RAY DAVIES (Aladdin Theater, 3017 SE Milwaukie) This city is really, really excited about Ray Davies' appearance. I mean, for chrissakes, Mayor Sam Adams has officially declared Sunday, July 15 to be "Ray Davies Day" in Portland (effectively keeping this city weird). In addition to performing at the Aladdin tonight, Davies will host a reception at the Hollywood Theatre preceding a matinee screening of his film Return to Waterloo, and Holocene will celebrate with a Davies-themed event of their own that will undoubtedly be off the hook. What about his music, though? Well, I'm no scholar—hell, I only graduated from high school because I had a "chill" principal—but I will say this: Ray Davies' merit and influence as a singer and songwriter are indisputably colossal; he single-handedly invented that highly literate, definitively British brand of pop music that everyone dismissed in the late '60s but is somehow all the rage now; and, lastly, he's a bastard for writing "Days," the most heartbreaking song of all time. Oh, and it's pronounced "Davis," so try not to make a fool of yourself. MORGAN TROPER Also see My, What a Busy Week!
RINGO STARR AND HIS ALL STARR BAND (Edgefield, 2126 SW Halsey, Troutdale) It must be hard being the least popular Beatle. But I can't imagine it keeps Ringo Starr up at night as he snores the night away on his Tempur-Pedic (that's what rich people sleep on, right?). The legendary septuagenarian bops into town with his All Starr Band, AKA the Horsemen of the Apocalypse, with Mr. Mister's Richard Page, Toto's Steve Lukather, and Todd Rundgren's Todd Rundgren. Expect "Yellow Submarine," "With a Little Help from My Friends," and "Octopus's Garden," and once the Beatles-lite fare is over, maybe beat feet so you don't get caught in an All-Starr shitstorm of "Rosanna" and "Black Magic Woman." The sooner you stop calling for encores, the sooner Ringo can go back to getting some shut-eye on his Pegasus feather pillow (again, my knowledge of the wealthy is limited). COURTNEY FERGUSON
CENTAURPALOOZA: THE LAST REGIMENT OF SYNCOPATED DRUMMERS, BURNSIDE HEROES, PALE BLUE SKY, BEYOND VERONICA, MORMON TRANNYS & MORE (Centaur Guitar, 2833 NE Sandy) Portland is teeming with loads of boutique music stores, but few—if any—host their very own annual outdoor summer mini-festival. Thankfully, the kind and able Centaur Guitar has come to the rescue, transmogrifying its parking lot into a weekend-long, free showcase running the gamut of the up-and-comer set. On day two of this year's fest, street-fair staples the Last Regiment of Syncopated Drummers round out a formidable lineup of everything from punk-rock pupils Burnside Heroes, to Mormon Trannys (who, you may have guessed, dress like Mormons on mission with wigs), to the straightforward rock of Pale Blue Sky and Beyond Veronica. NE Sandy in summer has never sounded more appealing. RYAN J. PRADO
THE GOLDEN BEARS (Al's Den, 303 SW 12th) Weeklong residencies at Al's Den give Portland's best bands a chance to make themselves at home. This week, the fantastic Golden Bears settle in for seven nights of psychedelic-tinged rock and pop. ALISON HALLETT
KELLI SCARR, HARLOWE AND THE GREAT NORTH WOODS, KITES AND CROWS (Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) The tale's been told before: singer/songwriter moves from sleepy West Coast burg to the gaping maw of New York City, finds self, makes records. Kelli Scarr took it one step further, not only by releasing her debut, Piece, in 2010, but by being nominated for an Emmy that same year for her score to Jeremiah Zagar's documentary In a Dream. After hearing Scarr's second LP, Dangling Teeth, released June 5 on Silence Breaks, her penchant for imagery is understandable. The album, recorded in Woodstock (yes, that one), is an atmospheric hodgepodge. The warm, flat accents of lap steel and fluttery guitar permeate the title track, while "Our Joy" is paced by a "train's-a-comin'" rockabilly ditty, replete with fiddle-dee-dee violins, smart picking, and man... that voice! Scarr's gifted pipes are open, vibrant vessels, part Mazzy Star daydream, all lassos-'n'-spurs, quasi-country delight. RJP
CAROLINE, COTTON, BARRY BRUSSEAU, THE TORN ACLS, BETH WOOTEN, BLIND LOVEJOY (Ella Street Social Club, 714 SW 20th Pl) The band name thankfully isn't where the charm ends with the Torn ACLs (even if it is a hilarious and creative one)—they're simply one of the most solid and unpretentious pop bands in the Pacific Northwest. The LP they released earlier this year, Make a Break, Make a Move, is overflowing with gems that, in some preferable alternate reality, are topping the charts right now, particularly opener "Two Four Six Eight" and "Can't Say No to Friday," the latter being a dangerously infectious ode to the week's most desirable day. Hopefully the Seattle band will forgive me for being selfish, but I wish they would move to Portland so I could see them more often. They play the closing night of the inaugural Goat's Head festival, named for a SE house music and arts collective. MT