Well, America is ridiculous, but it's Friday, and if you're not in the streets you may want to shake off some of that rage energy on the dance floor. So your second-favorite music writer—as Jennifer Moore is on maternity leave—is back for another week of upcoming show picks. I'll also throw in some general music chatter for good measure. Don't get too used to me though; as soon as you get comfortable having me around, that’s when I make myself scarce.
This weekend's show schedule feels extremely light in comparison to the parade-riddled one prior—no major parades or superstar concert visits, but no failed promises of Jay Electronica or 60-minute food cart waits either. Indeed, this weekend looks to be more of the sleepy variety and with this weather on the forecast, I’m not sure I’m mad at that. Still, there are a few events that look choice.
Can’t miss upcoming shows.
As a young person, I used to think that Portland’s Good in the Hood parade was Black Portland’s Juneteenth celebration—until one day, over a decade ago, when I was volunteering and learned better. Now that people actually celebrate Juneteenth here, the distinction is more obvious. In any case, Andy Stokes—whose new song, "I Don’t Give A Damn" is up to 77,000 plays on YouTube—returns to the festival for the second year in a row. Over the course of the three-day weekend event, you can also expect performances from Hot Tea Cold, Alonzo Chadwick, and Oregon Music Hall of Fame-er Norman Sylvester. (King School Park, 4906 NE 6th, Fri June 24-Sun June 26, 11 am, FREE, all-ages)
One of my personal favorite Portland DJs, Ballads (formerly GangSigns) ends his nearly two-year hiatus from live performances tonight, at the ever vibe-y White Owl Social Club patio, with Sheppard for what’s sure to be a triumphant return to the tables—spinning house, hip-hop, and dance mixes in the dusk light, for an extended happy hour experience. (White Owl Social Club, 1305 SE 8th, Fri June 24, 4 pm-10 pm, FREE, 21+)
Leave it to Holocene to hold it down for DJs on a hot weekend in the city. Tonight’s SNAP Y2K dance party wins promotion of the week with its offer of free entry to anyone dressed like Mariah Carey on the Rainbow album. Can’t lie, I’m tempted to try to pull the look off myself. The party promises a nostalgic revisiting of hip-hop, house, and alt-rock music from the' '90s and '00s. (Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison St, Fri June 24, 9 pm, $10, 21+)
Saturday, things get a little more turnt up when town staples B.Nick and Heftober bring New Orleans DJ NO.Bi.Es to Holocene for their party series Laffy Taffy: a twerk/trap/dancehall extravaganza with big reggaeton dance energy. If you just want to get out and shake something, this is the move. (Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison St, Sat June 25, 9 pm, $10, 21+)
Great new releases from locally relevant artists.
Lambo Lawson, Phoenix
If you haven’t heard me talk about Portland-based Lambo Lawson’s new album, Phoenix, you probably haven’t talked to me since May. With its big beats and matter-of-fact mumbly flows, this recent rap release easily dominated the aux in my car. A wildly talented lyricist with a knack for creating intoxicating auto-tuned melodies, Lambo deftly weaves between styles and brings in smart features (such as local standouts DC Capital and Bocha) for a satisfyingly textured album experience that feels rare in this era of EPs and short releases.
Wynne, Ex Boyfriend / Gossip At Brunch
Lake Oswego wonder girl Wynne brings the drama to the social club mamas with her new musical two-pack Ex Boyfriend / Gossip At Brunch—continuing her plunge into the land of hip-hop vibestress, after years of being cast as the metro area’s lyrical miracle. Still the lyricist we all know and love (or hate), Wynne is carving out styles all her own, while transforming her aesthetic to better reflect the unbothered yet socially conscious hitmaker she’s growing into. And the bars reflect that: “22 the whole team going up / And we’re close to the top like Punch
I never heard of such and such / I guess I missed the gossip at brunch.” The EP is six minutes of music you never knew you needed from the girl who does her own stunts.