Good things happen whenever Caucasians relax. Take San Francisco's Hot Buttered Rum, which originally formed as a bluegrass band seven years ago, but has expanded its musical repertoire to include jazz, rock, country and other elements. Indeed, the title track of its latest CD 'Limbs Akimbo' hasa South Africa-meets-the-Caribbean feel that is irresistibly danceable. This Americana band sounds like educated, yet down-to-earth, cats you'd enjoy sharing moonshine with. The Americana group features Nat Keefe on guitar, Bryan Horne on bass, Aaron Redner on fiddle and vocals, Erik Yates on banjo and guitar, and Matt Butler on drums.
Hot Buttered Rum, 9 p.m. Thursday, March 18, Doug Fir Lounge, 830 E. Burnside St. $18 in advance, $20 day of show. Info: 503-231-9663, www.dougfirlounge.com.
At times boasting almost as many members as Santa Anna's army besieging the Alamo, Federale is that rarest of bands, a group you hear through your eyes as well as your head. Deliberately setting out to recreate the sounds that peppered spaghetti Westerns, Federale, which includes members of Brian Jonestown Massacre, make its impossible to listen to their Mexican-flavored music without wanting to load up your six-shooters and take out some varmints. Federale will share the stage with airy psychedelic rockers Go Fever as well as the fuzzy, proto-metal-psychedelic Holy Children.
Federale, Go Fever, Holy Children, 9:30 p.m. Friday, March 19, Dante's, 1 S.W. Third Ave. $7 advance, $8 at the door. Info: 503-226-6630, myspace.com/dantesportland.
Hart of Gold
Devendra Banhart has the requisite singer-songwriter credentials, having busked in the streets of San Francisco, dated Natalie Portman and caught the ear of Neil Young. His baritone voice glides effortlessly over his folk, ska, rock and tropical tunes, and he sounds like a more masculine version of Tiny Tim jamming with the whole lot of psychedelia musicians the West Coast has nurtured since the 1960s. Banhart and his band The Grogs will be sharing the stage at the Crystal Ballroom with a capella experimentalist Dorothy and the Originals.
Devendra Banhart, Dorothy and the Originals, 8 p.m. Sunday, March 21, Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W. Burnside St. $20 advance, $25 day of show. All ages welcome. Info: 503-225-0047, www.mcmenamins.com.
Seattle indie pop rockers This Providence are tailored made for the teen crowd - they got the cute boys, the cool haircuts that slant that certain way and the uptempo guitar-heavy tunes that make the kids wanna cut the rug all night. Chicago's The Audition rock a wee bit harder, but boast the same kind of easy-on-the-ears harmonies of This Providence. Phoenix pop-rockers Anarbor vaguely echo Everlast at times, and also got them sugary harmonies and great haircuts. Northern Virginia's The Bigger Lights - great haircuts, harmonies, and they will even 'te-te-tear' you apart as they rock the gym. Finally, Dallas' Artist Vs. Poet, who also sport great haircuts and harmonies, complete this lineup of the happiest bands in America.
This Providence, The Audition, Anarbor, The Bigger Lights, Artist Vs. Poet, 6 p.m. Thursday, March 25, Hawthorne Theatre, 1507 SE 39th Ave. $10 in advance, $12 day of show. All ages. Info: 503-233-7100, www.hawthornetheatre.com.
Caught in their web
Just as humanity was getting ensnared in the World Wide Web, the Spider Babies formed in the early 1990s as part of Web inventor Al Gore's secret plan to increase the temperature of the planet by making it rock harder, ensuring his own future career as a documentary film narrator. The reunited garage-punk Babies are once again heating up the planet with their incendiary anthems and will share the stage with Junior's Gang and the cosmically comic Sweet Rock Party.
Spider Babies, Junior's Gang, Sweet Rock Party, 9 p.m. Saturday, March 27, Slabtown, 1033 N.W. 16th Ave. $5. Info: 503-223-0099, myspace.com/slabtownbar.