Walkmen Tonight at Hi-Tone 

Formed from the ashes of Brooklyn buzz-band Jonathan Fire Eater, which disbanded in the late ’90s, the Walkmen have been a likely contender to follow the Killers and Franz Ferdinand into the ranks of alt-rock stardom. The band came close with the semi-hit “The Rat,” a catchy, lovelorn anthem from their 2004 album Bows + Arrows. The song sounded something like an indie update of a bitter Bob Dylan diatribe, like a “Positively 4th Street” for The O.C. soundtrack. The band’s new album, A Hundred Miles Off, further underscores singer Hamilton Leithauser’s Dylanesque rasp by moving the band’s sound further from its alt-rock/garage roots toward a more rootsy, classic-rock sound, including a mariachi lilt on the lead track/single “Louisiana.”

The Walkmen will be joined by Bobby Bare Jr., a Nashville scion whose sound is approaching the Walkmen’s style of rootsy alt-rock from an alt-country starting point. Bare penned perhaps the greatest survey of his hometown’s peculiar company-town insularity a couple years ago with the sardonic “Meet Me in Music City”: “The hills are filled with naked Hee-Haw honeys who all sing along in perfect harmony/The world’s greatest living guitar pickers can deliver you a pizza or sell you weed.” Bare’s new album, The Longest Meow, is due out next month.


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