Music Menu, 1/30






Prabir and the Substitutes Among the FAQs on this Richmond, Va., band's Web site you'll find the following: Q: "Do you sound like the Killers or the Strokes? A: "Yes, and you are a dumbass." You are a dumbass because Prabir Mehta's outfit roots firmly in the infinitely less-derivative rock 'n' roll songwriting of the Kinks, Beatles, Zombies, etc., only cranked up to 11, handsomely adorned with skilled harmony singing, and spiced up with a hair-afire live show that makes the Strokes and Killers look like the model-courting poseurs they are. Still touring behind last year's little gem, Five Little Pieces. Opening for rural pop icons Lou Ford. Snug Harbor (John Schacht)

Starling Electric Flip the CD booklet. Starling Electric's Clouded Staircase was recorded a couple of years ago, not in the '60s. This quartet makes period music, circa mid-'60s-mid-'70s, that's smashingly psychedelic and stitched with paisley melody and prog-rock guitar work that harks back to the classic hippie era, yet sounds damn fresh. Formed by singer/songwriter Caleb Dillon, they've fused into this quaintly eclectic combo. With Foxchase, Naked Gods and Ultimate Optimist. Milestone (Samir Shukla)

The Benjy Davis Project Folk rocker Davis and crew play solidly written rock tunes. The Louisiana quintet isn't flashy, or even innovative, but its songs swirl around in the head long after they've stopped playing. The band's on the road plugging the new album Dust, which is stacked with cohesive pop and electric rock. RIYL: Dave Matthews Band, 3 Doors Down, John Mayer. With Milhouse. The Evening Muse (Shukla)

Tropic Culture The last time the band performed at the Visulite, the place was packed with people shaking their collective asses off to the funky, tropical, groovy, rockin', Latin beats. This time around, they're even supplying some Latin food. Good food, good music. What else do you need? With Solos Unit and DJ Nelson. Visulite Theatre (Jeff Hahne)

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