IMAGE: Dave Mead

As if Portland weren't already in the running for honors as the Beard Capital of the U.S.A., Texas-based photographer Dave Mead brings his ode to the beard, Magnificent Specimens, to Land Gallery this month. Irreverent, borderline disturbing and at times downright bizarre, these photographs—featuring World Beard and Mustache Championship contestants—sport more hair than most grizzly bears. So, does this global collection of hirsute habitués trump us Portlanders for follicular prolificacy? Check 'em out and judge for yourself at the show's opening gala this Friday, an informal public fete at which organizers expect "beards of all types to be in attendance."

GO: Magnificent Specimens at Land Gallery, 3925 N Mississippi Ave., 477-5704. Show runs Jan. 7-Feb. 13.



Two nights of stand-up by some very good Northwest comics.

Brody Theater, 16 NW Broadway, 224-2227, 10 pm. $10.

CJ & the Dolls, Feyonce, the Goddess of Sparkle, the Genderfuck Twins and more unleash another installment of queer cabaret carnage. Fez Ballroom, 316 SW 11th Ave., 221-7262. 8 pm. $5-$10.



The dean of Portland composers is also an excellent pianist, and in this Cascadia Composers showcase, the Czech-American musician traverses more than a half century of his music for solo keyboard.

Sherman Clay/Moe’s Pianos, 131 NW 13th Ave., 775-2480. 3 pm. $5-$15.

Little Brother's Big Pooh has been instrumental in making some of the finest hip-hop of the aughts. His latest release, The Purple Tape, finds the North Carolina native rapping over reworked samples from Prince's Purple Rain—but expect some new material tonight. Crown Room, 205 NW 4th Ave., 222-6655. 9:30 pm. $5. 21+.



One of the most overlooked local LPs of 2010 was a quietly configured batch of electronic pop created by a group known as Soap Collectors. Now's your chance to catch the outfit in the new year.

Someday Lounge, 125 NW 5th Ave., 248-1030. 9 pm. $5. 21+.



The reigning champ of American string quartets performs one of Mendelssohn's early quartets, one of Beethoven's middle-period masterworks and Shostakovich's 10th Quartet.

Lincoln Hall, Portland State University, 1620 SW Park Ave., 224-9842, 7:30 pm. $27-$40.

Listen up, Ducks fans: If you whore yourself out and wear green and yellow head to toe to any Portland-area Chipotle Mexican Grill today, you'll get a free burrito with the purchase of another. Score. All day at Portland-area Chipotle locations.

In 2009, Sweden's Little Dragon dropped its second album, Machine Dreams, an impeccably funky electro-soul record that revealed what Sade would sound like if she embraced '80s New Wave. Catch the Gorillaz-approved post-soul outfit while you can. Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside St., 231-9663. 9 pm. $13 advance, $15 day of show. 21+.