Ten local shows to break the ice in early 2011

Stacked bills
By MICHAEL MAROTTA  |  December 29, 2010

TASTY: Hard-rock quartet RIBS follow up 2010’s British Brains with the double-knockout Locrian Singles.

If 2010 was the year Boston re-acquainted itself with its local music scene, then 2k11 should be one big party, right? From the outset, it appears the trend of ultra-stacked local bills continues into the new year, with that old, sad-faced Boston gig mantra of "bands playing for bands" finally being cast off. And good thing: with the winter months upon us, most touring acts are out in the sun, leaving the clubs around the Hub wide open for more local takeovers. So, as we wait for Boston-bred heroes to deliver some new tunes — Passion Pit, Buffalo Tom, the Sheila Divine, even the Cars, are expected to drop new albums in '11 — let's see which newer acts are serving up future classics.

MOUNT PERU + MR. SISTER + ME&JOANCOLLINS + THE POINTS NORTH | Middle East | January 6 | Now that the five-day New Year's Eve hangover has subsided, alt-Americana rock act Mount Peru kick off 2k11 with My Sweetheart the Destroyer. Featuring former members of Whiskey Giants and the Sun Lee Sunbeam, Mount Peru's rootsy balladry ("Crooked Road Blues") is only surpassed by their smart pop breezes ("Summer Jinx"). Folkstress Amelia Emmet of Mr. Sister is bound to spend the year haunting everyone who slept on 2010's underrated O Sinister Force, and if it snows the night of the show, be sure to have the Points North's Boston love-letter "We Have Opened Up" playing on your iPod as you walk to Central Square.

472 Mass Ave, Cambridge | $10 | 617.864.3278 or mideastclub.com

ST. HELENA + SARAH RABDAU & SELF-EMPLOYED ASSASSINS + PARLOUR BELLS + LOW STATIC ROMANCE | Rosebud | January 15 | Following 2010's dance-floor hangover from the previous decade's indie rock and electronica, 2k11 will take that first step back into the bar for brunch and more booze. Parlour Bells, draped in noir-pop darkness but coated in a sense of unnerving ease, are the perfect soundtrack for that "what-the-eff-happened-last-night" conversation. Tonight the duo, comprising Blizzard of '78 guitarist Nate Leavitt and Killer Suit Creative Media producer Glenn di Benedetto, release Heart Beatings, a purring EP that seduces with its lounge effects (see "Pet Names"). Never outdone, chamber-pop quintet St. Helena release their own debut full-length for one emotionally draining good time.

381 Summer St, Somerville | $10 | 617.667.6015 or rosebuddiner.com

HALLELUJAH THE HILLS + NOWHERE LIGHTS | T.T. The Bear's | January 18 | It was a strange year for Hallelujah the Hills. After the success of 2009's Colonial Drones, the art-folk band embarked on a successful summer tour with Titus Andronicus but also took a "pause" from Misra Records and saw a drummer quit mid-set in October at Great Scott. Perhaps Boston's most important band, Ja Hills return with Album III (working title, we assume) later in 2k11, but not before showcasing the songs tonight, alongside Dean Wells's Capstan Shafts. The new record is fan-supported: in the fall, 139 backers shelled out almost $6000 to its Kickstarter campaign.

10 Brookline St, Cambridge | $10 | 617.492.0082 or ttthebears.com

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