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Critics' Picks: January 5 - 7

Local shows by Zvoov, Red Wanting Blue and Teeel, plus a release show by Horse or Cycle

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[MATH ROCK] + THU., JAN. 5

No idea how you're really supposed to pronounce it, but the band headlining tonight at Howlers is called Zvoov. Zvoov is a Brooklyn trio that plays lush, mathy instrumental guitar rock; its debut EP was issued early in 2011. Zvoov also sounds like a wonderful way to start one's new year. The show features Triangle & Rhino, Thin Sketch and Lonely Ghost Parade as well. Andy Mulkerin 9 p.m. 4509 Liberty Ave., Bloomfield. $5. 412-682-0320 or www.howlerscoyotecafe.com


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[ROCK] + FRI., JAN. 6

For a decade, Columbus-based Red Wanting Blue was an indie band with a mainstream rock sound: While the group never signed to a label, its sound recalled a mix of Live and Pearl Jam more than Pavement. But in 2010, the band signed to Fanatic, an EMI subsidiary, which helped it continue its hard-touring ways. Its latest, From the Vanishing Point, mixes that post-grunge sound with a slightly more classic-country-rock feel. Tonight the band appears at Club Café with openers Dolson and Dream Job. AM 8 p.m. 56 S. 12th St., South Side. $10. 412-431-4950 or www.clubcafelive.com


[INDIE ROCK] + SAT., JAN. 7

If you've followed Horse or Cycle over the past couple of years, you've seen a band finding its footing. After a few lineup changes and a slow transition from poppy alt-folk to hard-driving indie rock, the local band has solidified as Chris Ryan, Liam Cooney, Rick Moslen (an occasional CP contributor) and the band's most recent addition, drummer Phil Johnson (Sleep Experiments). The rockers' new EP, Godsmack You! Black Emperor, contains hints at a Washington, D.C., influence (angular guitar riffs with abundant time changes) but goes down smoother than most Fugazoid guitar-rock machines. Tonight the band has its release show at Gooski's with Allies, Skinless Boneless and Strip Club. (Download a track from the EP this week on our music blog, FFW>>.) AM 10 p.m. 3117 Brereton St., Polish Hill. $5. 412-681-1658


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[ELECTRONIC] + SAT., JAN. 7

Dark synth-pop, chillwave and a dash of the occult stewed together makes up the basic sound and aim of the monthly dance night appropriately dubbed Illusions. There's usually a healthy dose of smoke and am '80s-tinged vibe that'll satisfy the non-college-aged set looking for new sounds. Tonight's edition features the music of Teeel, who credits his hypnotic montages to excessive amounts of movie consumption and some obsessive gear-head sensibilities. Think vintage Moog, beautiful horror films and insatiable dance beats. Kate Magoc 9 p.m. Cattivo, 146 44th St., Lawrenceville. $5. 412-687-2157

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