Music » Critics' Picks

Wye Oak

7:30 p.m. Sunday, August 22. Off Broadway, 3509 Lemp Avenue.

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Named for an ancient, mammoth, lightning-wrecked oak tree in Maryland, Wye Oak should be the envy of every indie-rock band that sank its roots and savings into the blogosphere but never weathered those fickle winds. Signed to Merge in 2008 after its self-released album made the Internet rounds, the duo of drummer Andy Stack and singer/guitarist Jenn Wasner echoes the stormy, melodic experimentalism of Yo La Tengo, while drifting into dreamland, especially on this year's EP My Neighbor/My Creator. The five-song suite is full of synth test patterns, guitar crush and crackle, bass keyboard bump, one rapped remix and the kind of free-floating angst Freud called "oceanic." The keys of distinction are Wasner's voice, a supple and sturdy instrument, and Stack's knack for balancing pure noise with purer groove.

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