Dec. 18-19

Prepare to party

On their latest record, funky soul blues groovesters The California Honeydrops deliver the ultimate slacker anthem, “Grandma Song,” which tells the tale of a prodigal son kicked out by his lady only to be sheltered by his nonjudgmental grandmother.

“Grandma is so old and wise/She knows that I can’t change/So I just lay around the house all day/I know that she’ll love me anyway.”

Led by founder Lech Wierzynski, a Polish immigrant who was raised on the sounds of Sam Cooke, Ray Charles and Louis Armstrong, this Oakland horn-driven band will be the center of danceable party action this weekend when they perform a double shot of shows. It’ll be like Mardi Gras, the Fourth of July and New Year’s Eve all at once.

The California Honeydrops, 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Dec. 18-19, Mississippi Studios, 3939 N. Mississippi Ave. $17 in advance, $20 day of show. Info: 503-288-3895,

Dec. 18-20

Tiny Tim meets a Torso

OK, this looks like fun. Portland’s 3 Leg Torso, who play a synthesis of chamber music, tango, klezmer, Latin, Roma and other styles, are collaborating with Wanderlust Circus to perform an adaption of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol.”

Helmed by Noah Mickens (who plays Ebenezer Scrooge), Wanderlust features a colorful array of acrobats, aerialists, hand balancers, stilt dancers, trick ropers, jugglers, crooners and clowns. The show also will feature aerial contortionist Meg Russell as Tiny Tim, opera singing strongwoman Tera Zarra as the Ghost of Christmas Past, and Eric Stern as The Ghost of Hanukkah Present.

Wanderlust/3 Leg Torso in “A Circus Carol,” 8 p.m. Friday through Sunday, Dec. 18-20, Alberta Rose Theatre, 3000 N.E. Alberta St. Parent/guardian must accompany minor. $15 for ages 12 and younger. $20 in advance, $25 at the door, $40 preferred seating. Info: 503-719-6055, >

Dec. 21

Properties of light

Scientists tell us an air bubble in water bombarded with sound produces short bursts of light. It’s called “sonoluminescence,” but in layman’s terms, let’s call it “Tricks of Light.” And that’s the name of saxophonist Jessika Smith’s debut record, on PJCE Records, the label of the Portland Jazz Composers Ensemble.

Like the phenomena of bubbles and their bursting lights, Smith’s new record contains blasts of big band sound that will burst the bubble of complacency in your heart and help you see the light her swingin’ music emits. The album will make a fine stocking stuffer for the jazz fan in your life this Christmas, and you can check out the video for “Swang” on YouTube to better acquaint your ears.

Jessika Smith, 6:30-8 p.m. Monday, Dec. 21, Jimmy Mak’s, 221 N.W. 10th Ave. $10. Info: 503-294-6542,

Quick hits

• Portland’s Bridge Creek performs original compositions that tap into the roots of bluegrass, blues, jazz, swing, country and classic rock. The band features Lisa Albrecht (vocals, rhythm guitar), David Weatherby (vocals, lead guitar), Eric Krueger (vocals, upright and electric bass), and Matt Novak (percussion, drums), and plays a free show from 6-8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 18, at Duff’s Garage, 2530 N.E. 82nd Ave. Info: 503-234-2337,

• The Reverb Brothers blend blues, country, soul, rock and New Orleans sounds, and play a free show at 4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 19, at The White Eagle Saloon, 836 N. Russell St. Info: 503-282-6810,

• Saxophonist Hailey Niswanger has jammed with everyone from Esperanza Spalding and Christian McBride to McCoy Tyner and Wynton Marsalis. You can catch her PDX Soul band at 9 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 19, at Dante’s, 350 W. Burnside St. $10. Info: 503-226-6630,

• Portland’s punkish Ghost Mom plays a reunion show with The Shivas at 8 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 22, at The Know, 2026 N.E. Alberta St. Info: 503-473-8729,

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