Live Music Roundup: Wednesday, July 22


Widower, Pearly Gate Music, Final Spins at the Sunset, 9 p.m., $8

This is a great bill, people: excellent local Americana band Widower plays a show tonight with Pearly Gate Music, Zach Tillman's folky rock band (no big surprise that he's J. Tillman's brother...), and the Final Spins, about whom Ma'chell Duma Lavassar had this to say:

It's all too easy to get swept up in the pretty pinings of the fabulously melodic Final Spins, who recently celebrated the release of their debut album, This Is Then, That Was Now. Fronted by former Throw Me the Statue member Joe Syverson, their approach is pure power pop, but they sound more like a slightly twanged-up affair between Built to Spill and Magnetic Fields, making for a swooningly memorable first-kiss soundtrack. MA'CHELL DUMA LAVASSAR

The Hackensaw Boys, Charlie Parr at the Tractor Tavern, 9 p.m., $15

It's official: the indie rock establishment has found "Americana" the way recovering alcoholics find religion. These days, there are far too many bands successfully shilling lame-ass imitations of country music to all the tight-pants wearing, Stereogum-reading, Devendra Banhart-loving hipsters like so many plastic crucified Jesuses. And the Avett Brothers, who play the Paramount on August 28, are a prime example. Listening to them is like drinking whiskey-flavored Kool-Aid. Sure, they're from North Carolina -- the Hackensaw Boys are from Virginia -- but authenticity is not dependent on a group's geographic origins (the Drive-By Truckers may be from the deep South, but somehow, Patterson Hood's accent still manages to sound fake). The Hackensaw Boys, however, have maintained both Southern cred and country cred with a bluegrass sound that's influenced by punk rock, but doesn't sound like its either forcing--or apologizing for--its twang.

Founded by Modest Mouse vet Tom Peloso and Robert "Mahlon" Bullington in 1999, the name of band's most recent release, 2007's Look Out, now seems foreboding: The boys are no longer listed on the roster of the band's longtime label, Nettwerk, possibly because they haven't done as well as former, like-minded labelmates Old Crow Medicine Show. Let's hope they can find a new label home that appreciates their skill. SARA BRICKNER

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