As the holiday festivities ramp up this week, we’re recommending some unconventional Christmas carols for your perplexing listening pleasure, two notable pre-Christmas events, and a headlining show during January’s Portland Music Month from former Portlander Y La Bamba.
Upcoming local events featuring local artists.
Oh, you’re going to want to see this. The Portland-based four-piece Greaterkind is drummer Corey Limuaco, bassist Ian Lindsey, keyboardist Charlie Brown (who recently toured with experimental jazz and funk bassist Mono Neon), and Peter Knudsen on guitar, bass and vocals. Originally a trio, Greaterkind was formed out of a mutual appreciation the players had for each other – after performing together in various live settings. We’d call them a supergroup, but they’re too laid back. Known for weaving soul, R&B, funk and hip-hop elements into their sets, Greaterkind bring their jazzy laid-back, eclectic groove music to the Goodfoot stage for what looks to be a nice funky laid-back vibe on the Saturday before Christmas madness. ( The Goodfoot, 2845 SE Stark, Sat Dec 23, 10pm, $10 at the door, 21+
YOU MUST LISTEN:
New release(s) from a Portland-friendly artist.
“What child is this?” Federale
We haven’t seen much holiday music coming out of the Rose City this year, so Federale’s recently released single, a cover of the anthem “What Child Is This?”, stands out. Here at mercury, we’re known fans of the psych rock band that dabbles in dark, melancholic sounds inspired by European film soundtracks of the 60s and 70s, especially the Spaghetti Westerns and Giallo genres. It’s no wonder the Colin Hegna-fronted band chose to release a version of ‘What Child Is this?’, as as many Christmas carols as they sound, this one is wistful and bordering on eerie – the perfect foundation for Federale’s cover. ready for a horror movie. If the deep, brooding vocals are too much for you, try the moving instrumental that feels a little more like a song about the birth of the holy infant.
Christmas in AtlantisThe Delines
Another local notable Christmas release this month comes from retro country soul group Delines. The two-track 7-in Christmas in Atlantis takes its name from a five-minute song in which vocalist Amy Boone describes a messed-up, dysfunctional family Christmas gathering over an instrumental background as cold as the story’s narrative is chaotic. Boone’s lounge-style monologue describes a numbingly tense evening of political disagreements, sister fights, booze, and scantily clad relatives—the list goes on. “Let’s get out, get out, get out of here,” Boone sings just before the assembled family starts discussing UFOs and the main characters finally leave. They head to Atlantis Casino; it all makes sense now. The second track on the record comes from Delines keyboardist Corey Gray. “San Leandro Lament” is a lovely and mellow instrumental without the messiness of the first track. A recent social media update from the band announced a new record in the works and an upcoming live concert to celebrate the 7-inch and play “new songs, old songs and… ‘Christmas in Atlantis’ if Amy can learn the novel that is this song.” (Polaris Hall, 635 N Killingsworth Ct., Sat., Dec. 23, 8 p.m., $15, tickets here , 21+ with Old Unconscious and special guest Scott McCaughey)
ADDED TO QUEUE:
Some upcoming music news to add to your radar.
We always enjoy the opportunity to enjoy the tenderness of Y La Bamba’s live set. While singer-songwriter Luz Elena Mendoza was living in Portland, they moved to Mexico during the pandemic, where they finished writing the acclaimed studio album 2023. Lucha. Next month, Portlanders have the chance to hear the artist’s experimental alternative indie folk music backed by an ensemble that includes Mendoza on vocals and guitar, guitarist and bassist Julia Mendiolea, drummer Antonio Montanez, bassist Gordon Walters and Isabeau Waiau Walker on vocals and percussion. . Listen for Lucha highlights like the lead single ‘Collapse’ and the vibrating, soothing and sun-drenched tracks ‘Ceniza’ and ‘Nunca’.” Hey, this show is in January – is this a Portland Music Month show? You can bet it is! (Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell, Sat Jan 27, 8pm, $28.50, tickets here, 21+, with special guest Caicedo)