The Lower 48 are the second case of a rather disturbing trend of top-notch local talent relocating to Portland, Oregon. First came Haley Bonar's defection in July of last year—thankfully only temporary as she's now returned to town and just played the Taste of Minnesota two weeks ago—then the absconding of this talented quartet last fall. The move hit all the harder as it came just weeks after the band released their excellent debut EP, Everywhere to Go, a collection of briskly strummed, wistful folk-pop powered by the close harmonies of co-vocalists Sarah Parson and Ben Braden, who were both still teenagers at the time of the album's release. For now it looks like the Lower 48 are staying put in Portland, but they're thankfully swinging back through their native land for a homecoming gig tonight at the Cedar alongside similarly underage pals in acoustic-rockin' Total Babe and elder statesman by default the Wapsipinicon.
Sun., July 18, 7 p.m., 2010