The Decemberists

There are a lot of reasons to be thankful for living in the Northwest, and proximity to great music is one of them.

While the Decemberists canceled most of their European and U.S. tour dates late last year due to a band member's illness, they're playing four regional shows - including these two local dates.

The band's literate indie pop is charming on record but absolutely delightful in a live setting.

- Barbara Mitchell

9 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday, Jan. 22-23, Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W. Burnside St., 503-225-0047, $25-$28, all ages

Musee Mecanique

Listening to local act Musee Mecanique is a little like walking into a dimly lit corner stall in a small-town antique mall - there are artifacts from indiscriminate eras jumbled together in a dusky heap that defies extraction.

Old-timey instruments burrow next to their cast-off space-age kin, and somehow not only does it make sense, but the whole scene produces a sense of wonder and curiosity.

The band's quiet quirkiness is quickly developing a strong following and a place of honor within the local music community. See for yourself what the buzz is all about.

- BM

9 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 23, Doug Fir Lounge, 830 E. Burnside St., 503-231-9663, $8

Dirk Powell Band

There's roots music, and then there's music with real roots. Appalachian multi-instrumentalist Dirk Powell plays both.

A descendent of Scots-Irish immigrants who settled in the region hundreds of years ago, Powell learned to play from his grandfather and has applied his knowledge and love of the genre to recordings by everyone from Loretta Lynn and Jewel to Sting.

- BM

9 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 24, Mississippi Studios, 3939 N. Mississippi Ave., 503-288-3895, $16-$18


'Tango Fire'

The highly theatrical Argentine troupe Estampas Porteñas and its quartet of musicians, Quatrotango, light up the stage in their first-ever visit to Portland, which is also the first tango event in the colorful 10-year history of dance presenter White Bird.

- Eric Bartels

7:30 Wednesday, Jan. 23, Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, 1037 S.W. Broadway, 503-245-1600, ext. 201,, $20-$55

Josie Moseley Dance

The popular Northwest choreographer assembles a luminous cast of local dance talent to perform works both new and audience-tested. Current and former members of Oregon Ballet Theatre are joined by Sara Anderson, Cristina Betts, Robyn Conroy, Stephan Laks and others.

- EB

8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday, Jan. 24-26, Portland State University, Lincoln Performance Hall, 1620 S.W. Park Ave., 503-245-1600, ext. 201,, $16-$26

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