O Brother, Where Jam Thou?
From rockin' blues bars back in the 1980s in Baton Rouge and Austin with future 'Today Show' technical editor Corey Greenberg, Chris Thomas King has come a mighty long way. He co-starred in the 2001 film 'O Brother, Where Art Thou?' as real-life bluesman Tommy Johnson, which led King to sharing in a Grammy for the platinum soundtrack, as well as writing movie music for such films as 'The Mechanic.' The son of Tabby Thomas, a famous nightclub owner, guitarist and singer in Baton Rouge, King learned from the elder statesmen of the blues, including the late great Silas Hogan, but also embraced the digital music revolution and introduced hip-hop undertones along with sampling and deejay-distorted electronica into the genre.
Chris Thomas King, 8 p.m. Thursday, March 17, Alberta Rose Theatre, 3000 N.E. Alberta St. $18 in advance, $22 at the door. Minors must be accompanied by parent or guardian. Info: 503-719-6055, albertarosetheatre.com.
From Russia with a hunka burnin' love
In 1995, singer, songwriter, guitarist and showman Igor Yuzov had a dream that Elvis Presley told him to play rock 'n' roll. Instead of jammin' just in the former U.S.S.R., Yuzov and his band Red Elvises took their kitschy Siberian surf folk rock around the world, and have at various times featured keyboards, accordions, saxophone, clarinet, trumpet, flute, banjo, mandolin, tuba and several other instruments. They'll share the stage with the great hard-drivin' Portland rockabilly band The Twangshifters, so if you don't dance at this show, there is no hope for you.
Igor and Red Elvises, The Twangshifters, 9 p.m. Friday, March 18, Dante's, 1 S.W. Third Ave. Info: danteslive.com, 503-226-6630.
Montreal's Handsome Furs - keyboardist Alexei Perry and her guitarist husband Dan Boeckner (of indie rockers Wolf Parade) - apparently like two things: posing in semi-sexy photos that make you wish you, too, had such a great marriage, and creating catchy synth-pop music that makes you smile from ear to ear. They wear their OMD-New Order influences on their musical sleeves but aren't afraid to RAWK, man, which means if they're tipsy enough, even folks a little afraid of artificial beats can get down to this Sub Pop twosome.
Handsome Furs, 10 p.m. Saturday, March 19, Bunk Bar, 1028 S.E. Water Ave., Suite 130. Info: 503-894-9708, bunkbar.com.
All you need is pop
Listening to Seattle's The Scene Aesthetic makes you want to skip down the street, say hello to everyone and generally get your sunny day groove on. Featuring Andrew de Torres of Danger Radio and Eric Bowley, the acoustic indie pop duo composes easy-on-the-ears music that reminds you of your first love and/or infatuation, not to mention the day you got your braces off. The duo will be joined by female folk rockers He Is We, the John Mayeresque Carter Hulsey (a young cat who shows some real songwriting promise) and two Portland acts, acoustic indie popsters Plug In Stereo and alternative indie rockers Sunderland. All these acts on the 'Love Is All Around Us' tour are happier and more energetic than you, so make sure you down an energy drink before you go.
The Scene Aesthetic, He Is We, Carter Hulsey, Plug In Stereo, Sunderland, 6 p.m. Monday, March 21, Hawthorne Theatre, 1507 S.E. 39th Ave. $10 in advance, $12 day of show. Info: 503-233-7100, hawthornetheater.com.
Portland Americana country-rockers Air Show evidence some pretty nice guitar-pickin' as well as an ability to shift from truck-speed rockers to more contemplative ballads. They sound a bit like the Gin Blossoms albeit with a lot more gruff and dirt under their fingernails. Good music to remove that tear from your beer.
Air Show, 9 p.m. Thursday, March 24, Mock Crest Tavern, 3435 N. Lombard St. Free. Info: 503-283-5014, mockcrest.com.