The Bangles

One of the most successful groups of the 1980s, The Bangles are largely remembered for their big hair and colorful pop hits ("Manic Monday," "Walk Like an Egyptian," etc.). Among music nerds, however, the pop-star Bangles were a travesty. Because before they were huge, they were one of the more respected groups in L.A.'s paisley underground scene, in which groups like the Dream Syndicate and The Three O' Clock mixed jangle pop and punk with '60s West Coast pop and rock. In an unexpected reunion twist, the newly reformed Bangles aren't cashing in by playing their hits to casino crowds, but instead revisiting the L.A. garage sound of their 1984 debut All Over the Place. Teaming with producer Matthew Sweet, the group embraced a raw, live energy for its latest release, Sweetheart of the Sun. They sound surprisingly ageless, their layered harmonies and tough, catchy guitar hooks making them almost the female answer to Big Star—as some originally hoped they would be. To that small group of music nerds, Sweetheart of the Sun is the record they've been waiting 27 years for. (With A Fragile Tomorrow.) BRIAN J. BARR

Sat., Nov. 5, 7 p.m., 2011

 
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