Bend’s premiere hip-hop group is always an awesome treat to have in town. Led by nothing short of a brilliant lyricist, their music is edgy and progressive enough for jerks like me, and accessible enough for everyone else. Not a huge surprise from guys who quote Aesop Rock, Pee-wee Herman, and Mr. Bungle as influences. They’re possibly one of the best hip-hop acts out there, period, and will be joined by one-man cello act Third Seven and local Future Metz.
Deck & Slightly Rebellious, Imagine Coffee, 5460 SW Philomath Blvd. 7 p.m. Free
Because Corvallis, this Thursday at Imagine Coffee you’ll find yourself serenaded by a cappella group Deck and then face-melted by local rock ‘n’ roll enthusiasts Slightly Rebellious. Kind of like the sonic baby of Motorhead and The Doors, their performances should be on the list for any fan of local rock.
A three piece, multi-instrumental band featuring guitar, cello, flute, and vocals. My first experience of The Incompatibles was a video from a performance of theirs at Calapooia Brewing. They covered The Pogues—and that should be all you need to know.
Ben Rice and the Illamatics, The Flinn Steakhouse, 222 W 1st Ave., Albany. 9 p.m. Cover: $5
A Portland band featuring a nice blend of roots, rhythm, and grooves (as they say). Having placed in the top nine as a finalist at the 2014 International Blues Challenge in Memphis, TN, their act is rich in crowd interactivity and they exert an inventive command over their instruments that one seldom encounters. I have no idea what the hell an Illamatic is, or a Ben Rice for that matter, but it’s good.
Promoting a unique style of bluegrass, The Bush Pilots are a trio that slings out great original tunes as well as a rich catalog of covers colored with their own style. The occasional ballad punctuating a largely up-tempo repertoire, bust out the nice shoes because your toes will be tapping.
‘Christmas Unplugged’ with John Doan, Troubadour Music Center, 521 SW 2nd St. 8 to 10 p.m. $10 to $15
John Doan has mastered the 20-string harp guitar—an instrument you’ve likely never heard of (but that’s because One Direction doesn’t have one). The man has been Emmy-nominated as a performer, having played alongside legends such as Burl Ives and Donovan. Chet Atkins has praised him. But what does it all mean? It means this is going to be as kickass a Christmas set as you can get without booking Dethklok.
Let’s let the lineup speak for itself: Eric Nicholson, Garde Wells, Sharon & Dave Thormalen, Rusty Hinges, and Suz Doyle & Friends. That’s some of the best performers in the Corvallis area cranking out everything from jazz to bluegrass, folk, harp music, and everything in between. For only $12? There’s no better way to celebrate either the mid-point on our journey to the 25th, or for some of us, the fact that the school term is dead and gone.
Trials, Tribulations & Christmas Decorations, Albany Civic Theater, 111 W 1st Ave., Albany. 2:30 p.m. Other performances on Dec. 18, 19, 20
Kim’s widowed dad, John, is a cranky old jerk. She decides to get him out of his rut by forcing a Christmas upon him filled with everyone on earth that he either despises or just doesn’t want to be around. Instead of flying off the handle in a murderous rage, well… you’ll just have to go see the show, now won’t you? Buy your tickets at Sid Stevens Jewelers, SW 1st Avenue, Albany (541-967-8140).
Corvallis’ resident piano man, Bryson Skaar is a regular fixture at Imagine Coffee and for good reason. If you need to relax—and who doesn’t—grab a cup of Joe (or coffee, as Joe hasn’t been bathing) and meditate to the sound of tickled ivories.
OSU Annual Staff Art Show, LaSells Stewart Center, 875 SW 26th St. 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Diving headfirst into its fifth year, OSU’s annual staff show is a very tangible experience that makes one thing abundantly clear: Oregon State has a seriously amazing collection of artists in its employ. Though the exhibit opens today, the show lasts until Jan. 23, with a reception on Jan. 7 from 5 to 7 p.m. This is easily one of Oregon’s best art shows of the year, every year.
The best way to calm the savage beasts out there (you know, the ones that come at you with a bat for turning the holiday radio station on?) is to simply scoop them up and surprise them with a Jazz Kings holiday treatment. Not only are their legendary performances stellar on a bad day, but rumor has it there will even be some sing along opportunities. A classy, fun event for the entire family.
Holiday Artisan Market, The Arts Center, 700 SW Madison Ave. 12 to 5 p.m.
You do realize you’re supposed to be done with your holiday shopping by now, right? If you’re a terrible, horrible slacker and are feeling pangs of panic as the window to find that perfect gift begins to slam in your face, look no further. Featuring dump-truck loads of handcrafted, local goods, there is bound to be something for everyone. And the best part is that shopping local helps convince Santa not to take a dump down your chimney with care.
If you’ve never taken a pickaxe to dwarf’s groin, you haven’t lived. In a day and age when people talk about being “gamers” and think that consists of farting into the mic on Call of Duty or playing yet another goddamn Madden game, events like this are a godsend. Seriously, whether you’re a veteran or a beginner, Matt’s has these fantastic one- to two-hour dungeon crawls that are guaranteed fun and could introduce you to other dorks in the community. They’re weekly and in a stupidly cool comic shop. Seriously, put down the Xbox.
Kurt Norlin and Ally Maser, The Arts Center, 700 SW Madison Ave. 12 to 5 p.m.
Two great Oregon artists at The Arts Center? Say it ain’t so! Maybe if they had some terrible work in there for once we could get more of a surprise going, but c’est la vie. Maser’s natural material “combines” are one of a kind and Norlin’s impressionistic approach to photography is both rich and thoughtful.
The Northwest circus troupe with the mostest (that didn’t rhyme, but it’s still true) is bringing a frankly stunning Christmas performance to Corvallis. Along with the cast of acrobats, aerialists, jugglers, dancers, and opera singers they’re known for, world-famous chamber quintet 3 Leg Torso will also be present. Together they’ll be retelling the Dickens’ classic A Christmas Carol. Bah humbug, indeed!