If you enjoy alt-country of the Old 97's-esque variety, you'll probably enjoy Portland's Lone Madrone, who are playing Monterey Court on Friday, Oct. 10 at 7 p.m. The band says they play "Foot-Stompin' Acoustic Bliss" which makes me never want to hear their music again, but their 2011 album "A Safe Heart" reminds me a bit of the early Avett Brothers records, albeit more influenced by Johnny Cash than bluegrass, but apparently their live show is where the group really shines. The Introverts open the show, with tickets a mighty affordable $5. More info at montereycourtaz.com.
PLAY THE FOOL
If you've been on YouTube since October of last year, you've almost certainly seen and heard Puddles of Puddles Pity Party. He's the giant white-faced clown who sang Lorde's "Royals" with the Postmodern Jukebox (who are coming to the Rialto on Friday, Nov. 7; tickets range from $10 to $17) and racked up more than 8 million views in the process. And, outside of the uniqueness of his appearance, Puddles' Tom Jones-like dramatic singing voice is interesting enough outside of the spectacle. You know, the spectacle of a seven-foot-tall singing clown. Well, if you'd like to see the clown sing covers of "Dancing Queen," "Hallelujah," and "I Started a Joke" in person (and based on reports from people who seemingly have solid musical taste, you really should want to see him), Puddles will be at 191 Toole for a special seated-show on Saturday, Oct. 11. Tickets ($25) are on sale now.
The lineup of shows at Congress this week is sort of absurd in a "Here, take my money!" way (same at the Rialto, actually ... more on that in a paragraph or so): Steel guitar wizard Jon Rauhouse with his band on the plaza and Electric Blankets inside the club (both free!) on Friday, Oct. 10; Brit-pop enthusiasts (and former Christian synthpoppers) The Drums on Wednesday, Oct. 15 ($15, 7 p.m., all ages); plus singer/songwriter Chris Smither in the Copper Hall (more in Primer) and the uncategorizable Perfume Genius (more on the Range this week) in the club on Thursday, Oct. 16. However, I am personally super excited for the opportunity to see Poliça again on Monday, Oct. 13 at 7 p.m. ($15, all ages). The Minneapolis group played Congress in 2012 and blew me away with their double-drummer, bass, synths and singer-through-a-million-waves-of-effects sound. Plus, they played a Keith Sweat cover, which is the key to my heart. They manage to be seductive, weird and paranoid all at the same time and while their records are a great listen, the live show is something else entirely. More info at hotelcongress.com.
HARD TO SAY NO
OK, so now the crazy lineup at the Rialto: My wife's favorite band, funk-pop stars Chromeo, on Friday, Oct. 10 ($25 - $33); string band revivalists Carolina Chocolate Drops on Saturday, Oct. 11 ($22 - $30); an Elliott Smith documentary and tribute concert on Sunday, Oct. 12 ($10, more in Cinema Showdown, plus a roundup of the many, many film/music events going on around town this week); country music historian/traditionalist Marty Stewart on Monday, Oct. 13 ($32 - $45); and the New Pornographers with The Pains of Being Pure at Heart on Tuesday, Oct. 14 ($20 - $33; more from the New Pornographers on The Range; Pains ... in our music feature in this issue). Also, on Wednesday, Oct. 15, Chilean rapper Ana Tijoux takes the stage ($10 - $17). Tijoux's most recent album, March's "Vengo" is an ambitious work, a sample-free album that incorporates more genres than you can count, including bits of Andean folk music, while incorporating social messages about motherhood, feminism and class struggle. It sounds like a preachy mess when I put it that way, but it really is a stunning, incredibly interesting album. (On a side-note, it's worth searching out an essay Tijoux wrote for the Walker Art Center on female sexuality and the entertainment industry.) It'll be interesting to see how all of the elements of her music come together live, for certain. More info on the Tijoux show as well as all the other stuff coming to the Rialto at rialtotheatre.com.