Black Whales

Though most people will come to this show to hear the catchy local indie rock stylings of Black Whales and Grand Hallway's breathtaking symphonic pop, be sure to get there early for Amateur Radio Operator. Amateur Radio Operator’s somber songs do what the best country music does: wallop you with emotion so powerful it can’t help but leave a mark. Its effect is not unlike a mood-altering drug, and while this one’s definitely a downer, sometimes a little hair of the dog is the only remedy for a melancholy mood. ARO’s 2007 debut, Sirens of Titan, has proven itself to be a powerful cure for such moments. Mark Johnson’s tremulous, nasal vocals make ARO sound like a more countrified Ugly Casanova (remember that Modest Mouse side project?). According to the band, the songs for their sophomore release are a little more rockin’. And since they haven’t released any of those songs for online perusal, the only way to hear them is by attending this show. SARA BRICKNER

Fri., Jan. 8, 9:30 p.m., 2010

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