The first incarnation of WW’s annual holiday album, Another Gray Christmas, opened with lots of swearing. A little-known outfit called Starfucker recorded a song called “Happy Fucking Holidays” to open the disc. Copies of the compilation were hand-packaged by the members of a little-known band called Typhoon. Both groups found success. Coincidence?
This year’s compilation features a handful of soon-to-be-famous Portland artists doing traditional and original cuts. Your Rival, Drunken Prayer, Log Across the Washer, Taco Neck, Ben Darwish, A Weather, Ross McLeron—all of these artists will be headlining arenas by 2012, and they’ll have our star-making album, now in its fifth year, to thank.
For just $5, you can own a piece of holiday history. Your ears will thank you and so will p:ear, the nonprofit organization for which this series has raised literally hundreds of dollars. Buy Another Gray Christmas 5 (and stream the first four albums) at anothergraychristmas.bandcamp.com. And, of course, happy fucking holidays to you.
WEDNESDAY DEC. 7QUEEN OF AMERICA
[BOOKS] Luis Alberto Urrea spent more than two decades on the novelization of his great-aunt’s life story. Not surprising, given all the folk healing, violent uprising, globetrotting and Mexican dictating involved. See review, page 49. Powell’s City of Books, 1005 W Burnside St., 228-4651. 7:30 pm. Free.
FRIDAY DEC. 9ELECTRIC OPERA COMPANY
[MUSIC] Yes, you’re probably already sick of hearing Nutcracker music, the “Winter” concerto from Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons and those other weary, wintry classics—but not like this. One of the city’s finest alt-classical outfits has assembled nearly two dozen classically trained but rocking electric guitarists, keyboard players and drummers to shred the Christmas classics. Mississippi Pizza, 3552 N Mississippi Ave., electricoperacompany.com. 9 pm. $5 suggested donation. 21+.
UP THE YANGTZE
[MOVIES] One of the better and more creative documentaries to chronicle China’s monumental and extremely controversial Three Gorges Dam project, Up the Yangtze portrays the desperation of the Chinese farmer, the hypocrisies of modern Chinese socialism and the idiocracies of the clueless pasty tourist. 5th Avenue Cinema, 510 SW Hall St., 725-3551. 7 and 9:30 pm. $3.
COOL NUTZ PRESENTS “THE GREATEST RAP SHOW EVER”
[MUSIC] It takes some big, frosty balls to bill an all-local concert as “The Greatest Rap Show Ever.” Cool Nutz—who appears tonight alongside fine Portland hip-hop artists like Lifesavas’ Vursatyl, Serge Severe, TxE and DJ Wicked—has them right in his stage name. Ash Street Saloon, 225 SW Ash. St., 226-0430. 9 pm. $10. 21+.
SATURDAY DEC. 10ANGELS IN AMERICA: MILLENNIUM APPROACHES
[THEATER] What better antidote could there be to December’s constant stream of syrup than Tony Kushner’s 31/2-hour masterwork about AIDS, drug addiction, the ghost of Ethel Rosenberg and other horrors of the Reagan era? World Trade Center Theater, 121 SW Salmon St., portlandplayhouse.org. 7:30 pm; runs Thursdays-Sundays through Dec. 31. $15-$32.
THE ALL-NIGHT HORROR MARATHON
[MOVIES] Four 35 mm screamers into the wee hours: Day of the Dead, The Burning, Boxer’s Omen and Pieces. It’s like your church youth group’s lock-in, with more chainsaws, less sexual tension, and exactly the same amount of pizza. Hollywood Theatre, 4122 NE Sandy Blvd., 281-4215. 9 pm. $12.