Firstly, I’d recommend utilizing one of three opportunities to see the minimalist, melodic, magical indie-pop trio, Lightning Love (pictured). Hailing from the Ypsilanti-ish/Ann Arbor-esque realm of the state, they blend the new wave of British-indie, Midwest-underground-folk-pop with overt, freeform, genuine lyrics of smoking on the porch at 4 a.m. and wondering where your friends are, while a persistent, errant piano pounds beautiful melodies (and synth) and adept rhythms to ride along.
Beautifully winding, capricious melodies blended with hard driving guitar chording and the occassional high-neck acrobatics (Ben Collins) and steady minimalist drums that either keep the wheels rolling or set the pace for a waltz, (Aaron Diehl) while keyboardist/singer Leah Diehl's serenades range from breathy heartbreak, sweet-sing-speak to exertive falsetto. Strange-takes on indie-folk and a wholesome more basement band feel for chamber-pop with an ear for wavy-up-and-down-melodies, plain and poetic lyrics and simple, straight-ahead hooks.
Lightning Love plays Ypsilanti at the Elbow Room Friday (with Charlie Slick and Deastro, then at Jacoby’s on 3/21 and the Garden Bowl on 3/29.
Meanwhile, there’s this riveting quirk-pop quartet called The Nerve blending wavy organ/synth exhibitions over crazily hooked guitar riffs that conjure Talking Heads-style art-pop. The melodies are molded by strong influences of the godfathers of pop and sound craftsmanship, and the vocals are capably soaring and golden. This catchy pop errantry can also give way to solemner rhythm-heavy toe-tappers ... perfectly highlighting the faculties of each: keys, drums, bass and a fine guitar solo. See them March 15 at the Northern Lights Lounge. More info: myspace.com/lightninglove or myspace.com/boattoboblo.