Clockwise from left: FRANKIE SIMONE Sat 12/15 Misssissippi Studios; REDD KROSS Sun 12/16 Mississippi Studios; BILLIE EILISH Mon 12/10 Crystal Ballroom Clockwise from left: Kindell McIntosh, Ward Robinson, Dan Regan


The Thesis Four-Year Anniversary
For the last four years, Portland’s ever-growing hip-hop scene of artists, producers, photographers, writers, fans, and friends have flocked to Kelly’s Olympian every first Thursday to support and show face at the monthly showcase. Thanks to the event’s main organizers Mac Smiff and resident DJ Verbz, the Thesis lineups have been consistently solid for quite a while now. This one has North Portland rapper Vinnie Dewayne headlining, as he returns from a hiatus after the death of his friend. Dewayne’s exceptional music video for recent single “Losing Direction” is definitely worth a watch, and his live performances don’t disappoint. I’m also particularly excited to catch rising rapper Nina Xo, who I’ve not yet seen live, but is said to have fun, high-energy sets. Regardless of the lineup, the night will be a surreal realization of just how long a lot of us have been out here building and networking together in the scene. Here’s to four more years of meeting up at Kelly’s. (9 pm, Kelly’s Olympian, 426 SW Washington, $10; w/Vinnie Dewayne, Load B, Nina Xo, Elton Aura, Verbz) JENNI MOORE

KARMA RIVERA miss lopez media

Blossom, Maarquii, Amenta Abioto, Karma Rivera
Happening the same night as the Thesis, this bill at Mississippi Studios is a fucking stunner. Along with R&B singer/songwriter Blossom, there’s also high femme rapper Maarquii, who recently dropped their excellent debut album C.A.B.O. (AKA Cut a Bitch Off). Maarquii’s performances are marked by fierce rapping, voguing, and if their single “Roll Up” is on the setlist, likely some twerking as well. There’s also rapper Karma Rivera, who’ll be rocking cuts off her debut EP Don’t Sleep on This, which came out earlier this year. But the most unmissable act on the bill is probably singer/songwriter/storyteller Amenta Abioto, who uses a loop machine to blend soul, gospel, spoken word, jazz, and ancient African sounds. Abioto seems to have perfected her act as of late, exemplified by her recording of “Wade.” And when she’s live, her expertly controlled vocals sound better than ever. Plus, this show is free. Go see her now. (Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi, 8 pm, FREE) JENNI MOORE

THE SOFT MOON Fri 12/7 Wonder Ballroom Vincent Arbelet


Night Birds, Macho Boys, Bothers, Death Ridge Boys
New Jersey’s hardcore traditionalists Night Birds specialize in the kind of snotty punk rock that was born for skate videos and victimless teenage crimes. It’s the sound of dropping out of high school, or at least avoiding it as much as possible. The sound of suburban knuckleheads looking for a reason to sneer. The sound of your first mohawk slicing through the air as you dive into a roiling pit filled with other silly and pissed and righteously obnoxious kids who might kinda feel the same way you do. Were those good times? Not really. But the music was pretty all right. (Tonic Lounge, 3100 NE Sandy, 8:30 pm, $10-13) CHRIS STAMM

The Soft Moon, Hide, Vive la Void
After spending nearly a decade in Oakland making moody, motorik-paced post-punk for the pop-leaning Captured Tracks record label, the Soft Moon’s Luis Vasquez used this year’s Criminal—his fourth studio album—as an opportunity to make a few changes. Now living in Berlin, Vasquez signed a new deal with the experimentally inclined Sacred Bones and unleashed an album full of intensely confessional industrial synth-rock (à la Nine Inch Nails) that tackles the lingering effects of his difficult childhood. The result is an urgent and unnerving work of exploration, self-reflection, resignation, and redemption that lifts the veil on Vasquez and puts him at the front of his music for the first time. (Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell, 9 pm, $16-18, all ages) BEN SALMON


Rosanne Cash
Over the past four decades, Rosanne Cash has quietly made one of the most consistent careers in country music. Since releasing her self-titled debut in 1978, the singer/songwriter has released 14 albums, each sounding surer and steadier than the last. Cash’s storytelling skills are on full display on her new record, She Remembers Everything, which includes a couple of interesting collaborations with Kris Kristofferson and Elvis Costello. After paying tribute to her late father Johnny on 2009’s The List, Cash is easing back into her own sharp observations on life and growing older. She Remembers Everything all but solidifies her status as a major influence on country music. (Revolution Hall, 1300 SE Stark, 8 pm, sold out, all ages) MARK LORE

ADVANCE BASE Sun 12/9 Turn! Turn! Turn! FORCE FIELD PR


YOB, Khorâda, Thrones
It’s been a wild year for Yob: Almost two decades into their career, the heavy rock trio faced their own mortality and reached their highest level of critical success. Guitarist/vocalist Mike Scheidt wrote a good portion of Yob’s latest record, Our Raw Heart, as he stared down death in the hospital with diverticulitis. In the process, what was almost the end became a rebirth. The album, and the members of Yob themselves, continue to demolish the tidy “doom” label that was cast upon them so many years ago—this is a band that may well be creating their own genre. (Star Theater, 13 NW 6th, 9 pm, $20) MARK LORE

Advance Base, Lisa/Liza
Advance Base’s third full-length, Animal Companionship, is about naming a dog after a dead boyfriend. It’s about actualizing long-distance internet love affairs, and going to the park just to watch dogs run around. Backed by only electric piano and drum machine beats, these stripped-down songs capture both the pervasive loneliness of life and the will to alleviate it—the desire we all have to care and be cared for. At times, the album inches songwriter Owen Ashworth closer to being bedroom-pop’s Springsteen, with its working-class tales of finding beauty in refinery lights, kissing a partner’s smoky hair after an apartment fire, and falling in love at the Aquatarium. (Turn! Turn! Turn!, 8 NE Killingsworth, 8 pm) JOSHUA JAMES AMBERSON


Billie Eilish, Strange Hotels, Finneas
If you’re not familiar with pop sensation Billie Eilish, or if you’re flummoxed as to why someone you’ve never heard of is instantly selling out venues every time she comes to Portland, don’t kick yourself in the ass too hard. Eilish is a creation of Instagram rather than any record label, and has a passionate 9.2 million followers to prove it. AND she’s only 16 years old, with her first gorgeous hit “Ocean Eyes” popping off when she was the ripe old age of 13. But before you brush her off as another unasked-for internet-born Bieber, listen to her music. Her pipes are a thing of angelic glory and her songwriting ability (with assistance from her brother) belies her age with emotional maturity. Check out her newest single, “When the Party’s Over,” for a taste of her moody, choral-infused power, and be on the lookout for her next Portland gig—because unless you’re quick, you can forget about nabbing tickets to that one as well. (Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside, 8 pm, sold out, all ages) WM. STEVEN HUMPHREY

Fucked Up, Narrow Head
Fucked Up’s new album Dose Your Dreams is long, clocking in at 18 tracks and more than 82 minutes, which seems antithetical to their reputation as a hardcore punk band, but not if you know what Fucked Up’s all about. For more than a decade, the Canadian collective has been toying with the notion of genre, backing harsh hardcore vocals with cinematic guitar-pop, building rock operas from the underground up, and generally bending and stretching the expectations of punk. Dose Your Dreams is no different: It’s a strange and psychedelic rollercoaster ride that doesn’t sound much like past Fucked Up albums. This, folks, is the best punk band on the planet. Catch them while you can. (Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi, 9 pm, $17-20) BEN SALMON

EMMA RUTH RUNDLE Wed 12/12 Mississippi Studios Ground Control Touring


Cake isn’t the type of band that needs to produce a constant stream of new music, and the scale of their popularity means they don’t even really need to play live that often. The proof is the fact that their Doug Fir show sold out pretty quickly, despite the band having only put out one new song in the last seven years. That song, “Sinking Ship,” is vintage Cake, showcasing tight grooves, group shouts, and John McCrea’s curmudgeonly croon. All proceeds from the single’s sales are being donated to Doctors without Borders, and tonight’s “Tacky Sweater Soirée” show is also a benefit for the Giving Tree. (Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside, 9 pm, sold out) RYAN J. PRADO

Emma Ruth Rundle, Jaye Jayle
Thanks to her seemingly endless supply of dramatic guitar licks and haunting vocal melodies, doom-struck folk singer Emma Ruth Rundle will always be the centerpiece of her songs. But while making her latest album On Dark Horses, she shared space with new collaborators in her new hometown of Louisville, Kentucky. Working with members of Jaye Jayle (including romantic partner Evan Patterson), Young Widows, and Wovenhand, Rundle’s new songs find heightened emotional heft in full-band arrangements. The result is a sound that’s lighter and lusher than her previous releases, but every bit as darkly beautiful. (Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi, 9 pm, $13-15) BEN SALMON


Bossin’ Up: Fountaine, JxJury, LC Lonely Child, Rikoe Wavy, Jay So Smoov
Comedian Shrista Tyree has been hosting hip-hop shows and open mics in Portland for a minute, and the latest endeavor she’s producing, Bossin’ Up, goes down at Bossanova Ballroom. Tyree, a talented comedian, is a natural host for the music showcase, and she’s even been known to perform comedic raps alongside Bossin’ Up’s resident DJ Chuckie Buckets. Oh, and the Mercury is a proud sponsor! The latest showcase hoists rapper/producer Fountaine as its headliner, which is a super good call. Fountaine’s original sound, versatility and bouncy stage presence make his shows an interactive treat. (Bossanova Ballroom, 722 E Burnside, 8 pm, $7) JENNI MOORE

Minus the Bear, Tera Melos
It’s a bummer whenever a band as good as Minus the Bear decides to hang it up. After 17 years, six LPs, 12 EPs, and a whole lotta touring, the Seattle quartet is saying farewell on this final string of West Coast dates. The band’s experimentalism was born from the post-hardcore early ’00s, and has rotated through wild hybrids of prog, ambient, psych, and punk that peaked on 2007’s classic Planet of Ice, and was refined on their trippy sophomore record, Menos El Oso. They’re leaving fans with a final EP, Fair Enough, and plenty of inspired artists in their wake. (Roseland, 8 NW 6th, 8 pm, sold out, all ages) RYAN J. PRADO



Protomartyr, Preoccupations, Hurry Up
The pairing of Detroit’s Protomartyr and Calgary’s Preoccupations for a double-headliner tour is a brilliant one, and not merely because the two bands are already alphabetically nestled together in your iTunes library. Protomartyr has the market cornered on thinking, literate-minded rock music, with vocalist Joe Casey’s half-spoken lyrics touching on religion, philosophy, and politics. Preoccupations, on the other hand, examine guitar-rock’s more jittery, mechanical attributes, using it as a vehicle for melodic repetition and abstract minimalism. Together, the two bands make for a thorough treatise for the shape of post-punk to come, as evidenced on their new split 7-inch, which finds each band covering one of the other’s songs, to surprising and invigorating results. (Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi, 9 pm, sold out) NED LANNAMANN

JESSICA PRATT Fri 12/14 Crystal Ballroom FORCE FIELD PR

CRITIC’S PICK: Kurt Vile & the Violators, Jessica Pratt
Kurt Vile is Kurt Vile—long hair, guitar, barely enunciated lyrics about “Rollin’ with the Flow,” you get the picture—but tonight’s opener Jessica Pratt is pure magic. Already deserving a place in the same pantheon that houses Karen Dalton, Judee Sill, and Vashti Bunyan, Pratt’s 2012 self-titled debut and 2015 sophomore album On Your Own Love Again have proven her ability to spin spider-web melodies out of a few chords and a voice that sounds like it belongs to a lonely alien folksinger echoing across a faraway galaxy. (Extraterrestrial evidence can be found on the shiver-inducing track “Bushel Hyde”: “I am calling out to you/From the ’nother place/Words mean more than they did before/In that other place.”) But that’s not quite right, because Pratt’s music is far too introspective to be alien; she always sounds like she’s a million miles away but still somehow grounded in her own head. Almost every Jessica Pratt song is a complex patchwork of fleeting thoughts, memories that can’t seem to fade, and striking images of things like an empty bed and “people’s faces blended together like a watercolor.” The foundation of her new single “This Time Around”—from her forthcoming record Quiet Signs, which is due in February on Mexican Summer/City Slang—is a simple guitar riff looped over and over, but the effect is bewitching. That should come as no surprise; Jessica Pratt is a master of the deceptively simple song. (Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside, 8 pm, $29.50-32, all ages) CIARA DOLAN


Frankie Simone’s Holigay Spectacular: Blossom, Cristina Cano, Zora Pavonine, Che Che Luna, Frankie’s Kweens
Frankie Simone’s Holigay Spectacular aims to “keep the season bright and gay” with burlesque performances from the likes of Zora Pavonine and Che Che Luna and sets from Blossom, electro-swimwave singer/songwriter Cristina Cano (AKA Siren and the Sea), and the rising pop sensation herself. Expect mind-blowing dance moves and plenty of holigay cheer. (Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi, 9 pm, $15-20) CIARA DOLAN

Tenacious D
The underdog element of folk-metal-comedy duo Tenacious D took a hit when Jack Black turned out to be one of the world’s biggest movie stars. But the homegrown charm of their HBO series and first album returns with Post-Apocalypto, a project that’s more than the D’s first album since 2012’s Rize of the Fenix—it’s also a six-episode cartoon series freely viewable in full on YouTube (you can also watch Post-Apocalypto: The Movie, which pastes all six episodes together). The crudely drawn animation—apparently done entirely by Black—is reminiscent of the doodles of Dio and Van Halen logos that littered countless spiral notebooks in countless high school study halls. More importantly, it’s got the same silly stoner humor and worship of the almighty riff that made Tenacious D such a fun, affectionate proposition to begin with. (Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside, 8:30 pm, sold out, all ages) NED LANNAMANN


Patterson Hood
What a generous and wonderful gift the artistic output of Patterson Hood has turned out to be. The son of one of the greatest bassists who ever lived—David Hood of Muscle Shoals, Alabama—Patterson’s legacy would have been assured even if he’d just dipped his toe in the waters of his dad’s profession. But as it turns out, Hood not only co-fronts one of the most prolific and fiery rock bands of the past two decades (Drive-By Truckers), he’s carried on a simultaneous solo career in music< and become a fantastic essayist and storyteller, exploring the conflict of the two Americas and the redemptive power of music. Now a Portlander, Hood carries on a relatively new holiday tradition with two solo shows at the Doug Fir, where he’ll do plenty of talking, and just as much playing. (Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside, 9 pm, $20-25) NED LANNAMANN

Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas in Concert
Old-man goth-kid Tim Burton has made a lot of great movies (Edward Scissorhands!) and a lot of shitty movies (Alice in Wonderland!), but when he’s good, he’s good—and for proof, look no further than 1993’s stop-motion musical A Nightmare Before Christmas, adapted by director Henry Selick from Burton’s fantastic story. Sweet, creepy, funny, sad, and gorgeous to both look at and listen to, it’s a simultaneous celebration and satire of this goofy-ass season... and it’ll be even better with the Oregon Symphony performing Danny Elfman’s all-timer of a score live to picture. (Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, 1037 SW Broadway, $45-115, all ages) ERIK HENRIKSEN

REDD KROSS Sun 12/16 Mississippi Studios Ward Robinson


CRITIC’S PICK: Redd Kross, Dale Crover Band
Teenage Fanclub, the Posies, and Redd Kross constitute the holy triumvirate of ’90s power-pop. Those first two bands have been obsessed with creating the perfect sequel to Big Star’s #1 Record for the duration of their careers, but Redd Kross’ origin story is a little less straightforward. Formed around the nucleus of choir boy brothers Jeff and Steve McDonald, Redd Kross started as a goofy, quintessentially Californian hardcore band, whose 1982 debut album Born Innocent—released when both McDonalds were teenagers—features songs with titles like “Kill Someone You Hate” and “Pseudo-Intellectual.” On their 1987 follow-up, Neurotica, the band synthesized punk with their childhood adoration for Sid and Marty Krofft and bubblegum pop bands like the Partridge Family, resulting in a warped paean to ’70s Saturday morning ephemera. Then comes the band’s trio of power-pop all-timers: 1990’s technicolored Third Eye, 1993’s Phaseshifter (which Stone Temple Pilots aped to an embarrassing degree on their album Tiny Music... Songs from the Vatican Gift Shop), and 1997’s Show World, whose lead single “Mess Around” boasts guitar-pop’s pithiest refrain since “Ticket to Ride”: “Can’t you see?/Monogamy/Has always been so hard for me.” After a 15-year break from releasing new music, Redd Kross returned in 2012 with an excellent album on Merge called Researching the Blues, a 30-minute loud-pop romp that contains at least two of the band’s best songs: the title track and “Stay Away from Downtown.” Even after all these years, Redd Kross remain one of America’s greatest—and strangest—bands. (Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi, 9 pm, $15-18) MORGAN TROPER


MUNYA Samuel Pearson

Cults, Munya
Québécois musician Munya kind of sounds like the Cranberries’ Dolores O’Riordan—who passed away this year, leaving my face in a permanent frown—singing breathily in French over entrancing synth-pop. In 2018 Munya released her first two EPs, and she plans to release a third early next year. North Hatley layers woozy, Mac Demarco-style guitar riffs over cruise-controlled beats and sweet lyrics, like those on “Des Bisous Partout” (which translates to “kisses everywhere”). Her second EP, Delmano, includes a charming ode to ghosting called “If I’m Gone Tomorrow (It’s Because of Aliens)” and “Hotel Delmano,” which might be Munya’s best song yet, made great with bongos, a mystical synth line, and layered, siren-like harmonies. Munya only has a few tracks to her name, but she’s already created a swirling pink fog in pop heaven that’ll hopefully linger for quite a while. (Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi, 8 pm, $18-20) CIARA DOLAN


JOHN LEGEND edge publicity

John Legend
A few years ago, I got really mad when I tried to Google “John Lennon” and it auto-populated “John Legend.” But the EGOT winner has more than earned his place atop search engine results, with a multi-pronged talent, a long history of philanthropy, and a more-vital-than-ever sense of social awareness. Tonight, Legend will be singing Christmas songs, proving his cross-generational appeal. (Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, 1037 SW Broadway, 8 pm, $69.50-149.50, all ages) NED LANNAMANN