January went out with a bang with hometown rap hero Aminé rocking the Moda Center in front of an elaborate Portland-inspired set that included the Broadway Bridge, Alberta Market, Woodlawn Park, and a Rose Garden sign. Featuring openers like North Portland rapper Mic Capes, it was a pretty epic night. The start of February usually means we have even more fun musical events like this to look forward to. Along with a new release from Portland’s Cardioid, this next couple weeks sees lots of quality music news, like a couple of alluring hip-hop and R&B shows with a donation component. Plus, we’re looking forward to a new EP from Eyelids, with a record release show at Doug Fir to boot.
Two can’t miss upcoming shows
It’s worth considering coming to Kelly’s Olympian two days in a row this week, where you can enjoy live hip-hop, R&B, and better than average chicken strips. The day after The Thesis (which welcomes Karma Rivera, TROX, and more), show-goers can see another promising night of hip-hop and R&B vibes. Soul singer/songwriter Veana Baby tops the bill (who BTW, is also a last-minute sub for Alana Rich at The Thesis), while other notables like ultra smooth rapper/singer Sotaem, producer/rapper Drae Slapz, IamJordan and Rony round out the bill. Even better: A portion of the proceeds will be donated to the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute.
Sat Feb 5, 9 pm, Kelly’s Olympian, 426 SW Washington, $12 adv, $15 door
R&B singer/songwriter Zyah Belle (AKA Yam Grier) recently announced four show dates that’ll support her recent acclaimed new EP, Who’s Listening Anyway, kicking off this week with a free show in her home state of California. She’ll return to Portland, her current home city, to perform at Dig A Pony on Valentine’s Day in a dress-to-impress event organized by Valentine’s Day Queen, Reva DeVito, who keeps up her tradition of hosting annual shows in PDX on the holiday. Excellent R&B singer/dancer/actor/pianist Onry (of The Maui Chamber Orchestra, Oregon Symphony, and Portland Opera fame) is also performing an unmissable set, and Reva DeVito and her band will provide tunes to vibe to as well. They’ll also have a digital tip jar for those who want to donate directly to the artists.
Mon Feb 14, 8 pm, Dig A Pony, 736 SE Grand, $10
A great new release from a locally relevant artist.
“Morning Theft,” Cardioid
Portland’s Cardioid, the main indie rock project of Lizzy Ellison (formerly of Radiation City), just dropped a cover of the moody and poetic single ”Morning Theft” on February 1. Originally written and performed by the late Jeff Buckley in 1997, presumably about his intense and ill-fated romance with Elisabeth Fraser (lead singer of The Cocteau Twins). With mixing by Little Wins Music, Cardioid’s rendition sees them weave their signature “fantasy metal” into the single via silvery guitar sonics and restrained vocals. “This song has haunted me for over 20 years,” Ellison says in a Facebook post. “I’m so happy to finally have covered it. Jeff Buckley was an angel. His brief time on this planet changed my life forever the moment I heard him sing.”
ADDED TO THE QUEUE:
Some upcoming music buzz to put on your radar.
Esteemed Portland indie rock band Eyelids will play a record release show at the Doug Fir Lounge on Saturday, March 19, which was rescheduled from a previous early-February date. They’ll be celebrating their new three-track EP, Everything That I See You See Better. The band is made up of former and current members of other stalwart acts like the Decemberists, Elliott Smith, Stephen Malkmus, and Guided By Voices. In addition to vocalist/guitarists Chris Slusarenko and John Moen, the band is fleshed out by guitarist Jonathan Drews, bassist Jim Talstra and drummer Paulie Pulvirenti. Their project, which is currently available for pre-order on Bandcamp, drops on February 25 via Jealous Butcher Records, and there will be a limited 450 vinyl copies available at the show. They’ll also no-doubt be performing tracks from their excellent 2020 full-length The Accidental Falls.
Sat March 19, 9 pm, Doug Fir Lounge, 830 E Burnside, $13, w/Whisper Hiss, Vaccination card or proof of negative COVID test required