MUSIC—Oh! Oh! Oh! Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! The band !!! (pronounced "chk chk chk," or anything monosyllabic and thrice repeated, really) are bringers of the sweat-hot energy you need to combat these wintry temps, and this show features a bonus round in which the band will open for themselves as Stereolab cover band, Stereolad. Sick! Sick! Sick! MARJORIE SKINNER
w/the Lower 48; Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside, 9 pm, $15

MUSIC—To live in Portland and never have seen Ural Thomas and the Pain—a resurrected local treasure of soul if there ever was one—would be a shame, and this first of two free Wednesday happy-hour shows at a petite venue like the LaurelThirst is a downright privilege, an easy way to impress holiday-season visitors, and an affirmation of your wise decision to put roots down in this city. MARJORIE SKINNER
LaurelThirst Public House, 2958 NE Glisan, 6 pm, FREE


BEER—The Holiday Ale Fest is outdoors, but you'll stay warm and dry under heated tents as you sample the wide selection of standard- and limited-release beers. Come early to avoid the crowds, because this popular event gets busy. SHELBY R. KING
Pioneer Courthouse Square, SW 6th & Morrison, Wed-Sat 11 am-10 pm, Sun 11 am-5 pm, $35 (includes glass and 12 sampler tickets)

OPERA—Based on the memoirs of Viva Las Vegas, Portland author/stripper/breast cancer survivor/lady about town, with music by Classical Revolution PDX's Christopher Corbell, the new opera Viva's Holiday tells the classic Christmas story of a young stripper coming home for the holidays and keeping her job secret from her minister dad. MEGAN BURBANK
Star Theater, 13 NW 6th, Wed-Fri 9 pm, $20,


IMPROV—The perma-hilarious Shelley McLendon's brand-new Siren Theater's been a game-changer for Portland comedy, and tonight's installment of the new improv show Leviathan is too, pairing words from guest monologist Stephanie Schneiderman with off-the-cuff merriment from a goddamn dream team of improvisers. If you're allergic to college-basement improv, McLendon & Co. will restore your faith. MEGAN BURBANK
Siren Theater, 315 NW Davis, 8 pm, $12-15

MUSIC—Every year the Portland Cello Project hosts a holiday concert filled with carols, cheer, Christmas sweaters of questionable fashion merit, and—of course—cellos. This year's Americana-themed extravaganza is already sold out, but you should try to wheedle your way in, because it'll feature special guests from Black Prairie. NED LANNAMANN
Revolution Hall, 1300 SE Stark, 8 pm, $15 (sold out), all ages


DANCE—We adore the semi-regular queer dance night, Sugar Town, which spins the most foot-stompingest classic soul. What could be better? The Sugar Town Sno-Ball: a semi-formal (or dress-to-impress) holiday party crammed with '50s and '60s R&B and '70s soul, all spun by special guest DJ Larsupreme! Ho-ho hit the floor! WM. STEVEN HUMPHREY
The Spare Room, 4830 NE 42nd, 9 pm, $5

SCANDINAVIAN—When it comes to holidays, the Scandinavians don't screw around. Check out ScanFair, a Nordic Christmas fair that includes dance and entertainment, arts and crafts, delish Scandinavian food (lefse and krumkake), a Pippi Longstocking kids' area, pickled herring and meatball eating contests (!!), and even a visit from jolly old Joulupukki (the Finnish Santa Claus). WM. STEVEN HUMPHREY
Memorial Coliseum, 300 N Winning Way, Sat 10 am-5 pm, Sun 10 am-4 pm, $7

MUSIC—Fred and Toody Cole of Dead Moon and Pierced Arrows are no strangers to high volume, but tonight these veterans of rock 'n' roll go unplugged for an intimate show at the Old Church. This'll be a breathtaking concert from two Oregon legends in a remarkable venue—in other words, not to be missed. NED LANNAMANN
The Old Church, 1422 SW 11th, 9 pm, $13-15, all ages


COMEDY—Do you love movies? Hey, so does Doug! Comedian Doug Benson's podcast Doug Loves Movies is doing a live taping of his hilarious cinema game show at Helium tonight. Might I suggest getting high for this? Meet renowned pothead Benson halfway in his quest for super stonedom and movie-knowledge supremacy. COURTNEY FERGUSON
Helium Comedy Club, 1510 SE 9th, 8 pm, $20

TV—Bill Murray teams up with his Lost in Translation director, Sofia Coppola, for A Very Murray Christmas—a holiday TV special that also features the likes of George Clooney, Amy Poehler, and Jenny Lewis. Dig a Pony is screening it to celebrate "the man and the season," offering Bill Murray-inspired food and drinks, like "White Russianmores" and "Peter Venkmanhattans." ERIK HENRIKSEN
Dig a Pony, 736 SE Grand, 7:30 pm, FREE


MUSIC—In a season piled high with saccharine and facile gratitude, let's be truly thankful for easy choices. When Alabama Shakes brings its soaring, soulful strains to West Burnside this evening, you will either be in attendance or you will have consigned yourself to a tuneless and coal-dusted holiday purgatory. Can't get tickets? Listen from the street! Easy! DIRK VANDERHART
w/the Weather Machine; Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside, 8 pm, sold out, all ages

FILM—Pixar's made a lot of great movies—but their latest, The Good Dinosaur, is one of their best. It's sweet and funny and sad and gorgeous to look at, and it features a Tyrannosaurus rex with Sam Elliott's voice. These are all reasons for you to see it immediately—and see it on the big screen, where you can appreciate each phenomenal detail. ERIK HENRIKSEN
Roseway Theater, 7229 NE Sandy, 11 am, 1:45 pm, 4:30 pm, 7:15 pm, $7


STORIES—The gang from the historical storytelling series Stumptown Stories is gathering in a cozy basement bar to regale you with stories of Portland's past, of murder and chaos, Christmas mysteries and Hanukkah paradises. They promise thrilling holiday tales, plus a jam-packed raffle and a mythical beast called Sober Santa. You don't have to be sober, though! COURTNEY FERGUSON
The Jack London Bar, 529 SW 4th, 7 pm, $5

HOLIDAY—Since 1954, heavily decorated and lit boats and ships have been trucking up and down the Willamette in a nightly Christmas Ship Parade during most of December (weather permitting). Bundle up, head to the river, and check 'em out—and to find their exact location, you can even follow them on Twitter (@ChristmasShips). WM. STEVEN HUMPHREY
Willamette River downtown, usually around 7 pm, through Dec 20