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Live Music

Portland area live music happenings

ALTERNATIVE

VH1's You Oughta Know Tour

In one fell swoop, catch three up-and-coming artists VH1 is eager to put its stamp of approval on.

Headliner Mat Kearney plays intelligent, heartfelt adult-alternative pop, but the Kiefer Sutherland-approved Rocco Deluca and the Burden are the show-stealers.

With a fiery soulfulness and some red-hot dobro flourishes, Deluca and his band elevate the evening with a passion that's frequently missing in today's modern pop/rock pack.

8 p.m. Thursday, March 22, Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W. Burnside St., 503-225-0047, $18.50-$20, all ages

SONGWRITERS

Adam Shearer and Ritchie Young

Adam Shearer is the driving force behind the stellar John Weinland (which, confusingly enough, is a band and not a person).

Ritchie Young is the free-spirited driving force behind local chamber-folk combo Loch Lomond.

This is a free show and a great opportunity to catch acoustic performances by two of Portland's best young bandleaders, and it also happens to be taking place at the delicious Pix Pâtisserie - which means you actually can have your cake and eat it, too.

8 p.m. Tuesday, March 20, Pix Pâtisserie, 3901 N. Williams Ave., 503-282-6539, free, all ages

AMERICANA

Starlings

If you're a fan of Neko Case's clear voice and Americana-tinged folk-pop, you won't want to miss the Starlings.

This Seattle four-piece revolves around the gorgeous vocals of lead singer Joy Mills, who conveys the same clear, soaring emotion and heart-tugging talent of Ms. Case.

While Case has traded twangst in favor of pop over the past few years, the Starlings continue to flourish in heartland-inspired, banjo-inflected territory.

8 p.m. Thursday, March 22, Mississippi Studios, 3939 N. Mississippi Ave., 503-288-3895, $7-$8

- Barbara Mitchell