American Whip
(Dangerbird Records)

As often happens when the British music press gets its claws into a new band before their debut is released stateside, the boy-girl duo of Vincent Caso and Tabitha Tindale is already a victim of the UK's notoriously frothy hype machine. What is working in their long-term favor, however, is their obvious level of comfort and compatibility as songwriting partners. Touching on everything from the joy of blowing one's mind out on psilocybin to the horrors of waking up afflicted with Alzheimer's, the pair's taste for mixing sweet with bitter gets a natural leg up with production input from former My Bloody Valentine leader Kevin Shields and mischievous cut-and-paste master John Holmes, two influences that help give Joy Zipper's languid, Southern California sound a sense of timelessness while remaining artfully advanced. HANNAH LEVIN

Joy Zipper perform Sun April 17 at the Doug Fir Lounge, 830 E Burnside, 9 pm, $13-$15.

Bird of Danger

It's a good bet that any band willing to spend hours upon hours designing, silk-screening and assembling 500 hand-made sleeves would take the same care and patience to create something equally wonderful within. Not counting the self-explanatory "El Intro" and the QUESO GRANDE closer, "Gone Walkin'," the remaining four songs of Miraflores debut EP are top-notch college dropout pop. "Love Rocket" and "Lou Anne" are three-chord romps brimming with adolescent lust, jealousy, and Jonathan Richman-esque charm, while "Big Sexy Secret" and "Grayscale 1963" show the band to be equally capable of slower, more grown-up sounds. Though most bands would hate to be called polite, these well-mannered Savannah, Georgia migrs are all the more loveable for their earnest, yet accomplished compositions. KIP BERMAN

Miraflores perform Friday, April 15th at the Viper Room, 720 SE Hawthorne, 9 pm

The Hardline According to Danny and the Dinosaur
(Property Is Theft)

After leading Some Velvet Sidewalk, singer Al Larsen established an underground career as a solo artist, keeping the minimal indie rock flame burning. His new release of lo-fi experimentation, The Hardline According to Danny and the Dinosaur, could easily be a relic from early-'90s college radio. Landing somewhere between early Guided by Voices and bone-dry King Missile hits, Hardline warps skeletal indie rock into a dynamic collection of touched-in-the-head pop lorded over by a singer only marginally concerned with staying in tune. JENNIFER MAERZ **** Kittens Perish in Warm Motorcycle Sidecars
*** Birds Cease to Live in Burning Airplanes
** Hogs Pass from Physical Life in Scalding Sleds
* Mice Leave The Mortal Coil in Sweltering Tugboats