There are plenty of bands that claim not to fit comfortably into one given genre, and most of those bands are mistaken. For their part, Halloween, Alaska have never really claimed to fit or not fit into any given category, opting instead to just make frighteningly good, sharp-witted, melodic rock music that touches on many disparate genres (pop, noisecore, avant garde—you get the picture) while not really giving over to any of them, with the end product being unmistakably their own. The songs often unfold in a way that is unexpected, but by the end you understand why the shortest distance between two points is never the most interesting. Opening will be Caroline Smith & the Good Night Sleeps (pictured), purveyors of folk rock so authentic you're liable to hop a train to start your own Natty Gann-esque journey afterward. Employing a banjo, Smith's incredible voice, and a slew of other offbeat, low-tech instruments, Smith and company have built a live show that is not to be missed. All ages. Free.
Thu., Aug. 19, 6 p.m., 2010