Austin's Band of Heathens is a 'best of' type country rock band - their last indie album hit No. 1 on the Americana charts for two weeks, and No. 8 overall on the Americana Music Association's Top Albums of 2008. They've been voted 'Best New Band' in the Austin Music Awards and written up in The Wall Street Journal as putting on the 'Best Set' of the 2009 South By Southwest music conference. So, are they any good? Yes, especially if you like your roots music electrified and evocative of such groups as Little Feat and The Band and performers like Steve Earle.
The Band of Heathens, Ashleigh Flynn, 8:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 6, Alberta Rose Theatre, 3000 N.E. Alberta St. $17.75. 21 and over. Info: 503-719-6055, www.albertarosetheatre.com.
Nick Oliveri of Kyuss and Queens Of The Stone Age famously fronts Mondo Generator, sort of a growlier punkish Motörhead for the younger - and maybe even approaching middle age - set. With his buddies Dave Grohl of Nirvana and Foo Fighters and Them Crooked Vultures, Happy Tom of Turbonegro and Marc Diamond of The Dwarves, he's just recorded a new single called 'Dog Food' (the band coming to town is a different lineup behind Oliveri) to preview Mondo's upcoming album 'Time to Destroy.'
Mondo Generator, Tweak Bird, It's Casual, 9:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 6, Dante's, 1 S.W. Third Ave. $12 in advance, $14 at the door. Info: 503- 226-6630, www.myspace.com/dantesportland.
Free pop rocks
Just in time for the great debate brewing in Oregon over those wicked plastic grocery bags, Paper or Plastic is returning to the town that birthed it. Formed in Portland in 2003 by frontman David Pollock, Paper or Plastic is an irresistibly catchy crew of indie pop rockers who now include Japanese guitarist Kenta Yonesaka and Oregonians Ian Millhollen on bass, Joey Harmon on drums and tenor saxophonist Ian Christensen. Now based in New York City, the band has played the Vans Warped Tour, opened for all the right people and garnered critical acclaim for its clever, infectious melodies and well crafted lyrics.
Paper or Plastic, 6 p.m. Friday, Aug. 6, Music Millennium, 3158 E. Burnside St. Free. All ages. Info: 503-231-8926, www.musicmillennium.com.
There will be a quiz
Something about Sunday in Portland brings out the intelligent bands. Maybe it's because folks are too tired to destroy after the weekend, but you can routinely catch some of this city's most musically interesting groups on a night usually considered the tamest of the week. Ocean Age is one of four bands at Rotture, a neo-psychedelic band that creates dreamy, polyrhythmic melodic music with gorgeous ethereal vocals that bespeak the band's name.
Ocean Age, Rooftops, Secret Codes, Wishyunu, 9 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 8, Rotture, 315 S.E. Third Ave. $5. Info: 503-234-5683, www.rotture.com.
Shakin' all over
If you haven't caught them yet, do yourself a favor and catch progressive folkies The Shook Twins. Laurie Shook plays the banjo, guitar, ocarina and beatbox. Katelyn plays guitar and banjo, and writes the songs that make the whole world shake. They've already played with some big names, including Michelle Shocked, Soul Asylum and The Bodeans.
The Shook Twins, 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 10, White Eagle, 836 N. Russell St. Free. 21 and older. Info: 503-282-6810, www.mcmenamins.com.