The expansion of San Francisco's Girls from wall-of-lo-fi studio duo to actual rock band on their second album can be taken as a loss, at first: Augmented by strings, organ, and backing vocals, the band's second album, Father, Son, Holy Ghost, is as safe as houses, style-wise, from the middle of a road paved long ago by Elliot Smith and Dinosaur Jr. What's new about Christopher Owens isn't just his Abbey Road classicism, however, but a tendency to under-sing, which can also seem like a loss at first until his quietness becomes more intriguing and seductive, the edges of his voice growing more and more apparent. It's an odd sound—the tender whisper you never knew Craig Finn had? But it sustains songs that sneak up on you. With Nobunny and Papa. 18+.
Sat., Oct. 1, 6 p.m., 2011