When: Thu., Oct. 13, 9 p.m. 2011
Chicago's A Tundra might be a little too clever for their own good—the groaners in their punny song titles especially can be a bit of a hurdle. (If "Kurt Nirvonnegut" from the self-released new Ides of Parch doesn't put you off, know that their contribution to the Joan of Arc-curated 2010 comp Don't Mind Control was "The Doug McCombover.") It's taken Donny Mahlmeister (also a veteran of Early Day Miners) and company five years to follow up the perversely likable Man or Woman, Laughing or Crying, but Ides of Parch is a very accessible little box of chocolates. Mahlmeister's earnest-nerd narration glides seductively over a slightly angular jangle of guitars—it sounds like the work of people who've listened to an awful lot of fine local art-rock and assimilated as much as humanly possible. Bass, viola, trombone, and eerily chipper backing vocals round out the richness of the sound; this was not a wasted five years by any stretch of the imagination. —Monica Kendrick Sonoi headlines; A Tundra, Bevel, and Blues Oblique open.