With Julian Casablancas of the Strokes out there getting loads of attention for his first solo album, you might wonder if Interpol frontman Paul Banks has come to regret releasing his own debut under the pseudonym Julian Plenti. I mean, how many sophisticated A-list New York post-punk solo records can one name support? Unlike Casablancas's left-field Phrazes for the Young, Banks's effort, Is Skyscraper, won't take fans of his main gig by surprise; it's full of stylish cabaret-rock jams as dapper as they are dour, and finds Banks digging into his usual bag of appealingly inscrutable come-ons: "You've got the kind of sex appeal that doesn't get a guy like me down," he sings in the album's best cut, "Girl on the Sporting News." He means that as a compliment, right?
Wed., Nov. 25, 9 p.m., 2009