After playing the Montreal Pop festival mere months after forming, several members of Tokyo Police Club quit school to become full-time musicians—a risky, but ultimately correct move, all told. Two excellent EPs (Smith and the stunning A Lesson in Crime) have drawn comparisons to the Pixies and Minneapolis's own Tapes 'n Tapes. With their sunny, volatile repertoire, TPC found that elusive sixth gear with 2008's Elephant Shell. On their new Champ, TPC is in much the same place, though a little more comfortably—the place looks lived-in; it's theirs now, they're not just renting. There was a glut of buzz-generating, TPC-like bands a few years back, but the smart ones ignored the noise and put their noses to the grindstone instead of basking in a manufactured limelight that eventually turned out to be just a dark room. For a young band, these guys are far wiser than their years, musically and otherwise. With Freelance Whales, Arkells. 18+.
Thu., Aug. 19, 8 p.m., 2010