THURSDAY 12/25

THE RETURN OF SOUL KITCHEN STARRING BLACK ANGEL
(Dante's, 1 SW 3rd) Celebrate the birth of Christ with some down-home, fiery, bona fide Portland soul belted at you by the powerful Black Angel vocalists J.R. Pella and Tahoe Jackson. Yell "Amen, sister!" and "Praise Jesus!" as you swoon on your toes and wave your arms in the air. In the silky bowels of Dante's Inferno, feel the power of the Lord! JUSTIN WESCOAT SANDERS



FRIDAY 12/26

GHETTO CHRISTMAS STARRING DJS B-MELLO, SCENE, IDENTICAL STRANGERS
(Icon, 125 NW 6th) What does it mean to have a Ghetto Christmas? At Icon, it means getting dressed up (because if you're semi-formal, they shave ten bucks off your cover charge) and rocking classic hiphop with four of the best DJs from Portland and Seattle. It's Christmastime with B-Mello and DJ Scene; no word on if mom's cooking chicken or collard greens. Identical Strangers, macaroni and cheese; these Santas put hot records under Christmas trees. (Apologies to Run-DMC, and everyone who ever read this.) JULIANNE SHEPHERD



THE CHRISTMAS BLUEGASS JAM
(Rogue) The great thing about bluegrass is it hasn't changed all that much since it was born in the '40s. Named after pioneer Bill Monroe's Blue Grass Boys, it has remained faithful to its hard, fast, finger-slicing, furyball-pickin' intensity. Now, bluegrass Christmas songs are about as no-nonsense as you're gonna get. We're talkin' zero sampled-in kids talking to Santa, no hokey deck-the-halls orchestral strings, no booty-azz Mariah Carey breakdowns--just stark, simple, sock-you-in-the-heart country Christmas music. ADAM GNADE



THE DIVIDED, TEA FOR JULIE, OLIVER
(Berbati's, 231 SW Ankeny) "Julie is a real girl," assures Tea for Julie's eponymous website. Well, that's a relief, because in the unforgiving world of music monikers, proper nouns must have some deep emotional importance or else the band loses all credibility. Or perhaps it's not so comforting, because what if Julie is the titular character in the Portland group's morose tune "A Girl Is Killed"? Tea doesn't let listeners get too cozy; its cup runneth over with melancholy, mildly melodramatic musings, like a decaf version of Jeff Buckley. A word of advice: If you're Julie but you're not that Julie, it's still probably worth it to call attention to your name. You might not get in for free, but at least you can probably get someone to spring for a hot, healthy beverage. ANDREW MILLER



MAGIC RED PANTIES, THE FELLOW BETRAYED, SEPPUKU, MIRACLE ENEMY
(Conan's, 3862 SE Hawthorne) Miracle Enemy=Primus. If you expect to enjoy this band, you better love the fuck out of Primus, because they're doing the exact same thing, even down to the jokey vocals. Bass heavy--choppy to some, highly annoying to others--music to the ears. Keep jammin' Primus. Oh, I mean, Miracle Enemy. KATIE SHIMER



DJ FAUXPAS, CARRION, LOVEMURDER
(ICM, 332 NE San Raphael) Excellent news for goths! There is now a free night of synthy, dark dance music every frigging week! It features three DJs, most notably DJ Carrion, who's already made his mark with other events on the "Portland club circuit," like the late-night Martyrium feeding frenzies at the Paris of yore. Plus, it's at the I.C.M., which has a funky, Eastern-European vibe. Perfect for your foam horn accessories and those black mesh, shirtless sleeve thingies. MARJORIE SKINNER



DEBRIS, SUPEREGO 99, JAMES STEELE, JOSEPH, ANDREW G, DJ JDUB, DA EMENENCE
(Ohm, 31 NW 1st) Here's an eclectic little post-Christmas stocking stuffer. Local metal/electronica fusionists Debris have the kind of big, tight sound that'll probably get them a video on MTV2 pretty soon. They're already sponsored by J...germeister, which in our book pretty much means you've arrived. Before all that, though, catch the funky breaks of DJ James Steele, and after all that, bust some after-hours moves to Chicago guy DJ JDub's groovy House grooves. JWS



DJ LAIRD, MR. MUMU
(Saucebox, 214 SW Broadway) House and funky breakbeats are the perfect motivators for working out the post-Xmas lethargy which, regardless of your religious affiliation, you undoubtedly spent sitting on your ass, eating fake butter/canola oil popcorn, watching Return of the King. Tonight, San Francisco's DJ Laird will bring just that, along with Mr. Mumu's regular electrobeat selection. Added incentive: Laird is cool, and had an endorsement party for Matt Gonzalez, the SF Mayoral hopeful who was, from this outsider's view, clearly the coolest Mayoral hopeful. He did not win, but he will one day. Check back at the Saucebox tomorrow, when Mumu hosts another popular SF DJ, J-Boogie of the hiphop and the Dubtronic Science. JS



SATURDAY 12/27

PINK MARTINI, LIONS OF BATUCADA
(Crystal, 1332 W Burnside) It's rare to find a ten-piece ensemble whose compositions are rich enough to merit further orchestral backing, but Pink Martini's multiethnic, rhythmic jazz encourages instrumental excess. Its stylish, sultry songs convey more cocktail cool than any retro-lounge number, and to scores of young first-time attendees, the symphonies with which it plays instantly become hip by association. For this gig, billed as Wild Kingdom Rhumba VI, Pink Martini teams with Latin Expression Salsa Orchestra, a potent mix that should provide more shaking and stirring than its usual collaborations with the classical crowd. ANDREW MILLER



TRASH HEAP, MYG, SHIPWRECK, J-KRON, UNCLE SUELE, SIDEWAZ SPEECH, EVIL HANDS
(Conan's) Bigass local hiphop shows are all the rage these days; welcome to another installment, this time gracing the danceable wood floors of Conan's. Keep an eye on MyG aka Sinistapushaman. It's doubtful the all-star lineup of Talib Kweli, Dead Prez, and Erykah Badu will be in attendance like they are on his dope new album Sidewalk Symphony, but MyG's beautiful jazzy beats alone are worth the price of admission. JWS



THE NEW BLACK, CLIMBER
(Dante's) Climber plays electronic pop that seems heavily influenced by RadioheadÉ imagine that. Some of the stuff is a little cheesy, but these are certainly the type of atmospherics I'd appreciate hearing in a bar if I was drinking with some friends. KS



POISON IDEA, SADO-NATION, BOMB HEAVEN, MENTAL TERROR
(Paris, 6 SW 3rd) Talk about a quintessential Portland show, with kings of the punk jungle Poison Idea and Sado-Nation topping the bill. And the Paris Theater, where punks of all ages have been convening for-evah. In fact, if they ever make a nostalgic documentary about the PDX punk rock community, it'll no doubt include aging crusties boasting about having been to a million shows just like this one. But the openers you might not have seen, so show up early to catch the death metal of Mental Terror. I don't know what Bomb Heaven is about, but judging from the name, my guess is that it's loud, violent, and possibly political, which, if you've read this far, means you'll probably dig 'em. MS



SUNDAY 12/28

SNUGGLE UPS
(Tube, 18 NW 3rd) Charming boylectro-pop duo the Snuggle Ups are neither short on energy, nor on dance moves, bursting upwards with popcorn-like vigor, and chanting yarns of love gone awry (et cetera) to beats and guitar. Tonight, they'll be DJing the futuristic warm glow of Tube, likely spinning electro in a bar that already feels like an air chamber or a rocket ship. Come dressed as a B-52! JS



MONDAY 12/29

Katie Shimer's Five Favorite Radio Hits of 2003:
Nelly "Shake Ya Tail Feather"

Ludacris "Stand Up"

Westside Connection "Gangsta Nation"

Lil' Kim & 50 Cent "Magic Stick"

Tupac & Biggie "Running (Dying to Live)"



Julianne Shepherd's Five Most-Listened-To Albums, 2003:
OutKast Speakerboxxx/The Love Below (Arista)

Ellen Allien Berlinette (Bpitch Control)

Lifesavas Spirit in Stone (Quannum)

Dizzee Rascal Boy in Da Corner (XL Recordings)

Nice Nice Chrome (Temporary Residence)

[Bonus Non 2003 Release: Side Three of LL Cool J's Greatest Hits (the slow jams)]



Wm. Steven Humphrey's Top Five Singles of 2003:
Justin Timberlake, "Like I Love You"

Kelis, "Milkshake"

Murphy Lee, "What the Hook Gon' Be?"

Junior Senior "Move Your Feet"

Beyonce "Crazy in Love" (but the rest of the album BLOWS)



Ezra Ace Caraeff's Favorite Album Layout/ Designs of 2003:
The Shins Chutes Too Narrow (Sub Pop)

Logan Whitehurst and the Jr. Science Club Goodbye, My 4-Track (Pandacide)

Point Line Plane Self-Titled (Xeroid/Sincere Brutality)

Eastern Youth What Can You See From Your Place (Five One Inc)

Paris Sonic Jihad (Superrappin)



Justin Wescoat Sanders' Five Fave Records of 2003
Calexico Feast of Wire (Quarterstick)

Brother Ali Shadows on the Sun (Rhymesayers)

Death Cab for Cutie Transatlanticism (Barsuk)

Crosstide Winter EP (Rise)

Laura Viers Troubled by the Fire (Bellaire)



Marjorie Skinner's Five Most Fun Live Shows of 2003
¥Electric Eye (Eagle's Lodge)

¥Solo Dos En Tijuana (Green Room)

¥!!! (Meow Meow)

¥Xiu Xiu (Blackbird, the night the war started)

¥The Rapture (Berbati's)



TUESDAY 12/30

MICROPALOOZA: 8-BIT WEAPON, LODUS, gotoXY, BITSHIFTERS
(Ground Kontrol Retrocade, 610 SW 12th) See Music pg 15



GYPSY MOTHS
(Mississippi Pizza, 3552 N Mississippi) Often, eco-friendly performers and activists adopt names such as Butterfly, which really doesn't take much courage. Even Mariah Carey loves butterflies. Now the gypsy moth, a forest-clogging pest that dies unlamented at the hand of mass-applied insecticide, there's a tough critter to cuddle. Eco-funk-folkies Meredith and Raina Rose fearlessly dubbed themselves the Gypsy Moths, and they've been infesting local acoustic venues ever since. Like a swarm of buzzing bugs, they manage to blend individual input in a single sound, though their harmonies are certainly more soothing than the animal alternative. ANDREW MILLER



THE SOVIETTES, SCIENCE OF YABRA, DEAD LIKE DALLAS
(Twilight, 1420 SE Powell) The ladies of the Soviettes have uncovered a remarkable secret: when you're swinging your arms and kicking your feet with excitement, the part of your brain that compares bands switches off. Only people that don't know how to dance are stupid enough to chart the legacy of The Soviettes, and even they're too distracted by the motion and frenzy to really do a job of it. Portland's seen its share of twitchy, catchy, 90-second songs, but I don't know anyone who couldn't use an energizing jolt this week. ETHAN SWAN



HIPHOP GONG SHOW
(Mt. Tabor, 4811 SE Hawthorne) If you're like me, you've taken your battle rap skillz just about as far as humanly possible. I mean, I still enjoy getting up on stage and taking no-steez chumps to school, waxing lyrical on their mamas and the ancient quality of their sneakers. However, I still yearn for something more. That's why I'm simply thrilled by the upcoming competition entitled, "The Ramsey Bros. Presents the Hiphop Gong Show." A $5 entry fee per person gets you or your crew onstage to spit two of your numbers. But instead of going head to head against another battle rapper, you're being judged solely on your spitting ability by the audience and two persnickety judges. One wrong move and GONNNGGGGGG! You're out of there. Those making it to the final round will be asked to demonstrate their freestyling abilities, and the winner will take home the pot. This event will definitely separate the wheat from the chaff, and in case you're wondering--I'm the wheat. WM. STEVEN HUMPHREY



THE BADGER KING, PEACHCAKE, INTRO5PECT
(Meow Meow, 320 SE 2nd Ave) Not only is this one of the first shows in the Meow Meow's new space (formerly B Complex), but it's one of the first Badger King performances since the Time-Based Arts fest, where they presented their entire electronic pop opera, complete with film and dragon outfits. Find out where they're taking the concept next, and peep the new digs of what's now the biggest all-ages, all-the-time rock club in PDX. JS



BO DIDDLEY 75TH BIRTHDAY PARTY
(Crystal Ballroom) Bo Diddley lost some cred by cameo-ing in the "Bo Knows" shoe commercials back in 19-and-89, but homeboy's The Man, regardless. Bo's signature beat--his junt-juh-junt juh-junt junt freight train shuffle--helped spark many a Brit Invaders' early muse, especially the Stones, who owe Bo a ton. What else? Bo toured with the Clash in 1979. He penned rock 'n' roll classics like "Who Do You Love" and "RoadRunner." But above all else, he has beat out his peers by... still being alive. This is B.Did's 75th birthday. Get him something special. No silly hats and square-body geetars, please. He's got heaps of those. ADAM GNADE



WEDNESDAY 12/31 For a full rundown of New Year's Eve Spectaculars, See Destination Fun, pg 11



NYE: LONGSHOT, WATCH IT BURN, EVERYDAY VICTORY, TILTWHEEL, LAST SEASON, DJ AMAI
(Tonic) Pogo away the horror that was 2003 with a mighty night of pop-punk. From tonight's rather solid lineup, the true gem is long-forgotten San Diego punks, Tiltwheel. Over their long history, they've played the bridesmaid to their successful peers on more than one occasion--in fact, the band's most vocal supporters play in such notable bands as Dillinger Four, Hot Water Music, and The Thumbs. Plus, they've been dealt more than their fair share of severe tragedy over the years, most notably with the death of bassist Jarrod Adams. But they're back, so toast them with some domestic beer and hope and pray that 2004 is far kinder than its bastard sibling, 2003. EAC



I CAN LICK ANY SON OF A BITCH IN THE HOUSE, THE RUNAWAY BOYS
(Bitter End) I like bars. I like rock. So why was it that I never warmed to the idea of "bar rock?" I think it had something to do with carpenter pants. However, when I saw I Can Lick Any Son Of a Bitch In the House play their well worn hearts out to an empty bar, save for a handful of young men in well fitting pants, I was like, "Damn, that's some serious shit." Despite not having very tight pants, I Can Lick were so good, I wanted to cut off my sleeves, grow facial hair, and start threatening any son of a bitch that happened to be in the house that I could, just like the band, lick them. In retrospect, it was probably a good idea that I just sat there and enjoyed the bar rock. KIP BERMAN



ELVIS
(Voodoo Doughnut) Portland's infamous 24-Hour Church of Elvis shut its doors in 2002. However, if any establishment can wield its torch, it's Voodoo Doughnut, where the pastries are as yummy as the kooks are kooky, and whose idea of an inaugural concert for their "Church of Doughnut" venue featured brilliant multi-instrumentalist Jef Brown (Jackie-O Motherfucker) playing the sitar. Therefore, Elvis--the real Elvis, the Portland-fixture Elvis of the Church of Elvis--is the proper choice for New Year's Eve Voodoo-tainment. Last time I checked, Elvis was singing Presley songs karaoke-style and donning a fetching white peacock bodysuit. It's not likely he's changed his act, but magic happens up in the V.D., so perhaps he'll have switched over to Costello or, less likely, Crespo. JS