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Paramore/Cute Is What We Aim For 

With Hit the Lights, and This Providence. Friday, August 4, at the Agora Ballroom.

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A group of squeaky-clean Tennessee teens with a red-haired firebrand for a frontwoman, Paramore shades its high-octane emo rock with welcome echoes of early '90s alt-rock acts like the Breeders, Belly, and That Dog. Singer Hayley Williams' presence -- and her precise, laser-beam vocals -- are signs of progress in an ascendant emo scene that has resembled the locker-room boys' club it was initially intended to subvert. Blame for that rests with the likes of Buffalo's Cute Is What We Aim For, whose disc The Same Old Blood Rush With a New Touch is a kicky, supertuneful blast of mall-friendly pop-punk that comes wrapped in artwork depicting a woman removing her skirt and is weighed down with pronouncements such as "In every circle of friends there's a whore." Slightly conflicting messages, huh?

Speaking of Show Preview

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