March 21


It’s been awhile since we’ve heard from the Organ Grinders silent film series folks, who pair live music with classic movies. However, Boston progressive rock sextet Bent Knee is returning to town to score a third movie in the series, and it sounds like demented joyous fun is afoot. This time, the band tackles the 1916 silent movie “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.” The movie was groundbreaking for its time. The filmmakers, using a system of watertight tubes and mirrors that allowed the camera to shoot reflected images of underwater scenes, staged shallow sunlit waters. Bent Knee creates music that lies somewhere between Metallica-meets-Queen and Bjork-meets-Brian Eno. They’re basically over the top, theatrical and insane. You can get a hint of what’s to come by viewing the trailer on YouTube.

Bent Knee/”20,000 Leagues Under the Sea,” 8 p.m. Thursday, March 21, Hollywood Theatre, 4122 N.E. Sandy Blvd. $12. Info: 503-281-4215,

March 23


Portland pop-punk band Smoochknob’s video of its latest single, “Meet Me Half Way,” has had more than 16,000 views on YouTube since it was posted last fall. Good heavens, that’s around 8,000 pairs of eyes! Smoochknob front man/drummer Donnie Rife’s music also has been featured in movies and TV shows, and his band has drawn comparisons to Weezer and Presidents of the U.S.A. The band also consists of guitarists Javier Canteras and Paul Lawrence and over more than a decade has released six albums and several regionally popular singles. Their latest CD, “Drive By High Five” blends punk and pop. The group will celebrate its release with this show, which, if their previous shows are any indication, means some serious audience sing-alongs.

Smoochknob, Jon Davidson, Cellar Door, Elora, 9 p.m. Saturday, March 23, Analog Cafe & Little Theater, 720 S.E. Hawthorne St. $10 in advance, $16 day of show, or free with the purchase of “Drive By High Five” via

March 29

by: COURTESY OF MATTHEW BRUSH - Portland instrumental duo 1939 Ensemble will release its debut album, 'Howl & Bite,' and play at Mississippi Studios, March 29.

Zero to dreamy in 60 seconds

Now here’s a show to slake your thirst for sonic libation that tastes a little different from what the regulars order. Headliners 1939 Ensemble are a Portland instrumental duo that employs drums, vibraphone and noise in the service of sounds drawn from Krautrock, jazz and no-wave. Featuring Jose Medeles, who has beat the skins for The Breeders, as well as David Coniglio, who has played metal and klezmer and taught drumming to young folks at the School of Rock, the duo will release its debut recording, “Howl & Bite.” A listen to one cut, “Wait” is like a journey with Lionel Hampton and Miles Davis into a world where Borscht Belt comedians wait offstage while their drummers, who have unknowingly ingested some kind of mushroom, warm up the audience. Sharing the stage is Paper/Upper/Cuts, a one-man show from percussionist David “Papi” Fimbres, who’s known for being in 16 gazillion bands at once, and who creates psychedelic electro-soul with a distinctly Latin flavor. Finally, Gulls is Boomarm Nation founder Jesse Munro Johnson, who samples and mixes himself using horns, synthesizers and string instruments in a thoroughly hypnotic melodic dub-friendly manner. This show will spring clean your synapses.

1939 Ensemble, Paper/Upper/Cuts, Gulls, 9 p.m. Friday, March 29, Mississippi Studios. 3939 N. Mississippi St. $10. Info: 503.288-3895,

‘Round town

Seattle soul rockers Pickwick are one of the most popular acts in their hometown right now, and will be bringing their high-energy show to the Wonder Ballroom, 128 N.E. Russell St. at 9 p.m. Saturday, March 23. Get there on time and you can catch Portland’s fine R&B-soul-pop band Shy Girls, featuring producer-vocalist Dan Vidmar, Noah Bernstein on sax, backing vocalists Matthew Flowers and Jeni Wren, Akila Fields and Ingmar Carlson on keys, and drummer Dan Sutherland. $15. Info: 503-284-8686,

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