NICK LOWE, JD MCPHERSON

(Aladdin Theater, 3017 SE Milwaukie) I do not believe in Jesus of Nazareth, but I most certainly believe in the Jesus of Cool. Nick Lowe is power pop's silver panther, the unflappable and infinitely hip elder statesman who, with his snowy swath of white hair and dapper outfits, has aged all too well. Three decades after Jesus of Cool (or, Pure Pop for Now People for us Yanks) appeared on turntables the world over, Lowe is still doing what he does best. On this year's The Old Magic Lowe's once-frenzied tempo might have tapered off, but Lowe's songwriting gifts are eternal, as he confronts the cold hand of mortality on "Checkout Time," opening the song with the frank confession: "I'm 61 years old now/Lord, I never thought I'd see 30." Be cruel, be kind, but whatever you do, just realize that the coolest man in the world is the one standing onstage tonight. EZRA ACE CARAEFF


GARDENS AND VILLA, YOUNG MAN, YOURS

(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) Santa Barbara band Gardens and Villa camped out in back of Richard Swift's studio in Cottage Grove, Oregon, as they recorded their self-titled debut album during the summer of 2010. The result sounds as carefree as living out of a tent should, although instead of strummy acoustic guitars and stoned, bearded harmonies, Gardens and Villa is more interested in making avant synth-pop with rigid backbeats and expansive sonic vistas. The result is a good, weird pop record, one with a decidedly Oregonian feel to it—comparisons to Nurses spring to mind—and at least one perfect pop song that sounds imported, part and parcel, from the '80s: "Star Fire Power" is a hit that you know you've heard before, maybe on the radio in your parents' station wagon, sandwiched between Soft Cell's "Tainted Love" and Kim Carnes' "Bette Davis Eyes." NED LANNAMANN




THE ASTEROIDS GALAXY TOUR

(Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside) Heineken. As in, this is the band from the omnipresent Heineken ads, that one commercial you swore was scored by Annie. Before they were hawking terrible suds, the music of the Asteroids Galaxy Tour was best known for slinging the iPod Touch. Hmm, see a theme here? Before they were a glimmer of light in every advertising director's eye, the Copenhagen sextet was making the rounds in support of a handful of uneven recordings—many of which aren't available Stateside—that tend to overreach and lean too heavily on the nasally delivery of frontwoman Mette Lindberg. But that doesn't mean the Asteroids Galaxy Tour aren't fun. Besides, who am I to stop you from enjoying a set that includes "The Safety Dance" (which they cover for some reason on their The Golden Age EP) and all your favorite commercial jingles. EAC