Portland-area music happenings
'Nerdcore' pioneer MC Frontalot appears to be on an upward trajectory, with his lyrics focusing on such un-street (and geek-friendly) subjects as Star Wars conventions, Asperger's Syndrome and blogs.
9 p.m. FRIDAY, April 20, Dante's, 1 S.W. Third Ave., 503-226-6630, $10
One listen to 'Gutterfly,' the new album from local hip-hop act Lifesavas, and it's clear why Rolling Stone magazine recently named them one of 2007's '10 Artists to Watch.'
Loosely based around a friend's long-lost and unfinished blaxploitation film, 'Gutterfly' is a concept album - but one whose songs more than stand on their own.
Featuring guest appearances from George Clinton, Living Colour's Vernon Reid, Camp Lo, Dead Prez and more, the material here is smart, varied and undeniable.
9 p.m. MONDAY, April 23, Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W. Burnside St., 503-225-0047, $30, all ages
Austin, Texas's Grand Champeen plays righteously raucous and crowd-pleasing good ole fashioned rock 'n' roll.
With a fantastic new album, 'Dial T for This,' and a fantastic double bill that includes local darlings Richmond Fontaine, this should be one heckuva show.
9:45 p.m. FRIDAY, April 20, Ash Street Saloon, 225 S.W. Ash St., 503-226-0430, $7
Toots and the Maytals
Over the past several years, reggae pioneer Toots Hibbert has been seeing a resurgence of respect and attention for the work he's done creating and popularizing the genre. (The band's 1968 single 'Do the Reggay' reportedly coined the phrase.)
8 p.m. SATURDAY, April 21, Roseland, 10 N.W. Sixth Ave., 503-224-2038, $27.50, all ages
French duo Air crafts elegantly modern, decidedly French-sounding electronic pop music.
On 'Pocket Symphony,' the pair's latest, the effect is both sexy and chilling - in other words, très chic.
9 p.m. SUNDAY, April 22, Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W. Burnside St., 503-225-0047, $27.50-$30, all ages
Rodrigo y Gabriela
Now a bona fide hit (their self-titled album has shipped more than 100,000 copies), these two talented acoustic guitarists met as teenage death-metal fans in their native Mexico, moved to Dublin, performed as street musicians to survive and got a break when fellow busker Damien Rice found success and asked the genre-bending duo to open for him back in 2003.
Blending classical, rock and Hispanic influences, the duo plays two Portland shows. (The second is sold out.)
9:30 p.m. SUNDAY, April 22, Berbati's Pan, 10 S.W. Third Ave., 503-226-2122, $25