Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros

Alex Ebert knows to strike when the iron's hot: as the frontman for L.A.'s spaz-synth-punk practitioners Ima Robot, he hit paydirt right when indie rock was starting to toy with the conventions of New Wave. And now that indie's gotten considerably more beardy at the end of the decade, he's refocused his new project, Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros, on the early '70s post-psych FM pop that wafted out of Laurel Canyon in the wake of the post-Altamont mellow-out epoch. But for all its tinkly bells and quasi-tribal rhythms, Up from Below isn't quite freak-folk: it's got undercurrents of early Neil Diamond popcraft, nods to Flying Burrito Brothers proto-alt-country, flashes of soul brass and the occasional blatant Beatles reference ("40 Day Dream" invokes a sensation of "the magical mystery kind"). And if Ebert was just hopping on the bandwagon, it wouldn't sound as sincerely enamored with that style as it does -- as it stands, the only thing false about this group is the fact that nobody in the band is actually named Edward Sharpe. With Fool's Gold, Local Natives. 18+ (Photo by Tristan Loper)
Sun., Nov. 29, 7 p.m., 2009

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