BLACK SABBITCH Fri 12/30 Dante's courtesy of the artist


(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) Portland listeners might already know Randy Bemrose from his time playing bass with the recently disbanded indie-pop group Radiation City. Now he’s stepping out with his project Because to celebrate the release of their debut LP, I Want to Be Your B. These nine painstakingly crafted pop songs are enjoyably all over the place; the first four alone draw from Kinks-esque ’60s pop, ’70s breakbeat funk, bossa nova, and the textural minimalism of a Sparklehorse ballad—in fact, Because’s unifying aesthetic is this same knack for the warm, tastefully experimental production of Sparklehorse pop polyglot Mark Linkous. Most of I Want to Be Your B grooves a lot harder than Sparklehorse ever did, though, and a grab bag of psychedelia colors the record’s funnest moments. With a band name like Because, anyone wondering why a talented songwriter like Bemrose would try to knit together such seemingly disparate elements already knows the answer. NATHAN TUCKER

(The Liquor Store, 3341 SE Belmont) It’s amazing that Poison Idea and Napalm Beach still play shows with the same dedicated vehemence they had when they were terrorizing the nascent Portland punk scene of the early ’80s. Poison Idea’s place in Portland’s pantheon of musical heroes is unspoken and iconic, especially in the case of its dearly departed guitar demigod Pig Champion, but the band’s uniquely sophisticated take on emotionally brutal concepts has kept them a global institution of dark music. The same praise could be heaped upon cohorts Napalm Beach, but while Poison Idea’s clenched-teeth nihilism pounds you into submission, Napalm’s knife-edged compositions tend to sink into caustic grooves that grind and twist underneath singer/guitarist Chris Newman’s bitter bellow, a robust formula that the grunge movement liberally consumed and replicated. Both bands are true Northwest legends, and embody a time when our city was exponentially less optimistic. CHRIS SUTTON

(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) As far as shows with all-local lineups go, you’d be hard-pressed to find one as sizzling as the Wooden Indian Burial Ground/Mascaras/Ah God triptych. All three bands are steeped in primordial rock ’n’ roll goop, though at somewhat opposite ends of the spectrum. Last February Wooden Indian Burial Ground dropped the mind-bending psych-punk epic How’s Your Favorite Dreamer?, a 14-track maelstrom of squirrelly garage jams anchored by the spastic guitar calisthenics of Justin Fowler. Mascaras has the singular ability to whip a crowd’s rhythmic sensibilities into quasar-like cosmic anomalies. The trio’s primarily instrumental sonic manipulations emit ferocious explosions of energy, and must be seen to be believed. The equally ferocious garage grooves of Ah God kick things off. RYAN J. PRADO


(Turn! Turn! Turn!, 8 NE Killingsworth) The reassuring, twinkling pop of Portland band Mini Blinds is radiant and warm, like the lights shining in your house as you come home at the end of a cold walk through the night. Tonight they’re joined by a pair of Chicago acts: pop architect Richard Album and lo-fi synth spelunkers Deadbeat. NED LANNAMANN

(Revolution Hall, 1300 SE Stark) For more than 15 years, the Stillwater, New Jersey, newgrassers of Railroad Earth have amassed a rabid following of fans who refer to themselves as “hobos.” While this might sound similar to the Grateful Dead’s roving masses of Deadheads, Railroad Earth’s popularity owes more to the liquid sonic parameters of the jam-band cloth than to some perceived status as mere new-jack torchbearers. A seamless melding of bluegrass-inspired fiddle hoedowns is tempered by Americana flourishes, smart songwriting, and extended jams, culminating in impressively nuanced songs like “Grandfather Mountain” from its most recent LP, 2014’s Last of the Outlaws. Railroad Earth’s oeuvre spans many styles, but the band is without a doubt at its best when it’s folding in the organics of piano and horns, laying down feel-good meditative epics like “Monkey.” There’s no way I know as much as hardcore fans, but if you’re able to snag a ticket to this, consider yourself lucky. RJP

FRIDAY 12/30

(Revolution Hall, 1300 SE Stark) See Thursday’s preview.

(Dante’s, 350 W Burnside) In February 2017, Black Sabbath will play their last-ever show in Birmingham, England—the industrial city where the proto-metal superstars formed way back in 1968. Things were a lot different then, and Sabbath’s gloomy, lumbering rock was a shocking spit in the eye of the lilting flower-power psychedelia that was all the rage. In decades since, Black Sabbath proved skeptics and critics wrong, laying the groundwork for generations of heavy bands to follow. And while Portlanders got their chance to say goodbye in person to founding members Ozzy Osborne, Tony Iommi, and Geezer Butler when they stopped at the Sunlight Supply Amphitheater back in September, we never need to say goodbye to their heavy, earth-shattering tunes. To wit: Black Sabbitch, an LA crew of four women devoted to replicating the catalog, shall play tunes from classic albums like Masters of Reality and Sabbath Bloody Sabbath tonight. It will be loud and good. NED LANNAMANN

(Moda Center, 1 N Center Court) When I was a kid, there were so many things to look forward to this time of year, like sweater weather, the indomitable Christmas spirit (i.e., presents), and the Trans-Siberian Orchestra. Those incredibly dramatic commercials promoting TSO’s early CDs featured a very earnest group of rock symphonists detonating popular Christmas themes into a fountain of musical operatics and cascading guitar duels that remain a brain tattoo of prepubescent holiday excess to this day. Replayed ad nauseam during my afternoon cartoon cavalcade, I would sit on the couch, stunned by the flamboyant execution of these intimately familiar pieces that were so conceptually exotic, I thought they were actually from Russia! Like a mulleted Mozart on cocaine, the TSO spectacle blurs the line between hysterics and histrionics by combining prog-worthy shredding, classical arrangements, and arena rock grandiosity that gloriously glistens like 100 newborn baby Jesuses. CS

(Hawthorne Theatre, 1507 SE César E. Chávez) San Diego rapper Rob $tone’s debut single “Chill Bill” should not be as catchy as it is. “Said she wanna roll with me and smoke up all my weed,” $tone raps in the hook. “I said, ‘Baby, just buy Dutches ’cause you can’t smoke for free’”—a sentiment shared by the inane bumper sticker slogan “Gas, Grass, or Ass: Nobody Rides for Free,” which conservative kids used to slap on the bumpers of their lifted trucks at my high school. The track samples the one-eyed nurse’s chilling whistle in Kill Bill, which I initially thought was gimmicky, yet admittedly I’ve found myself playing “Chill Bill” repeatedly. Producer PurpDogg adds a subtly unsettling hotel lobby piano melody and warped snares that are legitimately catchy. Somehow, Rob $tone’s story of Fiji water, quitting lean, avoiding finding a job but still finding ways to scrap by grew on me. CAMERON CROWELL

(Turn! Turn! Turn!, 8 NE Killingsworth) December’s edition of Turn! Turn! Turn!’s monthly showcase series, the aptly named Burn! Burn! Burn!, promises to be a truly heavy evening with an all-local lineup. The noise rock newbies of Maximum Mad are seizing the chance to squeeze in some extra stage time before their debut EP drops in 2017, while Humours will present their reimagined prog/psych/metal sound, made popular by the band’s previous incarnation, Mongoloid Village. It’s all brought together by Hair Puller, who blend metal and hardcore to illustrate the importance of sensual and consensual hair pulling. All proceeds from this show will go to the Southern Poverty Law Center, an Alabama-based organization dedicated to combating bigotry and hate through education and litigation. Given the onslaught of crap coming America’s way in January, offering any assistance to organizations like SPLC is key. CERVANTE POPE


(Revolution Hall, 1300 SE Stark) See Thursday’s preview.

(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) For one night every month, Mississippi Studios becomes a whirling, twirling disco complete with house beats, drag performances, and euphoric dancers glimmering underneath a disco ball. Jump Jack Sound Machine is hosted by a cast of Portland movers and shakers: DJ Nasty Tasha (Natasha Kmeto), Chanticleer Tru (Chanti Darling), and Ms. Houston, as well as a rotating lineup of party selectors, live acts, and drag/dance/lip sync performers. They’ll take over Mississippi Studios for a second time this month for a New Year’s Eve blowout—local music scene darlings and bona fide supergroup Chanti Darling will bring their electric post-R&B, Kmeto will bring her soulful vocals, and DJs Sappho and Perfect Health will provide the disco, house, boogie, and break to fuel a sure-to-be sweaty and swarming dance floor. The night promises to be a celebration of our city’s queer, artist, and dance communities. DANIELA SERNA

(Alberta Rose Theatre, 3000 NE Alberta) Though he hasn’t lived here since 2011, Art Alexakis remains one of Portland’s most reviled celebrities, outdone perhaps only by Fred Armisen or Donald Trump. Newbies to the city might not be familiar with the years-long animosity toward Everclear’s frosty-tipped, soul-patched frontman, but trash-talking Alexakis is as much a part of Old Portland as affordable housing. But it’s almost 2017, people. Maybe, just maybe, it’s time to hang up our old resentment once and for all. At tonight’s solo acoustic show, Alexakis will run through his nearly 25 years’ worth of material in a close and intimate setting, giving us an opportunity to see how much of a softy he really is. Joining Alexakis at this special New Year’s Eve show will be Leigh Nash, from ’90s Christian pop group Sixpence None the Richer. The dream of the ’90s, indeed, dies a slow, hard death. SANTI ELIJAH HOLLEY

(Melody Ballroom, 615 SE Alder) This New Year’s Eve, one of Portland’s most revered record-spinning duos, DJ Anjali and the Incredible Kid, will celebrate their super sweet 16. With a star-studded lineup that’ll leave the MTV brats of yesteryear jealous, the pair promises to deliver their signature fusion of fresh desi beats with coastal Caribbean tropical to keep you dancing into the wee hours of 2017. Credited with introducing the City of Roses to Bollywood and bhangra (a genre that blends traditional Punjabi folk with western pop), the twosome will host the two-floor party with a slew of this city’s best musical acts, including the 10-piece cumbia ensemble Orquestra Pacifico Tropical, DJ Michael Bruce, Coast2C (the masterminds behind Pan American dance party Gran Ritmos), She Shreds founder Fabi Reyna on duty as DJ Suavecito, and queen of underground indigenous club, DJ Daniela Karina (who also contributes to the Mercury’s music section). Say goodbye to crappiest year of the century by melting in good vibes and your own sweat. EMILLY PRADO

(Produce Row Café, 204 SE Oak) Prolific and enigmatic producer Etbonz (Elliott Thomas) and Occasion Vibration resident DJs Spencer Miles and Peter Marks team up to ring in the new year on Produce Row’s lush, heated patio. Miles and Marks have been throwing house and disco events for several years, ranging from patio dance parties to all-nighters in intimate venues, hosting acts like Solar, Massimiliano Pagliara, and Natural Magic. Thomas has been steadily releasing dreamy techno influenced by cosmic disco, ’80s B-movies, new beat, and all manner of Balearica since 2011, both under his name and the Etbonz moniker. His music simmers, creating a dense and chugging atmosphere with triumphant builds and samples of shredding guitars, which somehow sound futuristic and nostalgic at the same time. All proceeds go toward the Fire Relief Fund for Victims of Ghost Ship Oakland Fire. DS

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HAPPY NEW YEAR! Let’s hope this one sucks less.

SLAY Film Fest
In person at the Clinton St. Theater 10/29 & 10/30