Just after their daughter was born three years ago, Sarah and Jayson Benn of Shivering Timbers (myspace.com/shiveringtimbersmusic.com) penned some songs they could sing to her. "We just wrote these silly tunes," says Sarah. "We never thought anything would happen with them. That they are so broadly appealing really boggles my mind." The songs didn't receive much exposure outside of the Benn household until Sarah's friend asked if Shivering Timbers would play her husband's 30th birthday party. The birthday boy — the Black Keys' Dan Auerbach — loved the group so much, he produced We All Started in the Same Place. The assorted instruments — banjo, castanets, glockenspiel, toy piano — reflect the record's eclectic nature. Inspired by PJ Harvey's raw power and Natalie Merchant's refined elegance, Sarah establishes herself as a compelling singer. "I don't anticipate us doing nursery rhymes forever," she says. "We want to move on. We wrote the songs that were relevant for that time." She says the group is now working on some "adult-themed" material. "I'm not a big fan of having every song being about love. There's no reason to write any more love songs." Shivering Timbers perform with Rebekah Jean at 8:30 p.m. Sunday at the Beachland Tavern. Tickets are $6.
Hard-rock band American Rockstar (americanrockstar.com) headlines the sixth annual Rock the Halls Christmas show at 7 p.m. Friday at Peabody's. Tickets are $6, or you can print the flier at peabodys.com and get in free.
The Missing (myspace.com/missingmusic.com) just finished recording their new album, City of Curses, at Steubenville's Innovation Studios. The punk band plans to release it sometime in the spring. In the meantime, look for the group's seasonal offering, Dogs of Christmas, which comes out next week.
The Akron punk band First Offense (myspace.com/firstoffense) just released This Is Rustbelt Street Punk, a split album with Toledo's CL-1 on Germany's DIM Records. The group shares a bill with New Jersey's Hudson Falcons at 10 p.m. Tuesday at Annabell's. It's a free show. First Offense also open for the Casualties at 9 p.m. Wednesday, December 8, at Now That's Class. Tickets are $5 for that concert.
The 19-piece Dan Zola Orchestra (zolabigband.com) will record their 7 p.m. show at Nighttown on Sunday for future release as a live album. Go make some noise. Tickets are $10.
Indie rockers Megachurch, Field Trip, and Craig Ramsey play the Beachland Tavern's Rock-Unroll at 8:30 p.m. Friday. Tickets for the Cleveland AIDS Task Force benefit are $7, $5 advance. Go to beachlandballroom.com for more info.
Max Stern, the Corduroy Mason Band, and Nicky English perform at Thursday's Future Heights Fundraiser at the Grog Shop. It starts at 9 p.m.; tickets are $10. You can find more information at grogshop.gs.
Bruce Springsteen's new Darkness on the Edge of Town outtakes CD, The Promise, has triggered a number of local Boss-centered events around town. On Friday, the cover band Swamps of Jersey (swampsofjersey.com) will play the entire Darkness album at 9 p.m. at Wilbert's. Word is, they'll also sprinkle some of The Promise tracks in there too. Tickets are $5.
Send feedback to [email protected]