Feel the Love
Fans of underground hip-hop collective Hieroglyphics (founded by Del tha Funkee Homosapien) will want to check out Pep Love's opener set for reggae kings Rebelution and The Green. Love's riffs, beats and rhymes come off like an intelligent conversation you find in the back room of a night club, when it's getting late and you're tired of the superficial chatter on the dance floor. That's doesn't mean he doesn't do the occasional de rigueur boasting that always threatens to turn hip-hop into a parody of itself, but Love fortunately keeps it to a minimum. He's much, much more interesting when he makes his poetic observations on life, love, religion and history (check out 'Trinity Lost' for starters).
Rebelution, The Green, Pep Love, 9 p.m. Friday, Feb. 24, Roseland Theater, 8 N.W. Sixth Ave. $20 in advance, $23 day of show. All ages. Info: 503-224-8499, www.roselandpdx.com.
Not every singer-songwriter brings to mind aggressive, Lou-Reed-like attack on guitar and vocals, but San Francisco's Chuck Prophet has all that and more. The prolific Prophet, whose songs have been covered by everyone from Arc Angels to Peter Wolf, does what seems impossible - he takes the well-worn ideas of glam rock, folk rock and open mic poetry nights and somehow creates music that is fresh and, dare we say, butt-kickin'. His latest album, 'Temple Beautiful,' pays homage to San Francisco. A former member of alternative pioneers Green on Red, Prophet is one of the few rockers out there to really believe in the power of the music to revive folks, which is why you must see him.
Chuck Prophet and the Mission Express, Ashleigh Flynn, 9:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 24, White Eagle Saloon, 836 N. Russell St. $15. 21 and over. Info: 503-282-6810, www.mcmenamins.com.
Rage against the void
Vancouver, B.C.'s Versus The Nothing combines metal, emo and a wee bit of angular math rock with soaring vocals and football stadium choruses. The melodic hard rockers are clearly aiming to play for big crowds, which may or may not happen depending on how large an appetite the world still has for musically competent sonic bludgeoning. A cursory review of their YouTube videos indicates their fans like the way these Canadian cats work a crowd, and we can see how after a few beers, it would be pretty hard to resist shredding your vocal cords to sing along with them.
Versus the Nothing, Ape Machine, 8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 25, Tiger Bar, 317 N.W. Broadway. $5. Info: 503-467-4111, www.tigerbarpdx.com.
Cruisin' with Susan
If the East Coast has a city that rivals Portland for pure love of garage and surf music, it's Rochester, N.Y., home of the Chesterfield Kings and numerous other bands that trace their musical roots to the early and mid-1960s. So it's no surprise one of Portland's hardest working musical daughters, Susan SurfTone, started out jamming on surf guitar in Rochester back in the early 1990s. SurfTone has made Portland her home for more than a decade now, and has put out an engaging, upbeat solo album titled, 'Shore,' which will immediately send you to the beach for some serious blanket bingo. One of the few women lead guitar players fronting an instrumental surf band in these here United States, Surftone began playing when she was 9, and once her guitar teacher turned her on to The Ventures, 'there was no turning back,' she says. If you've had it with lead vocalists prattling on and on while you patiently await the next guitar solo, this show's for you.
Susan and the Surftones, Wave Sauce, Surf Weasles, 9 p.m. Monday, Feb. 27, Duff's Garage, 1635 S.E. 7th Ave. $5. Info: 503-234-BEER, www.duffsgarage.com.
God wants you to attend
The Rock and Worship Roadshow features an all-star lineup of rock, pop and hip-hop Christian performers, including MercyMe, Tenth Avenue North, rapper LeCrae, Hawk Nelson, Disciple, Sidewalk Prophets and Northern Ireland's Rend Collective Experiment. MercyMe's frontman, Bart Millard, serves as guest speaker.
7:30 p.m. Friday, March 2, Rose Garden. $10. Info: www.rosequarter.com.