Rattle them pots 'n' pans
Some bands burn down the club, others the arena. But the best bands pile into your house and raise a ruckus in your overcrowded kitchen when you're having a party, sending your guests into reverie as beer cans, forks and food fly about. San Francisco folk-rockers Port O'Brien are in this third category. Yes, sometimes they're 'hauntingly beautiful' as they say, but Port O'Brien is really more than that, quite compelling, even slightly abrasive when it wants to be. The O'Brien band joins Violent Femmes-like rockers Jared Mees and The Grown Children, pretty damn pretty balladeers Sean Flinn and The Royal We and Robbie-Robertson-loves-Johnny-Cash-loves-Buck-Owens offspring Quiet Life at Doug Fir.
Port O' Brien, Jared Mees and The Grown Children, Sean Flinn and The Royal We, Quiet Life, 9 p.m. Friday, Feb. 19, Doug Fir Lounge, 830 E. Burnside St. $8 advance, $10 at the door. Info: 503-231-WOOD, www.dougfirlounge.com.
Depending on how you view Monday, it's a day to work and a night to stay in, or it's a day that totally sucks, man, so let's go out after work, drink cheap beer and RAWK! If you consider yourself in the latter category, the primitive as well as complex alternative hard rock sounds emanating from Ash St. Saloon can clear and/ or fry your brain Feb 22. Guitar-heavy Old Heat totally freakin' rock, danceable Big Blue Whale totally rage and the intelligent Neon Culpa clearly rock in a most awesome way. These bands will drive away your can't-trust-that-day blues and make Monday seem like Friday's on your mind.
Old Heat, Big Blue Whale, Neon Culpa, 9:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 22, Ash St. Saloon, 225 S.W. Ash St. $5. Info: 503-226-0430, www.ashstreetsaloon.com.
The Aladdin Theater has so many good shows coming up it could make you squirm. Why there's jazzy pop songstress Rickie Lee Jones Thursday, Feb. 18, and Irish folk gods and goddesses Solas Saturday, Feb. 20, just to name two. But we'll take a look at the Feb. 23 show because it's got three, count 'em, three great acts to perk you ears up.
Los Lonely Boys headlines 'The Acoustic Brotherhood' show, bringing their muscular-yet-sensitive tunes to the stage. Fronted by Henry Garza on guitar, with his brothers Jojo on bass and Ringo on drums, the just-turned-30-something band is probably the best power trio of its generation, easily mixing Mexican, blues, rock and country music, and Henry is certainly a much smoother and lady-friendly vocalist than your average blues-rock guitarist. The Garza brothers share the stage with Austin's Carrie Rodriquez, who plays a pretty good fiddle boy, but give the devil her due and she'll sing you into submission as well. Rodriguez shares her performing duties with Hans Holzen on guitars. In the middle of the show is one of our nation's finest songwriters, Alejandro Escovedo, who also happens to be Sheila E's uncle. He's every decent songwriter's songwriter - Steve Earle, Lucinda Williams and John Cale worship him - an original punk-rocker, an original roots-rocker and he's beaten Hepatitis-C. So rip that iPod off your head and go hear him.
Los Lonely Boys, Alejandro Escovedo, Carrie Rodriquez, 8 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 23, Aladdin Theater, 3017 S.E. Milwaukie Ave. $42 advance, $45 day of show, minors must be accompanied by parent. Info: 503-234-9694, www.aladdin-theater.com.
This show's a steal
Berbati's will host an eclectic folk 'n' rock lineup Thursday, Feb. 25, and it only costs $5 in advance, so get your tickets now. On stage will one of Portland's hardest hitting, yet poignant singer-songwriters Michael Dean Damron and Thee Loyal Bastards. The Hounds Below were formed by Jason Stollsteimer of alterna-kings The Von Bondies, and play operatic-voiced rock 'n' rockabilly flavored with Dave Davies-like guitar. Matthew Ryan is one of alternative country's most daring voices, almost a Brian Eno of the roots world with his gorgeous soundscapes and instrumental tangents framing his ballads. Portland's Kasey Anderson sounds a bit like Bruce Springsteen if he actually was still living the hard life Springsteen left behind decades ago. Ryan and Anderson will also play at 6 p.m. that day in Music Millennium, 3158 E. Burnside St.
Michael Dean Damron and Thee Loyal Bastards, The Hounds Below, Matthew Ryan, Kasey Anderson, 9 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 25, Berbati's Pan, 231 S.W. Ankey St. $5 advance, $7 day of show. Info: www.berbati.com.