Friday, Jan. 24
[COMEDY] Mike Birbiglia spins some of the best stories in the business, tales that transcend comedy to hit a place of cringingly awkward but lovely tenderness. Did you hear about the time he sleepwalked through a motel window in Walla Walla? Newmark Theatre, 1111 SW Broadway, 248-4335. 7:30 (sold out) and 9:45 pm. $39.
[DARK CONTEMPORARY CLASSICAL] The concerts presented by the Oregon composers organization Cascadia Composers just keep getting more ambitious, more varied and more enjoyable. This time, maybe inspired by Third Angle’s concert in the dark at OMSI last year, some of the state’s finest composers, including Bonnie Miksch, Jack Gabel, Paul Safar and nine more, offer music appropriate for low lighting or none at all. This includes works featuring flute, piano, viola, vocals, keyboards, clarinet, tape, cello and voices. It’s an excellent opportunity to check the pulse of homegrown music from the here and now. BRETT CAMPBELL. Temple Baptist Church, 1319 NE 7th Ave., 233-5953. 7:30 pm Friday, Jan. 24. $5-$10.
Jim Lauderdale, Lewi Longmire
[HONKY-TONK] For a guy who has literally hundreds of credits on an endless procession of country albums, it’s almost outrageous that the most visible portion of Jim Lauderdale’s career comes after his association with Yep Roc. And while a few of those albums include the word “bluegrass” in their titles, there’s as much lovingly crafted country music as anything else. Mandolins and fiddles aren’t in short supply, but it seems Lauderdale favors midtempo tunes to relate his tales of metamorphosis and belief. His association with Ralph Stanley and Robert Hunter (right, Robert Hunter) should be a pretty easy selling point. And if it’s not, just consider that Lauderdale issued three long-playing albums last year alone. DAVE CANTOR. Alberta Rose Theatre, 300 NE Alberta St., 719-6055. 8 pm. $18. Under 21 permitted with legal guardian.
A slew of geek icons descend on Portland this week, from William Shatner to Ron Perlman to Elvira to... Billy Dee Williams. Oregon Convention Center, 777 NE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., on Friday-Sunday, Jan. 24-26. $75 advance three-day pass, $85 onsite. See wizardworld.com for more information.
Magic Mouth, Minden
[SOUL-PUNK] Frontman Chanticleer Tru blasts off Magic Mouth’s four-song 2013 EP Devil May Care with a shout of, “Ain’t you got no shame?!” and the answer to that is embedded in the quaking, rockabilly-ish rave-up that follows: Nope, not even a little bit. If shame were much of a concern for these four, Magic Mouth wouldn’t have evolved into one of the most bracingly ecstatic live acts in Portland. Devil May Care seamlessly translates that onstage revelry into the studio, as the quartet attacks its soulful, multihyphenate funk-punk with gospelish fervor. Meanwhile, Minden—another of Portland’s best new bands—also released a bang-up EP last year in What’s More Than Appropriate?, in which its sparkling glam pop comes on like Phoenix with thicker chest hair. Having these two on the same bill means an opportunity to catch the bleeding edge of Portland music under one roof. MATTHEW SINGER. White Owl Social Club, 1305 SE 8th Ave., 236-9672. 9 pm. $6. 21+
Saturday, Jan. 25
Coffee Beer Invitational
[BEER] The festival Portland was born to have: 12 exclusive coffee-spiked beers from Breakside, Lompoc, Fire on the Mountain and others. Goose Hollow Inn, 1927 SW Jefferson St., facebook.com/nwcoffeebeer. 1-7 pm. $12 for a festival glass and six taster tickets.
Chocolate for Congo Benefit
A pig pile of pastry chefs are turning out to raise funds for Ben Affleck’s Eastern Congo Initiative, from Sugar Cube’s Kir Jensen to St. Jack’s Alissa Frice, alongside host pastry chef Lauren Fortgang of Little Bird. In all, nine of the city’s top pastry chefs will be making “sweet and savory” chocolate concoctions with Theo Chocolate’s fair-trade Congolese chocolate. Little Bird Bistro, 219 SW 6th Ave., 688-5952. 11 am. $30.
Chatham County Line, the Wild Wood
[TRUE BLUEGRASS] Back at a venue that fits them so well, Dave Wilson and company offer their unplugged, formative folk as Chatham County Line. The North Carolina quartet plays Americana with a yesteryear showmanship. Mandolins, fiddles, banjos and pedal steel swirl around shared vocals about crops, love and the ghost of Woody Guthrie. The way CCL gathers around its one antique mic, each member trying to outdo the next, is worth the price of admission alone. Better still, the band can draw from 2010’s Wildwood, a record rich with pastoral beauty and a mastery of honest-to-God folk. MARK STOCK. Alberta Rose Theatre, 300 NE Alberta St., 719-6055. 7 pm. $12 advance, $15 day of show. Under 21 permitted with legal guardian. Chatham County Line also plays Sunday, Jan. 26.
Yellow Year Records Tour: Prefuse 73, Nosaj Thing, Falty DL
[KINDA MELLOW YELLOW] Guillermo Scott Herren has always been a busy dude. From his main gig creating reliable slabs of glitch-hop as Prefuse 73 to his many side projects (wave your hands like you just don’t care, Piano Overlord fans), his pace has been unrelenting since Vocal Studies + Uprock Narratives came out all the way back in 2001. Tonight’s show isn’t just a potential preview of new material, it’s also a showcase for his label, Yellow Year Records, which launched last year and sees Herren collaborating with bass-music whiz Nosaj Thing, among others. I have no idea what kind of noise the pair will make together, but it’s sure to be a beautiful thing. Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison St., 239-7639. 9 pm. $17. 21+.
Sunday, Jan. 26
[THEATER] Another year, another August Wilson play at Portland Playhouse. This one finds the company at the Winningstad, rather than at its normal Northeast Portland church-cum-theater, for Wilson’s play about black taxi drivers in mid-’70s Pittsburgh. Expect powerful, simmering stuff. Winningstad Theatre, 1111 SW Broadway, 488-5822. 2 pm. $38-$63.
Han Bennink & Mary Oliver
[IMPROV JAZZ] Han Bennink is a Dutch drummer who got his start playing on a kitchen chair as a youth in Amsterdam in the 1940s. By the ’60s, he was collaborating with Sonny Rollins and Eric Dolphy. In deeper circles, his joints with Peter Brötzmann are highly regarded. Bennink is also a visual artist and often designs his own album covers. He’s getting an early start today, with a special drum clinic at Revival Drum Shop at 11 am. Then in the evening, catch him performing a duet with violinist Mary Oliver, followed by a series of quartets and quintets with local musicians. NATHAN CARSON. Redeemer Lutheran Church, 5431 NE 20th Ave. 7 pm Sunday, Jan. 26. $8-$20 sliding scale.
Dent May, Jack Name
[PSYCH POP] Dent May’s 2012 record, Do Things, seemed like a fluke. Its catchy guitar work, lazy synths and mild psychedelia were just too good to be true. But the Mississippi artist’s latest effort, Warm Blanket, doesn’t skip a beat, made of the same mold as the previous album and just as strong musically. Signed to Paw Tracks, May is right at home. His pop awareness, coupled with an experimental eye and attention to nostalgic, layered vocals would make labelmates like Animal Collective and Prince Rama proud. Normally, an act so voice-dependent would grow tiresome, but Dent May’s elongated crooning is off-the-wall and endearing. MARK STOCK. Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi Ave., 288-3895. 9 pm. $8 advance, $10 day of show. 21+.
Weedeater, Stoneburner, Honduran, Usnea
[HEAVY DUTY] If you look at the Wikipedia page for North Carolina’s favorite son of sludge, Weedeater, you’ll find a link reporting the band just signed with Season of Mist records. And if you click on that link, it takes you to the Wiki stub for “toes.” This is a mistake, but a hilarious one, seeing as Weedeater bassist-vocalist “Dixie” Dave accidentally shot off his big toe while cleaning his shotgun back on New Year’s 2010. Weedeater doesn’t have a new album, but it does boast a new drummer. Enjoy a dose of dirty South dripping like gravy over a heaping mash of local talent. NATHAN CARSON. Rotture, 315 SE 3rd Ave., 234-5683. 9 pm. $10 advance, $12 day of show. 21+.
[HIP HOP] NorthBound, the mixtape Waco released in November, is a vivid collection of personal memories that also serves as a reflection on the shared African-American experience in Portland. As an MC, though, Waco isn’t one for revolutionary rhetoric or hard-line confrontation. Instead, he prefers to tuck his messages inside deceptively laid-back, conversational narratives. With a quick but relaxed flow—honed in Roosevelt High’s campus recording studio and his dorm room at St. Francis College in New York—Waco’s singular trait on NorthBound is his ability to deliver hard truths in the guise of warm nostalgia. Mississippi Pizza, 3552 N Mississippi Ave., with Stewart Villain and Maze Koroma, on Sunday, Jan. 26. 9 pm. Free. 21+.