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CL previews upcoming concerts (March 10-16)

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They Might Be Giants The two Johns – Flansburgh and Linnell – have been penning quirky rock tunes for nearly 30 years at this point. This time around, the band is celebrating the 20th anniversary of the album Flood – which some, including yours truly, would claim to be their finest work. In recent years, their focus has been on children's albums – which won them a Grammy in 2009. There might be a few children's tunes played at the show, but they'll fit right in with the rest of the material. You can also hope for "Particle Man" and "Instanbul (Not Constantinople)." Visulite Theatre (Jeff Hahne)


Anamanaguchi This electro-pop quartet, likely spawned when video gamer geeks decided to start a band, write a game soundtrack with each track, where the repetitive beeps and rhythms can be quite dancey. On the road as part of the package tour "8 Bit Alliance" (the name oughta give up a spoiler or two), their instrumentals sound quaintly digitized, oft brushed with bursts of guitar energy. The rest of the "alliance" includes Henry Homesweet, Sabrepulse and Starscream. Milestone (Samir Shukla)


Middle Distance Runner This D.C.-based quartet plays tight, in-the-pocket pop a la Blur, but coats everything with hazy layers of Slowdive reverb, essentially splitting the difference between their British influences. They've been feted by the likes of Spin and Paste, but methinks the praise hyperbolic when they get compared to Radiohead or MBV. There's a middling quality here echoed in their moniker – call it a lack of hook-focus. Still, perfectly serviceable pop rock for a night on the town. With Girls, Guns & Glory and Janet Robin. Late show at The Evening Muse (John Schacht)

Spring Tigers Never judge a band by the cover of their album. At first sight they appear to be a typical garage band with John Lennon-inspired haircuts and a post punk edge. Then you push play and can't seem to get their British pop/electronica music out of your head. If you haven't already figured it out from listening to their songs, lead vocalist Kris Barratt isn't from around these parts; the English native settled down in Athens, Ga., and adds a distinct accent to the bands overall sound. With Guam High and The Spalding Grays. Snug Harbor (Nicole Pietrantonio)


AFI Birthed as a hard-core combo in California in the early '90s, AFI has evolved into goth-punk and platinum status, on a road strewn with many albums and tours, break-up, reformation, and revolving band members. Last year's release, Crash Love, is radio-ready pop punk with ultra clean production, a far cry from the lo-fi, three chord ditties of yore. It's melodic and hooky where the guitars keep it from becoming syrupy. Band members Davey Havok and Jade Puget also have a new wave-inspired side project Blaqk Audio, which dropped its debut in early 2007. With The Loved Ones and Scarlet Grey. The Fillmore Charlotte (Shukla)

Aqualads We don't get to see The Best Surf Rock band this side of the Pacific Coast Highway as often as we once did, but rumor has it the locals have been putting together another slab of spring-reverb Big Wave madness, a tantalizing scenario we hope is true. They played a five-band Shuffle bill a while back, and it was a gas seeing them blow the minds of the under-25 set, who looked a bit like they were staring at triple overhead sets rolling in at Pipeline. OK, enough with the watery metaphors – these guys just kick ass. Opening for Southern Culture on the Skids. Visulite Theatre (Schacht)

Katherine Whalen's Parlour Folk Troupe With Squirrel Nut Zippers since its formation in 1993, Katherine Whalen has also found time over the years to spark up a solo project or two, releasing two albums on her own. The Zippers went on hiatus and then reunited in 2007 – a new album is rumored for this year – but that hasn't stopped Whalen from doing her own thing. Her latest is the Parlour Folk Troupe, which will be performing some of her solo work, some Zippers rarities, songs she recorded with other musicians and perhaps a cover or two. The Evening Muse (Hahne)


Worst Case Ontario Keep it minimal. That's the trick. Two guitars and drums. Add vocals. NYC-based combo channels Beat Happening's raw indieness, where things get messy, but in a calculated dissonance where the guitars make all the rules. The sparring six strings and jazzy drums, the sleepy slacker ethos, and the buzzing interplay can be heard on their recent EP Smallcraft. With Bruce Peninsula. Snug Harbor (Shukla)


Bill Hanna Jazz Jam It used to be on Thursdays, but it's now a bit earlier in the week – doesn't mean the music has changed a bit. Hanna's an extremely talented and versatile player who often gets former students to join him on stage – the occasional passersby sometimes get on stage too for a vocal addition or instrumental jam session. It's a pleasure to watch, and listen to. You may hear some standards with the obscure and you'll definitely hear talent. Double Door Inn (Hahne)


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