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COURTESY PHOTO - Chervona hosts its annual Russian Old New Year's Eve Party at Star Theater, Jan. 14.Jan. 6, 11


Kearns yearns

One of Portland’s best singer-songwriters is Pat Kearns, whose output with Blue Skies for Black Hearts has constituted some of America’s best power pop of the past decade.

Kearns now splits his time between Portland and Joshua Tree, California, the latter having helped inspire his new solo record “So Long City,” which combines blues, folk, rock and country. His publicity states: “It is, at heart, a bittersweet love letter to his hometown — which has, like so many other artistic enclaves, been rendered somewhat unrecognizable by waves of gentrification — and staking out of new terrain.”

You can catch Kearns twice in the coming days before he splits for an East Coast tour: at 6 p.m. Friday, Jan. 6, at Music Millennium, 3158 E. Burnside St., for an all-ages free show; and at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 11, at the White Eagle, 836 N. Russell St., as the opener for duo Bees in a Bottle. Free. 21 and over. Info: www.mcmenamins.com.

Jan. 13

Heights of harmony

Holy guacamole! The Flat Five is as refreshing as a cool evening breeze off the Pacific after a 90-degree day at the beach. Singing Burt Bacharach-meets-Harry Nilsson songs penned by Chris Ligon, the Flat Five are like a Fifth Dimension for our era — slightly more jaded than when the Age of Aquarius dawned, but still letting the sunshine in.

Touring to promote their debut album, “It’s a World of Love and Hope,” the Flat Five are made up of Kelly Hogan, Nora O’Connor, Scott Ligon, Casey McDonough and Alex Hall, who collectively have worked with such artists and acts as Neko Case, NRBQ, The Decemberists, Andrew Bird, Mavis Staples, Iron and Wine, Jakob Dylan, Robbie Fulks, Alejandro Escovedo, The New Pornographers, and many others.

If you love real music, this is the IT show this month.

The Flat Five, The Jenny Conless Quartet, 9 p.m. Friday, Jan. 13, Mississippi Studios, 3939 N. Mississippi Ave. $12 in advance, $14 at the door. Info: 503-288-3895, www.mississippistudios.com.

Jan. 14

What’s old is new

The atheistic Soviet Union adopted the calendar approved by Catholic Pope Gregory VIII to replace the one approved by pagan Julius Caesar. However, the Russian Orthodox Church continued to observe the Julian calendar rather than the Gregorian calendar. In other words, people who don’t believe in God liked the pope better than people who do believe in God.

What does this all mean for partiers in seemingly godless Portland? It means it’s time again for Russian Old New Year, when one of Portland’s best party bands, Chervona, celebrates 2017 arriving two weeks after it arrived on the Gregorian calendar by marking its Julian version.

The Russian-Gypsy-Balkan punk band plays everything from old Slavic songs to new pop music jams and attracts one of Portland’s best-dressed club crowds that turns wherever it dances into a manic ballroom. This year’s party is a Snow Ball, so the theme is white. Dress to impress!

Russian Old New Year with Chervona, DJ Zhenya, guests, 9 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 14, Star Theater, 13 N.W. Sixth Ave. $20. Info: (503) 248-4700, www.startheaterportland.com.

Jan. 20

Un-presidented jam

Maybe on the day the United States hails its new chief executive, you may want to yell “Not my president” all day long, but we suggest once you’ve gotten that out of your system, go check out genre-hopping multi-instrumentalist Keller Williams and his new improvisational acoustic dance ensemble KWahtro.

The band has just released its debut album, “Sync,” and features Williams on guitar and vocals, bassist Danton Boller (Jazz Mandolin Project, Roy Hargrove), guitarist Gibb Droll (Brandi Carlisle, Bruce Hornsby), and drummer Rodney Holmes (Carlos Santana, Steve Kimock).

And if the new album is not enough, you can look forward to Williams’ “Raw,” a 10-song collection of solo acoustic material he’ll release the same day.

Keller Williams, KWahtro, 9 p.m. Friday, Jan. 20, Wonder Ballroom, 128 N.E. Russell St. $20 in advance, $23 at the door. Info: 503- 284-8686, www.wonderballroom.com.

Quick hits

• Augustana frontman and Americana singer-songwriter Dan Layus draws on Hank Williams, Tom Waits, Dwight Yoakam and Woody Guthrie for inspiration, and will perform songs from his solo debut, “Dangerous Things,” at 8 p.m. Monday, Jan. 23, at the Star Theater, 13 N.W. Sixth Ave. $20. Info: (503) 248-4700, www.startheaterportland.com.

• It’s not too early to make plans for yet another annual party event that defines Portland, the Mardi Gras Ball, hosted by The Mysti Krewe of Nimbus, a Louisiana-style social club.

This year’s event takes place Saturday, Feb. 18, at the Tiffany Center Emerald Ballroom, 1410 S.W. Morrison St. The ball’s theme will be announced during Happy Hour Friday, Jan. 6, at Tapalaya, 28 N.E. 28th Ave.

The Mysti Krewe of Nimbus also will host a free, family-friendly Mardi Gras parade on Feb. 28 on Mississippi Avenue. Keep checking www.portlandmardigras.com for updates.

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