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Listen Up!

Every Tuesday, Listen Up! brings you songs of bands and performers coming through town in the next week. Listen up, then go check them out live.

Playlist no longer available. 

Tuesday, July 8
New Yorker pop-music critic Sasha Frere-Jones has sung the praises of No Age, an LA punk-rock duo, comparing the band’s distorted, slightly jarring sound to the likes of My Bloody Valentine and the Jesus and Mary Chain. No Age, made up of vocalist/drummer Dean Spunt and guitarist Randy Randall, stops by the Rock and Roll Hotel tonight. Check out its MySpace page for its cover of Björk’s “It’s Oh So Quiet.”

• With a name like Torche and an album titled Meanderthal, there’s no mistaking this Florida band for anything other than a metal band, but don’t let that scare you away: Underneath the loud blast of guitars and drum beats, songs like “Healer” and “Piranha” have catchy hooks. Torche plays the Black Cat with Boris and Clouds.

• Indiana’s the Impossible Shapes craft quirky pop melodies in the vain of bands like Of Montreal and Elf Power (which is also on our playlist). The band plays at DC9.

Wednesday, July 9
• Best known for playing supporting roles in Jenny Lewis’s folk gem Rabbit Fur Coat, Chandra and Leigh Watson (known together as the Watson Twins) have just released Fire Songs, a collection of 11 songs—including a cover of the Cure’s “Just Like Heaven”—that should establish them as stars in their own right. Check them out at the Rock and Roll Hotel.

Thursday, July 10
• Like Gavin DeGraw, Brendan James’s instrument of choice is the piano, and his melodies are as infectious and pleasant as any Keane song, so we wouldn’t be surprised if he turns out to be the next big thing in the Top 40 charts. He plays at Jammin’ Java.

• Psychedelic pop bad Elf Power not only owns its own record company, Orange Twin—which puts out records from acts like Neutral Milk Hotel—but uses part of the proceeds from the company to fund the construction of a sustainable village in the outskirts of Athens, Georgia. The environmentally conscious band stops by the Rock and Roll Hotel.

Saturday, July 12
• DC-based musician Vandaveer, whose real name is Mark Charles Heidinger, opens for Alejandro Escovedo at the 9:30 Club. His morbid ballad “Marianne, You’ve Done It Now” is one of our personal favorites tracks from his album.

• We fell in love with Brazilian Girls, an eclectic NYC band fronted by polyglot and hottie Sabina Sciubba, long before college jocks began to drunkenly chant, “Pussy, pussy, pussy, marijuana” (choice lyrics from “Pussy,” a song on the band’s first record) at fraternity parties. Perhaps playing on its newfound popularity, the band recently released the remix EP More Than Pussy. Check out Sabina and the rest of the guys at the 9:30 Club.

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