Fans of the y'allternative folk rock kings The Jayhawks should take note - co-founder Mark Olson's new 11-song solo CD 'Many Colored Kite' is a keeper. Olson's sort of a preacher on the acoustic guitar-centric album, mostly singing but almost talking at times like a cooler version of a camp counselor or a slightly sensitive farmer who's willing to discuss more than just the price of wheat down.
A.A. Bondy, Mark Olson, Mike Coykendall, Alialujah Choir, Henry Wagons, 7:30 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 9, Mississippi Studios, 3939 N. Mississippi St. $12 or MusicFest wristband. Info: 503-288-3895, www.mississippistudios.com.
Halloween comes early
The Smashing Pumpkins, which now consists of leader and founder Billy Corgan, guitarist Jeff Schroeder, drummer Mike Byrne and new bassist Nicole Fiorentino, sold millions of albums by making angst beautiful and helped define the '90s sound by bridging the worlds of psychedelia, grunge, progressive metal and jangle rock. They're one of the weirdest yet most compelling bands to have ever made it big, and undoubtedly have written a riff or two you never quite got out of your head. Despite all your rage.
Smashing Pumpkins, 9 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 11, Wonder Ballroom, 128 N.E. Russell St. $40. Info: 503-284-8686, www.wonderballroom.com.
One of the best things to ever come out of Birmingham, England, The English Beat, fused ska, punk, reggae and soul, sported an interracial membership and sound, and generally made music that made you glad you were alive. The Beat not only created irresistible dance numbers like 'Save It For Later' and 'I Confess,' the band also spawned General Public and Fine Young Cannibals, brightening up the charts even after The Beat's demise. Dave Wakeland, The Beat and General Public's frontman, is touring with a U.S. version of The Beat, so if you have soul in your soles, don't miss this show. Chris Murray, former leader of Canada's ska revivalists King Apparatus, brings his low-fi, hi-energy acoustic ska and reggae to the opening slot.
The English Beat, Chris Murray, 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 12, Wonder Ballroom, 128 N.E. Russell St. $20. 21 and older. Info: 503-284-8686, www.wonderballroom.com.
Blues with lube
The Chicago sidemen in Lubriphonic - Giles Corey, vocals and guitar; Richard King, drums; Pennal Johnson, bass; Garrick Patten, saxophone; Norman Palm, trombone; and Andrew Toombs, keyboards - have backed the likes of Buddy Guy, Otis Rush and Koko Taylor. Taking the spotlight for their own, they're touring in support of their upcoming 14-song CD, 'The Gig is On,' which features some fancy ivories ticklin' by New Orleans keyboardist, Ivan Neville. Joining Lubriphonic is the Mike Mangan Big Organ Trio, whose leader plays his B-3 through a variety of guitar effects, so you know this will be one jam-happy show.
Lubriphonic, Mike Mangan Big Organ Trio, 10:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 14, Goodfoot, 2845 S.E. Stark St. $10. Info: 503-239-9292, www.thegoodfoot.com.
Care package show
MusiCares, the charitable arm of the Grammys, is throwing an awareness-raising event featuring Portland's happy-go-lucky popsters Monarques, who are kicking off a tour, as well as epic shimmering alterna-rockers And And And and melodic pop-rockers The Shivas. This is a happy show for a good cause - MusiCares provides musicians assistance in times of need, financial, medical and personal.
Monarques, And And And, The Shivas, 9 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 16, Doug Fir, 830 E. Burnside St. $7. Info: 503-231-9663, www.dougfirlounge.com.