(Bunk Bar, 41 SE Taylor) Someone should do an investigative report on what Jim and Mike Blaha’s parents fed them when they were little, because those guys are spine-tingling, steel-toed beasts when it comes to making rock ’n’ roll. Based out of Minneapolis and backed by drummer Dave Roper, the Blahas front a band called the Blind Shake that buzzes and thumps with a ferocity that few other bands achieve. The trio’s brand of psychedelic garage rock is soaked in sweat and heavy with swagger, like they burrowed into the center of the Earth, set up a cramped recording studio, stuck a fork in a light socket, and jammed. They’ve put out a bunch of albums on some of the coolest labels going (Castle Face, Goner, Swami), and their live show is basically a nuclear bomb. When they explode tonight at Bunk Bar, someone please protect the pork belly Cubanos. BEN SALMON

(Dante’s, 350 W Burnside) If there’s one real regret I can report from 2016, it’s that I inexplicably missed Sleeping Beauties’ set at PDX Pop Now! Dispatches from beneath the Hawthorne Bridge were equal parts dumbfounded and horrified, as vocalist Hart Gledhill’s nihilistic performance purportedly shocked the happy-go-lucky annual summer fest’s all-ages audience. Sleeping Beauties press full-throttle through the thrashy punk paradigm, typified by the band’s self-titled debut, released earlier this year on In the Red Records. The band is comprised of members from local underground legends like the Hunches and Eat Skull, but the Beauties themselves have in a short time forged their own unpredictable niche of unabashed rock ’n’ roll filth. Don’t be like me and miss them that one time. See them play every time. RYAN J. PRADO


(Paris Theater, 6 SW 3rd) Earlier this year at the Wonder, I was impatiently awaiting the start of a Ginuwine concert, when Tacoma-based singer/producer Will Jordan graced the stage as an opener, and successfully flabbergasted an audience of already-frisky twenty- and thirtysomething women. His production portfolio includes credits for Jason Derulo, and “Fly” by Nicki Minaj featuring Rihanna. (Also, DO check out his take on MJ’s “Human Nature.”) Along with TYuS, Blossom, and headliner I$$A, I’m all for this new wave of R&B, Island jams, and danceable beats coming out of the PNW. JENNI MOORE

It’s only three days until C-day, and you’re already sick of all the usual Christmas tunes. Tonight, Portland’s OK Chorale will chase those twinkly silver-bell songs out of your head with “Cheer the F**K Up!,” an evening of singing along to music you actually like, such as Prince, Joni Mitchell, and the Pogues. Have a drink or three, and take those long-suffering vocal cords out for a night on the town. NED LANNAMANN

(High Water Mark, 6800 NE MLK) We’re close now—Christmas is juuuust around the corner. Stockings are hung, the goose is getting fat, etc. But if you’re still having trouble getting into the holiday spirit, consider checking out Oakland black metal act Void Omnia tonight. What does Void Omnia have to do with Christmas? Absolutely nothing! But they’re a heck of a band, and put out one of the better heavy albums of 2016, even if it flew beneath the radar of most of the year-end list-making types. The record’s called Dying Light, and it’s an ambitious slice of atmospheric black metal, with blast beats and strangled howls sitting alongside big, melodic sheets of electric guitar that brighten up Void Omnia’s sound. The result is both beastly and beautiful, like what fellow Bay Area lightning rods Deafheaven might sound like if they were to push back against their post-rock proclivities. Void Omnia: truly the reason for the season. BS

(Lola’s Room at the Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside) All I want for Christmas is for Prince to emerge from a purple cloud and return to Earth, never to leave us ever again. I want to wake up Christmas morning and see him pop out of a purple box and sing “The Beautiful Ones” over and over for all eternity. But since that’s highly unlikely to happen (I’m not counting it out completely, because Prince), I’m grateful for the existence of Erotic City. Singer/guitarist/keyboardist Julian Stefoni has led Portland’s premier Prince tribute act for 20 years(!), but not until this dumpster fire of a year has Erotic City been so absolutely necessary. When he dons his purple coat and teases out his Jheri curl, Stefoni doesn’t merely imitate Prince—he channels him. With a super-tight backing band, Erotic City shows are no somber, funereal affair, but a sexy motherfucking dance party, which ought to keep us occupied until the triumphant return of our Purple Messiah. SANTI ELIJAH HOLLEY

FRIDAY 12/23

(The Liquor Store, 3341 SE Belmont) Portland’s most fabulous T-dance makes its way into the night as the team behind Bridge Club takes over the Liquor Store. Known for extended and packed patio dance events that start after brunch and end around 10 pm, the queer collective includes resident DJs Hold My Hand, Orographic, Pocket Rock-It, Casual Aztec, and Troubled Youth, who have held down the sunshine scene since 2012. Showcasing the most popping of current and classic house and disco while flirting with techno and acid, the Bridge Club crew has brought in acts like Honey Soundsystem and Discwoman heads Volvox and Umfang—establishing themselves as players on a circuit of current West Coast party institutions. As part of their After Dark series, they turn their daytime socials into pop-up nighttime club scenarios complete with their vibrant trademark installations. The collective proves again and again the power of a brimming dance floor, with or without sunglasses. DANIELA SERNA

(The TARDIS Room, 1218 N Killingsworth) Erik Anarchy is one of those rare outlier artists whose unique material resides in its own bubble, a leather-clad wolf untethered to stylistic norms. Whether performing with a band or solo, Anarchy’s method of expression is hardcore punk delivered with performance art vision and sharpened with the acidic worldview of a street-walking philosopher. These sardonic musings are violently thrashed out through an arsenal of razor-riffed songs blessed with titles like “Who Let Shamu on the Bus?” and “5 0 Suck,” like a minimalist Darkthrone careening through a Mitch Hedberg afterworld. When the audience realizes that his humorous nihilisms are executed with serious intent, the artistic weight of what he’s putting together becomes an altogether unique rock ’n’ roll spectacle that’s potent on many levels. Outsider voices like Erik Anarchy help color the amazing spectrum of personalities we have in Portland—remember to celebrate them. CHRIS SUTTON


Blowpony’s regular queer dance nights are always a hot mess of fabulousness—but there’s no kind of mess like a Christ-mess! Get sweaty and hot on Christmas Eve with this yuletide edition of Blowpony, with special guest host/beloved San Francisco drag queen Lady Bear, and turntablism provided by Airick X, Aurora, Matt Consola, and Just Dave. Oh, and of course there will plenty of “Gay-Ass Go Go dancing”—because ‘tis the season! WM. STEVEN HUMPHREY

SUNDAY 12/25 & MONDAY 12/26

Happy Holidays!


(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) Last spring, the Black Joy Project erupted on social media. A hashtag and social media campaign created by NYC writer and Black Lives Matter organizer Kleaver Cruz, the project created a space focused entirely on the happiness of people of color, something that’s crucial but often left out of conversations about race and identity. Spaces of joy for POC and spaces where the role of white people is to listen and learn from varied perspectives are few and far between, and our need for them is, and has been, dire—especially in pop culture. Aminé, Portland’s viral hip-hop sensation, has turned his joyful, infectious music into a political statement. During his performance of his bubbly hit “Caroline” on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, Aminé condemned the election of Donald Trump and by extension, the country’s admission of bigotry. This groundbreaking moment exhibited the power and fluidity of protest music—not only is Aminé finding traditional music industry success with a high-profile record deal, millions of streams, and affirmation from pros like Kaytranada and Miguel, he’s catalyzed those achievements into social activism with sunny hip-hop that refuses to be eclipsed by prejudice. EMMA BURKE