Music » Critics' Picks

American Aquarium

9 p.m. Tuesday, September 28. Off Broadway, 3509 Lemp Avenue.

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It's within the realm of possibility that American Aquarium wasn't thinking about the opening lines of Yankee Hotel Foxtrot when it took a name. It's also possible that the band came by its working-stiff guitar epics and country-soul twang by means other than the study of Bruce Springsteen and Drive-By Truckers records. On paper, the sum total of this Raleigh, North Carolina, band's influences shouldn't amount to more than a steady gig dishing the Southern-barroom rock on cheap-date night. But on record American Aquarium's way with a song — deceptively literate and cool films of romance on all the wrong sides of town — and sheets of piano and lap steel make it recommended listening for anyone who misses the alt-country heyday of the Backsliders and Whiskeytown.