Young the Giant
Changing the name of your band halfway through the game doesn't sound like a very good plan, especially if your fan base is still growing. But it actually seems to be a good move for California indie rockers Young the Giant, who used to be known as the Jakes. They've prepped for their self-titled debut album — which is out this week — by touring with Neon Trees and Steel Train over the past year. So it makes sense that their music sounds like a radio-ready mix of the Killers and Kings of Leon. Songs like "Strings," "My Body," and "Cough Syrup" are already fan favorites. The band recently appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, and "My Body" snagged iTunes' coveted free Single of the Week spot — all before the album came out. With that kind of buzz, Young the Giant should have no problem packing their first headlining national tour, which stops in Cleveland this week. — Chrissy Niehaus
With the Pomegranates. 9:30 p.m. Wednesday, January 26. House of Blues. Tickets: $10, $9 in advance; call 216-523-2583 or go to houseofblues.com.
You might not be all that familiar with Miranda Cosgrove, but your kids definitely are. As the star of Nickelodeon's hit show iCarly, the 17-year-old actress is a bundle of energy-drink-style restlessness. She's cute, funny, and a millionaire. (In addition to her other sideline gigs, she voiced the oldest girl in Despicable Me last year.) And like many teenage TV stars, Cosgrove is also a budding singer. She makes the kind of heavily processed pop music that peers like Selena Gomez, Vanessa Hudgens, and Demi Lovato churn out. But Cosgrove gets a pass because she's so likable. And her new single, "Dancing Crazy," is a fizzy blast of radio pop that's way better than anything Gomez, Hudgens, and Lovato have recorded. Cosgrove's Dancing Crazy Tour kicked off about a week ago. She's mostly playing songs from her most recent album, last year's Sparks Fly, but you'll probably also hear a couple of new ones from an EP she's dropping in March. — Michael Gallucci
With Greyson Chance. 6:30 p.m. Sunday, January 30. State Theatre. Tickets: $27.50-$75; call 216-241-6000 or go to playhousesquare.org.
The Los Angeles quartet Needmore is looking for that big score. You can hear it in their latest single, "Lost My Way," a lighter-worthy power ballad complete with a monster chorus and a plaintive piano guiding the whole thing toward some sort of adult-alternative-radio redemption. Mom-rock faves Train and Lifehouse seem to be the group's biggest inspirations (no surprise that "Lost My Way" was recorded with a guy who has ties to those artists). Needmore were recently named one of NME's Breakthrough Artists, following similar huzzahs from OurStage and New Music Seminar, two other places that track unsigned bands that sound a lot like other groups you may love. Still, Needmore sound like they're ready for something bigger. It's in the way the acoustic guitars strum and in the way the drums charge forward and in the way that singer Garrett McArthur makes every single word sound like the most important in the world. — Gallucci
With Find Vienna and Saints & Poets. 7 p.m. Monday, January 31. Beachland Tavern. Tickets: $10, $8 in advance; call 216-383-1124 or go to beachlandballroom.com.
My Brightest Diamond
If you're looking for an early antidote to the imminent flood of Valentine's Day sweetness, the darkly lovelorn songs of My Brightest Diamond are here to help. The creative vehicle of singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist Shara Worden, My Brightest Diamond are a difficult group to pin down, blurring as they do the lines of traditional indie rock with baroque instruments and Worden's classically trained pipes. None of this is particularly surprising when you consider her background: Worden grew up singing in a church choir before pursuing a degree in opera and writing music for a few off-Broadway productions. Worden has released two albums as My Brightest Diamond — the latest is 2008's A Thousand Shark's Teeth. She's spent some of her downtime collaborating with indie figureheads like Sufjan Stevens and the Decemberists. Her new tour is sort of a greatest-hits set, spanning the past five years of her career. — Bill Delaney
8 p.m. Tuesday, February 1. Beachland Tavern. Tickets: $10; call 216-383-1124 or go to beachlandballroom.com.
Jesse Malin's career goes back all the way to the early '80s, when the 13-year-old N.Y.C. native fronted the hardcore band Heart Attack. He later led D Generation, a group of New York Dolls-style glam rockers that sang songs about being knocked down in the gutters. But his most consistent material comes from his solo records, which he's been releasing for a decade. And unlike the amped- and glammed-up songs he played in his teens and 20s, the older Malin takes a more introspective approach to his music — a stylistic cousin to pal and frequent collaborator Ryan Adams. (Another fan and friend is Bruce Springsteen, who sang on 2007's "Broken Radio.") Malin's latest album, last year's Love It to Life, is more of the same twangy, tuneful roots rock. Adams shows up on a couple of cuts, but the majority of the music is handled by a revolving band of players Malin calls the St. Marks Social. A more stable version of the group is on the road with the singer, who celebrates his 43rd birthday the day before this Beachland show. — Gallucci
With Rainy Day Saints and Miss Amanda Jones. 8 p.m. Thursday, January 27. Beachland Tavern. Tickets: $12, $10 in advance; call 216-383-1124 or go to beachlandballroom.com.