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A-plus lineup at the A Club

Portland’s Horse Feathers performs tonight at 9 at A Club.
Portland’s Horse Feathers performs tonight at 9 at A Club.

Horse Feathers kicks off an eclectic weekend mix

The A Club has a stellar weekend of music ahead with PDX indie-folk, Brooklyn indie-rock and Chicago bluegrass.

Here’s a look at the eclectic lineup coming to the club at 416 W. Sprague Ave.:

Horse Feathers, Loch Lomond, Terrible Buttons

Tonight at 9, $8 (21 and older only)

Justin Ringle, aka Horse Feathers, doesn’t really finish a song until it’s time to record it.

The man behind the music of Portland’s indie-folk standout has learned over the last three records how to use the studio as a tool in his songwriting, and to trust his gut.

It’s something he discovered under a tight deadline in the making of his critically acclaimed “House with No Home” and the follow-up, last year’s “Thistled Spring.”

 “I explored that right out of the gate with ‘Thistled Spring,’ allowing the songs to be shaped in the studio. For instance, the title track was done entirely live in one session,” Ringle said during  a telephone interview.

He takes his song “sketches” into the studio with the notion of maintaining the freshness of the songs.

With the sketches already in the can for his next record, Ringle is relaxed and ready to work toward a 2012 release after summer touring season.

“On my first record, I had the whole record completely demoed and precisely laid out,” he said. “This is my fourth record, so it’s not my first rodeo and I want to enjoy it as much as I can. I’m more excited to see what comes out.”

For the upcoming LP, Ringle will once again work with producer Skyler Norwood (Point Juncture, WA, Blind Pilot, Talkdemonic). Only this time they’ll be recording his delicate indie-folk tunes at several different locations around Portland and the Northwest and with other musical collaborators.

“I can write a song by myself, but I’m increasingly more interested in the arrangements, and I never know what that will look like or sound like until I have other bodies in the room,” Ringle said. “I like to let it be more loose in that fashion as time has progressed.”

The Damnwells, with Harper Blynn and Josh Fletcher

Saturday, 9 p.m., $10 (21 and older only)

On the Damnwells’ latest record, “No One Listens to the Band Anymore,” released this year, bandleader Alex Dezen set out to make a “statement of general malaise” among listeners.

He says in a press release regarding the new album: “The truth is, bands are more empowered now than ever before because of the direct connection they can make with fans.”

The Damnwells have taken full advantage of the open access by paying for the album with proceeds from a fan-funded online music platform,

Layered with melody after catchy melody, swerving guitar licks and punchy drum beats, the music on the new record is just as accessible as the band.

With “No One Listens to the Band Anymore,” The Damnwells have crafted another collection of radio-ready rockers with lyrical depth and fist-pumping flair.

Cornmeal, with Folk Inception

Sunday, 7:30 p.m., $10 (all ages)

Rootsy Chicago bluegrass jam band Cornmeal has been touring nearly nonstop for the better part of the last decade.

They captured that energy in the band’s first live album – and fourth release overall – “Live in Chicago, IL. Vol. 1.”

Cornmeal has a national reputation for its upbeat, jazzed-up brand of folky bluegrass. The live record not only maintains that standard, but ups the ante, and intensity, in a raw, fast-paced set with extensive improvisation.

While the lineup has evolved over the years, Cornmeal’s chemistry is air-tight and the music remains progressive.