MID-WEEK MELEE: We may be less than a week into this whole longer, lighter nights thing, but it already feels like concert season is upon us. Last Sunday, the lovely sounds of The Mynabirds and Y La Bamba signaled the start of it all with two knockout sets worth of expansive and genre-defying tunes. This week, though, the party kicks off long before the weekend rolls around. On Wednesday, March 21, Brooklyn’s Milagres set up shop at Muddy Waters Café (508 E. Haley St.) for a show in support of their latest offering, last year’s Glowing Mouth. Like all good records, Mouth is not without a solid back story. Following a rock-climbing accident in 2009, frontman Kyle Wilson found himself bed-bound and turned to music as a way to pass the time. As such, Milagres’ deft ear for melodies and hooks was put through a slightly sinister filter, making for a record that’s full of nuanced and artful contrasts. On songs like “Here to Stay,” propulsive percussion and chimey pianos play nicely off Wilson’s dark, nostalgic lyricism, calling to mind a more upbeat Grizzly Bear, or a less atmospheric Antlers. Ultimately, though, it’s Wilson’s breathy falsetto that sets Milagres apart from its contemporaries. Doused in reverb and coursing with emotion, his lyrics can sound simultaneously authoritative and youthful and seem the perfect match for Milagres’ off-kilter brand of pop. The band plays an all-ages show with openers 1, 2, 3 on Wednesday at 8 p.m. at Muddy Waters. Call 966-9328 or visit clubmercy.com for tickets and info.
Then on Thursday, Los Angeles rockers Saint Motel return to SOhO Restaurant & Music Club (1221 State St.) for a set in support of their recent vinyl release, 7”1. With a repertoire of energetic, punched-up pop, Saint Motel can best be likened to a guitar-driven Foster the People, complete with tongue-in-cheek lyricism and bouncy rhythms. Since making their S.B. debut at 2010’s New Noise fest, the band has pricked more than a few influential ears (Nylon, Rolling Stone, and NME have all given their jams the proverbial thumbs-up), but as anyone who’s seen them can attest, it’s live where these four truly shine. Onstage, the band’s mix of fun-loving and anthemic lyrics, frenetic, and punching drums work, and ear-wormy melodies go from catchy to downright electric. They also remain one of few new acts who can pull of the howling guitar solo. (See 7”1’s “Honest Feedback” for a sampling.) Their all-ages show starts at 9 p.m. on Thursday, March 22. Call 962-7776 or visit sohosb.com for tickets and info.
BEG, BORROW, OR STEAL: Also this week, the Biko Co-Op Garage (6612 Sueno Rd., Isla Vista) plays host to a winning collection of emo-minded music makers. The four-band lineup includes performances by One Perfect Crime, Thy Floor Is Lava, Till I Fall, and headliner Family Thief. The project of 29 Palms songwriter Malcolm Williams, Thief’s music offers a refreshing, if not always pretty, slice of life that calls to mind a stripped-down Brand New, or a less whiny Dashboard Confessional. The result is an unironic nod to youthful, heartfelt music making, complete with big, open-chord acoustic accompaniment. The all-ages show starts at 7 p.m. on Thursday, March 15th. Visit facebook.com/groups/sbdiy for info.
UPCOMING: This week’s concert highlights also include Ani DiFranco at the Lobero Theatre on Wednesday, March 21, at 8 p.m.; Big Jugs and The Mutineers at Whiskey Richards on Saturday, March 17, at 5 p.m.; and Agatha, Dogjaw, and Hesse at the Biko Co-Op Garage on Thursday, March 22, at 7:30 p.m.