Portland's Leigh Marble describes himself as punk Americana artist, but he's really a modern-day psalmist making music that cries out to someone, maybe God, maybe the universe, but it's Someone Who Gets It. Which is no surprise since his third album, "Where The Knives Meet Between The Rows," was written and recorded following his girlfriend-then-wife's battle with cancer. Sparse and, at times, ominous in its folk rock presentation, the CD tackles everything from how you work out your growing anger to how poseurs in the music and arts scene slowly strangle their own souls. Marble sounds like he's gunning for Lou Reed's crown, except it's not a decadent Velvet Underground he seeks to rule, it's a realm where the passionate heart, not the analytical head, forms the soul of a new religion.
Leigh Marble, The Ascetic Junkies, Kelly Anne Masigat, 9 p.m. Thursday, March 29, Doug Fir Lounge, 830 E. Burnside St. $8. Info: 503-231-WOOD, www.dougfirlounge.com.
Bilingual bossa nova
Vocalist Jessie Marquez knows the best way to dole out performing passion is to serve it up slowly, not simply throw everything you've been cooking all at once at your audience. She possesses an easy-on-the-ears voice well suited to the Cuban-Brazilian-jazz-pop music she sings. In 2003, members of the Afro-Cuban All Stars heard her sing and offered to arrange and record her first CD. In a Havana home studio, between power outages, they recorded "Sana Locura," which reached the top of charts in Latin America, Europe and the United States. She's also recorded an album of "filin" music (a play on the word "feeling"), which blends jazz and bossa nova, and will perform here with her ensemble and The Arnica String Quartet.
Jessie Marquez, 8 p.m. Friday, March 30, Jimmy Mak's, 221 N.W. 10th Ave. $12. Info: 503-295-6542, www.jimmymaks.com.
Ebonies and ivories
If you like keyboards, you're going to enter a world of ecstasy via Asher Fulero's Keyboard Summit. This is the second year in a row Fulero, who can basically play anything, has gathered a group of stellar key-ticklers. This year's show will feature Ben Darwish of Commotion, Carl Solovox of Solovox and The Nowhere Band, Galen Clark of Trio Subtonic, Steveland Swatkins of Juno What? and the Excellent Gentlemen, Sedell Jones, who plays with Liv Warfield, Dave Fleschner, who jams with Curtis Salgado, Chris Phillips of Philly's Phunkestra, Jeff Baxter of Triclops and Andrew Oliver of The Kora Band. The Quick and Easy Boys' Jimmy Russell on guitar, Sam Howard of Commotion and SP3 on bass, and Reinhardt Melz, who's played with Gino Vanelli, on drums will back everyone.
Keyboard Summit, 9:30 p.m., Saturday, March 31, Goodfoot, 2845 S.E. Stark St. $8. Info: 503-239-9292, www.thegoodfoot.com.
Boom Chick is Frank Hoier on guitar and vocals and Moselle Spiller on drums. Straight outta Brooklyn, they've definitely drunk from cups dipped in a well dug by Elmore James, Muddy Waters, Dick Dale and Gene Vincent. Their song "Ghost of Bo Diddley" was featured in the ESPN's
series "The Kids." Definitely a duo to throw back a whiskey to, not to mention your long unkempt hair.
The Beautiful Train Wrecks, Boom Chick, The Pitchfork Revolution, 9:30 p.m. Saturday, March 31, White Eagle, 836 N. Russell St. $6. Info: 503-282-6810, www.mcmenamins.com.
Have another round
O'Connor's Vault in Multnomah Village has been the scene of some interesting musical happenings as of late. Take the upcoming Songwriter Circle with Cal Scott, Richard Moore (of The Wombats) and Stephanie Schneiderman. Singer-songwriter and folkie Scott has scored more than 40 documentaries and specials for PBS and also plays with the Trail Band and Irish fiddler Kevin Burke. Meanwhile, Moore is writing a musical about Portland fittingly titled "Rain." Schneiderman has appeared at the Lilith Fair, and has played with Americana band Dirty Martini.
Songwriter Circle, 7 p.m. Monday, April 2, O'Connor's Vault, 7850 S.W. Capitol Highway. $12 in advance, $15 at the door. Info: 503-484-819, www.occonorsportland.com.