[RA RA RIOT] If punk rock is about disrupting the status quo and showing no regard for the consequences, then Moscow's Pussy Riot has every other punk band beat by a country mile—or whatever unit of measure exists to gauge a two-year stint in a Russian prison. Never mind that most of the world couldn't name one of its songs to save themselves from Putin's gulag; there's only about nine of them, anyway. And really, the group is less a traditional "band" than a Situationist art troupe, for which music is a tool for protest, not the protest itself. In its guerrilla-style performance pieces, which it cuts into videos and uploads to YouTube, its Brit-punk-inspired screeds—targeting the sexism and fascism of Vladimir Putin's presidency-cum-dictatorship—are secondary to the mere sight of women bombarding the public sphere and screaming in the face of oppression.

One such performance, held in a church shortly after Putin's re-election in 2012, ended with three members arrested on charges of "hooliganism motivated by religious hatred." The subsequent convictions of Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina generated international media attention (forcing cable newscasters to intone the words "Pussy Riot" on the air, a victory on its own), and turned the band into a global feminist cause célèbre. After being granted amnesty, Tolokonnikova and Alyokhina split from the collective, embracing their widened platform to speak out against human rights abuses. But they didn't just retire to the comfort of the lecture circuit: In early 2014, the pair donned their signature brightly colored dresses and ski masks to protest the Winter Olympics in Sochi, and were whipped and pepper-sprayed by police. Tonight, the women—it's unclear who or how many—appear in Portland for a moderated discussion with OPB's John Sepulvado and singer Storm Large. Some may quibble about the ticket price, but if you've got the chance to engage with one of the millennium's most radical cultural forces, it's probably worth skipping a few lunches.

SEE IT: A Conversation with Pussy Riot is at Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside St., 225-0047. 8 pm Tuesday, Feb. 9. $39.50 advance, $45 day of show. All ages.