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At the Cuthbert, it's the main event.

Byline: Serena Markstrom The Register-Guard

POP NOTES

Ever since the folks at the Cuthbert Amphitheater announced the 2006 season, the Bonnie Raitt and Keb' Mo' bill on Wednesday was hailed as an example of the caliber of show the producers managed to bring in this year.

If you're not planning to see these two amazing guitar players, blues vocalists and social activists, you might just go as a gesture of good faith that you want to see the Cuthbert thrive into the future.

Some people don't like the benches, but do what the kids do: Climb on those benches and dance. Or just bring your low-profile chairs and blankets to take in one of the last shows of the outdoor season. The summer quickly slipping away might give you the blues, but the music is sure to make you feel good.

Raitt is touring the world with her 18th album, "Souls Alike." As her bio says, Raitt has become an institution in American music.

She didn't break through to mainstream stardom until she won a few Grammys. That came after years as a touring blues musician, earning her chops the old-fashioned way.

Raitt moved from Los Angeles to Cambridge, Mass., in the 1960s for college, and she found a thriving political and music scene.

"I couldn't wait to get back to where there were folkies and the antiwar and civil rights movements," she says in her bio. "There were so many great music and political scenes going on in the late '60s in Cambridge."

She started play local coffeehouses and left college to pursue music full time before finishing her degree at Harvard and Radcliffe. In 1971, she released her debut album, "Bonnie Raitt," which got the attention of critics - as would her six albums over the next seven years.

"Sweet Forgiveness," from 1977 features her first hit single, "Runaway." In the '80s, she had three Grammy nominations. But when she won four Grammys in 1990, she became a superstar on her way to multiple platinum records.

Just about everyone knows at least the chorus to "Something to Talk About" and "I Can't Make You Love Me."

Raitt, a 2000 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee, has appeared as a guest on more than 100 album projects, played with blues legends such as B.B. King, and in 2004 co-headlined the Vote for Change tour with Jackson Browne and Keb' Mo.'

Reflecting on her new album, "Souls Alike," Raitt says it's important to do music that stretches you.

"I'd hang up my spurs if I didn't have something new to play," she says.

Keb' Mo' will open the show at 7 p.m. The Cuthbert is at 555 Day Island Road, near Autzen Stadium with access and parking off Leo Harris Parkway.

Advance tickets are $44 for general admission and $69 for reserved seating.

Naomi & the Courteous Rude Boys

Saturday, Cozmic Pizza

"When Naomi & the Courteous Rudeboys are on stage, it is like slipping inside of a kaleidoscope time machine with a complimentary juke-box inside," the group's publicity says.

This band lives for variety, playing everything from old-school Jamaican rhythms to Macy Gray-style folk-rock.

Good Times Weekly, a Santa Cruz, Calif., paper, writes about the lead singer Naomi: "A big factor in Naomi's favor is her voice - one of those taunting, sultry coos that sounds like innocence and naughtiness sharing the same sleeping bag."

The show starts at 8 p.m. for a $5 cover. Cozmic Pizza is at 199 W. Eighth Ave.

The Churchills

Saturday, Luckey's

Indie pop rockers the Churchills have had songs featured in the film "Too Tired to Die" and on such TV shows as "ER," "Scrubs" and "Meet the Barkers."

If it weren't for that last television show, you might think the Churchills specialize in medical indie pop, or songs about dying. But the New York band plays catchy, radio-friendly music with only a little sadness.

The band is touring in support of its new album, "The Odds of Winning."

Transfer opens the show at 10 p.m. for a $3 to $5 cover. Luckey's is at 933 Olive St.

The Benevento/Russo Duo

Sunday, WOW Hall

The Benevento/Russo Duo is back, making all the big sounds it can on drums and keys.

Marco Benevento performed at the WOW Hall in May as part of Bobby Previte's Coalition of the Willing supergroup. As a duo, Benevento and Joe Russo have worked with Lyrics Born, Charlie Hunter and Phish.

The pair is touring in support of its new release, "Play Pause Stop."

Tickets are $12 in advance and $14 at the door. Apollo Sunshine opens the show at 9 p.m.

The WOW Hall is at 291 W. Eighth Ave.

Bitter:Sweet

Tuesday, Cozmic Pizza

Too bad Cozmic Pizza doesn't serve cocktails, because Bitter:Sweet is definitely a martini band.

Even without a fancy glass, you can enjoy the mood this sultry band will conjure up with songs from its latest release, "The Mating Game."

The electronica, pop duo from West Hollywood, Calif., contributed a song to the recent film, "The Devil Wears Prada," and will have one on the season premiere of "Grey's Anatomy."

Shana Halligan and Kiran Shahani lived one block away from each other and recorded just one wall away. But they never met until Halligan answered an anonymous online posting on Craig's List.

Shahani, a producer and dance music enthusiast and founding member of the Supreme Beings of Leisure had placed the ad. "Now each one can't imagine working without the other," according to a bio.

The show starts at 9 p.m. for a $10 cover.

Sublime Remembered

Wednesday, Diablo's

Wikipedia says the Sublime frontman, Brad Newell, died from his heroin overdose in 1996 before he got famous, but he already was famous here.

Perhaps because the band had played all-ages shows at the WOW Hall, or maybe it was that shout-out in "April 29th, 1992." Remember? "There's a riot on the streets of Miami."

The remaining members of Sublime began performing early last year and are coming through Eugene on Wednesday.

Sublime Remembered has since performed to sell out venues of as many as 4,000 seats. It headlined Smoke'n'Groove Fest 2005 and played it again this year.

The Sweater Club and Wetsock will play first, at 10 p.m. Advance tickets are $8, or $10 at the door, 959 Pearl St.

Eric Bachmann

Thursday, WOW Hall

Singer-songwriter Eric Bachmann is on his first solo tour after leading indie rock band Archers of Loaf and releasing albums under the moniker Crooked Fingers.

His solo debut with his name attached to it, "To the Races," came out in August on Saddle Creek Records. He writes simple acoustic guitar melodies and charming lyrics, according to a bio.

Bachmann will share the stage with fellow singer-songwriter Richard Buckner, who is also touring in support of a new release, "Meadow."

Showtime is 9 p.m., with Bachmann up first. Tickets are $10 in advance, $12 at the door.
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Title Annotation:Entertainment
Publication:The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)
Date:Sep 1, 2006
Words:1166
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