Maps & Atlases, Birthmark, Nurses Recommended Soundboard

When: Sat., Sept. 6, 10 p.m. 2008

Maps & Atlases get called math rock and prog rock a lot, probably because people reflexively trot out those words whenever a band displays any kind of slightly show-offy technical proficiency. But those signifiers don’t convey this local quartet’s oddball wit and playful hookiness—the band seems to take a giddy kind of pleasure in building houses of cards and then blowing them apart. Early Eno, Kevin Ayers, and Caravan would be good reference points for tunes like “Witch” and “Artichokes,” both from Maps & Atlases’ new EP, You and Me and the Mountain (on Sargent House, which is simultaneously reissuing their first EP, Tree, Swallows, Houses). While it’s well past time for a proper full-length, the EPs are appealing in their brevity—they’re like fleeting, vivid dreams that dissolve upon waking. The band plays twice at Schubas tonight. —Monica Kendrick

Price: $10

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