[winter preview] In Like Lions tonight @ Middle East; Vivian Darkbloom tomorrow @ Church

Despite Mother Nature's best efforts this morning to remind us that yes, Boston, it's still winter, it does seem like our seasonal preview of new music around town hit the strees ages ago. After all, December is so last year.

So with that in mind, let's recap two of the later entries in the Phoenix's winter music preview, relevant to this weekend's goings-onz around town.

Tonight IN LIKE LIONS pop-up in Central Square, and manana VIVIAN DARKBLOOM unveil a record in the Fens that's been three years in the making. Expanded words sentiments below...


IN LIKE LIONS | Middle East upstairs | February 24 | Fort Point Recordings' eclectic roster has its many bases covered, from the bluesy garage rock of Viva Viva to the underground hip-hop styling of Mister Jason to the skygazing soar of Endless Wave.

But busy at the label's bar ordering drinks for the ladies while everyone else is distracted is In Like Lions, a radio-destined pop-rock band whose new Through Red and Blue — recorded over 84 hours back in February — is a romantic homage to the long-lost heyday of the FM dial.

With MY PET DRAGON + SOFT PYRAMIDS | 472 Mass Ave, Cambridge | 18+ | $10 | 617.864.3278 or


VIVIAN DARKBLOOM | Church | February 25 | Nearly two years after they opened for the Airborne Toxic Event at Royale (video below), it's time for Vivian Darkbloom (an anagram deployed by Vladimir Nabokov, by the way) to stake their own claim to the darkly lit corner of the indie-rock kingdom. Three years in the making, debut full-length Know Your Exit is a grand exercise in moods and atmospheric sounds without losing its rock foundation.

Some tracks feature weird Wii guitar-pitch effects that guitarist/vocalist Rob Morris built for a class project, and the closing title song includes more than 1100 audio tracks collected from 37 countries, including Macedonia and Pakistan, in what the band calls a "crowdsourced music experiment."

We'd expect nothing less from a trio who describe themselves as "an MIT student who invents cat toys, a poetry expert fluent in Chinese, and a math savant who once held the Minesweeper world record."

With STUEDABAKERBROWN + MODERN DAY IDOLS + UPSTATE ESCAPE | 69 Kilmarnock St, Boston | 21+ | $10 | 617.236.7600 or

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