Just one listen to the new K-OS album, 'Atlantis: Hymns for Disco,' and it's easy to see why there have been so many comparisons to OutKast and Gnarls Barkley.
This multicultural artist (born in Trinidad, raised in Toronto, currently residing at the top of the charts) is a master of blending positive vibrations and a variety of influences into a new and entirely universal groove.
The sound's equally attractive to hip-hop purists and indie adventurers.
8 p.m. SATURDAY, March 24, Hawthorne Theatre, 1507 S.E. 39th Ave., 503-233-7100, $15 (sold out), all ages
Not to be confused with the Afghan Whigs, the Whigs from Athens, Ga., have quickly earned themselves a reputation.
Voted one of Rolling Stone magazine's '10 Bands to Watch' last year, the band was picked up by Dave Matthews' influential and eclectic label, ATO Records.
'Give 'Em All a Big Fat Lip' is an energetic collection of material that's full of the slackadaisical brilliance of predecessors like the Replacements and Pavement.
9 p.m. SATURDAY, March 24, Roseland Grill, 8 N.W. Sixth Ave., 503-221-0288, $10
If the idea of watching a cappella music makes you feel like a fourth-grader forced to sit through a symphony, the Bobs will come as a refreshing blast of fresh air.
The Bay Area troupe has racked up numerous awards, but that's almost beside the point. While the fullness of sound these folks can conjure with just the human voice is astonishing, it's used with wit and in good fun - not hard to imagine when you realize that the project was started by two singing telegram messengers whose company went belly up.
With a reputation for being one of the most entertaining live acts in circulation, your belly is likely to be sore from laughing the next day.
7 p.m. SUNDAY, March 25, Mississippi Studios, 3939 N. Mississippi Ave., 503-288-3895, $25
Norwegian wunderkind Sondre Lerche is back with a new album, 'Phantom Punch,' and a new, more urgent and band-centric approach to his lovely, timeless pop.
Freshly inspired after a tour supporting legendary alt-rock icon Elvis Costello, Lerche sounds positively invigorated, and his tunes - which have tended toward the delicate side - still distinguish themselves as brilliant in his new, beefier direction.
With every album, Lerche reveals himself to be a career artist who can maintain a consistent level of quality while exploring different facets of pop music.
9 p.m. SUNDAY, March 25, Doug Fir Lounge, 830 E. Burnside St., 503-231-9663, $12-$13
Dave Matthews has described poet-musician Vusi Mahlasela as the 'Woody Guthrie or Bob Dylan of South Africa.'
A longtime inspiration in his home country, this gifted singer-songwriter-percussionist-composer has a gorgeous, clear voice that's starting to be heard by the rest of the world - thanks in large part to Matthews, who has released Mahlasela's albums on his ATO label.
A soulful performer who performed at Nelson Mandela's inauguration, Mahlasela has just released a beautiful new album, 'Guiding Star,' which features appearances by Matthews, Jem, Xavier Rudd and Ladysmith Black Mambazo.
9:30 p.m. SUNDAY, March 25, Berbati's Pan, 10 S.W. Third Ave., 503-226-2122, $20-$25