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Live Music


Feb. 11

Quakin’ all over

Portland’s Battleme began as a project by former Lions singer Matt Drenik, and releases its new album “Habitual Love Songs” Feb. 15. Go on YouTube and check out “Shake Shake,” a delightful slice of hard-driving, slightly dark post-punk groovyness that sounds great when cranked.

Battleme, Criminal Guitars, Hollers, 9:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 11, Bunk Bar, 1028 S.E. Water Ave. $8. Info: 503-EAT-BUNK, www.bunksandwiches.com.

Feb. 16

Mule sick

San Diego’s The Donkeys play melodic country rock that draws on surf rock and power pop for inspiration as well as psychedelia. The band will release its mini-album “Midnight Palms” this month.

The Donkeys, Idiot Glee, Norman, 9 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 16, Mississippi Studios, 3939 N. Mississippi Ave. $10 in advance, $12 day of show.

Info: 503-288-3895, www.mississippistudios.com.

Feb. 18

The other Castro

Soulful blues rockin’ guitarist Tommy Castro follows politics “not because I really want to, but because I think it’s important.” Fearing for our nation’s future, he composed “Common Ground,” a Staples Family Singers-meets-John-Fogerty number you can find on his newest record “Method to My Madness,” as well as on YouTube.

“Left, right, black, white, we all dream about the same things at night,” Castro sings in a happy yet pleading voice.

“I’m worried about the country, and I worry about the candidates,” he says. “I notice people get so angry at each other. We might have different ideas of politics, but that doesn’t mean we can’t be friends.”

Castor is certainly a friend of anyone who likes gritty, soulful vocals, as well as tasty guitar-playing, which incorporates influences from B.B. King to Roy Buchanan. With this show, he’ll open with several cuts off “Method to My Madness,” delving into his older repertoire in the second half of the evening.

Castro was named the 2008 Entertainer of the Year by the Blues Music Association and notes “Madness” represents his desire to create a “live and real and straightforward” record.

Tommy Castro and the Painkillers, 8 p.m. Thursday, Feb.18, Alberta Rose Theatre, 3000 N.E. Alberta St. $20 in advance, $25 at the door. Parent/guardian must accompany minor. Info: 503-719-3055,


Quick hits

• Fluid, funky and fiery blues guitarist Jeff Jensen brings the boogie at 9 p.m. Friday, Feb. 12, to Duff’s Garage, 2530 N.E. 82nd Ave. $10. Info: 503-234-2337, www.duffsgarage.com.

• Choral-friendly orchestral pop folk rockers The Family Crest join power pop band Jukebox the Ghost at 9 p.m. Friday, Feb. 12, in the Wonder Ballroom, 128 N.E. Russell St. $16 in advance, $18 day of show. All ages. Info: 503-284-8686, www.wonderballroom.com.

• Transgender and queer activist singer-songwriter Evan Greer plays catchy, politically savvy acoustic music and will share the stage with Brenn Sahatjian and The Ragshakers, from 7-10 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 14, at Anarres Infoshop, 7515 N. Alma Ave. $5 to $20 sliding scale donation. Info: 503-519-9705, www.evangreer.org.