- Rob Cullivan
- Portland Tribune - Features
April 8 Still beating The last time ska-rock kings The English Beat came through town, the joint literally was jumping from the moment Dave Wakeling and company hit the stage to the moment they left — and then some. From “Mirror in the Bathroom” and “Save It For Later” to “I Confess” and “Click Click,” the hard-drivin’ band drove the audience into a pleasant frenzy. Skanking doesn’t get any better. The English Beat, The Sentiments, 9 p.m. Friday, April 8, Wonder Ballroom, 128 N.E. Russell St. $20 in advance, $23 day of show. 21 and older. Info: 503-284-8686, wonderballroom.com April 8, 9 God spelled The “Awakening Divine Imagination” festival features two nights of art, music and dance, with musical performances by Ott, Everyone Orchestra (with special guests Steve Kimock and Dave Stringer), Cheb i Sabbah, Portland’s own Vagabond Opera, Phutureprimitive and others, all set in a “transformed temple of sacred art.” 7 p.m. Friday, April 8 (all ages) and Saturday, April 9, (21 and older), Refuge, 116 S.E. Yamhill St. $33 in advance, $45 day of show each night. Info: belovedpresents.com, tickets @belovedfestival.com. April 10 Buzz band All reports indicate The California Honeydrops are just plain fun, not to mention quite popular in San Francisco, where they were chosen “Best Soul and R ‘n’ B Band” in a 2009 newspaper poll. The group combines blues, gospel, New Orleans jazz, and early rhythm ‘n’ blues in a goodtime danceable mix that leaves people smiling. They’re not afraid to lay some horn lines down and Polish native turned frontman Lech Wierzynski, who plays trumpet and guitar, proves he can deliver some blue-eyed soul music, and built his skills jamming with Maria Muldaur, Dan Hicks and Jackie Payne. The California Honeydrops, 8 p.m. Sunday, April 10, Duff’s Garage, 1635 S.E. Seventh Ave. $6. Info:503-234-2337, duffsgarage.com April 12 No fear, Shakespeare The classical ensemble, Fear No Music, is joining forces with four of Portland’s leading singers from the worlds of folk, musical theater and classical music for a performance of Elvis Costello’s “The Juliet Letters,” a series of dramatic songs and ballads based on imaginary correspondence between an academic and people who wrote letters to Shakespeare’s most famous heroine, Juliet Capulet. Leah Yorkston, Holcombe Waller, Stephen Marc Beaudoin, and Angela Niederloh each bring a distinctive approach and sound to Costello’s experimental work. Fear No Music, 8 p.m. Tuesday, April 12, Aladdin Theater, 3017 S.E. Milwaukee Ave., Portland. $28 in advance, $30 day of show. Minors must be accompanied by parent. Info: aladdin-theater.com. Mourning sun It’s pretty overwhelming contemplating the disasters that have befallen Japan — earthquakes, tsunami and nuclear fallout. However, you can do your part for the Land of the Rising Sun by attending this benefit organized by Hanz Araki, better known for his Irish flute playing in these parts, but who is actually the world’s only sixth generation master shakuhachi (Japanese flute) player. The evening will include acoustic performances by Portland songwriter Casey Neill, as well asJames Low and Bryan Free.Portland Taiko with special guests Allen Hunter on bass and Eddie Parente on violin will collaborate with Araki.The Hanz Araki Band, featuring Cary Novotny, Kathryn Claire and Joe Trump will also perform. Proceeds benefit the work that Mercy Corps is doing in the areas most affected by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami. Benefit for Mercy Corps in Japan, 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 12, Secret Society Ballroom, 116 N.E. Russell St. Cocktails at 5:30 p.m., dinner and concert at 6:30 p.m., silent auction closes around 9:30 p.m. Suggested minimum donation of $20. Reservations for a minimum of $100 will include dinner, a Sake One beverage and a gift-basket. Info: Sue Svendsen at 360-771-5708, raisinghopejapan.org.