A lot of bands pick horrible names. Some are too long, some too confusing, and some are just plain terrible. In the case of Ontario punks the Flatliners, their moniker is bad simply because it's so ridiculously inappropriate. There's nothing lifeless about the group's gruff, smack-some-sense-into-you attack and rabid energy. Their sound is equal parts '77 and '99 punk, which keeps them from becoming too goofy or redundant — a fate of many of their peers. The relentlessly galloping drums and distorted crunch of the guitars point to many '90s-era punk bands, but their rock and blues leads, and occasional dips into reggae, reveal their history with legends like the Clash. The Flatliners' latest album, 2010's Cavalcade, pummels and entices. Songs like "Carry the Banner" and "Sleep Your Life Away" move at a sprinter's pace, while "He Was a Jazzman" packs a warm, hazy ska groove with a slinky bass line and slowly swirling melody. Either way, no one will need to revive this band any time soon. — Matt Whelihan
With All Ends Up, SmyD, and Worship This. 7 p.m. Friday, June 10. Musica, Akron. Tickets:$8; call 330-374-1114 or visit akronmusica.com.
Alan Palomo, the brains behind Neon Indian, started developing songs in the relative isolation of his Austin apartment around 2008. Those works would quickly come to define the burgeoning chillwave movement. As a testament to his mounting influence, Palomo's songs have been remixed by Toro Y Moi and Javelin, and covered by Twin Shadow and Cloud Nothings. He's also collaborated on an EP with the Flaming Lips. Haunting melodies and 16-bit-game-era effects run through Neon Indian's 2009 debut, Psychic Chasms, especially on warped electro-pop highlights like "Deadbeat Summer" and "Should Have Taken Acid With You." Palomo recently put the finishing touches on a still-untitled album due this fall. He's now on tour with his band, giving fans small tastes of that upcoming record, as well as Psychic Chasms faves.— Adam Burroughs
With Oberhofer and Radio People. 9 p.m. Saturday, June 11. Grog Shop. Tickets: $14, $12 in advance; call 216-321-5588 or go to grogshop.gs.
Foster the People
When Mark Foster turned 18, he left Cleveland for California with dreams of becoming a rock star. "I spent a long time in L.A. being a starving artist," says the Nordonia Hills High School graduate. "I was struggling to pay rent, playing in different bands, and just trying to carve out a career." About a year and a half ago, the 27-year-old Foster finally found something that clicked. Last year Foster the People released the great "Pumped Up Kicks," and last month their debut album, Torches, came out. It's big and infectious, spewing pop, rock, and electro grooves that recall the Beach Boys, New Order, and Aphex Twin. "The record has a crazy, fun, joyful sort of vibe," says Foster. "Yet lyrically it's sort of cut with a darker undercurrent." Foster hasn't played in Cleveland since he left eight years ago, so this week's concert will double as a homecoming. "It's going to be great but also weird," he says. "I just know there's going to be a bunch of people from high school there." — Keith Gribbins
With Canon Blue and Gardens & Villa. 9 p.m. Monday, June 13. Grog Shop. Tickets: $12, $10 in advance; call 216-321-5588 or go to grogshop.gs.
Glee Live! In Concert!
Listen up, Gleeks. If you're looking for something to get you over that unbearable lull before the start of the next season in the fall, look no further than this live-onstage version of your favorite TV show. All the typecast characters are here — from sensitive meathead Puck to ambitious but misunderstood Rachel — and all are ready to dust off some old and new classics, like Neil Diamond's "Sweet Caroline" and a Lady Gaga song or two. The stage production severs any plot ties, so the full focus falls on the songs. Don't expect any high-school melodrama, just a decades-spanning catalog of songs the cast performed on the hit show over the past couple of years. Will their ultra-polished renditions hold up in a live setting? Who knows? Even if "Livin' on a Prayer"'s high notes aren't quite as sharp (or as high) as they were on TV, we're betting it won't matter much to diehard fans. — Evan Swenson
7:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 14. Quicken Loans Arena. Tickets: $52.50-$92.50; call 88-894-9424 or visit theqarena.com.
New Jersey singer-songwriter Nicole Atkins snagged a lot of attention in 2007 for her debut album, Neptune. She also drew comparisons to '60s-era singers who weren't afraid to reach beyond their grasp from time to time — from girl-group crooners to even Roy Orbison. But on her second album, Mondo Amore, which was released earlier this year, Atkins settles into a groove of her own, creating a sort of modern-day take on those records she so fondly recalled the last time. It's a more difficult listen to jump into, and impatient listeners may find their minds wandering way off course midway through the album. But give Atkins a chance and you'll find yourself sucked into her vortex of songs about mad lovers, sad lovers, happy lovers, and lost lovers. The blusier cuts — a new addition to Atkins' vault-plundering repertoire — seem relatively distant to their subjects, but it eventually all comes back around to Atkins' forceful voice. — Michael Gallucci
With Rebekah Jean. 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 8. Beachland Tavern. Tickets: $10; call 216-383-1124 or visit beachlandballroom.com.
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