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MPMF 2010 Bands: L-N

By Staff · September 9th, 2010 · MPMF
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Leaf Bird
Chicago, IL • Indie/Folk
Leaf Bird began with three members of the band Fingers and Toes and has now expanded to a six-piece group. The ensemble’s music is winding and adventurous, like a swaying, often dreamlike version of Prog Folk with Nick Drake-like vocals providing the melodic heart and an array of traditional instruments (banjo, violin, mandolin, guitars) used in less-than-traditional ways. The band is working furiously to finish its long-awaited debut album.
Dig It: The Damien Jurado Big Band saluting Tim Buckley. (MB)
9:30 p.m. Thursday at Segway of Cincinnati

Librarians
Morgantown, WV • Indie Pop
This West Virgina quartet’s self-released output (including full-lengths Present Passed and Alright Easy Candy Stranger) has garnered positive remarks from the likes of Spin, Magnet and Harp, and it’s easy to hear why. “So What,” the default song on the band’s official Web site (aka its MySpace page), seduces via delicate, intertwining guitars, a nimble rhythm section and harmonized vocals that bring to mind a hazy, lazy summer Sunday. Conversely, the synth-driven “Window Seat” sounds like something droids might listen to while cruising the Autobahn.
Dig it: Disco music for Midwestern depressives, Animal Collective, The Outfield on mushrooms. (JG)
11:30 p.m. Saturday at Mixx Ultra Lounge

Light Pollution     
Chicago, IL • Indie/Psych Rock
Chicago quartet Light Pollution combine hi-fi ambition with lo-fi technique to craft a gauzy psychedelic soundscape that glitters with flecks of crystalline Indie Pop while shimmering with sheets of Shoegaze guitar bluster. The creamy icing on Light Pollution’s psychedelic layer is the band’s exquisite vocal harmonies, a sonic texture that can be ethereal or dissonant, depending on the band’s mood and intent. With Light Pollution, the trip takes you.
Dig it: The grandchildren of Hawkwind and Brian Wilson teeter-totter on their sonic playground while the Velvet Underground’s bootleg version of Dark Side of the Moon plays on the carousel. (Brian Baker)
11:30 p.m. Thursday at MOTR Pub

The Lights Out
Boston, MA • Alt/Rock
This foursome from Boston is undeniably stickier than a Hudy Delight-soaked dance floor thanks to four-part harmonies, angular riffs and stories of volcanoes and bounty hunters. MTV Networks picked up the guys’ contagious Alt Rock track “Gottagetouttahere” to feature on VH1’s Tough Love: Couples. It’s a track on the band’s latest album, Color Machine, which the band has supported at national festivals, regional tours and all over the Boston scene, not to mention at the Patriots’ Gillette Stadium.
Dig it: Elvis Costello leading Queens of the Stone Age. (RS)
9 p.m. Friday at Mainstay Rock Bar

The Lions Rampant
Cincinnati • Garage Rock
2010 has already been a momentous year for The Lions Rampant, with the release of their explosive and acclaimed full length debut, It’s Fun to Do Bad Things, a psychotic touring schedule to support the album, the bloody Amazonian video for “Crazy or a Liar” (also the A-side of the Lions’ new 7-inch, the first of many over the next few months), the introduction of new drummer Matt Ayers and plans for more recording and videoing in the immediate future. In the meantime, The Lions Rampant is running around the city and the region and, what the hell, the entire country pumping out a Rock sound that is dirty/sexy/crazy/cool thanks to Stuart MacKenzie’s Stooges-meets-The-Standells guitar mania and garage rattling vocals, Nick Vogelpohl’s swaggering bass and now Ayers’ elegant bashing. Year of the Lion? No bloody doubt about it.
Dig it: Eric Burdon and Jon Spencer go on a global pub crawl in an effort to find The Kinks and MC5 on every jukebox in the world. (BB)
10 p.m. Friday at the Southgate House

The Lonely Forest
Seattle, WA • Indie Rock
The Lonely Forest has been generating buzz from the moment the quartet coalesced five years ago in Anacortes, Wash., with a sound that suggested Nirvana’s visceral burn tempered with The Fray’s majestic piano Pop and R.E.M.’s cerebral expanse. The band’s third full-length, last year’s I Sing the Body Electric!, was a gem of moody, eclectic, rollickingly serious Indie Rock, and ultimately sparked Death Cab for Cutie’s Chris Walla to start his Trans label and make The Lonely Forest his first signing. Look for the band’s new EP on iTunes, its new album in the near future and its name at the top of the bill shortly after that.
Dig it: Andy Partridge fronting The Long Winters to induct R.E.M. into the Hall of Fame. (BB)
10 p.m. Thursday at the Southgate House

The Lorax Tree
Cleveland, OH • Prog/Space Rock
With a standard guitar/bass/drum configuration, Cleveland‘s Lorax Tree makes trippy Drum ‘n’ Bass Space Trance Prog Rock with a funky undercurrent. Formerly known as The Noisemakers, the trio rechristened themselves when Bruce Hornsby appropriated the name. The band’s new appellation tributes The Lorax, Dr. Seuss’ classic and prescient tale of corporate greed and overactive consumerism. Strap yourself in for a voyage to the heart of the sunrise — The Lorax Tree is dropping roots, spreading branches and blowing minds.
Dig it: Tool grinds, Hawkwind moshes, every member of King Crimson over the past 40 years takes notes for the quiz. (BB)
12:15 a.m. Saturday at Courtyard Cafe

Loto Ball Show
Chicago, IL • Post Punk/Nu Jazz
Imagine a stage show that combines The Cabinet of Dr. Caliguri and A Clockwork Orange, then put Nick Cave’s Bad Seeds in the orchestra pit with a score by Tuxedomoon and The Residents and have the ghost of Frank Zappa conduct. That only scratches the weird and wonderful surface of the music of Loto Ball, former frontman for the Phantom Limbs (among many others) and the frenetic focal point of the Post Punk Indie Rock Avant Gypsy Jazz carnival known appropriately as the Loto Ball Show. Prepare to be challenged in every conceivable sonic manner.
Dig it: The Polyphonic Spree as envisioned by The Residents, Public Image Ltd. and Tom Waits. (BB)
11:30 p.m. Thursday at Main Event

Love in October
Chicago • Indie/Electro/Pop
Multinational foursome Love In October formed in 2006 when Swedish bros Erik and Kent Widman were living in Minneapolis, but the band solidified after they moved to Chicago and found Finland native Mike Ford and Tiffany Almy, the band’s lone U.S. representative. LiO’s magnetic blend of Indie Rock, hooky Pop and synth-laden, new-wavin’ Electronica has been showcased on a long-player and two EPs, including the most recent self-titled effort which finds then at their Dance Rock best.
Dig it: Modest Mouse and The Cardigans get married and have adorable New Wave babies.  (MB)
11 p.m. Saturday at Artworks

Lovely Crash
Cincinnati • Indie Rock
It’s all too easy to take local greatness for granted, with that whole “prophets overlooked in their homeland” paradigm, and, in a lot of ways, it’s like that for Lovely Crash. The quartet has been around for seven years and its two albums (2007’s Buddha Car, 2009’s So Close) have racked up deserved acclaim. The foursome is a constant presence on the local club scene and one of this city’s best Indie Rock outfits.  
Dig it: Grace Slick takes the H.G. Wells Express from 1967 to right bloody now, starts a great Garage/Pop/Wave band, kicks your ass repeatedly. (BB)
10:15 p.m. Friday at Inner Peace Center

Lower Dens
Baltimore, MD • Indie Rock
Together just over a year, Baltimore’s Lower Dens have fashioned a fascinating sound and faithful following. With their debut CD, Twin-Hand Movement, Lower Dens pursue a Dark Wave direction that shimmers with sheets of Shoegaze guitars, roils with Jeff Buckley’s Pop passion and bristles with The Bad Seeds’ dissonant beauty. Like an opium-laced joint, Lower Dens is simultaneously disorienting and mellow, hallucinogenic and earthy, terrifying and wondrous.
Dig it: Nick Cave and Margo Timmins fronting the Cowboy Junkies as actual junkies. (BB)
11 p.m. Friday at MOTR Pub

Loyal Divide
Chicago, IL • Indie/Electronic
Starting in Columbus, Ohio, and relocating to Chicago to give this music thing a go, Loyal Divide emits an atmospheric, hypnotic sound supported by idiosyncratic Electro beats and an experimental approach to songwriting that borders on sound-collage and remixing at times. The vocals have a quiet intensity that drags the melodies over the soundscapes as if they were just another layer in the group’s highly textured sound. Loyal Divide’s EP Labrador has received strong reviews and its debut full-length is due any day now.
Dig It: Thom Yorke becomes an Ambient dance music DJ and sings overtop the records.

(MB)
11 p.m. Friday at FB's

Lunic
Albany, NY • AltPop
Violinist/singer/songwriter Kaitee Page left her hometown of Albany, NY, to travel the world before landing in London and forming Lunic in 2008. The group (now back in the States) amassed enough dedicated followers that it was able to pay for its 2009 debut, Lovethief, via fan donations, something that raised Lunic’s profile even more thanks to national coverage of the funding concept. The album has earned Lunic radio play across North America and the band has continued to tour extensively, both here and abroad.
Dig It: Metric and Ladytron with more Rock and less electronics. (MB)
8 p.m. Friday at Fountain Square

Mack West
Florence, KY • AltWestern
Calling Mack West a “Country band” can be misleading, at least if you subscribe to the contemporary commercial definition. Mack West sounds nothing like Sugarland or Kenny Chesney. While certainly possessing roots in more traditional Country, the band also isn’t your run-of-the-mill Johnny Cash-rewriters. The band calls it “AltWestern,” referring to the unique sonics, which capture a Western/Southwestern vibe and haunting ambiance.
Dig it: Ennio Morricone, Calexico, the wild, wild West in musical form. (MB)
8:30 p.m. Saturday at Madonna's

Mad Anthony
Cincinnati • Punk/Post Punk
Like the best Punk, Mad Anthony is so much more than just Punk. On their debut full-length, I Spent All My Money on Speed Metal, the Cincinnati quartet embraces Pop, Soul, Prog and Jazz in much the same way that a python embraces dinner — by squeezing it until the lights dim and then devouring it whole. Mad Anthony makes swinging, swaggering Punk that elbows up to the same bar as The Afghan Whigs, The Stooges, Jawbox and other uniquely-bent purveyors of volume, mayhem and adrenaline. The tumult they create is the soundtrack to a flaming, high-speed car chase using a six-string chainsaw.
Dig it: The music that Transformers would make if they learned how to play Punk Rock and their instruments were missile silos, ammunition dumps and seedy bars. (BB)
9 p.m. Thursday at Jack Potts Tavern

Magnolia Mountain
Cincinnati • Americana/Folk/Country
Soft as a baby’s cheek, tough as a campfire steak, cool as an autumn evening, hot as a habanero pepper dipped in Tabasco and horseradish. Magnolia Mountain is all of this and so much more as they tear through the diverse Americana stylebook with a casual grace, effortlessly shifting between Country, Rockabilly, Gospel, Rock, Cajun and Folk, with any combination of genres likely to bubble up to a boil in any given song. The band’s latest album, Redbird Green, is a marvel of creative vision and execution and is clearly one of the best works this year (and available on double vinyl!).
Dig it: Drive-By Truckers and Waylon Jennings listen to the Louvin Brothers and Hank Williams on a $50 stereo through $1,000 headphones. (BB)
10:30 p.m. Thursday at Mr. Pitiful's

Male Bonding     
Dalston, U.K. • Post Punk/Noise/Pop
If you’re feeling a little sleepy before heading out to see England’s Male Bonding at MidPoint, don’t bother stopping for a triple-espresso shot — the trio’s accelerator-glued-to-the-car-floor-paced tunes will have you bouncing off the walls in no time. The band’s debut full-length, Nothing Hurts, fits 13 songs in without breaking the 30-minute mark, with most songs clocking in under two minutes (singer/bassist Kevin Hendrick says he learned to play by listening to LPs at 45 RPM). The speed is just part of the sound, which is also noisy, reckless (though never sloppy), lo-fi, artsy and, somehow, weirdly melodic and catchy, with hooks swooping in out of nowhere, often swarmed in ghostly reverb or other effects. If you feel like life is too short for unnecessarily long songs, do some Male Bonding. Just be sure you can keep up.
Dig it: No Age, Flipper, Libertines on (more?) crack and a bit of PCP. (MB)
8:30 p.m. Thursday at Grammer's

Margot & the Nuclear So and So’s
Chicago, IL • Indie Rock
Upheaval can be an excellent creative force, and Margot & the Nuclear So and So’s are the latest proof. The band’s longtime home in Indianapolis was damaged by a fire last summer, they were dropped by Epic, frontman Richard Edwards relocated to Chicago and began writing the third Margot album and much of the band dispersed. Bassist Tyler Watkins and guitarist Erik Kang eventually joined Edwards and, with help from a stellar Chicago guest list, they created Buzzard, a fuzzier, buzzier, more shambling and stripped-down version of Margot’s previous expansive Chamber Pop. It remains to be seen how all this will impact Margot’s live set-up or who will be joining Edwards, Watkins and Kang on their first circuit in support of Buzzard.
Dig it: Adam Duritz is possessed by the spirit of Marc Bolan and finally makes a great album. (BB)
11 p.m. Thursday at the Southgate House

Marvin & the Experience
Cincinnati • R&B/Hip Hop
Where do we begin? Singer/songwriter/drummer Marvin Hawkins has mixed with several local projects, including the Neo Soul/Jazz effort iolite and The Syd Nathanists, a tribute to the artistry of King Records. His most long-standing effort is Marvin & the Experience, no strangers to MidPoint and no strangers to Hip Hop-flavored R&B jams coupled with Hawkins’ bravado. Before the fest, please, please search “Wendy’s Hot Drinks” on YouTube. You’ll find a young Marvin Hawkins, then in his teens, starring in the R&B-laden Wendy’s employee training video entitled “Hot Drinks”; the clip recently went viral and marked more than 200,000 views. Why not play it, gentlemen?
Dig it: Raphael Saadiq having drinks with Usher. (RS)
10:30 p.m. Saturday at Mr. Pitiful's

Me & Mountains
Dayton, OH • Indie/Pop
Before hitting the stages in the Dayton music scene, Me & Mountains took their time crafting a sound and batch of songs they were happy with. The band drinks from the same water as Bob Pollard, so they posses that slightly off-center Pop core and are rich with melody-loaded songs, but M&M adds a dash of New Wave/Power Pop quirkiness to the formula.
Dig It: The Libertines and The Killers … if they were born in Dayton, Ohio. (MB)
10:15 p.m. Friday at Courtyard Cafe

Messerly and Ewing
Cincinnati • Pop/Rock
Messerly and Ewing has been a Pop/Rock institution around town for years, but Mark Messerly’s Wussy gig and Brian Ewing’s Catalog Cowboys duties put M&E on the bench for a spell. After sporadic acoustic duo dates, M&E re-banded with bassist Sean Rhiney and drummer Bill Donabedian (the founders of the MidPoint feast) with Rock in mind, but their MPMF relaunch last year was nearly derailed by illnesses that dropped both Ewing and Donabedian. Here’s hoping that everyone is ginger tea-and-whole-grain healthy in 2010; this new configuration of Messerly and Ewing could be poised to knock the city on its collective ass.
Dig it: Roots-powered Pop/Rock with heart and soul (and lungs and ass and brains and balls). (BB)
9 p.m. Thursday at Arnold's Bar & Grill

Michael Saranga
Ile-de-France, France • French Soul Pop
Singer/songwriter Michael Saranga enjoyed success with the French band Nota Bende before striking out on his own in 2003 and honing his Soul Pop style by traveling the country and writing songs on his acoustic guitar along the way. In 2007, he met percussionist Gregory Jesbac and began collaborating, culminating in Saranga’s 2009 debut release.
Dig it: Steely Dan born in Paris, a more suave French version of Hall & Oates. (MB)
10:15 p.m. Saturday at Arnold's Bar & Grill

Midnight Spin
Brooklyn, NY • AltRock
Midnight Spin has the FM radio-ready “Indie Rock” thing down, crossbreeding more contemporary sounding AltRock with Hard Rock swagger and bravado, giving them, conceivably, double the audience. The band seems to be on a steady rise to success, with high-profile placement on national sports TV and radio programs, a pro music video that Fuse and MTV have shown interest in and a gig at the “new” CBGB’s during NYC’s Fashion Week, where they hung with Axl Freakin’ Rose backstage.
Dig it: A Classic Rock-informed amalgamation of The Killers, The Bravery and The Strokes. (MB)
9 p.m. Saturday at Fountain Square

Mike Fair & the Adventure Seekers
Cincinnati • Folk Rock
This band began as a fraud! In 2006, Mike Fair had crafted an album of his graceful, Soul- and Pop-laced Roots Rock songs on his own and, on a lark, credited the recording to “Mike Fair & the Adventure Seekers.” The strength of Fair’s songwriting led to an invitation to play MidPoint that year, followed by a Cincinnati Entertainment Award nomination and inclusion in CityBeat’s list of the best locally-produced releases of 2006. The imaginary band became a real one and Fair and his ace crew have been playing shows for grateful listeners ever since.
Dig it: Chilled out Tom Petty, Wilco’s Pop side, The Byrds. (MB)
11 p.m. Saturday at Washington Platform

Milktooth
Nashville, TN • Indie Rock
On their eponymous debut EP and on stage, Milktooth exhibit an astonishing musical range. The Nashville trio displays a frenetic Indie Rock aspect blended with a tendency to drift into arty atmospherics that suggest Radiohead, only to blast right back with the unhinged passion of Iggy Pop. The pointman for Milktooth’s attack is David Condos, who shifts easily from seductive croon to soul-selling anguish to snake-handling fervor in a wide-eyed blink (witness their Nick Cave-wilting version of David Bowie’s “Cat People”). Give them two songs and Milktooth will own you, body and damaged soul.
Dig it: The Strokes and Marah drink Mason jar moonshine and see God, who looks amazingly like Jeff Buckley. (BB)
11:30 p.m. Friday at Mixx Ultra Lounge

A Minor Bird
Canton, OH • Rock/Alternative
Big feelers from Canton, this soulful foursome has played with Switchfoot and Seabird, and they grab at a similar chest-centered feel. Singer Kevin Embleton isn’t afraid to wail, and the overall startling Rock speaks with an intensely present, human energy. Highly melodic, with a strong structure that puts listeners front and center, songs are emotion-packed and highly personal, with a one-on-one vibe. A Minor Bird harnesses guitars, keys and drums into a hopeful sound that’s definitely theirs, yet heart-familiar.
Dig it: Reminiscing, searching for your ex in the crowd, staring out car windows, The Working Title’s Attack and Release. (CAM)
11:30 p.m. Thursday at Mainstay Rock Bar

Monkeytonk
Cincinnati • Americana/Rock
Based on the handful of tracks posted on its MySpace page, Monkeytonk has had a fairly productive couple of years since forming in 2008. A lot of bands will gig for years and piss blood before they write a song as offhandedly brilliant as the Warren Zevon-like “New Hope For the Dead” (“That statue’s grinning like the whore of Babylon/With stone tits and broken teeth that hold on and on and on”) or the John Hiattesque Blues slink of “It’s Only Soap.” Ex-Plow on Boy drummer Chris Glen has just climbed aboard the Monkeytonk train and they’re finally, finally working on a debut release. Hurry.
Dig it: Jules Shear and Patterson Hood re-imagine the Drive-By Truckers because they can. (BB)
10:30 p.m. Friday at The Original Tax Place

Monolithic Cloud Parade
Columbus, OH • Indie Rock
Most bands form and then struggle to find a name that suits its sound and attitude. Corey Fry had the name of his band before he had a band. In fact, he didn’t yet know how to play guitar or write a song when Monolithic Cloud Parade occurred to him. After learning, he wrote and recorded MCP‘s debut album, the conceptually skewed Children with Wolf Heads, after which he assembled a band to actually play the songs. MCP’s first “real band” album, The Sea and Setting Sun, is out later this month. The group’s third album has already won a Grammy — now they just have to write and record it.
Dig it: The Polyphonic Spree’s togas, Brian Eno’s minimalism, They Might Be Giants’ bike helmets, Neutral Milk Hotel’s telekinetic power. (BB)
12:15 a.m. Thursday at Courtyard Cafe

Moon High
Columbus, OH • Indie/Folk
This Columbus foursome (and MPMF vet) creates a natural high with its trippy, atmospheric slant of Indie Folk, with choral vocal harmonies that streak across the sky like a slo-mo comet, a night-breeze chill running up and down the spine of every track and a recurrent sleepwalk-pace that adds a dreamlike sway.
Dig it: Sparklehorse, The Besnard Lakes on cough syrup, Trip Folk. (MB)
10:30 p.m. Saturday at Segway of Cincinnati

MRS DANVERS
Boston • Pop/Rock
MRS DANVERS isn’t some lady — it’s actually four ladies who perform playful, New Wave-buzzed Pop with Indie and Dance elements littered throughout. The band (which features native Cincinnatian Ann Driscoll) came together quickly and put out its debut EP, What Did I Do, last fall, drawing industry attention, which may be why the band recently announced an imminent relocation to NYC.
Dig it: The female, 2010 Dance Rock version of Pansy Division. (MB)
8:15 p.m. Saturday at Inner Peace Center

Nate Collinsworth
Cincinnati • Jazz/Pop/Fusion
After years of recording and touring others’ music, trumpeter Nate Collinsworth decided to finally concentrate on the music that was bubbling up inside of him. The eclectic results became his solo debut, Observation Street, and reflected his travels during years touring the globe with everyone from the Jimmy Dorsey Band to Burt Bacharach. Uniquely arranged, fun and exotic (thanks to the worldly additives), the album was so creatively satisfying and well received that Collinsworth followed it up quickly with the just-released Modern Day Gypsy, Vol. 1.
Dig It: An Around the World in 80 Days remake soundtracked by a hipper Herb Alpert. (MB)
8:30 p.m. Friday at Mr. Pitiful's

Nathan Holscher
Cincinnati • Americana/Folk
Nathan Holscher learned to play guitar as a teenager in Illinois with Bruce Springsteen and Dire Straits as influences, but his exposure to Townes Van Zandt in college converted him to Folk. Post-college, Holscher recorded his first album, Pray for Rain, and bounced around the country before settling in Cincinnati and crafting his sophomore album, Even the Hills, with Ric Hordinski. After establishing his solo presence, Holscher assembled the Ohio 5 and released his most realized album to date, last year’s excellent Hit the Ground, filled with character-driven songs, intimate atmospherics and a palpable musical passion.
Dig it: Joe Henry and Damien Rice write songs with a Ouija board while contacting the spirit of Townes Van Zandt. (BB)
9 p.m. Thursday at Know Theatre

Nathan Xander & Witchouse
Chicago, IL • Roots Rock
Union City, Penn.-native Nathan Xander was something of a late bloomer, not getting to the guitar until he was 19 and not writing songs until he was 21. But things snowballed from there and, after trying on different kinds of bands, he discovered a deep-rooted love for Folk, early Country music, Gram Parsons and Neil Young and began writing songs reflecting his new passion. He did the solo acoustic thing for a bit, then assembled Witchouse to help bring his songs up a notch, which they do exquisitely on the rollicking album, The Fear, distributed by Deep Elm Records.
Dig It: Old 97s, Ryan Adams, Jesse Malin, Being There-era Wilco. (MB)
8:30 p.m. Friday at Mixx Ultra Lounge

Native
Northwest, IN • Indie/Post Punk
The young members of Native met in high school and had a record deal with Sargent House (home to Russian Circles, Fang Island and RX Bandits) a year after they formed. The band’s sound is shockingly unique and imaginative Art Punk, played, constructed and composed expertly and with unbridled confidence. The shape-shifting unpredictability is head-spinning as the band switches tempos, tones and moods constantly, leaving the listener blissfully bewildered when it’s all over. While most guys their age are trying to get into college bars with fake IDs, the members of Native are sculpting captivating avant-garde works of sonic art that leave underground music fans in awe.
Dig it: Mclusky, No Age, Minutemen. (MB)
10:30 p.m. Friday at the Contemporary Art Center

Natural Child
Nashville, TN • Blues/Psychedelic/Indie Rock
Splitting the difference between three disparate genres, this trio creates minimalist, rocky clatter with a self-effacing sense of humor. Life seems to always be getting Natural Child down: someone doesn’t really feel like having sex with someone else (but he’s sort of obligated to) in “Shame Walkin’,” they ponder, “what to do about the white man’s burden” and the title of “Nobody Wants to Party With Me” is self-explanatory. Still, you feel like these guys are happy to be grouchy.
Dig it: The image of Meursault from Albert Camus’ The Stranger being coerced into playing dilapidated basement Rock. (RA)
10:30 p.m. Saturday at Main Event

No No Knots
Cincinnati • Electro Pop
These fresh-faced Cincinnati upstarts accent their atmospheric, synth-driven Electro Pop with more traditional instrumentation like guitar, banjo, violin and even cowbell. Frontwoman Molly Sullivan’s versatile delivery ducks and weaves around unpredictable arrangements that seem simultaneously space-age and Classical (multiple members are CCM trained). Word is that NNK’s debut EP is coming soon, so stay tuned.
Dig It: Lali Puna, Frank Zappa on estrogen, Deerhoof. (JG)
10 p.m. Thursday at The Contemporary Art Center

North Highlands
Brooklyn, NY • Folk Pop
This Brooklyn-based five-piece centers around frontwoman Brenda Malvini, whose delicate voice floats through layered Folk Pop soundscapes accented by piano, mandolin and violin. The band’s latest single, “Hiking,” is an echoing, ethereal ride into lo-fi heaven, as puzzling as it is compelling. North Highlands’ MySpace page cites “Friends, Rooftops, Patios, Basements, Beer, Sandwiches, Tacos, Television and Tom Petty” as its influences, none of which are immediately apparent when taking in the band’s breezy, off-kilter songs.
Dig it: Vashti Bunyan, Freak Folk with a dash of Cocteau Twins. (JG)
11:30 p.m. Friday at Segway of Cincinnati 

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