Indie-rock has just about exhausted all its permutations, hasn't it?
You think so, and then you stumble across somebody like Chicago four-piece Maps & Atlases, whose don't let their technical prowess and penchant for experimentation (or impressive beards, for that matter) get in the way of a decent song.
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Perch Patchwork, the band's debut album released last month on Barsuk, has all the qualities you'd expect from guys who met in art-school -- intricate guitars and atraditional rhythms, weary and wary vocals courtesy of a very compelling Dave Davison and a lyrical detachment that gives you the sense Davison controls his canvas but doesn't necessarily inhabit it.
Maps & Atlases, along with the hipster retro band du jour, NYC's Cults, play tonight at the Bootleg Theater.
Elsewhere: Plenty of free shows outdoors -- Teen Inc. and Peanut Butter Wolf at downtown's Pershing Square; Voxhaul Broadcast, Chasing Kings and Ferraby Lionheart (acoustic) in the courtyard of the Hammer Museum; and Jovanotti at the Santa Monica Pier. ... And at the Hotel Cafe, it's Lelia Broussard, folllowed by Joey Ryan & Kenneth Pattengale.
Also: Sara Radle and City City at Spaceland; Tearist and Hawnay Troof at the Smell; Benji Hughes and friends at Largo; Barrio Tiger and Stab City at the Echo; Barenaked Ladies at the Greek Theatre; Off With Their Heads at the Troubadour; Cynic at the El Rey Theatre; Trace at the Viper Room; Nations Afire and Fight From Above at the Roxy; the Globes, Sea of Cortez and the Spires at the Silverlake Lounge; Drop Dead Gorgeous at the Glass House in Pomona; Voice on Tape at Echo Curio; and it's a night of Magnificent Mozart the Hollywood Bowl.