• The esteemed folk-rock songwriter ERIC BETTENCOURT is leaving us for Austin, Texas, for the winter and spring, possibly longer. Bettencourt, who between his crackling solo records and the transformative cover band VELOUROSAURUS has been one of the most hardworking musicians in town, leaves us with three full-lengths and two EPs, including the luminous covers record Weightless Embrace, which features a slew of star local musicians helping him take on tracks by Jimi Hendrix, Bob Dylan, M. Ward, and local songwriters DAVID MALLETT and JOHN CLAVETTE. His farewell shows came and went with a flash. If you want to catch up with Bettencourt, one of the most distinct, soaring voices in Portland music, check ericbettencourt.bandcamp.com.
• Legendary Portland death-punk band COVERED IN BEES are nearing the end of a Kickstarter campaign to fund the studio recording of Corpse in the Mattress Motor Lodge, a full-length rock opera and audio-play about the hazards of touring. Per frontman Boo, on the band's campaign video, "think Surfin' M.O.D. by (NY thrash band) M.O.D. meets (Amanda Palmer project) Evelyn Evelyn," with a cast of local voiceover and acting talent to help realize the script. The Bees have been on-again/off-again for years now, their four members splintered into a host of other art and musical projects. Still, it's worth remembering that there was no more galvanizing punk band in the aughties than these guys at the height of their powers. Even if Corpse, which would be their sixth record, serves as an endcap alone, it still outstrips the ambitions of most other rock bands in town. Visit their Kickstarter page before November 23, the day after Thanksgiving.
• While everyone buzzes about the Smashing Pumpkins playing the STATE THEATRE in December, did anyone else notice that Jeff Mangum, noted recluse and Neutral Milk Hotel founder who Pitchfork has called "indie rock's J.D. Salinger," plays in February? It's true, and it's reportedly his last acoustic tour (and he doesn't play electric). Tickets go on sale November 15, the same day Mangum is scheduled to appear in New York at Occupy Wall Street's Strike Debt telethon, a new (and legal!) resistance program to abolish student-loan debt, which will be webcast live at rollingjubilee.org.
• The long-awaited grand opening of BULL MOOSE's new store in the Mill Creek area of South Portland arrives Saturday, with live performances by PETE WITHAM (of the Cozmik Zombies) and goth-punk dance ensemble DARK FOLLIES; Sunday mellows out with jazz group STANDARD ISSUE and folker DON CAMPBELL. In other audio commerce news, ENTERPRISE RECORDS now has a Facebook page, where vinyl hounds can get updates on rare and notable wax finding its way to the store.