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Midtown 

With Armor for Sleep, Your Enemies' Friends, and Time & Distance. Saturday, May 1, at Peabody's.

Consider Midtown the George Michael of the punk-pop intelligentsia.

Dissatisfied with Drive-Thru Records, which released its 2000 debut, Save the World, Lose the Girl, the New Jersey quartet released 2002's Living Well Is the Best Revenge on MCA, Drive-Thru's sugar daddy, and then promptly started fighting for label free-agency. After the requisite nasty legal battles, the staunch animal-rights activists/ vegetarians landed with Columbia and will release Forget What You Know in late June. Composed of songs recorded with ex-Marvelous 3 vocalist Butch Walker, Forget is, paradoxically, Midtown finding itself.

"The most important thing for us -- which is something that we haven't to this point been able to do -- is to be able to capture our live energy in our recording," bassist-vocalist Gabe Saporta says. "You want your recording to come out sounding good and polished, but you don't want it to be overproduced. You want to have some raw feel to it, and achieving that balance is a hard thing, unless you have ideas about how to do that -- [but] Butch had all these ideas about how to do that."

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