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Portland area live music happenings
by: ©2007 CHRIS BUCK, Twenty years afer recording “The Trinity Session” in a Toronto church, the Cowboy Junkies (from top: Alan Anton and siblings Margo, Pete and Michael Timmins) play a sold-out show Wednesday in a former adult theater — the Aladdin.

FOLK-POP

Cowboy Junkies

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the recording of 'The Trinity Session,' the spare and haunting album that first put the Cowboy Junkies on the musical map.

While Margo Timmins' vocals still have a ghostly quality, the songs and music sound more animated, invigorated and passionate than ever.

Credit that to guitarist-songwriter Michael Timmins, whose songwriting for the new album, 'At the End of Paths Taken,' focuses on the idea of family relationships and the uncertainty of the times we're living in.

7:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 18, Aladdin Theater, 3017 S.E. Milwaukie Ave., 503-233-1994, $35 (sold out), all ages

Breanna Paletta

Breanna Paletta normally can be found fronting Portland's excellent alt-country outfit Rye Hollow. Tonight she celebrates the release of her solo album, 'We Endeavor,' a self-released, but remarkably self-assured, record that more than stands up against better-known artists like Aimee Mann, to whom Paletta has been compared.

With a little twang, a dash of pop, a lot of heart and - most of all - plenty of talent, Paletta and her band have crafted a darned fine album that is more than deserving of your attention and support.

8 p.m. Thursday, April 19, Mississippi Studios, 3939 N. Mississippi Ave., 503-288-3895, $8-$10

ALTERNATIVE

Blonde Redhead

Over the years, Blonde Redhead has received more than its share of comparisons to alt-rock pioneer Sonic Youth, mostly based on the driving, slightly dissonant nature of its material.

Make no mistake - this is no tribute act. The band has amassed a devout cult following over the years, and the recent release of a new album, '23,' is only going to fuel that fire.

Kazu Makino's vocals add an ethereal element to the band's already otherworldly and hypnotic songwriting. Make sure you're there on time to see the charming, '60s-inspired pop of opener Midnight Movies.

8 p.m. Thursday, April 19, Wonder Ballroom, 128 N.E. Russell St., 503-284-8686, $19-$21, all ages

- Barbara Mitchell