1. To call My Canadian Girlfriend a throwback band would be a cop out. Sure, they embody everything that made mid-1990's era alt-rock and indie good - jagged but jangly guitars, brick wall bass lines, commanding beats and earnest vocals with clever lyricism. But the key to punchy Chicago rockers' sound is their simplicity. Their songs, particularly on their latest EP, 2010's Time Was We Had World Headquarters, don't use one element to overcompensate for the lack of something else. All the instruments and the vocals aren't just on the same plane sonically but creatively as well.
2. What makes The Fledglings an intriguing listen is how they inject a Fiery Furnaces and/or Ween weirdness into their indie-pop sound. Crooked pop songs are chock full of spacey keyboards ("Krystal"), oddball jig-like rhythms ("Catching A Raindrop") or psychedelic rainbow melodies ("Paternoster (Inhale Balloons)"). Yet the Austin trio, while tip toward the oddball side of things, do stay grounded and never get too caught up in experimentation, which so far has yielded very promising results.
3. Also on tap for tonight's show are dancable indie rockers Eight Bit Tiger whose clean, tight guitar riffs and loose synths occasionally recall the best work of Franz Ferdinand in their enthusiasm. And let's not forget Made By Man, who will no doubt shine with their guitar-heavy, melodic indie rock that tight rope walks between groovy and manic.
8:00 p.m. Wednesday, 7/6. Panchos. 18+. $5.