February 2017: A Month of Portland Concerts in 20 Songs

Like an overstuffed mailbox full of Valentines, Portland’s concert scene is about to explode. Get ready with our playlist.

By Jason Buehrer and Rebecca Jacobson February 2, 2017

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Image: Shutterstock

Valentine’s Day falls on a Tuesday this year, but that shouldn’t deter you from going out. In fact, don't slouch on any day in February. From music legends (Rufus Wainwright and Stevie Nicks) to up-and-comers (Cherry Glazer and Middle Kidds) to local faves (the Doubleclicks and Sallie Ford), a slew of top-notch musical acts hit Portland this month, making just about any night a special night out for you and your loved one(s)—or, frankly, just you. 

FEB 6: Rufus Wainwright, “Sonnet 29 (read by Carrie Fisher)”: At age 14, Wainwright was named Canada’s best young musician—he certainly had the pedigree—and has since wowed the world with everything from pop folk songs and operas. His latest album, Take All My Loves, is based on 16 of Shakespeare’s sonnets.

FEB 8: Mike Doughty, “The Wild Creatures”: The former Soul Coughing front man is 18 albums in—nine solo—and shows no indications of slowing down. His 2016 album, The Heart Watches While the Brain Burns, was produced by hip-hop guru Good Goose, infusing Doughty’s country guitar with sampled beats.

FEB 9: Cherry Glazerr, “Told You I’d Be with the Guys”: While still in high school, Clementine Creevy caught the attention of Burger Records, eventually leading to her role as singer Margaux in Amazon’s Transparent. Her band’s sophomore album, Apocalipstick, was released earlier this year.

FEB 10: Peter Mulvey, “If You Shoot at a King You Must Kill Him”: Nearly nonstop touring and 20 albums have helped make Mulvey an indie folk circuit hit. Added bonus: his recent TEDx Talk about life on other planets will kinda blow your mind.

FEB 12: The Doubleclicks, “Why Can’t Every City Be Portland?”: If you’ve always thought Portland should have a nerdy sister duo who sing songs about Dungeons & Dragons while playing the cello and cat-themed toy keyboard, where have you been? Because the Doubleclicks have been around since 2011.

FEB 15: JoJo, “Mad Love”: Joanna Levesque got her start at age 13 with "Leave (Get Out)," which hit number one on the Billboard pop charts and made her the youngest person ever to reach to that spot. Her Mad Love tour ends a 10-year legal battle that held her career hostage.

FEB 17: Angel Olsen, “Shut Up and Kiss Me”: The Missouri-raised singer-songwriter is much more than a tortured indie-folk star, as made blisteringly clear by her 2016 album, My Woman, which balances synth, grunge, and playful beats.

FEB 17: Edna Vazquez, “I Love You”: Mariachi meets folk meets jazz. It may sound like a gag, but the Mexico-born, Portland-based Vazquez makes it a rich, deeply felt wonder.

FEB 17:  J Boog, “Let Me Love You”: After a five-year hiatus, Samoan reggae star J Boog released his sophomore album, Wash House Ting, in November of last year. It boasts contributions from international stars like DJ Frost and Gramps Morgan, son of reggae legend Denroy Morgan.

FEB 18: The Staves, “Roses”: On the heels of their European tour, these three British sisters—some of the best harmonizers out there—managed to put together a three-track EP before heading out on an extended US tour. What did you do on family road trips?

FEB 18: Sallie Ford, “Failure”: Change has become routine for this Portland-based rocker. According to Ford herself, multiple lineup shifts and constant touring have helped her mature as a musician. Her latest album, Soul Sick—an ambitious, confessional ode to ’50s jukebox rock—hits stores February 10. For more, check out our profile of

FEB 18–19: Tango Pacifico, “Revirado” The sounds and swivels of Argentine tango hit the Schnitz, with the Oregon Symphony joined by quintet Tango Pacifico, singer Pepe Raphael, and dancers. Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall.

FEB 22: The Middle Kids, “Your Love”: With only a handful of tracks, this Australian rock trio has managed to grab the attention of NPR and Rolling Stone, as well as a launch an international tour. Their self-titled full-length album comes out February 17.

FEB 23: Mariachi Flor de Toloache, “Penas De Amor”: “Mariachi swagger for days”—that’s how NPR has described this New York–based, all-female mariachi ensemble, which went from busking near Times Square in 2008 to a Latin Grammy nomination in 2014. Newmark Theatre.

FEB 23: Weyes Blood, “Do You Need My Love”: Some of the creative energy for the LA native's latest album, Front Row Seat to Earth, came after she lost her phone, as she explained in a recent interview with LA Weekly: “Words, ideas and songs started returning to my brain. I thought that those thoughts had gone away as I’d gotten older, but it wasn’t the case.”

FEB 24: John Scofield, “Wildwood Flower”: Scofield has played with a who’s who of jazz history, and on 2016 album Country for Old Men, he digs deep into bluegrass and country to reveal some of jazz’s early roots.

FEB 26: Meatbodies, “Mountain”: Chad Ubovich, who has moonlighted as a bassist for Fuzz and played 12-string guitar with Mikal Cronin, has fronted punk band Meatbodies since 2014. Their latest album, Alice, hits stores February 10.

FEB 26: The Octopus Project, “Pyramid Kosmos”: Since the 2013 release of Fever Forms, the Octopus Project has been busy, winning a Sundance Special Jury Award in 2014 for musical score for the equally lauded Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter. The Texas-based, electro-rock, four-piece band hopes to have a new album out this year.

FEB 27: Adia Victoria, “Out of Love”: Back in August at Pickathon, the Nashville-based musician sang hauntingly of a dead cat as sunbeams glinted off her gold-sequined dress. There’s some prettiness in her blues-steeped songs, but there’s no escaping the chill.

FEB 28: Stevie Nicks, “Stop Draggin’ My heart Around”: Heed the crystal visions and don your witchiest shawl: the rock legend is playing the Moda Center.

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