Aurora rockin' all of us
He sweats way more than Lenny Kravitz, and looks like a thinner Jack Black, which may be why raucous guitarist-singer Jonathan Tyler and his band Northern Lights kick major fanny all over the place. The Dallas blues rocker and his mates will warm the heart of anyone who's ever fallen down the stairway to heaven to end up on the floor letting it bleed. The Black Crowes have helped this band out more than a bit, with Rich Robinson even co-writing some songs, and the Lights share with the Crowes a penchant for barroom brawlin' rock 'n' roll. Two Americana acts, Texan singer-songwriter Kirby Brown and Portland's fine acoustic-flavored roots enthusiasts Jack Ruby Presents, share the bill.
Jonathan Tyler and The Northern Lights, Kirby Brown, Jack Ruby Presents, 9 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 29, Mississippi Studios, 3939 N. Mississippi Ave. $12. Info: www.mississippistudios.com
One of Portland's best new pop rock bands is Buttonjaw, featuring Scott Macdonald on guitar, piano and vocals, Jake Smith on guitar and vocals, Sam Adams (not the mayor nor the beer) on bass and vocals, Jordan Warmack on drums and vocals and Dan Rosen on percussion. Buttonjaw plays economical, harmony-laden rock 'n' roll and ballads with country and alternative influences that would make any fan of Paul McCartney or the Gin Blossoms happy. In fact, listening to Buttonjaw, you realize just how rarely you hear this kind of stuff on American radio anymore. It's a shame they don't live in Ireland or some other country that likes its rock a little more melodic and tuneful, a la Ash, than we do these days. And apparently Buttonjaw are nice guys, donating proceeds from the sale of their first album 'Things You Should Know' to help build a safe house for children rescued from trafficking in Ghana, West Africa. So they're your moral superiors AND they'll make you happy - what else do you need?
Buttonjaw, Sonya Yun, 9 p.m. Friday, Sept. 30, Mississippi Pizza, 3552 N. Mississippi Ave. $5. Info: 503-288-3231, www.mississippipizza.com.
She'll always have Paris
Multi-instrumentalist and alto-soprano jazzy balladeer Hindi Zahra is a Franco-Moroccan goddess among mortals. Not only can she sing in English, French and in Berber languages, her life-is-a-sultry-cabaret combination of American, European and North African music also transcends sonic boundaries, moving easily from jazz to blues to folk, in much the same manner as a Norah Jones or Sade show might. She's a sure bet for international star as long as her passport is in order.
Hindi Zahra, Ryan Francesconi, DJ Santo, 8:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 3, Holocene, 1001 S.E. Morrison St. $10 in advance, $12 day of show. Info: 503-239-7639, www.holocene.org.
They'd like to thank
The 2011 inductees for the Oregon Music Hall of Fame are alternative rockers Dharma Bums, bar band kings Jeffrey Frederick and The Clamtones, hard rockers Sequel, blues cat Norman Sylvester, eclectic folk rockers Wheatfield, bassist Phil Baker and drummer Sam Henry, deejay Bob Ancheta and Satyricon founder George Touhouliotis. Meanwhile, Grammy-winning violinist Esperanza Spalding has been named Artist of the Year. The show will feature performances by Johnny and the Distractions, The Crazy 8s and a 20th year reunion of Nu Shooz.
Oregon Music Hall of Fame Ceremony and Show, 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 8, Newmark Theatre, 1111 S.W. Broadway, $29.25, 94.25 (VIP). Info: 503-248-4335, www.pcpa.com.