Us as Them
Eric S. Gregory of lyrical indie folk rockers The Welfare State notes his band dress and 'act a lot like the Go-Betweens in our daily lives,' the legendary Australian indie rockers founded by Robert Forster and Grant McLennan.
'(They) taught me a lot about writing songs, presenting a rock and roll image that prioritizes smarts and deep cultural literacy - and on a more quotidian level, how to sing literate lines when you don't have a singer's voice or the cultural capital of Bob Dylan,' Gregory adds.
On the night before Hallow's Eve, The Welfare State will play as the Go-Betweens, joining 10 other garage, punk, psychedelic, folk and indie rock 'n' roll bands to dress and play as other bands: Astro Zombies as the Misfits, Little Volcano as T-Rex, Flash Flood and the Dikes as Lee Hazelwood, Les Etrangers as Yes, The Countdown as the White Stripes, Wolfman Fairies as Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Brownish Black as Creedence Clearwater Revival, Joel Kraft as Leonard Cohen, Pure Joy as The Small Faces and Hawthorne as The Ramones. And it's all for a good cause - sending kids to such music programs as School of Rock.
Benefit for Children's Musical Scholarships, 9 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 30, Slabtown, 1033 N.W. 16th Ave. $5. Info: 503-223-0099, myspace.com/slabtownbar.
All rages venue
The Blood Shack, a new all ages venue in town, serves beer and wine for you older hipsters, and is putting on a rockin' good time show and haunted house Oct. 30. Keep an ear out for Welcome Home Walker, in particular, a hard-driving just plain fun group of straight-ahead punk-soul-rock boys who sound fresh and modern even as they evoke the spirit of 1950s rock 'n' roll and '70s pub rock.
Welcome Home Walker, Clorox Girls, Salted City, Cramps cover band featuring members of From Ashes Rise and Scott Baio Army, Saturday, Oct. 30, The Blood Shack, 55 S.E. 11th Ave. Haunted house opens at 8 p.m., show at 9 p.m. $10. All ages. Info: 503-969-3351.
Road to Gruen
Kris Gruen is a Vermont-based singer-songwriter whose father, Bob Gruen, took about half of all the famous rock photos you've ever seen. Kris, however, picked up a guitar instead of a camera and approaches songwriting with a gentle, sometimes downright whispery approach at times. His sound belongs to the hours right before dawn when you wake up a little too early, and you're not quite sure what to think about. Then you realize it's best to just listen to the birds start chirping as the dawn reveals itself in its own good time.
Kris Gruen, 8 p.m. Monday, Nov. 1, Mississippi Pizza Pub, 3552 N. Mississippi Ave. Info: 503-288-3231, mississippipizza.com.
You better take care
In the early 1970s, Gordon Lightfoot, who had grown into an accomplished songwriter and performer in the previous decade, put together folk and rock music with his own rich tenor voice on such hit ballads as 'Sundown' and 'The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald.' Bob Dylan, Elvis Presley and, we kid you not, Jane's Addiction, have recorded his songs. Touring in support of his 20th album, 'Harmony,' the multiple award-winning crooner and guitarist is sure to bring a heartwarming show.
Gordon Lightfoot, 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 3, Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, 1037 S.W. Broadway Ave., $37.50 to $69.50. Info: 503-274-6564, pcpa.com.
Great Big Sea sounds exactly like their name - wide, open and wavy. Rockin' shanties and revving' up folk music, this Newfoundland trio has spent 17 years not giving a damn about trends, which is why they probably have such a fiercely loyal fan base (trust us, go to a show, this group's fans are passionate with a capital 'P'). They're sort of like a Canadian version of Bruce Springsteen and Bob Seger in an Irish pub, just driving home one melody after another until you're forced to borrow some money for another brew since you've maxed out your tab.
Great Big Sea, 8 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 3, Aladdin Theater, 3017 S.E. Milwaukie Ave. $27.50 in advance, $30 day of show. Minors must be accompanied by parent. Info: 503-234-9694, aladdin-theater.com.