by: COURTESY OF Meeno, The Sons of Sylvia open for Carrie Underwood Sept. 25 at the Rose Garden.

Sept. 24

Timid need not apply

Garage rock power-popsters The Decliners - who throw touches of grunge, punk and psychedelia into the mix - is a band of left-wing righteous rockers too freakin' loud and raucous to hear your applause for their thoughtful lyrics about suicide and war, so just start slammin'. Meanwhile, 8-Foot Tender straddle that not-so-fine line between pub rock and skater punk, veer into a wee bit of glam rock, and then hit you in the face with anthemic choruses and killer guitars that finally destroy all boundaries between poseurs, punks and punters as the police who are about to bust the show take off their badges instead and join the party.

The Decliners, 8-Foot Tender, 9 p.m. Friday, Sept. 24, Slabtown, 1033 N.W. 16th Ave. Info:503-223-0099,

Sept. 25

Band of brothers

They get called a country music band, but really Sons of Sylvia is more of a pop band with country touches, as the three handsome brothers, Ashley, Austin and Adam Clark, vie for the little girls' hearts. They've already won Carrie Underwood's, and will serve as her opener. In their previous incarnation as The Clark Brothers, they won Fox's 'Next Great American Band.' Hipsters probably won't dig them, but these young men can actually play their guitars, mandolins and fiddles pretty well, giving them depth a lot of pop stars lack these days.

Carrie Underwood, Sons of Sylvia, 7 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 25, Rose Garden, One Center Court. $35.50, $45.50, $55.50. Info:

Sept. 24, 25

Get this party started

The Motet are a bunch of Colorado boys who wish they'd been born in West Africa, or maybe Chicago when Earth Wind and Fire were forming or New York City when David Byrne found his funky side. They love Afrobeat, soul, techno and funk and probably have a better time playing it than anyone outside of James Brown's immediate family or for that matter Fela Kuti's. This deliciously danceable band is a gas, gas, gas and will be sharing the stage with Portland's Tapwater, a 'world twang' band that combines Latin, Caribbean, jazz, soul and Americana sounds and are one of our city's most polished sounding groups of sound makers. The next night, alternative electronica dance rockers Jesta share the stage.

The Motet, Tapwater, 10 p.m. Friday, Sept. 24; with Jesta, Saturday, Sept. 25, Mt. Tabor, 4811 S.E. Hawthorne Blvd. $12 in advance, $15 day of show. Info: 503-360-1450,

Sept. 29

Pop, no chaser

Portland's John Craig writes great pop music and doesn't need to get all deep or anything to make you listen but isn't afraid to take some chances, which he certainly does on his three new singles 'Ghosts,' 'The Fall Out' and 'Broken Branches/IED/ Kandahar.' The first single addresses childhood fears, the second looks at society's infatuation with technology and the final single is a three-part, 13-minute piece take on the Afghanistan War. This cat keeps getting better and better, so if you like pop music that doesn't insult your intelligence, check him out.

John Craig, Threadspinner, Olina, 9 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 29, Rotture, 315 S.E. Third Ave. $5. Info: 503-234-5683,

Heads up

Tipsy Gypsies

Gogol Bordello combines Gypsy, Russian and Ukrainian music with over-the-top punk 'n' roll to make good on the anarchic promise of live performance so many other bands never fulfill.

8 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 19, Roseland Theater, 8 N.W. Sixth Ave.,, $23.50

Gordon Lightfoot

The man who brought you 'Carefree Highway,' 'The Wreck Of The Edmund Fitzgerald,' 'Rainy Day People' and 'Sundown' makes an appearance in Portland.

7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 3, Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, 1037 S.W. Broadway,, $37.50-$69.50

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