20 bands in four downtown venues for free— Big Ass Boombox is a new festival that’s hard to deny. Here’s the line-up. I didn’t find too many bands that thrilled me, but here’s a few songs that did: “Forest Fire” by Scrimshander, “Autumn Sound” by Pigeons, “Plural(s)” by Tiger House and “Thanksgiving Day” by Fanno Creek. But you know what they say about opinions… Backspace – 115 NW 5th and more * 7:30 pm * free

The first time I saw the Shook Twins, they were giving my friend a double hug in the middle of the street at Last Thursday. They’ve also popped up at the Northwest World Reggae Festival singing backup for Voice of Reason from Boise, Idaho. I’m a fan of breadth in sound and scene, and these ladies have it. Secret Society Lounge – 116 NE Russell St.  * 9 pm * $10


Portland has a vibrant circus scene. A few months ago I wandered into a benefit for the Circus Project at the Portland Art Museum and  learned about Doctor Smyles House of Dolls, a play from the folks at Wanderlust Circus. It seems there’s a problem at Dr. Smyles glitter factory, and while we unravel the mystery dozens of Portland’s talented circus performers get a chance to show their stuff. Star Theater – 13 NW 6th * doors at 8 pm, show at 9 * $15 in advance, $20 at door 

Here’s a hard-rockin’ free show for eastsiders: Portland Mutant Party 2 Record Release: P.R.O.B.L.E.M.S., Thee Cormans, Cyclops, Denizenz. East End – 203 SE Grand * 9 pm * free