Portland-area live music shows
Bobby Bare Jr.
There are a few things in life you can be absolutely certain of, and one of them is that Bobby Bare Jr. shows will be an absolute hoot.
With a personality as big as Texas and songs that will propel themselves deep into your cranium, Bare is not a singer-songwriter so much as he is a force of (good) nature, and his shows feel less like a performance than a party.
His latest record, 'The Longest Meow,' definitely captures that vibe - 11 songs recorded in 11 hours with 11 participants, with a good time had by all.
9:30 p.m. FRIDAY, Oct. 13, Berbati's, 10 S.W. Third Ave., 503-226-2122, $12
With the release of his latest album, 'Nuclear Daydream,' Joseph Arthur moves to the head of the current class of bedroom poets.
Arthur's always specialized in songs of bittersweet yearning, but his new album is by far his most consistent, breathing vibrancy into songs of hopeless romanticism.
He's by nature a compassionate narrator, and his all-too-human subjects are treated with endearing tenderness well as a beautiful pop sensibility.
9 p.m. FRIDAY, Oct. 13, Doug Fir Lounge, 830 E. Burnside St., 503-231-9663, $14
Masters of Groove
Talk about truth in advertising. The members of Masters of Groove are all veterans of the jazz/funk/soul/groove scene with roots stretching back to the '60s.
Led by legendary Hammond B3 organist Reuben Wilson (an artist whose work has been sampled by hip-hop acts like A Tribe Called Quest and Nas), the combo also features drummer Bernard Purdie and guitarist-vocalist Grant Green Jr.
They're celebrating the release of a new album with two shows tonight, and reservations are recommended if you want to join in the fun.
7:30 p.m. and 10 p.m. FRIDAY, Oct. 13, Jimmy Mak's, 221 N.W. 10th Ave., 503-481-4367, $20 per show
Michael Franti and Spearhead
Positive vibrations abound with Michael Franti and Spearhead. The band's body-moving grooves provide the background for singer Franti's socially conscious lyrics - 'Yell Fire' (released this summer) was inspired by his recent visits to Iraq and the Middle East.
While there's a definite social and political agenda at work, it never obscures the funky vibes of the music itself, making it less a sermon than a celebration of a more evolved viewpoint or unified world.
9 p.m. SATURDAY, 8 p.m. SUNDAY, Oct. 14-15, Roseland, 8 N.W. Sixth Ave., 503-219-9929, $27.50, all ages
Fall feels like the perfect season to take in the experimental cello collective known as Cellodarity. Drawing from Portland's unnaturally large community of world-class cellists, the group features a former member of Rasputina and other diverse artists dedicated to pushing the boundaries of their genres and instruments.
Tonight's show features classical selections as well as original compositions and improvisations.
8 p.m. SUNDAY, Oct. 15, Doug Fir Lounge, 830 E. Burnside St., 503-231-9663, $7