ETERNAL SUMMERS, BLEEDING RAINBOW (Doug Fir 830 E Burnside) The pleasure factor on Correct Behavior, album number two from Roanoke, Virginia's Eternal Summers, is through the roof. The record's 10 speedy, fuzzy pearls of pop whiz by with no effort at all, flaunting shiny hooks and irresistible melodies while remaining perfectly uncomplicated. The duo of guitarist/singer Nicole Yun and drummer Daniel Cundiff recently expanded to a three-piece, finding bassist Jonathan Woods within Roanoke's Magic Twig artist community where they all live (actually, Woods was the one who introduced Yun and Cundiff to begin with). Correct Behavior was co-mixed by the Raveonettes' Sune Rose Wagner, and it finds that perfect balance of thickly layered, well-scuffed dream-pop and nervy, high-tempo jangle. But it really comes down to those damn near perfect songs, particularly the album's one-two-three opening punch of "Millions," "Wonder," and "You Kill." Eternal Summers dish out their wiry post-punk tunes with ample helpings of puppy-love sweetness, and the remarkable result ends up all the more exhilarating because of it. They share the bill with the equally rad Bleeding Rainbow, the band formerly known as Reading Rainbow. Somewhere, a single tear rolls down LeVar Burton's cheek. NED LANNAMANN Also see My, What a Busy Week!
EDWARD SHARPE AND THE MAGNETIC ZEROS, CLAP YOUR HANDS SAY YEAH (Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, 1037 SW Broadway) The reality of Alex Ebert's rebirth as a stadium-folk stalwart is interesting only in that he and his band Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros aren't exactly folky. At least they weren't much at first. Up from Below, the conglomerate's 2009 debut, treads the tide of Ebert's meandering prose, alternately forging urban freak-pop cuts like "Janglin" or the commercial-ready, powwow pomp of "Home." And while Ebert's embrace of Americana in all its musical facets (soul, anti-gospel, folk, rock, pop) on the Zeros' new LP Here is an evolution, it's also a trivial gamble—and, holy shit, it paid off big time. None of the bombast or ambitious instrumentation is missing; there's also a more concise path for the project on display, as heard on the infectious "That's What's Up" and the Sunday sermon-unsafe "I Don't Wanna Pray." RYAN J. PRADO
THIS BIKE IS A PIPE BOMB, BIG BLACK CLOUD, DIVERS (Backspace, 115 NW 5th) A year and a half ago, a collective sob arose from the punk-DIY-leftist community (basically, everyone with a Black Flag tattoo) when This Bike Is a Pipe Bomb announced their end, after 14 years. That they are only now getting around to a farewell tour is indicative of either their penchant for bucking trends or their obliviousness to them. If you don't pay attention to the words, TBIAPB sounds like good-time drinking music. But in their latest incarnation (they started out as new wavers), they found the perfect marriage between raucous punk and earnest folk, combining infectiously simple songwriting with the kind of socially conscious lyrics that haven't been in fashion for a couple of decades. The band may have officially broken up, but it was only a few months ago that yet another cyclist fan was arrested after the cops took one of the band's stickers too literally. REBECCA WILSON