Music » Critics' Picks

Canada

8 p.m. Sunday, March 11. Blueberry Hill's Duck Room (6504 Delmar Boulevard, University City).

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The Ann Arbor, Michigan, band Canada finds itself in the absurd position of being a seven-piece collective that imaginatively applies banjos, melodica, xylophone, cellos, manual typewriters, glee-club shouting and the twitter of sparrows — but still sounds somewhat derivative. Its sycophantic name doesn't help — although dudes scored the MySpace URL before the country did — but what's a well-meaning satellite to the Sufjan-Arcade Fire-Decemberists axis of Big-Band Indie to do? Write some ravishing melodies and vigorous hooks, which Canada does on 2006's This Cursed House, an orchestral cycle that begins with the handsome get-up-and-go of an escapist station wagon, lingers long over lyrical ennui and ends with an after-hours echo of the Mamas and Papas sitting in with the Velvet Underground.

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