Re: It's Saturday night! Why don't I have a gig?
What's the scene in Portland? I'm guessing that there's a certain amount of competition there for the high-paying holiday gigs. Do you generally work for the same contractor? When I was playing those kinds of gigs I always worked for the same guy, but he had a good amount of competition so I would find myself with the occassional weekend off. And he had a big book of mostly "jazz-flavored" music, so if people wanted a rock band he wouldn't get the call.
He tells me that times are tough for everyone, that a lot of people are hiring DJs now. Cheaper to hire one guy than four. What he has going for him is connections with catering companies and party arrangers. Keeps him working, but even he's starting to feel the pinch. So you're definitely not alone.