Guitarists/vocalists Jon Davidson and Russell Stafford, a native of Australia who moved to Portland in 2004, lead Portland alt-pop-rock band Crown Point, which has released an eminently listenable six-song EP titled 'Wolves.' The title track features the drumming of Nickelback's Daniel Adair on the title song. Stafford and Davidson were playing in other local bands when they met, and began sharing the stage here and there, eventually deciding their styles meshed well. 'I have much more of a rock voice, and he's more pop,' Davidson says of his musical partner. 'His voice is much higher and mine is much lower, which works out great.' The band also features Kaycee Kay on drums, as well as an inanimate bass player. 'The bass tracks come out of a laptop,' Stafford says. 'They never mess up, they don't eat much and they don't require a seat in the van,' he adds with a laugh.
Crown Point, Jetpack Missing, Greenlander, Ruby Hill, 9 p.m. Friday, April 1, Doug Fir Lounge, 830 E. Burnside St. $8 in advance, $10 day of show. Info: 503-231-WOOD, dougfirlounge.com.
If you miss this, you hate America
The Band of Heathens slink, slither, squawk and slide across the genres of blues, rock, country and all things in between. This down-home Austin group has become one of the nation's premier Americana bands during the past decade. Credit the strong songwriting of Colin Brooks, who plays guitar, dobro and lap steel; Ed Jurdi, who plays guitar, keys and harmonica; and Gordy Quist, who strums guitar and blows harp as well. Bassist Seth Whitney and drummer John Chipman fill out this band's rich sound, which echoes everyone from Gregg Allman, Lowell George and, in a roundabout way, Pete Townsend. Joining the show are two Portland bands, Hank Williams' bastard children from Portland, The Tumblers, as well as uplifting, roots-rockin' soul-stirrers The Beautiful Train Wrecks.
The Band of Heathens, The Tumblers, The Beautiful Train Wrecks, 9 p.m. Saturday, April 2, Mississippi Studios, 3939 N. Mississippi St. $10. Info: 503-288-3895, mississippistudios.com.
He scored the music for the movie 'Me, Myself and Irene,' has worked a bit with R.E.M.'s Peter Buck, has dropped a song in the hit TV series 'House, MD' and has cut an album with Scarlett Johansson. He's Pete Yorn, one of the premier singer-songwriters of the past decade, who's cut everything from catchy pop to introspective ballads. He shares the bill with Ben Kweller, who looks like Yorn's younger brother and routinely combines pop, folk and punk in a listenable manner. Rounding out the show is L.A.'s fine pop-rock-folk duo The Wellspring.
Pete Yorn, Ben Kweller, The Wellspring, 9 p.m. Sunday, April 3, Wonder Ballroom, 128 N.E. Russell St. $23 in advance, $26 day of show. All ages. Info: 503-284-8686, wonderballroom.com.
We've all seen horrific dancing to live music in nightclubs - indeed, we may be the perpetrators of said horrors. However, La Magdalena, a renowned flamenco dancer from New York City, will make you forget all that when she comes here to perform with Portland singer Diana Bright, guitarist Greg Wolfe and dancer Kethrin Lases. Magdalena is best known for her intense, traditional style, and splits her time between choreographing, performing or teaching in the Big Apple with training with the best flamenco dancers in Spain.
La Magdalena, 7 p.m. Monday, April 4, Someday Lounge, 125 N.W. Fifth St. Info: $15 in advance, $18 at the door. Info: 503-248-1030, somedaylounge.com.
Somewhere over the duos
This show will make Portland hipsters explode with happiness out of their tight jeans and into the sonic stratosphere. First up is the Philly-based husband-wife duo Reading Rainbow, featuring Sarah on drums and Robbie on guitar. From their glee club type vocals to their simple pop-rock arrangements, which stray into punk, psychedelia and techno, they're a highly satisfying act who create some kick-fanny rock 'n' roll here and there when not hearkening back to '60s girl groups. Then come San Francisco duo The Dodos, one of the more rhythmically inventive indie acts out there, combining West African and Western-style drumming with suburban boy vocals, New Wave-meets-folk guitar urgency and hymnal melodies to create a distinctive sound that is simply good music.
The Dodos, Reading Rainbow, 9 p.m. Tuesday, April 5, Doug Fir Lounge, 830 E. Burnside St. $15. Info: 503-231-WOOD, dougfirlounge.com.
Soul'd Out Music Festival
The festival's second-year headliner is Ms. Lauryn Hill making her first-ever appearance in Portland (April 9, Schnitz). Other big-name acts expected to perform are Mos Def (April 16), Preservation Hall Jazz Band (April 7), Raphael Saadiq (April 10), Ellis Marsalis (April 16) and Ice Cube (April 8). The festival prides itself on binding cultures together, with acts from the New Orleans jazz scene, Brooklyn hip-hop, rhythm and blues and soul.
Various acts, April 7-17, various locations, more information at souldoutfestival.com
April 8, 14, 18
Gettin' down with the Joneses
You can hear two Joneses in one Blue Monk this month. First off is Portland guitarist/singer Lloyd Jones, whose band combines blues, funk, soul, rock and a good dose of joy to bring down houses on a regular basis. Then there's Alan Jones, one of our city's finest jazz drummers, educators and composers. He's jamming with his band the Cavemen as well as some of his students from time to time.
Lloyd Jones, 9 p.m. Friday April 8, Blue Monk, 3341 S.E. Belmont St. $8. Alan Jones, 8 p.m. Thursdays, April 14, 28. First set is all ages. $5. Info: 503-595-0575, thebluemonk.com.