The next wave
British Columbia's Current Swell embodies the longing most of us have in the Northwest (or, in their case, the Canadian Southwest) - to live someplace where it's actually above 80 degrees more than three or four days a year. A self-described 'surf rock' band, they're a little more eclectic than that, jamming on a bluesy rockabilly number one moment and laying back on a groovy reggae beat next. Definitely a perfect summertime group.
Current Swell, Faire Du Surf, Saucy Yoda, Mythological Horses 9 p.m. Friday, June 24, Backspace Café, 115 N.W. Fifth Ave. $6. All ages. Info: 503-248-2900, backspace.bz.
The Tea Party has got it all wrong. If you want to scare Americans away from universal health care, don't talk about death panels, show them a video by Finnish death metal kings Children of Bodom! Despite growing up in one of the most generous social welfare states on Earth, these Finnish lads are clearly unhappy about a lot of things, singing about pretty scary stuff for years. In the meantime, they also put on riveting shows and have created some of the most compelling extreme metal heard in the past two decades. It's certainly better than listening to Metallica whine about their problems.
Children of Bodom, Devin Townsend, Obscura, Septic Flesh, 7 p.m. Sunday, June 26, Roseland Theater, 8 N.W. Sixth Ave. $20. All ages. Info: 503-224-8499, roselandpdx.com.
A contender to be the next Alan Jackson in the country music world, up-and-comer Craig Campbell is gifted with a bassy baritone, which is just laid back enough to settle you down but not so much you fall back in your chair. The neo-traditionalist Campbell is not afraid toput a fiddle on his songs, and he's also not afraid to basically call some of his country contemporaries poseurs - which he does on 'You Probably Ain't.' His debut album is getting a lot of great reviews in the country press, so if you like to scoot yer boots, you might want to catch a star being born.
Craig Campbell 9 p.m. Tuesday, June 28, Duke's, 14601 S.E. Division St. $10. Info: 503-760-1400, dukesbar.com.
Not your steppin' stones
Portland's Blue Iris plays rock 'n' roll as God intended - with a psychedelic edge and fuzzy rawness that makes you glad you are alive to hear it. The band features Marty Bement on drums, Mateo Bevington on lead guitar and vocals, Ion Jones on bass and vocals and Clay Jordan on guitar and lead vocals. Fans of Pink Floyd before they traveled to the dark side of the moon as well as the 13th Floor Elevators and the 'Aftermath'-era Rolling Stones will dig this show. Portland's Irie Idea, a punk rock reggae band, and Tomorrow People, a glam-influenced trio that has been likened to Alice Cooper, will share the bill.
Blue Iris, Irie Idea, Tomorrow People, 9 p.m. Wednesday, June 29, at Kelly's Olympian Knife Shop, 426 S.W. Washington St. $4. Info: 503-228-3669.
Kings of the world
Earlier this year, Jamaican reggae band Dubtonic Kru was named 'Best New Band in the World' at the Global Battle of the Bands contest against bands from all over the world playing different genres, in Malaysia. It's a pretty daunting title, come to think of it, but the members of the danceable, positive Kru seems to be wearing its collective crown fairly easily. Founding members Jubba, the drummer, and Stone, the bassist, have been playing in the roots reggae scene for years, and are joined by guitarist Jallanzo, keyboardist Luke Dixon and Kamau, 'the Quiet Warrior' on vocals and percussion. Upbeat Portland reggae group Outpost shares the stage.
Dubtonic Kru, Outpost, 10 p.m. Friday, July 1, Ted's (formerly Berbati's Pan), 231 S.W. Ankeny St. $10. Info: 503-860-8647, ticket web.com.