Friday, Feb. 9
When Kurt Braunohler was in Portland more than a year ago, it was to record his Comedy Central special Trust Me, which established him as a prominent voice of a new wave of comedy—instead of distancing himself from nice-guy observational humor, he leans into it and plays the fool. This time, former Portlander Amy Miller is performing the opening set. Helium Comedy Club, 1510 SE 9th Ave., 888-643-8669, portland.heliumcomedy.com. 7:30 and 10 pm. $22-$30.
Astoria: Part Two
When last we left the intrepid explorers trying to establish the first American settlement on the West Coast at the mouth of the Columbia, they were about to die. Then again, there are very few portions of Astoria where our protagonist aren't about to die—well, at least the protagonists not wearing a top hat and living in Manhattan. Chris Coleman's Astoria was adopted from Peter Stark's popular history tome, from which the longtime Portland Center Stage artistic director drew a framework he fashioned into a stage play with a coherent plot and invented dialogue. In an ambitious twist, the play was split into two parts over two seasons, with the first emerging as a surprise hit. The strength of the first part was that there were two narratives to follow, one aboard a ship sailing around Africa and an over land party coming from St. Louis. In Part Two, the two parties link up in the newly christened Astoria, where the narrative frays into subplots involving up river trading posts, skirmishes with the indigenous people and the war of 1812. It's a harder story to tell, and the result is a script that grows a little more impressionistic, getting its best moments from scenes like the one where the paranoid drunk Duncan McDougall convinces the Chinook that he holds a vile of smallpox in his pocket. Potentially the most intense scene, the sinking of the Tonquin, is told by the surviving interpreter, rather than playing out on stage. Part One was mesmerizing, and Part Two is a little less so but remains a must-see for its ambition and local import. MARTIN CIZMAR. Portland Center Stage, 128 NW 11th Ave., pcs.org. 7:30 pm. Through Feb. 18. $25-$77.
It's a great week for catching big-league rock stars in small rooms. Dan Auerbach's side project is at the Crystal (see below), and tonight you can see Alabama Shakes leader Brittany Howard with her brand-new three-piece, whose gentle, harmony-rich sound underscores her knockout voice. MATTHEW SINGER. Aladdin Theater, 3017 SE Milwaukie Ave., 503-234-9694, aladdin-theater.com. 8 pm. $26 advance, $28 day of show. All ages.
Saturday, Feb. 10
Jon Raymond, Patrick Dewitt, Vanessa Veselka
Three of Portland's best and most interesting authors will be hanging out at its finest small bookstore to mark the paperback release of Jon Raymond's Freebird on its most literary of publishing houses. You should probably hang out for this one. MATTHEW KORFHAGE. Mother Foucault's, 523 SE Morrison St., 503-236-2665. 7 pm. Free.
Rock 'n' roll is an old word for getting it on, and the blues used to be dirty. As in, really dirty—from 1935 classics "Shave 'Em Dry" and "Please Warm My Wiener" to Bo Carter's 1936 "Don't Mash My Digger So Deep." Lisa Mann will play X-rated blues live for V-Day. MATTHEW KORFHAGE. Blue Diamond, 2016 NE Sandy Blvd., 503-230-9590, bluediamondpdx.com. 7 pm.
Simmering with synths, catchy basslines and hard-nosed hooks, the music of G Perico sounds like something you might've heard spilling out of an '85 Cutlass Supreme lowrider parked at a liquor store off Crenshaw Boulevard 25 years ago. It's a throwback to a time when Los Angeles was ruled by the likes of Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg and Eazy E. Read our profile on G Perico here. JUSTIN CARROLL-ALLAN. Hawthorne Theatre, 1507 SE Cesár E. Chávez Blvd., hawthornetheatre.com. 8 pm. $15. All ages.
Marriage + Cancer, Hair Puller, Maximum Mad
Anger powers Marriage + Cancer's blistering noise rock. And even if many of the words end up getting ripped to bits as they pass through singer-guitarist Robert Comitz's larynx, the message still comes through loud and…well, "loud" pretty much covers it. Dissonant guitars clang and scrape against each other, creating a wall of sound the sledgehammering rhythm section seems hellbent on demolishing. It's as unrelenting as the Portland winter, which the band agrees is not a coincidence. MATTHEW SINGER. Read our feature on Marriage + Cancer here. Tonic Lounge, 3100 SE Sandy Blvd., tonicloungeportland.com. 10. 8 pm. $8. 21+.
Dent May, Moon King
Born in Mississippi but based in Los Angeles, Dent May is an underrated synth-pop auteur. Blending a deadpan slacker mindset with effervescent, analog-era sounds, May comes off like a late-'70s crooner updated for the new millennium. Across the Multiverse, Dent May's grandest album to date, mixes glassy keys and Casio tomfoolery with disco, old-school R&B and May's witty lyrics. The larger sound suits May's retro bandleader persona and promises to translate to a fun live show. MARK STOCK. Bunk Bar, 1028 SE Water Ave., 503-328-2865. 9:30 pm. $12 advance, $14 day of show. 21+.
The Great Satan
For their latest project, which is coming to Cinema 21 this week, Everything Is Terrible! consumed and recontextualized more than 2,000 VHS tapes into The Great Satan, a film made up of archaic videos pertaining to general religious kookery, D horror films and the satanic panic of the '80s. That includes a gaggle of folks who once thought that Dungeons & Dragons was a gateway to child sacrifice and calling upon none other than Lucifer (whom Everything Is Terrible! lists as a "longtime collaborator") to return to earth. The resulting work is a psychedelic mishmash of quaintly out-of-touch and out-of-context hilarity. DONOVAN FARLEY. Read our feature on everything is terrible here. Cinema 21, 616 NW 21st Ave., 503-223-4515, cinema21.com. 10:30 pm. $12 advance, $14 at the door.
Sunday, Feb. 11
Dan Auerbach and the Easy Eye Sound Revue
For his second solo album away from the Black Keys, Dan Auerbach recruited a murderers' row of Nashville side players to make a classic Southern soul record. Now he's taking them on the road, along with signees to his Easy Eye label, and throwing the sort of old-school showcase rarely seen since the Motown days. MARTIN CIZMAR. Read our feature on the Easy Eye Sound Revue here. Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside St., 503-225-0047, crystalballroompdx.com. 8:30 pm. $35 advance, $37 day of show. All ages. See feature, page 29.
The Eagles Lodge will play host to a world of Jell-O molds, ambrosia salads, stroganoffs and pineapple-ham hors d'oeuvres—dishes will be both shared and judged. Dress in your finest bow tie or evening gown made for twirling. MATTHEW KORFHAGE. Eagles Lodge, 4904 SE Hawthorne Blvd. 4:30 pm. $10. Tickets at tickettailor.com.
Holy Smokes & the Godforsaken Rollers
After meeting six years ago in a Portland dive bar, Johnny Holliday and Gabriel Sweyn channeled their passion for Delta blues and country rock into a genre they call "Delta sex rock." They've rolled all around the U.S.—from Portland to South Carolina—and even spent three months touring in South Africa, finding the time to put out two albums amid their travels. Bursting with metallic banjo, slide guitar and gritty vocals, their tunes are reminiscent of an old-fashioned front-porch jam session with an edge. Though the group has rotated members, Holliday's still doing his thing. At Al's Den, he'll be joined by guest musicians—including Lucas Warford of Three for Silver—for a week of sexy, boot-stomping blues. LAUREN KERSHNER. Al's Den at Crystal Hotel, 303 SW 12th Ave. 7 pm everyday. Through Feb. 17. Free. 21+.
Terese Marie Mailhot with Lidia Yuknavitch
Terese Marie Mailhot's memoir Heart Berries is a coming-of-age tale set on the Seabird Island Indian Reservation off the coast of British Columbia. After a traumatic childhood, an adult Mailhot is hospitalized with a diagnosis of both bipolar and post-traumatic stress disorders but uses writing to dig her way out of the hole. She'll be appearing with The Misfit's Manifesto author Lidia Yuknavitch. MATTHEW KORFHAGE. Powell's City of Books, 1005 W Burnside St., 800-878-7323, powells.com. 7:30 pm. Free.