From the moment she starts poundin' the keys and singing in her just-shy-of-smoky voice, boogie-woogie queen Eden Brent will win the hearts of even the most jaded music listeners. Brent draws on blues, jazz, soul, gospel and pop to create a siren song of sultry sound that would lure the strongest sailor to his untimely demise - and he'd be smiling the whole way down.
Eden Brent, 9:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 12, Duff's Garage, 1635 S.E. Seventh Ave. $10. Info: 503-234-2337, www.duffsgarage.com.
For those about to blend
They boast a beautiful and evocative frontwoman, a brilliant guitarist and a stellar drummer. They're all African-Americans who not only embrace Afro-beat and jazz, but thrash, punk, progressive rock, techno and, well, 'white rock music' in general. They're The Memorials, and given the dearth of bands like them, one could see them as a brilliant marketing ploy consciously designed to grab the 'we've-seen-it-all' rock audience. However, it seems they're more like a great idea that took way too long to realize in popular music, although one could argue black bands such as Bad Brains, Fishbone and Living Colour helped pave the way, reminding listeners that rock 'n' roll was originally an African-American music form eventually intermarried with Caucasian styles like country (itself influenced by African-American blues). Thomas Pridgen, drummer from innovative progressive hard rockers The Mars Volta, teamed up a couple years ago with Viveca Hawkins, a powerful soul singer who's belted tunes with Soulive, Talib Kweli and Cee Lo, among others, and Nick Brewer, a killer axeman, to create angular stop-and-go rock 'n' roll music that makes you think almost as much as it makes you swing your head. Here's hoping they stay together and take everyone along for their cosmic ride.
The Memorials, Empty Space Orchestra, NIAYH, 9:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 13, Dante's, 1 S.W. Third Ave. $8 in advance, $10 day of show. Info: 503-226-6630, www.danteslive.com.
Dark side of the phone
All you need to know about the Joe Manis Trio is they find the Pink Panther slinking at the heart of Pink Floyd's 'Money,' deftly navigating the contours of the melody like an aging diva petting her smooth black cat. You can almost remember what it was like to hear jazz in a smoke-filled bar with well-dressed if slightly questionable patrons back in the day, when Manis blows saxophone. Fans of boppy, bluesy, Latin and jammin' jazz will dig this real gone daddy.
Joe Manis Trio, 8 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 14, Blue Monk, 3341 S.E. Belmont St. Info: 503-595-0575, www.bluemonk.com.
You seem quite hostile
On his new album, rapper Sole thanks his 'addict father for the anger issues.' Ouch!That's a Father's Day card we probably don't want to read - but will.
Along with The Skyrider Band, Sole works out his deepest darkest problems, a la Emimem style, by combining gangsta rap, electronica and neo-classical music.
It's not exactly music to party to, but it is music you could score an action flick or crime thriller to, and if you're open to cinematic hip-hop, this show's for you. And 'I will survive' type tunes like 'Villon' just might help you emerge from the mire and look toward the sun.
Sole and The Skyrider Band, 9 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 17, Doug Fir Lounge, 830 E. Burnside St. $10 in advance, $12 day of show. Info: 503-231-WOOD, www.dougfirlounge.com.
What do you get when you put together Nick Thorborn of Islands and Unicorns, Ryan Kattner of Man Man and Joe Plummer of Modest Mouse? Mister Heavenly, a pretty listenable indie pop rock band, actually, with nice harmonies, pounding guitars and pianos and a solid beat all in the service of 'doom wop,' a combination of 1950s vocal group approaches and pre-apocalyptic jitter.
And for you 'Superbad' and 'Arrested Development' fans, Michael Cera is the group's touring bassist.
Mister Heavenly, Waters, Anne, 8 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 18, Branx, 320 S.E. Second Ave. $12 in advance, $14 day of show. All ages. Info: www.facebook.com/branx.pdx.