Yin 'n' twang
Lucero lead singer Ben Nichols has always sounded like a more sober Shane McGowan, and his band certainly matches the Pogues in energy, attitude and righteous rockin' - not to mention both bands have hardcore fans who sing along to every word. The Memphis alt-country kings include original members Roy Berry on drums, John C. Stubblefield on bass and Brian Venable on guitar. Lucero has also brought aboard Rick Steff to play piano, organ and accordion, Todd Beene to massage the pedal steel, Jim Spake to blow saxophone and Nashon Benford to kiss the trumpet.
Lucero, Drag the River, I Can Lick Any S.O.B. In The House, 9 p.m. Friday, Dec. 3, Berbati's Pan, 231 S.W. Ankeny St. $14 in advance, $16 day of show. Info: 503-226-2122, berbati.com.
Yule be glad to be there
If the holiday season means anything, it's endless rounds of 'White Christmas' and 'Noel' on TV, in shopping malls and on the radio. But if you're looking for seasonal music with a bit of an unconventional twist, you might want to check out the second annual Cascadia Yulegrass celebration. Topnotch fiddler and producer Darol Anger - who's worked with everyone from Bela Fleck to Vassar Clements - will direct Sharon Gilchrist, a mandolin player and teacher who's worked with members of the Dixie Chicks, as well as Scott Law, a master guitarist who's jammed with Phil Lesh and Railroad Earth among many others. The two shows will give Anger a chance to introduce Samson Grisman, son of mandolin legend David Grisman. An upright bassist who's played with his father's band and several other notable Americana groups.
Cascadia Yulegrass, 4 and 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 5, Alberta Rose Theatre, 3000 N.E. Alberta St. $10 to $35. Info: 503-427-8201, CascadiaYulegrass.com.
Jamaica via Toronto
Bedouin Soundclash was named Canada's Best New Artist in the Juno Awards a few years back, and it's easy to hear why - the trio, made up of founding members Jay Malinowksi on vocals and guitar, and Eon Sinclair on bass, along with new member Sekou Lumumba on drums, creates you-must-get-up-and-dance music drawn from reggae, rock, punk and soul. They're easy on the ears and good for the soul. Swedish rock, punk, reggae and disco Soul Brother No. 1 Anders Wendin, better known as Moneybrother, opens the show.
Bedouin Soundclash, Moneybrother, 7 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 5, Hawthorne Theatre, 3862 S.E. Hawthorne Blvd. $13 in advance, $15 day of show. All ages. Info: 503-233-7100, hawthornetheatre .com.
Jazz you like it
Since the 1980s, innovative guitarist Bill Frisell has explored the worlds of country, progressive folk, classical and noise music, in addition to his original love, jazz. He's basically become what they're talking about when they talk about Americana - an eclectic finger-picker who loves this country's music and the sounds that fed into it. Everyone from Marianne Faithfull and Elvis Costello to Pat Metheny and Ginger Baker have employed his talents or sung his praises. You can catch him for free at a special solo acoustic show in-store where he'll talk about the tunes off his latest album 'Beautiful Dreamers.'
Bill Frisell, 7 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 8, EveryDay Music, 1313 West Burnside St. Free. Info: 503-274-0961.