- Barbara Mitchell
- Portland Tribune - Features
There's really nothing rascally about modern country outfit Rascal Flatts.
The hit-making trio has captured America's heart with its polished blend of old-style twang and radio-friendly pop. Its 'Me and My Gang' was a top-selling album in the U.S. last year.
The energetic live show has also made the band one of the most successful touring bands currently out there. Catch it live, and you're likely to find yourself converted.
8 p.m. FRIDAY, March 2, Rose Garden, 1 Center Court, 503-235-8771, $63.75, all ages
Reunion season officially kicks off with the classic lineup of lo-fi cult heroes Sebadoh.
While everyone and their brother is buzzing about the Police getting back together (not to mention Rage Against the Machine, latter-period Genesis and - fingers crossed - the reunion of David Lee Roth and Van Halen), legions of old-school indie rockers are aflutter with the opportunity to see Lou Barlow, Jason Loewenstein and Eric Gaffney share the stage for the first time in more than a decade.
Their music may not have had the commercial impact of the Police, et al., but this is a rare chance to see a band that left a significant mark on alternative rock.
9:30 p.m. FRIDAY, March 2, Berbati's Pan, 10 S.W. Third Ave., 503-226-2122, $15
Albert Hammond Jr., the Mooney Suzuki
The shadow of the Strokes will probably always loom large over guitarist Albert Hammond Jr.'s solo work, but his debut album, 'Yours to Keep,' is a surprisingly laid-back and lovable affair that includes appearances from scruff-pop pals Ben Kweller and Sean Lennon.
There are definite shades of his other band on tunes like 'In Transit,' but overall Hammond distinguishes himself as a remarkable force in his own right.
Get there early for fellow New York rockers the Mooney Suzuki.
9 p.m. SATURDAY, March 3, Roseland Grill, 8 N.W. Sixth Ave., 503-219-9929, $15, all ages
They bill themselves as 'the best band you've never heard of,' but the release of their fine third album may change things.
'Come Into Focus' is a confident, catchy collection of countrified rockers from a group of local veterans who've spent more time polishing their music than fretting about fitting in.
If you've never had the pleasure of their acquaintance, get yourself (and your friends) down to their record release show - the band's producing a unique and lavish performance at vocalist-guitarist Rod Langdahl's set-design space to celebrate.
7:30 p.m. SATURDAY, March 3, Stage Right, 4514 S.E. 18th Ave., 503-287-0361, $5, all ages
Local talent Patrick Lamb has the 'Soul of a Free Man.' While anyone who's heard the gifted singer-saxophonist perform can vouch for that, Lamb is gearing up to show it to the world with the release of a new album that bears that title.
From the opening notes of 'Back in Love' through the R and B-tinged title track, the laid-back soft-funk of 'I Remember' and the soulful 'Baby Let Me See You Smile,' Lamb skillfully delivers a polished blend of musical influences.
The result is a heartfelt collection of soothing tunes that go down as smoothly as candy.
8 p.m. SATURDAY, March 3, Aladdin Theater, 3017 S.E. Milwaukie Ave., 503-233-1994, $13-$15, all ages
Rickie Lee Jones
The always surprising, ever-evolving Rickie Lee Jones is back with a brand-new album, 'The Sermon on Exposition Boulevard.'
While she'll probably always be remembered as the voice behind the hit single 'Chuck E's in Love,' Jones has always been more of a challenging artist than a pop princess, effortlessly blending bohemian poetry and jazz influences into a beguiling sound all her own.
Her new album has been widely hailed as her best work in decades - an eclectic and immediate collection of ruminations on life and faith, delivered by one of the music's most distinctive voices.
8 p.m. Monday, March 5, Aladdin Theater, 3017 S.E. Milwaukie Ave., 503-233-1994, $39.50-$42, all ages