COURTESY PHOTO - Rio Grands plays a free show on New Year's Eve at the Alberta Street Pub, 1036 N.E. Alberta St.Dec. 23

Almost St. Patrick’s Day

It’s not March 17 yet, but if you listen to Irish music more than once a year on St. Patrick’s Day, we recommend you check out one of Portland’s finest Celtic acts Cul an Ti (Gaelic for “The back of the house”). Guitarist-singer Cary Novotny and bassist-percussionist-singer Danny O’Hanlon are staples of the Irish scene here. The band also has featured renowned Dublin button accordionist Johnny Connolly as well as Dave Cory on the tenor banjo. The band plays American pop and traditional Irish pub songs and has been featured at numerous festivals throughout the Northwest.

Cul an Ti, 9:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 23, Kells Irish Pub, 112 S.W. Second Ave. Info: 503 227 4057,

Dec. 26

Gargantuan in Gresham

Dwight Church is the “King of the Gresham Country Sound,” but doesn’t confine his music to East County. At his weekly variety show at the Ash Street Saloon, he’ll invite the Ghost of Genderless Christmas Future, aka Eddie Kancer, along with the Ghosts Of Christmas Past and Present, Tiny Tim and Bob Jacob Marley, apparently a Rasta version of Dickens’ character, on stage. Should be good for what ails you post-Yuletide.

“A Dwight Christmas: Miracle on 82nd Ave.” 8:30 p.m. Monday, Dec. 26, Ash Street Saloon, 225 S.W. Ash St. Free. Info: 503-226-0430,

Dec. 29

Buncha punks

Wooden Indian Burial Ground, a Portland guitar-bass-drums trio, plays euphoric psychedelic garage rock designed to help you deal with that sense of doom you’ve had about 2017 ever since you realized it was almost 2017. Meanwhile, another trio, Mascaras traffics in “maximalist indigenous psych” music, and Ah God is a divinely inspired heavy artsy grunge-psychedelia outfit playing with fuzzy sweetness and floral punk flourishes.

Wooden Indian Burial Ground, Mascaras, Ah God, 9 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 28, Doug Fir Lounge, 830 E. Burnside St. $6 to $10. Info: 503-231-9663,

Dec. 30

Ozzy approved

Black Sabbath may be on its last legs as a band, but an all-female act from Los Angeles named Black Sabbitch is keeping the legendary heavy metal band’s sound alive. The brainchild of Angie Scarpa (drums) and Blare N. Bitch (guitar), the band also includes Melanie Makaiwi on bass, and vocalist Aimee Echo, frontwoman of alt-metal Ozzfest alumni, Human Waste Project. “This ain’t no wig-wearing bunch of weekend warriors,” the band notes, and Ozzy Osbourne himself must agree since he chose Black Sabbitch to open for him in 2015 at the inaugural Ozzfiesta. Psychedelic rockers Moondrake and garage punksters Almost Human share the bill.

Black Sabbitch, Moondrake, Almost Human, 9:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 30, Dante’s, 350 W. Burnside St. $10. Info: 503-226-6630,

Christmas rappers

Hip-hop act The Chicharones have licensed songs to the NBA, MTV, ESPN, movies and multiple TV shows, yet are still considered “underground.” So you’ve likely heard them without even realizing it. Meanwhile hip-hop band Bad Habitat combine punk, classic rock, early hip hop, indie funk and 80‚¬2s pop in their sound. Donovan Trip sounds like the perfect rapper for the EDM crowd and Rahim Thornhill incorporates classic rock, hip-hop, funk, jazz and everything in between.

The Chicharones, Bad Habitat, Donovan Trip, Rahim Thornhill, 9 p.m. Friday Dec. 30, Kelly’s Olympian, 426 S.W. Washington St. $8. Info: 503-228-3669,

New Year’s Eve

We’ve got a whole lot of shows coming up to help you ring in the new year, so here’s a couple coming up, and we’ll have more in next week’s column:

• Rio Grands will play a free show at 9 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 31, at the Alberta Street Pub, 1036 N.E. Alberta St. The band will open the show with a set of originals, then at 11:30 a.m. break out covers by Prince, David Bowie, The Cars, The Police, Huey Lewis, Rupert Holmes, and many others.

“Expect fog, laser lights, slushy-margarita pong, costume changes and blow-up animals filled with helium,” the band says. DJ Toggle Beats joins the dance party. Info: 503-284-7665,,

• The Ben Rice Colossal Group, as well as Sister Mercy featuring April Brown, will mark New Year’s Eve with a 9 p.m. show at Duff’s Garage, 2530 N.E. 82nd Ave.

Rice, who has played our own Waterfront Blues Festival, made the finals in the solo/duo category at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis, and was awarded the Beale Street Blues Guitarist Award for best guitarist at the IBC. His band also won Best Contemporary Blues Artist from the Cascade Blues Association this year, and the CBA has given him other awards as well.

Tickets are $12 for a reserved table or $10 general admission. Info: 503-234-2337,

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