April 12, 13, 14

Up around the Bender

It’s that time of year again, when REAL rock ‘n’ roll bands, from the garage to the grungy, descend on Portland for the Bender Festival. This year’s lineup features nearly 40 acts, including Cheater Slicks, The Missing Monuments, Tim Kerr, Glitz, Suicide Notes, The Bloodtypes, Monoshock, The Satin Chaps and Rhett & Dean.

Among the highlights: garage-punk legends The Cynics of Get Hip Recordings, from Pittsburgh, are still going strong and will play Saturday night. One of those bands that understands the best rock is simple, riff-driven and explosive, The Cynics are, paradoxically, exactly who you need to hear if you want to believe in rock ‘n’ roll again.

Also, consider checking out psychedelic-electro-metallic-bluesy Black Bananas on Sunday night. Formerly known as RTX, BB is the latest music project by singer-songwriter, model and artist Jennifer Herrema. She’s released more than 20 albums, and has played with such acts as Artimus Pyle and MGMT, and, of course, Royal Trux with her past partner Neil Michael Hagerty. Black Bananas is basically what life sounds like if you’re on various illegal substances, or, in certain cases, like to play various stations on different radios simultaneously.

The Bender, 5:30 p.m. Friday-Sunday, April 12-14, Star Theater, 13 N.W. Sixth Ave. Tickets for individual nights range from $12 to $14, or you can buy a $30 wristband for the weekend. At noon Saturday, you can catch a free matinee show, headlined by M.O.T.O. Info: or

April 18

by: COURTESY OF SABRINA RUSH - Chicago's Angel Olsen is touring with her alto-soprano voice in support of 'Half Way Home.' She´ll be at Bunk Bar on April 18.

Dancing on a pinhead

Zowie! Angel Olsen has a voice! The folk singer hails from Chicago but sounds like she grew up in some coal country holler, with a lovely alto-soprano set of pipes that immediately compels your attention. We’d like to tell you more, but she apparently doesn’t believe in posting substantial bios on her website (note to her publicist, “eats sandwiches in the morning” is not a unique quality) but from what we’ve heard, she sounds like she’s worth the price of admission. She’s touring to promote her latest record “Half Way Home.”

Angel Olsen, Villages, 9 p.m. Thursday, April 18, Bunk Bar, 1028 S.E. Water Ave. $10. Info: 503-894-9708,

‘Round town

Portlands Floating Pointe is a sometimes dreamy, ethereal alternative folk rock act that sometime plays as an acoustic trio with vocals, guitars and a viola, or as a guitar heavy six-piece band. Leaders Bill James and Jason Mockley have played music in Portland and the West since the early ‘90s in such bands as Sylvias Ghost, The Wayne Gacy Trio, Sweet Juice and others. They’re marking the release of their latest CD with this show. 3-6 p.m. Saturday, April 13, Ringler’s Pub, Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W. Burnside St. Free. All ages. Info: 503-225-0047,

L.A. folk, pop, Americana rockers The Far Country put out a very fine five-song CD called “Morning Light,” in December, which ranges from foot-stompers to heart-breakers. The band will join Lydian Gray, Here Come Dots and Stop Motion Poetry for a show at 8 p.m. Tuesday, April 16, at Backspace, 115 N.W. Fifth Ave. $6. All ages. Info: 503-248-2900,

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