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Live Music!

by: COURTESY OF G-FORCE, For the third year, the annual Portland Music Awards will celebrate the local music scene and recognize some of the best regional talent, including performances by Meredith Brooks, The Kingsmen and Boy Eats Drum Machine (above).

And the winner is …

The 2010 Portland Music Awards will be presented Jan. 28 at the Crystal Ballroom. Performers include: Cool Nutz; 3 Leg Torso; Marv and Rindy Ross from Quarterflash; Boy Eats Drum Machine; Andy Armer; Nancy King; The Insomniacs; Amadan; Third Angle New Music Ensemble, The Dennis Mitchell Band featuring members of The Kingsmen; HolliePollock; Joe Powers; and Wanderlust Circus.

The event features 21 award categories and will be aired live on KBOO 90.7 FM.

The Portland Music Awards, 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 28, Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W. Burnside St. $25. Info: 503-225-0047, www.mcmenamins.com, www.musicspectator.com/portland_music_award.

Jan. 28, 29, 31

Pop rocks

If you like the catchy alternative pop-folk rock of local boy Jon Davidson, you have absolutely no excuse to miss him this week. This hardworking baritone-voiced cat, has four - count 'em, four - shows in Portland this week, including one with Silversafe, the popular up-and-coming hard rock band he fronts.

Davidson recently released 'Perfect Cliché,' a collection of songs that show his somewhat softer side, which means, yes, even MORE women will be interested in him than before.

Jon Davidson 9 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 28, The Buffalo Gap, 6835 S.W. Macadam Ave. All ages. Free; Silversafe, 8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 29, Kelly's Olympian, 426 S.W. Washington St. $5; Solo at 6 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 31, Red Cross Haiti Benefit Show, Club 915, 915 S.W. Second Ave. All ages $10; PDX Unplugged Showcase, 10 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 31, Hawthorne Theater, 3862 S.E. Hawthorne Blvd. All ages. Free. Info: www.jondavidsonmusic.com.

Jan. 30

This is a weird show

Do you like the sound of doom? Then you'll dig Joe Preston's solo show Thrones. Preston has played with all kinds of people, including grunge godfathers the Melvins, but on this night he'll confront you on his own. Thrones shares the stage with classically flavored (We kid you not! It's quite nice) piano-drums duo Sedan, as well as postmodern aural experimentalists Hot Victory, with a sound a little like a world war. Also on stage is the band that will headline the concert for the Last Halloween of All Time! - metal mentalists Macrocosm. These challenging groups ain't 'mainstream,' but one could argue they actually sound like what's secretly going on inside a lot of people's brains.

Thrones, Sedan, Hot Victory, Macrocosm, 9 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 30, Slabtown, 1033 N.W. 16th Ave. $6. Info: 503-223-0099, www.slabtownbar.net, myspace.com/thronestour, myspace.com/sedansedan, myspace.com/macrocosmpdx.

Mother's day

Afro-pop queen Loveness Wesa and the Bantus Band will perform this Saturday for a very, very good cause: Wesa is trying to raise enough money to spirit her mother out of Zimbabwe, suffering under the misrule of Robert Mugabe.

A singer, songwriter, dancer, choreographer, actress, producer and director, Wesa grew up surrounded by her homeland's traditional music and dance, embodied by her mother, aunt and grandmother who were all Sangomas - traditional spirit mediums who use song and dance to channel ancestral spirits. Wesa has toured internationally with Zimbabwean music legend Thomas Mapfumo, and is sure to put on a compelling show.

Loveness Wesa and the Bantus Band, 6:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 30, Ainsworth United Church of Christ, 2941 N.E. Ainsworth St, Suggested donation $10-$25. Info: www.bantusband.com, batus.wordpress.com.

Feb. 4

The full Monti

For two decades, Portland's Big Monti Amundson has been developing a distinct style of rootsy blues rock that sounds simultaneously thick and thin, fat and slim, dry and juicy. It's music to drive trucks to, start fights to, get drunk to and steal a kiss to.

Big Monti Amundson, 9:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 4, Duff's Garage 1635 S.E. Seventh Ave. Call for cover. Info: 503-234-BEER, www.duffsgarage.com, www.montiamundson .com.