Sept. 20

Wheely good

Seattle’s True Spokes (formerly Flowmotion) sounds like Steely Dan if it had been more of a roots band, writing nice, melodic tunes that appeal to fans of intelligent rock. Formerly a jam band, they’ve evolved into a much tighter unit, playing guitar solos that George Harrison or Tom Petty’s Mike Campbell could have created. They know how to harmonize and arrange, and in an earlier era would have been all over the charts.

True Spokes, Huckle, 9 p.m. Thursday, Sept 20, The Goodfoot, 2845 S.E. Stark St. Info: 503-239-9292,

Not that Oregon

Los Angeles band Orgone plays tight, melodic soulful funk that touches on Afrobeat, disco and house music, recreating the best sounds of 1970s dance music, without all the shallowness that crippled disco. This groovy band can convert even the most angular square to booty-ism, as lead singer

Niki J. Crawford leads the horn-laden funksters in an endless jam. They’ve backed Cee Lo Green and Alicia Keys in the studio, and probably more than a few couples reconciling or falling in love beneath the strobe light. Meanwhile, opener Portland’s Manimalhouse serves up a similar brew of funk and soul and should get the goodtime vibe going.

Orgone, Manimalhouse, 8 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 20, Star Theater, 13 N.W. Sixth Ave. $12. 21 and over. Info: 503-248-4700

Sept. 22

The coolest band on Earth

Fed up with half-witted lead singers pontificating about this or that? Then you must check out instrumental surf rock kings Los Straitjackets. Wearing business suits and Mexican wrestling masks and eschewing vocals in favor of clean guitar solos and snappy beats, the band has released 12 albums of some of the finest instrumental rock ‘n’ roll around. Original member Daddy O Grande, aka Danny Amis, is in partial remission from multiple myeloma and is doing limited dates on this tour, but unfortunately won’t be here. However, Eddie Angel, Pete Curry, Jason “Teen Beat” Smay, and Greg Townson are sure to keep things swingin’ as they promote “Jet Set,” the Nashville band’s 12th album. If you love beach-friendly Ventures-meets-Shadows rock ‘n’ roll, this is your band.

Los Straitjackets, The Jim Jams, Guantanamo Baywatch, 9 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 22, Dante’s, 350 W. Burnside St. $15. Info: 503-226-6630,

Mmmm, pie!

Portland’s roots artists Sassparilla are set to release their latest album “Magpie” and have served up a more modern sounding effort than their last album, “The Darndest Thing.” There’s plenty for fans of the old-timey sounds the band often plays to enjoy on “Magpie,” but this CD may also draw in the more rock ‘n’ rollin’ crowd, with such tunes as the fuzzy Big Star-ish “Threadbare” and the blues-country midtempo rocker “Star.” This is one competent group of musicians, and their lyrics would go down well with fans of The Band and Mumford & Sons.

Sassparilla, And And And, The Jackalope Saints, 9 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 22, Doug Fir Lounge, 830 E. Burnside St. $10. Info: 503-231-WOOD,

Sept. 25

Aye for an aye

You can say one thing for the Scotland’s Paul McKenna Band — they’re not afraid to step into the fray. They attack the apathy of the “Silent Majority” in their song of the same name, noting how most of the world stood by while Hitler rose and Chile’s Pinochet crushed dissent and China’s tanks killed demonstrators in 1989. Heck, they even sound miffed that Jesus Christ got killed, and that was 2,000 years ago! McKenna has a classic Celtic folk tenor and is backed by a crack band of some of Scotland’s best young musicians. If you like new traditionalists like Old Blind Dogs, you’ll dig McKenna and his lads. An added treat: Portland flutist-singer Hanz Araki and singer-fiddler-guitarist Kathryn Claire open the show, and they’re one of the most enjoyable traditional Irish acts you’ll ever hear.

Paul McKenna Band, Hanz Araki & Kathryn Claire, 8 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 25, Alberta Rose Theatre, 3000 N.E. Alberta St. $10 in advance, $12 at the door. Info: 503-719-6055,

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