By Sarah Bennett
By Adam Lovinus
By Jena Ardell
By Nate Jackson
By Gustavo Arellano
By Nick Keppler
By Nate Jackson
By Alex Distefano
This electro-pop group makes the kind of music Depeche Mode never should have abandoned—romantic, emotive vocals on top of beautiful, poignant melodies. Listen to their recent single, "In the Morning," and enjoy as it reminds you of your big relationship mistakes. Hey, sometimes you just need to let it all out, you know? (TC) 4:40 p.m.
They call it "Congotronics," and it's some of the dopest DIY trance-dance jammage you've never heard (but you will). Known for its trademark variously pitched likembés (thumb pianos, which are metal rods attached to a resonator) run through homemade amps, plus hubcap percussion and raucous chants, this urban African sound radiates a hectic ebullience while keeping you utterly mesmerized. (DS) 6:05 p.m.
After a 10-year hiatus, the Lemonheads released their eighth album in 2006—which provoked the resounding question: "Evan Dando is still alive?" The problem with many bands who suffer from the sophomore/ic—and beyond—slump is that they try too hard to stray from their strengths. Dando & Co. successfully channel their early '90s heyday with a return to the sound of It's a Shame About Ray, 15 years later. Go and marvel at the ghost of Dando while he plays the kind of music he does best. (VC) 11:10 p.m.
At the raunchy nexus where Baltimore club, futurist electro, baile funk and XXX-minded rap converge, you'll find Spank Rock. Fader and Vice may be riding their jocks, but Spank Rock's Technicolor booty music deserves every column inch of hype. Let's hope they bring lewd MC supreme Amanda Blank. Bump, bump. (DS) 11:05 p.m.
TAPES 'N TAPES
Tapes 'N Tapes' debut album, The Loon, may have seemed underwhelming in light of all the initial hype it received, but repeated listens reveal it to be a well-crafted, unpretentious indie-rock album. "10 Gallon Ascots" stands out, as it builds to a Wolf Parade-esque crescendo at the chorus that makes me wish it could be blasting from my car stereo should I ever accidentally drive off a cliff. (TC) 2:25 p.m.
OTHER MUST-SEE ACTS: RODRIGO Y GABRIELA/THE ROOTS/THE COUP/SOULWAX