Feb. 11, 12
Mississippi Studios hosts shows to benefit the victims of Haiti's Jan. 12 devastating earthquake. Even if you don't have a charitable bone in your body, you'll nonetheless feel good dropping a few dollars on these jams, as both evenings feature truckloads of talent to help out Mercy Corps' medical efforts.
The Feb. 11 lineup consists of psychedelic country rockers Blue Giant, The Minus 5, which includes the familiar faces of Scott McCaughey from Young Fresh Fellows and Peter Buck from R.E.M., roots-rockers The Lewi Longmire Band, avant-garde popsters Hosannas and semi-twee folkish AgesandAges.
Feb. 12 will see indie folkies Horse Feathers take the stage along with rootsy balladeers Sean Flinn and The Royal We, Americana-meets-ancient-world folksters Alela Diane and Alina Hardin, and indie folk rockers Celilo.
Haitian relief benefits, 8 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 11, $15 to $50, Friday, Feb. 12, $15, Mississippi Studios, 3939 N. Mississippi St. Info: 503-288-3895, www.mississippistudios.com.
On Feb.13, Portland acts Echo Helstrom and Jake Oken-Berg will celebrate the releases of their respective EPs, Helstrom's 'Paper Airplane' and Oken-Berg's 'Out The Door' at the Aladdin Theater. Rockin' folkie and stellar singer-songwriter Justin Jude opens the show.
Soulful pop-rock pianist Oken-Berg has been compared to Ben Folds, and like Folds, he's a bit of an old-school tunesmith, the type of singer who would please your baby boomer mom and dad, but who sounds fresh enough to get the younger set into his groove. Orchestral rock band Echo Helstrom will follow up its critically acclaimed debut CD 'The Veil,' some of which you may have heard on the TV series 'One Tree Hill,' with its newest EP. Fronted by Ross Seligman and accompanied by Chris Mosley on guitar, Will Amend on upright bass and electric bass, and Randy Rollofson on drums and programming, Echo Helstrom combines chamber music with rock, punk, Celtic and other influences. It sounds like the Electric Light Orchestra meets Coldplay.
Jake Oken-Berg, Echo Helstrom, Justin Jude, 8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 13, Aladdin Theatre, 3017 S.E. Milwaukie Ave. $10 advance, $14 day of show. Info: 503-234-9694, www.aladdin-theater.com.
Have a heart
Artichoke Music, 3130 S.E. Hawthorne Blvd., the noted acoustic folk store and music school, has been struggling to keep its doors open in the recession, and its friends in the unplugged community have organized a benefit to help.
Artichoke supporters are invited to come down from 2 to 7 p.m. Sunday, Feb 14, and give a listen to several acts. Admission is $10, and advance tickets can be purchased at the store. Info: 503-232-8845 or visit www.artichokemusic.com
Feb. 18, 19
Totally the future, dude
If ever a band was created for the space age, it's Santa Cruz's Sound Tribe Sector 9. Known for its intricate, rhythmic festival-friendly instrumental funk, jazz, drum and bass, psychedelia and hip hop, the band has also distinguished itself for its social consciousness, working to help victims from those physically displaced by Hurricane Katrina to those mentally displaced by the us-vs.-them mentality plaguing today's world. It's intelligent Dead-meets-dance-meets-electronica music for late nights in dimly lighted rooms when you're ruminating with friends over the state of the world. At some point, you say enough with the chatter, let's boogie!
Sound Tribe Sector 9, 8 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 18, and Friday, Feb. 19, Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W. Burnside St. $22.50 advance, $25 day of show, all ages. Info: 503-225-0047, www.mcmenamins.com.