Twain in vain
It's a brave country-rock band that disses both Shania Twain AND the rain in one song. Heck, why don't you just take a shot at Sarah Palin AND amber waves of grain while you're at it, punks! But that's what Olympia's Broken Trail did on its 2009 debut CD 'What This Country Needs.' It's not clear what Shania or the rain ever did to them, but it is clear that these cowboy hat-wearing cats went to the Waylon Jennings school of country, which is a very, very good thing. In addition to its own finely crafted tunes, the band breaks open a few bottles labeled Haggard, Brooks 'n' Dunn for y'all.
Broken Trail, 9 p.m. Saturday, April 10, Jubitz Ponderosa Lounge, 10350 N. Vancouver Way, I-5 Exit 307. $5. Info: 503-345-0300 ext. 4459, www.PonderosaLounge.com.
In his room
The Beach Boys' Brian Wilson famously escaped to his room - in song as well as in life - to insulate himself from what was outside. Some musicians, however, choose to barricade themselves temporarily because they're gearing up to battle corporate control of the masses. Portland's Micah Tamblyn has done just this through his electronica project Dropa.
On his the-future-is-now-and-we're-screwed CD 'A Well Orchestrated Plan,' Tamblyn aims squarely at the New World Order, using his laptop-driven topical style to figure out why we're all being manipulated into the apocalypse. You know, the typical pop writer's preoccupations. Live, he plays it all on a keytar (a lightweight keyboard strapped around a performer's shoulders) and has a band to boot, so you can get download, so to speak. He'll be sharing the stage with ska rockers Audiodub and neo-soul pop rocker John Craig.
Dropa, John Craig, Audiodub, 9 p.m. Saturday, April 10, Lola's Room, Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W. Burnside Road. $8 advance, $10 day of show. Info: (503) 225-0047, www.mcmenamins.com.
April 10, 16
Double the fun
British Columbia's The Tranzmitors cut to the chase, whipping out catchy, garage-rock-pop tunes yanked from the same tight pants that squeezed The Jam, The Undertones, Question Mark and the Mysterians and Elvis Costello. Before you even figure out what they're doing, The Tranzmitors have moved on to the next song, leaving you to decide whether you should refresh your drink or cut the rug some more. Our bet's on the latter. You can catch 'em twice in Portland during the next week or so.
The Tranzmitors with Clorox Girls, Welcome Home Walker, Rough Kids and Midnight Callers, 8 p.m. Saturday, April 10, Satyricon, 125 N.W. 6th Ave. Info: myspace.com/satyriconpdx. All ages.
The Tranzmitors with Mean Jeans, Bare Wires, Crypt of the Grave, 9 p.m. Friday, April 16, Slabtown, 1033 N.W. 16th St. $7 advance. Info: 503-223-0099, www.slabtownbar.net.
Cooler than you'll ever be
Allen Davis of Every Move a Picture and Clint Sargent of The High Violets formed the dreamy yet slightly abrasive power shoegazers Starry Saints in 2009, then won a local radio contest with a video for their rockin' song 'Go.' Since video made them radio stars, these lucky cats opened for The Killers at Memorial Coliseum. Not bad, not bad at all. Starry Saints will be sharing the stage with Portland's jangly rockers Go Fever and San Francisco's Fake Your Own Death.
Starry Saints, Go Fever, Fake Your Own Death, 8:30 p.m. Thursday, April 15, Holocene, 1001 S.E. Morrison St. $6. Info: 503-239-7639, www.holocene.org.
Deliverance from evil
If you like your bluegrass, then you should definitely check out the Eastside Bluegrass Series, which features monthly bluegrass and old time music shows every third Saturday of each month. This month's show includes the Pacific Rim Bluegrass Band with vocalists Paul King on guitar, Gary Schottle on mandolin, Mary Cox on bass and Debra King on banjo. The duo A Chick and A Rose play midway through the evening, and the night winds up with Lost Creek, a traditional bluegrass and old-time music group boasting tight vocal harmonies and tasty instrumentation. Each show starts off with audience members jamming at 5:30 p.m. in the lobby; so bring your jaw harp and spoons.