Dec. 29, 30

Ampersands amplified

Portland power trio The Quick & Easy Boys play a blend of funky R&B, psychedelic rock, garage pop and honky-tonk and have garnered a bit of following in these parts with their high-energy danceable shows. Meanwhile, the 13-member Eldridge Gravy & The Court Supreme is a funky orchestra that seems to have as much fun onstage as the dancers do on the floor cutting a rug to it. Finally, Bellingham’s Acorn Project is a somewhat similarly minded outfit, laying down grooves thick as melted chocolate over a delicious scoop of “I scream/You scream/We all scream for funk!”

The Quick & Easy Boys, Eldridge Gravy & The Court Supreme, 9 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 29; The Quick & Easy Boys, Acorn Project, 9 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 30, Goodfoot Lounge, 2845 S.E. Stark St. $8. Info: 503-239-9292,

by: COURTESY OF THE OREGON RENAISSANCE BAND - The Oregon Renaissance Band performs a selection of Christmas and New Year's music by 16th and 17th century composers for early instruments and voices, Sunday at the St. Aidan Episcopal Church.

Dec. 30

Holie intended

Fans of the Voyager space probes, launched in 1977, might remember some of Anthony Holborne’s music was included on the crafts’ “Sounds of Earth” records, along with Chuck Berry’s “Johnny B. Goode.” No word yet if any aliens have heard the music, but if you can’t wait to hear such reports, you can judge for yourself when the Oregon Renaissance Band plays the composers’ music.

“We love the sheer beauty and variety of music and instruments from the late Renaissance,” Phil Neuman says of his group, which he co-directs with his wife, Gayle.

The band will perform “As it fell on a holie eve,” a selection of Christmas and New Year’s music by 16th- and 17th-century composers for early instruments and voices, at the St. Aidan Episcopal Church. The concert will feature Celtic, Italian, German, English, Spanish and French tunes, he adds.

“One of our main goals is to have fun with the music and make it accessible to everyone,” Neuman says. “We talk to the audience about the more unusual pieces and instruments and interject some humorous accounts of musicians from the period.”

For example, he says, in the 16th century, one musician sued his band mate, claiming the musician had struck him with a bass shawm — a very large oboe. However, the defendant in the lawsuit retorted he was merely “gesturing” with the instrument. No record exists of how the case ended, Neuman says, or at least one of which he knows.

Oregon Renaissance Band, 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 30, St. Aidan Episcopal Church, 17405 N.E. Glisan St. $15, $12 for students, seniors. Info: Mark Jones at 503-866-5572;

Dec. 31

Havana dance?

Portland’s Melao de Cuba, (melao is the Spanish word for molasses) features several talented Portland musicians including Virginia López on lead vocals, Mieke Bruggeman on baritone sax, Art Alexander on piano, Bryan Hopkins on bass, Jay Machamer on congas, Brad Boynton on timbales, Joel Riddel on trumpet, Tony Gonzalez on bongos and Javier Nero on trombone. The group deliberately named itself for one of the chief ingredients of rum, as it blends Afro-Cuban and Spanish music into a classy yet upbeat take on fiery island music. Tony Gonzalez, from Cuba, kicks off this show with a salsa lesson, and Melao de Cuba will be selling copies of its new CD.

Melao de Cuba, 9 p.m. Monday, Dec. 31, Mississippi Pizza Pub, 3552 N. Mississippi Ave. $12 in advance, $15 at the door. Info:,

’Round Town

You can bring the kids and have a local brew or some wine at this show, an All Ages Songwriter Showcase, at 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 29, featuring Chris Juhlin, Angela Jackson, Elie Charpentier, Mick Schafer, Lance Leonnig and Mark MacMinn, in Backspace, 115 N.W. Fifth Ave. $5, children 12 and under free. Info: 503-248-2900,

On Monday, Dec. 31, New Year’s Eve, you can catch the following acts in our fair city:

The DK Stewart Sextet, a blues, R&B, New Orleans funk band with horns and keyboard, as well as Kevin Selfe & The Tornadoes, a guitar driven blues trio, takes the stage at Duff’s Garage, 1635 S.E. Seventh Ave. $20. Info: 503-234-BEER,

Quasi, a Portland band with a long and interesting history, includes members who have toured and/or recorded either individually or collectively with Sleater-Kinney, Elliott Smith, Built to Spill, Bright Eyes, the Go Betweens and Blues Goblins. You can check Quasi with Deep Fried Boogie Band and Slang! at 9 p.m. in the Bunk Bar, 1028 S.E. Water Ave. No. 130. $12 in advance, $14 day of show. Info: 503-894-9708.

The funky Soul Vaccination takes the stage from 7:30-9 p.m. ($25, all ages) and again from 10 p.m. to midnight ($30, 21 and older) at the Blue Monk, 3341 S.E. Belmont St. Info: 503-595-0575,,

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