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Oct. 30

Big Ben

If Tom Jones had decided to be a folkie instead of a pop singer, he might have been Ben Caplan, a full-bodied and fully bearded Canadian songwriter whose bluesy “40 Days and 40 Nights” already has garnered more than 20,000 views on YouTube. The 2013 Rising Star winner of the Canadian East Coast Music Awards, Caplan has put out his latest album “Birds With Broken Wings,” of which “40 Days” is a single.

Caplan is decidedly ambitious about his sound, which would appeal to fans of Dave Matthews, Mumford and Sons, Blood Sweat and Tears, and any number of indie roots rockers. Listening to the guitarist and pianist you get the sense he is destined to write the score to a giant Broadway musical someday.

The Saloon Ensemble, Ben Caplan and the Casual Smokers, 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 30,

Alberta Rose Theatre, 3000 N.E. Alberta St. $20 in advance, $25 at he door, $12 for ages 12 and younger. Info: 503-719-6055, m.>

Nov. 1

Global groove

Abdallah Abozekry was 15 when the Arab Spring began, the wave of revolutions that shook the Middle East in 2011. Like many Egyptians, Abozekry joined the throngs in the streets of Cairo in the hope of creating a new Egypt. But Egypt is still poor and once again under military rule, he says, noting nonetheless the Arab Spring did bring about one lasting change — a burgeoning music scene.COURTESY: HANNAH DEVEREAUX - Egyptian saz player Abdallah Abozekry is part of the One Beat project, set to perform at Mississippi Studios Nov. 1.

“Underground musicians were there all the time to play for the people and give them energy for the struggle,” he says of the early heady days. “Everything that has happened to the arts scene in the last few years has been related to the revolution.”

Although he’s pretty disillusioned with politics, Abozekry notes the revolution did inspire Egyptians to create more music festivals and support artists like himself. Abozekry, 20, plays the saz, a traditional guitarlike Egyptian instrument, and already has led an ensemble that performed his own compositions, a blend of traditional Egyptian and folk music with jazz overtones. He is one of 25 musicians whom the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs has brought here as part of its OneBeat project.

Created in collaboration with the New York-based music organization Bang on a Can’s Found Sound Nation, OneBeat brings musicians, ages 19-35, from around the world to the States for one month each fall to collaboratively write, produce and perform original music. OneBeat’s musicians include singers, instrumentalists and performers from here as well as 17 different countries and territories, including Russia, Turkey, Cuba, Zimbabwe and Venezuela.

“It’s really all about living in the moment and just exchanging as much as you can as a musician,” Abozekry says. “It’s a really wide variety of genres that will be played.”

OneBeat, 8 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 1, Mississippi Studios, 3939 N. Mississippi Ave. $10 in advance, $15 at the door. Info: 503-288-3895, >

Nov. 3

Boy meets dream

Former Craft Spells drummer and Seattle resident Peter Michel is the heart behind Hibou (French for “owl”) and has released a self-titled debut LP with 11 songs, including four new versions of songs from his “Dunes” EP). In short, Hibou sounds like a contemporary version of The Cure — dreamy, driving, nostalgic and lush, with melodies to spare. Michel is an understated vocalist, at times almost talking as opposed to singing, and loves reverb, colorful synth lines and sparse drumbeats. “It’s very summery music,” he says. “It’s warm. I want people to feel that when they hear it.”

El Vy, Moorea Masa, Hibou, 9 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 3, Doug Fir Lounge, 830 E. Burnside St. $25 in advance, $27 at the door. Info: 503-231-9663,

Quick hits

• Nashville’s garage psych rockers Promised Land Sound share a bill with blue-eyed soul queen Natalie Prass at 9 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 29, at the Doug Fir Lounge, 830 E. Burnside St. $14 in advance, $15 at the door. Info: 503-231-9663,

• All Them Witches combine blues, metal, Southern rock and the winds of Thor. Check them out with Kadavar and The Sword at 8:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 29, at the Wonder Ballroom, 128 N.E. Russell St. All ages. $21 in advance, $25 at the door. Info: 503-284-8686,

• Uber eclectic rockers Of Montreal have released 13, count ‘em, 13 albums including their latest “Aureate Gloom,” inspired by Television, Talking Heads and the late ‘70s New York scene. Led by Kevin Barnes, the band’s latest show features costumes, dancers and attitude to spare. Check ‘em out with Diane Coffee at 8:30 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 1, at The Wonder Ballroom, 128 N.E. Russell St. $16 in advance, $18 at the door.

• Baltimore pop-punksters Have Mercy! sound like a harder version of Blink 182 and play with Transit, Somos and Microwave, at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 3, at the Analog Cafe, 720 S.E. Hawthorne Blvd. All ages. $14. Info: 503-432-8079, Check out Have Mercy!’s newest single “Collider” at

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