Remember the '90s? Can you recall the hazy shades of shoegazer perfuming the indie scene with the sweet romanticism of the Swirlies and Slowdive? Do you still hear those soundtracks for blissful candlelit encounters and those girl-boy harmonies like spun honey? The old amalgamation of staring at your laces and delivering lyrics like handwritten love letters has come back in force in this new century. To balance all the giant-wall-of-effects-erectors, it's comforting to have the gossamer grace of a band like Brooklyn's Dirty on Purpose. DoP's debut, Hallelujah Sirens, floats like a butterfly and stings like a first kiss, the louder feedback dynamics never bulldozing the delicate dream pop and sigh-worthy strings underneath. Hallelujah melts in your ears. Hear for yourself when Dirty on Purpose performs on Friday, July 28, at Bottom of the Hill at 9 p.m. Admission is $8-10; call 621-4455 or visit www.bottomofthehill.com for more info. Jennifer Maerz
Although Seattle's the Cops get the Clash comparison for good reason, there's something very early college-rock about songs like their hilarious "Don't Take It Personal Dave." The slacker-smartass attitude, the distortion-heavy guitars, the subtle Hüsker Dü and Replacement underpinnings these elements complement the equally forceful punk rock forbears coded into the band's debut, Get Good or Stay Bad. The 2005 album, produced by notable Northwesterner Kurt Bloch, is packed with raw power and buoyed by gruff vocals that soar in the choruses. Get arrested when the Cops perform on Wednesday, July 26, at the Hemlock Tavern at 9:30 p.m. Admission is $6; call 923-0923 or visit www.hemlocktavern.com for more info. J.M.