by: COURTESY OF Sony Music Entertainment, 
Motion City Soundtrack hit the Crystal Ballroom on Oct. 20.

Oct. 15

Get an Eiffel of that!

Eric John Kaiser was born in Paris and now calls Portland home but will be returning to his native land this month and next to tour in support of his new CD 'Portland Rendez-Vous.' The French troubadour has carved his own niche by creating a modern pop-rock sound fusing rock, hip-hop and reggae wrapped in sophisticated French lyrics. He shares the stage at his bon voyage with Chicago folk rockers Kory Quinn and The Comrades as well as Portland's own Prohibition-era jazzy lounge swingers AnnaPaul and The Bearded Lady.

Eric John Kaiser, Kory Quinn and The Comrades, AnnaPaul and The Bearded Lady, 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 15, Ella Street Social Club, 714 S.W. 20th Place. $8. Info: 503-227-0116,

Oct. 18

What greatness sounds like

Led by Col. J.D. Wilkes, a harmonica-playing frontman who seems to have been fathered by Howlin' Wolf, Rob Zombie, Shorty Medlocke and Bessie Smith in some sort of strange yet loving polygamous marriage, the Legendary Shack Shakers just might be the greatest rock 'n' roll band in the world on any given night. They're country, they're blues, they're punk but most importantly they're just plain crazy. Meanwhile, Seattle's Bob Wayne and The Outlaw Carnies are the countrified soundtrack to every crystal meth-inspired romance to ever blossom into an endless series of restraining orders.

Legendary Shack Shakers, Bob Wayne and The Outlaw Carnies, 9 p.m. Monday, Oct. 18, Mississippi Studios, 3939 N. Mississippi St. $13. Info: 503-288-3895,

Oct. 20

Not lacking for prom dates

Some boys hope to get girls by playing loud, fast, hard rock 'n' roll that scares the hunker doodles out of everyone. Far more dangerous, however - in the actual heartbreaking sense - are the boys whose softhearted vulnerability on stage makes it impossible for girls not to bombard them with hugs at the merchandise table after the show. Cases in point: Never Shout Never, Christofer Drew's tenor-voiced one-man acoustic emo act and The Maine, a group of emo-flavored rockers out of Arizona whose great haircuts disguise the fact they definitely have some chops and vocals and possess the possibility of transcending their pop rock boundaries. Ace Enders' folksy side project I Can Make A Mess Like Nobody's Business and Carter Hulsey, an acoustic folkie with a husky voice and a maturing lyrical sensibility, share the bill.

Never Shout Never, The Maine, I Can Make A Mess Like Nobody's Business, Carter Hulsey, 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 20, Wonder Ballroom, 128 N.E. Russell St. $20 advance. $23 day of show. Info: 503-284-8686,

Movie buffs

For 13 years, Minneapolis' Motion City Soundtrack have trafficked in the pop-meets-punk world that has pretty much defined mainstream rock 'n' roll for the under-30 set for some time. They do it better than most, singer Justin Pierre's vocals soaring over good time start 'n' stop riffs that scream suburban bliss and white boy angst simultaneously. Emo-punk-popsters Say Anything, led by the insanely emotive Max Bemis, as well as power-pop-punksters Saves the Day and harmony-coated power-popsters Valencia will all make you wish summer was still in session.

Motion City Soundtrack, Say Anything, Saves The Day, Valencia, 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 20. Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W. Burnside St. $19.99 advance, $23 day of show. All ages. Info: 503-225-0047,

Oct. 21

Cool cat

Vocalist-pianist Spencer Day is a young cat who purrs like an old-time lounge crooner, but with a rocker's ever so slightly gruff sensibility. He sounds a bit like Frankie Avalon might have if Annette Funicello had dumped him at the beach and he decided it was time to knock back a few and swing, baby! Blending jazz, blues, soul and classic pop influences, he can sing a song that tackles thorny contemporary issues - 'too many people waging holy jihads' - but with such a jaunty spirit that you almost think we could make it if we try. Portland's very fine mandolin/bass/percussion trio Sneakin' Out opens the show.

Spencer Day, Sneakin' Out, 8:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 21, Alberta Rose Theatre, 3000 N.E. Alberta St. $18. Info: 503-719-6055,

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