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Live Music

Rock ’n’/or Roll

by: COURTESY OF MUSICFESTNW - Portland indie rock trio The Thermals plays during MusicFestNW, Sept. 7 at Mississippi Studios.MusicFestNW kicked off this week on Tuesday, but you still have plenty of time to catch one of the 177 acts playing at 17 venues downtown. Here’s a few you might want to check out.

• Producer RL Grime combines dance music with Southern hip hop to create hypnotic, yet energizing club soundtracks. You can catch him at an all-ages show at the Wonder Ballroom, 128 N.E. Russell St., at 10:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 5.

• Portland trio Mean Jeans combine the attitude of snot-nosed punk with the sweetness of bubblegum in catchy, catchy rock 'n’ roll. One of our fair city’s most gloriously fun bands, check them out at 10 p.m. in an all-ages show Friday, Sept. 6, at Backspace, 115 N.W. Fifth Ave.

• Speaking of must-see indie rock trios, Portland faves The Thermals have released some of the world’s best, concise post-pop-punk records for more than a decade and play a midnight show at Mississippi Studios, 3939 N. Mississippi St., Saturday, Sept. 7.

• Helping to close out the festival on a high note is Big Gigantic, who have made the pop world safe for saxophone again, weaving its sound into house, hip hop, dub-step and funk. You can catch this adventurous duo at an all-ages show in the Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W. Burnside St., at 10 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 8.

You can learn more about the festival at www.musicfestnw.com.

Hispanic hits

National Hispanic Heritage Month runs from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15, and Mississippi Pizza, 3552 N. Mississippi Ave., has decided to mark it with four concerts on the following dates:

• Machete Men, 9 p.m. Friday, Sept. 13: Machete Men are a Cuban rock band that plays rockoson — a Cuban brand of rock that includes elements of salsa.

• Melao de Cuba, 9 p.m. Friday, Sept. 20: This group’s salsa is served up with Afro-Cuban and Spanish flavors. The percussive, brassy Virginia Lopez leads the band.

• Pura Vida Band, 9 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 21: The Pura Vida Band features saxophone, piano, vocals, bass, trumpet and percussion and performs a variety of Latin American styles, including timba, salsa, merengue, cumbia, cha cha cha, bachata, son and guaguanco.

• Caña Son, 9 p.m. Friday, Sept. 27: Caña Son plays traditional Cuban son music, Cuba’s principal song and dance form, which became popular worldwide from the 1920s through the 1950s and again in the late 1990s when the Buena Vista Social Club hit the world music scene.

Info: 503-360-7347, www.mississippipizza.com.

We gotta go now

Finally, what is Portland without its official song, “Louie Louie”? Actually, nothing is really official in this country until it has its own day, and Mayor Charlie Hales will proclaim Oct. 5 “Louie Louie Day,” Thursday, Sept. 5.

The ceremony begins at 4 p.m. with high school marching bands playing the tune. Local radio stations have been invited to all play “Louie Louie” simultaneously at 4:57 p.m. The ceremony kicks off a monthlong celebration marking the 50th anniversary of Portland band The Kingsmen recording the tune.

“’Louie Louie’ is probably the most recorded rock song in history,” says Terry Currier, Oregon Music Hall of Fame president and Music Millennium owner. “Its influence can still be heard in the punk grunge scene of the past 30 years.” According to music historian Peter Blecha, some 1,600 versions have been recorded.

To mark the spot where The Kingsmen recorded Richard Berry’s song in 1963, Currier will present Hales with a bronze plaque at 411 S.W. 13th Ave., at 5:05 p.m. The building is now occupied by Skylab Architecture, which has approved a commemorative plaque to be unveiled there.

The Kingsmen will play their hit at the ceremony as well as at the Oregon Music Hall of Fame induction ceremony at 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 5, Aladdin Theater, 3017 S.E. Milwaukie Ave. Info: www.omhof.org.