The Suspect: Tapes ‘n Tapes
This indie band formed at Carleton College in Minnesota 2003; in 2005 Pitchfork gave their debut album, The Loon, an 8.3 rating (out of 10), “Best New Music” tag and cites the band’s clear influences as “Pavement, Wire, Beach Boys and Pixies.” Each of the four members of Tapes ‘n Tapes is represented by a word in the band’s name (two members share the “n”). The band’s third album, Outside, was just released last month.
Can Be Found: The Grey Eagle, Wednesday, Feb. 9.
RIYD (Recommended if You Dig): Modest Mouse, Cold War Kids.
You Should Go If: Both you and your girlfriend want to make out with James Franco next time he’s in town; your tequila shots/magic 8-ball method of making major life decisions has worked out pretty great so far; you know exactly how many seconds it takes to microwave anything; your best Valentine’s Day ever was … seriously … Valentine’s Day?
The Suspect: Yonder Mountain String Band
According to its bio, this Colorado band likes to live by their own rules and defy expectations. Those qualities were surely a factor why the group chose rock producer Tom Rothrock (Beck, Foo Fighters) to produce their latest studio album, The Show. Though the band cites influences such as Bill Monroe and Del McCoury, banjo player Dave Johnson says, “We don’t have a lot of nostalgia for the past …You shouldn’t try to recreate the 1940s … we want to look forward, rather than give people something that has already been perfected.”
Can Be Found: The Orange Peel, Thursday and Friday, Feb. 10 and 11.
RIYD: The Infamous Stringdusters, Blueground Undergrass, Donna the Buffalo.
You Should Go If: “Me time” is on the top of your 2011 priority list; your worldview relies heavily upon you being better looking than your brother and making more money than your sister; not only do you color outside the lines, you make up your own words for colors; your best Valentine’s Day ever was when … your wife finally agreed to an open relationship.
The Suspect: Project Object featuring Ike Willis and Ray White
This band is dedicated to recreating the live Zappa experience. To that end, they’ve recruited former Zappa band members Willis and White. The band’s mission is to share the music that has influenced so many, particularly in the jam-band genre with groups such as Phish, moe. and Umphrey’s McGee. According to the L.A. New Times, Project Object is successful in “capturing Zappa’s fearless and merciful spirit and the seeming paradox of his controlled yet frenzied nature.”
Can Be Found: Stella Blue, Friday, Feb. 11.
RIYD: Frank Zappa.
You Should Go If: You’re considered a leader in obscenities, both in word and gesture; you still have a Ron Paul sign in your yard; you have Cookie Monster’s table manners, Count Dracula’s haircut, Burt’s unibrow, Oscar the Grouch’s hygiene and Big Bird’s imagination (and possibly his nose too); your best Valentine’s Day ever was when … you convinced your girlfriend to make out in the men’s bathroom.
The Suspect: Songs of Water
Ricky Scaggs calls this eight-member ensemble from Greensboro “one of the most original bands out there today.” Of course, two of the members do have the last name Scaggs (coincidence? I think not!) but Ricky also had the band open for him on occasion, which suggests a legitimate vote of confidence. The band fuses ancient and modern sounds by utilizing the hammered dulcimer, heavy percussion, layers of orchestral strings and sparse vocals. Songs of Water’s Facebook page describes their music as “a spiritual conversation of eclectic sounds and instrumentation.”
Can Be Found: The Grey Eagle, Friday, Feb. 11.
RIYD: Duhks, Nickel Creek.
You Should Go If: Thanks to you, your old high school now awards varsity letters to members of the marching band; in the event of sudden loss of magical-ness, you keep a vial of fairy dust with you at all times; even at your most emphatic, everything you say comes out sounding like a question; your best Valentine’s Day ever was when … you and your sweetie took a Segway tour around the Biltmore Estate.