Sept. 27

Freedom fest

The Journey to Freedom Project uses a variety of creative methods to encourage young black men to read as well as learn about African-American history. It will host the second installment of its “Last Thursdays on Alberta” benefit concert series, with hip hop, pop and dance performers featured this week. Performers include Raphael Polk, Amenta Abioto, Yung Mil, C3, Tamara Stephens, Black Businezz, Mighty, 6ix, Soul P, Luck One, the dance troupe Jeelani Shareef & Co and Speaker Minds.

Journey to Freedom Project Concert, 6 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 27, Umoja Center, 4941 N.E. 17th Ave. Info:

Sept. 28

Its not ‘fun’ without ‘u’

For more than 20 years, headliners Local H have been The Duo among drum-guitar duos, having laid down some of the best — and often funniest — crunchy, grungy rock ‘n’ roll America has ever produced, all while flying just under the radar, which has only allowed them to retain their street cred. Meanwhile, Brooklyn’s Ambassadors are a couple decades younger but just as smart, having put together some insanely catchy, keyboard-driven music that contains the melodicism of old-fashioned pop, gospel, New Wave and punk laid over contemporary electronic sounds. Finally, Portland’s The Cry is still recovering from the original British Invasion and is one of our fair city’s most joyous rock ‘n’ roll acts.

Local H, Ambassadors, The Cry, 9:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 28, Dantes, 350 W. Burnside St. $13. 503-226-6630. 503-226-6630.

Before you jump

SafetySuit, at first listen, can come off as another contemporary melodramatic bombastic rock band born of the overly emotive world U2 birthed in a good way and Creed in, well, Creed’s way. But go online and read the genuinely touching comments SafetySuit’s fans make about their songs, and you have to pause and realize just how much this talented Tulsa group means to its supporters, some of whom believe the band has pulled them back from suicidal abyss. Sharing the bill are similarly emotive bands Go Radio and Portland’s Crown Point, a very listenable Australian-American alt-pop-rock group whose members are the best-looking of this lineup of acts, and we’re not just saying that cuz they’re from here, we’ve done the facial comparisons, it’s no contest.

SafetySuit, Go Radio, Crown Point, 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 28, Hawthorne Theater, 1507 S.E. 39th Ave. $15 in advance, $18 at the door. All ages. Info: 503-233-7100,

Oct. 1

Barroom bard

by: COURTESY OF JON KOONCE - Guitarist Jon Koonce heads a Songwriter Circle with Cal Scott and Richard Moore at O'Connor's Vault Oct. 1.
Oregon Music Hall of Fame member Jon Koonce serves up meat ‘n’ potatoes rock ‘n’ roll prepared in a kitchen staffed by John Fogerty, Chuck Berry, Carl Perkins and Johnny Cash, where Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen wash the dishes. If you’ve seen him with his old band, the Distractions, you know what we’re talkin’ ‘bout, but if you haven’t, check out this Songwriter Circle with him on acoustic guitar and you won’t be disappointed. Guitarist-composer Cal Scott and Richard Moore (the man behind “Rain! The Musical”) host these popular events, which sell out pretty quickly.

Songwriter Circle with Jon Koonce, 7 p.m. Monday, Oct. 1, O’Connor’s Vault, 7850 S.W. Capitol Highway. $12 in advance, $15 at the door. Info: 503-244-1690,

Oct. 4

The wander years

Hailing from Ireland, The Lost Brothers are taking a different approach to the indie roots movement that’s swept the music scene worldwide the past decade. Whereas many groups try to mix contemporary rock, hip hop or pop sounds with their acoustic songs, or adopt a punk-influenced attack, The Lost Brothers hearken back to such groups as The Everly Brothers, The Kingston Trio and early Simon and Garfunkel, concentrating on almost choral-like harmonies that are more akin to church music than barroom. It’s actually pretty refreshing stuff, evoking how you feel when you wake up in a quiet house as the sun rises, and are lucky enough to hear the first birds singing. They share the stage with fellow Irishman Glen Hansard, whose song “Falling Slowly,” featured in the movie “Once” earned him an Oscar. Hansard has jammed with The Frames and the duo Swell Season, but is probably most recognized for his role as Outspan Foster in the 1991 film “The Commitments.”

The Lost Brothers, 8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 4, Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W. Burnside St. $30. All ages welcome. Info: 503-225-0047,

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