Beyond 94.7’s “December to Remember” there are a plethora of good tunes to take in in PDX this month. So here it is, your somewhat comprehensive, Zibby approved December show guide. Enjoy!
THURSDAY DECEMBER 6:
Sufjan Stevens Christmas Sing Along! @ the Aladdin Theater, SOLD OUT, all ages w/ guardian
Sure, this show is sold out, but for those of you going: GET READY. Stevens’ most recent Christmas compilation is just as beautiful as those that came before. Mix in a little Age of Adz and you’ve got Silver & Gold, the best darn assembly of Christmas songs that’ll take you all month to get through. My favorite songs are “Auld Lang Sane” and “Christmas Woman.” With a backing choir, the usual theatrics, and a spinning wheel to determine what song to sing, this show is sure to be fun and get you in the spirit. If you don’t have a ticket, get on craigslist! Wait outside the theater! Sneak in!
Poor Moon w/ The Cave Singers @ Doug Fir, $16 adv/$18 at door, 21+
The ex-Fleet Fox Seattlites are back, and if you missed them a few months ago at the Doug Fir, I would strongly advise you to get your butt there this time. Poor Moon is a great band for very many reasons: 1. they love being a band, 2. they play a really good show, and 3. there album is a gem. Their self-titled LP came out in August, and since then I haven’t been able to shake the songs from my head. Somewhere between Fleet Foxes’ elaborate Renaissance-retrospect and cheesy longue music rests Poor Moon, and it is that perfect positioning that makes the music so fun to listen to. Here’s one of my favorites from the album:
FRIDAY DECEMBER 7:
How to Dress Well @ Doug Fir, $12, 21+
Ethereal R&B master Tom Krell is undoubtedly talented, and sometimes just downright haunting. His mix of simplicity and ghostliness can send shivers down your spine. The album Total Loss, released this past September has been praised all up and down the internet. Get in on the action. Local outfit Hustle & Drone (opening) aren’t half-bad either.
SATURDAY DECEMBER 8:
The Shivas @ Backspace, $6, all ages
The Shivas are Portland’s resident throw-back surf band, and they aren’t half bad. If you aren’t so much into their music, you can at least admit they put on a great show. The lead singer’s iconic red cardigan and the carefree, melodic tone of it all are quite the pick-me-up.
SUNDAY DECEMBER 9:
King Tuff @ Doug Fir, $10 adv/$12 at the door, 21+
When I saw King Tuff play in July, I was the most excited I had been in a long, long time. The show was perfect in every way–sweaty, energetic, fast-paced… just great. There are some bands you just vow to see every time they come to town, and for me, one of those bands is King Tuff. Kyle and his crew are spot on all the time, and this lineup rules. I mean, Mean Jeans AND White Fang? They get it. They just get it. For more info about King Tuff and this show, be sure to read our in-depth interview with the band Friday in The Pioneer Log.
OPB presents PDX RX: Hosannas @ Mississippi Studios, free, 21+
Man, it has been a while since Hosannas have made a splash in the local scene. Two years ago they released Together, which, in my opinion, was not nearly as brilliant as Then & Now & Then, a short but sweet album of the band’s unique experimental pop. I’m glad to see this little band back in action, and I’m beyond stoked to see what the new year brings them.
THURSDAY DECEMBER 13:
The We Shared Milk, The Lower 48 @ Doug Fir, $5, 21+
A great local bill! I’ll admit I haven’t given The We Shared Milk’s newest album History of Voyager & Legend Tripping quite enough listens, but I know it well enough to tell you how great it is. The somber 10-song set is an experimental journey recorded with 10 different Oregon bands over the course of last summer. Click here to check it out, I recommend “Yass Yass” and “Little Tents” though the whole thing is really worth it.
The Woolen Men @ The Know, $cheap, 21+
The Woolen Men have been with me since I first visited Portland back in 2010. I’m a big fan, and they put on a wonderful show. I’ve never been to The Know, but what I do know (hehe) is that this’ll be the Men’s last show in PDX for a while as they embark on a brief tour. So don’t miss it!
Ty Segall @ Star Theater, $?, 21+
All hail the King of Fuzz! Ty Segall is a must-attend if you’re into lo-fi, punk, garage, whatever. He’s been incredibly influential and he’s got like 6,000 albums under his belt. 2012’s Hair and Slaughterhouse are incredibly impressive both in their own right.
SATURDAY DECEMBER 15:
Frank Fairfield @ The Aladdin Theater, $?, all ages
Holy shit everyone, Frank Fairfield is the master of all things coal-mine. That might be an overstatement, but when I walked into Amoeba Records in Hollywood for the first time and told the dude working there I wanted some “down-home coal-mine” music, he handed my Fairfield’s record. If you like bluegrass, American/British folk, and Appalachian-type music, this is who you’ve been waiting for. Fairfield picks banjo and guitar effortlessly, shows no emotion while bringing you to tears from the beauty of his music, and is just generally amazing. Check it out.
THURSDAY DECEMBER 27:
And And And @ Tonic Lounge, $cheap, 21+
If you, like me, missed And And And’s first show in a long time last week, here’s your chance to make it up. They just released a new and flawless 7” called “No Party,” which is a compilation of previously released songs re-vamped and a few new ones all together. And And And continues to be one of my favorite local bands, and I’m sad I’ll be missing out on this.
MONDAY DECEMBER 31:
Typhoon, Wild Ones @ Mississippi, $20, 21+
It pains me to include this WILDLY overpriced show, because I don’t think you should ever pay $20 to see local bands no matter how talented they are/how many members they have in their band, but Typhoon playing alongside Wild Ones is a good bill. If you like indie pop, orchestra pop, etc, etc. This’ll be a good show. I just hope it is worth your hard-earned twenty bucks. Yeesh.
And that’s December! Happy travels.