This is a dark week, folks, one filled with plagues and pestilence, creeping beasts, and blood raining from the sky. Portland's good music sanctuary is about to be defiled by some bona fide boogiemen—serious fun-enders the likes of which haven't been seen since kill-crazy mofos like Pol Pott and Ronald Reagan stalked the Earth. On Friday Toby Keith comes to the Rose Garden to put a boot in our collective ass because, y'know, "It's the American way." Then we got TWO shows with the new incarnation of INXS on Friday and Saturday at Chinook Winds Casino. Rounding out this unholy trinity is dipshit frat-boy folksinger G. Love and his disgusting, dripping, slimy Special Sauce.

Thankfully, we got some titanic DEE-fence in Portland's own the Gossip, who will spray out this flaming shit pile like a 12-ton fire extinguisher. The Gossip are playing a free in-store Tuesday at Jackpot on Burnside before doing their CD release party at Wonder Ballroom the next day. Gossip guitarist Nathan emails to say there will be an after-party at Dunes on Wednesday where the band will be DJing and giving away copies of the record. Go to all three and I'll draw you a nice picture of myself kicking Toby Keith in the nards.

There's been a lot of talk about whether Berbati's is shutting down or staying afloat, but ex-booker Chantelle Hylton says she's ready to say her final words on the subject and move on. "The entire music booking format at Berbati's Pan probably needed to change for the club to find a successful place among the zillions of other music venues in Portland," says Chantelle. "Perhaps a more successful formula would include a focus on developing the downtown dance party vibe as a staple, leaving the financial risk of bringing touring bands in to outside promoters whose livelihood depends on making a significant profit at the door. I did so many shows that weren't entirely at home at Berbati's, and should really exist more at places like Holocene, Towne Lounge, Acme, Foodhole, The Know, Doug Fir... I tried probably for too long to make Berbati's into the kind of venue it could never really be. I look forward to working with the venues and people I admire and to having more creative freedom without the pressure of filling such a large room five-plus nights a week. I wish the family well; I'm sure we'll all continue to do what we love."

Toby Keith Fan Club: