballard, and drummer Charlie Oakes. Mixed and mastered by Ballard, the song carries a sunny, surfer disposition; Wise cheekily sings “You make me feel like I’m low quality/ Like I’m off brand, off brand,” and stands up for herself, adding “don’t put me down again.”


Some upcoming music buzz to add to your radar.

Chris Stapleton

Ever since the career-defining moment where Chris Stapleton performed his version of “Tennessee Whiskey” with Justin Timberlake, at the 2015 Country Music Awards, the country singer has been on an upward climb, racking up award nominations and wins and consistently topping the Billboard charts. The Nashville artist arguably possesses the best contemporary male voice in his genre right now, and in my opinion, it’s because the man has soul. His previous three albums—Traveller, From A Room: Volume 1, and Starting Over—all won the Grammy for Best Country Album; his latest, 2023’s Higher, follows 2020's acclaimed Starting Over. This April, Stapleton embarks on his All American Roadshow Tour, which makes a stop in Ridgefield, WA on July 26. Supporting Stapleton on the bill are R&B artist Allen Stone, and Americana-country act Nikki Lane. Fans can hope to hear Stapleton’s outlaw country-tinged, rock-infused “White Horse,” and “Crosswinds,” the blues-informed “South Dakota,” and the poignant and romantic “I Think I’m In Love with You.” Count on him performing his career-making rendition of “Tennessee Whiskey,” and most of all, expect chill-inducing vocals and epic guitar solos. (RV Inn Style Resorts Amphitheater, 17200 NE Delfel, Ridgefield, WA; Fri July 26, 7 pm, $165-779+, tickets here, all ages)