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Jan. 16

What’s new is old

You Western European types don’t know what you’re missing, celebrating New Year’s Jan. 1, when you could have waited till this weekend to party like it’s 1918. That’s when the Communists decided to adopt the Gregorian calendar in the Soviet Union (the West had adopted it civilly long before).

Chervona, Portland’s much acclaimed Russian-Gypsy-Balkan punk band, are a bunch of refuseniks who still celebrate the Old New Year, in Julian calendar style, and host the 10th anniversary of their annual Old New Year party, along with Ukrainian accordionist Darka Dusty; Andrea Algieri, frontman for Portland-based Italian folk-rock band Mbrascatu; Russian immigrant folk musician Natalia Hougen; and Paul Sadilek, who has sung and played piano with Cantores in Ecclesia and Cappella Romana among others.

Chervona Old New Year, 9 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 16, Star Theater, 13 N.W. Sixth Ave. $20 in advance, $25 at the door. Info: 503-248-4700, www.startheaterportland.com.

Postpartum muse

Minimalist piano-playing pop singer-songwriter Vanessa Carlton just released her fifth album, “Liberman,” which reflects her state of mind since she left New York City for Nashville, married John McCauley of indie roots band Deer Tick and gave birth to a baby girl.

Few singers have a voice quite like Carlton, quite possibly one of the gentlest sounds you’ll hear this side of Cloud Nine. “House of Seven Swords,” one of the album’s singles, is dream pop at its finest, sounding like a Celtic lament as imagined by Brian Eno. Meanwhile, “Operator” is just shy of being a dance tune, its understated beat letting the melody run around in your head like a satellite crossing a clear night sky.

Vanessa Carlton, Sky Steele, 9 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 16, Doug Fir Lounge, 830 E. Burnside St. $22 in advance, $25 at the door. Infor: 503-231-9663, www.dougfirlounge.com.

Jan. 20

COURTESY: ALICE BAXLEY - SWMRS brings its surf rock and skater punk to Hawthorne Theatre Lounge, Jan. 20.

Pool party

Oakland beach punks SWMRS share a bill with Melissa Brooks & The Aquadolls, on what they’ve dubbed “The Aquatic Reference Overkill Tour.” (And yes, SWMRS even toured with Wavves this year, so there’s an ocean of puns just waiting to wash ashore). SWMRS is about to release their debut album, “Drive North,” a raucous combo of pop punk and surf rock. Go to YouTube and take a peek at “Figuring It Out” for starters, a nice slice of plaintive yet joyful skater punk. They’ve also written a tribute to Miley Cyrus. Seriously. Well, Cyrus-ly.

Melissa Brooks & The Aquadolls, SWMRS, Patsy’s Rats, Mister Tang, 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 20, Hawthorne Theatre Lounge, 1507 S.E. Cesar Chavez Blvd. $12 in advance, $15 at the door. 21 and older.

Info: 503-233-7100, www.hawthornetheatre.com.

Jan. 21

Space jam

Santa Cruz, Calif.’s Sound Tribe Sector 9, aka STS9, features Hunter Brown (guitar/sequences), Jeffree Lerner (percussion), David Phipps (keyboards/synths), Zach Velmer (drums) and Alana Rocklin (bass).

The festival-friendly group fuses rock, electronic dance music, bass, dubstep — heck, just about every type of pop music you’ve ever downed a mixed drink to.

Multiple members cue in samples and Phipps’ synth and Brown’s guitar parts mix and match to keep things riveting. The band’s lighting designer Saxton Waller is a veritable sixth member of the band, engineering geometric patterns that bathe the audience in angular glow.

STS9, 8:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 21, Roseland Theater, 10 N.W. Sixth Ave. $30. All ages. Info: 971-230-0033, www.roselandpdx.com.

Three bands, five clams

Portland post-punk-power-pop platitude preaching rockers The Welfare State “rip and tear with the kind of urgency only 40- to 50-year-old people can construct.” Still our favorite press kit line. Joyful nihilism aside, The Welfare State are more epic than they realize and love melodic guitar lines, rave-ups, quick turnarounds and black cats.

Meanwhile, The Pinehurst Kids sound like what would happen if Jay Farrar fronted an urgent emo band that could have played the Warped Tour except for the fact they’ve been detained by state troopers on the way to the show. Finally, The Complaint Department cites punk rockers on both sides of the Big Pond, as well as L.A., for influences.

The Welfare State, Pinehurst Kids, The Complaint Department, 8:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 21, Kelly’s Olympian, 426 S.W. Washington St. $5. Info: 503-228-3669, >www.kellysolympian.com.

Quick hits

• The Oregon Sinfonietta will play works by Vaughn Williams, Haydn and Beethoven in its latest free concert at 3 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 17, at the Sunnyside Seventh-day Adventist Church, 10501 S.E. Market St. Info: 503-252-8080, www.cmsomus.org.

• Ochestral and gothic indie popster Chris Robley, joined by members of his trio and The Fear of Heights, is doing a series of free shows at 7 p.m. Sunday through Saturday, Jan. 17-23, at Al’s Den, 303 S.W. 12th Ave. Guest artists include: Nick Peets, Jan. 17; Mike Coykendall, Jan. 18; Moody Little Sister, Jan. 19; Little Professor, Jan. 20; The Resolectrics, Jan. 21; Pacific Mean Time, Jan. 22; and Love Gigantic, Jan. 23. Info: 503-972-2670, www.mcmenamins.com.

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