Dan Whitford, the one-man wonder behind CUT COPY, owes a debt to early Human League and New Order that can't be overstated. But to me the glowing grays of his sonic palette feel culled from a more specific place, where overcast puddle reflections burst into petrochemical bloom--the rarefied realm of Heaven 17, Visage, and Talk Talk. And though there's an undeniable Sumnerity to his lyrics and vocals, I also hear brighter, more psychedelic shades in his guileless warble. For last year's Bright Like Neon Love (Modular Recordings), Whitford punched up his four-on-the-floor synth-pop with some carbon-based instrumentation, introducing hilarious chunka-chunka-chunka guitar alongside keyboard sounds that seem filched from Kraftwerk, Abba, and Fleetwood Mac. But at heart the music is auditory MDMA for the hard-core electronica set, a driving, diabolically fluid fusion of hazy old-school synth textures with the pulse and sheen of modern Eurodance titans like Air and Daft Punk. --Brian Nemtusak
The members of the local electronic-pop trio WALTER MEEGO occasionally talk about their band as though he's an actual person. That sort of thing can be a little too twee for words, but then so's their music: their debut self-released EP is inflected with a sort of adorable but cold naivete, like a Precious Moments Gary Numan figurine. But there are some enticing moments on "Stars" or "Weekday" where the guitars erupt and the drum sounds ping in exactly the way drum sounds shouldn't, and though the strangeness isn't exactly electrifying it achieves liftoff. --Monica Kendrick
Cut Copy headlines, Walter Meego plays second, and Hot IQs open. See also Thursday for a second Walter Meego show. Sat 9/24, 10 PM, Subterranean, 2011 W. North, 773-278-6600 or 800-594-8499, $10.
Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Kate Skennar.