Sometimes the best things come out of nothing. Gosling formed in the cultural wasteland of Washington's tri-cities, battling teenage boredom the old-fashioned way - by immersing themselves in music. The dynamic foursome was raised on a steady diet of Grade A rock, both modern and classic, and has a chemistry and musical proficiency that's rare for a young band.
While the past few years have presented the group with more than its share of music-industry challenges, the result was actually worth it - Gosling's debut album is mature, compelling and light-years beyond those produced by image-obsessed peers. And the live show? Not to be missed.
9:30 p.m. FRIDAY, July 7, Berbati's Pan, 10 S.W. Third Ave, 503-226-2122, $6
Flying Other Brothers
You might not be familiar with them yet, but San Francisco's Flying Other Brothers have an impressive résumé. They've shared the stage with the likes of ex-Grateful Dead members Bob Weir and Mickey Hart as well as jam-band mainstays Leftover Salmon.
They recently finished recording an album with ace producer T-Bone Burnett, and they've got special guest G.E. Smith (yep, the guy from the 'Saturday Night Live' band) playing lead guitar this time around. If you like your songwriting served with an extra helping of ace musicianship, this is the show for you.
9:30 p.m. FRIDAY, July 7, Sabala's, 4811 S.E. Hawthorne Blvd., 503-238-1646, $15
Some artists (like Radiohead or U2) thrive by pushing the creative envelope and stretching genre boundaries.
Others stick to what they know best, creating an unmistakably signature sound. Social Distortion and the Supersuckers fall squarely into the latter category - neither band has seen the need to alter its tried-and-true sound since its inception. In less skilled hands, that could be a negative; with these two veteran outfits it's simply reassuring. The more things change, the more comforting it is that some things stay the same.
8 p.m. SATURDAY and SUNDAY, July 8-9, Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W. Burnside St., 503-225-0047, $25, all ages
Kaitlyn ni Donovan's Isolade, Nick Jaina, Lara Michell
Portland is home to a jaw-dropping number of talented singer-songwriters, and tonight's show provides an excellent opportunity to catch three of the busiest of the bunch for one low cover.
The High Violets' Kaitlyn ni Donovan shows off a more sparse and delicate side with her outfit Isolade, while multi-instrumentalist-producer Nick Jaina plays subdued indie/folk songs from his upcoming solo record.
When she's not performing solo, the talented and versatile Lara Michell can be found on stage with the Stolen Sweets, Dirty Martini, Carmina Luna and Carmina Piranha.
9:30 p.m. SATURDAY, July 8, Mississippi Studios, 3939 N. Mississippi Ave., 503-288-3895, $5
Flat Mountain Girls, Power of County
Summer's lazy weekend afternoons just got a little more interesting, courtesy of the fine folks at the Doug Fir. Starting this Sunday, the club launches a free weekly series called 'Pickin' on Sundays,' featuring a revolving lineup of outstanding local talent, picnic food and all-day drink specials.
The inaugural event features the old-time pickin' and harmonizing of the Flat Mountain Girls as well as Power of County. Grab a cold one, head to the sunny patio and let yourself be transported back to much simpler times.
3 p.m. SUNDAY, July 9, Doug Fir Lounge, 830 E. Burnside St., 503-231-9663, free