Pandemic be damned, the Waterfront Blues Fest is planning to return this summer.
Pandemic be damned, the Waterfront Blues Fest is planning to return this summer. Waterfront Blues Festival

There’s always a lull in activity this time of year, but personally, the slow season of infrequent shows and fewer new releases helps me focus, so I can actually digest the good stuff that is popping up. This month shows there’s much to look forward to: Former Portlander Quinn dropped the first of a series, Brain Dump, Vol 1., and Aminé comes home for the first night of what’s sure to be an exhilarating and highly stimulating tour. Also, remember music festivals? Apparently the Blues Fest will make its comeback this summer after a two-year hiatus brought on by (you guessed it) the ravages of COVID-19.

This week's can’t miss upcoming show.


Portland rapper Aminé, who now lives in Cali, is kicking off his “Best Tour Ever” tour with a homecoming show in Portland this Saturday, February 29. He’ll no-doubt be performing tracks from his latest full-length TWOPOINTFIVE, the sequel to 2018’s ONEPOINTFIVE, as well as from earlier projects like 2020’s Limbo, and classics from his debut Good for You. And while you can pretty much guarantee he’ll close with the viral mega-hit “Caroline,” I’m personally looking forward to hearing him perform his recent single “CHARMANDER,” and classic Portland-inspired cuts like “Woodlawn,” and “Turf.” What’s more? North Portland rapper Mic Capes will open, bringing his gritty rhymes and earnest tracks to the massive arena stage, while fellow Rip City rappers Heff and Niro Gotti back up the bill. Read the Merc’s recent analysis of Aminé’s TWOPOINTFIVE, and full concert preview here.
Moda Center: Theater of the Clouds, 1 N Center Ct, Sat Jan 29, 8pm, all ages, $29-75, tickets & info here; w/Mic Capes, Heff, Niro Gotti, DJ O.G. One

A great new release from a locally relevant artist.

Brain Dump, Vol.1, Quinn

One time Houston-to-Portland transplant and rapper Quinn (who now lives in Lafayette, Louisiana) released a new EP a couple weeks ago. The project was preceded by excellent lead single “Dat Nigga,” the visual for which was filmed in Portland and features Black-owned pot dispensary, Green Muse (FKA Green Hop), as well as Portland-based soul singer VeanaBaby. Over eight bouncy tracks, the artist showcases his charismatic delivery and unflinching lyrics. The beats are courtesy of a few stalwart producers: native Portlander C.Los is behind highlight tracks like “Dat Nigga,” “I Need It,” “They’on Kno,” as well as the vibey “Stay Away” featuring a sample from VeanaBaby’s “Soul Ties.” Dyleechi made the beat for the fast-paced “Fuck Da Industry,” while songs like “Outro,” a subdued track with heavily distorted vocals, is produced by WtfIsaToken. Portland-based mainstay SirNai produced “Demon Lover (Slowed Version),” and the sonics for “What’s Da Tea (Ooo Lala)” is Illithid’s work. The wonderfully trippy project also hints at a follow-up that we’ll be keeping our ears perked for.

Some upcoming music buzz to put on your radar.

Waterfront Blues Festival

Folks, after a two-year absence due to the pandemmy, the Waterfront Blues Festival is planning to return to its regularly scheduled programming this Fourth of July weekend to celebrate its 35th anniversary. “Fans have stood by us while we’ve creatively adapted to the pandemic over the last two years,” says Christina Fuller, Director of the Waterfront Blues Festival. “We’re excited to return to Tom McCall Waterfront Park this summer, stronger than ever.” Portland’s biggest and longest running music fest will go off July 1-4 in Waterfront Park, and tickets and headliner information will become available in March.