July 13

Ecstatic emptiness

Fronted by Silversun Pickups’ touring bassist Sarah Negahdari, Happy Hollows combine everything from ‘60s garage and folk rock to ‘80s shimmer and ‘90s alterna-tude, relentlessly experimenting with slightly unorthodox, yet surprisingly catchy (and often high-pitched) vocal lines and effects-processed simple guitar, keyboard lines and driving drumbeats.

In other words, like any decent rock ‘n’ roll band, they’re trying to put their own stamp on the genre, and Negahdari is clearly aiming to distinguish herself from your average female belter by going for a style that echoes Ani DiFranco and Bjork.

Nightmare Air, Happy Hollows, Souvenir Driver, 9 p.m. Saturday, July 13, Dante’s, 350 W. Burnside St. $7. Info: 503-226-6630,

July 17

Wait ... what?

He sounds like Little Walter, Jimmy Reed and George Smith on the harmonica, and some ethereal combination of Buddy Guy and Otis Redding on vocals, so when you look at John Nemeth you have to do a double take — he’s just a fresh-face Catholic white boy from Boise.

Sure, there’s nothing new about white guys singing and playing the blues, but what’s different — no, what’s distinct, about Nemeth is he sounds like he grew up going to an African-American church where he sang gospel every Sunday, so effortless is his melodic take on the blues.

He simply has one of the most beautiful yet powerful voices on Planet Earth right now and had he turned his sights on pop or rock music it’s likely he’d be 10 times the star he is now.

John Nemeth 9 p.m. Wednesday, July 17, Duff’s Garage, 1635 S.E. Seventh Ave. $12. Info: 503-234-2337,

‘Round town

• Militant hip-hoppers Dead Prez along with Gray Matters, Packard Browne and Saint Warhead play at 9 p.m. Sunday, July 14, in the Hawthorne Theater, 1507 S.E. Cesar E. Chavez Blvd. All ages. $18 in advance, $20 at the door. Info: 503-233-7100,

• Emo pop-rockers Jimmy Eat World, as well as X Ambassadors, play an all-ages show at 8 p.m. Tuesday, July 16, in the Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W. Burnside St. $22 in advance, $25 day of show. Info: 503-225-0047,

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