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June 19


Missing Lenka

Hailing from Australia, pop singer Lenka has an easy-on-the-ears alto soprano voice that gives shape and form to her cheery straight-to-the-point numbers, the melodic grandchildren of songs popularized by doo-wop outfits, girl groups and Motown. You’ve heard her more than you realize, especially if you’ve watched such shows as “Ugly Betty” and “Grey’s Anatomy,” not to mention the movie “Moneyball,” all three of which have featured her music.

She released a new album “The Bright Side” this month, which features “Blue Skies,” a Yaz-meets-spaghetti-Western melody sure to be a summer theme tune. If you don’t develop a crush on the barista serving you coffee as one of Lenka’s tunes plays in the shop, you probably should turn in your human card.

Lenka, Nick Howard, 9:30 p.m. Friday, June 19, Doug Fir Lounge, 830 E. Burnside St. $15. Info: 503-231-9663, www.dougfirlounge.com.

Ten gallons of Waylon

Portland’s punk-flavored y’all-ternative band The Lonesome Billies sound like a country-western outfit from the late 1950s, making references to Mexico, jail, devils-dressed-as-damsels and Rasputin. Yes, even the famous deranged mystic and Czar Nicholas’ adviser makes his way into one of the band’s tunes.

Puttin’ the honk in honky tonk and the haw in yee-haw, the Lonesome Billies — Clayton McCune (lead vocals, guitar), Jeff Gaither (lead guitar, vocals), Mike Scheidt (bass, vocals) and Glen Scheidt (drums) — haunt the same bar where Johnny Cash and the Flying Burrito Brothers are shooting pool against Whitey Morgan and Sturgill Simpson. This show doubles as a fundraiser for the band’s album.

The Lonesome Billies, Roselit Bone, An American Forrest, 9 p.m. Friday, June 19, Kelly’s Olympian. Free. $15 gets you a poster and digital tune download; $25 gets you all that as well as a 7-inch vinyl record. Info: 503-228-3669, www.kellysolympian.com.

June 20

Just their imaginations

COURTESY: NOCTILUCENT ARTS - Folk lovers Pretend Sweethearts - former Portlanders Drew de Man and Brianna Blackbird - play at Secret Society Ballroom, June 20.Drew de Man and Brianna Blackbird call themselves Pretend Sweethearts but there’s nothing illusory about the lovely music these two make together. Echoing influences ranging from old-timey folk music, early ‘70s country rock, and the folkier side of the Beatles and Fleetwood Mac, the duo also has drawn comparisons to such contemporaries as Gillian Welch and The Civil Wars.

De Man and Blackbird live in Bolivia with two children, having previously resided in our fair city. Both play guitar and Blackbird is an accomplished pianist.

Meanwhile de Man uses pedal steel guitar to good effect on their first full-length album “Becoming the Tender Animal.” The 11 songs here deliver a rich, meditative listening experience with subtle humor. (How many songwriters are gutsy enough to write this line? “I’m not much of a lover/It’s true ... But I’m sure wanting you.” Now there’s a pickup line).

Pretend Sweethearts, Lewi Longmire, Joe Stevens, 9 p.m. Saturday, June 20, Secret Society Ballroom, 116 N.E. Russell St. $10. Info: 503-493-3600

June 23

Music as a second language

Consisting of Takaakira “Taka” Goto on guitar, Tamaki Kumishi on bass, Yasunori Takada on drums, and Yoda on guitar, the Japanese band MONO have been mastering the fine art of instrumental music since 2000. Combining rock, classical music, noise and shoegaze, for the uninitiated, this is your band if you’re into Radiohead, Pink Floyd, Sonic Youth and Tool.

Mono, Holly Hunt, 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 23, Wonder Ballroom, 128 N.E. Russell St. $13 in advance, $15 at the door. Info: 503-284-8686, www.wonderballroom.com.

Quick hits

• Great White played the Rose Festival. However, they didn’t feature their former lead singer Jack Russell, who tours with a band called Jack Russell’s Great White. So if you want to hear Great White again, but with the original singer, as opposed to Great White again, without the original singer, head down to the Bossanova Ballroom, 722 E. Burnside St., at 8 p.m. Friday, June 19. $25 in advance, $30 day of show, $100 VIP. Info: 503-206-7630, www.bossanovaballroom.com.

• Pinehurst Kids and their rock ‘n’ roll mates The Welfare State join Safari Club for an 8 p.m. show Friday, June 19, at Turn! Turn! Turn! 8 N.E. Killingsworth St. $3. Info: 503-284-6019, www.turnturnturnpdx.com.

• The Red Ride Tour features a collective of Aboriginal musicians from Canada including Tlingit/Aleut artist Silver Jackson, grunge musicians Kristi Lane Sinclair and DJ OC Notes, as well as Seattle band Grey Waves. You can catch them at 9 p.m. Wednesday, June 24, at Dante’s, 350 W. Burnside St. $8. Info: 503-226-6630, www.danteslive.com.

• Portland/L.A. singer-songwriter Bert Sperling combines honky-tonk, pop, British Invasion and indie folk sounds on his new CD “Renaissance,” the release of which he’ll mark by sharing the stage with Hank Sinatra & His Atomic Cowboys, at 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 24, at the Alberta Street Pub,1036 N.E. Alberta St. $5. Info: 503-284-7665, albertastreetpub.com.

• Seattle’s indie folk-popsters Motopony share a bill with Tristen and Big Harp at 9 p.m. Thursday, June 24, at Mississippi Studios, 3939 N. Mississippi St. $12. Info: 503-288-3895, www.mississippistudios.com.

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