[PUNKISH COUNTRY] "I like everything but country." It's the eternal refrain of high schoolers and idiots nationwide (don't even get me started on high-school idiots). But there's hope for the kids yet. Enter Jenny Don't and the Spurs. Backed by notable Portland musicians—Kelly Halliburton (Pierced Arrows), Sam Henry (Wipers, the Rats) and JT Halmfilst (a jillion bands)—Ms. Don't, who previously played with Henry in the band bearing her surname, has released an album of 10 punky country hits that will blow the minds of those who only know the genre through Auto-Tuned CMT fare. The songs run the gamut from the lilting waltz of "Carry Me Home" to the garagey lurch of "Hot as a Desert," but are all grounded by a similar theme. There's more of an emphasis on feeling than technical perfection. Nowhere is this more obvious than in Don't's voice, piercing and fierce in her higher range, ragged and aching in the lows. The highlight of the album, a cover of Nancy Sinatra and Lee Hazelwood's "Ladybird," finds Don't in a duel with Poison Idea's Jerry A., who sports a surprisingly supple croon.
SEE IT: Jenny Don't and the Spurs play Bunk Bar, 1028 SE Water Ave., with Roselit Bone and Dusty Boots, on Friday, Sept. 4. 9:30 pm. $5. 21+.