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Best Supporting Genre. The top artists of every music genre are worth checking out, even if you think the rest of it isn’t (what sort of jazz fan could be completely ignorant about the Beatles?) If your curious ears can only stand the best, familiarize yourself with the New Pornographers, who’ve claimed the indie-pop crown with their third and finest effort at smart-rock songcraft, Twin Cinema.
If indie-pop doesn’t jump out as a particularly descriptive phrase, that’s because it’s hipster slang for melodic, intelligent, well-produced, generally upbeat rock the kind of music Top 40 radio stations would play in a perfect world. Like the Shins, the New Pornographers employ an exquisitely produced rock ensemble to disseminate their indelible hooks and gripping melodies. With Twin Cinema, the band has finally transcended the (not-so-bad) pop-for-dorks spot, loading their songs with such subtle detail that the cute choruses and smooth changes they used to rely on seem tepid. Neko Case’s sweeping vocals and Fisher Rose’s infallible drumming add a welcome contrast to honey-boy Carl Newman’s familiar timbre, while his songwriting is as fresh and snappy as ever. So if indie-pop draws a blank, it doesn’t matter you can just call ’em good.
The New Pornographers, 8 p.m. Mon. March 20 at The Belly Up Tavern, 143 S. Cedros Ave., Solana Beach. $20. www.bellyuptavern.com
March Music Madness
Metric strut the Canadian hip-rock shuffle like so many recent peers, but front-chick Emily Haines sings sexy new-wave laments like you didn’t know could be done. Metric, 8 p.m. Tue. March 21 at House of Blues, 1055 Fifth Ave. (Downtown) $10. www.ticketmaster.com
So blues may not be the first thing you think of on St. Patties Day, but when it’s Lady Dottie and the Diamonds letting it all hang out, all other entertainment options pale in comparison. Yeah, you could fight the fair-weather Guinness-fiends at an Irish pub, but wouldn’t you rather be doing the Chicago shuffle to one of San Diego’s most awesome local bands? Lady Dottie and the Diamonds, 8 p.m. Fri. March 17 at The Casbah, 2501 Kettner Blvd. (Little Italy) $10. www.casbahmusic.com or (619) 232-HELL.