By Steve Weinstein
By Bryan Bierman
By Lindsey Rhoades
By Chaz Kangas
By Ben Westhoff and Sarah Purkrabek
By Jena Ardell
By Jesse Sendejas Jr.
By Katherine Turman
Acid Mothers Temple & the Cosmic Inferno+ We Are Wolves+ Aqui+An Albatross+ Man Man
Rothko, 116 Suffolk, 212-475-7088.
Egalitarian psych monolith Acid Mothers Temple spill Gong water at midnight, casting an unwieldy shadow over this showcase for Ace Fu Records, the coolest unhip label in New York. Booking pals Kork Agency donate Montreal freakonica trio We Are Wolves for some tether to earth before Fu unleashes its bonkers best: Mars VoltaonPixy Stix space cases Aqui, Locust-onPixy Stix sex-spazzes An Albatross and Tom WaitsonPixy Stix snake fingers Man Man. With Octopus Project. 8pm. WEINGARTEN
Hairy fairy Devendra Banhart
photo: Photograph by Autumn deWilde
CBGB, 315 Bowery, 212-982-4052.
Arch though they may be, the Portland bricoleurs play their own instruments as they perfect the ir own craft, and if their new album is on the noodly side, they've generated enough anthems to correct for any slow spots. 11pm. CHRISTGAU
Doves + Marjorie Fair + Unbusted
Warsaw, 261 Driggs Ave, Bklyn, 718-387-5052.
The full-fledged, shimmering Britpop reflections on a changing urban landscape that pervade this band's latest release, Some Cities, reference the band's northern-U.K. roots. With the loss of New Orleans, the song "Black and White Town" has a whole different resonance. With the melodic and introspective Marjorie Fair and straightforward rock of Unbusted. 8pm. HAVRANEK
Maxwell's, 1039 Washington St, Hoboken, NJ, 201-653-1703.
Scruffy post-proto-metal sunshine boy Dungen brings his equally scruffy band (also named Dungen) for a CMJ victory lap, capping a triumphant year of Eruptum eruptions that already sounded like victory anthems. Breaking some unwritten CMJ commandment by headlining two shows (well, one's in Hoboken, which might as well be Sweden), Dungen and his psychic caravan will be ferocious, cheerful, and adorable (didja know "Panda" was about the indie-goth girls seeming strangely sexy?). 9pm. WEINGARTEN
Alphabet Lounge, 104 Ave C, 212-780-0202.
If CMJ is really about discovering great bands, than this is the show to see. Elk City mix the likes of the Pretenders with classic Motown, and then layer the top with just a dusting of '80s new wave. Frontwoman Renee LoBue's voice is astoundingshe has incredible range and sounds like a female Bowie engaged in a three-way with Hope Sandoval and Patti Smith. And of the band's latest batch of songs (a polished, as-of-yet unreleased full-length tentatively titled New Believers), at least half of them are perfect pop gems. Also: JoAnna James, Chris Koza, Aeroplane Pageant. 8pm. SWITZER
Mommy and Daddy + Oxford Collapse + Mixel Pixel Grizzly Bea + Son
Pianos, 158 Ludlow, 212-420-1466. Brooklyn experimental-pop label Kanine Records has mutts for show: the half-punk, half-funk of Mommy and Daddy; Oxford Collapse's foot-worthy SST-revisionist Americana; Mixel Pixel's futuristic take on Odelay; the woodsy, eminently huggable whine folk of Grizzly Bear; and the new and impossible-to-Google music of Son. 8pm. SYLVESTER
Rapider Than Horsepower + Pattern Is Movement
Northsix (downstairs), 66 N 6th St, Bklyn, 718-599-5103.
These post-post-hardcore bands sound like allergic reactions to boredom: Rapider Than Horsepower imagine Zappa raised on Dischord records, goofing and spazzing with a welcome appreciation for the pleasures of melody. Pattern Is Movement love repetition as much as Steve Reich, digging deep into their off-kilter rhythms and wacky mantras. With the Saddest Landscape, the Pine, Struction, Southkill, and Resonator. 7pm. PHILLIPS
Amadou and Mariam + Laura Veirs + Glenn Kotche
Hiro Ballroom at the Maritime Hotel, 371 W 17th, 212-242-4300.
Amadou Bagayoko proved himself a Bamako boogie bad boy of a guitarist during this fabulous Mali couple's recent New York appearance. Veirs elevates elemental pop tunes into rich, arch art songs on her excellent new Year of Meteors. And Glenn Kotche plays drums with a band called Wilco. 7:30pm. GEHR
Juan Maclean + Delia & Gavin + Panico
Northsix, 66 N 6th St, Bklyn, 718-599-5103.
Now that their macho-disco jam "Give Me Every Little Thing" is playable live, the cool but corny Juan Maclean are CMJ's best reason not to see the Arcade Fire. After Juan, Delia & Gavin have deep-space synth modulations for the open-eared and tangerine dreams for the patient. Before Juan, Chilean band and new Tigersushi sign Panico make what they can of post-punk and electro; they call it "tropical subliminal lethal music." 8pm. SYLVESTER
'Lookout Records Showcase': Mary Timony +the Reputation + Hockey Night
Rothko, 116 Suffolk, 212-475-7088.
ExHelium frontwoman Mary Timony has joined forces with drummer Devin Ocampo of Dischord's the Medications to form this impressive duo, whose sound has been marinated in dissonant, '90s-style indie rock, but that when bitten into, tastes surprisingly fresh and sharp. Former Sarge leading lady Elizabeth Elmore now navigates the Reputation through a sea of nonthreatening powerpop, but whether you like it or not, their songs lodge themselves in your cranium. And Hockey Night are the closest thing to a Pavement cover band you're ever likely to see. Also: Oranges Band, the Dollyrots, Troubled Hubble. 7pm. SWITZER