The Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence has been sighted playing the Blue Monk every other Thursday, and features jazz-funk-popmeister Ben Darwish on piano, adult contemporary artist Justin Morell on guitar, jazz-Latin-gospel cat Damian Erskine on bass, and jazzer Randy Rollofson on drums. The band plays mostly originals and comprises some of our town's best award-winning players, and the cover charge leaves plenty of cash in your wallet for drinks, so consider this a sure bet.
The Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence, 8 to 11 p.m. Thursday, July 21, The Blue Monk, 3341 S.E. Belmont St. $5. All ages until 9:30 p.m. Info: 503-595-0575, thebluemonk.com.
The Emmitt Nershi Band ,featuring Drew Emmitt of Leftover Salmon and Billy Nershi of String Cheese Incident, will return to their progressive acoustic roots and perform their own form of 'newgrass bluegrass' at the 10th annual Northwest String Summit, a great acoustic music festival. The event also features Yonder Mountain String Band, Railroad Earth, Keller and the Keels, Todd Snider and Great American Taxi, The Travelin' McCourys, Greensky Bluegrass, The Cascadia Project, Cornmeal; Danny Barnes and Jackstraw.
Northwest String Summit, Thursday through Sunday, July 21-24, Hornings Hideout, North Plains, on edge of Horning Reservoir. Gates open at 4 p.m. Thursday. Ticket prices vary. Info: stringsummit.com.
Garage, the final frontier
With the end of the space shuttle program, it's going to be awhile before we'll have a chance to venture into space again. Until then, Oakland's Lumerians can help you fulfill that yearning to boldly go where no one has gone before. Lumerians take the primitive sounds of garage rock and combine them with a kitschy use of technology to create droning danceable tranceable music that evokes 1960s sci-fi films and any number of inner journeys you've taken. Portland's doom metal kings Witch Mountain and Chicago's stoned out shoegazers Billions and Billions share the stage. Far out, man.
Lumerians, Billions and Billions, Witch Mountain, 9 p.m. Saturday, July 23, Doug Fir Lounge, 830 E. Burnside St. $10 in advance, $12 day of show. Info: 503-231-WOOD, dougfirlounge.com.
Chicks with chops
Atlanta's The Coathangers are four garage punk females whose music veers from sophomoric to, well, sophomoric. They look like nerdy librarians who've ditched the books, got their limbs tattooed and decided to drink bourbon and hang out with bikers. Clearly in love with life, The Coathangers have a healthy, if uncouth, sense of humor and should be given their own paragraph in rock 'n' roll history for their melodic use of a phone tone on one of their songs alone. They're just plain fun, even when they're trying to be serious, and should be popular with the Portland crowd given they recently completed a tour with noted indie rockers The Thermals.
The Coathangers, XDS, Sexhair, 8:30 p.m. Monday, July 25, Holocene, 1001 S.E. Morrison St. $7 in advance, $8 at the door. Info: 503-239-7639, holocene.org.
New York City's Terrence McManus doesn't just play the guitar, he literally tickles it, drums it and engages it in a conversation that ranges from a shouting argument to a series of whispered phrases. He's made a name playing with such groups as the Gerry Hemingway Quintet, the Kermit Driscoll Group, the Herb Robertson Ensemble, and the Hemingway/McManus Duo. At times, he sounds like a jazzy computer possessed by spirits or a spirit possessed by the modern world restlessly looking for ancient clues to a deeper path of life. If improvisational jazz, or for that matter, rock guitar has a future beyond what most of us have heard already, there's no doubt McManus will be one of the players leading us there.
Terrence McManus, solo and duets with Tim DuRoche, 7 p.m. Monday, July 25, Alice Coltrane Memorial Coliseum, 5135 N.E. 42nd Ave., $7-$20 donation. Info: 503-235-0049.